That ol' mountain music grandma and grandpa used to play? Kick it to the curb starting Friday, April 29, because the McDowell Mountain Music Festival, at WestWorld, 16601 North Pima Road in Scottsdale, is definitely more Beverly than Hillbilly. The first-day lineup includes Susan Tedeschi, Jerry Riopelle, and former Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts. The Saturday, April 30, schedule includes sets by soulman Soloman Burke, '80s popster turned jazzmaster Bruce Hornsby, and Big Head Todd and the Monsters -- as well as locals Hans Olson and MMMF founder Walt Richardson. With more than a dozen acts, arts and crafts booths, and a 200-person drum circle, there's no confusing the McDowells for the Smokies. Advance tickets are $33 for Friday's lineup, $38 for Saturday, or $65 for a weekend pass. Proceeds benefit local children's charities. See www.mmmf.net.
Think of local dance troupe Calo Flamenco's latest production as a prequel of sorts. After enjoying a "successful" debut season last year under the direction of Calo Flamenco founder Martin Gaxiola, the "nation's largest flamenco dance company" treats the audience at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue, on Saturday, April 30, to "Nacimiento" -- which means "birth, origin" -- with two shows at 2 and 7:30 p.m. And just when we thought prequels had become the new sequels. (We refuse, though, to stand in line for a month to see the last, er, third Star Wars flick!) Tickets are $28 to $36. Call 480-782-2680 or see www.martingaxiola.com.
If you were raised in a town of inbreds somewhere in the back hills of southern Indiana, congrats on making it this far. Now, suppose you were confined to a wheelchair and it gave the inbreds even more of a reason to be ignorant and lame. Still think you would've grown up to be the well-adjusted ex-hick you are today? Live this nightmare scenario via the eyes and sensitivity of Elizabeth, the polio-stricken heroine of And They Dance Real Slow in Jackson, which closes its run at the Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell Road, on Sunday, May 1. The play, written by Jim Leonard Jr., is a favorite of high schools and community colleges across the country -- not just for its gratuitous use of obscenities, but also for its life lessons, which help to mold the still-moldable minds of young adults. For the Phoenix Theatre cast -- which includes Jennifer Banda in the lead role, Kamala Kruska, Dion Johnson and Chris Vaglio -- it's all about delivering a "brilliantly conceived puzzle of interlocking scenes, which move back and forth in time, portraying an assortment of children [and] townspeople that finally fit together creating a touching mosaic of small town America." For tickets, $25 to $29, call 602-254-2151 or see www.phxtheatre.org.
Author Henry Wingfield published Imagine Art in 2004, and it quickly received rave reviews from school administrators, teachers, museums and galleries from all over the country. Now, it's up to gallerygoers at the Paper Heart, 750 Grand Avenue, to do just that -- imagine art, that is. Wingfield's book "simply demands the creative exploration of one's own imagination." On Monday, May 2, choose one of the pages from Wingfield's book, on display at the Paper Heart, and then draw -- "or photograph or sculpt or anything else you can imagine" -- whatever Wingfield's words visualize for you. Submit entries through May 31 ($20 per submission), to be displayed at Wingfield's book signing next month. Call 602-262-2020 or see www.thepaperheart.com.
Drive a Beemer for a buck? You betcha! And not even O.A.C.! So what's the catch? Well, you gotta -- eventually -- give it back. On Tuesday, May 3, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation hosts BMW's Ninth Annual Ultimate Drive, at Chapman BMW Camelback, 1144 East Camelback Road, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For every mile you drive, BMW will donate $1 to the Komen Foundation to raise money for cancer research. But if you're caught blaring "Hey Jealousy," donation's automatically doubled. Call 602-308-4269 or see www.komen.org.
"Fuck an inch/I'm bringin' a mile," wails Mudvayne singer Chad Gray on the band's song "Determined," from its newest CD, Lost and Found. A bit over the top? Only if you don't know Mudvayne -- Gray, guitarist Greg Tribbett, bassist Ryan Martinie, and drummer Matt McDonough -- who play the Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue in Tempe, on Wednesday, May 4. Chunky, thrashing guitars, pounding rhythms that challenge your heartbeat to a duel, and enough guttural screaming to frighten the animals at the nearby Phoenix Zoo . . . yeah, that's a Mudvayne show. After its stop in the Valley, the Peoria, Illinois, quartet heads to northern California and the Midwest before packing up for Ireland. Tickets are $26. Call 480-829-0707.