Shrek The Musical. If you think Shrek was good (and of course you thought Shrek was good, because Shrek is excellent), then wait 'til you see Shrek the Musical. You get way more backstory on Shrek and Fiona's childhoods, you get a much-expanded version of the scene where the two try to out-fart one another, and you (of course) get a lot more singing. The Tucson branch of the national group Christian Youth Theater, a theater arts training program for students 8 to 14, is putting on their rendition of the Tony award-winning musical over at Pima Community College. Head on ogre and see the show before it's too late! 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25, and Friday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27, and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 28. PCC Center for the Arts, 2202 W. Anklam Road. $15 in advance, $17 at the door, $13 per ticket for groups of 12 or more.
Presto! An Afternoon of Magic, Comedy and Illusion. Tucson is always surprising us with what it has to offer. For example, did you know that we have two of our very own international award-winning illusionists, John Shyrock and Mari Lynn? They're teaming up with magician/comedian John George for an afternoon of wonder, high-energy and lots and lots of laughter. They've performed hundreds of sold-out shows together over the last decade, and now's your turn to get in on the magic. Have you ever gone to see a kick-ass magic show on a Sunday afternoon and regretted it? We didn't think so. Get your tickets now. 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. Gaslight Music Hall, 13005 N. Oracle Road, Oro Valley. $25, with discounts for kids, students, seniors and military.
GLOWeen! It's the final GLOW! event of the season, so find your most glowing ghoul costume and head over to the Triangle L. Ranch to get your illumination on one last time. Beautiful art pieces will be lighting up the paths of the event, but if you do your part, you'll be lighting it up too! The Oracle Art Ensemble and hypnopad will be providing music on the paths, and the Kings of Pleasure will provide music on the mainstage from 9 to 11 p.m. Laurel Wilson will be performing "Death Wears a Miniskirt," and everyone who's anyone will be participating in the costume contest! Plus, performances by Circus Amperion, tarot card readings by Felicitas and Chad and food and (non-alcoholic) drinks available all night! 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Triangle L Ranch, 2805 N. Triangle L Ranch Road, Oracle. $21.44 adults 13 and up, $12.86 kids 4 to 12 and free for kids 3 and under.
The Green Valley Concert Band outdoor concert. Live music always has a certain power to it. But put a concert underneath a Tucson sunset, and you're really in for a treat. The band is playing as part of the city's Joy of Music: Emotion and Variety series, and they'll have a few seasonally and regionally appropriate delights. Keep an ear out for some spooky Halloween sounds, and stay vigilant so you don't miss the cowboy singalong opportunity. All are welcome! 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. Historic Canoa Ranch, 5375 I-19 Frontage Road, Green Valley. $10 suggested donation.
The Busy World is Hushed. The Invisible Theatre is continuing their 48th season with this thought-provoking new play by Keith Bunin. When Hannah, an Episcopal Minister, hires Brandt, a young academic, to ghostwrite her controversial new book on the Gnostic Gospels, things are going well. But, out of nowhere, Hannah's estranged son Thomas returns, looking for clues to his father's death, and sparks start to fly between him and Brandt. What are we left with? A love triangle, a story about love and loss, and some questions to ponder about the way faith interacts with feelings. Tuesday, Oct. 30 through Sunday, Nov. 11. Shows at 7:30 p.m. on weeknights, 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and one 7:30 p.m. show on Saturday, Nov. 10. The Invisible Theatre, 140 N. First Ave. $35 GA.
Lights! Camera! Pops! Not really into classical music, but want to be the kind of person who goes to the symphony? This is the night for you. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra will be playing film scores from hits ranging from the 1930s to some of the biggest recent blockbusters. We're talkin' Star Trek, Gone With The Wind, Indiana Jones, On Golden Pond and (of course!) Jaws. Composers will range from Korngold to Steiner to Dave Grusin to John Williams, and TSO's much-loved former music director, Bob Bernhardt, will be returning to conduct all of the action. Get ready to get nostalgic! 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $15 to $78.
Ballet Folklorico Tapatio. Ballet Folklorico Tapatio is celebrating 21 years with this anniversary concert. Just in case you haven't been around Tucson for quite that long, this nonprofit dance group gives kids and young adults the opportunity to learn about Mexican culture and history through dance, and to find their confidence and sense of self-esteem while they do it. They've done a pretty darn good job of building a sense of community over the past couple of decades, and it shows—they'll have more than 150 dancers onstage for this event. Local art, local community and a stage lit up with passion? Why would you miss it? 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. $18.
TMC Get Moving Half-Marathon, 5K and FitKidz Mile. This event not only has a variety of distances to choose from, but it has a huge variety of ways to celebrate after you're done with your race up Sentinel Peak and though downtown. We're talking a vendor expo, a jumping castle for the kids and even a breakfast-after party. Plus, of course, plenty of local bands playing live music to keep you going. There's prizes for top runners within each age group, and plenty of food trucks and post-race snacks to keep you going. Proceeds will help fund local organizations like the Watershed Management group and Team Hoyt Arizona. Early start for the half marathon is at 5:45 a.m. and regular start is at 6:30 a.m. 5K begins at 8 a.m. and FitKidz mile begins at 9 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. Jacome Plaza, 115 N. Church. Half-marathon is $75, 5K is $40 and the FitKidz mile is free.
Mount Lemmon Gravel Grinder. If you're the type of person who doesn't think the phrase "gravel grinder" necessarily has a nice ring to it, we are not judging you—we think it sounds scary too. But if you are the kind of person who enjoys taking 40-, 50- or 60-mile bike rides up the "back side" of the Santa Catalina Mountains along the gravel road that connects Oracle to Summerhaven, you won't want to miss this. You'll challenge yourself mentally and physically, and then—hopefully—you'll reward yourself for a job well done with a day full of festivities, food and drinks at the YMCA-Triangle Y Ranch. This is the third annual iteration of this event, and the first year they've added a fun ride and kids' race. 60 Grind starts at 7:10 a.m., 50 Grind starts at 7:15, 40 Grind starts at 7:20, Fun Ride starts at 8:30 and the Kids' Race starts at 9. Saturday, Oct. 27. YMCA – Triangle Ranch Camp, 34434 S. Y Camp Road, Oracle. $50 to $60.
Spooktacular Sunday at Flandrau. Whether you have kids who love flashing lights or you know you'll be nursing a Saturday-night-Halloween-party-hangover and want to be in a cool, dark, wonderful place, the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium has got you covered with an afternoon of special, Spooktacular programming the Sunday before Halloween. Perfect Little Planet, which takes younger audiences on a tour of our solar system from the perspective of a family visiting from another star system, is at 1 p.m. A Frightlights Halloween Laser Show is showing at both 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and is perfect for anyone who likes Halloween and fun. And We Are Stars, an animated show about cosmic chemistry also geared toward younger audiences, is showing at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd. Flandrau admission is $16 adults and $12 for kids 4 to 17, senior, military and college students with ID, and additional shows are $3 each. Tickets can't be purchased in advance, but they can be reserved at 621-4516 and if you show up 15-20 minutes early to claim them.
Nightmare on Congress St. Three stages. Four bands. Fifth Avenue. It's all going down even bigger and better than ever, because this year, Hotel Congress is taking over Fifth Avenue and adding a third stage on the street. The hotel will be decked out, and performances by The Michigan Rattlers, Black Mood, Alien Atmosphere, The Surfbroads, RJ RipDee and El Tambo will go late into the night. But the highlight? The insane costume contests with more than $3,000 in prizes. So don't forget to bring your costume—this night, and a lot more than that, could end up paying for itself. 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26. Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. $10 GA or $30 VIP. 21+.
Hooligan's Horror Halloween Ball. Flam Chen, Tucson's very own society of fearless fire dancers, is hosting a Halloween party for people who aren't quite fearless fire dancers themselves, but who sure do enjoy watching it. Wear a mask to this masquerade ball and you'll fit right in with Flam Chen's masked performers, the Hooligans, and their cast of creepy characters like the fire dancing twisted sisters, ravenous aerial arachnids and the blood thirsty rabid DJ VAMPYRAT. Dranx and Fun will perform as guest artists. They're billing it as the best Halloween party EVER, and it certainly sounds like it's going to be one for the books. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. MSA Annex, 267 Avenida del Convento. $20 at the door, but $15 if you're in costume, so don't be lame.
Halloween Party at Kartchner Caverns. What's a spookier venue than a cavern? While you try to think of a suitable answer, head on over to Kartchner this Friday evening for some Halloween fun with the kids. There will be plenty of games, crafts, prizes and chances to learn about Halloween's favorite animal, the bat. And don't forget to dress up! (Seriously, any reason to wear a Halloween costume more than one time is a good enough reason for us.) Entry is $7 per vehicle OR one non-perishable food item for each member of your party, to be donated to the Benson Food Bank. A Halloween with heart! 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26. Kartchner Caverns State Park, 2980 AZ-90, Benson.
Boo at the Zoo 2018. There's nothing like a stroll through the Egyptian catacombs, or down Scarecrow Alley, or through a good ol' western skele-town to get you in the Halloween spirit. But is there a way to access all of those in one night? Yes! You can even do it three nights in a row, if you want. You and your family can stroll through all of the zoo's special Halloween areas and stop to play games and meet your favorite superheroes and princesses, as well as a magical wizard, along the way. Check out the fall zone, the steam punk entourage, the winter wonderland, the Pirates of the Scare-ibbean area and Dr. Z's Mad LAB learning center. Older kids might like the Crandell Glass Scary Loop, and everyone will like the pumpkin patch. 6 to 8 p.m. (with 5:30 p.m. early admission for zoo members). Friday, Oct. 26, through Sunday, Oct. 28. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court. $10 non-members, $8 members, free for kids 2 and under.
Oro Valley's Halloween Spooktacular. This Oro Valley Community Center tradition is like fine wine, in that it's only gotten better with time. It is not like fine wine in that it is perfect for kids to enjoy. This year, there's hay rides, more food options and accommodations for more than a thousand costumed kiddos. As always, themed activities, costumed staff and a live DJ will also be around to keep the party lively. If you haven't already, get your costume ready now! And maybe get one with a little extra room, because this event has free candy. 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26. Oro Valley Community Center, 10555 N. La Cañada Drive. Free.
Freddy's Friday Night Cruise-In & Car Show Trunk or Treat. What could make a car show full of some of the most gorgeous vehicles in town, in the cool fall weather, even better? How about candy? The Freddy's Car Show, which happens the last Saturday of every month, is having an extra-special car show this week, in which everyone who brings a car is asked to participate in handing out candy, and everyone who attends the free show can trunk-or-treat their way through the lines of cars. Decorate your car, truck, bike or SUV. And most importantly, decorate yourself in your Halloween costume! Car show is 4 to 9 p.m., and trunk-or-treating starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Freddy's/Native Parking lot, 11143 N. Oracle Road. $10 registration for vehicles, free to trunk-or-treat.
Fun in General
Automata: Miniature Mechanized Narratives. Do you know what an automaton is? It's a little scene that comes to life, traditionally with clockwork mechanisms, but, today, often with a crank that the viewer is invited to wind up to bring the scene to life him or herself. At this exhibit, you'll see more than 40 of these charming lil' creations. Watch a heart use friction to rotate a series of spheres in "Love Makes the World Go Round," or watch a figurine "levitate" in Pierre Mayer's "Fechner's Levitation on Stool." This exhibit is from the collection of metalsmith Michael Croft, and includes the whimsical, clever work of 23 contemporary artists. Showing through Jan. 27. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sundays and closed Mondays and major holidays. The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, 4455 E. Camp Lowell Drive. $9 GA, $8 senior, $6 students and youth 4 to 17.
Pinata Workshop with Monica Velasco. Give a man a pinata and he'll manically whack it to pieces and then fill himself up with pure sugar. Give a man a pinata-making workshop and he will be able to make pinatas, manically whack them to pieces and fill up on pure sugar for the rest of his days. Velasco is a Tucson-based Oaxacan artist who will walk participants through both the history and the craft of pinata making. Everyone starts off with a blank pinata form on which they try out all sorts of traditional decoration techniques, and head home with a pinata that's ready to party! 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art, $60 per person or $100 for a two-person family for MOCA members, and $75 per person or $125 per person for non-members.
Wildcats Football. Do you like watching college football at an ungodly hour of the night with teams wearing toxic colored uniforms? If so, then you're in luck, as the Arizona Wildcats will host the University of Oregon Ducks at Arizona Stadium this Saturday, Oct. 27. The game, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m., pits the Ducks high-powered offense, led by Heisman Trophy candidate QB Justin Herbert, against Arizona's bipolar defense that features future NFL linebackers Colin Schooler and Kylan Wilborn. This week's contest is Arizona's homecoming game, which means there's sure to be fireworks in the sky during the game, even if the on-field fireworks are kept to a minimum by the Ducks' staunch defense.
Feast With the Dearly Departed. There's nothing quite like embracing both the spirit of the Southwest and your own mortality in one event, and we're in the season where we get to start doing that now! The centerpiece of this feast at the Tucson Botanical Gardens is the community-made Ofrenda to memorialize lost loved ones, and which guests are welcome to leave their own notes and mementos at. Traditional music will play the soundtrack to a night full of face painters, sugar skulls and pan de muerto. Plus, plenty of storytelling, drinks and activities for the kids. 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. $15 adults, $8 kids, $8 adult members and $4 child members.
Five Awake. In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Murphy-Wilmot Library is screening this documentary that tells the story of five women in Louisiana who set out to strengthen their state's domestic violence prevention laws. The event, sponsored by Gun Violence Prevention Arizona, will also include a panel of community leaders discussing the ways we can reduce domestic violence in our own community. You'll hear from Anna Harper-Guerrero, executive VP of Emerge; Assistant Chief Carla Johnson of the Tucson Police Department; Judge Wendy Million of Tucson Domestic Violence Court; Tami Sanchez, lead victim advocate for the Pima County Attorney's Office; and Senator David Bradley, representing LD10. 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Murphy-Wilot Library, 530 N. Wilmot Road. Free.
Stargazing and Astronomy on Mount Lemmon. The Summerhaven Speaker Series continues with this talk from Alan Strauss, the director of the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter and Sky School. He'll be talking about something that most people sort of get, but very few of us totally grasp: just how enormous the solar system is. In a talk appropriate for all ages, he'll explain the size and scale of our solar system and galaxy while displaying gorgeous images of deep space captured by the Mount Lemmon telescopes themselves. Why not give trying to fathom just how far a lightyear is another shot? 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25. Chuck Bowden Mount Lemmon Community Center, 12949 N. Sabino Canyon Parkway, Mount Lemmon.