Not-for-Kids Christmas Stories
The Santaland Diaries and Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!
3 p.m., Sunday, through Jan. 2
Live Theatre Workshop
5317 E. Speedway Blvd.
Hey, all you Christmas celebrators out there: If your holiday is something straight out of A Christmas Carol, I'm calling you out. First of all, no family is that cute and picturesque (you know Tiny Tim, blah blah blah), and second of all, I doubt you were visited by three ghosts.
OK, I am getting a little off topic.
For a story you can relate to, check out The Santaland Diaries and Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!, two one-act plays adapted from the essays of the ever-so-satirical David Sedaris. But call now, or get there early, because shows have been selling out since opening night in November.
"People are really big fans of David Sedaris, and I think they are really thankful and excited that somebody in Tucson is doing (his work)," said director Michael Martinez said. "My thinking was that it is a great piece of David Sedaris' comedy, and the satire is just hilarious. It is kind of an anecdote to schmaltzy Christmas theater. You get this kind of dark comedy that people can relate to, and it is not A Christmas Carol."
Not that anyone needs to be hating on feel-good holiday stories; Sedaris' stories just take a different and possibly more realistic approach to the season.
"It is the same moral; it just gets to it in a different way—through satire. It holds up this mirror and shows us this is what we look like when we are being crazy and shopping too much and writing your Christmas letters and standing in line for three hours to see Santa Claus," Martinez said.
General admission is $18, with various discounts. Call to make reservations. —E.B.
Access for All
Access Tucson Fundraising Telethon
Airing 7 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 7 and 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, through Dec. 31
Cox Channel 99; Comcast Channel 74; Streaming live at www.accesstucson.org
Go ahead: Name your favorite American Indian-centered sitcom. You can't think of one, can you? Well, a few years ago, Access Tucson featured a whole night of Native American comedy. Now it can barely afford to operate.
Access Tucson is Tucson's public-access television and media-training center, an outlet for people in our city to share ideas, spread the word about a cause, get training in production, or just express themselves through cable television.
"This is something that's held in trust for the community," said executive director Lisa Horner. "It tells the stories of people who are left out of the commercial-media equation."
After 26 years, everything Access Tucson provides is at stake. Its funding—almost all of which comes from cable franchise and subscriber fees (not tax dollars) doled out through the Tucson City Council—was slashed by 60 percent last January, forcing the termination of almost half the staff.
Now Access Tucson is reaching out to the community. The station has been periodically running a "totally Tucson" telethon to ask for financial contributions to help keep it alive.
The 3 1/2-hour program is packed with local celebrities including Yaqui classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala, singer-songwriter Amber Norgaard, blues musician Tom Walbank, Kevin and Tanisha Hamilton with Southwest Soul Circuit, and comedian Robert Mac. The telethon is emceed by actor and community activist Miguel Ortega and Jared McKinley of Powhaus Productions.
"This is a critical moment for protecting the public venue that Access Tucson provides. Once that's gone, it's gone for good," said Horner.
View the website for information on a corresponding online auction. —A.M.
Reliving the Expedition
The Journey of Lewis and Clark
On display 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, through Sunday, Jan. 23
Tucson Museum of Art
140 N. Main Ave.
Hey, American-history buffs: If you have never been into art, here is your chance to step into the art scene. The Journey of Lewis and Clark exhibition at the Tucson Museum of Art is an authentic and eclectic look at the scenic history of their search for a waterway passage to the Pacific Ocean, and their mapping of the previously unseen (by non-natives, that is) American West.
The exhibition is broken up into three parts, with 100 oil paintings by Midwestern artist Charles Fritz making up the majority.
"He really brings you through, from the moment Lewis and Clark departed for the Northwest Passage, all the way to the Pacific and back to, as he calls it, their triumphant return in St. Louis," said Meredith Hayes, the museum's director of public relations and marketing. "It really does show you the experiences that they had and the hardships, all the things that they went through opening up the West."
Fritz read the journals of the famous travelers, and he not only made his oil scenes from their descriptions; he later stood in the spots where they stood, at the same time of day, on the same day of the year.
The second portion of the exhibit is a smaller watercolor collection by Michael Haynes.
"In his paintings, you do have the usual suspects: You have Lewis and Clark; you have York and Sacagawea," Hayes said. "But also you have the musicians, the blacksmiths and all of the other groups of people who joined them.
The third part features 10 paintings from different artists that give the viewer even more interpretations of the time period.
General admission is $8. For more information and holiday hours, call or visit the website. —E.B.
Prints, Paints and Photographs
Holiday Spectacular VI
On display 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Saturday, through Monday, Jan. 31
735 N. Fourth Ave.
Zoë Boutique is celebrating the holiday season with its sixth annual Holiday Spectacular. This year, the event will showcase art from UA printmakers Morgan Anderson, Nick Bunch and Robert Hall.
A number of other local artists—including Alex Fass, Taylor Graham, Donovan White and Marco Oliva—are also displaying their work.
The word "spectacular" is somewhat fitting, because the number of different artistic mediums featured in the show is remarkable. There are not only printmakers, but also photographers, painters and even a tattoo artist showing their stuff.
Robert Hall, one of the UA printmakers, is excited to see work from other printmakers in a gallery. He feels like his is an art form that's somewhat unfamiliar to many.
The work he will be showing at Zoë combines printmaking, screen printing and another technique called release printing, which employs the use of ink on large wooden stamps. Using these techniques, Hall has created images on pillows that reference male sexuality.
"I usually come up with concepts I'm interested in ... and create a mental or written list," said Hall. "I try to translate what you're thinking about into something the common viewer can understand.
Zoë Boutique's Holiday Spectacular VI is on display through Jan. 31. Visit the website for more information, and call for holiday hours. —A.G.