Bona fide show-biz legend Mickey Rooney plays the title role in The Wizard of Oz when a touring stage version of the L. Frank Baum tale comes to the Valley. Jo Anne Worley, the wild woman of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, plays that embodiment of Midwestern evil, the Wicked Witch of the West. Performances of this American native-wit classic are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 3; 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 4; noon, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 5; 1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 6; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 8; and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. Tickets, at Gammage or Dillard's, range from $22 to $45. The run continues through Sunday, June 13. 480-965-3434, 480-503-5555.
Philadelphia filmmaker Harold Boihem's The Ad and the Ego screens at 9 p.m. Thursday, June 3, at Modified, 407 East Roosevelt (Phoenix). The soundtrack to this documentary study of the pervasive effect of advertising on the modern psyche is by the experimental band Negativland. Mark Hosler from the band is scheduled to be present for the screening, and will answer questions afterward. Admission is $5. Call 602-252-7664 for more information.
Opening this weekend is Dirty Secrets, a suspense play about a monogamous gay couple whose relationship is disrupted by a houseguest. The playwright, Joe Marshall, also appears as the interloper. Matthew Cary directs the Alternative Theatre Co. production. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 3; the same time Friday, June 4; and Saturday, June 5; and 7 p.m. Sunday, June 6, at On the Spot Theater, 4700 North Central. Tickets are $15; reservations are recommended. The run continues through Sunday, June 27. 623-934-0979.
The Shakespeare Company mounts The Tempest, Shakespeare's glorious romantic fantasy of gods and monsters and a deposed duke who has become a "white magician" on a desert island. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 3; the same time Friday, June 4; and Saturday, June 5; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 6, at the Cactus High School Auditorium, located at 6330 West Greenway Road in Glendale. Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $10 for juniors and seniors. Tickets are available at the door and through Dillard's. The run continues through Sunday, June 13. 480-503-5555.
Paintings by Judith Walsh, student works from Metro Arts Academy and pieces from the Boys and Girls Club all open with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 4, at MARS Artspace, along with a MARS Group Exhibition; they continue through Saturday, June 26, at 126 South Central, in the Luhrs building. 602-253-3541.
The Ramada Valley Ho Resort, 6850 East Main in Scottsdale, hosts the weekly "Fabulous '50s" Celebration, which includes live '50s music by Sea of Love, dancing, and a display of vintage cars of that era, on Friday, June 4; and Saturday, June 5; and each subsequent Friday and Saturday through Saturday, September 4. Food is available at "'50s prices" during happy hour (5 to 7 p.m.); Sea of Love performs starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free. 480-945-6321.
In the grand tradition of celebrity appearances at store openings, the Jack Russell terrier known as Moose to his friends but as Eddie to legions of fans of the sitcom Frasier comes to the Valley to give the newest PETsMART store, at 10825 North Tatum in Paradise Valley, a spectacular debut. The noble beast and his trainer are scheduled to be in the store from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 5. Admission is free. Call 602-580-6100 for more information.
Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) is the beneficiary of a gala concert by Al Jarreau on Saturday, June 5, at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., after a silent auction and reception at 6 p.m.; a VIP party for sponsors follows the show. Tickets range from $150 to $300 per person, and are available by calling CASS at 602-256-6945.
My favorite current blues singer, the Bay Area's great, lewd diva E.C. Scott, returns to the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School, at 9 p.m. Saturday, June 5, to show off her powerful, authoritatively lusty voice. The cover is $6. 602-265-4842.
The Irish band Bagatelle plays at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 6, at the Dubliner Irish Pub, 3841 East Thunderbird. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 21-and-older (unless accompanied by parent or spouse of legal age) show. Tickets, available at the Dubliner and at The Irish Gift House (1335 West University in Tempe), are $15. 602-867-0984 (Dubliner), 480-731-9755 (Irish Gift House).
Billed as the "largest bridal show in the Southwest," the Bridal Fashion Debut is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 6, at the Phoenix Civic Plaza Ballroom, Second Street and Adams. The blessed event, showcasing all things nuptial, features more than 200 wedding merchants and many prize and coupon giveaways. 602-451-9723.
Retro band Flashback opens the 1999 season of Tempe's Concerts in the Park with a show of oldies at 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 7, on the southwest side of the lake at Kiwanis Park, Mill Avenue and All-America Way. Admission is free. The series continues through Monday, July 12. Call 480-898-5665 for more information.
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"Call us hillbilly jazz, traditional country, ragtime, Tin Pan Alley, and vaudeville. Just don't call us swing!" So requests the 10-piece, all-acoustic jazz-blues-country-gospel-novelty outfit that performs under the not-inapt title The Asylum Street Spankers and has won the Austin Music Awards' "Best None of the Above" category three times. They're an indefinable and marvelous ensemble--sort of a lewd yet folksy version of Spike Jones' City Slickers--and Christina Marrs' vocals are an amazing mixture of gut, soul and cheeked tongue. Touring behind their Cold Spring CD Hot Lunch, the Spankers take the stage at 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 8, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. There's a $5 cover. 602-265-4842.
Works by Scottsdale-based photographer Dorothy Robin Martin, large-scale installation artist Carolanne Patterson of Brooklyn, New York, and painter Linda Murray of Abilene, Texas, are among those on display when Galeria Mesa hosts "The Natural World," a national juried exhibition of pieces, in media ranging from textiles to printmaking to ceramics to book arts, inspired by "the images, materials and forms of the natural world with themes from celebration to subjugation." The show opens on Tuesday, June 8, and continues through Saturday, July 10, at Mesa Arts Center, 155 North Center. Hours: noon to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. A reception is slated for Friday, June 11, with goodies and music by sax man Jerry Donato. 480-644-2056.
Also on the gallery beat: Shemer Art Center and Museum presents "Shutter to Think," a juried exhibition of contemporary photography featuring such Arizona shutterbugs as Tony Berardi, Thomas Blaney, Pam Deutschman, Karen Hymer-Thompson, Denise Kramer, Wayne Rainey, Brian Skaggs, Marilyn Szabo and Chandon Thorell. It opens with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 8, and continues through Friday, July 2. Sculptures by Larry McLaughlin continue indefinitely on the museum grounds. The mission-style facility, a former residence, was built between 1919 and 1928. Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. 5005 East Camelback. 602-262-4727.
Yeah, June's here, all right, hence the Wedding Planning Workshop, a seminar offered at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, at the North Central Regional Library, 17811 North 32nd Street. Kim M. Horn, a bridal consultant and publisher of the Bridal Source Guide, is the presenter. Admission is free, but an RSVP, preferably by Tuesday, June 8, is required. Call 602-506-1634 for more information.