Cheap Thrills CELESTIAL SLEUTHS: Catch the latest on intergalactic sleuthing when the UA Flandrau Planetarium presents In Search of New Worlds.

This show details research on planetary systems around nearby stars, and newly discovered information on floating orbs in our own solar system. As astronomers improve their ability to image and study those planets, there's also the intriguing, growing potential to discover signs of intelligent life somewhere out there.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, in the UA Flandrau Planetarium, at Cherry Street and University Boulevard. Admission is $5, $4.50 for students, seniors and military, and $4 for children ages 13 and under. Call 621-7827 for information.

SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS: The Tucson Concert Band brings out their big horns for a free performance in Reid Park. Under the finely tuned direction of Dr. Herschel Kreloff, they'll perform a slew of brass classics, highlighted by a global trot called Marches From Around the World.

Show time is 7 p.m. Sunday, April 18, at the Reid Park DeMeester band shell, east of Country Club Road and north of 22nd Street. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. For details, call 298-1252.

SHAKE YER BOOTY: The Tucson Friends of Traditional Music get down to some timeless sound with their regular contra dance gatherings. Sorta like square dancing sans the square, these gatherings are a real hoot, and the perfect way to work up a cardiovascular glow among friendly fellow hoofers.

The dances are 8 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of each month. On Saturday, April 17, the dance will be in the Armory Senior Citizen Center, 220 S. Fifth Ave. Admission is $5, $4 for TFTM members, and $3 for students. Mountain music will be provided by The Privy Tippers. Wear clean shoes. For details, call 327-1779.

EASTSIDE SOIREE: Get your hands on some fine grub and pretty pictures at the annual Tanque Verde Valley Festival.

This arts and crafts gala will feature a slew of merchant booths, along with works by many of the valley's most creative types. There will also be live music and plenty of beverages, with proceeds benefiting the Bear Canyon Library. And it's all set against the lovely backdrop of the Santa Catalina Mountains.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 17, at 8900 E. Tanque Verde Road, where Tanque Verde intersects Catalina Highway. For information, call 298-6207.

GET PHYSICAL: When you're hankering for a few kicks, pondering the theories of time and space may not top your agenda. But it's the perfect time to reconsider when the PCC dishes up fundamental facts in a groovy way with Physics Phun Night.

This free extravaganza of motion gets underway at 7 p.m. Friday, April 16, in the PCC Black Box Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. For details, call 206-5711. TW

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