City Week 

Thrift Shop Deluxe

Junior League of Tucson's 55th Annual Rummage Sale

6 to 10 p.m., Friday, March 87 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, March 9

Tucson Expo Center, 3750 E. Irvington Road.

299-5753; juniorleagueoftucson.org

Not only is the Junior League of Tucson (JLT) celebrating their 80th year in Tucson, they also are hosting their 55th Annual Rummage Sale this weekend to provide the community with unique items at great prices.

The theme of the rummage sale is "Treasure Island," due to all of the treasures they hope people will find.

 On Friday night, there will be live entertainment by DJ Beaker, games, and a dinner by Brush Fire BBQ and Golden Eagle Distributors. Saturday will be a continuation of the sale on items that are still available.

Jennifer Johnson, JTL sponsorship and endowment chair, said her favorite part about being involved in the organization is "being able to help others and just see the looks on their faces."

Her interest in community service was instilled in her as a child from her father.

"My family is really into giving back to the community that's given us so much," she said.

JLT has given her a chance to be able to do just that. It is an organization for women built around growing and building future community leaders, with a focus on independent seniors. 

Johnson said JTL has transitioned over the years. "We've taken our white gloves off and we've put our garden gloves on. We actually do the work."

Admission for the presale on Friday night is $5 or $20 with dinner. On Saturday, admission is $1 or one canned food item, which will be donated to the community food bank. The JLT has a drop box for donations with tax write-off letters available.


Marriage Is a Laugh

"You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!": A New Comedy About Love and Marriage

3 and 8 p.m., Saturday, March 9

The Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd.

882-9721; invisibletheatre.com

The trials of marriage are among show business' longest running jokes, but long-term partners of a new generation are getting a refresher of what really happens after saying, "I do."

When real-life couple Jeff Kahn (The Ben Stiller Show, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and Annabelle Gurwitch (Fired!) channeled their marital exploits into the novel You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up: A Love Story, a stage adaptation quickly followed. Two years after the book's publication, the play is on its second nationwide tour and has been praised by Marie Claire, People and Judd Apatow for its willingness to laugh at even the toughest of topics.

"Humor is a great equalizer, and this deals with universal issues in a way that allows people to laugh at the situation," said Susan Claassen, the managing artistic director of The Invisible Theatre, the play's Tucson host.

Musical theater actress Gabrielle Mirabella has played Gurwitch in the show since August 2012, and comic Kevin Bartini joined on in January for Kahn's role. Despite only knowing each other a matter of months, they said portraying a married couple wasn't hard to fake given the relatability of the subject matter.

"The people watching (the show) have gone through these things: the everyday fights, the children being born," Mirabella said. "It's really basic things in every relationship, but it's so familiar."

And despite the "twisted," over-the-top comedic edge that underlies the play's events, Tomato! never strays far from a place of common ground.

"You have to build a foundation of reality," Bartini said. "That's the cornerstone of good comedy."

Tickets for the 75-minute show are $42, and can be purchased online or over the phone through the Invisible Theatre.

— K.N.

No Sonic Booms Here

Tucson Jet Rally

9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9

TIMPA Radio Control Flying Field, 3950 N. Reservation Road.


The Tucson Jet Rally takes the sights, sounds, and smells that you would experience watching a real jet in flight and puts them into a miniature context.

Modelers from Tucson, California, Colorado, Texas, and other nearby regions gather at the Tucson International Modelplex Park Association (TIMPA) to show what their turbine engine model airplanes can do.

"The jets are actual models of actual full size jets and it's interesting to see the work that they do...to recreate them in miniature," said John Gonzalez, TIMPA vice president.

Gonzalez has flown model airplanes since he was a kid and became involved in TIMPA when another club he was a part of lost their field because of power lines that were put up. This group, Old Pueblo Flyers, along with other similar Tucson groups then approached the city to get land for a new field.

"We were looking to develop something that would bring in national events. That's where the idea TIMPA came up," he said.

The Southern Arizona Rocketry Association and Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association also use TIMPA for outdoor activities that require the space and darkness the field offers.

The rally this weekend will highlight six or seven local modelers that own these jet engine model airplanes, as well as several others from around the area. This unique experience brings people from all ages to enjoy the show.

"I can tell you from past years what the crowd really enjoys is watching these jets fly because it's totally different," he said. "The speed is amazing."

Admission for the Tucson Jet Rally is $5 for individuals, $10 for a carful.


Pure Improv

Jim Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy Improvisation Tour

6:30 p.m., Sunday, March 10

Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd.


Famed comedian Jim Belushi's career has long crossed over to acting, music and producing, but 2013 is all about returning to his roots with a "pure improvisation" tour.

Jim Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy kicked off the tour in their home city on Feb. 28, serving as an homage to the sketch comedy giant that helped launch their careers: the famed Second City improv theater, which trained Belushi and other Saturday Night Live greats. Jon Barinholtz, Brad Morris, Megan Grano and Belushi's son, Robert, will accompany Belushi on the tour and are also Second City-trained comedians.

"We're all old pros at it, and we've been having a ball," Belushi said. "It's hard to keep a straight face, these guys are so funny on stage."

Having his son on board with the tour has been a valuable experience for Belushi.

"It's all the promises they make when they say having children is great," Belushi said. "Now at his age, we are friends, we are actors, we're just loving our time together."

Like most successful improv tours, the goal of each performance is to directly engage the audience.

"We ask the audience for suggestions...and then we just improvise on the spot," Belushi said. "We're as funny as the audience is!"

General admission tickets start at $43, and are $24 for UA students. Group discounts are being offered by the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation, the show's main sponsor, and can be viewed at uahillel.org/JIMB.

— K.N.


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