The soul sisters of the '70s trio LaBelle--Nona Hendryx, Sarah Dash and Patti LaBelle--looked like they'd just beamed down from the planet Mongo in the "Lady Marmalade" days, but weren't they great days? Twenty-odd years later, the solo LaBelle (real name: Patricia Holt) still has the pipes--an extraordinary voice with a five-octave range. She plays a show on Thursday, August 27, at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street; it starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and $40, available at the scene and Dillard's. 267-1600, 503-5555.
Having paid tribute to "father of bossa nova" Antonio Carlos Jobim on last year's smash album A Twist of Jobim, contemporary-jazz mainstay Lee Ritenour returns to the Valley, in support of his new album This Is Love, for a show scheduled on Thursday, August 27, at the Red River Music Hall, Mill and Washington in Tempe. Saxophonist Eric Marienthal, keyboardist Barnaby Finch, bassist Melvin Davis and drummer David Haynes share the stage. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $28.50, available at the scene and Dillard's; call 829-6779 or 503-5555.
You've heard of bowling for dollars, now how about duffing for scholars? The fifth annual Greater Phoenix Urban League Golf Tournament tees off at 7 a.m. Thursday, August 27, at the McCormick Ranch Golf Club, 7505 East McCormick Parkway in Scottsdale; registration precedes at 6. The entry fee for the tourney is $150, $600 per foursome; proceeds benefit the league's College Preparation Program. 254-5611.
Stop the presses! Baptist university presents play by known pervert and ex-con! To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, the only thing worse than having your plays produced by college theater departments is not having your plays produced by college theater departments. Fortunately, as Grand Canyon University's production of his masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest proves, this hasn't happened to Oscar. Opening performances of the dazzlingly witty comedy are at 8 p.m. Friday, August 28; 8 p.m. Saturday, August 29; and 2 p.m. Sunday, August 30, at Ethington Theatre at GCU, 3300 West Camelback. Admission is $8, $6.50 for kids and seniors. The run continues through Sunday, September 6. 589-2871.
In tribute to the great, secretly serious class clown of American letters, the annual "Mark Twain Memories" fund raiser for the Camp Fire Boys and Girls features a reading of Twain's short story "The Prince and the Pauper," casino gaming, live and silent auctions, dinner and more. It starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, August 29, at the Arizona Biltmore Pavilion, 24th Street and Missouri. Admission is $125 per person. 954-7544 or 1-800-888-7954.
Although she can't hope to compete with another prominent comic performer of the same last name, comedienne Kate Clinton takes the stage for a show benefiting the Valley of the Sun Gay and Lesbian Community Center on Saturday, August 29, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. Showtime is 7 p.m.; Jason Stuart is also on the bill. Tickets are $22 in advance, $25 at the door; for $40 you can also go to a reception with the performers. 503-5555, 266-2665, 265-7283.
Instead of being in church where they belong on Sunday morning, those pinkos at The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix will be listening to a talk by ASU assistant professor of American Studies Dr. Eric Wertheimer. The prof is scheduled to speak on the subject "Culture Wars--Liberals, Conservatives and the Canon" at 9 a.m. Sunday, August 30, in the Safari Dining Room of the Safari Resort, 4611 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. The cost is $4, and includes a continental breakfast. 802-4977.
These kids today and their music, I tell ya: The newest claim to fame for White Zombie's horror-metalmeister Rob Zombie is that it was reportedly his music that was used, à la Noriega in the Vatican Embassy in Panama, to repel the media during the Streisand-Brolin nuptials. "At least it isn't Streisand music," one of the reporters is said to have quipped. Zombie makes an appearance to sign his new solo Geffen CD Hellbelly Deluxe at 3 p.m. Sunday, August 30, at Tower Records Mesa, 1110 West Southern. Well, if it's good enough for Babs, it's good enough for us--the album features such amusing ear-splitters as "Living Dead Girl," "Superbeast," "Perversion," and others that are direct tributes to classic horror schlock: "How to Make a Monster," "The Beginning of the End," and "The Ballad of Resurrection Joe and Rosa Whore" (probably a reference to a role played by Christopher Lee in Corridors of Blood, a Boris Karloff shocker of 1958). Even the album cover is in the corny style of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. 844-1293.
But for us blues fogeys, this is more like it: Austin, Texas, bluesman W.C. Clark, touring in support of his fine, rousing new Black Top release, Lover's Plea, takes the stage on Sunday, August 30, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. Showtime is 9 p.m. 265-4842.
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Engineer turned author Albert Taylor is scheduled to talk about his book Soul Traveler, which details his adventures in out-of-body ramblin', at 7 p.m. Monday, August 31, at the Barnes & Noble store at 10500 North 90th Street in Scottsdale. Admission is free. 391-0048.
Described as a "Please Touch Exhibit," Shemer Art Center and Museum's "Life's a Beach--Ocean Art" is aimed at kids. The theme, obviously, is marine, and the artists whose tactile pieces will be on display include Gail Woody, Scott Jarson, S. Mindrum-Logan, Esmeralda Delaney, Marla Hattabaugh, Bobbie Herz and Moira Marti Geoffrion. The show opens with a reception--at which many artists will be present, and at which beach-appropriate goodies like milk, cookies and punch will be served--from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, September 1, and continues through Friday, October 9, in the Main Gallery. New sculptures by Larry McLaughlin continue indefinitely on the museum grounds. Regular 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. 262-4727.
Those in need of a cool change may want to do some reminiscing with the lonesome losers themselves, '70s-era Australian soft-rockers Little River Band, when they take the stage at Chandler Center for the Arts--of course, for most of us in the Valley, it's a long way there. Note to those who wish to seem cool: Pretend not to get any of the above references. Showtime is 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 2, at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue. Tickets are $20, $24 and $26. 786-2680.
They wish the real world would stop hassling them, or so Matchbox 20 asserts in song. Give the real world another 12 or 13 minutes, and it may just oblige. In the meantime, however, that pesky old real world has bought about six million copies of this routine band's CD Yourself or Someone Like You--considerably more than the most recent releases by the likes of Dave Matthews Band, The Spice Girls or Madonna. This may just make Matchbox 20 the best-selling current pop artists to have no real cultural impact. The band performs on Wednesday, September 2, at Desert Sky Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue. Showtime is 8 p.m.; Paula Cole shares the bill. Tickets are $20 and $25. 254-7599 (Sky), 784-4444 (Ticketmaster).