Learn Something New
Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity. There's a trailer for this show on Flaundrau's website that says, "Venture beyond the point of no return... to nature's ultimate no-man's land." Intense, right? Now read it in Liam Neeson's voice. As if black holes weren't mysterious and fascinating and awesome enough, this program at Tucson's favorite planetarium is narrated by the Academy Award-nominated actor himself. You could learn fun things like that scientists believe black holes can be as small as an atom or up to 20x the size of the sun. Or, you might learn that scientists were wrong when they originally thought there was a black hole at the center of our galaxy—there's actually a bunch of 'em at the center of our galaxy. 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, 2 p.m. on Fridays and 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd. Admission is $16 for adults, $12 for kids 4 to 17, free for kids 3 and under and $12 for senior/military/college students with ID. Additional shows are $3.
Clyde Bellecourt Speaks on American Indian Movement: Past, Present and Future. Clyde Bellecourt, also known by his Native American name, Nee Gon Nway Wee Dung, or “Thunder Before the Storm,” is the founder and national director of the American Indian Movement, or AIM, and has been called the most significant living American Indian in the United States. The Ojibwe tribe member has been an advocate for international social justice and equality since he was born in 1936. At this talk, he’ll speak about the past, present and future of the Native American people and challenge cultural stereotypes about them. He’ll also speak about some of the subjects he mentions in his 2016 autobiography, Thunder Before The Storm: his childhood, his time in the prison system and the war he’s waged against entrenched racism. Bellecourt will be doing a signing of his book after the talk. Content of the talk is appropriate for ages 14 and up. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3. Sea of Glass Center for the Arts, 330 E. Seventh St. $25 advance, $35 day of show.JourneyDance First Saturdays. It's too hot to work out outside, so you might as well try out a new type of exercise. Why not JourneyDance? This dance form, which combines freestyle and structured movement to help you get off your mind and into your body, is being taught in Tucson by Joanna Carichner, a certified JourneyDance facilitator. All bodies are welcome! Seriously. You don't have to have any dance experience. AND, to make this event even more low pressure, there will be no mirrors in the classroom, so you really don't have to worry about what you look like. Just focus on feeling good. 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. Tucson Yoga Studio, 150 S. Fourth Ave. $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
Living Lab and Learning Center Tour. Nothing gets you thinking about starting a water harvesting system like monsoon season. And the Watershed Management Group is here to help. With rainwater on tap and almost 100 percent of their water needs met with rainwater, greywater and stormwater, the group's living lab is an excellent demonstration site of sustainable living. The tour is outside, so be prepared for the heat, and bring the kids—they can hang out in the Raindrop Retreat, a children's playhouse with a rain tank, a play kitchen with greywater and a sandbox. 8 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. Watershed Management Group, 1137 N. Dodge Blvd. Free, registration required.
Connecting Plants & People. Head on over to Tohono Chul for this first Saturday event, where you'll learn all about the edible and useful plants of the Sonoran Desert. For example, a saguaro can be used as a weapon if you hit someone with it. And if you dip a prickly pear cactus into your tequila, it automatically becomes a margarita. OK, but seriously, there's all sorts of useful stuff out there, like chia sage, agave and cholla buds, which are all edible. But hey, we just lost credibility on this subject when we told you to whack someone with cactus, so don't take our word for it. Go on this free tour and learn more! 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. Tohono Chul, 7366 Paseo del Norte. Tour is free, admission is $13 adults, $10 senior/military/student, $3 for kids 5 to 12 and free for members and kids under 5.
Token Tuesdays at Cobra Arcade. If you haven't checked out the new arcade bar downtown, then you'd better hustle on over, so that you can play Streetfighter II while drinking a fancy, Donkey Kong-themed cocktail. And you might as well do it on a Tuesday, when they give out free tokens with every drink purchase. Happy hour is 4 to 7 p.m., and they promise there'll never be a cover. So stop in this Tuesday! Stop in every Tuesday! And kill some aliens/beat up some bad guys/stack some blocks/do whatever you gotta do. 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7. Cobra Arcade Bar, 63 E. Congress. Free entry.
Summer Safari Nights at Reid Park Zoo. Holy moly! This is the last Summer Safari Night of the year! How did we get here? While it's hard to believe it's already been three months' worth of learning, live music and lemurs, the zoo is closing out the season with a great program about the care and training of their animals. What's it like to work at a zoo? Which animals are the neediest, and what sorts of needs do they have? Now's your chance to learn, with a night starring elephants, tigers, goats, tamanduas, owls and baby alligators. Michael P. & the Gully Washers are bringing the live music, and—as always—enjoy food and drink specials, animal biofacts and wildlife activities. 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court. $10.50 adults, $8.50 seniors, $6.50 children ages 2 to 14. Half off for zoo members.
Cool Summer Nights at the Desert Museum. Over in the jungle (the mighty jungle), the lion is sleeping tonight. But here in the desert (the Sonoran Desert), bats, owls and kangaroo rats are just a few of the animals that are out and about after dark. This week's "Creatures of the Night" theme features two 45-minute "Live and (sort of) on the Loose" presentations by staff members from the herpetology department all about the Sonoran Desert Region's venomous reptiles. Jay Pierstorff will also lead a class about what to look for if you're thinking about buying a mirrorless camera. As usual, the Packrat Playhouse, the Stingray Touch Exhibit, family art activities, the art exhibit "Becoming Animal" and plenty of docent stations will be on hand as well. 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road. $22 GA, $20 seniors 65 and up, $9 kids 2 to 12, $18 military, $17 Arizona/Sonora resident.
Art and History
Free First Thursdays at TMA. We are somehow entering the eighth month of the year, even though we could have sworn we rung in the new year at Hotel Congress just last week. But another month means another free night of live music, art-making and unique gallery experiences at the Tucson Museum of Art. You'll have a chance to hang out with some of the Arizona Biennial 2018 artists when you create a pipe cleaner "mini-me" with Don Porcella, participate in a performance with Malena Barnhart and hat with Willie Bonner and Yana Payusova. Dancers from Hawkinsdance will be performing with objects on view for the biennial exhibit, and Gabriel Naim Amor will perform live music from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2. Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, 140 N. Main Ave. Free.
First Fridays at the Arizona History Museum. Looking for something to do near campus while you wait for First Fridays at The Loft to start? Why not learn about some of Arizona's fascinating history? Admission to the Arizona History Museum is two for one from 4 to 8 p.m. on the first Friday of every month, which gives you a perfect chance to check out their History Lab exhibit, which includes steampunk-themed, community member-curated exhibits about subjects like Tucson's early brewers, Tucson's black history and the mine workers of Bisbee. You can even create your own exhibit in History Lab's DIY activity! 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3. Arizona History Museum, 949 E. Second St. Regular prices are $10 adults, $8 seniors 65+, $5 adult students, $4 7 to 17-year-olds and free for kids 6 and under, AHS members, veterans and military. This event is two for one!
Theater and Performances
Tapestry, the Carole King Songbook. Get ready to feel like a Natural Woman. And get ready to do it in three-part harmony! Because Katherine Byrnes, Crystal Stark and Janée Page are joining forces to bring you some of this soul singer's greatest hits. Jeff Haskell, Ed Delucia, Fed Hayes and Ryan Alfred will be there to really get the earth moving under your feet as well. You've heard of the King of Queens, but the poster for this event says (brilliantly) "the Queens of King." And if that doesn't sound like a good time, then what does? 7 p.m. Monday Aug. 6. Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway. $22.95 adult, $20.95 senior/student/military, $12.95 kids.
The Last Five Years. Roadrunner Theatre Company presents this Jason Robert Brown musical that almost got Jason Robert Brown sued, because it's all about the disintegrating relationship between him and his ex-wife. It's a beautiful, hilarious relatable musical though, about two characters—Jamie and Cathy—falling in and out of love. Jamie tells the story chronologically, so his story arc goes from blissful to resigned, and Cathy tells the story in reverse chronological order, so while her first song is about dealing with a divorce, her last is about the excitement of a new relationship. The two characters only interact onstage in the very middle, when they meet for a duet about their wedding. Go see Chach Snook and Jodi Darling star in this production directed by Mark Klugheit. Friday, Aug. 3 through Sunday, Aug. 26. 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Roadrunner Theatre Company, 8892 E. Tanque Verde Road. $25 GA, $22 seniors and students, $18 military and starving actors.
The Bennet Theatre Lab's Festival of Plays. It's been 10 years since the Bennett TheatreLab started teaching Tucson actors all about Stanislavsky's physical theater method. To celebrate, they're putting on three productions that actors from their intensive training program have been preparing for for nine months: Agnes of God by John Pielmeier, Red by John Logan and a Mime & Scene Showcase. (That last one features original work created by internationally acclaimed master mime artists Rick Wamer and Grant Bashore.) Support local theatre! And go enjoy some seriously good performances. I bet you don't even remember the last time you went to a mime showcase, so treat yourself! Showtimes vary. Thursdays through Sundays from Thursday, Aug. 2 to Sunday, Aug. 12. Scoundrel and Scamp Theatre, 738 N. Fifth Ave. Presale GA tickets are $20 or $50 for a three-day festival pass (or $15 for students, teachers and seniors).
Odyssey Storytelling Presents: Red Flags. That guy you were dating who said he still lived with his parents because "it's complicated." That job you had in college where your boss told you he'd "pay you when he could." The 2016 presidential campaign season. At this event, seven local storytellers will tell true tales about times in their own lives that they've ignored red flags—or even failed to notice them. After all, hindsight is 20/20. It'll be a fun way to support local artists, and to remind yourself that you're not the only one who's made this mistake. 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2. The Sea of Glass Center for the Arts, 330 E. Seventh St. $10 GA, $7 student with ID.
Fun in General
Dog Days of Summer at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Friendly reminder that you can purchase a membership for your dog to TBG for through September (usually $3 per visit) for just 20 bucks. If you didn't think a visit to the gardens could get any more idyllic, imagine bringing your best canine pal in with you! They'll get cute little custom canine membership cards that attach to their collar or leash, and their dog siblings can be added to memberships for just $10 each. Buy your membership now to get the most out of it, but make sure you bring your dogs to the garden the morning of Thursday, Aug. 23, where you can get dog portraits done—just $10 for one pose or $15 for two. 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, and 4:30 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, through Sunday, Sept. 30. Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. Human admission is $15 GA, $13 seniors and $8 kids 4 to 17.
End of Summer! Family Funday at the Farmers Market. Summer might not be quite over yet, but Family Fundays are almost over, so you might as well enjoy the celebration at Trail Dust Town. This week, enjoy tunes by Mr. Nature's Music Garden at 10 a.m., the ever-popular 'Spin the Wheel' game and a hula hoop area for kids provided by Cirque Roots. AND there will be face painting. Sure, it's still hot out. But that doesn't mean you can't have a great time! 8 a.m. to noon, Friday, Aug 3. Trail Dust Town, 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road. Free entry. Wristbands with unlimited Ferris wheel, carousel and train access are $6.
Salsa Fiesta. Just when you thought you were going to have a weekend off from driving over to Apple Annie's, they go and throw an event like this one. Try free samples of their homemade salsas, and then get 20 percent off on any salsa you purchase. Tomatoes, chili peppers and jalapenos will all be 20 percent off as well when you buy five pounds are more, and will be perfect to make your own salsa with at home. Not sure how to make salsa? Take home a delicious salsa recipe for free as well. You'd better stock up on chips. 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 4, 5, 11 and 12. Apple Annie's Produce Farm location, 6405 W. Williams Road. Free.
Sensory Friendly Autism Job Fair. If you or someone you know is on the autism spectrum, then a typical job fair might sound like a nightmare (even more so than it does for a neurotypical person). So this event, organized by a group of agencies dedicated to supporting employment for people with disabilities, might be a great opportunity to find some employment. Chapel Haven West, the Beacon Group, the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities, RSA, WorkAbility, Linkages, ARIZONA AT WORK and the Autism Society of Southern Arizona have come together, and there will be 15 employers in attendance! 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8. Brookline College, 5441 E. 22nd Street. Free.
Southeast Arizona Birding Festival. One of the cooler parts about summer in Arizona is that there's a bird festival in town every week or so. And this is one of the biggest! This four-day festival is full of half -and full-day trips, evening owling trips and overnight field trips to some of the best birding sites in this area of the state. Workshops range from the secrets of hummingbird photography to educational sessions on bats and moths. If you're just dipping your toes into birding, check out the free nature expo with talks, vendors and kids activities. If you're very much into birding, don't miss the keynote speaker, Bill Thompson, co-publisher of Bird Watcher's Digest. Various times from Wednesday, Aug. 12 to Sunday, Aug. 15. Prices vary depending on what parts of the festival you're attending. Register at tucsonaudubon.org.