City Week

Thursday 2

GREEN SECRETS. A sprawling cast of kids and adults visit 20th-century Yorkshire in The Secret Garden.

Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, this production combines original musical arrangements by Les Castro with a new adaptation by local playwright Sunny Sheldon. Rich with period costumes, the play uses humor and fantasy to explore the timeless search for love and belonging.

Show time is 7:30 p.m. in Saint Francis in the Foothills UMC, 4625 E. River Road. Performances continue at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10, $5 for children, and available by phone at 299-9063.

LYRICAL IMPRINT. Live Theatre Workshop skillfully revives Eugene O'Neill's classic A Touch of the Poet.

This work by America's great playwright centers around a tavern keeper who wrestles with both dignity and delusion. The cast includes David Orley, Harris Kendall, Phil O'Hern, Valerie Feingold, Kristi Loera and Bruce Bieszki.

Curtain is 7:30 tonight in the Live Theatre Workshop, 5317 E. Speedway Blvd. Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $11, $10 for seniors and students, and available by calling 327-4242.

Friday 3

ORACLE GLIMPSES. Our funky small-town neighbor on the Catalina's north side swings wide its doors for the eighth annual Oracle Fine Art Weekend.

The creative hub offers visits to studios and galleries scattered among the hills and along the main street, American Avenue. Artists and businesses showcase photography, landscape, abstract and realist paintings in oils, acrylics, encaustic and watercolor. And that's in addition to everything from Raku pottery to stained glass, metal work, and even book readings.

"This is the public's only opportunity to get inside many of the artists' studios," says organizer Jenny Kilb, "and a great opportunity to get to know the artists, as well as enjoy special demonstrations and studio talks."

The Oracle Fine Art Weekend runs from noon to 5 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday. Pink flags mark studio and gallery locations, where maps are also available. For information, call (520) 896-9200.

SAUL'S STRUGGLE. Mimesis Productions explores the travails and triumphs of Israel's first king in Saul.

This full-length drama by local playwright Bruce Zortman portrays ancient struggles that are only too relevant today, including Saul's encounters with hostile neighbors, and the religious right's fight to control his nation. Driven to madness when the young poet and shepherd David is chosen to supplant him, and his eldest son and youngest daughter reject him, Saul is tragically torn between duty and conscience.

Performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Temple of Music and Art Cabaret Theatre, 330 S. Scott Ave. Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, through March 19. Tickets are $10, $8 for seniors and students, available at all Dillard's outlets, and by calling 622-2823.

Saturday 4

ESOTERIC TROUBADOUR. Chuck Pyle and the Titan Valley Trio dish up riveting music "that sticks to the roof of your mind."

Described as the "Zen Cowboy," Pyle's voice and unique style blend in complex, dramatic stories about haunted violins, heroic cops and confused 12-steppers. Voted Best Solo Performer by Front Range Public Radio, Pyle follows a performance by Tucson's own Titan Valley Trio, comprised of Earl Edmonson, Gary Keitert and Ed Davenport. The ensemble unleashes their own brand of Western, bluegrass and country favorites.

Show time is 8 p.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Church Goddard Hall, 4831 E. 22nd St. Tickets are available for $10, $9 for TKMA and KXCI members, at the Folk Shop, Guitars Etc. and Antigone Books. Call 544-0401 for information.

BORDERLAND SOUL. Border music roars into town when Chicanos Por La Causa presents the 13th annual Tejano Music Festival.

This cultural crossroads features great sounds from Bobby Pulido Jr.; Cali Carranza and his band; Grammy nominees Jaime y Los Chamacos; and the flashy showmanship of Eddie Gonzalez. Complementing the tunes are great Mexican chow, tons of cultural art, and info on local health and community services. Proceeds benefit CPLC's housing, financial assistance, education and job-training programs.

The Tejano Music Festival gets underway from 2 to 10 p.m. today and tomorrow in Kennedy Park, 3700 S. Mission Road. Admission is free. For details, call 882-0018.

Sunday 5

STRING SCENE. Harpist Joel Andrews raises spirits with Music of Celestial Ecstasy: The Healing Power of the Golden Harp.

Described as a "spiritual Renaissance artist" by The New York Times, Andrews presents music to release emotional stress, mental blocks and physical health barriers. The concerts can be enjoyed as entertainment or "accepted on inner levels of vibratory transformation."

Get on board at 2 p.m. at Unity of Tucson, 3617 N. Camino Blanco. Tickets are $15, available at the door. Call 577-3300 for information.

DRAMATIC CHOICE. England's timeless bard bounds to the local stage with As You Like It, presented by the Arizona Theatre Company.

Shakespeare's magical celebration of romance, passion and triumph is set in the mystical Forest of Arden, to which main character Rosalind is forced to flee. Dressed as a boy to avoid capture, she lives among other exiles from her uncle's court, an exuberant free spirit in an earthly paradise. Considered the wisest and wittiest of Shakespearean heroines, she teaches the ways of the world to lovesick Orlando and other forest dwellers.

"As You Like It is a great adventure as well as one of Shakespeare's almost perfect comedies," says director Sharon Ott. "It takes a kaleidoscopic approach to the topic of love in all its forms, its chaotic ability to heal and rupture."

Curtain is 2 and 7 p.m. in the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Matinee and evening performances continue through March 18. Tickets range from $20 to $32, and are available at the ATC box office (622-2823) and Dillard's outlets.

MUSICAL HARVEST. They take their name from an ancient Celtic harvest festival honoring Lugh, god of the arts. The result is a stunning crop of music by a hot young band calling themselves Lúnasa.

One of the most sought-after groups on the international scene, Lúnasa weaves wind and string instruments, pairing flutes, fiddle, whistle and pipes with upright bass and guitar for a powerful, unique sound. Irish Voice calls them "the hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet," while Irish Echo ranks them "among the musical elite in Ireland today."

The band is a conglomeration of top Celtic players, including bassist Trevor Hutchinson (formerly of The Waterboys); guitarist Donogh Hennessy (formerly of The Sharon Shannon Band); Kevin Crawford, considered among Ireland's premier flutists; and Sean Smyth, an All-Ireland champion on both fiddle and whistle.

Show time is 7:30 p.m. in the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. Advance tickets are $16, available at Antigone Books, Hear's Music, and by calling 881-3947. Tickets cost $18 at the door.

Monday 6

COMESTIBLE CURRENTS. The trend towards organic chow is picking up steam, a fact not overlooked by the folks at Tucson's lush Tohono Chul Park.

Today, the park takes a closer look at that movement -- particularly within commercial eateries -- by hosting a dinner and discussion at Elle restaurant. Chef Rich Koby and Arivaca farmer Francine Pierce lead this forum and feast centered around natural foods.

The gathering begins at 4:30 p.m. at Elle, 3048 E. Broadway Blvd. Cost is $65, and reservations are required. For reservations and other information, call 742-6455.

Tuesday 7

BASIN RANGER. Take a long view of our civic past with the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society.

In a lecture titled The Origins of Southwestern Village Life: New Evidence from the Tucson Basin, researcher Jonathan Mabry uncovers clues about those who called this place home eons ago. Yep, we're talking about the granddaddy of all master-planned communities, back when hunting and gathering included nary a trip to the mall.

The talk celebrates Archaeology Awareness Month. It's part of a series centering on excavations linked to the widening of I-10. Those digs have turned up fascinating pre-historical tidbits, deepening scientists' understanding of what made this region tick, including the development of agriculture and village life.

Mabry speaks at 7 p.m. in the Valencia Branch Public Library, 202 W. Valencia Road. Admission is free. For details, call 326-6709.

MILLENNIAL CHAT. Political science professor Barbara Norrander discusses the selection of America's new commander-in-chief in Electing America's Leaders for the 21st Century.

Hosted by the UA's Political Science Salon Series, Norrander discusses her research on presidential nomination politics. She's the author of Super Tuesday: Regional Politics and Presidential Primaries.

Discussion begins at 7 p.m. in the Hacienda del Sol Resort, 5601 N. Hacienda del Sol Road. Admission is $10, and advance registration is required. For registration and other information, call 621-3938.

Wednesday 8

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? Such news was hardly a surprise to the military brass.

In order 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 of the day begins at 4 p.m. Take I-19 south to Green Valley, Exit 69, and continue west to the museum entrance. Admission is $7.50, $6.50 for seniors and military, $4 for children ages 7 to 12, and free for children under age 7. For information, call 625-7736.