Does the phrase "A river of liver and an ocean of fish" ring a bell? If so, then you're probably a rerun junkie--it's from the "Adam's Ribs" episode of M*A*S*H, in which Hawkeye Pierce starts raving about the wretched cuisine dished up by company cook Igor Staminsky, incarnated by actor Jeff Maxwell. Maxwell has now authored Secrets of the M*A*S*H Mess--Private Igor's Lost Recipes, a guide to such delicacies as Cream of Weenie Soup and Crab-Stuffed Chili Grenades. Maxwell will sign his work at 7 p.m. Thursday, December 3, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 414 South Mill, Suite 109, in Tempe (966-0203). In his Igor persona, Maxwell will present a cooking class titled "Cooking (?) With Igor" at 1 p.m. Sunday, December 6, at Sweet Basil Gourmetware and Cooking School, 10701 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale (northeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Shea), followed by a book signing at 3 p.m. Tuition for the class is $25; the book signing is free. 596-5628.
East Valley Arabian and Valley of the Sun Arabian Horse associations present the Saguaro Classic '98 All Arabian Horse Show. About 400 of the Southwest's top show equines compete in categories like halter and performance, hunter/jumper and dressage at this ninth annual event. It runs Thursday, December 3; Friday, December 4; Saturday, December 5; and Sunday, December 6, at WestWorld, 16601 North Pima Road in Scottsdale. Admission is free. The event includes a silent auction and other activities; proceeds benefit East Valley Child Crisis Center and Horses Help. 545-8099.
A tale of love, friendship and racism, Craig Bohlmer's contemporary opera The Achilles Heel--a winner in the National Opera Association competition--employs "a traditional scene and aria structure, but uses elements of rock and rap as well." Presented by Opera-Tunity, the show comes to the Valley for three performances: at 8 p.m. Friday, December 4; 8 p.m. Saturday, December 5; and 2 p.m. Sunday, December 6, in Stage West of Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. Tickets range from $10 to $15. 252-8497, 503-5555.
Best-known as the vehicle that made a stage star of Julie Andrews--less wellknown as a movie vehicle for Twiggy--Sandy Wilson's 1953 musical The Boy Friend continues Stagebrush Theatre's season. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, December 4; 8 p.m. Saturday, December 5; 2 p.m. Sunday, December 6; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 9, at the theater, 7020 East Second Street in Scottsdale. Tickets are $16, $15 for students and seniors. The run continues through Sunday, December 20. 990-7405.
"New Cast--New Location--Same Bad Attitude." So promises Feast of Fools Theatre as it mounts yet another revival of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs: The Stage Production at the Steel Door Arts Center Mainstage, 505 West Madison. The setting is the center's 21,000-square-foot warehouse space, through which the audience moves along with the actors. Performances are at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, December 4; and the same times Saturday, December 5. The run continues through Saturday, December 19. Tickets are $10, $8 for students and seniors. 256-7898.
The Essential Theatre troupe, which takes suggestions from audience members and transforms them into improvised scenarios, presents Playback Theatre: Unwrapped! Holiday Gifts and Revelations, a seasonally themed show, scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday, December 5, at PlayWright's Theatre, 1121 North First Street. Tickets are $12. Shows are interpreted in American Sign Language. 897-6711.
Internationally known stunt rider Hunter Brown performs high jumps, flame acts and horse falls, Stephen Pemberton does trick riding, and Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association demonstrates trick shooting while riding when Arrowhead Equestrian Center presents its annual Charity Christmas Party and Wild West Show from 3 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, December 5, at 6351 West Soft Wind Drive (off 67th Avenue). The event will also feature various country and rock bands, barbecued beef dinners, a lighted horse parade and other fun. Admission is a canned food item for West Side Food Bank; other proceeds go to various local charities. 561-0449.
Health screening and other diagnostic services--including mammograms, PAP screen vouchers, pregnancy tests and ultrasounds as well as prenatal, dental, cholesterol, glucose, iron level and osteoporosis screenings and flu shots--are offered free to women and kids without health coverage at the Glendale Health Fair for Uninsured Women and Children, by Valley medical students and volunteers. There will also be face painting for the kids, and Santa Claus is scheduled to put in an appearance. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, December 5, at Glendale Youth Center, 5401 West Ocotillo. 572-3310, 934-0419.
On its "dark nights," On the Spot Theatre hosts Susan Simpson's romantic comedy So Long, Prince Charming. The show is the maiden production of the new troupe Soul Force Gypsies. The run opens with a preview at 7 p.m. Sunday, December 6; and performances at 7:30 p.m. Monday, December 7; and the same time Tuesday, December 8. Tickets for the preview are $5; they're $10 and $12 for the run proper, which continues through Tuesday, December 15, at 4700 North Central. 230-4340.
San Francisco's Ed Haynes performs at the "Songwriter's Circus," a music and spoken-word festival that kicks off at 6 p.m. Sunday, December 6, at Balboa Cafe, 404 South Mill in Tempe. Other featured performers for the evening include the improvisational company Bound at the Mouth. There's no cover. 966-1300.
German filmmaker Percy Adlon's gentle comic portrait of the American Southwest, Bagdad Cafe, starring Marianne Sägebrecht, CCH Pounder and Jack Palance, is the next presentation of the Foothills Film Society. The nonprofit organization, dedicated to bringing the art of film to the sparsely cinema'd far north Valley, screens the film at 7 p.m. Monday, December 7, at the Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center. The screening is followed by a discussion with a speaker. Admission is $6. Future films in the society's season include Nicholas Roeg's heartbreaking Walkabout (Monday, January 25); Close to Eden (Monday, March 15); and Wings of Desire (Monday, April 12). 33606 North 60th Street in Cave Creek. 488-1090.
The sounds of Ravel, Beethoven and Brahms are on the program when the pianists of The Guild Trio, frequent guests on National Public Radio's Performance Today, play a gig 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, December 7. Tickets are $14, $5 for students. 972-0478.
For the shopping pleasure of bibliophiles, pianist Michael Ellis is scheduled to play holiday tunes for free from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, December 8, at Borders Books & Music at Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback, Suite 200. 957-6660.
And for grander holiday listening, there's the 85-member Scottsdale Concert Band. The community ensemble plans a holiday concert, featuring Leroy Anderson's "Bugler's Holiday," along with French Christmas music and other seasonal pieces, on Wednesday, December 9, in Performing Arts Center of Scottsdale Community College, 9000 East Chaparral. Scottsdale Trombone Choir and soprano Jennifer Song Sheldon round out the bill. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. 423-6152.