ASU theater student A.J. Morales is the author of the cycle of six plays about cars, ranging in length from five to 40 minutes, collectively known as Automotivations. The one-acts, with titles like Stuck, Grease Monkey, Merge, Design, Pull Up to the Light and Maker and Model, are about the love-hate relationship between modern humans and cars. "I have found many conflicting emotions about cars," writes the 20-year-old Morales. "The traffic, the high costs of ownership and insurance, and the negative perceptions of people who drive certain types of cars. But yet we love our cars--the speed, their necessity in today's world, and how typically American it is to own something so tied into status. In one way or another, these plays explore the friction between loving and hating the same thing." The show is performed, as a "stylized reading," at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 24; and the same time Friday, June 25; and Saturday, June 26, at the Prism Theatre, Rural and Terrace in Tempe. Admission is free. Call 480-965-8796 for more information.
Feng Shui authority Nancilee Wydra, who is said to be the most published American writer on the subject, conducts a seminar from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, June 24, at the Embassy Suites, 2577 West Greenway Road. Among the works of Wydra, who "integrates Western Social and Physical sciences into the ancient Eastern discipline of Feng Shui," are Feng Shui Goes to the Office and Designing Your Happiness. Tickets for her workshop are $39; call 1-888-780-7685 for tickets or additional information.
Three up-and-coming comics, Willie Barcena, Craig Robinson and Jean Pompa, perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 24; 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, June 25; the same times Saturday, June 26; and 8 p.m. Sunday, June 27, at the Tempe Improv Comedy Theater, 930 East University (at Cornerstone mall). Tickets are $10 and $12. 480-921-9877.
Chicago-born, Gary, Indiana-raised, Austin, Texas-based Gary Primich brings his vigorous, muscular harmonica sounds and growly vocals to the Valley for a two-night stand--9 p.m. Friday, June 25; and the same time Saturday, June 26--at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $5. 602-265-4842.
Local calypso ensemble Mango Mango; Greg "Fingers" Taylor, harmonica player for Jimmy Buffett; and Jerry Gontag of San Diego's KoKo Loco provide the entertainment at "Capt. Morgan's Parrot Bay Parrot Palooza!" held from 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 26, at the Waterin' Hole, 10635 North Ninth Street (located one block east of Seventh Street on Clinton Road, which is one block north of Peoria Avenue). The evening also includes a buffet, raffles, parrot-head-friendly vendors, and a silent auction, with proceeds benefiting United Phoenix Firefighters Children's Charities. Tickets are $25 and are available at Ticketmaster as well as at Tower Records, Wherehouse Records and Robinsons-May stores. 480-784-4444.
Author Janice Dennie, best known for the historical romances The Lion of Judah and Moon Goddess: The Queen of Sheba, appears from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 26, at Black Venus Elegant Art & Books, 4132 East McDowell. Call 602-225-0972 for more information.
Part of the Heard Museum's interactive experience "Cradles, Corn and Lizards," the ongoing "Saturdays at the Heard" program continues with a demonstration of paper-flower making in the Yaqui tradition by artist Sue Coronado. The group performs at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, June 26; and the same times Sunday, June 27. The demonstration is free with regular museum admission: $7, $6 for seniors, $3 for those ages 4 to 12, free for younger kids. 22 East Monte Vista. 602-252-8840.
Under the direction of noted choreographer Hodgie Jo, the Valley ballet/jazz/hip-hop/tap/acrobatic troupe Arizona Dance Incorporated performs a showcase at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 27, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. Admission is free; donations to the nonprofit Dance Theatre, Inc., will be accepted. Call 602-266-3470 for more information.
For safety's sake, and for a possible automobile insurance discount, mature drivers can take the two-day 55 Alive Driving Class on Monday, June 28; and Tuesday, June 29, at Glendale Main Library, 5959 West Brown. The refresher course starts at 9 a.m. both days. Tuition is $8; advance registration is required. Call 623-939-4171 for more information.
Cyndi Wynn directs a staged reading of Critical Mass at 7 p.m. Monday, June 28, at PlayWright's Theatre, 1121 North First Street, wrapping up the '99 Edge New Play Festival. Mark S.P. Turvin's play explores the life of "an ASU geophysicist and vulcanologist [who] goes into therapy to learn the roots of his uncontrolled rage, and discovers how much has remained below the surface of his life." Admission is $3. 602-253-5151.
Word junkies can get a fix at the weekly meetings of the Scrabble Club, at 6 p.m. Monday, June 28, at Bookstar, 1457 West Southern, Suite 20, in Mesa. Beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 30, the club will move to Star Distributing Company, 1911 North 22nd Avenue, for its Wednesday meetings. The fee to enter is $2; players of all levels are welcome. 480-730-5031, 480-649-1699, 602-258-1161.
Touring in front of their upcoming sophomore effort from TVT Records, Home, the Atlanta hard rockers of Sevendust perform on Tuesday, June 29, at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street, as part of the Vans Warped Tour '99. Also on the daylong bill, which starts at 1 p.m., are the likes of Black-Eyed Peas, Dropkick Murphys and Blink 182. Tickets are $24 in advance, $25 at the gate, plus a service charge. 602-267-1600 (Celeb), 480-503-5555 (Dillard's).
Authentic island eats and music are featured in the Taste of Hawaii culinary event from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 29, at Roy's of Scottsdale in the Scottsdale Seville Center, 7001 North Scottsdale Road. The $25-per-person cost includes a four-course meal (shared portion), along with food and wine demonstrations. Similar events are scheduled for Tuesday, July 27, and Tuesday, August 31. Call 480-905-1155 for reservations and more information.
The Valley of the Sun Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America treats a particularly provocative topic, "Lessons From Littleton: Communication Challenges in Our Communities and Schools," at this month's luncheon meeting at noon Wednesday, June 30, at Eddie Matney's Epicurean Trio, 2398 East Camelback, following registration at 11:30 a.m. The speakers are Phoenix Union High School District public relations director Jim Cummings; Washington Elementary School District director of community services Nedda Shafir; and Mesa Public School director of community relations Judi Willis. The cost is $23, $18 for society members, $13 for students. Call 602-258-7772 to register; RSVPs are needed by Monday, June 28.
Number 1 at the Korean box office in 1997, Jong Yoon-Hynn's The Contact, a drama about a lonely radio producer who, by nostalgically playing his ex-girlfriend's favorite song ("Pale Blue Eyes" by Velvet Underground), touches the life of another woman, is screened at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 30, at Harkins Cornerstone 6, Rural and University in Tempe. It's the first in a series of three Korean films to be shown at that venue--it's followed by Fly High Run Far at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 7; and by The Letter at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 14. Admission is $5. For details call 602-712-0955.