LEGIONNAIRE'S LAMENT. A German Legionnaire's heart-wrenching love for a speechless Slovakian girl is detailed in Lea, a 1996 film directed by Ivan Fila, screening today by the UA Department of German Studies.
Herb Strehlow arrives in Slovakia where he promptly falls for Lea, and buys her from her step-parents. He forces her to return with him to Germany to become his wife. The relationship seems doomed to failure, but the two spiritually connect and as their intimacy grows, a chance for love evolves.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. in the UA Modern Languages Auditorium, north of the main mall and east of the Administration Building. Admission is free. For details, call 621-7385.
FUNDS FLURRY. Careen into creativity at Ready, Set, D'Art, an annual fundraiser for the Tucson Museum of Art.
The high-ticket event could even turn out to be a bargain: Tickets are $275 per couple, with the name of each ticket holder placed in a drawing on the night of the event. Those picked have a chance to "Dart for Art" at the end of the night, with each going home with a donated piece by one of 135 local artists, many of them big names in the biz. Rounding out the evening are elegant hors d'oeuvres, a selection of fine wines, and Dixieland music by the Bourbon Street Kings.
Ready, Set, D'Art gets underway at 7 p.m. in The Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave. Call 623-2333 for reservations and information.
MORAL HELLRIDE. Madness rides shotgun with humor in Good, presented by ITCH Productions.
Written by C.P. Taylor, this "tragicomedy" set to music is an intimate exploration of one man's descent from goodness into the core of the Third Reich. Can't fall any deeper than that, to be sure.
Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday in the Temple of Music and Art Cabaret Theater, 330 S. Scott Ave. Performances continue Wednesday through Sunday, February 9 through 12. Tickets are $11, available by calling 748-0291.
BAYOU BLAST. Hear the best in Cajun music when Balfa Toujours and Bayou Seco roll into town for a romp in the swamp at the International Arts Center. (See this week's music feature for details.)
Called the "future of Cajun music" in their native Louisiana, Balfa Toujours hails from a long tradition on the Bayou Teche. Guitarist and singer Christine Balfa leads a spicy ensemble that includes Dirk Powell on accordion, Kevin Wimmer (formerly of Good Ol' Persons) on fiddle, and Courtney Granger on bass, fiddle and vocals. Their waltzes and two-steps come straight from the heart, combining traditional Cajun with originals.
Bayou Seco is based in Silver City, N.M., and is comprised of Jeanie McLerie and Ken Keppeller on fiddle, accordion and vocals. They'll open with a short set with lessons in basic Cajun dance steps, and they'll be back later to join Balfa Toujours on stage. The party will also include Cajun comestibles dished up by Daniel's Restaurant.
Show time is 8 p.m. in the International Arts Center, 516 N. Fifth Ave. Advance tickets are $12, $10 for In Concert! members, available at Hear's Music, Antigone Books, or by calling 327-4809. Tickets are $14 at the door.
MOLTEN IMAGES. The Philabaum Glass Gallery unveils this year's best with the 15th-annual Southwest Invitational.
Cast of Characters focuses on the techniques of molten pouring and kiln casting, with themes ranging from the mechanical and narrative to the spiritual. Contributing artists include Mark Abildgaard, Rick Beck, Stephen Clements, Stephen Paul Day, Kelly McLain and Henner Schröder. They join featured artist Leah Wingfield for this stunning show.
Cast of Characters runs through April 22, with an opening reception from 6 to 9 tonight, in the Philabaum Glass Gallery, 711 S. Sixth Ave. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For details, call 884-7404.
TIMELESS TREK. Take a stroll through Tucson's rich past with La Reunion de El Fuerte, hosted by the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Association. The 19th-century cavalry outpost and surrounding historic homes hearken back to a time when the frontier was real, and taming it was both a grueling and adventurous task. Today's self-guided tours revisit those woolly days with a roster of spirited events ranging from performances by the Fourth Cavalry Regimental Band, Mariachi Cruz and the Southern Arizona Old Time Fiddlers, to cavalry drills by Fort Huachuca's Troop B.
A slew of steaming Mexican food booths and Mesquite-flour cookies will keep you sated throughout the day.
The 90-minute tour encompasses more than 20 sites, with hosts on hand to provide more information. You'll walk "in the footsteps" of Hohokam Indians, Mormon farmers, soldiers of Fort Lowell, and settlers from Mexico, many with descendants still living in the neighborhood. Physical highlights include a prehistoric pit house; the Fort Lowell Museum and ruins; the cavalry stables; a mesquite bosque; century-old irrigation ditches; and quaint chapels.
The free event runs from 12:30 to 4 p.m. in Fort Lowell Park, 2900 N. Craycroft Road. Call 318-0219 for information.
FOREIGN INFLUENCES. Practices from far-flung lands land in the spotlight at today's Tibetan New Year Festival. Sponsored by the Arizona Friends of Tibet, the "Losar" celebration opens with a Buddhist Chenrezig Ceremony, and continues with a Himalayan bazaar and food vendors, Tara dancers, and plenty of friendly folks from Tucson's Buddhist, Nepalese and Tibetan-support communities.
The free festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bodhisattva Institute, 3901 Kleindale Ave. Call 322-2272 for details.
BIG PICTURE. NAU professor Dr. James Babbitt wrestles with portrayals of the "Big Ditch" in his Grand Canyon Artists Symposium.
Painters have always struggled to capture the magnificent canyon, beginning with illustrators who accompanied early government-sponsored expeditions. Some, such as Thomas Moran, gained fame for their depictions, while others labored in obscurity.
Babbitt brings this tradition to light with a slide show and mountains of knowledge, tracing the evolution of Grand Canyon landscape painting with profiles of 10 artists and their work. Besides his academic pedigree, Dr. Babbitt is an outdoor habitué who owns a back country outfitters shop, and co-authored Grand Canyon Trail Guide: North and South Bass Trail.
His dissuasion runs from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Tohono Chul Park Wilson Room, 7366 N. Paseo Del Norte. Admission is $8, or $4 for park members. Reservations are requested. For reservations and other information, call 742-6455.
CREATIVE HOWDY-DO. Renaissance woman Carol St. John summons the creative spirits with this evening's gathering at Antigone Books.
A painter, poet and writer, St. John is author of Taproots: Where Ideas Are Born. She's also a popular workshop leader, and her stated purpose in life is persuading others that "creativity is accessible to all who have the ability to play."
"Would-be, could-be or wanna-be creative types" are invited for two hours of sharing and mini-activities, all aimed at re-introducing you to your muse.
The workshop runs from 5 to 7 p.m. in Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. Admission is $10, and space is limited. For reservations and details, call 792-3715.
BOOKS ON THE BLOCK. Your chance to mine some literary gems is just around the corner at the Friends of the Tucson-Pima Library's 29th annual book sale. Selections range from fiction, rare and collectible tomes to cookbooks, children's picture books, and noggin-prodding philosophy masterworks -- all at the Friends' headquarters in the former (and fondly remembered) Bob's Bargain Barn.
The 200,000-plus inventory starts at a mere 50-cents per book, with most falling under $5. Shelves are constantly restocked to keep the bargain treasures in steady supply. Proceeds pay for updated technology in the libraries, as well as summer children's reading groups, a writers' workshop and Project L.I.F.T., which encourages mothers to read to their kids.
Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Book Barn, 2230 N. Country Club Road. For information, call 759-3763.
HIGHLAND HANKERINGS. Take to the melodic trail with High Lonesome, a Tucson band playing classic country and western tunes as part of UMC's Center Stage monthly public performance series.
The free brown-bag concert runs from noon to 1 p.m. in UMC DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave. Call 626-4828 for information.
BLUE PRINTS. Between Acts, a photo exhibit now on display in the Tucson-Pima Main Library, captures the soul of blues music. The great show features award-winning photographer David Horowitz, whose collection of stills includes noted African-American musicians, typically snapped in candid moments before going on stage, while catching up with old friends, listening to someone else's set, or just plain resting.
The display is part of a month-long celebration of blues music that includes discussions, mini-exhibits of photos, books and CDs, and performances by musicians ranging from Lisa Otey and Gerry Glombecki to Tony and the Torpedoes.
Between Acts continues through February in the Tucson-Pima Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave. For hours, performance schedules and other information, call 791-4391.
CELTIC BELTERS. Scotland's musical tradition lands in Tucson with a performance by Altan.
The traditional band takes its name from Loch Altan, a lake in the shadows of two mountains in Scotland's Derryveagh Range. This Irish-speaking area of Scotland is the birthplace of Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh, leader of the Celtic supergroup, and ranks among the finest strongholds of the Donegal fiddle style.
Altan's lineup includes some of the top acoustic players found anywhere, including Ciaran Tourish, Ciaran Curran, Dermot Byrne, Dáith' Sproule and Mark Kelly. Together they tackle an amazing array of instruments, from fiddle and whistle to bouzouki. Altan visits Tucson hot on the heels of their latest recording, Runaway Sunday.
Part of the Celtic Crossroads Concert Series, Altan is followed by Lúnasa on March 5, Mary Jane Lamond on March 26, and Pentangle on April 28.
Tonight's concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. Advance tickets are $20, available at Antigone Books, Hear's Music or by calling 881-3947. Tickets are $22 at the door.