A Sense of Wonder: A Celebration of Children and Nature
5:30 to 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 29
Fox Tucson Theatre
17 W. Congress St.
In some unknown vortex, Norman Rockwell could be sitting in silent tears as he paints the modern American family—the mother on her Blackberry, the father at his laptop, the boys sitting in front of the latest version of Halo, the daughter Facebooking. Somewhere in the background sits the debris of a takeout dinner.
With the increased use of electronic devices, children are getting dangerously disconnected from the great outdoors. The Center for Children and Nature hopes to change that, and is asking for community support to further the organization's efforts.
"Kids don't do anywhere near the amount of outdoor activities as they used to," remarked Lee Gutowski, the publicist for CCN. "We're giving kids the opportunity to learn about the most urban and backcountry ecology of the region."
CCN works with children age 12 to 18 to reacquaint them with their natural surroundings by leading field trips to Mount Lemmon and surrounding parks, camping and teaching about nature survival and the fragile ecosystems of the Arizona desert.
Prescott College and Ironwood Tree Experience have collaborated to expand CCN (founded by Suzanne and Eric Dhruv) into a program accessible to youth from all economic backgrounds.
"They try to make it as affordable as possible," said Gutowski. "They're hoping to raise enough money to give kids who really want to participate, but can't scrape up enough cash, scholarship money to do so."
Activities at the fundraiser include a screening of the film Silent Spring, an adaptation of the book by Rachael Carson; food catered by Café 54; and entertainment by radio personalities Petey Mesquitey and Ed Eberlein.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for attendees 12 to 18 years old. —E.A.
Seventh Annual Alley Cat Bicycle Scavenger Hunt
10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 30
El Grupo Clubhouse
439 N. Sixth Ave.
The Alley Cat Bicycle Scavenger Hunt has it all: raffles, prizes, friendly competition and a smattering of jigsaw puzzles and riddles along the way. If you are looking for a fun way to add some physical activity to a party- and/or candy-filled Halloween weekend, look no further.
"We have a blast putting this thing together. We kind of spend all year discovering really cool things in town that maybe we hadn't noticed before. We come up with really fun riddles and put those together throughout the course of the year," event organizer Daniela Diamente said.
The hunt is a fundraiser for El Grupo Cycling, a nonprofit youth-cycling club originally founded by Diamente's husband, Ignacio Rivera de Rosales.
"El Grupo is about riding for physical fitness, explained Diamente. "It is about outreach, about teaching kids the importance of riding a bike for your health, but also for the environment. ... We do a number of outreach things."
Participants will gather into teams and be given a map with riddles on the back. Each riddle will correspond with a certain intersection, and when the riddle is solved, it will lead to a bin filled with puzzle pieces. The team members must then find the puzzle pieces with their number on it. Finally, when a team has solved all the riddles, the members must then assemble their puzzle to complete the hunt.
The event will start at the parking lot of El Grupo Clubhouse and end at the Cereal Boxx, where raffle prizes will be doled out. The entry fee is $10 —E.B.
QTango Orchestra in concert
8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 30
2970 N. Swan Road
This weekend, Albuquerque, N.M.'s QTango Orchestra will bring passion for the Argentinean tango to a dance stage under the night sky, creating an enjoyable evening for tango veterans and beginners alike.
QTango claims to be the largest tango orchestra in North America and performs classics from the 1930s and beyond, led by Erskine Maytorena, a second-generation opera and tango singer. The orchestra boasts an array of artists playing instruments including strings, clarinet and bandoneón. Nine members of the 16-piece orchestra are slated to play at the Tucson show; most tango shows are played by a duo of performers.
"It's a show that's going to encourage social dancing," said Jonathan Holden, producer of Rhythm and Roots, which is putting on the concert. "I was approached by the tango community here in Tucson ... They want to dance to this music, and to bring this kind of a dance floor and orchestra to them should be amazing."
A wood parquet dance floor is being brought in to create a true tango experience. When coupled with the open-air venue, it should create a rare dance experience for Tucsonans.
"When the sun goes down and the stars come out, it's like a dance club under the stars," Holden said.
A DJ will play Latin music before and after the QTango performance, and a pre-concert dinner is available at Bella Luna.
Tickets are $22 in advance and can be purchased at Antigone Books, all Bookmans locations, the Grey Dog Trading Company or www.rhythmandroots.org. Admission will be $25 at the door. —E.A.
The Color Purple
Tuesday, Nov. 2, through Sunday, Nov. 7
Tucson Music Hall
260 S. Church Ave.
The Color Purple has gone through almost every media rendition known to man.
What started as a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker headed to the big screen in a film directed by Steven Spielberg that was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and five Golden Globes.
The story also was made into in a BBC 4 radio adaption. In 2005, the story hit the Broadway stage as a musical.
"This is just the latest iteration. It is an uplifting story," said Broadway in Tucson's Mario Di Vetta.
The story follows the story of Celie, an impoverished black woman struggling with issues of racism, classism and sexism in Georgia in the early 1900s.
Di Vetta said that some initially questioned how the story would work as a musical, but the tale's strong emotions are readily communicated by song and great music.
"The story is about a woman who has so many obstacles. What is nice about the musical version is it is told through great music. It has gospel, jazz, blues and pop," Di Vetta said. "They have a little bit of everything, and it is nice, because most Broadway shows don't have jazz and blues; they don't have gospel. This show has it all, and amazing talented singers. And the songs are about female empowerment."
The musical's first national tour lasted three years. Broadway in Tucson is bringing the play to Southern Arizona as part of second national tour.
"The tagline for this musical version is 'The Musical About Love.' So that's essentially what it is about: Love triumphs. It sounds cliché, but it's true," Di Vetta said.
Adult tickets cost $30 to $75. —E.B.