City Week: Weekly Picks

Playground Night Club Grand Reopening

Finally! Downtown Tucson’s favorite indoor/outdoor rooftop dance and social club flings open its doors once again this Friday. The kitchen and bar offer some new creations among the old favorites. Just remember, the kitchen closes at 11. Get your munchies on early.
4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, Playground Bar & Lounge, 278 E Congress Street, free, $20 VIP admission.

“Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food”

A benefit for the Tucson International Mariachi Conference brings Tucson’s vaunted Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food” to the MSA Annex in the Mercado District. Restaurants along the traditional 23-mile route set up shop on the MCA Annex Grounds to offer a sampler of quality and variety of our town’s favorite Mexican cuisines. Mariachi bands and folklorico dancers provide entertainment throughout.
3 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, MCA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento,, $60.

Tucson Modernism Week

A stunning, mid-century classic, the Jacobson house reaches up at every angle to embrace Sonoran sunlight. It’s among four modernist homes opening its doors to mid-Mod enthusiasts during Tucson Modernism week. A tour of noted landscape architect Garrett Eckbo’s 20th century designs includes the restored rock and water garden at the Tucson Convention Center. A free bazaar at the former Hirsh’s Shoe Store, another MCM classic, displays paintings and fashion designs from the estates of prominent Tucsonans of the era. Among other opportunities, the week also offers a $200 tour of the mid-century modern architecture in “Ambos Nogales,” along the Mexican border. See the website for event details and reservations.
Times, events and prices vary, Wednesday, Nov. 9, to Sunday, Nov. 13,

Tucson Folk Festival Benefit Concert 

A Saturday fundraiser offers a sampler of things to come in April’s Tucson Folk Festival. The benefit’s lineup includes Eric Schaffer & the Other Troublemakers and The Tirebiters and it features Matt Rolland and Rebekah Sandoval Rolland’s new RISO project. The duo walked away from their nationally recognized bluegrass and folk group, Run Boy Run, to embark on a more melodic and writerly sound. They released their first, eponymous, RISO recording in July. It’s available on all music apps. Tucson musicians note: applications to perform in the Tucson Folk Festival, are online at
7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, Hotel Congress Plaza, 311 E. Congress Street, $15 advance, $20 at the door.

Pima Community Arts: “Cabaret”

American Sign Language interpretation is featured Nov. 18 in a two-week run of one of the most popular Broadway musicals. Set in Berlin during the jazz age, in the shadow of the Nazis’ rising power, the play centers on escapist pleasures in a nightclub. Romance ensues between an American writer and an English cabaret singer. Fans of the movie version may forever project Liza Minelli on her.
Various times through Sunday, Nov. 20, Pima Proscenium Theater, Pima Community College West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Road,, $15.

Sierra Vista: Cox Movies in the Park 

Cox Communications reboots its Movies in the Park series with a screening of “Nightmare Before Christmas.” The family favorite is a timely mash up of Halloween and Christmas stories. Festivities begin with a food truck round up at 5 p.m. Families are welcome to bring their own picnics, too, but no fires or grilling are allowed. The movie starts at 6 p.m.
5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at Veterans Memorial Park, 3105 E. Fry Boulevard, Sierra Vista, free.

Truly Nolen Community Car Show

Tucson Car Club entries join classics from Truly Nolen’s Antique Car Collection, (including the perennially popular 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air) at an event that’s becoming an annual tradition. Vote for your favorites and they may win trophies. Food trucks and a Kid’s Corner full of activities make it a family affair. This year, the community’s invited to “Stuff the Mouse Limo” with new, unwrapped toys to benefit children served by the late Ramon Gonzales’ charity, “Miracle on 31st Street.”
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, Truly Nolen Corporate Leadership and Training Center, 432 S. Williams Boulevard, free.

“Great Paper Airplane Fly Off” at Pima Air and Space Museum 

The organizers’ website is helpful, offering instructions for six popular folding patterns, along with instructions for entering the competition. Kids ages 6 to 14 compete in one of three age categories. Each contestant builds and throws their paper airplane, and the farthest throw wins. Prizes also go to the top three finishers in each age category. Contestants are admitted free along with three of their friends and relations. Everyone gets a free lunch.
8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, Pima Air and Space Museum, 6000 E. Valencia Road,, free admission and lunch for contestants and up to three of their guests.

Veterans Memorial Wall Display

For the 12th year, Casino del Sol hosts the American Veterans Traveling Tribute/ Vietnam Memorial wall display through Sunday, Nov. 13. Visitors are invited to sign the wall with personal stories and notes of appreciation to military personnel. The wall is an 80% scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., and includes all 58,000 names that are etched into the original.
Through Sunday, Nov. 13, Casino Del Sol, Conference Center foyer, 5655 W. Valencia Road, free.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City” 

A romantic comedy, and a New York Times Critics’ Pick, “A Funny Thing…” is, in fact, a hilarious thing about a topic we’d expect to have us weeping. One critic called it, exultantly, “raunchy!” Still it is poignant, tense, alarming and, against all odds, romantic to its core. That is to say it’s deeply human, and it’s the humanity that prevails. Preview night, Nov. 18, benefits the Arizona Oncology Foundation.
Various dates and times, Nov. 18 through Dec. 4, Next Stage Theatre Southwest, Temple of Music and Art Cabaret Theater, 330 S. Scott Avenue,, $50 benefit, other tickets start at $22. 

Lynn Xu: “And Those Ashen Heaps/That Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight”

Pan-genre artist and poet Lynn Xu makes art with words, in sounds, across space and on three-dimensional media. Over the course of the exhibit, Xu will turn reading into a dance party, hang enormous banners of text, read in Japanese and Spanish and incorporated video, audio and site-specific “interventions” that give 3D space her writing. The exhibition’s title is the name of her book. Xu teaches at Columbia University and has exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum, among other highly regarded spaces.
Various times and dates through Sunday, Jan. 8, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), 265 S. Church Avenue,, $7, kids free.

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