City Week
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Thursday 11

DAS RHEINGOLD. Arizona Opera opens its 1996 season with a full-length production of Wagner's Das Rheingold, the first in the Der Ring des Nibelungen tetralogy, sung in German with English subtitles. We tried to find out how one sings in subtitles, but were unable to get a straight answer. The dynamic score celebrates the mythical tale of a greedy dwarf, lustful gods and a powerful ring. Colorful costumes and phenomenal projected scenery combine with an otherwise minimalistic set design for a powerful, imaginative production. The Phoenix Symphony Orchestra performs.

Das Rheingold shines at 7:30 tonight and Saturday, January 13, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, January 14, at the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets range from $19 to $61, available at the TCC and Dillard's box offices. Call 791-4836 to charge tickets; or call 293-4336 for information the Arizona Opera season.

pix WHAT'S COOKIN'. "The salsa was the most challenging," says Donna Nordin, co-owner of Café Terra Cotta and author of Contemporary Southwest: The Café Terra Cotta Cookbook. She's talking about adapting the recipes--some Terra Cotta standards and menu items that have since fallen by the wayside. "Cutting the recipes down to portions suitable from home use, like changing five gallons of salsa into one or two cups was really frustrating at times." Her labors have resulted in a colorful collection of user-friendly recipes. "It's a smattering of what we do," she hints. Nordin, who's also been instrumental in operating Tohono Chul Park's Tea Room since it opened in 1987, returns to the park this evening with a delectable program for amateur gourmands which will include the preparation and sampling of grilled duck breast with mole, corn risotto, arroz verde ( a spicy rice dish with puree of cilantro, poblano and jalapeño, and a delicate, chocolate dessert she calls "Saguaro pâté."

A sampling of dried-spice "creative condiments" from Café Terra Cotta is offered from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Gift Gallery, followed this evening by Cooking the Contemporary Southwest, a demonstration by Nordin, at 7 p.m. in the park's Wilson Room. Cost is $5 for members, $8 for non-members. Call for 742-6455 for reservations, as space is limited.

Friday 12

BLUES HORN RIPS AND SALSA. A "powerhouse blues and jazz weekend" opens tonight with a first-time Tucson appearance by class act from Minneapolis, R.J. Mischo and His Red Hot Blues Band, with an unnamed special guest opening the show. The swing blues set heats up at 8:30 tonight. Saturday's line-up features be-bop jazz by the Ed Ulman Quartet with Mary Redhouse; and the "Have Mercy" Percy Strother Band takes over on Sunday, with a repeat performance by the Red Hot Blues Band. All shows start at 8:30 p.m. at Pappy's Lounge, 375 S. Stone Ave. Cover is $3 tonight and Saturday, $5 Sunday. Call 882-8908 for information.

And if your inclined to take a more participatory approach, step into the Santa Rita Ballroom, 120 S. Sixth Ave., for almost-free salsa dance lessons at 8 tonight only. Raphael Moreno and Descarga provide the music and instruction. Cover is $4 at the door. Dance lessons are $1 more.


Saturday 13

RAW TALENT. There's a new show opening with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. at Raw Gallery, and you won't want to miss it. Artists Joe Forkan and Heather Green have contributed an impressive collection of large-scale paintings to the intimate gallery tucked away on Sixth Avenue between Congress Street and Broadway. Forkan, a regular contributor to The Weekly, finishes out a decade of painting and illustration since his student days at the UA with a provocative series of "multi-image commentaries and observations" combining still life, photographic and borrowed images in visually stunning compositions riddled with metaphor. "The idea was to create something that resonates rather than something that's easily explainable," he says.

Green, also a UA fine arts graduate, celebrates her debut gallery show with renderings in oil on canvas she describes as "paintings influenced by travel and impossibilities."

The show continues through February 10 at Raw Gallery, 43 S. Sixth Ave. Regular gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Downtown Saturday Night and Thursday Art Walk. Call 882-6927 for information.

BORDERLANDS THEATRE. Borderlands celebrates its 10th anniversary as a showcase for the diverse voices of the Southwest with an evening of fun featuring Diane Rodriquez's Pathway to Divadom, "a one-woman comedy about femininity, power and fat-free tamales." Rafael Moreno and Descarga spice up the celebration with hot Latin jazz. The fun begins at 7 p.m. with appetizers and a no-host bar, and continues on 'til midnight at the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Tickets are $20, available in advance from Jeff's Classical Records, Antigone Books and the Borderlands Theatre office. Call 882-7406 for tickets and information.

Sunday 14

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION. You've heard what we've had to say about the antics of the Arizona Legislature, but even our pithy commentary pales by comparison to hearing the agenda straight from the hip. Our '96 Legislature: Democracy In Action? is the topic of today's panel discussion by Arizona State Legislators, including Sen. Ruth Solomon (D-Dist. 14), Rep. Lou Ann Preble (R-Dist. 9), Rep. Andy Nichols (D-Dist. 13) and Rep. Dan Schottel (R-Dist. 12). League of Women Voters President Eugenia Ben-Isaacs moderates. Forum begins at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4831 E. 22nd St. Admission is free and audience participation is encouraged. Call 326-8064 for information.

pix KING COMMEMORATION. Even before there was an official holiday, there was an annual interfaith commemoration of the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The community gathering heads into its 11th year with the theme "Opening the Gates," an hour-long program featuring keynote speaker Silvy Edmonds, a community activist and professional financial consultant focusing on the need to develop and nurture diversity at all institutional and community leadership levels. Representatives from Tucson's Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Native American and Baha'i communities will also participate; and winning art creations from the Anne Frank Message of Hope exhibition will be displayed. Commemoration begins at 7 p.m. at Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway.

Monday 15

KING FOR A DAY. The Southwest School of Music and Dance has assembled a "performance potpourri" in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., sure to be one of the coolest shows this year. Karen Goulding, principal violist for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and a teacher at the school, has orchestrated, so to speak, an imaginative program combining classical music, African dance and World Beat percussion. Most are professional performing artists and teachers at the school, with a roster including: musicians Brenda Buckendahl, Jim Karrer and Paula Karrer, TSO String Quartet members David Rife and Michael Russell, percussionists Brian Harris and Art Rodriquez, and African dance sensation Denise Hawthorn-Bey, with help from some of her student dancers. In addition, the Southwest School's Neighborhood Chorus, an all-ages group of local residents, gives its debut performance with a couple of spirituals.

We guarantee this is the most inspiring event you'll attend this week. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Tickets are $6, $3 for children, available at the door. Call 884-1220 for information.


Tuesday 16

MINERAL MADNESS BEGINS. The time is upon us again, where the streets are renamed, the convention center swells and rock hounds from there to here howl at our desert moon: The 42nd annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is fast approaching. The celebration begins with a free slide lecture spotlighting this year's featured mineral, calcite, the colorful constituent found in limestone and marble. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum-sponsored program includes specimens from the Museum's permanent mineral collection, with the hard facts on the history and uses of this common crystal. Lecture begins at 7 p.m. at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society's clubhouse, 3727 E. Blacklidge Drive. Call 883-3018 for information.

Wednesday 17

GREAT DECISIONS. Great Decisions, a non-partisan program offering study groups, seminars and community forums on topical foreign and domestic policy issues, kicks off its 1996 series with a spirited discussion of terrorism, led by UA Political Science doctoral candidate Jeff Corntassel, with opening words by former Tucson Mayor and UA professor of political science, Tom Volgy.

Soften up the room with a few rounds with a buffet luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. at Hotel Park Tucson, 5151 E. Grant Road. Lecture and discussion will continue from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Cost is $16 at the door.

POETRY SLAM. Gargoyles, 3206 N. First Ave., presents poetry as you've never seen it before in this first-time Slam event featuring local poets in a come-one, come-all participatory peformance poetry extravaganza. Competing poets are limited to one original work less than three minutes in length, with a crack team of judges drawn from the audience. Remaining audience members are charged with the all-important task of cheering the poets and "creating an environment where the judges must bend to the will of the people." All tongues should be placed firmly in cheek before entering the building.

The first annual Jimmy Flash Poetry Slam is a free, all-ages show starting at 9 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m. Call 690-1930 for information.

City Week includes events selected by Calendar Editor Mari Wadsworth. Event information is accurate as of press time. The Weekly recommends calling event organizers to check for last-minute changes in location, time, price, etc.

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