In this age of global terrorism and culture wars, we find ourselves yearning for a simpler time: the days of nukes, the Iron Curtain, and the Space Race, i.e., the Cold War. How apropos that we find an homage to the era at the Icehouse, 429 West Jackson Street, where Mary Bates Neubauer hosts "Melting Point: A Cold War Flash Forward" on Friday, May 13. The show features sculptural work from Arizona State University MSA students and alums, a screening of Neubauer's film Solar, and a fashion show, hosted by Galina, of 1970s and '80s threads. "Melting Point" -- which "reflects upon" how the aforementioned influenced "through six decades, our lives, the art we create, and our sense of security in a complex world" -- comes down at the end of the night to make way for Swell's "Acid Reign" party on Saturday. So be sure to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to request time to see the show from 8 to 11 p.m. Call 602-257-8929 or see www.icehouseaz.com.
We're back off the wagon after Casino Arizona's Talking Stick poker room cleaned us out a few weeks back. And we're feelin' lucky. So much so that we're ponying up at Poker Saturdays at Old Chicago, 530 West Broadway Road in Tempe, on May 14, where the joint hosts Texas Hold'em tournaments -- and gives the points leader a shot at a seat in the World Series of Poker next month in Las Vegas. Two matches begin at 7 and 10 p.m., with registration scheduled an hour before each match. Admission is free. Call 480-921-9431.
Life in Queen Creek is the pits. And -- this weekend, at least -- that's a good thing, when Schnepf Farms, 24810 Rittenhouse Road, hosts the 10th Annual Queen Creek Peach Festival, which runs through Sunday, May 15. From 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors and peach-fuzz fiends enjoy peach sampling, chef demos -- including fixin's for peach cobblers, peach cinnamon rolls, peach muffins and even tamales -- honeybee rides, a "Li'l Farmers Play Yard," and a giant inflatable water slide. And don't fret over puky pesticides spoiling the peachy experience; all of Schnepf Farms' peaches are organic. Admission is $5 for adults and seniors, and $7 for kids 3 to 12, and includes everything but "U-Pick" peaches ($1 a pound), breakfast, food and train rides. See www.peachfestival.net.
Despite the recent kafuffle over American Idol, we're still fervent fans of Fox's reality juggernaut and its crooning contestants. Heck, last November we were first in line outside the stage door of the Dodge Theatre, 400 West Washington Street, to get Clay Aiken's autograph. So it's a safe bet we'll be turning out to see the original Idol, Kelly Clarkson, who performs at the downtown venue on Monday, May 16. While Breakaway, her second major album, ain't rocking the Billboard charts like her 2003 debut disc, Thankful, we'll be breathlessly awaiting the Fort Worth cutie pie's show. After all, we've been waiting a long time for "A Moment Like This." Special guest the Graham Colton Band opens the show, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $36.50. Call 602-379-2888 or see www.dodgetheatre.com.
Whichever ghastly gent did sultry songstress Bernadette Seacrest wrong has surely got a beatin' a-comin' to him, either by us or by someone else out to avenge the honor of the bluesy and ballsy siren. Whenever this tattooed temptress sings tempestuous torch songs about lovers who "couldn't keep the faith," or croons classic covers like Mama Cass' "Dream a Little Dream of Me," this quirky Albuquerque chanteuse makes us want to do wild things, possibly when she visits the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School Road, along with her backup band, the Yes Men, on Tuesday, May 17. Kenny Love and His Cyno-Glides open the show at 9 p.m. Admission is $4. Call 602-265-4842 or see www.rhythmroom.com.
It's kinda hard to get inside the head of local playwright Chris Danowski sometimes. Sure, we understand his creative spirit and all that, but when he presents -- through his Theatre In My Basement troupe -- titles like Dad Dead Tree and 911: Operation My Big Hands, we sometimes leave the productions scratching our heads. But in addition to having our brains bent by what we've just witnessed, we're also thoroughly entertained. Such should be the case with Tiny Tina's Playhouse, TIMB's latest offering, which goes down on Wednesday, May 18, at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street. Danowski and company will stage a night filled with constant consternation and entertainment, as they present a series of new works from ASU theater students, "taking the matrix back from the Man and giving the power to the people." Whatever you say, Chris. Call 602-462-5516 or see www.timb.org.