THE FUTURE WILL BE GORGEOUSFriday, Oct. 17, 5 to 8 p.m.
402 N. Main Ave.
Writer Carole Maso's full quote about our future is that it will be "reckless, and words, those luminous charms, will set us free again."
Maso is part of a cadre of experimental women writers who use those shiny talismans as a way to get underneath the surface of stories, ideas, feelings and images. She's an appropriate wordsmith to quote on the 10th anniversary of Kore Press, one of Tucson's local treasures.
Kore publishes passionate, experimental literature by established and emerging women writers. Its Greek name is the additional one for Persephone, the goddess of seasons, and echoes the idea that women can be agents of change. Poet Adrienne Rich says of small nonprofit presses like Kore: "(They're a) democratic lifeline in this era of corporate, profit-driven decision making and conglomerate publishing."
During its decade, the publisher has put out books, essays and limited-edition broadsides--beautiful, tantalizing tomes to hold in your hands, whose pages you fondle and lay your eyes upon. They demonstrate the belief that the architecture of a book is an extension of the text that it houses. Many of the books are built by hand.
Come to the birthday party to meet the board and staff members and Kore volunteers. Flam Chen performs pyrotechnics; there's a belly dancer, readings by eight local women poets and music by DJ Dulce. Discounted Kore books will be available, including the recently released paperback, Rigging the Wind by poet Jennifer Barber, which won Kore's First Book Award National Competition for 2002.
The celebration is free, but donations are accepted. Call to RSVP or visit www.korepress.org.
If you can't make it to the celebration, you can still offer a donation to the press through October by eating at Pastiche Modern Eatery, where a percentage of your dining bill goes to Kore.
FLATPICK CHAMPFriday, Oct. 17, 8 p.m.
Cushing Street Café and Bar
198 W. Cushing St.
It seems like everybody's a national flatpicking guitar champion. Peter McLaughlin won his medal back in 1988. He toured with Laurie Lewis and Grant Street; while an Artist in Residence with the Arizona Commission on the Arts, McLaughlin toured the States and Mexico with Flying South. He has a solo recording, Cliffs of Vermillion, produced by Laurie Lewis.
For the last decade, he's been performing with Chris Brashear--a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and emerging artist on several musical fronts. He's made numerous showcase appearances at the International Bluegrass Music Association Fanfare, once with Kentucky Rose and later with Frog Mountain. For a couple of years, he played in Italy as violinist with the Maurizio Geri Swingtet. His 1999 release, his first solo recording, was produced by Jody Stecher.
McLaughlin and Brashear perform like siblings. Some say their collaboration harkens to the duets of the Stanley, Delmore or Everly Brothers. Their vocal harmonies and intricate arrangements plus their instrumental virtuosity are steeped in Bluegrass tradition. But their original songs draw from a deep repository of acoustic roots music.
Tickets for their concert cost $15 in advance at Antigone Books, CD City or online at www.dotucson.com. Get them at the door for $17.
LAST OF THE LESBIANSSaturday, Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.
UA Modern Languages Auditorium
Below Second Street at Mountain Ave.
I was lucky enough to be one of the judges who slogged through piles of films for the 11th season of the Lesbian Looks Film and Video Series. We cringed; we guffawed; we cried (at the tear-jerkers, that is); we clapped loudly. We came up with a handful of films--documentaries, shorts and feature-length movies--for the three-night fest. Here's your last chance until next year's installment.
The final night's screening includes two of my favorites. Robin's Hood is dubbed by critics as "the little film that could." It's Sara Millman's first feature and recasts the Robin Hood legend as an urban romance between an idealistic social worker and a charming French thief. The streets and alleys of Oakland, Calif., take the place of Sherwood Forest, and the evil king is institutionalized racism and poverty. These partners in love and crime face an uncertain future as Brooklyn, the girl thief, strives to steal from the rich only to fuel Robin's fire to help out the poor.
Outfest calls this "a disarmingly sexy blue-collar romance full of heart and electric chemistry between the two exceptionally gorgeous leads." I concur--they are lovely to stare at.
The feature is preceded by Letter to A.K. , Leilani Lumen's 2002 lyrical and beautiful reflection on an irresistible yet impossible ex-girlfriend.
The series is presented by the UA Committee on LGBT Studies and co-sponsored by the Dean of Libraries, the departments of media arts, English, history, women's studies and anthropology, the UA Pride Alliance and UTC Equipment Services. Say thanks to those folks when you see them.
To see what you missed in the first two screenings or for details, visit http://w3.arizona.edu/~lgbcom.
Admission is free.
FLY TO THE MOONSaturday, Oct. 18, 3 and 7 p.m.
Berger Performing Arts Center
1200 E. Speedway Blvd.
Long before Cirque du Soleil made circuses hip again, Wolfe Bowart and his collaborator Bill Robison--masquerading as the Shneedles--performed their mix of vaudeville, circus, magic and physical comedy for gleeful, smiling people in Europe, Japan, Australia and North America.
The Shneedles bring grace and humor to deep subjects of life: unrequited love, death and mousetraps in your pants. LaLaLUNA is their new creation for the stage inspired by the open spaces, the sky, sand and stars of Bowart's native Tucson. It's a touch of circus, a little sleight-of-hand and shadow-play, and some magical film. Bowart tells the story of one clown-scientist's quest to get closer to his beloved moon. He even invites kids from the audience to become part of this occasionally gravity-defying show.
"Behind all the tricks, LaLaLUNA is a story about hope and wonder, the joy of scientific discovery and about day dreaming and flight," explains Bowart. Ironically, he embarked on the show this year, which marks the centennial of the Wright Brothers' first manned flight at Kitty Hawk.
Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for kids under 12 and can be purchased at the door or in advance at Antigone Books, Williams Magic or online at www.dotucson.com.
STUCK IN THE CHIRICAHUASSaturday, Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.
Cushing Street Café and Bar
198 W. Cushing St.
A Hollywood film crew is stranded in Southern Arizona's raw-boned Chiricahua Mountains.
That's the theme of The Real West, the newest staged reading from Indigo Playworks. Mary Caroline Rogers' play depicts a frustrated screenwriter who can't seem to put his thumb on the real spirit of the West. Enter the film's ambitious director, who decides to prod the muse by deliberately stranding his crew in the most remote spot possible. He hopes that with a bit of time in the rugged outback, the writer will finally summon the restless ghosts of this storied land.
Personal demons meet up with mountain spirits who push the writer down a trail of his own Western frontier. "It's a place in your soul where everything shakes clean and you finally ante up," so says one of the play's characters.
It's a comedy; it's a drama. It's in two acts played on a simple set with five characters, some assuming dual roles.
Tickets cost $8.