ANOTHER SIZZLE. As the sun fries us to a crisp, The Invisible Theatre offers refreshing musical respite with Sizzling Summer Sounds.
This performance showcase features keyboard king Jeffrey Haskell; Jack Neubeck, a.k.a. "Mr. Broadway"; singing greats Betty Craig and Liz McMahon; world-class jazz trombonist Tom Ervin; "Musical Theatre Sensation" Stuart Moulton; and piano impresario Lisa Otey. There will also be guest appearances by Marc Arthur, Stacy Johnson and "faux real" Carol Channing. Selections for these cabarets range from Big Band to Broadway show tunes.
The performance is 8 p.m. in The Doubletree Hotel, 445 S. Alvernon Way. Performances continue at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, through July 17. Tickets range from $16 to $18, and are available by calling 882-9721.
BELLY UP. The sensual Middle East carves out a Tucson niche with belly dancing at Fourth Avenue's charming Casbah Tea House. Featuring one to three dancers, these traditional hip shakers take us far beyond the Boot Scoot Boogie, to a place where tradition doesn't start and end with crass mass-marketing.
Belly dancing runs from 8:30 to 11 p.m. in the Casbah Tea House, 628 1/2 N. Fourth Ave. Admission is free. For details, call 740-0393.
BONE-UP. Funky Bonz is a high-temperature funk band, and they're steaming across Arizona to pump their latest CD, Nightmare on Groove Street. Now they raise the thermometer even higher for a house-rockin' night in the Club Congress. They'll open for Aztlan Underground and Blues Experiment.
Winner of two consecutive TAMMIES awards, Funky Bonz is Brent Kort on vocals, percussion and harmonica; Doug Floyd on guitar and vocals; Tom Kennedy on sax and vocals; Sean Mayercek on bass; and Alan Anderson on drums.
Show time is 9 p.m. at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Admission is $5. Call 622-8848 for information.
ROOM TO GROOVE. They've gotta mighty big sound. Big enough to fill a room, in fact. That's probably why they call themselves Roomful of Blues. And they're rolling into the little ol' Boondocks Lounge for a night of low-down, gut-wrenchin' music so ornery it'll make you wanna spank your grandma.
Born in the late '60s, the Roomful hails from the Midwest, where they've been touring hot on the heels of their latest release, There Goes the Neighborhood.
They're still packing that original punch, spiced by a line-up that includes everything from baritone sax to trumpets and searing guitar.
Opening the show will be Honey Boy and The Stingers.
Show time is 8:30 p.m. in The Boondocks, 3306 N. First Ave. Advance and TBS tickets are $17, and available by calling 690-0991. Tickets are $20 at the door.
MUSICAL TRADITION. A native of Benares, India, Pandit Sharda Sahai was practically born with a silver tabla in his hands. He's a direct descendent of Pandit Ram Sahai, founder of Benares' signature tabla style, and he learned his way around the stringed instrument from his father, the late Pandit Bhagvati Sahai.
As a result, today the younger Pandit is ranked among India's top players, a true virtuoso who made his first public debut at age 16, when he appeared at the Italee Music Conference in Calcutta. Since then, he has appeared as a soloist or accompanist at all of India's leading festivals, and has performed more than 1,000 concerts worldwide. In his spare time, the acclaimed artist founded the Pandit Ram Saai Sangit Vidyalaya, an institute for training in classical Indian music and dance.
Tonight, Sahai brings all those decades of talent and experience to bear for a spellbinding performance in the Old Pueblo. He'll be accompanied by sarod player Steve Oda.
Show time is 8 p.m. in the UA Holsclaw Hall, on the south end of the underpass at Speedway and Park Avenue. Advance tickets are $8, and available at Taj Mahal Gifts and Hear's Music. Tickets are $10 at the door. For information, call 881-3947.
LIVING LARGE. Pull on your dancin' spats and dig some jumping blues and swing with Big Dave and the Ultrasonics.
This blues-roots quintet hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan, where it's been known to shake a mighty rug or two. Featuring Big Dave Steele on vocals and "burning guitar"; Dave Morris on harmonica; Ben Wilson on boogie-woogie piano; Jim Rasmussen on bass; and Pieter Struyk on drums, the band incorporates jazz flavorings and a modern swing slant without losing their roots. That style has landed them gigs with everyone from John Mayall and Buddy Guy to Albert King and Koko Taylor.
"We're part swing, part jump," says Big Dave. "What distinguishes us is the quality of the arrangements, and that we think like a big band." Big Dave and the Ultrasonics play at 8 p.m. in Plaza Palomino, at Fort Lowell and Swan roads. Advance tickets are $12, available at Enchanted Earthworks, Hear's Music and Beaver's Band Box. Tickets are $15 at the door. Call 297-9133 for details.
SOUTHERN KIBBUTZ. Learn about Judaism Southern-style when the Arizona Historical Society hosts Pushcarts and Plantations: Jewish Life in Louisiana.
The 60-minute video offers a lively history of Jewish life in various parishes of Louisiana, and one segment touches on the controversial figure of Klan leader David Duke, a frequent candidate for public office in the state. Live commentary will be provided by Fay Roos, a Tucsonan who spent several years in Louisiana.
Taken together, the program offers plenty of parallels to the Jewish experience in Southern Arizona, since both states attracted Jewish settlers to areas where, in the early days, they were in the distinct minority. But they toughed it out, and many eventually prospered.
The free event is 1:30 p.m. in the AHS, 949 E Second St. For details, call 577-9445.
HILLSIDE HELPERS. Take to the hills, and help preserve Southern Arizona's natural beauty, with Sky-Island Alliance.
They're looking for volunteers who'd enjoy a breath of fresh air, and a chance to map roadless areas as part of a regional habitat conservation proposal. You can contribute by foot or by mountain bike.
The outing continues today in the gorgeous -- and cool -- Piñaleno Mountains near Safford. For times, directions and other information, call 323-0547.
DESERT SOJOURN. "Come early, stay late." That's the latest word from the nature-minded folks at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. At the moment, they're in the midst of great new programs running from sunrise to sunset.
New exhibits include the Pollinator Gardens, the Desert Loop Trail, Sonorasaurus dinosaur bones, and the soon-to-open Desert Waters, focusing on desert aquifers and water conservation.
And you'll have a chance to view the lively evening scene with Summer Saturday Nights. Trained docents give you the scoop on the desert's nocturnal denizens, with live animal demonstrations in Creatures of the Night; "amazing artifacts" with Desert Discoveries; and bats and other nighttime pollinators with Nightstalking. The museum also hosts a glimpse of the big nighttime picture with Astronomical Events.
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is located at 2021 N. Kinney Road. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with hours extended to 10 p.m. for Summer Saturday Nights. Admission is $8.95, $1.75 for children ages 12 and under. For information, call 883-3022.
MINUTE MAYHEM. Enjoy a youthful whodunnit when the kids and teens of Bianco Theatre Company present Murder He Wrote.
This musical comedy concerns a crowd of summer guests at a Hawaiian resort. They've been coming to the same spot for years, but habit gets turned on its homicidal head when several are bumped off by an unknown culprit. Enter Chief of Detectives Phineus I. Probe, who saves the day and solves the madcap mystery.
Show time is 7 p.m. in The Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway. Performances continue at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, July 17, and 7 p.m. Monday, July 19. Tickets are $7, $5 for children and students, and available at the door, or by calling 886-0860.
TOME TALKING. Get your hands on some great literature, and share it with others, when the Tucson-Pima Library hosts Page Turners. This book club meets the second Tuesday of each month to discuss a variety of fiction and non-fiction books, from classics to popular.
Page Turners meets at 10 a.m. in the Joyner-Green Valley Branch Library, 601 N. La Canada Drive. Call 625-8660 for details.
GET PERSONAL. Discover the nuts and bolts of interpersonal relationships, and get your mug on the tube, with It's About You.
Everyone is invited to join the audience for this public access television show hosted by counselor Barbara Van Diest, where the topic is bigger than your whole inner child. In other words, you might just learn a thing or two about what makes folks tick, and what makes them click with one another.
Taping runs from 8 to 9 p.m. in Access Tucson, 124 E. Broadway. For tickets and information, call 299-2708.
GLOBAL JUSTICE. Take a hard look at multi-national jurisprudence when the United Nations Association of Southern Arizona presents A Round Table on the International Criminal Court.
This timely topic covers the 1998 Treaty of Rome which established the International Criminal Court -- and which the United States didn't sign. A panel will discuss the treaty's strengths and weaknesses, with questions taken from the audience. Panelists will include John Crow, an immigration attorney; David Gibbs, a political science professor; and Clif Wilson, professor emeritus in international relations.
The free discussion is 1 p.m. in the Himmel Park Library, 1035 N. Treat Ave. For information, call 881-7060.