Calendar for the week

friday
december 19
"Windham Hill's Winter Solstice Concerts" featuring Nightnoise: The label's ninth annual winter carnival of contemporary classical/new age music is a perennial highlight--a hushed celebration amid the season's general prattle. This year's version has a decidedly Celtic tang; the headliner has been known to dabble in the sounds of Eire, and support acts Seamus Egan, John Doyle, Andy M. Stewart, and Gerry O'Beirne represent a veritable who's who of contemporary/traditionalist Irish music. Shows are scheduled at 8 p.m. Friday, December 19; and the same time Saturday, December 20, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $20 and $25, available at the center and Ticketmaster (994-2787, 784-4444).

Goldwater: Mr. Conservative: Ben Tyler (Guv: The Musical) penned the surprisingly candid and meaty one-man show about Mr. Arizona, Barry Goldwater, who's portrayed by Hamilton Mitchell. Final performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 19; and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 20, at the Paul V. Galvin Playhouse at Arizona State University's Nelson Fine Arts Center, 10th Street and Mill in Tempe. Tickets are $20, $17 for students and seniors. 820-9193.

The Snow Queen: Center Dance Ensemble's season-opener, Hans Christian Andersen's Snow Queen (danced to recorded music by Prokofiev), doesn't have the artistic firepower, or funding, of Ballet Arizona's Nutcracker (see Thursday). Still, CDE's kidcentric cast gives its all, and the story--it's a ballet noir about good (personified by sweet, young Gerta) and evil (the lovely but toxic title vixen)--transcends the largely candy-coated offerings of the season. Final performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 19; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 20; and 2 p.m. Sunday, December 21, in Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors, $7 for students and kids, available at Herberger and Dillard's (252-8497, 503-5555).

"Africa! A Sense of Wonder": See Thursday.
Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Thursday.
A Christmas Carol: See Thursday.
Fiesta of Light: See Thursday.
The Nutcracker: See Thursday.
Phoenix Symphony Chamber Orchestra: See Thursday.
Fred Stonehouse/Steve Gompf: See Thursday.
"Wild Winter Nights": See Thursday.
ZooLights: See Thursday.

saturday
december 20
G. Love and Special Sauce: For those with holiday heartburn--we're already working on a mild case of acid indigestion ourselves--this loose-limbed East Coast collective provides a nice change of pace, playing "TSOP" (the sounds of Philadelphia) for a new gen. Actually, harpist/vocalist Love (real name: Garrett Dutton) and crew have concocted a mange-covered-mutt bastardization of Philly soul, drawing on influences as disparate as '70s funk, the gangsta rants of hip-hop homey Schoolly D, the social conscience of Bob Dylan, the transcendent reggae of Bob Marley and the acoustic blues of John Hammond Jr. Love and company are scheduled Saturday, December 20, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. Hamell on Trial (a.k.a. chrome-domed acoustic punk Ed Hamell) opens. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $13 the day of the show, available at Ticketmaster. 967-1234, 784-4444.

Fiesta Bowl 10K: The 16th annual race is considered one of the nation's top such events. It starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, December 20, at the intersection of Fourth Street and Mill in Tempe. Also planned: a one-mile fun run and a 5K walk. Registration precedes at 7:30; the fee is $18, $10 for kids under 12. 350-0900, 277-4333.

"Africa! A Sense of Wonder": See Thursday.
Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Thursday.
A Christmas Carol: See Thursday.
Fiesta of Light: See Thursday.
Goldwater: Mr. Conservative: See Friday.
The Nutcracker: See Thursday.
Phoenix Symphony Chamber Orchestra: See Thursday.
The Snow Queen: See Friday.
Fred Stonehouse/Steve Gompf: See Thursday.
"Wild Winter Nights": See Thursday.
"Windham Hill's Winter Solstice Concert" featuring Nightnoise: See Friday.
ZooLights: See Thursday.

sunday
december 21
Road Trip: Besh-Ba-Gowah Festival of Lights in Globe: The archaeological park, located on Jess Hayes Road in the mining town east of the Valley, hosts a mini version of the Desert Botanical Garden's Las Noches de las Luminarias event on Sunday, December 21. The free "desert glow" begins at dusk. 1-520-425-0320.

"Africa! A Sense of Wonder": See Thursday.
Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Thursday.
A Christmas Carol: See Thursday.
Fiesta of Light: See Thursday.
The Nutcracker: See Thursday.
The Snow Queen: See Friday.
"Wild Winter Nights": See Thursday.
ZooLights: See Thursday.

monday
december 22
The Voodoo Glow Skulls: The brothers Casillas--vocalist Frank, guitarist Eddie and bassist Jorge--lead this bilingual septet from Southern California's Inland Empire--specifically, the gang-ravaged city of Riverside. The Glow Skulls play a galloping fusion of punk, ska and Latino beats that they call "nerd-core" and that we consider another welcome blast of musical Pepcid AC mojo in the key of G. Love and Special Sauce (see Saturday). The Skulls bill their latest album, Baile de los Locos, as "a homemade burrito drowned in a pint of Picante"--beats a fruitcake every time. Bonus: The disc includes a down-twisted, pinata-pummeling take on Jose Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad." Falling Sickness, and Assorted Jellybeans share the all-ages bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Monday, December 22, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. Tickets are $9 in advance, $10 the day of the show, available at Ticketmaster. 967-1234, 784-4444.

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

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