City Week

Setting Tucson Ablaze

Ignite Tucson
7 p.m., Thursday, July 31
the Screening Room
127 E. Congress St.

While many Tucsonans think it couldn't possibly get any hotter this time of year, the creative folks at Dinnerware Artspace are ready to heat things up with Ignite Tucson.

Ignite Tucson is a chance for anyone to stand up in front of a group for five minutes and discuss a topic--absolutely any topic--that "awes" or "inspires" you, says David Aguirre, of Dinnerware Artspace. The presenter will also have a PowerPoint project consisting of 20 slides, with each slide running for 15 seconds, projected on a big screen behind them, Aguirre says.

Aguirre described the event as full of "networking, laughing and free thinking." And don't worry; Nimbus will be providing beer if you need a little liquid courage before presenting.

Five people had already signed up to present as of our press deadline, and Aguirre says he expects about 10 more to step up.

The staff at Dinnerware Artspace discovered a Web site for an Ignite Portland event and thought, "Why not do that in Tucson?" Aguirre says.

Next week's Ignite Tucson is just a chance for Dinnerware Artspace to "get their feet wet" before working on another Ignite Tucson in the fall.

Anyone can sign up for Ignite

Tucson, but first must contact Aguirre in advance, by phone or e-mail. All PowerPoint presentations must be made beforehand and be on a CD or DVD, able to run on a Macintosh. A $5 donation is suggested, for the Screening Room and to help cover the cost of the Nimbus beer. --C.E.

Southwest Through the Ages

"The Cantina Show"
7 p.m., Monday, July 28
the Gaslight Theatre
7010 E. Broadway Blvd.
760-3000 or 886-9428;

The performers of Twilight Productions are ready to come out of hiding.

The local troupe, consisting of dancers, musicians and actors, usually performs for visiting Fortune 500 companies or acts as resort entertainment, but with the first-ever performance of "The Cantina Show" at the Gaslight Theatre, they are ready to show their fellow Tucsonans what they can do.

"For many of the performers, it's a chance to show their family and friends what they do, since 99 percent of them haven't seen it," says Nick Seivert of Twilight Productions. "It's an opportunity to perform in front of them for the first time."

The approximately two-hour show's theme is "a taste of the Southwest," and it includes a look at the various decades of country music and dance from the turn of the century to now, Seivert says. The show features the five-piece Big Country Band, a variety of dance numbers (including a can-can section!) and comedy routines.

"It's fun, fast-paced and full of audience participation," Seivert says. "There's also great dancing."

The show will also feature numbers from Twilight Productions' other theme shows, including "Biker Bash," "Star-Spangled USO Show" and a number from "Hot Salsa Nights."

"It's a clean, beautiful product," Seivert says. "It's pure. And no Tucson audience has seen it."

Seivert also promises that the Cantina Show is appropriate for all ages.

"The Gaslight has rigorous standards," he says. "This show is a good fit for their family series."

Tickets are $15.95 for adults and $11 for children younger than 12, seniors and active military. Food and beverages are available. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and reservations are highly recommended. --C.E.

Edgy Art

"Living on the Edge"
Opening Reception 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, July 26
Exhibit on display Noon to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays and Sundays; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays, through Aug. 15
Central Arts Gallery
274 E. Congress St.

The Central Arts Gallery is holding an opening reception for its new exhibit, Living on the Edge--and it has nothing to do with that mid-'90s Aerosmith song.

"Some of our members came up with the idea that living on the edge is more interesting," says Amy Glor, the gallery manager for Central Arts Gallery. "... Living on the edge is trying to intentionally shift our focus and our perspective to see what else we can see when we look at something we normally wouldn't."

Besides being the gallery manager, Glor is one of the artists whose work is on display in the show.

"I'm a photographer. ... I do computer-enhanced photos," says Glor. "I do Photoshop and I fool around with it. This particular photo is a picture of the old Alamo Apartments, which is a historic building just on the edge of downtown. For me, that's where the edge came into the picture."

The Central Arts Gallery is a collective, where more than 40 different local artists chip in to pay dues for rent and gallery maintenance, in exchange for allowing their work to be on display. It began in May of this year with their first meeting, after David Aguirre began asking local artists to take part in a new collective.

"A lot of us are kind of part-time artists," says Glor. "We've got other, full-time day jobs. This is something where our art is always something that we wanted to take more seriously, but didn't really have the chance, or the place to do it. I think now we've all found somewhere where we can let our art out."

The gallery showing is free, and remains on display until Aug. 15. --J.G.

Tunes for Your Mental Health

Damaris Drewry in Concert
7 p.m., Thursday, July 31
Galeria Mistica
2318 S. Fourth Ave.

Damaris Drewry is singing next Thursday at the Galeria Mistica. She also has more than 20 years of experience in counseling, and a doctorate in psychology.

The link between music and counseling might not be immediately apparent, but it does exist.

"My music and my private counseling are all about the empowerment of the individual, because I do believe that people have the right and the power to heal anything," says Drewry. "People can take power back to be able to heal their lives, and there are a lot of ways to do that, and music is a very profound way to trigger healing on any level. It's not the entire answer, but when you feel an emotional response to music, it can open up doors that have been shut for years."

Drewry says that she is usually focused on folk music, but this time, she'll play more pop songs. Those songs won't change her overall music focus, though.

"Basically, everything I do is music with a message. I don't like to sing music that accentuates the negative. I like to sing music that accentuates the positive, and that means something--music with a meaning. That's the music I write, music with meaningful lyrics, uplifting. Instead of focusing on what doesn't work, I focus on what does work."

Drewry has been singing for most of her life, though she has endured stretches without performing; she says those have been difficult times.

"When I went for my doctorate, I went for a number of years without singing at all, which was hard on the soul. Singing and music is what really feeds my soul. Getting back into it in the last six months is wonderful for me."

Tickets are $15. A CD of Drewry's music is available for an additional $10. --J.G.

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