BORDER BEAT. The 18th annual International Mariachi Conference eliminates borders between two worlds.
Highlights of the week-long extravaganza include tonight's Mariachi Showcase, tomorrow's Mariachi Espectacular Concert, and the Fiesta de Garibaldi on Saturday. This Tucson tradition draws Latin America's top players; this year, featured performers are Lucero, Los Camperos de Nati Caño and Mariachi La Reyna de Los Angeles.
Mariachi Showcase begins at 7 tonight in the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets are $8.75. The Mariachi Espectacular Concert is 7:30 p.m. tomorrow in the TCC Arena. Tickets range from $21 to $76. The Fiesta de Garibaldi runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday in Armory Park, 220 S. Fifth Ave. Admission is free. For concert tickets and other information, call 791-4838.
RISKY BUSINESS. Theatrical allure abounds in Wanted: Charmed and Dangerous, presented by Bloodhut Productions.
This time out, the critically acclaimed Bloodhut troupe explores "desire, need, and the critical balance between wanting what you get and getting what you want." The eternal human dilemma is traced through a night of edgy improv, in which the troupe unravels Internet dating, plumbs the possibilities of wild parties, and reveals the sexiest men on PBS. (Now that's challenging theater.)
Show time is 8 p.m. in the PCC Black Box Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Performances continue at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, through May 7. Tickets are $12, $10 for seniors and students, available at Antigone Books, Fit to be Tried, the PCC Center for the Arts box office, and by calling 206-6988.
AMBIENT CRUISE. Buck the gridlock tide with the monthly Community Bike Ride.
These two-wheeled aficionados prove that a non-polluting cruise can break those carbon monoxide blues. The jolly outings are followed by snack time, with delectables donated by the Food Conspiracy Co-op.
Community Bike Ride leaves at 5 p.m. from the Time Market parking lot, 444 E. University Blvd. For information, call 792-1334.
SAVORY SUSPENSE. Author Anne Perry sheds light on the sublime with The Invisible Research: Murder in Victorian England. Clues Unlimited bookstore hosts the dinner discussion as part of its Mysteries in History series.
Perry boasts great skill at bringing Victorian England to life, exploring the dark side of an empire where "the sun never sets" through her literary creations Thomas, Inspector Monk, and Charlotte Pitt. Tonight, she imparts the inside scoop on crafting thoroughly researched 19th-century mystery novels that "would make Dickens' eyes pop."
The gathering begins with a 6 p.m. wine and cheese reception at Clues Unlimited in Broadway Village, at the southwest corner of Broadway Boulevard and Country Club Road. Dinner discussion follows at 7 p.m. in the Plaza Hotel, 1900 E. Speedway Blvd. Tickets are $40, available by calling at 621-9359.
SKY FLIGHT. Enjoy nocturnal movement at its best with Orts in the Park After Dark.
Bring a lawn chair or blanket for another evening of dance under spring skies, when Orts Theatre of Dance regales Reid Park. For this outing, the venerable hometown troupe spotlights a number of new works, guest artists and trapeze work. The pieces include "Ave Maria," created by Robert Davidson and performed on the trapeze; "Shadow Beauty," choreographed by Orts dancer Mimi Chen, and based on traditional Chinese Culture; "Balanced Edge," a collaborative work-in-progress featuring Anne Bunker and Chuck Koesters; "A Bitter Suite," Matthew Henley's intense grouping of dance works inspired by human relationships; and "Toiletries," a hilarious, signature Orts piece featuring bath accessories and toilets on wheels.
The show also includes "Chiaroscuro," created by choreographer Rodney Griffin in 1985, and now considered a classic modern dance work. (See this week's Arts section for details.)
Show time is 7:30 tonight and tomorrow at the Reid Park DeMeester Performance Center, east of Country Club Road and south of 22nd Street. Admission is free. Call 624-3799 for details.
PHILABAUM FINALE. The Philabaum Glass Gallery wraps up its season with Imagery.
The exhibit features six glass artists, all representing the human form through techniques ranging from flame working to casting, fusing and reverse-painting. Among the ranks are Shane Fero, Stephen Hofberger, Fred diFrenzi Maurer, Janet Miller, Karen Naylor and Vincent Leon Olmstead.
Imagery opens with a reception from 6 to 9 tonight, and continues through August 26, in the Philabaum Glass Gallery, 711 S. Sixth Ave. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 884-7404 for details.
SPRING ARIAS. The Pima Opera returns with Opera Scenes, a collection of spellbinding arias and vignettes drawn from popular musicals. The performance includes selections from Man of La Mancha, The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, The Fantastiks and Sweeney Todd, among others. Korby Myrick conducts the cast of students and other local talents.
Curtain is 7:30 p.m. in the PCC Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Admission is $5. For information, call 206-6988.
ON THE BLOCK. Get your hands on some real gangas -- and help a great cause -- at the Tucson Friends of Traditional Music Yard Sale.
This reused roundup features a veritable smorgasbord of items, from furniture to household goods. Live music will be dished up by a banquet of hometown players.
Sale starts at 8 a.m., and the music heats up at 2 p.m., at 1139 E. Edison St. Call 388-5696 for details.
MOVIN' ON. Catch art in motion when Zuzi! Move It Dance Company presents the NO Frills, Cheap Thrills, Come as You Are Dance Happen-in'
Second in a series, the informal performance lets local artists and community dancers showcase works in progress, new dances and exploratory pieces.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. in Zuzi's Little Theater, in the Historic YWCA at 738 N. Fifth Ave. Admission is $5. For information, call 629-0237.
ROCK ART. Frank Kozik: Posters, Prints and Original Works displays a visual archive of modern music at Elizabeth Cherry Contemporary Art.
The San Francisco-based Kozik has made a career out of promoting and producing records for hot underground artists on his Man's Ruin label. At the same time, the busy impresario is a major rock poster artist. His posters and prints tap pop icons, bright colors and hard-core graphics to tout top touring bands such as Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Flipper, Pearl Jam, Neil Young, and hundreds of others. Kozik's work has been featured in Newsweek, Details and Rolling Stone, and he's designed numerous album covers.
Posters, Prints and Original Works continues through June 10 at Elizabeth Cherry Contemporary Art, 441 E. Grant Road. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. For details, call 903-0577.
SPACE PATROL. Catch the latest in celestial entertainment at the UA Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium.
Daily matinees feature Space Odyssey, a musical tour of the universe, at 4:30 p.m. The Millennium Project screens at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, followed by a laser-light show with music by the Smashing Pumpkins at 9:30 p.m. Thursday. And that's just the tip of the galaxy, in a roster ranging from Under Arizona Skies to LaserPalooza-Twoza. The center also features interactive exhibits and a fantastic mineral display.
For show times, ticket prices and other information, call 621-7827.
VISUAL FEAST. A trio of artistic talents is on display at Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery.
Betina Fink's new oils document objects and images from inside her studio at Rancho Linda Vista in Oracle. Her pieces also refer to interiors from art historical works by the French Intimist painters, and Dutch masters ranging from Vermeer to Rembrandt.
Natural structures add a sculptural element to Selina Littler's latest work. Most of her pieces are constructed of organic materials, particularly sticks and branches of various woods gathered from the desert. They range in size from small-scale hanging pieces to larger nest-like forms rising from the floor.
Mark Green's paintings are fabrications of anonymous architectural settings involving invented light, time of day, and weather. His work aims "not to record specific places so much as essential, shared memories of them."
Exhibit continues through May 20 at Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery, 135 E. Congress St. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Thursday, and during Downtown Saturday Night. Call 792-4503 for information.
LITERARY INTENT. Enjoy fine literature and support the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan with Writers Rally Around the Ironwood Tree, hosted by the UA Poetry Center.
The evening of readings features Gary Paul Nabhan, Alison Hawthorne Deming and Richard Shelton.
Nabhan's books include The Desert Smells Like Rain; Gathering the Desert; Forgotten Pollinators; Songbirds, Truffles and Wolves and Cultures of Habitat. He's currently director of conservation and science at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
Formerly director of the Poetry Center, Deming has authored Science and Other Poems; The Monarchs: A Poem Sequence; Temporary Homelands and The Edges of the Civilized World.
Going Back to Bisbee is among the award-winning works by UA writing professor Richard Shelton. His books of poetry include The Tattooed Desert; The Bus to Veracruz; Hohokam and Selected Poems.
Free reading runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the UA Modern Languages Auditorium, east of the Administration Building and north of the main mall. Call 321-7760 for information.
STUDENTS OF SOUND. Fine sounds emanate from student hands with a performance by the UA Arizona Symphony Orchestra.
Tonight, the powerful ensemble performs three equally strong pieces: Schnicke's (Not) A Midsummer Night's Dream; Bartok's Viola Concerto, featuring Hong-Mei Xiao on viola; and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. in UA Centennial Hall, inside the main gate east of Park Avenue. Tickets are $10, $8 for UA employees, $6 for seniors, and $5 for students, available at the Centennial Hall box office, and by calling 621-3341.