Arizona Opera opens its season with Lucia Di Lammermoor, Donizetti's unforgettable, baleful 1835 tragedy of madness, murder and forced marriage--in reverse order--based on Sir Walter Scott's 1819 novel The Bride of Lammermoor. Performances, in Italian with English surtitles, are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 15; 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 16; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 17; and 2 p.m. Sunday, October 18, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Tickets range from $15 to $61, available at the opera's box office. 266-7464.
For singers willing to work without the benefit of a cushy orchestra, check out Avenue X, an "a cappella musical" set in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn in the early '60s. Director Wanda McHatton makes her debut with Black Theatre Troupe on this, the premier show of their 1998-99 season. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, October 15; 8 p.m. Friday, October 16; 8 p.m. Saturday, October 17; and 3 p.m. Sunday, October 18, at Helen K. Mason Center for the Performing Arts, 333 East Portland. Tickets range from $14 to $16. The run continues through Sunday, November 1. 258-8128.
Or, if singing isn't your bag, perhaps you'd prefer dancing. Three favorite dance films of the post-Fred-and-Ginger era are the attractions at "See You at the Movies." The evening, proceeds from which benefit the Fresh Start Women's Foundation, kicks off at 6 p.m. Thursday, October 15, at Harkins Camelview 5, located on Goldwater Boulevard north of Camelback in Scottsdale, three screens of which are to be set aside for showings of Grease, Dirty Dancing and Cabaret. The films are preceded by cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, movie-themed prizes and a silent auction. A party follows the flicks at Coco Pazzo. Tickets are $75; call 594-6735.
Galeria Mesa hosts "Generations," an exhibition of works "by generations within families." A reception, featuring music by Jeffrey Armen on the archaic instrument known as the oud, is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, October 16; the show continues through Saturday, November 14. Regular hours are noon to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Mesa Arts Center, 155 North Center. 644-2056.
After checking out the art show, you can walk down the hall to see Tuck Everlasting, the season-opener for Mesa Youtheatre. Mark Frattaroli adapted the play, recommended for kids ages 9 and older, from a much-loved novel by Natalie Babbitt about a family with a mysterious supernatural condition. If somebody ever made a porno version, imagine the titles they could give it. Opening performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 16; 4:30 p.m. Saturday, October 17; and 2 p.m. Sunday, October 18, at Mesa Youtheatre, located at Mesa Arts Center. Tickets are $7, $5 for those under 18; the run continues through Sunday, November 1. 155 North Center. 644-2560.
More theater: Ethington Theatre at Grand Canyon University, 3300 West Camelback, continues its season with Who Will Carry the Word?, Charlotte Delbo's drama set among female French Resistance partisans in a Nazi concentration camp. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, October 16; the same time Saturday, October 17; and 2 p.m. Sunday, October 18. Tickets are $8, $6.50 for kids and seniors. 589-2871.
Onetime front man for Black Uhuru, Michael Rose brings his roots reggae sounds to the Valley, backed up by the Fully Fullwood Band, for a show starting at noon Saturday, October 17, at the Baseline Mansion, 2501 East Baseline. Tickets for the all-ages show are $15 in advance, $17 the day of the show. 966-6093, 244-8444.
Sci-fi guys from Alan Dean Foster to Timothy Zahn--prose division--and Robert McCall to Donato Giancola--art division--will be on hand for a Science Fiction Festival from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, October 17; and the same hours Sunday, October 18, at the Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central. Signings, readings and panel discussions are among the featured events. Admission is free. 262-4636.
Ambrose Bierce defined the mausoleum as "the final and funniest folly of the rich," but surely the fixation on purebred dogs--with, in effect, canine aristocracy--is right up there. For the rest of us who prize the mixed breeds, who recognize the noble mongrel as genetically superior to snooty pure breeds, there's the Mutt Show and Fun Walk. The Arizona Animal Welfare League hosts the 22nd annual show, which starts with registration at 8 a.m. Sunday, October 18. The walk of Heinz 57 dogs begins at 9, the competition at 11:30. Los Olivos Park, 28th Street and Devonshire. The entrance fee for the walk is $25; pledges are also accepted; registration for the Mutt Show is $5. 273-6852, 306-1051.
The topic of the Arizona Department of Revenue's upcoming tax seminar is "Audit--What Do I Do Now?". Hopefully, the speaker won't begin with "Bend over, put your head between your legs and . . ." It's held from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, October 19, at the Industrial Commission, 800 West Washington. Although admission is free, reservations are recommended. 542-3062.
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With the 3rd, the 5th, the 6th and the 9th remaining darlings of the classical repertoire, hearing Beethoven's lesser-known symphonies played live can be a rarity, but conductor Richard E. Strange leads Tempe Symphony Orchestra in Ludwig Van's Symphony No. 7 at 7:30 p.m. Monday, October 19, in Boyle Auditorium at McClintock High School, 1830 East Del Rio in Tempe. Better still, it's free. Gerswhin's Concerto in F is also on the program. 350-5287.
All you Bradyheads will remember episode #64 of The Brady Bunch, titled "Dough-Re-Mi." In that heart-tugger, Greg has written a song ("We Can Make the World a Whole Lot Brighter"), but can't afford the fee for the recording studio, until Peter scams the other kids into coughing up the money by convincing them to sing on the record with him. Taking a page from Peter's book, the grown-up Greg, Barry Williams, now plays the greatest musical hustler of the American theater, Professor Harold Hill, in The Music Man. Meredith Willson's classic is more than just the light entertainment it's sometimes taken for. It's a heavenly exploration of the transformative power of American b.s.-slinging--its power to transform Midwestern dourness, and even to transform the slinger himself. It's one of the great achievements of the American musical theater. Terri Bibb and Alan Young are also in the cast. The show continues Theater League's season with performances at 8 p.m. Tuesday, October 20; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 21, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. Tickets are $33.50 to $39.50. The run continues through Sunday, October 25. 262-7272 (Phoenix Civic Plaza), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
At 7:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month, the Phoenix Rose Society meets at the Valley Garden Center, 1809 North 15th Avenue. On Tuesday, October 20, the scheduled guest is Gary Patterson, and his topic is a spellbinder--"A New Fungicide." Isn't that George Lucas' working title for the upcoming Star Wars flick? Admission is free. 937-5713.
Spanish Civil War veteran David Smith tells of his experiences in that conflict from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday, October 21, in Student Union Lounge on the Glendale Community College campus, 6000 West Olive. Admission to this firsthand homage to Catalonia is free. 435-3696.