Who doesn't appreciate well-composed music? Thanks to the Pima Community College Center for the Arts, everyone can experience a wonderful afternoon of cello this weekend.
Judith Pottle will be leading the concert. She holds a doctorate in psychology and decided to revisit her love of music after a 35-year hiatus; she is now working toward an associate's degree in music at Pima.
"This will be a special performance, because Judith is a student, and it is rare to see a student lead a musical performance," says event coordinator LeighAnn Sotomayor.
According to PCC music faculty member Mark Nelson, "Judith is a special case, because despite her coming back to music after retirement, she remains at the top. It is rare to see a student lead a performance the way she will."
Nelson says Pottle has invited some close friends to perform alongside her. Sharlyn Matthews will play the piano, and playing the clarinet will be Robert Sladky.
The program will include a variety of compositions, including Max Reger's "Suite No. 1 for Cello" solo, which, according to Nelson, is a very difficult piece that's rarely preformed. Audiences can also expect to hear "New England Suite" by Vally Weigl and "Sonota" for cello and piano by Frédéric Chopin.
The concert will take place at the PCC Center for the Arts Recital Hall. Tickets are $6, with discounts, and can be purchased at the PCC box office, which is open from noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and one hour before the performance. --L.L.
If mysteries, suspense, and twist and turns are all up your alley, then the Top Hat Theatre Club has the perfect thriller for you.
According to Top Hat's James Gooden, The Mousetrap is a great mystery that will please any and all audiences, since author Agatha Christie specializes "in mysteries that have lots of interesting characters with tons of twists and turns."
Gooden says the play is about a group of strangers stranded in a boarding house during a snow storm. The characters include a newly married couple, a spinster, an architect, a retired Army major, a judge and others. This being an Agatha Christie play, The Mousetrap is centered on the murder of one of the characters, of course.
Gooden says he thinks Christie's plays are inviting, because during the intermission, theater-goers can contemplate what they've seen and guess about the ending, all while discussing the suspenseful events amongst each other.
Gooden says Top Hat always tries to fit in one of Christie's plays each season, because Tucson audiences love her work.
"I have noticed that Agatha Christie plays always bring in a big audience." he explains.
If you've seen a Top Hat play before, then you've already seen most of the cast in action.
"The cast is the same cast as always, which is good, because the audience comes to know the cast, and it becomes a more personal experience," Gooden says.
Tickets are $16; $15 for students, seniors and military; $12 per person for groups of 10 or more; and $8 for theater-goers 12 and younger. Tickets to the Friday, March 27, preview performance are $10, and Friday, April 3, is pay-what-you-will night. Call for reservations. --L.L.
Some horses were born to work a ranch--and some were born to work a crowd.
This weekend, quarter horses and quarter-horse riders from around the Southwest will get a chance to show their skills in the Southern Arizona Quarter Horse Association's annual spring Shamrock Show.
Riders will compete in events including showmanship--the rider walks the horse through patterns, and judges inspect the horse for form and cleanliness--and trail riding, in which the horses are judged as they move through an obstacle course. Several racing and cattle-roping events will also take place.
Quarter horses--who earned the name for their speed in short, quarter-mile races--are like "compact horses," according to Jeanne Paquette, a longtime quarter-horse aficionado and treasurer of the Southern Arizona Quarter Horse Association.
"Quarter horses are a breed all to themselves," says Paquette. "There's a whole look to a quarter horse. You want minimal white; a little bit is OK, but if there's too much white on the face, that's not considered a good attribute" for the usually solid-colored animal.
Their shorter, boxy bodies allow them to make the quick moves necessary when working cattle or maneuvering trails, and their owners want to share those skills with the world.
"A lot of people like to show off their animals, to show what they can do and what nice animals they are. ... There are horses that like that; they are comfortable in an arena, but they're not comfortable out in the open."
The horse show is free all weekend. --H.S.
Theater can be a method for social activism, according to Kaylene Torregrossa, the local historian for the Vagina Warriors and the director of Any One of Us: Words From Prison.
"Performance is a really powerful tool," she says. "It's much easier for people to accept a message if it's presented in an entertaining way as opposed to being shouted from behind a podium."
Any One of Us is a collection of memoirs and poetry written in workshops by women in prison across the country. The stories illustrate how violence has affected women in prison, and how their decisions were affected by violent pasts and surroundings.
"Crimes aren't committed in a vacuum," she says. "The way the prison system is set up now, you can't really grow as a person and move beyond it."
Torregrossa, a senior in the UA drama department minoring in women's studies, says performing with the Vagina Warriors--the UA chapter of VDay, a global movement to end violence against women--changed her life. The group has been performing The Vagina Monologues for five years, but this will be the first reading of Any One of Us, which comes from the same playwright, Eve Ensler.
"It's very bare-bones and minimalistic. The focus is really on the writing and words, so the girls will have their script up there, and they'll be speaking in microphones, but it's dramatic reading."
There will be a Q&A session after the performance with the cast and with women from the Women's Re-Entry Network (WREN), an organization providing support groups for women getting out of prison and education for women in prison. Proceeds from the show will go to WREN.
Tickets are $5 in advance (e-mail to reserve) or $7 at the door. --H.S.