guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo
Star Wars Paint Party
. You Pick Your Side! You may not be able to use the force to help you become a professional painter, but you can attend a fun event where your painting is sketched out for you ahead of time and you have something to work with. Specify “Vader” or “Yoda” when you buy your ticket, so you can choose whether you’ll get an instructor who breathes really heavily and rarely speaks or one with confusing syntax. No, but really, specify one or the other so they’ll know which one to sketch out on your canvas. 6:15. Friday, Oct. 20. HighWire Lounge, 14 S. Arizona Ave. $30.
Agua Caliente Park Astronomy Star Party
. This event is simple, straightforward and starry. The Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association is setting up a cluster of telescopes in the Park Bus Lanes (at the north end of the park) to look up at and appreciate the sky. TAAA has been around for over 60 years, and the stars have been around for even longer than that. Celebrate and learn about both at this family-friendly event. Arrive early in case the park entrance gate closes one hour after the start time. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. Agua Client Park, 12325 E. Roger Road. Free.
The Orionids are coming! The Orionids are coming! Produced by Halley’s comet, these visitors from the school of space rocks will be doing a flyby on Friday. It’s the middle of the night, so warm clothing (hats, gloves, layers) is a must. Feel free to bring sleeping bags, blankets or lawn chairs to hang out on as well. It’s big, bright, beautiful and the perfect event for space-loving kids (or for the conversion of a non-space-loving kid into a space-loving kid), especially ages 8 and up. 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. (though shuttles back to the parking lot will be available at 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. as well). Friday, Oct. 20. Kitt Peak National Observatory Visitor Center by driving way west on Ajo Way and taking a left at AZ-386 South. (Park in the picnic area, a mile below the summit, and take a shuttle the rest of the way.) $49.95 online or $55 over the phone for adults. $46.95 or $52 by phone for ages 8-16. Tribal members free.
Do Good, Feel Good
Tucson Walk to End Alzheimer’s
. The Desert Southwest Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is hosting the Tucson branch of this walk, which takes place in more than 600 communities across the country. Walk a one-mile or three-mile route at Reid Park and raise funds to support Alzheimer’s research, support and care. It’s free to register for the walk, which gives you all the more incentive to reach out to friends, family, coworkers and beyond to help support a worthwhile cause. 8 a.m. to noon. Saturday, Oct. 21. Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way. Free.
Light the Night with LLS.org
. At this charity walk, come together to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which is fighting, researching and fundraising to create a world without blood cancers. Cancer survivors are invited to carry white lanterns and take part in a survivor ceremony, while supporters and family walk to celebrate survivors and strides toward a cure. Lost loved ones are honored in a Remembrance Pavilion, where people can leave tributes for their friends or family members. Registration is free, but please fundraise for a good cause, or donate to it yourself. 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. Park Place, 5870 E. Broadway Blvd.
Boogie Nights: A Charity Hair & Makeup Show
. Crimp your hair, put on your leg warmers and grab your roller skates for this 1970s-themed fundraising event. Enjoy a show with hair and makeup being done by Aveda Institute Tucson students and fashion styling done by Desert Peaches. Then hit the rink, skate your heart out to “Stayin’ Alive” and “Dancing Queen.” A silent auction with lots of goodies will be held as well. The best part? Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which works to prevent and cure breast cancer through cruelty-free research—not only to raise awareness. 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19. Skate Country, 7980 E. 22nd St. $15 for show only or $20 for show & skate through Eventbrite in advance. $20 for show only and $25 for show & skate at the door.
Magic and Murder at Hotel Congress
. Let Mistress Midnight and Magic Kenny Bang Bang take you on a journey. A journey through the only room in Hotel Congress to survive the 1934 fire on the third floor, a journey through a world of magic and expanding your serial killer knowledge, a journey with monsters and mystery and macabre twists and turns. Also, let Harold Garland take you on an actual, informative tour around the hotel. 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25. (There are also two shows on Halloween!) Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress, $15, 21+
. Luna Gale
, a play by award-winning American playwright Rebecca Gilman, is making its Arizona debut at the St. Francis theatre. Gilman is known for exploring social issues in her plays, and this is no exception: Luna Gale is an infant, born to two addicts, who is at the center of struggle over who should raise her, and how. Cultural, religious and social views all come into conflict when it comes to the question of what really is best for the children. Directed by Mark Klugheit and featuring Amy Scully, Cole Potwardowski, India Osborne, Joanne Robertson, Steve McKee, Taylor Hernandez and Jared Stokes. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Sundays at 3 p.m. Oct. 13 through Oct. 29. St. Francis Theatre, 4625 E. River Road. $20 GA or $18 seniors, military and students.
. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra is performing a trio of classics: Claude Debussy’s Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun
, Igor Stravinsky’s Suite from Firebird
and Alexander Glazunov’s Symphony No. 4
. Firebird is based on a series of old Russian tales about a magical, glowing bird that’s a little bit naughty and a little bit nice. (We’re paraphrasing, but regardless, a piece of music called Firebird is bound to sound cool, right?) TSO Principal Flute Alexander Lipay will play one of music’s most popular flute solos in Prelude to The Afternoon of Faun. New to the Friday evening show (only), TSO will offer a “tweet seats” feature, sending out information about the music being played to people sitting in designated tweet seat areas. Even classical music newbies can away from the performance with a bunch of newfound knowledge and the ability to stumble their way through conversations about pieces.7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $30-$86.
The River Bride
. The Arizona Theatre Company’s latest production begins this week. Marisela Terviño Orta, winner of the 2013 National Playwriting Award, penned this play about familiar themes—staying true to yourself, love, loss and trying to honor your family—in an exotic setting. In a fishing village along the Amazon river, Helena finds herself dreading her sister’s wedding to a man that Helena feels she should have ended up with herself. Just a few days before the vows are exchanged, a mysterious stranger is pulled out of the river, and a world of intrigue and excitement from beyond the simple village along with him. Previews begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, and opening night is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27. Runs through Saturday, Nov. 11. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. $41-$63 or $30-$45 for preview shows.
MOCA Third Thursdays: Yappy Hour
. This month, MOCA is launching their “Third Thursdays” program, making the museum open to the public for FREE every third Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. Not only that, but there will be performances, music, art-making activities for both young and old, food trucks and a cash bar. And they’re kicking off the program with a bang. Or should we say they’re licking it off with a Dane? At Yappy Hour, everyone is invited to bring their dogs to the museum, where humans can enjoy cocktails, dogs can enjoy treats and both can enjoy some modern art. A canine costume contest will have award categories for most creative, cutest and scariest. Proceeds from the event will go to Saving Animals From Euthanasia (S.A.F.E.), which will be on-site with animals available for adoption. This way, even if you don’t come with a dog, you can leave with one. 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19. MOCA, 265 S. Church Ave. Free.
FAME: Family Arts & Music Experience
. Some people only get 15 minutes of fame, but at this event, give your kids four hours of FAME (any more than that and it would surely go to their heads). At the seventh iteration of this annual event, kids can enjoy art, create their own art and munch on some tasty, nutritious treats. Mr. Nature, the Barbea Williams dancers, the Music and Dance Academy of Tucson, the Tucson Girls’ Chorus, Bollywood dancers, Mariachi Herradura and Folkloric Tapatio will be performing—and that’s not even the full line up! If you have any reasons left to not bring the kiddos out for this Saturday morning event, they should be wiped out by the fact that it’s a free admission day. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. Children’s Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave. Free.
Festivuses for the Rest of Usses
Arizona Lapidary Fall Festival
. For a two-day festival, there’s a hell of a lot of stuff going on here. Also, for being a festival that’s all about rocks and minerals, there are a lot of different approaches to take. Silversmithing, meteorites, sphere and egg making, chakras and crystals and gem identification are just some of the programs being offered, so mineral mania should be successfully induced whether your passion is marble or metaphysical. We don’t know much about rocks, but the photos on their website of the new tanzurine, jasper, travertine and pietersite up for sale sure are pretty. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 22. 7320 E. Broadway Blvd. Free.
Festival on the Green
. Oro Valley Parks and Rec is hosting this swanky event for people to just come out and have a good time. Craft beer, specialty wines, and food trucks galore will feed the masses while live music, a putting course and backyard games will entertain them. Admission is free! So you can just pay for whatever food, drinks and souvenir mugs you may want. Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. Oro Valley Community Center, 10555 N. La Cañada Drive. Free.
Fall Ball Music Festival 2017
. In the wise words of Jack Black in School of Rock, “You’re not hardcore unless you live hardcore.” Breaking Benjamin, Pierce the Veil, Thrice and Beartooth all a) are definitely living hardcore, and are therefore hardcore, and b) are playing at Rock 102.1 KFMA’s Fall Ball. Dreamers, which is more of an alt/indie rock band, is playing as well, and is sure not to disappoint. Live music from these bands and several others will be played on two stages, and hosted by the holy liquid trinity of Monster Energy, Bud Light and Jack Daniels. (Desert Diamond Casino and Resort, Tucson Federal Credit Union and actually, mostly Pizza Hut, are also all sponsors, but are not liquids.) Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. Kino Sports Complex, 2500 E. Ajo Way. $40 GA, Jack Daniels VIP Experience $130, Military $35 day of event.
Gnome Fest 2017
. This is the festival you never knew you needed, and a perfect example of how teamwork makes the dream work. This is a celebration of music, food and twinkie-eating contests. This. Is. Gnome Fest. Hosted by Metro Gnome Music, one of Speedway’s most colorful fixtures, the family-friendly (unless your family is afraid of gnomes, in which case, stay far, far away) event is being held to raise money for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Perhaps most exciting of all, the event will also feature an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records’ record for “Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Garden Gnomes,” which currently sits at 468. If you accidentally leave your gnome gear at home, gnome hats and beards will be for sale, with some of the proceeds going to the Community Food Bank. The music program that brings the most human garden gnomes to the event will win a $1,000 credit to Metro Gnome. 3:30 Sunday, Oct. 22. Maracana Indoor Sports Arena, 555 E. 18th St. Free entry.
Marana Cotton Festival
. A haiku: You make all our clothes. Soft, fluffy, reliable. An ode to cotton. Celebrate cotton balls, cotton candy, Cotton On, cotton mouth and cotton paper, as well as blue jeans, terrycloth, sheets, yarn and your underwear at this harvest festival. And Pima cotton, grown right here in the homeland, is right up there with Egyptian cotton in terms of quality. So enter a contest; listen to some live music; eat, drink and be merry; and leap into a giant cotton pile. 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. 12375 Heritage Park Drive, Marana. Free entry.
Corvettes and Contortions
11th Annual Tucson Classics Car Show
. The Rotary Club of Tucson is changing gears, and could be called the “motor-ey” Club of Tucson at their annual event. Over 400 of the coolest classic cars in town will be there to check out, and you won’t want to miss out on the fantastic raffle prizes, like a $3,000 shopping spree at Sam Levitz, $2,000 in airline tickets courtesy of Wellspring Financial Partners, $2,500 in appliances and furniture from the Tucson Appliance & Furniture Company and a $500 car care gift certificate for Jack Furrier Tire & Auto Care. The grand prize? $15,000 cash or a 2008 C6 Corvette convertible. Holy cow. And it goes to a good cause: using proceeds from last year’s show, the Rotary Club granted over $200,000 to Tucson charities. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. The Gregory School, 3231 N. Craycroft Road. $5. An optional Road Rally the following day from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. benefits autism awareness efforts. $50 per car includes barbecue meals for two.
. To quote a very wise and well-loved toy cowboy, “reach for the stars.” But at this event, do it with your feet! Join 4th Avenue Yoga instructor Genevieve, who has been doing yoga in Tucson for about a dozen years, as she goes over the basics of mastering headstands, forearm stands and handstands. Maybe that sounds intimidating, but who doesn’t wish, on some level, that they had the ability to pop into a handstand at a moment’s notice? This is the perfect opportunity to finally learn how the hell people do it, and how you can do it too. No experience required, but be sure to clear any significant injuries or limitations with Genevieve. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. 4th Avenue Yoga, 413 E. Fifth St. $20, and please pre-register.
The English Beat
. From ’78-’83, The (English) Beat dropped a career’s worth of swarthy-sounding, post-punk dancefloor hits (and coulda-shoulda misses), many featuring lovingly crafted nods to ska and reggae. Then they broke up. While you likely can hum the “Save it for Later” chorus (everyone from Pete Townshend to Pearl Jam covered it, too), The Beat’s fleeting fame fell short of lesser bands, like, say, The Police. Yet this Birmingham, U.K. combo is every bit as deserving, and influential. So, in ’03 and again in ’06, The Beat reformed as a nostalgia act (but a good one!), featuring original members and touring the world to (re)claim their due. Though there’s no newly penned music, the band sustains its vitality from those signature two-four guitar strokes, those lovely, forlorn horns and jolting blips, and all the new- and old-school ska fans who gratefully skank together under one roof. Then there’s Dave Wakeling’s crackle and croon, which often sounds like an old soul side. With DJ Dr. Wood on Saturday, Oct. 21. 191 Toole. Doors at 7 p.m. $12-$26. 21+.
. “We’d like to capture your mind right now/take you a little bit higher.” Imagine the passion of a streetwise corner preacher, summoning up wisdom from hard work and hard road in Minneapolis’ inner city, guided by enormous faith in Allah and driven to better the world through his thoughts, words and feelings. Brother Ali is the only emcee that has us shelling out hard-earned coin for a physical copy of every single new record. Blind and albino, he’s got a soulful voice like BIG, minus any gangster. Rather, he spits lines like, “Leave it to me to create hope where there was none/My inner soul shall cast shadows on the sun.” He’s forceful like the sun, yet humble, a pilgrim seeking answers to better the world. Positive, literate and admittedly ugly, Brother Ali is the exception to rap culture’s decadent narcissism. This uplifting, idea-driven music elevates and restores the power of hip hop, works both the emotional and the intellectual. Rare. With Sa-roc, Sol Messiah, and DJ Last Word on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 7 P.M. $18-$65. All ages.
. Atlanta hits again with that seat-back, windows-down, slow-beat trap that helps us all feel like heroes, at least for one day. 6LACK, with the smoothed-out voice—slightly robotic by vocoder—navigates us through patient beats and minor keys, wrestling us down to captivity in that sing-songy midrange. In his biggest hit to date, “Prblms,” 6LACK chirps directly to critics; “I’m not as lost as you think.” Though he does sip some drank, it appears his values are intact: “See I wanted love, but you wanted goddamn fame.” 6LACK’s got the vocal chops and juicy hooks to pull off old-school R&B, making us pause to reconsider the potential of trap and perhaps give the still-burgeoning genre a little more respect. With Sabrina Claudio and Sy Ari Da Kid on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress. Doors at 7 p.m. $25-$105. All ages.