Get a New View of Tucson
CityScape Adventures—Tucson 2013
11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16
Starts at Gentle Ben's Brewery, 865 E. University Blvd.
CityScape Adventures is an urban scavenger race that was created "to help people to do something different then your traditional five- or 10-kilometer race," says race director Tony Ghigo.
The race is coming to Tucson for its fourth year on Saturday, rain or shine. The goal is to get participants to experience their city in new ways through a series of challenges and puzzles that lead them to various spots around Tucson.
Participants compete in teams of two for prizes and the chance to participate in an unusual experience.
Participants with smartphones may have the edge because they can use the Internet or QR code readers during the race. You can, however, participate without one.
Although smartphones can help, Ghigo said he likes to emphasize that the race "shows the participants that there is life outside of a cell phone."
Ghigo, who started CityScape Adventures in 2009, has found that participants thoroughly enjoy exploring their cities and seeing places they didn't know existed.
"I hope they have a nice workout, a fun and challenging experience, and really build relationships with their friends or spouse or whoever they are participating with," he said.
Registration is open until the day of the event and costs $50 per person. For race details and to register, go to the CityScape website.—M.M.
Scream to Your Heart's Content
9 p.m., Friday, Feb.15
The Loft Cinema3233 E. Speedway Blvd.
If the hearts-and-roses side of Valentine's Day isn't your thing, The Loft Cinema is offering a darker look at the holiday the day after V-Day.
The theater is holding its eighth annual All-Nite Scream-O-Rama, which features seven horror films screened across 12 hours starting at 9 p.m. The event will start with a Valentine's Day horror flick, My Bloody Valentine. Other films on the program are Dead Alive, Phantasm, Christine, REC, The Manitou and Creepshow.
Along with making for a horrifyingly lovely twist to Valentine's Day, having the event in the middle of February allowed the Loft to stay with the tradition of scheduling the event around Friday the 13th, said Jeff Yanc, the theater's program director.
Since those unluckiest days of the week this year are in September and December, the organizers had to get creative. The early scheduling also gives the Loft two chances to do a Scream-O-Rama in 2013.
Yanc said the event has become increasingly popular since it began in 2005. Only about 25 people made it through all 12 hours during the first year's screenings, Yanc said, but last year more than 250 people were still in the theater when the sun came up.
He said the late-night screening party has also appealed to the bar crowd, which typically shows up at about midnight to catch a few flicks after drinks. People also show up toward the end of the marathon to watch a horror movie around breakfast time.
Prospective attendees are encouraged to wear pajamas and bring a pillow, and prizes for the "survivors" who last the entire event will be offered.
Admission is $13 advance; $15 at the door; and $12 for Loft members.—K.M.
Viral Songs of the 17th Century
Mad Songs and Englishmen
3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 17
Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church2331 E. Adams St.
In England during the 17th century, the clinically insane were considered celebrities.
The English became enthralled with lunacy and many playwrights—including William Shakespeare and Ben Johnson—began writing insane characters into their plays. The songs that these characters sang eventually became a genre of their own, called "mad songs."
Musica Sonora, Southern Arizona's professional early-music ensemble, will give an educational presentation this Sunday on the history of the mad song, along with performances of some of them by ensemble soprano Mireille Hofmann Jacquod and harpsichordist Jeffri Sanders.
Christina Jarvis, the ensemble's artistic director, helped organize the event and has written program notes that explain the genre's popularity. Certain singers who specialized in mad songs reached a level of popularity that compares to today's viral video, Jarvis said, adding that the mentally ill in London's Bethlem Royal Hospital became a source of theater.
"People would just sort of pack lunches and they'd pay a fee and they'd go to the day rooms and they'd just watch the crazy people as a form of entertainment," she said.
Jarvis added that the idea behind the concert was to do something educational that Tucsonans hadn't seen before.
"We thought we'd like to do just sort of a lecture demonstration of some aspect of early music," Jarvis said.
Attendees don't need to be scholars of English history to enjoy the event, either. Jarvis said her program notes will simplify everything for the listeners.
Admission is $15; $12 per person for groups of 10 or more; and $5 for students. Tickets will be available at the door.—K.M.
More Than Just Minerals
Crystalline Treasures: The Mineral Heritage of China
10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday; and 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, through December 2013.
Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd.
Just in time for Tucson's annual gem, fossil and mineral extravaganza, the newest exhibit at the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium is Crystalline Treasures: The Mineral Heritage of China.
Each year, the museum changes the featured mineral exhibit to coincide with the gem shows. The exhibit themes usually focus on a region of the world or a specific mineral.
Dr. Rob Lavinsky, a prominent mineral collector and dealer, approached the museum this year to display his collection of minerals from China. Many new specimens have recently been found there and Crystalline Treasures shows off some of them.
"We're kind of trying to bridge the old cultural traditions that involve rocks and minerals in China with the new trajectory of China as a great mineral producer and as a country that's trying to recognize and promote its mineral wealth," said Shipherd Reed, a Flandrau worker and one of the organizers of the exhibit.
Along with an amazing collection of minerals, the exhibit includes information about the culture and history of China.
"You will be able to see the mineral specimens themselves, which are amazing, and learn about which minerals are prominent in China, but at the same time you'll be able to get Chinese history and culture applying to the minerals," Reed said.
Admission is $7 adults; $5 children ages 4-15; $6 seniors/military; and $4 students.—M.M.