He cranked out one American classic after another throughout the '50s. But after 1962's Night of the Iguana, Tennessee Williams turned from personal expressionism to experimental surrealism, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a single title by the great Mississippian that anyone other than a theater scholar can name. In Mixed Company presents Out Cry, one of these rarely produced later works about a brother-and-sister team of actors who, deserted by their company at a "state theater in an unknown state," perform a two-character drama for an audience that they aren't even sure is there. The familiar local Shakespearean actor David Barker directs; Steven Mastroieni and Barbara Acker star. This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 28; and the same time Friday, May 29; and Saturday, May 30; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 31; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, at the Third Street Theatre at the Phoenix Center for the Performing Arts, 1202 North Third Street. Tickets are $16.50, $14.50 for students and seniors. 252-8497, 834-3032, 503-5555.
The faculty of the Art Institute of Phoenix shows off its own work in a special exhibition, opening with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 28, at the institute, 2233 West Dunlap. Works will include watercolors, oils, pastels, collages, ceramics and sculpture; artists represented include Larry Schwinger, Steve Missal and Al Glann. Regular viewing hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Admission to the reception is free; RSVPs are appreciated. 678-4300.
"Passion music" didn't always refer to the song stylings of Barry White. It used to mean the dramatic choral setting of Christ's trial and crucifixion, and it was a standard genre of Western music from medieval times through the early 1800s. Hospice of the Valley is the beneficiary of a performance of Bach's 1724 St. John's Passion (J.S.B. also composed a St. Matthew's Passion in 1727), by the Valley's CD Singers. The ensemble, under the direction of Daniel Durand, "employs natural methods of music production to rediscover the composer's emotional expression of a text." Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 29, at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1954 North 24th Street. Tickets are $20, $18 for students and seniors. 990-7101.
What? That isn't enough choral music for you? Okay, how about the Gregorian-influenced (yet modern) Requiem and Four Motets of Paul Dukas' protege Maurice Durufle, performed by the Trinity Cathedral Choir? The heavenly sounds start at 8 p.m. Friday, May 29; and at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 31, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 100 West Roosevelt. Tickets are $10. 572-1400.
Though he's far better known as Roseanne's snide boss, or as Colonel Mustard in the film Clue, or, most gloriously, as co-star of Fernwood 2Night, actor Martin Mull is an MFA graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design and a seriously taken painter. "20/20," a show of Mull's oils and watercolors, opens with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 29, at Arizona State University Art Museum at Nelson Fine Arts Center, 10th Street and Mill, on the ASU campus in Tempe, and continues through Sunday, September 13. "Renie Breskin Adams: Inside Out," featuring that artist's whimsical, unconventional approach to needlepoint, opens at the same time and continues through Sunday, August 30. Both artists will be present at the reception; admission is free. 965-2787.
She's a Broadway fixture. She's cute and cuddly. She sings great. Who can she be? Well, any number of people, perhaps, but as it happens, she's Bernadette Peters. The Tony- and Golden Globe-winning La Peters descends upon the stage of the Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, May 30, in concert for the benefit of Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS). Showtime is 8 p.m., but is preceded by a reception at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $175. 256-6945, extension 3020.
The third leg of Neil Simon's autobiographical trilogy beginning with Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues is Broadway Bound. It concerns the efforts of the Jerome boys to break into writing for the Great White Way. Arizona Jewish Theatre Company wraps up its 10th season with a production of the show, featuring cast members from its Zoni-winning production of Brighton Beach Memoirs. Broadway Bound opens with performances at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 30; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 31. Tickets are $21.50 and $23.50, $19.50 and $21.50 for seniors; there's a student rush a half-hour before each performance for $7.50. Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. 252-8497.
Jeffrey Siegel, noted for his "Keyboard Conversations" series, is artistic director of the Mainly Mozart Festival. This 13th annual tribute to Wolfgang and pals kicks off at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 31, at La Sala, located in the University Center Building on the Arizona State University West campus, 4701 West Thunderbird, with "Mozart and the Romantics," a bill that includes not only Wolfie but Gershwin, Chopin and Mendelssohn. Tickets are $20 and $23. Siegel hosts the presentation of a film bio of Mozart at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, at Kiva Hall on the ASU West campus, 4701 West Thunderbird, and he leads the principal players of the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra in a chamber concert called "Mozart and Beethoven" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, at La Sala. Tickets for the lecture are $5; for the chamber concert, they're $18 and $21. 543-6064, 503-5555.
With its longtime location at 38th Street and Thomas about to be destroyed, Valley Youth Theatre has been turned into a nomad in this theatrical desert. The first oasis at which it plans to pitch camp: Herberger Theater Center, for its production of The Wizard of Oz (see Kid Stuff). There's a special benefit performance of the show at 7 p.m. Monday, June 1, at the Herberger, 222 East Monroe. The guest of honor at this performance will be Margaret Pellegrini, one of the Munchkins from the original 1939 film, who will open the show and sign autographs (Pellegrini is also scheduled to be present at the shows Friday, May 29, Saturday, May 30, and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 31). Tickets for the Monday performance can be had with a donation of $100 or more, all of which goes toward the search for new permanent digs for VYT. 267-3880.
Residents of the south of France, The Gipsy Kings play combustible flamenco and move zillions of discs' worth of the stuff. You haven't lived 'til you've heard the Gipsies' version of the Eagles' "Hotel California," and, if you aren't in the minority that saw The Big Lebowski, it's quite possible you haven't. Touring behind its new collection of tunes, Compas, the group performs Tuesday, June 2, at Mesa Amphitheatre, Center and University. The all-ages show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $26 and $46 in advance, $28 and $51 the day of the show, available at Mesa Community Center and Dillard's box offices; 644-2560, 503-5555.
Scottsdale elections aren't likely to get much more amicable than those of the Scottsdale Artists League, which elects new officers while enjoying potluck eats at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, at the Rural Metro Fire Department headquarters building, 8401 East Indian School. The public is welcome to come and check out the organization, which hosts regular exhibitions, contests and workshops for painters. For more information, call 947-2693 or 946-8367.
From what depths of the human heart spring stories like, say, the Germanic folklore dramatized by Wagner's Ring cycle (see feature), and what needs of the human soul do they address? Joseph Young, former archivist to late, beloved myth maven Joseph Campbell, has some thoughts on this subject. Young, a Ph.D., will discuss his book SAGA--Best New Writings on Mythology in a lecture titled "The Magic of Mythic Stories" from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, at Higher Vision Center, 6829 North 12th Street. Admission to the lecture is $10. 277-7133.