Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: The Greatest Show on Earth returns for its annual Valley visit, with ringmaster Eric Michael, and featuring Zusha, Queen of the Nile, the world's only performing hippopotamus; master clown David Larible; second-generation animal trainer Mark Oliver Gebel; the debut of the Golden Pyramid human acrobats; and the Oxygen Stake Team. Ticketholders are welcome to come one hour before showtime and swing on a trapeze, walk a low wire, try their hand at clowning and learn other circus secrets. The fun begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 26; 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 27; 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 28; 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 29; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 1; and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 2, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. More shows are planned through Sunday, July 6. Tickets range from $11.50 to $30, available at the arena and Dillard's; group discounts are available. Call 379-7800 or 503-5555.
subUrbia: Tucson's upstart Upstairs Theatre Company, which features several Valley expatriates, travels north for this revival of a January '96 production of the Eric Bogosian play in the Old Pueblo. The work revolves around three guys in their early 20s who replay a communal past while bumming around in the dead-end present of a convenience-store parking lot. The curtain lifts at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 26; 8 p.m. Friday, June 27; 8 p.m. Saturday, June 28; and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 29, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The production continues through Sunday, July 6. Tickets are $10 and $17.50, available at Herberger and Dillard's; call 252-8497 or 503-5555.
Abra Moore: This rising alternative-pop singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas, brings musical sounds which she developed as a young girl while listening to the jams of Billie Holiday, Bette Midler, the Rolling Stones and other '70s acts to the Valley in support of her latest album, Strangest Places. A founding member of Poi Dog Pondering, Moore takes the stage with Lori Carson Thursday, June 26, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. For the showtime of this free concert, call 967-1234.
The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr (abridged): Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield penned this Pythonesque parody, brimming with pot shots at the Bard and performed by Actors Theatre of Phoenix's "Reduced Shakespeare Company," comprising actors Gerald Burgess, Jon Gentry and Scott Hopkins and a prop list that includes "1 butcher knife, 2 daggers, 1 dinosaur (inflatable), 1 head (severed), 1 skull (rubber), 1 vial poison and 1 vial potion." Act one features snippets from 36 Shakespearean pieces; the centerpiece of act two is Hamlet--performed "three times forward and once backwards." ATP presents a summer revival of its high-season show, and the second run continues at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 26; 8 p.m. Friday, June 27; 8 p.m. Saturday, June 28; and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 29, in Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The production runs through Sunday, July 13. Tickets range from $16 to $26, available at Herberger and Dillard's; call 252-8497 or 503-5555.
My Utmost for His Highest: Inspired by Oswald Chambers' book of the same title, top Christian artists Steven Curtis Chapman, Sandi Patti, Twila Paris, Avalon, Cindy Morgan, and Dove Award singer Bryan Duncan perform in support of the third release of this collaborated album. The dramatic musical production gets under way at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at Mesa Amphitheatre, Center and University. Tickets are $26, available at Mesa Community Center and Dillard's box offices; call 644-2560 or 503-5555.
Poncho Sanchez: This Latin-jazz flute, guitar and percussion great played with the likes of Gary Foster and Willie Bobo, to name a couple, before taking over Cal Tjader's Combo when Tjader died in 1975. Come catch the beat at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at Red River Opry, Mill and Washington in Tempe. Tickets are available at the scene and Dillard's; call 829-6779 or 503-5555.
"Elusive Nature: The U.S. Representation From the 1996 Cuenca Bienal of Painting": The exhibit, curated by Phoenix Art Museum's David Rubin and featuring nature-themed paintings and works on paper by Katherine Bowling, Joan Nelson, Michael Kessler, Andrew Young, Eva Bovenzi and Timothy McDowell, makes its only stateside stop at the museum, 1625 North Central. The show's sextet of artists represented the United States at last year's Bienal in Cuenca, Ecuador. The installation continues through Sunday, September 14, in PAM's Orme Lewis Gallery. Rubin, curator of 20th-century art, gives a gallery talk titled "Artists Respond to the Environment" at 12:15 and 7 p.m. Thursday, June 26. Viewing is free; hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays (to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays). Call 257-1880 or 257-1222.