Calendar for the week

Hoop Dance Winners Exhibition Performance: World champion Derrick "Suwaima" Davis, teen champ Ginger Sykes and youth dancer Nakota LaRance jump through hoops at this exhibition at 1:30 p.m. Friday, February 6, at the Heard Museum, 22 East Monte Vista. Davis and his colleagues will then defend their titles in a competition held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, February 7; and the same hours Sunday, February 8. The exhibition is free with Heard admission; tickets for the competition are $3, $2 for seniors and kids 13 to 18, $1 for kids 4 to 13, free for kids younger than 4. 252-8840.

saturday
february 7
Arlo Guthrie: The most admirable understatement to come from the stage of Woodstock may have been Guthrie's, when he surveyed the crowd and remarked approvingly, "Lotta freaks." Guthrie is best known for "Coming In to Los Angeles," his superb cover of Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans," "Inch by Inch," "Alice's Restaurant" and the "Alice's Restaurant Massacre," the song's accompanying monologue against the Vietnam-era draft. His mingling of a warm, oddball comic sense with a folk-activist sensibility has held up well--the "Amazing Grace" with which he customarily closes his shows can still put a lump in the throat. He takes the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday, February 7, at Valley Art Theatre, 509 South Mill in Tempe. Tickets for the all-ages show are $27 in advance, $28 the day of the show. 503-5555 (Dillard's), 829-6668.

Arizona Bike Week: How did Arlo put it? "I don't wanna pickle/I just wanna ride my motorsickle." Thousands of cyclists from around the country will swarm upon the Valley for this nine-day motorcycle fest, which will encompass more than a dozen events at venues ranging from Phoenix to Scottsdale to Glendale to Avondale, and as far away as Tucson. The kick-start is the "Lizard Rock Ride," departing Kruse International Auction ParkWest on Saturday, February 7; the grand finale is an all-day party (benefiting St. Mary's Food Bank) on Sunday, February 15, at the Post Time Sports Bar & Deli, 1768 West Bell. For specifics on what comes in between, and where, call 970-3757.

Arizona Renaissance Festival and Artisan Marketplace: The 10th annual "re-creation" of a medieval village is about as authentically medieval as an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess, and thank heaven--few of us would be up for plague rats, street urination and neighbors for whom bathing is an annual event at best. Much better to enjoy the ersatz company of this fest's cast of royals, peasants, thespians, equestrians, maidens fair, rogues, jousters, etc. New attractions this year include giant Punch and Judy puppets, a comedy troupe called Fool Hearty, and a stilt-walker called "The Treeman." The fest kicks off from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, February 7, and continues at those hours every Saturday and Sunday for eight consecutive weekends through Sunday, March 29. It's also open on Monday, February 16, in celebration of Presidents' Day. The festival grounds are located off U.S. Highway 60 east of Apache Junction. Tickets are $12, $5 for children ages 5 to 12, available at Fry's stores; they're $1 more at the gate. Kids under 5 get in free. 1-520-463-2700.

sunday
february 8
ASU Chamber Orchestra: Conductor Timothy Russell leads the ensemble in "A Celebration of Music, Art and Literature." The program includes "Voices From the Gallery" by Stephen Paulus, a musical tour of 11 famous works of art with an accompanying text by Joan Vail Thorne. Also on the bill are "Music From a Midsummer Night's Dream," composed by Felix Mendelssohn when he was a whelp of 17, and Peter Schickele's orchestral suite "Thurber's Dogs," a celebration of the famed satirist's canine doodles. The show starts at 3 p.m. Sunday, February 8, at La Sala, located in the University Center Building on the Arizona State University West campus, 4701 West Thunderbird in Glendale. Tickets are $10, $8 for seniors and $5 for students. 543-2787.

monday
february 9
Theatre Workshop: In the style of European "reader's theatre," Actor's Workout, Inc., presents a "holding book" performance, rehearsed no more than three times, of The Naked Eye, a screenplay by Phoenix College professor Marty Etchart. AW artistic director Mary Daisy directs the work, which begins at 7 p.m. Monday, February 9, at room C102 of Phoenix College, 1202 West Thomas. Admission is free. 631-9251.

The Ben Folds Five: The piano-bass-drums trio from Chapel Hill, North Carolina--so named because "it sounds better than the Ben Folds Three," says baby-grand man Folds--plows a deep furrow about midway between roots and alt. In fact, the BFF sounds a bit like a Gen X version of the Band with its wonderfully mangy, occasionally transcendent stuff. See the story on page 93. Be sure to request the Five's twangy, tongue-in-cheek take on Oasis' "Champagne Supernova." The group performs at 8 p.m. Monday, February 9, at Club Rio, 430 North Scottsdale Road in Tempe. Tickets, available at Ticketmaster, are $15. 784-4444, 894-0533.

tuesday
february 10
Waddie Mitchell: Says the "Buckaroo Poet" Mitchell: "We didn't have electricity and that meant we didn't have TV. We had darn poor radio too. So that meant we did the strangest things at night . . . we talked to each other." The cowboy raconteur, who has toured internationally and been given the coveted title of "cowboy poetry kingpin" by Country American, yarns away the evening at 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 10, at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $13 and $15. 965-5377 (Kerr), 503-5555 (Dillard's).

wednesday
february 11
The Pat Metheny Group: The veteran gentle-jazz strummer and his posse, touring behind their Warner Bros. release Imaginary Day, perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 11, at Union Hall, Sixth Street and Van Buren. Tickets are $26 and $31. 253-7100 (UH), 503-5555 (Dillard's).

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