Ballet Tucson Pop-Ups. Last November, Ballet Tucson dancers, who had not performed since March 2020, did a brief but magical nighttime concert at the Tucson Botanical Garden. They went on to dance in other unconventional venues, including the Reid Park Zoo, the St. Philip's Farmers Market, and a Tucson Museum of Art patio. The shows were a hit, and this month the dancers will once again perform a series of short outdoor concerts. This weekend, they've got a gig at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park. Two company choreographers, associate director Chieko Imada and Balletmaster Daniel Precup, have created five new dances to be performed in all three concerts. Each show will feature nine dancers. Imada's Shall We Dance? is a comical duet about relationships, and her Trio is a contemporary jazz piece. Precup, formerly a full-time dancer in the troupe, will dance a romantic pas de deux with prima ballerina Jenna Johnson in his piece Rhapsody. (The two are married in real life.) He also choreographed a classic ballet solo for Johnson, inspired by the Spanish ballet Raymonda, as well as Reverberation, a lively piece for five dancers. Each of the concerts is just 20 minutes long, and each will be performed twice at each venue. Brandi Fenton Memorial Park along the Loop, 3482 E. River Road, west of Dodge Blvd. Shows at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 18. The final show is at Rillito Regional Park, near the racetrack, on Saturday, April 24. Bring blanket or chairs. Free.
Who Shot Rock and Roll? The Rialto Theatre has temporarily moved over into the visual art category. With live music forced into hiatus by the coronavirus, the Rialto is honoring past concerts with photos by C. Elliott and Mark A. Martinez as well as poster art by Ryan Trayte. Called The Gallery Project, the show will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and will stay up until the music returns. Entry is by reservation only; all comers must take a temperature check. Free. Photos, posters, cocktails and popcorn will be for sale. For info and reservations, visit rialtotheatre.com/gallery-project.
Shakespeare's King Lear plays a role in The Heath, written by prolific playwright Lauren Gunderson and produced as an audio play by Arizona Theater Company. Gunderson turns to acting in this semi-autobiographical tale about her relationship with her grandfather. Emmy winner John Larroquette is both Lear and the granddad. The free production runs from 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, to 5 p.m. Sunday April 18. To hear the show on your own devices, visit arizonatheatre.org.
The Loft of the Rings. Tucson's arthouse movie theater is celebrating the 20th anniversary of some of the most acclaimed and grand films ever made: the Lord of the Rings trilogy. They're hosting two open-air screenings of each film, so you have extra opportunity to catch them—or see it twice if you're a super fan! The first film, "The Fellowship of the Ring," screens Friday, April 16 and Tuesday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. The second film, "The Two Towers," screens Saturday, April 17 and Wednesday, April 21 at 7:30. And the final film, "The Return of the King," screens Sunday, April 18 and Thursday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. Screenings of each film will include one of three exclusive cast reunion Q&As, each featuring different cast members. These 20th anniversary Q&As will follow the films and are exclusive to these theatrical screenings. Plus, the Loft will also be hosting a free raffle to win a vintage vinyl movie theater promotional banner from the original release. $15. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. For more information, visit loftcinema.org
Arizona International Film Festival. The Arizona International Film Festival returns this week with 12 days of online and outdoor film screenings from comedy to drama to documentary. The 29th festival kicks off opening night at the MSA Annex on Wednesday, April 14, with an outdoor screening of Dustwun, a drama about a friendship between an undocumented migrant lost from her group traveling toward the United States and a troubled American veteran building his own "wall" out of trash in the desert. Filmmaker Genevieve Anderson will be present at the screening. The 2021 AIFF includes 24 feature films and 75 shorts. This year's films range from a bipolar love story to a hike across Utah to an experimental "film poem" about democracy. In addition to feature length films, there are also blocks of short films and panels where film professionals discuss cinematography, international film, independent films, and their own work. While multiple festival films were shot here in Arizona, other entries range from Italy to Turkey to Sudan. The 2021 Arizona International Film Festival continues through Sunday, April 25. To view the full schedule and to buy tickets, visit filmfestivalarizona.com.
Dinosaur Stampede. Dozens of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures are on display at the Pima County Fairgrounds this week But while they roar their terrible roars and gnash their terrible teeth, these dinosaurs are not flesh and blood but instead are robot duplicates that will amaze and delight fans of the giant reptiles. Jurassic Quest, a traveling exhibit of life-size mechanical dinosaur replicas, has set up at the Pima County Fairgrounds through Sunday, April 18. Visitors will see dozens of dinosaurs on the tour, including well-known favorites such as T-Rex and stegosaurus as well as more obscure dinos and other creatures such as giant ammonites (shelled creatures related to modern-day squids) on a drive-thru tour of the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods in the fairground's parking lot. While the show is normally indoors, the Jurassic Quest team has adapted to the coronavirus pandemic by offering this outdoor tour that is accompanied by a half-hour YouTube audio performance that teaches guests about the various dinosaurs on display (and includes an undercurrent of danger as hosts such as "Dino" Dustin Baker search for a missing T-Rex.) Among the fun facts you'll learn: The velociraptor was much smaller than the creatures who appear in various Hollywood films. "I think Hollywood people just think 'velociraptor' just sounds so cool, so they take liberties," Baker said. The tours continue from 1-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 14; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 15-16; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 17; and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 18.
Farmers Markets. Before the days get too hot, enjoy some pleasant mornings at the local farmers markets throughout town. St. Philip's Plaza Market is certainly one of the most beautiful local markets, housed in the white walls and bougainvillea of St. Philip's Plaza. Here you can purchase anything from spices to jewelry to plants. (The markets are held every weekend 8 a.m. to noon. 4280 N. Campbell Ave., suite 212.) In Oro Valley, the Heirloom farmers market is at Steam Pump Ranch on Saturdays. This market is going strong with plenty of local produce options as well as pasta, salsa, coffee, dairy, soaps and even food ready-to-eat. (10901 N. Oracle Road from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Also on Saturdays, the Marana Outdoor Market has plenty of arts and crafts for sale at their pet-friendly market near Dove Mountain. (12100 N. Dove Mountain Blvd., 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) Closer to downtown, the Mercado Flea market at the MSA Annex is going strong with plenty of vintage, antique and novelty items for sale on every second Sunday of the month.