This Week's Day-by-day Picks

THU 21
You don't get to be Rusty Wallace -- with 55 NASCAR Cup career wins in more than 20 years -- without being über-competitive. So just because Wallace won't actually be behind the wheel of his quarter-scale, remote-controlled stock car at the MiniFASTCAR Challenge on Thursday, April 21, he's likely to go ballistic if you try to drift or bump his 48-inch, gas-powered MiniFASTCAR for an edge. But try you may, starting at 8 p.m. at the F1 Racing Factory, 317 South 48th Street, where three groups of five challengers each will race against Rusty for autographed merchandise presented by Wallace himself. From a "remote driving station," racers control their cars with a wireless LAN computer inside the car, and an in-car camera that gives you "live action video feed." So forget that it's for charity -- Speedway Children's Charities, that is. A man's pride is at stake here. Races start at $15 each. Call 602-302-7223 or see www.minifastcar.com.

FRI 22
Once in a while, we gotta put our love for the female form on the back burner to make space for the occasional ode to male exploitation. So -- in doin' it for the ladies this week -- Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street, presents "The Main Event: Ultimate Ladies Night Out" on Friday, April 22, starting at 6 p.m. See abs aplenty, butt cheeks flexed, and tallywackers swaying to and fro at the "biggest exotic male revue ever in Arizona." (And by biggest, well, let's just say that size does matter.) The revue features 11 acts from around the country, including the Chocolate Hit Squad, the Atlanta Hot Boyz, the Men of Playgirl, Houston's Men of LaBare, and emcees Mr. Luscious and Phoenix's own Playboy Kaz. Show is 18-and-over only, 21-and-over to drink. Tickets are $10 to $30. Call 602-267-1600 or see www.celebritytheatre.com.

SAT 23
We'll have to think -- and see -- real fast on Saturday, April 23, when we pay a visit to the Arizona Asian Festival at Heritage & Science Park, 115 North Sixth Street, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. More than 100 performers will appear throughout the day -- including Phoenix Taiko kai Japanese Drumming, the Hsin Tao Yuan Puppet Show from Taiwan, Ken Koshio's "Japanese Folk Rock 'n' Roll Show," and music from "Arizona Filipino Idol" Jason Isidero -- in 10 to 20 minute intervals. Hardly enough time for us to devour all there is of Asian culture. So we'll take in the cuisine of Cambodia, Thailand, Korea, China and India to fill us up. Admission to the festival is free. Call 602-307-0050 or see www.aaaa-az.org/festival.htm.

SUN 24
Since October 2004, Bond -- James Bond -- has been our man. But on Sunday, April 24, 007 and all his gadgets, gizmos and martini shakers bid adieu to the Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street, after one final hurrah for "Bond. James Bond. The Exhibition," from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. After that, the show's blend of science, art and action -- spanning all 20 Bond films -- heads east to the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore for an October 2005 opening. So live, or let it die. Admission to the ASC is $9 for adults and $7 for kids and seniors, plus an additional $6.50 to see Bond. Call 602-716-2000 or see www.azscience.org.

MON 25
Dena Johnson Flatgard might not be moving, but the house she built inside Thought Crime Gallery is. Well, actually, it's being deconstructed after the final day of the installation's exhibition, Monday, April 25. Inside the door of the 8-by-12-foot "Vanishing House" -- built from the ground up inside the gallery -- visitors will see dozens of pieces of artwork Flatgard has created, including photos, paintings, mixed-media works, and tiny handmade pieces. The Victorian style of artwork has been one of the most popular exhibitions at Thought Crime -- 1019 North Central Avenue -- since opening at the end of March. Admission is free. Call 602-254-6397.

TUE 26
Our best inspiration arrives on the toilet. But for grand plans and idealism at its best, we plant ourselves at the park. And we're not the only ones. On Tuesday, April 26, the organizers of Poetry in the Park celebrate their 15th anniversary of rhymin' and profilin' at the friendly confines otherwise known as the Historic Boathouse behind the Encanto Park Clubhouse, 2605 North 15th Avenue. Beginning at 7 p.m., PITP features "senior poet and bard" Lee R. Ballard (a former Phoenix Poet of the Year) and "long-respected" Valley poet Sallea. Poetic novices and introverts are invited to join the festivities as well, and encouraged to bring notebooks of their writings to share with other poets and storytellers. Admission is free. Call 602-942-3060.

WED 27
When the shrink diagnoses your obsession with butt plugs, you whimper and struggle to get past the first stage of denial. But when Dr. Steve Atwood breaks the news, you bend over and say, "Thank you, sir. May I have another?" Or you do whatever the good doctor/comedic hypnotist tells you to do, bitch. On Wednesday, April 27, Atwood performs at The Sets, 93 East Southern Avenue in Tempe. The former "counseling psychologist" now "uses hilarious hypnotic stage performances to educate, amaze and delight audiences nationwide." But sadly, our little setup isn't likely to make Atwood's grade. The "clean" comic hypnotizes his subjects and then sends them out on "exciting adventures without embarrassment to anyone." Where's the fun in that? Well, check it out and see for yourself. (Let's just say that we've got our own Jedi mind tricks at our disposal, and we ain't afraid to use 'em, doc.) Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 the day of the show. Call 602-953-2728.

 
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