Desert Diamond Lucky Break talent show
8 p.m., Saturdays
Desert Diamond Casino Monsoon Nightclub
7350 S. Nogales Highway
So you want to be the next Kelly Clarkson or Kris Allen—or maybe you just want to be on TV. Either way, now is your chance.
Mike Ousley has been producing Lucky Break television shows in various markets around the country for eight years, and he said he's excited about the Tucson show, Desert Diamond Lucky Break.
"We are off to a tremendous start. We have great partners, which makes all of the difference," said Ousley.
With the help of KOLD Channel 13, Desert Diamond Casino and KIIM FM 99.5, Ousley will give one individual the opportunity to win $10,000 and an audition with record-company executives.
"Right now, we have over 400 contestants, and people are still signing up to come and audition," said Ousley.
Every week, a panel of judges will randomly select 20 to 30 individuals to audition in person. After the preliminary auditions, finalists will be chosen to sing on TV and compete to make it to the next round.
"One contestant is chosen as the winner for each round by the judges, and another contestant from that week can go to the next round as well, due to the audience's text votes," explained Ousley.
A total of 18 contestants will make it to the semifinals; then, each week, contestants will be eliminated. In the end, one winner will end up with $10,000 and that audition with record-company executives.
People interested in auditioning can sign up at kiimfm.com through Nov. 10. According to Ousley, any names that didn't get called for an audition will roll over into January, and perhaps another season.
Desert Diamond Lucky Break shoots live every Saturday at 8 p.m.; admission is free. The show airs on KOLD-Channel 13 Saturday nights at 10:35 p.m. —K.M.
Art Terrain grand opening
6 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2
Art Terrain Gallery
519 N. Fourth Ave.
Joe Pagac is revered for his murals around Tucson, but the artist is now returning to canvas work for the first time in nearly six years—in preparation for the grand opening of a new art studio.
His paintings on the side of the Rialto Theatre and Bookmans, for which Pagac has received a slew of local admiration, were recently stopped due to alleged sign-code violations.
"It was a mother whose kid asked what pornography was when he saw The New Pornographers (mural)," explained Pagac. "She filed a formal complaint with the city demanding that it be taken down."
Since Pagac's mural jobs were tapering off, the timing of his meeting Tucson graffiti artist Rock Martinez could not have been more kismet. After a chance encounter during a live-painting gig at the Tucson Museum of Art, Martinez invited Pagac to join him as a business partner at his Fourth Avenue studio.
Pagac is now reacquainting himself with boundless creative freedom, and is churning out beautiful, whimsical paintings for the upcoming show, using his trademark medium: house paint. He has drawn inspiration from the very street on which the gallery is located, by using one of Fourth Avenue's transients as a model for one of his pieces.
Martinez's artwork consists of lush, colorful images, using spray paint on canvas, and is all done freehand.
Donovan White, whose art you may have seen at Che's Lounge, and photographer Omer Kresso have joined Pagac and Martinez to create a team of artists varied in mediums and personalities to create a space that, even in its early stages, is already attracting Tucsonans.
"We have people walking in all day watching and chatting," said Pagac. "It's like living the artist's dream.
Admission to the grand opening is free. —E.A.
Illusionist Michael Howell's Magic Factory
7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2
Berger Performing Arts Center1200 W. Speedway Blvd.
Fantasy and reality will merge to reveal a new perception of the truth—or at least that's what is being promised by illusionist Michael Howell at his Magic Factory performance, presented by the Arizona Rose Theatre Company.
"When I was 2 years old, I got into performing with my family's theater company, the Arizona Rose Theatre Company. I saw a magician, Mark Bond, who did a bird illusion—and after that, I was really turned on," explained Howell.
At 15, Howell entered the state magic competition at the Berger Performing Arts Center and won second place, which helped him to get where he is today.
He said he has 250 illusions in his show; some of the illusions that will be performed include dove appearances, spaceships and the metamorphosis (made famous by Harry Houdini).
"I am also a horse trainer and animal trainer," said Howell. "I am planning on making my horse appear onstage, and I am working on premiering the straightjacket escape."
His is a family-friendly show, and he said he tries to make it more personal by inviting the audience to do certain tricks: "I actually make a few of the audience members appear."
To make his show a little different from those of other illusionists, Howell will have three dancers onstage to keep it exciting—so the action never stops.
Howell said he really wants to create happiness for others: "If I can put a smile on one person's face, then I have done my job."
Tickets are $10, or $8 for children younger than 12. Visit the website for more information. —K.M.
Thursday, Sept. 30, through Sunday, Oct. 3
Hi Corbett Field
3400 E. Camino Campestre
Since 100 percent of the proceeds from the ninth annual Tucson Oktoberfest are fed back into local Optimist Clubs, supporting your community may be a better chaser to a belly full of bratwurst than a stein of beer. (I said maybe.)
"We're a civic organization that has done a lot for the city of Tucson and the state of Arizona for the last 60 years," said event coordinator Tom Hogan. "We're volunteers; no one gets paid."
Optimist Club (not to be confused with the Thursday night Club Congress dance party) is an international nonprofit club that supports underprivileged youth. The club's endeavors include youth-scholarship opportunities, reading programs and a campaign to aid children with cancer.
This year's family event follows the club's tradition of cutting back on the focus of drinking—which is the point of the majority of Oktoberfest celebrations—and focusing mainly on food, music, arts and crafts and an abundance of activities for children.
"This event is truly a community event," said Hogan.
While the event is less focused on beer, coordinators won't deny patrons of the traditional Oktoberfest beverage. Beer tents will be serving Paulaner Oktoberfest, Paulaner Hefewiezen, Miller Lite and St. Pauli Girl beers.
The event includes traditional German fare, including bratwurst and sauerkraut, and other international food booths, including Irish and Greek varieties. Entertainment includes the Hofbrauhaus Band and Tucson Fire Pipes and Drums.
The four-day event will run Sept. 30 through Oct. 3. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door for $3 per day, or $9.95 for a four-day pass. Visit the website for exact hours. —E.A.