Get adventurous at Princess Bride fantasy tour

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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Among Tucson’s eclectic array of historical sites, live theaters and desert gardens there is one place that has been a magical home for the imagination since 1923. Valley of the Moon is described by Zack Jarrett, president of the board of directors, as “… the magical heart of Tucson, Arizona. Whimsy, adventure, magic and fairy tales are our stock-in-trade.”

Putting on only three shows a year, Valley players are gearing up for a special encore performance of “The Princess Bride: An interactive fantasy of True Love for the whole family.”

The last summer show will take place Aug. 3, and will be the final chance to see the Valley players until “The Haunted Ruins” in October. With all the drama, intrigue, comedy and romance of the beloved film and book, the actors bring a truly entertaining and whimsical approach to “The Princess Bride.”

Founder George Phar Legler sought to create a place where the imagination of children could be engaged by mythical creatures, so he constructed stone pathways and dollhouse-sized rock homes for fairies and elves. At one time it was a premier attraction for families, according to Jarrett.

“Valley of the Moon today is a secret garden but it wasn’t always and it shouldn’t be anymore,” he said. “Once upon a time, people came from far and wide to visit the Valley. It was featured in McCalls, Life, and Arizona Highways magazines and the Tucson Chamber of Commerce had a permanent display promoting it.”

The Valley began to fall into disrepair by the 1970s, until a group of high school students brought it back to life. In 2011, as a result of efforts from the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation and The George Phar Legler Society, the Valley was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The faded and mystical place may be in the midst of tremendous restoration efforts, but that doesn’t stop people of all ages from coming out to the shows.

“Today the Valley of the Moon is more alive than ever,” Jarrett said. “We’re telling stories, singing songs, collaborating with artists, engaging youth, working with health organizations and growing kindness in our city.”

Don’t miss the swordsmanship, flute playing and, of course, Inigo Montoya references at Valley of the Moon’s summer encore of “The Princess Bride.”

“For the young at heart, for children, for those who have ever believed in fairy tales,” Jarrett said. “Valley of the Moon will touch your heart.”


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