guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
Tucson Analog Hour
. How many of us love reading but can’t seem to find a moment to sit down and focus on actually doing it? It’s no fun to admit, but maybe we just don’t have the attention spans that we used to. Between comparing ourselves to others on social media, checking our phones 46 times a day (that’s the American average) and looking up all the coolest things to do in Tucson this week, we’re collectively exhausted. Set aside some time for just you and a book, no phones allowed, and rediscover the joys of reading, or having a conversation without being distracted by your phone, or even playing a board game. 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17. Exo Coffee and Tap & Bottle, 403 N. Sixth Ave. Free.
JA Jance comes to town
. The bestselling mystery author’s book tour is hitting Tucson this week, and she’ll be making two local appearances. In the ’60s, Jance was denied entry into UA’s creative writing program because of her gender, but now she's been writing for over three decades. (Take that, patriarchy!) This tour is to promote her new book, "Proof of Life," which brings the character Seattle lawman J.P. Beaumont out of retirement. Saturday Sept. 16, at 5 p.m. at Mostly Books, 6208 E. Speedway Blvd. and Sunday, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 5310 E. Broadway Blvd. Free.
Celia, A Slave
. The Rogue Theatre brings Tucson this play by Barbara Seyda, winner of the 2015 Yale Drama Series Prize. The haunting story is based on court records from the 1855 case State of Missouri vs. Celia, a Slave, in which a young woman was convicted and hanged for killing her prosperous owner. It brings to light the horrific violence and harsh realities of America less than 200 years ago. Vain Suitt stars as Celia, Cynthia Meier directs and Jake Sorgen does music direction and original composition. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays, plus 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday, Sept. 16 and 23. Through Sept. 24. The Rogue Theatre at The Historic Y, 300 East University Boulevard. $38, or $15 for student rush tickets (15 minutes before curtain call, pending availability).
. Arizona Theatre Company presents this semi-autobiographical comedy by one of the most highly regarded playwrights of all time, Neil Simon. The play follows a widower and his whirlwind romance with a soap opera actress, and was written in honor of Simon’s second wife, Marsha Mason. Mason landed an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award for playing the lead in the film adaptation of the play. She also is directing the ATC performance of the show. Friday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m. through Saturday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. Show dates and times vary. Temple of Music and Art 330 S. Scott Ave. $41 to $63.
11th Annual Shakespeare in the Park
. The El Rio Theatre Project is presenting “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for a few late summer nights in the park. Share a picnic basket, a blanket and some laughs over Shakespeare’s famous sense of wit. As the heat of the summer starts to fade and cool fall evenings approach, a night spent outdoors and at the theatre is a night well spent. 7 p.m. Sept. 15-17, Sept. 21-24, Sept. 28-Oct. 1. Himmel Park, 1000 N. Tucson Blvd. Free ($5 suggested donation).
Tigers Be Still
. The University of Arizona’s Arizona Repertory Theatre kicks of its 2017-’18 season with Tigers Be Still, about a young woman who finally lands a job with her master’s degree in art therapy, then faces a whole host of other problems, with family, with work and with a tiger that’s escaped from the local zoo. It’s a start to a season that will feature "The Addams Family Musical", "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Doubt, a Parade," "The Merchant of Venice" and "The Pajama Game." Sept. 17 to Oct. 8. Show dates and times vary. Tornabene Theatre 1025 N Olive Road. $15 to $28.
Tucson 5k Dash & Walk Like MADD
. Battle the forces of evil—your own laziness and the problem of drunk driving—by putting on your running shoes and hitting this course. There are 5K run and 5K walk options, and even the option to do a “virtual walk” if you want to support the event but aren’t able to make it. The Tucson Walk is held in memory of Scott McDermott, who was killed by an underage drunk driver in 2005. Walkers and runners can sign up to help raise money for M.A.D.D., and enjoy the post-walk barbecue and festivities. Check-in begins at 7 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16. Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way. $20 to $30.
Loop the Loop
. Welcome El Tour season and give Pima County’s “The Loop” some lovin’. Bike from station to station to check out the goodies, activities, and El Tour info stations, and then hit the afterparty. They’ll be raffling off prizes, including one $3,000 Felt bicycle, and you must be present to win. So you’re definitely going to want to be present for this one. Ride 6:30 to 10:30 a.m., party 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16. Reforma at St. Philip's Plaza, 4340 N. Campbell Ave. Suite 101 Free.
. Watch undefeated world champion, and two-time Mexican Olympian Oscar Valdez defend his WBO featherweight title against WBO’s number four world-rated Genesis Servania. SBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will take on mandatory challenger Jesse “Hard Work” Hart. These four have a perfect collective record of 108-0 (which will definitely change at this event) with almost 70 percent of their victories coming from KOs. No one’s going down without a fight, and the audience isn’t going home without watching some great ones. 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22. Tucson Arena 260 South Church Ave. $27-$102.
My-oh-my Apple Pie Weekend & Country Craft Fair
. In a season where many people aren’t sure if they’re really proud to be American anymore, we can find solace in one of our country’s most noble and timeless achievements: apple pie. In honor of this mapley staple, which was one of the things that made America great all along, check out this two-day festival dedicated completely to the sweet treat. All-you-can-eat pancakes with apple pie syrup, apple crumb pie ice cream, apple-smoked burgers, apple picking, a craft fair and free apple pie samples. 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 and Sunday, Sept. 17. Apple Annie's Fruit Orchard Location 2081 W. Hardy Road. Willcox, AZ. Free admission.
Second Annual Oracle Ford Peppersauce Roundup Adventure Festival
. Strap in, because this is a weekend full of everything from gravel grinder bike races (50 and 60 mile courses) to stampede trail runs (10-mile, 8-mile and 5K courses) to zip-lining to camping. And then kick back, because it’s also a weekend of good eats, craft beer, live music and a bike and gear outdoor expo. And Mr. Nature will be there for the kids! It’s a celebration of Sonoran terrain and everything that makes Arizona a place we love to live. 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22, to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24. Arizona Zipline Adventures, 35406 S. Mount Lemmon Highway, Oracle. $5 or 5 for $20.
Santa Cruz County Fair
. If riding carnival rides and seeing the best-in-show horse sounds like a fun weekend, then we’ve got the weekend for you. The fair is celebrating its 102nd year with be dancers, magic shows, animal acts and a farmers market. Not to mention classic carnival rides, the Sonoita All-Breed Circuit Horse Show, and the inevitable presence of sweet, sweet fair food. Sunday is Military day, so earn free entrance for a family of four with your military ID on Sunday, Sept. 15. Friday to Sunday, Sept. 15-17. 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. 3142 S. Highway 83, Sonoita. Advance adult admission $5, Children 6-12 $3, Children under 6 free.
. Get your Greek on at the annual Tucson Greek Festival. Panathenian Dancers will perform alongside live music for the community to enjoy. There will also be a wide variety of deli food and pastries, including baklava, dolmathes and spanakopita. If you want to do more than just eat delicious food, there will also be a Greek cooking demonstration. Also, there will be a raffle contest for a free trip to Greece held on Sunday. Fire, Police, First Responders, and Active Duty Military have free admission all weekend. Thursday 4-10 p.m., Friday 3 to 11 p.m., Saturday noon to 11 p.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m. St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 1145 E Fort Lowell Road. $3.
Downtown Radio 2-Year Anniversary Bash
. Happy 2nd birthday, Downtown Radio! You know what that means! 99.1 FM should have rapidly developing motor skills, the ability to put together simple two-word phrases such as “live music” and “no cover.” Celebrate with your favorite toddler-aged local non-commercial radio station at this event, featuring performances from funk rockers Shooda Shook it, Latin rock band Los Guapos and the oh-so-psychedelic Lemon Drop Gang. 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15. Saint Charles Tavern, 1632 S. Fourth Ave. Free.
Tucson Light The Sky Lantern Festival
. More than stars will be lighting up the sky on Saturday at this magical event. Channel your inner Disney princess (or prince) and release your wishes to the sky on a lantern. Tangled fans and dreamers alike are welcome to enjoy the magic of hundreds of lanterns rising to the stars. There will be live music and concessions for attendees to enjoy before the grand release event. Coolers and chairs are also allowed, but leave any alcohol or glass at home. Children under five are free. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16. Arizona Motorplex and Event Center 4300 E. Los Reales. $39.99.
Learn Something New
Pet Portrait Series
. The Drawing Studio presents this six-class series where you can engage with your inner artist and create a pet portrait, or two, or three. Just bring a photo and whatever skills you have (even if you don’t have any) and go over different techniques and mediums for capturing the essence of your favorite furry friend (or your friend’s favorite furry friend). Make sure you’ll be able to attend all six classes. Registration required. 1 to 2:30 p.m. Begins Thursday., Sept. 14. Joyner-Green Valley Library 601 N. La Canada Drive. Free.
Arizona Living Economy Forum
. Local First Arizona, Mrs. Green's World and YWCA of Southern Arizona host this forum which will bring together influencers working to expand the Tucson community. Local First Arizona Founder and Executive Director Kimber Lanning will serve as the keynote speaker for the second annual event, and five topics will be covered: Food, soil and nature (can we ‘foodie’ our way to economic growth?), shared ownership and community capital (sharing is caring, isn’t it?), sustainable solutions (to green, or not to green?), localism and localist policies (support local businesses!) and opportunity and innovation for engagement (in which the UA’s leading effort to educate on and intervene with climate change is discussed). 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17. YWCA of Southern Arizona, 525 N. Bonita Ave. $10.
. Thank God someone finally made a class for this. How do you fix a flat tire? Train a pet? Eat healthy on a budget? 101Space hosts this event to help people who are technically adults feel like they are actually adults. Practice shaking hands and being a grown up with other people who are just as confused as you are, and add some useful info to your knowledge bank of things you learned in high school. (“Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell,” you know). 3 to 4:45 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21. Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave. Free.
Her Name Echoes
. “With every breath I take/I live this nightmare that we made.” Instead of feeling forced, this angst rises out of your overwrought best friend—the guy who drops “nightmare” and “clusterfuck” as routinely as he ashes clove cigarettes. Slightly vapid and cliche? Maybe. But super catchy and surprisingly from the heart. This is Her Name Echoes. Yes, we are still stuck in that sing-song Korn-y, post-Disturbed world, but this music is much less annoying because the melodrama comes from passionate youth instead of lily-white record execs clustered around a boardroom table. Even if you feel old because it makes “Crazy Train” into a classic-rock allusion, you still, rather inexplicably, want to invest time to see if they could very well be the real deal. They might be; shit, they’re Tucsonans. Hell, there’s enough musical dynamics to recall the great Liquid Tension Experiment. As if to prove the likability of the band, the proceeds from the show are being donated to charity. With As Thick as Thieves and Pyrotechnica on Saturday, Sept. 16. The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. Doors: 6:30. $10. All Ages.
. Psychedelic cumbia punk. Curious yet? Thee Commons offer up their pastiche of Spanish-English, Mexican-White, East LA-world sound, moda and experience. Two brothers and a small group of rotating session bass players comprise this banda única of five years, who’s already gathered enough acclaim to play Echo Park Rising and then Coachella the very next year. With scratchy bilingual vocals recalling a baby-faced Tom Waits and a tart blend of cumbia-inflected instruments—accordion, saxophone, cowbell (yay!), combined with bluesy guitars and reggae-punk bass lines, these chunsters might find you sexualizing something out on the dance floor: “You’re feeling like a goddess when you’re out the door/So work it out.” It’s easy to understand why Thee Commons’ underground cache is so damn high—they blend chicano and indie culture the way only East Angelinos can: Lucha Va Voom!, burley-q, and día de los muertos texture this Paleta Sonora muy sabrosa. With Vox Urbana on Monday, Sept. 18. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. Doors: 8 p.m. $8-10. 21+.
Reverend Horton Heat
. The Reverend Horton Heat (aka Jim Heath) is to psychobilly what Vassar Clements was to bluegrass—a godfather/innovator who’s been touring this country for the last 32 years (yowsa!), corrupting tatted and greased-up young punks with dirty guitar and burly, Jerry Lee Lewis-on-acid vocals. If you’ve never seen the Reverend, stop reading and score your tix now. The live show is legendary: The upright bassist twirls and thumps, often melodically slapping strings behind his back, and sometimes lights the damn thing on fire. The drums thwack tightly on surf, hardcore, pscychobilly and traditional ’billy. In short, the Reverend injects sexuality into wholesome and hallowed ’50’s nostalgia. They nearly hit the bigtime in the ’90s with the ode to voyeurism and masturbation, “Do It One Time for Me.” With the mighty Fishbone, Strung Out, Los Kung-Fu Monkeys on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress. Doors: 7 p.m. $25-$28. All ages.