Calendar for the week

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Phoenix Home Improvement and Garden Show: Channel 3's "Garden Guy" Dave Owens, and Brian Blake of Whitfill Nursery are among the special guests at the 25th annual show, which also features more than 400 exhibits on interior and exterior decorating, remodeling, winter landscaping and other such weekend-ruining projects. It's slated for noon to 9 p.m. Friday, March 13; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 14; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 15, in exhibit halls A through C at Phoenix Civic Plaza, Second Street and Adams. Admission is $5, $3 for seniors, free for kids 12 and under. 277-4748, 262-7272.

Forever Jung: This rates a mention just because of the title. Brit actor John Maxwell Taylor wrote and performs this monodrama about the great psychologist Carl G. Jung. The single performance is at 8 p.m. Friday, March 13, at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $20. 965-5377 (Kerr), 503-5555 (Dillard's), 991-8373.

march 14
Second City Theater: Elaine May and Mike Nichols, J.J. Barry, Shelly Berman, Alan Arkin, both Belushis, both Murrays (Bill and Brian-Doyle), Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, David Steinberg, Shelley Long and Chris Farley ad seemingly infinitum matriculated in this Chicago-based improv-comedy troupe, which grew out of the University of Chicago's Compass Players in the late '50s and probably had a greater influence on American comedy of the late 20th century than any other single institution. Who knows what future superstars you may catch--and be able to brag that you saw before they were big--when the theater's current national touring company takes the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue. Tickets are $14. 786-2680.

Orpheus Male Chorus: The lads present another of their "lively and whimsical" programs of manly tunes, ranging from "Soon Ah Will Be Done" to "When I Fall in Love," with perhaps a sea chanty or two thrown in. Two performances are scheduled: at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. Tickets are $12, $6 for those under 18. 271-9396 (OMC), 503-5555 (Dillard's).

"Fight Night at the Ritz": The great Muhammad Ali is scheduled to make a special appearance at this event, which begins with a reception followed by dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at the Ritz-Carlton, 24th Street and Camelback. Apart from Ali, the evening's major attractions are the "fights" between area celebrities for such charities as Barrow Neurological Institute and Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix. In past years, the likes of Jake Plummer, Alice Cooper and Kerri Strug have duked it out; last year the prospect of this sort of bizarre pop-culture juxtaposition was enough to raise close to $400,000. Tickets, if any are still available, start at a cool $3,500 per table. 956-7111.

Objects: The gallery's second annual "Best of the Vest" show features the vest as canvas for a wide variety of clothing artists from around the country, among them Louise Blumberg, Peggotty Christenson, Kathleen Hagerty and Ellen Silberlicht, working in every medium that could be used in a vest, from handpainted silk to interwoven found objects. The exhibition opens Saturday, March 14, and runs through Saturday, April 11. 7051 East Fifth Avenue in Scottsdale. 994-4720.

march 15
Mary Lou Lord: Beantown's Lord can knock out an eccentric, folksy ballad--like her cover of Elliott Smith's "I Figured You Out"--or shake the foundation with a piece of power-chord pop like "Some Jingle Jangle Morning." When not on tour, La Lord can sometimes be found broadcasting, via her beloved Mighty Mouse amp, her lower-depths yarns of urban detritus, human and otherwise, to the commuters in her hometown's subway. See the story on page 93. The show, for ages 21 and up, starts at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, March 15, at the Mason Jar, 2303 East Indian School. Tickets are $7, available at Ticketmaster. 956-6271, 784-4444.

march 16
I Will Fight No More Forever: In the style of European "reader's theatre," Actor's Workout, Inc., presents another in its "Project Risk" series of "holding book" performances, rehearsed no more than three times. This one, a screenplay by Jeb Rosebrook based on the life of Chief Joseph, begins at 7 p.m. Monday, March 16, at the Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central. Admission is free; donations are welcomed. 631-9251.

march 17
The Irish Rovers: Actually, this band of folkies was founded in Canada in the early '60s by a couple of teenage Irish immigrants, and two of its biggest hits were written by Chicago natives: Shel Silverstein's "The Unicorn" and Tom Paxton's "Wasn't That a Party." If blarney can be ersatz, this is an example. Still, there are worse ways one could spend St. Paddy's than listening to this lot; they always put on a good, cornball show. Make sure to request "Goodbye Mrs. Durkin" or their goof on the Scots, "Donald, Where's Your Trousers?" The Rovers play two shows in the Valley, first at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, at the Sundome, 19403 R.H. Johnson Boulevard in Sun City West; and then at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue. Tickets range from $7 to $24 at the Sundome; at CCA they're $12, $18 or $24. 975-1900 (the 'dome), 786-2680 (CCA).

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M.V. Moorhead
Contact: M.V. Moorhead