GALLERY GAB. Photographer Patrick Nagatani really went digging for material for his latest exhibition at the Center for Creative Photography.
Today, he'll discuss his collaborative work with the Japanese archaeologist Ryoichi. Working from Ryoichi's field journals, Nagatani photographed excavations undertaken by Ryoichi's team.
In a cat-and-mouse game of sorts, Nagatani intends to reveal details abut the project in response to audience questions.
Nagatani's presentation begins at 5:30 p.m. at the center, 1030 N. Olive Road, in the UA Fine Arts Complex near the corner of Park Avenue and Speedway Boulevard. The event is free and open to the public. Call 621-7968 or visit www.creativephotography.org.
WEIRD ED. Leave the kids at home.
Horror Unspeakable Productions warns of sex (couple different varieties), violence and domestic deception (unclear on that one) in its avant-garde rendition of Edward II.
The three-show run begins at 8 tonight. Tickets are $6 at the Cabaret Theatre at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. For reservations or more information, please call 903-9950.
DIRTY SHORTS. With titles like Wheelchair Rebecca, Rejected and Beat the Brat, you just know it's gonna be, uh, lewd.
You guessed it. Spike and Mike, the guys you can thank for Beavis and Butthead and South Park, are back with another Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation.
The 2001 feature-length collection serves up the bizarre, shocking and simply grotesque for your viewing enjoyment.
Aardman Animation, creators of Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run, weigh in this year with Angry Kid, one of 16 new shorts. Other not-to-be-missed strange stuff includes Birth of Abomination and The Hangnail.
The prestigious event at the Loft Cinema starts at 7:15 tonight, with showings also scheduled for 9:30 and midnight. The festival runs daily through February 3, then weekends only through February 17. Tickets are $7 at the door or in advance through Ticketmaster, 321-1000. The Loft is located at 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Call for additional show times.
TRILLING TRIO. Puccini never heard it so good.
Three Western opera companies, including Arizona Opera, have collaborated to create the first new production of Puccini's La Fanciulla del West in more than a decade.
Tonight's Tucson debut is the result of work that began in Austin, Texas, about a year and a half ago. The concept is a blend of realism and theatrical abstraction. The sets include a precarious raked stage and symbolic elements that reveal themselves as the opera unfolds.
Arizona Opera fans may remember Andrea Chenier, another spectacular production conceptualized by Austin Lyric Opera's director, Joseph McClain. Good news: McClain, artistic team leader for the restyled La Fanciulla del West, is back in town for tonight's debut.
Set during the wild lawless days of the California Gold Rush, La Fanciulla del West features a feisty but God-fearing heroine, an outlaw who is tamed by love, and a sheriff who will do anything to capture both the bandit and the heart of his love.
Baritone Donnie Ray Albert makes his Arizona Opera debut in the performance that begins at 7:30 tonight and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $19 to $67, available through Ticketmaster, 321-1000. Performances are at the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. For more information, call 293-4336.
See "Spaghetti Western," page 40.
CLASSIC CRITTERS. Remember that freaky squat, horned creature bowing to the boy with the crown?
The kid's name is Max and the freaky horny-toad guy is, well, one of the critters in Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.
Arts for All is putting the children's literature favorite on stage, with some new twists.
Director Steve Anderson's adaptation includes many interesting features, including "sign dancers," who are essentially spiritual guides to the wild things. Their beautiful movement and artistic sign language adds a new dimension to the production.
This rendition of Where the Wild Things Are, a book that won the Caldecott Medal for the Most Distinguished Picture Book of the Year, promises other surprises as well. Hint: Be on the lookout for flying hand-puppet wild things ...
The play at the Pima Community College Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre opens at 10 a.m. today, with a second performance at 7:30 p.m. Performances also are scheduled for 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 seniors and students, and $6 kids under 12. Tickets are available at the PCC box office, 206-6988.
See "Wild at Heart," page 38.
BRIGHT SHINY BLUES. Grammy nominee Eric Bibb, likened to Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal, will shine his "sunny side of the blues" on Tucson.
The Sweden-based singer's music moves through the songster tradition with deftly accomplished soulful and Gospel-infused folk blues. The uninitiated can't help but be impressed with the blends.
"What I do is carry on ... song traditions," says Bibb. "There's a big dose of American folk music in all its forms, whether it be work songs, spirituals or Celtic-inspired ballads."
Bibb's reputation as total original has been growing since 1996, when he played the London Blues Festival. The Los Angeles Times called Bibb "one of the most exciting artists leading the black acoustic revival."
Tucson favorite Lisa Otey opens for Bibb, who is touring in support of his latest CD, Home to Me.
The show starts at 8 tonight at St. Michael and All Angels Church, 602 N. Wilmot Road. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Antigone Books, Hear's Music, Folk Shop, Enchanted Earthworks and Brew and Vine. Charge by phone, or for more information call 297-9133.
See "Wild Blues Yonder," page 46.
PLETHORA OF PRINTS. One of the country's most innovative printmakers has brought the spectrum of artistic endeavor to the Old Pueblo.
More than 100 works by 65 artists who have printed at Garner Tullis Studios are on display now at the Tucson Museum of Art.
Garner Tullis and the Art of Collaboration, as the exhibition is called, reflects perfectly Tullis' long-established record of helping artists realize their ideas through the print medium.
Copper drawings, mono-relief paintings, silkscreens and woodcuts are among the creations of notable artists Helen Frankenthaler, Louis Nevelson, Sean Scully and others.
Tullis, a master printer, first began working with artists in 1961, when he founded the Experimental Impression Graphic Workshop in Philadelphia. About a decade later, he moved to San Francisco, where he worked with many of the Bay Area's most famous artists. He continues to operate studios in Manhattan and Santa Barbara.
The exhibition opens today and runs through April 18. The Tucson Museum of Art is located at 140 N. Main Ave. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. General admission is $5; it's $4 for seniors, $3 for students. Children under 12 are free. For more information, call 624-2333.
LOCAL LEGACIES. La Reunion de El Fuerte is just a few weeks away, but there's still time to bone up on local history before the big event.
Dave Faust, curator of the Fort Lowell Museum, presents Fort Lowell and the Apache Wars. The lecture is one in a continuing series leading up the 20th annual La Reunion, a celebration of the area's rich history.
Today's lecture begins at 3 p.m. at the San Pedro Chapel Community Center, 5230 E. Fort Lowell Road. Admission is free. For more information, call 318-0219.
PREMIERE PERFORMANCE. Swing into Dixie at Casas Adobe Congregational Church.
Veteran Tucson ensemble Jeff Haskell, John Denman and Tom Ervin promise a trip to an earlier era as they explore swing and Dixie. The concert, part of a string of performances put on by Casas Adobes Concerts, is being called the series' "premiere performance."
The concert begins at 3 p.m. today at Casas Adobes, 6801 N. Oracle Road. A $10 donation is suggested. For more information, call 297-1181.
WORLD-CLASS ABRACADABRA. He routinely cuts his assistant in half, then cracks up his audience with a bit of rib-tickling humor.
Award-winning magician Oscar Muñoz also pulls the obligatory rabbit out of the hat, and even produces a bird or two. As a globe-trotting performer, Muñoz manages to pull his stunts in shows some 450 times a year.
Tonight, Muñoz visits the Gaslight Theatre. His rapport with children makes his show the perfect family outing.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7. Tickets are $10, available at Williams Magic and Novelties, 6528 E. 22nd St. The theater is located at 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. For more information, call 790-4060.
VISUAL VARIETY. Digital photos, chaotic societies of dancing cups and the earthy tones of ancient origin await visitors to the Pima Community College Art Gallery.
The works of three artists with different views and approaches are featured in the gallery's Show #4: Stephen Marc, Monica Aissa Martinez, Kelvin Yazzie.
Marc's a photographer and digital-montage artist whose creations combine family snapshots, photos of objects he collects and his own photography and drawings. With all this taken together, Marc hopes to present cultural networks that entice viewers with a glimpse into the world of theatrical possibility.
The whimsical imagery of Martinez's work plays on color and shape. Scenes of dancing cups and mad-scientist lab equipment ultimately create order out of disorder. Her work explores connections between science and philosophy, physics and the metaphysical.
Yazzie's approach is much more down-to-earth. He molds clay into shapes inspired by biological forms. His art reflects his experiences as a boy living on the Navajo Reservation. The natural color of the clay communicates its earthy source and the smoky black tones on the surface suggest an ancient origin.
The show, which opens today, runs through February 15. A reception is planned for 2 p.m. Wednesday at the gallery, 2202 W. Anklam Road. For more information, call 206-6942.
HEAD IN THE CLOUDS? If you think cosmology sounds like a good trade-school option for your troubled kid sister, don't bother with this one.
But astronomy buffs should jet down to Steward Observatory tonight for a lecture called Cosmology at the Beginning of the New Millennium.
The talk by Jill Bechtold is part of a free series offered at the observatory since the beginning of time. Well, OK, since 1924. But still ...
After the lecture, you can peer through the 21-inch telescope at the night sky.
The event takes place at 7:30 p.m. at 933 N. Cherry Ave. on the UA campus. For more information, call 621-5049. To learn more about speakers or future talks, visit http://viking.as.arizona.edu/~taf/pubeve/pub_lect.htm.
SLIDING THROUGH ECOSYSTEMS. Conservation icon Dave Foreman will present a talk and slide show tonight about a strategy to "rewild" 10.5 million acres in the Southwest.
The chairman of The Wildlands Project will describe the Sky Islands Wildlands Network Conservation Plan, a means for protecting and restoring the region's globally rare mountain "island ecosystems."
The targeted acreage in southeast Arizona, southwest New Mexico and northern Mexico provides habitat for thousands of species of plants and animals. Half of all breeding birds in North America live in the ecosystems, which also are home to the world's most diverse populations of reptiles and mammals.
After the talk at the University of Arizona's Harvill Auditorium, Foreman will sign copies of his new eco-fiction novel, The Lobo Outback Funeral Home. The slide show and talk is free and begins at 7 p.m. For more information, call 884-0875.
BOOK YOUR SEATS. A distinguished group of authors is slated for the seventh annual Women Writers Event.
Writers' Journeys: Real and Imagined showcases Mary-Ann Tirone Smith, Zee Edgell and Elaine Romero.
Smith, a Connecticut writer, has six novels to her credit. She has written a variety of reviews for The New York Times Book Review and the Boston Globe. You may have heard her on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. Smith's first novel, The Book of Phoebe, is standard reading in college prep schools. Publisher's Weekly called her most recent effort, American Killing, "a lively and absorbing novel."
Edgell hails from Belize, and is that country's first author to enjoy an international audience. Her work centers on the social issues affecting women in her country. An associate professor at Kent State University, Edgell has produced works including Beka Lamb, In Times Like These and The Festival of San Joaquin.
A bit closer to home, Tucsonan Elaine Romero was until recently the playwright in residence at the Arizona Theater Company, where she developed two full-length plays, Before Death Comes for the Archbishop and Secret Things.
A forum for the writers, moderated by local columnist Bonnie Henry, will be followed by a book signing. The event starts at 7 tonight at the Doubletree Hotel, 445 S. Alvernon Way. Advance tickets are $20; admission is $30 at the door. Tickets are available through the UA women's studies department, 621-7338. For more information, call 620-1241.