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Calendar for the week

january 8
"How Safe Is Our Food Supply?" Luncheon: Arizona Department of Agriculture director Sheldon Jones and California Department of Food and Agriculture secretary Ann Veneman speak about this topic at the Arizona Forum Luncheon at noon Thursday, January 8, at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix Civic Plaza, 122 North Second Street. Tickets for this high-powered repast are $30, $25 for Forum members, and reservations are required. 912-5351.

Keith Lockhart: The popular Boston Pops maestro and heartthrob takes a turn as guest conductor of the Phoenix Symphony in a program called "Love Duets," at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 8; 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, January 9; and 8 p.m. Saturday, January 10, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. The concert gets a jump on Valentine's season with amorous faves from opera and ballet. Soprano Kathleen Brett and her real-life husband, tenor Benoit Boutet, and dancers from Ballet Arizona, are scheduled to perform selections from Carmen, Giselle and La Traviata, and three versions of Romeo and Juliet (Gounod's opera, Prokofiev's ballet and Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story). Mozart is also well-represented, with romantic passages from Cosi Fan Tutte, The Marriage of Figaro and his early opera Idomoneo. Tickets are $14 to $38. 262-7272, 503-5555.

Kansas City Jam 'n' Jazz with Jay McShann: The Orange Tree Golf and Conference Resort continues its Jazz Evenings series with Midwestern-style sounds from pianist "Hootie" McShann, whose K.C. band employed Charlie Parker in the late '30s. Scheduled to sit in are trombonist Al Grey, drummer Butch Miles, bassist Milt Abel, and sax men Ahmad Alaadeen and Plas Johnson. The tunes start flowing at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 8, and at the same time on Friday, January 9, at 56th Street and Shea. Tickets are $35. 948-6100.

The Red Elvises: These guys hail from the former Soviet Union and bill themselves as "the legendary legends of Siberian surf music." The L.A.-based act plays tunes like "Elvis and Bears," "Ballad of Elvis and Priscilla" and "Shooba-Doobah (Elvis' Vacation)"--you get the picture. The Czars of Rock 'n' Roll are scheduled to play at 9 p.m. Thursday, January 8, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $6. 265-4842.

Puttin' On the Brits: U.K. painters at Scottsdale galleries: Isle of Jersey native Pauline Wehrle Blench's "plein air" oil paintings, depicting land- and seascapes from Venice, the Greek Isles, France, Italy and Arizona, are displayed starting on Thursday, January 8, at the Hohn Gallery of Fine Arts, Ltd., 7140 East Main in Scottsdale. Also kicking off this week is an exhibit of serene pastels by northern England native MacKenzie Thorpe. The display opens at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 8, at Wilde-Meyer Gallery, 4142 North Marshall Way, Suite A, in Scottsdale, alongside a display of works by a celebrated Yank: Dr. Suess. Regular hours for Wilde-Meyer: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays (to 9 p.m. Thursdays), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Hohn: 945-2995; Wilde-Meyer: 945-2323.

The Good Woman of Szechuan: Unlikely Theatre tries its luck with Bertolt Brecht's great-but-difficult "epic theatre" treatment of a Chinese parable, in which the gods determine that the best person on Earth is a prostitute. Co-directors Michelle Cruff and MaryKay Zeeb have updated the play to the '20s and shifted the locale to America. Opening performances of their experiment are at 8 p.m. Thursday, January 8, and the same time Friday, January 9, and Saturday, January 10, at Mesa Arts Center, 155 North Center. Tickets are $12, $10 for students, and may be purchased at Changing Hands Bookstore, 414 South Mill, Suite 109, in Tempe. 994-0497, 966-0203.

ARTiculations: The 60th birthday of Scottsdale-based, love-him-or-hate-him expressionist Fritz Scholder is celebrated Thursday, January 8, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, as the man himself performs his poetry, demonstrates his painting techniques and talks about his work. The show, which begins at 8 p.m. Thursday, January 8, at 7380 East Second Street, is part of the center's ongoing exhibit "Fritz Scholder: Icons and Apparitions, 1957-1997;" see the Visual Art listing in Thrills. Tickets are $6 ($4 for members, $3 for students). 994-2787.

The King and I: Hayley Mills plays Anna, nanny to the children of the royal house, in this touring production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein's beloved musical, which features "Whistle a Happy Tune" and "Shall We Dance?" Vee Talmadge plays the hardheaded, softhearted King. Final performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, January 8, and Friday, January 9; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, January 10; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, January 11, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. Saturday's matinee is interpreted in American Sign Language. Tickets, if they're still available, range from $33 to $47 (all ASL tickets are $45), at Gammage or Dillard's (965-3434, 503-5555).

"Africa! A Sense of Wonder": The exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central, promises "new ways of looking at the art of Africa" and includes about 80 sub-Saharan objects that date from the 16th to early 20th centuries and range from the sociocultural to the fanciful. Drawn from the extensive collection of Valley resident Richard Faletti and family, "Africa!" was co-curated by Mary Nooter Roberts and Allen F. Roberts. Various related in-gallery presentations and performances are scheduled. This week: "Drumology," a participatory exploration of the art of African drumming featuring local musician and teacher Keith Johnson, begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, January 11. The exhibition continues through Sunday, February 8, in the Steele Gallery. Viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays (to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays). Admission is $6, $4 for students and seniors, $2 for children ages 6 to 18, free for younger kids and members; entry is free to all on Thursdays. 257-1880, 257-1222.

january 9
Piano by Prokofiev: Lawrence Loeber strokes the keys with selections by the Soviet-era Russian great. Loeber is scheduled to perform Sarcasms for Piano and will play a duet with flutist Pamela Watson-Brown (principal piccolo for the Tucson Symphony) in the Sonata for Flute and Piano. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Friday, January 9, at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $10. 965-5377, 503-5555.

Ted Alexander: This Alberta, Canada, native has toured with Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson and played for the Queen of England when she visited Ottawa in 1992. Alexander brings his "one-man band" act--blues, rock and country played on four keyboards arranged in a "U" formation--to the Valley on Friday, January 9, and Saturday, January 10, at Priceless KC's Sports Bar and Grill, 1423 South Country Club Drive in Mesa. Call for showtime. 464-8030.

Crooners: A quartet of Brooklyn lads pursues its dream of joining the Eddie Fisher-Dean Martin-Tony Bennett-Frankie Avalon pantheon in this musical in the vein of The Taffetas and Forever Plaid. Peter J. Loewy directs the show, which includes such swoon-inspiring numbers as "Hey There," "That's Amore" and "Because of You." Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, January 9; 8 p.m. Saturday, January 10; and 2 p.m. Sunday, January 11, at Phoenix Theatre, 25 East Coronado. The run continues through Sunday, January 25. Tickets are $22 to $25. 254-2151.

Greek Food Festival of Scottsdale: What more needs to be said? Those who believe that the Greeks' greatest contribution to world culture might be Periclean democracy or Aristophanic comedy or Aristotelian philosophy will be happily convinced otherwise with one taste of souvlaki or baklava. All manner of Hellenistic goodies will be available indoors, along with kids' activities, at this three-day event which runs from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, January 9; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, January 10; and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, January 11, at Brett's Barn in WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 North Pima. Admission is a measly $2 for adults, free for kids under 12 and, on Sunday, for seniors. 483-8800.

10The Klezmer Conservatory Band: Director-founder Hankus Netsky leads this ensemble, which specializes in filtering classical and Dixieland styles through Jewish folk-ragtime, instantly recognizable by that keening, galloping fiddle and clarinet. The band turns loose soulful stuff ranging from the traditional "Freylekh Jamboree" to the original "In Memoriam: For" at 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, January 10, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $25, available at the Center or Ticketmaster. (994-2787, 784-4444).

january 11
The Musical Q Zoo: The wind ensemble Quintessence teams up with puppets like Lenny the Lion, Tombstone the Turkey Vulture and Cactus Coyote, who never seem to venture far from their pal, ventriloquist Sharon Swanick. The family concert begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, January 11, at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $10 and $11, available at Kerr. 965-5377.

Piano Men: Oleg Volkov at Scottsdale Center for the Arts; Mark Russell at the Sundome: Volkov, a native of Russia who specializes in Rachmaninoff, performs selections from his favorite, as well as works by Beethoven, Scriabin's "Prelude and Nocturne for Left Hand," and the "Danzas Argentinas" of Ginastera at 7 p.m. Sunday, January 11, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $10. (994-2787, 784-4444). Less exaltedly, humorist Russell accompanies himself as he sings his mild political gibes, often to the tunes of old standards. He takes the stage at 2 p.m. Sunday, January 11, at the Sundome, 19403 R.H. Johnson Boulevard in Sun City West. 975-1900, 503-5555.

january 12
Goldfinger: Though the Southern California act tours endlessly--it boasts having played 382 shows in 1996--and has been a force in the recent ska explosion, Goldfinger's been roundly panned by ska purists. But for nonpurists who like their ska-informed punk/pop raw, rude and catchy, it's hard to top John Feldmann's 'finger. The band plays an all-ages show at 8 p.m. Monday, January 12, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. Tickets are $12 in advance, $13 on Monday. 967-1234.

january 13
rex: Those who long for the days of lounging on the floor umbilically attached to the stereo by a set of headphones the size of Princess Leia's buns will dig this "chamber rock" (prog-rock, sorta) trio from New York, which is often likened to the Red House Painters and Tortoise and, less convincingly, to Galaxie 500 and the Velvet Underground. Those who don't, won't. Califone shares the bill with rex at 10 p.m. Tuesday, January 13, at Stinkweeds Record Exchange, 1250 East Apache, Suite 109, in Tempe. 968-9490.

"20th Annual Vahki" at Galeria Mesa: The gallery hosts a national juried show of contemporary American crafts, ranging from metalwork to glass to fiber to wood. Featured items this year include the ceramics of Tempe's Wendy Barrie and the brooches of Lafayette, Indiana, artist Robin Kraft. The display begins Tuesday, January 13, in the Galeria Mesa at Mesa Arts Center, 155 North Center. The Galeria is open from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. An evening reception for "Vahki" is slated for Friday, January 16. 644-2056.

january 14
A Personal Matter: G. Hirabayashi vs. the U.S.: This documentary film about the landmark lawsuit that went to the U.S. Supreme Court and resulted in reparations to the Japanese Americans who had been interned by the U.S. government during World War II screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 14, at the Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central. It's part of the continuing "Transforming Barbed Wire" series. 534-0603.

Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters: They take the stage at 9 p.m. Wednesday, January 14, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. See page 78 in the Music section. 265-4842.


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