Viva Divas

Sun 5/25
As the old saying goes, "Who does not love wine, women and song, remains a fool his whole life long" -- which also happens to be the credo of Paula Cullison, who has gathered 23 female restaurateurs, caterers and wine experts for the second annual Wine, Women & Jazz event, from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 25. Cullison is a former Brooklynite who also has a thing for jazz. For the show, which falls under the auspices of the Arizona Women's Partnership, she's booked three of our finest local vocalists, whom she describes as the "divine divas of jazz": Margo Reed, the Sarah Vaughan of the Valley; Delphine Cortez, who's been a fixture at Eddie Matney's since 1983; and Blaise Lantana, program director of KJZZ-FM 91.5.

It's an unbeatable combination, with tons of gourmet food, gallons of fine wine, and some top-shelf chanteuses, all provided to benefit a variety of women's grassroots organizations. You might even get lucky and win the Lufthansa ticket raffle, which will put you on a plane to Europe.

So drive over to the Ritz-Carlton, 2401 East Camelback, for what promises to be a delightful event. It'll do your soul some good, and you won't be "a fool your whole life long." Tickets are $50 in advance or $65 at the door. For more information, visit or call 602-863-9744. - Henry Cabot Beck

Venice, Anyone?

Have a gondola of a time

5/24; 5/31
Scottsdale's Borgata shopping center has adopted a new foreign policy. It's called "Carnevale" and, on Saturday afternoons through May 31, the European-flavored festival jazzes up the center courtyard with artisans, handwriting analysts, palm readers, jugglers and illusionists, plus food and live music. The free fest runs from noon to 4 p.m. at 6166 North Scottsdale Road. - Jill Koch

Chewing the Scene

Lunch lecture looks at Spanish film

Thu 5/22
Enjoy some cinema with your sandwich on Thursday, May 22, when the Thursday Lunch Talk series at Burton Barr Central Library offers "Reflections on Spanish Film." ASU professor Carlos Javier Garcia-Fernandez, who specializes in Spanish narrative and film studies, addresses the interplay of nationalism, language, money and globalization in late 20th-century Spain. Presented by the City of Phoenix in cooperation with the Arizona Humanities Council, the free program meets from noon to 1 p.m. in the library's first-floor Pulliam Auditorium, 1221 North Central. Participants are welcome to bring a lunch. Call 602-262-4636 for more information. - Jill Koch

Fresh Herilooms

Profit from treasured moments in Prescott

Find out what Grandma's gravy boat is worth -- pack up this weekend for an antiques road trip. For five bucks each, get verbal appraisals of heirlooms and other treasures at the annual Antique Show and Appraisal Clinic at Yavapai Community College in Prescott. Dealers from Arizona as well as other states offer loads of antiques and collectibles for sale, and Deanna's Fudge hands out free samples. Proceeds from the appraisals by the Valley of the Sun Antique Dealers Association benefit the Child Haven Nursery Crisis Center. Event hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 23, and Saturday, May 24; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 25. To get to Yavapai College, take Highway 69 into Prescott, where the road splits into Gurley and Sheldon. Stay right on Sheldon a few hundred feet to the college entrance. Admission to the show is $3 for adults and free for kids younger than 14. Print a $1-off coupon from For more information, call 602-717-7337. - Kim Toms

X Marks the Spot

Trust no one

Sat 5/24
The truth is out there. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 24, the Fifth Annual Scully Marathon will screen episodes of The X-Files to raise money for neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder of the nervous system that causes tumors to form on the nerves. Explore the global conspiracy that enthralled fans for nine seasons and enjoy refreshments, special X-Files video presentations and prize raffles. Expect the unexpected in the Turquoise Room at the Twin Palms Hotel, located at 225 East Apache in Tempe. The event is free, but donations are appreciated. For details call 1-877-550-9775. - Eric Schandel

Hit Kickers

Neon Circus Wild West Show mixes music and mayhem

Mon 5/26
Can't beat that down-home country charm. When Brooks & Dunn ride into Cricket Pavilion for their May 26 concert, country music's big boys will have a full-on freak fest in tow. Stressing the "wild" in wild west, the Neon Circus milks the talents of rodeo clowns, a comic hypnotist, a strong man, the Giant Bicycle Stunt Team, and Brian Brushwood, whose Extreme Side Show includes an illustrated history of fire eating.

Fancy more midway madness? Professor T's Freak Show boasts shrunken heads and a 5,000-year-old mummified toad. Interactive amusements range from a mechanical bull to an airbrush tattoo tent to an inflatable jousting pavilion. Aaron Lines, Jeff Bates, Cledus T. Judd, Rascal Flatts, and Brad Paisley round out the main-stage lineup; a second stage showcases up-and-coming country acts.

The gates open at 3 p.m. Monday, May 26; festivities begin at 3:30, music at 6:30. For tickets, $22 to $49.75, see or call 480-784-4444. A limited number of $10 lawn tickets are available at the pavilion box office, 2121 North 83rd Avenue. - Jill Koch

Finger Sprint

Flamenco guitarist makes a Pasión play

Thu 5/22
Scottsdale fashion feels the flame of Spanish passion on Thursday, May 22, when el Pedregal Festival Marketplace presents Pasión de Flamenco. The rapid, rhythmic dancing inspired by Spain's Andalusian Gypsies ignites the retail center's Music by Moonlight series, as world-renowned flamenco guitarist Chris Burton Jácome performs with a vocalist, percussionist, two guitarists and three flamenco dancers. The international ensemble takes the amphitheater stage at 7 p.m. Concertgoers are welcome to bring blankets and lawn chairs to the marketplace, at Scottsdale Road and Carefree Highway in north Scottsdale. Tickets, $10, are available at the gate or by calling 480-488-1072.- Jill Koch

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Henry Cabot Beck
Jill Koch
Contact: Jill Koch
Eric Schandel
Kim Toms