Hey, women! Did you know that it's Women's History Month? Not only that, but on the day this paper officially hits the streets, it will be International Women's Day. The day has been celebrated since 1911, when more than 1 million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland joined together to rally for women's rights and to end discrimination.
International Women's Day is an official holiday in Armenia, Russia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan and a lot of other countries. Obviously, we've come a long way since 1911: Women can not only vote, but they can also be astronauts, wrestlers and mayors--and one might even be president! That's all the more reason to recognize the huge progress we've made in the past century, and to prepare ourselves for all the progress we're going to make in the next one.
To help us do that, local South American women's boutique Toque de Pasión will host an International Women's Day fiesta this weekend. The party will include a South American fashion show, Peruvian refreshments, a personal appearance by Brazilian designer Juliana Queiroga and live entertainment by the Brazilian dance and percussion ensemble Batucaxé. There will also be a drawing for apparel and jewelry from Toque de Pasión--and all attendees will get a free gift (which, I think, may have something to do with fashion).
Admission to the event will be $45 per person (but kids younger than 10 are free). The money raised will benefit the Pima County/Tucson Women's Commission, an official agency that protects the rights of local women, and Adelante, Nuestro Futuro, a nonprofit that promotes health and education among young Chicanas and Latinas. --A.M.
Looking for a way to celebrate the green in you? Even if you aren't the least bit Irish, maybe you are excited to don some shamrocks in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day. If so, the ultimate St. Patrick's Day kickoff celebration can be found at the Fox Tucson Theatre, featuring the festive tunes of bands Round the House and Oceans Apart.
A fun night of Celtic entertainment will also include Guinness and other Irish beverages, and lively step dancing from former Riverdance lead Darren Maguire and others.
"It's going to be a feast of Irish music," says Round the House vocalist Claire Zucker. "It's just going to be a party, green and fun."
Zucker says her local traditional band invited Phoenix-based Oceans Apart to perform because of their vocal harmony and sound incorporated with pipes and flutes.
Oceans Apart will start the evening with interspersed performances by Maguire and dancers from his Maguire Academy of Irish Dance; Round the House will perform later. Zucker says this will be a rare opportunity to see former Riverdance lead Maguire perform.
Round the House just returned home from Colorado and Texas tours; the latter included one of the top five Irish festivals in the country. The band also just released their third album, which has already received great reviews, says Zucker.
Zucker says people attending the kickoff celebration should arrive on time to receive a special surprise at 7:20 p.m.
"We want to make it very special for our Irish community," says Zucker.
The celebration is open to all, Irish or not. Tickets are available at the Fox box office and can be purchased two hours before the show. Prices range between $14 and $30. --K.H.
As we know, the Tucson Audubon Society is all about birds. But it's not only about birds--those Audubon Society folks happen to love all animals that fly, including bats. And at their March meeting, they'll share their enthusiasm for flying mammals with the rest of us as they host a lecture by Dr. Ronnie Sidner, one of Tucson's leading bat experts.
Sidner has been working with Arizona bats for 27 years, ever since she first came into contact with them in Flagstaff during one fateful grad-school mammalogy field trip. "We set nets and captured some bats, and the species we caught were these little tiny ones, and that just kind of did it for me," she says. "I saw them up close and learned about them and was just enthralled. They're all cute, even the big ones. And they're one of the most interesting groups of mammals."
Dr. Sidner's lecture will include bat calls, photographs and video clips, and will cover all kinds of bat-related subjects, from their living and eating habits to their biology and ecology. She'll stress the importance of leaving bats alone in their natural roosts--because besides habitat loss, human disturbance is the biggest danger to bats around the world. She'll also answer some commonly asked questions about the animal and share lots of little-known facts ... but she won't tell me which ones. In fact, she answers my own inquiries with: "Why don't you come to my talk?"
Whatever the specifics of the lecture are, it's bound to be interesting. Plus, it's free! Visit the Society online for more information. --A.M.
As a kid, did you ever want to make objects disappear or cut someone--unharmed--in half? Or did you ever want to be a comedian and make people laugh? Did you ever dream about combining the two to create a humorous magic show?
Award-winning comedy magician Norm Marini has been appearing at The Gaslight Theatre, as well as Laffs Comedy Club and the Temple of Music and Art, with his entertaining show It's Magic for about 10 years.
"It's the longest-running magic show in Tucson," says Marini, who has been featured in City Week numerous times over the years.
The Las Vegas-style show is a full hour-and-a-half of illusions in which Marini uses his wit to provoke laughs, as well as dazzle the audience with his tricks. Marini says that his partner, Gene Collins, performs dove illusions and cuts his wife, Charlene, in half at least two or three different ways!
The middle portion of the show features young magician Matthew McArthur and his dove-illusion act. McArthur is the winner of the Society of American Magicians' national contest, says Marini.
"It's for the whole family," says Marini.
Marini been declared Stage Magician of the Year three times in Tucson and has also performed his show on Carnival Cruises and at The Magic Castle in Hollywood, Calif.
If you're in for some magic, a round of good laughs or both, It's Magic will surely satisfy your craving. Tickets can be purchased by calling The Gaslight Theatre; ticket prices range between $11 and $14. Prepare to laugh and be amazed! --K.H.