Most people have heard of the Rockettes. Some may even think them a little racy. Well, how about the Cockettes?
The Cockettes were an eye-catching ensemble of hippies from1970s San Francisco. The group of women, gay men and others adorned themselves in gender-bending drag and copious amounts of glitter for midnight shows like Tinsel Tarts in a Hot Coma and Pearls Over Shanghai, at the Palace Theater in North Beach. The extravagant shows featured elaborate costumes, overt sexual rebellionand, often, bizarre chaos.
Surprisingly, this legendary bunch only lasted for 2 1/2 years. They were prolific, though--20 shows and four films were created during the era. Their unusual culture and bold artistic statements have left a legacy for theater, music, fashion, gay politics and spirituality.
Award-winning filmmaker David Weissman, director of a 2002 documentary on the rise and the fall of the Cockettes, visits the UA on Friday. He will present clips from the film, discuss the production and distribution and answer questions. Weissman was a recipient of the Sundance Institute/Mark Silverman Fellowship for New Producers and the San Francisco Foundation's James T. Phelan Art Award in Film.
The event is free and open to the public.
In Jewish tradition, the Purim holiday celebrates the rescue of the Jews from a nefarious plot to destroy them. Queen Esther, who discovered the plot, is the lady of the hour during Purim. Therefore, celebrations in her honor are held on the 14th day of the month of Adar. Can't find your Jewish calendar at the moment? Never fear: It equals March 6 and 7 this year.
On March 6, a pizza party will precede a short service. It is customary to read the Megillat Esther (Scroll of Esther) on Purim, but this is no dry narration. The audience is encouraged to clap hands, stomp feet, boo and spin noisemakers to blot out the name of the villain, Haman.
Party day is March 7, and it is expected to be the best Purim extravaganza yet. It should be noted that Purim is customarily a day of overturning roles, rules and customs. In Israel, kids teach school on Purim. It is also the only day when it is traditionally permissible to dress in the opposite gender's clothes, and to perform decidedly inappropriate plays and parodies of the Purim story.
How could Temple Emanu-El break with tradition? They have lined up Queen Esther's Kvelling Shushan Band (inspired by the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band) for the Purim Spiel. The Purim Carnival will follow, featuring kosher hot dogs, games, face painting and more. Admission is free, and all are welcome.
The Tucson Children's Museum is providing a weekend's worth of entertainment for the little ones. Kids can learn and have fun at the same time, and parents may learn something as well.
On Saturday, March 6, at 11:30 a.m., kids can make their own clay pottery and explore Tucson's history and Spanish heritage. Homer Thiel, of the Center for Desert Archaeology, will present slides and Spanish artifacts for kids to ooh and ahh at. They can even make their own little artifact in one of the styles shown.
The Center for Desert Archaeology is a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote stewardship of the region's historical and archaeological resources through research, preservation and education. Thiel will help your kids time-travel into history and see what art looked like long ago.
The following day, March 7, at 1 p.m., Dr. Sandy Newmark will teach parents and caregivers how to use natural remedies for common childhood illnesses. Newmark is a pediatrician from the Center for Integrative Medicine, which takes account of the child's body, mind and spirit when selecting appropriate therapies, whether conventional or alternative.
After Dr. Newmark's presentation, Museum staff will lead songs, stories and crafts. Kiddos can make first-aid kits to have for small emergencies.
Both activities are included in the price of museum admission: $3.50 for children, $5.50 for adults and $4.50 for seniors.
Hip-hop culture is about to hit the streets of Tucson. Sure, maybe it's already here. But how often do you get to comfortably sit and watch a film at an event that also featurs backstreet breakdance battles? This, my friend, is what makes The Human Project unique.
The urban-dance group was founded in Tucson in 2002. It began with the concept of using their dance style to create artistic works that would resonate universally. Since then, the group has choreographed and performed across the nation and abroad, and has produced several large dance events.
Their goal, as stated on their Web site: "The mission of The Human Project is to use urban contemporary dance to explore the many complexions of our human nature and existence ... our hope is to ignite, within the audience, the same vigor of spirit that is inherent in the dance; thus creating opportunity to discuss the common and contrasting characteristics that comprise our diverse world."
The members of The Human Project present The Fifth Element, their second annual hip-hop festival. The event includes original music videos, documentaries and shorts, as well as open mics, breakdancing battles and live performances. Individual show tickets are $7; festival passes are $20.