Night & Day

april 22
Standup guy Joe Rogan, best known as the gadget master on TV's NewsRadio, takes the stage at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 22; 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, April 23; 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday, April 24; and 8 p.m. Sunday, April 25, at the Tempe Improv Comedy Theater, 930 East University (at Cornerstone mall). Tickets are $10 and $12. 480-921-9877.

Matters matrimonial are the themes of 'Til Death Do Us Part, a 70-minute dance piece choreographed by Ann Ludwig for the A. Ludwig Dance Theatre. The company, which includes dancers from both Tap Arizona and the Pyle Senior Center, performs the work at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 22; the same time Friday, April 23; and Saturday, April 24; and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 25, at the Tempe Performing Arts Center, 132 East Sixth Street. Candice St. Jacques wrote the text and lyrics, Brian M. Kunnari composed the music, and Tom Eldrige created the accompanying video images. Tickets are $12, $10 for seniors, $8 for students with ID. 480-350-9522, 480-966-3391.

april 23
A "really big" yard sale tops the list of attractions at Peoria's revived Pioneer Days Festival, along with music, an "Extreme Golf" competition, theatrical performances, food, arts and crafts and multicultural festivals, kids' activities, movies, a parade, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, and a pancake breakfast. Festivities are scheduled on Friday, April 23; Saturday, April 24; and Sunday, April 25, at various venues around Peoria, including Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue. For hours and other information, call 623-412-7198 or 623-412-7137.

Science fiction isn't a genre that's heavily associated with the theater, even though it was a sci-fi play--Czech dramatist Karel Capek's 1921 drama RUR--that coined the term "robot." Mesa Youtheatre takes a crack at staged sci-fi with Dream Pools, which wraps up its season. This drama by Brian Kral (Legacy of the Rose), recommended for ages 9 and up, tells of an explorer from Earth of the future traveling to a distant desert planet to learn how its inhabitants live with so little water. Opening performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 23; 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24; and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 25, at Mesa Youtheatre, located at Mesa Arts Center, 155 North Center. Tickets are $7, $5 for those under 18. 480-644-2560.

april 24
In the wake of raves for his acoustic Messenger CD Dirt Floor and of opening for both Alanis Morissette and Jonny Lang, Texas-born roots-blues slide guitarist and songwriter Chris Whitley, whose specialty is dark, hard-edged ballads that bring words like "alienation" and "angst" strongly to mind, performs at 9 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at the Cajun House, 7117 East Third Avenue in Scottsdale. Tickets are $5, available at the door; Jim Gibbons opens the 21-and-older show. 480-945-5150.

The 15th annual Southwest Salsa Challenge, billed as the region's largest such competition, is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at Scottsdale Stadium, located on the corner of Civic Center Boulevard and Osborn Road. More than 50 salsa chefs, amateurs and pros alike, compete in the public tasting, which also features live music by David Grossman and other local acts, celebrity appearances and kids' activities. Admission is $3, free for kids 12 and under; all proceeds benefit the Hemophilia Association of Arizona. 602-955-3947.

The Arizona Animal Welfare League's eighth annual "Evening for Paws" fund raiser includes dinner, a silent auction and entertainment. It starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at the Embassy Suites resort, 5001 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $75 and $100. For details call 602-273-6852.

It's a biggish dance weekend--in addition to Ballet Arizona's The Legends (see feature right) and A. Ludwig Dance Theatre's 'Til Death Do Us Part (see Thursday), Dance Motion, in conjunction with Young Sounds of Arizona, presents a performance of "Jumpin' at the Woodside," a dance concert featuring 20th-century music, at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at the Sundome, 19403 R.H. Johnson Boulevard in Sun City West. Tickets are $10. 623-975-1900 (the 'dome), 480-503-5555 (Dillard's), 602-971-9170 (Betty Johnson School of Dance).

A concert, titled "Synergy," of avant-garde electronic and acoustic music combined with costume and staging effects, by ASU master's candidate in composition Chris Contreras, is performed at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at Katzin Concert Hall, located in the Music Building on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe. Admission is free. 965-8863.

april 25
Cars and drivers from around the globe compete in the prestigious Nira-Toyo Tires Import Spring Nationals from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 25, at Firebird International Raceway, 20000 South Maricopa Road in Chandler. Admission is $15; kids under 12 get in free. 602-268-0200, 1-323-782-2845.

British medium Rosemary Altea, billed as "The Voice of the Spirit World"--she claims to receive messages directly from the departed--makes another of her periodic appearances in the Valley at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 25, at the Radisson Resort Scottsdale, 7171 North Scottsdale Road. Admission is $25; reservations are recommended. For more information or reservations, call Mishka Productions at 480-970-8543.

Juggling, acrobatics and comedy are mixed with black light and laser stage effect wizardry in Lazer Vaudeville. The family-oriented show comes to the Valley at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 25, at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue. Tickets range from $18 to $30. 480-786-2680 (CCA), 480-784-4444 (Ticketmaster).

april 26
The sixth annual Junior Achievement Women's Tee Club Golf Tournament kicks off with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. Monday, April 26, at Arrowhead Country Club, 19888 North 73rd Avenue in Glendale. Registration precedes at 8:30 a.m., followed by a clinic from 9 to 9:30. An on-the-cart lunch follows play at noon, as does an awards reception at 3 p.m. For fees and other information, call Dena Kidd at 602-271-4210, extension 108.

april 27
Produced by Phoenix-based Blue Dog Project, the locally shot feature film Forever Midnight, described as "an honest, unsweetened film about the choices young adults must make after leaving the cocoon of high school," is screened at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 27; and the same time Wednesday, April 28; and Thursday, April 29, at AMC Arizona Center, Third Street and Van Buren. A performance by the alternative band Idlebind, featured on the film's soundtrack, will precede the April 27 showing at 6 p.m. For ticket prices and other information, call 602-307-5371 or 602-953-5201.

Joined by Belgian guest conductor Guido Six and piano soloist Walter Cosand, Arizona State University Symphonic Band, under the direction of Richard Strange, performs works by Bach, Roland Cardon, John Philip Sousa and others; joining the band is the Wind Ensemble, scheduled to perform such works as "Nimrod" by Edward Elgar and "Xylophonia" by Joseph Green, featuring xylophone soloist J.B. Smith. The free show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 27, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. 480-965-3434.

Also on the band beat, the Salvation Army International Staff Band performs a concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 27, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. Tickets for the traditional-style brass band show are $15, $10 for seniors. 602-262-7272 (Phoenix Civic Plaza), 480-503-5555 (Dillard's).

april 28
As if the two judgments were mutually exclusive, Glendale Adult Center hosts a talk titled "Pablo Picasso--Giant or Scoundrel?" at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, at 7121 North 57th Avenue. Admission to this program, presented by the Arizona Humanities Council, is free, and refreshments are served. Call 623-930-2196 for more information.