Originally Published: June 2, 2011 8:16 p.m.
Welcome to the tri-city area, where all the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the children are above average - at least until the state elected to cut all its money to education.
This week we have island fun, folk arts, murderous musicals and yes, Garrison Keillor.
Fun in the sun. Now if you're like me, one of your biggest gripes about the Prescott area is the lack of Caribbean flair at local bars. Luckily, Matt's Saloon, which is usually more Jimmie Rodgers than Jimmy Cliff, will try to change that with its yearly Jamaica Me Crazy Beach Party, at 2 p.m. Sunday.
The party features music from Grantman & The Island Beat (Bombaat!), food, drinks and sand (in the bar, no less), and it makes da chedda for da Prescott Youth Football an' Cheer Association. Big tings, big tings in sto', mon.
Folk arts. Prescott's Sharlot Hall Museum will have its Folk Arts Fair on Saturday and Sunday. The fair will give the young (who get in free if they're under 18, incidentally) and old (no such luck, grandpa) the opportunity to see life as it was lived in Prescott's past. Sheep-shearing, horse-shodding, basket-making and fiddling - the Folk Arts Fair has it all. I'm hoping to see some guys with handlebar mustaches riding unicycles around, though that might give me nightmares about living in Portland, Ore.
Murderous musicals. Steven Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" isn't my favorite musical of all time ("Jesus Christ Superstar") or probably even my second favorite (Admit it, we all have a soft spot for "The Sound of Music." Don't let those Nazis get you, cute singing family!) or maybe not even my third (Does "Team America: World Police" count as a musical?) but it is one of the more musically challenging and bloody ones you'll see, which is why I have to admit, I'm super excited to see Prescott Fine Arts Association's season-ending performance of it, starting Thursday and lasting for the next couple weeks. Community theater actors doing difficult vocal runs in a strange time signature before attempting to decapitate each other? Yes, please. I'm not sure who is playing Sweeney, but hey, if Johnny Depp can do it - sort of - I have faith that you can too, PFAA.
Lake Wobegon. I know that this isn't technically even in Yavapai County, but if you're a fan of Garrison Keillor and "Prairie Home Companion," the show is coming through for possibly the last time ever - he's retiring in 2013, and they might not do another major tour - for the taping of a live show in Flagstaff. Tickets are still available. Do you ever wonder if Garrison Keillor has a face for radio? Well you won't know unless you go watch. Or Google him.
The fun doesn't stop with those four events. As noted last week, the Summer Concert Series began Wednesday, and Road One South and Sky Daddy & The Pop Rocks both play this weekend (on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The courthouse square will also host United Animal Friends' Woof Down Lunch, which will feature dog obedience demonstrations, live music (Or so I've been told - I haven't been able to confirm who is playing) as well as cats and dogs available for adoption.
Jazz fans also will have the opportunity attend the first "Howlin' at the Highlands" jazz concert at Highlands Center for Natural History on Sunday evening. If you don't make it up to the Highlands Center, local jazz legend Buddy Moeck is performing on the courthouse square with his band on Wednesday.
Lastly in the special events realm, parents of young children beware: "Thomas The Tank Engine and Friends" is coming to Tim's Toyota Center on Thursday. My wife and I have a little one on the way, but hopefully Thomas will be long since put out to pasture in lieu of some newer, stranger (as if a talking train isn't weird enough) variety show by the time the child is old enough to beg us to drop $120 on three tickets to go watch. But for all of the rest of you, enjoy!