Calendar for the week

thursday
may 22
"Our Future in the Desert: Architectural Explorations": The Arizona VisionWeavers organization, which seeks to "harmonize commercial and private development with the Sonoran Desert environment by encouraging innovative architectural visions," sponsors this exhibition of conceptual works about desert habitation and conservation by architects from around the state, including Marlene Imirzian, Todd Bogatay, Don Grieb, Anne Marie Nequette, William Harold Kurtz and Terry Sewell. The show continues through Sunday, August 31, in the Mezzanine and Lower galleries at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Viewing is free; hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays (to 8 p.m. Thursdays), noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. For details call 994-2787 or 949-5860.

Seven Guitars: Arizona Theatre Company concludes its 30th-anniversary season with the state premiere of August Wilson's literary memorial to a fictional, star-crossed bluesman named Floyd "Schoolboy" Barton; San Francisco's Benny Sato Ambush directed. Final performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 22; 8 p.m. Friday, May 23; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 24; and 8 p.m. Sunday, May 25, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. A discussion follows Thursday's show; another, featuring an appearance by playwright Wilson and director Ambush, precedes Sunday's at 4:30. Tickets range from $25 to $32, available at Herberger and Dillard's; call 252-8497 or 503-5555.

"Dis/Functional": Arizona State University Art Museum's John Spiak organized this exhibit of works by antisocialists Jenny Holzer, Vernon Fisher, Francesc Torres, Barbara Penn, Dan Collins, Herb Stratford and Joyan Saunders (the latter, from Tucson, contributed arguably the show's best piece, a skewering of the romantic ideal titled "Athlete Heart" and comprising a king-size bed covered with 300 pounds of feathers). "What connects these seven artists is that they all question aspects of today's society," says Spiak. The installation continues through Sunday, October 19, at ASU Art Museum at Nelson Fine Arts Center, 10th Street and Mill in Tempe. Viewing is free; hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. For details call 965-2787.

Sarah Brown: Thanks to her low-profile knack for augmenting the talents of those around her, the blues sidewoman/songwriter from Austin, Texas, won the right to step out in front of the center mike in support of her solo debut, Sayin' What I'm Thinkin'. The disc includes guest shots by Cindy Bullens, Steve James, Angela Strehli, Marcia Ball and Lou Ann Barton; the latter three are longtime Brown collaborators, and frequent recipients of Sarah's aforementioned gifts. The bassist/vocalist and her band perform at 9 p.m. Thursday, May 22, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $4. For details call 265-4842.

Love! Valour! Compassion!: Terrence McNally (Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, The Lisbon Traviata) penned this work about the "lives and loves of gay men in the '90s." The Actors Group presents final performances on Thursday, May 22; Friday, May 23; and Saturday, May 24. All start at 8 p.m. at Phoenix Theatre's Little Theatre, located at the intersection of Alvarado and Coronado streets. Tickets are $16, $14 for students and seniors, available at Dillard's. Call 252-8497 or 503-5555.

Phoenix Firebirds: The Triple A/Pacific Coast League affiliate of baseball's San Francisco Giants continues its 34th--and final--season in the Valley. The squad plays the Las Vegas Stars at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, May 22; and the same time Friday, May 23. The 'birds take on the Colorado Springs Sky Sox at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, May 24; 6:05 p.m. Sunday, May 25; 6:05 p.m. Monday, May 26; and 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, May 27. The scene is Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 East Osborn. Tickets range from $4 to $8, available at the scene and Dillard's; call 275-0500 or 503-5555.

friday
may 23
Edmond: Zenith Group Gallery Theatre tackles one of the lesser-known works by one of America's better-known playwrights, David Mamet (Speed-the-Plow, Sexual Perversity in Chicago). Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, May 23; and the same time Saturday, May 24, at the theater, 118 South Central, in Luhrs Office Center. The run continues through Saturday, June 7. Tickets are $10. Call 420-9318.

Road Trip: Sedona Chamber Music Festival: Concerts begin Friday, May 23, and continue through Sunday, June 8, at venues throughout northern Arizona. This year's resident ensemble is the Amadeus Trio, which opens the 13th annual fest with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Sedona's St. John Vianney Church, 180 Soldier's Pass Road. Amadeus is joined by violinist Robert Gerry and violists Donald McInnes and Matthew Rombaum at concerts scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, May 25 (also at the church); and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at the Museum of Northern Arizona, located three miles north of downtown Flagstaff on U.S. Highway 180. Tickets to each show are $13.50 and $17.50. Call 1-520-526-2256.

"Dis/Functional": See Thursday.
Love! Valour! Compassion!: See Thursday.
"Our Future in the Desert: Architectural Explorations": See Thursday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.
Seven Guitars: See Thursday.

saturday
may 24
People of Reason: Mario Esquer, an instructor at Glendale Community College, produced this film about a Hispanic man who's knocked unconscious during a contemporary gang brawl and wakes up in New Mexico, circa 1853. Screenings are scheduled at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, May 24, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. Admission is a donation of $15; proceeds benefit the Arizona Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, the Phoenix Union High School District's 1965 Scholarship Committee, and the "People of Reason" Fund. Call 483-8473.

Arizona Rattlers: The arena-football squad takes on the San Jose SaberCats at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 24, at the "Snake Pit": America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. The Rattlers' next home game is at the same time Saturday, June 21, against the Florida Bobcats. Tickets range from $9 to $37, available at the arena and Dillard's. For details call 514-8383, 379-7800 or 503-5555.

"Dis/Functional": See Thursday.
Edmond: See Friday.
Love! Valour! Compassion!: See Thursday.
"Our Future in the Desert: Architectural Explorations": See Thursday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.
Seven Guitars: See Thursday.

sunday
may 25
"Black & White & Blues" featuring Carey Bell and Tough Luck: Mississippi-born, Chicago-based harp master Bell (real name: Carey Bell Harrington) and his band perform two sets at the fourth annual fund raiser for Visual Uplift, a nonprofit group that provides free photography lessons to at-risk kids. The fest also includes scheduled performances by Patti Williams and Delerious, Donnie Dean Band, Cold Shot and the Hurricane Horns, Rena Haus, Carvin Jones Band, Les Izmore, Barry Homan Band, Blaise Lantana, the Blues Shakers, and Hans Olson. The music starts at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 25, and continues 'til 1 a.m. at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $8, $7 for students and Phoenix Blues Society members. Call 265-4842 or 777-7040.

The Beat Angels' Anniversary Bash: Brian Smith's Valley glam band plays its whiskey-soaked slices of vintage-rock nirvana at a special show on Sunday, May 25, in honor of the group's third birthday. The (most appropriate) venue: the Mason Jar, 2303 East Indian School. Call 956-6271.

"Dis/Functional": See Thursday.
"Our Future in the Desert: Architectural Explorations": See Thursday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.
Sedona Chamber Music Festival: See Friday.
Seven Guitars: See Thursday.

monday
may 26
The Gipsy Kings: The Kings reside in the south of France, play combustible flamenco and move zillions of discs worth of the stuff--a better gig even than the Stones. Speaking of rock's jet set, you haven't lived 'til you've heard the Gipsies' version of the Eagles' "Hotel California" ("Velcome to zee 'otel Cal-ee-forn-ee-ah . . ."). Touring behind its first collection of new tunes in three years, Tierra Gitana, the group performs Monday, May 26, at Mesa Amphitheatre, Center and University. The all-ages show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $26 and $46 in advance, $28 and $51 the day of the show, available at Mesa Community Center and Dillard's box offices; call 644-2560 or 503-5555.

Satan's Pilgrims: The members of the campy West Coast band wear matching costumes and black capes and specialize in tremolo, reverb and reverence for instro-rock's true pilgrims, like the Trashmen, Duane Eddy, the Mar-Keys and Dick Dale's Del-Tones. The group returns for a show on Monday, May 26, at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Girl Trouble shares the all-ages bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. The cover is $7. For details call 894-0707.

"Our Future in the Desert: Architectural Explorations": See Thursday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.

tuesday
may 27
Stomp: The wildly popular, London-born, New York-based percussive/movement troupe gives new meaning to the term "found art." The Doc Martens-wearing crew brings the metaphorical kitchen sink and literally boots it around the stage at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams, along with a bunch of other unlikely noisemakers like plastic bags, brooms and cardboard boxes. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 27; and the same time Wednesday, May 28. More shows are scheduled Thursday, May 29, through Sunday, June 1. Tickets range from $26 to $34, available at Scottsdale Center for the Arts and Ticketmaster; call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

Trans Am: The moody, minimalist instrumental trio from Maryland aims for a Kraftwerk/Tortoise merger. But--appropriately, given its name--Trans Am sports a sixth gear that most so-called postrock acts lack; this band can shift into overdrive and cook with gas, as on the muscular workout "Carboforce," the next-to-last track on its latest disc, Surrender to the Night. (Or perhaps the song just seems muscular compared to the spacy noodling that precedes it; let's face it--what we have here is alt. rock constructed around synths and sans vocals.) The group performs Tuesday, May 27, at Tempe's Stinkweeds Record Exchange, 1250 East Apache, Suite 109. Showtime is 10 p.m. For details call 968-9490.

A Chorus Line: The let's-put-on-a-show show still holds the record for Broadway's longest run. Original cast member Baayork Lee directed and choreographed the touring production of Line, conceived by Michael Bennett and written by Marvin Hamlisch, Edward Kleban, James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 27; and the same time Wednesday, May 28, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. More shows are planned Thursday, May 29, through Sunday, June 1. Tickets range from $28 to $42, available at Gammage and Dillard's; call 965-3434 or 503-5555.

Magic Slim and the Teardrops: As oxymoronic as it sounds, here's a party band with integrity. The Teardrops' blues run raw and deep, with beats as big as Phoenix summer nights are warm. Hot fun, indeed. Guitarist/vocalist Slim (real name: Morris Holt) and his Chicago-based company are scheduled Tuesday, May 27, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. Showtime is 9 p.m. The cover is $7. For more information, call 265-4842.

"Dis/Functional": See Thursday.
"Our Future in the Desert: Architectural Explorations": See Thursday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.

wednesday
may 28
Tinsley Ellis: The music of the Atlanta-based roadhouse rocker calls to mind that of Lonnie Mack, Buddy Guy, the early Allmans, even the Yardbirds. Touring behind his new disc, Fire It Up, Ellis performs Wednesday, May 28, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. Showtime is 9 p.m. The cover is $8.50. For details call 265-4842.

A Chorus Line: See Tuesday.
"Dis/Functional": See Thursday.
"Our Future in the Desert: Architectural Explorations": See Thursday.
Sedona Chamber Music Festival: See Friday.
Stomp: See Tuesday.

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