Events

Pic Hits for the week

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Marlboro Country Nights Dance Showdown featuring Toby Keith: The finals of the national showdown, pitting the winning couples from the five regional championships in a hoof-off for the $10,000 grand prize, start at 8 p.m. Friday at Rockin Rodeo, 7850 South Priest inTempe. Judges Dawn Blorstade and Dean Garrish, reigning United Country Western Dance Council Division I champs, perform an exhibition prior to the concert by Polydor recording artist Keith, which commences at about 10. The cover is $5. Call 496-4336.

The Tempest: Ethington Theatre at Grand Canyon University, 3300 West Camelback, continues its 45th season with composer Lee Hoiby's operatic take on one of the Bard's most dramatic works. The play is the latest installment in Ethington's "Reconstructing Shakespeare" series, which includes upcoming presentations of Richard II and a musical revue titled Shakespeare and Friends. Final performances of The Tempest are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $8, $6.50 for seniors and kids. Call 589-2871.

Phoenix Roadrunners: Arizona's International Hockey Leaguers host the Kansas City Blades at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Tickets range from $10 to $19, available at the coliseum and Ticketmaster. Call 340-0001, 258-6711 or 784-4444.

saturday
december 9
Chris LeDoux at the New Celebrity: The singer and real-life cowpoke, a Grammy nominee (for "Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy," his duet with Garth Brooks) and a former bareback-bronc world champeen, is the first national act scheduled at the resuscitated and restored Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. The theatre-in-the-round, a Valley landmark that fell on hard times in the early '90s, is now owned by Toolies Country honcho Bill Bachand. Mogollon opens the all-ages show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $18.50 and $25, available at Toolies, Dillard's and Zia Record Exchange. For more information, call 267-1600 or 678-2222. For details about the new Celebrity's true debut, Tim & Willy's "Celebrity KMLE Christmas Breakfast Show" on Friday, see the Events listing.

Tumbleweed-Tree-Lighting Ceremony: A stranger driving through the bedroom community of Chandler wouldn't believe that a virulent strain of mischief lurks beneath the suburb's bland facade. Veteran Valleyites know better. Chandler's annual Doo Dah Days Parade is butterfly-net nutty, and its traditional Tumbleweed celebration also displays a touch of that signature Western otherness. Started in1957 by relocated Indianan Earl Barnum--who, bless his heart, saw a need--the free ceremony features the lighting of a 40-foot-tall tree constructed of chicken wire, adorned with about 1,000 tumbleweeds and doused with white and green paint, flame retardant and 50pounds of silver glitter. The fun begins at 3p.m. Saturday at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, located on Arizona Avenue between Buffalo and Boston streets, and continues 'til 8. The seminormal Parade of Lights starts at 6:15, traveling south on Arizona Avenue from Buffalo Street to Chicago Street, and the tree is plugged in immediately afterward. Call 786-2518.

Project Bandaloop: The death-defying Oakland, California, troupe performs what it calls "vertical dance"--an odd-duck marriage of ballet and rock climbing--at noon and 3 p.m. Saturday at McDowell Mountain Ranch, located at the intersection of Pima and Bell roads in Scottsdale. Admission is free. Call 585-7600.

Phoenix Suns: Charles Barkley and company host the Miami Heat on Saturday and the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday. Both games start at 7 p.m. at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. A free party at Symphony Hall Terrace, Second Street and Adams, precedes Saturday's game; it starts at 5 and continues 'til 10:30 (call 262-6225). A free tipoff party is planned prior to Tuesday's game; it starts at 6 on the Grand Staircase at Arizona Center, 455 North Third Street (call 949-4353). If game tickets are available, they're at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7867.

sunday
december 10
Korn: Since its Valley debut in early June, the Orange County, California, quintet--vocalist Jonathan Davis, guitarists Brian Welch and James "Munk" Munkey, drummer David Silveria and bassist Fieldy--has made national waves with its funky, punky wall of sound and its eponymous Immortal/Epic debut. Fellow Orange County staple Sugar Ray--which falls somewhere between Metallica and Britain's New Romantics--shares the bill. Cradle of Thorns opens the show at 3 p.m. Sunday at Party Gardens, 5555 East Van Buren. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster. Call 231-0488.

Milagros de Navidad: Phoenix Bach Choir and Vancouver-based Ancient Cultures join forces for this concert, which features traditional songs of the Americas. Shows are at 3 p.m. Sunday at La Sala, in University Center Building on Arizona State University West campus, 4701 West Thunderbird in Glendale, and at 8 that night at First United Methodist Church, 5510 North Central. Tickets are $16, $14 for students and seniors, $8 for children, available at Ticketmaster. Call 543-2787 or 264-2224.

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Clay McNear
Contact: Clay McNear