Pic Hits for the week

august 15
Continental Indoor Soccer League All-Star Game: Phoenix and its on-hiatus CISL franchise, the Arizona Sandsharks, are hosts of this year's bash, the second annual. Tatu, Sandshark Donny Gaillard, Dale Ervine and other league stars are scheduled to take the field at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 15, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets range from $6 to $10, available at the arena and Dillard's. For details call 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Grease!: Tommy Tune's touring production of the '50s musical, starring Adrian Zmed of the '82 movie Grease 2 as Danny Zuko, Mackenzie Phillips (American Graffiti, TV's One Day at a Time) as Rizzo, and Joe Piscopo as oily deejay Vince Fontaine, is back for its second Valley engagement of the year following a February run at Tempe's Gammage Auditorium. Final performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, August 15; 8 p.m. Friday, August 16; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, August 17; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, August 18, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Tickets range from $28 to $42, available at the scene and Dillard's. For details call 262-7272 or 678-2222.

King Errisson: The Bahamas-born, Las Vegas-based percussionist/vocalist was discovered by the original 007, Sean Connery, who landed King a small role in Thunderball. Errisson's now one of the music industry's top hired guns, having played with the likes of Smokey Robinson, Paul McCartney, Marvin Gaye and Quincy Jones, the latter whom Errisson resembles musically. (Visually, the bald King could be a stunt double for TV's Mr. Clean.) Errisson takes a break from his current tour with Neil Diamond for a free performance at 7 p.m. Thursday, August 15, at Borders Books & Music at Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback, Suite 200. The musician also will sign copies of his new CD, Natural Feeling. For details call 957-6660.

The Grapes of Wrath: Frank Galati won a Tony Award for his adaptation of John Steinbeck's landmark novel about the Joad family's flight from the Dust Bowl's devastation to the broken promise of golden California, land of milk, honey and barbarism. The Phoenix-based Actors Group presents Galati's take on Grapes in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. Final performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, August 15; 8 p.m. Friday, August 16; 8 p.m. Saturday, August 17; and 2 p.m. Sunday, August 18. Tickets are $16.25. For reservations and details, call 252-8497.

Road Trip: Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering in Prescott: Themed "Long in the Truth: Poems, Songs and Stories for the Working Cowboy," the ninth annual roundup of state and national saddle bards includes readings by Sunny Hancock, Dee Strickland Johnson, Tommy Thomas, Georgie Sicking and Bob Bird and performances by singing-cowpoke acts Lone Prairie, and the Desert Sons. Evening shows are scheduled at 7:30 Thursday, August 15; 8 Friday, August 16; and 5 and 8 Saturday, August 17, at Prescott College Elks Opera House, 133 East Gurley; advance tickets for each program are $9, $7 for students and seniors. Free poetry/storytelling sessions are slated for 1 to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Sharlot Hall Museum, 415 West Gurley. A free reception for the artists starts at 5 p.m. Friday at Phippen Museum of Western Art, located six miles northeast of town at 4701 Highway 89 North. For details call 1-520-445-3122.

august 16
ambersunshower: The African-American alternative artist--known as amber, for short--was half of the Tommy Boy Records duo Groove Garden ("You're Not Coming Home") before going solo. The Harlem native's Gee Street/Island debut, Walter T. Smith, is named for her late grandfather, who introduced the youngster to the sounds of Bessie Smith and James Brown by drumming along to their records on the kitchen table. amber's contemporary influences run more toward De La Soul, the Smiths and the Artist Formerly Known As Prince, and her sound falls somewhere between experimental soul and hard scat. She performs a free show on Friday, August 16, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. Satellite, and Spinning Jenny share the stage. Showtime is 10 p.m. For details call 967-1234.

"How I Spent My Summer Vacation/Solar Lobotomy": The sunburned member artists of MARS Artspace and a few special guests let their collective hair down in this nonjuried, anything-goes installation. It opens with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, August 16, and continues through Friday, August 23, at MARS, located at 126 South Central, in Luhrs Office Center. The gallery's regular viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free. For details call 253-3541.

The Twinkle Brothers: The long-lived group, which originated on reggae's home planet of Jamaica and is now based in London, plays a rare Valley gig on Friday, August 16, at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Della Grant shares the bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 the day of the show, available at Ticketmaster. For details call 894-0707 or 784-4444.

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Clay McNear
Contact: Clay McNear