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Thursday 30

DIVERSITY IN FLUX. Tucson's Zenith Dance Collective is back in action with A Choreographer's Showcase.

This year's spotlight is turned on works by Jon McNamara, Sheryl Oden, Nanette Marie Robinson and Eva Tessler, with guest artists Greg Colburn, Elizabeth Breck, Nate Dryden and Katharine Harts. Their styles run the gamut of movement, from traditional modern to the avant garde, including excursions into dance theatre and aerial dance with the low-flying trapeze.

The preview performance is at 8 p.m. in the PCC Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Tickets are $5, and available at the door. Regular performances continue at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday. Tickets are $12, $8 for seniors, and $7 for students. Call 322-9021 for information.

Friday 1

TREAT TIMES TWO. The Boston Globe describes Cris Williamson as "a fine pianist and guitarist, a brilliant composer and lyricist," who "caps all the talent off with deeply felt spirituality and compassion for and humor about the human condition."

Not a bad entrée. Or consider what The Washington Post says about Tret Fure: She's "marvelously adroit at examining relationships and capturing the emotion of a moment, tears as well as laughter."

Lucky for us that these two highly touted women are treating Tucson to a night of musical magic, hot on the heels of their latest release, Radio Quiet.

Show time is 8 p.m. in the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. Tickets are $15 and $17, and available at Antigone Books, or by calling 327-4809.

CREATIVE DELICACIES. Tempt your olfactory senses -- and creative yearnings -- at Taste for the Arts.

Benefiting UA arts scholarship funds, this delicious party will feature offerings by many of Tucson's top restaurants and breweries, including a fine wine tasting. It will be held in conjunction with the Arts for Scholarships show and sale, with featured works by Diana Madaras and other alumni artists.

Taste for the Arts is 6 p.m. today. Advance tickets are $25, and available by calling 621-9026. Tickets are $30 at the door. The Arts for Scholarships show and sale runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow. Both events are in the Swede Johnson Building, 1111 N. Cherry St.

RENAISSANCE WOMAN. She's an artist, philosopher, musician, singer, songwriter, educator and TV star.

And get this: Buffy Sainte-Marie also finds time to be a goodwill ambassador. That's just one among many roles this high-energy Renaissance woman will play in her long-awaited visit to Tucson.

Born on a Cree reservation in Saskatchewan, she holds degrees in fine art, Oriental philosophy and teaching. Combining those pursuits has earned her widespread acclaim. Janis Joplin, Barbara Streisand and Elvis Presley have recorded her songs, and "Up Where We Belong," sung by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes on the soundtrack for the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman, landed Sainte-Marie an Academy Award.

Then there's her art: she's quickly becoming known for her digital creations, or "painting with light," on her computer.

Finally, there's Sainte-Marie the activist: she'll be lecturing on her Cradleboard Teaching Project, aimed at educating the public about Native American culture.

Sainte-Marie will discuss the Cradleboard Project at 5:30 p.m. today in the UA Center for English as a Second Language, Lecture Hall 102, at 110 E. North Campus Drive. Admission is free.

She'll perform in concert at 7 tonight in the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Tickets range from $15 to $30, or $75 including a pre-show reception, and are available at Antigone Books, Ocotillo Artisans, Zip's University, Hear's Music and Rainbow Moods.

An opening reception for her artwork will run from 6 to 9 p.m. tomorrow in the G.O.C.A.I.A. Gallery, 302 E. Congress St.

For information, call 440-1610.

Saturday 2

LITTERBOX LITURGY. Anyone who thinks critters don't have heart doesn't know a heifer from a hairball. Fluffy, Fido and Spike can increase their chances for a ticket to the big hereafter when Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church offers a Blessing of the Animals. A brief service will precede the rite, held outdoors in front of the labyrinth.

The service is at 10 a.m. at Grace St. Paul's, 2331 E. Adams St. For information, call 327-6857.

FLIGHTS OF FANCY. Commune with our lovely and winged fellow dwellers when the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge hosts a butterfly outing.

Right now is prime butterfly time, especially since the rains have prompted a plethora of wildflowers to bloom. Author and naturalist Rich Bailowitz leads this foray into Brown Canyon southwest of Tucson that's predicted to reveal more than 40 butterfly species.

The hike runs from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fee is $20. For directions and other information, call (520) 823-4251.

Sunday 3

SOUND AND FURY. Despite their name, the acclaimed San Francisco Mime Troupe is anything but silent when it comes to burning social issues. Today they turn up the heat once more with City For Sale.

Written by Joan Holden and Kate Chumley, the sharp-edged musical takes gentrification to task, inspired by a real-life battle over "live/work lofts" in San Francisco. The plot revolves around a former factory and its new owner, who's taking advantage of zoning codes -- intended for low-rent artist studios -- to convert it into high-end lofts.

Agnes, a young website producer, is thrilled to find a roomy new space there, in a colorful urban neighborhood for only a few grand per month. The original low-rent tenants, however, aren't quite so pleased at being evicted, and they refuse to quietly disappear. As frustrations rise, Agnes finds herself the target of increasing resentment. Meanwhile the mayor struggles to find a solution under pressure from the developer, who just happens to be a big contributor. Sound familiar?

Show time is 7:30 p.m. in the TCC Leo Rich Theatre, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets range from $11 to $15, and are available by calling 623-1688.

LINE-ITEM. Broadway's Tony Award winning musical A Chorus Line celebrates its 25th anniversary with a Tucson appearance.

Performed by the Theater League, this show has been described as "a singular sensation," with a stunning cast of more than 15 world-class performers.

Show times are 2 and 7 p.m. in TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets range from $26.50 to $39.50, and are available at the TCC box office, Dillard's, or by calling 791-4266.

Monday 4

PROFESSORIAL PRANKS. Get a load of high-falutin' hi jinx at the third annual Faculty Follies.

The halls of academia are opened wide for this extravaganza, billed as "a rollicking good time" that lets you "get up close and take an insiders' look at the UA's world class musicians." Along with fine melody and raucous humor, there will be prize giveaways galore, with proceeds benefiting the Professional Creative Development Fund.

Show time is 7:30 p.m. in The Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway. Tickets are $10, $8 for UA employees, $6 for seniors, $5 for students, and available by calling 621-7023.

SACRED SIGHTS. Lynn Davis has been shooting pictures of sacred sites for two decades. Now the stunning culmination of her high art is on display in the UA Center for Creative Photography.

Africa: Photographs by Lynn Davis, begins with a 1989 trip she made to Egypt, resulting in some of contemporary photography's most astonishing images of the Great Pyramids. She returned in 1997 and 1998, and ultimately extended her journey farther into Africa.

This show includes 74 prints that "eschew historical narrative for her signature essential and timeless approach to the architecture of man and nature: monuments of power and splendor, and utterances of cultural survival."

Her photographs are large scale, ranging from 19 to 45 square-inches, and distinctively toned in selenium, sepia and gold. Their physical presence is central to the experience of her work. Whether depicting the grandeur of Victoria Falls, a mud mosque in Mali, the curved stone walls of Great Zimbabwe, or the remains of the Queen of Sheer's Palace in Ethiopia, Davis creates an original conflation of beauty and meaning, recovering stirring evidence of this rich civilization for contemporary Western audiences.

Africa: Photographs by Lynn Davis runs through December 5 in the Center for Creative Photography, on the south end of the pedestrian underpass at Speedway and Park Avenue. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For details, call 621-7968.

Tuesday 5

GALACTIC DISCOURSE. The outer limits get up close and personal when the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum hosts their Backyard Astronomy Sonoran Study Course.

This introductory class for adults emphasizes practical astronomy -- from learning about the stars and constellations, and locating planets in the sky, to using telescopes and binoculars. Experienced stellar guides will also provide "the big picture" with investigations of the moon, various nebulas and star clusters, and discussions of cutting-edge astronomy.

The class runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at the ASDM, 2021 N. Kinney Road. The cost is $75, $67.50 for members, and pre-registration is required. For registration and other information, call 883-3025.

LINE OF REFUGE. Help raise awareness about domestic violence with The Clothesline Project.

The event will remember victims by painting T-shirts in their honor, and displaying them on a clothesline as a public testament. Jazz pianist Lisa Otey will provide a musical backdrop to this poignant event, held in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and sponsored by a bevy of local groups including The Brewster Center and UA Oasis Center for Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence.

The Clothesline Project runs from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the UA Mall. For details, call 621-7297.

Wednesday 6

HIGH STRUNG. Tucson will enjoy an earful of fine classical music with an appearance by the Takács Quartet.

Ranked among the world's top string ensembles, the quartet has appeared in nearly every musical capitol since its 1975 founding. Begun by Gabor Takács-Nagy, Karoly Schranz, Gabor Ormai and Andras Fejer while the four were students at Budapest's Liszt Academy, the group first received international recognition in 1977, when it won First Prize and Critics' Prize at the International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France. And the rest is history.

Today, the ensemble will perform Beethoven's "Quartet in E-flat Major, Opus 74"; Bartok's "Quartet No. 2, Opus 17"; and Dvorak's "Quartet in E-Flat Major, Opus 51."

Show time is 8 p.m. in the TCC Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets are $15, $5 for students, and available by calling 577-3769.

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