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Thursday 14

PICTURE IMPERFECT. The nature of art and relationships is neatly plumbed in Tony Award-winner Art, presented by the Arizona Theater Company.

Yasmina Reza's acclaimed play tells the story of three friends whose relationship is shaken by a controversial piece of modern art. When Serge blows a wad on an all-white painting, Marc--a self-described art buff--is appalled. After creative hell breaks loose, they enlist their buddy Yvan, who's already busy with his own life and upcoming wedding. Clever comedy unfolds as the trio discovers that in art, as in friendship, there are few absolutes. The show stars Frank Corrado as Marc, David Pichette as Serge and Bob Sorenson as the harried Yvan.

Today's preview performance is at 7:30 p.m. in the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Performances continue through September 30. Show times vary. Tickets range from $22 to $35, and are available at the ATC box office, or by calling 622-2823.

SEASON OPENER. The Tucson Symphony does some globe-trotting for its season opener, featuring an evening of all-Russian music.

Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 opens the show, followed by scenes from Serge Prokofiev's intensely romantic ballet score Romeo and Juliet. The performance culminates in Tchaikovky's spirited 1812 Overture. The soloist for the concerto is James Tocco, called "quite simply a dazzling artist" by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Show times are 8 p.m. today and tomorrow in the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets range from $10.75 to $33, and are available at the box office or by calling 882-8585.


Friday 15

FLAMENCO MAGIC. Enjoy spicy "Flamenco Magic" with renowned guitarists Benedetti and Svoboda.

The duo first gained fame on Narada's Gypsy Soul compilation for its rich interplay of Gypsy, Latin, Indian and Middle Eastern influences. Since then, the two have recorded more than 50 CDs and movie soundtracks, and performed with everyone from the American Ballet Company to Luciano Pavarotti and Art Garfunkel. According to the San Diego Union, their guitar work "sparkles with intense flamenco music."

Show time is 8 p.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4831 E. 22nd St. Advance tickets are $15, available at Antigone Books, Enchanted Earthworks and Hear's Music, or by calling 297-9133. Tickets are $17 at the door.

LOOKING SOUTH. Catch a creative glimpse of our southern neighbors with Manuel Carrillo: A Photographic Portrait of Mexico, presented by the Etherton Temple Gallery.

The late artist was a gifted explorer of his country's indigenous visual vocabulary, following in the tradition of Manuel Bravo and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Like them, he reveals the subjects of his imagery in their most significant aspects and evocative forms, arising from ordinary encounters. That work certainly struck a chord; Carrillo began photographing in 1955, and boasted more than 300 exhibitions in 22 countries. He died in 1986.

A Photographic Portrait of Mexico runs through October 11, with an opening reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. today in the Temple Gallery, 330 S. Scott Ave. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and before Arizona Theatre Company performances. Call 624-7370 for details.


Saturday 16

MR. AMERICA. Enjoy Americana at its best when country icon Merle Haggard rolls into town.

For more than 30 years Haggard has been the voice of the common man--and remained an ornery devil to boot. His Working-Joe anthems range from the obligatory "Green Green Grass of Home" and "San Antonio Rose" to "Okie From Muskogee." Time may have added a few wrinkles, but like Johnny Cash and George Jones, his musical lines just keep running sharper and deeper.

Show time is 8 p.m. in the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets range from $28.50 to $32.50, and are available at the TCC box office and Ticketmaster locations, or by calling 791-4266.

HEMP-FEST. Pitch your preconceptions and plant yourself on the side of great music at Grass Roots Affair.

Hosted by AZ4NORML and Hightimes Magazine, the sprawling festival aims to heighten awareness of industrial hemp, therapeutic marijuana and the need to vote.

Founder and Hazy Dayz coffee house owner Ariel Farah says he "wanted to start a dialogue where people could learn about the issues preventing industrial hemp production, and also provide a venue where we can get support followed by a consensus on legislation that will directly affect all of us."

Entertainment includes reggae legend Lee "Scratch" Perry and the Robotiks; live electronic "dub" with Mad Professor; Slick Rick; Merl Saunders; Shinehead; Souls of Mischief; Saul Williams; and local faves Stuck in a Groove, among others.

The party runs from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. at the Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 S. Houghton Road. Advance tickets are $25, and available at the Hazy Dayz coffeehouse or by e-mail at path2zion@aol.com. Tickets are $30 at the door. Call 327-5464 for details.


Sunday 17

L.A. IMPROV. Left Coast saxman Dale Fielder brings his quintet to town for a night of hot jazz improv, presented by the Tucson Jazz Society.

Bucking the notion that New York is the only place for a jazz player to make the big time, Fielder has been plugging away in L.A., where he's earned big kudos on both the tenor and alto. With Mingus-veteran pianist Jane Getz, guitarist Steve Cotter, bassist Trevor Ware and drummer Thomas White, "the Dale Fielder Quintet is most certainly a band, and not a collection of disinterested side-persons supporting a leader," says Jazz Times.

The performance runs from 6 to 9 p.m. in St. Philip's Plaza, on the southeast corner of Campbell Avenue and River Road. Tickets are $15, $8 for TJS members, and are available at the door. Call 903-1265 for information.

MUSICAL GRACE. Experience the musical tradition of Panama in a performance hosted by Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

This very special event will feature 20th-century Panamanian music rarely performed outside of its native land. The concert showcases former Grace organist Lori Keyne and University of Panama musicians Efrain Castro and Carmen Cedeno performing on oboe, violin and piano. They'll be accompanied by dancer Janina Walters-Lalanne and a rendition of Panamanian poetry.

Proceeds benefit various church outreach programs in Panama.

The event is at 3 p.m. in Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St. Admission is by donation. For details, call 327-6857.


Monday 18

HOMETOWN HORNS. Hometown talent gets an airing with performances by Tom Ervin and Jeffrey Haskell, hosted by the UA Faculty Artist Series.

With Ervin on trombone and Haskell tickling the ivories, audiences can expect another jazz barn-burner by players who have long since become revered local institutions.

Show time is 7:30 p.m. in the UA Crowder Hall, on the southwest corner of the pedestrian underpass at Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue. Tickets range from $4 to $10, and are available by calling 621-2998.


Tuesday 19

SWOOPING SWINE. The Invisible Theatre thespians ham it up with their season opener, When Pigs Fly.

Howard Crabtree's "outrageously camp, irreverent musical extraganza" won both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Off-Broadway Musical Review. Celebrating the world's nonconformists, the comedy is a smorgasbord of songs, dances, sketches and running gags, all unified by a gay sensibility. The cast includes Ryan White, Todd Wachsman, Larry Moore, Kevin Johnson and Kelby Thwaits.

Show time is 7:30 p.m. at the Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. Performances continue through October 8. Times vary. Tickets are $20 and $22, available at the Invisible Theatre box office or by calling 882-9721.

CLASSIC STAGECRAFT. The UA Centennial Hall celebrates decadent pre-war Berlin life with a performance of Cabaret.

One of the most popular musicals in history, this version stars Kate Shindle as nightclub singer Sally Bowles, in Roundabout Theatre Company's acclaimed production. The show opened to praise in March 1999, with an NBC critic describing it as "wickedly hilarious and heartbreaking." The Denver Post fawned over Shindle's performance, saying she "has a terrific voice, powerfully and defiantly belting her way through the final reprise of the title song."

Show time is 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Hall, inside the UA main gate east of Park Avenue. Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $17 to $50, and are available at the Centennial Hall box office, or by calling 621-3341.

MALL MUSIC. Tucson Mall's Club Kidz heats up today with a free concert by Homero Ceron.

Principal percussionist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Ceron entertains the wee set with "The Conductor's Apprentice." This special presentation gets kids involved, as the musician teaches them how to play drums and conduct each other.

The free event is at 10 a.m. in the Food Court at Tucson Mall. For information, call 293-7330.


Wednesday 20

THE G-MAN. A real G-Man (and we ain't talkin' Gordon) kicks some melodramatic booty in Nick Bracy G-Man, or Gangsters Away!

This Gaslight Theatre production is set in the Roaring '20s, and features Spats Moran and his gang of underworld thugs who threaten to rule the streets. That's until none other than Nick Bracy leaps into the fray.

But questions abound: Will Bracy be able to triumph or does Spats have a dastardly trick up his sleeve to destroy him? Follow Nick Bracy through the alleyways--and from one speakeasy to the next--as he battles the Mob and tries to clean up this town!

Written by Peter Van Slyke, the show is directed by Richard Hanson, and stars Dave Fanning, Dan Gunther, Joe Cooper, Tim Gilbert, Peter Van Slyke, John Brownlee, Karen Hendricks, Beth Little Hansler, Kylie Arnold, Nancy LaViola and Tom Pothoff, with music by Linda Ackerman and Lisa Otey.

Curtain time is 7 p.m. in the Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. Performances continue at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday through November 4. Tickets are $13.95; $11.95 for seniors, students and military; $6 for children ages 12 and under. Get 'em by calling 886-9428.

URBAN CORNUCOPIA. View fine art and buy delicious delectables at the topnotch Downtown Farmer's Market. Three-quarters creative talent, one-quarter fine produce, sauces and other savories, the Old Pueblo's "original" market runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday on the south lawn of the Tucson-Pima Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave. Call 326-7810 for details.

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