City Week

Radio Redefined

Old Time Radio Theatre: Three Skeleton Key

8 p.m., next Thursday, Dec. 31

Beowulf Alley Theatre

11 S. Sixth Ave.


Before Mom and Dad could TiVo Full House reruns and watch them with the kids after dinner, families got together to listen to radio shows. With no visual stimulation, everyone had to rely on pure imagination to set the scene.

The Old Time Radio Theatre program at Beowulf Alley Theatre seeks to re-create the radio stories of yesteryear—and the resulting shows are not your typical play-going experiences.

"In their voices and their facial expressions, (those onstage) will be acting, but not moving around the stage the way they normally would be," says Beth Dell, managing director at Beowulf Alley.

The audience will see actors reading the script, and people creating sound effects to supplement the story—like, say, scraping shoes across gravel. Other sounds will come from the Foley sound system that the Beowulf crew re-created to match the sound on the original shows.

Dell says that the fun lies in the ability to close your eyes and get lost in the story as it is being told.

The program usually includes two shows per a month, but on New Year's Eve, Beowulf will present Three Skeleton Key during First Night, an event put on by the Downtown Tucson Partnership. But that shouldn't stop you from escaping into the world of rats and a lonely lighthouse, first narrated on the radio by Vincent Price; this play is recommended for people 10 and older. For the younger folks, Old Time Radio Theatre will present Pinocchio at 5 p.m.

Buttons for First Night cost $12 for adults, $6 for children 6 to 12, and are free to children 5 and younger; they allow access to all First Night activities. (Normal adult OTRT admission is $8.) —E.N.

Creating With Lasers

Arts for All show

6 a.m. to midnight, daily, through Thursday, Dec. 31

Epic Café

745 N. Fourth Ave.


Life tends to move really fast this time of year—so it's important to remember to take some time to chill out before getting back to the daily grind.

Tucson's Arts for All is holding an art show at Epic Café through Dec. 31. What better way to chill out is there than grabbing some coffee and a snack, and checking out some art?

Arts for All is a nonprofit group that offers art classes to children and adults; both people with and without disabilities take their classes, so everyone has a chance to create artwork. The program hosts camps and focuses on giving anyone training and experience in the arts.

The art at Epic Café includes works done using laser art technique, or LAT, which allows people with limited mobility to become artists.

How does art with lasers work?

"There's a laser attached to headgear, and the artist points; another person acts as a tracker and paints where the artist is pointing," says Christine Melnyczenko, a coordinator at Arts for All.

Melnyczenko says the process can be lengthy, but it offers everyone a chance to express themselves.

"All artists can work toward the same goals with LAT," she says.

This show in particular is dedicated to Jared Esquibel, who recently passed away. Esquibel was a participant in the Arts for All programs and did work using LAT.

For more information on the program, check out the Web site. —A.P.

Optical Illusions

The Aurora Show

Various times through Friday, Jan. 15

Gallery 2402

2402 N. Campbell Ave.


It's not too often that science and art explicitly come together to forge something both unique and beautiful.

In the case of optical-filter scientist David Cushing, science and art came together perfectly. Cushing used aluminum foil and evaporated a Spectralon coating (something that diffuses reflections), forming molecular bonds (things that stick together).

What does all this science lingo mean? It means colorful pieces that change in color as you walk past them.

After Cushing created the colorful pieces, he brought them into the recently opened Gallery 2402. He knew he had something that was artistic, but felt he needed help from experienced artists. That's where Gallery 2402's owners came in: George Hubbard and Henry El Kaim helped him develop the new medium.

"We made him a couple of pieces, and everything reflects a different wavelength as you look at it from different angles," says Hubbard. "There are golds, greens, purples and reds."

However, Cushing never got to see his new art fully realized: Before the show debuted, Cushing passed away from cancer, in November.

"We've gone on with the show at the request of his family," says Hubbard. "We came to know him quite well; he was a real gentleman."

The name "aurora" was decided on to describe the medium, since the color spectrums resonate with the Aurora Borealis.

Beside the multicolored wall sculptures, works from other artists are showcased as well, including more sculptures, woodwork, paintings and pottery. The show is formally dedicated to David Cushing.

Gallery 2402 is open Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. —A.P.

Garden Show

The works of David Conklin

8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily (except holidays), through Monday, Jan. 4

Tucson Botanical Gardens

2150 N. Alvernon Way


The Tucson Botanical Gardens is a nice place to get ideas for your own garden, or to just admire the beauty—especially this time of year.

Besides admiring the landscape or working on garden-related activities, you can now go to TBG and enjoy a revamped art gallery and a new teahouse. The current art show features work by painter David Conklin, ranging from portraits and landscapes to wildlife art.

"It's a wonderful way to get the gallery going," says Deborah Baker, the director of art exhibits. "For a small gallery, we have big talent."

Conklin, who lives in Tucson, has shown his work across the United States and Canada, and around the world—when his work was featured in National Geographic magazine.

"We're really proud to show him to the community," says Baker. "How many artists do we know that have had international exposure?"

Baker says Conklin is the perfect artist to introduce the gallery to Tucson and show everyone the high caliber of artists they expect to exhibit. About 25 pieces are on display, she says.

To keep up the high caliber, the gallery will show a collection of colored-pencil artists in January, and after that, the work of photographer Louise Serpa.

Along with the gallery, a new Seven Cups Teahouse has opened, featuring Chinese teas and Japanese desserts. The teahouse is situated under large grapefruit trees and is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.

General admission to the Botanical Gardens is $7 for adults, and $3 for children age 4-12. —A.P.

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