29th Annual All Souls Procession Weekend. It's not every day, or in every community, that people come together to honor and celebrate the dead. Want to make a mask, a puppet, an art installation or an altar? Want to put on makeup and dress up? Or just want to show up as you are and take a reflective walk? Do the procession in whatever way makes it meaningful to you. Events are held throughout the weekend, but the procession begins at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 at the corner of North Grande Avenue and West Ontario Street. Gathering starts at 4. Free.
Tucson Comic-Con. There's so much to see and do at Tucson Comic-Con that it's almost easier to list things that you CAN'T see and do at Tucson Comic Con. With comic industry guests like Alyssa Gerwig and Adam Yeater, celebrity guests like Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Kirk R. Thatcher, cosplay guests like Khainsaw and Alexis Noriega and author guests like James A. Owen and Marsheila Rockwell, there is lots of greatness to be in the presence of. An artist alley, tons of craftsmen exhibitors, a youth costume contest and the first-ever Tucson Comic-Con EPIC Scavenger Hunt will keep you busy as well. Plus, panels on everything from cosplaying over 30 to creating literary comics to horror films as social commentary. Just go. Friday, Nov. 2 through Sunday, Nov. 4. Exhibit hall is open from 3 to 8 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, with registration starting an hour before the hall opens and ending two hours before it closes. Tucson Convention Center, 260 N. Church Ave. $45 for adults (14+) for a full-weekend, with tickets for individual days and youth also available for lower prices.
Third Annual Pumpkin Smash. Halloween is over, and nature is closing in on your jack-o-lantern. If it's not already turning into a mushy pile on your front stoop, it will be soon. So you might as well squeeze one last bit of fun out of it—and help reduce organic waste while you're at it. Los Milpitas de Cottonwood Community Farm is teaming up with several organizations to throw an event where you can smash, launch and compost yesterday's jack-o-lanterns, plus learn lots of pumpkin recipes. Geronimo's Revenge, Kabebeque and Churros Inzunza will be on site to keep you fed, because pumpkin smashing can be exhausting. 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. Las Milpitas De Cottonwood, 2405 S. Cottonwood Lane. Free.
No Boundaries. The Wilde Meyer Gallery's November art show isn't constrained to one single theme—in fact, with a title like "no boundaries," it's not constrained in any way at all. This eclectic show is all about letting artists' imaginations run wild, whether they're depicting Tucson landscapes, abstract wildlife or patched-together people. Rudie van Brussel, Peggy McGivern, Maura Allen and Sarah Webber are among the exhibiting artists. The opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1 will have traditional Mexican Day of the Dead refreshments. The only boundary the exhibit does have is time—it's only up for the month of November! Wilde Meyer Gallery, 2870 E. Skyline Drive, suite 170. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Free.
Free First Thursdays at TMA. The Tucson Museum of Art is always worth visiting, but it's especially worth visiting when admission is free, and there's all sorts of Dia de los Muertos activities going on. On this month's agenda: performances by Backup Brass Band, a procession by the All Souls Procession founder, Susan K Johnson, and the Cholla High Magnet High School Mariachi band. You can also make some of your own art and poetry activities, check out the altars and art installations created by local students (plus one by the Consulate of Mexico), pick up some snacks from Marwa Alfandi Syrian Sweets and get some Dia de Los Muertos-inspired hair and makeup by Belle Starr Salon. 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1. Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, 140 N. Main Ave. Free.
Fall Open Studio Tours. Everyone's always talking about supporting local art, but wouldn't it be nice to take a step behind the scenes and see exactly what you're supporting? The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona and the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance are sponsoring this opportunity to connect with local artists—from right around the corner to all the way across town—by visiting their studios! There will be plenty of artist interaction and Q&A sessions, some hands-on art demonstrations and live music and refreshments. It's the largest community art exhibition in Southern Arizona, and you don't want to miss its second weekend, of artists working and exhibiting at addresses north of River Road. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4. Check openstudiotours.com for locations. Free.
Shows and Performances
The Real Machiavelli. It's got comedy, it's got drama, it's got sex. What more could you ask for in a play? It's also got a story about a woman trying to make her way in a man's world, so what could be more timely? If nothing else, you likely remember Machiavelli's name from high school history class, as the guy who wrote The Prince, which is oft criticized for encouraging politicians to do whatever it takes, however immoral, to achieve their goals (in other words, for being too Machiavellian). In this show full of lies, greed, jealousy, laughs and plenty of twists and turns, you'll be asking yourself who this Machiavelli guy really is. Through Sunday, Nov. 11, with 7 p.m. shows on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. shows on Sundays. Roadrunner Theatre Company, 8892 E. Tanque Verde Road. $20 GA, $18 seniors/students with ID, $15 military/starving actor.
FROGZ. It's hard to explain exactly what this show is without comparing it to other kinds of entertainment—like magic, animation, physical comedy, mime and acrobatics—and then immediately adding the disclaimer that it's not quite any of those. From Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad, the creators of Imago, comes this show that blurs the lines between modes of entertainment and is perfect for both children and adults (especially kids ages 5 and up). Come see a show that will have you marveling over mastery and oohing and ahhing over the pure magic of it. 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. $15 to $45+.
American Rhythm. It's the hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day, aka Veterans' Day, in the United States. To celebrate, the True Concord Choir, Orchestra and soloists, along with Jeffrey Biegel on the piano, is putting on this patriotic show full of music by American composers, like Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man and Barber's Adiago for Strings. They'll also be playing a new work by Jake Runestad called Dreams of the Fallen, which is based on texts by Iraq war veteran Brian Turner. Of course, they'll also be playing "America the Beautiful," a song to fill us with hope for our nation's future. 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, and Sunday, Nov. 4, at Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive, and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, at Valley Presbyterian Church, 2800 S. Camino Del Sol, Green Valley. $25 to $40.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. If you haven't read this award-winning novel, you're going to want to. But with this showing of the play coming to town, directed by Cynthia Meier and with music direction and original composition by Jake Sorgen, you might want to wait until after you've seen the show live. The story follows 15-year-old Christopher, an autistic savant, who launches an investigation when he finds his neighbor's murdered dog and ends up opening up a whole world full of secrets. It's heartbreaking and fascinating and gripping on the page, and is bound to be even more so on the stage. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Thursday, Nov. 1 through Sunday, Nov. 18. The Rogue Theatre at the Historic Y, 300 E. University Blvd. $28 for preview shows on Thursday, Nov. 1, and Friday, Nov. 2. $38 all other shows.
The Cripple of Inishmaan. Are you looking for something with the poignance of an Irish fable, but the artistry of the Osar-nominated film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri? Boy, do we have news for you. The Arizona Repertory Theatre is presenting this play by Martin McDonagh, the writer of both In Bruges and the above-mentioned film. UA Assistant Professor Hank Stratton directs this story about an orphan named "Cripple Billy," who longs to escape his humdrum daily life off the west coast of Ireland, and sees his chance when he hears that a Hollywood film is being shot on a neighboring island. It's dark comedy, biting social irony and theater at its finest. Sunday, Nov. 4, through Sunday, Dec. 2, with shows at either 1:30 or 7:30 p.m. Tornabene Theatre, 1025 N. Olive Road. $17 to $28.
Odyssey Storytelling Presents: Dealbreakers. What are some dealbreakers for you? Do you not date guys who wear turtlenecks? Would you not take a job if it required you to come in every morning at 5 a.m.? Would you never move into a house without a microwave? This month, Ethel Lee-Miller has curated a selection of six storytellers who will be telling stories about dealbreakers in several lives. There's an anthropology professor, a jigsaw puzzle enthusiast, three authors and a geologist, which goes to show you that, truly, everyone has their dealbreakers. 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1. The Sea of Glass Center for the Arts, 330 E. Seventh St. $10 GA, $7 students.
Tucson Comedy Arts Festival. Can you believe we're already on the fourth annual Tucson Comedy Arts Festival? Four nights of improv, standup and sketch comedy will feature some of the best improvisers and comedians in Tucson, plus guests from out of town. Maria Bamford of the Netflix series Lady Dynamite (and whose voice acting work can be heard in CatDog, Adventure Time and BoJack Horseman), is headlining. Plus, everyone from Baby Fish Mouth to PUMPS to Comic Chaos to Verizon Qwest. In addition, you can check out workshops on sketch comedy, from "Keeping it Real" to "Committing 100%." Festival runs Wednesday, Nov. 7 through Saturday, Nov. 10 at Tucson Improv Movement, 414 E. Ninth St. Maria Bamford performs at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, and prices are $27 to $37. Festival tickets are $25 for unlimited shows, with the option to purchase cheaper tickets to individual shows as well.
Tucson Celtic Festival and Scottish Highland Games. Are you ready for some bagpipes? How about some Irish step dancing? What about traditional Celtic foods, crafts and cultural demonstrations? The Tucson Celtic Festival Association, a local nonprofit, has been putting on this event for more than three decades to help preserve and celebrate the traditions of all Celtic peoples—Scottish, Irish, Welsh and British—in the Tucson community. The Highland Games will have events like the Heavy Hammer, Open Stone, the Braemar Stone and Caber, which all sound extremely Celtic. And the event kicks off with a Pirate Pub Night at Rillito Park, 4502 N. First Ave., from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, for $5. Main festival is 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. Rillito Raceway Park, 4502 N. First Ave. Admission is $16 a day for adults, or $22 for both days, with discounts for kids, military, seniors and students. Sunday is discount day, with $10 tickets for adults.
Empire Ranch Cowboy Festival. Get ready to giddyup! Formerly known as the Roundup & Open House, this event sponsored by the Empire Ranch Foundation is back and ready to celebrate and help preserve the western history that's part of what makes Arizona so special. Join more than 2,000 other visitors at Western heritage demonstrations, arena and livestock exhibits, Western-themed entertainment and some good ol'-fashioned cowboy cooking. Western music will abound, skilled artisans will be on site, and a silent auction will keep you on your toes. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. Empire Ranch, off Scenic Hwy 83, Empire Ranch Road in Sonoita. $10 donation per vehicle requested.
Arizona Football. Were you in attendance on Saturday night when Arizona stunned the college football world by smacking around a ranked Oregon Ducks squad by 29 points? If so, then congrats. If not, don't fret, as the Wildcats have another chance to shock the world, hosting the University of Colorado Buffaloes at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night, with ESPN broadcasting the game to the world. The Wildcats (4-5, 3-3) and Buffaloes (5-3, 3-3) have met each year since 2011, with the Wildcats winning five-of-seven matchups, including last year's 45-42 win in Boulder. Colorado leads the all-time series with the Wildcats, 14-6, though the two teams have traded blows and touchdowns galore in their matchups of late, so there's bound to be plenty of on-field fireworks to enjoy.
Tucson Roadrunners vs. San Diego Gulls. Bird is the word tonight at the Tucson Arena, where aviary faces off against aviary at this home game for Tucson's favorite hockey team. It's the day after election night, and to celebrate that all the stress is over—and to reward yourself for hitting the polls, they'll have BOGO tickets for anyone with an "I Voted" sticker. As if you didn't have enough reasons to make sure you vote on Nov. 6, they've got one more! Hockey is a dish best served cold, and with a side of democracy. 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7. Tucson Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. $10 to $61+.
Fun in General
Southern Arizona Archives Bazaar. In an age of both ancestry.com, which has us thinking about our lineage, and social media, which has us thinking about our own day-to-day lives, the idea of researching and preserving your family history has probably crossed your mind at least once. The Arizona History Museum is here to get you started! You'll be able to check out tons of archived collections from all over Southern Arizona, then hear talks about how to keep materials and stories preserved for generations to come. It's family-friendly in that kids are welcome, but it's also family-friendly in that it can help keep families close into the world of tomorrow. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. Arizona History Museum, 949 E. Second St. Free.
Butterfly Magic. The butterflies are back! Whether you're visiting Tucson for the first time this weekend or whether you've been in the Tucson Botanical Gardens' Cox Butterfly and Orchid Pavilion dozens of times already, there's nothing quite so pleasant. Step into the enclosed garden full of tropical plants, blooming orchids and tons and tons of rare butterflies, and hang out with them up close and personal as they enjoy fruit, flit from branch to branch and sometimes even land on you. Just watch out for hitchhikers—make sure any butterflies that landed on you aren't still there when you leave. Up through May 2019. 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. $15 adults, $13 seniors/students/military, $8 kids 4 to 17, free for members and kids 3 and under.
Chris Bubany's Holiday Marketplace. We're officially into November, which means we're past the point where it seems too early to start buying Christmas presents and officially at the point where you probably should start buying Christmas presents. And what's better than getting your Christmas shopping done and supporting local artists at the same time? More than 50 artists will be selling handmade goods at this free event, so you might just find something for everyone on your list. Imagine being completely done with your Christmas shopping the first week of November! 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. Harlow Gardens, 5620 E. Pima St. Free.
Classic Car Show. Sometimes it feels like Little Anthony's Diner has a misleading name. We don't know who Anthony is—maybe he is little. But nothing else about the place is. It's got a big character, big portion sizes and this big ol' car show twice a month! It's the perfect place to come hang out with the family, chow down on some classic diner food and then walk (some of) it off by strolling up and down the aisles of gorgeous old vehicles, listening to live music. Come on down, car-ty animals! 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. Little Anthony's Diner, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. Free.