guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
See a Show
. Leonard Bernstein, most famous for composing the music for West Side Story
, did a lot more than compose the music for West Side Story
. For example, his Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish,” is based on the Jewish Prayer and was dedicated to the memory of John F. Kennedy (who died just weeks after the first performance of the piece). At this performance, hosted by the Tucson Symphony and the Tucson Desert Song Festival, Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein, will narrate. 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 19 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 21. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $15 to $86.
Outside Mullingar at ATC
. John Patrick Shanley, the author of Doubt
, also wrote this Tony-nominated play set in the farmlands of Ireland. It’s a light and lovely romantic comedy about two introverts—Anthony, the cattle farmer, and Rosemary, his next door neighbor who is determined they will be together. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded about all of the love in the world. Shows Saturday, Jan. 20 to Saturday, Feb. 10. Dates and times vary, but this week, there’s an 8 p.m. preview show on Saturday, Jan 20, a 7 p.m. preview show with a post-show discussion on Sunday, Jan. 21, and 7:30 p.m. previews Tuesday, Jan 23 through Thursday, Jan. 25. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Preview shows $25 to $45. Regular shows $41 to $63.
MOMIX: Opus Cactus
. UA Presents is hosting MOMIX, the dancer-illusionist company that you pretty much have to see to understand. It’s a lot of art forms coming together—dance, music, gymnastics, light work, feats of strength—for a performance that the New York Times praised for its “ingenuity, theatricality and cunning imagination.” So it can’t be all that bad, right? And this show is all about the Sonoran Desert, depicting lizards, snakes, insects and our beloved saguaros with dynamism and humor. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. $20 to $65.
La Encantada Fine Art Festival
. Let’s get this party art-ed! Dozens of visual fine artists are coming together in the foothills so that you can look at their gorgeous work against the backdrop of Tucson’s gorgeous mountains, and take your favorite pieces home with you! There will be metal and leather work glass designs, watercolor, silver jewelry, metal sculptures, ceramic, woodwork, photography, oil paintings and mixed media. Plus live entertainment and free parking! 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 21. La Encantada Shopping Center, 2905 E. Skyline Drive. Free.
Citrus Jubilee at the Markets
. Are you ready to lower your pH levels? To take in some tang? To pucker up? Because Heirloom Farmers Markets all round town are about to get super zesty. Check out the fresh fruit, flavorful baked goods, citrusy jams and honeys, flavored oils and vinegars, and even scented soaps. And keep an eye out for recipe cards so that you can make your own food that packs a seasonal punch. Happy citrusing! 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17 at Green Valley Village, 101 S. La Canada Drive. Friday, Jan. 19 at Trail Dust Town, 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road. Saturday, Jan. 20 at Steam Pump Ranch, 10901 N. Oracle Road. Sunday, Jan. 21 at Rillito Park, 4502 N. First Ave.
Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show
. It’s mineral season in the Old Pueblo, and another chance for you to become a rock star, or, as some people like to call it, a rock collector. This show is especially for the gem minerals of the rock star community, but honestly for anyone. If you walk into this expo as someone who isn’t interested in rocks, you are likely to walk out a changed person. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18 through Sunday, Feb. 4. Riverpark Inn Hotel, 777 W. Cushing St. Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show. Free entry.
The Tucson Flea
. If you’re into the idea of farmers markets and supporting local artisans, but not super into the idea of getting up early on the weekend to go do it, check out the Tucson Flea, a totally unique shopping experience that has all of the quirkiness and charm of Tucson itself. There’ll be jewelry, ceramics, cookies, planter beds, vintage clothing and other art forms. 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19. Owls Club, 236 S. Scott Ave. Free (to enter and to participate! Email David Aguirre at dinnerwareArtspace@gmail.com to inquire about being a vendor.)
Tucson’s Biggest Yard Sale
. We don’t remember the last time we drove down Speedway and didn’t see a sign for a yard sale, so if this is the biggest one in the whole city, it must be pretty big. Pick up some new clothes to complete your “new year, new me” look. Stock up old CDs. Find the perfect piece of art to hang on your bedroom wall. Pick up a Valentine’s Day gift for your special someone. Oh, and Desert Diamond Casinos is giving away 150 Free Play Vouchers on a first-come, first-served basis. So get there early! 7 a.m. to noon. Saturday, Jan. 20. Desert Diamond Casinos, 7350 S. Nogales Hwy. Free.
Learn Something New
UA Science Lecture Series
. Algorithms, or a set of rules to follow in order to solve a problem, are nothing new. But using algorithms to further the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning? That’s pretty new. UA computer science professor Stephen Kobourov will be talking about the mathematical and engineering challenges behind AI and ML development (how does this work?) as well as the Blade Runner
-esque (what makes humans human?) and judicial (are machines more objective than humans?) questions that the research brings up. This talk is the first in the spring 2018 UA Science Lecture Series. 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. Free.
Valley of The Moon Historical Tours
. If you’re looking for some insider knowledge on the Valley of the Moon’s history (and who isn’t?), boy, do we have a deal for you. Hear stories, learn history and do some independent exploring on these docent-led tours, which last about 35 minutes each. Can you think of a more magical way to spend the third Sunday of each month? 2 to 4 p.m., with tours leaving every 20 minutes beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21. Valley of the Moon, 2544 E. Allen Road. $5 adults. Free for members, teachers and children 12 and under.
Coloring Night at the Film Bar
. Looking to have a low-key Friday night, but not so low-key that you’re literally staying at home coloring? How about going to Casa Film Bar and coloring? Tucson’s favorite video store is featuring an array of desert-themed coloring books and the Nations Creations food truck. Not to mention the extensive collection of local brews and more DVDs than you could ever dream to watch in a lifetime. 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19. Casa Video and Casa Film Bar, 2905 E. Speedway Blvd. Free.
El Conquistador Artist’s Nest
. If you ever have a couple of hours to spare but don’t want to commit to a structured activity, wander into the local resort’s art forum. With the new year, they’ve begun displaying work from a new round of artists, like the muralist Eric Jabloner, the photographer/fashion illustrator/painter multimedia artist Cima Mehr and mosaic artist Karen Gauci. Their work will be displayed throughout the year, so there’s no rush on this one. Wander in one day after work, or on a weekend afternoon. Hilton El Conquistador, 10000 N. Oracle Road.
. If you feel like you’re not the creative type, or like you wouldn’t know what to do even if someone handed you acrylic paints, markers, pencils, Molotow spray paint and even some canvasses (which Open Space Church will, by the way. You’ll just need to bring your own canvas if you want to take it home.), then you probably just haven’t been eating the right foods to fuel your creativity. It’s widely known in the art world that pizza is an art-rodisiac. And there’ll be pizza from Magpie’s at this to get you going. Kids are welcome, but there’s no childcare. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. (come in anytime, leave anytime!) Thursday, Jan. 18. Studio Space Tucson, 4648 E. Speedway Blvd. Free, with donations accepted.
. This person was one of the most notorious bank robbers in the wild west, and it wasn’t Kissin’ Kate Barlow. It was Tucson’s own John Dillinger, who was captured by the Tucson Police Department almost 84 years ago exactly. Come celebrate the anniversary of his capture with reenactments, a vintage car show, historical walking tours of downtown, a beer garden at Maynards Market & Kitchen, live music, whiskey tastings and a gun trick show. We should celebrate the capture of every notorious criminal so extravagantly, if you ask us. Dillinger Speakeasy from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19. $35. Dillinger Days 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20. Free. Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St.
Tucson Japanese Festival for New Year
. Join Odaiko Sonora and the Southern Arizona Japanese Culture Coalition at the second year of this annual festival. See performances of kabuki dancing, Taiko drumming and Japanese music. Enjoy presentations on Japanese rock music and the history of manga and anime. Stuff your face, character-in-a-Ghibli-movie-style, with takoyaki balls, ramen, Japanese school curry and onigiri. And be sure to check out the mocha making demonstrations. 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20. Pima Community College Downtown Campus Center, 1255 N. Stone Ave. $5.
Eleanor Wilner at the UA Poetry Center
. Eleanor Wilner is serious about poetry. And she’s also seriously good at poetry. Her awards and accolades include a MacArthur Fellowship, a fellowship from the National Foundation for the Arts, the Juniper Prize and three Pushcart Prizes. She holds a PhD from John Hopkins University and has written seven books of poems. And she’s coming to see us here in Tucson! Don’t miss this chance to pick the brain of a phenomenal poet and get a book signed by her. 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18. UA Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen St. Free.
Poetry and Pancakes
. You like pancakes, right? How about all-you-can-eat pancakes? How about supporting local nonprofits? That’s what we thought. Help yourself to as many pancakes as you can, plus a mimosa if you’re an adult, for only 10 bucks (or 8 bucks for kids). And enjoy poetry from the likes of Jane Moore, Kym Cutter, Natalie Brewster Nguyen, Farid Matuk and other local poets. 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21. Cirque Roots Studio, 901 N. 13th Ave. $10 adults, $8 kids.
Fun in General
. The Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter & Sanctuary is here to give you the time of your life. Say goodbye to the downward facing dog and hello to the calmness-facing cat. Bring a yoga mat (and be warned that the kitties tend to dig their claws into the mats) and a blanket, but leave your cat allergy at home, if you have one. You’ll be feline serene in no time. 1 to 2:15 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21. The Hermitage, 5278 E. 21st St. $15, register by Saturday, Jan. 20 before the spots run meowt.
Picnic in the Park
. This event sounds sweet and peaceful—until you learn it’s hosted by the resident heathens in the Tucson Atheists Community Outreach Team. Between burning bibles and engaging the general hedonism (just kidding), they’re going to be playing cornhole and ladder golf at this family-friendly potluck. Feel free to bring a dish to share and to make some new friends, whether you’re an atheist or not. 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21. Ramada #3 at Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way. Free.
Tohono Chul Members’ Reception
. As if the benefits to being a Tohono Chul member weren’t enough already (free admission to Bloom Night, free guest passes and invites to all exhibit openings, just for starters), take this opportunity to pat yourself on the back for being a member. Enjoy some refreshments, talk Tohono, chat Chul. Hear from Executive Director Christine Conte about what the board has planned for the year, and kick back for a performance of Gamelan music by Dewi Malam. 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20. Free. RSVP by calling 742-6455, ext. 243. Tohono Chul, 7366 Paseo del Norte.
. The comforting humanity of traditional folk holds us up with the quiet strength of white gospel, urging us on with the simple hope of old-time music. Carrie Newcomer’s earnestness plays out in the lyrics, which question more than they answer, and acknowledge vulnerability, “Will you keep the embers warm when my fire’s all but gone?” How can we find unity “in a world of us and them?” Though she’s working within the almost-always questionable Inspirational music idiom, Newcomer manages to sidestep the narrow shackles of Christianity by offering many ways to save your spirit, “You can rest here in Brown Chapel/Or with a circle of friends/A quiet grove of trees/Or between two bookends.” Sincere and understated, the acoustic instrumentation behind her is gentle and uplifting. It’s respite music, respite from a racist white house— an unironic attempt at healing by “leaning towards the light.” With Gary Walters on Friday, Jan. 19. Christ Church United Methodist, 655 N. Craycroft Road. Doors at 7 p.m. $25. All ages. —B.S. Eliot
. Emotionally ragged and relentlessly melodic, Tucson’s Positive Satan harnesses the rawness and profound alienation of a spurned adolescent on a week-long bender. “Droptop, she dropped dead/I pulled-up in-a droptop, she dropped dead.” The vocals plead and strain—is this as good as life gets? The sped-up, jerk-stop flow is unpredictable and chaotic. But that backbeat pushes, through pain and pleasure and yet another come on/let down. The vocoder captures Satan’s humanity drowning, or being obscured, by choice or out of necessity. There’s too much pain to stay here. Satan struggles with the same gamut of emotions as Lil’ Peep (RIP); should we celebrate that Peep’s pain is over or that we’re all still here? It’s a question to be turned over and sweated out with a throng of strangers, frenzied to feel anything before completely numbing up. Lil’ Peep Night on Friday, Jan. 19. The Flycatcher, 340 E. Sixth St. Doors at 9 p.m. Free. 21+. —B.S. Eliot
. Two-four rhythms and the brassy hope of Jamaican horns (after American soul music), and the anarchic spirit of old-school U.K. punk (“White Man in Hammersmith Palais,” natch), second-wave ska could be the last true spirited rock ’n’ roll aimed at a nothing but a good time. (Unless you consider the dismal, woman-hating and right-wing hair metal of Los Angeles fun.) In 1981, Buck Hingley immigrated to New York City and, inspired by The (English) Beat and Toots and the Maytals, founded the Toasters. Nine studio albums and nearly four decades later, this now classic American ska outfit influenced everyone from the Mighty Bosstones to Sublime. While horns kick our asses to drink and skank, they call out hypocrisy with no-nonsense, working-class perspectives: “Talk to me about the problems of the world—you wanna ball your best friend’s girl.” Currently touring on In Retrospect: The Best of the Toasters
with drums, bass, trombone and sax, Buck both avoids and embraces the nostalgia train—you can shout along to “the hits” while the energy is youthful high. We’ve heard from trusted sources the band is on fire this tour, vital as ever. That ain’t easy to do. With The Endless Pursuit, Blue Collar Criminals and Sucker for the Sour on Sunday, Jan. 21. The Flycatcher, 340 East Sixth St. Doors at 7 p.m. $12. 21+. —B.S. Eliot