This Week's Day-by-day Picks

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12
Downtown denizens and regular readers of Night & Day are surely familiar with No Festival Required, an eclectic monthly showcase of experimental short film and video work by independent local and national directors. Since June 2002 -- has it really been that long? -- Modified Arts has served as the event's home base. And while that continues to be the case, No Fes is expanding its cinematic empire by partnering with the Phoenix Art Museum for a special event, "Selections From the Collection of No Festival Required,"on Thursday, February 12. Devoted organizer Steve Weiss has selected 11 audience favorites from among the more than 150 films that have been featured since the inaugural screening; from humorous to artsy to dramatic, the selections offer both a satisfying taste of No Fes to new audiences and a refresher to longtime attendees. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. for the 7 p.m. screening in Whiteman Hall at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central. Admission is $6, for mature audiences only. Visit www.candidlandscapes.com/nofes/ for more information.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13
Good things come in threes, so that must mean that "Hospice Rocks", a live music benefit for Hospice of the Valley, is better than ever. No longer limited to a single evening, the fourth annual event features 24 local bands over three head-bangin' nights. Headlining acts are Fred Green on Friday, February 13, Blanche Davidian on Saturday, February 14, and G.O.Z. on Sunday, February 15. Doors open at 5:30 nightly, and the music starts at 6 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door, or $25 in advance for all three nights at Hollywood Alley, 2610 West Baseline in Mesa. To find out more, visit www.hospicerocks.com or call 480-329-3969.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14
The rocky road of romance is littered with the casualties of a war zone. ("Love is a battlefield." "You pull the trigger of my love gun." "Shot through the heart, and you're to blame." "You dropped a bomb on me, baby." "Hit me with your best shot -- fire away.") So it's strangely appropriate, then, to take your Valentine on a really smokin' date to see the Arizona Gunfighters' re-creation of the famous gunfight in Tombstone, near the O.K. Corral. The showdown at Rockin' R Ranch in Mesa on Saturday, February 14, commemorates the 92nd anniversary of Arizona statehood in true Wild West tradition -- with a cowboy dinner, music and comedy from the Rockin' R Wranglers, and an action-packed shoot-out. The ranch, located at 6136 East Baseline in Mesa, opens at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $25 for adults, $23 for seniors and $13 for children. For reservations, call 480-986-1800 or 480-832-1539.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15
If all the commotion around Scottsdale this weekend has you wondering, "Where's the party?" then the answer depends on what you're looking for. If you're in the mood for a traditional arts festival -- wandering the booths, munching on homemade food, catching some live music -- then stop by the ArtFest of 5th Ave., held along Fifth Avenue between Goldwater Boulevard and Scottsdale Road. Festivities run Friday, February 13, through Sunday, February 15. Call 1-888-278-3378 for details. If all of the above sounds great but you have a sweet tooth, try the Scottsdale Fine Art & Chocolate Festival, which features more than 20 chocolate vendors along with more than 180 artists. Everything happens Friday through Sunday at the Scottsdale Pavilions, located at Indian Bend and the 101. Admission is $2 for adults, free for kids 17 and younger. For information, call 480-837-5637. And for lovers of Native American art, visit the Scottsdale Indian Artists of America Show, held on the grounds of Scottsdale Center for the Arts on Saturday and Sunday. Along with the work of more than 100 artists, the event boasts food, music, fashion and even live birds of prey. Admission is $8 for adults and free for kids younger than 12. Call 480-994-2787 to find out more.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16
With 52 years as a recording artist under his belt, Grammy nominee Freddy Cole has certainly had an ambitious musical career. Now 72, the vocalist and pianist is about to embark on yet another world tour. But the secret to Cole's success isn't merely hard work. It's the added blessing of good genes (he's Nat "King" Cole's youngest brother) and a remarkable upbringing (not only was his mother the choir director at the family's Chicago church, but his brother's houseguests included jazz legends such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Lionel Hampton). On Monday, February 16 -- in honor of Presidents Day and Black History Month -- the suave, smoky-voiced Cole performs with Jerry Byrd on guitar, Zack Pride on bass, and Curtis Boyd on drums at ASU's Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Showtimes are 3 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30, available from the box office, 480-596-2660, or Ticketmaster, 480-784-4444. Discounts are available for students age 18 and younger, as well as members of Jazz in AZ, Arizona Classic Jazz Society, Ragtyme Jazztyme Society and Phoenix Blues Society.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17
In spite of the razzle-dazzling, Academy Award-winning film version of Chicago, there's still no sizzle like that of the live stage version, especially when the cast comes straight from the Broadway production, the Great White Way's longest-running revival. Now pushing 30 years old, the creation of John Kander, Fred Ebb and the late Bob Fosse stays fresh thanks to its scandalous story line, about two showgirls turned murderers and the lawyer who shapes them into celebrities. Produced, directed and choreographed by a team of Tony Award winners, the production opens Tuesday, February 17, at 7:30 p.m. Performances continue through February 22 at the Dodge Theatre, 400 West Washington. Tickets are $28 to $68, and can be purchased from the box office or through Ticketmaster, 480-784-4444 or www.ticketmaster.com.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18
You'll find plenty of weekend farmers' markets around the Valley. But where do you go when you need your fix of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables in the middle of the week? Head downtown to the Patriots Square Marketplace, held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday, through April 28. Besides produce, you'll also find homemade foods, baked goods and arts and crafts. There's even free entertainment at noon, offered as part of the city's Sights and Sounds concert series. Patriots Square is located at the intersection of Central and Washington. For more information, call 623-848-1234.

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