Cheap Thrills

DREAM JOB: What happens when a young student slips into slumber while composing a late book report? When the snooze happens at Valley of the Moon, the slacker finds himself Caught Between Wonderland and Oz.

That's the theme for the Valley's latest adventure, complete with Alice and Dorothy. Families are invited to kibbutz with a cast of characters from both tales, in this charming midtown oasis of eccentricity. Created by late visionary George Phar Legler, the historic park is operated by a cadre of dedicated volunteers.

Caught Between Wonderland and Oz tours run every 30 minutes from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, through May 13 at the Valley of the Moon, 2544 E. Allen Road, north of Prince Road and east of Tucson Boulevard. Admission is $5, $3 for children ages 7 to 12, and free for children under age 7. For details, call 323-1331.

GLOBAL RIDDIMS: The 10th annual Bob Marley Festival revives the gentle optimism of a reggae giant. Starting in Houston, the tour travels to about 20 cities each year, spreading the late Marley's much-needed message of tolerance, peace and unity.

This year's theme is "Exodus," taken from Marley's album of the same name. "This theme reflects Marley's belief in an "exodus' towards the promise of a new way of life," says Gregory Stephens, author of On Racial Frontiers: The New Culture of Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison and Bob Marley. "During the coming year, as we move towards a new millennium, we find Marley's music reaching a new generation, calling them away from self-destruction and cynicism to higher cultural and spiritual levels," Stephens says.

In addition to reggae bands, the tour includes dance troupes, jugglers, poetry readings, and Caribbean, African and Third World arts and crafts. There will also be plenty of kids' activities, from a Playscape area to Native American storytellers.

The Bob Marley Festival runs from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, April 29 and 30, at Kennedy Park, 3700 S. La Cholla Boulevard. A $5 donation, or $8 worth of non-perishable food, is requested. Donations benefit the Highland Free School and Desert Survivors. Call 327-2214 for details.

HIGH-STEPPERS: Dance takes a birthday bent at the 50s Contra Dance Celebration, hosted by Tucson Friends of Traditional Music.

At least six longtime TFTMers are crossing the half-century mark, and thought the best celebration would include a bit of high-stepping (not that this bunch needs much excuse for a dance bash). Instruction will be minimized for dancers comfortable with contra corners, and Deb Comly of Flagstaff will be calling the "zesty" motion.

Dance party begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 29, in the Downtown-Lohse Family YMCA, 60 W. Alameda St. Admission is $7, $6 for TFTM members, $4 for students. Call 881-5488 for details.

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