Cheap Thrills

WOVEN STRATEGIES: Troubles in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas are far from over, with Mexico's army entrenched in the hilly jungles, and the Zapatistas--whose uprising on the eve of NAFTA threw the country's well-worn system of patronage and corruption on its ear--defiant as ever.

Since that time, about the only thing that hasn't changed in Chiapas is the poverty of its people, a plight that's grown even worse with the dual squeeze-play of NAFTA and governmental crackdowns. Attempting to ease the suffering, members of Tucson's Pueblo Por la Paz and the American Friends Service Committee traveled to the state on Mexico's border with Guatemala, returning with hand-woven textiles purchased from women of the region.

Those goods are on display at the José Galvez Gallery, and coincide with Zapatista Night on Saturday, May 3, featuring a multi-media performance by Gustavo Lozano. "He'll use slides, video and text to trace the story of the Zapatistas up to the present," Pueblo's Aaron Bobrow-Strain says of Lozano. "It should be pretty powerful."

Free event runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Jose Galvez Gallery, 743 N. Fourth Ave. For details, call 624-6878.

INTERCONTINENTAL: They've been nominated for a Grammy, and with good reason: Comprised of needy kids ages five to 12, all hailing from East Africa, members of the African Children's Choir continue to deliver stunning performances of music from their homeland. Their repertoire also includes well-loved children's songs, gospel tunes and spirituals.

On Friday, May 2, they'll draw from that talented, international grab-bag in a free performance at 7 p.m. in the Christ Community Church, 7801 E. Kenyon Drive. Call 296-8501 for details.

PRODIGIOUS SONS: The powerful Sons of Orpheus perform in Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church, revealing why they've become southern Arizona's fastest-growing male chorus.

Founded by internationally acclaimed tenor Grayson Hirst, the non-sectarian, non-profit troupe is made up of guys from all walks of life with one thing in common: a powerful yearning to warble. Their repertoire takes in everything from classical to popular choral literature written especially for men's voices, spanning all periods, styles and languages.

This week's performance honors Franz Schubert's 200th birthday with several of his works, along with pieces by Wagner, Donizetti, traditional Russian folk songs, cowboy classics, Mexican corridos and even pieces "from the mighty pens of Mel Brooks, Tom Lehrer, Alan Sherman and Monty Python."

The free performance begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 4, in Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St. For details, call 621-1649. TW

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