Companion animals can be, for some people, full-fledged members of the family. Most people experience fondness for pets at some point in their lives, or have had a special pet whose memories bring a smile to their face.
When I was in elementary school, I found a long-legged, green-and-orange leafhopper in the garden and kept it in a large plastic jar, always stocked with leaves from the yard. "Lee" was my pal for just more than a year; through a major earthquake and numerous homework assignments, his jar was never far from my side--until the morning I woke up to an upside-down bug whose (abnormally long) life cycle had inevitably ended. For all pet owners, this sad moment will come sooner or later.
With dogs to doves, cats to hissing cockroaches, the loss of a beloved animal companion can be devastating to both children and adults. Marcia Breitenbach, a grief counselor, author and expressive-arts therapist, knows that the pain caused by the loss of a close companion animal can be intense, and she has designed an empowering, sensitive workshop to help Tucsonans cope with pet loss. She teaches attendees creative tools to strengthen mind, body, spirit and heart, allowing them to move through grief and other life challenges.
The workshop costs $40, with some sliding-scale fees available. Call for details.
Who might adapt a play called The Underpants? Yep, it's another Steve Martin co-creation, originally written by German playwright Carl Sternheim. The heroine, Louise, accidentally drops her, um, private clothes during a parade for the Kaiser (It was the parade, not the panty-flash, that was for the Kaiser, just so we have this straight).
After the indecent incident, Louise finds herself a sudden magnet for suitors, perversely attracted by the mere sight of her, um, personal linens. They attempt to rent rooms in her house, try to get close to her and do any number of other stunts, described as "hilarious and bawdy" by the Village Voice. Of course, her husband is none too pleased by the shenanigans, and neither is the town barber.
Could it get any saucier? Indeed, it can! To find out how, check out The Underpants during its Arizona Theatre Company run in Tucson, from April 10 to May 1. Tickets range from $25 to $39, depending on performance date and seating. Some discounts and rush tickets are available; call the above number or visit arizonatheatre.org for details.
What is with theater productions these days? My press-release box read like a diaper advertisement: First, it's The Underpants; now, it's Urinetown: The Musical. But as I looked over the information, it became clear that just as a book should not be judged by its cover, a theatre production should not be judged solely by its title.
Urinetown, in fact, has become known as Broadway's most unexpected phenomenon. The New York Times hailed it as "simply the most galvanizing theatre experience in town"--and you know what kind of productions New York gets.
Urinetown has greed, love, corruption, revolution and a healthy smattering of songs. So where does the name come in? Well, let's just say that co-writer Greg Kotis came upon the idea as a starving student traveling through Europe, trying to decide whether or not to use a pay toilet in Luxembourg Gardens.
The musical is set in a drought-stricken town, where water is a valuable commodity, and it chronicles the story of two kids who fall in love before this strange backdrop. Urinetown has a rather unusual claim to fame: The idea was pitched to (and soundly rejected by) several theaters, agents and development organizations until it was picked up by the New York Fringe Festival in 1999, where it was the hit of the event. These days, the show is piddling through its first national tour, finding success and raves along the way.
Tickets range from $27 to $52, depending on date choice, with student and child discounts.
OK, so technically this should be in next week's issue. However, as your intrepid City Week editor, it is my job and personal mission to find cool things to do in this ever-warmer city, and I think this qualifies, especially since the event will be happening about an hour after next week's paper hits the streets.
What could be so exciting? How about a way to personally contribute to one of Tucson's beloved institutions while meeting new people? The Tucson Museum of Art is looking for docents to join its team of art experts. Who are docents, you ask? Well, they are the nice folks who are always ready to answer a question as you wander through the museum, and they are the brave souls who deliver weekly Art Talks before eager audiences. On Thursday morning, find out how to join their elite ranks.
At a meet-and-greet that day, enjoy a cup of coffee while officers of the museum's Docent Council describe the important roles of docents and the program's requirements. Anyone with an interest in fine arts and the desire to work as a docent at TMA is encouraged to attend.