Pic Hits for the week

february 13
Big Jack Johnson and the Oilers: Mississippi Delta bluesman Johnson is that rare artist who evokes the musical voices of others without undermining his own. You'll hear loving references to "Sittin' on Top of the World" and "Proud Mary" on his new disc, We Got to Stop This Killin', but you'll also hear a ragged-but-right tone poet at work, one with some passionate, pointed comments about a few unlovely things, as on the title track ("New babies being born with a gun in their hand/We got to stop this killin' right now"). See the related story on page 95. Showtime is 9 p.m. Thursday, February 13, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $5. Call 265-4842.

La Malinche: The subject of native culture and Spanish colonialism colliding in the Americas receives a generally upbeat treatment in Phoenix Art Museum's "Converging Cultures" installation (see the Art Exhibits listing). California's Carlos Morton paints a darker, more intimate portrait of the same in La Malinche, the playwright's recasting of Euripides' tragedy Medea against the backdrop of Cortez's conquest of Mexico. Arizona Theatre Company continues its 30th-anniversary season with the world premiere of the work; see the review on page 63. This week's performances are at 2 and 8 p.m. Thursday, February 13; 8 p.m. Friday, February 14; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, February 15; 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday, February 16; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 19, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The production continues through Saturday, February 22. Tickets range from $19 to $32, available at Herberger and Dillard's; call 252-8497 or 503-5555.

"Art Has Heart" Walk: The fund raiser is planned in conjunction with Scottsdale Gallery Association's weekly stroll among the art spaces along Main Street, Marshall Way and the rest of the city's arts district. It's scheduled for 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, February 13, and includes a series of silent auctions at participating galleries; proceeds benefit various Valley nonprofits, including Reading Is Fundamental, and Crisis Nursery. Admission is free. Call 990-3939.

Storyville: Anyone familiar with the live scene in Austin, Texas, will recognize the players composing this rock/soul collective: vocalist Malford Milligan, guitarists David Grissom and Dave Holt and the rhythm section of drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon. The latter pair, of course, anchored Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble. Touring behind its major-label debut, the David Z.-produced A Piece of Your Soul, Storyville performs Thursday, February 13, at the Mason Jar, 2303 East Indian School. Carvin Jones Band, and Jake the Snake share the stage. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $12, available at the club and Ticketmaster; call 956-6271 or 784-4444.

Riding the Edge: Adventures in Activism: PlayWright's Workshop Theatre presents this package of short pieces--about 10 minutes a pop--written by members of PWT's Edge Project '97 and addressing topics like racism and euthanasia. This week's performances are on Thursday, February 13; Friday, February 14; and Saturday, February 15. All start at 8 p.m. at the group's longtime home at 3302 North Seventh Street; that building will be razed immediately following the run, with PWT moving to new quarters at 1121 North First Street. The production continues through Saturday, February 22. Tickets are $10, $8 for students and seniors. Call 279-5151.

Desert Foothills Musicfest '97: The sixth annual winter carnival of sounds continues through Sunday, February 23, at various northeast Valley venues. On this week's agenda: "Music for Lovers," featuring the San Francisco duo of soprano Stephanie Johnson and tenor Linus Eukel, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 13, at Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church, 6502 East Cave Creek Road in Cave Creek; a performance by Phoenix Symphony and guest violinist Chee-Yun at 8 p.m. Saturday, February 15, at Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center, 33606 North 60th Street in Cave Creek (for program details, see Thursday in the Music listing); a concert titled "Classical Stars: A Celestial Showcase of Winds and Strings," featuring Musicfest's resident ensemble, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 18, at Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, Scottsdale Road and the Carefree Highway in Carefree; and a "Bach Lunch" at noon Wednesday, February 19, at the Cactus Shadows center. For admission and other information, call 488-0806.

february 14
"Swank D'Amour 2": Valley artist/writer Jim Cherry hosts this boozy bash on Friday, February 14, at the Copper Queen, a venue at 6933 North Seventh Street that Cherry describes as "a perfectly preserved '50s cocktail lounge." The highlight of this year's groovy do is a show by Karla Pundit, the turban-wearing master impersonator of "genie of the keys" Korla Pandit, the turban-wearing '50s master of magic-carpet organ music. Also planned: a performance by Eddy Detroit and the U-Bang-E Quartet, a retro fashion show by Buffalo Exchange, screenings of cheeseball spy and sci-fi movies and other vintage delights. The evening starts at 7 and continues 'til last call. The cover is $6. For details call 340-0715.

Valentine's Chocolate Bar: Belly up to this bar for too long, and you'll have more belly than you bargained for. The all-you-can-eat dessert buffet for chocoholics is open from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, February 14; and the same hours Saturday, February 15. It'll also be open Saturday, February 22. The scene is the Arizona Biltmore, 24th Street and Missouri. The price is $18.75. For reservations and details, call 954-2507.

Pilobolus: The dance troupe, known for its potent one-two punch of physicality and creativity, remains one of America's best. Shows are scheduled at 8 p.m. Friday, February 14; and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, February 15, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. The matinee is a one-hour "family" performance; the evening shows include nudity. If tickets are available, they're at the center and Ticketmaster; call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

Scottsdale All-Arabian Horse Show: About 2,000 of the world's top show equines compete in categories like cutting, jumping and driving at this 42nd annual event, the country's largest. It starts Friday, February 14, and continues daily, through Sunday, February 23, at WestWorld, 16601 North Pima Road. Admission is $10, $7 for seniors, $5 for kids under 12. Reserved-seating tickets are available at Dillard's. Proceeds benefit various Valley charities. Call 951-1180 or 678-2222. La Malinche: See Thursday.

Riding the Edge: Adventures in Activism: See Thursday.

february 15
Blues Blast '97: Phoenix Blues Society's sixth annual Blast kicks off Saturday, February 15, with an indoor dance party starring Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, and the Hoodoo Kings featuring Johnny Dyer and Chico Chism. Showtime is 7 p.m. at Mesa Centennial Hall, 201 North Center; admission is $6. The Blast proper starts at 11 a.m. Sunday, February 16, at Mesa Amphitheatre, Center and University. Headlining is Britain-born blues master John Mayall, in his first Valley appearance of the '90s. The supporting acts are Francine Reed, Chris Cain Band, Robert Ealey, the Rocket 88s, and Sistah Blue. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 the day of the show, available at Mesa Community Center and Dillard's box offices; kids under 12 are admitted free to Sunday's show. For details call 252-0599, 644-2560 or 678-2222.

Phoenix Lesbian & Gay Film Festival: The 1997 edition of the fest includes screenings of Scream, Teen, Scream (purportedly featuring the ghost of Karen Carpenter), Red Ribbon Blues (starring RuPaul, Paul Mercurio and Debi Mazar), Everything Relative (billed as "the lesbian Big Chill") and a compilation of short works titled Dyke Drama. Screenings start at noon Saturday, February 15, at Valley Art Theatre, 509 South Mill in Tempe. Tickets are $7 and $12, $10 and $18 the day of the event; proceeds benefit the Lesbian & Gay Public Awareness Project. For details call 351-3080 or 829-6668.

"Making a Statement: Fashion in the Rock and Roll Era": Forget what you looked like circa 1969/'70, courtesy of advancing age or postchemical reaction? Here's a reminder, if one was needed or wanted. The exhibit of garments and related gear spanning the period from the mid-'60s to the present provides a preview, of sorts, of the upcoming installation "It's Only Rock and Roll," scheduled to open Saturday, March 22, at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central. "Making a Statement" premieres Saturday, February 15, and continues through Sunday, June 22, in PAM's Fashion Design Gallery. Viewing is free; hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays (to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays). For details call 257-1880 or 257-1222.

Max Cannon: The Tucson cartoonist and New Times contributor (see page 3) is stumping in support of the new book Red Meat: A Collection of Red Meat Cartoons From the Secret Files of Max Cannon. He signs copies at 4 p.m. Saturday, February 15, at Borders Books & Music at 7320 West Bell in Glendale. For details call 487-9110.

Desert Foothills Musicfest '97: See Thursday.
La Malinche: See Thursday.
Pilobolus: See Friday.
Riding the Edge: Adventures in Activism: See Thursday.
Scottsdale All-Arabian Horse Show: See Friday.
Valentine's Chocolate Bar: See Friday.

february 16
Celebrity Baseball Game: The benefit features a field full of legends, à la the annual Dream Game, but also includes reps from other sports and pursuits. This year's roster of participants includes b-ball Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson, Gaylord Perry and Joe Garagiola Sr., Olympic swimmer Gary Hall Jr. and rock star Alice Cooper. The first pitch is at 2 p.m. Sunday, February 16, at Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 East Osborn. Admission is $5; proceeds go to various charitable organizations. For more information, call 957-4596.

Blues Blast '97: See Saturday.
La Malinche: See Thursday.
"Making a Statement: Fashion in the Rock and Roll Era": See Saturday.
Scottsdale All-Arabian Horse Show: See Friday.

february 17
Jim Rose Circus: Rose and his infamously bizarre body-morphing collective perform small-intestine-challenging feats of daring and stupidity that would make P.T. Barnum blanch. They do it again on Monday, February 17, at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, available at Ticketmaster. For details call 894-0707 or 784-4444.

Scottsdale All-Arabian Horse Show: See Friday.

february 18
Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys: Singer/guitarist Wonderland has been described as the illegitimate offspring of Tinkerbell and Joe Cocker. The spastic fairy and her Houston-based blues/surf crew return for a show on Tuesday, February 18, at the Rockin' Horse, 7316 East Stetson in Scottsdale. liars, gods & beggars share the bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. For details call 949-0992.

Desert Foothills Musicfest '97: See Thursday.
"Making a Statement: Fashion in the Rock and Roll Era": See Saturday.
Scottsdale All-Arabian Horse Show: See Friday.

february 19
James Fallows: The editor of U.S. News & World Report is also a noted media critic, author (Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy) and raconteur. He speaks at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 19, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. Admission is free, but tickets must be picked up in advance; call 965-2359.

Teddy Morgan: The laconic bluesman from Texas and his band, the Sevilles, have a sound reminiscent of Scruffy the Cat without the feral edge; they swing with impeccable style, and stand out thanks to Morgan's fine ear. Showtime is 9 p.m. Wednesday, February 19, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $4. For details call 265-4842.

Desert Foothills Musicfest '97: See Thursday.
La Malinche: See Thursday.
"Making a Statement: Fashion in the Rock and Roll Era": See Saturday.
Scottsdale All-Arabian Horse Show: See Friday.

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Clay McNear
Contact: Clay McNear