"Relight the Night"
5 p.m., Saturday, April 10
4625 E. Broadway Blvd.
For the first time in more than 25 years, the torches in front of the legendary Kon Tiki will be ablaze this weekend.
On Saturday, Kon Tiki and Velvet Glass Mosaics are presenting "Relight the Night," an event to celebrate the relighting of the gas-powered tiki torches near the Kon Tiki sign.
The classic tiki bar has been open since 1963. Mark Bloom—a loyal customer and fan of Kon Tiki—and his partner, Maggie Rickard (who together operate Velvet Glass Mosaics), are planning the event.
Bloom said Kon Tiki looks pretty much the same as it did when it opened 47 years ago.
"It's not just tiki history; it's Tucson history," he said about the bar/restaurant. "Kon Tiki didn't just change and go with what was cool that year. They kept it genuine and vintage."
Available for purchase at "Relight the Night" will be limited-edition tiki mugs designed by Bloom and Rickard and sculpted by Dave "Squid" Cohen.
"There's nothing us tiki folks love more than a tiki mug," Bloom said.
Vendors—including tiki artists Doug Horn, Eric October and Ken Ruzic—will set up outside of Kon Tiki at 5 p.m. The Hana Shirt Company, a Tucson company that's reportedly the world's largest seller of vintage Hawaiian shirts, will also be present.
A fire performance by Flam Chen, with music from The Disillusionists, will take place as the torches are lit.
"There aren't too many tiki bars left. It hasn't been messed around with," said Bloom about Kon Tiki. "It's the real deal, and the drinks aren't bad, either."
Admission is $12 in advance, and $15 at the door; with each ticket, you'll receive a free Kon Tiki shot glass. —T.D.
The Voices of Elders
"Growing Up Chicana in Morenci, Arizona"
2 p.m., Tuesday, April 13
Dusenberry River Branch Library
5605 E. River Road
Elena Díaz Björkquist wants people to know what Morenci was like before it became an open-pit mining town.
Björkquist is from Morenci and grew up listening to stories from the elders in her town—people she looked up to and respected. Later in life, Björkquist interviewed 10 Chicano elders to get their oral history on record.
"I knew I needed to get their stories down, because they wouldn't write them," she said.
Of the 10 people she interviewed for her project, only two are still alive.
"Doing this project, I was able to preserve their lives and their voices," Björkquist said. The participants' great-grandchildren have told her how great it is to hear their ancestors' stories in their own words and in their own voices, she said.
She interviewed them about all aspects of their lives, including the Great Depression, World War II and marriage. "The words are dynamic," she said. "You can feel how those of us who grew up there felt about losing our town."
To Björkquist, the most important part of her project is that she is able to share these stories with those who weren't able to hear them first hand—and while doing this, she is able to save a bit of the history of Morenci.
At her talk on Tuesday, Björkquist will discuss the women she interviewed for her project. She will also share their words and read a piece from her memoir. She also feels it's important to see Morenci through its transitions, so she'll include a PowerPoint presentation with pictures of the town.
Admission to the talk is free. —T.D.
Fuzzy State of Mind
HYPNOVIDEO hypnosis show
9 p.m., Saturday, April 10
Monsoon Nightclub at the Desert Diamond Hotel Casino
7350 S. Nogales Highway
At 7 years old, Dominick DeCarlo started begging his parents to buy him a hypnosis kit.
He would pretend to hypnotize his friends using a small, black-and-white hypnodisk. Now, 33 years later, DeCarlo is using the same disk—but he isn't pretending anymore.
DeCarlo currently has what he calls the biggest produced hypnosis show in the world. His trademarked genre of hypnosis, called HYPNOVIDEO, takes 21 hypnotized audience members scene by scene through a hypnotized journey.
"I try to make a kind of Broadway production for the hypnotized. The whole show is coordinated to backdrops such as video, music and photography," he said. "I am working with a cast of characters I don't even know."
DeCarlo said he has about a 70 percent success rate when it comes to putting audience members under the effects of hypnosis—a process he said most people can understand.
"How many times do people get a glass of water, take a pill and chug the water, and then 15 minutes later, they can't remember if they took the pill or not?" he said.
DeCarlo said he had amazing results the first time he actually tried to hypnotize someone.
"I was in Mexico, and a friend of mine said he would love for me to try to hypnotize him," said DeCarlo—and lo and behold, he went under.
"I made him cry and laugh; I made it where he was shivering," he said.
DeCarlo said 90 percent of the people who wake up after being hypnotized during his show do not recall a thing they did or said.
He asks his participants, "'Do you remember being Lady Gaga? Being Miss America? Watching the funniest movie?' 'Nope,' they reply," he said.
Admission is $5 for men, and free for women. —W.F.
J. Peterman Meets Billy Flynn
7:30 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday, April 13-15; 8 p.m., Friday, April 16; 2 and 8 p.m., Saturday, April 17; 1 and 6:30 p.m., Sunday, April 18
Tucson Convention Center Music Hall
260 S. Church Ave.
John O'Hurley—best known for playing J. Peterman on Seinfeld and finishing on top during the first season of Dancing With the Stars—is going to be dancing in Tucson this coming week.
O'Hurley stars as Billy Flynn in the traveling production of Chicago.
"We're both complex and disciplined. We have an urbane sense of sophistication," said O'Hurley, comparing himself to the legendary character. "I bless him with my sense of humor and my sense of theatrics. He's his own man. I play him for what he is—sometimes he's the hero, and sometimes he's the villain."
O'Hurley started out his acting career on Broadway, and said he's more than happy to get back to his roots.
"I like the fact that I have to go to work in the 10 most exciting blocks in the world," O'Hurley said about Broadway. "One million people are trying to get there at the same time you are. Taking the audience on a journey for 2 1/2 hours is a nice feeling."
Although O'Hurley said he likes performing on Broadway, he doesn't play favorites when it comes to the many things he does, whether it's acting, hosting or performing live. "I have an eclectic nature. I can embrace singing, dancing or acting, humorously or seriously," he said.
As for his current gig, O'Hurley sang its praises: "I look at Chicago as one of the great musicals. The music is the best, and it has the best choreography and story."
Tickets are $30 to $75, with discounts available for students, military members and seniors. —T.D.