If, for you, the phrase "Ukrainian music" conjures up endless refrains of "Ring Christmas bells/Ring Christmas bells/Ring Christmas bells . . . ," you can get your horizons broadened when the 39-member Ukrainian Boys Choir of Kiev comes to the Valley for a show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, at Central United Church, 1875 North Central. The heavenly chorus, founded in 1948 by the Kiev State Conservatory, sings everything from church music to Gregorian chants to Ukrainian folk tunes to American pop, all to benefit the Chernobyl Children's Hospital of Kiev--many of the boys in the group were living within 100 miles of the infamous nuclear catastrophe there. Admission to the Phoenix show is free(!); donations to the hospital are, of course, welcome. 381-8312.
You had it in your record collection; c'mon, you know you did--Pink Floyd's colossally best-selling album The Dark Side of the Moon. Now you can visualize the music without the aid of hallucinogenics--Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington, celebrates the album's 25th anniversary with laser-light shows at 9 p.m. and midnight Friday, April 3, and continuing indefinitely at the same hours on Saturdays and at 9 p.m. on Sundays. A laser tribute to the Doors shows at 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and a laser tribute to the Beatles shows at 7:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $7; kids under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. For other Science Center attractions, see Kid Stuff. 716-2000. Be careful with that ax, Eugene.
It's no relation to the lowbrow Disney comedy, and no more than a thematic relation to Elton John's song--the Steven Dietz play Rocket Man involves a figurative odyssey through the life of its hero, Donny Rowan, who travels through a parallel universe without leaving his recliner. Arizona Theatre Company mounts the world premiere show, directed by David Ira Goldstein. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, April 3; the same time Saturday, April 4; 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday, April 5; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, at Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. Tickets range from $19.50 to $32.50. The run continues through Saturday, April 25. 252-8497 (Herberger), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
Jamaican and African music is celebrated for the fourth annual time at Reggaefest. Featured are concerts by some truly outstanding acts: The wonderful Sister Carol headlines the opening-night bill from 10 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, April 3; Bob Marley's widow Rita Marley plays the same time slot Saturday, April 4; and U Roy plays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 5. Other acts include King Shark, Motherland Soul, Casper and the 602 Band, Dee Dread, Kongo Shock, Grant Man, Dub Nation, Dhaima, The Tamlins, Richie Spice, Macabees, Rastafarmers, One Blood, Amandala Poets and Yami Bolo ("the Ethiopian Solo"). Also on hand is a marketplace of ethnic foods, goods and crafts. The scene is Symphony Hall Terrace, Second Street and Adams. Hours are 4:30 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, April 3; 12:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, April 4; and noon to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 5. Admission is $12 on Friday and Sunday, $15 on Saturday. 1-888-854-8388.
MARS Artspace, 126 South Central in the Luhrs building, continues its sensible policy of opening a bunch of shows at once: "Wax and Wane" showcases new encaustic paintings by Judith Walsh; "Paintings by Rose Minetti"; "Men Are From MARS," a show by the gallery's male artists; "New Works" by Jacob Martinez; a group show of works from the Artist's Attic, a workshop for homeless artists; and "Women From MARS: The Feminine Principle"--which features works by Annie Lopez, Deborah McMillion Nering, S. Mindrum-Logan, Lydia Miszuk, Felice Regnier, Marissa Vidrio-Nadbornik, Carolyn Zarra and others--all open with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 3. All continue through Friday, April 24, except for Minetti's, which runs through Saturday, April 25. 253-3541.
Arizona Opera League hosts the Arizona Opera Ball, its annual fancy fund-raising affair, at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 4, in the Grand Pavilion Ballroom at Arizona Biltmore, 24th Street and Missouri. The theme this year is The Court of the Sun King: A Night in Versailles. Cocktails, dinner and dancing are planned. Tickets range from $200 per person, or $400 per couple, to $150 per person for those under age 35. 266-7464.
Chef Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco is among the special guests at Foodstock '98: a "festival of healthful living choices" and celebration of vegetarianism, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 5, at Heritage Square, located at Heritage and Science Park, Seventh Street and Washington. The event sounds like it might have been organized by Mr. Van Driessen of Beavis & Butt-head--the agenda includes music, speakers, educational displays, yoga, tai chi and belly-dancing demos and a "special kid's kindness corner where children will take home a seedling to nurture." M'kay? Admission is free. 241-9778.
Those with a more exotic, decadently carnivorous palate may wish to sample culinary curiosities ranging from emu etouffee to roasted rattlesnake to Oriental-style ostrich at Grazing Arizona, a different sort of food fest aimed at illustrating Arizona's gustatory diversity. It's not just a meal, it's an adventure, and it runs from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 5, at the University Club of Phoenix, 39 East Monroe. Tickets are $25, and proceeds benefit Free Arts for Abused Children. 234-1707.
Violinist Eugene Fodor is the guest of Sun Cities Symphony of the West Valley at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 5. With Fodor out front, the orchestra, conducted by James Yestadt, performs a program consisting of Eduard Lalo's Symphony Espagnole, Opus 21, the Egmont Overture of Beethoven, and Berlioz's grippingly programmatic Symphonie Fantastique. Tickets range from $12 to $20. The Sundome, 19403 R.H. Johnson Boulevard in Sun City West. 975-1900 (the 'dome), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
Described as the "Weird Al Yankovic of Country," singer-comedian Kip Attaway brings his wacky song stylings to Anderson's Fifth Estate, 6820 East Fifth Avenue in Scottsdale, at 8 p.m. Monday, April 6. Tickets are $12 at the door. 994-4168.
A little more exaltedly, the Angeles String Quartet plays Haydn, Brahms and Schubert at the Bellevue Heights Church, 9440 Hutton Drive in Sun City. The Sun Cities Chamber Music Society sponsors the all-ages show, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 6. Tickets are $14, $5 for students. 972-0478.
She used to date Elvis. That grabs attention when talking about Wanda Jackson, but there's plenty more that can be said: that she's the sizzling voice of "Fujiyama Mama," "Let's Have a Party," "Mean Mean Man" and other classics of the narrow field of female rockabilly (she remains the undisputed queen of that genre), that she wrote "Kickin' Our Hearts Around" for Buck Owens. At 60, she's back on the American circuit after years of European tours and singing gospel. The Queen pays a royal visit to the Valley at 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $9. Cadillac Angels share the bill. 265-4842.
The Zamboni in mouse ears, a.k.a. Walt Disney's World on Ice, presents an ice-extravaganza version of its charming musical- comedy Beauty and the Beast--the title characters and all their anthropomorphic little pals take to the ice to ask once again which matters most--looks or personality. The opening performance is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, at America West Arena, 201 East Jefferson; more performances are scheduled through Sunday, April 12. Tickets range from $8.50 to $32. 379-7800 (AWA), 503-5555 (Dillard's).