Like his fellow local hero Jerry Riopelle, it's easy to take John Stewart for granted, because of his multiple annual pit stops at Anderson's Fifth Estate in Scottsdale. But we shouldn't; Stewart's one of pop's great songsmiths, from his Kingston Trio days to "Daydream Believer" to "Armstrong" to "July, You're a Woman" to "Bad Rats" to "Gold" (with Stevie Nicks) to "Runaway Trains" to "Sweet Dreams Will Come" (with Nanci Griffith). Stewart returns to the Estate, 6820 East Fifth Avenue, for a show at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 14. Tickets are $14.50, $15.50 at the door. 994-4168.
Long Wong's Live, 3623 East Indian School, is the new venue for the Divergent Arts Poetry Series, which continues at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 14. The program features readings by poet Chela Chelsea Glenn and musician/songwriter Hanes Kvaran. Admission is free; donations are accepted. 947-0371.
Disney's animated feature Mulan doesn't start plucking money out of parents' wallets until June 19, but kids can enjoy the Mulan Kids' Fest for free. The event, which includes Chinese-oriented games, prizes, origami and calligraphy activities, coloring, a martial-arts demonstration, Ronald McDonald and free movie posters for the first 200 kids, is held from 6 a.m. to noon Monday, June 15, at the COFCO Chinese Cultural Center, located on 44th Street between the 202 and Van Buren. For more info: 277-3550.
For some reason, Entertainment Weekly rarely misses a chance to bash Vonda Shepard, the singer whose covers of romantic standards are used to counterpoint the action on the Fox series Ally McBeal, and who also performs the show's theme song, "Searchin' My Soul." Okay, so Shepard may not exactly be Aretha, but she has her own pleasantly torchy kind of soul. Touring behind her 550 Music release Songs From Ally McBeal, Featuring Vonda Shepard, la Shep takes the stage Tuesday, June 16, at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. Willy Porter opens the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $17 in advance, $18 the day of the show. 267-1600 (Celeb), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
The 25th-anniversary tour of Foghat, the '70s-era rockers best known for "Slow Ride," touches down in the Valley with a show at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 17, at Toolies Country, 4231 West Thomas. Tickets are $15 and $25. 272-3100 (Toolies), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
New Times' own Robrt L. Pela facilitates the Gay/Lesbian Literature Conversation Group at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 17, in the music lounge of Borders Books & Music at 1361 South Alma School in Mesa. The topic this month is Daniel Harris' The Rise and Fall of Gay Culture. All are welcome; admission is free. 833-2244.