Thursday, October 31, 2019

Tucson Botanical Gardens Announces Luminaria Nights Dates

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2019 at 2:46 PM

The Tucson Botanical Gardens will transform into a winter wonderland in early December.

The garden’s popular Luminaria Nights, sponsored by Tucson Electric Power, returns on Friday, Dec.6 through 8 and will continue the following weekend, Friday, Dec.13 through 15.

This year, they will release over 3,500 luminaries and will also feature over 20 Korean lanterns. Along with the lights, the Gardens are adding a Poinsettia Pavilion, Winter Wonderland: Our Garden Snowfall Experience, appearances by the Grinch, a write a letter to Santa mailbox and multiple musical performances, including the Manhattan Dolls.

The event will also have food and drinks.

“We take tremendous pride in creating a magical experience for our guests during the holiday season,” said Michelle Conklin, Executive Director, in a release. "We hope children of all ages will come and begin their holiday season with us at TBG.”

Parking at the Gardens is limited and free parking will be available at the Emmanuel Baptist Church at 1825 N. Alvernon Way with a free shuttle to the Gardens.

Tickets are available online and cost $18 for adults, $12 for Gardens members, $9 for children and $6 for children members of the Gardens.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit

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Ghoulish Giggles

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2019 at 10:13 AM


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Things to Do in Tucson on Halloween

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2019 at 1:00 AM

93.7 KRQ Boo Bash at St. Philip’s Plaza. Union Public House is celebrating their eighth anniversary at one of the biggest Halloween parties in town. This “Boo Bash” is sponsored by 93.7 KRQ and Guinness, and features food from Proof Artisanal Pizza and Reforma Modern Mexican. Plus, Guinness’ new orange brew will be in attendance for the season. It’s a big spooky bash of costumes, live music, food and beer. What more could you want out of Halloween? 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 31. 4340 N Campbell Ave. Information.

LightArt. Flowers make the world a brighter place, but this series of botanical lighting fixtures literally make the space around them brighter. For the next few months, that space is at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Ryan Smith, the Seattle architect and designer behind LightArt, found his inspiration for this project in the flowers from the landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Rhododendron and cherry blossoms, foxglove and columbine, snowdrops and chartreuse blossoms abound. And all of them provide a warm glow that will make you feel both in awe of how lovely art can be and like you seriously need to step up the lighting game in your own home. On display through Jan. 5 at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, and 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday. $15 adults, $13 seniors/students/military, $8 kids 4 to 17, free for members and kids under 4. Information.

Evil Dead Double Feature.
For Halloween, the Loft Cinema is screening one of the most successful independent horror films ever, and following it up with its ridiculously over-the-top successor. The frights begin with The Evil Dead (1981), a cornerstone of the cabin-in-the-woods horror genre, and continue with Army of Darkness (1992), part three of the series, which sees main character Ash transported back to the evil-skeleton-plagued middle ages. The evening goes from chilling horror flick to Gothic fantasy romp. And to make it even more fun, there will be spooky prizes for best costumes, and free Halloween candy for everyone. The Evil Dead screening is of a new 4K digital restoration with 5.1 surround sound and a reimagined music score by original composer Joseph LoDuca. 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $12. Information.

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XOXO: Where to Rock, Thursday, Oct. 31

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy photo
  • Golden Boots
One-ticket. Three venues. Phantasia is a multi-venue Halloween block party. Producer/dubstep & bass fiend Sluggo tops the bill. Cat Child, Chris Miranda, Chupacabra, Lance Fairchild, Toby Roberts, H.R. Guerin, Justin Silva, DJ Hart, Nic Nasty, We>I, Shelby Athouguia and SoundScrybe spin into the night. Live performances by AWN, Liquid Space Atmosphere and SET. Solar Culture, Kinetic Arts and Borderland Brewing Company form a triad...

DJs Mother Tierra and Bob Really add spine-tingling thump and bang to Halloween Night. At Hotel Congress...

Looking for something different on All Hallows Eve? "Rock and Roll All Nite" with Gods Of Thunder: A tribute to KISS. In the Paradiso Lounge at Casino Del Sol...

Bordering on surreality, Golden Boots and The Pork Torta promise a phantasmagorical Halloween not soon to be forgotten. At Tap + Bottle-Downtown...

Whether it's funk, disco, rock or early new wave, DJ Carl Hanni drops the needle on '70s timebombs. At The Libertine...

From the City of Fallen Angels (L.A.) on one of the biggest party nights of the year, Club '90s presents '90s vs. '00 Halloween Massive. Spinning all the retro madness, DJ Jeffrey transforms the Rialto Theatre into a haunted party paradise...

"Aww Shit." In addition to spooktacular jams, The Bennu add a pinch of "Indica Sativa" to Halloween. At Tucson Hop Shop...

Resident DJs Lunarfluxx and Atom Energy preside over Grave Beats. A foray into the EDM underground, Deeper at Bar Passé...

A fabulous AF Disco Bloodbath takes place at the Surly Wench Pub. Behind the decks, DJs Plastic Disease, Mijito and special guest CXNTRESS spin murderous sides...

When feasting from a smörgåsbord, pace yourself. Perish (hardcore punk), Rough Draft (indie/emo/punk), Hallow (grunge/punk), Whistlepig (Phoenix folk-punk), Gutter Town (country punk), Monks and Telepathy (rock), Sauced Up! (rock, with syrup ) and BYOM (queer AF punx) are on the menu. Halloween House Benefit For Girls Rock Camp 2020. At 102 W. Sahuaro St. All ages welcome...

Haunted Honky Tonk Halloween features Billy Bones & The Skeletunes [aka Billy Shaw Jr.]. At The Maverick King of Clubs...

Mark Insley with guitarist Damon Barnaby play outlaw Americana. At Iron John's Brewing Company-Downtown...

The Monster Bash will be a graveyard smash. DJ RamRod and Jamaste drop the needle in the groove. At Sky Bar...

DJ Jahmar International and guests L3XX, Papa Ranger and Dre Day promise to rock the turntables Halloween Night. "Party 'til you scream." At Mr. Head's Bar...

Recreating Halloween 1979, Elevenacity perform the music of The Grateful Dead. At Irene's Holy Donuts...

"Calling all refugees, rebels, American girls. Hell, even the losers." Falling through the looking glass every All Hallows Eve, this year Spacefish transmogrify into Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. On the patio at Che's Lounge. With an encore performance on Saturday, Nov. 2...

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Laughing Stock: TCAF, O and more

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Tucson Improv Movement hosts its fifth Tucson Comedy Arts Festival Nov. 6 through 9. The event features improv, sketch and standup shows and workshops. - JEREMY SHOCKLEY
  • Jeremy Shockley
  • Tucson Improv Movement hosts its fifth Tucson Comedy Arts Festival Nov. 6 through 9. The event features improv, sketch and standup shows and workshops.

Pauly Casillas Headlines at The O

Aspiring rapper, Gary Busey nerd, cholo-manque and awesome dad Pauly Casillas is riding high right now. He has top-shelf comedy cred as a cross-cultural headliner – the opposing cultures being Tucson and Phoenix. Between comedy and the day gig, he’s almost too busy for fun. You’ll have to catch him at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2, when he headlines at The O.

Casillas’ comedy career began with a Gary Busey parody account on Twitter. The stream was such a hit by 2011, he got the nerve to try the venerable open mic at Laffs Comedy Caffe. He has since toured the U.S., opening for comedians Russel Peters and Tom Segura, among others. Most recently he headlined at Laff’s.

For a few years, he also ran a legendary but now-defunct open-mic at Mr. Head’s Gallery. He also created the popular improv-standup mashup, The Switch. Matt Ziemak now hosts that show every second Monday at The Hut.

In an interview with, Casillas cited his early influences as Martin Lawrence, ‘90s BET ComicView and Apollo comics. Lately, his wife inspires some jokes, too, but in a way that undermines the tropes feminists abhor. His conversational and relatable style have made him a Tucson favorite.

The creator of Comedians Who Are Not Men, Autumn Horvat, hosts the show,  and Matt Ziemak is featured. Tickets are $10 and $15 at

Tucson Improv Movement hosts TCAF 5

“It’s an honor to have another round of Carcajadas: Una Noche De Comedia,” says Justin Lukasewicz, owner of the TIM Comedy Theatre. “We did an experiment in September and put on a show (with both standup and improv) completely in Spanish. There was such a positive reaction, we’re looking forward to making it a monthly feature at the theater, (so) and (want to) highlight it in the festival.”

Carcajadas is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, as part of the 5th Annual Tucson Comedy Arts Festival (TCAF) November 6 through 9 at the theater. Tickets are $5 for each of the 11; $25 for a festival pass, all available online, along with all show details, via
Lukasewicz’ personal favorite highlight? He’s looking forward to a reunion. “Party Barf is one of my favorite shows,” he says of his own improv team. “We have performed at every TCAF and in New York City the past couple years.”

At 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 8, original members Emmet Andrews and Brooke Hartnett will rejoin the team. Both were among Party Barf’s earliest members when Lukasiewicz founded the Tucson Improv Movement seven years ago.

Hartnett, now an improviser and screenwriter in Chicago, performs Friday at 6:30 p.m. with fellow TIM and Party Barf veteran Clare Shelly in their longstanding duo team, Kitten Spit. On Saturday, Nov.9, she leads a workshop about listening skills.

Also returning to TIM and TCAF is Clara Baker, now a manager at UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade), best known as the improv home of Amy Pohler and Tina Fey. Los Angeles’ Emily Holland, known for her high-energy workshops and headlining sets, leads Saturday workshops on characters and coaching. Boston OG improviser and touring standup comedian Will Martin gives a Saturday workshop on hosting.

The 808: Hip Hop Improv team, a hit at both the first and second TCAFs, brings back its high energy west coast beats on the fest’s closing show from 9 to 10 p.m., Saturday. Sharing the finale’s lineup are the Frontier and VerizonQwest teams and TIM’s own long-running, all-female team, The Riveters.

The fest opens with a  7:30 p.m., Wednesday improv show featuring three teams from different US improv companies. At 9 p.m., UA’s comedy teams Comedy Corner and The Charles Darwin experience perform, and admission is free with a CAT Card.

Reflecting on Tucson's comedy scene has evolved over TCAF's five-year history, Lukasewicz says, “I think the scene is becoming more inclusive and diverse. When we started The Best Show Period, there were almost no other exclusively female shows. Now there are many, and since we started Carcajadas, there has been a lot of interest in creating more all Spanish shows. Em Bowen is working on a Queer comedy workshop, and I hope that we can continue to bring more voices into the scene.”

Comedy for Comic-Con

After Comic-Con closes on Saturday, Nov. 2, The Screening Room offers a standup comedy showcase at 7 p.m. Admission is $5, or free with a Comic-Con pass. Comedians include Autumn Horvat, creator-host of Comedians Who Are Not Men; Unscrewed Theatre improv team Comic Chaos; Monté Benjamin; Rory Monserat; Nick Chant; Jack Fletcher and Antonio Hays. Chris Quinn, host of the venue’s weekly Wednesday Open, hosts the show.

Speaking of Comic-Con, entertainer, storyteller and WWE Hall of Famer “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan (he of the USA! USA! chant) delivers a storytelling set at Unscrewed Theater at 6:45 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 3. Duggan is also featured at the Con, spinning comedy from behind the scenes stories of his crazy life and times as a professional wrestling superstar. Tickets are $20, or $30 for VIP, which covers special seating and a meet-and-greet.

The O Debuts a Sunday Open Mic

A host of Tucson’s comedy stars and lesser lights will celebrate the debut of The "O"pen MIC at 6:30 p.m., Sunday Nov. 3. Scheduled as a weekly event, the show is hosted by Matt Ziemak, who has a track record of successful, long-running shows. With Rory Monserat, he founded Brew Ha Ha at Borderlands Brewing Company, now in its fourth year. At The Hut he runs the monthly Switch show which he inherited from Pauly Casillas. The mic is free, and non-comedians are welcome to enjoy watching comedians kill, bomb and everything in between. Your feedback could make someone a star … eventually.

More Laughs!

Friday, Nov. 1: Standup with Quinn Dahle, feat. Ryan Niemiller, at 8 and 10:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv at 7:30 p.m. and The Soapbox featuring a community leader at 9 p.m. at Tucson Improv Movement(TIM)($5). Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m. at Unscrewed Theatre ($5 and $7).
Saturday, Nov. 2: Standup with Quinn Dahle, feat. Ryan Niemiller, at 8 and 10:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv at 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. at TIM, ($5). Family-friendly improv with NBOJU at 7:30 p.m. followed by musical improv team From the Top at 9 p.m. at Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8)
Thursday, Nov. 7: Standup with Cheech & Chong at 7:30 p.m. at the Fox Tucson Theatre, ($39.50 – $79.50). Standup and improv: Set Unlisted, 9 p.m., Tucson Comedy Arts Festival, TIM Comedy Theatre ($5)

Free Open Mics

Sunday, Nov. 3, 6:30 p.m., The O and 8 p.m., Chuckleheads in Bisbee.
Monday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m., Comedy at the Wench, The Surly Wench Pub.
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 6:45 p.m., Neighborhood Comedy at The Music Box Lounge.
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m., The Screening Room and 8:30 p.m. at The Mint.
Thursday, Nov. 7, 8 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe and 8:30 p.m., Rockabilly Grill.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Claytoon of the Day: Lesbian Bong Blow

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2019 at 2:28 PM

Claytoonz - CLAY JONES
  • Clay Jones
  • Claytoonz
Find more Claytoonz here.

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Where Democrats Are Heading In K-12 Education Policy

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2019 at 1:11 PM

  • Courtesy of BigStock
When it comes to K-12 education policy, this is not Obama's Democratic party. Today's Democrats are less privatization/"education reform" friendly and more interested in supporting and improving public — that is, district-based — schools with a two-pronged approach: make the schools a better place to learn and make the world outside of school a better place for students to live.

When Obama came to office in 2009, he was faced with two possible approaches to improving K-12 education. One was to put the blame for poor test scores on individual schools and figure out ways to force them to up their game. The other was to look at the world outside schools for factors affecting students' successes and failures, then try to improve the quality of students' lives as a path toward improving their school achievement. This isn't a binary choice, of course. Most people understand that good schools and a better environment outside of school contribute to students' attitudes and achievement. It's a question of emphasis.

Obama's education advisor during his 2008 campaign was Linda Darling-Hammond, a college professor and author who put a great deal of emphasis on improving students' lives outside of school. Instead of elevating her to Education Secretary, Obama chose Arnie Duncan, one of the people he brought with him from Chicago. Duncan had been the CEO of Chicago Public Schools and focused on the role of schools, public and charter, in helping or harming student achievement. Putting Duncan at the education department helm meant continuing the policies of the Bush administration: emphasizing high stakes testing, heaping praise on "great schools" while shaming schools with low test scores, and increasing the number of charter schools.

Since 2009, faith in the value of high stakes testing has faded and charter schools have lost their "new kid on the block" luster. Democrats' education policy emphasis has moved away from the Obama years. You can see the change on the national, state and local levels, but the clearest way to put a spotlight on current K-12 policy proposals is to look at positions taken by the leading presidential candidates.

I went through the K-12 position papers of Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. I haven't read the positions of all the other candidates — too many candidates, too little time — but those I have read are less detailed than the three front runners but not different in overall emphasis.

Continue reading »

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XOXO: Where to Rock, Wednesday, Oct. 30

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Shawn James
On Devil's Night, this musical preacher leads a congregation that accepts everyone. With a force-of-nature voice, blues/folk/soul singer Shawn James examines The Dark & The Light (Parts + Labor Records, 2019). At 191 Toole. Austin singer-songwriter Sam Houston & BLK ODYSSY champion the cause...

Former Dead Kennedy Jello Biafra says "Fish's music is your basic Fugs-style electric grunge folk. His lyrics feature some of the meanest put-downs of American consumer culture I've heard in years." Fish Karma and/or The DeRailleurs celebrate Karma's 60th Birthday. At Club Congress. Jim Nyby adds to the hoopla...

Drawing from a repertoire of familiar classic country and old time music and handcrafted original material, Lookout Tucson Singer-Songwriter Series sees Freddy Parish performing in the Lookout Bar & Grille at Westward Look Resort...

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Staff Pick

DO(OM) Yoga

Slow & low will be the tempo in this yin-based yoga class, inspired by a doom metal… More

@ Floor Polish Sundays, 8-9 p.m. 408 N 4th Avenue

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