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Calendar for the week

thursday
october 23
UK/AZ You Like It: Romeo et Juliette, Hamlet on Trial and More Stuff From Beyond the Pond: The UK/AZ Festival celebrates the--rather tenuous--connection(s) between England and Arizona. So what have France and Italy got to do with it? Well, Arizona Opera opens its season with French composer Gounod's adaptation of Shakespeare's tragic tale of love and loathing between the Veronese houses of Montague and Capulet; Barbier and Carre wrote the libretto. Performances, in French with English surtitles, are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 23; 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 24; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 25; and 2 p.m. Sunday, October 26, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Tickets are available at the opera's box office and Dillard's (266-7464, 503-5555). Hamlet on Trial, an unusual twist on the Bard's piece about the down-at-the-mouth Dane, plays Saturday (see below). For a run-down of other UK/AZ doings this week, see the Events listing or call 258-6055.

Arizona State Fair: The annual corn-dog carnival continues daily, through Sunday, November 2, at the fairgrounds, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Along with the usual attractions--rides and games on the revamped midway, livestock and ag exhibits--this year's fair includes the separately ticketed "UFO Encounters" and a synchronistic salute to the U.S. Air Force. The usual array of twangers, commercial-alt acts and wheezing has-beens hits the stage at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum; this week's lineup begins with a killer R&B bill that's none of the above: Dr. John, Charlie Musselwhite, and Keb' Mo' at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 23 (for details about Charlie Louvin's performance on Wednesday, see below). For general info, see the At the Fair listing or call 268-3247 or 252-6771.

The Seductive Art of Becoming God and Famous: Eric Bernat wrote and performs this one-man desecration of pop culture, adopting guises including "child beauty queens, aspiring porno stars and rock-star wanna-bes." The show was directed by David Drake (of the off-Broadway hit The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me and the big screen's Philadelphia). This week's performances are on Thursday, October 23; Friday, October 24; Saturday, October 25; and Wednesday, October 29. All start at 8 p.m. at Phoenix Theatre's Little Theatre, 100 East McDowell; the run continues through Saturday, November 1. Tickets are $17.50. 254-2151.

"Aria for an Endangered Species": Tucson choreographer Ellen Bromberg and the Atlanta-based Core Performance Company--the touring arm of Sue Schroeder's Several Dancers Core--link up for the Valley premiere of this unusual movement piece. Originally scheduled to debut here last April, "Aria" features a score by Yoko Ono based on the Ono installation "Endangered Species 2319-2322," which was itself derived from Yoko's visit to Pompeii; see the story on page 65. Showtime is 8 p.m. Thursday, October 23, at La Sala, located in the University Center Building on the Arizona State University West campus, 4701 West Thunderbird in Glendale. Tickets are $10, $8 for seniors, $5 for students, available at ASU West and Dillard's (543-2787, 503-5555).

Show Boat: This Show Boat isn't (necessarily) for blue hairs, though you'll rub elbow patches with 'em. Director Harold Prince's splashy but sublime restaging of the Kern/Hammerstein epic, based on Edna Ferber's novel about old times in the Deep South, stars Tom Bosley as Capt. Andy, honeydew-voiced Sarah Pfisterer as Magnolia and basso profundo Andre Solomon-Glover as Joe. The lush score--including "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man," "Ol' Man River" and "Make Believe"--remains the same. This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, October 23; 8 p.m. Friday, October 24; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, October 25; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, October 26; 8 p.m. Tuesday, October 28; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 29, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. The run continues through Saturday, November 1. Tickets range from $15 to $65, available at Gammage and Dillard's (965-3434, 503-5555).

friday
october 24
"Fritz Scholder: Icons and Apparitions, 1957-1997": The second of three high-season retrospectives of the career of the world-infamous, Scottsdale-based, love-him-or-hate-him expressionist, this Fritz retro includes some of the artist's best-known works and "pays tribute to Scholder's contribution to the artistic identity of Scottsdale and his role in defining the artistic vernacular of art in the Southwest." (The first Scholder exhibit out of the blocks was "Vampires and Fallen Angels" at Phoenix Art Museum; see the Visual Art listing. Next up: an installation at Scottsdale's Cultural Exchange in early November.) "Icons and Apparitions" opens Friday, October 24, and continues through Sunday, August 23, 1998, in the Atrium Gallery at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Viewing is free; hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays (to 8 p.m. Thursdays), noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. 994-2787.

Arizona State Fair: See Thursday.
Romeo et Juliette: See Thursday.
The Seductive Art of Becoming God and Famous: See Thursday.
Show Boat: See Thursday.  

saturday
october 25
Hamlet on Trial: New York's Elizabeth Falk developed this conceptual piece--a trial of the title character on the charge of murdering Polonius--for England's Globe Theatre. Actor Michael York was supposed to defend Shakespeare's Dane, but, as with the Othello Royal Premiere on September 30, York bowed out; his replacement is Scottish actor Billy Connolly (Mrs. Brown). Arizona's hot-dog AG, Grant Woods, prosecutes Hamlet (Matthew Mazuroski), retired Arizona Supreme Court chief justice Frank X. Gordon wields the gavel, and a group of "leading Phoenicians" renders the verdict. The show, presented in conjunction with the UK/AZ Festival (see Thursday), starts at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 25, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. Tickets are $24 and $29, available at Phoenix Civic Plaza and Dillard's box offices (262-7272, 503-5555).

The Artist Formerly Known As Prince: It's fitting that neither our computers nor anyone else's were able--or willing--to reproduce that danged symbol TAFKAP demanded to be known by for several years. Perhaps out of frustration or his habit of frustrating others, TAFKAP proclaimed he would henceforth be known as "The Artist." Well, phooey on that and the rest of his nonsense designed to veil the pretty obvious fact that, symbolically and otherwise, the so-called artist is no longer in the same league with his former self. Oh, he still puts on a good show--as he's scheduled to do Saturday, October 25, at Desert Sky Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue--but those songwriting skills have eroded like the Southern California beaches and mountainsides surely will this winter under El Nino's gooey assault. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster. 254-7599, 784-4444.

Josh Kornbluth: The San Francisco-based performance artist was reared in a household dominated by math and Communism (his dad was obsessed with the former; if his parents had been steaks, they would've still been mooing). Josh tackled the pinko blues in his previous piece "Red Diaper Baby"; he crunches the numbers in his latest, "The Mathematics of Change," which "deals with the awful moment of truth when an aspiring mathematician comes face to face with his mental limitations and 'hits the wall.'" Showtime is 8 p.m. Saturday, October 25, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $16 and $20, available at the center and Ticketmaster (994-2787, 784-4444).

Dub Narcotic Sound System: Dub Narc, Calvin Johnson's beat-happening groove machine from Olympia, Washington, brings its slacker/Stax funk back to town on Saturday, October 25, at Tempe's intimate Stinkweeds Record Exchange, 1250 East Apache, Suite 109. The Thundercats open at 10 p.m. 968-9490.

Arizona State Fair: See Thursday.
Romeo et Juliette: See Thursday.
"Fritz Scholder: Icons and Apparitions": See Friday.
The Seductive Art of Becoming God and Famous: See Thursday.
Show Boat: See Thursday.

sunday
october 26
Southern Culture on the Skids: We'll let SCOTS guitarist/vocalist Rick Miller sum up the happy-idiot vision of his loose-limbed, double-jointed, wonderfully laconic hickabilly band from North Carolina: "Ours is a sound that reeks of swamp gas and watermelon seeds. Of amphetamine-crazed long-haulers and cicadas in heat. Of three-dollar thrift-store shoes and fresh-outta-the-oven biscuits." Calling to mind the B-52's mud-wrestling Scruffy the Cat, the trio lavishes its oddball affections on low-pop culture and bodily functions; though Miller, bassist Mary Huff and drummer Dave Hartman are mostly obsessed with intake (check out "Banana Puddin'" and "Carve That Possum" from their latest--and finest--disc, Plastic Seat Sweat), they're hardly shy about the operations of other orifices. Doo Rag, and Lucky Ofay and the Gray Boys open the all-ages, outdoor show, which starts at 8 p.m. Sunday, October 26, at Boston's, 910 North McClintock in Tempe. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 the day of the show, available at Dillard's. 921-7343, 503-5555.

Arizona State Fair: See Thursday.
Romeo et Juliette: See Thursday.
"Fritz Scholder: Icons and Apparitions": See Friday.
Show Boat: See Thursday.

tuesday
october 28
311: These corn-fed Midwesterners are the current rulers of aggro alt. Rage Against the Machine fans might disagree, but 311 has a much broader (if less politicized) vision, and incorporates a goodly amount of world music--rank reggae, fat-bottomed skank--into its metalcentric universe. The aggro popsters of Sugar Ray share the stage. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tuesday, October 28, at Desert Sky Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue. Tickets are $22.50, available at Ticketmaster. 254-7599, 784-4444.

Arizona State Fair: See Thursday.
"Fritz Scholder: Icons and Apparitions": See Friday.
Show Boat: See Thursday.

wednesday
october 29
Patti LaBelle: Patti and her soul sisters in the '70s trio LaBelle--Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash--looked like they'd just beamed down from the planet Mongo in the "Lady Marmalade" days, but weren't they great days? Twenty-three years later, the solo LaBelle (real name: Patricia Holt) still has the pipes--an extraordinary voice with a five-octave range--and a taste for topflight producers. Allen Toussaint manned the board for "Marmalade" and its album of origin, Nightbirds; '90s megastars Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis penned and produced the first single ("When You Talk About Love") from Patti's latest disc, Flame. LaBelle makes up for an August postponement with a show on Wednesday, October 29, at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street; it starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $31 and $41, available at the scene and Dillard's (267-1600, 503-5555).  

Charlie Louvin: Louvin's one of the featured performers on this year's "Stars of the Grand Ole Opry" bill; God knows you'll have to wade through some painful twanging by a passel of definitively wheezing Nashville has-beens to get to him, but the high-lonesome tenor's worth the effort. The surviving half of one of the greatest duets that ever was--the Louvin Brothers--Charlie redefined and refined gospel-tinged country noir with his late sibling, Ira, on amazing, ageless Louvin originals like "I Wish It Had Been a Dream," "The Great Atomic Power" and "If I Could Only Win Your Love" and singular takes on the likes of Hazel Houser's "My Baby's Gone." Sharing the "Opry" bill are Kitty Wells, Hank Thompson, Porter Wagoner, Connie Smith and many others. Shows are at 1 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 29, at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, in conjunction with the Arizona State Fair (see Thursday). Concert admission, not counting the regular fair entry fee, is two ride coupons. Reserved seating is available for a fee; see the At the Fair listing or call 268-3247 or 252-6771.

Arizona State Fair: See Thursday.
"Fritz Scholder: Icons and Apparitions": See Friday.
The Seductive Art of Becoming God and Famous: See Thursday.
Show Boat: See Thursday.


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