Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg reading
7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15
7119 N. Oracle Road
More than seven years ago, Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg was in the throes of advanced breast cancer. It was one of the most challenging times of her life, she says—including six months of chemotherapy and three major surgeries, all while trying to take care of three young children and dealing with her father's death from pancreatic cancer.
But Mirriam-Goldberg got through it by uniting with her community and turning to the natural world for inspiration. She also got through it by writing.
The result is her new memoir, The Sky Begins at Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community and Coming Home to the Body, which explores, from a bioregional and ecological point of view, our bodies' connections to the people, animals, plants, sky and earth around us, and what those connections can do during a serious illness.
Despite its somber subject matter, the book shows its author's sense of humor—after her cancer was cured, for example, Mirriam-Goldberg hosted a party at which she served all kinds of breast-shaped food. (Maybe the poet should attend the art-show reception this weekend at Bohemia.)
Mirriam-Goldberg will read from her memoir, as well as from her fourth collection of poetry, Landed, this Friday at Silverbell Trading, as well as at 10 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 17, at Temple Emanu-El, 225 N. Country Club Road, and at 2 p.m., Sunday, at the Historic Y, 738 N. Fifth Ave.
"All of us will have losses and challenges," says Mirriam-Goldberg, "and all of us, if we're lucky, will cultivate love and respect for our bodies as they're changing and aging. ... Both of these books explore the way we do that through our connections to the earth, each other and our own bodies."
All of the readings are free. —A.M.
Art Garfunkel performing with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra
7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 16
Tucson Music Hall
210 S. Church Ave.
Art Garfunkel was one of the most-loved singers of the '60s—and he's still singing strong. In fact, some say he's better than ever.
These days, when he's not signing with Paul Simon on their reunion tour, Garfunkel likes to perform with an entire orchestra backing him up, as he did on many of his best recordings.
If you missed Simon and Garfunkel in their glory days (or even if you didn't), don't miss the chance to see Garfunkel this Saturday with our very own Tucson Symphony Orchestra. The two-hour concert will feature 20 songs, including his solo sensations "Bright Eyes," "A Heart in New York" and "I Only Have Eyes for You"—plus a bunch of Simon and Garfunkel hits, from "The Sound of Silence" to "Mrs. Robinson."
TSO conductor George Hanson is psyched, says Terry Marshall, TSO's public relations manager. Hanson grew up listening to Simon and Garfunkel, and though he may be an orchestra conductor, he's also a major pop fan.
Of course, Garfunkel loves orchestra music. His latest album, Some Enchanted Evening, is a musical celebration of the 20th century's greatest songwriters, including Rodgers and Hammerstein and George Gershwin.
According to Marshall, Garfunkel can't remember ever having played in Tucson, so this week's concert may be his debut here. He's already played with orchestras across the country.
"This is a great opportunity to hear one of the greatest voices of '60s pop performing songs like they were originally performed—with a symphony," says Marshall. This doesn't happen every day—or every season. ... And I'm sure the entire orchestra is looking forward to it."
Tickets cost $35 to $75 and are available at tucsonsymphony.org; the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office, 2175 N. Sixth Ave.; or by phone. —A.M.
7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; 2 p.m., Sunday, through Jan. 30
Arid Rose Theater
1859 W. Grant Road
Have you ever had an epiphany about the frustrations of modern life—after being clobbered with a food item?
Laughing Wild, a hilarious—if somewhat disturbing—play by Christopher Durang, may or may not actually deliver any epiphanies. But it does revolve around a violent tuna-can incident that incites a lot of commentary from its two characters on life and the high-anxiety world we live in. And it will certainly make you think (as well as laugh).
The play begins with a half-hour monologue by its slightly insane female character, who describes a situation at the grocery store: She was trying to buy some tuna, but a man was blocking the aisle—so she hit him on the head with a tuna can. She then rambles about the perils of urban American life, covering subjects from taxi drivers and street musicians to her enmity toward Mother Teresa.
In the next part of the play, the tuna-can assault victim gets to tell his version of the story, and he expounds on nuclear waste, the rigidity of the Catholic Church, AIDS and other fun subjects.
The final act unfolds as a nonsensical dream sequence involving a re-creation of the grocery-store encounter that morphs into an episode of Sally Jessy Raphael featuring the Infant of Prague as a guest. We won't spoil the ending.
Laughing Wild will be put on this month by Tucson's new Arid Rose Theater, starring Sean Zackson and Caroline Reed.
"This is a very difficult play to do," says Zackson, "but it's so much fun—and the audience is really going to be laughing. Even though the play shows reality and truth, there's always a glimmer of humor."
Admission is $10; funds will help Arid Rose open its space for use by local artists and musicians. —A.M.
Boobs, Funbags and Other Strange Works
Opening reception: 7 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 16
Exhibit on display 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday and Monday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, through Wednesday, Feb. 10
2920 E. Broadway Blvd.
The female body has drawn the admiration of artists for centuries—but it's probably never been captured quite like it has in Tucson artist Melissa Daye's new series of paintings devoted to boobs.
Daye's boob series began with a piece featuring a creature with a rabbit's head and big human breasts. Her husband and his friends talked about that painting for weeks—and they weren't talking about the head.
Daye thought, hey—breasts are fun to look at; maybe people will appreciate a whole series of paintings of them. Now, Daye has more than a dozen works completed and ready to be viewed by appreciative art connoisseurs and gawking eyes alike.
The show's opening reception this Saturday at Bohemia will be appropriately boob-themed. It will be catered with exquisite, breast-shaped pastries, including flesh-colored mini-cupcakes and round tarts with special jam fillings adorned by, well nipple-esque toppings. To put you at ease while you're looking at all those breasts in public, local band the Awkward Moments will play experimental, accordion-driven folk music. And there'll be beer and wine to help ease the real awkward moments you may experience if you go to the show with a parent or a first date.
Daye had a lot of fun making her breast paintings, but she says she's glad to move on to other themes now that they're completed.
"I'm sick of looking at porn magazines for inspiration," Daye says.
And, she notes, this series wasn't politically motivated.
"I'm not even a boob gal," says Daye. "But my paintings make me giggle, and I hope they make others giggle, too."
The reception is free. —A.M.