City Week

Beautifying the Barrio

Rebuilding Together Tucson Summer Survival Project
7 a.m. to Noon, Saturday, June 18
Barrio Hollywood

When many people think about the underprivileged in society, they tend to think about a homeless man living under a bridge, or a bag lady sitting on a bench. They usually don't consider that people in need could have homes of their own. The nonprofit group Rebuilding Together Tucson does.

Rebuilding Together is an organization devoted to helping elderly, low-income and disabled homeowners make repairs to their houses that they could not afford to make on their own.

The Tucson affiliate was founded in 1992, and in 1993, the organization helped fix up 14 houses. Since then, Rebuilding Together Tucson has grown to a point where its volunteers can make repairs such as painting chipped walls and fixing damaged roofs on between 40 and 50 homes a year.

Because there are always more homes that need repair than there are people and resources to fix them, Rebuilding Together Tucson selects homes to receive assistance by choosing one neighborhood, and having people who live there assess which houses need help the most. Then the neighbors help the homeowner in need fill out a form for assistance, which is then sent to Rebuilding Together Tucson employees for approval. The whole process becomes a community project.

On Saturday, Rebuilding Together Tucson will be focusing its attention on Barrio Hollywood, which is located near Speedway and Interstate 10. Skilled volunteers are particularly needed, but anyone can help out.

"It's an unusual volunteer experience," Rebuilding Together Tucson employee Kyrin Alves said. "It's definitely fun, but the best part is they get to meet the people they are helping."

To register to volunteer or donate, call the office at 294-7765 or online at --S.B.

This Magic Moment

Stage Magician of the Year Contest
7 p.m., Monday, June 20; doors open at 6 p.m.
Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd.

The Local Society of American Magicians will be pulling more than rabbits out of their hats when they put on their annual "Stage Magician of the Year" contest. The contest, one of two fundraisers the group does, will be brimming with many different kinds of tricks and magic.

"It always turns out to be a really, really good show," said society member Norm Marini, who will also be the master of ceremonies.

The show will have five contestants, all of whom wish to wow the crowds and the judges.

"It showcases the newest talent in town, as well as older magicians with acts they think will win," Marini said.

Contestants want to be the top magician, because winning means more than just a title. "This is sort of a preliminary for 'Stars of Magic,'" Marini said. "Stars of Magic" is a larger fundraiser show the society puts on in August, and the winner from the "Stage Magician of the Year" contest will go on to perform in it later this summer.

People can expect anything from dove acts to full-blown stage illusions, Marini said.

Contestants will be judged on their opening act, appearance, performance presence, skill development, presentation and entertainment value. Judges will include magician George Franzen, choreographer Colleen Kelly Beaman and veteran society member and experienced magician Joe DuPerry, as well as a few randomly selected audience members. Last year's winning act, Michael and Billie DeSchalit, will perform while the scores are tallied.

Tickets are $10 and are available at Williams Magic and Novelties, 6528 E. 22nd St., at 790-4060 and at the door the night of the show. --S.B.

Deadly Royal Hijinks

Shakespeare Under The Stars: Richard III
7 p.m., Thursdays-Sundays, through June 26
DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center
Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way
791-4873, Ext. 125

Richard III was a jerk. That may well be a compliment for the villainous King of England, portrayed by Shakespeare as a determined usurper of the throne.

For two weekends, an all-volunteer cast will perform one of William Shakespeare's most well-known dramas, The Tragedy of Richard III. The presentation marks the 18th annual version of Shakespeare Under the Stars at Reid Park.

The play might not be as recognizable by its title as it is by its most famous lines: "A horse, a horse; my kingdom for a horse," Richard III laments in his last moments. Earlier, he states that "now is the winter of our discontent."

Despite the heavy themes, the show is "one of the most family-friendly of Shakespeare's dramas," says event coordinator Jim Klingenfus. Richard III was the fourth and final historical play he wrote, this one based on 15th-century royalty.

Most of the sizable cast has previous professional experience, as does director David Felix, who directed Macbeth for Shakespeare Under the Stars two years ago. Past shows include Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing and Anthony and Cleopatra.

The seating arrangements are bring-your-own, but it is fairly easy to get a good view, Klingenfus says. Refreshments will be available, including a coffee vendor.

"Feel free to bring food into the park," he says, but keep in mind glass is not allowed on the premises.

The shows are at the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, in the northwest part of the park. The easiest way to get there is through the entrance on Country Club Road, Klingenfus says.

The shows, which happen nightly from Thursday to Sunday this weekend and next, start at 7 p.m.

Plus, they're free. Who can beat that? --M.W.

Hell on Wheels

Roller Derby: Furious Truckstop Waitresses vs. Iron Curtain
7 p.m., Saturday, June 18
Bladeworld, 1065 W. Grant Road

Their names sound aggressive, and their attires are themed to match their teams. The music is loud, and the action is fast.

It means that the women of Tucson Roller Derby are back on the track for another bout this Saturday.

The Furious Truckstop Waitresses, last year's league champions, will take on the Iron Curtain. In April, the Iron Curtain shot down the visiting Surly Gurlies from the Arizona Roller Derby league of Phoenix. The Furious Truckstop Waitresses have been undefeated so far this season.

Roller derby, which is a real sport, started loosely in 1935 as a distance race run on a circular track, similar to a human Indianapolis 500, but on a much-more compact scale. Entrepreneur Leo Seltzer found almost immediately that the excitement came when the skaters collided. The games became oriented towards that element of the show, introducing a new set of rules.

The goal for a team is to have their jammer--often a smaller, faster skater who always starts at the back--burst through the blockers of the other team, scoring points by coming around the track again and passing members of the opposing team. What results is usually a giant traffic jam of skaters.

Roller derby was popular in the 1950s, but sanctioning-organization issues during the 1970s caused it to become relatively dormant. Only recently has roller derby seen an upswing. For Tucson's league, the first teams were formed in 2003. There are three teams competing this season.

Tucson Roller Derby uses a flat track--and yes, the injuries are real.

Tickets are $8 in advance (available online at and $10 on the day of the derby. --M.W.

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