A Skeptical Extravaganza of Special Significance
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe is an award-winning science podcast with a best-selling book about critical thinking. Don’t nod off just yet though. They are bringing science-y games to challenge your perceptions of reality, and stagecraft to highlight the great good humor that’s made this science project a hit for all ages. With host and musician George Hrab, the SGU crew promise a “Skeptical Extravaganza.”
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress Street, Tucson, rialtotheatre.com, tickets start at $35.
The Doo Wop Project: A Doo Wop Christmas
This may be the music genre your parents or grandparents grew up with, but everything old is new again with the emergence of Tucson’s great jazz scene. And if swing-dance is your thing, this is your holiday jam. The Fox encourages dancing in front of the stage. The Doo Wop Project traces the evolution of Doo Wop from its street-corner roots to the Big Band era, then gives a Doo Wop twist to, for instance, songs by Michael Jackson and Jason Mraz. Even holiday favorites get the Doo Wop treatment.
8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress Street, foxtucson.com, tickets start at $25
Murder at the Magic Show II
VIP is the way to go, here. Dinner is prepared by Chef Ken Foy, who just won the Iron Chef award for Southern Arizona. But the show, alone, is a VIP experience. Master Magician Norm Marini, who has performed at the White House, has much more up his sleeve than tableside tricks. Expect a classic, comic murder mystery combining magic with a live, theatrical performance, all up close in the intimate space of Dante’s inferno.
6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec 16, and Friday, Dec. 23, Dante’s Fire, 2526 E. Grant Road, eventbrite.com, $49, $75 VIP includes a three-course meal
Ringing in the Holiday Season
‘Tis the season for handbells. Those cascading ring-a-lings sound like Christmas-card images of evergreens around a 19the century village with bundled-up families skating on a pond. The Arizona Women’s Chorus, more than 70 singers strong, will immerse us in holiday music under the direction of founder and artistic director Terrie Ashbaugh. Also featured are The Sonoran Hand Bells with Shannon Casey conducting. After the program, the choir and audience will sing Christmas carols.
3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, St. Francis in the Foothills, 4625 E. River Road, azwomenschorus.org, $20, free for children under 12.
Local Love presents Festivus
Whether or not you partake of the annual avalanche of holiday decorations, songs, ugly sweaters and budget collapses, you might enjoy this crazy, awesome and often very loud showcase of music more or less antithetical to all that. Promoters promise a night of heavy, progressive and alternative rock from Orchadia, Los Streetlight Curb Players, Nocturnal Theory, Diluvio, Armando Moreno & The Revival, Then When and “something like appropriate.” Go ahead and tempt Santa to put coal in your stocking.
7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress Street, rialtotheatre.com, $8.
Arizona History Museum Holiday Event
The Arizona Historical Society hosts a holiday celebration for all ages. Enjoy face painting, craft-making, storytelling, films, live musical performances and a special appearance by Santa Claus while surrounded by artifacts of Tucson’s and Southern Arizona’s history.
2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, Arizona History Museum, 949 E. Second Street, arizonahistoricalsociety.org, $10, $8 kids 7 to 13.
Jingle & Mingle
Strictly Grown Folks presents an evening of socializing, dancing, great Caribbean soul food for grownups. As always at Strictly Grown Folks’ special events, we dress to impress. If you want to get out and meet new people, this is the place to start, especially if you’re new to Tucson. DJ Butter 413 will get you on the dance floor, or just be a dramatic improvement or at least be a dramatic improvement over staying home alone and listening through earbuds. He’ll play the favorites of every generation from the ’70s through the early 2000s. BYOB; setups are available.
9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, Janet & Ray’s, 5443 E. 22nd Street, call or text 520-241-2328, $10 advance, more at the door.
Downtown Parade of Lights
For the 28th year, Tucson’s Downtown Parade of Lights makes it fun for families from all over town to gather along the streets. The parade features holiday lights all over everything from fire trucks to native dancers. Organizers say the best viewing is along Stone Avenue between Broadway and 17th Street, or along Sixth Avenue between Broadway and 13th Street. There is lots of parking. Search “Park Tucson” online for a Downtown parking map.
6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, Armory Park, free.
Mister Bing’s Supper Club: The Holiday Gala
Here’s your holiday date night: an Italian-inspired buffet, a floor show and dancing with your honey at a magical nightclub that vanishes in the morning. The entertainment is dreamy. Brian Levario brings the comedy, but the rest of the evening is for dancing and romancing with the Wholly Cats Swing Club and songbirds Katherine Byrnes, Chach Shook and Crystal Stark. For a break, take a romantic walk through the streets of Trail Dust Town and steal a kiss in the gazebo.
5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, Savoy Opera House, Trail Dust Town, 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road, Tucson, misterbingspresents.com/shows, $85.
Holiday At the Market
Our favorite thing about the holidays is the cooking! No one will turn down a gift of the freshest ingredients, even if they’re a little early. We can eat them the same day or make and freeze our favorite holiday dishes to cut prep time when we’d rather be chatting with our dinner guests. The bread, though! And all the other baked goods. Plus yummy honeys and preserves of all kinds. This special market day brings the joyful spirit, too. Organizers promise live music, tastings, recipes, family activities and other local holiday gift ideas.
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, Rillito Park Food Pavilion, 4502 N. First Avenue, heirloomfm.org, free admission.
Presidio District Gastronomy Tour
What luck that within an afternoon it’s possible to get a handle on, and get a taste of, what it means to be the country’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy. Three of the best examples are within walking distance of the Presidio San Agustín del Tucsón. Enjoy unforgettable fusions of Old and New World ingredients at El Charro Café, LaCo Restaurant and Café a la C’art. As you walk among them, an experienced guide will share secret histories of the surrounding area and its historic homes.
12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 21, Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum, 196 N. Court Avenue, tucsonpresidio.com, $125 nonmember; $100 member, pre-registration is required.