SUMMER OPERA. Gaetano Donizetti wrote more than 60 operas in his 51 years, making him one of the most prolific composers of his time. His thirty-fourth opera, Elixir of Love (1832), is a classic tale of unrequited love, with young Nemorino pining for the village babe, who has consented to marry some swashbuckling sergeant. Desperate, the lovesick Nemorino does what any 18th-century boy would do--buys a love potion from a traveling quack. Awaiting the results of the magic elixir, he suddenly finds himself immensely popular with the women of the village--in no small part due to the spreading rumor (unbeknownst to him) that he has inherited a fortune from a great uncle. This show is a great start for budding opera fans. Conductor Larry Day of the UA School of Music says of the production, "This one shouldn't intimidate anyone. It's not only a light story, but has music that is very melodic and easy to assimilate."
Elixir of Love continues with performances at 8 p.m. tonight through Saturday, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 25, at UA Crowder Hall. Tickets range from $6 to $10, available at Dillard's and the Fine Arts box office, 621-1162.
AD HOCK. The Video Tensions series continues tonight at 7:30 p.m. with visiting artist Louis Hock. Hock's powerful visual imagery has provoked heated discussion regarding social issues close to his Southern California home, including sexual assault and border tensions between California and Mexico. By discussing his own use of videotape, installation and public art, Hock will cover the use of art to provoke viewers and call their attention to socio-political debates that are often difficult for us to face collectively. His presentation includes clips from The Mexican Tapes: A Chronicle of Life Outside the Law (1986), which follows a community of undocumented Mexican people over a five year period, as well as documentary clips from three public art projects: "Welcome to America's Finest Tourist Plantation," "NHI--No Humans Involved," and "Arte Reembloso/Art Rebate," a commentary on the disparity between the taxes undocumented workers pay and the government benefits they receive.
Tonight's free presentation is the third in a series of progressive works continuing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday nights through August 3, in the UA Modern Languages Building auditorium. Call 621-7352 for information and a complete schedule of screenings.
POET'S CORNER. Poetry lives in all things...even the most unlikely of sources, your television set. The Language Of Life with Bill Moyers documents the lives and performances of 18 American poets celebrating the renaissance of public poetry--that is, poetry read and performed, often to music, before large audiences. It captures the variety of human experience, from Jimmy Santiago Baca, a poet of Chicano and Apache descent who taught himself to read and write in an Arizona maximum security prison, to the intellectual, well-traveled perspective of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder.
The series premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on KUAT-TV, Channel 6, with "Welcome to the Mainland," a showcase of the jazz-laced street speech of African American poet Sekou Sundiata, accompanied by urban jazz-funk by Craig Harris and the Black Coalition Orchestra; and the gentle conversation of Naomi Shihab Nye, as she extracts uncommon understanding from familiar objects and events from her Palestinian past and American present. "Love's Confusing Joy" follows at 10 p.m., the story of poet/scholar Coleman Barks, who has dedicated his life to the transposition of works by 13th-century Islamic poet Jelaluddin Rumi, whom he calls the "Shakespeare of the Islamic world." Backed by the music of the Paul Winter Consort, Barks' recitals have been called "a haunting, spiritual experience."
The series continues at 9 p.m. Fridays through July 28 on KUAT-TV, Channel 6.
FUNNY BONE TO PICK. Monica Palacios' career has taken a few wide turns since her early days performing stand-up comedy in San Francisco and Los Angeles. She quickly realized she couldn't do her comedy in a mainstream house when she was told to "ease up on that Latina and lesbian stuff." Now dubbed L.A.'s "Latin Lezbo Comic," from her show of the same name, Palacios has thrilled audiences in the smaller, alternative scene--ironically receiving rave reviews from the Los Angeles Times, which called her performance "raucous" and "terrifically funny." She visits Tucson for the first time tonight, with a "Best of" show she describes as "part stand-up, part performance art and part Chihuahua."
Join this final celebration of Pride Week, and the end of the One In Ten Theatre Company season, at 8 p.m. at the Historic Y Theatre, 738 N. Fifth Ave. Tickets are $10 in advance from Antigone Books, Ain't Nobody's Biz and Tucson Trunk. Call 770-9279 for reservations and information. Tickets are $12 at the door.
SUNRISE FOR SAN JUAN. Set your alarm clock to join Native Seeds/SEARCH, the Tucson Botanical Gardens and the Origins Society in this annual sunrise celebration of San Juan's Day, at 5:30 a.m. in TBG's demonstration garden, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. Mary Luna of New Pascua Village will conduct the ceremony to bless the seeds, the soil and the farmers, and to pray for good rains, with seasonal dances presented by the Lehi Maricopa Bird Dancers. Refreshments will be served after the ceremonies. The San Juan's Day celebration is presented as a cross-cultural celebration, recognizing the cultural significance of the monsoon season in both Native American and Hispanic traditions, as well as the importance of these summer rains to all life in the desert. See this week's feature story for a detailed description of the event and its history. The ceremony is free and open to all, with donations gratefully accepted. Call 327-9123 for information.
IRISH ROWS. It's been a long battle for these last three members of the Tucson Six, and on Friday, June 30, Mixie Martin, Seamus Moley and Kevin McKinley will accept reduced sentences of 16 months each for pleading guilty to two indictments (from a long list which included conspiracy, possession and illegal transport of explosives across state lines, and other charges) related to their alleged involvement with the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Irish Northern Aid hosts a "Farewell to Friends" concert today, the final Sunday before their departure, from 2 to 10 p.m. at O'Malley's Bar and Restaurant, 437 S. Fourth Ave. "This has been a long time," says INA's John Murphy. "With four years (since the 1991 indictment) behind them, they need to be able to get on with their lives." Along with traditional and acoustic Celtic jams with the Who?legans and Chicken Feet, the TAMMY-award winning Weird Love Makers will heat up the floor with their "straight-up American punk." Says Murphy with a laugh, "I got no problem with punk." You'll just have to wait and see what other guest musicians take the stage, though we hear a number of them are tuning up. Says Murphy of the show, "This is a final opportunity for Tucson to show support for these guys and the Irish freedom movement which has strangely touched our small, desert town."
Ten bucks will get you a BBQ chicken dinner and the best Celtic music in town, with all proceeds going to Martin, McKinley and Moley. Tickets are available at Piney Hollow, 427 N. Fourth Ave., or by calling 884-7877.
BLUE MONDAY. Look no further for a way to jazz up these dull Monday nights. The Kingfisher Bar and Grill, 2564 E. Grant Road, heads into its third experimental "Blue Monday" line-up with jazz musicians the Blue Monks playing from 9 p.m. to midnight. Arrive early for one of the excellent entrees from Kingfisher's regular menu, or order from the after-10 p.m. "jazz menu," including owner John Murphy's favorite, Murph's Famous Fried Oyster, Artichoke and Mushroom Brochettes. We less adventurous souls opt for the blackened catfish sandwich and Dungeness crab cakes, all for under $10. Or get your head swimming with a thematic blue martini. Are we having fun yet? So far the after-10 p.m. crowd has enjoyed an intimate setting, though Murphy says he hopes that changes. "The idea is to have bigger acts, with blues as well as jazz. So far jazz standards have worked well with the mixed crowd. But we're aiming for a more bluesy scene this summer." Either way, this comfortable dining room just keeps getting better. Call 323-7739 for information.
TOUCHABLE SCULPTURE. At long last, an art exhibit free from those inhibiting "Please Do Not Touch" signs! Touchable Sculpture: Lifecasts by Willa Shalit and Dean Ericson, consists of 74 highly detailed lifecast sculptures visitors are encouraged to explore with their hands. Subjects include contemporary personalities, political figures, dancers and athletes exploring the power and beauty of the human form. Shalit has been creating lifecast sculpture since 1979 and is a nationally recognized leader in her field. Ericson sculpts in clay, bronze, pewter and resin casting. Their collaboration has produced powerfully expressive full-body lifecasts and facial portraits, edging this ancient practice into an artistic medium of its own.
Touchable Sculpture continues through July 5 at the Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. Second St., with exhibit hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Call 628-5773 for information.
THE REAL THING? The latest production from Borderlands Theatre sounds like a bottle waiting to explode. The True History of Coca-Cola in Mexico is a "spirited satire" of two young, American filmmakers set on producing a hard-hitting documentary on the soda's subversive effect on Mexico's "traditional" culture. The bizarre plot twists through the filmmakers' feverish efforts to get "compelling footage of 'authentic' Mexicans suffering from a steady diet of Coke--the perfect metaphor for corporate America's nutritionless contributions to Mexico." In collaboration with Mixed Blood Theatre Company of Minneapolis, Borderlands has produced a lightening-speed comedy, with actors Patrick Scott and Roberto Guajardo playing more than 30 characters, including curanderos, conquistadors and eight Mexican presidents.
The production previews at 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, with performances continuing through Sunday, July 16. Tickets are $8 for previews, $10 for regular performances, with discounts for seniors and students. Advance tickets are available at Antigone Books, Jeff's Classical Records and the PCC West Campus cashier's office. Call 882-7406 for reservations and information.
Do the Manipuri: Rajkumar Singhajit Singh & Company perform traditional Indian dances from Manipur at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at UMC DuVall Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave.
Corn prone: Arizona Theatre Company and the Phoenix Symphony present Oklahoma! from June 21 through 25 at the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave.
Giddyap: Dog and Pony Show celebrates the release of their new CD at 8 p.m. Friday, June 23, at Club Congress.
Three-ring fling: The Ringling Brothers Barnum and Baily Circus brings a bunch of clowns to the TCC Arena, 260 S. Church Ave., June 22 through 25.
Carbonated commentary: Patrick Scott and Roberto Guajardo star in Borderlands Theatre's satirical comedy, The True History of Coca-Cola in Mexico, continuing through July 16 at PCC Center for the Arts, 2202 W. Anklam Road.
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