City Week

The Path to Success

The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women workshop

7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 2

Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave.


Gail McMeekin believes that fears of being selfish and rupturing relationships keep some women from being successful.

At her upcoming workshop—based on her book The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women: A Portable Life Coach for Creative Women—McMeekin's message will be that women need positive reinforcement in what she calls a current "work revolution."

"Women are leaving companies in droves, starting their own businesses and defining their own personal, heart-felt success," she said.

The interactive workshop is meant to offer women specific steps to learn what "success" means to them.

As a mentor, McMeekin noted that women have to first follow their fascinations.

"Create learning opportunities for yourself so that you can visualize and achieve your goals," she said.

McMeekin hopes that the workshop will leave women motivated to make life changes.

"It will be a chance to talk about several key secrets from the book, and for a group of women to interact and support each other in their quest for success," she said.

The book, which is loaded with exercises, is meant as a support guide to help women define their own success. McMeekin interviewed 31 successful women as a point of inspiration for her readers.

"Each of the women I interviewed in this book saw their work as making a contribution to humanity," she said. "Success is not about staying with a job or business that you hate, but instead about taking a positive risk and creating a situation that sparks your creativity."

The free reading and workshop will be followed by a question-and-answer session, and refreshments will be served. —D.H.

Now That's Funny

The Comedy Genius of O. Henry

7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m., Sunday, through Saturday, Sept. 10

Comedy Playhouse, 3620 N. First Ave.


"The Ransom of Red Chief" by O. Henry is one of the funniest short stories ever written, according to Bruce Bieszki, owner of the Comedy Playhouse.

O. Henry is best known for his witty narratives and surprise endings, and actors from the Comedy Playhouse will translate his iconic stories to the stage in the third installment of the Playhouse's "The Comedy Genius of ..." series.

Some of O. Henry's short stories were written while he was in prison in the late 1800s, with most of the stories set in Texas and New York. Eight of O. Henry's short stories, including "The Roads We Take"—which was set in Tucson—will be performed in concert format for an audience of 33 at the Comedy Playhouse.

According to Bieszki, "The Comedy Genius of ... " has turned out to be a hugely successful series.

"People are very interested in comedy brought to life," he said. "Nobody else is doing something like that, so it has worked out fine."

Bieszki has a long love affair with O. Henry, after reading the stories when he was younger.

"This will be a treat for the audience to sit back and listen," he said. "It's different from reading the stories. This time, talented actors will be bringing the characters right off the page."

The same crew of actors who previously performed stories by Mark Twain at the Comedy Playhouse will be performing O. Henry's works during the two-hour-long showcase.

"They're bringing the story to stage pretty easily—and getting there is half the fun," Bieszki said.

Tickets are $12. Discounts are available for students and seniors. —D.H.

Jazz for Dancing and Hollering

Four80East with Shilts and Matt Marshak

7:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 4

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, 7000 N. Resort Drive


Looking for something to jazz up your Labor Day weekend? Then head over to the finale of Desert Heat With a Jazz Beat, the summer-concert series hosted by the Tucson Jazz Society.

Local smooth-jazz saxophonist Neamen Lyles will open the evening concert, which will then feature performances by Shilts, Matt Marshak and Four80East.

Electro-jazz ensemble Four80East's music incorporates a catchy bass groove with pop and R&B influences. The group has been described as a front-runner in the nu-jazz movement thanks to their unique sound that includes effects, recordings, improvisational techniques and infectious club-inspired dance beats.

The musicians will join forces onstage, playing selected tracks of each other's music.

"We like to play 'Noodle Soup,'" said Four80East member Tony Grace, referring to a lively track by his own group. "We usually play it at the end of a set and get a huge reaction from the audience."

Matt Marshak, an experimental jazz guitarist, is noted for his malleable sound, which is inspired by rock, pop, blues and soul.

Paul "Shilts" Weimar, a saxophonist from London, boasts an impressive and diverse collection of pop, funk and urban-jazz melodies.

"It's an up-tempo, high-energy-type show," Grace said about the Sunday concert. "You can't escape the energy. You're going to be moved by it, and you're going to get up and dance and holler."

Tickets are $35; $25 for TJS members and active military members; and $20 for students. Loews Ventana Canyon Resort is also offering room packages in coordination with the concert, for $129 and $199, featuring a room and two tickets, as well as a meet-and-greet with the artists; call (800) 234-5117 for room info. —J.B.

Bring Out Your Dead!

Dia de los Muertos art exhibit

8 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily, through Sunday, Nov. 6

Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte


Tohono Chul Park presents a new art exhibit for everyone to go see—dead or alive.

The Dia de los Muertos exhibit, which opened this week, features artwork by a variety of Southwestern artists. The show includes photographs, paintings, fabric works, sculptures and other artistic creations that pay tribute to the holiday.

"We have very whimsical pieces and works that are a little more serious," said Ben Johnson, the curator of exhibitions. "All of them really capture the heart and soul of Dia de los Muertos."

Day of the Dead is a time to honor and remember ancestors and loved ones who have died. Unlike Halloween, the observance is not meant to be harrowing or frightful; instead, families focus on life and death as parts of a natural cycle.

Visitors are welcome to participate in the exhibit by leaving a tribute—such as a photograph, flowers or a meaningful keepsake—at the Community Ofrenda (altar) for loved ones. The altar will be on display for the length of the exhibit and will accumulate mementos throughout.

Mark your calendars: A reception will be held during the park's "Park After Dark" event, from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 21, with live music, luminaria-lit trail paths and nocturnal desert creatures.

"It's a really fun event for visitors to experience the Sonoran Desert after dark," Johnson said about the family-friendly event.

More immediately, at 9 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 7, there will be a curator's talk for those interested in learning more about individual art pieces and the artists.

Park admission is $8; $5 for members; and $3 for children 12 and younger. —J.B.