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INTERIOR HELL. It's the classic Orwellian nightmare: an interrogator and his quarry locked in horrific battle in a ghastly room somewhere in an unnamed land. The charge is sedition, brought against the children's author who allegedly attacks the state through her fanciful tale.
Characteristically, she's blindfolded as her tormentor assumes threatening personalities, plays mind games, and eventually moves on to physical attack. Through it all, the woman remains defiant in the Upstairs Theatre Company's haunting Closet Land, written by Radha Bharadwaj, and starring Carlisle Ellis and Clark Andreas Ray.
Show times are 8 tonight through Saturday, with a 2 o'clock Sunday matinee, in the Theatre Congress, 125 E. Congress St. Evening performances and Sunday matinees continue Wednesday through Sunday, through November 9. Tickets are $10, $6 for students, available by calling 791-2263.
LATIN CHAT. Tucson playwright and screenwriter Elaine Romero hosts a discussion of Latino films at 7 p.m. in the José Galvez Gallery, 734 N. Fourth Ave. Panelists include UCLA film school graduate Pablo Toledo, with partner Lawrence Toledo of H.O.P.E. Productions, and all attendees of the Latino Entertainment Media Institute's recent conference in L.A. The seminar will focus on topics arising from the conference, and how they affect local Latino film makers. For details on this free event, call 624-7669.
LONG GONE. The Barbea Williams Performing Company retraces the profound dance cultures of the Malian Empire, second of the greatest nations of Sudan, with Something We Lost...1230 A.C.E. (After the Common Era). Making his Tucson premiere with this performance is Donald Eno Washington, a Fulbright Scholarship recipient, and maker of the video documentary Dancin' in the Wind. Through Mandinka, Susu, Jola and Bambara dance traditions, this work tells the story behind the Kingdom of Mali's founder, Mansa Sundiata Keita.
Performances are 8 tonight and Saturday, and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, continuing through November 3, in the Tucson Center for the Performing Arts, 408 S. Sixth Ave. Advance tickets are $10, $8 for students, available by calling 628-7785. Children under age 12 are admitted for $5. Tickets are $12 at the door.
EAR OF THE BEHOLDER. Since 1979, a band called Negativland has made its mark by culling sounds from the mass media, then rearranging and combining them with their own social commentaries on the fusion of art and commerce. Their eccentric, attention-grabbing approach has earned them not only thousands of screaming fans, but the attention of countless copyright lawyers who claim their media samplings break the law.
All of which has given rise to a heated debate over just what constitutes art in this increasingly commercialized world. Negativland founding member Mark Hosler takes on that juicy topic today, with a free, appropriately multi-media presentation titled From Love Canal to Generation X: The History of Negativland.
Event runs from 3 to 5 p.m. in the UA Center for English as a Second Language, Room 102, located on North Campus Drive east of Park Avenue. Call 882-5364 for details.
LOWLAND HARMONY. Abraam "Buks" Jonkers is a simple man, devoted to tradition, to his 17-year-old granddaughter Veronica, and to his well-tended vegetable farm on the South African Karoo. Both his wife and daughter are dead, victims of the Big City evils he views with trepidation. Unfortunately, Jonker's own safe world is also rocked when a stranger buys the land from beneath his feet, and Veronica is lured away by the city. All these dramas collide in Arizona Theatre Company's production of Valley Song.
Written by Athol Fugard, this play poignantly details the growing generation gap as South Africa's new-found democracy takes hold. "The granddaughter has to find the courage to step into an uncertain future," Fugard says, "and the old man has to find the wisdom to let go of her."
Show times are 2 and 8 tonight, and 2 and 7 p.m. tomorrow in the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Evening and matinee performances continue through November 8. Tickets range from $18.50 to $27.50, available at ATC and Dillard's box offices, and by calling 622-2823.
FUND-RAISING FETE. Downtown's Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery has a long, distinguished history of boosting local artistic profiles. But such dedication doesn't come cheap, and tonight the time-honored gallery helps keep its budget intact with the 16th-annual Contemporary Art Auction Fundraiser.
It begins with a cocktail party, and culminates with lots of great Tucson creations being placed on the block. Contributing artists include Andrew Rush, Tom Philabaum, Linda Caputo, Ann Simmons-Myers and Jim Waid. Cocktail party runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the downtown gallery, 135 E. Congress St. Tickets are $20 per person, $30 per couple. Auction begins at 8 p.m. Tickets for the auction only are $15 per person. For information, call 792-4503.
CRUISERS FOR KIDS. For more than two decades, the dedicated souls of Casa de los Niños have provided refuge for endangered kids. Today, they help raise cash to keep that tradition going with their annual Casa Car Show. Now the largest auto extravaganza in the Southwest, the gathering features historic, vintage and classic wheels, accompanied by the great chow of the International Food Festival. The Saguaro Strutters will provide line-dancing action, with additional music by the UA Pride of Arizona Pep Band. Event also features countless children's activities.
Free event runs from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the southwest corner of Reid Park, 22nd Street and Country Club Road. Visitors should use the free shuttle service from the El Con Mall parking lot. Call 647-3272 for details.
FEMININE VOICES. Pamela Uschuk and Charlotte Lowe lend their distinctive literary visions to this month's presentation by the WomanSpeak Reading Series.
Uschuk's poetry has appeared in Poetry, Parnassus, American Voice, High Plains Literary Review and Nimrod. She's also garnered plenty of high-powered acclaim, including the 1996 Dorothy Daniels Writing Award from the National League of American PEN Women. Both Uschuk and Lowe have been longtime activists in the local writing community. Music will be provided by a cappella singer Joan DeMarcos.
Free event runs from 4 to 6 p.m. in Aroma Café, 346 N. Fourth Ave. For information, call 206-9244.
BOWLED OVER AGAIN. The Primavera Foundation continues its honorable mission to help folks onto their feet and keep their bellies full with its seventh-annual Bowl Me Over event.
A mere $20 will earn you a hand-thrown bowl--and plenty of great vegetarian creations by Tucson's best chefs. There will also be lots of entertainment, and tons of stuff for raffle, including an NCAA championship basketball signed by none other than Lute Olsen himself. And a cadre of fine artists have donated their works for a live auction.
Event runs from 2 to 5 p.m. at Old Town Artisans, 201 N. Court Ave. Admission is $20. Call 623-5111 for details.
ISLAND AMBASSADOR. From their early rock-steady and ska days to the present, Justin Hinds and the Dominoes have been a powerhouse of Jamaican music for more than 30 years, remaining a major influence on contemporary reggae. Tonight, they bring that legacy to town for a single performance at The Rock.
Born in Steertown, Jamaica, in 1942, Hind was reared in the Christian songs of his father's church. Later, much of his inspiration came from American icons ranging from B.B. King and Louis Jordan to Professor Longhair and especially Fats Domino, who inspired the name for his longtime band.
On tour to showcase the group's latest release, Know Jah Better, Tucson audiences will be treated to Hinds' signature lyrics, said to chart "the depth of feeling and heartfelt sincerity of one of reggae's most distinctive vocal artists," along with legendary Jamaica players Sly and Robbie, and guitarist Chinna Smith.
Performance is 9 p.m. at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. Advance tickets are $10, $8 for students, available at University Postal and Twelve Tribes Reggae Shop. For information, call 620-1810.
TIMELESS PATHS. It's been there for several years now, arriving with great fanfare and enjoying widespread acclaim. But on any given day, you and yours can visit the Arizona State Museum's ongoing Paths of Life: American Indians of the Southwest exhibit, and see nary a crowd.
Noted as one of the most innovative displays of its kind, Paths of Life draws from a variety of Native American spokespeople and scholars, resulting in a narrative universally respected for its authenticity, from the water-based culture of the Seris to the struggles of the Navajo and modernizing efforts faced by the Tohono O'odham. All are described from a variety of perspectives, easily accessible, and woven together with remarkable skill.
Exhibit hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday in the Arizona State Museum, located on the UA campus near the main entrance on University Boulevard east of Park Avenue. Admission is free. Call 621-6302 for more information.
CRITICAL CONDITION. Tucson artist Michael Chittock continues his striking dissection of the human condition with a new exhibit on display in the Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery.
Drawing from portraits of family and friends, Chittock's pieces explore the fragility of human life, particularly aiming their sights on the mysteries of birth and death. "Painting for me is an addiction," he says. "I want to focus the viewer's attention and provide opportunities for a dialogue between the visual experience and the inner emotional anxieties produced by our society. By presenting combinations of often contradictory and even humorous images, the viewer can address personal, religious and political issues."
That effort is a powerful success, according to Paul Ivey of the UA Art History department. "The brutal and disturbing elements of Chittock's subjects are couched in colorful and thick acrylics and wacky theatrical devices," he says.
Exhibit continues through November 22, with an opening from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, November 8, in the Dinnerware Gallery, 135 E. Congress St. Regular gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Thursday. For information, call 792-4503.
LYRICAL MOLTING. ...And the world bent into the wide, the field of beige and mild forevers...but the snake wanted something else; I found its skin of stretchy diamonds and picked it up, so I could keep one of the two selves. The skin had eyes and the eyes had skin, all papery before and afterward, a little cellophane with dirt around the rim--that's good....
So begins Snakeskin, by poet Barbara Hillman. A native of Tucson, her first book of poetry, White Dress, landed her both the 1985 Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University, and the Norma Faber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. An NEA fellowship followed, along with other distinguished books including Death Tractates, Bright Existence and Loose Sugar. She now teaches at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California.
Today, the UA Poetry Center sponsors Hillman's return visit with a reading at 8 p.m. in the UA Modern Languages Building auditorium. Hillman will also read at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 30, at Dinnerware Gallery, 135 E. Congress St. Both events are free. For details, call 321-7760.
STEP RIGHT UP. A mere five-spot will land you on your toes, as the Desert Institute of the Healing Arts and Arizona Ballroom host an ongoing series of dance lessons, with proceeds benefiting the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation.
Tonight, country dancing is on the graceful agenda. The first hour will be devoted to lessons for the sure- and left-footed alike. General dancing follows for the second hour. Event is 8 p.m. in the Arizona Ballroom, 5536 E. Grant Road. Admission is $5. For information, call 290-2990.
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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