Pic Hits for the week

april 11
Dinofest International: Billed as "the biggest dinosaur event ever," this saurian showcase includes dinosaur skeletons and fossils from all seven continents. Highlights include numerous pieces from the "Great Dinosaurs of China" collections of the Beijing and Inner Mongolia museums of natural history, including the largest touring dino skeleton in existence: an 85-foot-long, 35-foot-tall Neurosaurus chaganensis specimen nicknamed "Nancy"; the remains of a 25-foot-long duckbill from the Los Angeles County Museum; and eight robotic replicas by Dinamation International Corporation. The exhibit continues daily, through Sunday, April 21, at Arizona State University Activity Center in Tempe. Public hours are 6 to 10 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekends. Admission is $5, $3 for kids age 12 and under, available at ASU Public Events and Dillard's box offices; call 965-3434 or 678-2222. On Saturday, April 13, ASU geology professor Edmund Stump leads a special tour of the exhibit. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. with breakfast in the press box at Sun Devil Stadium, and tickets are $15; for reservations call 965-1441.

Tailgators: Those who rave about guitarist Don Leady's contemporary 'gators--the Austin, Texas, trio even got a recent thumbs up from the Salt Lake City Surf Music Appreciation Society--should seek out the group's 1985 debut, Swamp Rock. The Wrestler platter, which featured the ex-battery of Keith Ferguson and Gary "Mudcat" Smith, included the unsurpassed rave-ups "They Call Me Rockin'" and "Rock & Roll Till the Cows Come Home," and, in the minds of some Texans, qualified the crew for instant membership in rock's pantheon of the gods, roots division. Eleven years later, Leady can still whip a wild groove around a room, and he receives solid support from the current rhythm section of bassist Jean-Jacques Barrera and drummer Chico Oropeza. Touring behind the Upstart disc It's a Hog Groove!, the Tailgators perform Thursday, April 11, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The Suicide Kings share the bill. Showtime is 9 p.m. The cover is $5. For details call 265-4842.

Ballet Arizona's Romeo & Juliet: The troupe closes its season with artistic director Michael Uthoff's reading of the romantic standard, set to music by Prokofiev. Final performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11; 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13; and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 14, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. Tickets are $17.25, $22.25 and $27.25, available at the ballet box office and Herberger. For details call 381-1096 or 252-8497.

Great Arizona Rib Round-Up: "Ribateurs" from the Southwest, the Midwest and Australia compete in the second annual meat market. Also on the agenda: rib-eating and hog-calling contests, daily heats by Robinson's Racing Pigs and music by Rhett Akins, Beatles tribute band 1964 and other acts. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11; 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday, April 12; 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13; and 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 14, at Symphony Hall Terrace, Second Street and Adams. Admission is free before 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday; it's $4 after that and all day Saturday and Sunday. Kids under 12 are admitted free any time with a nonperishable food item for donation to Arizona Food Bank. For details call 1-602-507-1060.

Phoenix Symphony: Conductor James Sedares leads the orchestra and the Arizona State University Choral Union, directed by George Umberson, in an all-Mozart program that includes Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551 ("Jupiter"); and Requiem, K. 626. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11; and 8 p.m. Friday, April 12, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Tickets range from $12 to $36, available at the symphony box office and Dillard's; call 264-6363 or 678-2222. The symphony performs its popular "People's Pops Concert" at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 14, at the hall. Tickets are free, but must be picked up in advance at any Phoenix public library; call 262-4627.

april 12
Fiesta Bowl 3-on-3 State Championships: The playground-style street-ball tournament features more than 800 amateur hoops teams shooting for local b-ball bragging rights. The eighth annual event kicks off with various competitions at the Friday Night Fan Jam, scheduled for 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 12. The double-elimination tourney is set for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 13; and the same hours Sunday, April 14. All events take place in the parking lots at Arizona Center, Third Street and Van Buren. Call 350-0900.

Ballet Arizona's Romeo & Juliet: See Thursday.
Dinofest International: See Thursday.
Great Arizona Rib Round-Up: See Thursday.
Phoenix Symphony: See Thursday.

april 13
"Freedom of Expression and the Arts": The timely colloquium, held in conjunction with Phoenix Art Museum's installation "Old Glory: The American Flag in Contemporary Art" (see the Art Exhibits listing) and billed as a "public forum on the legal, philosophical and historical interpretations of the First Amendment and restrictions to freedom of expression in the arts and humanities," is slated for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at Phoenix Theatre, Central and McDowell. Former National Endowment for the Arts head John Frohnmayer and "Old Glory" contributing artist Faith Ringgold are scheduled to speak. Admission is $25, $20 for students and PAM members, which includes lunch. Preregistration is required; call 257-1880.

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Clay McNear
Contact: Clay McNear