PLAYING IN THE PARK. Bring a picnic dinner to the park and curl up in the grass with an old favorite.
In fitting spring fashion, all performances of Tucson Community Theatre's The Miser are free. The outdoor event at Himmel Park Amphitheater lets playgoers enjoy the mild weather and a nice meal, provided they remember to pack one.
The play itself is a five-act comedy in prose. The classic farce of deep love and great greed is sure to tickle. It is a play most typical of Molière, whose works also include The School for Wives, Misanthrope and The Imaginary Invalid.
The Miser begins at 7 p.m. April 12-14 and April 19-22 at the park, 1000 N. Tucson Blvd. For more information, call 791-4663.
EASTER TAKES THE STAGE. Reacquaint yourself with Jesus Christ by watching a play that runs through Sunday.
The 23rd annual Simon Peter Passion Play is a three-hour semi-professional musical drama on the life of Christ. The show features more than 100 cast members and a full orchestra.
The free production begins at 7 every night through Saturday. A 2 p.m. matinee is scheduled for Sunday. All performances are at the Tucson Convention Center Music Hall. For more information, call 327-5560.
TRACKING AN ASSASSIN. Social psychologist Blue McCarron and her girlfriend Rox are in pursuit of a serial killer with a political bent.
The killer, whose targets are major female political figures, leads the pair on a journey from the harsh winds of the California desert to the posh environs of San Diego in Abigail Padgett's The Last Blue Plate Special.
Padgett will read from her newest mystery tonight in a "double-header" reading, which also features a talk by Joan Drury.
Drury's Those Jordan Girls is a story about four generations of women living together in small-town Minnesota in the mid-20th century.
The readings start at 7 p.m. at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. For more information, call 729-3715, or visit www.antigonebooks.com.
BARBIE EXPOSED. Shinako Sato creates with the interesting perspective of an artist whose childhood memories of dollhouses are balanced with a half-decade's experience as a make-up artist in a funeral home.
Her minuscule photographs depict Barbie dolls, often naked or wearing provocative underwear, and posing in quasi-seductive attitudes. She shows us details of the body, face or arms, but there is always a colorful beetle, caterpillar or butterfly covering certain parts.
The photos, often Polaroids, are displayed in an oval on Plexiglas or boxes. The smallness of it all reflects Barbie's role as the ideal woman.
Sato's work also is a reflection of a childhood spent in Japan, where girls play with a doll's house, or mamagoto, from an early age, far more than girls in Europe. The creations give a glimpse of the fantasy world, and include themes of family memories and the playfulness of children.
An interesting biographical detail is that Sato worked for a Japanese undertaker for five years as a professional make-up artist, which casts her work in another light altogether. Sato lives and works in Tokyo.
Check out Sato's intriguing photographs at 7 tonight in a reception at Elizabeth Cherry Contemporary Art, 441 E. Grant Road. The show runs through May 26. For more information, call 903-0577.
HOP ON DOWN. Omega Delta Phi is a fraternity with a big thing for Easter.
Last year, the organization's annual Easter egg hunt attracted some 500 children. This year, the egg-sperts are hoping for an even better turnout.
David Martinez said his frat will fill 1,500-2,000 plastic eggs with candy and hide them around the Boys and Girls Club, Holmes Tuttle branch. About 30 people from Omega Delta Phi and volunteers from the club will be involved in the annual event, now in its eighth year.
Take the kids for free food and drinks. In addition to staging the egg hunt, the fraternity will be raffling prizes including savings bonds, Easter baskets and stuffed animals.
The hunt starts at 11 a.m. at 2585 E. 36th St. For more information, call Martinez at 578-0630.
GUNSLINGING GARDENERS? Tombstone may be the "town too tough too die," but that doesn't mean it's without a sensitive side.
The place famous for whiskey-swilling gunfighters reveals a decidedly softer side this weekend in the annual Tombstone Rose Festival.
The event is worth a day trip, featuring a cake-baking contest, rose parade, pruning and planting workshops, variety shows, tours of the historic district and music and dancing.
Paying homage to the Lady Banksia rose tree, which was planted during the mining boomtown days, the celebration also honors Nellie Cashman, the "Angel of the Mining Camps." The rose tree, one of the town's most prominent landmarks, is listed in the Guiness Book of Records and Ripley's Believe It or Not. Cashman is remembered for the food and supplies she brought to miners in need.
The event is free. For more information, call the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce at 520-457-9317.
OUT OF IRELAND. Billed as the finest traditional Irish band touring today, Danu brings its delightful arrangements to Tucson.
The young seven-piece band includes fiddle, flute, whistle, piano, button accordion and mandola behind vocals in Gaelic and English.
With a sound similar to the now broken-up Galway band DeDannan, but with more instruments, Danu won the 1999 award for Best Irish Traditional Band from Irish Music magazine. And Danu also was just named the best band of 200, overall, by the BBC Folk Awards in London.
Formed in Waterford, the group offers powerful, varied playing and fine arrangements on jigs, reels and songs that have been moving audiences throughout the United States and Europe. This is Danu's first Arizona show.
The concert starts at 8 tonight at Berger Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $16 general admission, $14 seniors and In Concert! members. Tickets are available at Hear's Music, 2508 N. Campbell Ave., and Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave., or by phone at 327-4809.
GET ORIENTED, FIND YOURSELF. Join the Tucson Orienteering Club today for a little self-discovery on the west slope of the Dragoon Mountains.
Just bring a compass and a whistle (or you can rent them at the event for $1 each). Beginners are welcome and encouraged to attend. A free beginner's clinic covering the basics of the activity is offered before the event starts.
Participants will have several courses from which to choose--from a beginner's "I think it's this way" course to a genuine "Where the hell am I?" route. You can sign up for competitive or recreational orienteering, and you can go it alone or with a team.
The club, formed in the mid-1980s, has about 180 members. Costs are $3 for individuals ($8 nonmembers) and $5 for teams ($10 nonmembers). Dues are $10 for individuals or $15 per household per year.
Registration is 9 to 11 a.m. If you're a beginner, arrive at the start of registration. Courses close at 12:30 p.m. Directions: Take I-10 east to Exit 303 and drive 20 miles south to Middle March Road at milepost 315. Drive 10 miles on Middle March to Forest Road 687. Two more miles and you're there. (You'll see signs at the Forest Road turnoff.)
For more information, call the club's president, Peg Davis, at 628-8985 or visit www.fortunecity.com/ greenfield/bypass/733/.
TUNING UP FOR SPRING. An American in Paris finds himself in Reid Park today.
The Tucson Concert Band also will perform Stephen Bulla's Tournament and Sousa marches in an outdoor concert to welcome spring.
The band will perform under the direction of Herschel Kreloff and associate director Don Borenstein, who will lead the band in selections from Les Miserables, arranged by Warren Barker.
The public is invited to bring along chairs, blankets and snacks to the free event at Reid Park's band shell, the DeMeester Performance Center. The concert starts at 7 p.m. For more information, call 529-2807.
THE JURY IS IN. Shake the Monday blahs with a visit to the Pima Community College Art Gallery for a look at the work of a few bright stars.
Sculptor Ken Jones, painter Joanne Kerrihard and Industry Gallery co-director Dawn Renee have selected the best student art for an exhibition that runs through May 10.
Selections include painting, printmaking, photographs, fiber arts, ceramics, metalworks and jewelry. All PCC students were invited to submit work; only the finest is on display.
The Pima Community College annual juried student art exhibit is at the Center for the Arts, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays. For more information, call 206-6942.
SAVE THE CENTER. Here's a chance for art lovers to do their bit to keep the Center for Creative Photography an international powerhouse. The triple strength gallery-museum-archive at the UA has gone through a bruising battle in the last couple of years, the victim of a power struggle among small-minded bureaucrats. The last director was fired by the UA's head librarian, of all people, and now a stacked committee is looking for a new director more to the librarian's liking. Whoever they pick will inevitably shape the Center's direction for years to come.
There's an open meeting today from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the center's auditorium. The gabfest is hosted by the committee, which includes both Dean of Libraries Carla Stoffle and John Schaefer, a founder of the center. The meeting aims to solicit opinions from the public, "in order to provide a working portrait of this unique institution to share with prospective candidates for the position of director."
The university doesn't really want you to know about this meeting. Its bureaucrats have publicized it poorly and they just want to say they had a meeting and hardly anyone came. Photography lovers who don't want the center to fall prey to the forces of reaction should show up to deliver their thoughts. Any questions? Call Elizabeth Ervin, vice provost for academic affairs, at 621-1139, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ervin also has an Internet questionnaire you can ask for.
NEW MEXICO LIGHT SHOW. The late Gene Kloss had a light touch, especially when it came to New Mexico.
The painter and master printmaker, who died in 1996, is best known for her prints of New Mexico, both landscapes and figurative work. She worked in three media--etching, oil and watercolor--creating works that captured the feeling and light of New Mexico terrain.
Kloss perfected a technique of handling etching during the printmaking process that she called "painting." The effects were achieved through direct application of acid onto copper plates with fine Japanese brushed pencils.
Her etchings display a power and simplicity that makes sensitive use of bold, black areas or stark white ones. In many pieces, the result is an endless range of grays, while in others there is a minimum of middle tones, leaving instead areas of white to represent the unmistakable qualities of New Mexico light.
Gene Kloss: New Mexico Light is showing through May 26 at Etherton Gallery at Joesler Village. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 624-7370.
VISITING PERSONAS. An award-winning magazine of literature and art invites you to its annual contributors' reading.
Persona's lineup includes contributors in fiction and poetry to the upcoming issue. Also, there will be a screening of short films by undergraduate students. The reading is free and an informal reception follows.
The event in the Modern Languages auditorium on the UA campus begins at 8 p.m. For more information, call 626-3765.
RAPPIN' ON METAL. Los Angeles-based Crazy Town doesn't want much--just to change the direction of modern music.
An innovative blend of hip-hop's lyrical attitude and hard-rocking instrumentation has produced the debut album, The Gift of the Game. Hear what this band's been thinking as Crazy Town takes the stage at the Rialto Theatre.
The seven-man crew, along with special guests Saliva and Stereo Mud, plays at 8 p.m. at the Rialto, 318 E. Congress St. Tickets cost $23 and are available at all Zia Records locations, and through Ticketmaster outlets. Charge tickets by phone at 321-1000 or buy them online at www.ticketmaster.com.