DESERT DESIGNERS. It's a great time of the year at Tohono Chul Park, outside and in.
The warm weather is perfect for a stroll around the beautiful park, of course. But if you visit, be sure to check out a new art show in the Exhibit Hall, ADC 2001: Crossroads of the Desert and Other Inspirations.
ADC stands for Arizona Designer Craftsmen. Founded more than 40 years ago, the association of artists produces a wide variety of top-notch work. The exhibit features juried selections so it's a display of the best of the best.
Expect to see fine handmade paper, glazed and raku-fired clay, glass vessels, woodwork, jewelry, quilts and fiber arts in the exhibit that begins today and runs through May 20.
A reception is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. today. The gallery and exhibit hall are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The park is located at 7366 N. Paseo Del Norte, off Ina Road, just west of Oracle Road. For more information, call 742-6455.
THE POLITICS OF LOVE. When the rulers of Spain and France shake hands, a royal family cracks up.
In Arizona Opera's Don Carlos, love is in the air--but it's anything but fair.
Carlos loves Elisabeth, who loves him too. Small problem: A treaty just inked by Spain and France stipulates a marriage between Elisabeth and King Philip, Carlos' unsympathetic dad.
Find out what happens when Carlos decides he will not surrender his heart's desire in a performance sung in Italian with English surtitles.
Curtains rise for Don Carlos at 7:30 tonight and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Tucson Convention Center Music Hall, 260 S. Church. Tickets are $19 to $67. Call Ticketmaster at 321-1000 or the Tucson Box Office, 293-4336. See "Reign of Spain," page 40 for more information.
LAUGHING THROUGH LIFE. A couple of nursing home residents settle in for a game of gin rummy and a round of reminiscing.
Life's bittersweet wonders bloom in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gin Game. It's a sometimes funny look at the human experience, its defeats and triumphs and the truths running through it all.
Local stage favorite Bruce Bieszki (as Weller) and Kristi Loera (as Fonsia) star as Live Theatre Workshop tackles the play that in 1978 resulted in a Tony for Jessica Tandy's work with the Fonsia character.
The show opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. at 5317 E. Speedway Blvd. Tickets at the door are $12, $11 for students, seniors and military. Gin Game runs through April 22. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, please call 327-4242.
FAMILY FUN. Choreographers Lee Anne Hartley and Thom Lewis have teamed up for a family show that is going to the dogs.
Oh, and cats, and other critters.
Hot Dawgs and Cool Tunes, a dance concert performed by area dancers to support the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, is billed as a delight for all ages.
Hartley will premier As Time Goes By, a golden oldie radio station come to life, featuring music from the 1940s and 50s. Lewis will trot out Pup Fiction, in which the professional dancers will get a little help from a group of youngsters who call themselves "The Pound Puppies."
The performance, presented by Funhouse Movement Theater, begins at 8 p.m. today and Saturday at Leo Rich Theater in the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church St. Tickets are $8-$10 in advance, $10-$12 at the door and are available at Bentley's, 1730 E. Speedway Blvd., Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave., or by calling 749-1221. See "Pas de Deux," page 40 for more information.
INTO THIN AIR. Skinny people who love to fly really ought to get in line.
Ryan Airfield's Aviation Day, a career fair with flair, features dime-a-pound airplane rides.
The way I figure it, if I weigh 120 pounds (chop off my legs?) I can roll off the scales and onto an airplane for a measly $12. Don't hold me to that. I wouldn't be rewriting press releases for an adoring public if I was any good at math.
But let's say I'm huge. Maybe pushing 350 pounds. OK, so this deal's not going to work. I mean, face it, not even United really wants my business. One word: refreshments.
Along with the dime-a-pound plane rides and refreshments, Aviation Day includes tours of the airfield, opportunities to talk to Ryan pilots and an aviation flea market. Bi-planes, experimental aircraft and other planes will be on display.
Folks interested in aviation careers can learn more about pilot training programs, maintenance schools and other options in the free event from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The airfield is located at the intersection of Ajo Way and Valencia Boulevard, about 12 miles west of Tucson International Airport. For more information, please call the Tucson Airport Authority at 573-8100 or visit www.tucsonairport.org.
THAT TIME OF THE YEAR. As the temps climb, most Tucsonans start thinking about that annual climb to the swamp cooler. Unless you were anal last fall, it's gonna need something.
But along with dread, spring also gets the creative juices flowing. It's patio time in the Old Pueblo, time to plant some stuff, crank up the blender and sit outside and enjoy some of the best weather in the world.
Tucson Botanical Gardens' annual Home Garden Tour is a great way to get project ideas. See gardens with artistic touches, rustic brick patios and ramadas, quaint courtyards, lovely patio walls and beautiful views in self-guided tours that can be spread over two days.
The event today and Sunday features five distinctive home gardens in different areas of town, from midtown to the northwest to the eastside. Some of the gardens were professionally designed while others were created by the homeowners themselves. All offer ideas in the way of unusual plat options, design features and landscaping you can incorporate into your own little oasis.
The tours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Tickets are $12 and include admission to the Botanical Gardens. Tickets available at the gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way; Rascon Landscaping and Nursery, 7974 N. Oracle Road; Harlow Gardens, 5620 E. Pima St.; and Mesquite Valley Growers, 8005 E. Speedway Blvd. For more information, please call 326-9686, ext. 23.
INVISIBLE EVENING. Enjoy Tucson's top talent in an evening of music to raise money for Invisible Theatre.
Celebration Cabaret marks the theater's 30th birthday and includes "divine and decadent dessert" as well as great entertainment.
The lineup includes Ann Hampton Callaway, star of Broadway's Swing; Sandra Reaves Phillips, a pop artist and film star; Steve Ross, the "king" of New York Cabaret; and Nancy Davis Booth, a Tucson favorite soprano.
The money raised through the event will fund arts education, cultural diversity through the arts, and Invisible Theatre's award-winning Project Pastime, an integrated arts program for mentally and physically challenged children.
The event starts at 6:30 tonight at the DoubleTree Hotel on Alvernon. Tickets are $75 per person, $40 of which is tax-deductible. For reservations or more information, please call the theater at 882-9721.
AN OPEN DOOR TO HISTORY. Take a peek into some of the city's historic homes.
Residents of the West University Historic District open their doors from noon to 5 p.m. today for the 21st annual Historic Home Tour.
The tour showcases early 1900 historic homes and buildings in the southeast part of the district, bounded by Euclid to the east, Fourth Avenue to the west, University Boulevard to the north and Sixth Street to the south.
Don't worry about parking; the Old Pueblo Trolley will be making its Sunday run up and down University Boulevard and Fourth Avenue.
Advance tickets for the tour are $5 and available at Time Market, 444 E. University Blvd., and Delectables Restaurant, 533 N. Fourth Ave. Or you can buy tickets for $7 today in the patio area of Trinity Presbyterian Church. A rain date is set for April 8. For more information, please call 624-9272, or leave a message at 884-5088.
CLASSICAL TO CUTTING EDGE. Nothing stands still, not even in the old world of ceramics.
Take a look at the results of the sweeping changes and radical shifts in techniques, philosophy and attitudes in the arts and crafts world in the second half of the 20th century. Color and Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics, 1950-2000 shows off the classical to the cutting edge, intimate creations to weighty, even rough, freestanding sculptures.
"The history of contemporary ceramics during the past 50 years can be seen as a series of defining moments, changes in direction ... These defining moments activate, agitate, expand, promote and transcend artmaking, igniting a wildfire of creativity," says Jo Lauria, curator of the new exhibition at Tucson Museum of Art.
The show, which runs through May 27, charts the story of pottery's movements from its functional roots to true, expressive art. The museum is located at 140 N. Main Ave. Hours are 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, please call 624-2333.
ROBIN HOOT. Lisa Otey handles the tunes and Peter Van Slyke directs as Gaslight Theatre gets the giggles going with its very own Robin Hood.
Will Robin Hood save the land from the evil Sir Guy of Gisbourne and Sheriff Nottingham. Will he steal the heart of Maid Marianne after he whips up on all that is terrible?
Find out at 7 tonight in a show of silly songs, comical melodrama and all the usual antics of the Gaslight actors.
Robin Hood at Gaslight, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd., runs through June 2. Show times are 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $13.95 adults, $11.95 students, seniors over 60 and active military, and $6 children 12 and under. For reservations or more information, please call 886-9428.
WHAT LIES FOR TRUTH IN THE BAMBOO. It is an enduring story about rape, murder and four versions of the "truth."
In Rashomon, a noble samurai and his wife encounter a bandit while traveling in a bamboo forest. The husband is killed and his wife is raped in the tale of intrigue based on a short story written in the 1920's by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, considered Japan's Edgar Allen Poe.
In a trial known as the Great Rashomon Murder Mystery, four different recollections of the crimes raise questions about truth and falsehood. Among the questions that rise to the murky surface: Was the death murder or suicide? Was it rape, or really seduction? And who seduced whom?
Rashomon premiered on Broadway in 1959 with Rod Stieger as the bandit and Claire Bloom (who recently appeared in Tucson in her one-woman show, Enter the Actress) as the wife.
Pima Community College Theatre Arts Program, under the direction of Chris Wilken, takes on Rashomon, which is set hundreds of years ago in the forests outside Kyoto.
Wilken says the play hasn't lost anything over the years.
"Objective truth is as rare today as it was 1,000 years ago," he said. "This action-packed metaphysical mystery uses much of the classic detective story formula but puts the audience in the role of sleuth."
Production begins with a preview performance at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Center for the Arts Black Box Theatre on the PCC West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Performances continue through April 7 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 8 at 3 p.m.; and April 12-14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 for general admission, $5 for students and seniors ($3/$5 on preview night). Tickets are available in advance at the CFA Box Office and at the door one hour before the performance. For more information, call the 24-hour infoline: 520-206-6988.
MUIR, MUIR, MUIR. The Muir String Quartet, which performed concerts in Tucson in 1991 and 1996, is back on stage for the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music.
The Boston-based group returns to play Mozart, Antonin Dvorak and a newly commissioned work by American composer Joelle Wallach.
The sixth concert of the Arizona Friends' 53rd season starts at 8 tonight in the Leo Rich Theater at the Tucson Convention Center. Tickets are $15 general admission, $5 students. For more information, please call 577-3769 or log on and visit www.arizonachambermusic.org. See "Spring's Strings," page 42.