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Thursday 4

STOPPING THE INSANITY. Join Club Congress and the Molehill Orkestrah as they liberate you from the tyranny of the cover charge.

Cost for this July Fourth blowout--just in case you're as dense as some of Arizona's forests used to be--is a whopping $0.

The show is part of The Club Congress Independence Days, a celebration of independent music and laughter, coinciding with the nation's birthday weekend.

On Friday, Neil Hamburger will be in town. This special comedy show features the stylings of Hamburger, Pleaseosaur, Bebe and Serge, Gary Bear and Simon von Frith. This one's not free, but $5 isn't exactly pricey either.

According to a witty PR guy they've got down there at Club Congress, the event is "so unusual, we're actually pretending we're not winging it, and that we planned it this way."

The shows are at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. For more information, call 622-8848.

FLANDRAU FOR THE FOURTH. Doesn't look like we'll be seeing many fireworks this year, so why not spend the holiday cooling off in outer space?

Enjoy a planetarium show in air-conditioned comfort at Flandrau Science Center at the University of Arizona, which will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

Our Place in Space takes young explorers on a trip through the solar system and into the universe. Planet Patrol takes folks on a trip with planetary investigator Sam Snork and his assistant Elmo who learn about the planets in our solar system and why the Earth is so special.

Mars Quest surrounds the audience with colorful and beautiful images of Mars and its surface features, along with information about the history of observation and exploration of the Red Planet. Dramatic narration describing past and present discoveries and future plans about Mars comes from Patrick Stewart, known for his role as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek television series and movies. More than Meets the Eye invites skywatchers to explore the wonders of Arizona's beautiful night sky first with unaided eyes and then in a deeper look through binoculars or a small telescope and finally, comparison with images taken from the big observatories or spacecraft.

The Independence Day schedule is: Our Place in Space at 10 a.m.; Planet Patrol at 11 a.m.; Mars Quest at 2:30 p.m.; and More than Meets the Eye at 3:30 p.m.

In the center's exhibit hall, visitors can learn about rotational inertia and spatial perception while spinning on The Motion Machine, or discover the properties of gases and mechanical waves with the Bell Jar. These and many other timeless, hands-on exhibits about a wide variety of science subjects engage and educate visitors of all ages.

Flandrau Science Center is located at the corner of University Boulevard and Cherry Avenue. For more information, call 621-STAR or visit www.flandrau.org.


Friday 5

NAKED PEOPLE. Spend an hour or two in a castle with some nude people and you just might learn a thing or two.

About the art that's being created at WomanKraft, where a new show, People Through Women's Eyes, is a multi-media exploration of the human form through women's perspectives.

Portraits, sculpture and nudes will be included in the exhibition. The works will be available for purchase, but the show is free to view.

The exhibit runs through Aug. 24 at the castle at 388 S. Stone Ave. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 629-9976.


Saturday 6

ONE MAN'S TRASH ... You may be amazed what can be created with a gas can, oil pan, brake drum, sparkplugs, drive shafts, connecting rods, exhaust pipe, coil springs, plumbing elbows, old gas pipe and other odds and ends.

Steve Novak ended up with something he calls Lizarace At The Steelway Piano, a large art piece featuring a lizard playing a piano, complete with a candelabra and goblet.

Lizarace is the focal point for a show at Bisbee's Arizona Sisters Gallery. Steel Toones features Novak's whimsical steel sculptures.

Novak is a self-taught artist who creates sculptures from found metal, junk steel, and scrap. Besides larger-than-life figures (cowboys, musicians and golfers), his artwork includes masks, clocks and wall hangings. His work has been shown throughout California, Nevada and Arizona.

The show opens today with a reception from noon to 5 p.m. at the gallery located in the Historic District of Bisbee at 76 and 78 Main St. The show will run through July 31. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday. A drawing for one of Novak's steel sculpture parrots will be held on the last day of the show. Just drop by the gallery to enter. For more information, call 520-432-9199.

PLAY WITH A SNAKE. A gopher snake has been invited to lively up things at the Mason Audubon Center.

Our Desert Herps is all about the variety of reptiles that make their home beneath the center's ironwood canopy.

Naturalists will provide a brief introduction to snakes and lizards, along with tips on finding and identifying them in a special event today.

Learn about these intriguing creatures as you meander along the trail in search of herps, then have a bit of hands-on fun with the gopher snake.

The event is from 8 to 10 a.m. today at 8751 N. Thornydale Road. For more information, call 744-0004.


Sunday 7

SOME LIKE IT HOT. A show originally written for Tucson's annual Chile Fiesta is custom-tailored for the little ones in your life.

Hot Chiles encourages kids to sing along with the bilingual Chile Rap, meet the Chile on the Street, and laugh and learn Arizona History through a true story of a practical joke gone bad because of a handful of hot chiles.

After the show, kids get some up close and personal action with the puppets and then the audience gets a chance to make a simple puppet to take home with them.

Hot Chiles starts at 1:30 p.m. today and every Sunday through July at the Red Barn, 948 N. Main. Tickets are $3 per person; $5 for 2 children; and $2 for those with AHCCCS card or low-income bus pass. For more information, call 887-5144.


Monday 8

LONG STRANGE TRIP. It may sound a bit odd, but Kathy Lee Armstrong's childhood in San Francisco didn't include much in the way of flower power.

In fact, as a kid, she was all but forbidden to indulge in her twin loves: art and music. Undaunted, she doodled, sketched and cartooned the plants and animals around her and secretly entered art contests at school, where her work was denigrated by traditionalist teachers of the late '50s and early '60s.

Owing primarily to this repressive background, Kathy is truly self-taught. She has picked up and/or invented techniques as required by each vision. There are no rules.

Since she began by painting murals in homes, many of those techniques and media have been adapted to the format of hanging paintings. All her current paintings are a mixture of acrylics and household enamel paints on masonite.

In 1981, she married and moved to Tucson. Though no environment could be more different than her native San Francisco, Armstrong picked up on the fascinating variety of plants, animals and atmospheres available in the Sonoran Desert.

Whether expressed as lush, tropical plantscapes or as harsh, sun-baked desert scenes, her work exudes an uncanny mixture of respect for the subject, awareness of the feel of the environment, an extraordinary sense of color and a vestige of the cartoonist's whimsy.

See Armstrong's work in a show that runs through July 31 at Unity of Tucson, 3617 North Camino Blanco. Viewing hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call 577-3300.


Tuesday 9

ACTING UP. Always wanted to act?

Find out if there's any hope for you on the stage as The Tucson Community Theatre holds auditions for The Prisoner of Second Avenue, by Neil Simon.

For the auditions at the Randolph Arts Center Auditorium, actors are asked to bring a two-minute monologue or be prepared to cold read from the script.

Here's your chance, so get your face in a mirror and start rehearsing.

The production, under the direction of Michael Givens, will run for 8 performances at the end of September at the auditorium.

The auditorium is located at 200 S. Alvernon Way. Auditions start at 7 p.m. today and Wednesday. For more information, call 791-4663.


Wednesday 10

GOT ANY GRASS? Bob Dylan celebrates a birthday this month and Plush has decided to salute "the master."

Bobgrass: A Tribute to Bob Dylan promises a bluegrass party, played out on acoustic instruments with hi-caliber musicianship by some of the best pickers around these parts.

Don't miss the opportunity to hear the great songwriting of Dylan, performed as it's never been performed. The evening should hold many surprises, guest sit-ins, and unusual combinations for those who attend.

The concert event showcases the best bluegrass talent in Tucson covering Dylan's songs on the backroom stage, known for its fine acoustics and cool ambiance. Artists and bands to perform include Titan Valley, the Greg Morton Trio, Out of the Blue, Teddy Morgan and others.

The show starts at 9:30 tonight at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. For more information, call 798-1298.

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