The Other A.A. Milne
The Dover Road
7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m., Sunday, through Oct. 9
The Comedy Playhouse
3620 N. First Ave.
Alan Alexander Milne is one of the best-loved children's authors of all time. But he only really established himself as a children's writer later in life, after shifting focus away from his first big career as a playwright.
By 1926, when Winnie-the-Pooh was first published, A.A. Milne had already made a literary name for himself by penning 18 plays and four screenplays; he wrote more than 30 plays total. And although the huge success of Pooh has by far eclipsed his plays, they were very successful in his time—because they're just as appealing as his kids' stories.
The folks at Tucson's tiny Comedy Playhouse know that, and they want to bring Milne's plays back—one of them, at least. Starting this week, they're presenting The Dover Road, a witty, heartwarming production that was a big Broadway hit in 1921.
The romantic comedy follows a married couple on what was supposed to be a pleasant road trip. Before they reach their destination, their car breaks down and they're forced to take refuge in a Twilight Zone-esque mansion owned by a rich, eccentric and mysterious man named Mr. Latimer. The pair soon learns that there's another couple staying in the house, and their car's breakdown might not have been an accident at all—in fact, they appear to have been taken in by Latimer in more ways than one. Kept prisoners in his big house, the husband and wife learn lessons about life and love—plus, whether they're really suited for one another.
"Everything A.A. Milne wrote was charming," declares the Comedy Playhouse's Bruce Bieszki, who will play Mr. Latimer. "And this is a very positive play. You're going to feel better leaving the theater than when you came in."
Tickets cost $18, with discounts available. —A.M.
Hot Happy Hour
Some Like It Hot screening and party
5:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 27
Fox Tucson Theatre
17 W. Congress St.
If someone were to ask you if you "like it hot" right now—in one of our region's most miserably hot and humid months of the year—you might not respond well.
But of course that person's not talking temperature hot—she's talking Paris Hilton hot. (Or if your taste is more sophisticated, maybe Halle Barry or Johnny Depp hot. You know what we mean.)
For the folks at the Fox Tucson Theatre, hot means Marilyn Monroe—plus cocktails, dancers, gangsters, a speakeasy environment and one of Monroe's most popular movies, Some Like It Hot. All that will come together at the movie's screening this Friday, starting around happy hour.
General-admission attendees will be greeted upon entry by gangsters in the lobby, which will also offer blonde beer for sale; then, everyone will get to watch Some Like It Hot (with free popcorn) plus a live intermission show featuring a Marilyn Monroe lookalike contest, a performance by a professional Blonde Bombshell lookalike and dancing by local group the Tap Sensation (formerly the Hot Flashes).
If that doesn't thrill you quite enough, you'll want to get a VIP ticket, which lets you in on a secret password to get into a private before-party. There, you'll be treated to free appetizers and cocktails, a private Marilyn-lookalike performance and hobnobbing with molls decked out in '30s-era clothing from vintage boutique Preen.
All attendees are encouraged to dress in '30s attire.
"This is something unlike anything anyone else has done," says Fox Theatre board member Maureen Slack. "A happy-hour movie event with women coming in looking like Marilyn Monroe? Who wouldn't want to do that?"
General admission costs $20; VIP admission is $40. —A.M.
Know Your Non-Human Neighbors
"Poisonous Creatures of Rincon Valley" presentation
6:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 2
13701 E. Langtry Lane
The Sonoran desert is full of poisonous snakes, arthropods, reptiles and more—and you live near them. So whether you're scared of them or not, they're your neighbors.
You don't need to be scared of them. In fact, they're probably a lot less frightening than many of your human neighbors—and a lot easier to understand, if you try to be a good neighbor to them.
That involves being informed. So this week, Jillian Cowles of Saguaro National Park will help get you in the know about the stingers, jaws and claws of the desert's most common poisonous animals.Like, did you know that some local caterpillars have venomous spines that can come off on your skin and cause a rash when you brush up against them? Cowles will tell you how to avoid these guys—called buck moth caterpillars, which frequent mesquite trees—as well as some more well-known creatures like rattlesnakes, Gila monsters and scorpions. She'll also tell you what to do when you can't avoid them.
Don't worry if you're squeamish. Cowles won't be showing any live specimens, only a PowerPoint presentation full of amazing color photographs of these interesting organisms.
"There are a few animals I personally like to exclude form my home," admits Cowles, "but for the most part, these creatures are beautiful and fascinating. We just need to learn about them so we don't run into problems."
After Cowles' lecture, stick around for an overview of the Park Neighbor Program, a collaboration between the Rincon Institute and Saguaro National Park. It's a neighborhood-watch program for our national parks—giving people who live near and use the parks a number to call (800-637-9152) to report vandalism, animal theft and illegal ATV use. Another way to be a good neighbor.
The presentation is free. —A.M.
A Combo of Three
Toros Taste for a Cure
6 to 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 27
Hi Corbett Field
700 S. Randolph Way
Baseball has always been America's greatest pastime, but Toros Taste for a Cure is an event that will spice up this monumental sport. Toros Taste for a Cure is a charity event for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society that will incorporate delicious food, baseball and fine wine into one enjoyable experience.
The food will be catered by Elle Restaurant, while the wine tasting will be conducted by Jon Rogers of Wines Without the Mystery.
Briana Biondo, a representative of the Tucson Toros, is excited to hold this event.
"We have done several types of charity events in the past, but this is the first time we use these three elements together," she says. "There will be eight different wines that each individual can taste, and the best part is that Jon Rogers will educate the attendees on the wine. The event is also special because the people only have to pay one admission to be able to enjoy the baseball game, food and the wine tasting."
There will also be a raffle for baseball memorabilia.
Since joining the Toros staff five months ago, Biondo has been trying to create more charity events. "Our main goal is to gain exposure so different charity organizations will be willing to work with us," Biondo says. "We are not interested in turning a profit with these types of events; we are more interested in giving a helping hand."
Tickets for Toros Taste for a Cure cost $30 and can be purchased at Elle Restaurant, Plaza Liquors and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.