City Week » Cheap Thrills

Cheap Thrills

POETIC CHILL: "There's no need to go outside. Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself. A white flower grows in the quietness. Let your tongue become that flower."

Mr. City Week waxing eloquent? Hardly. The preceding lines hail from Be Melting Snow, a brisk lyrical work by Jelaluddin Rumi. Tonight, Rumi joins a gathering of well-chilled scribes when Make a Date With A Poet features "Winter!" This time, the free series invites writers to bring their "shivery, coolest poems, and share a bit of winter in the high heat of our desert summer."

Make a Date With a Poet is 6 p.m. Friday, July 21 in the New Life Cafe, 4841 E. Speedway Blvd. For details, call 881-5180.

THEATRE BEAT: Another Thursday night, and yet another chance to boost the fortunes of downtown's venerable old Fox Theatre with a classic movie screening.

Not a tough way to help out, if you ask us. As for the Fox, it closed in 1974 after more than 40 years as a movie house and gathering point for Tucson's citizenry. Then it endured a couple of decades of indignity behind a slapped-up façade.

Now Fox is on the rebound. To celebrate its pending rebirth, La Placita Village and the Tucson Fox Theatre Foundation will present West Side Story. It's the classic 1961 tale of the Sharks and the Jets, two rival Gotham gangs bent on destroying each other. Unfortunately, they're more successful at destroying the future for two star-crossed lovers. OK, maybe you've heard a similar story somewhere before. But this movie is fantastic just for the Leonard Bernstein score alone. And it also stars that eternally hot enchilada, Rita Moreno.

The free film series continues at 7:30 p.m. each Thursday in La Placita Village, 110 S. Church Ave., on the southwest corner of Church Avenue and Broadway Boulevard. Admission is free, but $3 donations are suggested. For details, call 623-2748.

ALMOST-WILD CATS: Two budding mountain lions are greeting visitors to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

The brother and sister lions, also called pumas, lost their mother and were caught as cubs near Tombstone in 1997. They were hand-reared by professional animal rehabilitators, and have just been released from quarantine as healthy 2-year-olds.

"While mountain lions tend to be shy and secretive, we expect ours to be playful and active once they get used to their surroundings," says Peter Siminski, director of living collections at the museum.

The animals can be viewed romping through a mock-natural mountain woodland habitat, with plants, trees and a lookout rock as perks. And their arrival is timely--the museum recently lost one mountain lion to complications from intestinal surgery, and a 15-year-old female has been retired from active exhibition.

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is at 2021 N. Kinney Road. Summer hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $8.95, $1.75 for children ages 6 to 12, free for children ages 6 and under. For details, call 883-2702.

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