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HOLY DAYS. The Georgian-born son of freed slaves, Roland Hayes not only enjoyed the luscious fruits of liberty, but also a stunning musical talent. After graduating from Fisk University, he gave debut recitals in Boston's Jordan and Symphony Halls in 1917, before traveling to Europe and launching a much-lauded career with his rich, commanding voice. While in England, he performed for King George V and Queen Mary at Buckingham Palace, with a repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to "Aframerican" spirituals.
All of which leads us to vocalist Mark Gordon Allen and pianist Nicole Nine, likewise highly talented folks who pay tribute to Hayes' vibrant legacy in The Life of Christ: Aframerican Spirituals from the Songbook of Roland Hayes. Their concert also honors late bassist and composer Sean Kelly Ball, who was killed in a car accident on February 28. Proceeds go to a scholarship fund in Ball's name. See Soundbites for more information.
Performances are 8 tonight through Saturday in the Southside Presbyterian Kiva, 317 W. 23rd St. A $5 to $8 donation is requested. For information, call 624-3880.
QUIET, PLEASE. In its determined quest for all that is retro, the Pink Motel video and espresso bar is going way, way back, with its Silent Film Festival. Tonight, Agnes Ayres, Vilma Banky and heartthrob Rudolf Valentino hit the hushed screen in the 1926 classic, Son of the Sheik. Shot in the vast dunes around lovely Yuma, this was poor Valentino's last film--he died while touring to promote it.
Tomorrow night, Tucson is the backdrop as Ida Lupino, Leo Carillo and Nino Martini move us into the talkies with The Gay Desperado, a movie made in 1936, when "gay" simply meant carefree.
This film features a Mexican bandito who hankers to emulate his American gangster brethren. He kidnaps an opera singer who is paying the bills as a cowboy singer, and the action happens amidst a host of period tunes, including "Adiós Mi Tierra," "The World is Mine Tonight," and "Celeste Aida."
Show times are 7:30 p.m. at the Savoy Opera House, located in Traildust Town, 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road. Admission is $5. For details, call 318-3500.
CELLULOID SOUND. Movie-making is back again, as Pan Left Productions, Tucson's sole non-profit video production collective, teams with the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers to present a benefit screening of Unity Crosses Borders.
A documentary concerned with human rights abuses in southern Arizona, which also includes footage from Cuba, Unity screens at 7:30 p.m. in the UA Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Building, located at the northeast corner of Mountain Avenue and Speedway. A $5 donation is requested, with food provided by Café Magritte and Tao of Foods. Peep Show will provide music. Call 882-4227 for information.
ALWAYS. America's prolific tunesmith gets his just desserts, when the Invisible Theatre presents Once and Forever: A Salute to Irving Berlin.
Created by Invisible doyenne Susan Claassen, along with Jeffrey Haskell and Jack Neubeck, the show features a handful of top performers, and taps Berlin's amazing repertoire of classics--from "White Christmas" to "God Bless America"--in a presentation that would make Kate Smith quiver.
Show times are 8 tonight, and 2 and 8 p.m. tomorrow in the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Tickets range from $22.50 to $25, and are available at the Invisible Theatre box office, 1400 N. First Ave., or by calling 882-9721.
GLIMPSES OF GRACE. The low-flying trapeze shares the stage with modern dance when Zenith Dance Collective presents Sketches: A Choreographers' Showcase.
Trapeze flyers flow through Nanette Marie's Night Weaving, and Katherine Harts' Diagnosis. But while Marie's work traces flight through a darkened landscape mingled with powerful dream images, Harts' piece taps the profoundly mortal experience of terminal illness, based on Igor Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms.
Eva Tessler's Another Like Herself follows. Loosely based on the Samuel Beckett play Rockaby, the choreography consists of short vignettes running parallel to--and occasionally converging with--the rich text and themes of mother/daughter conflict. See the preview in the Arts section for more information.
Performances continue at 8 tonight and tomorrow in the Tucson Center for the Performing Arts, 408 S. Sixth Ave. Tickets are $10 at the door, $8 in advance and for seniors, $6 for students and kids, available at Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea on Speedway. For information, call 322-9021.
REAL TUCSON STUDIOS. Get a true taste of the studio scene in Tucson by strolling through the Spring Downtown Artists' Studio Tour between noon and 5 p.m. More than 30 artists throw open their doors for this biannual event, which includes private workspaces throughout the Arts District downtown, from the colorful Mat Bevel Institute on North Stone Avenue to the Armory Park studio of Mary Theresa Dietz on South Fourth Avenue. Event is free. For information and a map, pick up a copy of the Arts District Quarterly, or call 624-9977.
SHUTTERBUGS. Arizona Photographic Collectors stand by their name, as they give the public a chance to build their own collections with a massive camera show. Scads of cameras and lenses will be up for grabs, along with literature for shooters, and "accessories of every kind, projectors, images and more!"
Event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Shrine Temple, 450 S. Tucson Blvd. Admission is $4, with a $1 discount coupon available at local camera shops. For details, call 529-5072.
CULTURAL VOYEURS. "Did you ever wonder what museums keep behind the closed doors of their basement store rooms?" asks Bruce Hilpert, curator of the Arizona State Museum. "Are you dying to ask an archaeologist about the meaning of an ancient Indian petroglyph? Do you want to see what researchers can learn from the 15,000 prehistoric pots the Arizona State Museum preserves for the people of Arizona?"
If the answer is no, you're dismissed; go back to your Baywatch re-runs. But if you itch to find out what really happens in the dusty bowels of a big-time cultural repository, check out today's Arizona State Museum Open House, when staffers throw wide the doors and provide the public a behind-the-scenes glimpse.
Visitors can stroll through storerooms, labs and exhibit preparation areas. There will be demonstrations of Native American craft-making, and folks can try their hands at grinding corn the old-fashioned way--with a metate. That's in addition to the ongoing exhibits, including the photogravures of E.S. Curtis, stunning gouache paintings by Navajo artist Quincy Tahoma, and lectures by museum staffers.
Event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Arizona State Museum, located on the UA campus just inside the main gate on Park Avenue. Admission is free. For information, call 621-6302.
FEMININE CRAFT. The Tucson Jazz Society once again celebrates music's feminine side with the final concert of Primavera: A Celebration of Women in the Arts.
The month-long action winds down in a big way tonight with the annual Primavera Jazz Concert, featuring pianist Renee Rosnes and her trio.
Canadian-born Rosnes recently released her fourth Blue Note recording, and has toured with jazz heavyweights ranging from Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter to James Moody and Jon Faddis. Tonight's show will reveal why she's considered among the genre's hottest acts. Opening will be a top roster of local talent, along with Chicago-based pianist/vocalist Judy Roberts.
Performance is 8 p.m. in the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. Tickets are $20, $14 for TJS members, and are available at Hear's Music. Call 743-3399 for details.
BIG BOPPER. Sometimes it seems the only things cruising local skies are TPD's roaring chopper and drug hustlers jetting their wares to-and-fro. But there's a far bigger--and much more profound--world lying far beyond the glow of city lights, evidenced by that ornery little galactic cruiser called Comet Hale-Bopp.
Though the hurtling snowball won't reach its blazing peak for three weeks, professional gazers say it's already topped last year's appearance by Comet Hyakutake. Hale-Bopp can be glimpsed in the northeast sky 75 to 90 minutes before sunrise. But it hardly hides at night, when it appears in the northwest sky. And in celebration, the ever-resourceful Flandrau Science Center is hosting a comet viewing in Marana, where the urban glow still remains somewhat subdued. For $25, you get a planetarium presentation and a bus ride to the spot, where telescopes and giant binoculars will be on hand.
Events run from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. today and Tuesday. Tickets are available in the Flandrau Science Center gift shop, located on the UA campus. Call 621-4310 for information.
MOCK-UP. Ever consider the world of high art to be slightly anal and more than a bit snooty? So does William T. Wiley, a Bay-area visionary who pokes fun at creative pretense in Animal Writes, now on display in the UA Joseph Gross Gallery.
Wiley became famous as part of San Francisco's Funk Movement in the '60s, eventually developing a signature style of calligraphic signs and quirky paintings focused upon his philosophical and political obsessions. His current show releases those urges with a look at the animal world, and how it's been portrayed through history.
Using sly and deceptive humor, Wiley's works rank among the most humanistic and humorous of the contemporary scene, and simultaneously among the most intellectually challenging, with references ranging from parody to veneration. Always, the underlying message is that "all human endeavor, including art, is a dialogue between past and present, in which claims of originality and god-like autonomy are absurd," says writer Catherine Maclay.
Exhibit runs through April 5 in the UA Joseph Gross Gallery, located at the southeast corner of Speedway, east of Park Avenue. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. For information, call 626-4215.
PEAK EXPERIENCE. Margo Chisholm wasn't born remarkable. But the self-described "ordinary, middle-aged woman" with no trekking experience overcame her mundane life, drugs and booze to tackle the world's highest mountains.
She describes her adventures and her book, To the Summit, with an accompanying slide show, at 8 p.m. at the Summit Hut, 5045 E. Speedway. Event is free. Call 325-1554.
SPIRITUAL UPRISING. Five artists have teamed up to display their visions of personal transformation in the Central Arts Collective's new exhibit, Transcendent Places. Ranging from the circus imagery of Amanda Yopp's woodcuts, to Ron Mayo's multi-media collages, and Renee Koehler's delicate watercolors, the show traces self-exploration through provocative representations of the human experience.
Exhibit runs through April 26 in the Central Arts Collective, 188 E. Broadway. Regular hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and during Thursday Night Art Walks and Downtown Saturday Nights. A special opening reception will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 5. Call 623-5883 for information.
SUNBURNT BARD. Deny thy father. Refuse thy name. Or if you won't, then just go ahead and check-out Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, jointly produced by Borderlands Theater and the PCC Drama Department.
The Verona lovers once again hit the stage, this time in a modern interpretation of the timeless tragedy set in the contemporary Southwest. Director Chris Wilken says he's aiming for "exploring our children's loss of innocence in a competitive society based on male standards."
Luckily, there's also bound to be plenty of spooning and other dramatically thorny behavior, when the Montagues and Capulets face off against a backdrop of horny toads and prickly pear. In this version, Shakespearean intensity rifles across a sun-baked adolescent playground complete with a rave scene. Actors include Patrick Burke as Mercutio and Yolanda Hovey as Lady Capulet, with Michael Alvarado and Jennifer Fisk as the ill-fated cuddlers.
Show time is 8 tonight and tomorrow, with evening performances continuing Wednesdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays through April 12, at the PCC Proscenium Theater, 2202 W. Anklam. Tickets range from $6 to $10, and are available at Antigone Books, Jeff's Classical Records, and the PCC West Campus cashier.
City Week includes events selected by Calendar Editor Mari Wadsworth. Event information is accurate as of press time. The Weekly recommends calling event organizers to check for last-minute changes in location, time, price, etc.
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