City Week 

Thursday 25

HOLLYWOOD HEE-HAW. Remember when cowboys sang and westerns whistled?

It's time to celebrate from High Noon to Midnight Cowboy. So put on your Buttons and Bows as the talented Crystal Palace Players present The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Hollywood's good ol' horse operas and great western musicals.

Howdy From Hollywood plays through July 13 at Tucson's Crystal Palace at the historic Hidden Valley Inn--"where the music cooks and the food sings!"

This premier western dinner theatre revue in the elegant Crystal Palace dining room features some of Tucson's most talented singers and dancers: Glenda Young as "Miss Crystal, the Songstress of the Sagebrush," Walter Belcher, Erin Booth, Katherine Byrnes, Drew Humphrey and Monte Ralstin.

The show is accompanied by a lively western band featuring musical direction by Khris Dodge, teen-age fiddler and drummer Elise Ackermann, and piano playin' and guitar strummin' to "boot."

Mosey, hightail it or skedaddle over to the Hidden Valley Inn, 4825 N. Sabino Canyon Road, to reserve your seats for the Western musical dinner theatre event.

Doors open tonight at 5:30 for dinner, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, with the show beginning at 7. The price for adult show admission is $13.95, children 12 and under $8.95. A separate show menu (including a children's menu) offers appetizers, entrees, desserts and a full bar, with entree prices beginning at $7.95. For matinees, doors open at 2 p.m. For reservations, show times and more information, call 299-4941.

Food for funds. Chicken in pipian sauce, calabacitas, mesquite foccacia, bean and wild rice salad with desert greens, chile corn bread ... hungry?

Native Seeds/SEARCH will host the fourth annual Flavors of the Desert fundraising dinner, a two-hour affair that will give interested folks an opportunity to enjoy tasty native foods and to learn more about the projects and goals of this unique organization. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the group's conservation efforts.

A highlight of this year's dinner will include a poetry reading by Luci Tapahonso. Currently a professor of Native American Studies, Tapahonso grew up on the Navajo reservation and has been writing beautiful poems and stories about her life for many years.

Based in Tucson, Native Seeds/SEARCH is a non-profit conservation organization whose seed bank serves as the last refuge for many of our nearly 2000 different collections of Native American agricultural seeds from the Southwest. It works to conserve these adapted and diverse varieties of agricultural seeds, their wild relatives and the role they play in cultures of the Southwest and northwest Mexico.

The event is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today and Friday at Muse, 516 N. Fifth Ave.

Donations will be requested. Seating is limited and reservations are required. For more information and reservations call 622-5561 or email shannon@nativeseeds.org.

Friday 26

One intriguing evening. Club Congress proudly announces a cultural experiment that "people will be talking about for minutes, if not hours."

Local literary powerhouse Spork presents its fourth issue, 1.4, in the form of that cherished, yet largely forgotten storytelling art, the radio play.

The Sporkers plan to record the six episodes that comprise the issue and release them as an audio CD. The idea marks a departure from sandwiching poetry and prose between hand-screened canvas covers.

Tonight, the group's literary players take the Club Congress stage to perform the first two episodes. Episode 1 is entitled "The Case of the Blusher." Episode 2, "The French Disconnection," will close out the night. Al Perry makes a feature appearance as "Dewey the Drummer."

Between the two episodes comes the long-awaited return of Shoebomb's brand of sophisticated pop. For the neophyte, rest assured that the name is not derived from any reference to terrorists--this band was Shoebomb long before anyone stuffed explosives into their sneakers.

Other highlights of this most unusual evening include a traditional Greek Chorus, and the Sporkettes, who will be vending cigarettes and offering complimentary ribs.

Organizers of this event say that "unless you are dead, you won't want to miss this night" and "even if you are dead, become undead, borrow five bucks, and show up ... for this is a once in a lifetime event." The show starts at 9 tonight at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. For more information, call 622-8848 or visit www.sporkmag.com.

An original at Bisbee Rep. Ballad of Silver Creek is an original Western musical by Green Valley's Barbara Mauseth.

You can catch the opening performance of the play, set in a fictitious mountain mining town in Arizona Territory in the 1883, in the still rustic setting of Bisbee.

Bisbee Repertory Theatre's production has the flavor of many of the great American musicals--Music Man, Oklahoma, and Destry Rides Again.

It also reaches back to BRT's opening offering, The Saga of Roaring Gulch; several cast members from Saga are appearing in Ballad, including Beverly Quick-Sage, C. Gilles-Brown, Jacqueline Clark. And the set is painted by Saga's designer, Marian Weaver.

Performances take place at Bisbee Repertory Theatre in its historic building at 94 Main St. in Old Bisbee. Tonight's show starts at 7:30. Other performances are scheduled for Saturday and May 3, 10, 11, 17 and 18. Sunday matinees will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, and May 12 and 19. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Students pay $5. Tucson visitors on their way to Bisbee should plan to get tickets at Tombstone Pharmacy, an easy stop on the way to the show. For more information, call 432-3786.

Saturday 27

It's the season (ing). Herbs for cooking, herbs for fragrance and herbs for tea. Whatever you're looking for, you'll probably find it at Tucson Botanical Gardens' annual herb fair.

Regional native herbs will be featured, along with favorites from the TBG Herb Garden during the event, which offers a rare opportunity to visit with some of Southern Arizona's best-known experts on gardening, nature and the environment, and pick up personally autographed copies of their books.

Authors in attendance include George Brookbank, Mary Rose Duffield, Richard Felger, Roseann Hanson, Mary Irish, Gayle Jandrey, Warren Jones, Lynn Kaufman and Margarita Kay.

Children's activities include Susie Lowell's reading a selection on folk tales from her new book Saguaro: the Desert Giant at 10 a.m. and Gayle Jandrey's reading from her book The Millipede and Other Less Embraceable Friends at 10:30 a.m.

Also, throughout the day kids and adults alike can visit with some creepy and crawly desert critters from Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute. An expert will be on hand to answer questions about these fascinating creatures.

The sale is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tucson Botanical Gardens 2150 N. Alvernon Way. The author event is from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 326-9686 ext. 15.

Telling tales. If it weren't for word of mouth, I would venture that most people wouldn't know much about their families.

As Tucson Playback Theatre sees it, the same goes for communities.

Got a story? Community Stories Performance Interactive Improvisational Theatre stars you sharing your tale. The aim is to create a deeper sense of community--one story at a time.

Steal the spotlight at 7:30 tonight at Zuzi's Little Theater (in the Historic YWCA) 738 N. Fifth Ave. All seats are $8. For more information, or to order tickets, call 490-8262 or visit www.tucsonplaybacktheatre.org.

Sunday 28

A very big deal. The Jewish Festival today will serve up scrumptious ethnic food, skydivers carrying U.S. and Israeli flags and jumping castles.

Not enough? The celebration of Israel's 54th anniversary also offers carnival rides, fishing in the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), an Israeli bazaar with arts and crafts from around the world, a simulated kibbutz and ... free camel rides.

The headline entertainment will be a performance by the Israel Defense Force Band, an amazing unit of the most talented young Israeli soldiers who play patriotic songs about their homeland.

The event is from 3 to 7 p.m. today at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road. For information about the Jewish Festival afternoon, call the Jewish Festival Hotline at 299-3000 ext. 200.

Monday 29

A light touch. Opera Scenes at the University of Arizona goes heavy on lighter works for a fine evening of laughter in song.

Undergraduate and graduate students will perform mostly comic scenes from some well-known and some not-so-well-known operas.

Selections are taken from such operatic hits as The Elixir of Love, Falstaff, The Impresario and The Marriage of Figaro, as well as The Mikado and A Little Night Music. A few more thoughtful works will be included from the Saint of Bleecker Street by Menotti and The Happy Prince by Williamson.

The free performance begins at 7:30 tonight in Crowder Hall, Music Building, UA Campus--at the south end of the pedestrian underpass on Speedway Boulevard east of Park Avenue. For more information, call 621-2998 or visit www.arts.arizona.edu/music.

Wednesday 1

Community classic. Love and tragedy take the stage tonight at Reid Park.

Tucson Community Theatre presents Shakespeare's classic, Romeo and Juliet, at the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center.

Help the group celebrate its 15th annual Shakespeare Under the Stars production. Bring a blanket, a picnic basket and the whole family and enjoy an evening of Theatre in the park.

Performances start at 7:30 p.m. May 1 to 5 and May 9 to 11. For more information, call 791-4663.



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