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Theatre, Unplugged

Reading of "Home"
7 p.m., Sunday, June 27
Live Theatre Workshop
5317 E. Speedway Blvd.
327-4242

Novelist, poet and playwright David Storey is a prolific writer whose body of work includes almost 30 finished pieces. Among them, the Booker Prize-winning novel Saville and the 1970 play Home are widely considered to be his best.

Live Theatre Workshop's presentation of Home is actually a Reader's Theatre event, which means the actors are not in costume, and there is no staged action. Instead, actors sit on stools and read from scripts--a stripped-down approach that happens to be uniquely appropriate to the material, since Home involves the realization that the characters involved are not who you thought they were, and not where you thought they were.

Reader's Theatre allows the group to experiment with plays in what director and actor Bruce Bieszki describes as "a non-commercial environment," and to present works that are perhaps too complex or whose audience appeal is limited in terms of mainstage production. That may be a good description of Home, whose characters are haunted by despair and whose author often wrote about insanity and estrangement, describing himself, in an early poem entitled "Story," as "a practitioner of pain and fury."

But audiences don't need to resign themselves to heavy, sorrowful sighs--Home is also known for its deadpan humor, and Sunday night's performance is free.

Audience attendance and reaction is important to Reader's Theatre; some of their past projects have gone on to full-scale productions, such as the upcoming Angel Street, by Patrick Hamilton.

Seating is limited; call for reservations.


The Santana of Spanish Guitar

Luis Villegas in Concert
8 p.m., Saturday, June 26
Tucson Museum of Art
140 N. Main Ave.
297-9133

Luis Villegas grew up in East Los Angeles listening to traditional Mexican music and playing in rock 'n' roll bands, but was always drawn to the Spanish guitar. Eventually, he folded all of his musical passions into Spanish guitar techniques, and arrived at a sound that combined Latin rhythms with rock 'n' roll energy.

Villegas and his band, Café Olé, performed around L.A. for six years before releasing their first CD, Café Olé, in 1998. The album received critical acclaim, and Café Olé was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best New Age Artist in 1999. When Villegas released his second CD, Spanish Kiss, in 2000, he was awarded the ultimate compliment by the Tucson Citizen, which labeled Villegas "the Carlos Santana of Spanish Guitar."

Café Olé embarked on a series of festival appearances, from the Playboy Jazz Festival--where I'm guessing Villegas posed for the photo above--to the Sedona Latin Jazz Festival. Villegas himself recorded a duet with classical guitar diva Liona Boyd in 2002 that was later nominated for a Juno. (For those of you not hip to Canadian culture, that's the equivalent of a Grammy.)

As if appearing in an upcoming film with Tom Cruise isn't enough, Villegas' current release, Casa Villegas, continues his legacy of musical melding by incorporating Middle Eastern percussion, India tabla, African bata drums and Latin congas.

Tickets to Saturday night's performance are $15 in advance and $17 at the door, available at Antigone Books, Brew & Vine, CD City, Enchanted Earthworks and TMA's gift shop.


Forget Hollywood, Go Bollywood!

Screening of Lakshya
5:30 p.m., Saturday, June 26
UA's Gallagher Theatre
1308 E. University Blvd.
770-1367

When Minita Sanghvi moved to Tucson from India two years ago to study at the UA, the other Indian students she met were driving to Tempe for their Bollywood fix. Sanghvi--with a master's degree in retailing and consumer sciences--decided to find out whether Bollywood films could find a market of their own in Tucson.

"At first, we were just targeting the Indian community," says Sanghvi, "but a few of my American friends started coming, and they loved it. So now we're trying to see if there's an American audience for Bollywood films, too."

If you go to a Bollywood movie expecting to see a cast of talented actors interpret stories of love, honor, revenge, forgiveness and all the usual tropes, you'll get it. And then they'll suddenly break into song and dance.

"It's just total entertainment," says Sanghvi. "Indians can put singing and dancing into any situation; you could have a guy on death row, and there would be singing and dancing in the background."

As an example, Sanghvi mentions a movie called Kaante--a copy of Quentin Tarantino's now-famous Reservoir Dogs, but with song and dance numbers throughout.

Lakshya (Aim) is the story of a young man who finds his destiny in the midst of the 1999 India-Pakistan Kargil war. It stars Hrithik Roshan--India's "biggest heartthrob," according to Sanghvi--and is a must-see performance for Roshan fans, since he reportedly hasn't signed on to do any additional films.

Tickets are $4; the box office opens at 4 p.m.


Circus Science

The Science Behind the Greatest Show on Earth
11 a.m. Thursday, June 24
Tucson Children's Museum
200 S. Sixth Ave.
792-9985

It takes more than skill to walk on stilts, juggle rings, ride a unicycle and put your head between the teeth of a full-grown lion--it takes science. (Or, in the case of the lion, a suspiciously optimistic belief that it's OK to put your head wherever you want to, despite the fact that it obviously doesn't fit.)

For the regular price of admission to the museum, kids will be treated to performances from members of the one-and-only Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Throughout the 30-minute demonstration, circus members will talk to kids about the science and physics of each skill performed, teach them to balance safe objects, pass out circus coloring books and let kids grab from a basket full of clown noses. As a bonus, any family that purchases a museum membership during the program will receive one free pass to the circus, in Tucson through June 27.

Warm up for the event by taking the Ringling Bros. "Circus Aptitude Test" (ringling.com/activity)--it's possible that the results will determine you should take a packed bag to the show and run away with them when it's over.

My results were delivered this way: "Your ruminative responses provide incredible indications of decided diversity! Your particular predispositions incredibly include astonishing acrobatics and attentive and artistic animal training!," which I interpret to mean, "You're a nice kid; now go home."

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