Filler City Week
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Thursday 18

SMALL WORLD. Fresh from her recent performance with Sweet Honey in the Rock at the Beijing UN NGO Forum on Women, Judy Small brings her feisty brand of feminist folk back to the Tucson stage in yet another local benefit concert. This time around, the revered Aussie singer/ songwriter performs on behalf of Women for Sustainable Technologies, a fledgling non-profit organization providing community education and support for environmentally friendly innovations like solar energy, permaculture, xeriscape and water harvesting, to name a few. Small's politically motivated and nature-inspired ballads, combined with her energetic audience rapport, promise an evening of great music and inspiration.

Show time is 7:30 p.m. at the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Arrive early for a vegetarian potluck at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance from Antigone Books and Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea, with proceeds assisting the 1996 Conference on Sustainable Communities, an event WST hopes to offer the community free of charge. Call 623-1688 for event information, or 690-6356 for information on WST programs.

Image CELTIC CROSSROADS. With the rich fabric of Celtic Music the Old Pueblo has seen already this year, it's hard to believe tonight's show covers new ground. But that it does, as three of the finest fiddle players in the world, with guitar back-up from Emerald Isle musicians Tony McManus and Dennis Cahill, team up to present an unparalleled evening of old traditions and emerging talent.

Scottish veteran Brian McNeill, the force behind the former Battlefield Band, is a master multi-instrumentalist whose delicate touch and breakneck speed have dazzled audiences since the early '70s. Add to that the energetic Natalie MacMaster, a 23-year-old Cape Breton sensation whose spellbinding performance combines step-dancing and fiddling (that's simultaneously), and six-time All-Ireland Championship fiddler Martin Hayes, "the Irish Mark O'Connor" from County Clare. This is where the rainbow ends.

Show time is 8 p.m. at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. Tickets are $12 and $14, with a $2 discount for seniors, students and KXCI and TFTM members, available at Hear's Music, Piney Hollow, Loco Records and the Harp and Shamrock. Call 881-3947 or 327-4809 for tickets and information.

BALLPARK FRANK. The Tucson Toros, farm club for the Houston Astros, are coming off an outstanding 1995 performance that saw them earn a post-season berth. Plenty of last year's players are still in the line-up, including pitcher Donne Wall, outfielders Bob Abreu and Ken Ramos, and scrappy second baseman Dave Hajek, who somehow always manages to get that clutch hit. Better catch him before he's out of our league, so to speak.

Here's the scoop on Baseball this week at Reid Park Hi Corbett Field: The Toros take on the Calgary Cannons tonight through Sunday, April 21, and start a four-game series against the Phoenix Firebirds on Monday, April 22. First pitch is 7 p.m. weeknights, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $3 to $6, with free tickets for Monday games available at all Circle K stores. For more information, including the many unbelievable giveaways, call 325-2621.

Friday 19

Image DOWN AND OUT. Los Angeles performance artist/poet Luis Alfaro has won the praises of critics from all walks of life for his solo works said to exhibit "deep affection splattered with wry humor," works that "fuse a passion for performance and language with a strong queer and Chicano identity." Alfaro, who is co-director of the Latino Theatre Initiative at L.A.'s Mark Taper Forum Theatre, brings his dynamic urban poetry to the Tucson stage at 8 p.m. at the Center for the Performing Arts, 408 S. Sixth Ave. Tickets are $10, $7 for seniors and students, available at Antigone Books and Tucson Trunk. Call 696-1612 for information.

Alfaro presents a free writer's workshop for men from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Call Marianda Joseph at 621-5839 to register. Program is presented by the UA Committee on Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Studies.

UPPITY WOMEN SING. Who can sit still when Ann Rabson starts in with that irresistible New Orleans-style piano? Add to that the bell-tone vocals and expert musicianship of Gaye Adegbalola (guitar, harmonica) and Andra Faye McIntosh (acoustic bass, mandolin, guitar and fiddle) and Saffire--the Uppity Blues Women produce a sound that demands your full attention. From influences from Ma Rainey, Jelly Roll Morton and Big Mama Thorton to contemporaries like Bonnie Raitt and Rory Block, Saffire belts out the blues with a long-overdue breath of fresh air. Their recently released Old, New, Borrowed & Blue is far and away the most inspiring blend of time-honored covers and sparkling originals to come along in years.

You owe it to the uppity spirit within to see them live at 8 p.m. at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. Arthur Migliazza opens the show. Advance tickets are $18, with a $1 discount for TBS, KXCI and TFTM members, available at Hear's Music, Antigone Books, Loco Music and Zip's University. If there are any, they'll cost $20 at the door. Call 881-3947 for tickets; or 795-5685 for information.

MARLEY'S MESSAGE. The annual Bob Marley Festival celebrating anthems of world peace, environmental concern, equality and unity through reggae and world music, kicks off with a house rockin' party featuring Errol Blackwood, Ben Hunter and Tony X Press at 9 p.m. at the Rialto Theater, 318 E. Congress St., for a mere $5 at the door. Call 740-1986 for information. But save yourself for the main event from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Reid Park DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, where the legendary Joe Higgs headlines. Other featured performers include Ben Hunter, Irie Time, Makak Drum Circle, One Blood and the Grand Canyon's Havasupi Indian reggae band, Tribal War. Caribbean, African and American arts, crafts, foods and beverages will be available. Admission is free, with donations to the Community Food Bank strongly encouraged. Call 623-1000 for festival information.

Saturday 20

Image WAILA FESTIVAL. This is an amazing week for live music; but no spring would be complete without a visit to the Arizona Historical Society's annual Waila Festival. Now in its eighth year, the festival has become one of the favorite Old Pueblo traditions with a colorful, multi-faceted celebration of the social dance music and culture of the Tohono O'odham Indian Nation. Because there's construction in the area, this year's festival will center on Park Avenue between First and Second streets, with music by T.O. Combo, the Cisco Band, the Santa Rosa Band, the Lopez Brothers and the San Xavier Fiddlers on two stages, along with a showcase of young Waila musicians featuring sister saxophonists Victoria and Rosanna Pablo.

Festival hours are 5 to 11 p.m. in the block surrounding the Arizona Historical Society, 949 W. Second St. Admission is free. Call 628-5774 for information.

NO HOLDS BARD. Ballet Arizona returns to Tucson for a single performance of Romeo and Juliet, artistic director Michael Uthoff's streamlined version of the modern classic, featuring dancers Qisheng Zhang and Yen-Li Chen-Zhang in the title roles. See Margaret Regan's article in the Review section for details. Ballet Arizona, which has provided an outstanding program of dance so far this season, performs at 7:30 p.m. at the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets range from $16 to $26 and are available at Dillard's, the TCC box office or by calling Ballet Arizona at 882-5022.

Sunday 21

Image ON TAP. Beer guzzlers of the Old Pueblo, unite! It's that wondrous time of year when you can drink your favorite brews to moderate excess all in the name of a good cause. Sun Sounds, a non-profit radio information station for the visually and physically impaired and learning disabled, hosts its ninth annual Great Tucson Beer Festival from noon to 5 p.m. at Plaza Palomino, located at Ft. Lowell and Swan roads. This is a rollicking good time with live music, hot food and bottomless samples of beers and non-alcoholic beverages from around the world. Tickets are $25 and must be purchased in advance from Uncle Bob's Popcorn, 5-Star Electronics, Plaza Palomino, Cardinal Coffees, Trader Joe's, the RumRunner, Plaza Liquors, Magee Road Liquors or Orange Grove Brew and Vine. Event is strictly 21-and-over. Call Sun Sounds at 296-2400 for information.

OLD PUEBLO ARTS ENSEMBLE. Join director Enrique Lasansky and his ever-better arts ensemble for an offering of "multi-cultural and multi-media works" leading off a series dedicated to Hispanic music with an emphasis on 20th century Mexican composers. This afternoon delight begins at 3 p.m. at the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Admission is $10 at the door, $5 for students with I.D. Call 884-1220 for information.

Monday 22

FILM FEST. The Arizona International Film Festival is well into its first week (see the Cinema section for a full preview), and if you haven't already checked it out tonight would be an excellent opportunity to do so.

Tonight's premiere showcase features A Great Day in Harlem by Jean Bach, the 1994 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary. The film is the cinematic embodiment of a picture being worth a thousand words: It's the story of a photograph taken in 1958 by Art Kane for Esquire magazine, a photograph which, in the early morning on a Harlem street corner, captured one the jazz world's most amazing assemblages of performers ever seen on or off stage. The film includes archival footage as well as modern-day interviews of mumbling icons like Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonius Monk. Also showing tonight is The Promise, a feature film described as "a moving, epic love story that chronicles the history of the Berlin Wall through its impact on two young lovers," from writer/director Margarethe von Trotta, one of the most dynamic voices of the New German Cinema.

Screenings are at 7 and 8:30 p.m. at the Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. Single tickets are $5. Festival continues through April 28 at various Tucson locations. Call 628-1737 or 622-2262 for program information.

Tuesday 23

Image BADI BEAUTIFUL. The beauty of the guitar is that can be as simple or as complex as the musician playing it. At its best, the guitar is a singular marvel providing melody, harmony and percussion. Award-winning classical guitarist Badi Assad, younger sister to the acclaimed Assad Brothers duo, takes the guitar to another dimension, tapping the guitar like a drum, snapping a string against the fretboard, altering her tunings and drawing deeply from her native brasileiro, American jazz and flamenco to forge a style all her own. But woman can not live by guitar alone--and Assad has added elements of percussive vocals, copper pipes and even an electric fan to give her ethereal pop and classical innovations a textural edge.

Assad performs at 8 p.m. at the Southwest School of Music and Dance, 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Advance tickets are $10, available at Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea, Hear's Music and Antigone Books. Cost is $12 at the door. Call 881-6101 for information.

Wednesday 24

UPSTAIRS THEATRE CO. In an all-night diner in a sleepy Southwestern town, young Stephen (Red) Ryder is about to turn his duties over to his daytime counterpart, Angel, when an early morning rabble of locals and hapless travelers amble in. It's a small group--Lyle, the hotel and gas station clerk from across the street, a young, affluent couple en route to New Orleans, and another couple awaiting the repair of their broken-down car. It's the latter that shatters the existing calm of this no-man's land on the American landscape in When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?, by playwright Mark Medoff.

The Upstairs Theatre Company production continues with evening performances at 8 p.m. through Sunday, April 28, at a.k.a. Theatre, 125 E. Congress St. Tickets are $10, $7 for students and seniors. Call 791-2263 for reservations and information.

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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