Psychout! At The Rock. Into psychedelic bands like Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd and Iron Butterfly? This event is a celebration of all things trippy and neo-psychedelic, now at a bigger venue than ever. Sugar Candy Mountain is headlining, and other bands include the Psychedelephants, Tropical Beach, Silver Cloud Express and The Desert Beats. Local artist Ilsa Kanto even created imagery just for this event that will project onto a screen behind the bands while they play. 99.1 FM Downtown Radio (KTDT) hosts! Doors at 6:30, show at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26. The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door, and will be available at Zia Records, 3370 E. Speedway Blvd. 21+.
Psalms of David and Solomon. At this Arizona Repertory Singers event, several forms of art come together. There are psalms, there is music and there is e.e. cummings poetry. In light of the recent Event Horizon photo, a line from the cummings piece set to music by UA composer Daniel Asia, feels particularly poignant: "with luminous the shadow of love himself: / who's we – nor can you do or i / and every world, / before silence begins a star. / Amen." This afternoons also features "Make peace," a brand new work by David Lang. 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28. Temple Emanu-El, 225 N. Country Club. $18.
The Wartburg Choir and Helios Ensemble. The internationally acclaimed Wartburg Choir, hailing from exotic Iowa, is touring through Tucson, and will be performing this show with the local Helios Ensemble, a 50-person community vocal performance group that has become Southern Arizona's most advanced community chorus since it started in 2014. Come listen to these two groups do what they're best at: making beautiful music. All you have to do is kick back and do one of the things you're probably best at: listening to beautiful music. 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26. Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway Blvd. $15, or $5 for students.
Sundays in the Garden at Tohono Chul. Did you know if you look up the word "relaxing" in the dictionary, you'll see, right next to the definition, a photo of yourself with a prickly pear lemonade in hand, listening to the soothing sounds of Bryan Hayslett on the cello in the gardens of Tohono Chul? It's true! Hayslett is a Ph.D. candidate in music performance at NYU Steinhardt, where he also teaches as adjunct artist faculty. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2009 when he was the first prize winner of the Alexander & Buono International String Competition. He's no joke! But you'll be a joke if you miss this performance! 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28. Tohono Chul Performance Garden, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte. $13 adults, $10 military/student/senior, $3 kids 5 to 12, free for members and kids under 5.
A Patterned Language. The Etherton Gallery's latest exhibit features work by artists from here in Arizona as well as from the Keram River of Papua New Guinea. All of it uses visual languages to explore the reality of today's world, some by exploring the ways which machines and technology shape everything from how we make purchases to how we make friends. Matt Magee's art uses stylized dots and dashes to visualize the code that runs the world. Albert Chamillard's crosshatching work evokes early cuneiform drawings. And work by the Artists of the Keram River depicts the daily lives of the people of Papua New Guinea. On display through June 15. Opening reception and book signing 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 27. Etherton Gallery, 135 S. Sixth Ave. Free.
MOCA Spring Exhibition Opening Reception. Happy springtime! Our local museum of contemporary art is featuring several selections from the UA School of Art, as well as two other exhibits. New Histories is a statewide juried youth art competition that features paintings, drawings, sculptures, collages and animations by K-12 youth. Groping in the Dark is an exhibition exploring the way humans use land, investigating elements like agricultural engineering, relationships between species and the expansion and collapse of human constructions. It's curated by artist, writer and curator Alex Young. 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 27 (members' preview starts at 7, and open to the public starting at 8). Tucson MOCA, 265 S. Church Ave. $5 GA; $3 students & senior; free for members, youth under 17, veterans, active military and public safety officers.
Spring Enchanted Evenings. If you're a Tucson transplant, Yume Japanese Gardens might be one of those places that you've been meaning to check out but just haven't gotten to yet. Well, this weekend is your perfect chance! Check it out on a warm spring evening, when the paths will be lit by glowing lanterns and recorded Japanese folk melodies on the koto, shamisen and shakuhachi will make your heart and head feel light. Traditional Japanese foods, like octopus dumplings and curry plates, will be for sale at Takoyaki Balls food truck. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, through Sunday, April 28. Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way. $15 adults, $5 for kids 3 to 15.
12 Months of Madaras: Sunset Month. The Madaras Gallery is celebrating 20 years of art this year by focusing on a different theme of Madaras' work each month. This month is all about one of the very best parts of living in the desert: the sunsets! So get red-y. And get orange-y and purple-y and all the colors of the sunset, by visiting the gallery this month to see this special display. Don't miss the opening reception, either. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2. Madaras Gallery, 3035 N. Swan Road. Free.
Theater, Dance and Comedy
Eight 10s in Tucson. There's something uniquely satisfying about being able to take in an entire piece of art in just 10 minutes. It's one of the great things about poetry and pop music. Usually, it's not something you can say about plays. But at the Winding Road Theater Ensemble's inaugural production of this festival, you can see eight different 10-minute plays, selected from more than 300 admissions all over the country. (Intermission is by Joe Bardin from Scottsdale—AZ represent!) More than two dozen local actors will be showing off their chops, with the help, of course, of a team of designers and technical staff. Friday, April 26, through Sunday, May 5. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The Temple of Music and Art's Cabaret Theatre, 330 S. Scott Ave. $28, with discounts for seniors, students, active military and first responders.
Robert Mac at Laffs. They call him "someone who has shared the stage with Robin Williams and Patton Oswalt." They call him "occasionally silly." And they call him a "Tucson semi-native." For one night only, the man they also call Robert Mac (because that's his name) is returning to Laffs with some of the stuff that made him one of Dry Bar's most popular acts. Entertainment Business ranked Mac in the top 100 standup comedians in the U.S., and his comedy is always clean, too! 7 p.m. Monday, April 29. Laffs Comedy Caffé, 2900 E. Broadway Blvd. $12 in advance, $15 at the door.
Little Women, the Broadway Musical. You're probably familiar with the story of the lovable foursome of Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March, growing up in Civil War America. In the musical, the sisters' desires come to life in the form of songs and dance that will warm your heart (and your vocal chords, as you sing along) even more than the original story. Jason Howland, who wrote the music for the show, won a Grammy for his work producing the cast recording of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Don't miss out on the magic! 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, and Saturday, May 4, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 28, and Sunday, May 5. Arizona Rose Theatre, 4500 N. Oracle Road (in the Tucson Mall). Advance: $17 GA, $15 senior/military, $10 children. At the door: $19 GA, $17 senior/military, $12 children.
Dance Fusion. Pima Community College's annual dance performance features student choreography in everything from hip hop to modern to jazz. And this is the first time since Nolan Kubota has been running the program that the show has had a theme: vintage carnival! They're bringing in sideshow acts like glass-walking, bottle dancing, strongmen and mermaids to lend to the atmosphere, and students had a chance to exercise their creativity under constraint. Kubota predicts that this show will be one of their best yet! 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. PCC Center for the Arts, West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Road. $10.
Broadway in Tucson: CATS. Ah, Cats. One of the most divisive musicals out there: You either love it or you hate it. You might not expect a musical about the internet's favorite animal to garner anything other than praise, but some people just aren't into it. But considering it's won seven Tonys, has been translated into 15 languages and has set longevity records on both sides of the Atlantic (it ran for 21 years in London!), it's the sort of thing that you really shouldn't judge until you've seen it. Plus, most of the songs are straight up just T.S. Eliot poems. Worth checking out, no? Tuesday, April 30, through Sunday, May 5., with evening shows at either 6:30, 7:30 or 8 p.m., a Saturday 2 p.m. matinee, and a Sunday 1 p.m. matinee. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. $19 to $120+.
Fun in General
May Day 2019 at the Museum of Miniatures. May Day is a celebration of workers, but we're betting it evokes the same images of Maypoles and happy little children for you as it does for us. This makes the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures the perfect place to celebrate it! Kids can create a tiny basket of flowers and play with a dress-up cart and dollhouses. Then, Fairy Caitlin & Friends from More to the Story Entertainment will read the group the story of Dragons Love Tacos 2, which we are assuming will resolve the cliffhanger ending of the original Dragons Love Tacos. Fairy, goblin and elf attire is encouraged! 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 27. Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, 4455 E. Camp Lowell Drive. Included with museum admission: $10.50 GA, $8.50 senior/military, $7 students/youth ages 4 to 17, free for members and kids 3 and under.
36th Annual Tucson Poetry Festival. There's something about Tucson that makes you want to write poetry about it. Maybe the city attracts poets, or maybe it creates them. It's probably a little bit of both. Here's a line from Ofelia Zepada's "Proclamation": "Citizens gravitate to Sabino Canyon. / The humming, buzzing, clicking of water life, / the miracle of desert streams / on smooth boulders. / Rocks, sediment older than life itself / serve as reminders." There's so many beautiful poets to celebrate at this year's event, with the theme "Poetry as Gesture" and with national guests like Angel Dominguez and Michael Klein and local poets like Kristen Nelson and Aura Valdes. Thursday, April 25, through Sunday, April 28, at various times and locations. See tucsonpoetryfestival.org for more info.
Solar Potluck and Exhibition. If you're going to live in Arizona, you're going to be surrounded by potential solar power. So you might as well use it as an excuse to have a potluck. Citizens for Solar is presenting their 37th annual iteration of this event, with displays of electric vehicles, a raffle for a solar oven and other solar products, and speakers and musicians on a stage powered by solar energy. There will also be solar cooked food all day long! Starting at 5 p.m., bring a dish, drink or some ice to the potluck to share—just bring your own plate and utensils. 10 a.m. to sunset (not much point trying to do solar-powered business after the sun sets). Saturday, April 27. Catalina State Park, 11570 N. Oracle Road. $7 per car to get into the park, but the potluck is free.