This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thu 20
As music director for the Phoenix Symphony for the past seven years, Hermann Michael is revered as the company's artistic savior. After more than 225 performances at the helm, Michael achieves immortality and bids farewell to the symphony with a most apropos conclusion to his career -- he conducts Gustav Mahler's "Second Symphony," more commonly known as "The Resurrection." The performance of the ethereal composition, inspired by Beethoven's Ninth, might be the last with Michael at the helm, but rest assured, he'll rise from retirement to act as Composer Laureate for two weeks of concerts next year. The heavenly harmonics begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20, and again at 8 p.m. Friday, May 21. Call 602-495-1999 or see www. phoenixsymphony.org for tickets, $24 to $58.

Fri 21
White men can't jump, and some would argue they can't tell a good joke, either. So leave it to Latinos to crack the comedic ceiling Caucasians can't measure up to as The Comedy Spot, 7117 East Third Avenue in Scottsdale, hosts the Latino Comedy Jam at 8 p.m. Friday, May 21. Catch the loco laughs courtesy of Manny Llanez, Danny Serrano, and Mexican/French-Canadian standup Patrick Deguire -- his jokes cross both borders. Admission is $10, plus a two-item minimum. The show goes for dos -- that's "two" for all you unilingual Neanderthals -- on Saturday, May 22, at 8 and 10 p.m. Call 480-945-4422 or see www.thecomedyspot.net for more information.

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Sat 22
M.A.R.S. attacked the downtown art scene more than 20 years ago. But its latest transmission -- an eponymous exhibition titled "Prints From M.A.R.S.," which ends its run at the ASU Art Museum (10th Street and Mill Avenue) on Saturday, May 22 -- is all about peace, love and earthly understanding. Back in 1981, Movimiento Artistico del Rio Salado provided "an outlet for artists that weren't economically viable," says former Martian and exhibition co-curator Carolyn Zarr. M.A.R.S. changed all that, with artists such as Frank Ybarra, Arturo Urista, John Valdez, Pat Gomez and Leo Limon (all featured in the current show) leading the way for the throng of galleries and artistic co-ops that now dart the downtown landscape. Since the last incarnation of the much-traveled M.A.R.S. gallery space shut down in late 2002, just one question remains: Will life exist on M.A.R.S. again? "It's possible," Zarr says. "But it would take a lot of money." Welcome back to Earth. Admission is free. Call 480-965-2787 for details.

Sun 23
Extremes collide at the Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central, on Sunday, May 23, as the Chili Supper Blues Blast gets cooking at 6:30 p.m. to raise money for KidsRead, a foundation that buys books for disadvantaged kids. Chow down on a hot bowl of chili -- prepared by a dozen Valley chefs from restaurants including Roaring Fork and Eli's American Grille -- as blues band Cold Shott, featuring Small Paul, kicks out the jams. The benefit raises funds for kids in the Osborn School District, where more than 85 percent of the 4,200 children qualify for free breakfast and lunch every day -- and that ain't cool. Tickets are $100. For reservations, or to donate silent auction items, call 602-266-4514.

Mon 24
It's all about the love -- no, really, man, they love you -- at the Emerald Lounge, 1514 North Seventh Avenue, on Monday, May 24, when Andrew Lockwood, Vic Masters and Chris Pomerenke (of the defunct duo Les Payne) treat the affectionate faithful to "Love Lounge." The weekly piano show is a tongue-in-cheek -- and tongue-on-tongue, for those who take the music a little too seriously -- foray into the gushingly cheesy genre of '80s pop. While the music is inherently awful, there's no better way to come on Eileen at the end of the night than to schmooze her with a little ebony and ivory, living in perfect harmony. Admission is free. Call 602-256-9705 or see www. theemeraldlounge.com for details.

Tue 25
Their last venue was the pits -- or, rather, The Pitic, a dive bar/Mexican restaurant in south Phoenix -- where the monsters of Impact Zone Wrestling rarely had the audience, and never the space, worthy of such fine theater inside the turnbuckles. So, after four months, IZW heads east for a biweekly fight night at The Sets, Mill and Southern in Tempe, beginning Tuesday, May 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. New IZW commish C.C. Starr, who won his title "fair and square" from old boss GQ Gallo, hopes to keep it clean as mysterious grapplers Native Warriors battle Team Strong Style ("Killer" Chris Kole and "Big" Jack Bull) for the tag-team championship. Also on the bill is the heavyweight title match between former tag-team partners Mike Nox and Derrick Neikirk. But no IZW night would be complete without the twisted display of female wrestlers -- Adrenalyn, Karma, Jayde and Morgan -- mangled on the mat. IZW's first show at The Sets is free. Call 480-829-1822 or visit www.impactzonewrestling.com.

Wed 26
Apparently, the geniuses behind the speed-dating craze never took into account the aesthetics of Scottsdale nightlife. (Maybe we enjoy just gawking at the beautiful people for hours, dreaming of what could be. Ever think of that, marketing wizards?!) Well, if you can't achieve quality, you might as well enjoy the quantity at a HurryDate event, which promises up to 25 dates at three minutes each. On Wednesday, May 26, HurryDate plays matchmaker at Six, 7316 East Stetson in Scottsdale. After the meet-and-greet, daters (25 to 35 years old, this time around) log on to www.hurrydate.com, where they can be reminded of just who Date No. 13 was, and check to see if Date No. 2 really had an Adam's apple. Admission is $35. Visit the HurryDate Web site to sign up.

 
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