A veteran of The Tonight Show, HBO and Comedy Central, comic Evan Davis takes the stage at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 22; 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, July 23; the same times Saturday, July 24; and 8 p.m. Sunday, July 25, at the Tempe Improv Comedy Theater, 930 East University (at Cornerstone mall). Call 480-921-9877.
More standup: D.L. Hughley, star of the sitcom The Hughleys, performs on Friday, July 23, at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. David Raibon shares the bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $27, $32.50 and $37.50. Call 602-267-1600 (Celeb) or 480-503-5555 (Dillard's).
For its inaugural performance, the Arizona Camerata Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble devoted to smaller-orchestra works, plays Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G minor and Symphony No. 17 in E flat major, the Adagietto from Mahler's Symphony No. 5 for strings and harp, and Dvorak's Serenade for Winds, among other works. Founder and music director Mark Perlman conducts the concert, slated for 8 p.m. Friday, July 23, at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 800 West Ray in Chandler (just east of Alma School Road). Admission is free. For details call 480-785-9668.
Performance coach Ken Ready, creator of the motivational audio tape Smashing Out of the Comfort Zone, hosts a "mini-seminar" on financial "abundance" at 7 p.m. Friday, July 23, at Borders/Chandler. Admission is free. 870 North 54th Street. 480-961-4915.
The phrase Cantos Paralelos translates as "parallel songs." It's the title of the new exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum, where it's paired with the subtitle "Visual Parody in Contemporary Argentine Art." The featured works, from the period of 1960 to 1997, are those that employ parody in the broader aesthetic sense of the term--not only humor but "counter-discourse"--in response to the political and social travails that the country has faced since the collapse of the Peron government in 1955. The artists in the touring show, which is coming to Phoenix and to only one other North American venue, include Luis Benedit, Antonio Berni, Jorge de la Vega, Juan Carlos Distefano, Leon Ferrari, Victor Grippo, Alberto Heredia, Ruben Santanonin and Pablo Suarez. The show opens on Saturday, July 24, and continues through Sunday, September 26. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays (to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays); closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission: $6, $4 for students and seniors, $2 for children ages 6 to 18, free for younger kids and members; entry is free to all on Thursdays. 1625 North Central. 602-257-1880, 602-257-1222.
Arcosanti, Paolo Soleri's holistic/futuristic architectural work-in-perpetual-progress in the high desert, hosts a concert by the avant-garde percussionist William Hooker, along with some other musical and performance artists from the Knitting Factory in New York, on Saturday, July 24. Showtime is 8 p.m. at the facility's Colly Soleri Music Center; an optional dinner precedes at 6:30. Arcosanti is located off I-17 at Cordes Junction, near the town of Mayer, about 70 miles north of Phoenix. Tickets are $12.50, $25 for the meal and the show. Reservations are required for dinner; call 1-520-632-7135.
A bit farther north: Athletic demonstrations, dancing, bagpipes, food and drink and other fun are on the agenda of the Arizona Highland Celtic Festival, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 24, at Wheeler Park, Humphreys Street and Aspen Avenue in Flagstaff. Admission to this second annual "pan-Celtic" fest, which celebrates the cultures and people of Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales, is $5, $2 for those 12 and younger. No pets are allowed. Call 1-520-779-3817 for more information.
There's no denying that Los Straitjackets comes off a bit frivolous and gimmicky at first glance--the members wear Mexican wrestling masks onstage, and the band's debt to the likes of Link Wray and Ray Coniff is self-consciously peculiar--but there's also no denying the serious talent to be found under the happy-surfer surface. They perform Saturday, July 24, at The Green Room, 560 South College in Tempe. The Bomboras share the 21-and-older bill. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $8. For details call 480-968-9190.
The National Kidney Foundation presents an Organ Donation Program, in which medical and bereavement professionals, along with organ recipients and the families of organ donors, explore the issues raised by the subject. It's scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 24, at the Radisson Resort Scottsdale, 7171 North Scottsdale Road. The cost is $10. For more information, call 1-800-622-9010.
Male Interview, On-stage Interview, Creative Fashion, Evening Gown and Talent are the five categories in which female impersonators will compete in the Miss Gay Phoenix-America 1999 Pageant, slated for 7 p.m. Sunday, July 25, at Quality Hotel and Resort, located at Second Avenue and Osborn. The evening, a preliminary event in the Miss Gay America pageant system--said to be "the most prestigious crown in competitive female impersonation"--will feature performances by past title-holders such as Celia Putty, Pussy LeHoot, Barbra Seville and Virginia Sacrifice. A portion of the evening's proceeds benefits AIDS Project Arizona. Call 602-266-6927 for additional information.