City Week
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Thursday 4

SWAN SONG. The UA Dance Division wraps up its fall season with Winter Concert, featuring two programs highlighting ballet, jazz and modern dance.

City Week Tonight and Saturday night, 14 dancers open the show with Bernstein's Reply. Choreographed by Amy Ernst, the piece was performed by the UA Dance Ensemble at this summer's International Theatreschool Festival in Amsterdam. Also on the program will be Walter Kennedy's Fault Boundaries, described by Dance Magazine as a work of "strong primeval partnerships and animal emotions."

On Friday night and Saturday afternoon, performances will include "Grand Pas de Deux" from The Nutcracker; Nina Janik's The Kissing Waltz; Avatar, featuring Emily Yewell; Ruth's Song by Caleb Mitchell; and Eye Candy, described as "an eye-popping tap piece."

Performances are 8 tonight and tomorrow, and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, in the Ina Gittings Dance Theater, UA mall west of Campbell Avenue. Tickets are $8, $6 for students and seniors, available at the Fine Arts box office. Call 621-1162 for reservations and information.

DICKENS REDUX. They may be Tucson's newest thespian troupe, but The Actors' Theatre still retraces time-honored holiday steps with their production of Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Show time is 7 tonight in the Actors' Theatre, 7000 E. Tanque Verde Road, in Santa Fe Square. Performances continue at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 2:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday, through December 21. Tickets are $12, $8 for children under age 12, and available by calling 751-6419.

Friday 5

SUGARPLUM EVENT. The big Nutcracker event is Ballet Arizona's all-new production, complete with new choreography by artistic director Michael Uthoff, 110 new costumes by Judanna Lynn (costume designer for last month's colorful Días de Muertos), new projected sets by Thomas Munn of the San Francisco Opera and even an all-new Christmas tree composed of 3,000 dyed ostrich feathers. Dancing in all this luxury will be the troupe's pros in all the principal roles--including such favorites as Andrew Needhammer, Qisheng Zhang and Gia Firicano--backed by a small dancing army of 50 local children.

The company promises absolutely that the Tucson Symphony Orchestra will perform, unlike last year when financial woes belatedly forced cancellation of the live music. Billed as a world premiere (it heads up to Phoenix after its Tucson run), the new Nutcracker extravaganza was made possible by the company's renewed financial stability in the wake of a public grant and a corporate sponsorship.

The five performances are at the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave., at 7:30 tonight; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $18 to $37 for adults, $10 to $19 for kids 12 and under, and $17 to $33 for seniors. If you want to attend an Opening Night Champagne Reception after the show, the prices go up to $51, $41 and $31. Tickets are available at Ballet Arizona (1-888-3BALLET), Dillard's (1-800-638-4253) and at the TCC box office (791-4266).

WARM-HEARTED HUCKSTER. Proving that nice guys can come out on top, Dave Coulier scrambled from obscurity to star in the ABC hit-series Full House, to host America's Funniest People, and anchor the World's Funniest Videos. That's in addition to his voice-over work on Scooby-Doo and the immortal Muppet Babies.

Hard to top that, but Coulier does when he brings his comedic talents to Tucson, with a stand-up style the LA Weekly calls "complex, multi-layered and character-driven storytelling."

Performances tonight and tomorrow are at 8 and 10:30 p.m., and at 8 p.m. Sunday, at Laffs Comedy Caffé, 2900 E. Broadway. Tickets are $12.50, and $10 for the Sunday performance only. Call 323-8669 for reservations and information.

FIDDLIN' AROUND. Martin Hayes ranks among the finest fiddlers in Celtic music. Named the Emerald Isle's Traditional Musician of the Year in 1996, he hails from County Clare, Ireland, and is known for his slow, intense reels, jigs and aires. "A masterly lightness of touch and intensity of expression," is how Dublin's Hot Press describes his playing.

Now Hayes comes to Tucson for one performance, accompanied by guitarist Dennis Cahill. Opening the show will be Irish and Scottish vocalist Connie Dover, who's likewise been described as "Divine, eloquent, beautiful and magical."

Show time is 8 p.m. in the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. Tickets range from $12 to $14, with a $1 discount for seniors. They're available at Hear's Music, Piney Hollow, the Harp and Shamrock, or by calling 327-4809.

PASTORELA PASTIME. The pastorela is a unique take on the shepherd's journey to Bethlehem. It's considered the "B-plot of the Nativity," and a journey fraught with temptation, distractions and mortal peril. It's also an art form dating back to the early 1500s, and remains Mexico's most popular brand of theater, with almost every village, city and town boasting its own version.

Max Branscomb developed the first English-language pastorela in San Diego in 1991. Now that version gets another revision in the Old Pueblo, when Borderlands Theater presents A Tucson Pastorela.

Show times are 7 tonight, 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, in the PCC Black Box Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Production continues at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with a final 3 p.m. performance on December 21. Tickets are $15 for tonight's opening celebration, which includes a post-performance reception. Regular tickets are $10 and $12, $8 for seniors, $6 for students, $4 for children under age 12, and are available at Antigone Books, the PCC West Campus cashier, the PCC Center for the Arts box office, and the Borderlands Theater office. For details, call 882-7406.

Saturday 6

LOVING PIPES. They've earned their stripes as southern Arizona's premier choral pipes, and tonight the Reveille Gay Men's Chorus pays well-tuned tribute to the holiday season with their annual A Season for Loving concert.

The 40-member choir will perform traditional and contemporary holiday favorites, along with a heavenly host of music from across the globe. "There will be something for everyone," says artistic director James Gall, "including a light-hearted take-off on The Nutcracker."

Performance begins at 8 p.m. in the Grace St. Paul Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St. Advance tickets are $10, available by calling 617-3100. Tickets are $12 at the door.

CULTURAL ICON. In 1531 the Virgen de Guadalupe's image appeared to Juan Diego at Teypeyac, Mexico, at the site of a former Aztec shrine. Since then, la Virgen has become synonymous with the country. Besides appearing in churches and in familial shrines, she also makes her appearance on nearly every dashboard in that richly superstitious land.

The José Galvez Gallery pays tribute to the saint's legacy with Images of the Virgen de Guadalupe, a mixed-media exhibit featuring works by Catherine Eyde, Alfred Quiroz, Michael Chittock, Judith Golden, Antonio Pazos, Margaret Garcia and Tony de Carlo.

Exhibit runs through January 10, with a reception from 7 to 10 tonight in 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 during Downtown Saturday Night. Call 624-6878 for details.

Sunday 7

PHIL 'ER UP. The Foothills Phil Orchestra blows full-stride into the holiday season with another indoor performance. Under the direction of Laszlo Veres, this group (ranging in age from 10 to 82) has a reputation for playing their intergenerational hearts out.

Performance begins at 2 p.m. in the Catalina Foothills High School Auditorium, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive. Tickets are $3, available at the door or by calling 577-5304.

WELL-LIT. The Reid Park Zoo charges into the holiday season with its annual Festival of Lights. Now in its sixth year, the ever-growing display is spread throughout the zoo grounds, with the recent addition of the South American Habitat Loop. Other action includes free holiday treats, live entertainment, trees decorated by more than 50 local groups, and even a jolly visit by the chubby one himself.

Event runs from 6 to 8 tonight, and again Friday through Sunday, December 12 through 14, at Reid Park Zoo, 1100 S. Randolph Way. Admission is $2, 50-cents for children ages 5 to 14, free for children ages 4 and under. Bring a new, unwrapped donation for Toys for Tots, and receive one free admission. Call 791-3204 for information.

Monday 8

YULETIDE WARBLERS. Enrique Lasansky will conduct a 24-piece orchestra as more than 1,200 folks lend their chords to Handel's masterpiece in the 21st-annual Community Messiah Sing-In.

Soloists include Elena Todd, Korby Myrick, Robert Swensen and Don Lowmiller, with the chorus comprised of professional and shower singers, members all of small and large choirs who gather to make beautiful music together. And best of all, anybody can add their pipes to the lush holiday sound.

Free event is 7:30 p.m., with a 7 p.m. Christmas carol warm-up, in Grace Chapel, 6180 E. Pima St. Call 745-6054 for information.

Tuesday 9

CREATIVE ALTERNATIVE. Dreading hitting the mall with your cash in hand as the big day approaches? Luckily, this year El Centro Cultural de las Americas Gallery offers an alternative with its 1997 Festival de los Artes.

The gallery's own artisans contribute works ranging from oils on canvas to barbed wire and ironwork creations, painted gourds and drums, handmade jewelry, photography and pottery. And all the goods will be up for grabs in downtown's historic Charles O. Brown House, which dates back to the 1850s.

Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday in the Brown House, 40 W. Broadway. For details, call 770-1245.

SCHOOL OF COOL. Sounds ranging from very cool to extremely hot are on the agenda when the Pima Community College Jazz Band performs. This 18-piece ensemble tackles the American art form with a powerful verve, and more edge than you'd expect from the halls of academia.

Performance is 7:30 p.m. in the PCC Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Tickets are $4, $3 for students and seniors, and available at the PCC Center for Fine Arts box office and the West Campus cashier. Call 206-6988 for information.

Wednesday 10

MEDIA MUTILATION. Punk rock isn't just for musicians anymore! Filmmakers Martha Colburn and James Schneider bring defiant attitudes, off-beat subjects and a chaotic, do-it-yourself aesthetic to the silver screen at 8 p.m. at the Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. Colburn promises to present at least 15 hand-painted, collage-corrupted Super-8 films on tantalizing subjects like snake pits, snot, and elbow licking in her own special form--the Spazzumentary. Schneider will show several short, 16mm films that delve into the terrifying secret lives of Euro-Disney, master-planned communities, rock bands, plus the film The Staticose Chamber, which is "working to reverse the detrimental effects of cinematic and televisual abuse." If you're not sure whether this is your kind of thing, remember that the filmmakers advise that "only baboons and ho-cakes would miss this show." Call 622-2262 for information and admission prices. TW

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

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