Talking Track

The endlessly optimistic Thomas the Tank Engine is rolling into Arizona. The modern-day equivalent to Watty Piper's Little Engine That Could ("I think I can, I think I can"), Thomas has won the hearts and minds of many a tyke during his travels. Thomas pulls into the Grand Canyon Railway's Williams Depot Station in Williams, Arizona, on Friday, May 9. For a mere $14, adults and children can ride a train behind Thomas and enjoy a fun-filled day of activities, including photos with Sir Topham Hatt (the "fat controller" of the rails), storytelling, temporary tattoos, videos and music. The fun begins at 9 a.m. and winds down around 4 p.m. on the weekends of May 9-11 and May 16-18. For more information on the "Day Out With Thomas," call 1-800-843-8724 or visit Maidi Terry

Beast Master

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

In this case, Beauty is in the eye of the director. The Phoenix Theatre's Cookie Company, under the direction of playwright Alan Prewitt, is putting a cultural spin on a classic tale, setting Beauty and the Beast in Old Mexico, where the beast takes the form of a giant lizard, the castle an adobe hacienda.

The production wraps this weekend, with 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. performances on Saturday, May 10, and Sunday, May 11. A cookie-and-milk reception follows each performance at the Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell. Tickets are $10; call 602-254-2151. - Jill Koch


Museum sets kids on creative course

Sat 5/10
The Phoenix Art Museum's Second Saturday events are the best way to get your child into a museum. From noon to 3 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month, special activities expose children to art -- and encourage them to make their own. This Saturday, May 10, children can explore the current exhibition, "Guardian of the Flame: Art of Sri Lanka," and search out a Buddha that will inspire them to create one themselves. Teachers guide kids through the creative and educational process, ensuring a great time along the way.

Stop by the ArtWorks Gallery inside the museum, 1625 North Central, for information on how to participate. Free with regular admission, the activity is recommended for children age 5 and older and their adult companions. Call 602-257-1222 for details.-Maidi Terry