UK/AZ You Like It: Othello, Zandra Rhodes, "Rootstein Mannequins" and Other Stuff From Beyond the Pond: The UK/AZ Festival, continuing through October (though some of the offerings extend beyond Allhallows Eve), celebrates the--rather tenuous--connection(s) between England and Arizona. Britain's Royal National Theatre--making its inaugural visit to the state and its only U.S. appearance in 1997--enacts Othello. Sam Mendes of London's Donmar Warehouse directed the Bard's intimate tragedy about the noble title character (David Harewood), who loves the purehearted Desdemona (Claire Skinner) and is loathed--and viciously victimized--by that nasty little man named Iago (Simon Russell Beale). Final performances are at 2 and 8 p.m. Thursday, October 2; 8 p.m. Friday, October 3; and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, October 4, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. Tickets range from $40 to $50, available at Herberger and Dillard's (call 252-8497 or 503-5555). There's a thin line between art and design; Arizona landscapist Ed Mell straddles it, in some minds, and so does English fashion maven Zandra Rhodes, one of the top clothiers of mod Brits from mid-'60s Carnaby Street to mid-'70s punk and onward. The textile specialist is renowned for her functional yet free-associative, flights-of-fancy creations; if forced into a corner, we'd call her an artist--and the best sort, one whose sometimes astonishing pieces get up and slink around the room. Hyping a new line, Rhodes makes a gratis appearance from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday at ESA of the Borgata, 6166 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale (call 998-5557); she follows that with a program titled "Inspiration to Creation" at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Whiteman Lecture Hall at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central, in conjunction with PAM's "Zandra Rhodes: The Surface and Beyond" (see the Visual Art listing). A reception/signing follows in PAM's Great Hall; admission is $15 (call 257-1880 or 257-1222). The "Rootstein Mannequins" are "celebrity-cloned" look-alikes of the likes of models Karen Mulder and Twiggy that are swathed in gear from the swinging '60s to the iconic '90s. Products of the London factory founded by the late Adel Rootstein, the mannequins sass up Saks Fifth Avenue at Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback, Thursday through Halloween. Viewing is free; hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m. Sundays (call 955-8000). For info about other UK/AZ events this week (including appearances by Princess Anne, celebrity mouthpiece Robin Leach and china magnate Lord Wedgwood), see the Events listing or call 258-6055.
"Harkins Anniversary Film Festival": The Valley chain celebrates its 64th year in show biz with this spate of vintage and vintagely priced classics. Final screenings are Thursday, October 2. The lineup: Giant at Centerpoint 11, Mill and University in Tempe; Vertigo at Shea 14, 74th Street and Shea in Scottsdale; Lawrence of Arabia at Christown 11, 19th Avenue and Bethany Home; A Streetcar Named Desire at Bell Tower 8, 51st Avenue and Bell in Glendale; and Cabaret at Fiesta 5, 1520 South Longmore in Mesa. All films are unrated except the latter, which is PG; admission to each is 25 cents, with all proceeds benefiting the United Way. For details see Showtimes or call the individual cinemas.
"Vampires and Fallen Angels: The Secret World of Fritz Scholder": Followers of the world-infamous, Arizona-based painter/sculptor and noted obsessive will see a startlingly different side of Scholder in this exhibit, which features various objets d'odd that Fritz has gleaned from his globetrotting pilgrimages--and the artist's own riffs on the possessions (which, truly, seem to have possessed him). It continues through Sunday, December 14, in the Orme Lewis Gallery at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central. PAM's David Rubin curated, and he hosts gratis gallery talks titled "'Vampires and Fallen Angels': An Exhibition Overview" at 12:15 and 7 p.m. Thursday, October 2. 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.
Mission to Mir: This new cinematic thrill ride from IMAX Theatre doesn't deal with the fresh problems plaguing the wounded duck of a space station, but American astronaut Shannon Lucid's long-delayed departure from Mir in '96 is in the script, along with rare clips of cosmonauts training at Russia's Star City. Mission opens Thursday, October 2, and continues through January 1998 at the cinema, located at Civic Center Boulevard and Fifth Avenue in Scottsdale. It plays daily at noon and 2, 4, 8 and 10 p.m. Mir's companion film, Mexico, shows daily at 1, 3, 7 and 9 p.m. Tickets range from $5 to $7 for individual shows, $7.50 to $9.75 for double features. Call 945-4629 or 949-3105. (For info about the opening this week of a similar film--To Be an Astronaut--on the similarly oversize screen at Arizona Science Center, see the Repertory Film listing.)
The Boneshakers: Guitarist/songwriter Randy Jacobs and singer Sweet Pea Atkinson--the latter a throwback soul man deluxe and a former Chrysler assembly-line worker--are best known for their work with Was (Not Was). The tandem's debut as a tandem, Book of Spells, casts some solid ones: Opening with a tone-setting take on James Brown's "Cold Sweat," Spells spins quickly through a cycle of spine-tingling urban soul ("Why Don't You Want Me"), frame-rattling, rocked-up anthems ("Welcome to My Life"), old-school ballads ("Let's Straighten It Out") and a seriously fon-kay cover of the W(NW) classic "I Blew Up the United States." Showtime is 9 p.m. Friday, October 3, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $5. Call 265-4842.