Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: The 127th-anniversary edition of the Greatest Show on Earth features ringmaster Eric Michael; Zusha, Queen of the Nile, billed as the world's only performing hippopotamus; master clown David Larible; second-generation animal trainer Mark Oliver Gebel; the debut of the Golden Pyramid human acrobats; and the Oxygen Skate Team. Final performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 3; 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 4; 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 5; and 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, July 6, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets range from $11.50 to $30, available at the arena and Dillard's; call 379-7800 or 503-5555.
subUrbia: Tucson's upstart Upstairs Theatre Company has traveled north for this revival of a January '96 production of the Eric Bogosian play in the Old Pueblo. The work revolves around three guys in their early 20s who replay a communal past while bumming around in the dead-end present of a convenience-store parking lot. Final performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 3; 8 p.m. Friday, July 4; 8 p.m. Saturday, July 5; and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 6, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. Tickets are $10 and $17.50, available at Herberger and Dillard's; call 252-8497 or 503-5555.
Phoenix Art Museum First Friday Concert Series: Because of Friday's Independence Day commemoration, the popular series moves ahead a day this month, with acoustic bluesman Hans Olson doing the honors. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 3, in the Great Hall at PAM, 1625 North Central. Tickets are $7.50, $5 for members. Call 257-1880 or 257-1222.
The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr (abridged): Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield penned this Pythonesque parody, brimming with pot shots at the Bard and performed by Actors Theatre of Phoenix's "Reduced Shakespeare Company," comprising actors Gerald Burgess, Jon Gentry and Scott Hopkins and a prop list that includes "1 butcher knife, 2 daggers, 1 dinosaur (inflatable), 1 head (severed), 1 skull (rubber), 1 vial poison and 1 vial potion." Act one features snippets from 36 Shakespearean pieces; the centerpiece of act two is Hamlet--performed "three times forward and once backwards." ATP presents a summer revival of its high-season show. The second run continues with performances at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 3; 8 p.m. Friday, July 4; 8 p.m. Saturday, July 5; and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 6, in Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The production runs through Sunday, July 13. Tickets range from $16 to $26, available at Herberger and Dillard's; call 252-8497 or 503-5555.
Road Trip: Frontier Days/World's Oldest Rodeo in Prescott: This annual high-country romp in Arizona's territorial capital includes the well-aged rodeo--which began life in 1888--at Yavapai County Fairgrounds and various activities at downtown's Courthouse Plaza, including the Frontier Days Parade, the Whiskey Row Boot Race, fireworks, a carnival and entertainment. The event's scheduled Thursday, July 3; Friday, July 4; Saturday, July 5; and Sunday, July 6. Call 1-800-266-7534 or 1-520-445-2000.
"Fabulous Phoenix Fourth" featuring Alabama: The corn-pone country act from Fort Payne, AL, can't hope to match the musical fireworks displayed at last year's truly fabulous Fourth--which featured the Mavericks, and Junior Brown--but the annual show is free. Emilio, Young Country, and the all-woman blues band Sistah Blue also perform at the bash, scheduled for 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 4, on the grounds of the Arizona State Capitol, 17th Avenue and Washington. Billed as "America's Hottest Fourth"--and we're not talking aesthetics here; it's eggs-on-asphalt time out there--the event, in its 12th year, includes a big fireworks display, carnival rides and games, skydivers, fly-overs by jet fighters and more. Gratis parking is available in the area bordered by Seventh and 19th avenues and Van Buren and Adams streets. Call 534-3378 or 262-4633.
Phoenix Firebirds Versus Las Vegas Stars: The Triple A/Pacific Coast League affiliate of baseball's San Francisco Giants continues its 34th--and final--season in the Valley with its traditional west-side match against Sin City's Stars at 7:05 p.m. Friday, July 4, at Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue; a fireworks spectacular follows the final out. Another game against the Stars is slated for the same time Saturday, July 5, at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, 5999 East Van Buren--the Firebirds' first PCL game at Muni since the team moved to Scottsdale Stadium; a second fireworks display follows that game. A double-header against Las Vegas starts at 6:05 p.m. Sunday, July 6, at the Scottsdale field, 7408 East Osborn. Tickets are available at Dillard's; call 503-5555. For general information, call 275-0500.
More Fourth of July Fun: For other Independence Day options, see the Events and On the Road listings.
The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr (abridged): See Thursday.
Frontier Days/World's Oldest Rodeo in Prescott: See Thursday.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: See Thursday.
subUrbia: See Thursday.