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Calendar for the week

thursday
march 20
Critters Buggin: Let's be blunt: New Bohemians, as a concept, warranted maybe five minutes of Andy Warhol's industry-standard quarter-hour of fame. Still, the musicians who backed up neo-hepkitten Edie Brickell were generally excellent. Two of 'em, drummer Matt Chamberlain and bassist Brad Houser, prove it with this loosely configured Seattle ensemble specializing in bedrock grooves, from funk to trance to world. The Critters return for a concert on Thursday, March 20, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. Sparkler, M.I.R.V., Fred Green, and Honey Bucket share the stage. Showtime is 8 p.m. The cover is $5. For details call 967-1234 or 966-6093.

Cactus League Baseball: The boys of spring are back for this year's slate of preseason games, which continues daily, through Friday, March 28, at stadia Valleywide. For this week's schedule and other details, see the "Cactus League Baseball" subsection in the Sports listing.

La Traviata: Arizona Opera concludes its 26th season with Verdi's great work, based on Alexandre Dumas' novel La dame aux camelias about the flame of passion and the flame retardant of tragedy among the salons of Paris. Soprano Sujung Kim enacts the role of star-crossed courtesan Violetta. The show is sung in Italian with English surtitles. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20; 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 21; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 22; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 23, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Tickets range from $14 to $56, available at the opera's box office and Dillard's; call 266-7464 or 503-5555.

"A New Dawn in the Desert": Tours of the revamped exhibits and refurbished trail system at Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park, are scheduled Thursday, March 20; Friday, March 21; and Saturday, March 22. They step off at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m., and are included in the regular entry fee. A "grand opening" celebration is slated for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 23, and includes entertainment and discounted admission prices. The facility's annual Spring Landscape Plant Sale is on Saturday and Sunday (see below). For details call 941-1225.

New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars: Eastern Europe goes Big Easy? A bar mitzvah at that signature Nawlins bar named Tipitina's? Traditional Jewish wedding strains--underscored by that keening, galloping clarinet--mated with second-line rhythms? It had to happen. Well, no, it didn't, but you'll be glad it did when you're on the dance floor at the Rhythm Room capering about to "Mazel Tov Cocktail," "Mo White Fish," "Would Be Hungarian" and other tracks from this sextet's like-buttah new disc, Manichalfwitz. Fellow New Orleans act Royal Fingerbowl opens at 9 p.m. Thursday, March 20. The cover is $7.50. The club's at 1019 East Indian School; call 265-4842.

friday
march 21
Bloodhound Gang: The Philly-based Gang has a number of strikes against it. It plays intentionally offensive, sample-heavy white-boy rap. It's huge on the frat-house circuit. Gang leader Jimmy Pop Ali idolizes Howard Stern, and goes to great lengths--and depths--to emulate the king-hell schmuck of all media. Of "Lift Your Head Up High (And Blow Your Brains Out)," one of the centerpiece tracks on the band's new disc, One Fierce Beer Coaster, Ali says, "Since there's a population problem, I figure the more [people] that go out the better." All of that said, B Gang is one superfine crew--wildly funny, fetchingly fearless and, in its boorish way, even poetic. "Lift Your Head Up" is a delirious, bone-rattling delight, as is the Gang's cover of Run-D.M.C.'s "It's Tricky." Nerf Herder shares the bill on Friday, March 21, at Nile Theater, 105 West Main in Mesa. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Call 649-2766.

Stieglitz Loves O'Keeffe: Stacy Keach stars as photographer Alfred Stieglitz and Margot Kidder portrays painter Georgia O'Keeffe in Lanie Robertson's play about the artists' storm-tossed relationship. Performances, narrated by the playwright and directed by Arizona State University's Daniel Irvine, are scheduled at 8 p.m. Friday, March 21; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 22; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 23, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $30 and $34, available at the center and Ticketmaster; call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

"Taste of Arizona": Comestibles are the main course at this event, but the highlights are gratis concerts by Gen X staple Matthew Sweet and one of the popster's distant relations, '70s icon Edgar Winter Band. Also on the agenda: carnival rides and games, a vintage-auto show and displays by a number of the Valley's pro-sports squads. Hours are 4 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, March 21; 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, March 22; and 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 23, at Tempe's Rio Salado Festival Grounds, located across from Sun Devil Stadium's north side. Sweet performs on Friday, Winter's group on Saturday. Admission is free, but fees are charged for rides and tastings. Call 230-9488.

 

Laurie Lewis and the Grant Street Band: Newgrass fiddler/vocalist Lewis isn't in the same league as Alison Krauss--few living bluegrass artists are--but Laurie's in the general neighborhood. San Francisco-born Lewis has a strong, supple voice and a deep commitment to traditional music, which has won her the usual critical acclaim and lack of public recognition. Laurie and band perform Friday, March 21, at Tempe's First United Methodist Church, 215 East University. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Call 893-3328.

Fiesta Bowl 3-on-3 State Championships: 'Tis the season to hoop it up. The ninth annual street-basketball tourney is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 21; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 22; and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 23, at Arizona Center, Third Street and Van Buren. Call 350-0900.

Cactus League Baseball: See Thursday.
La Traviata: See Thursday.
"A New Dawn in the Desert": See Thursday.

saturday
march 22
"It's Only Rock and Roll: Rock and Roll Currents in contemporary Art": David Rubin, Phoenix Art Museum's curator of 20th-century art, organized this exhibit, billed as an exploration of "rock as a social force in [contemporary] art" and including pieces by Annie Leibovitz, Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Nam June Paik, Robert Rauschenberg, William Wegman, Laurie Anderson and others. The installation opens Saturday, March 22, in conjunction with Art Detour 9 (see below), and continues through Sunday, June 15, in the Steele Gallery at PAM, 1625 North Central. An opening celebration, titled "Rock in an Art Place" and featuring exhibit tours and a performance by the Beat Angels, is slated for 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday in the museum's Great Hall; all proceeds from the $10 fee benefit Art Detour and PAM's Contemporary Forum. Regular hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays (to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays). Regular "Rock and Roll" admission: $5, $4 for seniors, $2 for students and children age 6 and up, free for younger kids and members; entry is free to all from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays. Call 257-1880 or 257-1222.

Art Detour 9: This year's free, self-guided Detour showcases works by scores of artists at about 50 spaces in the central-Phoenix area--including the revived Metropophobobia, 407 East Roosevelt; and an alternative outdoor "gallery" at the Santa Fe Building, Fifth Avenue and Jackson (for details about the latter, see the Art Exhibits listing). Detour hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 22; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 23. Maps and info are available at Detour headquarters, 132 South Central, in Luhrs Office Center. (A pre-Detour kickoff party is planned for 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 21, at the same location.) Call 256-7539 or 254-1222.

Little Feat at the Cajun House: Feat (featuring founding members Bill Payne and Richie Hayward) headlines the grand-opening celebration at the House, a French Quarter-themed restaurant/club boasting a retractable roof. Venice, Chuck Hall Band, and Sistah Blue share the stage. The party starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 22. Admission is $10; proceeds benefit St. Joseph's Hospital's "M.O.Mobile" (Maternity Outreach Mobile). The venue's located at 7117 East Third Avenue in Scottsdale; call 945-5150.

Spring Landscape Plant Sale: Hundreds of specimens are up for grabs at this annual nonthirsty-flora extravaganza at Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 22; and the same on Sunday, March 23. Admission to the sale area is free; regular fees apply at the garden proper. Call 941-1225. (For details about a similar sale that starts Friday, March 21, at Superior's Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum, see the On the Road listing.)

Cactus League Baseball: See Thursday.
Fiesta Bowl 3-on-3 State Championships: See Friday.
La Traviata: See Thursday.
"A New Dawn in the Desert": See Thursday.
Stieglitz Loves O'Keeffe: See Friday.
"Taste of Arizona": See Friday.

sunday
march 23
Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets featuring Sam Myers: Texas guitarist Funderburgh and blind, Mississippi Delta-born vocalist/harmonica player Myers have developed a special rapport in their decade-plus together, and the musical kinship seems to deepen as the years tick by. Touring behind their new disc, That's What They Want, the Rockets perform Sunday, March 23, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. Showtime is 9 p.m. The cover is $7.50. Call 265-4842.

Art Detour 9: See Saturday.
Cactus League Baseball: See Thursday.
Fiesta Bowl 3-on-3 State Championships: See Friday.
"It's Only Rock and Roll": See Saturday.
La Traviata: See Thursday.
"A New Dawn in the Desert": See Thursday.
Spring Landscape Plant Sale: See Saturday.
Stieglitz Loves O'Keeffe: See Friday.
"Taste of Arizona": See Friday.

 

monday
march 24
Cactus Challenge: Jason Kidd, Jamir Miller, Jake "The Snake" Plummer, Ken Caminiti, Ernie Banks and many other jock stars take the field as the Destroyers (led by Phoenix Suns coach Danny Ainge) battle the Blasters (coached by head Arizona Diamondback Buck Showalter) in this softball duel. The event opens with a home-run derby at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 24, at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, 5999 East Van Buren; game time is 7. Tickets range from $10 to $25, available at Dillard's; all proceeds benefit Arizona Special Olympics. Call 412-0012 or 503-5555.

Ray Condo and His Ricochets: The Western-bop outfit harks back to the glory days when country met jazz and spat out Bob Wills, but it also pays homage to the likes of Count Basie, Ruth Brown and--though the group doesn't have a fiddler--violinist Stuff Smith. Condo and company (who are, ironically, from Canada) play the sort of tight, hard-swinging American music that went out with phrases like "real gone daddy." The Ramblers share the bill. Showtime is 9 p.m. Monday, March 24, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $5. For details call 265-4842.

Cactus League Baseball: See Thursday.

tuesday
march 25
Morphine: Mark Sandman's experimental, Boston-based trio--Sandman on a two-string slide-bass rig he cooked up himself, Dana Colley on baritone sax (substituting, essentially, for a guitar) and drummer Billy Conway--dabbles in something it terms "low rock"; see the story on page 101. dEUS shares the stage. The all-ages show starts at 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. Tickets are $15, available at Ticketmaster. For details call 967-1234 or 784-4444.

Cactus League Baseball: See Thursday.
"It's Only Rock and Roll": See Saturday.

wednesday
march 26
Gregory Nava: The director of El Norte, My Family (Mi Familia) and the upcoming Selena continues the Maricopa Community College District Honors Forum Lecture Series with a program titled "Contemporary Film Voices: Writer, Director and Cinematographer." It starts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, at the Radisson Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, 60 East Fifth Street. Admission is free. Call 731-8026 or 435-3696.

The Commodores, the Ohio Players, the Brothers Johnson featuring George Johnson, and Con Funk Shun: The old-school acts team up for the fun-kay "Soul Explosion '97" on Wednesday, March 26, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets range from $17.50 to $25, available at the arena and Dillard's; call 379-7800 or 503-5555.

Cactus League Baseball: See Thursday.
"It's Only Rock and Roll": See Saturday.


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