With a little imagination, the seemingly divergent can become surprisingly complementary. Combine the highlights of a football game with a night at the symphony, for instance, and you've got an interesting outing: Sipping wine from 32-ounce plastic cups and waving giant foam oboes, audience members stomp in unison as the conductor, wielding a wand and a whistle, leads the orchestra in a familiar refrain: "We will, we will Rachmaninoff you."The ninth annual Lakeside Symphony Pops Concert, Saturday, May 10, fuses sensitivities symphonic and sporty. Play Ball! Sports & Music unites the Phoenix Symphony, the Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders and Harlem Globetrotter Wun "The Shot" Versher in a family-friendly event at Estrella Mountain Ranch. At 5:15 p.m., the Arizona Winds provide an hourlong preconcert performance -- a pregame show of sorts. At 7:30, the symphony's main event includes college fight songs and a Versher-narrated rendition of "Casey at the Bat." The cheerleaders pump up the crowd at halftime, and fireworks end the evening with a bang.
Concertgoers are welcome to bring picnic baskets and blankets to the Ranch, located on Estrella Parkway six miles south of I-10 in Goodyear. Adult tickets are two for $25 in advance, $15 at the gate. Admission for ages 11 to 16 is $10; children 10 and younger are free. Call 623-935-6384. - Jill Koch
Three Sweets to the Wind
The sweet tooth reigns supreme
Ride the endorphin rush of a lifetime on Saturday, May 10, as the Phoenix Girls Chorus goes on "A Chocolate Holiday" at the Phoenix Zoo Pavilion, 455 North Galvin Parkway. From 6 to 11 p.m., the fund raiser features chocolate creations by Valley chefs, auctions, a swing band and roving choirgirls. Tickets, $30 in advance at Borders stores, are $35 at the door. See www.girlschorus.org. - Jill Koch
Preservation Fest repeats history
In the Valley, growth is seemingly measured in every direction by housing developments short on style and history. Within the heart of the city, however, a group of neighborhoods preserve memories of Phoenix's formative years and offer a beauty of composition as unique as the city itself.Go retro at the Phoenix Historic Preservation Festival on Saturday, May 10, at Heritage Square Park, Seventh Street and Monroe. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., folks can tour landmark neighborhoods and historical downtown addresses by bus, and brush up on their local knowledge via lectures and informational booths. Admission is free. For details call 602-261-8699. - Craig Wallach
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Novel colors Mormon past
At the dark heart of Judith Freeman's novel Red Water is the Mountain Meadow Massacre of 1857, a gruesome killing of 120 settlers, mostly women and children, by a group of Mormons in southern Utah. Several years ago, Freeman discovered a book about the real-life tragedy and became fascinated by it. Raised Mormon in a large Utah family, Freeman had never heard about the murders, which at first had been blamed on Indians. But as she researched the history, she learned that her own polygamist great-grandfather was a friend of John D. Lee, an influential Mormon who ultimately took the blame for the massacre. Red Water begins with Lee's execution, but then the narrative jumps back to explore Lee's life through the eyes of three of his 19 wives. The difficulties of their lives on the harsh frontier, at a time when Mormons were being persecuted around the country, are based in historical fact: Freeman's investigation led her to their actual diaries and writings. Freeman discusses her book at 7 p.m. Monday, May 12, at Changing Hands Bookstore, in Tempe. For details, call 480-730-0205.-Michele Laudig