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CLASSIC BLADES. Whether you've just met a girl named Maria or rubbed shoulders with a bubba named Bernie, you'll have the chance to revisit a classic American musical with Victory Production's interpretation of West Side Story.
Coming to the Old Pueblo via Broadway and the Big Screen, this performance is guaranteed to be a "spectacular production with a gorgeous set, colorful costumes, a dazzling light design and dance, dance, dance!"
Show times are 8 tonight through Saturday, with o'clock matinees
SENSORY PILGRIMAGE. Barrows Gallery and the Tucson Symphony Women's Association offer a global melodic junket with their Around the World Musical Tour. Sixth in the annual Evening of Classics series, this fundraiser features food native to a number of lands, with proceeds benefiting the Tucson Symphony Orchestra's Endowment Fund.
Event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. in Barrows Gallery, 2800 E. Broadway. Tickets are $20, available by calling 325-6372.
WELL-BALANCED. Several local groups help us survive the millennium in healthy environmental form with the Natural Choices Expo. The event will include demonstrations of environmentally sound and energy-efficient products, and construction techniques ranging from straw bale and rammed earth to adobe.
More than 100 speakers will be on hand, with panel discussions covering the model community of Civano, and issues of health and aging. Expo runs from 2 to 9 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday in the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. Admission is $8.75 per day, $5.75 for seniors, $3.75 for children under age 12. Discount admission for all three days is $15.75. For information, call 749-7790.
RAIN DANCE. Olivia Rojo boasts more than two decades of classical dance training. And Lourdes Rodriguez began studying Spanish dance as a youngster, making her professional debut at age 14.
Now they combine those years of talent in the exciting troupe Flamenco y Más. Tonight they'll present Lluvia Flamenca, their season debut featuring L.A. guitarist Rafael Aragon, and Phoenix flamenco ensemble Santo. Known for original and traditional music, Santo incorporates Spanish, Latin American, Caribbean and Middle Eastern influences into a powerful, mesmerizing mix.
Show times are 8 tonight and tomorrow in the PCC Proscenium Theatre. Tickets are $15, $13 for senior citizens, $10 for students, and available at Hear's Music, the PCC Center for the Arts box office, or by calling 884-6988.
MELTDOWN. Using metal, glass and flame, a group of artists blend timeless forms with powerful results in Molten Marriage, a new exhibit at the Philabaum Contemporary Art Glass gallery.
Fourteen artists are represented in the exhibit, from Eric Bladholm, Polly Holt and Kerri McDermott to Mary Shaffer and Kent Kahlen. David Jaworski of St. Louis kicks off the show today with studio demonstrations and a lecture. Known for combining traditional Italian glassblowing with metal-working, his pieces are notable for their unique studies of form, optics and color.
Molten Marriage runs through November 8 at Philabaum Gallery, 711 S. Sixth Ave. David Jaworski's demonstration will run from 1 to 4 p.m., followed by a lecture from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. An opening reception runs from 6 to 9 tonight. For details, call 884-7404.
HAIRBALL HEAVEN. Stylish felines from across the land gather once again for the Fall All-Breed Cat Show. Sponsored by the Kino Kat Club, this kitten caboodle promises more than 250 purebred competitors--everything from Balinese to Singapuras.
Judging will take place in four rings, and visitors will have the opportunity to meet the little angels and their owners firsthand. Cat furniture, cat jewelry and other cat accouterments will be for sale.
The show runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow in the TCC Meeting Rooms, 260 S. Church Ave. Admission is $4, $3 for seniors, $2 for kids ages 2 to 12. Call 622-3827 for more information.
MUSICAL MUTTS. They're called Old Blind Dogs, but their energetic Scottish style hardly lacks vision. Eldest Dog Ian Benzie belts out both traditional Scottish tunes and '60s American classics with a deep brogue, backed by Jonny Hardie on fiddle and mandolin, and Fraser Fifield on sax. Rounding out the rich sound is bassist Buzzby McMillan and percussionist Davy Cattanach. See this week's music feature for details.
The Dogs are a big hit in Europe, and today they make a return trip to Tucson, following the release of their fifth recording, aptly called Five.
Show time is 8 p.m. in the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. Tickets are $12 and $14, with a $1 discount for seniors and TFTM members, available at Hear's Music, Piney Hollow, Scott Photo, or by calling 327-4809.
HARPIE. Harpist Alfredo Ortiz's most important concert came when he accompanied his daughter's birth in 1980. The second will likely be today, when he brings his acclaimed skills to Tucson.
A native of Cuba, Ortiz began playing the Venezuelan folk harp in 1961, later studying under Paraguayan master Alberto Romero. Meanwhile, he obtained a medical degree, but has been performing music exclusively since 1978.
His repertoire covers folk, classical and popular styles, recorded on more than 30 albums, and he's a recipient of the Gold Record of South America. Ortiz is also a veteran world traveler, having played in venues ranging from Japan to Austria. In Edinburgh, The Scottsman said, "Ortiz is capable of investing the simplest melody with qualities of grandeur. He achieves this through combinations of delicacy and drama which are manifestations of a rare technical authority."
Ortiz performs at 2:30 p.m. at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 the day of the show, and available at Workshop Music, Hear's Music, or by calling 888-8816.
HEARTFELT CELTS. Their name means "old music" in Gaelic. And the title is more than fitting for Ceol Sean, a gifted duo that performs the timeless music of Ireland and Scotland. Michael Harding and James Tanguay play a range of traditional airs and dances on a variety of Celtic folk instruments such as the concertina, tin whistle, guitar, bodhran (frame drum), hornpipe and saw.
Concert is at 3 p.m. in St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 545 S. Fifth Ave. Tickets are $8, $5 for seniors and students, and available at the door. For information, call 628-8119.
ROE VS. REX. Vocalist Charles Roe boasts a hearty baritone and a hefty résumé. He holds a Masters of Music from the University of Illinois, and has sung leading roles with the New York City Opera and countless regional companies. In addition, he's appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia, Detroit and Cleveland symphonies. Roe is currently artistic director for the UA Opera Theater.
That brings us to Rex Woods, known as "an extremely talented and fluent pianist, and consistently warm and communicative performer." He's likewise spread his talents around, playing across the U.S., as well as in Canada, Mexico, China, and in France, where he was awarded the Premier Prix de Fontainebleau.
Tonight these two team up for an 8 p.m. performance in UA Crowder Hall, located at the south end of the pedestrian underpass on Speedway east of Park Avenue. Tickets are $10, $8 for UA faculty and staff, $5 for students, and available at the UA Fine Arts Box Office. Call 621-1162 for information.
BABBITT LIVES. They created a political powerhouse of the old order--merchants, cattlemen and traders with roots leading back to this state's pioneer history, and tendrils reaching to the governor's mansion.
They were the Babbitt brothers, and they became to northern Arizona what the Ottomans were to Europe. Today, James E. Babbitt, adjunct history professor at Northern Arizona University, sheds a little light on that long legacy, focusing on the family's timeless trading posts, along with other such mercantiles scattered across the western Navajo reservation.
Free lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the Wilson Room at Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte. Reservations are requested; call 742-6455.
FRAGILE LEGACY. We're in the habit of stuffing our dearly departed in boxes or sifting them into urns, and then filing them away among much grief and angst. Death is thus a curse to be avoided and forgotten in this society's eternal chase after endless youth.
Not so in Mexico, where dying is celebrated as just another pirouette in the rich choreography of life. Nothing highlights this notion better than El Día de los Muertos, "the Day of the Dead," when family members pour out en masse to cemeteries, with good chow and other mortal accouterments in hand, joyfully relishing the Big Picture atop a million final resting spots.
Obsidian Gallery once again taps that vibrant tradition with its annual Día de los Muertos Multi-media Exhibition. Featured this year is the gallery's usual array of artistic talent, along with new additions Thomas Mann, Jeri Moe, Jonathan Stuckey, Kim Yubeta and Maria Boyed.
Exhibit runs through November 1 at St. Philip's Plaza, 4340 N. Campbell Ave. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 577-3598 for details.
SPIRITUAL ODYSSEY. The setting is Kent, in the home of British author Charles Condomine and his second wife, Ruth. The action unfurls when Charles becomes taken with the fakery of mediums and psychic charlatans as grist for his next tome, in the Arizona Theatre Company's production of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit.
As luck would have it, Charles gets a bit more than he bargained for when he and Ruth invite Dr. and Mrs. Bradman to a dinner seance with spiritualist Madame Arcati. While in a trance, Arcati accidentally conjures up Charles' long gone--but hardly forgotten--first wife. Unfortunately, dear Elvira appears only to him, and is typically awash in mischief, leaving the poor writer with one wife too many.
Penned during Coward's bleak, financially strapped days in bombed-out World War II London, he hoped the comedy would bring cheer to the beleaguered masses, and a little green to his own pocket. And he credited otherworldly inspiration: "I shall ever be grateful for the almost psychic gift," he said, "that enabled me to write Blithe Spirit in the five days during one of the darkest years of the war."
Blithe Spirit subsequently debuted at the Picadilly Theatre on July 2, 1941, and ran for more than four and a half years, with nearly 2,000 performances.
Tonight's performance is 7:30 p.m. in the Temple of Music and Art Alice Holsclaw Theatre, 330 S. Scott Ave. Evening performances and weekend matinees continue through October 4. Tickets range from $18.50 to $27.50, available at the ATC box office, Dillard's, or by calling 622-2823.
City Week includes events selected by Calendar Editor Tim Vanderpool. 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. To have material considered, please send complete information at least 11 days prior to the Thursday issue date to: Tucson Weekly, P.O. Box 2429, Tucson, Arizona 85702, or fax information to 792-2096, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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