A Couple of Blaguards: This autobiographical Irish comedy by the brothers Malachy and Frank McCourt tells of the mischievous adventures of their youths in Limerick and their move to America. Graham Thatcher and Alan Austin play Malachy and Frank, respectively, in the production. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, February 26; 10 a.m. (an "Irish Coffee Matinee" at which coffee and rolls are served) and 8 p.m. Friday, February 27; and 8 p.m. Saturday, February 28, at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $15 reserved, $12 general. The run continues through Sunday, March 8. 965-5377 (Kerr), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
David Spade: The only pressing reason to watch the current NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me, the slight, acidly snide SNL alumnus and Valley homeboy Spade was also a fine onscreen foil for the Falstaffian antics of the late Chris Farley. Spade's above-it-all mockery puts one in mind of a dispassionate and less esoteric Dennis Miller, but it also carries an undercurrent of galled insecurity, like a victimized high school wimp who got even under his breath back then, and through a microphone when he grew up. The comic, who has roots in Arizona, takes the stage at 8 p.m. Friday, February 27; and 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, February 28, at the Tempe Improv Comedy Theater, 930 East University (at Cornerstone mall). The performances are set to be taped for an upcoming HBO special. Tickets, available at the Improv box office, are $20. 921-9877.
Sedona International Film Festival: The fourth annual showcase 'neath the red rocks kicks off at 9 a.m. Friday, February 27, at Harkins Sedona 6 Cinemas, 2081 West Highway 81-A, with a workshop/discussion on the neglected subject "The Working Relationship of Filmmakers and Editors." The heavyweight panel scheduled for this event includes editors John F. Burnett (Grease), Richard Chew (Star Wars), Richard Harris (Titanic) and Thelma Schoonmaker (Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ); director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman); and, most interestingly, the revered sound editor and film theorist Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now). A wild guess: They turn out to be a bunch of cutups. The festival proper begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, February 28; and the same time Sunday, March 1, at the same venue. On the agenda: Mohsen Makhmalbaf's acclaimed Iranian feature Gabbeh; Thomas Patrick Smith's urban drama Disturbing the Peace; Amie Carey and Michael McKean in Les Landau's Archibald the Rainbow Painter; Michael York in Merchants of Venus, Len Richmond's exploration of the sex-toy industry; and Valley filmmaker Karl T. Hirsch's engaging slackerbabble comedy Green. Passes are available in a wide range of prices; the editing workshop is a separate admission of $100, $50 for students. All proceeds benefit Sedona Cultural Park. 1-800-780-2787 or 1-520-282-0747.
Monk on Monk: No, in spite of what the Mighty Karnak might say, it's not what happens when things get lonely down at the monastery. It's an 80th Anniversary Birthday Tribute concert to the late, great jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, performed by his drummer son, Thelonious Sphere Monk; see the story on page 93. Scheduled to sit in with T.S. is a combo of 11, to include Ronnie Matthews, Danilo Perez, Gary Wang, and Willie Williams. The jams, which include works written by Monk Sr. but never recorded, begin at 8 p.m. Friday, February 27, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $24 and $28. 994-2787 (SCA), 784-4444 (Ticketmaster).
The Bartered Bride: This comic opera by Bedrich Smetana, the great Bohemian--in the national sense--composer, tells of the trickery and scheming which surround the betrothal, through a marriage broker, of the heroine Marenka to the dullard Vasek, though she's in love with Jecik. Somehow a circus dancer named Esmeralda also gets involved, and that generally means trouble. The Lyric Opera Theatre presents the work. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 27; and the same time Saturday, February 28, at the Recital Hall at the Arizona State University Music Theatre, Mill and Gammage Parkway in Tempe. Tickets are $12, $6 for students and seniors. 965-6447.