Calendar for the week

thursday
october 16
UK/AZ You Like It: Phoenix Symphony's A Midsummer Night's Dream, ATOP's The Essential Henry V, ATC's Blithe Spirit and More Stuff From Beyond the Pond: The UK/AZ Festival celebrates the--rather tenuous--connection(s) between England and Arizona. Guest conductor Christopher Wilkins wields the baton in Phoenix Symphony's presentation of Mendelssohn's Dream, which also features thespians enacting key roles from Shakespeare's comedy. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 16; 8 p.m. Friday, October 17; and 8 p.m. Saturday, October 18, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Britain's HRH Princess Alexandra and her hubby, Sir Angus Ogilvy, are scheduled to attend Friday's performance. Tickets range from $14 to $38, available at the symphony box office and Dillard's (495-1999, 503-5555). Matthew Wiener of Actors Theatre of Phoenix adapted and directed The Essential Henry V, the Bard's drama about the conscience of the young warrior-king. This week's shows are at 8 p.m. Thursday, October 16; 8 p.m. Friday, October 17; 8 p.m. Saturday, October 18; and 2 p.m. Sunday, October 19, in Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The production continues through Sunday, October 26. Tickets range from $19 to $30, available at Herberger and Dillard's (252-8497, 503-5555). Arizona Theatre Company has injected a note of whimsy into the largely tragic UK/AZ stage lineup with Noel Coward's 1941 word-play souffle Blithe Spirit, a lighter-than-air concoction about ghostly doings that's really a commentary on English manners. Former ATC honcho Gary Gisselman directed. This week's shows are at 2 and 8 p.m. Thursday, October 16; 8 p.m. Friday, October 17; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, October 18; 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday, October 19; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 22, in Herberger's Center Stage. Thursday's matinee is audio-described for the visually impaired; Wednesday's show is interpreted in American Sign Language. The run continues through Saturday, October 25. Tickets range from $19.50 to $32.50, available at Herberger and Dillard's (252-8497, 503-5555). For info about UK/AZ events not mentioned here, see the Events listing or call 258-6055.

Arizona State Fair: The annual corn-dog carnival opens Thursday, October 16, and continues through Sunday, November 2, at the fairgrounds, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Along with the usual attractions--rides and games on the revamped midway, livestock and ag exhibits--this year's fair includes the separately ticketed "UFO Encounters" and an oddly synchronistic salute to the U.S. Air Force. The usual array of twangers, commercial-alt acts and wheezing has-beens hits the stage at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, beginning with a couple of the former (Bryan White, Patty Loveless) at 7 p.m. Thursday (for details about Morrissey's Wednesday concert, see below). For general info, see the At the Fair listing or call 268-3247 or 252-6771.

"Swank D'Lux": Valley scenester Jim Cherry hosts this boozy bash on Thursday, October 16, at the Copper Queen, a "perfectly preserved '50s cocktail lounge" at 6933 North Seventh Street. Highlights of the "Swank" affair include the "song stylings" of Sweet 'n Sassy featuring Charleah, a retro fashion show by Straight From Haight, giveaways of Capitol's Ultra-Lounge series, screenings of cheeseball spy and sci-fi movies and other vintage delights. "D'Lux" starts at 7 p.m. and continues 'til 1 a.m. The cover is $6. 340-0715.

"Icons": So there's a future for that mausoleum known as the Scottsdale Galleria after all. A fund raiser for the Smithsonian Institution's under-development Museum of Progress--to be based at the Galleria, 4343 North Scottsdale Road--this traveling exhibit includes about 50 artifacts of Americana from the Smithsonian's collection, from the ruby slippers Judy Garland donned in The Wizard of Oz to the stovepipe hat Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated to the Wright Brothers' airplane. Viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays (to 9 p.m. Thursdays), 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Sunday, November 16. Tickets are $6, $3 for kids ages 6 to 17, available at Ticketmaster; admission is free for younger kids anytime and for all on Tuesdays, but tickets are still required. 424-3998, 784-4444.

Show Boat: Director Harold Prince's splashy but sublime restaging of the Kern/Hammerstein epic, based on Edna Ferber's novel, stars Tom Bosley as Capt. Andy, honeydew-voiced Sarah Pfisterer as Magnolia, basso profundo Andre Solomon-Glover as Joe, John Ruess as Gay Ravenal and Gretha Boston as Queenie. The lush score--including "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man," "Ol' Man River" and "Make Believe"--remains the same. This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, October 16; 8 p.m. Friday, October 17; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, October 18; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, October 19; 8 p.m. Tuesday, October 21; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 22, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. Thursday's and Tuesday's shows are interpreted in American Sign Language. The run continues through Saturday, November 1. Tickets range from $15 to $65, available at Gammage and Dillard's (965-3434, 503-5555).

friday
october 17
Henry Gray: The Louisiana-born pianist isn't as well-known as Otis Spann or Sunnyland Slim, competitors and compatriots from the golden age of Chicago blues in the '50s, but he should be. Gray recorded with Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold and many others before accepting a 12-year gig backing Howlin' Wolf, and the septuagenarian bluesman still plays fine stuff. Chico Chism's Chicago Blues Band, and the Mule share the stage on Friday, October 17, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. Showtime is 9 p.m. The cover is a measly $5. 265-4842.

Arizona State Fair: See Thursday.
Blithe Spirit: See Thursday.
The Essential Henry V: See Thursday.
"Icons": See Thursday.
A Midsummer Night's Dream: See Thursday.
Show Boat: See Thursday.

saturday
october 18
Guy Davis: The son of actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Guy Davis walks a fine line between music theater and concert performance in his one-man memoir In Bed With the Blues: The Adventures of Fishy Waters. Guy portrays the title character, who spins tales and plays songs by the likes of Blind Willie McTell and Robert Johnson (the latter whom Davis portrayed in the off-Broadway show Trick the Devil). Showtime is 8 p.m. Saturday, October 18, at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $13 and $15, available at the center and Dillard's (965-5377, 503-5555).

Cowboy Artists of America Exhibit: Hawking artwork at a public trust like the Phoenix Art Museum raises hackles--with just cause--but this annual installation/sale is a Valley tradition, nonetheless. The 32nd annual show, featuring paintings, sculpture and other works of Western realism by the CAA's active and emeritus members, opens at noon Saturday, October 18, and continues through Sunday, November 23, in the Steele Gallery at PAM, 1625 North Central. (For info about the related "Western Art Walk Weekend," see the Visual Art listing.) Regular viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays (to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays). Admission is $6, $4 for students and seniors, $2 for children ages 6 to 18, free for younger kids and members; entry is free to all on Thursdays. 257-1880, 257-1222.

The Recliners: Talk about cheesy; this Texas act has the consistency of Velveeta, but in a good way. The "postmodern power loungers" apply the Velvet Fog treatment to the likes of Radiohead's "Creep," AC/DC's "Back in Black," the Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right (to Party)" and the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated"; okay, it's been done, but never with such willful ingenuousness. The band performs Saturday, October 18, as part of "Culture Shock 1997" (see the Events listing). The Recliners play another gig at 9 p.m. Monday, October 20, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School (265-4842).

Arizona State Fair: See Thursday.
Blithe Spirit: See Thursday.
The Essential Henry V: See Thursday.
"Icons": See Thursday.
A Midsummer Night's Dream: See Thursday.
Show Boat: See Thursday.

tuesday
october 21
Man or Astro-Man?, and the Delta 72: A smashing double bill beneath the heavens, from which the former purportedly fell. MOAM? is an Alabama surf band masquerading as a group of grounded space aliens masquerading as an Alabama surf band. Its new disc, Made From Technetium, is loaded with the wind-tunnel thrash these g-force geeks are known for ("Jonathan Winters Frankenstein," "A Saucerful of Sucrets," "Lo Batt,"), but it features some surprising departures, including half of an alien mating call (the pre-liftoff portion of "Evert 1 Pipkin"). We thought Washington, D.C.'s the Delta 72 was pretty great before we cranked its latest, The Soul of a New Machine; now we think this deconstructionist R&B crew might be visionary. Long lumped with the punks, the Delta is really only punk in its aggressive approach to garage rock, which includes a deft interplay between Sarah Stolfa's Farfisa organ and Gregg Foreman's harmonica. The band has, in fact, stumbled on the place where punk and Stax collide, splicing 'em together with alt baling wire and pure gumption. (P.S. The new disc's closer is titled "We Hate the Blues"--don't believe it.) The Quadrajets open the outdoor concert on Tuesday, October 21, at Boston's, 910 North McClintock in Tempe. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, available at Dillard's. 921-7343, 503-5555.

Arizona State Fair: See Thursday.
Cowboy Artists of America Exhibit: See Saturday.
"Icons": See Thursday.
Show Boat: See Thursday.

wednesday
october 22
Fleetwood Mac: Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie: The best-known (if not necessarily the best, speaking from the purist pulpit) incarnation of this long-lived chameleon of a collective has reunited for what looks like a cynical (read: cold, hard cash) revisitation of its glory days of the late '70s. But even as we stick another pin in this kewpie doll of pop--something many have done before, including a snarling Johnny Rotten--we note that the group had an uncommon run of musical exaltation in the mid- to late '70s. The songs from Fleetwood Mac and Rumours were time- and place-defining then, and most have aged with a grace rare in this biz; see the story on page 102. Showtime is 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 22, at Desert Sky Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue. Tickets range from $30.25 to $75.25, available at Ticketmaster. 254-7599, 784-4444.

The Seductive Art of Becoming God and Famous: Eric Bernat wrote and performs this comic, one-man desecration of pop culture, adopting guises including "child beauty queens, aspiring porno stars and rock-star wanna-bes." New York's Captive Audience Productions presents the show, directed by actor/playwright David Drake (of the off-Broadway hit The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me and the big screen's Philadelphia). The run opens with a performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 22, at Phoenix Theatre's Little Theatre, 100 East McDowell, and continues through Saturday, November 1. Seductive's companion piece, Miss Coco Peru, opens Wednesday, November 5. See the story on page 69. Tickets are $17.50, $30 for both plays. 254-2151.

Morrissey: The onetime poet laureate of the gloom-and-doom generation at the fair--how trite. But even hard-core Morrissey holdouts must admit that the singer's best work is behind him, and that big Mo's been mass-shipping depressing--though for all the wrong reasons--albums for years. Take our advice: Toss his latest, Maladjusted, out the window and slap on the Cherry Poppin' Daddies' "Flower Fight With Morrissey"--or, more to the point, the Smiths' The Queen Is Dead. Showtime is 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 22, at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, in conjunction with the Arizona State Fair (see Thursday). Concert admission, not counting the regular fair entry fee, is two ride coupons. Reserved seating is available for a fee; see the At the Fair listing or call 268-3247 or 252-6771.

Arizona State Fair: See Thursday.
Blithe Spirit: See Thursday.
Cowboy Artists of America Exhibit: See Saturday.
"Icons": See Thursday.
Show Boat: See Thursday.

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