City Week
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Thursday 16

NATIVE TALES. Indigenous folks have their own interpretations of the big bang that placed us so precariously in the great galactic void. Gerard Tsonakwa sheds light on that view with his Native American Storytelling and Astronomy, The Stars of Winter outdoor gathering.

An Abenaki Indian, Tsonakwa is a gifted narrator and a pretty knowledgeable chap when it comes to the night sky. He'll weave science and mythology together in the Santa Catalina Mountains, using telescope, binocular and the naked eye.

All ages are welcome, and warm clothes are highly recommended, along with a flashlight, binoculars and a blanket. Event runs from 6:45 to 10 p.m. at a location to be announced. Cost is $33 per person, with reservations required. For information, call 887-2340.

CUL-DE-SAC BLUES. Tim, Buff, Sooze and Beebee spend their nights getting stoned, munching Oreos and recalling good times in the shadows of a convenience store. It's a mindless existence as lives go, until a former high-school mate, now a popular rock star, shows up to make bitter waves in Eric Bogosian's acclaimed subUrbia, presented by the Upstairs Theater Company.

Called "Chekov high on speed and Twinkies" by The New York Times, the drama catches the rage and despair of a rootless generation. Newsweek says "SubUrbia makes the angry young men of the '50s seem like greeting card writers. A scarifying dissection of youthful disillusion that manages to be both appalling and appealing."

Director Anthony Runfola says it's a tale "that can reach a younger audience that normally ignores the theatre...Young people have been hanging out at the corner store for generations. The only thing that's changed over the years are the clothes and the music."

Show times are 8 p.m. through Sunday, January 26, with a 2 o'clock matinee the final day, at the Tucson Center for the Performing Arts, 408 S. Sixth Ave. Tickets are $5 for tonight's preview, and $10 for remaining performances, with a $4 discount for students. For reservations, call 791-2263.

SPANISH TEARS. With the quick stroke of a pen in 1492, Spanish Jews were forced to abandon 1,500 years of tradition and become either exiles or Christian converts. This medieval ethnic cleansing prompted half to leave, the other half to stay and adopt a foreign religion. Called "conversos," they nonetheless continued practicing Judaism in secret, establishing a lifestyle that still exists today.

Simcha Jacobovici's documentary Expulsion and Memory captures the sacrifice and triumph of those Spanish Jews. With stunning footage shot in Spain, Portugal, Canada and the United States, it also charts the memories still haunting their existence.

Jacobovici will be on hand to discuss his work at 7 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road. A screening of Expulsion and Memory follows, opening the Jewish Film Festival, running today through Thursday, January 23, at the center. Tickets for tonight's film are $15, $12 with the purchase of series tickets. Cost for the entire series is $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students. Call 299-3000 for information.

Friday 17

HARMONY ON HIGH. When it's real music you want--the kind of belting, raucous renditions that have you clutching your pacemaker--gospel's the word. And that word comes to town this week in the form of award-winning Willie Neal Johnson and his Gospel Keynotes, in a repeat of 1995's riveting appearance.

The show's at 7:30 p.m. in the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, $5 for kids ages 12 and under, and available at Al's Barber Shop, Antigone Books, Gospel Supplies, Hopkins Barber Shop and Imani's. For details, call 322-2032.

WORD WRANGLERS. Author Tony Hillerman, chronicler of Native American life through his tightly written mysteries set on the Navajo-Hopi reservation, is the keynote fiction speaker at the Wrangling With Writing conference, sponsored by the Society of Southwest Authors.

Writer's Digest editor-in-chief Tom Clark and Bill Brohaugh, editor of the Writer's Digest book division, will keynote the non-fiction portion of the conference. Several book and magazine editors and publishers will be on hand to answer questions, with 20 workshops covering nearly every strategy for landing your own work in print.

Conference runs today and tomorrow at the Quality Hotel, 475 Granada Ave. Cost is $175, $125 for SSA members. Call 296-5562 for information.

Saturday 18

COSY UP. Telluride Bluegrass Festival award-winner Cosy Sheridan makes her Tucson debut tonight at the Southwest Center for Music (See the feature in this week's Music section). She'll be accompanied by songwriter TR Ritchie. The duo of Don Charles and Deb Gessner open the show.

Sheridan takes aim at such topical subjects as gender stereotyping, substance abuse, even pet neutering--and yet still finds room to throw in classic love tunes. She's pushing her fourth album, this time a live release containing a nod to the Copper State, "Waltz for Arizona." Meanwhile, Charles and Gessner, a couple of Prescott faves, will strike up the guitar, banjo, concertina and Celtic harp, tackling songs reminiscent of their stint on a Northern Arizona working ranch.

Performance is 8 p.m. in the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Tickets are $9, $8 for students, Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association, Tucson Friends of Traditional Music and KXCI members, and available at Hear's Music, Antigone Books, Zip's University and Loco Music; or by calling 327-4809.

NUCLEAR AID. It was the most devastating nuclear disaster in history, and its Russian victims will be suffering the horrific fallout for generations. Now the Ukrainian American Society of Tucson will ease a bit of the misery surrounding Chernobyl with a benefit dinner and dance celebrating the new year.

The Voloshky Dancers, a local youth troupe, will perform, while Tom Schenek's band provides the music for everyone else to hoof it up.

Event is 6:30 p.m. at the Tucson Women's Club, 6245 E. Bellevue St. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students, and available by calling 296-0085. Reservations are required.

LITTLE STEAMERS. There was that neighbor kid--we'll call him Willie--who nearly got deep-sixed for gluing a tiny train conductor to the cowcatcher and then letting 'er rip on our beloved Lionel train set so many moons ago. Out of some juvenile sense of mercy we let him live, and live on he does. Growing up to become a polished professional vandal, he now spends his time in Florence enjoying an altogether different kind of train.

Ah, but we digress. The short of it is, we're free to enjoy this weekend's Coyote Toy Train Swap Meet in the Foothills Mall, and Willie isn't. Sponsored by the mall's Gadsden-Pacific Division Toy Train Operating Museum, the meet is expected to draw scads of wee-train enthusiasts and sellers. And of course the museum's own fantastic line will be running throughout.

This free event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Foothills Mall, located at Ina Road and La Cholla Boulevard. For details, call 749-0228.

Sunday 19

ANTIQUE TUNES. Three-hundred-year-old melodies stunningly fill the air when L'antic Musica hits the stage on the UA campus. Lutenist/organist Gregory Hamilton teams up with bass baritone/lutenist Joel Frederiksen to repeat their 1994 appearance as part of the Arizona Early Music Society series.

Known for their well-crafted performances of renaissance and baroque music with highly respected groups like the Boston Camerata, Waverly Consort and Ensemble for Early Music, they'll bring their musical display--rated "excellent" by The New York Times--back to town for one show. French baroque music expert James R. Anthony will lead a discussion preceding the concert.

Performance is 3 p.m. in the Alice Holsclaw Recital Hall, in the UA Music Building at Speedway and Park Avenue. Tickets are $13, $10 for seniors and $3 for students, and available by calling 889-4310.

MISERY AND MIRTH. The Arizona Opera tackles both extremes of the human experience in a final performance of Richard Strauss' Adriadne Auf Naxos. Combining light comedy with dark despair, the work unveils backstage tensions and tempers when a rich patron insists on performing Adriadne simultaneously with a gleeful comedy. The opera's composer declares the combination a travesty, while the comically minded are willing to give it a go. The stoic composer is finally overcome by the flirtations of Zerbinetta, a perky dancer. But he soon comes to regret his wavering.

Adriadne herself later makes an appearance. A young princess abandoned by her lover, her heart is lifted by the spunky Zerbinetta, who figures that men are a dime-a-dozen lot anyhow. This ornery perspective brings Adriadne back from the edge of suicide, and she meets Bacchus, ending the drama in a love duet.

Performance is 2 p.m. in the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets range from $14 to $53, and are available at Dillard's, Centennial Hall and TCC box offices, or by calling 791-4836.

Monday 20

EDGY EXISTENCE. We think we're the ones facing constant change. Consider the native folk of the Mogollon Rim, who in the 14th century were endlessly switching addresses, architecture, even ways of life. Barbara Mills, director of the UA Archeological Field School, reflects on those ancient shifting tides with Living on the Edge of the Rim: Pueblo IV Communities in the Silver Creek Area.

The UA has conducted surveys of the area since 1993, along with archaeologists from the Sitgreaves National Forest. That research has revealed the crucial role indigenous communities in east-central Arizona played in the social, economic and ideological reorganization of Western Pueblo groups during that period.

Those alterations included enlarged pueblos replete with central plazas and square kivas. Immigrants to the region also introduced new ceramic designs, site layouts and new site locations. Ironically, by the twilight of the 14th century they'd all moved on, prompting a host of lingering questions.

This free lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in the UMC DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave. For details, call 327-7235.

COSMIC OUTBURST. Galactic hunter David Levy gained world-wide fame with his discovery of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 Comet that rammed Jupiter in 1994. Today, he tackles other heavenly phenomena with a discussion of Comet Hale-Bopp, an important cosmic drifter, and similar space debris along with little topics like the origin of life.

Hale-Bopp will be careening within Earthly view from January to May, and Levy lays out its celestial map with slides, music and poetry.

Lecture is 7:30 p.m. in the UA Flandrau Science Center. Tickets are $10, available at the Flandrau gift shop. For information, call 621-4515.

Tuesday 21

FEAR OF FLYING. Feeling rattled by your UFO glimpses and just need to relate? Want a hand working through your inner alien, or simply hope to get an accurate count of those intergalactic frequent-flier miles?

Others are out there just like you, and they'll be on hand to feel your spatial pain when a UFO discussion and support group meets tonight.

Free meeting is at 7:30 p.m. in the Stellar Cellar, 3335 E. Grant Road. For information, call 881-7559.

SUN BLOCK. Cliff Benjamin taps large paintings to portray minutiae and outer space panoramas, all connected to images in the natural world. Those scenes now include everything from human embryos, eclipses, insects and seed pods to comets, hands and candles. The result is a unique portrayal of modern existence from the earthly to the meteoric in Eclipse, now on display in the UA Museum of Art.

"Three years ago I began to look at what nature is--as a cultural perception and construct," Benjamin explains, adding that he's fascinated by "a wonder of connections in a seemingly discontinuous world."

Assisted by students, he'll also be painting a mural-sized work that, upon completion, will be the centerpiece of Eclipse. Exhibit runs through March 2 in the UA Museum of Art, located at the southeast corner of Speedway and Park Avenue. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Call 621-7567 for information.

Wednesday 22

FEMININE PROSE. The fragile art of putting pen to paper with a gender-specific bent will be examined in today's annual Women Writers' Journey: Real and Imagined conference.

Authors Demetria Martinez, Susan Power and Ntozake Shange will discuss their work and their lives through readings and a talk moderated by fellow author Patricia Preciado Martín.

The gathering is the big seasonal event for the UA Women's Studies Department, says Program Coordinator Pat Hnilo. "We try to introduce these authors to an audience of Tucson writers. We also attempt to have a balance of ethnicity on the board. For example, Martín and Martinez are Hispanic, Shange is African American and Power is Native American.

"They'll talk about how they got started, and the audience will also be able to ask questions," she says. "Afterwards, they get to meet the writers and talk to them." Proceeds benefit research and scholarship funds for Women's Studies majors.

Conference is 7 p.m. in the Doubletree Hotel, 445 S. Alvernon Way. Tickets are $25, available at Antigone Books, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, The Book Mark, Haunted Bookshop, or by calling 621-7338.

UNABRIDGED. Three artists display multi-media approaches to art in bridged/, now on display at the UA Lionel Rombach Gallery.

Nancy Kriebel uses collage elements in her impasto paintings, creating eloquent narratives of control, contrasting with grief and loss. Images of bound figures, terrorized teddy bears and test tubes bring that message home, with sometimes startling results.

Light, shapes and textures, and how they interact with natural and man-made structures, punctuate the photographic work of Rosanna D.M. Salonia. Her "architectures" interact in fantastic spaces in the modern void where neither man nor nature wholly exist, weird junctions between the natural and the controlled.

Erin V. Sotak bridges the themes of both Kriebel and Salonia by pushing the internal outward. With photographic murals at the core of her format, she also uses paint, fabric, text and plastic in a self-examination of innocence, pain, loss and sexuality.

Bridged/ is on display through February 13, with an opening reception from 5 to 7 tonight at the UA Lionel Rombach Gallery, located in the Gross Gallery Building on the southeast corner of Speedway and Park Avenue. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For details, call 626-4215.

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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