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Thursday 21

TRICKS ARE FOR KIDS. Magic is fun for all ages, but kids especially seem to love watching somebody pull a rabbit out of a hat.

No telling whether Magician Anastasia (Stacy Schultz) will bring along any furry props today, but the kids are certain to enjoy her show at Bookman's.

The tricking begins at 11 a.m. The free event will be at 1930 E. Grant Road. For more information, call Chris Stead or Dennis Pepe at 325-5767. For information about other upcoming events at Bookman's, check out www.bookmans.com.

CHEAP DATE. Cough up $3 for a date with African Queen.

The classic, starring Humphrey Bogart, starts at 7:30 tonight. The showing is part of Cinema La Placita's weekly outdoor classics screenings.

If you're really cheap, you don't have to pay a thing, but organizers ask for a $3 donation, which goes into the Fox Theatre restoration project.

La Placita Village is located at 110 S. Church Ave., near Broadway Boulevard. Parking is available at the garage on Stone Avenue, just south of Broadway.

FURTHER ADO. The 14th annual free Shakespeare in the Park continues through Sunday evening with the Bard's Much Ado About Nothing. Michael Givens, artistic director of Tucson Community Theatre, gives us a classic version of the 1598 comedy.

"I'm going back to the roots," Givens says. "So many directors these days are doing Shakespeare contemporary. I'll go back to the 1600s as it was written."

The play is a love story spliced onto a tale of political revenge among the Sicilian nobility. Much Ado has a quartet of young lovers and a villain, Don John, who tries to thwart true love by maliciously spreading lies about a lady. Typically Shakespearean bits of mistaken identity, nighttime balcony scenes and ribald witticisms help overturn this most ungentlemanly action.

Much Ado About Nothing continues at 8 p.m. every evening through Sunday, June 24 at the DeMeester Performance Center in Reid Park. Enter the park from Country Club Road and find a place to sit in the grass under the stars. And don't forget to bring a chair and dinner to this free event. For more information call 791-4663.


Friday 22

HURRY, HURRY, HURRY. These guys have been hanging out under the big top for a long, long time.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey, continuing its tradition of live entertainment into the third consecutive century, is in Tucson to present the 131st edition of The Greatest Show on Earth!

More animals and aerialists, clowns and contortionists and daredevils than ever highlight the sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-heartstopping show.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday and Sunday. Additional performances are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets cost $10-$27 and are available through Ticketmaster at 321-1000, or at the TCC.

THIS AND THAT. Pammy K. is an 11-year-old who attends Utterback Magnet School for the Arts.

She is also a rising star in the entertainment industry. Pammy began singing for audiences at age 6. Since then, she's performed across the state. Her CD, Walking on Sunshine, debuted last November and has had national airplay. Pammy K.'s music is a blend of pop and country.

You can see the young singer live in an event that also includes a performance by C.H. Mara, whose stage illusions are a rare treat for Tucsonans.

Mara is based in Tucson, but spends more and more time on the road, taking his stage and cabaret magic shows to corporate functions, theater appearances and other events. Through his unique performances, audience members learn that magic lives in us all.

So what would bring these two performers together in a single evening of entertainment? A variety show, or course.

St. Gregory' Prep School, 3231 N. Craycroft Road, is hosting the event that will benefit Team Arizona at the U.S. Transplant Games. Shows start at 7 p.m. today and Saturday. A 2 p.m. matinee is set for Sunday. Tickets for all shows cost $10. For ticket reservations, call Sandi Flowers at 818-0087.

SIZZLING ART. Move over, Renoir, Manet and Millet.

Actually, stay right where you are--in the Impressionist exhibition at Tucson Museum of Art--because there's plenty of room for Rufino Tamayo, Roberto Marquez, David Siqueros and Jose Luis Cuervas.

Now you can get out of the heat and duck into the museum to see the ongoing Impressionist display, or the new collection of 20th-century Latin American Art. You may decide to see both, of course.

Impressions of Children: Works by French and American Impressionists and Other Artists is an impressive collection on loan from Elaine Padovani and John Sutter. The theme is the daily lives of children. Portrait of a Boy in Profile by Rembrandt and Little Evelyn by Whistler are among more than 30 paintings, etchings, charcoals and lithographs. The show in the museum's lower level runs through August 26.

The lively and colorful display of Latin American art begins today and runs through August 5 in the Arizona Gallery.

If that isn't enticement enough, the Arizona Biennial '01 has been extended through August 19. The museum's main galleries are filled with the latest of cutting-edge art by emerging and established artists from throughout the state.

The Tucson Museum of Art is located at 140 N. Main Ave. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. General admission costs $5, seniors cost $4, students 13 and older cost $3 and members and children 12 and under are free. Sundays are free family days. For more information, call 624-2333 or visit www.tucsonarts.com.


Saturday 23

STRANGE GROWTHS. If philodendrons and petunias strike you as a bit boring, dig a little deeper and you're sure to find a plant that's just right for your eclectic taste.

This year's Weird Plant Sale at Tucson Botanical Gardens promises to be even better, with more vendors, more space and more weird plants.

Growers and other experts will be on hand at the third annual event to answer your questions and help you make selections. Plants will range in price from a few dollars for smaller varieties to quite a few dollars for larger specimens.

There will be pots, soils and fertilizers to take home with your strange finds. Organizers say it's worth braving the Tucson heat for these strange growths.

Growers from around Tucson will be selling and showing some of their oddest species, including Caudiform plants--those with fat, seemingly melted bases, like Adeniums, Burseras and Cyphostemmas; Stapeliads, bizarre plants with hairy flowers that smell like rotting meat; Mesembs, with their thick finger-like leaves and colorful daisy flowers; and Euphorbias, in their amazing array of shapes, sizes and spination.

So forget Wal-Mart's run-of-the-mill flower six-packs this weekend and head over to the gardens at 2150 N. Alvernon Way between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. today to see some weird stuff for yourself. Plant sale admission is free. Gardens admission is $4 adults, $3 seniors, $1 kids 6-11 and free for children 5 and under. For more information, call 326-9686 or visit www.tucsonbotanical.org.

A GAY OLD TIME. Here's a legit way for you to wear your leather and spurs in public.

To celebrate Gay Pride Week, Old Tucson Studios (201 S. Kinney Road) plays host to the fifth annual Gay West, a rootin' tootin' Western-themed fund-raising event from 6 p.m. to midnight. Sure, there'll be the usual country-western dance, but where else can you catch the "Lipstick and Lashes" variety show hosted by Lucinda Holliday. Also featured will be a performance by the Reveille Gay Men's Chorus, games, rides, food and more.

And, just to remind you of the serious reasons behind this hootenanny, the evening will also include an information fair and free, anonymous HIV testing. Proceeds from Gay West, you see, benefit non-profit organizations serving the Tucson lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Tickets cost $12 in advance and $14 at the gate. Visit www.oldtucson.com/Events/GayWest/ gaywest.html for more information and ticket outlets.

DUST BOWL FOLK? Slaid Cleaves' name is the easy part. As a musician, his style is pretty damned tough to label.

The Texas singer-songwriter mixes twangy country, roots rock, and dust-bowl folk. He has been described as the sweet spot of the Americana music genre.

"He seems to have filtered Hank Williams, Woodie Guthrie and Buddy Holly through Bruce Springsteen," ventured a creative thinker with the Associated Press.

Cleaves, whose latest CD, Broke Down, spent five weeks atop the Gavin Americana charts, got a break in 1992 when he took his gutsy, gritty act to the Keerville Folk Festival. He walked away with the Best New Artist award, previously won by Lyle Lovett and Steve Earle.

Fans say Cleaves' real strength is in performing live, when he moves audiences with soul, grace and toughness.

The singer makes his Arizona debut tonight as part of the fourth annual Plaza Palomino Courtyard Concert Series. Plaza Palomino is located at Fort Lowell and Swan roads. Slaid Cleaves Plays Roots Country starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Antigone Books, Brew and Vine, City Grill, Hear's Music and Enchanted Earthworks. To charge tickets by phone or for more information, call 297-9133.


Sunday 24

LATER, LAME LAWS. If you supported some of the old sex laws, which left us all pretty much doing missionary work, you'll want to pass on this.

The second annual LBGT Pride Parade and March is a Requiem for the Sex Laws, a celebration of the recent repeal of the state's archaic sex laws.

The event is sponsored by the Lesbian Avengers and Outrage, activist groups dedicated to queer visibility, rights and equality. Both groups use humor in the fight against bigotry.

The public is welcome to join the parade and march, which begins at 7 tonight. The route is from Catalina Park at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Second Street, south on Fourth to Congress, then Congress to Church and Church to La Placita Plaza. After the march, the celebration will continue with music and dancing. For more information, call Dace Park at 271-7438 or e-mail tucsonparade@juno.com.

GET SMART ABOUT GUATEMALA. Music and crafts ... and great ice cream make learning fun.

A midsummer's Noche Cultural is just what the (Mayan) gods ordered, say the organizers of an event that also includes a Mayan weaving presentation called "Dialectics of Cloth," by University of Arizona anthropology professor Linda Green.

The evening starts at 7 tonight at the home of Blake Gentry and Laurie Melrood, 1991 W. Campana de Plata. Take Silverbell Road north from Speedway or south from Grant. Turn left on Campana de Plata. A suggested donation of $6 per adult and $2 per child will fund gifts to Guatemalan communities.


Monday 25

START WINING. If you've been thinking about going back to school, maybe you should ease into the classroom with a wine-tasting class.

A summer wine-tasting series at Brew and Vine lets students explore different wine styles and learn about wine pairing as well as successful food-wine matches.

Each "class" begins with a sparkling-wine reception, followed by a wine tasting and presentation with Zalman Berkowitz.

The sessions run 7-9 p.m. every Monday at Brew and Vine, 6435 N. Oracle Road at Orange Grove. Cost is $25 per person. For reservations and more information, call 206-9463.


Tuesday 26

IT'S A BIRD, OR A PLANE, OR ... Gnatman! is the Gaslight Theatre's summer production and it sounds like a story you may have heard before.

Which isn't to say it doesn't have that distinctive Gaslight flavor.

In a nutshell, this is a play about how Mammoth City can breathe easier now that Gnatman has captured the sinister Jester, the Master of Mayhem, who now rots behind bars. Or does he? Not only has the Jester found a way to escape, he is back in business after enlisting the Legion of Evil. Will Gnatman be able to save the city from the clutches of evil?

Ah. So there's the question best answered by attending a showing of Gnatman, which runs through August 18 at Gaslight, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. Shows begin at 7 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 3 and 7 p.m. Sundays. Tickets cost $13.95 adults; $11.95 seniors, active military and students; and $6 children 12 and under. For more information or reservations, call 886-9428.


Wednesday 27

ART IN THE FAMILY. Tell a bunch of kids to get their creative juices flowing while thinking about the theme "family," and you may be surprised what they come up with.

Find out at a young artists' exhibition that runs through June 30 at Gocaia Gallery. Students from Greenfields Country Day School, Satori School, Tucson High School and Sunrise Drive Elementary have contributed their efforts.

Also on display are works by Ellen McMahon, Aurore Chabot, Rebecca Young, Steve Meckler and others.

The gallery is located at 302 E. Congress St. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information, call 623-4588.

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