Thursday 10

APOCALYPSE REBORN. Learn about Vietnam's efforts to rebuild in a lecture hosted by the United Nations Association of Southern Arizona.

Sue Ward, the association's education and program coordinator, will discuss Moving From a Culture of War in Vietnam. Having just returned from her third visit to the ravaged land, Ward will provide insights into "an old enemy transformed."

The lecture begins at 11:30 a.m. in El Parador Restaurant, 2744 E. Broadway Blvd. Cost is $10. For reservations and other information, call 881-7060.

MUD SLINGERS. A raucous 19th-century theatre troupe stirs up trouble in Vilna's Got a Golem, presented by Borderlands Theatre.

The year is 1899. A Yiddish theatre company, the Molugesko Troupe, is portraying the story of two revenge-seeking cobblers who build a homicidal creature out of mud and chicken wire in Vilna, Lithuania. It doesn't take long for this politically incorrect drama to land the troupe in hot water with local muckety-mucks.

A multi-layered work the Philadelphia City Paper calls "hugely theatrical and unnervingly funny," Vilna debates the options of violent revenge versus peaceful restraint. It's a drama where "...the dark rage of Jews puts on a happy face," according to The New York Times.

The stellar cast includes Carlisle Ellis, Douglas Hill, Art Jacobson, J.J. Molodecki, Dwayne Palmer, Harry Susser, Halsy Taylor and Kevin Tweed. Annette Hillman directs.

Tonight's preview performance is at 8 p.m. in the Tucson Center for the Performing Arts, 408 S. Sixth Ave. Tickets are $9, $8 for seniors, available at Antigone Books, the Borderlands Theater office, and by calling 882-7406.

An opening night celebration gathers at 8 p.m. tomorrow. A $15 tickets includes a post-performance reception; admission is $12 for the play only, $8 for student rush tickets. Regular performances continue at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, through February 27.

STONES AND BONES. If extravagance is beyond your love budget, try your luck with bargain-basement rocks and other charming baubles at the 46th annual Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase.

Billed as the world's biggest extraction extravaganza, the show draws thousands of buyers, dealers, curators, experts and guests from across the planet. Actually, 27 separate shows comprise this year's event, offering everything from gold and diamonds to granite book-ends and beads. For more intellectual pursuits, check out the museum exhibits and displays from private collections.

The Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase continues through February 13 in the downtown area, centered at the TCC, 260 S. Church Ave. For schedules, maps and other information, call 624-1817, or visit the Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau at 130 S. Scott Ave.

Friday 11

BEVELED EDGE. "There's something on my shoe, a sticky goo, I'm itchy, stung, and sticky and I don't know what to do."

Does such a thing ever happen to you?

If so, you oughtta pay a little house call to the venerable Mat Bevel Institute, where Mr. Bevel himself will spin a tapestry of such titillating verse with Atomic Honey -- A Surrealistic Pop Science Theater Valentine Special.

Billed as "a solo spectacle of art with a cast of moving parts," the latest outing by the five-time winner of our Best of Tucson readers' poll is sure to test your sense of the extreme, and maybe even put our bizarre world into some unexpected perspective.

Get in line for some Atomic Honey at 8 p.m. in the Mat Bevel Institute, 530 N. Stone Ave. Performances continue at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday, through February 20. Tickets are $10, $5 for students and children ages 12 and under, available at the door, or in advance by calling 622-0192.

SONG OF DESPERATION. The bleak Depression and one man's wrenching decision are set to music when Arizona Opera presents Of Mice and Men.

The adaptation by Carlisle Floyd reaches straight into the loneliness and desperation of Lennie and George, two hard-times drifters. Tenor Michael Hendrick is Lennie, while bass-baritones Dean Ely and Stephen Bryant share the role of George in this operatic revival of Steinbeck's classic work. (See this week's Arts section for details.)

Performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $17 to $67, and are available by calling 321-1000.

Saturday 12

HOMETOWN BELTERS. Tucson royalty takes center stage at the Ronstadt Family Gala, featuring the Philharmonia Orchestra of Tucson.

Various talented Ronstadts have been making their way across the planet and around the Southwest for eons. Now a passel of them comes together for "a nostalgic evening of music and memories." The show includes The Ronstadt Cousins; baritone Allen Goltz; the Tucson Jazz Society's Jazz Werx ensemble; and Ballet Folklórico de San Juan, among others. Daniel Buckley plays host to this fundraiser for the Philharmonia's Carnegie Hall Tour Fund.

Show time is 8 p.m. in the PCC Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Tickets range from $40 to $60, and are available by calling 206-6988.

FOREIGN LEGION. A bevy of exotic talent brings far-flung lands to Tucson with An Evening of Mideastern Music and Dance.

The show features music by Souhail Kaspar and his four-piece ensemble from Los Angeles. They'll accompany a lush tapestry of movement, including New York's "Morocco," a well-known performer devoted to preserving traditional dances of the Mideast, North Africa and Turkish regions. The Xanadu Dancers will also highlight traditional and ritual dances, decked out in elegant, hand-beaded and embroidered costumes from Cairo and Istanbul.

Performance begins at 8 p.m. in the International Arts Center, 516 N. Fifth Ave. Advance tickets are $15, available at Hear's Music and Antigone Books. Tickets are $20 at the door. Call 881-0883 for information.

Sunday 13

PIPE-UP. Local gadabout and good-natured troubadour Ted Warmbrand warms up hometown chords with a Community Sing-Along from 3 to 5 p.m. in St. Mark's Presbyterian Church, 3809 E. Third St.

All warblers are invited to celebrate the folk music tradition with new songs and old standards, starting with music for the wee set. Rugrats are welcome, and child-care will be provided.

A $2 to $5 donation is suggested. For information, call 323-8697.

LIP LOCK. Classic Cole Porter is revisited with Kiss Me Kate, presented this month by the UA Repertory Theatre.

Written by Porter, along with Bella and Samuel Spewack, the rollicking musical is set in 1948 Baltimore, and centers around a theatrical troupe trying out a new version of The Taming of the Shrew, also set to music. This play-within-a-play switches between the stormy backstage romance and the onstage antics of a divorced, but still enamored, couple.

The score is peppered with old faves like Why Can't You Behave, So In Love and Another Openin', Another Show.

Curtain is 7:30 tonight and tomorrow in the UA Marroney Theatre, on the southwest corner of the pedestrian underpass at Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue. Evening and matinee performances continue through February 27. Tickets are $19, $17 for seniors and UA employees, and $13 for students. Contact the UA Fine Arts box office (621-1162) for reservations and information.

Monday 14

DR. STRANGELOVE. Treat your sweetie to a creepy Valentine's Day when Weird Science Theater presents Dr. Von Chimera's Lemon Fresh Laboratory of Horrors.

This eccentric, family-oriented yuk-fest follows the adventures of squabbling rugrats escaping a mad doctor's operating table and a horde of ravenous zombies. In the process, the audience will meet a Frankenstinian monster with "an Edith Bunker-type brain," a cantankerous but proper zombie, and a lurking misfit creature uttering such gems as "Ughh! This place is a mess. The doctor dissected the cleaning lady too soon!"

Show time is 7:30 p.m. in the Red Barn Theater, 948 N. Main Ave. Tickets are $10, including a romantic setting and dessert, and are available by calling 622-7856. Regular performances continue at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday through February 26, with tickets for $10.

HERITAGE HIGHLIGHT. Black History Month and Valentine's Day get a double bill at the PCC with a lecture and several timeless flicks.

Dr. Shirley Jennings, dean of student affairs for PCC East Campus, will detail the story of pioneer emancipator Harriet Tubman from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Community Room. The gathering will include a Valentine's Day Black History Contest, with prizes ranging from movie tickets to dinner on the town.

Screening in the Student Union is the acclaimed PBS documentary Eyes on the Prize at 10:30 a.m., followed by Black Panthers at 1 p.m., and Spike Lee's Get on the Bus at 4 p.m.

All events are free. The PCC East Campus is located at 8181 E. Irvington Road. For details, call 206-7616.

Tuesday 15

ART FARM. The desert's tiniest field hands are tapped for the fascinating exhibit Antics: Merging Science and Art, now on display in the T/PAC Community Gallery.

As the title suggests, the show explores science, natural history and visual art focusing on several species of Sonoran desert ants. Appropriately, the show reflects a collaboration between scientists, artists, craftspeople and the ants.

The work is likewise eclectic, including mixed media, photography and performance art, all centered around living colonies of several species of local ants housed in a variety of clear plastic boxes connected by clear tubing.

A metal armature supports each colony at appropriate viewing levels. Gelatin silver photographs provide an up-close examination of sights indiscernible to the naked eye. Large, colorful vertical banners created from photographs provide factual information through a graphic arts dimension.

At noon each day, performance artist Janet K. Bardwell lends flair to the feeding and monitoring of the ants. Other participants include biological photographer Charles Hedgcock; welder Philip Joachim; illustrator Michael Mayer; and Steven Prchal of the Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute.

Antics: Merging Science and Art continues through March 3 in the T/PAC Community Gallery, 240 N. Stone Ave. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 624-0595 for details.

Wednesday 16

BRUCE RECALLED. The late, great and much-missed Bruce McGrew is remembered with McGrew & Friends, now on display in the Davis Dominguez Gallery.

The show features a final group of paintings by the Rancho Linda Vista artist and long-time UA professor, well known for his rich landscape watercolors and allegorical oils. They're accompanied by clay sculpture by his wife, Joy Fox, and paintings by Tim Murphy.

Also featured is a special exhibit of paintings and sculpture by close friends, using materials gathered from McGrew's studio.

McGrew & Friends runs through March 18 in the Davis Dominguez Gallery, 154 E. Sixth St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Call 629-9759 for information.

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