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Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Weekly List: 29 Things To Do in Tucson in the Next 10 Days

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 9:34 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.

Pick of the Week: Slut Walk

Slut Walk: Fight rape culture, victim blaming and street harassment at the annual Slut Walk! Curious about the name? As organizers put it on their Facebook event, "In using the word 'slut,' we are not dehumanizing ourselves, but rather humanizing a label, showing the wide variety of people slut pertains to, whether embraced or prescribed to by the outside world." SlutWalk is a movement that fights sexism, classism, racism, ableism, fatphobia, homophobia and transphobia, and is sex worker inclusive. What more could we ask for out of a community event? It all goes down this Saturday, Nov. 19. The fun starts with a resource fair at the UA Women's Plaza of Honor. At 5 p.m., march down University Boulevard and down Fourth Avenue, ending at Cafe Passé (415 N. 4th Ave.) for some speakers and free food.

Food & Booze

Wobble Gobble Bar Crawl: Ever feel as though you don't have enough time to celebrate November's turkey themed festivities. Join the Tucson Holiday Bar Crawl for a fun night out on the town in celebration of Thanksgiving. Don't forget to dress up in your favorite holiday-themed costumes to participate in the holiday costume contest. 9 p.m.-midnight. Saturday, Nov. 19. Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Bring money for booze.

Sweet Charity Dessert and Cocktail Challenge: Enjoy more than 40 desserts representing Tucson's creative culinary arts from local chefs. There will be cocktails, beer and wine samplings, a silent auction, merchant specials and entertainment and all proceeds go to support arts education. 6:30 PM Friday, Nov. 18. Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, 7000 N. Resort Drive. $45.

Tuesday Tastings: Celebrate Thanksgiving in the booziest way possible! Tap and Bottle's Tuesday Tasting will feature Thanksgiving inspired beers. The event is open to the general public ages 21 and up. 5 - 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22. Tap and Bottle, 403 N. Sixth Ave. Bring money for booze.  

Thanksgiving at Cup Cafe: Enjoy holiday specials for three days in a row leading up to the nation's favorite turkey day. The downtown restaurant will feature special menu items like Virginia eggs benedict, coffee cured Virginia ham and even a turkey dinner. Don't forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with the cafe's by-the-slice holiday pies. Nov. 24-25 Cup Cafe, 311 E. Congress St.


Ballet Tucson Opening Night Gala: Enjoy a night of fine dance from Tucson's own professional ballet company. Ballet Tucson will old it's annual opening day gala. The gala will feature a pre-performance wine and buffet reception, silent auction and a post-performance champagne reception with the cast. The company will premiere two new ballets: Spirit Garden and Perseus and Andromeda at this one-night-only event. Gala Reception at 6:30 p.m., Performance at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. $100 per person.

Estampas Porteñas: Deseos: This Argentinian tango company will take to the UA's Cenntenial Hall to present their new dance production, Deseos: Stories of Longing and Desire told through Argentine Tango and Music. The set will include 25 dancers moving to show the "heart and soul" of Argentina. The performance will also include on-stage 3D projections to take to audience across Argentina. 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. $20-$55.

UA Presents-Vocalocity: Experience Pitch Perfect in real life, join UA Presents as they host the a cappella group, Vocalocity. The production is brought to you by the creative mind of Deke Sharon who not only arranges and coaches on the singing show the Sing Off, but also is the music director of the cult film Pitch Perfect. Vocoalocity will bring you arrangements from every genre of music and will keep you on your toes the entire show. Don't miss out on this aca-exciting event! 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. $15-$40. music, entertainment

The Sound of Music comes to Tucson: This musical classic will take to the UA's Centennial Hall for six days only presented by Broadway in Tucson in conjunction with UA Presents. The musical is under the direction of Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. times vary Nov. 29-Dec. 4 Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. $19 - $100.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Laughing Stock: The Switch, Laughing Liberally, Kathleen Madigan and You

Posted By on Mon, Nov 14, 2016 at 3:26 PM

The Switch, our Best of Tucson™ Staff Pick for “Unique Comedy Show Format,” returns on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 8:30 p.m., after a brief hiatus to change venues and regroup accordingly. Fans will benefit from “the switch” to the Screening Room. Now they can enjoy comfy theater seating, great acoustics and direct-to-your-seat delivery of Empire Pizza from two doors down. Local comedians in this month’s game include hosts Pauly Casillas and Alex Kack, Stephany Green, Mo Urban, Bethany Evans, Bridgitte Thum, Monte Benjamin, Richard Aguirre and yours truly. The Screening Room also serves lots of beers and movie snacks at 127 E. Congress St.,

Usually held on the last Sunday of the month, this political comedy romp changes it up to Nov. 20 to avoid messing with your Thanksgiving weekend. The good news? The evening may supply you with enough bon mots to get you through that annual sit down with your family’s misogynist, racist, anti-immigrant, trenchantly gender-binary and exhaustingly religious/vegan/local-source/your-pet-peeve-here zealots, and those who love them. Laughing Liberally is at 8 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 20, at The Flycatcher, 340 E 6th St.,

Love Kathleen Madigan? To know her is to follow her anywhere. Now we can revisit her on Netflix. Our Friends at the Rialto Theatre and ticketfly have tipped us off that she’s just released an hour-long Netflix special featuring new material and some you’ll remember from her last Tucson concert. The special is called “Bothering Jesus.” Find a sample, “The Villages,” at

This weekend at Laffs Comedy Caffé two headliners, Justin Berkman and Leif Skyving, trade sets for shows at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Both have appeared on many popular TV comedy shows. Skyving, born in Sweden, is also frequently heard on XM Radio.
Laffs is at 2900 E. Broadway Blvd. Admission is $10 to $15 with a two-item minimum. Visit for reservations and artist information.

Got a great joke? If it’s under 50 words, send it along. I’ll try to find room for it in a column sometime and pay you in street cred! And if I can use a good tip you send me about someone coming to town or releasing new product, a great new podcast you’ve discovered, or a new comedy venue and open mic, you might find your name in print.

Have fun!

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Weekly List: 26 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next 10 Days

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 10:36 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.

Pick of the Week: The Loft Film Fest


The Loft Film Fest continues
! Whether you're in the mood for watching an anxious papa hire an “industrial-grade exorcist” or you’re fascinated the eventful and unorthodox life of Pablo Neruda, there’s something worth seeing at the Loft Cinema’s (3233 E. Speedway Blvd.) continuing movie fiesta. Make sure you catch at least one show before the festival’s curtain call on Sunday, Nov. 13. Individual tickets are $10 (or $8 for Loft members).

Some highlights:

Ghostbusters on film: If you're feeling a little nostalgic and are still in the mood for some post-Halloween spooks, of if the female led Ghostbusters has you itching to see the original then check out The Loft Cinema's special screening of the cult classic Ghostbusters on 77 mm film. This event is part of The Loft's 2016 film festival and will feature the real-life Arizona Ghostbusters. This is an all-ages event. 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10.

The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith is a film that details the photographs and tapes by photojournalist W. Eugene Smith of the jazz late night jazz peformances and recordings in his Sixth Avenue loft, so much so that it was renamed the “Jazz Loft”. This is first film to make use of Smith’s vast collection of 4,000 hours of audiotape and 40,000 photographs from the Jazz Loft. The directors Sara Fishko will be at the Loft Cinema so come on down and ask her a question, after watching her film of course! 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10.

Watch The Martian with Mark Kelly: Close out the Loft Film Fest with a screening of The Martian, the fictional account of Mark Watney (Matt Damon) surviving on Mars after bening presumed dead and abandoned by his crew. Enjoy a bonus film intro and post-movie discussion with Tucson's favorite spaceman, Mark Kelly. When the discussion wraps up, stick around and eat some cake to celebrate the Loft's 44th birthday.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Laughing Stock: Post-Election Laffs, Comedy Fest, Storytelling

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Post-Election Laffs
“It keeps me out of therapy,” Auggie Smith says of his emotionally energetic performance style. “I spent the first 10 years of my career where they wouldn’t turn off the pool tables and nobody paid a cover. I learned I had to be really, really loud, then really soft for no reason. And stop in the middle of sentences so they’d wonder what I was talking about. Then I started writing that way and enjoying it a lot more.”

Smith makes his much-anticipated annual appearance at Laffs Comedy Caffé, this weekend, with shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11 and 12.

Fans know not to take their eyes off Smith or they risk missing a set highlight. His just-post-election day show could be a house afire with his trademark rants and visceral laugh lines. He won’t be taking sides, though. “The key to political comedy, I think, is you have to find the universal truth everyone can believe.”

Eli Nicolas opens with his unique comic outlook, born of growing up Thai in polyglot L.A.

Laff’s is at 2900 E. Broadway Blvd. Admission is $10 to $15 with a two-item minimum. Make reservations at Artist information is at and

Comedy Fest
The Tucson Comedy Arts Festival 2016 runs from Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 10 through 12 with multiple comedy showcases and workshops. Los Angeles rap and hip-hop improv group 808 leads two workshops and hosts a rap battle after their Saturday night set. A special show for kids, FOMP, Friends of Make Pretend, engages kids in improve and other delights of the imagination at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12.

Most events take place at Tucson Improv Movement, 329 E. 7th Street. Shows are $5 each; workshops, $50. Show details and workshop registration are at

Comedy Fest Storytelling
Tucson’s crazy-popular story-telling event FST! (, happens next on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at The Flycatcher, 340 E 6th St., This month’s topic is “It’s Political,” wherein women will tell stories they wrote before the Nov.8 apocalypse. Get there early; the good seats go fast.
Tucson’s crazy-popular story-telling event FST! (, meets on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at The Flycatcher, 340 E 6th St., In a temporary change of format, FST invites the community to come together and share anecdotes and thoughts in the aftermath of the election.

Laughing Stock is a new column by Linda Ray highlighting local comedy and storytelling events in Tucson.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Top Out Downtown's New Hotel With a Block Party

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 1:45 PM

The AC Hotel in Tucson by Marriott is in its final stages and will host a "topping out" party to celebrate the placing of the final beam on the building. Everyone in the community is invited to come to this free event on Nov. 5 from 1-5 p.m. at the site, 151 E. Broadway Blvd.

Guests are invited to enjoy free ice cream from HUB, tacos from Charro Steak, coffee from Cafe Lucé live music and refreshments for sale. Some of the proceeds from drink purchases will benefit the Sister Jose Women's Center for Tucson's homeless women.

At 2:30 p.m., Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will take the stage to say few words about the new hotel in downtown. Other speakers include: council member Steve Kozachik, developer Scott Stiteler, and Rio Nuevo board member Mark Irvin.

If you want to take home a few memories from the event, guests can also enjoy a photo booth at the site. Bring your friends, your dog and your mom for this afternoon block party. For more information click here.

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Super-Guy: Tucson Comic-Con's Mike Olivares Fights For Truth, Justice and Old Pueblo Nerds

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 12:45 PM

Tucson Comic Con's Mike Olivares works with Alan Tudyk promoting 'Con Man.' - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Tucson Comic Con's Mike Olivares works with Alan Tudyk promoting 'Con Man.'

There has never been a better time to be into nerd culture. Superheroes dominate the movie theaters and TV lineups. Sci-fi novels are being mined for Netflix and Amazon streaming services. And Comic Cons are drawing huge crowds in cities around the world.

Here in Tucson, Mike Olivares is prepping for the ninth annual Tucson Comic-Con this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 4-6.

The founder and director of the con, Olivares was born in Tucson and grew up in the southwest side. The youngest of three, he didn’t find it that easy to find comic books when he was growing up.

His first introduction to fantasy culture was the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.

“My cousins would come down from California every summer and we would play Dungeons & Dragons,” Olivares said. "Maybe that left a little spark in me when it came to things like fantasy.”

But in middle school, he discovered comic books.

“I was really into art when I started going to Mansfeld,” he said. “Then I started getting into comic book art.”

His first comic book was given to him by his older brother.

“It was an Amazing Spider-Man,” he remembers. “I wanna say it’s either (issue) 38 or 48. I can’t remember the dang number.”

He was hooked. He started collecting comics and, eventually, decided to launch a Tucson Comic-Con.

"My whole thing was, why don't we have one?” he said. “Maybe I'll start one."

At the time, regional conventions got much less attention than the big cons, such as the ones in San Diego and New York. In 2007, the first Tucson Comic-Con was held for one day at a Four Point Sheraton.

"It was in this small meeting room in the back, maybe about 500 people showed up to the first one," he remembered.

That year they had a couple of guest artists and writers, but Olivares was always focused on Tucson.

“Besides Image and Marvel, you don’t think that there’s people creating comics books on an indie platform,” he said. “I was just as excited to know that we had indie companies here in Tucson.”

This year, the Tucson Comic-Con is a weekend-long affair at the Tucson Convention Center with various celebrities and artist and an expected 10,000 attendees.

Olivares describes the con being a yearlong job now, without pay: “A labor of love for sure.”

He has taken on Francesca and Brian Pulido as partners and directors of the Con. The Pulidos have been working in the comic book industry for the last 25 years, with their own property Lady Death, which was relaunched on Coffin Comics also owned and operated by the Pulidos.

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The Weekly List: 28 Things To Do In The Next 10 Days

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 11:45 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.

Pick of the Week: All Souls Procession

All Souls Procession: Come together and celebrate the dearly departed at one of Tucson’s most well loved traditions: The All Souls Procession. This two-mile walk gathers on Sixth Ave. and Seventh St. at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6, and the walk will start at 6 p.m.— Sugar skull face paint is highly encouraged. Once the procession reaches the Mercado San Augustin, and offering will be burnt to symbolize gifts to the dead.  Saturday, Nov. 6 Sixth Avenue and Seventh Street (832 W. Congress St.) Free, but bring money for food. Need more All Souls in your life? The Procession of Little Angles takes place the afternoon before the main event, inviting kids and their families to come together to paint wings, paint faces, and look at death and grief from a kid's perspective. Saturday, Nov. 5. 3-7 p.m. Armory Park, 221 S. Sixth Ave. Free to attend, but donations are appreciated.

Election Night

Is the Election Apocalypse of 2016 really almost over? If you haven't sent in you your mail-in yet, save it for hand delivery this Tuesday. Then boogie on down to Club Congress, the Rialto Theatre, Public Brewhouse, Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar, the Women's Resource Center, IBT's or Brodie's Tavern. You can also hang out with the Pima County Dems at the Marriott (880 E. Second St.) or the GOP at the Sheraton (5151 E. Grant Road). Need help filling out your ballot? We published a recap of our endorsements in this week's Weekly.


The Loft Film Fest: Sure, every weekend can be a film festival if you spend enough time at the Loft. But then the annual Loft Film Fest rolls around and the reels really start rolling. The Loft will be showing 40 films between Wednesday, Nov. 9, and Sunday, Nov. 13, when retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly will be on hand to close out the festival with the screening and discussion of The Martian. Nov. 8-13. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Passes: $125 ($100 for Loft members). Individual Tickets $10 ($8 for Loft members). Read more in this week's Weekly

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Celebrate Life and Death This Weekend at the All Souls Procession

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 11:00 AM

"When Children Die They Do Not Grow" by artist Özlem Ayse Özgur. The installation remembers the children who died during the Lebanese incursion. This is the second time the Ozgur's installation will be featured in the finale of the All Souls Procession. - JEFF SMITH
  • Jeff Smith
  • "When Children Die They Do Not Grow" by artist Özlem Ayse Özgur. The installation remembers the children who died during the Lebanese incursion. This is the second time the Ozgur's installation will be featured in the finale of the All Souls Procession.

Take a look around the city and you’re sure to find that Tucson is an immense melting pot that highlights cultures from all over the world. Whether you find that in food, religion or cultural events there’s one day of the year that displays the colorful palette of Tucson’s residents right in the heart of downtown.

While many see the All Souls Procession as a local Dia de los Muertos, the two-decade-long tradition is meant to be inclusive of all cultures in the community rather than a spin-off of the Mexican holiday, according to Melanie Cooley, a long-time participant and volunteer coordinator for the procession.

“The procession doesn’t endorse a culture,” Cooley said. “Every culture has its own traditions of honoring the dead and some cultures have healthier traditions than others. One of the reasons that the procession exists is because Anglo, Euro-American culture doesn’t have healthy traditions for remembering the dead.”

The first procession started back in 1990 by local artist Susan Johnson. At the time, Johnson was grieving the loss of her father and wanted to find a unique way to celebrate his life. The procession started out small, with just a few local artists, but soon blossomed into a large parade when participants joined by the hundreds and now thousands.

With more than 100,000 people attending the procession over the last couple of years, Cooley said volunteers have been able to make the experience bigger than ever while staying true to the main cause: celebrating life and death.

Every year, procession director Nadia Hagen chooses a central theme for the evening. This year’s theme revolves around predator and prey in a way to identify the crucial relationship between the two and how they both rely on one another.

“Our theme this year is the hunter and the hunted, and finding the relationship of humans in that cycle, that vital relationship because we are both predator and prey,” Cooley said. “Death feeds life. We who live are dependent on death. The death of other beings literally feeds the food we eat.”

The volunteers mingling throughout the crowd will dress as various types of predator and prey, ranging from cattle to wolves. Every year, urn bearer is presented with a custom-made sculpted mask that reflects the theme procession. This year, the bearer will wear a jaguar mask to reflect a Central American myth that portrays the animal as guardian of the underworld.

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Staff Pick

#NoDAPL Night Fundraiser

Support Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Water Protectors. Art, music, film, food, and hot drinks at EXO… More

@ Exo Roast Co. Sat., Dec. 10, 6-10 p.m. 403 N. Sixth Ave.

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