MANIACAL MOISTURE. Meteorological insanity collides with musical lunacy tonight and every Thursday eve throughout summer at Fourth Avenue's Monsoon Madness outdoor showcase of local talent.
These free, melodic extravaganzas unleash some coolness into the atmosphere around the avenue's eclectic shops and cafés. And best of all, the madness doesn't cost even a thin dime. Low pressure meets high pressure in this week's forecast, with newcomers The Kindred ushering in the Celt-rock guitars, vocal harmonies and tin whistles of Morrighan, followed by the melodic post-punk strains of Unified Field Theory.
Sonic storm-warning is in effect from 7 to 10 p.m. on the Winsett Park outdoor stage, 316 N. Fourth Ave. Call 624-5004 for details.
FLASHERS. Get your hands on fine lenses, flashes, tripods and darn near everything else camera related at the Arizona Photographic Collectors' sixth annual photo equipment auction.
The collectors have sent out the call to "clean out your closet, garage, storage space, cabinets and drawers." They say if you bring it, they can sell it. And if those closets and cabinets are already empty, this could be your chance to buy somebody else's stash, with much of the merchandise coming from members' own topflight inventories.
An auction preview runs from 5 to 6:50 p.m., with the auction proper beginning at 7 p.m. in the Shrine Temple, 450 S. Tucson Blvd. Admission is free. For details, call 529-5072.
BOOGIE NIGHTS. If you feel like movin' your goods in a smoke-free, low-pretense setting, the Bohemian Boogies in the Barefoot Ballroom promise to "awaken your sacred fire of movement," allowing you to "dance with all the motion and emotion of many musical styles."
These gigs are becoming regular Friday night fare, and a fine chance to get some stress-reducing exercise with a passel of other friendly folks. Children are welcome, with boogyin' on the floor from 8 to 11 p.m. Fridays in the Orts Space, 121 E. Seventh St. Admission is $3. For details, call 323-2438.
MENU FOR MAYHEM. The Catalina Players dish up an evening of dinner theatre with Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution.
Leonard Vole spends many nights with a rich old gal, who unfortunately turns up dead one day. Of course her naive suitor becomes the prime suspect. His lawyer believes the testimony of Vole's wife will result in acquittal, but that would be far too neat and tidy for one of Christie's ever-twisting tales of mayhem.
The performance stars Jon Campbell, Dave Sewell, Dan Davis and Glenda Young, with direction by Emil Lamanda.
Dinner is 6 p.m. and show time at 7:30 tonight and tomorrow in Fellowship Hall, 2700 E. Speedway. Tickets are $17.50 including dinner, or $10 for the show only. Call 721-9640 for reservations and information.
FUND FUN. Help the Arizona Council for CASA raise badly needed cash at their Have Fun Doing Good fundraising event today.
CASA provides a voice in court for Pima County kids who have been abused and neglected. Volunteers are trained to speak out for the children's rights, and help judges decide what's in each child's best interest when it comes to finding permanent, safe and loving homes.
You can do your part at tonight's reception and silent auction. Items up for grabs include two framed Picasso lithographs, San Antonio Spurs memorabilia signed by Sean Elliott, fine jewelry, groovy vacations and a La-Z-Boy recliner.
The party runs from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Westin La Paloma Grand Ballroom, 3800 E. Sunrise Drive. Advance tickets are $20, available by calling 740-2060. Tickets are $25 at the door.
TURF 'N' TWIST. Dig some fine baseball and the best in Mexican norteño music when the Tucson Sidewinders welcome Los Tucanes de Tijuana.
The band performs popular dance tracks, love songs and classic corridos, a recipe that's brought them stunning success throughout Latin America, with four platinum albums. They're also the first to simultaneously have six records on Billboard's Top-50 chart. Opening the show will be Grupo Reflexión. Two big dance floors will spread across the field following the game.
The Sidewinders face the Memphis Redbirds at 6 p.m. at Tucson Electric Park, 2500 E. Ajo Way. Advance tickets are $15, available at the Tucson Sidewinders office, Dillard's, Joyeria Blanca's, Yoly's Music Shop, Floreria Yosi's, El Guero Canelo, Taqueria Juanitos and Ana's Records. Tickets are $20 at the gate. Call 434-1021 for details.
FLUID DUO. Guitar duo Benedetti and Svoboda bring their exotic flamenco sound to Tucson for one performance.
Their interplay weaves Gypsy, Latin, Indian and Middle Eastern influences that burn with flamenco magic, from peaceful melancholy to cascades of furious rasqueados.
Fred Benedetti and George Svoboda first tasted fame when they were included on Narada Records' Gypsy Soul compilation, which hit the top-10 on Billboard's World Music chart. They've since recorded on more than 50 CDs and movie soundtracks. They've also performed with the American Ballet Company, Luciano Pavarotti, Dave Brubeck, Art Garfunkle and Michael Hedges.
But you can catch them at 8 p.m. in the humble courtyard of Plaza Palomino, located on the corner of Fort Lowell and Swan roads. Tickets purchased in advance and for KXCI members are $12, available at Enchanted Earthworks, Hear's Music and Beaver's Band Box. Tickets are $15 at the door. For information, call 297-9133.
JUST WHISTLE. Okay, so we can't all be Lauren Bacall. But that doesn't preclude us from whistling when the moment demands...or from making whistles, for that matter.
That's just what's in store today, when Tucson Parks and Recreation and the Southern Arizona Clay Association team up for a clay-whistle workshop. CRIZMAC Art and Cultural Education Materials will provide the clay, with instruction in its use by Virginia ceramic artist Paul Guion. He'll teach you the basics of crafting a whistle that really works, and then help you mold it into an original piece of art.
The workshop runs from noon to 3:30 p.m. in the Randolph Art Center's Arts and Gallery Room, 200 S. Alvernon Way. Fee is $30, and reservations are requested. Call 323-8555 for registration and information.
BRASS MASTERS. The St. Andrew's Bach Society shines up the brass for its Trumpet Voluntary concert.
This fine-tuned outing features trumpet master Edward Reid and organist Jeffri Sanders in an afternoon program of Bach, Buxtehude, Viviani, Purcell, Pinkham, Saint-Saëns, Hovhaness and Pärt.
The two musicians certainly know their instruments: Reid teaches trumpet studies at the UA, and is principal trumpeter with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Sanders has served on the music staffs of St. Philip's in the Hills and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, and is co-president of the Arizona Early Music Society.
Their performance begins at 3 p.m. in the St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 545 S. Fifth Ave. Admission is $8, $5 for seniors and students. Call 628-8119 for details.
ART AMONG THE STACKS. The work of local artists Judith Faitsch and Terry Bustamante join legions of books in Desert Essence, on display in the Tucson-Pima Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave.
Plants, insects and birds dominate the work of Faitsch. She says such creatures easily lend themselves to the versatility of water media: "Whether it be in realistic detail or merging realism with abstraction, it's my hope to bring the viewer's attention to nature's own designs, as art is often a reflection of what we see in the natural world."
Seattle native Terry Bustamante has been creating art in the Sonoran Desert since 1997. Lately, she's been working on a series of prickly pear and other cactus paintings in a variety of media. "These somewhat fanciful, contemporary pieces are colorful and have a playfulness similar to the way I see these native plants of the desert," she says. "As one juror of my work put it, 'It's rare to see something so unique derived from cactus.' "
Desert Essence runs through September 15 in the Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave. Viewing hours are during regular library hours, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. For information, call 791-4391.
VISCERAL VERSE. The arts of storytelling and craft combine in the Tucson Children Museum's ABC's: A Book and Craft Program.
Presented in conjunction with the Tucson Public Library, each day the program features friendly, teen-age volunteers who aren't afraid to read -- and to little kids, nonetheless. These cool volunteers follow up with craft-making sessions based on that day's book selection, all of which are top-notch Caldecott Medal-winning tales.
The program runs from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday in the Tucson Children's Museum, 200 S. Sixth Ave. Cost is included in the admission price of $5.50, $4.50 for seniors, and $3.50 for children. For information, call 792-9985.
CONGRESSIONAL CAUCUS. Fine art finds its focus with ongoing exhibits in Studio 220, the groovy little gallery specializing in work by "mostly local" artists. The current display includes pottery by Don Swanson; jewelry and sculpture by William Stiles; Lisa Krikawa's jewelry; blown glass by Jerry Flanary; and pastels by Lisa Stotska. There's also a plethora of the prehistoric at the gallery, in the form of fossil jewelry.
Studio 220 is at 220 E. Congress St. Hours are 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and during Downtown Saturday Nights. For information, call 628-1433.
BLADES O' BLUE. Hitch up yer bibs and head on out to the greatest jam this side of the Alleghenies with the Desert Bluegrass Association.
This loose-knit band of grinning pickers has become a regular Tucson institution, and their jams are a great way to catch some traditional sounds with the kick-back locals. And they invite fellow pickers, from greenhorns to vets, to join in the musical mix.
The free jam is 6 p.m. in Schlotsky's Deli, 3025 E. Speedway. For details, call 743-7086.
TOUGH ON THE FRONTIER. Megan Reid portrays the life of frontier wife Martha Summerhayes in another installment of the Living Arizona History series, presented by the Arizona Historical Society.
Summerhayes was New England born and bred, which did little to prepare her for married life with a military man. But traveling from post to post, from Wyoming to Arizona, quickly toughened her up. Lucky for us, she recorded her experiences along the way, eventually compiled in her memoir Vanished Arizona.
For tonight's lecture, Reid travels all the way from Yuma to capture the spirit of this remarkable pioneer woman for latter-day Tucsonans. The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. in the AHS, 949 E. Second St. Admission is $6, $5 for society members. For details, call 628-5774.