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SACRED SKILL. Back before Madison Avenue was even a glint in some prehistoric marketer's eye, ancient cultures were charged with the task of creating their own view of the world around them. In this region, that meant the Hohokam and Chaco cultures had to hash out explanations of what it all meant.
Archaeologist and anthropologist David Doyel explains how those cultures evolved sophisticated architectural and community patterns incorporating ceremonial systems, such as the Hohokams' elaborate burial rituals and games, and the Chaco and Anasazi kivas and ceremonial highways.
Free lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the Wilson Room of Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N. Paseo Del Norte. Call 575-8468 for details.
GUMSHOE GADFLY. Reporter/sleuth Irene Kelly, protagonist of author Jan Burke's award-winning, five-book mystery series, is back. And this time the crime has hit home, when Kelly must track down her kidnapped detective husband and uncover a long-ago crime in Burke's recently released Hocus.
Burke reads and signs copies from 4 to 6 p.m. at Clues Unlimited, 16 Broadway Village, located at the corner of Broadway and Country Club Road. For information, call 326-8533.
MOLDED LOVE. Seems G.I. Joe is back, and this time he has far more interest in Ken than all-terrain Tonka Toys. That means heartbroken Barbie will likely relapse into anorexia--a condition exacerbated when her pal Strawberry Shortcake falls for female shot-putter Cabbage Patch.
Apparently, all prefabricated preconceptions are up for grabs in Tom Slauson's Ten Inches of Lifelike Plastic, presented by Itch Productions. Show times are 8 p.m. today through Sunday, and May 21 through 24, with a 2 o'clock matinee on Sunday, May 17, in the Temple of Music and Art Cabaret Theatre, 330 S. Scott Ave. Tickets are $10, $8 for students and seniors, and available by calling 748-0291.
LITTLE BIG FISH. More than 20 wild inhabitants of Texas' "third smallest town" traipse across the boards in a riotous satire of provincial morals, when the Millennium Theatre Company presents cult classic Greater Tuna by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard. See related article in the Review section for more information on this new local theatre company.
Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, through June 1, in the Historic Y Theater, 738 N. Fifth Ave. Tickets are $14, $12 for seniors and students, $10 for children, and are available by calling 742-3551.
ARTISTIC RENDERING. Sixteen-year-old Alex Rivera rejected the gangs, drugs and violence that coursed through his East L.A. neighborhood. But his resolve wasn't enough to halt a bullet that struck him in a drive-by, bringing his hopes for a better future to a bitter end.
Exhibit runs through June 28, with an opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. tomorrow, at the José Galvez Gallery, 743 N. Fourth Ave. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and 6 to 9 p.m. during Downtown Saturday Nights. Call 624-6878 for details.
PRIME-TIME LEGENDS. Bridget had a hankering for him, and no doubt you will too, when former television cute-guy David Birney shares the big round table with Dale Kristien and Stephen Bishop in the Theater League's production of Camelot.
Show times are 8 tonight, 2 and 8 p.m. tomorrow, and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday in the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets range from $26.50 to $35.50, and are available at the TCC box office, Dillard's, or by calling 791-4266.
LITERARY PRECIPICE. Frank August has a powerful itch for his young wife, and a worrisome relationship with his morally ambiguous work, all set against the charged backdrop of bustling San Francisco in C.E. Poverman's fast-paced new suspense novel, On the Edge.
Poverman, author of three previous books, several collections of short stories, and a long-time UA creative writing professor, reads from and signs copies of On the Edge from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Etherton Gallery, 135 S. Sixth Ave. For details, call 624-7370.
ROCKIN' CEPHALOPOD. Tucson's indomitable spin doctor pulls out his humongous collection of swing, lounge, R&B, soul and pop, when the Java Juke Joint at Pink Motel Videos presents Kidd Squidd's Atomic Lounge.
Voted the Old Pueblo's best DJ by Tucson Weekly readers, Squidd is noted for his encyclopedic knowledge of all things melodic, not to mention his "Rock Roots" radio show from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturdays on KXCI. Now's your chance to see the Kidd live, in what promises to be a hi-fi kick. Free action runs from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Pink Motel, 3226 E. Speedway. Call 318-3500 for information.
PHONETIC FANTASY. The French Impressionists' exhibit of 1874 fired plenty of controversy when women were banned from a preceding dinner party--even though their works were included in the exhibit.
Fast-forward to 1997, when the shunned gals create their own garden feast, and celebrate their lives in the Damesrocket Theater Company's production of Dream of a Common Language, written by Heather McDonald. For more information, see this week's Review section.
Show times are 8 tonight and tomorrow, and May 22 through 24, in Theater Congress, 125 E. Congress St. Tickets are $10, $8 for students and seniors, and available by calling 623-7852.
ACCORDION ROYALTY. Born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to hard-scrabble rice farmers, Ida Guillory was spoon fed on French lullabies, Mardi Gras songs and waltzes of the bayou. As Queen Ida, she first hit the Tucson stage with her Bon Temps Zydeco Band in 1984, and a legend was born. Now Ida and her court fire up St. Philip's Plaza, with three nearby restaurants offering full dinners prepared from her cookbook, Cookin' With the Queen. Opening will be Tucson's Crawdaddy-O brass band, followed by Dr. Mojo and the Zydeco Cannibals.
Show time is 7 p.m. in St. Philip's Plaza, 4300 N. Campbell Ave. Advance tickets are $22, $17 for KXCI and TJS members, available at Hear's Music, Piney Hollow, Mars-Hall Music Center, KXCI, or by calling 623-1000. Tickets are $3 more at the door.
ETERNAL FLOW. She first took up the brush at age eight. Now, many decades later, this former Brit and longtime Tucsonan reveals a lifetime of artistic achievement in Barbara Porter: The Painting Years, 1933 to the Present.
Porter's subjects range from architecture to "nuts-and-bolts" people used to create a series of social statements, and her media vary from oil and pastel to pen and ink. Through it all, her vision remains keen, her devotion sharp. "Creating a painting or work of art is the most exciting thing in the world," she says. "It is a well that never goes dry."
Exhibit runs through July, with an opening reception from 2 to 5 today, in the Stillwell-Twiggs House, 134 S. Fifth Ave. Regular viewing hours are 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday. For additional hours, call 623-9123.
TENDER TOES. A love triangle and lovely waterfowl tragically rub shoulders in A Time to Dance theater's production of Swan Lake, A Children's Version. Featuring a smorgasbord of Tucson's most talented tikes and teens, this drama--with an updated happy ending--tracks the nefarious affections of unfortunate Siegfried.
Suffering the hots for a good-natured gal, he's nonetheless lured away by her unscrupulous competitor, a young temptress who's apparently overdosed on ornery pills. Plenty of heart-wrangling ensues, spiced by a curse that turns the good-natured cast into a string of swans. The show also includes plenty of high-powered jazz and tap performances.
Free performance is at 6:30 p.m. in the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. For details, call 327-5137.
SNOOZERS. Having trouble nodding off these days, what with worrying about everything from the faltering Mideast peace process to President Clinton's bum knee, not to mention the C-note you just dropped on your kid's day-glo, sweatshop-produced Nikes?
Unfortunately, all our time-honored methods for achieving slumber no longer seem to work. Counting sheep is passé. Counting developers may be more apropos, but seeing them repeatedly leap over pristine desert ridges in your mind's eye is hardly restful.
All things considered, catching some major Z's can be a rather tough nut to crack.
Enter Dr. Rubin Naiman, a psychologist and author of the audio tape series Body, Bed & Head: The Better Sleep. Naiman will shed a little light on the nocturnal mission with a free 7 p.m. discussion at Border's Books and Music, 4235 N. Oracle Road. For details, call 292-1331.
LITERARY LIVERS. The wordsmiths regularly gathering at Café Magritte unveil another in their Poetry Toast series, held the third Wednesday of each month. Before a poem is read, glasses are raised, swung, clanged and gulped, hopefully in that order. It's a downright syndrome, really: toast, poem, toast, poem, aspirin, toast, poem--right into the wee hours or the 12-step program, whichever comes first.
According to jubilant master of ceremonies Scott Stanley, it's "the next best thing to literature. We expect the poets to...do the likes of James Joyce proud."
The Poetry Toast begins at 7:30 p.m. in Café Magritte, 254 E. Congress St. Admission is free. For information, call 884-8004.
FLORAL DADDIES. The International Wildlife Museum comes to sensuous life as naturalist Walt Anderson explores the kinky world of our well-rooted friends in a lecture titled Plant Parenthood.
A professor at Prescott College, Anderson has spent a career traveling the world to study plant reproduction strategies. The result is a book in-the-works, and an extensive selection of slides from such far-flung plant hangouts as Alaska, Brazil, East Africa and the Galapagos Islands. And since his subjects must love the ones they're planted with, Anderson discusses how they make the leap using water, wind and wildlife to reach the floral equivalent of home plate.
Free lecture unfurls at 7 p.m. in the International Wildlife Museum, 4800 W. Gates Pass Road. Call 629-0100 for details.
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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