Cheap Thrills

IT'S SASSY SASSY. C'mon. It's an evening of out-of-town entertainment for a ten-spot, or nine bucks if you take a can of beans.

An enduring homegrown troupe entertains its audience with a hilarious look at the lives of Tess LaRuffa and Fanny Saperstein as they begin a new existence in a Las Vegas condo, compliments of their adult daughters.

The San Pedro Actors Troupe of Oracle, aka SPATS, will present Bermuda Avenue Triangle, a sassy adult comedy by Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna, at the SPATS Playhouse in Oracle.

SPATS is entering its 23rd year of bringing live theater to the community. Marilyn Nelson directs, with Rose Milam and Roxie Brown co-producing. Actors include Mary Ellen Kazda, Kathy Johnson, Christine Oberth and M. Van Howell along with newcomers Sarah Hardin and John Huntington.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the SPATS Playhouse, 730 American Ave. in Oracle. Other performances, also at 7:30 p.m., are scheduled for January 26 and 31 and February 1 and 2. Tickets cost $10 with a $1 refund with a donation of non-perishable food for the Tri Community Food Bank. For more information and reservations, call 896-9405.

MIRROR, MIRROR -- Drawing on her background as an artist born in Iran and living in the United States, Kendal Kennedy creates large-scale mirror installations that transform the gallery into a space bathed in reflected light.

Kennedy's Common Grounds, a mirror installation, and Epilogue, calligraphy, create a powerful exhibition at the Joseph Gross Gallery.

The use of mirrors connects the artist and the viewer to Kennedy's Iranian heritage--mirrors being a decorative and spiritual element of Persian architecture. The reflections the mirrors create and the conceptual states they conjure also connect the viewer to her work as an abstract painter.

Her installations use the duality of reality and illusion to present the metaphor of physical (mirror) and metaphysical (reflection), transforming a place into a poem.

Of her calligraphic works, Kennedy says Epilogue reveals a deep sense of history, while contemplating today's individualism. Derived from the sacred poetry and philosophies of the great Persian poet Rumi, these writings merge the meaningful and traditional aspects of calligraphy with the aesthetics of contemporary form and personal interpretation."

An opening reception for the show, which runs through February 14, is 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Joseph Gross Gallery, on the UA campus, at the southeast corner of Park Avenue and Speedway Boulevard. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 626-4215 or visit

LUMINOUS LANDSCAPES. Check out the works of Bruce McGrew, who left a vibrant legacy to his students, colleagues and the Arizona arts community.

Earth Light, 1993, a collection of watercolors from the collection of the University of Arizona Museum of Art, reveals the talents of McGrew, who was a professor at the UA's art school. This retrospective exhibition traces the art he created from the 1960s until his death in 1999.

In the mid 1960s McGrew found home in Southern Arizona's Sonoran desert and settled at Oracle's artist community of Rancho Linda Vista. He joined the faculty of the University of Arizona in 1966 and retired in 1999 as professor emeritus.

McGrew painted primarily in oil and watercolor, but he often tested himself in a variety of other media such as monoprinting, lithography and drawing.

While his landscapes in oil and watercolor received broad recognition, the subjects of his art ranged widely and included mythological legends (both Classical and Mexican), portraits, figure studies and apocryphal tales.

McGrew traversed the world as well as his own back yard with paints, papers and sketchbooks capturing on site the light of day and the color and form of land, water and atmosphere. Many of these air paintings served as preliminary works for large studio watercolors and canvases where the landscape served as sole subject or as stage for his mythic chronicles.

A public reception is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday night at the University of Arizona Museum of Art. The exhibition, which runs January 27 to March 24, will be closed to the public from January 30 through February 4. For more information, call 621-7567 or visit

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