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MAIL BONDING. It's not a tough scene to imagine: three postal workers, weirdly united by their shared sense of alienation, reluctantly establishing a very tenuous relationship. But bizarre forces soon slip through the slots, simultaneously stressing the budding relationship and creating a dark bundle of humor.
Ultimately, it's all in a day's governmental work in W. Jesse Greenberg's long-awaited, much-touted Pushing the Envelope, presented as a collaborative effort by Mercury Productions, Upstairs Theatre Company and Millennium Theatre Company.
Preview performance is 8 tonight in the Historic Y Theater, 738 N. Fifth Ave. Performances continue at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, through March 15. Preview tickets are $5. Tickets for all other performances are $12.50, $10 for seniors, $8 for students, and available by calling 791-2263.
WAITING TO EXHALE. The word miasma is described as "an exhalation formerly held to cause disease; a noxious vapor."
Releasing those vapors, or at least analyzing their poignant content, lies at the heart of Miasma: A Journey Through the Landscape of My Body, Jon McNamara's solo dance performance presented by the Zenith Dance Collective.
The piece originated with Man at 37 Degrees, a work-in-progress presented by Zenith last year. Man "explored my experience of feeling trapped by the constraints of my life as a working-class male in contemporary American culture," McNamara says. "On a more expansive scale, it explored the struggle between my artistic and working selves and, beyond that, the nature of form and formlessness, order and chaos, flesh and spirit." Miasma, he says, elaborates on those same esoteric territories.
Performance is 8 tonight in the PCC Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Performances continue at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday. Tickets range from $5 to $15, available at the door or by calling 321-0493.
ANCIENT BLEND. It draws on a rich and rigorous theatrical tradition of music, dance and theater dating back more than 1,000 years. Now, the world-renowned Peking Opera arrives in Tucson as part of its first North American tour in a decade.
"In its dazzling display of music, song, acrobatics, exquisitely stylized movement, comic mime and martial arts," says the San Francisco Chronicle, "the Peking Opera is a consistent and stunning delight."
Performance is 8 p.m. in UA Centennial Hall, located on campus inside the main gate, east of Park Avenue. Tickets range from $15 to $24, half-price for students and children. Call the Centennial Hall box office (621-3341) or Dillard's ticket-line for reservations and information.
VISUAL VINTAGE. Thunderbird Artists will host the Tucson Fine Art and Wine Festival, featuring works by artists from across the United States. Their media range from watercolors to acrylics and oils, and their subject matter from wildlife and landscapes to abstract portraits.
Meanwhile, Zee, Zoe and Kyle provide a musical backdrop, along with a tasty selection of wines and microbrews, with all proceeds benefiting the American Diabetes Association's Prescott summer camp for kids.
Event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, tomorrow and Sunday in the Foothills Mall, 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd. Admission is free. Wine and microbrew tasting is $10. For details, call 742-7191.
LITERARY ROCK. Question: What do Maggie Golston, the Agave Girls, Al Perry and James Dead all have in common beyond a powerful musical punch?
Answer: A night of rocking to benefit Sonora Review, the literary magazine of the UA's graduate creative writing program.
Show time is 10 p.m. in the Airport Lounge, 20 E. Pennington St. A $5 donation is requested. Call 882-0400 for information.
IRONY EN MASSE. Even as the guns of February threaten to rain destruction down on Iraq and its nasty armaments, the Tucson Peace Center is counting on clear skies for its 16th-annual Peace Fair and Music Festival.
Billed as "Tucson's largest gathering of peace, social justice and environmental action groups," this year's outing will feature an array of chow and dancing, kids' activities, and plenty of great music. Bands will include Northern Sonoran Didjeridoos, Women Song, Radio Scientists, Linda Lou and the Drifters, and the Annie Hawkins Band.
Free event is 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Reid Park DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, Country Club Road entrance south of Broadway. Call 792-4328 for information.
BUG BAZAAR. Entomologist Mike Singer discusses the tropical, the tiny and the sublime in Bizarre and Beautiful Insects of Costa Rica. Sponsored by the Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute, the slide presentation will explore "cryptic and warning coloration in the myriad of exciting arthropods," all found in the rain forests and dry forests of our biologically-diverse Latin American neighbor.
Lecture runs from 1 to 3 p.m. at SASI, located in Tucson Mountain Park. A $5 donation is requested, and reservations are required. For reservations, directions and other information, call 883-3945.
ROOTS OF HEALTH. In this rough season, when everybody and their brother seems afflicted with some downright nasty illness, it's refreshing to know there exist remedies that don't involve co-payments or faceless, multi-national drug companies.
Herbalist Pam Hyde-Nakai highlights some of these alternatives with Medicinal Plants of the Desert, a one-day class sponsored by the Tucson Botanical Society. She'll lead participants on a desert walk to identify healing flora, and discuss harvest and preparation methods.
Class runs from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Cost is $12, $10 for TBG members, and pre-registration is required. For registration and other information, call 326-9686.
HARMONIC CONVERGENCE. They've been regaling the Old Pueblo in four-part harmony for seemingly forever. And today the Tucson Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society celebrates itself--and its 50th anniversary--with an open house. The gathering will include plenty of precision warbling, along with snacks, a cash bar, and five decades'-worth of memorabilia.
Join them between 1 and 4 p.m. in the Sabbar Shrine Temple, 450 S. Tucson Blvd. Call 290-8844 for details.
SWEET SOUNDINGS. Viola master Dr. Jeffrey Showell highlights Sounds Symphonic, a concert by the Civic Orchestra of Tucson.
A member of the UA School of Music and Dance faculty since 1980, Showell was the Tucson Symphony Orchestra's principal violist from 1982 to 1990, and has worked with groups ranging from the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra to the Rymour Quartet.
Under the direction of Dr. Herschel Kreloff, the Civic Orchestra will perform Nicolas Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol, Georg Philipp Telemann's Concerto in G, and Cesar Franck's Symphony in D.
Free performance is 2 p.m. in the Sabino High School Auditorium, 5000 N. Bowes Road. Admission is by donation. For details, call 791-9246.
FAUX ABSTRACTIONS. John Davis' abstract sculptures address the relationship and inherent tension between the natural and fabricated worlds. Inspired by sky islands in the urbanized Southwest, his grist is a contemporary view of the natural landscape.
Using both natural and manufactured materials, Davis' intention is to evoke our perceptions of the natural landscape, implementing visual reference points like the male torso, or tree limbs and asphalt, to create a contextual environment in which to play on the viewer's own sense of familiar objects in unfamiliar manifestations. It's an effective tool: By using uncommon manipulations of common materials and images, Davis' pieces acquire a sense of distinction and strange autonomy.
A new show of works is on exhibit through March 28 in Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery, 135 E. Congress St. Regular gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. For details, call 792-4503.
RUGGED REMEMBRANCE. Ask around, and some folks might recall accounts of Teddy Roosevelt charging up San Juan Hill. But even as the centennial of the Spanish-American War approaches, pitifully few Americans fully realize the pivotal niche that conflict inhabits in our history, or the prime role Arizona played in the struggle.
With its new exhibit, The Arizona Rough Riders: The Cowboy Regiment, the Arizona Historical Society sheds a little light on this long-neglected subject. Featured will be 1st Lt. George B. Wilcox, Capt. James H. McClintock and 2nd Lt. John C. Greenway, three Rough Riders hailing from southern Arizona. Their stories and others will be brought to life through artifacts, maps, period photos, reminiscences and official reports, along with a recorded interview of Rough Rider Arthur Tuttle, who was only 17 when he enlisted.
The Arizona Rough Riders continues through December in the AHS Museum, 949 E. Second St. Admission is free. Call 628-5774 for details.
PERSPECTIVE ON THE WING. The talents of Chicago photographer Ben Golden and Tucson painter Farzad Nakhai are combined in a new exhibit at the Tucson Jewish Community Center.
In A Snowbird's View, Golden displays black-and-white photographs gathered over 12 annual winter pilgrimages to the Southwest. He calls his photos a "reaction to the landscape, history, architecture and culture of the area, with a strong emphasis on Tucson." From the serene to the ludicrous, the works capture a variety of contrasting views of the desert cityscape.
By contrast, Nakhai's paintings focus primarily on the natural landscape. "All around us, in every season and in all hours of the day and night, light, space and color interact to define our existence," Nakhai says. "My painting is an expression of that interaction."
Exhibit runs through March 26 in the JCC Fine Art Gallery, at River Road and Dodge Boulevard. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Sunday. For details, call 299-3000.
BLAST OFF. It all starts when Donny Rowan finds himself in his attic one day, rummaging through the memories and mementos of his life. To the amazement of family and friends, he's emptied the contents of his house onto the lawn with a sign: "Here's My Life. Make An Offer."
Donny then settles into his favorite recliner, pushes a button...and blasts off on an amazing journey to a parallel universe in the Arizona Theatre Company production, Rocket Man, by Steven Dietz.
"Dietz has written a remarkable new play that is both deeply funny and profoundly touching," says ATC Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein. "What happens to the roads not taken and the lives we've chosen not to lead? Rocket Man is an ingenious, smart challenge to grab life with both hands while we have the chance."
Preview performance is 7:30 tonight in the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Performances continue through March 25; show times vary. Tickets range from $18.50 to $27.50, and are available at the ATC box office, Dillard's, or by calling 622-2823. Half-price adult and $10 student rush tickets are available at the ATC box office one hour before curtain time.
City Week includes events selected by Calendar Editor Tim Vanderpool. 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. To have material considered, please send complete information at least 11 days prior to the Thursday issue date to: Tucson Weekly, P.O. Box 2429, Tucson, Arizona 85702, or fax information to 792-2096, or email us at email@example.com.
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