Calendar for the week

A Christmas Carol: Actors Theatre of Phoenix's traditional production of Charles Dickens' ghost story, adapted by Richard Hellesen and featuring music by David de Barry, previews at 8 p.m. Friday, December 5; and 2 p.m. Saturday, December 6, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The official opening is at 8 p.m. Saturday; more shows are scheduled at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, December 7. The run continues through Sunday, December 21. Tickets range from $10.50 to $32, available at Herberger and Dillard's (252-8497, 503-5555).

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Thursday.
Fiesta of Light: See Thursday.
"Physical Fiction": See Thursday.
Fred Stonehouse/Steve Gompf: See Thursday.
"Wild Winter Nights": See Thursday.

saturday
december 6
Glowing in Style: Electric Light Parade; Prescott Courthouse Lighting: The 11th annual parade, held in conjunction with the Fiesta of Light (see Thursday), is one of Phoenix's lovelier events. The caravan of lighted floats and folks in luminous costumes gets under way at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 6, traveling down Central Avenue from Missouri to Thomas. Viewing is free (534-3378). The lighting of the Yavapai County Courthouse up in Prescott, Arizona's official "Christmas City," is one of the state's signature seasonal events. The ceremony starts at 6 p.m. Saturday; the "12 Days of Christmas" Parade precedes at 1. Viewing is free (1-800-266-7534, 1-520-445-2000).

The Velveteen Rabbit: Childsplay presents its annual, "24-carrot" holiday gift to the Valley: Brian Burgess Clark's adaptation of Margery Williams' tale about the strong bond between a boy and his stuffed bunny. Opening performances are at 2 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, December 6; and the same times Sunday, December 7, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. More shows are planned Saturday, December 13. Tickets are $17.50, $12.50 for students and seniors. 350-8101, 994-2787.

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Thursday.
A Christmas Carol: See Friday.
Fiesta of Light: See Thursday.
Las Noches de las Luminarias: See Friday.
"Physical Fiction": See Thursday.
Fred Stonehouse/Steve Gompf: See Thursday.
"Wild Winter Nights": See Thursday.

sunday
december 7
Green Day: It feels odd but right to go out on a limb for this punk-pop progenitor--and to ponder the psychology behind the backlash that's been brewing since GD's Dookie (1994) crossed over to become the Thriller of punk. Previous to their flukish mainstreaming, Billie Joe and gang were considered semirevolutionary--and certainly merit-worthy; post-Dookie, they were shunned by critics who had previously stumped for them, and saddled with sins more appropriately placed at the feet of pitiful acolytes like Rancid and the Offspring. It's the typical story; Green Day didn't change--its commercial status did. And its status has changed again: Last time through, GD headlined America West Arena; this time, it plays Club Rio, 430 North Scottsdale Road in Tempe. But this band's still got its chops, and Billie Joe's still got that attitude--the sort to bring a crooked sneer to the cracked lips of Mr. Joe's hero, Sid Vicious, rotting down there in hell. D Generation opens at 8 p.m. Sunday, December 7. Tickets are $20, available at Ticketmaster. 894-0533, 784-4444.

ZooLights: The Phoenix Zoo, 455 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park, is garbed in a Technicolor dreamcoat of lights during this sixth annual display; this year's version features new exhibits and an hour's extra viewing time per evening. ZooLights opens Sunday, December 7, and continues from 6 to 10 nightly (except Christmas Eve), through Sunday, January 11, 1998. The Phoenix Boys Choir performs a related concert on Sunday. The special admission is $4.50, free for kids age 2 and under. 273-1341, extension 7810.

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Thursday.
A Christmas Carol: See Friday.
Fiesta of Light: See Thursday.
The Velveteen Rabbit: See Saturday.
"Wild Winter Nights": See Thursday.

monday
december 8
"The End of the World Party" featuring Puck: Puck (real name: David Rainey) hosts this bash targeted primarily at the Arizona State University crowd; he's a former cast member of The Real World (that MTV chemistry experiment in airheaded socialism), and his presence is decidedly not why we recommend nonstudent attendance. Rather, check out headliner Fred Green--fragrantly airheaded socialists of a different sort, if you catch our drift--and Cousins of the Wize, the new hip-hop/fusion act by former Brothers Grimm member Pie Gomez. See the story on page 102. Left of Center opens; the all-ages party starts at 9 p.m. Monday, December 8, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. Tickets are $10, available at Ticketmaster. 967-1234, 784-4444.

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Thursday.
Fiesta of Light: See Thursday.
"Wild Winter Nights": See Thursday.
ZooLights: See Sunday.

tuesday
december 9
The Hot Club of Cowtown: Conceived in New York but currently docked in San Diego, this trio plays a style of hard swing equally informed by the Gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli and their great Quintet of the Hot Club du France and by Western swingers Bob Wills and Tex Williams. Seeming schizophrenia aside--the duality is sorta like takin' a girl to a rodeo or a sandwich to a picnic--the combination works like a danged charm, to utilize the parlance of the latter pair of aces. The Ramblers open at 9 p.m. Tuesday, December 9, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. 265-4842.

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Thursday.
Fiesta of Light: See Thursday.
"Physical Fiction": See Thursday.
Fred Stonehouse/Steve Gompf: See Thursday.
"Wild Winter Nights": See Thursday.
ZooLights: See Sunday.

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