Jonathan Richman Featuring Tommy Larkins on drums
It’s been 50 years since Jonathan Richman and his band Modern Lovers helped set the stage for punk music. Now, connoisseurs of Richman’s resonant storytelling, poetry and wit appreciate the legendary intimacy of his concerts. He can make an arena feel like a coffee shop. Musicians flock to his concerts to marvel at his craft. Tucson drummer Tommy Larkin has toured with him for years.
8 p.m. Friday, Oct.7, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), 265 S. Church Avenue, moca-tucson.org, $25 MOCA member, $30 general admission standing, $35 general admission seated, $40 door if available.
“Honky Tonk Hacienda” turns 20
Local music promoter Jeb Schoonover was “Alternative Country” before it was cool. He’s long favored a mix of blues, country, folk and rock, and he created the Honky Tonk Hacienda concert series as an annual tribute to those original sounds. Gabriel Sullivan will host this 20th edition. It features Dave Gonzales, Mike Hebert, Heather Hardy and their bands. Sullivan leads a band of Tucson all stars in a Gram-Parsons-inspired set.
6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, Hotel Congress Plaza Stage, 311 E. Congress Street, hotelcongress.com, $12 via dice.fm
Tucson Meet Yourself
There will be some poignancy to this year’s epic downtown feeding frenzy, dance party and shopping spree. It’s the first Tucson Meet Yourself since founder Big Jim Griffith died. But how can we be sad when he created it for joy? This is the one time every year we find each other all in one place, learn a little about our respective cultures and eat each other’s favorite foods. Will we get this mega-block party back up to its traditional 150,000 attendance? Let’s hope for at least 65 ethnic-food vendors, 40 or so exhibitors, 104 folk artists and 180 musicians. We can attend 50 workshops, listen to folk tales, watch rituals, learn about community organizations, visit the Yaqui/Yoeme and Tohono O’odham pavilions and just meet ourselves all around the historic courthouse and the main library.
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, and Saturday, Oct. 8; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, Tucson Meet Yourself, 101 N. Stone Avenue, tucsonmeetyourself.org, free admission
“The Ugly Duckling”
The Ugly duckling sings! Red Herring Puppets presents an original musical version of the folk tale that’s charmed generations. The poor ugly duckling, you’ll recall, is put upon, picked on and piteous until he finds courage in the support of new friends, and determination in the encouragement of an old woman. A hen eventually helps him to appreciate his true self and face the world with confidence.
2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, and Sundays through Oct. 23, Red Herring Puppets, Tucson Mall upper level, 4500 N. Oracle Road, redherringpuppets.com, $8, online reservations recommended
Tumacácori: Learn to Bird
Birda.org has named Arizona the best state for birding in the United States. They specifically recommend the Southeastern part of the state, east of I-19, for its diversity of small-range bird populations. Thousands of birders visit Arizona every year. The museum at Tumacácori offers fall bird walks for anyone who would like to learn more about how to find and identify birds. You can borrow their binoculars but bring water and wear comfortable shoes. You’ll walk for two hours over variable surfaces. Located on the I-10 access road south of Tubac, the museum’s exhibits illustrate the area’s indigenous history as a crossroads of O’odham, Yaqui and Apache people.
8:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, and the second Saturday of every month through Saturday, Dec. 11, Tumacácori National Historic Park, nps.gov/tuma/index.htm, 1891 I-19 Frontage Road, $10 age 16 and over.
Reveille Men’s Chorus: “Abracadabaret”
Humorist and cartoonist David Fitzsimmons hosts for a stage show and silent auction to benefit the Reveille Men’s Chorus. Professionally produced, Reveille’s shows are always great fun. “Abracadabaret” promises “a ghoulish theme,” organizers say, with a little magic in the music. The chorus has performed all over the world “to promote human rights, diversity and a world free from AIDS”.
6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, Cabaret Space (upstairs), Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Avenue, reveillemenschorus.org, $50.00
Patagonia: Sky Islands Artisans Market
The town of Patagonia celebrates its 30th year hosting this weekend of art, crafts, music and artisanal foods. Many artists make their home around Patagonia, so the gift-buying options are exceptional. Beyond shopping, though, are the beautiful drive from Tucson and the pleasure of a cool autumn day among the walnut, desert willow and pines around the park.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, “Sky Island Artisan Market,” Patagonia Town Park, 325 W. McKeown Avenue, Patagonia, skyislandsartisanmarket.com, free admission.
“Legally Blonde: The Musical”
Reese Witherspoon and Elle Woods won our hearts in the 2001 movie, “Legally Blonde.” Broadway took it to a whole new level as a musical in 2007. The UA’s Arizona Repertory Theatre brings it home this week with eight performances at the Marroney Theatre. Sweet, confident and serious about pursuing her goals, Elle learns that reality may not always map to her sheltered and privileged life. She learns to rely on the better, more durable aspects of her character and wins the day, if not the guy. You may go home singing.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, Saturday Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 and Friday, Oct. 14; 1:30 p.m. Saturdays Oct. 8 and 15 and Sundays, Oct. 9 and Oct. 16; “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” Arizona Repertory Theatre, Marroney Theatre, UA, 1025 N. Olive Road, theatre.arizona.edu, $33 to $35, $15 student
Starting on Sunday, Oct. 9, Mercado Flea returns to Mercado San Agustin on the second Sunday of every month through May 14. An open-air “flea market,” the event features 45 or so vendors of antique, vintage and other used and collectible items. The Mercado itself offers unique local retail outlets, two coffee shops, Mexican food takeout, a bakery and two bars.
8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10 and the second Sunday of every month through Sunday, May 14, “Mercado Flea,” Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento, mercadodistrict.com/mercado, free admission
Earth Science Week at Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
We live in a great place for children to hunt rocks. Tucson lies in an enormous geologic feature called a caldera, rich in minerals used all over the world. Our mountain ranges thrust up from the earth millions of years ago and some of our hills were once mountain tops far away. This week, the museum celebrates the ageless drama and infinite treasures beneath our feet with “Earth Science Week: Earth Science for a Sustainable World.” Every visitor gets to take home a mineral bag.
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road, desertmuseum.org, $19.95 to $29.95