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MIGHTY MORPHIN' POWER THEATRE. For those kindred spirits out there on whom a certain Far Side cartoon has made a lasting impression: It's the one with a derelict bug drinking brown-bag whiskey on skid row. He says to the bum next to him, "I used to be the president of a giant corporation, and then one day a guy walks into my office and says, 'You're nothing but a giant cockroach.' " Well, before there was Gary Larson, there was Franz Kafka, and he wrote a macabre tale called Metamorphosis, in which a man suddenly and unaccountably turns into a giant cockroach. Hey, it happens.
The UA Theatre Arts Department Workshop Series production, adapted by Charles Dizenzo, will be presented at 8 tonight through Saturday in Directing Studio 116, Drama West Building, UA campus at the south end of the pedestrian underpass on Speedway east of Park Avenue. Admission is free. Call 621-7008 for information.
POETS' CORNER. If you've passed by Antigone Books at 411 N. Fourth Ave. this week, you may have noticed those gorgeous letterpress broadsides on display in honor of National Poetry Month. They're intended to alert you to tonight's artful reading by poets Becky Byrkit, Barbara Cully, Karen Falkenstrom, Debra Gregerman, Nancy Mendoza and Martha Ostheimer.
It's a distinguished and multi-faceted affair: UA Creative Writing prof Cully's meditative prose poems (from her forthcoming book Shoreline Series), politically motivated themes by UA Engineering Department "Poet-in-Residence" Ostheimer; and up-and-coming poet Mendoza, a UA Creative Writing senior and winner of the 1996 Hattie Locket Award. Kore Press' commemorative broadside of Mendoza's winning piece marks the first in an upcoming series of younger poets.
Join them for this celebration of poetry and women in the arts at 7 p.m. at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. Admission is free, and a signing and informal reception follow. Call 792-3715 for event information; or 882-7542 for information on Kore Press publications. The limited edition broadsides (in layman's terms, that's a coveted hand-crafted poster edition of a single poem) are available at a discount throughout April.
ZAPATISTA UPRISING. In the first 13 days of 1994, peasants and Indians in Chiapas, Mexico, rose above linguistic, cultural and political borders to draw worldwide attention to their demands for peace and justice. It's a complex situation raising questions about the relationships between ruler and ruled, modern and traditional worlds, a digitized, electronic future and a pre-industrial past...even between the living and the dead. All this and more is portrayed in 13 Days/13 Días, a collaborative production by the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Borderlands Theatre and the PCC Drama Department, intertwining comedy and tragedy in the finest spirit of political satire. Tonight's 8 o'clock performance will be followed by a reception with Tojolabal and Tzeltal indigenous community leaders Rosa López and Gloria Hernández.
Production opens tonight and continues with performances at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday through April 20. There is also a 2 o'clock matinee on Sunday, April 14. Tickets range from $6 to $10, available at Antigone Books, Jeff's Classical Records and the PCC West Campus Cashier's office. Call 882-7406 for reservations and information.
PARK IT. Much has been written of late about the Balboa Heights Neighborhood, a low- to middle-income barrio in central Tucson. It's been the target of a massive urban renewal campaign that stretches back nine years, when Balboa Heights President and 30-year resident Jane Baker started taking matters into her own hands. But
along with the successes of cleaning up the neighborhood's appearance and combating its high transient rate, the tragedy of a 7-year-old boy killed by a passing motorist made it painfully clear that one vital element was missing: The kids needed a safe place to play.
Today's celebration starting at 10 a.m. marks the culmination of a year-long effort between the City of Tucson, private businesses and neighbors to build a true neighborhood park. And the fact that Balboa Heights Park is located in a humble central Tucson neighborhood, at Grant Road and Stone Avenue, makes it seem all the more glorious. "It was an outpouring of love and concern for kids from all walks, from hardware stores to construction companies," says Baker of the more than 40 private agencies and businesses that donated resources. "It's a real success story of a neighborhood helping itself...one we hope other neighborhoods will emulate." Call 791-4605 for information.
LAURA LOVE. In 1994, an unknown performer walked alone onto the stage at Carnegie Hall. A diminutive figure with a bright red electric bass and a head of beaded braids, she was a stark contrast to most of the acoustic performers at that year's New York Singer-Songwriter Festival. And when she plugged in and started to dance, braids flying and voice soaring, the audience went insane for her Afro-Celtic style. You've never heard a bass like this before.
Laura Love has since become an acclaimed vocalist and songwriter, garnering ecstatic reviews from The New York Times, Billboard, Sing Out and New Age Times. Don't miss her debut performance with the four-piece Laura Love Band, featuring material from her recently released CD, The Laura Love Collection, at 8 p.m. at the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 S. Sixth Ave. Tickets are $12 in advance, with a $2 discount for KXCI members, available at Hear's Music, Antigone Books, Buffalo Exchange and all Zia Records locations. They're $14 at the door. Call 881-3947 for tickets and information.
RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE. Whatever your personal convictions, there's no denying organized religion has exerted the single greatest influence on recorded history. It's only in comparatively recent history, however, that voices from outside the hallowed halls of clergy and oligarchy have dared interpret that impact. Author Joanna Gillespie, co-founder of the Episcopal Women's History Project, is one such contemporary voice. Through a series of in-depth interviews with "ordinary churchgoers," Gillespie captures the intimate beliefs--as well as doubts--of women in congregational churches today. Her analysis, Women Speak: Of God, Congregations and Change, has been heralded as "an important contribution to feminist theology" and "a complex and moving portrait of women's religious voice."
Gillespie will read and discuss her work at 7 p.m. at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. A brief Q&A session and refreshments will follow. Call 792-3715 for information.
YOUTH PHILHARMONIA. Back in the old days, parents and family members smiled through clenched teeth when the annual school band recitals rolled around to slaughter yet another rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner." And that was when we actually had fine arts funding for public schools (an observation probably best left untouched). But today's concert by the Tucson Philharmonia Youth Orchestra, a 103-member symphony representing 29 Southern Arizona schools in Tucson, Oro Valley, Marana and Sierra Vista, will really knock your socks off. In addition to a broad-ranging program of classical works, high school junior and principal cellist Lara Cushing performs Gabriel Fauré's "Elegy for Cello and Orchestra"; and 17-year-old coloratura soprano Paige Spackman, a CDO senior, performs arias by Donizetti, Puccini and Johann Strauss.
The Spring Gala Concert begins at 3 p.m. at the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets are $8, $5 for seniors and students, available at the door. Call 326-2793 for information.
PICNIC IN THE PARK. Tohono Chul Park's 11th annual Picnic in the Park and Wildflower Festival springs to life from 4 to 7 p.m., with a progressive meal and activities for the whole family. Food will be provided by the park's Tea Room, Café Terra Cotta, Fuego, Landmark Café, El Saguarito, Goldberg's Bagels, Kingfisher Restaurant and others. Enjoy live flamenco guitar in the demonstration garden, Native American storytelling, wildflower pressing demonstrations, a silent auction of designer gardens and the park's two fine art exhibitions, Bloom and Bugs in Our Backyard. Cost is $40 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under, and includes valet parking. Proceeds support park programs and maintenance. Call 742-6455 or 297-4999 for reservations and information.
ART CARS. We don't know what compels people to take pop culture on the road, but we appreciate their efforts. View some of the world's most unusual looking automobiles without risk of causing a traffic accident by heading down to the UA Arts Oasis, Speedway and Park Avenue, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This is a free exhibit of featured specimens from Harrod Blank's 1992 documentary, Wild Wheels. We don't want to spoil the surprise with details, but the artists will be on hand to discuss their creations before hitting the dusty trail for--gulp!--Texas. Call 621-7567 for information.
WALKING SHTICK. In the wake of the free bike fiasco, the City of Tucson is looking for your input on how to make the downtown environment more friendly for pedestrians. Review the Downtown Pedestrian Implementation Plan study and voice your creative suggestions at the "public input center" at Studio 220/Stodska Design, 220 E. Congress St. Doors are open between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, April 15 through 19; and from 7 to 10 p.m. Downtown Saturday Night, April 20.
EGGLESTON AND CALHOUN. Visiting performers Kat Eggleston and Andrew Calhoun bring a line-up of original acoustic folk music that will keep even the skeptical tapping their toes. From Eggleston's ballads, described as "sometimes humorous lyrics (which) create images of great conflict with arresting realism," to Calhoun's impassioned vocals and absurd humor (compared to the writings of James Joyce, T.S. Eliot and Leonard Cohen), you're bound to cover some previously unexplored acoustic territory. Show time is 8 p.m. at the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Tickets are $6 in advance from Hear's Music and the Center, $8 at the door. TFTM, TKMA and KXCI members receive a $1 discount. Call 884-1220 for tickets and 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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