BORDER BEAT. You can take a trip to the border without leaving town when critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Tom Russell returns to Tucson tonight for a special engagement at Boondocks Lounge. Russell, a Tucson favorite, will perform his classic "Gallo del Cielo" and others, as well as new material from his soon-to-be-released album, Borderland. Produced by Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams, Robert Earl Keen, Slaid Cleaves), Borderland follows up Russell's internationally acclaimed The Man from God Knows Where.
Borderland is Russell's edgiest, most electric album to date and features 11 new Russell songs, including two co-writes with Dave Alvin: "California Snow" and "Down the Rio Grande." The songs on Borderland examine Russell's relocation to the frontier of El Paso-Juarez, and delve more personally into the emotional borderline between the sexes. Russell will be accompanied by his longtime guitarist extraordinaire, Andrew Hardin.
Russell's performance is presented by Tucson's Border Beat, the Border Arts Journal.
Boondocks is located at 3306 N. First Ave., just north of Fort Lowell Road. The performance begins at 8 p.m. All seats are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Tickets are available at Boondocks and Hear's Music. For information, call Border Beat, 321-0928.
TRADITIONAL PARADE. The parade for the 76th annual Fiesta de los Vaqueros hasn't changed much over the years, but Tucsonans don't much seem to care. An estimated 200,000 spectators will be on hand today for what's billed as the world's longest non-motorized parade.
The two-hour spectacle features Western floats and buggies, horse-drawn coaches, Mexican folk dancers, marching bands and outfitted riders.
The parade begins at 9 a.m. at Park Avenue and Ajo Way, continues south on Park to Irvington Road, then heads west to South Sixth Avenue, ending at Tucson Rodeo Grounds. Tickets for grandstand seating at the parade are $4 adults, $3 children 12 and under.
SONGS OF SONDHEIM. "Send in the Clowns," "Love is in the Air" and "Anyone Can Whistle" are among the familiar tunes you'll hear in Side by Side by Sondheim.
The revue by Music Theatre Arizona features numbers from West Side Story, Gypsy and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum to name a few.
Richard Hanson directs the Side by Side, a musical celebrating the early works of American composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim. The Tony Award-winning production originally ran on London and New York stages and has become a favorite of regional theater companies.
The cast features three singers and professional actors Betty Craig, Jack Neubeck and Brook Davis. Harold Dixon is narrator.
The show begins at 8 tonight at the Leo Rich Theatre at the Tucson Convention Center. Additional shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $24 at Music Theatre Arizona (293-7880), the TCC box office and Ticketmaster (321-1000).
See "Opening Note" on page 40.
HOME SCHOOLING. Step into Fefu's living room, where eight women gather to plan their educational society.
Along the way, in Fefu and Her Friends, the women explore with frivolity and anguish their relationships with men, other women and, most important, each other.
Maria Irene Fornes' play, set in the 1930s, is a glimpse into the secret world of women that is in turns wry, comic, complex and scary.
The Cuban-American playwright for the past 30 years has been a force in the off-Broadway scene, carving out a special place in American theater. Her other works include Mud, The Conduct of Life and The Summer in Gosseness. She won the Village Voice Obie for Sustained Achievement.
The Tucson premiere of Fefu and Her Friends begins at 7:30 tonight at the Center for the Arts Black Box Theatre, Pima Community College West Campus. Performances also are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7 general admission, $5 students and seniors. The play runs through March 3. Call 206-6988 for more showtimes.
MASTERWORKS. Bonnie Terry is perfect to play Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto.
She's been playing violin since she was 6. By the time Terry was 11, she had made her solo debut with the Utah Symphony, under the direction of Joseph Silverstein, himself a renowned violinist.
Now, in her third year as the Tucson Symphony Orchestra's concertmaster, Terry is adjunct professor of violin at the University of Arizona.
Terry's solo tonight is the centerpiece of a program conducted by George Hanson that begins with Symphony No. 5 for String Orchestra by Carlos Chávez, and ends with the "Drum Roll" Symphony of Franz Joseph Haydn.
The concert is presented at four locations, with tickets at $18:
· Tonight, 7:30, at West Center Auditorium, 2800 S. Camino del Sol, Green Valley. Call 520-625-0288.
· Friday, 8 p.m., at Canyon del Oro High School, 25 W. Calle Concordia, Oro Valley. Call 520-797-3959.
· Saturday, 8 p.m., at Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive. Call 882-8585.
· Sunday, 2 p.m., at the Pima Community College Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Call 882-8585.
THOU SHALT NOT ... A father uses a computer program to determine when the ice on a nearby pond is thick enough for his son to skate on, with tragic results, in Part 1 of the award-winning The Decalogue.
The 10-part dramatization of the Ten Commandments plays at The Screening Room in two-segment couplings through March 4.
Winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes, as well as being a festival favorite, most recently earning the 2000 National Board of Review Outstanding Achievement in Foreign Film award, The Decalogue is a modernist exploration of the deepest recesses of the very nature of the morality and ethics behind the religious doctrine that sits at the center of Judeo-Christian dogma.
Late Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski, Oscar-nominated for the acclaimed Blue, White and Red, and The Double Life of Véronique, received international attention upon the debut of The Decalogue.
Produced for Polish television on the eve of the fall of Communist Poland, the film does not overtly moralize or politicize any of its many characters, played by an array of the Polish acting community.
The tales it portrays, written by Kieslowski and longtime collaborator Krzysztof Piesiewicz, are as morally ambiguous and intellectually challenging as they are entertaining.
An interconnected series in which each segment stands on its own, the order in which the films (each running just shy of one hour) are seen is irrelevant to appreciating the beauty and complexity of the films themselves. Kieslowski enlisted different cinematographers for each segment to distinguish the films from one another.
Tonight's program, parts 1 and 2, begins at 8 p.m. Single admission is $5. Passes for the entire series are available for $15. The Screening Room is located at 127 E. Congress St. For complete showtimes and information, call 622-2262.
INDIAN ART SALE. The works of some 130 artists will be on display and up for sale this weekend at the Southwest Indian Art Fair.
Hopi potter White Swan and her son White Bear, and weaver Barbara Ornelas and the Teller family from Two Grey Hills will demonstrate their talents in the two-day pageant of native art and artistry. It's a rare chance to meet with artists directly and learn the stories behind their work.
Guests can enjoy frybread, burritos and other food. Entertainment includes Zuni/Apache dancer Allenroy Paquin from New Mexico.
The Arizona State Museum fair spotlights the museum's nationally recognized Southwest pottery collection, which is an official project of Save America's Treasures, a White House preservation initiative.
The fair runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday at the museum on the UA campus. Museum members are admitted for $2, nonmembers for $4. For more information, call 626-8381.
Been awhile. Not since 1891 has an official U.S. Army band marched on the historic parade ground at Fort Lowell Park.
Bring a lounge chair or blanket and watch history in the making today as two bands take the field.
The 21-member Fourth Calvary Regimental Band, dressed in reproductions of uniforms worn in the mid-1880s, starts the show with a varied and authentic repertoire of 19th-century music played on frontier Army posts.
Immediately following the show, the 36th Army Band from Fort Huachuca will add to the display of patriotism with a performance of its own.
The free event at 2900 N. Craycroft Road begins at 2 p.m. For more information, call 885-3832.
DOWN TO EARTH. A reverence for life is at the heart of artist Lynn VanLeeuwen's work.
And it's the title of her new exhibition in The Little Gallery at De Grazia Gallery in the Sun. The display of more than 80 watercolor and mixed-media paintings opens today.
VanLeeuwen has traveled extensively throughout the world, constantly renewing her perspective of life, people and places. It is the essence of these things that she tried to convey through her art.
The artist maintains a studio in Tucson and has exhibited in solo and group shows across the country.
The reception today begins at noon at De Grazia, 6300 N. Swan Road. A Reverence for Life runs through March 9. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. For more information, call 299-9191.
Jazzy affair. Rob Wright's Dixieland Showband will jazz up Gaslight Theatre tonight.
The local band, originally assembled for the 1996 Oro Valley Jazz Festival, has been performing around Tucson ever since, encouraging audience members to sing along, dance or just tap their feet.
This is a full set--banjo, bass, drums, trumpet, trombone and clarinet.
The show starts at 7 tonight at the Gaslight, 7010 E. Broadway. Tickets are $8 adults; $6 students, seniors and military; and $5 for children 12 and under. For more information, call 886-9428.
ECCENTRIC COMEDY. It's funny how Vada Love Powell just can't stand the woman her son wants to marry.
Powell, a small-town Southern matriarch, is the main eccentric character in The Exact Center of the Universe--but she is hardly alone. Take her son, Appleton Powell, for example, who is as quirky as mom.
The play, set in the 1950s and '60s, deals with change, aging, in-law relationships, friendships and the undeniable uniqueness of a family's love. The dialogue, born in the deep South, is sweet, sour and juicy. The characters, filled with a zest for life, are lovable not in spite of their eccentricities, but because of them.
The Southwest premiere of The Exact Center of the Universe begins at 7:30 tonight at the Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. Tickets are $16 to $20. The show runs through March 18. For reservations and tickets, call 882-9721.
INTERACTIVE MURDER. Billy Ball, leading actor of a traveling theater troupe, stayed behind after rehearsal one evening and wound up dead.
It's up to the sheriff to ferret out the killer.
Could have been gynecologist Dan Dapper, who spends his free time handling the prop guns. Or Carmen Marimba, the Mexican hat dancer with a questionable past. Then there's D.R. Seuss, a children's author and the troupe's director. But the sheriff can't rule out Ball's wife, Bell, who isn't exactly acting like a stressed-out grieving widow.
And there are others who might be considered suspects in the quirky Murder at the Crystal Palace, showing one night only at Hidden Valley Inn.
Seating for the interactive murder mystery begins at 5:30 tonight at 4825 N. Sabino Canyon Road. Audience participation begins at 6, and the show starts at 7. Dinner and drinks are optional. For reservations and more information, call 299-4941.
TALL TALES TOLD. Who hasn't sat around a campfire, taking turns telling tales?
And why not? Storytelling always has been an important part of the human experience. With that bit of wisdom in mind, listen now to the goings-on at Arizona Historical Society Museum.
Myths, Legends and Tall Tales From Around Arizona celebrates the state's rich oral traditions with a seven-part lecture series. Readers recite stories and discuss the social and cultural importance of the tales.
Today, visit the museum to hear from Marshall Trimble, author of Pulling Legs Attached to Tenderfeet. The program focuses on the colorful history of rural Arizona.
The free event begins at 7 p.m. at the museum, 949 E. Second St. For more information, call 628-5774.