Matsuri Festival of Japan: If exciting Olympic coverage from the Land of the Rising Sun has whetted your appetite for things Nipponese, get ready for decorative and performing arts and crafts, music, food, beverages and "the second largest koi competition in the country" in this annual event, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, February 21; and the same hours Sunday, February 22, at Heritage Square, Seventh Street and Monroe. Admission is free. It begs the question, however: Where is the largest koi competition in the country held? 262-5071.
SamulNori: For more Far East dazzle, this internationally renowned Korean quartet performs its homeland's traditional percussion music and dance, from the ceremonial to the acrobatic. Led by founder Kim Duk Soo, master of the hourglass-shaped drum called the changgo, the group carried the torch for Korea in the 1988 Olympics. It takes the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday, February 21, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $20 and $24. 994-2787 (SCA), 784-4444 (Ticketmaster).
Marcel Marceau: Before mime-bashing became a standup-comedy cliche, Marceau proved what a rich art form it can be. Best known for Bip, his white-faced clown persona, Marceau and his company have performed complete dramas in mime, like his 1951 adaptation of Gogol's The Overcoat. Almost as exaltedly, he also starred--in a dual role!--in the bizarre William Castle fantasy-horror film Shanks, and spoke the one audible word in Mel Brooks' Silent Movie--"No!"--when asked if he wanted to appear in a silent movie. He performs his classic solo routines, such as "The Cage," "Walking Against the Wind," "In the Park" and "The Mask Maker," at 2 p.m. Sunday, February 22, at the Sundome, 19403 R.H. Johnson Boulevard in Sun City West. 975-1900 (the 'dome), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
Roy Clark: Like Marceau, country guitarist Clark's pop-culture hokiness--a semiregular role on The Beverly Hillbillies, co-host of Hee Haw--may obscure his musical virtuosity. But this child prodigy from Meherrin, Virginia, can pick like few others, and his vocals, on singles like his cover of "Yesterday When I Was Young" or his country-chart No. 1 hit "Come and Live With Me," have their own brand of soul as well. He plays two shows, at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, February 22, at the Red River Music Hall, Mill and Washington in Tempe. Tickets are $20 and $25. 829-6779 (Red River), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
Queen City Jazz Band: The Colorado-based ensemble, now 40 years old, plays Dixieland of the '30s and '40s. Up front is vocalist (and sometime TV actress) Wende Harston, winner of a 1989 Drama Critics Circle Award for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. The band performs at 7 p.m. Sunday, February 22, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $18 and $22. 994-2787 (SCA), 784-4444 (Ticketmaster).
James Burke: The art-and-science historian, host of the TV series Connections, Connections 2 and The Day the Universe Changed, lectures on a favorite subject--the interaction between art, technology and society in general--at 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 23, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. Burke takes on such questions as what purpose the arts have in our changing world. Admission is free, but assigned-seat tickets can be had from Gammage. 965-3434.
State Fair: John Davidson stars in this road-show version of the one Rodgers and Hammerstein musical written specifically for the screen--it features material from both the original, a 1945 musicalization of a 1933 Will Rogers comedy, and from the 1962 remake, for which, after Hammerstein's death, Rodgers added several songs of his own. Intriguingly for show-tune buffs, this staging also includes two songs originally written for (and cut from) Oklahoma!. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 24; and the same time Wednesday, February 25, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. Tickets range from $26.50 to $32.50. 262-7272 (Phoenix Civic Plaza), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
Storm & Stress: The trio is a purveyor of a bizarre, contradictory kind of music: rhythmless rock 'n' roll. It's difficult, but intriguing--for a while, anyway. At least the band members can't be accused of selling out. Touring in support of their self-titled Touch and Go CD, they perform at 10 p.m. Tuesday, February 24, at Stinkweeds Record Exchange, 1250 East Apache, Suite 109, in Tempe. The cover is $4. 968-9490.
Magic Show: Illusionist Pete Petrashek bills himself as "Peter the Near (Great)" on the grounds that "it's different than if I was billed as 'Peter the (Near) Great.'" The (Great), who proudly notes having been named the Society of American Magicians' National Magician of the Year for 1989, and has performed from Russia to New Zealand, entertains from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 24, at the Dobson Ranch Branch Library, 2425 South Dobson in Mesa. Admission is free, but tickets, available at the reference desk, are required. 644-3441.
Insane Clown Posse: ICP's press material is full of stuff about "the power of the Dark Carnival . . . subtle as a calm mist yet as glorious as a fiery comet." It sounds like the chatter of the rec-room teens on Saturday Night Live's "Goth Talk" sketches. This white-boy horror-rap from a couple of would-be homies--Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope--who (try to) look like half of KISS is interesting/controversial only because the act was once booted off a subsidiary label of the Disney Corp. (Hollywood Records) for--oooh!--cussing on its album. The Posse performs Wednesday, February 25, at Club Rio, 430 North Scottsdale Road in Tempe. 894-0533.