City Week

Sex, Love and Relationships

Sonoran Open Mic with Breakdown
8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 14
Pima Community College Center for the Arts, 2202 W. Anklam Road

At a time when even the highest representatives of our nation are tapping their foot under--and peeking through--airport bathroom stalls, the group BreakDown ( has a message to share: Abstinence can be something to dance about.

BreakDown is the featured performer this Friday at a show produced by Sonoran Springs Productions, an organization that promotes shows by Christian artists. The nine-act show will combine music, poetry and dancing.

"We provide quality events in a safe and clean atmosphere," says Erica Fluckus, founder of Sonoran Springs Productions. The acts will include music from up-and-coming hip-hop/R&B singer Chezale, along with spoken word from Chillin' da Conscious Poet. Also joining the show will be The Human Project dance troupe and local band Sanctified.

According to Aimee Short Dobbins, the founder of BreakDown--which combines drama, dance and spoken word/poetry in its performances--the acts will promote messages of integrity, character and purity that challenge the sex-without-consequences mentality that many possess in today's society.

"The vision of BreakDown is to be able to use young people to communicate the message to their peers in a way that they can relate to and feel is cool." says Dobbins. "We make the show very multimedia, because we live in a multimedia generation."

With admission, each guest will receive free food from Essence of Love Catering, including chicken, beans, rice and bread. There will also be door prizes, such as gift cards from Park Place Mall.

Admission is $10 in advance, or $15 at the door; kids 12 and younger get in for $5, and kids younger than 2 are admitted for free. For tickets, call 206-6986 or visit --J.W.

All Jazzed Up

"With a Twist": Liz Cracchiolo in Concert
7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15 and 16
Temple of Music and Art Cabaret Theater, 330 S. Scott Ave.

Liz Cracchiolo, a native Tucsonan and music-scene regular, is putting a different spin on her favorite songs to raise money for a local charity.

"With a Twist" >will combine Cracchiolo's love of jazz music with the music of artists including Elton John, Billy Joel and the Beatles.

"The concept of this show is 'songs you know,'" Cracchiolo said. "It's just going to take you a while to figure out what it is. It's all rearranged as jazz."

This event marks the third year running that Cracchiolo has put on a concert for Tee Up for Tots, a nonprofit organization devoted to raising money for pediatric cancer research. She said these benefit events just keep getting better.

"It's gotten bigger every year," Cracchiolo said. "I hope to sell out. If I could do this and raise money for a good cause, everybody wins.

"My sister is a nurse for cancer patients. The kids are so appreciative and excited. Every dollar counts."

Cracchiolo has been performing since the age of 6, dancing, acting and finally singing in high school. She starred in the musical Bark! this summer, and is planning to release an album next year.

Cracchiolo says she thrives onstage.

"You never know what's going to happen," Cracchiolo said. "The audience is part of your performance, and it's organic; it just happens."

Cracchiolo promises that this will be a show for all ages to enjoy, whether you go to support a great cause or to listen to great music. Tickets are $30, and all proceeds go to Tee Up for Tots. --D.P.

Spiritual Engineering

"The Origins of Religion-- Imagine That" with Jerry Walp
1:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 16
Main Branch, Pima County Public Library, 101 N. Stone Ave.

Meet Jerry Walp. He considers himself a "plain, ordinary (industrial) engineer" who just happens to have an interest in human nature, and he has a fascinating belief: Walp claims that approximately 40,000 years ago, something happened that changed mankind forever.

"The focus in my theory is that what happened long ago in human evolution is demonstrated through tools," Walp says. His claim: Homo sapiens went from being a clever ape to an imagining human, and from this change came religion, culture, economics and industrial engineering--Walp's field.

Want to hear more? Walp will be giving a lecture this Sunday at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library at 101 N. Stone Ave. (Free parking is available under library off Alameda Street.)

"What occurred is like a prehistoric revolution, on the same level as the industrial revolution that took place during the 1800s," says Walp. Once tools were created, between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago, humans went through five tool changes, representing humans' increasing ability to think more cleverly. One of the most popular tools of time--the bow and arrow--was created during this period, along with other life-altering tools that left behind their marks in different ways.

"It was a real important moment in human evolution; it marks a time in which thoughts of the mind went beyond the usual instinctive nature," says Walp.

Walp's lecture will be followed by a discussion and a social hour; the event is free to attend. --J.W.

Walk With a Purpose

Tucson Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's "Light the Night"
Saturday, Sept. 15: 5:30 p.m., Health and Wellness Fair; 6 p.m., Walk Registration; 7 p.m., Walk Begins
DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, Reid Park, near 22nd Street and Country Club Road
(602) 788-8622;

Want to make a difference? You don't have to be a scientist, doctor or even a volunteer to make an impact on hundreds of brave children and adults battling cancer.

Just grab your walking shoes! "Light the Night," the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's yearly fundraiser, is back with a 2 1/2-mile walk that can be done individually or in teams, and proceeds go to research and patient-aid programs.

Roymarie Ballester has been a volunteer for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since 2005, following her sister's battle with lymphoma.

"It doesn't matter if you know someone or not," said Ballester. "People don't realize that you become a hero to the patients and their families. You immediately see the impact of your efforts, because you're giving them hope."

"Light the Night" features illuminated balloons carried by the walkers, each color symbolizing something different. "White balloons are carried by the cancer victims; red are for the supporters, and gold balloons honor the memory of someone lost," Ballester said.

So far this year, 44,240 new cases of leukemia have been reported nationally, and 21,790 people have died in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute.

"By contributing, you bring resources necessary to cure the disease," Ballester said.

In 2006, the walk raised $393,000 in Arizona; the society hopes to exceed that number this year.

Register online or in person on the night of the walk. Requested donations are $25 per individual, and $200 per team. Beverages, snacks, entertainment and chair massages will be available. --D.P.

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