Fun in General

Friday, December 8, 2017

Laughing Stock: Holly Jolly Edition

Posted By on Fri, Dec 8, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Cartoonist David Fitzsimmons hosts Arroyo Café Holiday Radio Show at the Rialto Dec. 16. - DAVID FITZSIMMONS
  • David Fitzsimmons
  • Cartoonist David Fitzsimmons hosts Arroyo Café Holiday Radio Show at the Rialto Dec. 16.

Fake News? Fun Tradition!

Cartoonist and comedy impresario David Fitzsimmons reprises his Arroyo Café Holiday Radio Show at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, December 16 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $15 via, in advance or at the door.

It’s become such a popular Old Pueblo tradition that even the POTUS has noticed. Trump went so far as to tweet to organizers that he’s not interested in making an appearance. “Lame. Why drag me into your Christmas spectacular? Sad, really.” Naturally, Fitzsimmons and crew immediately added him to the bill. Fitzsimmons suggests, however, “Trump supporters may want to skip this one. Ho,ho, ho!”

The production has an old-time radio show format, a la Prairie Home Companion, chock-a-block with Tucson celebrities. In addition to Fitzsimmons, the Arroyo Café Players include KVOA’s Lupita Murillo; American Idol contender Crystal Stark; long-time radio announcer Bobby Rich; and comedians Elliot Glicksman, Jay Taylor, Nancy Stanley, Nick Seivert, Josiah Osego, Mike Sterner and Bridgitte Thum. The Grandsons of the Pioneers, comprising members of Reveille Men’s Choir, round out the bill, along with Wilbur Wildcat and the President of the United States, all under the musical direction of soprano soloist and sound designer Lindsey McHugh.

Light Family Fare at Gaslight

Sweet and smooth as the froth on your eggnog, Christmas in the Big Apple is a grand time for any family gathering that includes both the youngest and oldest members. The villainy is paper-thin and the survival of the Santa spirit is never in doubt. Lots of opportunities for interactive play include in simple, repeated lines and hilariously groan-worthy jokes, straight out of the third-grade joke book. Costumes are as spectacular as we’ve come to expect of the Gaslight Theatre. The red dresses in the olio all but stole the show for this scrivener.

Hurry to book this holiday treat as some performances have been sold out since May. Visit for details; call for reservations.

Tops and Bottoms at Borderlands Brewery

Ten dollars buys a beer and a show on from 7 to 10 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10, when Borderlands’ monthly showcase Brew Ha Ha presents The Tops and Bottoms Tour featuring Carmen Morales and Anthony Desamito.

Morales’ has won fans on Punchline, Sirius XM radio, two seasons of Laughs on Fox and multiple festivals. She also co-hosts a New York Times comedy podcast. Desamito has appeared on Laughs on FOX and The Doug Stanhope Podcast. He co-hosts a podcast recapping episode of the Golden Girls, and a monthly show at the Hollywood Improv Lab.

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Friday, December 1, 2017

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

Posted By and on Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 4:10 PM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.

Holly Jolly

Holiday Choirs at Tubac Luminaria Lights. TaliasVan’s Bright & Morning Star Choir & Orchestra are here to wish you a merry Christmas, wish you a merry Christmas, bring good tidings for you and your kin and to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Their performance in Tubac will be preceded by the CosmoYouth choir’s melodic stylings, and holiday refreshments, holiday cheer and holiday gifts will be available throughout the night for purchase (the cheer is free). Rumors are flying about a possible appearance by the big man in red himself, and who wants to be the one who has to say they skipped out on an opportunity to meet the real Santa Claus? 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2. Tubac Plaza next to Sacred Treasures, 29 Tubac Plaza. Donations appreciated.

  • Wikimedia Commons
Smile with Santa. It’s truly astonishing that Santa Claus has never won TIME’s Person of the Year Award. He travels all around the world making children happy, provided jobs for the elf population before it was required by affirmative action, and eats cookies in households across America so that Americans won’t, thus helping to keep obesity levels down. In between all of this, he’s finding time to let children (even the four-legged variety) pose for free pictures with him at Tucson Premium Outlets, and to host a story time on Saturdays. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays have storytime from noon to 1 p.m. and photos from 1 to 5 p.m., Sundays have pet photos from 4 to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 24, there will be Santa Photos only from 10 a.m. to noon. Tucson Premium Outlets, 6401 Marana Center Blvd. Free.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Weekly List: 25 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

Posted By and on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.


2017 International Tucson Guitar Festival. The guitar is one of those things that allows space for infinite improvement: You can practice for years and still only beginning to unlock your potential, because there are just that many possibilities. But the world-class guitarists coming to this event will blow you away with what looks and sounds a whole lot like mastery. Three-time Grammy Award nominee Berta Rojas performs at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18 and Grammy Award winning composer/guitarist Sérgio Assad and Grammy Award nominated pianist/vocalist Clarics Assad perform at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19. Cuban guitarrista Iliana Matos opens the festival at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11 and the Beeston competition is at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12. Holsclaw Hall, Fred Fox School of Music, 1017 N. Olive Road. Ticket prices vary.

A Celebration of Joni Mitchell with Kimberly Ford. It goes without saying that every day is a celebration of Joni Mitchell in its own way, or at least it should be. But treat yourself to an evening jam-packed with Joni by seeing this six-piece SoCal based band headed by Kimberly Ford on vocals. Let Kimberly and Joni remind you that we’re all stardust, and that sometimes sadness, when sung about in just the right way, can be overwhelmingly beautiful. 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. Gaslight Music Hall of Oro Valley, 13005 N. Oracle Road, No. 165. $25.

April Verch Band: Canada’s Finest Fiddle & Stepdancer. Not many adults are doing the same things today that they were doing when they were 3, or 6 and a half. But those are the ages at which April Verch learned to stepdance and fiddle, respectively, and she’s been steppin’ and fiddlin’ away ever since. Also, she sings. And sometimes she does all three at once. She fiddled at the 2010 Olympic games, she’s fiddled in Vienna Austria, and she’s fiddled her way onto the pages of Rolling Stone magazine. Now, it’s time to let her fiddle, stepdance and fiddle her way into your heart. With Matt & Bekah Rolland of Run Boy Run. 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19. Monterey Court, 505 W. Miracle Mile, Tucson. $15.

The Spirit of Argentina. They move quickly, dramatically and sensually, to the music composed by some of the most legendary figures in the world of tango. They are Tango Buenos Aires, known internationally as one of the most talented and authentic Tango dancers in the world. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take two to tango. It takes a whole expert company of musicians, vocalists and dancers to bring you the cultural experience of a lifetime. (And don’t worry. You don’t have to tango.) 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21. Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress. $24 to $39.


Made in Tucson Market. They say home is where the art is, and at this festival, you can find art and goods from dozens of vendors who make their goods locally. And while you’re picking up art prints, candles, jewelry, ceramics, kitchen supplies and other Tucson-made treats, you can chat with the artists (all of whom are Tucson residents) and learn about their processes. How sweet it is to stock up on holiday gifts, treat yourself and support local artists all at once. 10 a.m. to dusk. Saturday, Nov. 18. On Seventh Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues. Free.

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Friday, November 3, 2017

National Stars Shine on Tucson’s Comedy Fest

Posted By on Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Kevin McDonald
  • Kevin McDonald
Kevin McDonald, co-founder of the legendary Kids in the Hall, emailed that he’d always wanted to visit Tucson, and asked if Tucson Improv Movement (TIM) might allow him to host a show and a workshop. As a matter of fact, TIM founder and owner Justin Lukasewicz thought that was a swell idea and, on the spot, gave one of the world’s best-known sketch comedy artists the headline slot in Tucson Comedy Arts Festival 3, Nov. 8-11.

Responding to its growing reputation, this year’s fest branches out from TIM’s 50-seat black box theatre to include the Flycatcher, home of the event’s standup comedy components; the Sea of Glass, where McDonald performs with students from his day-long, sketch-writing workshop, and 191 Toole, where a solo performance by McDonald will cap the festival at 8 p.m., Saturday.

Most of the action, though, is at TIM Comedy Theatre, 239 E. 7th street, where 30 improv teams
Mary Catherine Curran
  • Mary Catherine Curran
 gather from Tucson, Phoenix, Chicago and Los Angeles, to perform a dozen showcases over the three days. Daytime workshops there cover skills for short form, long form and sketch techniques for ensemble and solo improvisers.

TCAF has something for everyone, including children and Spanish-language speakers. Visit for the full schedule and to register all the events. Except for McDonald’s, shows are $25 for a full festival pass, or $5 each, and workshops are $50. Some scholarships may be available.

Unique and recommended among the improv performers are Mary Catherine Curran’s solo sketch One Woman Space Jam; the Spanish language team, Cómo Se Dice; the hip-hop and rap team, Third Beats; Slideshow Fairy Tales, a unique solo comedy performance that you should Google; From the Top, a team that improvises an entire musical in 25 minutes; the all-female team, The Riveters; The Soapbox, featuring Kevin McDonald inspiring TIM’s top improvisers with anecdotes from his life; Phoenix-based veterans, Galapagos; and FOMP (Friends of Make Pretends), a show for children with lots of audience participation and stage time. 
Matt Storrs
  • Matt Storrs

We’re also looking forward to stand-up sets by Chicagoan Dame Grant; Tucson ex-pat Ben Dietzel, now of L.A.; local favorite, Josiah Osego; and, from Phoenix, Matt Storrs’ popular game show for stand-up comedians, The Storrs Objection.
The performer we’re most looking forward to seeing is Brooke Hartnett, because the Tucson comedy scene misses her. An alumna of the UA’s Charles Darwin Experience, a stand-up comedian and a TIM company member, she moved to Chicago to study improv and pursue a comedy writing career.

She says she misses the food and the low cost of living, but, “Chicago’s a really lovely city and a good place to work on comedy without the pressure of L.A. and New York. I’d like to teach improv one day, but I’m realistically more likely to make money acting or writing or directing film.” 
Alex Carday
  • Alex Carday

Hartnett’s Chicago team, Kill Phil, performs late Friday night, but she’ll be busy much of the rest  of the festival reuniting with besties in the top TIM ensembles she left behind: The Riveters, The Travelling Thornberries, Party Barf, and her duo team with Clare Shelly, Kitten Spit, a past crowd favorite.
It was Hartnett who encouraged TCAF workshop presenter Mary Catherine Curran to sign on for TCAF3. Hartnett had studied with Curran at iO Chicago. Curran, in turn, suggested her friend Alex Carday, an alumnus of the UA’s Charles Darwin Experience, and a current member of the nationally recognized short-form improv company, Comedy Sportz, in Chicago.

Carday’s workshop covers short form game techniques. Curran’s covers making strong emotional choices in scenes, but she also offers a personalized workshop for improvisers interested in solo  performance. How is that different from stand-up? “It's character-driven, and it's more personal, more, I think, an art,” Curran says. “I think mostly standup is based on creating or forming a joke, and you’re yourself most of the time. Solo improv is like a sketch show. It’s tightly scripted, and each piece is separated by blackouts or transitions.”

José  Gonzales, a co-founder of Phoenix’s Torch Theater, a ten-year-old school and
 performance space for independent improv teams, will teach workshops on enhancing scenes by working with imaginary objects. His techniques help improvisers create and perform within environments they create in an audience’s imagination. Gonzales also will perform a set with his 14-year-old team, Galapagos, which has toured all over North America and Europe.

While hosting its third comedy festival, TIM also celebrates five years in business. Lukasewicz says, "It's been amazing to see (TIM) sprout up from nothing. My two goals with TIM were to create high quality, fast-paced shows and to have a supportive, inclusive community. At the fifth anniversary show … the quality and support were amazing. I am lucky to get those sorts of moments on a regular basis.”

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

The River Bride, A 'Fairy Tale For Adults,' Opens at ATC This Weekend

Posted By on Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 5:30 PM

Leandro Cano, Hugo E. Carbajal, Sarita Ocón, Dena Martinez, Paula Rebelo, and Sean Burgos in Arizona Theatre Company’s The River Bride. - TIM FULLER
  • Tim Fuller
  • Leandro Cano, Hugo E. Carbajal, Sarita Ocón, Dena Martinez, Paula Rebelo, and Sean Burgos in Arizona Theatre Company’s The River Bride.

The River Bride
 blends Brazilian folklore, poetic imagery and the excitement of young love to tell a story of two sisters in fishing village along the Amazon. Right before her sister Belmira’s wedding (to a man Helena feels was rightfully hers), fishermen pull a man out of the river who has no past, but who offers both women an enticing, if uncertain future.

The Arizona Theatre Company production of The River Bride, by Marisela Treviño Orta, opens in Tucson this Friday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. The play made its debut at the 2016 Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and was the winner of the 2013 National Latino Playwriting Award.

Treviño Orta has a background in poetry, and received a master of fine arts degree in writing at the University of San Francisco. After serving as the resident poet at El Teatro Jornalero!, she found herself attracted to playwriting for the first time

“It felt so very welcoming and embracing and supportive in a way that I was like ‘this feels so right,’” she said. “And doors kept opening for me.”

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

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

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 8:43 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo


click image MAX PIXEL
  • Max Pixel
Star Wars Paint Party. You Pick Your Side! You may not be able to use the force to help you become a professional painter, but you can attend a fun event where your painting is sketched out for you ahead of time and you have something to work with. Specify “Vader” or “Yoda” when you buy your ticket, so you can choose whether you’ll get an instructor who breathes really heavily and rarely speaks or one with confusing syntax. No, but really, specify one or the other so they’ll know which one to sketch out on your canvas. 6:15. Friday, Oct. 20. HighWire Lounge, 14 S. Arizona Ave. $30.

Agua Caliente Park Astronomy Star Party. This event is simple, straightforward and starry. The Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association is setting up a cluster of telescopes in the Park Bus Lanes (at the north end of the park) to look up at and appreciate the sky. TAAA has been around for over 60 years, and the stars have been around for even longer than that. Celebrate and learn about both at this family-friendly event. Arrive early in case the park entrance gate closes one hour after the start time. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. Agua Client Park, 12325 E. Roger Road. Free.

  • Wikimedia Commons
Meteor Mania! The Orionids are coming! The Orionids are coming! Produced by Halley’s comet, these visitors from the school of space rocks will be doing a flyby on Friday. It’s the middle of the night, so warm clothing (hats, gloves, layers) is a must. Feel free to bring sleeping bags, blankets or lawn chairs to hang out on as well. It’s big, bright, beautiful and the perfect event for space-loving kids (or for the conversion of a non-space-loving kid into a space-loving kid), especially ages 8 and up. 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. (though shuttles back to the parking lot will be available at 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. as well). Friday, Oct. 20. Kitt Peak National Observatory Visitor Center by driving way west on Ajo Way and taking a left at AZ-386 South. (Park in the picnic area, a mile below the summit, and take a shuttle the rest of the way.) $49.95 online or $55 over the phone for adults. $46.95 or $52 by phone for ages 8-16. Tribal members free.

Do Good, Feel Good

Tucson Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The Desert Southwest Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is hosting the Tucson branch of this walk, which takes place in more than 600 communities across the country. Walk a one-mile or three-mile route at Reid Park and raise funds to support Alzheimer’s research, support and care. It’s free to register for the walk, which gives you all the more incentive to reach out to friends, family, coworkers and beyond to help support a worthwhile cause. 8 a.m. to noon. Saturday, Oct. 21. Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way. Free.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

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

Posted By on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo


Analog Hour at Tap & Bottle Downtown and Exo! Try leaving the house without your phone, just to see if you can do it. We’d suggest starting with something small, like going outside to check the mail, and then maybe a trip to the grocery store. And, when you’re ready to actually try to enjoy some of this phone-free time, then read a book, play a game, listen to some music, have a conversation or just sit at this monthly event at Exo and Tap & Bottle. 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15. Tap & Bottle, 403 N. Sixth Ave. Free entry.

2017 All-Zona Book Fest. If a group of lions is called a herd, and a group of crows is called a murder, what do you call a group of local authors? Spend the day meeting a litter of authors responsible for some of the coolest mystery novels, memoirs, self-help books, children’s books and short stories around. The pack of pen-wielders will be available for a meet & greet, so attendees are in for a gaggle of good advice, behind-the-scenes info about favorite characters and the opportunity to meet the men and women behind the words. Bring a children’s book to help the event hosts, Gecko Gals, reach their goal of donating 500 books to Make Way for Books. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15. Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road. Free.

Catalina Art Lovers Book Club. Books, of course, are an art form in and of themselves, but some people like their art to be about other art. For those of you in the art squared club, this book club is not to be missed. They’ll be meeting every second Friday, starting this month with The Scribe of Siena, in which a woman sees her own face in a fourteenth century painting and finds herself transported to medieval times—and we’re not talking the dinner theater. If you can’t make it to this one, stay tuned for future books: November’s The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild, December’s A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline and January’s Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Friday, Oct. 13. Dewhurst-Catalina Library, 15631 N. Oracle Road. Free.


The Year’s Strangest Art Show. Tales from the Trash is made up of two guys who pick up wacky and wild and sometimes wonderful art from thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, swap meets and the occasional dumpster. The two are exhibiting pieces form their carefully curated selection for this well-named show, where most of the pieces will be for sale, and for a pretty low price. Maybe you were dumpster diver in a past life, but your back just isn’t what it used to be. Or maybe you just don’t want to go in a dumpster. Either way, at this show you can skip the dirty part and just let yourself reap the rewards. 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. Iron Horse Fabricators, 503 E. Ninth St. Free.

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Friday, September 29, 2017

LGBTQ+ Dance Classes Bring Salsa To All

Posted By on Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 2:07 PM


Olivia Avanzato, 28, has been dancing since she was 4 years old. She’s been teaching classes at Floor Polish for about a year, teaching styles like “bad-ass tap” and solo salsa.

When Marina Cornelius, the studio’s founder, suggested she teach a couple’s class, Avanzato was having a hard time getting psyched about it. Then she realized what the problem was.

“I’m not excited because I’m not excited about taking couples classes,” she said.

Avanzato lives in Tucson with her partner Nadia, and had never been enthralled by the traditional, very heterosexual nature of most partner classes.

“Anytime I’ve ever taken a couple’s class, I’ve gone by myself, without my partner and done the traditional follow part and danced with a male," she said. "Or I’ve gone to a traditional class and stood in for the lead part.”

So she decided to do something different, something more inclusive for everyone. And she came up with Rainbow Salsa: a monthly dance class for LGBTQ+ couples. The first class was in September, and Avanzato said the couples who attended enjoyed it.

“It was really sweet,” she said. “It was really intimate and loving.”

The classes aren’t limited to same-sex couples–Avanzato wants to make sure that that everyone on the LGBTQ+ spectrum is included.

“I wanted it to be a place where you can dance with your partner and it’s fine,” she said.

Rainbow Salsa classes will be offered once a month at Floor Polish, 215 N. Hoff Ave. #107, and cost $15. The next one is Saturday, Oct. 7 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

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Festival Band's New Year's Eve Dance

Join us at the Tucson University Park Hotel (formally Marriott) for our NYE Dance! We play Tejano,… More

@ Tucson University Park Hotel Dec. 1-Jan. 1 880 E. 2nd Street

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