Comic and masterful impersonator Craig Shoemaker--his repertoire includes ace renditions of Don Knotts and Patrick Stewart--returns to the Valley, the location at which his concert film The Lovemaster was shot, for a four-night stand touring behind his riotous CD Son of Lovemaster. The pick of the American Comedy Awards for best stand-up comedian of 1997, and co-star of Scream 2 and the TV movie Safe House, performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 17; 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, June 18; the same times Saturday, June 19; and 8 p.m. Sunday, June 20, at the Tempe Improv Comedy Theater, 930 East University (at Cornerstone mall). Tickets are $15 and $12. 480-921-9877.
Something in the style of Theatre League's Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh . . . The Songs of Allan Sherman from earlier this year, the revue Tapestry . . . The Songs of Carole King strings the Brill Building vet's tunes along a nominal plot about the lives of three college roomies. Following a final preview at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 17, the show will open its run proper with performances at 8 p.m. Friday, June 18; 8 p.m. Saturday, June 19; 2 p.m. Sunday, June 20; 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 22; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, at the Viad Playhouse on the Park, 1850 North Central. The run continues through Sunday, August 1. Tickets are $19.50 and $25.50 and are available through Dillard's at 480-503-5555.
"Stars and S'mores" is the alliterative siren song of the "Forest Frolic Under the Stars," a family activity hosted by Arizona Museum for Youth from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, June 18. Woodsy the Owl kicks things off at 7 with some--stand by for more alliteration--"Fascinating Facts on Forests," followed by stargazing with the East Valley Astronomy Club in the atrium and outdoor classroom of the museum, and then campfire stories with Valley bard and KZON radio personality Mary McCann "The Bone Mama." The Museum's current exhibit, "Woodlands: Flora, Fauna and Folk of the Forest" (which continues through Friday, September 10), will also be open during the evening. Adult admission is $14 ($12 for museum members); each kid you bring with you costs $2 more. Registration is required, and will be taken, space allowing, through the day of the event. To register, call 480-644-3690. 35 North Robson in Mesa.
A certification CPR Training class for adults and kids over the age of 10 is taught by Phoenix Fire Department from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting. The cost for the training is $25, $20 for museum members. Advance registration is preferred. 6101 East Van Buren. 602-275-3473.
June 19, 1865, the day slaves in some Southern states found out they'd been legally freed on January 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, is known variously as "Black Independence Day" or as Juneteenth. Among this year's Valley commemorations is a biggie, from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at Chandler's Folley Park, 601 East Frye. Included are tournaments of three-on-three hoops and dominoes, along with food booths, guest speakers, vendors, music ranging from gospel to rap to R&B, and personal appearances by Cardinals players and by the team's mascot, "Big Red." Admission is free. 480-899-3022.
In conjunction with Arizona Humane Society's monthlong "Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat" event, Kaufman and Broad sponsor a "Pet Adoption Party" from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at the Kaufman and Broad Arizona Greens Community at 17th Avenue and Chandler Boulevard in Ahwatukee. Twenty felines will be available for adoption at the event, and the homebuilder will split the adoption fee with the prospective parents, reducing the cost from the regular $60 to $30. It's part of a neighborhood block party. There's no charge to attend. Call 1-800-344-6637 for more information.
The films Forces of Nature and The Matrix are screened in "Open Caption" format for the hearing impaired at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 19; and the same time Sunday, June 20; at AMC Esplanade, located at the southeast corner of 24th Street and Camelback. Such screenings are held on the third Saturday and Sunday of most subsequent months. Call 602-667-0330 for more information.
Many Faces Theatre Company presents Arizona's Comic Relief, a five-hour dinner-and-show featuring comedians, music by the Jukebox Oldies Band, mask guy Zarco Guerrero, flamenco dancer Mary F. Moreno and other acts, from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 122 North Second Street. The ticket price, which includes dinner, is $60; proceeds benefit the Thomas J. Pappas School. 623-487-1709 for reservations and more information.
Aid to Adoption of Special Kids is the beneficiary of the sixth annual "Ugly Tie Contest and Celebrity Tie Auction" event at Pointe in Tyme Grille & Tavern in the Pointe Hilton Resort at Tapatio Cliffs, 11111 North Seventh Street. It continues daily, wrapping up on Father's Day, Sunday, June 20. Neckwear autographed by the likes of Anthony Edwards, Jake Plummer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Terrell Davis, Arnold Palmer, Colin Powell, Bill Cosby and Mark O'Meara, among others, may be bid on, and ugly ties may be donated for a chance to win prizes. For more information, or to place a bid, call Pointe in Tyme at 602-866-6348.
Microsoft spokesperson and former GOP National Committee head Haley Barbour and Project to Promote Competition and Innovation in the Digital Age executive director Mitchell Pettit debate the merits of the Department of Justice lawsuit against Microsoft at the Arizona Forum Luncheon, at 11:30 a.m. Monday, June 21, at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 122 North Second Street. Tickets are $38, $28 for forum members. Reservations are required. 602-952-1404.
Just picture your worst enemy at the center of the board, and throw--it's remarkable how therapeutic a good game of darts can be. If you have a lot of frustrations to work out, you might want to check out the steel tip Dart Leagues that play at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 22, and most subsequent Tuesdays, at Mickey's Ole Brass Rail Sports Bar & Grill, 3738 East Thomas. Call 602-956-1280 for more information.
Growth management is one of the topics when Grady Gammage, Jr. signs and discusses his tome Phoenix in Perspective at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 22, at the Barnes & Noble store at 10500 North 90th Street in Scottsdale. Admission is free. 480-391-0048.
Ringmaster Jonathan Lee Iverson presides over the three rings of fun as the 129-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a.k.a. The Greatest Show on Earth, returns for its annual visit. This year's featured acts include high-wire act the Cloud Walking Carillos; animal trainers Mark Oliver Gebel (cats), Roy and Cindy Wells (elephants), Catherine Hanneford (liberty horses and elephants), Cindy Herriott (liberty horses) and the Svensons (ostriches!); and more clowns than you can stuff into a tiny car. The run begins with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 23; it continues with shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 24; 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 25; 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 26; 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 27; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 29; the same time Wednesday, June 30, and Thursday, July 1; 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 2; 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 3; and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 4; at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson; a downtown fireworks display follows the Thursday, July 1, evening show. Tickets range from $10.75 to $35, available at the arena and Dillard's; discounts are available for kids and groups. For details call 602-379-7800 or 408-503-5555.