Little girls love their fairy tales of Prince Charmings, glass slippers and magic wands. But Erin Smith wasn't a typical little girl. When her elementary school teachers wanted her to read "Cinderella," she read the "twisted" version from Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes instead. Now 17, the senior at Phoenix's Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center charter high school will put her love for the kooky, wicked and offbeat on display at Bookman's, 1056 South Country Club in Mesa, for its "March Madness" all-day event on Saturday, March 26, where she'll read six poems from Revolting Rhymes, including her favorite, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," in which said dwarfs have a gambling problem -- that pays off. "I went to an open-mic night at Bookman's about a month ago, and apparently they liked it so much that they invited me back," Smith says.
As part of the "March Madness" festivities -- which include a silent auction, a performance by East Valley Children's Theatre, a belly-dancing show, Celtic musicians, free food, and live music from Traveler -- Smith will dress up as "a dream fairy, with lots of black and sparklies, and I have wings. Oh, it'll be fun!"
"March Madness" begins at 11 a.m. and continues through 9 p.m. See www.bookmans.com or call 480-835-0505. -- Joe Watson
Copper Squre series screens road picture
They had college degrees in hand, yet the 20-somethings in the documentary film The Journey sought out Henry Winkler and a few other "influential celebrities and average Americans" to find out the meaning of life. See the flick for free on Friday, March 25, at 8 p.m. when the Copper Square Film Series screens it at the Phoenix Seed & Feed Building on Second Street between Jackson and Buchanan streets. Call 602-254-8696. -- Joe Watson
Big names work the runway at Ebony Fashion Fair
Keepers of LabelHorde, watch your backs: Some big-name fashion mavens are coming to town. Designs by Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, and Givenchy (to name a few) will grace Phoenix runways when the 47th annual Ebony Fashion Fair comes to the Hyatt Regency Downtown, 122 North Second Street, on Saturday, March 26. The show, which is making its third Valley run this spring, is sponsored by the Delta Beta Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., through the chapter's AKARama Foundation. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with complimentary eats before runway time at 8 p.m. Local DJ Dark Vader will spin after the show. Tickets are $50; proceeds go toward college scholarships. Call 480-614-1551.
Doc film premières at ASU
Some flock to downtown Phoenix hoping art and hip nightspots will inject a little craziness in their staid lives, while others go urban to escape madness at home. The latter group is the subject of ASU art professor Muriel Magenta's video documentary 28 Women -- A Chance for Independence. The film focuses on the single mothers and their families who flee abusive relationships or drug dependence to temporarily call the YWCA Haven House shelter their home. Not content to simply produce a documentary, Magenta and her graduate students assisted the families on the road to self-sufficiency by helping develop their communication and computer skills over the three-year filming period. The documentary's free première screening is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at the Galvin Playhouse, located on the ASU campus at 10th Street and Mill in Tempe. See herberger.asu.edu or call 480-965-6447. -- Douglas Towne
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Hatfield snubs a feud for thought
Visitors to Scottsdale's Lynne Fine Art who expect Rodney Hatfield's works to exemplify a man with a legendary grudge are like kids on a playground rooting for a fight that doesn't exist. "I think he kind of left all that behind him," Lynne's Nancy Boshers says about Hatfield, a descendant of the West Virginia clan that feuded more than a century ago with the McCoys of Kentucky. "His art is more 'outsider' as opposed to 'hillbilly.' Rodney will paint ordinary moments in a way that's extraordinary." Hatfield, who counts actor Gene Hackman as one of his more notable collectors, will have his new works displayed at Lynne Fine Art, 7051 East Fifth Avenue in Scottsdale, beginning with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 24, through April 28. Much of the work is influenced by "faith healers, religious mystics, musicians and animals." Call 480-941-1517. -- Joe Watson
Within the Wines
Art is a matter of tasting
William Shakespeare wrote, in Othello, "Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used." We think the Bard would agree that vino will make a keen-o social lubricant at the first annual Fountain Hills Fine Art and Wine Affaire, Friday, March 25, to Sunday, March 27. After all, attendees at the weekend-long fete will get a chance to talk it up with 150 juried artists who'll be showing off more than 4,000 original pieces of artwork from a variety of media, including paintings, ceramics, jewelry, and sculpture. And in order to get those conversation juices flowing, a vast selection of domestic and imported wines will be available for tasting at the event, located along Avenue of the Fountains from Verde River Drive to La Montana Drive. Those who wish to imbibe can purchase tasting tickets and an engraved souvenir wineglass for $10. The corks pop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is $2. See www.thunderbirdartists.com or call 480-837-5637. -- Benjamin Leatherman