january 17
Vikki Carr: There are those who insist that, considering her background, Carr's singing is "too whitebread." But with numbers like "It Must Be Him," the former Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona of El Paso, Texas, makes whitebread brassiness sound plenty sexy to us. Carr performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, January 17, at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. Tickets, available at the Celebrity and at Dillard's, are $25 ($27.25 the day of the show) and $40. 267-1600 (Celeb), 503-5555 (Dillard's).

Mark Twain Tonight: Character actor Hal Holbrook's captivating one-man theater portrait of the most essentially American of great writers is a memorable experience. Holbrook ("Deep Throat" in All the President's Men, among many other roles) has done the piece nearly 2,000 times since 1954, and has been adding to it all the while, so that he now has more than 12 hours' worth of material to draw on, making each show unique. Holbrook channels Twain at 8 p.m. Saturday, January 17, at the Sundome, 19403 R.H. Johnson Boulevard in Sun City West. Tickets are $12, $18 and $24. 975-1900, 503-5555.

High Noon Wild West Collectors Show and Auction: Lovers of things Western--of both the authentic and the Hollywood variety--will find much to drool over at the eighth annual edition of this show, one of the widest assortments of Western Americana and cowpoke collectibles ever to be crammed 'neath one roof. It's scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, January 17; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, January 18, at Mesa Centennial Hall, 201 North Center. The auction, featuring pricey rarities like Tom Mix's Stetson, another Stetson given by Dustin Farnum to Buck Jones, and even a pair of chaps (eeewwww!) owned by Jones, starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5, which covers both days. 644-2560.

Fine Art Photography Benefit: The work of Michael Hays, who calls his dramatically lighted studies of human figures "Edgescapes," is featured in this exhibition which opens at 7 p.m. Saturday, January 17, with simultaneous receptions at the Higher Ground Cafe, 1032 South Terrace in Tempe, and at Gallery 1020 at the Mat Corner: 1020 South Mill in Tempe (we're told the artist will run back and forth between the two venues). Sales from the reception will benefit the Y-Me Breast Cancer Network. The display will continue through Monday, February 2. 829-8687, 966-2055.

Harlem Globetrotters: "Sweet Georgia Brown" is still the team's theme song, and an interactive mix of hot hoops and silly sight gags is still its raison d'etre. When last we saw the itinerant court jesters, however, the competition had stiffened--slightly: The hapless Washington Generals had given way to the comparatively competent International All-Stars. Matches are scheduled at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, January 17, at America West Arena, 201 East Jefferson. The National Cheerleaders Association will perform pregame and halftime shows. Tickets range from $7 to $75, available at the arena. 379-7800.

january 18
Ray Price: This east Texas native and Grand Ole Opry vet is one of the quintessential '50s-style sad cowboys--among his hits are the crying-in-your-beer classics "Heartaches by the Numbers" and "Make the World Go Away." He commences his lamentations--maybe with a few happy tunes, for variety--at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, January 18, at the Red River Music Hall, Mill and Washington in Tempe. Tickets range from $18 to $22.50. 829-6779, 503-5555.

january 19
Creed: Its current album, My Own Prison, suggests that these guys may have, so to speak, piloted their sound out of the stone temple--and lead vocalist Scott Stapp sounds more than passingly like Eddie Vedder. But the title single is getting some airplay. The band takes the stage at 8 p.m. Monday, January 19, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. The Tea Party, and Subrosa share the all-ages bill. Tickets are $8.50 in advance from Ticketmaster, $10 the day of the show at Gibson's. 784-4444, 967-1234.

january 20
Rent: This modern spin on La Boheme is the first musical since A Chorus Line to win both a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award. Written by the late Jonathan Larson (he died at the age of 36, just hours after the show's New York dress rehearsal) and directed by Michael Grief, the show explores the struggles of an artist's community. Opening performances are 8 p.m. Tuesday, January 20, and 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 21, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. Tickets, at Gammage or Dillard's, are likely to be tough to get, but if they're available, they'll be $20 to $47. 965-3434, 503-5555.

january 21
The Jesus Lizard: What began as an atonal noise band--veteran of the 1995 Lollapalooza tours and two consecutive Reading Festivals in England--has been known, over the years, to incorporate actual melodies, vocals and textures without sacrificing its essence, which is not the way these things generally go. The Divine Saurian crawls up onto the stage at 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 21, at the home of all things loud, the Mason Jar, 2303 East Indian School. Tickets are $11, available at Ticketmaster and at the Jar on the day of the show. Stanford Prison Experiment, and Hillbilly Devilspeak share the bill. 784-4444, 956-6271.

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