guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
Holiday Choirs at Tubac Luminaria Lights
. TaliasVan’s Bright & Morning Star Choir & Orchestra are here to wish you a merry Christmas, wish you a merry Christmas, bring good tidings for you and your kin and to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Their performance in Tubac will be preceded by the CosmoYouth choir’s melodic stylings, and holiday refreshments, holiday cheer and holiday gifts will be available throughout the night for purchase (the cheer is free). Rumors are flying about a possible appearance by the big man in red himself, and who wants to be the one who has to say they skipped out on an opportunity to meet the real Santa Claus? 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2. Tubac Plaza next to Sacred Treasures, 29 Tubac Plaza. Donations appreciated.
Smile with Santa
. It’s truly astonishing that Santa Claus has never won TIME’s Person of the Year Award. He travels all around the world making children happy, provided jobs for the elf population before it was required by affirmative action, and eats cookies in households across America so that Americans won’t, thus helping to keep obesity levels down. In between all of this, he’s finding time to let children (even the four-legged variety) pose for free pictures with him at Tucson Premium Outlets, and to host a story time on Saturdays. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays have storytime from noon to 1 p.m. and photos from 1 to 5 p.m., Sundays have pet photos from 4 to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 24, there will be Santa Photos only from 10 a.m. to noon. Tucson Premium Outlets, 6401 Marana Center Blvd. Free.
Oro Valley Festival of the Arts and Tree Lighting Celebration
. They say the more the merrier, and Oro Valley and SAACA have worked together to pack so many features into this two-day event that it might just be the merriEST. Artisans from everywhere from the North Pole to Bedford Falls will be around to sell all kinds and all mediums of arts, cookie decorating, brownies and hot cocoa will abound and a chalk art festival will make its debut. Santa and his elves will be around to take last minute orders from eager kids, while parents can enjoy the annual tuba Christmas performance. And, of course, everyone can enjoy the lighting of the 35-foot holiday tree on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3. Oro Valley Market Place, 12155 N. Oracle Road. Free.
Jingle Bell Run
. Get those bells jinglin’ for the joints that need it most. All of the proceeds from this fabulously festive 5K will go toward raising funds and awareness for arthritis. Round up all of the elves, reindeer and Whos you can find and get to jingle janglin’. And then devour some well-earned milk and cookies. If you can, pick up your packet and check in at Doubletree Reid Park, 445 S. Alvernon Way, from noon to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30, or from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1. The run is Saturday, Dec. 2. Registration begins at 8 a.m., run begins at 9:30 a.m. Gene C. Reid Park, 22nd Street and Country Club Road. $20 to $75.
Tohono Chul Holiday Nights
. Tucson might not exactly be a snowy winter wonderland, but, at this event, it transforms into a stunning Christmas wonderland! Over a million twinkling lights will grace the grounds of Tohono Chul while guests like you grace its paths. Look at the stars (and see if you can catch Santa doing a practice run in his sleigh) through a telescope, sing along to Christmas Carols, and sip on some Christmas-in-a-cup, also known as hot chocolate. You can also pick up last minute holiday gifts at the museum gift shop and enjoy live music from local bands while the kids visit Santa. Tohono Chul Park, 7366 Paseo del Norte. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday Dec. 1 & 2, 8 & 9, 15 & 16. $16 GA, $12 members, $3 children 12 and under.
. If you’re religious, then you might be touched by Roman Catholic hope that lines of luminarias will guide the spirit of the Christ child to a person’s home. If you’re not religious, the sight of 2,000 candlelit luminarias won’t be any less beautiful. And Tucson Botanical Gardens will throw in a holiday light show, their Origami in the Garden exhibit and performances by local dancers, musicians and school groups to make this event pretty much completely unmissable. $13 for adults, $7.50 for kids, $10 for TBG members and $4 for member kids. Friday, Saturday and Sunday Dec. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10. Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way.
Life Isn’t Fair, But These Are Fairs
. Tucson may not have a Norwegian Wood, but it has a pretty active chapter of Norwegians worldwide that’s been around for over 40 years. Enjoy an un-fjord-gettable day of celebrating the country that ranked number one on the 2017 World Happiness Report, the 2016 Human Development Index, the 2016 OECD Better Life Index, the 2016 Democracy Index and the 2017 Press Freedom Index. While you might be sad now that you don’t live in Norway yourself, at least you can treat yourself to a Scandinavian cookie to support the local chapter of the organization. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. Streams in the Desert, 5369 Pima St. Free. Members are asked to donate homemade Scandinavian Cookies to the church by 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 1.
14th Annual Mineral, Fossil, Jewelry Art & Craft Sale
. For those about to rock, we salute you, and we provide the details of the perfect place to pick up everything from world-class mineral specimens to gorgeous stocking stuffers. The Tucson Gem and Mineral Society is hosting this enormous, open-to-the-public sale, complete with fabulous fossils, really cool rocks, free refreshments and giveaways for kids. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. TGMS Facility, 3727 E. Blacklidge Drive. Free.
La Fiesta de Tumacácori
. Take this chance to head down to Tumacácori not only learn about the array of cultures native to the Santa Cruz Valley, but to celebrate them. Live music, children’s activities and 50 food and craft booths are enough to keep anybody busy for a weekend. A multicultural mass and a traditional procession will take place at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Hooray culture! Hooray holidays! Hoorays all around! 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 3. Tumacácori National Historical Park, 1891 E. Frontage Road, Tumacácori. Free.
See a Show
Man of La Mancha at ATC
. If you think you have no idea what Man of La Mancha is, you’re probably wrong, because this is where that “TO DREAM THE IMPOSSIBLE DREEEEAM” song that’s now stuck in your head came from. It tells the stories of both Don Quixote and his creator, Miguel de Cervantes, and is steeped in passion, Spanish culture and Tony awards. Saturday, Dec. 2 to Sunday, Dec. 31. Varying weekdays and times. An Audio Desc/Open Caption performance will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 21. $46 to $73 or $25 to $60 for preview performances Dec. 2 through Dec. 7.
Confessions of a Mormon Boy
. Invisible Theatre presents this award-winning one-man play about growing up gay and Mormon. Steven Fales, the original playwright and star in the off-Broadway production of the show, is coming to Tucson to depict scenes from his own life: being married in the church, having two children, coming out as gay, being excommunicated from the church and even getting into drugs, alcohol and prostitution. Don’t miss this compelling exploration of a man coming to terms with himself. 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2. 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3. Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. $34 GA.
A New World in Pictures
. Conductor Mei-Ann Chen and visual artist Adrian Wyard, the team behind “Planets on the Big Screen” is back with a multimedia presentation of works by Dvorák, Poulenc and Chadwick and visuals that paint the picture behind the music. There will be complimentary “concert comments” on hour before the performance, in which the conductor and artist will share more insight into the project. 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $15 to $86.
Reveille Men’s Chorus 23rd Annual Holiday Spectacular
. This local nonprofit performs only twice a year, and you’re just in time to catch them donning their winter coats and using their winter voices to perform their winter wonderland of a show. If you’re still wondering “where are you, Christmas?” the men’s chorus is here to help you find it. 7:30 p.m on Friday, Dec. 1. 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3. Leo Rich Theater. 260 S. Church Ave. $27 GA, $22 senior, students and military, $16 children.
. This week’s Broadway in Tucson production is one you just might be familiar with, but you’ve never seen it like this. The beloved princess, her neglected slipper and her squash chariot come together with a massive orchestra, some awe-inspiring stagecraft work and a modern twist for a story that will have you doing anything but bippidi boppidi boo-ing. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5 through Thursday, Dec. 7. 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9. 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. 1 and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10. UA Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. $19 to $100.
22nd Annual Bike Art Auction
. What’s that old saying? “Art imitates bike”? That might not be how it goes, but it certainly would work well in this context, because BICAS is hosting this all-bicycle-inspired artwork auction featuring all media of art by local artists. A Friday night preview will kick off the event and help you figure out what you need to bid on over a Dragoon brew, and the bidding begins on Saturday. Proceeds from the event benefit BICAS earn-a-bike program and community tools, a drop-in clinic teaching bicycle repair. 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 (with early bidding from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) The Art Gallery, 1122 N. Stone Ave. Free, but register for a bid number in advance!
Winter Art Fest
. Get up to Cat Mountain Station to start your Christmas shopping, for real this time. But honestly, even if you’ve already finished your Christmas shopping, why wouldn’t you want to spend day looking at pieces by local artisans, ranging from jewelry to iron works to photography? It’ll make a lot better gift to your mom than if you tried to take a picture of yourself making her some iron jewelry. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3. Cat Mountain Station, 2740 S. Kinney Road. Free.
Fun in General
. The Flandrau Planetarium features a different laser light show every month. The bad news is, you just missed the November show, which was inspired by Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. But the good news is that Laser Holiday, an installation featuring the Christmasization of the constellations, is here for December, and it’s going to be a holly jolly romp through the solar system with (in the event of a full house) 145 of your closest friends. Mondays at 4 p.m., Fridays at 9 p.m. Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd. Call to reserve tickets at 520-621-4516.
World AIDS Day 2017
. A whole cohort of community volunteers is coming for a day of art, music, speakers, education on AIDS and free, confidential HIV/AIDS testing by the Pima County Health Department. Raise your awareness, raise your hopes and help raise quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS. Mark Rosenbaum, operations manager for the Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN); Annie Schmidt, a founder of the SHANTI, Ben Cook, skipping in from San Francisco; and DIVA, current Miss Tucson Pride, will be speaking at the event, and there will be live blues rock, folk rock and reggae music. Artisan products will be available for purchase (with proceeds going to AIDS-related nonprofits) and performances by martial artists, dancers and DIVA will abound. 4:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1. Hotel Congress (outdoor stage), 311 E. Congress St. Free.
. Imagine fat, repetitious synths like “Axel F” mashing with a less-harsh forward motion like early Crystal Method. Random Rab’s music rises on early electronica touchstones, accessing that mid-’90s, up-all-night N20 nostalgia. Then he strips those tattered, Nag Champa-stained tapestries off the windows of your mind to let in pre-dawn shimmer. Sure, tunes like “Curiosity” build slowly, equal parts ambient and trance, but he takes you to that moneyed moment when you sense a kind of humanity in it all—Rab keeps an organic feel in his tunage. He’ll use native flutes and human voice between heartbeat rhythms. There’s both reverie and heartbreak here, which is no mean feat. It’s designed to celebrate vitality and keep your breathing steady and deep. “I just want to be, a little more free.” With Soundscrybe, Templeture and Elliot Tierney. Thursday, Nov. 30 at Solar Culture Gallery & Performance Space, 31 E. Toole Ave. Doors at 8 p.m. $12-$15. 18+.—B.S Eliot
John Waters’ Christmas Show
. What began as a kitsched-out, well-curated Christmas compilation evolved into an annual stand-up routine with a goddamned smart, trashy film legend. This show allows us a chance to spend a few hours with the notorious mastermind of cult masterpieces—go (re)watch Hairspray
, Pink Flamingos
and Serial Mom
—as he addresses the quirky, garish and grotesque aspects of Jesus’ annual b-day bash. Past year’s shows have mused on reindeer sexuality, a gay and lesbian club’s holiday mixer, and the pros and cons of a political protest at a living nativity scene. Hell, yeah! While Waters is a satirist of wicked proportion, and also a heartfelt raconteur; this evening was made for those of us longing to gather at the holidays, but assuredly alienated from religious tradition. So, the Trashy Pope is coming to town, offering a cathartic, collective sigh of relief—there are plenty of other damaged, damned, and fun-loving souls suffering right alongside you this holiday season. Saturday, Dec. 2 at The Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress. Doors at 7 p.m. $32-$110, all ages.—B.S Eliot
. Tucson-weaned Supersuckers are perhaps the last gasp of the Great Rock ’n’ Roll Party Band. For 30 years(!), they’ve boot-stomped breathlessly across this great land (and the world) with their ironic fuck-fest of AC/DC-Motorhead, outlaw country, and Sub-Pop flare. But who ever let the jokes fool us? As working-class joes who’ve come a beer-sweet smooch away from mainstream success, they’ve proven their undying love for loud, kickass rock ’n’ roll a gazillion times over. Oh sure, there’ve been many drunken stumbles, such as their questionable spin on Outkast’s “Hey Ya,” but the big, beleaguered heart of singer Eddie Spaghetti shines through his throaty, post-cancer rasp. And like Social D., The Supersuckers have made high-art of getting totally wasted to drown-out sorrows. Three chords and the truth! Dudes have birthed classics, too: “Pretty Fucked Up,” and, of course, “Born with a Tail.” With Bordertown Devils, The Bombpops and The Bellrays. The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. Door at 7 p.m. $16. All ages.—B.S Eliot
. Vexations Marathon to benefit the ACLU: In 1893 badass French composer Erik Satie composed a 64-second piece entitled “Vexations.” He then left a note in the margin suggesting it be played 840 times in succession. In 1963, avant-garde composer John Cage took up the challenge, and arranged a relay of twelve pianists who completed the task in 16 hours. It blew minds clean out of skulls. Now ChamberLab, known locally for, um, boundary-breaking collaborations, is inviting musicians of all abilities to participate in a new arrangement of the piece—for as long as they can play. Each musician will get sponsored per 64-seconds completed and all the money will benefit Arizona’s ACLU (that ain’t a bad deal). This is the first-ever attempt to perform the piece in such an arrangement, and will no doubt prove a psych odyssey for performers (and listeners!). You’ll note that Cage said that after those 16 hours he found himself “a changed man.” Uh huh. Saturday, December 2. Hotel Congress and Maynard’s Market, 311 E. Congress. 8 a.m. to midnight. All Ages and musicians welcome.—B.S Eliot