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CHAMPION CHATTER. Having a tough time lip-flappin' with the fellow humanoids in any meaningful way? Is your presence regularly met by muted stares? Could you fail to sell a truckload of half-priced pate-polish to Don Diamond, let alone land a date with Mr. or Ms. Right?
Today the Arizona Small Business Association plans to remedy your crisis with Rapport Mastery, a forum led by motivational speaker Hal Feinberg, and described as a "powerful hands-on workshop designed to give participants the ability to establish instant rapport with others and provide tools on how to maintain rapport and communicate with each person's style."
Free lecture runs from 8 to 10 a.m. in the Doubletree Hotel, 445 S. Alvernon Way. For details, call 886-6588.
ICE PACK. Cool your steaming body and refresh your stifled mind when the Downtown District Arts Partnership and The Screening Room host Artists on Ice. If the name isn't appealing enough, the venue just may be. Imagine a cadre of Tucson's filmmakers, musicians and poets gathering in refrigerated glory, all espousing visions guaranteed to "charm, dazzle, disgust, outrage, tantalize and amaze." Or, as Ice talent scout David Mitchell says, "Believe me, you won't know what hit you."
Free event runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. Call 622-2262 for more information.
PERSEID PERCEIVED. Amateur astronomer and artist Gerard Tsonakwa brings science and the rich mythology of his Abenaki people to bear with The Perseid Meteor Showers, hosted by Baja's Frontier Tours. As the annual showers drape Tucson's nighttime skies, Tsonakwa shares the legends around the glow of kerosene lanterns, spinning tales of how Coyote's ancient tricks made it all happen. Participants will be invited to enjoy the astral action with telescopes and binoculars, and later celebrate with rich dessert served by tour staffers.
Event runs from 7:15 to 11 p.m. at a location to be announced. Cost is $33 per person. To make the required reservations, call 887-2340.
ULTIMATE WEAPON. Think of it like this: You had a pretty comfy life in the nice town of Athens before those testosterone-addled menfolk decided to take up arms against Sparta, leaving you widowed and your city under increasing threat of annihilation. What to do?
For the title character of the Greek comedy Lysistrata, it was a no-brainer--enlist Athenian gals to withhold those feminine charms until the guys came to their senses.
It was the doomsday weapon of its time, now hilariously portrayed in the Q Players' production of Lysistrata. Show times are 8 p.m. today, 3 and 8 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday in the Temple of Music and Art Cabaret Theatre, 330 S. Scott Ave. Tickets are $6, $5 for students, seniors and military. Call 529-2687 for reservations.
WELL HUNG. The "Town Too Tough to Die" is also a burg far too savvy to let any remnant of its ornery past go unnoticed. Luckily, even as Toughnut Street threatens to plummet into a collapsing mine and the most recent marshal enjoys a different kind of shaft, Tombstone's town fathers are carrying on tourist-laced tradition with a raucous annual event called Vigilante Days.
And needless to say, the days offer a vintage plateful of events including "shoot-outs, hangings, a chile cook-off, more hangings, saloon girls and more."
Despite the hype, however, Tombstone remains a fascinating rural glimpse, both of this region's very rugged past, and of cheesy modern Americana with some dirt under its nails. Don't miss the great museum in the Old Tombstone Courthouse.
Vigilante Days run from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today through Sunday. To reach Tombstone, take I-10 east to the Benson exit, turning south on Highway 80. Driving time is about one hour. For information, call (520) 457-3929.
DRAG KINGS. Those folks of the Southwestern International Raceway fire down the fast track with Sneek-A-Peek Night. And the peek you'll be sneaking is of a small army of motorheads testing and tuning their gnarly drag racers, all in anticipation of the raceway's grand opening on August 16.
"Spectators can expect to see several of the region's finest cars going down the track," says SIR spokesman Mark Oliver. "There hasn't been a drag strip in Tucson in 15 years, and we also have the longest track in Arizona."
Event begins at 4 p.m. at the Pima County Fairgrounds. Admission is $8 for adults, free for kids ages 12 and under with a paying adult. Food and beverages will be available. For details, call 762-9100.
ABDOMINAL CHARMS. What's more fun than a barrel of monkeys? Why, a room full of belly dancers, of course. This rich dance tradition hails from ancient middle eastern cultures, where it was a prime source of entertainment as nomads took respite from the torrid desert sun. Today, the practice lives on in such modern outposts as Girlfriends Coffeehouse. The girls guarantee "many beautiful dancers in gorgeous costumes," practicing this timeless, exotic ritual.
Event is 8 p.m. in the coffeehouse, 3540 N. Oracle Road. Admission is $3. For details, call 888-4475.
TITANIC RECOIL. Did you know that during the bad old days of the Cold War, Tucson was slated by the Soviets to become a major cheese crisp if the Big One ever broke out? That fact hardly caught the military brass stooped over $1,000 toilet seats with their britches down.
To protect the huge Davis Monthan Air Force Base, the Pentagon arranged a nifty little string of nukes around the valley, all aimed at the Russkies. Today, only one of those Titan missiles remain, a behemoth souvenir from our paranoid past.
Visiting that monster at the Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley easily reveals just how close to Armageddon we were. Snaking ominously up from its subterranean silo, the 330,000-pound missile nearly breaks the surface. Its cover is cemented partially open, allowing orbiting Russian satellites to confirm the warhead's removal.
Thirty-five feet below ground stretches the control room, suspended upon enormous springs, a 200-foot hallway and a byzantine tangle of communications equipment.
Manned by Air Force retirees, this shrine to Dr. Strangelove also boasts an orientation video and fascinating guided tours. Ironically, despite the sense of foreboding--or relief--this eerie museum raises, it also prompts enough inanely surreal questions to make Slim Pickens proud. "So what would have happened to the guys down here if they ever got hit?" an older woman asked on a recent tour. "How would they get by? I mean, would they have food?"
The guide chuckled darkly. "Wouldn't have mattered much, ma'am," he said, "since that would have been the last day in the history books."
The Titan Missile Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The last tour begins at 4 p.m. Take I-19 south to Green Valley, Exit 69. Drive 1/10 mile west to the museum entrance. Admission is $6, $5 for seniors and military, $3 for children ages 10 to 17, free for children under age 10. For information, call 791-2929.
NOW YOU SEE IT. Here's a chance to put a little magic back in your lives as Magic Mania Night hits the Gaslight Theater. This sleight-of-hand troupe, including Tom "The Doctor of Style" Potter, Master of Manipulation Norm Marini, Classical Magician Gene Collins and a Very Special Mystery Guest, reportedly have an action-packed evening of family fun up their sleeves.
"For example, we'll be doing a spoof on Harry Houdini's escape tricks," Potter says. "Gene and I will have a race to escape, with me tied up in a 100-foot rope and him in a strait-jacket. As for the mystery guest, all I can say is it will be a magician in a box. There will be audience participation tricks, and even some jugglers to break up the tension."
The illusion begins at 7 p.m. at The Gaslight Theater, 7010 E. Broadway. Tickets are $7.50, and available at William's Magic. For information, call 790-4060.
HERE AND NOW. We often find ourselves pondering everything but the present, and going through our lives without really living them, according to teacher and writer Ron Lancaster. He suggests a powerful alternative, one espoused by philosophers like Gurdjieff and Peter Ouspensky, namely taking the opportunity to recognize and appreciate the moment-by-moment minutiae of our existence.
That approach emanates from the Greek's premise that we live in a dream world, Lancaster says. "Think about it. You're driving down the road, but you're living in your imagination. You're not really experiencing the driving, but instead thinking about your last conversation, or what you did last week, or what you're going to do. And ultimately, that's all useless."
Through his lecture, titled "Peter Ouspenky and a Practical View of Man," Lancaster sheds light on how to enter the here and now. His strategy involves a presentation of man's psychology from the view of the brain's four independent parts: intellectual, emotional, instinctive and the moving centers. Fully recognizing those parts at work can place everything else we do into sharp focus, fully revealing what Lancaster calls our "hidden inner world."
Free lecture is 6 p.m. in the Himmel Park Library, 1035 N. Treat Ave. For information, call 326-8966.
BALKAN BEAT. On this side of the Atlantic the Balkans are merely an abstraction, a 30-second blip on the nightly news suggesting that it's long
been a tormented land, and probably always will be.
Of course that view ignores the lives of real people living amidst turmoil, ancient rivalries and constant upheaval. To round out the picture, the Tucson Balkan Peace Support Group presents The Balkans in the Western Imagination, a short film series revealing how the region's inhabitants are portrayed in American and European films.
Showing tonight is Four Friends, Academy Award-winning writer Steve Tesich's drama about the experiences of a Yugoslav who immigrates to the United States in the 1960s.
Free screening is 7 p.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4831 E. 22nd St. Call 623-8905 for details.
IVORY COAST. Slide away from your cyber shuffle and into traditional lushlife when Bob "King o' the Keys" Linesch tickles his timeless ivories in the Arizona Inn's Audubon Lounge. This classy midtown oasis--replete with intricate white brocades and enormous windows--hasn't changed
much since Frank Lloyd Wright hoisted a top-shelf boilermaker to its swell ambiance many, many moons back. And for 16 of those lunar annums, Linesch has stylishly tackled the masters as bluebloods and commoners alike waltzed down sweeping staircases to nurse healthy martinis along an elegant bar.
His weekly roster ranges from Gershwin and Cole Porter to Jerome Kern, "All the guys who are dead," he quips, and it's not rare to hear somebody's granny spontaneously backing his fine interpretations with eclectic, albeit heartfelt vocals. Behind the lines, veteran bartender extraordinaire Clare Hofmann humbly calls the lounge a "venerable nightspot with spectacular service." All that and authentic Audubon prints to boot.
City Week includes events selected by Calendar Editor Tim Vanderpool. Event information is accurate as of press time. The Weekly recommends calling event organizers to check for last-minute changes in location, time, price, etc. To have material considered, please send complete information at least 11 days prior to the Thursday issue date to: Tucson Weekly, P.O. Box 2429, Tucson, Arizona 85702, or fax information to 792-2096, or email us at email@example.com.
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