The 10th annual cultural shindig celebrating Phoenix's relationship with its sister city of Grenoble, France, French Week '98, continues Thursday, November 19; Friday, November 20; Saturday, November 21; and Sunday, November 22, at various locations. This week's highlights include the dinner-theater event An Evening With Nostradamus, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, at the Arizona Biltmore ($75 per person); a cooking class by Chef Vincent Guerithault at 10 a.m. Friday, at Vincent's restaurant ($25 per person; lunch included); and the sixth annual "Beaujolais Nouveau Festival," scheduled for 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, at the Phoenix Civic Plaza, Symphony Hall Terrace. Call for a complete schedule. 534-2664.
New works by sculptor Kim Cridler--who creates enormous metal shapes that recall, in skeletal and "monumental" form, the homespun forms of utilitarian craftware in her rural Michigan upbringing--are exhibited, opening with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, November 19; and continuing through Saturday, January 2, 1999, at Lisa Sette Gallery. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays (and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursdays), noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. 4142 North Marshall Way in Scottsdale. 990-7342.
Southwest Autism Research Center is the beneficiary of the proceeds from the inaugural "Artists for Autism" fund raiser, which features music by Raun Alosi and the Reason, along with a hair show by Street Talk Salon, an art show and auction, a silent auction, raffles, prizes and other fun, starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 19, at the Cajun House, 7117 East Third Avenue in Scottsdale. Tickets, available in advance or at the door, are $20; $30 gets you a VIP dinner. 340-8717.
Carl Orff's 1937 oratorio Carmina Burana--adapted from Latin secular songs of the 13th century--is performed in a multimedia concert presented by the Maricopa Institute of Art and Entertainment at 8 p.m. Friday, November 20; and the same time Saturday, November 21, in the Performing Arts Center of Scottsdale Community College, 9000 East Chaparral. The complete ensemble runs to more than 250 singers and dancers; participating groups include Arizona Mormon Choir, SCC Moving Company, SCC A Cappella Choir, Scottsdale Symphony Chorus, and Semaphore Danceworks. Admission is $4. 423-6152.
For classical sounds on a less extravagant level, Phoenix Chamber Music Society continues its 39th season with a concert by The Moscow Chamber Orchestra. The acclaimed ensemble plays a program including works by Grieg, Prokofiev, Bach, Shostakovich and Mozart. Showtime is 8 p.m. Friday, November 20, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $20. 252-0095, 994-2787.
Mississippi-by-way-of-L.A. bluesman Smokey Wilson comes to the Valley, in support of his most recent Bullseye Blues disc The Man From Mars, to dish up a rich helping of his unadorned, no-nonsense Deep South sounds. The guitarist performs at 9 p.m. Friday, November 20, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $5. 265-4842.
Homeless horses are the beneficiaries of the second annual Wildhorse Ranch Art Show and Sale, which features original works, not necessarily horse- or Western-related, by area artists, as well as food and refreshments. It's held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 21, at 11811 South Lindsay in Gilbert. 926-8007.
For the fifth year in a row, Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza hosts ArtFest of Scottsdale, featuring works by hundreds of artists, many of whom--including Belgian "living canvas" painter Jean François Detaille--will be present at their booths, along with a wide variety of live music and street performances, as well as food and drink, a hands-on "Mini Monet" area for kids, and more, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, November 21; and the same hours Sunday, November 22, at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza, 7380 East Second Street. Part of the proceeds will go to Arizona Cancer Society's Arizona Camp Sunrise. 1-888-278-3378.
Also in Scottsdale, the East Valley Tellers of Tales hosts Telebration! A Night of Storytelling for Adults, a "concert" of yarn spinning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 21, at Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 North Civic Center Boulevard. Admission to the event is free, although donations are welcomed. 966-5024, 833-3013.
For jazz buffs feeling some spiritual as well as aural hunger on a Sunday afternoon, the music support organization Jazz in Arizona kicks off a new concert series titled "Feel the Spirit," in which jazz acts play in a church setting. The first show, which features Sid Rice and the Jazz Outlet, is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, November 22, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 4027 East Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley. Admission is $10. 942-8348.
And after church, what could be more traditional than relaxing on the back porch? Hence the Phoenix Blues Society's Back Porch Blues, a concert featuring famed '50s-era Chicago sideman Dave Myers, along with such local talent as Hans Olson, Chico Chism, Rena Haus, Bob Bingham, Scotty Spenner, The Root Doctor, and Uvon & Mike Simpson, all of whom are slated to jam from 7 p.m. to midnight Sunday, November 22, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. Tickets are $7; a can of nonperishable food for St. Mary's Food Bank gets you a buck off that price. 252-0599, 265-4842.
The third annual "Sun Orchard Corks and Cups" tasting, a benefit for the Leukemia Society of America featuring wine, coffee and gourmet eats, is slated from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, November 23. Silent and live auctions are also scheduled. Tickets are $25. The Arizona Club, 201 North Central, Suite 3700. 788-8622.
Those of us who've always found Ali MacGraw's declaration in Love Story insipid will approve of this month's edition of SingleTalk, the social/discussion group for singles "from 21 to 121," which meets from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, November 23. Admission is $7. The topic is "Love Is Needing to Say You're Sorry--Differences Between Men and Women in Handling Apologies." The Har Zion Congregation facility at 6140 East Thunderbird in Scottsdale. 494-0900.
Those quixotically considering a leap into mom-and-pop entrepreneurship might check out the Small Business Tax Workshop. The workshop, run by SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), a volunteer organization of retired businesspeople sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration, is held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, November 24, at Western International University, 9215 North Black Canyon Highway. The fee is $35 in advance, $40 at the door. 640-2329.
Even though it's not quite Thanksgiving yet, the holiday season kicks off in the more wintry climes north of the Valley with the opening ceremonies of Sedona's annual Red Rock Fantasy at 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 25. The million-plus lights of this year's bountiful display of holiday cheer are illuminated nightly, through Friday, January 15, 1999. Also slated are 48 holiday scenes, along with horse-drawn-carriage rides and such season-appropriate goodies as hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts. Admission is $5, $3 for seniors, $2 for kids ages 4 to 12, free for those younger; proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sedona and Phoenix. Los Abrigados Resort, 160 Portal Lane. 1-520-282-1777.