Phoenix Symphony Chamber Orchestra: Clotilde Otranto leads the ensemble and guest pianist Robert Hamilton, a professor at Arizona State University, in a program that includes Mozart's Symphony No. 38 in D major, K. 504 ("Prague"); Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Opus 40; and Faure's Pavane, Opus 50. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street; a lecture precedes at 6:30. Tickets are $14 and $18, available at the symphony box office. Call 264-6363.
Conversations With My Father: Actors Theatre of Phoenix concludes its season with the fine work by Herb Gardner. It's a wide-ranging dramedy about a Jewish immigrant who's torn between two cultures. This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 16; 8 p.m. Friday, May 17; 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 19, in Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. Tickets range from $10 to $23.50, available at Herberger and Dillard's. Call 252-8497.
Wet Gold: Invitational Grand Prix of Swimming, National Collegiate All-Star Water-Ski Tournament: The Invitational is not really an invitational at all, but a required meet for members of the U.S. Olympic Swim Team--and the only competition scheduled to include all squad members prior to the summer games in Atlanta. It's slated for Friday, May 17; Saturday, May 18; and Sunday, May 19, at Phoenix Swim Club, 2902 East Campbell. Preliminary matches are at 9 a.m. each day, and the daily finals are at 6 p.m.; tickets are $5, $25 for all six sessions. A barbecue is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday; tickets for that are $15, with proceeds benefiting Phoenix Swim Foundation (call 498-9088). Arizona State University hosts the 15th annual National Collegiate tourney in its first state visit. The free event features about 30 all-Americans competing in slalom, trick and jump categories; it kicks off with a practice session from noon to 6 p.m. Friday, May 17, at Crystal Point Estates in Gilbert. The tournament proper starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 18; and the same time Sunday, May 19, at Crystal Point. A barbecue is planned at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Rockin' R Ranch, 6136 East Baseline in Mesa; the fee for noncontestants is $15, $10 for kids (call 897-6088 or 598-5709).
Road Trip: LepreCon 22 Science-Fiction/Fantasy Weekend: A number of genre professionals--including Tracy Hickman, Liz Danforth, Mike Stackpole and Bob Eggleton--will be on hand at this con, which takes over the Francisco Grande Resort, 2600 West Gila Bend Highway in Casa Grande, on Friday, May 17; Saturday, May 18; and Sunday, May 19. Scheduled events include readings, panels, demos, "filking" (sci-fi folk singing) and a dealers' room featuring the wheeling and dealing of collectibles. For prices and details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-237-4238.
Conversations With My Father: See Thursday.
Evita: See Thursday.
NHL BreakOut '96: The National Hockey League and its Valley franchise, the Phoenix Coyotes (formerly the Winnipeg Jets), host the Arizona edition of the touring BreakOut, an off-ice festival that includes street- and roller-hockey tournaments played in inflatable rinks, plus player appearances, safety tips and music. It's scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18; and the same hours Sunday, May 19, at Metrocenter, I-17 and Peoria Avenue. Admission is free; a fee is charged for organized tournament play. Call 379-7528.
David Grisman Quintet, and Mark O'Connor: The New York Times once labeled Grisman the "Paganini of the mandolin," but that's a far-too-fragrant description of musical mongrel David, who whips up a gloriously earthy stew of bluegrass, string- and jug-band jive, Gypsy jazz, Latin and country and calls it "Dawg Music." It would also be a mistake to refer to co-headliner Mark O'Connor as a "violinist," though he occasionally does delve into the world of white ties, top hats and tails. O'Connor is a fiddler of the first order and a four-time Country Music Association Musician of the Year, and he bends that danged bow with the best of 'em. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts Amphitheater, 75th Street and Main. Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 the day of the show, available at the center and Ticketmaster. For details call 994-2787 or 784-4444.
International Museum Day: Many Valley institutions are participating in the 50th-anniversary celebration of the title fonts of wisdom, culture and preservation on Saturday, May 18. Central Arizona Museum Association hosts the local observance, and CAMA's member museums, including Phoenix Art Museum, Heard Museum, Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park, Arizona State Capitol Museum and Tempe Historical Museum, are offering a variety of discounts and special incentives to visit. A free CAMA discount brochure, available by mail and at most area museums, is required to participate; for details call 644-2468.
"The Sonoran Symphony: A Night in the American West" featuring Michael Martin Murphey: Cosmic cow-pop star Murphey climbs back on his pony called "Wildfire" for this event celebrating the recent passage of the Arizona State Land Preserve Initiative (HB 2555). Phoenix Symphony, and singer/storyteller Marshall Trimble are also scheduled to perform, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio emcees. The concert starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Tonto Grill at Rancho Manana, located at 5734 East Rancho Manana Boulevard in Cave Creek. General-admission tickets are $35; tickets including reserved seating, dinner and drinks cost $100. All proceeds benefit Desert Foothills Land Trust. For details call 488-6131.