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Relaxing for Charity

Sonoran Spa's Evening Under the Stars
6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 29
Westward Look Resort
245 E. Ina Road
917-2467; westwardlook.com

Need a mini-vacation? Then kick off Labor Day weekend with a short trip to the spa at Westward Look. This spa trip/social gathering will leave you feeling good for more than one reason: All proceeds from the Evening Under the Stars event will benefit the Tucson Community Food Bank.

"This is the first time they (Westward Look) have done this," said John Zhang, of McFadden/Gavender public relations. "They wanted to help someone local."

Evening Under the Stars is aimed at giving back and helping guests "rejuvenate, uplift and enlighten" both mind and body.

For $60, you can eat organic appetizers, get a free drink and receive two mini spa treatments (think massages, facials and manicures). If you're trying to save money (and who isn't right now?), there is a $40 ticket option that gets the appetizers and the free drink, but not the spa sessions. And for those of you looking for more than one drink, a cash bar will be open throughout the event.

Also on hand will be Linda Focht, a counselor and massage therapist. Focht will give a talk, "Achieving Balance With the Five Elements--Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water." The "interactive" presentation will discuss how the above elements affect one's life and well-being.

If you feel like being active, there will be opportunities for tennis consultations and private yoga sessions. Tucson Psychic Readings will offer Tarot readings, and Yoga Flow will be on hand to give demonstrations. Jazz performances and bellydancing will also be part of the entertainment.

"The event is a good way to relax, even on a tight budget," Zhang said. "It's for a good cause; it supports the local community."

All ages are welcome, but you must pre-register for the mini-spa services beforehand. --C.E.


Dig In!

Archaeology Café with Jonathan Mabry
6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 2
Casa Vicente
375 S. Stone Ave.
882-6946; cdarc.org

Whether you're a native Tucsonan or a recent transplant, you are sure to learn something new about our city's past at the first (of many, hopefully) Archaeology Café. The "café" is sponsored by the Center for Desert Archaeology and Casa Vicente, and is modeled after the "science cafés" that are popular in Europe, said Kate Sarther of the Center for Desert Archaeology.

The café is aimed at "helping the community connect with current scientific research" and to have a comfortable, social place to learn and share all things archaeology, Sarther said.

The café is scheduled for the first Tuesday of every month and will feature various speakers from the community. The speakers--slated to include students, teachers and professionals--will take 20 minutes to "informally" present their research, and then will answer questions from the audience, Sarther said. Discussion sessions will follow.

Sarther said she's excited for the speakers, some of whom may be presenting international archeological information. But don't worry; the speakers aren't your professors, and it's supposed to be fun.

"This isn't a lecture," Sarther said. "It's very informal."

The first talk, by Jonathan Mabry, will discuss ancient Tucson and is sure to "surprise people," Sarther said.

The cafés will all take place at Casa Vicente, which was chosen to "bring people downtown. ... How can you miss the food there?" Sarther said.

The café is free, but everyone is encouraged to purchase food and drink.

"I would encourage people to just give it (the Archaeology Café) a chance," Sarther said. "It's an opportunity to ask questions."

The cafés are appropriate for all ages. --C.E.


Southwestern Ballet

Ballet Folklorico Tapatio
7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 1
The Gaslight Theatre
7010 E. Broadway Blvd.
886-9428; thegaslighttheatre.com

Ballet Folklorico Tapatio's shows are anything but your average production of Swan Lake. This energetic and colorful group specializes in traditional dances from various Southwestern regions, and their performances include fast-paced music and dance, impressive costumes and even props.

For their upcoming performance, Ballet Folklorico Tapatio will be dancing numbers from Mexican states including Nuevo Leon (close to Texas), Colima (on the western seacoast of Mexico), Tabasco (which brings the "beautiful" marimba music) and Jalisco (home to "colorful and well-known" dances).

The dance troupe performed in a smaller scale with a mariachi band at Gaslight Theatre on Aug. 4.

"They blew the crowd away in August," said Becky Diaz, public relations director for the Gaslight Theatre. "The performance is high-energy with a lot of variety. They're professionals, and they're great at what they do."

Ballet Folklorico Tapatio is made up of approximately 16 "master" dancers and a handful of beginning and advanced dancers who will also be performing, Diaz said.

Aside from the regional dances, the performance will also include various props, including swords "that have sparks come out of them," Diaz said.

"The music is phenomenal," Diaz said. "It's so exciting; you just can't wait to see what they're going to do next."

The show is appropriate for all ages. Tickets are $15, and reservations are highly recommended. --C.E.


Great Music, Good Cause

No More Homeless Animals Day
5 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 30
Udall Park Amphitheater
7200 E. Tanque Verde Road
tucsonanimalconcert.info

Music lovers and animal lovers alike will gather this weekend to support local bands and homeless animals during the third annual No More Homeless Animals Day benefit concert. The event is sponsored by KXCI FM 91.3, the HOPE Animal Shelter, the Center for Animal Rescue and Adoption, Spay and Neuter Solutions and Citizens for a No-Kill Tucson.

"The point of the event is to bring attention to the life-saving efforts of local rescue groups, and to help find permanent homes for animals," said Mel Mason, the event coordinator.

This is Mason's first year organizing the event, and she said she has high hopes.

"It's impossible to predict how it will go," she said. "But I think it will be really well-attended; we have a lot more media outlets helping us out this year."

Also helping out are the local musicians. After posting a request for local bands on her MySpace page, Mason had nearly 15 responses from people interested in performing, which she narrowed down to four: Courtney Robbins, Serpe, Jeremy Michael Cashman and the Hounds.

"(The show) will have an acoustic, laid-back feel," Mason said. "It will help promote local musicians, and it shows how dedicated they are to helping this cause."

Mason said she plans to do a "rock 'n' roll" benefit concert in the spring.

Also on hand will be a hotdog cart from local vegetarian restaurant Lovin' Spoonfuls, and an ordained minister doing pet blessings (in case your pet needs some extra help ... or an exorcism).

Donations aren't required or expected--but would be nice.

"We're here to raise awareness, not money," Mason said.

The event is free and open to all ages. Pets are welcome, but remember, there are leash laws. --C.E.

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