Thursday 24

WOMEN'S PARLEY. Network like a business-oriented dervish at The Tucson Conference for Women 2000.

This gathering of career-minded gals opens with forums ranging from Leadership With Soul and Substance at 11:30 a.m. to Smart Investment Strategies for Women at 12:30 p.m., and Communicating With Influence at 1:45 p.m.

The wide-ranging conference starts at 9 a.m. today and tomorrow in the Embassy Suites Hotel, 7051 S. Tucson Blvd. Enrollment is $277. For registration and other information, call (800) 682-5078.

BLUES REDUX. Veteran bluesman Hans Olson headlines a powerhouse roster that includes Tucson's The Blue Prairie Dogs and Fish Karma.

The long-time harp-meister rolls south for this fund-raiser benefiting the Green Party of Pima County. Now toting more than 30 years on the scene, Olson had fine-tuned his solo act by 1970, centered on an amplified acoustic guitar and rollicking harmonica. Belting out styles ranging from mellow folk ballads to growling boogie blues, he's also emerged as a powerful songwriter, showcasing his music on more than 10 records influenced by everyone from Muddy Waters and Johnny Cash to Bonnie Raitt and Bob Dylan.

For their part, The Blue Prairie Dogs dish up a killer mix of folk, country and blues. Then comes Fish Karma, a swap meet fave whose spiritual rants are "recommended to anyone living in a trailer park ... nervous and hyperactive." One fan describes a Karma performance like this: "It sounds as if Iggy Pop watched a bunch of Buñuel movies, then got stuck overnight in a shopping mall." Yikes!

The party is at 6:30 p.m. in the Nimbus Brewery, 3850 E. 44th St. A $5 donation is suggested. For details, call 745-9175.

SWAMP ROMP. Cruise over to legendary El Casino Ballroom for a premier Cajun romp with Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas.

Recently featured in Offbeat, the New Orleans Times Picayune and New Orleans Magazine, Nathan has become the hottest zydeco star in Louisiana. And that's when he's not pounding pavement, playing to packed houses around the planet.

His Cha Chas match top musicianship and clever songs with a gripping dance hook. The band also branches out, incorporating touches of everything from reggae and R&B to rock, all laced with downright ornery wails from Nathan's huge piano accordion. "Nathan keeps the good times rolling," says The Boston Globe.

Show time is 8 p.m. in the El Casino Ballroom, 437 E. 26th St. Advance tickets are $15, available at Hear's Music, Antigone Books, Brew and Vine, and Enchanted Earthworks, or by calling 297-9133. Tickets are $17 at the door, with a $2 discount for KXCI members.

Friday 25

LONELY DANCE. Explore the lonely side of movement with Desolation.

A collaboration between choreographer Jon McNamara and writer A.D. McNamara, the one-act performance explores "separation, isolation and perdition"--in other words a fine blend of movement, music, and the spoken word.

Jon McNamara is a recipient of the 2000 Performing Arts Fellowship in Choreography from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Live and recorded music will be provided by Brian Maloney.

Performances are at 8 p.m. today and tomorrow, and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Tickets are $10 available at Above and Below the Equator Gallery and at the door. Call 390-6299 for information.

BORDER BEAT. South-of-the-border comes home to roost with South Tucson's boot-scootin' Norteño Festival.

The annual family-fest is a real kick in the chimichanga, with dozens of food booths serving up great spicy grub, and an ongoing pageant of top Latin groups. This year also marks the return of the salsa competition, where capsicum alchemists battle for "bragging rights" to the best sauce. This year's musical lineup includes a five-band concert tonight, and battle of the bands tomorrow.

Proceeds benefit the Pio Decimo Center, a non-profit agency serving needy families in these parts since 1946.

The festival runs from 4 to 11 p.m. today and tomorrow at South Fourth Avenue and 36th Street. Admission is free. For details, call 622-2801.

FEE-FREE. The National Park Service gives taxpayers a break when it waives entrance fees for Founder's Day.

In Tucson, that means families can visit Saguaro National Park East and West for free on the 84th anniversary of the Park Service's birth. Light refreshments will be served from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at visitors centers in both the west and east districts of the park. The beautiful desert areas will also be open for walking, hiking and picnicking.

For information, call 733-5121.

Saturday 26

CITY SISTERS. The Old Pueblo throws a homecoming concert with Sisters Morales.

Now based in Houston, but born and raised in Tucson, Lisa and Roberta Morales blend beautiful harmonies with elements of folkloric Mexican canciones, folk, rock and traditional country. The result is a cultural tour de force the Houston Press calls "upbeat, stunningly accomplished country rock with a sporadic Latino twist." And long-time townies might recall the pair back when their father encouraged them to sing with mariachi bands in La Fuente restaurant.

Arriving on the heels of their second album, Someplace Far Away From Here, the sisters will be joined by David Spencer on guitar, Rick Richards on drums, and Rick Tausz on bass.

Show time is 8 p.m. in Plaza Palomino, on the southeast corner of Fort Lowell and Swan roads. Advance tickets for the all-weather concert are $14, available at Antigone Books, Brew & Vine, Enchanted Earthworks, the Folk Shop and Hear's Music. Tickets are $16 at the door. For information, call 297-9133.

ANOTHER STEP BACK. Catch a revival of rollicking dance at the Tucson Lindy Hop and Swing.

This monthly gathering of high-steppers will feature lessons, and live music by the KGB Trio promises to keep the tempo rolling.

The dance party begins with lessons at 7 p.m., followed by regular hoofing from 8 to 11 p.m. in the Armory Park Senior Center, 220 S. Fifth Ave. Admission is $5. For details, call 620-6510.

Sunday 27

TOP POPS. The Tucson Pops Orchestra opens another outdoor Music Under the Stars festival with its own guest star--pianist David Syme.

Acclaimed for his interpretations of the classics, Syme has appeared at both Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center, and has recorded many classical and popular albums. He'll regale tonight's audience with Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1, under balmy August skies.

Show time is 7 p.m. at the Reid Park DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, north of 22nd Street. and east of Country Club Road. Admission is free. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket. For details, call 722-5853.

VELVET VERSE. Get smacked upside the head--metaphorically, of course--when the Velvet Tea Garden hosts another fiction/poetry slam.

The literary interlude features readers who take over the open mike, to be lauded or damned by the audience. Cash and other awards will be up for grabs. Profanity is expected, nudity is suspected, and noise makers will be provided by the "little monkeys" of Missing Fez.

The slam is at 6 p.m. at the Velvet Tea Garden, 450 S. Sixth Ave. Admission is free. For details, call 388-9922.

Monday 28

BOOT CAMP BLAST. After seven weeks of "Stand-up Comedy Boot Camp," two dozen Tucsonans bring their newly acquired tough yuks to the big stage.

The training involved intensive coaching from award-winning writer/director Tim Ferrell, a veteran New York and L.A. comedy coach. He says Tucson's up-and-comers rank with the best. "There is so much talent in this group, it takes two nights to get them all on stage ... they're terrifically funny."

And these budding laugh-meisters come from all walks of life. There's an airline mechanic, a newspaper reporter, a nurse and a retired firefighter, all with one aim--tweaking your summer-scorched funnybones.

Show time is 8 p.m. today and tomorrow in Laffs Comedy Caffe, 2900 E. Broadway Blvd. Admission is $3. Call 323-8669 for reservations and other information.

HOUSE BAND. Hike your heels to high-spirited Irish tunes with a performance by Round the House.

This band offers up a joyous mix of traditional Irish jigs, reels, hornpipes and gracefully slow aires. The sound comes from a passel of instruments, including mandolin, fiddle, guitar and even tenor banjo. The result is guaranteed to spark images of the Old Country through ballads and songs.

Round the House performs from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. Tickets are $8, $6 for seniors, students and military, and available by calling 886-9428.

STEAL THIS CHANCE. Civil rights-minded folks at Tucson Copwatch recall a relentless crusader from earlier times with a screening of Steal This Movie.

The film details the life of Abbie Hoffman, an irreverent activist who played a key role in organizing protests at Chicago's 1968 Democratic Convention. A tireless advocate for justice, Hoffman spent seven years on the lam, dodging police and FBI harassment.

Following the screening, several speakers--including protesters returning from the recent Democratic Convention in L.A.--will discuss the ongoing struggle.

Screenings are at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. in the UA Social Sciences Auditorium, south of Old Main. There is a $3 to $5 suggested donation. For information, call 623-7306, ext. 3.

Tuesday 29

DIFFERENT STROKES. The Central Arts Collective roars into the eclectic with Off the Wall.

Ten members contribute paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures and installations for the new show. And to emphasize the collective's adventurous vitality, many of the pieces veer off the wall--both literally and figuratively.

The work includes photography and natural material pieces by Mary Babcock; a sculptural examination of "our culture's response to the imperfect human body" by R. Darden Bradshaw; and powerful landscapes by Native American artist Glenn Johnson.

Off the Wall runs through September 23 in the Central Arts Collective, 300 E. Congress St. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For information, call 623-4588.

ANCIENT CHAT. Get a different perspective on ancient critters with a lecture by Salima Ikram of the American University in Cairo.

Her discussion, A Zoo for Eternity, will detail her efforts to study and preserve the world's largest collection of animal mummies in Egypt's Cairo Museum. The public is invited to learn more about this fascinating project, and how they can support the ongoing research. Ikram's presentation is hosted by the Arizona Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt.

The lecture is at 7 p.m. in the UA Modern Languages Auditorium. Admission is $3, or $1.50 for UA and PCC students. Call 621-9026 for details.

Wednesday 30

DOC-U-DRAMA. Classic Neil Simon-via Anton Chekhov is revived when the Arizona Repertory Theatre presents The Good Doctor.

The Broadway hit compiles a "delightful composite" of the best short stories of Russian master playwright Anton Chekhov. The stories are charming, the portraits affectionate, and the humor infectious.

Show time is 7:30 p.m. in the UA Marroney Theatre, on the southwest corner of the pedestrian underpass at Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue. Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, and Fridays and Saturdays through September 9, with 1:30 p.m. matinees on Sunday, September 3, and Saturday and Sunday, September 9 and 10. Tickets are $18, $16 for seniors and UA employees, $12 for students, and are available at the UA fine arts box office, or by calling 621-1162.

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