December 21 - December 27, 1995
RAMMED EARTH. A new hero has emerged in our midst (actually,
he's been around for several years, but this is his first public
appearance as an independent entity). And he deserves an heroic
intro: Conserves more energy than a block wall, able to leap
wood frame and stucco in a single bound...it's Rammed Earth Man!
Known daily on the planet as Tom Wuelpern, President of Rammed
Earth Development, Inc. (R.E.D.), this mild-mannered architect
and environmental planner has championed the cause of exclusively
using low-impact materials such as earthen walls and adobe for
building in the Southwest. R.E.D.'s projects have been featured
in national publications including Metropolitan Home and
have received awards recognizing "outstanding achievement
in energy-efficient design."
Educate yourself on alternative construction and view R.E.D.'s
Barrio Santa Rosa work-in-progress, the Meyer Avenue Project,
at Meliora Gallery, 178 E. Broadway, in an exhibit continuing
through January 31. Regular gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday. Call 792-9544 for information.
WINTERHAVEN WALK-THROUGH. Who wants a white Christmas when
you can have a musical, multi-colored, eclectic electric-light
extravaganza instead? Stroll through the Sugarplum Pueblo's Winterhaven
neighborhood, northeast of Fort Lowell and Country Club roads,
where Frosty, Santa, Mickey Mouse, the Grinch, and every other
commercial icon of Christendom is on display, along with some
truly delightful innovations in lawn ornamentation. Walk-through
nights continue tonight through Monday, December 25, affording
strollers motorized vehicle--free viewing from 6 to 10 p.m. And
remember, kids: The lawn displays are for viewing only. Avoid
parking hassles by taking the SunTran shuttle from El Con Mall.
Call 792-9222 for information.
Not to be outdone, Midvale Park neighbors have sponsored
their own holiday lighting contest. Tour the neighborhood and
pick your own winners from 6 to 9 p.m. daily through January 1.
Midvale Park is west of Interstate 19 between Irvington and Valencia
TSO CONCERT. Join the Tucson Symphony Orchestra this evening
for their annual Family Holiday Concert featuring a jazzy mix
of traditional Christmas carols, Hanukkah songs and popular favorites.
Guest conductor Jeff Tyzik, of national Tonight Show and
local Pops series fame, will lead the orchestra from "Silent
Night" to the delectable world of the Nutcracker,
with soprano soloist Nancy Davis Booth returning for her fourth
year of holiday fun. The Saguaro High School Mariachi Band will
also share in the program. Only the songs are traditional in tonight's
show--the format promises to be spontaneous and up-beat, and insiders
tell us the "musicians may have something up their sleeves."
Showtime is 7:30 tonight and Saturday, December 23, at the TCC
Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets range from $10 to $22,
available at the TCC and TSO box offices, and all Dillard's ticket
outlets. Call 791-4101 or 882-8585 for information.
CHILDSPLAY. The name of this excellent children's theatre
company belies the sophistication of its productions, from elaborate
costumes and puppets to polished acting and production design.
In time for the holidays, The Velveteen Rabbit comes to
life for two days only at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200
W. Speedway. This touching story of true love between child and
toy begins at 7:30 tonight, with matinees at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Saturday, December 23. Tickets are $12.25 for adults and $9.25
for children, students and seniors. Call (800) 583-7831 for tickets;
and 770-3690 for information.
BRAVO THEATRE. Who says classical literature doesn't offer
something for all tastes. Take Bravo Theatre's latest production,
for example: If you're of the "take my wife...please!"
school of humor, Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew
is just the avenue into the arts for which you've been hoping.
It's a nasty, brutish little comedy about the volatile Kate and
her sadistic suitor, Petruchio, who agrees to buy the cow (that's
a euphemism for marriage in the Old World, modern readers), so
that Kate's younger sister, Bianca, can marry Petruchio's pal
Lucentio (another Old World convention, following the prudent
course of commerce that sells off the old produce before putting
the new on the market). All this hilarity cuts loose in pastoral
Consider: Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper/Thy
head, thy sovereign (et cetera), for whom no other tribute
at thy hands/But love, fair looks, and true obedience constitutes
too little payment for so great a debt. If this isn't a
cheap night out that promises to spark interesting dinner conversation,
check the pulse of your significant other. Weekend performances
continue at 8 p.m. through January 28 at Bravo Theatre, 5526 E.
22nd St. Tickets are $4. Call 790-0844 for reservations and information.
MRS. CLAUS' STORYTIME. More than 100 kids (the substantial
number of adults deigned not to be counted) turned out for a single
performance last week of this unique story hour narrated by Mrs.
Claus. Some of the city's favorite children's theatre actors are
co-conspirators in this prop-laden, patchwork program including
"The Greatest Story Ever Told," fables and fairy tales
from Aesop to the Brothers Grimm, an interactive sing-along and
a visit from Santa guaranteed to ensure early bedtimes tonight.
While those of all ages willing to suspend their disbelief for
an afternoon are sure to enjoy the show, the production is most
appropriate for children age 8 and younger.
Today's 12:30 p.m. story hour is the final chapter in this year's
show at Serendipity Playhouse, 7000 E. Tanque Verde Road, east
of Trail Dust Town. Tickets are $3 and $5, available at the door.
Call 751-4445 for information.
YULETIDE YOGA. If all this holiday cheer has you tied up
in knots, treat yourself to a couple hours of tranquillity sans
anything seasonal with a free yoga class. Bill Counter will lead
you in a spiritual experience of a different kind in this class
exploring classical hatha yoga postures, breathing techniques
and meditation, suitable for all levels of experience. Wear loose,
comfortable clothing and "just show up" from 5:30 to
7 p.m. at Yoga Oasis, 2631 N. Campbell Ave. It's a gift you can
return to yourself instead of the store. Call 322-6142 for information.
FABRIC OF OUR EXISTENCE. Take your babes out of Toyland
and over to Tohono Chul Park, where the Small Wonders exhibit
blankets the main gallery with stunning miniature- and doll-quilt
creations. This annual juried exhibit features an all-Arizona
cast of quiltmakers, with scaled-down versions of traditional
"Grandmother's Flower Garden," "Rail Fence,"
"Wedding Ring," and "Log Cabin" designs joined
by miniature "art quilts" which use quilting techniques
to make contemporary fine art wall hangings. A companion photographic
exhibit, Portraits in Clay: Pottery in Mata Ortiz, continues
through January 14 in the Exhibit Hall. Regular gallery hours
are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and 11 a.m.
to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is a
And while you're there, work off that Christmas feast with a
leisurely stroll along the lush, desert garden paths. The park
is open from 7 a.m. to sunset daily. Call 742-6455 for information.
FOLLOW THE STAR. The kids are bored with their toys but
still out of school, you've packed the last of the leftovers off
with departing houseguests and you've exhausted yourself at all
the after-Christmas sales. What next? Now that the holidays are
officially over, you still have time to enjoy them as Flandrau
Science Center continues its celebratory planetarium show, 'Tis
the Season. Stretch that magical feeling out one day longer
with this entertaining yet educational look at holiday tales and
traditions from around the globe. 'Tis the Season continues
at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with 2:30 weekend matinees,
through January 5. You'll find Flandrau Science Center on the
UA campus at Cherry Avenue and University Boulevard. Admission
is $3 children, $4.50 adults. Call 621-STAR for information.
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December 21 - December 27, 1995