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Pic Hits for the week

thursday
january 2
Swinging on a Star: The Johnny Burke Musical: The late Burke wrote the words to some of our most memorable popular songs--including the title tune, "Pennies From Heaven" and "Misty"--and most of his career high notes are hit in this Tony-nominated homage by writer/director Michael Leeds. Arizona Theatre Company continues its 30th-anniversary season with the Southwestern premiere of the work. It opens at 8 p.m. Thursday, January 2, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe, with a benefit preview for St. Mary's Food Bank. Those who donate four nonperishable food items can buy tickets at half the usual price; the transaction can only be conducted at ATC's box office, 808 North First Street. A second preview is planned at 8 p.m. Friday, January 3. The press opening is at 8 p.m. Saturday, January 4. The rest of this week's performances are at 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday, January 5; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 8. A discussion follows Sunday's matinee. The production continues through Sunday, January 19. Regular tickets range from $24 to $37, available at Herberger and Dillard's; call 252-8497 or 678-2222.

"Rick Hards: Former Lives": Wisconsin artist Hards was struck with the inspiration for the small-scale works in "Former Lives" at an antique store, where he first encountered those stark, sometimes chilling, photographic portraits called tintypes (a.k.a. ferrotypes) that were so popular during the Civil War era. Mostly, the painter deals in artistic reincarnation; he breathes a sort of surrealistic life into these old, dead souls by recasting their images in new, often ironic forms suggested by the subjects' original poses (a reanimation process not dissimilar to the one practiced by the Mexican woodcarvers of Oaxaca). "Former Lives" opens with a reception for the artist from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, January 2, and continues through Saturday, February 1, in the "through the arch" space at Scottsdale's Lisa Sette Gallery, 4142 North Marshall Way. Viewing is free; hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Call 990-7342.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast: The musical-theater version of the fairy tale is billed as a "silhouette" of the movie company's blockbuster "rather than a replica of it." Alan Menken and Howard Ashman wrote the score, which is augmented by seven new songs, six of them by Menken and Tim Rice. This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, January 2; 8 p.m. Friday, January 3; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, January 4; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, January 5; 8 p.m. Tuesday, January 7; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 8, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. The touring production continues through Saturday, February 1. Tickets range from $20 to $60, available at Gammage and Dillard's; call 965-3434 or 678-2222.

Circus Flora: Daniel Balding, formerly of France's Cirque Medrano and Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival, founded this traditional, European-style circus named after, and built around, an orphaned African elephant. The fourth annual visit by the "circus with a soul" features old standbys like the Flying Wallendas and ringmistress Yo-Yo the Clown (real name: Cecile MacKinnon; real job: Shakespearean actress) and a new attraction titled the St. Louis Arches, featuring eight students from the Circus Flora School. Final performances are at 2 p.m. Thursday, January 2; 2 and 7 p.m. Friday, January 3; noon and 4 p.m. Saturday, January 4; and noon Sunday, January 5, under the big top at Chaparral Park, Hayden and Jackrabbit roads in Scottsdale. Tickets range from $10 to $18, available at Scottsdale Center for the Arts and Ticketmaster; call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

Shear Madness: Hair-brained schemes abound in Marilyn Abrams and Bruce Jordan's broadly comic whodunit about beastly doings at a beauty parlor--an over-the-top adaptation of Swiss playwright Paul Portner's overearnest mystery Scherenschnitt. The Theatre League presentation continues with final previews at 8 p.m. Thursday, January 2; 8 p.m. Friday, January 3; 8 p.m. Saturday, January 4; 2 p.m. Sunday, January 5; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 8, at the New Scottsdale Playhouse, 7219 East Main. The official opening is on Thursday, January 9. Tickets range from $15 to $21, available at the scene and Dillard's; call 675-8811 or 678-2222.

friday
january 3
The Descendents: This relic of punk's original wave doesn't show up on too many of today's radarscopes, but the group had an inordinate impact on today's punk-pop scene. Basically the band All (the Descendents' descendant) augmented by original vocalist Milo Aukerman, the revivified act is back to doing what it does best--and did first--on its new Epitaph release, Everything Sucks: speed-saw guitars, terrific hooks and a left-field philosophy based, says drummer/lyricist Bill Stevenson, on "rejection, food, coffee, girls [and] fishing." (Semi-timely factoid: The Descendents created one of the great nontraditional holiday songs of all time in "Christmas Vacation.") Jughead's Revenge, Armchair Martian, and Pollen share the all-ages bill. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 3, at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Tickets are $10, available at Ticketmaster. For details call 894-0707 or 784-4444.

 

"Totally Cole!": While songsmith Johnny Burke is toasted at the Herberger (see Thursday), his peerless peer Cole Porter is feted across the Phoenix Civic Plaza mall at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Vocalists Mary Testa and Rodney Hudson join Phoenix Symphony, led by guest conductor David Bishop, for this pops program of Porter works, including "Night and Day," "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "You're the Top." Shows are scheduled at 8 p.m. Friday, January 3; and the same time Saturday, January 4. Tickets range from $13 to $37, available at the symphony box office and Dillard's; call 495-1999 or 678-2222.

World of Wheels: The 28th annual hot-rod expo features appearances by Baywatch babe Gena Lee Nolin and Days of Our Lives hunk Peter Reckell and, of course, souped-up vehicles galore, including the '32 Ford that inspired the Beach Boys song "Little Deuce Coupe." Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, January 3; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, January 4; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, January 5, in exhibit halls A through E at Phoenix Civic Plaza, Second Street and Adams. Tickets are $9.50, $4 for children ages 4 to 12. Call 262-7272.

Rusty Zinn Blues Band: He's only 25, but Zinn's been one of the top hired guns in the blues field of the '90s, backing the likes of Kim Wilson, Mark Hummel and the late Luther Tucker, Rusty's mentor. Zinn's inaugural Black Top disc, Sittin' & Waitin', marks the vocalist/guitarist as a comer, and provides an excellent showcase for the redheaded purist from California. Showtime is 9 p.m. Friday, January 3, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. Call 265-4842.

Mama, I Want to Sing: Vy Higgensen's musical/drama is based on the life of the playwright's sister, vocalist Doris Troy, and Troy's journey from a gospel-steeped Harlem church to the secular world of the pop charts. It's really an excuse to showcase some fine songs, from religious epiphanies to Rodgers and Hart. Black Theatre Troupe's revival of the play continues with performances at 8 p.m. Friday, January 3; 8 p.m. Saturday, January 4; and 3 p.m. Sunday, January 5, at Helen K. Mason Center for the Performing Arts, 333 East Portland. The production continues through Sunday, January 19. Tickets are $16, $14 for students and seniors, $10 for kids 12 and under. For details call 258-8128.

Circus Flora: See Thursday.
Disney's Beauty and the Beast: See Thursday.
"Rick Hards: Former Lives": See Thursday.
Shear Madness: See Thursday.
Swinging on a Star: The Johnny Burke Musical: See Thursday.

saturday
january 4
Metallica: One can argue the merits, or lack thereof, of the heavy-metal group's recent Elektra disc Load--and that's been done to death--but there's no denying Metallica's track record. If nothing else, give the band credit for smarting up the sound and snatching it back from the spandex-wearing longhairs and the devil-worshiping poseurs. Korn opens at 7 p.m. Saturday, January 4; and the same time Sunday, January 5, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. If tickets are available, they're at the arena and Dillard's; call 379-7800 or 678-2222. Korn is scheduled to make an in-store appearance at the Zia Record Exchange store at 32nd Street and Shea Boulevard at 2 p.m. Saturday; call 482-3119.

World Championship of Golf: Greg Norman, Scott Hoch, Hisayuki Sasaki and Sam Torrance are the survivors who'll tee it up in the finals of this Super Bowl of duffdom, the last stop in a yearlong quest by entrants in the single-elimination tourney. Play's slated for Saturday, January 4; and Sunday, January 5, at Scottsdale's Grayhawk Golf Club, 8620 East Thompson Peak Parkway. No walk-up tickets will be sold; if any of the event's pricey VIP packages remain, they're available by calling 861-1600 or 502-1800. ABC and ESPN are scheduled to televise the event nationally.

Circus Flora: See Thursday.
Disney's Beauty and the Beast: See Thursday.
"Rick Hards: Former Lives": See Thursday.
Mama, I Want to Sing: See Friday.
Shear Madness: See Thursday.
Swinging on a Star: The Johnny Burke Musical: See Thursday.
"Totally Cole!": See Friday.
World of Wheels: See Friday.

sunday
january 5
Sunday A'Fair: The popular arts festival is scheduled Sunday, January 5, and most Sundays, through April 27, 1997. Hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. at Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, Civic Center Boulevard between Second Street and Indian School. Flamenco guitarist Esteban is this week's featured music act. Admission is free. For details call 994-2787.

Circus Flora: See Thursday.
Disney's Beauty and the Beast: See Thursday.
Mama, I Want to Sing: See Friday.
Metallica: See Saturday.
Shear Madness: See Thursday.
Swinging on a Star: The Johnny Burke Musical: See Thursday.
World Championship of Golf: See Saturday.
World of Wheels: See Friday.

 

monday
january 6
Short Eyes: Miguel Pinero penned this dark drama about prison life and racism. The play, whose title is slang for a child molester, was derived from a workshop at New York's Sing Sing facility and played at Lincoln Center. Valley performances are scheduled Monday, January 6; Tuesday, January 7; and Wednesday, January 8, at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. All start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and $12, available at the center and Dillard's; for more information, call 965-5377 or 678-2222.

tuesday
january 7
"A Touch of the Garden": The self-guided, hands-on tour of Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park, includes educational stations and demonstrations detailing the way local plants and animals have adapted to their Sonoran Desert environment. "Garden" walks start at 9 a.m. Tuesday, January 7; and the same time Wednesday, January 8. They're free with regular admission: $7, $6 for seniors, $1 for kids ages 5 to 12, free for younger kids. For details call 941-1225.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast:
See Thursday.
"Rick Hards: Former Lives": See Thursday.
Short Eyes: See Monday.

wednesday
january 8
"The Arizona Diamondbacks and Bank One Ballpark": The baseball team's marketing director, Scott Brubaker, presents this "behind-the-scenes look" at the squad and the BOB. It's scheduled at noon Wednesday, January 8, in conjunction with the monthly meeting of Women in Communications (WICI). The scene is the Ramada hotel at 401 North First Street. Registration is required; the fee is $18, $15 for WICI members, and includes lunch. For more information, call 949-4334.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast: See Thursday.
"Rick Hards: Former Lives": See Thursday.
Shear Madness: See Thursday.
Short Eyes: See Monday.
Swinging on a Star: The Johnny Burke Musical: See Thursday.
"A Touch of the Garden": See Tuesday.


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