City Week

Thursday 2

Phantom lessons. Smithsonian lecturer and performer Robert Wyatt explores the age-old conundrum of why good women love bad men and its overwhelming presence in Broadway musicals.

Always fascinated with the villains' roles, Wyatt traces how the audience's opinion and reaction to them shifts as the final curtain falls. From Porgy and Bess to The Phantom of the Opera, this humorous discussion looks at the famous scoundrels we have known and loved.

The talk, Black Hats on Broadway: And the Women They Attract, is one of several in conjunction with production of The Phantom of the Opera, which tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it.

He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.

Tonight's lecture starts at 7:30 in the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Auditorium, 1130 N. Mountain Ave. Phantom performances are scheduled through Sunday at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. Tickets are $22 to $70, with discounts available. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets also are available at 621-3341 or online at

Get JJJazzed. Eat to the beat as JJJazz returns to Presidio Grill.

Or just enjoy the beat as you support jazz in Tucson.

Tonight's featured artists are Janice Jarrett and Jorge Pastrana.

The performance is 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Presidio Grill, 3352 E. Speedway Blvd. For more information, call 327-4667.

Friday 3

Laugh a little. Back in Black is The Oddvarks Comedy Improv Troupe's latest effort to get a laugh.

Show up at O'Malley's on Fourth tonight for an evening of irreverent sketch comedy, hilarious improv games, stiff cocktails and several hapless pirates (Arrrgghh!).

Showtime is 7 p.m.--doors open at 6:30. Cover is $5. For more information, call 325-3678 or email

Real Class. Sometimes a work in progress is a pretty thing to watch.

Take, for instance, a performance tonight by Pima Community College's dance students.

You'll see an array of dance styles such as modern, contemporary ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical by Pima College's dance ensemble class--all selected, choreographed and staged by the dancers.

The free event starts at 7 p.m. today at Zuzi's Little Theatre, 738 N. Fifth Ave., at University Boulevard. For more information, call 629-0237.

Saturday 4

Hot in the city. Go bowling for some great chili this weekend.

Wash it all down with cold beer--we're talking the Chef's Association of Southern Arizona's third annual Chili Challenge and Beer Festival.

It will be a chili lovers' paradise as at least 20 of Tucson's best--from Kingfisher, El Charro, Pastiche, the Last Territory and others--dish out their best. The offerings will range from buffalo meat to vegetarian chili.

To cool off, you can choose from more than 20 different kinds of beer from local and national breweries.

A beer-brewing demonstration, live music, cigar lounge, prize raffle and live auction make this a bang-up event.

The food fest is noon to 4 p.m. today at St. Philip's Plaza, River and Campbell. Admission is $25. For tickets, call 622-0525.

Sure-fire picks. Dieter Hennings Yeomans of Mexico strummed his way to a first prize at the 2001 Portland International Guitar Competition.

Maya Rafajlovic of Croatia picked her way to the top at the 1996 Winnipeg Music Competition Festival.

The award winners are only two of five outstanding guitarists who will take the stage in a special concert tonight.

David Rose and Michael Lich, both of Albuquerque, N.M., and Ben McCartney of Syracuse, N.Y., will join Yeomans and Rafajlovic to show off a variety of guitar styles--from baroque to folk, bluegrass to original, innovative compositions that push the envelope.

The performance begins at 7 p.m. today at Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams, north of Speedway, between Tucson and Campbell. Tickets are $10 and are available at; Hear's Music, 2508 N. Campbell Ave.; Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave.; CD City, 2890 N. Campbell Ave.; and at the door. For more information, and to hear a sample of the music you'll hear, visit

Sunday 5

Be there. A couple of weeks ago, I heard pianist Cynthia Hilts at Philip's Plaza. Typical Tucson--great event, few takers. No wonder it takes about 50 years to convince The Phantom of the Opera to pay us a visit.

I'm not saying nobody showed up to enjoy the show, and there were a few people under 55 in the crowd. They were the ones taking notes, like the evening was a class assignment or something. Anyway, my point is, while it wasn't an embarrassing turnout, the plaza should have been packed with music lovers of all ages.

Whatever. I'm not trying to pick a fight with the Tucson Jazz Society--that's one group doing a smash-up job of attracting real talent to the stage. Its Plaza Suite Spring Series--Jazz under the Stars--is proof enough.

Hopefully, Sam Taylor gets a better reception.

This is Big Bad Blues with Sam Taylor and the 3-Legged Dog Band.

For more than four decades Sam has worked as a musician, arranger and bandleader. His resume reads like a Who's Who of American Popular Music. Countless musicians have come under the tutelage of this master. Sam was in one of the first big integrated bands in the country, Joey Dee and The Starliters ("Peppermint Twist"), playing the Peppermint Lounge during the Twist craze and toured with the Beatles before they made their splash in the United States.

Here's another reason to check him out--Sam believes that his mission in life is to put the blues in its rightful place, to have it respected.

If that's not enough, consider that this guy's got Tucson ties. He is currently finishing a new CD right here in Tucson, the place he called "his home" for some 11 years.

The show gets under way at 6 tonight at The Plaza at River and Campbell. Tickets are $10 for Society members and $15 general admission. For more information, call 903-1265.

Monday 6

Going solo. Artist Willie Bonner's large-scale paintings and installation reflect his experience of Black American culture.

Bonner's work is not about gaining social acceptance in the larger American society, but rather an allegory of what it means to be black in postmodern America.

His aim is to engage the viewer and create an extended dialogue regarding the culture of African American people both historically and in contemporary society. In its essence, its objective is to transcend language.

Bonner will present a solo exhibit of paintings at the Alamo Gallery, An Arizona Retrospective.

The show runs through June 15 at the Alamo Gallery, which is located in the historic, red brick Steinfeld Department Store Warehouse, 101 W. Sixth St., in the Tucson Historic Warehouse District. For more information, call 982-0221.

Tuesday 7

Busy lady. Artist Gwyneth Scally seems to be getting around.

Her work has been on display in the HazMat Basement in a show that runs through June 1. Now a new show of her work can be seen at the Hotel Congress.

Scally's series of paintings, sculptures and installations uses anthropomorphic forms and images of rubber gloves to address the concepts of purity and contamination, as well as the forces of human creativity.

Locally based, Scally uses humor and surrealism to address psychological and cultural forces that shape the human experience.

The latest exhibit runs through June 16 in the Lobby at the Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress. For more information, call 624-5019.

Wednesday 8

Get it while it's hot. Don't think sex sells? Merryl Sloane makes a living just talking about having sex.

"Everything we do as adults--from driving a car to balancing a checkbook to logging onto the Internet--has been taught to us," Sloane says. "The only exception is sex, which is something we're just supposed to 'know' how to do.

"Of course, almost all of us are capable of 'the basics,' but in order to truly be a great lover, in order to truly connect with your spouse, in order to delight and please your partner (and yourself), we all need some guidance, advice, information and encouragement."

Want to know more?

Sloane, a nationally known sex educator, writer and sex empowerment coach who lives here in Tucson, will be offering a series of workshops to teach people more about the world of sex.

Sloane will present 6 Steps to Great Sex: Introduction, an overview of her proven method for achieving the most wonderful sex you can imagine.

Sloane has taught at the University of Arizona, Pima Community College, Muse and Wingspan.

Tonight's primer is 7 to 8 at the Inn Suites, 475 N. Granada (at St. Mary's). All adventurous and curious adults (18-plus please) are welcome. The cost is $10. For more information, call 409-9900 or email