What happens in Oro Valley stays in Oro Valley.
OK, so maybe that Las Vegas cliché doesn't work so well for Oro Valley. Nonetheless, on Sept. 20, things are going to heat up in Tucson's northern suburb.
That's when the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council will be hosting its first car show and blues concert at one of Southern Arizona's most scenic spots: the base of Pusch Ridge.
With an anticipated 175 cars vying for first place in 18 categories, the show will house a variety of both classic and contemporary vehicles. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., spectators are invited to check out Tucson's finest automobiles while listening to oldies and indulging in barbecue. With seven food vendors catering the event, everyone is sure to find something to please the palate. And if you're feeling extra lucky, you can try your hand at a charity "poker walk."
"The best hand wins a three-day, two-night stay at the Hilton El Conquistador with dinner, lunch and the whole nine yards," said GOVAC executive director Amanda Kate Marquez. All proceeds will be used to fund music and arts programs in the community.
At 4 p.m., the focus will move from classic cars to classic music, when the Bad News Blues Band takes the stage.
"Anyone of any age will find something at this festival, whether it's the food, music or cars," said Marquez.
Admission into the car show and concert is $5 per person; kids 10 and younger get in for free.
It's $25 to pre-register a car in the show, and $30 to register on the day of the event. To pre-register, fill out a registration form at govac.org. --M.N.
Slam-poet Taylor Mali said that if he had a dollar for every time someone told him that his/her significant other dragged him/her to one of his poetry readings, expecting to hate it--and eventually loved every minute of it--he would have ... $126.
"I love reminding people or teaching people what poetry can be," Mali said. "I love it when people come up to me after a reading and say, 'I never thought poetry could be like that.'"
Mali will be performing in Tucson as the keynote speaker at the Wrangling With Writing conference, sponsored by the Society of Southwestern Authors.
A poetry slam is a competitive poetry reading judged by five randomly selected members of the audience, Mali explained. Mali said he got into slam poetry during his graduate school years at Kansas State University. The first poetry slam he went to was in the early '90s at a strip club called the Flamingo Exotic Dance and Catering Lounge in Lawrence, Kan.
He was hooked.
"On the third Monday of every month, the dancers would have the night off, and we'd go and take the stage to reveal ourselves in a different way," Mali said.
Mali has been on Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry three times, won the National Poetry Slam championship four times, and wrote a one-man show called Teacher! Teacher! which won the jury prize for best solo performance at the 2001 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. However, he counts none of these as his greatest achievement: "My greatest poetic achievement is that I have no other job."
The dinner with Mali costs $35 for individuals or $60 per couple. To make reservations, call Barbara Stahura at 575-9650 by Wednesday, Sept. 24. --C.C.
According to Deborah Klingenfus, this is the year of the woman.
With the media obsessing over high-profile politicians like Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, some have wrongly assumed that Klingenfus' Celebrating Women! show has an underlying political or social message.
"My show is coming out in such a politically charged environment," Klingenfus said. "But, really, this is meant to be a fun, light evening, celebrating all the great things about being a girl."
Klingenfus' all-women cast will be performing songs from Broadway hits like Mamma Mia!, Chicago and Hairspray.
Gaslight Theatre's Sarah Vanek, Rebecca Carlson and Nancy LaViola will sing and dance alongside Klingenfus, who both produced and stars in the concert. Saxophonist and flutist Carla Brownlee and pianist Linda Ackermann will accompany the quartet.
The musical arrangements in Celebrating Women! signify the growth of a female from the naivety of childhood into the strength of womanhood, Klingenfus said.
"At some point, we realize that life is not a fairytale, but we can still love and be independent," Klingenfus said.
For the first time in her career at the Gaslight Theatre, Klingenfus said, she and her cast will drop the stereotypical, black-and-white roles of melodrama, and present themselves as multifaceted women with both personality and choice.
"This is more than just celebrating women in general; it's about celebrating me and my friends," Klingenfus said.
While the show focuses on women, Klingenfus said that men are welcome, too--and for those who love Quentin Tarantino films, Celebrating Women! will feature a song from the Kill Bill soundtrack.
Tickets for this event are $18.95, with group discounts available --M.N.
Dominick DeCarlo was introduced to hypnosis when he was about 7 years old, when he ordered a hypnosis kit from a gag-gift catalog.
"During slumber parties, I remember going around and saying, 'You are getting sleeeeepy,'" DeCarlo said.
DeCarlo later became a believer in hypnosis after seeing a show at the Arizona State Fair with his family. DeCarlo reluctantly watched performer Susan Rosen hypnotize 12 members of the audience; he was convinced they were planted.
When he met Rosen after the show, she told him to come back the next night and see her hypnotize 12 different people. He saw the show seven times and was finally convinced she was actually hypnotizing the audience.
Rosen became his mentor, and he followed her to resorts in Cancún, Mexico, in 1997, where he began to learn the art of stage hypnosis. He developed his own act and performed in Cancún for nine months.
DeCarlo, a media arts graduate of the UA, has since developed his entertainment into HYPNOVIDEO (no, we're not yelling at you; the word is in all-caps).
"I've created a new genre of entertainment that uses hypnotized people ... while using multidimensional effects such as lights, sound, videos, photography and special effects," DeCarlo said.
Whereas a normal hypnotist might hypnotize audience members into believing they are cold, in HYPNOVIDEO, DeCarlo will not only hypnotize the participants into becoming cold, but will show an image of an iceberg, use a smoke machine to create fog and play "Cold as Ice" by Foreigner.
"It's a Las Vegas extravaganza; it's not your mainstream stage-hypnosis show where people are just given crazy suggestions, and that's it," DeCarlo said. "I'm bringing an element of multidimension to the show."
Admission is free. --C.C.