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Thursday, May 17, 2018

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

Posted By on Thu, May 17, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.


Cirque Italia. As if Cirque de Soleil wasn’t crazy enough, this show has all the acrobatics, contortionism, aerials and other impressive feats, but with a 35,000-gallon tank of water underneath it all. Who wouldn’t be impressed by one of those people flipping around on a piece of fabric hanging from the ceiling? Or someone doing a headstand on top of someone else’s head? And they’ve got some seriously good performers—the show held auditions in 25 countries to find the 30 artists featured in the show, and travels to about 50 cities per year. You’ll love it, the kids’ll love it, your in-laws’ll love it. What’s not to love? Showtimes at 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30, depending on the day of the week. Friday, May 18 through Monday, May 28. Cirque Italia’s Big Top Silver, 5870 E. Broadway Blvd in the Park Place parking lot. Tickets range from $10 for the cheapest children’s seat to $40 for the most expensive adult seat.

Voices Like Ours. The Reveille Men’s Chorus is offering up a friendly reminder of that most universal of truths: Music is for anyone and everyone, regardless of who they are, where they came from or what they enjoy. (Assuming there isn’t anyone who truly hates all music?) To do it, they’ll be singing songs that range from the 1960s to today, and combining music, comedy, dance and drama to explore more universal (or near-universal) themes, like aging and gender. Lift those voices, and those spirits! 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 20. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Tim Allen. Which of the many faces of Tim Allen is your favorite? Is it the debonair, grunting man’s man from “Home Improvement?” The tricked-out, totally enviable Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story films? The grinchlike Scott Calvin-turned-Santa Claus in “The Santa Clause?” Face it: You can’t choose. And you don’t have to. Allen, who recently finished the sixth season of the sitcom Last Man Standing, is on a comedy tour across the country, including to Tucson and beyond! 8 p.m. Saturday, May 19. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $49 to $89+.

Star Wars. You might not usually spend your weekends seeing shows put on by the City High School theater department, but the City High School theater department isn’t usually putting on one of the most beloved stories of all time. If watching the Star Wars movies makes you feel nostalgic, imagine how nostalgic you’re going to feel when you watch the show put on by people who were the same age you were when you first got really into the franchise. 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, May 18 and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. Their dress rehearsal at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 17 is also open to the public and free. 47 E. Pennington St. Tickets are available at the door or at City High in advance. $5 or free for CHS and PFFS students. Email to reserve tickets in advance.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Laughing Stock: Laff’s and Tears, Plus New Mics

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 11:45 AM

Flip Schultz headlines Laff’s Comedy Caffe shows Friday and Saturday, May 18 and 19. In the feature slot is Arizona comedian Jill Kimmel, who probably wishes we would all stop mentioning that she’s Jimmy’s sister. Although she’s performed sketches on her sibling’s show, she’s compiled her own solid credentials in top comedy clubs and at U.S. military bases throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Flip Schultz’ destiny was ordained at age eight when his comedy set swept the voting at a summer camp talent show. This was no fluke. He had for years made the rounds of family gatherings, bar mitzvahs, senior centers—wherever he found an audience.

At 18, he won the first open mic contest he ever entered. His commitment to standup survived college and a degree in theatre. He has since performed in comedy clubs throughout the world. Per his bio, he is now especially “sought-after” in Scandinavia. Yes! We feel cooler just typing Scandinavia.

John Stringer headlines and Jimmy Earl opens on Friday and Saturday, May 25 and 26. The Sunday, May 27 show has sold out.

Stringer brings some trademark Austin weirdness to the Laff’s stage. His comedy is accessible, high-energy, physical and loud-ish, reflecting a singular resistance to maturity.

Jimmy Earl’s name and coloring conjure the Ozarks and secret sausage recipes, but he often introduces himself as a Filipino from Canada. Humor ensues, often revolving around his family’s unique cultural mélange.

Laff’s shows are at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are $12.50 and $17.50 via

  • Jennifer Finley at Laff's Comedy Caffe.

On losing the beloved Jen Finley

Few things focus the attention like a bald comedian onstage with a feeding tube, but even laid low with cancer at 32, Jennifer Finley was crazy funny. She joked mainly in one-liners—original, twisted, unique and, whenever possible, shocking. Tucson comics were united in love for her and inspiration they took from her commitment to comedy. Literally from her deathbed last week she made jokes for those gathered to say goodbye. There may never have been so much laughter at a funeral. Thanks, Jen.

Mic news

Kev Lee hosts the new“Sunday Night Live Stand-up or Shut Up Open Mic” at Flycatcher, 9 p.m. Sunday, May 20. Rory Monserrat and Cindell Hansen, hosts of a former mic at Loudhouse, reboot at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 22 at the new Cans Deli, 340  N 4th Ave. Word is that both these mics will continue if there’s support. You know what to do.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

You've Got a Month Left to Vote in the First Round of Best of Tucson

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2018 at 4:00 PM


Hearing "You've got a month left to vote in Best of Tucson!" might sound a lot like "You've got SO MUCH TIME left to vote in Best of Tucson!" Then again, consider that it's already mid May. Wasn't it March just, like, yesterday? No. Time slips away, and so does your time to show your love for your favorite Tucson institutions.

What I'm saying is: You should start your Best of Tucson ballot. Take a look at the list of categories, carefully consider who you're going to vote for, and submit your ballot! You can come back to your submissions again and again and again and again as many times as you want before midnight on June 17. Then, we'll lock you out of the voting portal, ruthlessly sweep away everyone but the top contenders in each category, and release a new ballot wherein the only people/places you'll be able to vote for are the ones you and your fellow Tucsonans deemed real contenders.

If you want to like the choices you have in the finals, vote in the primaries—and do it soon.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Weekly List: 22 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2018 at 11:11 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.

Shows and Performances

Miss Witherspoon. She may be with a spoon, but the main character in this show is without life. In fact, the play opens with Veronica Witherspoon waking up in the afterlife shortly after committing suicide. She’s not super stoked to hear that she’s supposed to be reincarnated and go right back to earth (exactly where she was trying to get away from!) but with a little guidance from Jesus, a Hindu spirit and Gandalf, she gets to take a look at what life and death are all about—and so do we! Thursday, May 10 to Saturday, June 9. Live Theatre Workshop, 5317 E. Speedway Blvd. $15.

Catalina Foothills High School Steel Band. Let’s get percussive! Did you know that this high school steel band, Falcon Steel, was founded in 1996, and today has more than 130 students of all levels? While it’s always wonderful to support local art and music efforts, this is an event that promises to be fun, with numbers like the “Tucson March,” selections from “Wildcat,” and the song from that incredibly sweet montage at the beginning of the movie Up. Bring folding chairs or a blanket, and heartstrings that are ready to be plucked. 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 13. DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center at Reid Park, 3400 E. Zoo Court. Free.

Chirgilchin–Tuvan Throat Singers. Have you heard of throat singing? It’s INSANE. It’s when one singer sings two or more notes at the same time, at least one low, throaty sound and one higher, flute-y sound, for this atmospheric and harmonic and sort of meditate-y, drone-y quality. The most advanced forms of this art come from a little Russian province called Tuva. And that is where the group Chirgilchin hails from. “Chirgilchin” itself has two translations: “dance of the air in the heat of the day,” and “miracle.” They’ve been around since 1996, and if hearing them perform doesn’t sound totally intriguing, let us just reiterate that these people are singing TWO NOTES at the SAME TIME. 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 16. Sea of Glass Center for the Arts, 330 E. Seventh St. $20 adults, $17 teens, $4 kids in advance or $25 adults, $22 teens, $4 kids day of show.

Mothers’ Day

Mothers’ Day at Old Tucson. Happy Mothers’ Day from Old Tucson, not just to mothers, but to all women and girls! Take your mom, take your daughter, take your girlfriend or wife, take yourself for free if you’re a woman or girl! Trust us, watching stunt and comedy shows, enjoying living history presentations, going on historic site tours and letting the little ones ride the train or the antique carousel is a great way to spend the weekend with Mom. Plus, there’s a dinner special where you can get a prickly pear chicken breast (if Mom’s not from Tucson, you have to give her the Old Pueblo prickly pear experience), corn on the cob, a side salad and a drink for $14.95. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 12 to Sunday, May 13. Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Road. $19.95 for adults (anyone 12 and over) and $10.95 for kids 4 to 11. Free for all women and girls!

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Laughing Stock: If Richard Pryor Could See Him Now

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2018 at 11:25 PM

Tim Allen performs at TCC Music Hall on May 19.
  • Tim Allen performs at TCC Music Hall on May 19.
Things we know about Tim Allen: He’s a guy’s guy and a devoted family man; Disney Studios loves him; he’s a perennial candidate for People’s Choice Awards, and he’s insane enough to love touring his standup show the best.

If we had written two best-selling books, were set to voice Buzz Light Year for the fourth time in the Toy Story franchise (Toy Story 4, 2019); had been anointed by Disney to play Santa Claus for four eponymous films (1991 People’s Choice Award); had an eight-year, prime time run of Home Improvement, winning a Golden Globe and, every year of the run, the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male Performer in a Television Series; and had just wrapped the sixth season of Last Man Standing for ABC, wouldn’t we hang it up and just go parasailing? Maybe buy a football team? Run for office?

Not Allen. He continues to hit the road for stand-up dates nearly every weekend. Why? Because he can. “Oh boy, I get excited about standup comedy!” he says. “Always have. To be one of the guys who has been able to do this is really honor.

“I've been tenacious about it, too. I want to make that crowd laugh with me, all of us together. Pryor did it to me. When I saw Pryor, it changed my life I laughed so hard and so deeply.”

Allen wouldn’t pretend to the experience that drove Pryor’s comedy content, but Pryor became the model for the effect that Allen strives for in an audience. “If I could get the crowd rolling like Richard Pryor did,” his voice trails off. “I don't stop, I'm going to give you an hour or more of the best comedy that will relate all of us together.”

A philosophy major in college, Allen eschews politics, but retains his wonder about human nature. “I’m interested in what’s underneath politics and sexism and masculinism – the foibles we have as humans, the best and worst that we are. I love making fun of that stuff.

“My (comedy) is mostly observational stuff about men and women, living our lives, and games and food,” he says. “I don't argue as much as I get older. I'm just looking for clarity. ‘Why is it like this?’”

Allen performs at Tucson Convention Center at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 19. Reserved seat tickets are $49 to $89 and available online.

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Friday, May 4, 2018

The Lineup: What's Happening in Tucson This Week!

Posted By on Fri, May 4, 2018 at 4:22 PM

It's time for another edition of The Lineup, our partnership with KFMA, Rock 102.1 FM! KFMA DJ Boy Wonder and Tucson Weekly Executive Editor Jim Nintzel talk about how to have fun this week.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

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

Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2018 at 11:57 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.

Music and Shows

Beach Boys Tribute. The Beach Boys used to wonder, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older?” But now their loyal fanbase can’t help but sometimes wonder, “Wouldn’t it be nice if they were younger?” Enter Surf’s Up, one of the world’s first “true” Beach Boys tribute bands, made up of a couple brothers, their dad and their cousin who have spent the last 25 years working on their sandiest harmonies. 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, May 6. Gaslight Music Hall, 13005 N. Oracle Road. $30 adults, $29 senior/student/military, $13 children.

Adrián Uribe and Omar Chaparro, Imparables, El Show. You know when you laugh so hard that your stomach hurts and you can’t breathe and it’s actually kind of scary for a minute? Buckle up, because two of Mexico’s favorite comedians are coming to Tucson with a comedy battle, featuring characters that include El Policia de Transito and La Litenciada. There will be wigs, there will be short-sleeved, button-up shirts paired with ties and there will be a lot of laughing until it hurts. 9 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $45 to $95+.

Sounds of Spring. Spring is upon us (if you didn’t notice based on the way it’s no longer borderline comfortable to wear a sweater outside), and what sounds more like spring than the sweet sound of a girls’ chorus? That’s right! Nothing! The more than 200 young women in the Tucson Girls Chorus, directed by Marcela Molina, will perform everything from traditional seasonal music to contemporary and folk pieces. 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 6. Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. $15 to $18.

Tucson Folk Festival. Tucsonans, it’s time to get folked up. Here are just some of the bands who will be playing at this year’s festival: Pokey LaFarge (national headliner), Greg & Randal Morton Band & Special Guests (local headliner), Peter Alsop (children’s show headliner), Kay Miracle, Minute2Minute, Igor, Odaiko Sonora, The Cat Wranglers, Bobby Rondstadt and Baba Marimba. And that’s just a little slice of this deliciously acoustic pie. It’s taking place at several different venues downtown, so it’s kind of like Tucson’s own little SXSW. Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 5. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, May 6. Historic Downtown Tucson. Free.

Art and Museums

Free First Thursdays at the Tucson Museum of Art. Happy First Thursday! TMA has an awesome lineup of events celebrating members of our community’s immigrant and refugee population along with their artistic and cultural contributions. They’ll be displaying Sanctuary Benches developed in tandem with local schools and other organizations, as well as a project documenting the stories of Tucson refugees, “Dismantling Fear: Voices of Tucson’s Refugee Community.” Artists from Syria, Bulgaria and Morocco will play live music, and museums exhibition tours will be offered in Spanish and Arabic. 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 3. Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block. Free.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Weekly List: 24 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2018 at 9:23 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.

Theater and Performance

Our Town. The Oro Valley Theatre Company is opening up their very first season with a bang—but maybe not exactly the kind of bang you’d expect. Our Town, written by Thornton Wilder, won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1938. It’s performed on a mostly bare stage, with actors miming their interactions with imaginary props, and the main character is a stage manager who narrates the story, speaks to the audience and plays several characters in the story. The play turns 80 this year, but it’s as fascinating and refreshing as ever, whether you’re a theater person or not. 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 26 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 29. Gaslight Music Hall, 13005 N. Oracle Road. $20 adults, $15 kids, $18 senior/student/military.

King Lear at the Rogue Theatre. Are you ready to be awestruck and inspired, if a little bit depressed? Pretty widely considered one of Shakespeare’s greatest achievements, and one of the greatest tragedies of all time, King Lear is just as revered as it is Lear-ed. This production is directed by Rogue Theatre co-founder and UA alumna Cynthia Meier, and musical direction and original composition is provided by Jake Sorgen. Each show will be followed by a discussion with the cast and director, so you can reflect on the play’s deeper meanings, or even clear up any confusion you may have had about the plot. Thursday, April 26 through Sunday, May 13, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday, plus 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays May 5 and 12. The Rogue Theatre at the Historic Y, 300 E. University Blvd. $38, or $28 for previews on Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27. $15 student rush tickets available 15 minutes before curtain, pending availability.

The Parlor Show at Pinnacle Peak. Steak is a kind of magic unto itself, and it’s the kind of magic you can get all year at Pinnacle Peak. But the parlor show, with its mindreading magic led by magicians Nate Anderson and John Redmon, is more rare. Before you watch the wonder unfold before you, enjoy a three-course dinner of chicken, filet mignon or salmon; a baked potato or fresh vegetable; a garden salad; a dessert sampler (why should you have to choose just one dessert?); and either a glass of house wine, a draft beer or a golden margarita. Doors at 5:30, dinner at 6 and show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26. Pinnacle Peak, 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road. $55 per person or $100 for two people.

Music and Sound

Arizona Repertory Singers present King David. Let’s get theatrical! ARS music director Elliott Jones explains that this oratorio by Arthur Honegger didn’t premiere in a concert hall—it premiered in a theater, which left more opportunity for elements like staging, a character followed through time (first sung by a boy soprano and later by an adult tenor) and a character singing from offstage. It really spans the board in terms of influences and sound, from Middle Eastern chords to jazz influences to Gregorian chants to dissonant modern sounds, Bach influences and—of course—a Hallelujah chorus. 7:30 p.m on Friday, April 27 at Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway Blvd. 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 29 at Temple Emanu-El, 225 N. Country Club Road. $23 in advance, $25 at the door. Students admitted free!

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Staff Pick

Saturday Tour & Tasting

Visit Hamilton Distillers every Saturday at 3 pm for a tour of the distillery and malthouse, plus… More

@ Hamilton Distillery Saturdays, 3-5 p.m. 2106 Forbes Blvd #103

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