Literacy 1, Pants 0
Turn the Page on Pants Presents "All Souls, No Pants"
9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 6
31 E. Toole Ave.
"All Souls, No Pants" won't be your average elementary school story time—unless you equate elementary school story time to pants-less adults reading lesbian erotica to you. (And if that's the case, I am so sorry.)
While Turn the Page on Pants members don't always read from such saucy books, founder Charlotte Bennett said they have pretty much free rein over their choice of reading material. The function of the group, after all, is to promote literacy in all its forms.
"I was browsing around on the Internet, and I ran into naked women reading and thought, 'That's so rad.' Then I thought about how small Tucson was, and how much I did not want to be naked in front of people that I knew," Bennett said. "I am totally against pants. I hate wearing pants. And I figured maybe we can promote literacy and not wear pants, because another thing I think about a lot is, 'Do people read enough? Probably not.' But maybe if people are reading to them with no pants on ... ."
The first rendition of this event, held at Plush, had an audience of around 30 people, with 16 readers. It's safe to assume that this event will have a greater turnout, since Bennett and others will be trolling Fourth Avenue doing pants-less promoting. Watch for them this Friday.
The $3 suggested donation will go to fund traveling poet, activist, performer Mindy Nettifee (www.thecultofmindy.com), who will read on Saturday. While the first event didn't have a theme, this weekend's attendees can expect readings with undertones of death and afterlife, in a timely All Souls fashion. —E.B.
Laughs at the Fox
Comedian Jo Koy
7 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 7
Fox Tucson Theatre
17 W. Congress St.
If you don't enjoy smiling or you have a bad sense of humor, you may not know the name Jo Koy. The comedian and Chelsea Lately panelist will be making a stop at the Fox Tucson Theatre on a tour to test out all-new material for an upcoming two-hour special.
"I am going all-out on this one. This is a whole bunch of new stuff that I am working on ... and I actually am really excited about it," Koy said. "It is a lot more personal; there are a lot of stories that I had wanted to tell, and they are coming out great. I can't wait."
Koy got his start performing in a small Las Vegas coffee house and is pretty much living out his dreams as a comedian.
"I wanted to be a comedian when I was, like, in the eighth-grade. I saw Eddie Murphy—he did a special on HBO called Delirious—and I fell in love with stand-up comedy that day. ... I was always the class clown. I never knew what a stand up comedian was until I saw Eddie Murphy."
This tour follows last year's one-hour Comedy Central special, Jo Koy: Don't Make Him Angry. Concerning past visits to Arizona, Koy said, "I just remember it was hot as shit. I mean, I am from Vegas. But your Arizona hot is hot. People don't think three degrees is that much hotter until you have to sit in it."
Doors open at 6 p.m., with the show starting at 7. Tickets are $27 and can be purchased online at www.foxtucsontheatre.com, by phone at 547-3040 or at the Fox box office. —E.B.
Pato Banton, Mystic Roots Band, Vine St. and Jahmar International
8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 10
Twelve Tribes Reggae Shop
345 N. Fifth Ave.
The Mystic Roots Band is making their way back to Tucson to promote their brand-new album, Cali-Hi.
The San Diego-based group serves up an original style based in reggae, hip-hop and dancehall. They bring a new sound while embracing the nature of roots reggae with smooth vocals, energetic freestyles and beat-boxing. The music and lyrics are catchy and upbeat, yet convey a powerful, positive message.
"MRB has been coming here to Tucson ever since they started up in 1996," said Papa Ranger, of the Twelve Tribes Reggae Shop.
The band is enjoying the success of Cali-Hi, which topped the iTunes Reggae Chart on its debut week. (The album was released on Oct. 5.) The band tours the United States full-time, playing shows with some of the biggest names in reggae, hip-hop and rock.
Reggae legend Pato Banton and the Now Generation will also make an appearance at the show. Banton and crew have toured all over North America for two-plus years with the Mystic Roots Band, and now they are coming back to show Tucson what reggae is all about. Banton and co. offer a positive atmosphere and what many people have described as a charismatic performance; audience members are sure to become participants in Banton's show. Banton dialogues with the crowd on a range of topics including current events and spiritual freedom while keeping the vibes upbeat and fun.
Local hip-hop band Vine St. will also perform, as will local DJ Jahmar International.
Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 on the day of the show. —K.M.
That's a Big Matzo Ball!
Jewish Food Festival
11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 7
Brandi Fenton Memorial Park
3482 E. River Road
Do you love challah bread, rugelach and matzo-ball soup? Then get thee to the third Annual Jewish Food Festival to enjoy a wide array of foods by favorite Tucson restaurants, ranging from beef-brisket sliders to salmon salad.
Local artisans and vendors, live entertainment, children's activities (including a children's play area) and a silent auction will keep you occupied when your stomach needs a break from the grub.
"A major difference between this year and previous years is that we are breaking a Guinness World Record for the world's largest matzo ball," said Lauren Bloch, marketing director for the festival. "It is going to be a historic event."
Jon Wirtis, of Shlomo and Vito's Delicatessen, is challenging the world record by cooking the world's first 500-pound matzo ball.
"The matzo ball for him has always been a signature item, and it was the perfect setting to bring it out to the festival," said Bloch.
The idea for a Tucson Jewish Food Festival originated with Len and Harriet Kronman of Congregation Or Chadash, who had participated in similar events in Boston. Diane Kerrihard, fundraising chair and vice-president at Or Chadash, pursued the idea in 2008.
More than 2,000 people attended the second Jewish Food Festival last year. A huge jump in sponsorship participation, coupled with restaurant and vendor participation, created an event more successful than the inaugural festival in 2008.
"This year, there will be more restaurants than ever. We will have a great lineup for entertainment, more vendors and prizes. Overall, it will just be bigger and better than ever," promised Bloch.
Proceeds benefit the Community Food Bank and Primavera Foundation. Admission for adults is $4; children younger than 13 are admitted for free. —K.M.