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Thursday 1

QUEER SHAKESPEARE. Slings and arrows? How about Romeo and Julio?

Four boys at a Catholic boarding school escape their highly regimented and repressed world by acting out the forbidden script of Romeo and Juliet in Shakespeare's R&J.

The play, billed as "not your English teacher's Romeo and Juliet," centers on the four youths living out the Bard's poetry and discovering themselves in the process.

Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's most emotionally honest plays, says director David Morden. "The two lovers exhibit a purity of thought that is rare among Shakespeare's other lovers. The tragedy of the play is not in their deaths, but in the fact that the adults surrounding them are so ill equipped to guide them through the maze of passion, sex and love."

Morden said he chose R&J, written by Joe Calarco, because bringing the original to life in "an all-male environment of adolescent boys gets directly to the essential forces of the play: raw passion, adolescent lust, and the violence that inevitably erupts when those forces are checked by a repressive environment."

Shakespeare's R&J opens at 8 tonight at the Temple of Music and Art Cabaret Theatre, 330 S. Scott Ave. Other performances run through March 17. Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 seniors, students and groups of 10 or more. For more information and reservations, call 795-4322.


Friday 2

TREASURES DOWN THE ROAD. Artists will open their studios and share their passions with visitors to Oracle this weekend.

Oracle's a quick jaunt, just 35 miles from Tucson. The town's ninth annual fine arts weekend offers a treasure hunt for art lovers. A "self-guided driving tour" leads visitors to studios and galleries tucked in the oak-covered hills and winding roads around the town.

Fourteen artists are participating in this year's event. Highlighted artwork includes photography, landscapes, abstract and realist paintings in acrylics, oils, watercolors and pastels, stoneware and Raku pottery, stained glass, metal work, woodwork and fiber arts, and readings from new novels.

Meet the artists and buy art at the source during the three-day event that runs through Sunday.

Head out of town on Oracle Road, and stay right at the junction. You can't miss Oracle, unless you find yourself in Florence, in which case you did. For more information, call 896-9200 or 896-2100.

SHOW TIME AT OLD TUCSON. A bit of Broadway is hunkered down in the desert just out of town.

Give My Regards is a high-energy song and dance extravaganza that runs through May 13 at Old Tucson Studios.

It's a rousing revue of timeless Broadway hits of then and now including Cabaret, Oklahoma, Lullaby of Broadway, Grease and Phantom of the Opera. In all, more than 21 Broadway favorites from some of the biggest Tony Award-winning musicals are showcased.

The 30-minute show takes place daily in the Family Carousel Theater. The production includes lavish costumes and stunning sets. Show times vary. Guests receive a schedule upon entry to the park, the site of more than 350 motion pictures and video projects. Old Tucson is a 200-acre Western theme park built in 1939 for the epic film Arizona.

It's located at 201 S. Kinney Road in Tucson Mountain Park. Take Speedway Boulevard west out of town and follow the signs. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Tickets are $14.95 adults, $9.45 for kids 4-11. For more information, call 883-0100 and press 2, or visit www.oldtucson.com.


Saturday 3

SLOW TRAIN COMING. On its latest album, Ancient Future, the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet weaves together 100 years of collective music experience and 1,000 years of cultural influence.

The result for the Tucson-based group is a sound as rich and deep as the human experience itself. Ancient Future offers an eclectic mix for contemporary jazz lovers and world-music enthusiasts alike.

Nakai, whose quartet includes Mary Redhouse, AmoChip Dabney and Will Clipman, has been hugely successful in embodying the traditions of his culture using the Native flute. Since 1982, he has sold more than 2.5 million albums, written scores for television and film, and has had his music adapted for the stage by modern dance master Martha Graham.

RNCQ blends Nakai's flute virtuosity with the five-octave vocalizations and sensuous bass lines of Redhouse, the triple sax and lush keyboard stylings of Dabney and the pan-global percussion of Clipman.

The group performs at 8 tonight at the Pima Community College Center for the Arts. The one-night-only concert is in the Proscenium Theatre on the west campus. Tickets--$15 general admission, $12 students and seniors--are available at Hear's Music, 2508 N. Campbell Ave.; the center box office, open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and at the door. For more information, call 206-6988.

AMERICAN MUSIC FOR MINORS. For just a buck, kids can get an earful of Dixie, polka and music of the West.

The Tucson Symphony Orchestra's popular Just for Kids series tunes up again, this time with a program called The Music of America.

The format is informal and interactive, designed to get kids interested in classical music. Just for Kids concerts are learning experiences, filled with humor, storytelling and demonstrations. The audience sits literally at the feet of the musicians, giving kids a great opportunity to ask questions of the performers.

The TSO Wind Quintet puts on the latest show, performing at 10 and 11:15 a.m. today at the performance hall at the Tucson Symphony Center, 2175 N. Sixth Ave., just south of Grant Road.


Sunday 4

MANCHESTER IN TUCSON. She's released 16 albums and won a Grammy Award. Most recently, she received the Governor's Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Give up? Don't Cry Out Loud, Midnight Blue, Whenever I Call You Friend and Walk On By should do it.

Melissa Manchester is in Tucson for the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation's annual fundraiser.

The concert begins at 7 tonight at Centennial Hall. Tickets cost $25 to $35, available at Centennial Hall, 621-3341. For more information, call Hillel at 624-6561.

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING. Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Borodin and Glinka. Glazunov, Moszkowski, Prokofiev and Taneyev.

The Arizona Friends of Chamber Music seem to be inviting everyone to the eighth annual Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival.

Under the artistic direction of cellist Peter Rejto, 16 musicians will perform five formal concerts and several other musical events during the week of the festival, which begins today and runs through March 11.

Artists for the event include the Grammy-nominated St. Petersburg String Quartet, violinists Peter Zazofsky and Paul Rosenthal, Canadian pianists Kevin Fitz-Gerald and Bernadene Blaha and oboist Allan Vogel. Canadian composer Elizabeth Raum will be on hand for the world premiere of her Sonata for Piano Four Hands.

Each concert will be preceded by a 20-minute introductory lecture by Tucson music critic Daniel Buckley.

All concerts will be held at the Tucson Convention Center's Leo Rich Theater. Sunday concerts, today and March 11, begin at 3 p.m. Evening concerts, March 6, 7 and 8, begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 general admission, $5 students. For more information, call the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music at 577-3769 or visit www.arizonachambermusic.org.

PAST MEETS PRESENT. One of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra's players of the past teams up with the TSO's present-day conductor for a unique performance.

László Veres, a clarinetist with the TSO from 1967 to 1983, formed the Arizona Symphonic Winds in 1986. He has dusted off his instrument for a meeting with the TSO's current conductor, George Hanson. Veres, 63, will perform the Mozart Clarinet Concerto.

The Arizona Symphonic Winds also will perform Russian Christmas Music, the Il Guarany Overture and Bartok's Hungarian Sketches.

The concert begins at 3 p.m. today at the Catalina Foothills High School Auditorium, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive. Tickets are $5 at the door. For more information, please call 531-9863.


Monday 5

ROCK ON. The UA's Flandrau Science Center rocks on with Minerals, Meteorites and Mining, an exhibit that runs through April 30.

Flandrau Rocks! features the UA Mineral Museum, one of the premier mineral collections in the Southwest.

Exhibits with an emphasis on hands-on education include Dig-It Mine Dump and the Crystal Construction Zone.

The Rockin' Interactive Theater features a video of Kartchner Caverns from KUAT-TV's award-winning The Desert Speaks series.

Flandrau Science Center is located at 1601 E. University Blvd., on the UA campus at the northeast corner of Cherry and University. Admission to exhibits is $3 for adults, $2 for children 13 and under. With the purchase of a planetarium show ticket ($5 adults, $4 children) exhibit admission is free. For more information, call 621-7827 or visit www.flandrau.org.


Tuesday 6

LOOPY ABOUT LINKS. Meet two LPGA players at A Mad Hatter's Tee Party.

Those interested in getting in the golf swing of things, as well as players already crazy about the sport, won't want to miss the 2001 season kickoff sponsored by the Old Pueblo Tucson Chapter of the Executive Women's Golf Association.

"As a golfer, this will be one night you won't ever forget," says chapter president Mary Kamerzell.

After an opening cocktail reception, the program will include an opportunity to meet Janice Moody and Mhairi McKay, pros in town for the LPGA Welch's Tournament.

Modie, who in 2000 crossed the $1 million mark in career earnings, and McKay, who recorded four top 20 finishes last year, will talk about life on tour and their career paths, share golf tips and answer questions.

The association, formed in 1991, has about 130 members. Its goal this year is to boost membership to 200. The chapter offers golf and social activities for players of every ability, so even if your game stinks, you can still join.

Tonight's event begins at 5 p.m. at the Old Pueblo Grill, 60 N. Alvernon Way. For more information, call Carla Stephens at 403-8737, or visit the association's Web site at www.ewga.com.


Wednesday 7

POWER POETRY. When a guy like John Updike says something good about your work, you're writing something right.

Updike, author of A Prayer for Owen Meany, calls Billy Collins' poems "lovely in a way almost nobody's since Roethke's are. Limpid, gently and consistently startling, more serious than they seem, they describe all the words that are and were and some others besides."

This from Booklist: "Collins is a jazzman and Buddhist, charmer and prince."

Check out Collins for yourself. He'll be reading tonight from his work in the University of Arizona Poetry Center's Visiting Poets and Writers reading series.

Collins has published six collections of poetry, including The Apple that Astonished Paris, Questions about Angels and The Art of Drowning.

Collins, a Guggenheim Fellow and regular on National Public Radio, will speak at 7 p.m. in the Modern Languages auditorium on the UA campus. For more information, call 626-3765.

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