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We Will Not Forget

Arrive Before 6 p.m., Saturday, May 28
Hi Corbett Field, 3400 E. Camino Campestre
407-4500 (96.1 KLPX); 296-9595 (Arizona Heat)

These days, you can't drive down the street without seeing a "Support Our Troops" ribbon affixed to a vehicle. While war is unpopular, it has become common to support the military personnel that serve in wars and conflicts abroad. In direct contrast to the days of Vietnam, when returning soldiers were taunted and harassed, it seems we have learned to separate the soldier from the conflict.

It's anticipated that more than 1,000 people will gather at Hi Corbett Field to create a human ribbon in honor of those who have served and died for our country. Right before the start of the Arizona Heat women's professional softball game, Tucsonans will gather in the outfield of the park to form a 200-foot-long yellow remembrance ribbon to honor U.S. soldiers who have died in combat. A photographer and videographer will be on a 150-foot crane above the field to take footage of the event. The footage will be sent to armed forces organizations and media outlets around the world.

This is the first time a human ribbon will be created in Tucson, says Hans Rhey, marketing manager for 96.1 KLPX. Marketing minds at the station came up with the idea. "People in Tucson have made an American flag and a '9/11,' but not a ribbon. We'd like to do this every year to show support for the troops," says Rhey.

People wanting to be part of the ribbon should pick up free tickets at any KLPX event or area Pizza Hut, although non-ticket holders may participate.

Arrive at the ballpark before 6 p.m. to be a part of the ribbon and receive a yellow card to hold up. And after the ribbon is completed, participants can watch the Arizona Heat for free at 7:30 p.m. --I.M.


Off the Back Wall

Back Alley Film Festival
8 p.m., Saturday, May 28
Behind Bison Witches Bar, 326 N. Fourth Ave.
www.backalleyfilmfestival.com

As a filmmaker interested in showing his films to the public, Joshua Dragotta came up with an ingenious idea in 2001 while working at Bison Witches Bar. "The biggest thing is getting your art to be seen by someone. I saw the wall (behind the bar) and thought it would be a cool place to have a screen and show my films. We painted a mural that said 'Back Alley Cinema' and a big white screen. A few days later, we showed our films." Dragotta and co-founder Erik Hulten had created the Back Alley Film Festival.

Now in its seventh occurrence, the festival will offer 16 films, ranging from three minutes to 20. The free event is suggested for those 21 and older. Some 300 chairs will be set up in the alley in front of the 30-by-50-foot painted screen.

Five of the 16 films will be from local filmmakers. "I look for local films," says Dragotta. "Having filmmakers who are there to represent the city is very important to me."

One of the local films to be shown is the horror-mystery The Bombardier, directed by Timothy Gassen. The 10-minute film will premiere at the festival and features actor Joe Jones.

The slate includes national and international works. Dragotta chooses the films from entries posted at his Web site. He looks for films that are well made and look as professional as possible. He puts together a variety of films ranging from animation to horror.

There will be two breaks between the films, with a two-minute gap between each one. Dragotta says he likes to keep the evening laid back, with the ability for viewers to get up and come and go, walk around or get a drink. That keeps the night going, he says. --I.M.


Monkey Around

Curious George Celebration
11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, May 30, and Tuesday, May 31
Tucson Children's Museum, 200 S. Sixth Ave.
www.tucsonchildrensmuseum.org

Bring your cameras: Curious George is coming to town. The Tucson Children's Museum is holding a two-day event featuring the eponymous star of the book series written by Hans and Margret Rey.

Meet the monkey, hear the stories and build a mask as part of each day's schedule of events. George's friend the Man in the Yellow Hat might also make an appearance, said Peggy Solis, director of public relations and marketing for the museum.

Each day features a similar schedule: Visitors can to meet the monkey at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.

"There is a bigger shot of seeing George," Solis said.

Book readings happen at noon and 2 p.m. both days. On Tuesday, the noon reading will be conducted in Spanish by University of Arizona professor Alba Nora Martinez.

The mischievous Curious George, dubbed "everyone's favorite monkey," actually debuted in France in 1935 as one of the characters in the book Ragi et les 9 Singes (Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys). The Reys chose to expand on George with more stories, but before they could do anything with them, they had to flee Europe for safety reasons, according to publisher Houghton Mifflin.

The first Curious George book debuted in the United States in 1941. During the 1940s, seven George books--considered the original set--were written. Others have been added to the collection since then, and Curious George books have sold more than 25 million copies.

The event at the museum marks the start of their summer, Solis said. The museum will now be open seven days a week.

There is no extra cost for attending the Curious George activities. The museum's general admission prices are $3.50 for children ages 2-16, $5.50 for adults and $4.50 for seniors. Children under 2 are free. --M.W.


A Multifaceted Show

The Mat Bevel Show: Emotional Swing
8 p.m., Friday, May 27, through Sunday, May 29
Mat Bevel Institute, 530 N. Stone Ave.
www.matbevel.com

The upcoming installment of the all-ages Mat Bevel Show aims to immerse audiences while taking on life's Emotional Swing. Unless you've had a previous brush with Bevelvision, it may be like nothing you've ever seen before.

This one-man, multi-character show is the brainchild of artist Ned Schaper, aka Mat Bevel, who performs four characters for this month's live performance at his eponymous center for community artisans. Since the start of Schaper's General Belief Systems Technology Project in 1987, he has developed 48 characters so far.

Audiences can expect poetry, music, dance and skits all meshed into the hour-long show.

"I put everything I can to create an original experience," says Schaper. "When you have an experience, you should have it as deep as you can have it."

This helps explain the complexity of themes and elements that go into a performance from his Surrealistic Pop Science Theater.

The Mat Bevel Show also highlights conservation and resourcefulness: Items that have been disposed of are built into props, costumes, instruments ... everything.

"It's the stuff our civilization has left behind," Schaper says of the leftovers of materialism in the march of time. People even bring Schaper items for theatrical reuse.

A constantly evolving work, Schaper hopes to take the show to the worldwide audience through interactive webcasts.

This month's performance, Emotional Swing, is the fourth of a five-part series that started in January. The cost of admission is $10.

The next Mat Bevel Show, Host of the Cosmic Toast, will arrive in June. --M.W.

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