Tucson's Orts Theatre of Dance presents an evening of "half-naked dancers swinging by their ankles on the trapeze . . ." in "a live music flying trapeze dance theater sensory overload depicting a day in the life of the early Christian mystic Meister Eckhart." If you haven't been too overloaded recently with live music flying trapeze dance theater sensory overloads depicting days in the lives of early Christian mystics, you may want to check out Airborne: Meister Eckhart, which is performed at 8 p.m. Thursday, February 11; 8 p.m. Friday, February 12; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, February 13; and 2 p.m. Sunday, February 14, at the Pima Community College Center for the Arts on the PCC campus at 2202 West Anklam. Advance tickets are $10, $8 for seniors and students; tickets are $2 more at the door, although company executive director Chuck Koesters promises, in what he calls a "blatant suck-up to the Phoenix market," to offer Valley audience members the advance price at the door (he requests discretion about this at the box office, however, to avoid grumbling from Tucson residents). 1-520-624-3799, 1-520-206-6942.
Although plenty of women can't forgive him for firing the title character in Jerry Maguire, actor/comedian Jay Mohr has achieved a certain level of stardom--his touching turn as a dying AIDS patient in the current Playing by Heart may help us to forget his earlier vehicle Mafia!. Mohr takes the stage at the Improv at 8 p.m. Thursday, February 11; 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, February 12; 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday, February 13; and 8 p.m. Sunday, February 14. Tickets are $12 or $15; a special Valentine's Day package of show, dinner, champagne and dessert can be had for $50. The Tempe Improv Comedy Theater, 930 East University (at Cornerstone mall). 921-9877.
Jason Stuart, the openly gay comedian who has also recently put in appearances on such TV series as Charmed and The Drew Carey Show and in the upcoming David Spade comedy Lost & Found, opens the festivities at the third annual Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. After a reception at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 12, Stuart performs at 8:20 p.m. The live show is followed by the fest's opening features, It's in the Water at 8:50 p.m. and Relax, It's Just Sex at 11 p.m.; the slam poet Regina Blakely performs in between the two features. The festival continues with showtimes for about a half-dozen features and short compilations throughout the day Saturday, February 13; and Sunday, February 14. The venue is Harkins Camelview 5, located on Goldwater Boulevard north of Camelback in Scottsdale. Admission to the opening-night gala is $20 in advance, $25 at the door; individual admissions are $10, $12 at the door; a full-festival pass is $50, $55 at the door. For more information, call 274-0994 (or check out http://phxoutfest.ngdr.com).
The guest of honor and speaker at Arizona Science Center's "Galaxy" fund-raising event is David Breashears, the mountaineer and filmmaker behind the IMAX film Everest who was also named on People's list of "Sexiest People Alive." The evening fund raiser, slated for 6:30 p.m. Friday, February 12, at the Arizona Biltmore, 24th Street and Missouri, coincides with the opening of Everest at the Irene P. Flinn Theater at the science center, 600 East Washington. Tickets for the Galaxy fund raiser are $200 per person, and reservations are required; call 716-2017 or 716-2000 for more information.
Mr. P-Body's Interactive Fashion Show, performances by lounge acts Vic Masters and Chaleah, door prizes and more are part of Swank D'Amour 3, a Valentine's Eve "retro lounge party" slated to kick off at 7 p.m. Saturday, February 13, at The Copper Queen, 6933 North Seventh Street. The cover is $7; call 340-0715 for information.
The Essential Theatre troupe, which takes suggestions from audience members and transforms them into improvised scenarios, presents Playback Theatre: "Love Stories," a romance-themed program in keeping with the holiday. Two shows are scheduled--at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, February 14, at PlayWright's Theatre, 1121 North First Street. Tickets are $12. Shows are interpreted in American Sign Language. 897-6711.
Bands like Flail, Persephone's Picnic and Womb, solo musical acts like Laura Martin, ralo and Berta Benally, and performance-comedy-storytelling by Krista Griffin and Cleopache make up the all-distaff bill at the Celebration of Love, a live, all-ages Valentine's Day showcase starting at 4 p.m. Sunday, February 14, at Valley Art Theatre, 509 South Mill in Tempe. The work of Valley visual artists will be on display as well. Tickets are $6 per person, $10 per couple; for more information, call 894-9894, 966-6161 or 829-6668.
Conductor Richard E. Strange leads the Tempe Symphony Orchestra in performances of Tchaikovsky's Suite From Swan Lake, Op. 20, Mendelssohn's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 64 and Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, A Symphonic Portrait (originally set for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra by Robert Russell Bennett). Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 15, in Boyle Auditorium at McClintock High School, 1830 East Del Rio in Tempe. Admission is free. For details call 350-5287; the TDD number for the hearing-impaired is 350-5050.
The 10-piece, all-acoustic jazz-blues-country-gospel-novelty outfit that performs under the not inapt title The Asylum Street Spankers has won the Austin Music Awards' "Best None of the Above" category three times, and it's not hard to see why. They're indefinable and marvelous--sort of a lewd yet folksy version of Spike Jones' City Slickers--and Christina Marrs' vocals are an amazing mixture of gut, soul and cheeked tongue. The Spankers take the stage at 9 p.m. Tuesday, February 16, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. There's a $5 cover. 265-4842.
In support of her 1997 CD Gone From Danger, the influential folk great--and early Dylan champion--Joan Baez performs at 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 17, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams, in a show presented by Scottsdale Center for the Arts. Hank Dogs shares the bill. Tickets are $20 and $26, available from SCA and Ticketmaster. 994-2787, 784-4444.