This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, November 20
Arizona Opera performs a new addition to its repertoire beginning Thursday, November 20: The Mikado, Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta about the comically complicated love lives of Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum. The two frolic in the fictional village of Titti-Pu, made delightfully real thanks to sets created by Don Carson, the lead designer in Disneyland's Toontown. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 20, through Saturday, November 22, and 2 p.m. Sunday, November 23, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Tickets are $30 to $115, and can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 480-784-4444. Kids Pak tickets are half-price, and include a commemorative poster and an interactive CD-ROM.

Friday, November 21
Men, get out your slickest sharkskin suits. And ladies, find your favorite cocktail dresses. You're not headed to the Apollo Theater, you're on your way to ShowTime at the Herberger, a swanky, cabaret-style event boasting the best of Motown and Philadelphia sounds on Friday, November 21. Keith Bell emcees the performance featuring jazz notable Dennis Rowland with special guests Diana Lee, Patti Williams, Anita B., Stan Devereaux, George Bowman and Phil Hendricks. The night starts at 6 p.m. with a silent auction, music from Touch of Jazz and drinks from a Motown Martini bar; the show starts at 8 p.m. at the Herberger, 222 East Monroe. Ticket prices start at $40; the $125 cabaret seats include dinner. For additional information, call 602-254-7399, extension 105, or visit www.herbergertheater.org.

Saturday, November 22
What the hell is this, Russia? Nope -- not as long as Larry the Cable Guy has his NRA membership, an American flag and some decent porn. The rowdy redneck comedian is so darn popular that he's doing three local performances with Ron White as part of his "Rough Around the Collar Tour": at 5 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, November 22. All-ages tickets, $27.50, are available from Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or 480-784-4444. Celebrity Theatre is located at 440 North 32nd Street; parking is $5.

Stimulate your senses with art, audio and alcohol from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, November 22, at An Evening at the Icehouse, a fund raiser to benefit Danner Arts and the Begin Again Foundation, which promotes arts programs. View and bid on works from more than 25 local photographers, including Ken Ross, Dave Siegel, Richard Petrillo and John Wagner; the evening's silent auction also includes salon services and dinners for two. Have a drink and nibble on hors d'oeuvres while enjoying the entertainment lineup, which features live music, including country pop from Paige Danner, and a runway show with trendy women's fashions from CAKE, Jennifer Croll, Nouvelle Armoire and Carmen S. Admission, open to ages 18 and up, is $15 at the Icehouse, located at 429 West Jackson. To find out more, call 602-510-2077.

Sunday, November 23
Frank Ferrante, an award-winning PBS star, performs jokes, songs and dances as wisecracking wonder Groucho Marx in the one-man musical comedy An Evening With Groucho, a special production to benefit the Scottsdale Community Players, Greasepaint Youtheatre and Theater Works. Joined by accompanist Jim Fumston, Ferrante channels the late legend for three performances only, at 8 p.m. Friday, November 21, and 2 p.m. Sunday, November 23, at 7020 East Second Street in Scottsdale; and 8 p.m. Saturday, November 22, at Westbrook Village Recreation Center, 11825 Country Club Parkway in Peoria. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling 480-990-7405 for the Friday and Sunday shows, or by calling 623-815-7930 for the Saturday show.

Sure, you could head to the mall to do a little early Christmas shopping, or you could find something one-of-a-kind at the 10th annual ArtFest of Scottsdale, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, November 22, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, November 23. In addition to paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and furniture from more than 200 artists, the outdoor event offers live music, food, and kid-friendly activities. Admission and parking are free at the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza, 7380 East Second Street in Scottsdale. For details visit www.artfest.com or call 1-888-278-3378.

Monday, November 24
Ever read a good piece of fiction and wonder what books inspired its author? Apparently the folks at Changing Hands have, because their Community Talking About Books series brings in writers every month to share thoughts on the works that impress them. On Monday, November 24, distinguished novelist and ASU Creative Writing professor Jewell Parker Rhodes conducts a discussion of one of her own favorites, Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free at Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 South McClintock in Tempe. To find out more, call 480-730-0205.

Tuesday, November 25
From the streets and highways crisscrossing our urban landscapes and the power lines linking our homes to the intricate web of nerves in our bodies, artist and eye lounge member Jennifer Urso is fascinated with the idea of connection, in both its simplest and most complex forms. Her latest solo show, "what you see when you're looking," features abstract, two-dimensional pieces that combine pencil and acrylics with fabric and photo transfer, as well as some interactive sculptural works. See Urso's exhibition through December 28 at Burton Barr Central Library's @Central Gallery, 1221 North Central. For information call 602-256-3521.

Wednesday, November 26
Expect a rowdy, beer-swilling bunch -- and we're just talking about the band members -- on Wednesday, November 26, when Flathead, beloved purveyors of music for truck-drivin' son-of-a-guns and punks who love country, headlines a lineup that includes hard-rockin' Black Sabbath spawn Steppchild, psychobilly crypt crawlers Grave Danger, ski-mask-wearing garage trash trio Thee Oh-No's, hillbilly-glam songstress Heather Rae and Her Moonshine Boys, The Shifters, Dammit Jim, and outlaw country band Cheetah Palomina. Admission to the all-ages show is only $6 at the Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill in Tempe. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the concert starts at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.nipp.com or call 480-829-0607.

 
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