Learn Something New
Violins of Hope (Third Annual Elizabeth Leibson Holocaust Remembrance Lecture). A lot of people agree that one of the saddest part of the nonstop sad-fest that is The Titanic is when the boat is sinking and death is staring them in the face, but the musicians on the deck keep playing. Such is the power of music and the resilience of musicians. The Violins of Hope is a collection of restored instruments played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust: They've survived concentration camps, pogroms and many a long journey, and Israeli father and son Amnon and Avshalom have dedicated themselves to restoring them for this presentation of music, storytelling and multimedia. Fred Fox School of Music students and faculty will also perform music by Hans Winterberg and Daniel Asia. 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 17. Crowder Hall, 1017 N. Olive Road. $18 GA, $54 reserved seating and reception.
The Gila Valley, Globe and Northern Railway Co. Do you know much about this particular railway? It was in operation for just 16 years at the turn of the 20th century, and stretched the 125 miles between Bowie and Globe. But we're going to refer to railroad historian Richard Dick to tell us more about the matter. He'll be the third speaker in the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum's February speaker series and your chance to gain a whole new world of knowledge about the railroads that made today's world possible. 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17. Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N. Toole Ave. Free.
Girl's Day Doll Exhibit. Hinamatsuri, or the Girl's Day Festival, takes place every March in Japan, when Japanese parents display hana, or small dolls that represent an Emperor, Empress and attendant in honor of their pre-teen daughters. Many times, these dolls are family heirlooms. Girls hold parties with their friends and enjoy traditional foods each year until they're 10, when the dolls are packed away to be someday passed on to the next generation of girls. Yume Japanese Gardens will be displaying their vintage doll set, over a century old, from Feb. 15 to March 16, so you, like multiple generations of young girls before you, can admire their beauty. Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way. Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 to 4:30 p.m. and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. $13 adults, $10 seniors 65+, $9 students & military with ID, $6 kids 3 to 15 and free for kids 2 and under.
Family SCIFest. Science is everywhere! Especially at this event at the Children's Museum on Saturday, where there will be STEM demonstrations galore by groups like Society of Women Engineers Tucson and the UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Check out the live animals, meteorites and hands-on demonstrations in everything from robotics to biology to environmental sciences to physics. Sid the Science Kid from PBS Kids, as well as characters and droids from the 501st Legion, will be around to remind kids just how cool science is. Museum admission is free all day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and SciFest is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16. Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave. Free.
Brain and Brews–Science Trivia. In the mood for a little bit of learning on a Monday night? How about with a side of beer to make the knowledge go down easier? Head over to Borderlands to hear from Kevin Cross about the science of music for the first hour of this event, then test your science knowledge with five rounds of science trivia for the second hour. By the time the trivia comes around, the beer will have you feeling plenty confident. And confidence is really half the battle when it comes to trivia. 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18. Borderlands Brewing Company, 119 E. Toole Ave.
Joshua Bell. If you're into classical music, it's likely you've heard of Joshua Bell, who's recorded more than 40 CDs and earned Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards along the way. If you aren't deep in the world of classical music, on the other hand, Joshua Bell may just sound like Josh Peck's first name combined with Drake Bell's last name. Anyway, this guy has done everything from teach at MIT to perform on the Tonight Show and was named one of People Magazine's 50 most beautiful people. And he performs on a Stradivarius violin from 1713, with an 18th-century French bow. Don't miss this performance, where he'll be accompanied by Sam Haywood on the piano. 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. $25 to $125+.
The Amazing Acro-cats Tumble Into Tucson. "I can die happy now!" exclaimed one audience member after seeing this show. And you can imagine why: This is literally a troupe of touring performing house cats who roll on balls, ride skateboards, jump through hoops and close out the show with a music performance. Tuna and the Rock Cats features Nola on guitar, Asti on drums, Nue on keyboard, Ahi on woodblocks, Albacore on cowbell, Buggles on trumpet, Oz on saxophone and a chicken named Cluck Norris on the tambourine. Chief executive Human Samantha Martin has saved more than 215 cats and kittens since she founded Rock Cats Rescue. Why would you miss this? 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15. Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave. $20.
Gilbert Gottfried. You might know him from his performances on Saturday Night Live in the '80s, or from his appearances on The Cosby Show and Late Night with David Letterman. Or maybe you liked his improvised scene as business manager Sidney Bernstein in Beverly Hills Cop II, or from roles in films like Problem Child or Look Who's Talking II. That's right, folks! Gilbert Gottfried is comin' to Laffs. It's not his first rodeo here, but it is the first one in more than 25 years. Local attorney and comedian Elliot Glicksman opened for him last time he was here, and attests that Gottfried is the funniest comic he's ever seen. And Glicksman has opened for Seinfeld. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20. Laffs Comedy Caffe, 2900 E. Broadway Blvd. $25, plus two-item minimum. 21+.
With Love, Marilyn. This special, four-night-only performance is all about one of Hollywood's most iconic figures: Marilyn Monroe. In this one-woman show, she's portrayed by Erin Sullivan, who has nearly 30 years of theater experience under her belt, including portraying Marilyn in Marilee and Baby Lamb: The Assassination of an American Goddess. Not to mention, Sullivan's the playwright of this show as well! It takes us behind the scenes to a dress rehearsal for a show, where Marilyn is singing songs like "I Wanna Be Loved By You," "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend." 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, through Saturday, Feb. 16, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. $50.
Into The Deep, an art pop-up. While you're drinking and listening to live music on this Saturday night anyway, you might as well support some local artists, right? From the gorgeous polymer clay jewelry of Sigfus to Birdy Fyffe's photography to the rustic ceramic pieces of Cinnasepia, you'll be surrounded by lovely, handmade works. The Powder Room makeup artists and Tattoos by Hector will also be present. Bring cash for the bar, park in the big parking lot across the street, and fill your heart with art. 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16. District Photo Studio, 657 W. St. Mary's.
American Stories: Bill Owens, David Graham, David Hurn and Shannon Smith. A woman with long blonde hair looks back at the camera as the small boat she's sitting on heads into the mouth of a whale (on a Disneyland ride). A sign that appears to be in the middle of nowhere portends, "Really Really Good." A man, seen from above, is mid-jump into a river full of people in inner tubes. A couple standing outside their car on the side of the road look concernedly at a little boy who's throwing up. This photography exhibit at the Etherton features American life as portrayed through the views of these photographers Show runs through Saturday, April 20. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and by appointment. Etherton Gallery, 135 S. Sixth Ave. Free.
ArtNow! With Julie Henson. ArtNow is MOCA's monthly playful lecture series where artists-in-residences talk about their art. This month, Julie Henson, whose art has been exhibited throughout the country, covered in several publications and gotten her nominated for a 2017 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Award, will lead the evening. She'll talk about the references (often to iconic women) in her work, ranging from Miss Piggy to Dolly Parton to America's Got Talent, the role gender plays in success in America, and how celebrities and TV personalities shape our perceptions and beliefs. 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19. Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art, 265 S. Church Ave. $10 admission, free for MOCA members and students.
Anya Slonim Art Exhibition Sale. Anya Slonim is a Russian-American artist who uses a distinct Art Deco technique for her portraits (sometimes nudes) and depictions of architecture. She's exhibited in New York, Los Angeles and Moscow. Though she's lived in Tucson since 1991, she's never put some of her paintings up for sale because she loved them so much... until now! Head to her home studio to check out this selection of 14 paintings, each of which will include a giclée copy of the painting "Looking Inside" when sold. Some are framed, and all of the frames were chosen by the artist herself. Other paintings will be on display as well, and visitors are welcome to make an offer on any pieces they fall in love with. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, and Sunday, Feb. 24. 2739 N. Palo Verde Ave. Free.
Pollen Path. The flowering plants of the Sonoran Desert, with all of their colors, shapes, textures and lines, provide joy and inspiration to many a desert dweller or visitor. And the path of pollen from flower to seed is what makes this all possible. For this art exhibit at Tohono Chul, artists were asked to contribute works of art that focus on the pollen producers and transporters of the desert—which gave them pretty much limitless possibilities to work with. Erinn Kennedy is the featured artist. See what they came up with at this exhibit, running from Thursday, Feb. 14, through Wednesday, April 17. Reception with the artists is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Tohono Chul Main Gallery. 7366 Paseo del Norte. Reception is free.
Fun in General
Cruise, BBQ & Blues Festival & Car Show. Maybe you're not that into cars, but you are into science, or design, or figuring out how things work. So, in some sense, you are into car design, one of the most ubiquitous but overlooked art forms there is. At this Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance Event, join thousands of other people to enjoy live oldies music, great food and, of course, tons of gorgeous cars. Kids can do activities while parents guess who will win the awards given in 20+ categories, from best interior to best paint to best engine. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16. Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road. $5, with $1 discount for veterans and active duty military. Free for kids 10 and under. Cash only.
Tumamoc Hill 5K/10K. Apparently, some people don't think walking up Tumamoc Hill is difficult enough. And hey, maybe today is the day you try running or jogging up the mountain. But if it's not, that's OK, too. You're free to walk the trail, because this informal event is open to people at all levels of fitness. Bring water, good shoes and, if you want, the Strava.com app so you can see what your time is. The event is free, and everyone's going to the Mercado san Agustin for tacos, and Presta Coffee Roasters for coffee, after it's over. Get those Saturday mornin' endorphins going! 9 a.m. to noon. Saturday, Feb. 16. Tumamoc Hill, 1675 W. Anklam Road. Free.
VintagePalooza. It's interesting to think about the VintagePaloozas of the future, where enthusiasts of early 21st century fashion and furniture will haggle over the prices of authentic LuLaRoe leggings and stainless steel refrigerators. But we digress. At this Cat Mountain Station event, you'll get your pick of a wide variety of vintage items from tons of vendors, all to the tune of live rock music. While you're there, check out Buffalo Trading Post across the street, which has a mix of vintage and new (or as we like to call it, future vintage) clothing, jewelry and housewares, as well as the Coyote Pause Café. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17. Cat Mountain Station, 2727 S. Kinney Road.
A Good Festival Tucson. Sure, the title is a little vague, but sometimes it's good to just celebrate goodness, right? This day full of yoga classes, health & wellness workshops, live music, vendors, beer and a wine garden is a seriously capital-G Good way to spend a Sunday. Take classes like TWERK Fuzsion with Chezale, either before or after you visit the wine garden, depending on how good you're feeling. Desert Yoga Productions & FoodInRoot are putting on this event. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17. Whistle Stop Depot, 127 W. Fifth St. $15, or free for kids 12 and under.
Southern Arizona Senior Pride Book Club. If you haven't joined Tucson's senior LGBTQ+ book club, then you're missing out. This month, they're reading Strangers on a Train, by Patricia Highsmith, the classic 1950 novel that inspired the Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name. When two passengers—a successful architect and a sadistic psychopath—meet on a train, they strike a fascinating bargain: They're going to swap murders. What does this mean? Where will this take them? Only one way to find out. (Well, you could watch the movie. But then you'd miss out on this book club!) 2 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20. Ward 3 Council Office conference room, 1510 E. Grant Road.
Love Hurts. Seriously. The good love giveth and the good love taketh away. If you're not really in the mood to celebrate this confusing feeling, or at least not to celebrate it traditionally, head downtown to Crooked Tooth, where they traditionally haven't done anything traditionally. Kari Cadenhead of Marigold Tattoo Studios will be doing stick and poke tattoos for just $40, Whiskey Drunk will be playing live music from 7 to 9 p.m. and Fat Noodle food truck will be onsite with black noodle ramen, and plenty of vegetarian options. So, whether you want to distract yourself from the pain of love with some physical pain, drown out your thoughts with music, eat your feelings or just have a good time, don't miss it. 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14. Crooked Tooth Brewing Co., 228 E. Sixth St.