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Calendar for the week

thursday
may 1
Maricopa County Fair: The 22nd annual event--a cozier, countrier version of Arizona State Fair--winds down with its final days Thursday, May 1, through Sunday, May 4, at the fairgrounds, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Highlights include carnival rides and games on the midway; the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show; swine racing and swimming pigs; motorized events including a demolition derby; and the usual array of agriculture and livestock competitions and exhibits. There will be live music at the Bill Johnson's Big Apple Stage and a variety of other acts at the Family Stage. This week's hours are 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, May 1; 10 a.m. to midnight Friday, May 2; 10 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, May 3; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, May 4. Admission is $5, $3 for children ages 6 to 12, under 6 are free. Call 252-0717.

Arizona Rattlers: The arena-football squad has its first regular-season game against the Tampa Bay Storm at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at the "Snake Pit": America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets range from $9 to $37, available at the arena and Dillard's. Call 514-8383, 379-7800 or 503-5555.

Love! Valour! Compassion!: The "lives and loves of gay men in the '90s" is the focus of this award-winning play at Phoenix Theater's Little Theater, 1625 North Central. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 1; the same time Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4. The play continues through Sunday, May 18. Tickets are $16, $14 for students and seniors, available at Dillard's. For other information, call 252-8497 or 503-5555.

Phoenix Suns Playoffs: The Suns host the fourth game of their first-round playoff series against the Seattle SuperSonics at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. If tickets are available, they're at the arena and Dillard's; call 379-7800 or 503-5555.

5 AZ Pieces: Marshall W. Mason directed this collection of short, wide-ranging works by Arizona State University graduate students Tania Katan, Victoria Holloway, Gregory Mitchell, David Vegh and Randi Klein (see the review on page 61). ASU's theater department presents final performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1; 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2; and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at Lyceum Theatre, located at the north end of Forest Mall on the west side of the ASU campus in Tempe. Tickets are $12, $6 for students and seniors, available at ASU Fine Arts box office; call 965-6447.

Phoenix Firebirds: The Triple A/Pacific Coast League affiliate of baseball's San Francisco Giants continues its 34th--and final--season in the Valley with a home stand against the Tucson Toros and the Vancouver Canadians. Toro games are scheduled at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, May 1; and the same time Friday, May 2. Games against the Canadians are scheduled at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, May 3; 1:05 p.m. Sunday, May 4; 7:05 p.m. Monday, May 5; and 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, May 6. All games are played at Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 East Osborn. Tickets range from $4 to $8, available at the scene and Dillard's; call 275-0500 or 503-5555.

friday
may 2
Snoop Doggy Dogg and the Dogg Pound: L.A.-born rapper/actor Calvin Broadus, better known as Snoop, comes to town as part of his 1997 world tour. Snoop established his territory with his debut release, Doggystyle (1993), which sold more than four million copies. Snoop's latest release, Tha Doggfather, exposes the lesser-known side of ghetto life. Equally as real as the violence are the "relationships, love, even hope," so Snoop shows that being the father of a 2-year-old son can change one's perspective on life. Concertgoers beware; the artist has been known to stir up controversy with sexist and explicit language. Too $hort, Do or Die, and BET's Rap City host Leslie "Big Lez" Segar share the stage at 7 p.m. Friday, May 2, at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum at Arizona State Fairgrounds, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Tickets are $22.50, $30 and $35, available at Dillard's. For details call 258-6711 or 503-5555.

Putting It Together: This musical revue of Stephen Sondheim songs from Sunday in the Park With George, Merrily We Roll Along, Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, Company, Sweeney Todd, Follies and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is directed by Matthew Wiener and closes out the season for Actors Theatre of Phoenix. Produced originally in London, this play is about old acquaintances and new and the sparks that often fly at such chance meetings, especially when the meeting place is a party. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, May 2; the same time Saturday, May 3; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 4, in Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. Additional performances run through Sunday, May 25. Tickets range from $16 to $26. For details call 252-8497.

 

The Chieftains: Ireland's musical ambassadors bring their traditional Irish sound of pipes, bodhram and whistle to the Valley as they celebrate their 32nd year together. Having traveled and performed the world over, including a performance for Pope John Paul II and two performances at Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Chieftains made certified gold in the U.S. with their recent release The Long Black Veil. The pipes blow at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts Amphitheater, 75th Street and Main. Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 the day of the show. Call 994-2787.

5 AZ Pieces: See Thursday.
Love! Valour! Compassion!: See Thursday.
Maricopa County Fair: See Thursday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.

saturday
may 3
Bill Maher: Former standup comedian turned host of ABC's humorous and controversial debate show Politically Incorrect takes the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. Sharing the bill are Steve Ansel, and Jackson Street Band featuring Gaynel Hodge. Tickets are $28.25, available at the venue and Dillard's; for details call 267-1600 or 503-5555.

Joe Williams: This 77-year-young Chicago South Sider is still crooning with his baritone cords. His long career began in the '30s, some 25 years before his defining 1955 album release Every Day I Have the Blues, and continues with his latest release Feel the Spirit (1995). Count Basie's "Number One Son" performs with his quintet at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $20 and $25, available at the center and Ticketmaster; call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

Love Letters: Jill St. John and Robert Wagner star in this story about a 50-year relationship between a husband and wife. The expressive words from a trail of love letters are the uniquely chosen format as the two actors read their scripts while seated at a table. Wagner is best known for the television series It Takes a Thief and Hart to Hart, while St. John, Wagner's real-life wife, is also an accomplished international film and television star. All ages are welcome to this humorous love story. The show begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 3; and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. Tickets are $37.50 and $42.50 in advance; $40 and $45 the day of the show, available at Phoenix Civic Plaza and Dillard's box offices; call 262-7272 or 503-5555.

"!Cinco de Mayo! Festival and Celebration" featuring Vikki Carr: This annual event honors and commemorates the 1862 victory of Benito Juarez against the French invasion of the small Mexican town of Puebla. Entertainment includes comedian Paul Rodriguez as master of ceremonies, crossover star Vikki Carr and 17-year-old Nydia Rojas performing a special indoor concert. Also included are an outdoor stage with Chicano music, a mayoral fajitas cookoff and ACinco! Carnival. Gates are open from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. Saturday, May 3; and the same time Sunday, May 4, at the Sundome, 19403 R.H. Johnson Boulevard in Sun City West. Carr takes the stage with Rodriguez at 8 p.m. Saturday; Mariachi Reyna De Los Angeles opens for Rojas at 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2, children under 18 and students with ID are free, available at the gate only. Tickets for Vikki Carr's performance range from $9 to $26, and those for Nydia Rojas' range from $6 to $18; both prices include festival admission and are available at the 'dome and Dillard's. Call 975-1900 or 503-5555.

5 AZ Pieces: See Thursday.
Love! Valour! Compassion!: See Thursday.
Maricopa County Fair: See Thursday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.
Putting It Together: See Friday.

sunday
may 4
Brother, Brother, Stop!: Disco-diva trio Sister Sledge ("We Are Family") returns in this social-conscience musical about life in the gang-infested 'hood; it's based on the title song by Sledge sister Joni. Opening performances are Sunday, May 4; Monday, May 5; Tuesday, May 6; and Wednesday, May 7. All shows start at 7 p.m. at River Auditorium, 40th Street and I-10. General-admission seating is free; reserved seating is $10. For details call 437-3912.

"!Cinco de Mayo! Festival and Celebration" featuring Vikki Carr: See Saturday.

Love Letters: See Saturday.
Love! Valour! Compassion!: See Thursday.
Maricopa County Fair: See Thursday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.
Putting It Together: See Friday.

monday
may 5
Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band featuring Peter Frampton, Dave Mason, Jack Bruce, Gary Brooker and Simon Kirke: The ex-Beatles drummer and actor teams up with other well-known Brits for a cool concert outdoors. Starr's first solo gold record was for his single "It Don't Come Easy" (1971), one of his seven trips to Billboard's Top 10 between 1971 and 1975. Although not as successful since then, Starr has kept busy. The 1992 release Time Takes Time mirrors Starr's lifestyle change in the late '80s. He first toured with his All-Starr Band in 1989. Ringo and friends will perform at 7 p.m. Monday, May 5, at Mesa Amphitheatre, Center and University. Tickets are $26 in advance, $31 the day of the concert, available at Mesa Community Center and Dillard's box offices; call 644-2560 or 503-5555.

 

Brother, Brother, Stop!: See Sunday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.

tuesday
may 6
The Mighty Blue Kings: The Windy City jump revivalists have been together not quite three years, but they've displayed a touch of the genie, having uncorked the bottle and unpenned the soul of the late, great swinger Louis Jordan, who's gotta be rockin' in rhythm from the beyond. The hard-boppin', jive-talkin', bar-walkin' Blue Kings bring their vintage brand of fun to the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School, for a show at 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 6. The cover is $10. For details call 265-4842.

Hamlet, the Ballet: Center Dance Ensemble's Frances Smith Cohen conceived and choreographed this production, which incorporates jazz, modern and ballet styles by the dance troupe, live acting by the Courtyard Players and an original rock score. A community-outreach performance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, at Cactus Shadows High School Fine Arts Center, 33606 North 60th Street in Cave Creek. Tickets are $6, $2 for students; call 488-1105.

Brother, Brother, Stop!: See Sunday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.

wednesday
may 7
Tina Turner: The only woman in the world who can dance in high heels, sensuously sing about love and achieve international fame all in the same breath. Turner's had the heat turned high ever since late 1959 when she debuted as the sassy, sexy energy of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue. "What's Love Got to Do With It," a No. 1 hit in 1984 and title of the movie based on her best-selling autobiography, has become her signature song as a solo artist, but that does not take away one mesmerizing beat from her other solo hits, "Private Dancer," "Better Be Good to Me," "I Don't Wanna Fight" or the theme song from the James Bond movie GoldenEye. Cyndi Lauper shares the stage at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets are $25, $35 and $45 in advance; $26, $37.50 and $50 the day of the show, available at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7800 or 503-5555.

Brother, Brother, Stop!: See Sunday.


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