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Cheap Thrills

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DANCING WITH SEDUCTION. Take a workshop and seduce your senses with the Latin dances of salsa and merengue.

Beginners should show up at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the International Arts Center, 516 N. Fifth Ave. Intermediate dancers are welcome at 7:30 p.m. Classes run through September 26. Cost is $5 per person. For more information, or to pre-register, call Salsa Soulseros at 573-7701.

MUSICAL DUO. Enjoy the talents of singer-songwriter Brandt Shandera at Bookman's on Saturday--then stick around for slide blues guitarist Stefan George.

"I play music that I feel--music that I feel some connection to," said Shandera, whose music is catchy enough to keep you humming for days.

Shandera just released his debut album, A Long Drink of Water, on his own label, Mood Factor Music. The album includes 11 original songs that range from melancholy acoustic ballads to mid-tempo pop-rock grooves.

"If other people feel it too, that's even better," said Shandera. "But my love for music is the reason I do this. -- You've got to do what you love, and this is what I love."

Take a break after Shandera's show, then return for George's blues guitar action. Both events are free.

Shandera plays from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Saturday at Bookman's, 1930 E. Grant Road. George follows from 3 to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call Chris Stead at 325-5767 or visit www.bookmans.com.

CATCH IT NOW. Turns out, Charlotte the spider and Wilbur the pig will be sticking around through August 26.

Give your kids the chance to enjoy the story of the unlikely friendship between Charlotte and Wilbur, who teach each other about life on the Arable farm and the world outside.

"Friendship is one of the most satisfying things in the world," was the way Wilbur put it.

Charlotte's Web is directed by local educator Mary Ann Green and takes place at 1 p.m. every Sunday at Live Theatre Workshop, 5317 E. Speedway Blvd. Tickets cost $5. For more information, call 327-4242.

GET AN EYEFULL. Stop by about an hour after sunset to view the heavens through Flandrau Observatory's 16-inch cassegrain telescope.

Hey, it's free and interesting.

An expert astronomer-telescope operator is always on hand to direct your attention to planets, galaxies or star clusters, or to answer any questions you may have.

Visit the Flandrau Observatory, 1601 E. University Blvd., for an educational evening experience that the whole family can enjoy. Flandrau Science Center's observatory is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday evenings, weather permitting. Hours through August 14 are 6:40 to 10 p.m. For more information, call 621-7827 or visit www.flandrau.org.

REWARDING READING. School's right around the corner and a summer reading program at Barnes and Noble at the Foothills Mall is just the thing to get the kids in the mood to learn.

Young readers--grades 1-6--can even win valuable prizes in Traveling through Books. All they have to do is read any eight books. Then they can choose a free book from more than 25 titles. No purchase is necessary, but book coupons are limited to two per child.

The deal runs through September 8 at 7325 N. La Cholla Blvd. For more information, call 742-6621.

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