Following film appearances in Speed 2: Cruise Control and the upcoming My Favorite Martian, and TV appearances everywhere from Letterman to The Jon Stewart Show, Canadian funnyman Jeremy Hotz takes the stage at 8 p.m. Thursday, December 10; 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, December 11; the same times Saturday, December 12; and 8 p.m. Sunday, December 13, at the Tempe Improv Comedy Theater, 930 East University (at Cornerstone mall). 921-9877.
Sort of a Big Lebowski for the Phoenix arts scene, Jeff Cochran's film Punk James premieres with three screenings on Friday, December 11, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Showtimes are 6:30, 8:15 and 10:15 p.m. The film centers on the title character, a scroungy local cowboy played by local painter Robert Anderson, and deals with, in the words of the director, "sex, violence, money, cowboys, Indians and love" (in descending order of importance?). Most of the roles are played by Valley art types, among them Steve Yazzie, the excellent painter David Carmack Lewis, performance artist Leslie Barton and poetry maven Ted Christ. Tickets are $5. 994-2787 (SCA), 784-4444 (Ticketmaster).
Although only one member of the original Winnipeg, Manitoba-based lineup--Garry Peterson--remains, and only one other player--Jim Kale--has been in the band since the '60s, The Guess Who carries on, dishing out such faves as "No Time," "American Woman" and the great "No Sugar Tonight." The vintage group performs in the Oasis Lounge at Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino, 15406 Maricopa Road in Maricopa, at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, December 11; and the same hours Saturday, December 12. Admission is free; seating is first come, first served. 802-5000.
Big-time horn ensemble BrassUnlimited makes its Valley debut with two holiday concerts: at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 11, at the Sundome, 19403 R.H. Johnson Boulevard in Sun City West; and at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 12, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. Valley tubaists Sam Palafian and Pat Sheridan are members of the group, which also performs in Tucson at 8 p.m. Sunday, December 13, at Centennial Hall, 1020 East University. Tickets are $15 and $25. 975-1900 (the 'dome), 503-5555 (Dillard's), 1-520-621-3341 (Centennial Hall).
For the sake of the magnificent cats, Phoenix Zoo presents "Tigers in Crisis," a traveling exhibit of five kiosks offering, through photos and interactive displays, information on the struggle that the species faces in the wild. It begins on Friday, December 11, on the Africa Trail, just past the zoo's own tiger enclosure. It continues through February 28 during regular zoo hours, and is free with regular zoo admission: $8.50, $7.50 for seniors, $4.25 for kids ages 3 to 11, free for younger children and members. 455 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park. 273-1341.
Still more retro: Hitmakers Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, a.k.a. Flo and Eddie, a.k.a. The Turtles, have been happily together for more than 30 years, their many hits and take-no-prisoners comedy making them "oldies circuit" staples since the end of their tenure with Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. Having been members both of a great Top 40 hit machine and that paradigm of "underground" rock gives Volman and Kaylan an edge missing from typical blast-from-the-past shows. They play the hits just as you remember them, while keeping up a running stream of goofing on rock's past, present and future. Gary Puckett, and the Grassroots share the bill with the Shelled Ones for "The Cool Holiday Show" on Saturday, December 12, at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. Showtime is 7 p.m.; tickets are $25. 267-1600 (Celeb), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
The work of more than 450 artists representing more than 60 tribes from all over North America is showcased at Pueblo Grande Museum's 22nd annual Pueblo Grande Indian Market, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, December 12; and the same hours Sunday, December 13, at South Mountain Park Activity Center, 10919 South Central. The event features authentic handcrafted items ranging in price from $2 to $2,000, including baskets, pottery, jewelry, kachinas, sculpture and paintings. The fun also includes chicken-scratch dancers, singers and crafts demonstrations, plus fry bread and other Southwestern delicacies. Admission is $5, free for kids younger than 12; parking is free. 495-0901.
Native American art enthusiasts can have a full weekend, between the Pueblo Grande Indian Market (see above) and the Heard Museum, which hosts a Hopi pottery demonstration by artisan Camille Hisi Quotskuyva, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 12; and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, December 13. It's free with regular museum admission: $6, $5 for seniors, $3 for those ages 4 to 12, free for younger kids. 22 East Monte Vista. 252-8840.
Jazz in Arizona continues its new concert series, titled "Feel the Spirit," in which jazz acts play in a church setting. The second show, which features vocalist Sherry Roberson, accompanied by saxophonist Peter Bige, pianist Steve Bige, bassist Johnny Sanchez and drummer Tom Goodwin, is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, December 13, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 4027 East Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley. Admission is $10. 942-8348.
Free immunizations for kids are offered by the Maricopa County Health Department from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday, December 14, and the second Monday of every subsequent month, in the community room adjacent to the food court of Arrowhead Towne Center, 75th Avenue and Bell in Glendale. If possible, parents should bring their kids' immunization records with them. For more information, call 979-7575.
Brit keyboard kings Depeche Mode, fast approaching their 20th year in the biz, perform on Monday, December 14, at America West Arena, 201 East Jefferson. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $32.50. 379-7800, 503-5555.
And in case you haven't had enough either of synthesizers or of America West Arena, there's always Mannheim Steamroller's "Christmas" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 15, at the arena, 201 East Jefferson. The ensemble, supported by a full orchestra, plays its electronic-age versions of Christmas faves to the accompaniment of an elaborate stage show featuring electronic effects, live toy soldiers and gingerbread guys, a working train and more. Tickets range from $15 to $55. 379-7800 (AWA), 503-5555 (Dillard's).
The art of successfully entering--or leaving--the small business world is explored in the Buying and Selling a Business Workshop. The event is run by SCORE, a volunteer organization of retired businesspeople sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration. It runs from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, December 15, at Western International University, 9215 North Black Canyon Highway (just north of Dunlap on the east side access road). The fee is $35 in advance, $40 at the door. For more information, call 640-2329.
Despite its name and its campy stage show--the members wear matching costumes and black capes--Satan's Pilgrims is actually regarded as one of the more conservative riders of surf's New Wave, specializing in tremolo, reverb and a keen reverence for instro-rock's less true pilgrims, like the Trashmen, Duane Eddy, the Mar-Keys and, of course, Dick Dale's Del-Tones. Bomborras share the bill when the 'grims perform Wednesday, December 16, at Boston's, 910 North McClintock in Tempe. The cover is $7. 921-7343.