Cheap Thrills

STELLA'S REDUX: Marlon Brando made it unforgettable. Vivien Leigh made it eerie. Now the Tucson Community Theatre makes it local, with a performance of Tennessee Williams' classic, A Streetcar Named Desire.

Here's the scoop on this wonderfully dark gem set in New Orleans: The delicate, romantic and genteel southern belle Blanche DuBois is desperately mired in the past. That puts her in direct conflict with brutish Stanley Kowalski, whose idea of history is his last bowling alley beer. The result is a vicious clash between fantasy and unrelenting reality in this stunning masterpiece.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 19 through 21, in the Randolph Art Center Auditorium, 200 S. Alvernon Way. Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, October 26 through 28, and 2 p.m. Sunday, October 22 and 29. Admission is free. For information, call 791-4663.

HISTORIC MOVES: "Gather your family and meet in the Plaza of the Presidio."

That was the dictum. But considering the year was 1775, and U-Haul wouldn't yet be around for a couple of centuries, skipping out of town was a major undertaking. Which speaks volumes about the pluck of early frontier folks who landed in the wild southwest so many moons ago. Now their spirit is rekindled with Anza Days, hosted annually in Tubac by Arizona State Parks.

This party celebrates the day when 240 early travelers packed up and headed north to the relative safety of Tucson's presidio walls. The time is recaptured with volunteers colorfully costumed in Spanish military garb, lances and shields at the ready.

They'll run through drills and display weapons, while others make the foods, tools and crafts of the period. There will be children's activities, and stage presentations by Native, Spanish, Mexican and other territorial cultures, culminating in a Saturday night dance and barbecue.

Anza Days runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22, at Tubac. Admission is $2, $1 for children ages 7 through 13, and free for children under age 7. Tubac is 40 minutes south on I-19. For details, call 398-2252.

WEST WINGS: Enjoy an aviary extravaganza at the Way Out West Bird Expo.

This annual event is the largest bird mart in Arizona, featuring more than 200 breeders, manufacturers and distributors from across the country. Their inventory will include exotic birds and supplies.

Why all the hoopla? Well, did you know that birds are the third most popular pets in this country, and quickly becoming favorites among seniors? It's not hard to figure why: They're easier to clean up after than dogs or cats, and they're allowed in most apartments and care centers without a deposit. Beyond that, our winged friends are affectionate, and offer tremendous therapeutic benefits.

Way Out West Bird Expo runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 22 at the Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 S. Houghton Road. Admission is $6, $4 for seniors, $3 for children ages 5 to 12, and free for children under 5. Call 973-9282 for information.