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Slithering at the Top

6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19, through Monday, May 30 (6 p.m. on Sundays)
Tucson Electric Park
2500 E. Ajo Way
$4-$8
434-1021; tucsonsidewinders.com

Tucson loves a winner. That's the primary reason Lute Olson and his boys are so darn renowned around these parts, no?

Following similar logic, then Tucson should be all over the Tucson Sidewinders. As of this writing, the Snakes are in first place and heading back to Tucson to kick off a 12-game homestand against the Round Rock Express, the Albuquerque Isotopes and the Las Vegas 51s. This raises the question: Who the hell is naming Triple-A teams these days, and what the hell kind of drugs are they snorting?

Speaking of names ... we here at City Week like going to Sidewinders games best on Thursdays, for two big reasons: 1). The Weekly is a sponsor of Thirsty Thursdays, when 2). the Sidewinders sell beer for only $1. According to Weekly Sidewinders correspondent Dave Devine, this buck-beer is also popular among a group of weirdos who go to every Thursday Sidewinders game and taunt the first-base umpire by calling him "Jeff."

Really. Let's review: This group goes to every Thursday game, wearing yellowish shirts (last year, the shirts were pink; allegedly, the Jeffs called it "sangria," but, no, they were pink), and they call the first-base umpire "Jeff."

They make a fine case for the return of Prohibition, no? Anyway, go see the "Jeff" bunch for yourself on Thursday, May 19, when the 'Winders play the Express, or on May 26, when they play the Isotopes. If men and women in yellow shirts with a "Jeff" fetish disturb you, go to one of the other 10 games. It's all good clean fun, yo!


Cello Under the Stars

Stars of the Pops by The Tucson Pops Orchestra
7 p.m., Sunday, May 22
DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center
Reid Park
Country Club Road Near 22nd Street
Free
tucsonpops.org

Aren't May Tucson evenings fantastic? The weather is warm (but not sweltering) and the sunsets gorgeous. As long as the damn wind stays away, evenings this time of year are almost perfect.

Well, imagine taking an evening and adding beautiful music for free, compliments of the Tucson Pops Orchestra. That's exactly what's going on each Sunday at Reid Park, through June 12. Under the direction of László Veres, the Tucson Pops Orchestra is celebrating its 50th anniversary season. And if you like cello, you're in for a real treat this Sunday, as Adrienne Horne takes center stage for the Stars of the Pops concert. If you're anything of a local music aficionado, you're familiar with Horne. She's been the Pops' principal cellist since 2001, and has been a member of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra since 1996. A graduate of UCLA (a bachelor's in music) and Indiana University (a master's in--you guessed correctly!--music), Horne also teaches, and when she's not doing music, she "likes to spend time with her husband, Bill, and their two cats." (A bit of Adrienne Horne trivia to share with friends!) She will be playing David Popper's "Polonaise de Concert." Tucson Pops' Dottie Spence says the first of the six-concert spring series almost filled up the "bandshell," and seeing as the area holds about 6,500 folks, that's saying something. In other words, arriving early is not a bad idea. You can park in the Randolph Park Golf Course parking lot off of Alvernon Way, and take a shuttle to the concert; they start running at 5:30 p.m.


Compost Happens

Tucson Organic Gardeners Compost Workshop
9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 21
St. Mark's Church, 3809 E. Third St.
$10 general; $5 seniors, students and TOG Members
670-9158, iwhome.com/nonprofits/tog

I have a garden with tomatoes, basil and snow peas. (What a festive dish that all would make!) During the last couple weeks or so, some of the plants have started looking kind of sickly. I was tempted to go out and buy some of that chemical plant food to give the plants a boost, when I came across this here news release about the Tucson Organic Gardeners' compost workshops.

Lois Lockhart, the TOG president, is not a big fan of these miracle-promising chemical fertilizers.

"Man-made chemical fertilizers are wonderful for plants. They really thrive on it," says Lockhart. "But what happens to the soil is (the chemicals) kill microorganisms and macroorganisms. ... With compost, they stay alive and thrive; it builds the soil."

Sounds spiffy! But how can a clueless journalist such as I (or an upstanding, alt-weekly-reading citizen such as yourself) make compost happen? Lockhart says to look no further than the fridge, where some old lettuce may be already composting. Take that lettuce and some other kitchen scraps and add an equal amount of water, making an admittedly disgusting soup, and whamo! You have compost! Put small amounts of this in the dirt around your plants, and let the nutrient party begin.

For more on the art of composting, we recommend one of these Saturday morning workshops. It'll cost ya $10, unless you're a senior, a student or a TOG member, in which case it'll cost you a fiver. But regardless of cost, don't your plants deserve the love? If the plants could talk, they'd thank you.


Corporate Evil

D.W. Gregory's Radium Girls
7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21
Tucson High Little Theatre, 400 N. Second Ave.
$8
225-5326

Let's face it: Some corporations do some heinous things to their employees. Take the case of Tucson's Brush Ceramics, where numerous workers have gotten ill from exposure to beryllium, with at least one employee dying as a result. The more things change, the more things sadly stay the same. This is a lesson to be learned from D.W. Gregory's Radium Girls, currently in its second week of a two-week run at Tucson High. The play, based on a true story, starts off during World War I, when young women go to work at a factory, where they paint watch faces and instrument dials with radium. The corporate bosses have a suggestion to make the work go smoother: The women should "point" the tips of the brushes with their mouths. It's perfectly safe, they're told. Of course, this is horribly wrong, and some lose their lives because of it--but not before seeking justice against the company.

Art Almquist, the Tucson High Magnet School Fine Arts director of theater, says the play is quite moving.

"One of the first things is that it reminds us of the human element in stories like this," he says.

Almquist says that although the play takes place in the 1910s and '20s, it could just as easily take place today. During the buildup to the performances, Almquist says, a doctor and a lawyer, among other professionals, came to talk to the students about the issues dealt with in the play.

The proud teacher says his 30 students--including 21 performers and nine crew members--had a terrific first week. But don't take his word for it; check out the kids' hard work for yourself. Be advised that the Tucson High Little Theatre holds only about 140, according to Almquist, so reservations are advised.

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