Editor's Note: Setting the Stage

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The pandemic hammered a lot of sectors over the last year, but it's safe to say that the performing arts was one of the hardest hit. The very nature of the business, whether it's screaming guitars in the Rialto or a Shakespeare production at the Temple of Music and Art, involved bringing people together in crowded spaces—a big no-no when you're trying to squash an easily transmissible virus. Some theater troupes adjusted with various COVID precautions and some music venues have been doing outdoor shows, but many of our major performing venues simply went dark. Now, however, with about half of Pima County's adult population vaccinated and cases dropping, we are seeing more arts organizations bringing back performances. Longtime arts writer Margaret Regan shares the details in this week's cover story.

Elsewhere in the book: Staff reporter Christina Duran looks at why the Pima County Board of Supervisors dropped its mask mandate following new guidance from the CDC and fills you in on where and how kids 12-15 can get vaccinated; associate editor Jeff Gardner introduces you to local scientists who are seeking a cure for your dog's bad breath; The Skinny runs some numbers on the Arizona Senate's absurd "audit" of the 2020 election; guest contributor Matt Russell celebrates the opening of new pizza joint Zio Peppe on Tucson's east side; calendar editor Emily Dieckman shares a bunch of fun-but-safe things we can do as the pandemic recedes; Tucson Weedly columnist David Abbott talks to Steve White, whose Harvest cannabis empire was part of a $2.1 billion deal last week; and there's plenty more, including a look at a new album from Chris Brashear and Peter McLaughlin, your weekly horoscope, great sex advice from Dan Savage, this burg's finest cartoons and plenty more, so crack open the paper and enjoy.

Jim Nintzel, Executive Editor

Hear Nintz talk about what's happening this weekend at 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays on The World Famous Frank Show on KLPX, 96.1 FM.

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