Thursday 26

HISTORIC INSIGHT. Explore the nuts and bolts of history at the "Thursday Afternoon with the Curators" series.

Presented by the Arizona Historical Society, today's gathering will commence in the Mariposa Gallery, home of the Life on the Edge: A History of Medicine in Arizona exhibit. A discussion will be led by Marty Ronstadt, who graduated with the UA's very first pharmacy class in 1950. He'll fascinate you with his mortars and pestles demonstration, as he discusses the evolution of pharmacists and drug stores, and how modern pharmacists still return to the time-honored practice of "compounding" when one-size-fits-all remedies don't work.

The free gatherings are at 1 and 3:30 p.m. in the Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. Second St. For information, call 628-5774.

ON-LINE. One man's search for passionate love turns tragic in Trains 'N' Roses, screened by the UA Department of German Studies.

The film by Peter Lichtefeld focuses on Hannes, an expert in European train schedules who's preparing for the First International Train Schedule Competition in Finland. Not surprisingly, Hannes' smooth ride soon turns into a bumpy metaphor for his journey toward passion and love--especially when his boss is found dead, and Hannes quickly becomes the chief suspect.

Trains 'N' Roses screens at 7:30 p.m. in the UA Modern Languages auditorium, east of the administration building on the main mall. Admission is free. For information, call 621-7385.

Friday 27

RANCHO REALE. Three writers share their take on the convulsing modern West with Romance and Reality.

Susan Zakin, Kim Vacariu and Mark Menlove lead this gathering with essays from the just-released anthology Living in the Runaway West: Partisan Views from Writers on the Range.

While our culture embraces the mythic West as symbolic of American pluck, today's true West is becoming a bland wasteland of sprawling urbanism, a place where new class schisms emerge as rich immigrants--and the poor ones who serve them--turn small blue-collar towns into upscale resorts. And it's a place where everyone from ranchers and loggers to mountain bikers and backpackers vie for the last vestiges of wilderness.

This trio of writers will present new work, followed with a discussion about the past, present and future of the American West. Zakin is the author of Coyotes and Town Dogs: Earth First! and the Environmental Movement, and is a regular contributor to Salon, Field and Stream and the venerable Tucson Weekly. Vacariu ran a newspaper in Colorado before coming to Tucson and a job with The Wildlands Project. Menlove, a Utah native, is a former ski promoter and a creative writing student at the UA.

The free reading is at 7 p.m. in Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. For information, call 792-3715.

PEERLESS PRECIPICE. Tucson's flying modern-dance company pushes the envelope with Balanced Edge.

This show by Orts Theatre of Dance blurs the line between dance, poetry, video and music. Balanced Edge features performers interacting with a whole new breed of trapeze apparatus, all leaping into "new and uncharted aerial dance territory." And the work is homegrown, springing from the Southwestern landscape, with "balance" speaking to the dance between human beings and the desert.

Show times are 8 p.m. today and tomorrow, and 2 p.m. Sunday in the PCC Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Advance tickets are $8 and $10, available at Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea, Antigone Books, Silverbell Trading, or by calling 206-6987. Tickets are $2 more at the door.

Saturday 28

LEADING LIT. UA prof and leading talent Elizabeth Evans discusses and signs copies of her new novel at Reader's Oasis.

Praised for her rich and lyrical language, Evans has created a riveting meditation on the promises and betrayals of love in Rowing in Eden.

The novel centers on 13-year-old Fanny, who's undergoing the incredible thrills and unbearable traumas of first love. Through this primary character, Evans creates a resonance between the setting (a small Iowa town in 1965) and Fanny's experiences.

Evans' other books include Carter Clay and The Blue Hour.

The book signing is 2 to 4 p.m. in Reader's Oasis, 3400 E. Speedway Blvd. For information, call 319-7887.

LITTLE CRITTERS. The Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute throws wide its doors for Community Day.

The theme for this invertebrate holiday is "Debunking the Myths About Arthropods." The cast will include live crawlers from the SASI teaching collection, and preserved specimens from the research collection. That's along with the butterfly garden, gift shop and picnic opportunities.

As for the institute, it's a membership-supported environmental education and research outpost. Founded in 1986, its mission is fostering awareness, knowledge and appreciation of all nature, and particularly the vital role arthropods play in the desert's--and the world's--ecosystem.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the SASI, on Gates Pass Road, 1/4 mile east of Kinney Road. RSVPs are requested. Call 883-2578 for information.

POUNDING HEARTS. The international percussion sensation Stomp pounds its way into Centennial Hall.

And the show trails a golden path of acclaim. "Electrifying!" says The Los Angeles Times. "Triumphs in the infinite variety of the human experience." The Chicago Tribune calls it "A phenomenal show! Bashing, crashing, smashing, swishing, banging and kicking--a joyous invention!"

The eight-member troupe has obviously created a sensation, from its record-breaking appearance at London's Royal Festival Hall to the Acropolis in Athens, through Canada, Asia and South America.

Now it arrives in Tucson for performances at 8 p.m. today, and 3 and 7 p.m. tomorrow in the UA Centennial Hall, inside the main gate east of Park Avenue. Tickets range from $28 to $40, and are available at the Centennial Hall box office or by calling 621-3341.

Sunday 29

FLYING HIGH. The who, what and where of a major environmental group is revealed today, when the Sky Island Alliance hosts an open house and fair.

First the basics: the alliance aims to protect just that: sky islands, unique, high-elevation wilderness areas in Southern Arizona providing habitat for a long list of specialized species. These are silent places where predators include Mexican wolves and jaguars, where noble goshawks take thick-billed parrots on the wing, where tropical and temperate species mix and mingle.

Today's gathering will feature educational booths, food and music, tours of the SIA mapping center, slide presentations and even a raffle.

The Sky Island Alliance Open House and Fair runs from noon to 4 p.m. in the Historic YWCA, 738 N. Fifth Ave., at the corner of University Boulevard. Admission is free. For details, call 624-7080.

SOUND REBOUND. You probably heard their passionate rhythms and soaring vocals from many a local bandstand. Now the talented Sounds of Brazil are back for a reunion concert. The show will also feature special guests Heliana Pinheiro and Joca Costa.

The reunited ensemble features the powerhouse percussion team of Billy Martinez and Bob Moreno, and Bill Ronstadt on bass. Vocalist Pinheiro and guitarist Costa have trekked from Brazil for this night of smooth bossa nova and grooving samba.

The performance runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at St. Philip's Plaza, on the southeast corner of River Road and Campbell Avenue. Tickets are $11, $6 for Tucson Jazz Society members, and are available at the door. Call 903-1265 for details.

Monday 30

JET SET. Tucson's best and brassiest gather for Big Band Express.

Formed in 1994, the 16-piece big band consists of Tucson-based musicians boasting years of national touring. Now they bring that all-star sound back home, with a 7 p.m. show in The Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. Tickets are $10; $8 for students, seniors and military; $6 for children ages 12 and under; they're available by calling 886-9428.

SOUND OF SONORA. Desert inspiration sprouts to musical life with the Sonoran Consort.

Comprised of classically trained musicians, the band includes percussionist Todd Hammes, pianist William Campbell and saxophonist Michael Hester. Together, they explore improv's outer boundaries and challenge traditional notions of music. Beyond that, they just like to have fun. "Each of us believe in what we are doing," says Hester, "and are having a great time!"

Have a great time yourself at 7:30 p.m. in the Mat Bevel Institute, 530 N. Stone Ave. Admission is $5 at the door. For information, call 577-0897.

Tuesday 31

NATIVE DESIGNS. The Etherton Gallery premieres its spanking-new digs in charming Joesler Village with Southwest Tribes: Vintage Photographs 1870-1930.

The incredible show features works by photographic ground-breakers Edward S. Curtis, Karl E. Moon, Ben Wittick, Frank Rinehart, John Hillers and others.

Between 1855 and 1880, new technologies helped these pioneers better document scenery, and the aspects of daily life and ethnic customs among indigenous peoples. In turn, the resulting photographs helped improve mainstream America's understanding (if not treatment) of Native Americans. And it sparked an increasingly popular photographic genre.

This exhibit represents the cream of that 19th century movement, which continued recording Indian dress and living arrangements, the positive aspects of tribal life, the sense of community, and the oneness of the individual Native American with nature.

Southwest Tribes: Vintage Photographs 1870-1930 runs through January 1 in the Etherton Gallery, 4419 N. Campbell Ave. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Call 615-1441 for information.

Wednesday 1

LOVE AND HUNGER. Prolific author and award-winning poet Leroy V. Quintana will give a free public reading tonight.

Quintana is the author of six books of poetry, including The Great Whirl of Exile. He's a two-time winner of the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, and his work has been included in numerous anthologies.

A native of Albuquerque, he served in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968, and kept a notebook that later became the source for many of his poems. These days, Quintana lives and teaches in San Diego.

The reading is at 8 p.m. in the UA Modern Languages auditorium, east of the administration building on the main mall. For details, call 626-1185.

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