City Week

Hometown Hilarity

Cactus Pants Cowboy

10 p.m., Friday, Aug. 19, and Saturday, Aug. 20

Beowulf Alley Theatre

11 S. Sixth Ave.


A fallen police officer rebuilt as a cyborg: That's 1987's best action film.

A fallen police officer rebuilt with the body parts of a homeless man: That's Hobo Cop, a creation of local comedy troupe Cactus Pants Cowboy.

"We definitely pander to the absurd," said Hobo Cop himself, troupe member Evan Engle.

The troupe's humor can be adult-themed, but it's not blue for the sake of being blue, Engle said. "We try to preserve taste and tact while doing as many poop and fart jokes as possible."

The troupe consists of five men and one woman, and includes a wide range of personalities, troupe member Scott O'Brien said. The comedy mixes the experiences of athletes, actors and even one Geico employee.

"Between all of us, we find a way to meld those worlds together," O'Brien said.

Engle said the troupe's humor is "madcap craziness," a comedy style he said that locals don't often see.

"Our inspirations are Kids in the Hall, the Upright Citizens Brigade ... that's the flavor we want to bring to Tucson," he said.

The troupe was born about two years ago under the name Grendel's Mom, but the group recently took the name Cactus Pants Cowboy as a link to Tucson.

Cactus Pants Cowboy is set to become an LLC and will soon begin booking itself, O'Brien said. Eventually, he hopes comedy will become a full-time job for the group.

"Growth is the goal," O'Brien said. "We're on a mission to show how good we are, to show how good we can be."

The troupe will perform a pre-Beowulf show at 9 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 18, at the El Charro Café at 6310 E. Broadway Blvd. Admission is $5.

For the Beowulf performances, admission is $10. —C.A.


Writing War, Writing Peace

On display Monday, Aug. 22, through Wednesday, Sept. 21

UA Poetry Center

1508 E. Helen St.


When you hear the words "war" and "peace," the famously long Tolstoy novel might spring to mind—but Tucsonans can now instead see this mammoth theme transformed through the eyes of children.

Next Monday, the University of Arizona Poetry Center will debut a month-long library exhibit titled Writing War, Writing Peace.

The exhibit showcases literature from around the world written by and for children on the theme of war and peace. Many of the books come from the Worlds of Words, a wonderful international collection of children's and adolescent literature from the University of Arizona College of Education.

"The books will be organized in themes," said the Poetry Center's senior library supervisor, Wendy Burk. "There will be cases of books with children's writings and drawings about war, and writings of witness from children in war-torn regions."

There will also be a case of books with true stories of peaceful heroes. For example, Trees of Peace, by Jeanette Winter, is a fictionalized true story about Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, who started the tree-planting movement in Kenya.

But it's the child's perspective on war and peace that makes this exhibit sing. "I think that it gets at what's essential and strips things down to our shared humanity," said Burk.

This exhibit will coincide with a traveling art exhibit, Speak Peace: American Voices Respond to Vietnamese Children's Paintings, which will be on display at the Poetry Center from Aug. 29 through Sept. 23. That exhibit will feature original artwork by children, along with poems.

"The exhibit will be very colorful and appealing to children," said Burk.

Admission is free. —A.L.


Movie Madness Local Movie Makers EXPO!

Noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 20

Bookmans Entertainment Exchange

6230 E. Speedway Blvd.


If you want to be the next Spielberg, Scorsese or Stallone, this event is for you.

Local filmmakers will gather Saturday to speak to anyone who'd like to follow in their footsteps, Bookmans Speedway event liaison Anthony Aldinger said.

Other figures in the local media industry will be on hand, too, including a Bookmans' media coordinator, who will speak about the process of making commercials. A representative from the Loft Cinema will explain the theater's relationship with the local movie industry, Aldinger said.

Jonathan Ziegler, founder and director of Electric Tiger Productions, will speak. His video-production company uses local talent and resources with the goal of expanding Tucson's media industry.

He said the promotion of Tucson filmmaking is important for the arts community. "A lot of the local filmmakers are sort of de facto documentarians," Ziegler said.

He hopes Tucson businesses will pay attention to pleas from organizations like the Independent Film Association of Southern Arizona to invest in local filmmaking.

Taylor Genovese, founder and manager of Cubed Root Films, will also participate. He said he hopes the local filmmaking community returns to glory days like the 1960s, when Old Tucson Studios was home to a flood of Western productions.

"It's good for the economy," Aldinger said of local filmmaking. "Anything you do locally is going to spiral into being better for the community."

Ziegler said IFASA and local nonprofit Pan Left Productions are two of many organizations that help Tucson filmmakers get started.

"If anybody's really interested in finding out more about filmmaking, we have a lot of really great resources in Tucson," he said. —C.A.

Come Sleep With Me

The Pimpnotist

9 p.m., next Thursday, Aug. 25

RPM Nightclub

445 W. Wetmore Road


Michael DeSchalit wants to bring a little bit of Vegas to Tucson, so the hypnotist has a fun, bawdy show planned for next Thursday.

The Pimpnotist is a notch up from your regular hypnotist show.

"It gets volunteers to do stuff you would only see during a wild night in Vegas," said DeSchalit. Some of these wild acts include audience members smoking an imaginary doobie and instructing a sock monkey on how to masturbate.

But DeSchalit's shows are about more than just shock value. The veteran hypnotist and magician is also a motivational speaker.

"The volunteers leave the show feeling fresh and invigorated," said DeSchalit. "While they're in hypnosis, I help them reach their goals."

While The Pimpnotist is a 21-and-older show, DeSchalit caterers to a wide range of audiences and events, including corporate functions, school assemblies, graduation nights, fairs and even fundraisers. "It's fun to let loose, but I also want to maintain my integrity and professionalism," said DeSchalit.

DeSchalit hopes to dispel the myth that hypnosis is crazy and spooky. "Hypnosis is so powerful," he said. "It's all in good fun, but it can also help people realize that they have power within themselves to bring change and succeed in every aspect of their life."

Don't let these glimpses of earnestness fool you; The Pimpnotist is going to be a wild ride. Men will get spontaneous jock itch; women will be convinced that their boobs are talking to each other; and volunteers will make sexy faces while auditioning for pornos.

"It's going to be a ripping good time," said DeSchalit. "I promise that everyone who goes will laugh so hard, their sides will hurt."

Admission is $7. —A.L.

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