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Celebrate the Fair Weather

Fourth Avenue Street Fair
Friday-Sunday, March 19-21
Fourth Avenue between Ninth Street and University Boulevard
624-5004, www.fourthavenue.org

Like clockwork, every March and December, the fine folks in the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association break out the tables and the booths and throw one helluva party.

Yes, of course, we're talking about the Fourth Avenue Street Fair.

We encourage you to check out the fun and frivolity that comes with each and every street fair, because--after all--the next one won't be for almost nine months (Dec. 10-12). And that means there's enough time to conceive, carry a kid to full-term and give birth before the next chance you'll have to mingle with a few hundred thousand of your closest friends and peruse the arts-and-crafts wares at some 400 booths. That means three full seasons will come and go (that's assuming Tucson has three seasons) before you can snork down food from more than 30 different food vendors on the Avenue. And that means that we'll have a different president-elect (at least some of us hope) before you can again watch music on three different stages and enjoy other entertainment ranging from face painting to chair massages to climbing rocks.

Therefore, get out of the damn house and support this fair city, before it turns into a really %$&@ing HOT city.

As always, admission and the entertainment are free. The arts and crafts and food aren't, but what did you expect?


Award-Winning Poems

Reading with Brigit Pegeen Kelly
Wednesday, March 24, 8 P.m.
UA's Modern Languages Auditorium
Eudora Welty's Poetics: An Encounter with "Sir Rabbit"
Thursday, March 25, 4 p.m.
Woods Memorial Library, 3455 N. First Ave.
www.poetrycenter.arizona.edu

Well, since we couldn't afford the Weekend of Silence and Inquiry, we may head to this poetry reading, presented by the people at the UA Poetry Center as part of their Spring Visiting Poets and Writers Series. We know we can afford this: Admission is free.

And the poetry should be damn fine, too. Brigit Pegeen Kelly, who has won more awards than we have the space to list, will be reading her works. She's written several books (including a new collection, The Orchard) and has published poems in a number of periodicals, including The Gettysburg Review and The Yale Review. She's also earned fellowships from the Illinois State Council on the Arts, the New Jersey Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The next day, Kelly will stick around to give a lecture, in collaboration with the Tucson Writers' Project and Pima Public Libraries. She'll examine Eudora Welty's works, examining the poetic elements of Welty's fiction. The highlight is promised to be Kelly's reading of Welty's short story, "Sir Rabbit," as a poem.

To repeat, both events are free. Check out www.poetrycenter. arizona.edu for more information.


Silence and Inquiry for a Mere $295

A Weekend of Silence and Inquiry
Friday-Sunday, March 19-21
Marriott University Inn, 880 E. Second St.
322-7689, theinnerconnection.org

The news release sounded so damn appealing.

"Just as your lungs need oxygen, so does your Soul," it said. "The Inner Connection is hosting a 'Weekend of Silence and Inquiry' ... where you can take a deep breath and exhale into that still space. Intimate sessions with such spiritual luminaries as Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Gangaji and Pir Zia are featured as well as devotional chanting and Body Prayer with Russill Paul. The sacred music of Kirtana and local musician Mary Redhouse will weave throughout the three days of experiential contemplation."

Ooh. Nice. We're not sure what all of that means, but it sure sounds relaxing doesn't it?

The news release then went on to say that The Inner Connection is a local nonprofit corporation "dedicated to supporting an individual's spiritual quest and attainment through education and experience."

Heck, sign us up! We Weekly journalists could use some support and Soul oxygen and whatnot. Thus, we headed for the Web site. But our relation plans were soon dashed.

It turns out the conference costs $295 at the door to register (includes meals and all sessions). And you can't just go to part of it; the site says: "It is NOT possible to register for only part of the conference. Our desire is to create a sense of community and group synergy, and if people come and go to various and different sessions, this is not possible."

Dammit. We're Weekly journalists. We can't afford $295 at the door. Sigh.

Well, back to the stress and oxygen-deprived souls. If you can afford the bucks, head to theinnerconnection.org to get more information.


The Day the Music Died

"Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story"
Friday, March 19, 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 20, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 21, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave.
321-1000 or ticketmaster.com

The death of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper in a plane crash more than four decades ago ranks as one of the most tragic moments in the history of American music. In one awful accident, three people who were legends--or at least on their way to legendary status--perished.

Thus, it seems logical that a performance called Buddy ... The Buddy Holly Story would be at least somewhat somber, considering the way Holly's life ended. But apparently, the performance is far from sad. The advertisements and news releases for the play--which traces Holly's rise from crooning country tunes in Lubbock, Texas, to superstardom--use words like "exhuberant" and "celebration."

Witness this excerpt from a review by Marianne Messina from the San Jose alt-weekly Metro: "In all of half a minute, with a darkened stage and Holly's lone guitar spotlighted, a radio announcement about 'the late great Buddy Holly who died today along with ...' turned the fact that three famous musicians--not to mention a play's main character--had just died into a footnote. When the lights came up, out bounced Holly, Valens and the Bopper for a resurrection encore of several songs. I know musical is all about 'happy,' but there has to be a better way to rewrite a tragedy--say, calling it over when the fat guy sings."

Is the play's exuberance appropriate? Decide for yourself this weekend at the TCC Music Hall. Tickets range from $28.50 to $39.50.

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