Cactus League Baseball: The boys of spring are back for this year's slate of preseason games, which opens with a couple of charity matches on Thursday, February 27: The Seattle Mariners take on the San Diego Padres in a benefit for the Peoria Diamond Club at 1:05 p.m. at the teams' dual training site, Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue; and the newly rechristened Anaheim Angels host Brigham Young University in a fund raiser for the Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley at 6:05 p.m. at Tempe Diablo Stadium, 2200 West Alameda. Regular games begin Friday, February 28, and continue daily, through Friday, March 28, at these and other venues; for this week's schedule and other information, see the "Cactus League Baseball" subsection in the Sports listing.
Jackie Mason: The old-school comedian speaks loudly and wields a big shtick. The New York-based standup artist also owns an honorary degree from the Oxford University Union, an award bestowed upon only three previous recipients: John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Gandhi--worthy men all, though not a funny bone between 'em. Theater League presents performances of Mason's new one-man show, "Direct From Broadway," at 8 p.m. Thursday, February 27; 8 p.m. Friday, February 28; 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. Tickets are $35.50 and $38.50, available at Phoenix Civic Plaza and Dillard's box offices; call 503-5555 or 262-7272.
Vital Signs: The most ambitious, and perhaps the best, work by enigmatic playwright Jane Martin (Keely & Du, Talking With . . . ). Arizona State University's theater department and the school's Institute for Studies in the Arts collaborated on a multimedia production of the by turns farcical and devastating 60-character study of American womanhood. Final performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 27; 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 28; and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at Paul V. Galvin Playhouse at ASU's Nelson Fine Arts Center, 10th Street and Mill in Tempe. Tickets range from $6 to $12, available at ASU Fine Arts and Dillard's box offices; call 965-6447 or 503-5555.
Will Bruder: The architect, designer of Phoenix Central Library and the in-development Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art--which is scheduled to take over the building next to Scottsdale Center for the Arts that's currently home to a United Artists discount cinema--previews SMOCA and discusses "ideas and images related to art [and] architecture" at 8 a.m. Thursday, February 27, at SCA, 7380 East Second Street. The event's held in conjunction with Scottsdale's monthly Mayor/City Council Breakfast, which precedes at 7:30. Admission is free, and includes a gratis continental breakfast. Call 994-2335.
A Grand Night for Singing: This show is a windfall for Rodgers and Hammerstein fans, featuring numbers like "Some Enchanted Evening" and "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair" and lesser-known works like "Allegro" and "Pipe Dream." This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, February 27; 8 p.m. Friday, February 28; 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, March 2; 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 4; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, at Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell. The production continues through Sunday, March 9. Tickets are $20 and $22, available at the scene and Dillard's; call 254-2151 or 503-5555.
Ashley MacIsaac and the Kitchen Devils: It had to happen sooner or later, "it" being the techno-groove desecration of traditional Scottish highland music. But MacIsaac--a young man from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, who wears a kilt and combat boots, plays a salty fiddle and is on a self-proclaimed mission to make the music of his forefathers safe for Gen X--defiles the form so well. The tunes on MacIsaac's major-label debut, hi how are you today?, range from trip-hops to simmering mantras to bum-kicking Scot-rock tunes like "The Devil in the Kitchen." MacIsaac and band perform a free set at 5 p.m. Friday, February 28, at Tempe's Zia Record Exchange, 105 West University (call 829-1967). Tara MacLean shares the stage at an evening concert slated for 7 at nearby Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe; tickets are $6, available at the club and Ticketmaster (call 967-1234 or 784-4444).
Indian Fair and Market: Heard Museum Guild presents the 39th annual cultural festival, one of the West's best. It opens with a preview/reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, February 28, at the Heard, 22 East Monte Vista; tickets are $15 (call 251-0214). The fest proper is held on the museum grounds from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1; and the same hours Sunday, March 2. Highlights include Native American art, chicken-scratch music and hoop dancing. Tickets, available at the scene and Dillard's, are $6, $3 for kids ages 4 to 12, and include museum entry (call 252-8840 or 503-5555).