Party Like It's 1891
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11
Fort Lowell Park
2900 N. Craycroft Road
The Fort Lowell Day Celebration got its start as a reunion, of sorts.
"When it began in 1981, it was to draw together and have a reunion of fuerteños and their descendants," said Lynn Ratener, of the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Association.
"When the fort was decommissioned in 1891, the Army took everything with them," Ratner said. "All they left was crumbling adobe. Certainly, the residents of this area knew what to do with crumbling adobe: (They) rushed in, shored it up and began to live in the structures."
The celebration begins with a private mariachi Mass for neighborhood residents and descendants of the original fort-dwellers. That's to be followed by a first for the annual celebration: baseball between the Bisbee Black Sox and the Tucson Saguaros, played with 19th-century rules and equipment.
"The game is stone-age baseball, in terms of equipment terminology and rules," said Mike Anderson, historian and captain of the Bisbee Black Sox.
Differences in the vintage game include how outs are made (batters are out on caught one-hoppers), the pitching style (all underhand) and the equipment—or absence of it (heavier bats, no gloves).
Later in the day, B Troop of the 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment from Fort Huachuca will conduct drills at Fort Lowell Park, and the regiment's band will play music from the 19th century. Kids will have the opportunity to be "inducted" into the regiment through "You're In the Army Now," a demonstration of what it would have been like to serve in the frontier Army in the 19th century.
Adults can join in activities as well, and groups of all ages will make adobe bricks and Mexican paper flowers.
All events are free. —D.M.
Emotions on the Stage
7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14, through Friday, Feb. 17
UA Stevie Eller Dance Theater
1713 E. University Blvd.
With Valentine's Day around the corner, the UA School of Dance and the UA Poetry Center have collaborated to put on a show that highlights the emotions that people experience in love and relationships.
The production showcases individual talents through various combinations of music, poetry and dance to create an "intimate evening," said Jory Hancock, the director of the School of Dance and the dean of the College of Fine Arts at the UA. Hancock is also one of the event's choreographers.
"You can't describe how art is supposed to make you feel," Hancock said. "People just have to come and see it."
The show includes many styles of dance, including dramatic-intent work, modern dance and contemporary ballet. Sometimes, the performances will be abstract; at other times, they will closely interpret the accompanying poetry and songs, Hancock said.
"People can be transported by beautiful language and beautiful dance," said Cybele Knowles, program coordinator for the UA Poetry Center.
Performances will touch on themes of joy, fantasy and "the power of memory."
The audience will see dancers perform while Richard Siken reads a collection of his poems to music by Suzanne Knosp. Knowles said the poems Siken will read are from his book Crush.
"It's a wonderful book," she said. "People get very passionate about it."
The different combinations of music, dance and poetry will give the audience an intimate and well-rounded look at relationships, Knowles said.
"I think what the audience will love is the range of emotions that we take them through," Hancock said.
Tickets are $18; $15 for seniors, UA employees and military members; and $12 for students. —M.W.
Tunes and Comedy Unite
8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 9, and Friday, Feb. 10
Temple of Music and Art
330 S. Scott Ave.
481-4004 (info); (800) 595-4849 (tickets)
During his 45-year career, singer-songwriter Leo Kottke has built a fan base through his original songs, distinct finger-picking and ability to make the audience laugh.
Kottke is no stranger to Tucson. He's been coming to the Temple of Music and Art since the early 1990s, said Don Gest, the executive director of In Concert! Tucson. For the past 10 years, he's given two performances on each visit.
The venue has nice acoustics, and it's small enough to "get a rapport with the audience really quick," Gest said, adding that Kottke "loves doing his solo shows here. He just loves it."
Kottke, who began playing six- and 12-string guitars in the 1960s, has "quirky" vocals that people love, Gest said.
"He has his own style that is influenced by blues, jazz and folk," Gest said. "It's an unusual mix of jazz and guitar."
Kottke is also popular in folk circles. But Kottke's fans don't come just for the great music; they also appreciate his humor.
"He's always got that very unique and humorous stage presence," Gest said. "He does monologues that are very funny."
Kottke will perform his own compositions, as well as blues classics like "Corrina, Corrina." He has collaborated with artists such as John Fahey, Mike Gordon of Phish, Rickie Lee Jones, Lyle Lovett and the late Chet Atkins and Joe Pass.
"It's just so unique, his guitar-playing, that people like to see him just for that," Gest said.
Tickets are $24 and $26, and are available www.inconcerttucson.com. You can also get them by calling (800) 595-4849, or by visiting Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave., or the Folk Shop, 2525 N. Campbell Ave. —M.W.
Trail Dust Town and Pinnacle Peak 50th Anniversary
11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12
6541 E. Tanque Verde Road
Trail Dust Town and Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse will be celebrating their 50th year of "steakhood" (their pun, not ours) to coincide with Arizona's centennial—necktie-cutting and all.
The tradition of servers cutting off the neckties of anyone who dares wear one into the steakhouse has lasted as long as the steakhouse, because "cowboys and ties just don't mix," said David Ragland of Agro Land and Cattle Company, Trail Dust Town's parent company.
The festivities will include performances by the 4th U.S. Cavalry Regimental Band at noon, and Ballet Folklorico Tapatio at 6 p.m. Trick roper Loop Rawlins, making his return to Trail Dust Town after four years, will perform two shows.
Rawlins began his career as a trick roper at Trail Dust Town at age 14 and has since performed on national TV and with Cirque du Soleil. His short film, The Adventures of Loop and Rhett, has been winning awards on the festival circuit.
"Trail Dust Town is where I learned to perform," said Rawlins. "They threw me in front of an audience with just my skills, and no (pre-planned) show, so I had to come up with something. I was 14, so for me to get in front of an audience at that age was good for me."
Other activities will include a vehicle display that will showcase military rides from the World War I and World War II eras, and civilian vehicles that have been around as long as the state of Arizona.
Also planned are a number of historical displays and rides, including Trail Dust Town's new Covered Wagon Ferris Wheel.
Admission and parking are free—and if you plan on wearing a tie, make sure it's a cheap one. —D.M.