WHAT A TRIP. You may have heard his music, but chances are, you don't know the stories behind it.
Music from a Painted Cave is a contemporary American Indian musical journey told through dance, theater and music by the award-winning performer-composer Robert Mirabal and his band, the Rare Tribal Mob.
It is a modern look at old stories--encounters with warriors, with mythical beings and with life as it unfolds for the Native American community.
Mirabal was raised on the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, where he still lives. His life is a testament to the ongoing struggle of American Indians to bridge the gap between traditional Native American values and contemporary American society. He learned drumming early in his life and started carving traditional Indian flutes when he was 18. Some of those flutes are on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
As a musician, poet and master flutemaker, Mirabal has recorded six successful albums. His most recent, Taos Tales, was among the nation's top 10 albums on the new-age voice charts, and, as a result, he was named Amazon.com's 1999 new age artist of the year.
"That piece of wood gave me a life, a way to survive," says Mirabal, "and it gave me a way to communicate."
The performance begins at 7:30 tonight at Centennial Hall, on the UA Campus, 1020 E. University Blvd. Tickets cost $18 to $28; students receive $5 off. Tickets are available through the Centennial Hall box office, 621-3341 For more information, call 621-3341 or visit www.mirabal.com.
PUTTING POETRY INTO PLAY. If you're a student, get in line to be among the first in Tucson to see a uniquely conceived play using the poetry of three contemporary Latina writers.
Award-winning playwrights Luis Alfaro and Lisa Peterson were commissioned by Performing for Los Angeles Youth (P.L.A.Y.) of the Mark Taper Forum to create a play using poetry about "a day in the life of girls in East L.A."
For a year they had weekly meetings with East Los Angeles writers Sandra Muñoz, Alma Cervantes and Marisela Norte, amassing 132 pages of poetry. Alfaro and Peterson adapted these words for the stage.
The result is Black Butterfly, a compelling and uplifting ensemble piece that portrays the growing pains, discoveries, hopes and dreams of five young Latinas.
Black Butterfly directly addresses reading and writing as a "cool" form of self-expression, and nurtures young Latinas' self-esteem by presenting positive role models. It also seeks to cultivate a deeper understanding and appreciation in the non-Latino audiences of ethnic diversity by deconstructing racial stereotypes.
The Borderlands Theater production of Black Butterfly has been adapted to Tucson and is directed by Eva Tessler. The local cast includes Alida Wilson-Gunn, Leigh Ann Santillanes, Noemi Zavala, Cisiany Olivar, Christina Perez, Marie Lowry and Camila Tessler.
All shows are at the Pima Community College Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Student matinees are scheduled for 10 a.m. today and Friday. Tickets for those special shows cost $4. An opening celebration starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets cost $17 and include a post-performance reception. A general matinee is at 2 p.m. Saturday; tickets cost $13 general, $11 seniors, $9 students with ID. Tickets are available at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave.; Borderlands Theater, 373 S. Meyer Ave.; and at the door. For more information or reservations, call 882-7406.
GOING UNDERGROUND. Get a glimpse of sex in the Midwest.
Cinemad, a local film zine, will present the recent works of 25-year-old Chicago underground filmmaker James Fotopoulos this weekend at The Screening Room.
With 14 shorts and three features already in his repertoire, Fotopoulos is known as one of the most daring and skilled filmmakers to emerge from the current underground scene.
The Arizona premiere of Back against the Wall exposes the inner workings of the strange but real subculture of lingerie modeling in the Midwest.
It's accompanied by Fotopoulos' three-minute short The Sun.
Migrating Forms, a psychological study of a couple's sexual relationship, is reminiscent of the early works of Lynch and Cronenberg with its recurring stylistic motifs. Migrating Forms plays with the seven-minute short The Circle.
The Screening Room is located at 127 E. Congress St. Tickets cost $5. For information, call 622-2262. For more information on the director and his films, visit www.fantasmainc.com. For review and filmtimes, see "Darker Shadows," page 24.
WORK IN PROGRESS. If innovative theater makes you clap, make plans to show your appreciation this weekend at Zuzi's Little Theatre.
Jon McNamara and Sara Shelton Mann will be performing a duet titled The Beloved--a Performance (as a work in progress). The piece will explore the relationship of two souls, rocks, time, birds, Tucson, mountains, 2,000 years and wildcat dumps.
Mann has created an exhilarating style of performance that captures the evolution of choreographic expression, blending daring lyrical physicality with acrobatic partnering. Mann was the founder of the now disbanded San Francisco performance group Contraband.
McNamara is a dancer and choreographer from Tucson. He is the recipient of the 2001 Fellowship in Choreography from the Tucson/Pima Arts Council and the 2000 Fellowship in Choreography from the Arizona Commission on the Arts.
Shows are at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday at Zuzi's Little Theatre, 738 N. Fifth Ave. Tickets cost $10 general admission. For more information, call 629-0237.
MUSIC HEALS. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, local musicians are offering their talents to patch up our psyches and to help those most in need.
Award-winning guitarists Benjamin Silva, David Rose, Michael Lich, Randall Avers and Ben McCartney present a range of music from Bach to folk to funk to new age to metal. The one-night concert starts at 7 tonight at Muse (formerly the International Arts Center), 516 N. Fifth Ave. All proceeds go to the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund.
Tickets cost $10 at the door or in advance at Hear's Music, 2508 N. Campbell Ave., or at Bentley's, 1730 E. Speedway Blvd. For more information, call Muse at 903-0918.
A TRUE MUSIC LEGEND. Early Southerners produced a great variety of music, song and story that reflected and extended the fabric of their daily lives.
This music in time became the roots of today's country, bluegrass and popular music, and remains enduring and refreshing.
So to refresh the Old Pueblo, KXCI and the Tucson Friends of Traditional Music have conspired to bring acoustic music legend Mike Seeger to town.
Seeger has devoted his life to singing and playing Music from True Vine--the home music made by Southerners before the media age. Music from True Vine grows out of hundreds of years of British traditions that blended in our country with equally ancient African traditions to produce songs and sounds that are unique to the United States.
Fidelity to traditional sounds has set Seeger apart from other performers since he began touring the United States and abroad in 1960. Seeger's music conveys all the depth of feeling, the sheer energy and the infinite variety and texture of true rural music. Like earlier musicians, Seeger seeks out his own vision of the music by creating within its traditions, making his music uniquely his own. As he sings the old songs, he plays in a wide variety of old-time styles, accompanying himself on an array of instruments, including banjo, fiddle, guitar, trump (jaw harp), mouth harp (harmonica), quills, lap dulcimer, mandolin and autoharp.
As a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers, Seeger played an integral role in helping to revive interest in a variety of traditional music, now played by thousands of young musicians across the country. Since his first recordings with the Ramblers in the late '50s, he has gone on to record almost 40 albums, both solo and with others.
Seeger's visit includes a school presentation, a Saturday-afternoon master class in Southern traditional vocal and instrumental music, and a Saturday-evening concert.
The master class and concert will take place today at the Unitarian Church. The class is at 1 p.m. and the concert starts at 8 p.m. Contra dancing at the church follows Seeger's concert.
Sign up for the class at the Folk Shop. Admission costs $25.
General admission costs $15. Tickets for members of KXCI, TFTM, TKMA and DBA will cost $12. Outlets include KXCI, the Folk Shop and Reader's Oasis. Tickets for the Contra Dance will be available at the concert. For more information, call 623-1000 or visit www.kxci.org.
BOOK IT. Ever thought about writing a book?
So maybe you have. And maybe, like so many aspiring writers, you have watched that dream wither on the vine.
While you haven't quite gotten around to writing the great American novel, there's no reason you can't at least make a book. (Hey, you can write in it whenever you get around to it, right?)
Learn how to create your own blank book or journal during a four-hour workshop today at Antigone Books.
Nicole Raisin Stern will teach you all about handmade paper, watercolors and a simple Japanese binding technique that will let you create something uniquely yours.
Beginners are welcome to the class, which is from 1 to 5 p.m. today at Antigone, 411 N. Fourth Ave. Cost is $42 and everything you'll need is included. The shop's limited to 10 people, so if this sounds like fun, get in on it by stopping by the store, or calling 792-3715.
SEWING SOME INTEREST. Joan and Robert Bleakly have something to show you.
Actually, they have more than a few "somethings" to show you, including Joan's handcrafted quilts, dolls, painted terra cotta and wood and Robert's hand-woven table linens, throws and wall hangings.
Check out the new exhibit opening today at Saguaro Artisans Gallery.
The show runs through October 31 at the gallery, 215 N. Court Ave. Gallery hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 792-3466.
IT'S GOT LEGS. It's a play exploring the humor, power, pain, wisdom, outrage, mystery and excitement hidden in vaginas.
Hmmm. It might have been a bit difficult to predict the viability of such a production, but Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues is a celebrated and provocative play that has become a phenomenon worldwide.
If you want to find out why, you're in luck; UApresents brings the blockbuster for a limited engagement--today through October 14--to Nations Hall.
In The Vagina Monologues, starring Geneva Carr, Lisa Kron and Lisa Tharps, Ensler has given voice to a chorus of lusty, outrageous, poignant, brave, highly original and thoroughly human stories. Based on interviews with a diverse group of women, The Vagina Monologues has grown from an Off-Broadway hit into an international phenomenon. Here in the United States, the play has entered the popular consciousness and has been referred to on several hit television programs. It also has been a hot topic on national talk shows including The Oprah Winfrey Show and The View.
The play was originally produced in an OBIE Award-winning run in 1996. Since that time, it has toured the country and internationally.
The run starts tonight with a performance at 7:30 at Nations Hall at the International Arts Center, 516 N. Fifth Ave. Tickets cost $40 for general admission seating. Discounts are available for all students and UA faculty and staff. Susan Banes, of KXCI, will host a free "Arts Encounter" 45 minutes before today's performance in the hall. Tickets are available at the box office, by phone at 621-3341 and online at www.uapresents.arizona.edu. For more information and other showtimes, call 621-3341.
A WOMAN OF MANY TALENTS. Mary Leader spent years practicing law, first as Assistant Attorney General of Oklahoma and then as referee for the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Then, in 1997, she published her first book, Red Signature, which won the National Poetry Series.
Her second book, The Penultimate Suitor, from Iowa University Press, won the Iowa Poetry Prize.
Oh, and Leader holds a Ph.D. in literature from Brandeis University and teaches creative writing at the University of Memphis.
"Mary Leader brings a lovely music, a nearly limitless sense of invention, a ruthless taste for games and a fantastic imagination to her signature second book, a work of high craftsmanship, of equally high desires and longings, of twin avidities, art and love," said Edward Hirsch.
Find out more about the intriguing author's work during a free reading that starts at 8 tonight in the UA Modern Languages auditorium, on the north side of the mall west of Cherry Avenue. Leader will also give a craft lecture on poetry at 10:30 a.m. October 4 in the "Swede" Johnson Building, 1111 N. Cherry Ave. (northwest corner of Speedway and Cherry), room 303. For more information, visit www.coh.arizona.edu/poetry.