Cheap Thrills SOKO A-GO-GO: If it all sounds like Swahili, you're right. In that African tongue, Soko literally means market, and in Tucson it denotes a colorful fundraiser for the ever-vibrant Barbea Williams Performing Co.

On the block will be a huge selection of the best in authentic African arts, crafts and jewelry, with special resale dancewear for kids and grown-ups. Costumes range from flamenco and Brazilian to West African. And this unique inventory even includes tap shoes.

Sale runs from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, July 18, 19, 25 and 26, at the Sixth Street Art Studios, 44 W. Sixth St. Free Saturday dance classes for new students will also be offered. For information, call 628-7785.

WELL-OILED HONESTY: Those high-spirited bards known as the Drunken Word Poets are back in full-proof force with The Cheap Truth Highball Hour. Come hear Carl "Dapper Young Man" Marcum, Erin "Woo-Woo Girl" Whitfield and Steph "The Smoking Goddess" Murray put the woozy back in lyric form.

Serenaded by guitarist D. Shayne Christie and saxophonist Tom Todd, and hosted by Tom Collins, this is culture in a cocktail--about as much literary excess as can be packed into a mere 45 minutes. In short-but-sweet outbursts, the wobbly scribes will race from sex to love to money to drugs to grocery shopping--and back again.

The Cheap Truth Highball Hour begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 19, in the Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Admission is free. Call 623-0816 for information.

REEL MEN ARE FROM VENUS: The Screening Room continues bravely traipsing through distant galaxies with its summer sci-fi film series. In Twenty Million Miles to Earth, a U.S. rocket returning from Venus crash lands in a very alien place called Italy. At the same time, the space cadets release a giant, unwieldy reptilian monster that commences scarfing up all the pasta in sight. Stoked on carbs, it proceeds to terrorize an entire city of noodle-eaters, otherwise known as Rome. Show times are 6 p.m. Friday, July 18; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 19; and 5 p.m. Sunday, July 20.

And in another fine flick, erstwhile peaceful aliens launch an all-out attack on our humble planet after being greeted by less than gracious hosts in Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers. This 1956 romp, spiced by Ray Harryhausen's great special effects, is both frightening and beautiful, and perhaps lays the groundwork for the necessary rise of Miss Manners. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday, July 18; 4 and 9 p.m. Saturday, July 19; and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 20.

And our intrepid, intergalactic hero returns next week with Flash Gordon Conquers the Earth. On the agenda are chapters five through eight of this serial, which has Flash experiencing the Palace of Terror, the Land of the Dead and the Death Mist. And that's not to mention that darned Doom of the Dictator. Show times are 2:30, 6 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, July 26.

The Screening Room is at 127 E. Congress St. Tickets are $4 for evening shows, $3 for matinees and $2 for kids. For details, call 622-2262. TW

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