City Week

Holiday Spirit Sans Stress

Christmas in July fundraiser

9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, July 21


3767 E. Grant Road

322-3800, ext. 202

Christmas may be months away, but that doesn't mean you can't get in the holiday spirit.

Head to SAAVI this Saturday to decorate Christmas cookies, play holiday games, construct crafts and enter raffles that will make you long for the season of eggnog and candy canes.

SAAVI, which has been in Arizona for almost 50 years, does outreach to blind and visually impaired people. This holiday-themed event is being held by the Tucson Downtown Lioness and Tucson Wilmot Lioness clubs, groups that do a variety of community-service projects in Tucson.

Proceeds will go toward projects such as vision screenings at an elementary school, and making handmade dolls that staff at the University of Arizona Medical Center use to inform and comfort children. The hospital staffers use the dolls to show children where a surgery will be performed or where a disease is centered, which helps the kids put in context what is happening, said Su-Lin Trepanitis, president of the Tucson Downtown Lioness Club.

Pat Broyles, a member of the Wilmot club, said members got the idea for the fundraiser when the clubs held a yard sale and discovered they had lots of Christmas trinkets on hand.

"We thought it would be pretty cool to have Christmas in July," Broyles said, adding that the event offers people a way to enjoy the fun parts of the holiday season without the stress that usually accompanies it.

Broyles said the event is a perfect family-bonding activity.

"There are a lot of different things people can do, and they'll be helping support their community," she said.

Admission is $5; children are admitted for free. —H.M.

Lawyerly Laughs

The Comedy Genius of Montague Glass

7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m., Sunday, through Sunday, July 29

Comedy Playhouse

3620 N. First Ave.


Most people wouldn't use the word "comical" to describe lawyers in general. However, there are exceptions to every rule.

Montague Glass, a lawyer turned playwright, was "a very funny man," said Bruce Bieszki, owner of the Comedy Playhouse. Bieszki said that when Glass' writings were published in the early 20th century, he initially had great success and "shot like a comet through the literary skies."

Glass' popularity, though, has not stood the test of time—which is why Bieszki said he wants to revive the playwright's reputation by presenting The Comedy Genius of Montague Glass.

The show features characters Abe Potash and Morris Perlmutter, two New Yorkers in the clothing business who helped define Glass' career. Bieszki said that their business hovers on "the fine line of legitimacy and ... not so much," and that their brushes with bankruptcy make them compelling characters.

Bieszki, who will play the role of Potash, said that the two men portray "a class of immigrants." The two are Jewish, and Bieszki said that Glass' plays were among the first in American theater in which a Jewish heritage didn't translate into blatant stereotyping.

"They have their flaws, but they're not stereotypes," Bieszki said. "They're full-blown characters."

He said that Glass' legal background gave him a unique approach to theater that people today will find amusing.

"The law was funny then, and the law is funny now," and Glass was able to illustrate that in his writing, Bieszki said.

The cast also includes Tony Eckstat and Butch Lynn.

Admission is $12, with $2 discounts for seniors and students. —H.M.

Cuisine for a Cause

Cook for the Cure

6 to 9 p.m., next Thursday, July 26

Mercado San Agustín

100 S. Avenida del Convento


Delicious food, good music and an increase in awareness will come together at the second annual Cook for the Cure event, a benefit for Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Southern Arizona.

It's part of the Cool Off With Komen campaign, which includes a variety of summer events that help raise breast-cancer awareness. Last year, Cook for the Cure raised $2,065.

"When people found out we were doing it again this year, people were glad to hear it," said Maria Elena Acuna, executive director for Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Southern Arizona.

However, several changes have been made, including a new location.

"It is a great venue that has a commercial kitchen plus the restaurant," said Sue Collins, Komen's local education-events consultant. "In addition, we have added a small art show ... and we will even have some guitarists from UA providing some of the music."

Attendees will have the opportunity to taste food from Tucson Originals restaurants, along with wine and beer. There will also be local celebrity bartenders, including Mayor Jonathan Rothschild.

"We're able to bring people together in a positive atmosphere so they can see that there is life after cancer, and we can help you find information and find care," said Acuna. "It's (one of the) fun things we can do to get together, raise a little bit of money and help get the word out."

Admission is $15, which includes the food and drinks, and a raffle ticket for prizes including products from KitchenAid. The first 100 people through the doors will receive a free cookbook of healthy recipes published by the Arizona Cancer Center. —R.C.

Toys + Art!

Art by Catherine Eyde, Valerie Galloway and Vicki Lázaro

Opening reception: 6 to 8 p.m., Saturday, July 21

Ongoing exhibit on display 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday

Yikes Toys and Gift-o-Rama

2930 E. Broadway Blvd.


Unique "skulltures," glass-jar assemblages and excerpts from a drawing-a-day project have been compiled into a new art exhibit at Yikes Toys and Gift-o-Rama.

"We do a lot of pop culture and try to carry eclectic items," said Patricia Katchur, owner of Yikes.

Katchur comes from an artistic background herself and is bringing art to the store for the first time by exhibiting the work of three local artists.

Vicki Lázaro will show her Dia de los Muertos ceramic-mask "skulltures," influenced by her early years growing up in Mexico. Catherine Eyde will include 12 excerpts from her 365-day art project, for which she did a drawing a day for a year. Valerie Galloway's Disquieting Beauty series includes glass-jar assemblages that include dice, antique doll parts and other items.

"Each artist has very different work, but it all fits into Yikes' personality," said Katchur.

Galloway's glass-jar assemblages were inspired in part by a 2003 visit to Philadelphia's Mütter Museum, where she saw an exhibit with various body parts in jars.

"I was horrified and fascinated at the same time," said Galloway. "I knew I wanted to do something with jars after that."

Galloway uses antique jars and porcelain dolls from Germany that are more than 100 years old. In "Cutie Pie," an aged porcelain doll is trapped in melted wax.

"It's a play on the innocence, and I wanted it to have an innocent and old-fashioned quality. The fact that she is trapped in a jar is more of a sinister idea," said Galloway.

The exhibit is free. —R.C.