Art on the scene • Martini Mix-Off • DROP Dance Collective • Rat-A-Rama 2007 

Thursday 3

Art on the scene

Various members of Boise's art community birthed ArtScene: an urban arts festival featuring street art, live music, lectures and more. Numerous locations throughout the BoDo district serve as hosts, including a lot of activity along 8th Street. Scheduled performances include: Main Stage--Drummers, children's performances and musicians Bill Coffey, Ned Evett, Steve Fulton and The Moody Jews. The stage will be packed from 4-8 p.m. On the streets--Strolling down 8th Street you'll find magicians, firedancers, clowns, Zoo Boise animals, sculptures and more. Boise Art Museum--At 4 p.m., members of Balance Dance Company kick off the evening with a free performance of "Walking Until it is Time to Go," featuring selections from choreographers Harriet Jastremsky and Leah Stephens Clark. Following the performance, community members are invited to explore current exhibits. At 5:30 p.m., Amy Pence-Brown, BAM's associate curator of art, will discuss the museum's permanent collection. Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy--At 4 p.m., members from the Boise Philharmonic present a historical lecture on the origination and expansion of the group, followed by a performance by the Ballet Idaho Academy at 5 p.m., and a stunning delivery from the Treasure Valley Youth Symphony String Quartet at 6 p.m. Boise Public Library--Puppets, stories and panels at the library. Experience an amusing tale told by puppets at 4:30 p.m., followed by story time at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Idaho State Historical Museum--Check out artist submissions from the Draw the Two-Headed Calf contest, sponsored by the museum and yours truly.

So much art, so little time--be sure to wear your walking shoes.

8th Street between Fulton and River streets, just south of BoDo, Boise. 4-8 p.m. All events are FREE.

Martini, anyone?

Drum roll ... drink! Tonight celebrates the kick-off of the 2007 Martini Mix-Off, an annual event featuring the best in Boise martinis. Each Thursday throughout the month of May, a panel of judges will visit three designated locations to sip and score categorized martini concoctions. Categories include the classic martini, the sponsor's martini, the original martini and, back by popular demand, the appetizer martini. Today's lineup is 8th Street Wine Bar (405 S. 8th St. #100), Red Room (603 Main St.) and Mai Thai (750 Idaho St.). The fun is abundant and the drinks are strong. Designate a sober chauffeur.

$65 per booklet, which entitles you to one martini at each of the participating 12 bars and entry to the grand finale party on June 2. For more information, call 208-440-8455 or visit http://downtownboise.org/m_events/martini_mixoff.cfm. Judges arrive at the first bar at around 7 p.m. and plan to visit each bar for about 45 minutes.

Thursday 3-Saturday 5

A collection of dance

DROP Dance Collective will premiere seven new works by local and national choreographers, including Leah Stephens Clark, Lauren Edson, Tahni Holt, Peggy Florin, Graci Meier, Jenna Wegner and Helene Peterson.

Introducing a trio of works inspired by music of The Books and Sufjan Stevens, Clark's dance is quirky and complex.

Edson and Holt, both Portland dwellers, have worked with DROP in the past and return to Boise with fresh collections. Edson will present "Beyond Words" to the music of Wax Tailor, and Holt will invite audience participation in the creation of her new work based on folk dances.

Florin will perform two pieces: "Appointment at 4," a strategic duet performed with local dancer and choreographer Harriet Jastremsky, and "Unlicensed Driver," a new solo work.

Meier and Wegner, both students at Boston Conservatory, will perform a duet.

DROP producer Peterson will perform a powerful solo work to the music of James Newton Howard and the poetry of Emily Dickinson.

May 3-4, 8 p.m., and May 5, 2 and 8 p.m. $20 adult, $10 students, 208-331-9224. Fulton Street Center for the Arts, 854 Fulton St., Boise.

Saturday 5

Rat-A-Rama 2007

Rat-A-Rama is an annual "fancy" rat show and educational fair sponsored by RatsPacNW, a Northwest rat club that encompasses Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia. RatsPacNW seeks to promote rats as pets through rat shows and events such as this one.

Yes, you can walk home with a rat. (You'll probably have to carry it.) Breeders (imagine the newsletters!) will have litters and adult rats for sale, along with "rescue" rats (really, we're not making this up) who need a second chance. They'll even have a show: Categories include "Best Costume, Longest Tail and Prettiest Rat," according to Michelle Carroll, event organizer. They'll be raffling "fun rat supplies." For those of you who don't have fun rats, supplies will not be available. Tough.

10 a.m.-6 p.m. $3 adults, $1.50 ages 3-18, FREE under 3, 208-761-5071. Idaho Humane Society, 4775 W. Dorman St., Boise. www.curlywhiskersrattery.tripod.com/ratarama.

Reconstruct '07: Future Formal

This benefit fashion show features the creations of five local designers, including formal dresses made from reconstructed clothing and other recyclable resources. Proceeds will help Dress for Success to provide women in need with clothing for job interviews and work.

4 p.m. $8 advance, $10 door. Flying M Coffeegarage, 1314 2nd St. S., Nampa, 208-467-5533. Tickets available at both Flying M locations, Boise: 500 W. Idaho St., 208-345-4320 and Nampa.

Saturday 5-Sunday 6

sparkly stunning stallions

Here at the Boise Weekly, we adore all things pony-related, but we have a particular affinity for sparkling white dancing stallions. These beautiful "world famous" Lipizzaner Stallions star in a stunning performance that includes many of the traditional movements and exercises presented at the world-renowned Spanish Riding School of Vienna. Their performance is referred to as "a unique equine ballet."

Sat., 7:30 p.m. and Sun., 2 and 6 p.m. $19.50 and $24.50 adults, children under 12 and seniors 60+ receive a $2 discount, 208-331-TIXS, www.qwestarenaidaho.com. Qwest Arena, 233 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise.

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