Black Theatre Troupe's production of Spunk--Three Tales by Zora Neale Hurston, George C. Wolfe's stage adaptation of works by the Harlem Renaissance yarn spinner, here directed by Reggie Kelly, wraps up with performances at 8 p.m. Thursday, February 25; 8 p.m. Friday, February 26; 8 p.m. Saturday, February 27; and 3 p.m. Sunday, February 28, at Helen K. Mason Center for the Performing Arts, 333 East Portland. Tickets range from $14 to $16. 258-8128.
Also closing this weekend is Arthur Miller's 1994 drama Broken Glass, set in New York of the late '30s, which concerns a woman with an unexplained paralysis. Arizona Jewish Theatre Company continues its season with a production of the show. The run wraps up with performances at 8 p.m. Thursday, February 25; 8 p.m. Friday, February 26; 8 p.m. Saturday, February 27; and 2 p.m. Sunday, February 28. Tickets range from $24.50 for adults to $18.50 for students; there's a student rush one hour before each performance for $7.50. Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. 252-8497.
Playwright Lanford Wilson's semiautobiographical play Lemon Sky, a portrait of a reunion between a son and his estranged father, is part of a seasonlong celebration of Wilson's work at ASU's department of theater. Opening performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 26; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 27; and 3 p.m. Sunday, February 28, at Lyceum Theatre, located at the north end of Forest Mall on the west side of the Arizona State University campus in Tempe. Tickets are $12, $8 for students and seniors. 965-6447.
Cliff Dent facilitates the monthly German Conversation Group at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 26, in the music lounge of Borders Books & Music at Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback, Suite 200. Admission is free. 957-6660.
Czech performance artist and former member of dissident group Charter 77 Milan Kohout, expelled from his homeland in 1986 for his political art activism, presents Isms, an "interdisciplinary work that explores issues of collectivism, nationalism, individualism and a host of other 'isms,'" at 8 p.m. Saturday, February 27; and the same time Sunday, February 28, at Second Stage West, located in the University Center Building on the Arizona State University West campus, 4701 West Thunderbird. Tickets are $10, $8 for seniors, $5 for students. 543-2787, 503-5555 (Dillard's).
The inaugural performing-arts event in the Heard Museum's new Steele Auditorium is a concert by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Joanne Shenandoah at 6 p.m. Saturday, February 27. The performance by Shenandoah, an Iroquois who's been called "the Native American version of Enya," will be preceded by a welcome reception at 5 p.m. Tickets for both events are $50; for the concert only, they're $25. 22 East Monte Vista. 488-0864, 488-7858.
"A Dadistic evening of Strange Acts." Sounds like my idea of a good time, and it's what's promised at The Millennium Sideshow, slated for 8 p.m. Saturday, February 27, at the Phoenix Center for the Performing Arts, 1202 North Third Street. The bill includes works of video, film, music, performance art and experimental theater by such artists as Sharri Weinberg, Georgia Geis, Steve Gompf, Peter Ragan, Diptheria Taproot, Joe Willie Smith, Larry Yanez, Taiko Nouveau and many others. Admission is $8; doors open at 7 p.m. 242-0126, 264-6266.
As a preview to spring training, the City of Peoria and Fox Sports Arizona present Fan Fest '99 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 27, at Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue. Featured attractions include players from the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres--as well as a scheduled appearance by wide-eyed optimist Garth Brooks--skill clinics for kids, food and drink and the opportunity to purchase spring-training tickets early. Admission is free, as is parking. 412-7137.
Percussionist Brian O'Neill--winner of the 21st annual Jennings Butterfield Young Artists Competition--and guest conductor Max Bragado-Darman sit in with Sun Cities Symphony of the West Valley for a concert on Sunday, February 28, at the Sundome, 19403 R.H. Johnson Boulevard in Sun City West. The program includes the Pelleas & Melisande Suite by Sibelius and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. Showtime is 3 p.m. Tickets range from $12 to $20, available at the 'dome and Dillard's. 975-1900, 678-2222.
More classical sounds: A proclamation signed by the Governor of Arizona on October 22--one of her more decisive acts since taking office--declared November 1, 1998, through February 28, 1999, "A Tribute to Chopin Season." The season wraps up with one more concert: The Bukowski Duet plays an all-Chopin program at 4 p.m. Sunday, February 28, at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $15 from the Western Chopin Society, $20 through the Kerr, Dillard's, Gammage and Sundome box offices. 944-5093 (Chopin Society).
No Chopin, but music by Beethoven, Penderecki and Mozart is on the program when The Jacques Thibaud String Trio, an ensemble founded in 1994 at the Berlin School of Art, plays 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, March 1. Tickets are $14, $5 for students. 972-0478.
Formerly known as the Arizona Men's Tennis Championships, the Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic features a field that includes defending champ Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Patrick Rafter, Jim Courier, Marcelo Rios, Thomas Muster and 1997 French Open champ Gustavo Kuerten. The tournament proper begins on Monday, March 1, and continues daily through Sunday, March 7, at the Scottsdale Princess resort, 7575 East Princess Drive. Individual tickets, ranging from $10 to $55, are available from Dillard's box office (503-5555); other ticket packages are also available.
One of, in this writer's opinion, the great American poets of the century, Dr. Seuss, gets his birthday celebrated at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, at the Barnes & Noble store at 10500 North 90th Street in Scottsdale. The event, also a celebration of Read Across America Day, includes readings of Seuss books by BookPALS actors, coloring and giveaways; donations of new or gently used children's books for the Sunshine Acres Orphanage are also accepted. Admission is free. 391-0048.
Muralist and designer William "Wille" Bryant has had a hand in everything from film sets to commercial backdrops to the reptile habitat at Out of Africa Wildlife Park. The Scottsdale Artists League sponsors a lecture by the artist, scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, 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.
Ragtime entertainer Max Morath brings his off-Broadway show Living a Ragtime Life to the Valley with a performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. The evening includes music by Scott Joplin, Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, Bert Williams and May Irwin, along with comedy and commentary. 994-2787 (SCA), 784-4444 (Ticketmaster).