Thursday 9

AURAL TAPESTRY. Baaba Maal brings his rich blend of Senegalese traditional and crossover music to Tucson for a performance in the Rialto Theatre.

Backed by a 12-piece virtuoso orchestra, Maal creates a unique sound emanating from his homeland, and from the myriad influences that have shaped that country over the centuries. His singing has the soul of blues, wrapped in what's described as "an ancient sort of Arab chant that winds a melody into a thousand sinuous threads on a single syllable."

Show time is 8 p.m. in the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Advance tickets are $15, available at Hear's Music, Guitars Etc., Zips University, and the Congress Street Store. Tickets are $17 at the door. For details, call 740-0126.

RHYTHMIC SPLASH. The Arizona Theatre Company presents a "rousing splash" of rhythm and melody with Play On.

Based on Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night, and centered around the mastery of Duke Ellington, this musical tells the story of a young upstart named Vy. Fresh off the bus from Mississippi, she finds herself in Harlem on "the kinda night where anything and everything could happen," as one character puts it. She's come in search of her uncle, who has transformed himself into a slick dancer named Jester. But soon Vy's big dream of becoming a songwriter percolates to the surface.

Unfortunately, such a vocation is still a man's turf in Harlem. That's when Vy reinvents herself as Vy-Man, and heads for the Cotton Club to rub shoulders with the real man, better known as the Duke.

Tonight's preview performance is at 7:30 p.m. in the Holsclaw Theater at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Performances continue through October 2. Tickets range from $26 to $38, with half-price adult tickets available at the box office one hour prior to shows. Regular tickets are available at the ATC box office, Dillard's, or by calling 622-2823.

Friday 10

OPPOSING GLANCE. They say opposites attract, but that doesn't mean adapting to married life is a walk in the park for free-spirited Corie Bratter and her conservative lawyer husband Paul, in Desert Players' production of Barefoot in the Park.

This Neil Simon classic charts the matrimonial travails of Corie and Paul as they take on a colorful cast of characters including eccentric neighbor Victor Velasco, Corie's prim mother, and a seventh-floor walk-up apartment with a hole in its skylight and a toilet that flushes upwards.

Lorie Rogers, Tim Vernooy, Hal Melfi, Dell Willmon, Giac d' Acquisto and Ed Walls provide the local talent. Show time is 8 p.m. in the Tucson Center for the Performing Arts, 408 S. Sixth Ave. Performances continue at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, through September 19. Tickets are $9, $8 for seniors, students and military, available by calling 733-0733.

HAZARDOUS DUTY. Rub shoulders with rambunctious artists and help raise creative funds at the MOCA Midnight Extravaganza.

This party for the Museum of Contemporary Art's HazMat Gallery will feature celebrity bingo, a rolling raffle, live music, and plenty of suds and vino. Bingo callers include Rhino and Rivers from 104.1-FM, a.k.a. The Point.

The party runs from 8 p.m. to midnight in the HazMat Gallery, 191 E. Toole Ave. For information, call 624-5019.

Saturday 11

SOUND AND FURY. Chilean guitarist Oscar Lopez brings his hot flamenco to Tucson for an evening of fire and fury.

Hailed as a "major talent" by the Associated Press, Lopez and his trio combine flamenco, jazz, calypso and rumba with lightning speed, gifted melody and sublime romanticism.

Born in Chile and trained in Canada, the guitar wizard is on the rise, with several Juno Award (Canada's Grammy) nominations and a string of sold-out performances. He's now ranked among the world's top Latin players, and arrives on the heels of his latest release, appropriately titled Heat.

Show time is 8 p.m. in the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. Advance tickets are $14, and available at Antigone Books, Enchanted Earthworks, Hear's Music, or by calling 881-3947. Tickets are $16 at the door.

STROKES OF INDEPENDENCE. They were given the colors of green, white and red, and told to go forth and paint. The result is Gritos de Independencia, an art exhibit and celebration of Mexican Independence Day hosted by the Raíces/Taller 222 Gallery.

The show is aimed at addressing social, political and cultural issues, both past and present, from the time Mexico gained independence from Spain (for gringos, Mexican Independence Day is September 16, not the popularly celebrated Cinco de Mayo). Along with fine art, the historic holiday will be commemorated with performances by Teatro Rasquacho, Latin rockers Katarsiz, performance poetry by Cuicalli Xicano, and the Los Tucsoneces Folklórico Dancers.

Tonight's festivities run from 7 to 10 p.m. in Raíces/Taller 222, at 222 E. Sixth St.

On Sunday, September 12, the gallery will host a fundraiser for Derechos Humanos' Gran Marcha and rally on International Human Rights Day. The action includes performance-poetry readings and Xicano theater performances. It runs from 4 to 8 p.m.

Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 792-9619 for information.

Sunday 12

ORCHESTRAL MANEUVERS IN THE PARK. Pack up your folks and head down to Reid Park for another outdoor performance by the Tucson Pops Orchestra.

These "music under the stars" events are a perfect way to enjoy the season, and the Pops orchestra is the perfect ensemble to set the score. Tonight's performance will feature special guest vocalist Clarissa Quinn and selections including Liszt's "Les Preludes," Cole Porter's "Night and Day," and selections from Man of La Mancha.

The free performance starts at 7 p.m. at the Reid Park DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, east of Country Club Road and south of 22nd Street. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket for comfortable seating. Call 722-5853 for information.

GYPSY HEARTS. The soul of Gypsy music ventures all the way from Budapest to the Old Pueblo with an appearance by the Ökrös Ensemble.

This seven-member band combines the roots of traditional Gypsy music with European jazz and the classical music of Béla Bartók. It's only appropriate: both Hot Club jazz and Bartók were heavily influenced by the music of village Gypsies, who typically played for sheepherders and at village dances, parties and weddings.

The ensemble features fiddler Sándor Fodor, the most renowned Gypsy fiddler remaining in the Transylvanian villages. Virtuoso cimbalom player Kalman Balogh is among the group's youngest members. The 40-year-old hails from one of Hungary's most renowned musical families.

The Ökrös Ensemble plays at 7 p.m. in the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 E. Speedway. Tickets are $17, $16 for TFTM members, $15 for seniors, available in advance at Hear's Music, Antigone books, or by calling 327-4809.

ARTISTIC LIBERATION. The Tucson Museum of Art brings its creative message to the financially impaired masses with a new, free admission Sunday program.

If keeping your kids in Air Jordans has put you in the poorhouse, here's a chance to soak up a little culture without spending a hard-earned dime.

Currently on display in the museum is Directions: Katherine Josten's Global Art Project, part of a grassroots effort to unite people around the world through artistic expression. Since 1994, more than 30,000 artists from 41 countries have participated in this biennial exchange.

Also showing is Looking Back, Stonewall Artists in the TMA Collection. This exhibit commemorates 14 years of support from the Stonewall Foundation, with pieces obtained by the museum with foundation funds.

Highlighting the exhibit is The Patania: A Legacy in Silver and Gold. The family includes three generations of Tucson metalsmiths, all recognized for their remarkable silver and gold creations.

Their reign started in 1937, when Frank Patania Sr. opened his first Thunderbird Shop, giving birth to what would become the "classical Thunderbird technique." Now renamed Patania's Sterling Silver Originals, the shop is run by Samuel Patania, who's been called "one of the finest silver artisans in the country."

The Tucson Museum of Art is at 140 N. Main Ave. Free admission is offered from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and admission is $2, $1 for seniors and students, free for children under age 12. Call 624-2333 for information.

Monday 13

FACULTY BLAST. The UA School of Music and Dance opens its fall Faculty Artist Series with a performance by baritone Charles Roe and pianist Rex Woods.

A 10-year UA professor of voice, Roe has sung leading roles with the New York City Opera, and appeared with numerous regional opera companies and leading orchestras. Woods, a UA School of Music associate professor for piano, has played extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, France and China.

Tonight, the pair will perform The Andree Expedition, by Dominic Argento; and The Story of Babar, by Frances Poulenc.

Show time is 7:30 p.m. in UA Crowder Hall, on the southwest corner of the pedestrian underpass at Speedway and Park Avenue. Admission is $10, $8 for UA employees, $6 for seniors and $5 for students. Call 621-2998 for information.

TEA TIME. Enjoy a delicate and neglected tradition when Lhasha Tizer presents The Spirit of Tea: A Path to Wholeness.

A long-time aficionado of the serene practice, Tizer reveals how you can strip away the day's stress and general chaos, and get yourself into some semblance of Nirvana through the use of her wonderful little leaves.

The free discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. in the New Life Health Center, 4500 E. Speedway Blvd. For details, call 325-2739.

Tuesday 14

SONORAN VISION. Longtime Tucson artist Linda Caputo shares her internal artistic dialogue in Solo Exhibition of New Work: Paintings of Mixed-Media on Paper, now on display in the Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery.

The exhibit centers upon Caputo's color-saturated, abstract mixed-media, and continues the artist's long habit of exploring a dialogue between painting and drawing. Her distinctive pieces focus on the process of capturing intuitive and emotive qualities, in a sensuous development of color and ambiguous form. The result is work that suggests powerful contrasts, described as a "tangible tension between exuberance and a sense of quiet peace."

Caputo holds an MFA in painting from the UA, has taught at the PCC, shown her work all over Arizona, and garnered a slew of awards.

Solo Exhibition of New Work runs through October 9, with an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, September 18, in the Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery, 135 E. Congress St. Regular gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Thursday. Call 792-4503 for information.

Wednesday 15

DIG DEEP. As summer starts to fade, it's time to get a little dirt under your nails in preparation of the fall planting season. The Pima County Cooperative Extension helps this process along with another series of free demonstration classes.

Today, cooperative green thumbs uncover the secret to productive dirt with a lecture entitled Good Soil -- The Key to Gardening Success. Lasting about one hour, the class will include samples of plants brought in for identification, diagnosis and treatment.

The lecture is 9 a.m. in the Extension Garden Center, 4210 N. Campbell Ave. Call 626-5161 for information.

ART OF OBSCURITY. The Tubac Center for the Arts opens its new season with Chiaroscuro: Of Light and Shadow.

Master painters of the Italian Renaissance first tapped into the chiaroscuro technique to create depth and drama in their work, and it was used extensively by Michaelangelo and Da Vinci. In modern application, the style is most obvious in the use of photographic portraiture: as the photographer changes lighting, the photographic image shifts, and the shadows move.

The Tubac center has drawn upon the talents of 94 artists to explore the technique, with each creating two- and three-dimensional pieces.

Chiaroscuro: Of Light and Shadow runs through October 3 in the Tubac Center of the Arts, 9 Plaza Road in Tubac, 45 minutes south of Tucson on I-19. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Call 398-2371 for details.

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