Pic Hits for the week

may 30
Private Eyes: Like the movie The Usual Suspects, with which this play by Steven Dietz shared a title until being changed recently, Private Eyes is a complex whodunit. Unlike Suspects, Dietz's work is a comedy. Arizona Theatre Company presents the world premiere of the play about a gang of backstabbing characters who couldn't shoot straight with each other. This week's performances are at 2 and 8 p.m. Thursday, May 30; 8 p.m. Friday, May 31; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 1; 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday, June 2; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The production continues through Sunday, June 9. Tickets range from $20 to $30, available at Herberger and Dillard's. Call 252-8497 or 678-2222.

Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: Theater League presents a special tenth-anniversary revival of the oft-revived all-woman musical inspired by soap operas, supermarket tabloids and other unfortunate by-products of pop culture's ascension. Bob Sorenson directed this Six Women reincarnation, which stars Debby Rosenthal, Renee Morgan Brooks, Melissa Spevacek, Heidi Ewart, Sherri Hildebrand and Christie Klein. The run continues with previews at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 30; 8 p.m. Friday, May 31; 8 p.m. Saturday, June 1; 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, at the similarly revivified Scottsdale Playhouse, 7219 East Main. Preview tickets are $12.50, available at Dillard's; call 678-2222. For general information, call 952-2881.

may 31
Tortoise: The all-instrumental Chicago quintet does not do surf music; in fact, if there were such a thing as antisurf, the aptly named Tortoise would undoubtedly incorporate it as a subtext of the band's languid, multilayered, ambient/experimental music--a sometimes boffo, always head-expanding sound created with an unusual array of instrumentation, including dueling basses, lap steel, vibraphone, melodica, marimba, samplers and sequencers; see the story on page 93. Tortoise is touring behind its second Thrill Jockey disc, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, an early-20th-century pet phrase among true believers in the Rapture. The group performs Friday, May 31, at Hollywood Alley, 2610 West Baseline in Mesa. Fellow Windy City acts the Sea and Cake, and 5ive Style share the all-ages bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $8, available at Alternatix. Call 820-7117 or 244-8444.

Drunken Bees: Speaking of boffo, head-expanding stuff, this odd, but oddly compelling, film is a brief (27 minutes) history of a moment in time in the life of Howe Gelb and Giant Sand, a veteran Tucson outfit that plays sandblasted punk 'n' western. The movie's title is derived from a Rolling Stone dis of one of the group's recent albums, which is recited on-screen by one bandmember: "Gelb's an art- and trash-picker who can't, or won't, cobble his scraps into form. . . . Things buzz and bump and clash as randomly as drunken bees." In ways both bad and beautiful, this pretty much sums up both the band and the flick. The latter was bankrolled by Zia Record Exchange mogul Brad Singer and photographed and directed--in an annoyingly arty style we'll call "Slackervision"--by France-born Marianne Dissard, an ex-Arizona State University student. Victoria Williams and Rainer are featured in brief cameos. A screening is scheduled at 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, at Valley Art Theatre, 509 South Mill in Tempe. For details call 829-6668.

Private Eyes: See Thursday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

june 1
Mainly Mozart Festival: Jeffrey Siegel, noted for his "Keyboard Conversations" series, is artistic director of the 11th annual tribute to the great Wolfgang and friends. The two-week fest kicks off with Mainly Mozart Orchestra concerts at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at Paul V. Galvin Playhouse in Arizona State University's Nelson Fine Arts Center, Tenth Street and Mill in Tempe; and at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at La Sala, located in the University Center Building on the Arizona State University West campus, 4701 West Thunderbird in Glendale. The program includes the title composer's Symphony No. 38 in D ("Prague") and two pieces by Haydn: Symphony No. 95 in C minor and Trumpet Concerto in E-flat major. The fest continues with a related lecture by John Corrigan, "The History and Philosophy of the 18th Century," at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at Kiva Hall on the ASU West campus. A chamber concert, featuring Siegel on piano, is scheduled at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, at La Sala. The program features Mozart's Quartet in G minor, K. 285; Brahms' Trio, Opus 114; and Beethoven's Septet, Opus 20. Tickets are $20 and $23 for the orchestra concerts, $18 and $21 for the chamber concert, $5 for the lecture, available at Dillard's; call 678-2222. Festival events continue through Sunday, June 16. For general information, call 965-6447.