Thursday, June 7, 2018

'The Seagull' Opens at Loft Cinema this Weekend

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 4:15 PM


Man, whenever a college professor would announce a Chekov play was on the agenda for required reading, I would roll my eyes and yawn. My younger self always found his stuff ponderous and pretentious, enough so that I’ve tried to avoid it for decades. Lo and behold, maybe Mr. Chekov was on to something, because this adaptation of his play into a movie starring Annette Bening and Saoirse Ronan actually seems extremely relevant in these days of celebrity and social networking. Bening plays Irina, an early 20th century actress who goes to visit her dying brother (Hey, look, it’s Brian Dennehy) and angry son Konstantin (Billy Howle), an aspiring playwright hopelessly in love with young actress Nina (Ronan). Shortly after her arrival, the action flashes back a couple of years to equally unhappy times during another Irina visit, one where Konstantin attempts suicide after Nina shows interest in Irina’s lover, Boris (Corey Stoll), another, more famous playwright. Considering when this was all originally written, the story is amazingly accurate in its portrayal of modern day celebrity competition at the expense of healthy relationships and, well, acting like a decent human being in general. Almost everybody in this movie behaves selfishly, and that behavior results in tragedy. Bening, Ronan and Dennehy are great, while Howle slows things up a bit. Hey, director Michael Mayer got me to relatively enjoy something with the name Chekov attached to it. I consider that a major accomplishment.

The Seagull opens at the Loft Cinema on Friday, June 8.

Laughing Stock: Is Blarney in the Blood?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 3:00 PM

Kathleen Madigan performs at the Rialto Theatre June 14. - LUZENA ADAMS
  • Luzena Adams
  • Kathleen Madigan performs at the Rialto Theatre June 14.
“I don't think you can make an unfunny person funny,” says Kathleen Madigan. She’s responding to notion that she’s a natural comedian. Her comedic storytelling style belies her heritage; it’s akin to the Celtic oral tradition of blarney, a colorful twist of truth and fiction, structured and paced for maximum side-splitting. Her gift is a keen eye for the ridiculous in everyday life.

Asked how her comedy has evolved since her first open mic at age 23, she says “I haven’t changed in 30 years. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I was never really dirty. I've never done celebrity gossip. I'm most apt to talk about travelling and silly stuff and my family,” Madigan says. Her steady flow of fresh, true-ish tales turns out a growing audience for her TV and Netflix specials and 250 tour dates year after year. “It is a lot but it's still a lot of fun, so I guess when it's not any more I'll just stop.”

She’s performed on nearly every standup show ever made, and has done three Comedy Central specials, Madigan has no interest in scripted television series’ or movies. “I don't like the waiting around,” she says. “I don't like having all those coworkers and bosses. I just want to be my own boss.”

She's won the American Comedy Award for "Best Female Comedian" and the Phyllis Diller award for "Best Female Comedian." She remains the only comedian in the history of NBC's Last Comic Standing to go unchallenged by any other comedian; no comedian would say they were funnier. And she’s repeatedly voted an audience favorite by Sirius FM listeners.

Asked what current comedians are bubbling under big careers, she suggests Dusty Slay, Raanan Hershberg and Bryan Hamilton, all of whom she deems naturally funny. “I think you can sing or you can't. Comedy is sort of the same thing.” But she holds out hope for the multitudes of hopefuls. “If you do have it, you go practice it and you get better and better. But if you don't have it, people can keep trying and have fun with it. As long as you're not getting paid to be funny, it doesn't matter.”

Madigan performs at the Rialto Theatre at 8 p.m., Thursday, June 14. Tickets for the all-ages show are $26 to $42, available via rialtotheatre.com. She says she is looking forward to playing the Pop A Shot in the green room.

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T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: Clear and Present Danger

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 1:45 PM

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Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to the United States and its democracy.
Discuss.

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The Weekly List: 23 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 12:42 PM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.

Music

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Celebrating the Spectrum 2018. Desert Voices, Tucson’s premier gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and ally chorus, is all about the idea that anyone can sing. And not just anyone on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Anyone, regardless of creed, age, background, age, race or pizza topping preference. (Even anchovy lovers are welcome here.) For this event, Desert Voices is hosting GALA choruses from throughout Southern Arizona and Southern California to celebrate equality, diversity and the unity found in love of music. 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 10. Arizona Theatre Company, Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. $25 door, $20 advance, $15 student.

Summer Sizzlers–Cool Hot Jazz for the Summer. Here come the Dixie Cats, the swinging jazz group that’s known for playing the tunes of old NOLA. Their show “A Brief History of Jazz” will play tunes all the way from late 19th-century ragtime to late 20th-century big band swing and trad-jazz. This is the first in the St. Philip’s in the Hills Friends of Music summer concert series, so if you enjoy this, you can look forward to Grupo Riken, the Puerto Rican/Latin Jazz group, playing in July. 2 p.m. Sunday, June 10. St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church, 4440 N. Campbell Ave. Suggested admission is $15. Students with ID admitted at no charge.

1812 Overture by the Tucson Pops Orchestra. June is upon us, so it’s only natural that, thanks to the Tucson Pops Orchestra, tunes are upon us as well. At this evening event in the park, you’ll hear music from Miss Saigon, a Tchaikovsky piece, “America the Beautiful,” and, in the young conductors’ portion, even “La Bamba.” Grab your blanket or folding chair—heck, bring a picnic if you want—and settle in for an evening of music. 7 p.m. Sunday, June 10. DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center at Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way. Free.

Art

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Etherton Gallery’s Summer Exhibitions. No matter what kind of art you like, you’ll want to make it a point to head to Etherton this summer. Their photography exhibition, “From the Archive: Masters of 20th Century Photography,” showcases work by American modernist photographers like Ansel Adams, Robert Frank, Annie Leibovitz and Eugene Smith. Hand-colored bird and flower photography by Tucson artist Kate Breakey will be on display in the pop-up gallery. And they’ve also partnered with The Skateroom to display editioned artwork on skateboards (designed to be hung on the wall, but could be used for skating as well) by artists such as Andy Warhol, Shepard Fairey and Ai Wei Wei. A portion of gallery sales of the skateboards will go into a fund for Cushing Street Skate Park, a needed covered skate park for Tucson youth. On display through the end of August. Opening reception 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 9. Etherton Gallery, 135 S. Sixth Ave. Free.

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Staff Pick

Carnival of Illusion: Magic, Mystery & Oooh La La!

This top-rated illusion show is "Revitalizing Magic" by blending an international travel theme with all the charms… More

@ Scottish Rite Grand Parlour Saturdays, 7:30-9 p.m. Continues through April 27 160 South Scott Ave

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