Regarded as a "comic's comic," standup man Dave Attell, who's been seen on Letterman and Conan, is also a veteran comedy writer whose credits include Saturday Night Live, The Jon Stewart Show and Everybody Loves Raymond. Attell takes the stage at 8 p.m. Thursday, October 29; 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, October 30; the same times Saturday, October 31; and 8 p.m. Sunday, November 1. Tickets are $10 Thursday and Sunday, $12 Friday and Saturday. 930 East University (at Cornerstone mall). 921-9877.
"Out With the New & In With the Olde!" trumpets the slogan of the Phoenix Early Music Society, which is devoted to keeping alive the musical traditions of the medieval, Renaissance and baroque eras. The organization sponsors a concert series that kicks off at 8 p.m. Friday, October 30, at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, with a performance by Judith Lisenberg and harpsichordist Byron Schenkman. Tickets range from $8 to $16. 965-5377.
'Tis the season for dancing skeletons, so Ballet Arizona gets in the spirit with Dias de Muertos, an original danse macabre created by the company's artistic director Michael Uthoff. "A dancing fable instead of a cultural study," in Uthoff's words, the colorful ballet features Bonnie Rich and Andrew Needhammer. Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, October 30; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, October 31; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, November 1, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. 381-1096, 262-7272 (Phoenix Civic Plaza), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
The legendary, recently departed Tempe street artist Elvis the Cat is celebrated with an exhibition at Fallout Common--the gallery is making the case to the Tempe Historical Museum to make Elvis' work part of its permanent collection. The show opens with a reception, featuring live music, starting at 8 p.m. Friday, October 30, at the fledgling gallery, 712 South College in Tempe (accessible through rear entrance below Campus Corner). Admission is a donation, and Elvis art will be on sale, with proceeds going to a fund for the collection's preservation. Regular hours for Fallout Common are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by appointment. 829-6068.
Porn star and frequent Jerry Springer and Howard Stern guest Jasmine St. Clair stops by the Valley for an autograph signing from 7 p.m. to midnight Friday, October 30, at Atomic Comics, 3029 West Peoria Avenue in Phoenix. Admission is free with the purchase of a limited-edition comic book starring the lovely Ms. St. Clair. 395-1066.
The Josefina Lopez comedy Real Women Have Curves concerns "five full-figured Mexican-American women celebrating the bond created when women work together." Cindy Wynn directs the production, which is performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 30; and 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday, October 31, at Planet Earth Theatre, 909 North Third Street. Tickets are $10 and $12; anyone who shows up wearing a dress to the Saturday late show gets a buck off the admission. The run continues through Saturday, November 14. 521-6278.
Novice stargazers should take note of the ASU Astronomy Open House, held from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, October 30, on the roof of the Physical Sciences Center, H Wing, on the ASU Main Campus in Tempe, on the south side of University just east of the pedestrian bridge. Telescopes will open to the public for a gander at such heavenly bodies as our moon, Jupiter and its moons, Saturn and other, even more far-flung sights. Admission is free. 965-0664, 965-3561.
It's Halloween--while some of us may wish to go to one of the area's haunted houses to get our gotchies scared off (see the Events listing), those of a more highbrow bent might want to check out the performance of "Tales of Mystery, Suspense and Horror" with Geoffrey Platts at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 31, at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Platt will read, Victorian-drawing-room style, from the spooky tales of authors like Poe, H. Von Kleist, Guy de Maupassant and Arthur Conan Doyle. (No M.R. James? No Saki?) The audience members are encouraged to attire themselves seasonally. Tickets are $15 reserved, $13 general. 965-5377 (Kerr), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is the beneficiary of a performance by "Ireland's Golden Tenor" Frank Patterson, at 7 p.m. Saturday, October 31, at St. Elizabeth Seton Church Hall, 9728 Palmeras in Sun City. Tickets, available at The Irish Gift House, 1335 West University, Suite 7, in Tempe, or by phone at 731-9755, range from $17.50 and $25.
Those who can't settle only for dressing up themselves may wish to inflict the indignity on their pets as well; true sadists will want to do so publicly, perhaps in the dog/owner costume contest, open to all weenie breeds though it's part of the Desert Valley Dachshund Club's "Combined Specialty Show." The event runs from Saturday, October 31, to Sunday, November 1, at La Quinta Inn North, 2510 West Greenway Road, and also includes such events as "Conformation Classes" an "Intervariety Competition" and the like. Registration is closed for the more serious events; registration for the costume contest costs $3. Spectators are welcome. 585-4459.
Xicanindio Artes, Inc., sponsors Dia de los Muertos Celebration of Life Festival, the Valley's largest public commemoration of Mexico's All Souls' Day and the related ancestral remembrance los Dias de los Muertos (the Days of the Dead). Highlights of the annual outdoor fest include music and dance performances by such ensembles as MarDi Dance Company, Primavera Folklorico Dance Company, and Las Calacas Encantadas (the Enchanted Skeletons), as well as Albuquerque's Ehecatl Aztec Dancers. There will also be a mercado, hands-on activities for kids of all ages and the traditional candlelight procession. It runs from noon until dusk Sunday, November 1, at Pioneer Park, 526 East Main in Mesa. Admission is free. 833-5875.
Called by some "the lesbian Anne Rice," author and leather enthusiast Laura Antoniou reads from her latest work The Academy: Tales From the Marketplace at 6 p.m. Sunday, November 1. Obelisk, 24 West Camelback. 266-2665.
The nutty, infectious blues/rock/psychedelic/funk sounds of Blues Traveler, anchored by the Jerry Garcia-ish presence of harmonicist and vocalist John Popper, invade Tucson on Monday, November 2, at Centennial Hall, 1020 East University. Tickets are $25; showtime is 8 p.m. 1-520-621-3341.
The featured speaker this week at SingleTalk, the social/discussion group for singles, is Frank Baranowski, local maven of the paranormal and host of KTAR's Mysteries Around Us. Baranowski speaks--in his hushed, avid tones, no doubt--from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, November 2, on the topic "Is There a Mystery to Being Single?" Admission is $7. The Har Zion Congregation facility at 6140 East Thunderbird in Scottsdale. 494-0900.
The term "performance art" doesn't get much more literal than that practiced by J.L. Covarrubias, who literally creates a painting--usually a portrait of a native face--while an audience looks on. The Scottsdale Artists League sponsors such a performance, scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, November 3, at the headquarters building of the Rural/Metro Fire Department, 4141 North Granite Reef Road in Scottsdale. Admission is free, and all are welcome. 812-1076.
If only to see how well the lead vocalist is able to execute the sly patter song "One Week" live, it might be worth catching Barenaked Ladies in concert on Wednesday, November 4, at Mesa Amphitheatre, Center and University. Showtime is 6:30 p.m.; tickets are $23.50 in advance, $24.75 the day of the show. 644-2560 (Mesa Community Center), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
The acclaimed St. Petersburg String Quartet takes the stage at 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 4, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. The concert's sponsored by the Phoenix Chamber Music Society. Tickets are $20. Call 252-0095 or 994-2787.