REMEMBERING THE STEEL CITY. Growing up in a gritty, urban, East Coast city gives you skills for life--probably not too conducive to living in the desert. Luckily we're adaptable animals.
Martin Yoklic attended school two blocks from the Pittsburgh steel mill where his father and uncles worked and where he worked as a teen-ager. His memories and insights form a permanent, youthful view of family, society and industry, bringing a personal perspective to the Pittsburgh documented by photographer W. Eugene Smith just a decade or so before Yoklic's recollections of Pittsburgh in the turbulent '60s.
As a Research Professor at the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at the UA, Yoklic has an interesting perspective--an amalgam of Pittsburgh's urban grit and beauty and a Southwestern expansive landscape. Come hear his free gallery talk at 5:30 p.m. held in conjunction with Dream Street: W. Eugene Smith's Pittsburgh Photographs at the Center for Creative Photography located in the Arts Courtyard just east of Park Avenue and south of Speedway Boulevard. Call 621-7968 for information.
LACKING THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF DANGER. Before you skip reading because you're thinking there's no point, remember that a party has been concocted for the sheer purpose of being perfect and a New York Times critic has been invited to the party for the singular purpose of writing up the event, albeit, a bit harsh. This is the basis for a hilarious and witty play.
The Perfect Party, written by A.R. Gurney, opens Live Theater Workshop's season at 7:30 p.m. with Tony, played by Bruce Bieszki, serving up his guests, including the critic mentioned above. Actors Lisa Cook, Jeremy Thompson, Koyrie Harvey and Kristi Loera accompany him as the party goes awry. The critic's comments about the party prompts Tony to portray his own mysteriously dangerous twin brother, Tod. Coaching his best friends on proper party etiquette, juggling two personae, vainly attempting to woo the reporter--Tony's got more than he can handle.
Preview shows begin tonight and tomorrow and cost $9. Shows continue through October 6 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 and 7 p.m. Regular tickets cost $12 to $14. Call the theatre box office, located at 5317 E. Speedway Blvd., at 327-4242 for reservations.
BEAM ME UP, SCOTTIE. What happens to all those TV pilots that don't make it to the major networks or cable channels? Hint: two words, sounds like ash tan.
Tucson's Screening Room is hosting the first-ever Television Pilot Festival to unearth the gems that for some bizarre reason, never made it to the little screen. Pilots from England, Australia, Texas and Arizona, to name a few far-flung places, are showing tonight through Sunday at 7 p.m.
Here's a preview of what you'll see. Arizona Crazy is a TV travelogue turned upside down that warns, "When you travel across Arizona, if it rattles, don't pet it." Day Guy follows a guy 15 years into the future. He has seven parents (for those of us lucky enough to have suffered through two, this ought to be a scream), a girlfriend that won't date him in person and his boss is a dolphin. Law Matters is a talk show addressing political issues--with teen hosts who, like, know it all. Testimony Profiles in Faith is a Christian program with its pilot profiling none other than David Berkowitz, our beloved Son of Sam.
And there's so much more. Nightly tickets cost $5 or $30 for an advanced festival screening pass or $40 for an all-access pass that includes screenings, opening night party, award ceremony and closing reception. Audience members get to vote for winning pilots. The Screening Room is located at 127 E. Congress St. Call 622-2262 for details.
ARE YOU BORING? Here's a chance to find out how to take your dull experiences and turn them into compelling stories other people might be able to sit through (again).
Local author Meg Files has written a useful tome called Write From Life in which she describes how to transform raw experiences into finished pieces of poetry, fiction or non-fiction. It's designed to help writers identify story-worthy material, conquer fears associated with personal exposure (watch out for those rattling bones in the closet), determine a story's focus, shape the material into a cohesive whole and then do the dirty work of editing and revising.
Meg Files is the chair of Pima Community College's West Campus English Department where she teaches creative writing and is also the director of the Pima Writers' Workshop. She reads at 7 p.m. at Antigone Books at 411 N. Fourth Ave. Q&A follows and refreshments will be served. Call 792-3715 for details.
POET. INTELLECTUAL. FEMINIST. She could be a contemporary of ours but these monikers describe a 17th-century Mexican nun who scaled heights not intended for a girl of her background.
At age 12, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz pleaded with her single mother to dress her as a boy so she could study at the university. She dazzled the court with her knowledge of everything from Latin to mathematics. At 18 she entered the convent where she did not sit idly by. At 40 she was deprived of her books, pens and ink and forced into silence after a bitter controversy over theological matters. She died at 46 but her words have lived on.
The Sins of Sor Juana dramatizes this spectacular voice of the 17th-century in a Borderlands Theater production opening tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Zuzi! Little Theater located inside Muse, 738 N. Fifth Ave. Written by Karen Zacarias and winner of the prestigious Charles MacArthur Award, the play is locally directed by Eva Tessler. Bill Campbell has created an original score. Show times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. and continue through September 29 with special performances on Mexican Independence Day (September 20) and Ladies Night Out (September 26). Tickets cost $10 to $14. Call for reservations at 882-7406.
ROOTED ROCK. They say Jimmy LaFave stands as testimony to the redemptive power of rock and roll with every night being a party weekend.
Texas-based LaFave joins forces with Tex-Mex Rock royalty Joe "King" Carrasco for a Roots Rockin' Dance Party at the historic El Casino Ballroom, 437 E. 26th St. at 8 p.m. just east of Second Avenue.
They promise to set the dance floor on fire with LaFave's saloon-pounding honkey tonk and Carrasco's border blend of pop rock and Latin rhythms. Get ready for a workout on Tucson's largest wooden dance floor. Tickets cost $17 in advance at Antigone Books, Brew & Vine, CD City and Enchanted Earthworks or get them for $20 at the door. Call 297-9133 for more information.
CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT. So said the Dadaists or somebody famous for their inconsistent behavior.
(R)evolution features dance and performance art while sporting the hottest hair and fashion trends for the upcoming season, conceived by Dada Art and Hair Studio proprietor and artistic director Addam Moreno. He says it's the coming together of Dada philosophies: "We believe that art, like life, should be lived."
The "trend" release party starts at 8 p.m. and is hosted by Club Congress. It's directed and choreographed by Hassan Al Falak, who says the performance is an expression of how a fashion revolution creates personal evolution as interpreted through living art.
Proceeds benefit Wingspan Youth programs, providing scholarships to send young people to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Creating Change Conference and come back and teach workshops here in Tucson.
Admission costs $5 at the door. Club Congress is located inside Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress Street. Call 623-0459 for more information.
MANY PIECES MAKE THE WHOLE. "After a year of collective mourning for the 9/11 attacks, destruction and loss, may we fill in the missing pieces and move forward to complete the whole."
So says Derek Powazek, creator of Fray Day, the sixth year of storytelling events and creator of the pioneering web site, Fray (http://www.fray.com).
Fray arrives in Tucson tonight at 8 p.m. at the Banquet Room at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St.--one of 11 locations around the world where Fray Day overflows with spoken-word performances, an open mic, interactive art, music and more. Stories on Fray use metaphor and poetics, but their real power lies in their personal and often confessional nature. "It's not fiction, but well-told fact," says Powazek, author of Design for Community: The Art of Connecting Real People in Virtual Places.
Locally it's being organized by Cia Romano and Zoe O'Reilly of Interface Guru, a consulting group specializing in user-centric Internet strategy and testing, and artists and writers in their own right.
It's free but a $3 donation would be nice. For details, call 977-1207.
JAZZ SMORGASBORD. Think of it as an all-you-can-eat buffet--with the non-fat helpings consisting of juicy, healthy jazz standards. The Taste of Tucson comes round at 7 p.m. as part of the Fall Fiesta Series hosted by the Tucson Jazz Society and takes place in La Placita Village on Church Avenue at Broadway Boulevard.
The evening features Tucson jazz artists Gregg Armstrong and the Presidio Quartet plus Jeff Haskell, just back from touring with Linda Ronstadt, among others. Tickets cost $12, $8 for Jazz Society members and $7 for students. Questions? Call 903-1265 for details.
IT'S IN THE CARDS. What does the Fool tell us as he's jumping off the cliff and smiling? Find out in a Tarot intensive--seven weeks of flipping the Rider Waite deck to see what the future holds.
It starts tonight, from 6 to 8 p.m. and continues through the end of October. Classes are held at the Friendly Village Adult Park at 1202 W. Miracle Mile, #130. The full seven weeks cost $150, which includes learning how to use the cards for self-meditation and to read for others. Plus you get to keep the book. Interested? Call 293-3331.
LOSS BECOMES HAPPINESS. Counselor, educator, meditation teacher and author John Welshons reads from his book, Awakening From Grief: Finding the Road Back to Joy.
The book teaches that loss gives you the opportunity to develop a deeper experience of life and love and a profoundly expanded sense of happiness. (Mom promised the same thing, didn't she?) If your heart aches with the loss of a relationship, the death of a loved one or you're just plain achy, catch the New Jersey author's words of wisdom at 7 p.m.at Reader's Oasis, 3400 E. Speedway Blvd. Call 319-7887 for details.
I HATE BUGS. That line took up an entire page of a "book" I wrote when I was 4 years old. (Other hated creatures included the big, blue mailbox and car doors, both of which rudely grabbed my fingers the year before, causing much pain, but that's another story). Here's a chance to share the joys of bugs with your kids so maybe they won't be as traumatized as I am by the creepy-crawlies.
Toddler Tuesday kicks off at 10 a.m. for an hour of live insect inspection and creation of their own buggy craft to take home. Stop by the Tucson Children's Museum for the weekly parent/toddler fun fest at 200 S. Sixth Ave. The session is free with museum admission--$3.50 for kids, $5.50 for adults and $4.50 for seniors. Call 792-9985 for more information.
THE INTERWEAVE. What's in-between is always the most fascinating aspect of any story, object or art work. It's especially true for basketry.
At noon today, see what Tohono O'odham basketweaving entails. You may be surprised to learn what's in-between. Beauty and utility are joined together, uniting material, spiritual and aesthetic worlds. The Tohono O'odham weavers simply call it life.
The baskets are made from native plants and without dyes. The coil or warp of the basket is made of beargrass; the white and green yucca, black Devil's Claw and red banana yucca are used to create the stitches. Some of the more traditional baskets still use desert willow and cattail. Native-made baskets have been used to carry water and firewood, to prepare food and to store household items.
The Western National Parks Association Store hosts the demonstration, located at 12880 N. Vistoso Village Drive in Oro Valley near Oracle and Tangerine. It's free but call 622-6014 for reservations or more information.