DIRE MOON. Award- winning Tucson poet and playwright John Sullivan unleashes his imaginative, poetic language into the theatrical arena with Dire Moon Cartoons, a collection of "adult fables for the next millennium," tonight through Saturday, April 15. Sullivan's first commissioned work by Theatre Degree Zero sounds like a pre-summer night's feast: a menagerie of wigged and zooted critters to speak, sing, scat and chant in a "language fest" accompanied by live musical compositions by 1994 TAMMIE-award winner Jim Klingenfus. Performance artist Laura Bean will also make a guest appearance, in "First Swimming Lesson." We have no idea what to expect, here, except to be surprised.
Tickets are $7, $5 for students and seniors, available at the door only on the night of performances. These loony 'toons play in the Cabaret Theatre at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Call 884-4875 for information.
CONGO LINE. Yeah, we know, 50 percent of your weekends don't start until you order your first drink at the Tap Room. Nonetheless, here's what you need to do: get thee to 311 E. Congress Street by 8 p.m. to see Giant Sand, Sty and Stinky Slinky. Better get there early, too, because the cover at the door is a limp $3.
You aren't an official Tucson resident until you've familiarized yourself with Giant Sand (Linda Ronstadt doesn't cut it if you're of the under-40 gaggle). The grains of Sand reunite after bass-guy Joey Burns' tour with Victoria Williams, Bill Elm's studio sesh with The Friends of Dean Martin and Bill Semple's South by Southwest set with Dog & Pony Show. Says Gelb, amidst fever-induced poetic rambling not entirely unlike his stage performances, "There's no reason to see the show, other than...." Show openers are Sty (former Cosmic Boogie Tribe) and Stinky Slinky (you gotta love a band that takes its name from the most inspired toy since the Pet Rock). Call 622-8848 for information.
BOB FOR APPLES. The 1995 Bob Marley Festival tour to benefit the Tucson Community Food Bank happens today from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Reid Park DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, 22nd Street and Country Club Road. The 34-city annual tour celebrates the late performer's birth by spreading Marley's musical message of world peace, concern for the environment, equality and unity, appropriately reflected in the theme, One Love.
Break out the tie-dye, kick off your Birks and shake your groove thang to the tune of artists like Errol Blackwood and Inja, Kimbute and the Freedom Tribe, Tchiya & the Dogon Sirius Band, Splash, Watusi, D.R.U.M., One Love Players, and Tucson's own excellent Neon Prophet, to name a few. Arts, crafts and eats from Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas will also color the festival. This may be your last chance this year to experience the joy of dancing barefoot in the sun with 6,000 of your closest friends--all for a donation of two cans of food. Last year's event reaped a record 4,500 pounds of edibles, which is far from small potatoes for the Community Food Bank.
GAMELAN MAN. Fine Stream Gamelan will perform their unique genbing soran (that means "loud style") bubaran Indonesian music at 7:30 tonight at the UA Holsclaw Recital Hall, Olive Street south of Speedway. Ensemble founder Matt Finstrom's interest in the gamelan game dates back to a class he took at the University of Michigan in the mid-'70s. "As soon as I saw the ensemble, I knew it was something I had to do," says Finstrom, who went on to become a herpetologist. Hey, we can't all beat the skins for a living. But the inspired Finstrom found some scrap metal copper pots "perfect for gong-chime instruments," read some articles on building the two-stringed, wood rebab and suling bamboo flute (among others), and in short order had fashioned six instruments and Tucson's first gamelan ensemble (gamelan, by the way, refers to the family of instruments, originating in Java). Over the years, he's continued to build his instruments and repertoire, with the current Fine Stream Gamelan group up to 18 players.
The percussive weave of iron, brass, drum and bamboo instruments is an unforgettable experience. The gong alone has been dubbed Kyahi Sato Edi, the "Venerable Sound of All Good Living Things." Tickets are $5 at the door, $4 for students and seniors. The free workshop at 3 p.m. includes a demonstration of each instrument, with participants playing in their own ensemble by the session's end. Call 743-9879 for information.
DOWNTOWN SATURDAY. The familiar first-Saturday Arts District street swarm happens tonight from 7 to 10 p.m. Preview Folk Festival performances by Copper Moon, Lonesome Culture and Kevin McConal at the Ronstadt Transit Center, Sixth Avenue and Congress Street, Arizona Alley (south of Congress Street), and Pennington Street between Sixth and Congress streets. Catch Anne Bunker and Chuck Koesters' "gecko feats" in The Hidden Garden, performance art at 7:30 p.m. at the Sunken Garden, northeast corner of Congress Street and Scott Avenue. An outdoor movie will be screened from dark 'til 10 p.m. in the Arizona Alley. Bring your own lawn chairs, cushions and popcorn. Call 624-4994 for a complete schedule of Downtown SaturDay and Night events.
COOL CATS. Desert Diamond Cat Club presents its first annual show, with an anticipated 80 entries from Persians to housepets. Vendors will be on hand with a litter of cat jewelry (for people), handmade crafts and accessories for your favorite furball. This is a low-key, caterwauling good time, where anything goes. Says entry clerk Louise Wohlfort, "I once saw a judge put up a cat (for the winner's circle) because it had nine kinks in its tail." Imagine that. This American Association of Cat Enthusiasts event happens from 12:30 to 6 p.m. at TCC, 260 S. Church Ave. Admission is $3, $2 for seniors. Kids under 6 are free. Call 791-4101 for information.
FAIR'S FARE. The Pima County Fair celebrates its 20th anniversary with activities from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through April 23. Today will celebrate Easter with free Easter bags for the first 1,000 fair-goers under 12, and a 2 p.m. animal parade followed by a treasure hunt. Some of our favorite fair activities are the hunter/jumper horse show, antique tractor pull, pig races (five daily) and live shark show, complete with shark attack videos (they've eschewed the live demonstration on this one). Along with the expected fanfare of carnival rides, magicians, hypnotists, clowns and costumed creatures, there's also some great music on the Depot stage, by King Suave and the Mogollon Band.
The fairgrounds are one mile south of I-10 on Houghton Road (exit 275). Admission is $5, children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult. Parking is $2.
CLOTHES-MINDED. "Since the beginning of time we've had to wear clothes either to keep out the cold or to mark social status. In the 20th century we're probably the most homogenous dressers of any period, unless you look at the tags," observes Vida Thomas. The 10-year TMA docent honed her interest in fashion during her stint in Arizona Theatre Company's costume shop. "I was intrigued by the frequent refrain, 'That's not period.' That peaked my interest--how people dressed and what they felt like in costume." Thomas' free lecture, Great Clothes and Great Art, explains art history through the clothing depicted in sculpture and painting from ancient times through the 20th century. Says Thomas of her first-time talk, "I hope it's educational, but mostly entertaining. I'd like to convey a sense of art history by looking at something fun instead of dates, names, and isms."
The Tucson Museum of Art Docent Council offers free art talks at 1:30 p.m. Mondays in the Art Education building, 140 N. Main Ave.
SILVER SCREENING. Head over to Century Gateway, 770 N. Kolb Road, for this free screening of Barbet Schroeder's (Single White Female) latest thriller, Kiss of Death, starring Helen Hunt, David Caruso, Nicholas Cage and Samuel Jackson. Trapped between a vicious psychopath and an over-zealous D.A. is one place we never want to be, but it makes for good movie-going...and hey, it's free! Really. Just stop by Speedway Schwinn, 3275 E. Speedway, and pick up a pass good for admission for two. Preview passes are available at this location only, and will be necessary for admittance to tonight's R-rated screening.
SUEÑOS TANGOS. Oceans away from Hollywood's stiff-armed, rose-clenched bastardization, Tango developed along the Rio de la Plata in the South American port cities of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, "the outcry of an economically marginalized people." Experience the drama and passion of unique Argentinean dance at 8 p.m. at the Tucson Center for the Performing Arts, 408 S. Sixth Ave. The dance company Sueños Tangos features dancers John Dahlstrand (who has danced with everyone in town from Aires Flamencos to Zenith Dance Collective) and the talented Mara Carlson, tenor Jorge Luiz Altamirano, and guitarist Jorge L. Pastrana. All four are masters in their art, blending voice, song and dance in performances that border on surreal.
Performances continue at 8 p.m. through April 22, with a 2 o'clock matinee on Saturday. Tickets are $10, $8 for students and seniors, available only at the door. Arrive early or risk a sold-out show.
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