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ART FOR TEACHERS OF CHILDREN. The Screening Room closes its Sex in the Cinema series this weekend with Art for Teachers of Children, a controversial film about a high school student who has an affair with her married teacher. Years later, nude photographs of the girl taken by the teacher resurface in the hands of the FBI, who are trying to arrest him on child pornography charges. The largely autobiographical film by Jennifer Montgomery tackles the issues of art, censorship and underage sex, and has been praised by The New York Times for its "minimal, matter-of-fact style" and "calm, controlled point of view." It plays tonight through Sunday at the Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. Admission is $4, $3 for matinees. For more information call 622-2262.
COUNTRY STYLE. Country music isn't all smiles, sequins and two-steps. Just ask Nashville's Shenandoah, a scrappy band of good ol' boys who lost their shirts trying not to lose their name in a 1989 lawsuit with another band named Shenandoah, only to lose their label and keyboardist in the process. If that ain't enough heartache to inspire another decade of country music, God help them. "When you get it dangled in your face that you may not have the opportunity to do what you love, you cherish the days you have left in it," says lead singer Marty Raybon. So it would seem: The band's made an amazing comeback, with two hit singles, a Grammy earlier this year for best collaboration (with Alison Krauss) on "Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart," as well as nominations for best group performance on "Darned If I Don't (Danged If I Do)," and best country gospel album for Amazing Grace: A Country Salute to Gospel.
Pull yourself up by the bootstraps and head over to A Little Bit of Texas, 4385 W. Ina Road, and see what one DJ says "represents all that's good about country music." The three-man band, with guest bassist Ralph Ezell sitting in for the tour, takes the stage at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 day of show. Call 744-7744 for information.
FOURTH AVENUE SPRING FAIR. Twenty-six years ago, the Fourth Avenue merchants set folding tables out in front of their shops to attract customers before the holidays. From that humble beginning, the outdoor celebration of community (and shopping) has grown into a bi-annual event drawing artisans and vendors from all over the country, with local musicians, performance artists and food vendors pitching their motley assortment of sights, sounds and tastes into the act. Highlights of this weekend's activities include live performances on five musical stages, motion-simulation interactive video, the gut-busting Orbatron and Spaceball experience and a kids' corner with petting zoo and arts and crafts games.
Street fair hours are 9 a.m. to sundown today through Sunday, March 24, on Fourth Avenue between Speedway and Congress Street. Admission and parking in surrounding residential areas are free; and shuttle service is available from the UA lots at Sixth Street and Euclid Avenue. For information call (800) 933-2477.
TOAST TO LIFE. Who needs a good excuse to partake of fine food and wine? Nonetheless, tonight's elegant sampling will raise much needed funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Southern Arizona. They're calling it "A Toast to Life," an event featuring more than 25 wineries, breweries and non-alcoholic beverage vendors, with an equal number of restaurants ranging from Baggins to the Gold Room. Whatever you're in the mood for, they've got it: refreshing whites, smoky cabernets and aged brandies, all served under the stars in the upscale Plaza Palomino courtyard. There will also be a silent auction of more than 100 donated prizes.
Raise your glass to a good cause from 6 to 9 p.m. at Plaza Palomino, 4340 N. Campbell Ave. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door, and include souvenir wine glass, unlimited food and beverage sampling and valet parking. Purchase advance tickets at Basha's Markets and Arizona Bank; or charge by phone by calling MDA at 795-3434.
PASSAGE TO INDIA. Take a two-week passage through India with Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu god who's "the patron of learning and the queller of obstacles," in Arizona Theatre Company's production of A Perfect Ganesh. This enthralling blend of humor, compassion and tenderness by Tony award winning playwright Terrence McNally (Master Class, The Ritz, Kiss of the Spider Woman, to name a few) introduces Margaret Civil and Katherine Brynne, two friends from Connecticut who travel to a foreign land thinking they'll leave their personal tragedies behind. Instead, as they confront this exotic foreign land and its people, each embarks on her own personal quest of discovery, with Ganesha assuming a variety of playful guises along the way.
A Perfect Ganesh previews tonight through Thursday, March 28, at The Temple Of Music And Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Preview tickets range from $17 to $21. Production continues through April 13, with tickets ranging from $17 to $26. Advance tickets can be purchased at Dillard's and the ATC box office. Call 622-2823 for reservations and show times.
RIALTO ROYALE. Singer/songwriter Doug MacLeod headlines a drop-dead line-up of rockin' blues tonight at downtown's historic Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Headliner MacLeod has more than 250 compositions to his credit, including songs recorded by Albert King, Albert Collins, Papa John Creach and Coco Montoya. A tireless blues festival traveler and regular performer (an unprecedented eight years running) at Jazz on the Rocks in Sedona, MacLeod brings out his guitar tonight "out of friendship and admiration for Rainer Ptacek," a local musician who continues to undergo treatment for lymphoma. In addition, MacLeod fans can expect a sneak preview of cuts from his soon-to-be-released You Can't Take My Blues.
Local shining stars the Sam Taylor Band with Heather Hardy, Stefan George, Tony and the Torpedoes, Chain of Fools, Tommy Walker, Dennis Offret, Ken Tucker and Jerry Glombecki also perform. Doors open at 7 p.m. at the Rialto Theater, 318 E. Congress St. Suggested donation is $5 at the door.
IRISH SPRING. Live Theatre Workshop presents its third annual Festival of Irish Plays with a matinee performance at 2 o'clock at The Temple Of Music And Art Cabaret Theatre, 330 S. Scott Ave. This year's offerings celebrate the Irish literary renaissance of 1900-1920 with a series of one-act plays by John Millington Synge and William Butler Yeates, interspersed with readings of Seamus Heaney's (recent) Nobel prize-winning poetry. Plots include a traditional Irish wedding interrupted by an eldest son's abduction by "the spirit of Ireland," the story of an abused wife, a battle with the elements on Ireland's west coast, and a story theatre adaptation of a fairy tale about a leprechaun looking for a wife.
The Irish Play Festival continues with evening performances and matinees Fridays through Sundays, March 22 through 30, at the Temple of Music and Art. Admission is $5 at the door, $3 for children. Call 327-4242 for reservations and information.
CENSORED. Every year the tension between politics and free expression seems to grow ever more poignant; and with a presidential election on the horizon, 1996 is no exception. Under the auspices of its 25th anniversary season, Invisible Theatre revisits CENSORED: The Story of Käthe Kollwitz, an evocative drama of political intrigue, intolerance, artistic passion and courage. Jetti Ames stars as Kollwitz, the world-renowned German artist and human rights activist whose "degenerate art" and its subsequent destruction forms the focal point of this courageous story set in 1936 Nazi Germany. All-star cast includes James Blair, Adam Burke, Missie Hinskie, Suzi List, William Killian, Tom Toomey and Tom Turner.
CENSORED previews at 8 tonight and Tuesday, March 26, at Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. Tickets are $9. Production opens March 27 and continues through April 14, with tickets for $12 and $15. Call 882-9721 for reservations and information.
SEX AND SCHOLARSHIP. It's a symposium title just begging for a bad joke, but we'll eschew our predictably adolescent sense of humor and give it to you straight (so to speak): Janet Halley, a law prof at Stanford well known for her gay rights litigation strategies and focus on the gays in the military issue, is one of three queer scholars speaking in a one-day, UA-sponsored Sex and Scholarship symposium. Other keynote speakers include Lawrence Cohen, MD, Ph.D., author of Modern Phallus: Homosex, India and Citizenship; and Jeff Nunokawa, professor of English at Princeton, whose talk is entitled Homosexual Desire and the Spirit of Capitalism.
Symposium is free and runs from 6 to 9:30 p.m. in the Joseph Gross Gallery on the UA campus. Call 621-7338 for information.
POETRY SLAM. For all those awkward coffee house moments when you didn't know how to react to the poet reading earnestly into the mic...this one's for you. As an early kick-off to National Poetry Month in April, Border's Books and Music hosts the Tucson Poetry Slam Premiere with a raucous, no-holds-barred evening of poetry readings that have earned the nationwide Slam events the title of "contact sport of American literature." Tucson poets are invited to read and recite original works for evaluation by ruthless, decimal-card waving amateur judges. If you can't find a baby-sitter for your ego, don't bother coming. Slam veteran Winfield Scott Stanley III calls it "great fun for the audience...bordering on sheer terror for the poets." Reading starts at 7 p.m. at the Borders Books and Music Café, 4235 N. Oracle Road. Call 292-1331 for information.
VISIT SHANGRI-LA. For the past 10 years, Brent Olson has lived, photographed and led tours from the rain forests to the alpine heights of Bhutan, the least known and most environmentally pristine of the Himalayan countries tucked between India and China. He offers a rare westerner's view of the Tibetan culture as it existed before Chinese occupation in Shangri-La: A Tour of the Magical Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan in Photographs, a slide lecture at 7 p.m. in the UA School of Architecture auditorium, next to the UA Center for Creative Photography at the south end of the pedestrian underpass on Speedway east of Park Avenue. Parking is free in the garages on Second Street and Park Avenue. Admission to the lecture is $7 at the door, $4 for seniors and students with ID. Call 885-6527 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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