The newest IMAX film, Extreme, explores the world of "extreme sports." It shows daily at 1:10, 2:15, 4:30, 5:35, 7:50, 8:55 and 10 p.m.; there's also an 11 a.m. screening on Saturdays and Sundays. The film plays in repertory with the 3-D film T-REX: Back to the Cretaceous, which shows daily at noon, 3:20 and 6:40 p.m. IMAX Theatre, Priest and Baseline, at Arizona Mills mall in Tempe. 480-945-4629.
"We will be having some Star Wars panels . . . ," says Lee Whiteside of LepreCon 25, but he promises, "It's not going to be just Star Wars, though." Novelist Larry Niven and artist Michael Whelan are the guests of honor at the 25th annual sci-fi/fantasy lovers' convention, slated for Friday, May 14, through Sunday, May 16, at Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort, 7601 East Indian Bend in Scottsdale. Planned fun includes masquerade parties, autograph sessions with various authors and artists--including Michael A. Stackpole, Melanie Rawn, John Vornholt and J. Gregory Keyes--a charity auction to benefit Reading Is Fundamental, role-playing games, board games, Magic Cards, and "a special Highlander card game tournament," as well as "filking," the peculiar practice of singing folk songs on science-fiction themes. There will also be real science presentations with NASA's Louise Kleba, who will discuss the space-station project. Memberships cost $35 at the door on Friday, $25 on Saturday. The daily rate is $15 on Friday and Sunday, $20 on Saturday. Call 480-991-2400 for more information, or check out www.casfs.org\LepreCon for a complete schedule of events.
More sci-fi fantasy: In the Kingdom of Clouds posits a future in which kids no longer see imaginary shapes in the clouds. Desert Stages mounts this original rock opera for children by Gerry Cullity. Opening performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 14; 1, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 15; and 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 16, in the theater at 8473 East McDonald in Scottsdale. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. The run continues through Sunday, June 6. 480-483-1664.
Four members of Ballet Arizona's resident company--Ellen Rath, Robert Wesner, Luis Torres and Lin Linn--get a chance to show their choreographic chops by staging pieces of their own creation, with costumes, lighting and music of their own choosing in the 1999 Choreographic Workshop. The showcase is performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 15; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 16, at the University Dance Laboratory at Nelson Fine Arts Center, 10th Street and Mill in Tempe. Tickets are $5 in advance, $10 at the door; proceeds benefit Dancers' Relief Fund, an emergency financial source for dancers in dire straits. 602-381-1096.
Dancers of another sort will be out in force for the finals of the Jones Soda Co. Freestyle Swing Dance Contest, presented by the Arizona Lindy Hop Society. The top two couples from four earlier contests will compete for the grand prize--a trip for two to Swing Camp Catalina, as well as the honor of having their picture grace 250,000 bottles of Jones Soda--and smaller cash prizes for the second and third place on Saturday, May 15, at the Bash on Ash, 230 West Fifth Street in Tempe. The finals start about 9:45 p.m.; the cover for spectators is $5; proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation. 602-212-9715 (Arizona Lindy Hop Society), 602-264-7679 (Arthritis Foundation), 480-966-5600 (Bash on Ash).
Sponsored by the Institute of American Indians at Arizona State University, Native American flutemaker and musician Odell Borg teaches a Native American Flute Workshop from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 15, in the Yavapai Room (#209) at ASU Memorial Union in Tempe. The cost is $40; part of the proceeds benefits the Institute. Advance registration is recommended; call 1-800-394-1523 for more information.
Valley model-train enthusiast Frank Koenig, a member of the Grand Canyon division of the Toy Train Operating Society, displays his 18-by-24-foot O-scale modular layout, featuring cities, farms, train stations and all manner of other scenery and structures, at The Great American Train Show, slated for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 15; and the same hours Sunday, May 16, at Thurber Hall in the Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 South Houghton Road in Tucson. Many other small-scale locomotives will also be displayed and sold, and 18 free workshops will be held. Toy-train nuts may well find it worth the road trip. Admission is $6, free for kids 11 and younger. Call 1-630-834-0652 for more information.
A presentation of the Arizona Arts Chorale and the Music Ministry of the Shepherd of the Desert Lutheran Church, "Way Off IV--Hollywood & More," raises funds for the Hospice of the Valley. As the title would suggest, the fourth annual concert features both movie music and favorite spirituals. It's scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday, May 16, at the church, 9590 East Shea in Scottsdale. Tickets are $5, available by calling 480-860-1188.
Borders Books & Music continues its Holistic Health Series with a demonstration of Reiki, the Japanese healing technique, by Reiki master Leonie Rosenberg. The talk, which is free, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, May 17, at the Borders at Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback, Suite 200. 602-957-6660.