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SERFS ON PARADE. Affirming that there's more to Apache Junction than trailer parks and beer bellies, the fantastic Arizona Renaissance Festival will be in high gear from February 1 through March 26.
To commemorate that medieval hoopla, Tucson's own Chivalry Sports will hold a special gathering today featuring festival performers "from peasants to royalty," says store owner Gael Stirler.
"Last year we had a magician, a mandolin player and storytellers, and it will be the same this year," she says. "The performers will tell about their personas, and we'll have a drawing for tickets to the festival."
Free event runs from 4 to 6 p.m. at Chivalry Sports, 7718 E. Wrightstown Road. For information, call 722-1255.
TOGETHER AGAIN. Longtime musical pals Bob Kindred and Jeff Haskell reunite in a benefit concert for the Tucson Jazz Society. The pair grew up together in Philadelphia, created their first band in fifth grade, and continued playing on and off again for years. Along with trombonist Tom Ervin, they eventually formed the PanAm New Reunion Jazz Band and toured the world.
Tonight, they'll be joined by the Jeff Haskell Trio and Ervin, solo, to light up the local stage. Performance is at 7 p.m. at Dead Lazlo's, 151 N. Park Ave. Tickets are $9, $6 for TJS members, available at the door. Call 743-3399 for details.
MISSION PROLOGUE. Dr. Charles Polzer will point out the big difference between this area's stunning Spanish missions and their California cousins in a free lecture at 1:30 today in the Wilmot Library, 530 N. Wilmot Road.
Polzer, curator of ethno-history at the Arizona State Museum, says the latter "were basically established to provide military supply lines. But in Arizona, they were meant more to help Indian communities adjust to the Spanish presence. They were often accompanied by presidios, but they weren't connected militarily to them."
Other than that, he says he'll "basically be giving people an idea of what the missions were during the Spanish Empire, how they developed and changed in northern Mexico and Baja California, and in this area as well." For details, call 791-4627.
CALLING ALL PHILATELICS. Sounds illegal, but it ain't. In fact, there's nothing the least bit offensive about those hordes of gentle folk who make collecting stamps their humble hobby.
And they'll be out in full force this weekend, when the Arizona Federation of Stamp Clubs presents its annual stamp and postal history show. The gathering will feature more than 325 adult and youth exhibits, and more than 50 of the country's leading dealers will be on hand. The U.S. Postal Service will run the Old Pueblo Philatelic Center and big a youth booth. A special pictorial postmark has also been authorized for the show, with the theme "200 Years of San Xavier del Bac Mission," featuring Father Kino on horseback.
This free event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the TCC Exhibition Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. For information, call 743-0429.
BLACK AND BLUE. Let your battered heart take solace with other ravaged souls when the Rialto Cabaret presents Blues Bash Weekend, featuring two acts bound to share your pain in high form.
Lavelle White, a.k.a. "Miss Lavelle," penned her first tune, "If I Could Be With You," in the early '60s, and later signed on with Duke Records in Houston, becoming part of an elite musical coterie that included BB King, Bobby "Blue" Bland and Junior Parker. She hits the stage tonight, in what's bound to be a rip-roaring homage to that heavy-weight legacy.
Little Charlie and the Nightcats tear things apart tomorrow night. Considered pioneers of the West Coast blues/swing revival, they've spent 20 years hammering audiences with their top-notch blend of original material and obscure covers. According to the Seattle Rocket, "If these guys were any hotter they'd toast everything to a nuclear crisp."
Lavelle White performs at 9 tonight, and Little Charlie performs at 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Rialto Cabaret, 201 E. Broadway. Tickets are $7 per show or $10 for both nights, available at Zip's University, Loco Records and Hear's Music. Call 740-0126 for information.
SOUTHBOUND. Borderlands Theater hosts its annual fundraising extravaganza, this year called A South American Cabaret. Action ranges from master of ceremonies Albert Soto impersonating a political reactionary from the troupe's production of Deporting the Divas, to local tango troupe Suenos Tangos. Barbea Williams will perform Brazilian dance, and folks can shake the remaining night away to sambas, reggae and Brazilian rhythms provided by Sounds of Brazil--probably a necessity after touring the buffet line.
Event runs from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Tickets are $20, available by calling 882-7406.
HEARTLAND HIGH-STEPPERS. The famed Ohio-based Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater troupe bring their innovative style to Pima Community College. Charting the nefarious juncture of movement and text, and linking arts with healing, they turn in performances critics call "remarkable, brilliant, gorgeous and poignant."
With such sparkling reviews in tow, tonight's performance marks the premiere for two works: Hours features company choreographers Stuart Pimsler and Suzanne Costello, opera soprano Madaline River tackling "The Star-Spangled Banner, an aria from Sampson and Delilah and several Billie Epstein standards.
Next comes Cool, a tribute to legendary modern and jazz dance soloist Daniel Nagrin, Pimsler's 80-year-old former teacher now living in Tempe. Pimsler will dance solo to music by Miles Davis, with underlying themes skirting the boundaries of American culture.
Saba and The Men from the Boys follow, further exploring the meaning of existence, from spiritual and physical health to timeless male rituals and relationships.
Performance is 8 p.m. at the PCC Center for the Arts, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Tickets are $14, $12 for seniors, $7 for students, available at Dillard's and the PCC West Campus cashier. Call 884-6988 for information.
A LEG UP. Seven powerful poets, anchored by two recent MFA graduates from the UA, celebrate their craft and the most recent issue of the adventurous, Chicago-based poetry journal Jackleg.
Graduates Jen Harris and Hugh Steinberg eventually landed in the Windy City, where they quickly got caught up in the thriving poetry scene, says Karen Falkenstrom, program coordinator for the UA Poetry Center.
"They kind of sparked this thing," she says. "So what we're doing is featuring some of the liveliest authors from both Tucson and Chicago. It's eclectic, high-quality writing, really two regional types, with a southern Arizona flair."
Falkenstrom describes Jackleg, now in its second year, as "pretty cool."
Free reading is 7 p.m. at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. A reception follows at Elizabeth Cherry Contemporary Art, 1421 E. Broadway. Call 323-8003 for details.
AU NATUREL. Outdoor aficionados Roseanne Beggy Hanson and Jonathon Hanson dispense their knowledge of regional environs beyond the blacktop with a booksigning and nature walk at The Haunted Bookshop.
Both know of what they speak: Roseanne is editor of Desert Skies and a contributing writer to Arizona Highways and Sunset magazines; Jonathon's photography, natural history writings and illustrations have landed in Outside and Nature Conservancy, among other publications. They'll be signing copies of their latest collaboration, the Southern Arizona Nature Almanac.
"Both are well-known naturalists, and Almanac zeroes right in on southern Arizona," says Haunted book buyer Lynn Nezzano. "It's really a great book."
The free event begins at 2 p.m. at The Haunted Bookshop, 7211 N. Northern Ave. The hike takes in neighboring Tohono Chul Park, followed at 4 p.m. by a booksigning. For information, call 297-4843.
MELODIES IN MEMORIUM. The UA School of Music and Dance pays homage to the past in an alumni concert featuring tenor Robert Swenson and soprano Fleta Hylton.
In a tribute to voice teachers Igor Gorin, Marguerite Ough and Eugene Conley, the singers will perform duets by Schumann, Verdi, Puccinni and Donizetti, along with operatic arias and other selections.
Hardly musical lightweights themselves, Swenson has appeared with major opera companies in Stuttgart, Paris and New York, while Hylton has lent her chords to such venerable venues as the Washington Opera, Opera Theatre of Northeastern Virginia and our own Arizona Opera. They'll be accompanied by pianist Paula Fan.
Performance is at 3 p.m. in UA Crowder Hall, located inside the Music Building on Speedway east of Park Avenue. Tickets are $10, $8 for UA faculty and staff, $5 for students and senior citizens, available at the Fine Arts box office. Call 621-1162 for information.
BIG WHEEL. Song maven Erica Wheeler brings her New Folk sensibilities to town for one performance at 7:30 p.m. in the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave.
Wheeler topped the coveted Rocky Mountain Folks National singer-songwriter competition in 1995, and has since continued her stellar rise through the nouveau ranks. After working as an opener for such luminaries as John Gorka and Patty Larkin, she's also struck out as a headliner, and been featured on a handful of compilation discs, including the Performing Songwriter's Best Of collection.Throughout, she still finds her lyrical poetry in life's humbler corners, from the drafty hotels to the greasy spoons dotting America's one-horse towns.
Tickets are $8, $7 for TKMA and KXCI members, and will cost an extra $2 at the door. Get them in advance at Antigone Books, Hear's Music and Girlfriends Coffeehouse. Call 884-1220 for information.
TRIO FUERTE. Three powerful artists show their stuff at the PCC West Campus Art Gallery. Simon Donovan's textured geometric pieces, constructed from mixed media on wood cut-outs, fill an entire wall with patterns that include surrounding negative space. The resulting works exist somewhere between formal painting and the purely decorative, aiming for an aesthetic balance of influences ranging from Arabic geometry to Jackson Pollock to primitive art.
The humorous and the mundane share equal billing in Jane Kelsey-Mapel's figurative stoneware sculptures. Narrative portraits, they rein in both the physical and expressive characteristics of her subjects, revealing the touching vulnerability of the human condition.
Paul Waid's big oils tap a different vein, exhibiting fascination and wonder with life. Energetically using natural forms so large they threaten to spill from the canvas, he creates light sources that emanate from within the works, giving them vibrant life.
Exhibit runs through March 3 at the PCC West Campus Art Gallery, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, extended to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Call 884-6942 for information.
BACK IN BLACK. Too much red ink got you all blue? Scanning those Christmas tabs with angst in your soul and terror in your eyes? Stan Gordon felt the same before he stumbled onto a path out of the debt-ridden abyss. No naive financial juggler, Gordon eventually became savvy enough to pay off $23,000 worth of credit card bills in a mere four years. Now he sheds plenty of light on the solvent subject--and keeps his own budget intact--with a discussion and signing of How I Got Out of Debt and You Can Too!
Meet the author from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Book Mark, 5001 E. Speedway. Call 881-6350 for details.
STOMP AND SHOUT. Legendary London hipsters Stomp bring their frenetic brand of street theater to the UA, repeating a performance that sold out two shows last year.
Stomp grasps the artifacts of everyday life, from brooms and oil drums to garbage cans and newspapers, to spin a show The New York Times calls "a sure-fire crowd pleaser with a rock-and-roll heart."
Ironically, there's no music in the production. But street-based percussion abounds, as the young performers bang out what amounts to intricate urban rhythms with plenty of attitude.
Performances are 7:30 tonight and tomorrow night at the UA Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. Tickets range from $19 to $35, and are available at Dillard's and the Centennial Hall box office. Call 621-3341 for information.
RISING STAR. Gallery owner José Galvez describes John Enriquez as "one of Tucson's most promising young artists. He covers the issues facing urban Latinos as well as other members of the community, and he does it really well."
At age 22, Enriquez "shows a good grasp of the medium. He's a person to watch," Galvez says.
Mentored by local artistic heavyweights Jim Davis and Bruce McGrew, Enriquez reveals the influences of both, even as he stretches out his own particular voice.
Exhibit runs through February 8 at the José Galvez Gallery, 743 N. Fourth Ave. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and during Downtown Saturday Nights. For details, call 624-6878.
POETIC RELIEF. Bob Perelman, a former San Francisco poet who now teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, visits Tucson tonight to open the UA Poetry Center's spring reading series. See Margaret Regan's article in the Books section for details.
The free reading begins at 8 p.m. in the UA Modern Languages Building auditorium. For information, call 321-7760.
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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