Do This!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Things to do this weekend: Dec. 14 and 15

Posted By on Sat, Dec 14, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Breakfast with Santa at Dutch Eatery. For the holiday season, The Dutch Eatery & Refuge is hosting a special meal with THE Santa himself. At the special stop, you can enjoy caramelized French toast, chile eggs, chia pudding and eggs Benedict. They’re even bringing out the
big guns, and serving traditional Dutch oliebollen, which are fried dough balls sprinkled with powdered sugar. 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. 943 E. University Blvd. $17.50. Reservations are required, call 520-792-6684

Gingerbread House Decorating Class. Catalyst Arts & Maker Space is hosting a sweet hands-on experience for the holiday season. Tickets include your gingerbread house and all its decorations, plus you get to enjoy cocoa and cookies while you design. Hosted by Tamara, former proprietor of the Chantilly Tea Room & Gift Boutique. There are two classes, at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. At Catalyst Arts & Maker Space in the Tucson Mall. 4500 N. Oracle Road, Suite 110. $60 admission for two.

Southern Arizona Women’s Chorus Holiday Concert. Tucson’s premier women’s chorus has been around since 1981, and has grown to more than 70 members. Over the years, they’ve sung everything from music from the late Baroque period to Broadway medleys to jazzy sambas. Their holiday concert, A Spanish Allelu, is a program that will either have you wanting to sing, or being glad that there are people who can sing so you don’t have to—depending on what kind of person you are. Either way, you’re in for a night of beautiful music. 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. at Hope City Church, 5729 E. 22nd St. 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, at Ascension Lutheran Church, 1220 W. Magee Road. $20, or free for kids 10 and under.

Season’s Greetings: Return to Sender.
Tucson Desert Voices, Arizona’s premier LGBTQ+ chorus, is all about understanding, cooperation and peaceful coexistence. In fact, their mission statement is “Fostering Community Through Song.” Who could be better to perform during the holidays, a time that’s supposed to be all about loving your neighbor and goodwill toward humanity and all that jazz? They’ll be putting their own stamp on many of the messages of the season in this absolute romp of a show. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road. $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

Messiah & Bach.
There are few holiday experiences more vast and all-encompassing than a performance of Handel’s Messiah (or of highlights from it). Handel composed the music for this show in a frenzied 24 days, writing the letters “SDG” for Soli Deo Gloria (“To God alone the Glory”) at the end. This led to the popular story that he was divinely inspired to write “Messiah” when he saw heaven open up before his eyes. Who knows? But if you’ve ever seen the piece performed live, you sort of get the same feeling. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra is bringing you this in addition to several other holiday pieces, including Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and Handel’s Water Music, Suite No. 2. 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive. $46 to $86.

Art After Dark. Have you been to one of these late night events at the children’s museum recently? It’s a fun chance to explore the museum in a different setting than your usual daytime visit, and the first 400 attendees even get a pass to come back to the museum for free. This month, they’re showing A Muppet Christmas Carol in the courtyard, which, like all Muppet movies, is truly a masterpiece. Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat narrate! Kermit as the cutest little Bob Cratchit! Bring a blanket and some chairs, and get some hot chocolate and snacks once you’re there. 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Children’s Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave. Free.

Holiday Ornament Making. In case you haven’t been to Mission Garden yet, it’s a project led by Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace, an organization dedicated to recreating and preserving the city’s historic structures and landscapes. So, the garden is recreation of a Spanish Colonial fruit and veggie garden, complete with a native plant area and plenty of info on agricultural history. At this event, steep yourself in equal parts history, botany and holiday spirit by using items from the gardens, like gourds and okra pods, to make holiday decorations. 9 a.m. to noon. Saturday, Dec. 14. Mission Garden, 946 W. Mission Lane.

Winterhaven Festival of Lights Opening Night. Maybe you grew up in a town where there was always that one neighborhood that got particularly decked out for the holidays. You and your family would sip at hot chocolate and try to guess how many miniature light bulbs were on the roof of a local mansion. If you grew up in Tucson, you know that the Winterhaven Festival of Lights is on its own level. There are millions of lights on houses all through the neighborhood, with themes ranging from zoo animals to Frozen to classic Christmas movies. The streets are closed to cars so everyone can safely and freely take in the sights. And it’s a holiday experience like no other. Be sure to bring a food donation for the Southern Arizona Community Food Banks. 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, to Sunday, Dec. 29. Winterhaven Neighborhood.

Queen Astara’s Winter Fairy Lights. Magic happens all year long at Valley of the Moon Tucson, where fairies roam freely (or at least where the magic of kindness is celebrated). Join the fairy monarchs, Queen Astara and King Astar, for a night where the magic of the Valley of the Moon and the magic of the holidays come together for an extra special experience. The grounds will be decorated with festive lights and decorations, and you can stroll through and keep an eye out for fairies and other magical creatures. Just be sure to keep your voice down, so you don’t spook them! You’re welcome to dress up if you’d like as well! 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Valley of the Moon Tucson, 2544 E. Allen Road. $5, or free for members and kids 17 and under.

A Christmas Carol & Dickens Festival. Whether you watch the Muppets’ artful take on it, enjoy Bill Murray’s turn in Scrooged or just read the actual book, it’s sort of a must to see A Christas Carol during the holiday season. This year, why not watch a cast of professional and aspiring Tucson actors perform the musical version, complete with a live orchestra? You can also enjoy a preshow where you can hear “firsthand” from an actor playing Charles Dickens about how he thought up the story, and check out the free Dickens festival, with vendors like Frog & Firkin, treats, and caroling. Preshow & show at 6:20/7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, at 1:20/2 p.m. and 6:20/7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14 and at 1:20/2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15. Dickens Festival opens two hours before each show. Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. $15 to $29 in advance, with $5 added to prices at the door.

Holidays at the Markets.
The local farmers market circuit provides plenty to celebrate all year ’round, but this week, they’re all having special holiday-themed events. On Friday, Dec. 13, Udall Park Farmers Market (7202 E. Tanque Verde Road) has live music and vendor specials. On Saturday, Dec. 14, Steam Pump Ranch (10901 N. Oracle Road) will have live music, more than 50 food vendors and artisan goods. Also on Saturday, the Rincon Valley Farmers & Artisans Market (12500 E. Old Spanish Trail) will have holiday kids activities, live music and vendor deals. And on Saturday, Dec. 15, the Rillito Park market (4502 N. First Ave.) will have live music, vendor specials, a free holiday raffle and 80+ vendors. Hours for all are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

RAD Marketplace Winter Market. If you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet, don’t panic! But do get started. You’ll feel better once you do. And you’ll feel doubly better if you support a local business while you’re at it. RAD Marketplace, an artisan and vintage popup market in the Warehouse Arts District, is hosting plenty of vendors selling gift-worthy items, live music, DJs, and food trucks. Nothing like a high-calorie plate of food truck food and beats from local musicians to fuel you through a holiday shopping spree. Give YOURSELF the gift of a pleasant gift shopping experience. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. 439 N. Sixth Ave.

The Muppet Christmas Carol. Muppets were merry to begin with, so combining them with Dickens’ classic only sweetened the deal. This free screening, presented by the Children’s Museum Tucson, will be held outdoors in the December air. We all know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, but when it’s combined with world of Jim Henson, it gains a new (not to mention colorful) life. However, one of the best aspects of the film doesn’t have to do with Muppets at all: Academy Award-winner Michael Caine’s fantastically dour performance. 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. 200 S. Sixth Ave. Free. Please bring your own seating and dress warmly.

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Laughing Stock: Punch Lines

Posted By on Thu, Dec 12, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Giving a whole new meaning to punch line

“I feel like, as opposed to LA, everyone in Arizona can actually defend me in a fight,” says comedian Jamie Kilstein. He likes it here. That’s a lucky thing because five months ago he moved here on a whim. “I have actually grown more (here) artistically than in my life in L.A. and New York,” he says.

Not that those great comedy cities treated him badly. He debuted on Conan. He’s been on MSNBC's Up with Chris Hayes, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Showtime, The Joe Rogan Experience and BBC America. He launched two podcasts, and he earned a national reputation for smart, edgy political comedy, joking about arcana that actually matters. He’s lately joking about other facts of life, but all the high-speed punches arise from the same energy.

Kilstein performs with fellow cult favorite Ian Harris and Albuquerque up and comer Ron Swallow at 8 p.m. Sunday, December 15 at 191 Toole.

Kilstein and Harris became friends in Los Angeles. “We kind of clicked because we both have political material. Oddly enough, we also train and coach Mixed Martial Arts.

“I think people who fight oftentimes don’t have much of an ego because we get our ass kicked a lot,” he says. “So, the idea of splitting a bill was more exciting to us. I just want to make art with people I like.”

Ian Harris started both fighting and doing impressions at age 6, inspired by the movie, Rocky. “As a kid I’d watch all the boxing matches,” Harris says, “and I would do all the play by plays and the interviews after the fight for my parents. I would be Muhammed Ali being interviewed by Howard Cosell.”
He says his whole family were really funny, so it’s not surprising that he would find jokes everywhere, even in taboo subjects. “I can’t avoid it. Even on accident I talk about religion or politics. Those are the things that interest me. Bur I personally steer away from (drug humor). I don’t do a lot of alcohol or relationships.” Nor do either he or Kilstein do jokes about martial arts.

“I think a lot of my stuff comes from a very nerdy kind of scientific background,” Harris says. “Like ‘Look at these weird beliefs. Conspiracy theories, religion, and why do we believe in these things when the evidence so clearly is the other way.”

Of the show, he says, “It’s going to be nerdy and edgy. I think it’s going to be really fun.” Tickets are $12 and $15 via Doors open at 7.

Mega Lineup at Casa Marana

Dave Margolis presents a blockbuster lineup at the December 12 edition of his free semi-monthly Casa de Comedy Show at Casa Marana. Featured are Andrea Salazar, Nick Chant, Dominic DiTolla, Ashley Anna Tappan, Stephanie Lyonga, Monte Benjamin Roxy Merrari and Charles Ludwig. Most have headlined bigger shows in Tucson. Hear Margolis co-hosting the weekly Is This On comedy radio show at 9 p.m. Wednesdays at .

Applause for the Paws!

Sarah Kennedy headlines at The O to benefit the Humane Society of Southern Arizona at 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13. A 6:30 cocktail hour features an adoption event to make the day a lucky one for some shelter pets.

Kennedy started performing comedy in 2009 a few blocks from her Albuquerque home. After producing many shows, and sweeping her hometown papers’ Best Comedian awards, she left for the bright lights of NYC.

There, she appeared on the Today Show and MTV, wrote for The Advocate and Reductress and was a finalist in a national, NBC Stand-Up for Diversity competition.

Now back in Albuquerque she’s been a welcome guest on Tucson stages. Also performing are a hometown favorite drag queen, Miss Nature, and Autumn Horvat, creator and host of Comedians Who Aren’t Men. Eli Turner hosts. Tickets are $10 via

Free Centenary Retro Game Show!

The longest-running live show in Tucson just keeps growing as its lascivious send-ups of mid-century TV game shows pack trendy Club Congress month after month.

The ensemble’s 100th show, and 8th-year anniversary, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14, welcomes back six popular “celebrity guests” from shows gone by to play an anniversary round of The Mismatch Game. The towering and authoritative host Chatty Kathee presides with her sassy executive assistant Swish Marley.

To celebrate, the show is free with a donation to Toys for Tots. Seating is first come, first served, and there will be no splash zone.

The Pirates Who (almost) Stole Christmas

Kids from the audience help improvise the storyline of Elves Gone Bad: A Pirate’s Christmas at 1 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, through December 22. Reservations are $5 at

The story is that Santa and the missus have retired to Tucson, leaving the North Pole elves unemployed. What with the melting Polar Ice Cap, apparently, an evil pirate captain sails to Santa’s workshop to recruit the elves as pirates. Pirates, of course, steal presents instead of giving them. Mayhem ensues, and only audience members can put things back right, somehow.

We think all the elves and reindeer should move to Tucson, form a union and put Jeff Bezos out of business. How about you?

Lots More Comedy

Friday, Dec. 13: Standup with Keith Carey featuring Matt Holt at 8 and 10:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with Beefeaters and Improv 501 Showcase at 7:30 p.m. and The Soapbox at 9 p.m. at TIM Comedy Theatre (TIM)($5). Improv Blox student showcase at 6 p.m., Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m. and Freeform Friday at 9 p.m., Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8). Burlesque with The Manly Manlesque Show: Silent Night, Deadly Night at 10 p.m., Surly Wench Pub ($10 to $20)

Saturday, Dec. 14: Kids improv, F.O.M.P. (Friends of Make Pretends) at 2 p.m. at TIM Comedy Theatre ($5) Standup with Keith Carey featuring Matt Holt at 7 and 9:30 p.m., at Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with the Ugly Sweater Show and Harold Omega at 7:30 p.m., and The Family of Things and The Dating Scene at 9 p.m. at TIM ($5). Family-friendly Elves Gone Bad: A Pirate’s Christmas at 1 p.m., Unscrewed Family Hour at 6 p.m., and NBOJU: Uncensored at 9 p.m., Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8).

Free Open Mics

Sunday, Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m., The O, and 8 p.m., Chuckleheads in Bisbee.
Monday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m., Comedy at the Wench, The Surly Wench Pub.
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 6:45 p.m., Neighborhood Comedy, The Music Box Lounge.
Wednesday, Dec. 18, 7 p.m., The Screening Room and 8:30 p.m., The Mint.
Thursday, Dec.19, 8 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe and 8:30 p.m., Rockabilly Grill.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

XOXO: Where to Rock, Wednesday, Dec. 11

Posted By on Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy photo
  • Bayside
Since their formation in 2000, these NYC punk darlings, by touring near constantly, have developed a rabid cult-like following, becoming the voice for outcasts and the hopeful, alike. Bayside truck the Interrobang Club Tour 2019 to 191 Toole. Capstan and Love Like Fiction commence the high-arousal ritual...

This Tucson folk gem's compositions have been sung worldwide. Not many can lay claim to that distinction. Accompanied by Gary Mackender, Matt Rolland, Michael Markowitz and Slim Rost, Don Armstrong & The Whiskeypalians exude, and perhaps tip one back, at the Monterey Court...

Grammy-nominated pianist/composer David Benoit brings the joy and memories of a Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown to the Leo Rich Theater...

Texas rock 'n' roller Koe Wetzel tracks in the red dirt. At The Rock. Tucson's Drew Cooper kicks things off...

Jesus Christ Superstar: A Holiday Sing-along—to a fully restored print of Universal pictures 1973 film classic—manifests at the Fox Theatre...

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Monday, December 9, 2019

Adoptable Pets: Karla Needs a Home

Posted By on Mon, Dec 9, 2019 at 1:00 PM

  • Courtesy photo HSSA
"Hi there! My name is Karla and I'm a sweet 4 year old girl with a gentle nature and loving personality. I was transferred to HSSA from another shelter, so my history is a bit of a mystery, but I'm just focusing on my bright future with YOU!" Come meet Karla at HSSA Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd or give our adoptions counselors a call for more information at (520) 327-6088 ext 173.

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Friday, December 6, 2019

XOXO: Where to Rock This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Dec 6, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Mark Farina
  • Mark Farina
Saturday, Dec. 7

Known for his Chicago house, acid jazz and downtempo work, he's received props from URB, Muzik and BPM magazines and been recognized as one of the world's best DJs. Mark Farina's 2016 album, Mushroom Jazz Eight, hit No. 1 on Billboard's Top dance/electronic chart. Watch this early house music pioneer cut at 191 Toole...

Conceived by cartoonist and professional insultant David "Fitz" Fitzsimmons, The Arroyo Café Holiday Radio Show is a variety show set in a fictional cafe. Join Mark Russell, "America's Greatest Musical Satirist," Crystal Stark, Bobby Rich, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, The Arroyo Players and Triple Threat, as seen on America's Got Talent, for a live taping y más. Proceeds to benefit Casa Alitas, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, HIAS and AZPM. At The Rialto Theater...

Celebrating a decade of collaboration, songwriters Carlos Arzate and Ryan Alfred present a collection of original material, new sketches and select covers. With special guest Adam Bruce. At El Crisol (formerly Exo Bar)...

Veteran singer-songwriter Joe Peña and guitarist/lap steel player Joe Novelli (Orkesta Mendoza, The Cloud Walls) join forces to form a lush musical palette. At The Dusty Monk Pub...

It's a birthday bash! With 10 candles on the cake. Garage rock duo Acorn Bcorn—sisters Marina and Leann—suss out "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" At Owls Club. Rounding out a rad night of DIY duos, Feverfew and Vasectomy bring fun party favors along for your enjoyment...

With songs about "Stripper Poles" and "Cherry Pop Tarts," Funky Bonz have been "Making It Funky" since 1993. They share the stage with the amalgam of barrio flavors that is Los Streetlight Curb Players. It goes down at Sky Bar...

From Nogales, AZ, these genre-crossing Tucson favs are comprised of six childhood friends who grew up wanting to rock. The Jons' Holiday Extra-vaganza pops off at Club Congress. With special guests, guitarist Jim Dalton (Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers) and Paul Jenkins ( video?, The Pangs)...

Holding the low end down with a tuba, imaginative rockers Deschtuco return to the scene. At Saint Charles Tavern...

Blues vocalist/violinist Heather Hardy and her all-star band perform at Monterey Court...

Looking for that perfect blend of country and rock 'n' roll? Rockabilly rebels the Al Foul Trio "keep the motor running." In the courtyard at Mercado San Agustin...

Sunday, Dec. 8

Hailing from the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, these veteran hip-hoppers meld EDM-tinged beats with their signature fast-rapping style on their latest release. New Waves (eOne Music, 2017), Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's tenth studio album, marks a new direction. They "Creep" into The Rialto Theatre. Mike Jones and Sloan Bone (of Mo' Bone) kickoff this Winter Jam...

With its origins deeply rooted in the Gypsy culture of Spain, this traditional art form presents the interactions between song, dance and guitar, executed atop a percussive platform. Tablao Flamenco perform at El Crisol...

Performing funk and experimental hip-hop, Juliana Warkentin and Mik Garrison are Kaddywumpus. At Public Brewhouse...

Fusing together Detroit, Chicago and Delta blues, "Smooth" Johnny Rawls paints the night with shades of cobalt. At Monterey Court...

A Tucson treasure, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra—with pianist Sean Chen—perform a program spotlighting Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, Antonio Estévez's Mediodía en el Llano and Camille Saint-Saëns' Piano Concerto No. 2. José Luis Gomez is at the podium...

Flugelhornist Dmitri Matheny, drummer Pete Swan and vocalist Holly Pyle perform America's only true original art form. At Brother John's Beer, Bourbon & BBQ...

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XOXO: Where to rock, Friday

Posted By on Fri, Dec 6, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy photo
  • La Cerca
Kim Wilson is perhaps best known for his 30-year tenure as the leader of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Not one to rest on his laurels, this acclaimed blues singer/harmonicist's hard-driving chops have appeared on albums by Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, James Cotton and others, surely earning him a place in music history. The Southern Arizona Blues & Heritage Foundation and KXCI present Kim Wilson's Blues All-Stars. They roll triumphantly into the historic El Casino Ballroom with The New Speedway Stompers—featuring Billy Wildman on harmonica—in tow...

Originating in the Mexican state of Veracruz, this regional folk music fuses indigenous, Spanish and African elements dating back to Spanish colonial times. Comprised of intergenerational students, Son Jarocho Collective keep the tradition alive. At El Crisol (formerly Exo Bar)...

Welcome the joy of the holidays into your heart with roots, dub and reggae that adds a unique pinch. Winter Reggae Fest features ZeeCeeKeely, Dub Society, DJ Jamar and Jahlos and The Rebels. At the Rialto Theatre...

Guitar-driven desert rock super collides into the intergalactic. La Cerca and Silver Cloud Express mashup in The Boxyard...

Denver-based musical traveler Curtis T performs an inspired set of originals and nostalgic covers ranging from the '50s to the present day. At Sand-Reckoner...

The ukulele-driven, gypsy-inspired, whimsical indie-pop of Little Cloud create a microcosm of bitter-sweetness inside a glass of wine. At Monterey Court...

Hosted by DJ Nic, Beatz & Sweetz finds Sonario, DJ Hart and Lunafluxx spinning a baker's dozen of fresh house music. At Batch Cafe & Bar...

1950s holiday inspired Burlesque anyone? Dashers, Dancers, Prancers & Vixens titillate. At the Surly Wench Pub...

Snowed In: Reveille Men's Chorus create the verisimilitude of a white christmas in the desert. At the Tucson Convention Center...

The Kinda Cool Quintet play jazz at The Dusty Monk Pub...

"Party God," DJ Jahmar leads the congregation of revelers towards Valhalla. In the downstairs lounge at No Anchovies...

From The ATL, DIY indie rockers Omni's latest effort Networker (Sub Pop, 2019) takes a candid snapshot of the "digital you" aspect of life in the internet age. With Ricky Shimo's Anchor Baby and Jade Helm at Club Congress...

With the scent of "Burnt Almonds" wafting through the crisp air, shoegazers Mute Swan return to Owls Club, "Just Like Weeds." Joseph Valentino aka Neglect lays down velvety layers of ambient electronica, up first...

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

An Axe to Grind: Axe Throwing World Championship comes to town

Posted By on Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 9:58 AM

A shot from last year's championship. - COURTESY WORLD AXE THROWING LEAGUE
  • Courtesy World Axe Throwing League
  • A shot from last year's championship.
The sport of axe throwing is nothing new, but over the last 10 years the sport has spread across North America, growing in popularity and becoming more accessible than ever before.

Just last year, Tucson saw two ranges come to town, including Splitting Timber Axe Range on 6401 W. Marana Center Blvd., which will play host to the world’s best throwers this weekend during the 2019 World Axe Throwing League (WATL) Championship.

The championship takes place on Dec. 8 and will pit 64 of the world’s best against each other for the title of world champion.

Evan Walters, commissioner of the World Axe Throwing League, said that Splitting Timber has applied to host competitions in the past as an affiliate member, and proved to be the perfect location for their biggest event.

He’s looking forward to seeing who the competition will bring out.

“There are so many awesome things about our tournaments such as seeing familiar faces, meeting new axe throwers, and just having fun with everyone in the axe throwing community, but for this competition it's much more high stakes,” he said. “All of the best axe throwers from around the world are competing for the title of world champion and it's going to be such a close competition. I'm very excited to see who takes it.”

Walters himself started out as an axe throwing coach just as a way to get out of the office before meeting the founder of the league and getting offered the role of commissioner. He’s involved in all aspects of the league, which has been around since 2017.

“Our vision is to prove that indoor axe throwing isn't just a unique experience; it can be a competitive sport,” he said. “We want to unite indoor urban axe throwing facilities from around the world under one professional axe throwing association.”

Walters said the sport is exploding fairly quickly.

“From just three years ago to being on ESPN, it's taking the world,” he said. “When we first started we had about six affiliated companies in four countries join, and now we have over 150 companies in 19 countries. We very well expect that to continue growing for some time.”

The championship will be a double-elimination tournament with the top 64 players from all of the league's seasons and tournaments over the past year. They'll face off in three-match rounds, with the best of the three matches moving on to the next round. If they lose they go into a B-bracket, and the winner of the B bracket and A bracket will compete at the end for the title of 2019 World Axe Throwing Champion. Along with the title, the winner will receive a cash prize.

Splitting Timber co-owner AJ Hughes loves to see people having fun and looks forward to introducing new people in Tucson to the sport this weekend.

“Axe throwing is all about the community and the people are the best part,” she said. “They’re all so welcoming, encouraging and supportive of one another.”

She’s especially excited to see some local axe throwers from the range have qualified to compete in the championship.

Tom Lickliter starting throwing about five years ago in his backyard for fun before joining leagues in January. He won his last three local regional championships, competed in two national events and qualified to compete in the World Championships a few weeks ago.

“I have been practicing four to five days a week since then,” he said. “My best advice is learn how to throw from an axepert at Splitting Timber then practice, join the leagues and most of all have fun.”

Shaun Thrush works at Splitting Timber and has been competing for about nine months. He will be competing in the Wildcard and Duals tournaments taking place Dec. 6 and 7.

“I had seen my friend’s video on Facebook last December, wanted to go, we went the following week and I was hooked,” he said.

To prepare for the championship, he has focused on “Lots and lots of practice and clearing his mind.”

Hughes, who runs Splitting Timber with daughter Bethany Buckmaster, is excited to share the fun of this sport with the community.

“I’m looking forward to see the axe throwers coming from around the world,” she said. “The people are what makes axe throwing so fun.”

For more information on the championship, including a full schedule, visit

The event is free to spectators and there will be a beer garden and several food trucks.

For those who can’t make the championship in person, it will be broadcast on ESPN.

How to get started with axe throwing
Some of Tucson’s local axe throwers from Splitting Timber shared their best tips for getting started with axe throwing.

“The best advice I can give for a new thrower is be patient at first and just figure out where to stand each time so the axe naturally hits the wood edge first.” - Jules Mondeau

“Best tip... find an axe, find a throw and stick with it. Consistency is key.” - Josh Brill

“It’s not about strength, it’s about finesse. If you throw too hard, the axe will over rotate.” - Bethany Buckmaster

“I always tell people that come in (to Splitting Timber) randomly to just do it. They come in and say they want to try it sometime. I tell them let’s do it now. Don’t be afraid and come as much as you can afford the money and time wise.” - Shaun Thrush

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Laughing Stock: We need clones

Posted By on Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 1:00 AM

This is black belt comic Anna Valenzuela who’s performing at The O on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the same time Cristel Alonzo is performing at the Rialto. We need clones. - ANNAVALENZUELA.COM
  • This is black belt comic Anna Valenzuela who’s performing at The O on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the same time Cristel Alonzo is performing at the Rialto. We need clones.
CBCTAC presents Anna Valenzuela

“Latinas make 54 cents to every white male dollar, which is why I have to take a roll of toilet paper from every business I enter for rest of my life.”

So tweeted Anna Valenzuela recently, making us spew our coffee while holding up a mirror to the privilege in our white feminism. We can expect a whole set of such darkly colorful insights, delivered with authentic warmth and much laughter, at 8 p.m., Saturday, December 7 at The O. Tickets are $5 via Eventbrite.

A legit black belt in karate, Valenzuela slayed the field with snaps on a recent Comedy Central Roast Battle. She appears regularly at the Comedy Store and The Improv and was a favorite at Second City’s Los Angeles Diversity in Comedy Festival. She also hosts two podcasts: 12 Questions, an in-depth look at sobriety, and Bruja-ja, where three Latinas dish on all things Latinx.

A Los Angelean, Valenzuela will be the first touring headliner featured in the cheekily titled comedy show series Cunts Being Cunts Taking About Cunts. Organizers Mo Urban and Steena Salido have lately shortened it to CBCTAC in print, presumably for convenience, because: Why else?

The show opens with an improv set by AllReddy, comprising Allana Erickson-Lopez of Unscrewed Theatre and Katherine Morter. The lineup also includes Phoenician Alice Valpey and Tucson comics Andrea Salazar, Chinna Garza, Em Bowen and Kathie Hedrick.

As at every CBCTAC show, feminine hygiene products will be collected for Project Period, a program of the YWCA of Southern Arizona.

Cristela Alonzo visits with her idol, Dolores Huerta - CRISTELAALONZO
  • cristelaalonzo
  • Cristela Alonzo visits with her idol, Dolores Huerta
Cristela Alonzo: My Affordable Care Act

Cristela Alonza performs at 8 p.m., Saturday, December 7, at the Rialto Theatre. Tickets are $19 to $36 at

Alonzo is comedy’s answer to Dolores Huerta, her idol. Her website,, devotes as much space to her causes as to her comedy. She writes, “I am a first-generation American born to an undocumented mother that taught me to love this country. I believe it is my duty to give back and fight so that everyone can get the same thing my family got: a chance.”

And then she quotes Huerta. “Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.”

Alonzo created her own bully pulpit five years ago with Cristela, a network sitcom that she wrote, produced and starred in herself. Soon after, she began guest-hosting the daytime roundtable show, The View. In 2017, she became the first Latina lead in a Pixar film, voicing the part of Cruz Ramirez in Cars 3. Lower Classy, her first standup special, is streaming on Netflix.

Last month a Simon & Shuster imprint published her book, Music to My Years: A Mixtape Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up. The stories reveal her vulnerability and her challenges, like the tap shoes she made for herself with bottle caps, and how standup comedy helped her process her grief when her mother died.

When not doing comedy, Alonzo devotes her time to activism around immigration, universal healthcare, social justice, HIV AIDS awareness and prevention, reproductive rights, Special Olympics and LUPE, La Union del Pueblo Entero, founded by Huerta with César Chávez. She’s on their board.

From the struggles she sees in others and in her own life, Alonzo crafts comedy that welcomes us into her world with the light of her humanity.

Mishka Shubaly at The Wench

Comedy at the Wench breaks its open-mic format at 7 p.m. Monday, December 9, to bring us comedian and pan-genius Mishka Shubaly.

Best known as a writer and musician, Shubaly has the wits and the wit to have turned a self-made disaster of a life into a livelihood. His childhood broke his heart, youth was a struggle and he was an alcoholic by the time he graduated college at 15. Yet at 22, he received the Dean’s Fellowship from the Master’s Writing Program at Columbia.

A dissolute life ensued, yielding six record albums, one with Brooklyn’s goth, post-punk band, Freshkills. Shubaly’s six Kindle Singles all have been best sellers. In 2016, Public Affairs published his memoir, I Swear I’ll Make It Up To You: A Life on the Low Road. He also teaches writing at the Yale Writers Conference. Luckily, he got sober at 32, inspired by marathon running.

The Wench show also features Jake Flores. Not to be reductive but we’re running out of space. Flores’ website URL says it all: Reservations are $5, or $10 for preferred seating in the show room. These special shows at The Surly Wench have been selling out, so we recommend reservations via on PayPal or @wenchcomedy on Venmo.

Arroyo Café Radio

David Fitzsimmons is having a busy weekend. Last week we wrote about his project for fellow old folks, Still Standing up. Featuring five comedians over 60, the show makes fun of things only old people know about. Take that, millennial smarty-pantses.

To recap, Still Standing Up is at 6 p.m., Sunday, December 8, at Laffs Comedy Caffe. Reservations are $10 via

On December 7, though, at 1 p.m., Fitzsimmons hosts another epic production of his annual Arroyo Café Holiday Radio Show at the Rialto Theatre. More than 20 local celebrities perform a loosely scripted radio play around musical guests and other entertainments and surprises, Including Wilbur Wildcat.

It’s all staged in an old-time radio show format with an iconic reconstruction of a ‘40s microphone. Comedians in the cast include KXCI’s Bridgitte Thum, Mike Sterner, Josiah Osego, Elliot Glicksman, Jay Taylor, Priscilla Fernandez, David Membrila and Bobby Rich. Tickets are $20 via Proceeds benefit three local organizations that help immigrants and Arizona Public Media, which broadcasts the show on Christmas Eve.

Lots More Comedy

Friday, Dec. 6: Standup with Geoff Asmus featuring Brian Mollica at 7 and 9:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with Improv 201 and 301 Student showcases at 7:30 p.m. and The Soapbox featuring rugby captain Kristin Pope at 9 p.m. at TIM Comedy Theatre (TIM)($5). Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m., Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8).
Saturday, Dec. 7: Standup with Michael Carbonara at 7 p.m. at Desert Diamond Casino ($27.50 to $47.50) Geoff Asmus featuring Brian Mollica at 7 and 9:30 p.m., at Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with Ugly Sweater Improv and Pilot Season at 7:30 p.m., and the 101 Student Showcase and The Dating Scene at 9 p.m. at TIM ($5). Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m. and musical improv with From the Top at 9 p.m. at Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8).
Monday, Dec. 9: Standup with John Waters at 8 p.m. at the Rialto Theatre ($33 to $110) and Mishka Shubaly with Jake Flores at The Surly Wench.

Free Open Mics

Sunday, Dec. 8, 6:30 p.m., The O, and 8 p.m., Chuckleheads in Bisbee.
Monday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m., Comedy at the Wench, The Surly Wench Pub.
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 6:45 p.m., Neighborhood Comedy at The Music Box Lounge.
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m., The Screening Room and 8:30 p.m. at The Mint.
Thursday, Dec.12, 8 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe and 8:30 p.m., Rockabilly Grill.

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Winterhaven Festival of Lights

The festival is free to attend, however, we ask everyone to bring a donation of food or… More

@ Winterhaven Neighborhood Dec. 14-29, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Fort Lowell Road between Country Club Road and Tucson Boulevard.

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