guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention
. Put on your top hat and enormous goggles, grab some sort of tricked-out nerf gun and slap a cog onto your cell phone, because it’s time to get steampunk! Also, this is the only steampunk convention in the U.S. that takes place at a western-themed town. Hear live music from Abney Park, load up on purchases from more than 60 vendors, check out some of the 80+ panels and workshops (including make & take workshops), and see a fashion show, tea dueling and other entertainment. And this year’s theme is Robots vs. Dinosaurs, so dress/act/take sides accordingly. Friday, March 2 to Sunday, March 4. Old Tucson, at 201 S. Kinney Road, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and it’s open to WWWC attendees only from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday. Ticket prices vary by age and number of days/events attended. Lowest price is $5 for “Dissection of a Seance”, “Shooting Sexy Steampunk” or “Tipsy Tea Dueling” events to $115 for a Maverick Family 3-day pass with two adult and one kid passes. (The Aristocrat Pass is sold out).
Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair
. Is it just us, or did the Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair just happen? Honestly, we’re so glad that the wait is over so soon, because this is one of the greatest events in Tucson—just ask the 500,000 people and 300 artists that come from all over the place to be a part of the fair. Funds from the event go toward supporting our beloved Fourth Avenue’s infrastructure, a cluster of local nonprofits and other free community events throughout the year. A free shuttle service will take you from the Pennington Street Garage down to the fair. 10 a.m. to dusk Friday, March 2 through Sunday, March 4. Fourth Ave.
Cat Mountain Station Spring Art Festival
. What better way to spend a spring day than at a festival full of local artists? You probably just did your spring cleaning, so you have to fill your house back up with new beautiful things to make up for the stuff you just got rid of. And it’s important to do your civic duty and support local art. To the festival! 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 4. Cat Mountain Station, 2740 S. Kinney Road. Free entry.
Arivaca Independent Filmmakers Exhibition
. OK, so Arivaca is about an hour away, but hear us out. This event showcases work of Arizona filmmakers with themes inspired by the desert Southwest, and also shows thought-provoking films from all over the world. See films by UA from students in the UA’s short-documentary program, a movie directed by Nogales High School Students, and a documentary called Cyber-Seniors, in from L.A. The films range in length from three minutes to 91 minutes, and genres range from psychological drama to nature adventure. On Saturday, there’s a potluck dinner as well.6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 2 and noon on Saturday, March 3. Arivaca Community Center, Universal Ranch Road, Arivaca. Free!
New Works Showcase Artist Talk
. The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona provides a New Works grant to Tucson artist that allows them to pursue creative projects, or to see their existing work in a new light. This is your chance to hear from some of this year’s recipients, and perhaps to see their work in a new light as well (or perhaps first light). Hear from Samuel Ace, who is working on a series of choral sound pieces, Stephanie Cortes, who is designing an astronomy-inspired circus performance, Marc Pinate, who is producing a series of theatrical monologues based on interviews with South Tucson war vets and Kimi Eisele, who is creating a work that will combine dance, puppetry, light and shadow. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 6. Exo Coffee Shop, 403 N. Sixth Ave.
Madaras Gallery All-Artist Show
. If you’ve ever wanted to own a piece of original art, but thought that was a thing only really, really rich people did, don’t miss this event. Most of the pieces, including 20 brand new paintings by Madaras herself and an array of works by guest artists, are smaller, which means the price tag is smaller too. Even if you’re not in the market to buy, who wouldn’t love spending an afternoon surrounded by art, artists and people in the community buying their first piece of original art ever? Opening reception is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 4, abut the show runs throughout March. Madaras Gallery, 3035 N. Swan Road. Free entry.
Music and Theater
Arizona Friends of Chamber Music Festival
. This festival kicks of at 3 p.m. on Sunday and carries over into Tuesday, Wednesday and the following weekend. And there’s a lot going on. For the Sunday performance, hear the music of Suk, Jalbert, Chapí, Vivaldi and Zemlinksy, then hear music ranging from Baran to Bertnstein to Mendelssohn during the week performances. And stay tuned for even more net weekend! You can buy a festival pass to go to all five days, or just buy tickets for the days you care about most. And they come with a gala dinner and open wine bar. 3 p.m. Sunday, March 4; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 6 through Wednesday, March 7; 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 9 and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 11. Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave.
. This was the first big musical with music and lyrics by three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz (for Wicked, Pippin and Children of Eden). It’s got Jesus, a whole bunch of parables and songs that range in style from pop to vaudeville. The revamped 2012 version, written by John Michael Tebelak, is filled with contemporary references and new arrangements of all the old hits. The St. Francis Theatre company is presenting the show by special arrangement with Music Theatre International. March 2 through March 18, with 7:30 p.m. showings on Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. showings on Sundays. $25 GA, $20 seniors/students/military.
Schubert & Brahms: Second Symphonies
. Some things aren’t better the second time, like fries reheated in the microwave or a relationship with an ex. But some seconds, like both Schubert’s and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2’s, are even more nuanced, lovely and sophisticated than the first go ’round. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra is coming through once again. 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 2, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7650 N. Paseo Del Norte, and 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 at Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive.
Nancy McCallion and Danny Krieger w/ special guests
. McCallion is a versatile musician, to say the least. Not only does she sing and play the guitar, pennywhistle, ukulele and harmonica, but she’s also been compared to musicians ranging from the Pogues to Tom Waits to a young Bob Dylan. The former songwriter and vocalist for the Celtic folk rock band the Mollys—and a Tucson native—she’s rocking this performance with her husband Krieger, who’s recorded with everyone from Exene Cervenka to Big Joe Turner. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 6. Monterey Court, 505 W. Miracle Mile. Free.
The Barber of Seville
. This opera buffa (Italian for “comic opera”) by Cioachino Rossini has been described as the opera buffa of all opera buffe, so you know it’s got to be seriously funny. When Count Almaviva falls in love with a woman named Rosina, he teams up with Figaro, the town’s barber to help him win her love, setting loose a series of twists and turns, mistaken identities and sweet, sweet love. 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $25 to $120.
UA Presents: Yamato, Drummers of Japan
. This group was founded in Japan’s Nara Prefecture in 1993, and has performed over 2,500 times in 51 countries and regions. They will straight up come to Tucson and start pounding away on a Taiko drum made out of a 400-year-old tree. Most of us aren’t even allowed to touch things that are 400 years old, but these masterful musicians are DRUMMING on one of them, and making incredible music out of it, to the delight of people all over the world. Don’t miss a chance to see for yourself. 3 p.m. Sunday, March 4. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. Tickets start at $15.
Odyssey Storytelling Presents: Sidekicks
. Do you ever get the feeling that you’re not the main character in the story? Do you ever get the feeling that the story still wouldn’t be half as interesting without you in it? Hear stories from fellow Tucsonans about knowing the sidekick, seeing the sidekick or even being the sidekick at this storytelling event. Jude Johnson, Ellen Morell, Kirsten Voris, David Davis, Claire-Vimala Anderson, Jonathan Grinder and Leigh Spencer will be speaking and this show curated by Jen Nowicki Clark. 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 1. The Sea of Glass Center for the Arts, 330 E. Seventh St. $10 GA, $7 students with ID.
Performance of “Not Me,” a memoir by Marianne Dissard
. Dissard might seem ethereal, if you didn’t see her everywhere you turn in Tucson—both in her solo work and collaborations with other musicians, filmmakers and writers. This performance of her memoir, rich with self-deprecating humor and raw honesty, is another showstopper. The performance is a collaboration with La Curie Perfume and Geneva Foster Gluck. 7 p.m. doors, 7:15 p.m. start time Thursday, March 1. Studio 148, TY Community Space, 148 S. Fourth Ave. $5.
The Great Outdoors
Wilderness Survival Class with Vincent Pinto
. Considering beans are one of nature’s greatest gifts (hello delicious taste and high fiber, protein and iron content!), it seems safe to trust a man named Vincent Pinto about wilderness survival. On Thursday, March 1, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Tucson Audubon’s Mason Center, 3835 W. Hardy Road, he’ll go over a bunch of survival basics, including what to do if you get lost, injured, threatened by dangerous wildlife, or dehydrated/extremely hungry. $35 Tucson Audubon Society Members, $45 nonmembers. A field portion of the class will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 at the Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary. Learn how to make shelter and fire, purify water, identify edible and medicinal plants, and navigate naturally. $65 Tucson Audubon members, $75 nonmembers. $20 for packed lunch in the field or $30 for lunch at the Safari Tented Camp. Call 519-9966 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for meal reservations.
Tucson Meet Your Birds
. Head over to Sweetwater Wetlands to check out some of the 309 species of birds that have been seen in the area. Experts will be on hand to teach even the most clueless about the world of birding, and binoculars will be on loan. There’s also a native plant sale, food trucks, hands-on birding activities and a chance to enter to win a pair of Zeiss Terra binoculars. It’s a free event, so it would be abs-bird if you decided not to take advantage. 7 a.m. to noon. Saturday, March 3. 2511 W. Sweetwater Drive.
Conquistadores 5K Fun Run/Walk
. Walk for a good cause, run for fun or run to win—its up to you on this pretty 5K course (which, by the way, will take place rain or shine, so be prepared for anything). Race entry includes breakfast, snacks, beverages, a race shirt and the chance to stick around and watch pros compete for the top title in the PGA Champions Cologuard Classic golf event. Participation benefits Tucson youth sports, and, face it, your preparations for your summer bod. Sunday, March 4. 6:30 a.m. registration, 7:45 a.m. race start. Omni Tucson National Resort, 2727 W. Club Drive. $40.
Climb to Conquer Cancer at A Mountain
. Every time we hike A Mountain, it seems like everyone in the city is up there anyway, so we all might as well take this chance to do it for a good cause. The American Cancer Society is hosting this fundraising event full of food, fun and feel-good attitudes. 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 3. Starts at Pima Community College West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Road, and ends at the top of A Mountain. Registration fees are $40 for adults, $25 for youth 13 to 19 and $10 for kids 12 and under. Participants are also encouraged to fundraise for the walk.
Fun in General
2018 Winter Meet at Rillito Park Racetrack
. This is the fourth out of six weekends in the 2018 winter meet, and it features the Budweiser Clydesdales! You know, the ones from the commercials that make you cry, or at least that always make it into that “Best Commercials of the Year” recap at the end of the year? Who doesn’t love a clip cloppin’ Clydesdale? Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4. Gates open at 10 a.m., post time at 1 p.m. and full hitch showings at 3 p.m. (between races). 4502 North First Ave. GA $5, Clubhouse admission $10, but contact the track at 520-RILLITO (520-745-5486) for more info about reserved table seating.
Monster Jam Triple Threat Series
. Nothing fires up that sense of childlike wonder like watching the real-life cartoons that are monster trucks compete in an adrenaline-fueled, four wheelin’ duel down at the racetrack. Men and women are competing for the same championship, and fans have the chance to vote for the winner in the two-wheel and freestyle competitions. Round up the family, buy your tickets and prepare to get HYPED as you realize you’re much more invested in the outcome of a monster truck rally than you expected to be. 7 p.m. on Friday, March 2, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 and 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. Tucson Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. $20 to $45+.
. Imagine old-school pass-the-peas rhymed atop German (even Kraftwerk!)-inspired backbeats, or new-school drum-and-bass spiced up with ’80s hip-hop flava. This saucy blend of old-and-new dance is what what black female DJ Uniiqu3 mixes up. Like Technotronic before her, Uniiqu3 is known for her ability to “get this party started right.” A quadruple threat DJ, rapper, singer and breakbeat dancer, Uniiqu3 rose from the New Jersey club scene to peak on international horizons. Drawing on her own voice, a hybrid of Latifah-positive and hood-rich Jean Gray, Uniiqu3 scratches, morphs and samples herself against boilerplate harsh grooves. This music straddles generations and stands to have a kid, his ma and his grandma off the wall and shooting from the hip. With Dai Burger on Friday, March 1. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 8 p.m. 21+. $10. —B.S. Eliot
make death a well-inked woman who prefers dirty martinis and back-alley schtups to corny Cadillac hearses and velveteen coffins. They’re an Austin trio who tackle the macabre with a wink, a nod and, finally, a liver-toasting hangover. Ditties like “Hell Hound,” show lead singer Carson Barker summoning Danzig menace and Elvis swagger while transcending hellbilly clichés simply ’cause the combo can bring the house down. Bassist The Miss Genocide’s thump-boom-sex basslines find her writhing on the floor as surely as skinsman Danny Piccuirro underscores every vocal line with songwriterly rhythms that highlight the words and vocal melodies. Few bands have the raw passion and chops to pull off such tightly woven, sexy-death trash. With The Distortionists and A Capital Affair on Sat. March 3. The Loudhouse, 915 W. Prince. 8 p.m. 21+. —B.S. Eliot
. Hawaiian-born Jake Shimabukuro believes the ukulele is an instrument of peace and if more people could play and experience its pleasing plucks and melodies, the world might actually improve. To that end, he has reinterpreted and arranged elaborate covers of everything from “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “Rolling in the Deep.” There’s ear-bending nuance in Shimakbukuro’s work, which rises from technical grace and feel; on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” for example, he captures both George Harrison’s hushed-yet-powerful vocal melody and deceptively intricate guitars. It’s no wonder he’s an ambassador for causes the world over (and a rep of his Hawaiian roots)—his music is filled with heart and tender mercies. Monday, March 5, at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress. Doors at 7 p.m. $28-$37. All ages. —B.S. Eliot