City Week
Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday

Thursday 17

BEWITCHING BEAT. Arizona Theatre Company celebrates the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin's birth with The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm.

City Week George and Ira Gershwin have been called America's composers, and they certainly define much of this century's music. Fascinating Rhythm captures the brothers' incredibly familiar melodies and swinging rhythms in a full-blown song-and-dance production. It's "a new and very different look at the imitable Gershwin genius," says ATC Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein, and "explores the classic Gershwin songbook in startlingly original ways."

Show time is 7:30 p.m. in the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Tickets range from $27 to $29, and are available at the ATC box office, Dillard's, or by calling 622-2823. Half-price adult and $10 student rush tickets are available at the box office one hour before curtain. Performances continue through December 26; days, show times and ticket prices vary.

DOVE REBORN. Its interior just received a face-lift, and the exterior is slated for a sprucing up as well. But spiffy or gritty, the Mission San Xavier is a crucial part of the local landscape, and perhaps even the regional psyche.

The mission gets another look in San Xavier--The Spirit Endures, a new book penned by Kathleen Walker of Tucson, and published by Arizona Highways. Walker will sign copies and discuss her book at 6:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 7325 N. La Cholla Blvd., in the Foothills Mall. Call 742-6402 for details.

Friday 18

HOLIDAY SUITE. Ballet Arts Foundation performs its version of the seasonal masterpiece, The Nutcracker. Based on the original story by E.T.A. Hoffman (published in 1816), and subsequently performed in St. Petersburg in 1892, the tale has been a perennial crowd pleaser. This production with Tchaikovsky's classic score will feature elaborate costumes, magical toys and a stunning set.

Show time is 7 p.m. in the PCC Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Tickets are $12, available at the PCC Center for the Arts box office, or by calling 623-3373.

FOLK GATHERING. Friends and supporters of the Tucson Folk Festival--and all other traditional music-minded souls--are invited to the Tucson Kitchen Musicians' Holiday Party. Proceeds will benefit the festival.

The gathering promises great chow, and of course top-of-the-fret music. Players on tap include Arthur Migliazza on traditional blues-style piano, the country-folk ensemble Copper Moon, the Womensong vocal trio, Evan Dain on tenor banjo, contemporary bluegrass by Out of the Blue, and swingmeisters Dain, Greco and Daley.

The party runs from 7 to 11 p.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4831 E. 22nd St. Admission is $6, $5 for TKMA, TFTM, TBS and KXCI members, $2 for children ages 16 and under. Small children are admitted free. Call 319-8599 for details.

Saturday 19

WINGS OF DESIRE. Wintertime Arizona is a haven for more than just retirees, strip malls and cul-de-sacs. Indeed, there were seasonal dwellers here long before we arrived in RVs and gated communities. For example, starting each November thousands of stately Sandhill Cranes and majestic birds of prey descend from far away climes like the Arctic tundra, just to take advantage of this area's diverse habitat and abundant resources.

To celebrate the return of these feathered travelers, the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory hosts ongoing full- and half-day tours of the Sulphur Springs Valley west of Bisbee, and offers multi-day workshops for beginning to intermediate birders.

Today you can join the SABO hawk tour, scouting out birds of prey ranging from dainty American Kestrels to stunning Golden Eagles. The tour departs from Bisbee at 8 a.m., returning at 3 p.m. The cost is $55, $45 for SABO members, and includes transportation from Bisbee.

Tomorrow, SABO hosts a Sandhill Crane tour, visiting major roosting sites in time to enjoy watching a variety of desert and water birds before the cranes return from feeding in neighboring farm fields. The tour leaves Bisbee at 9 a.m., and returns at 12:30 p.m. Cost is $25, $20 for SABO members, and includes transportation from Bisbee.

For details, call (520) 432-1388.

CAP'N CHRISTMAS. Live Theatre Workshop makes it hap'n in a seafaring way with Captain Cooney's Christmas, written by LTW Artistic Director James Gooden.

The briny tale involves Captain Cooney and his neighbor, 12-year-old orphan Sarah Anne, who combine dramatic forces to find out what family and Christmas are all about. Gary Tarrantt is the kindly Captain, with Valerie Feingold as his love interest, Mrs. Crandal. Allegra Powers plays the indomitable Sarah Anne.

Performances are 7 tonight and 1 p.m. Sunday in the Live Theatre Workshop, 5317 E. Speedway. Tickets are $8, $5 for children under age 12, and available by calling 327-4242.

Sunday 20

CHEERFUL CHORDS. Arizona Repertory Singers warble in the season with their holiday program, Sweet Was the Song.

This concert by Southern Arizona's top a cappella ensemble will include Russian Orthodox and Renaissance church music, traditional English, French and Spanish carols, and other selections from the group's critically acclaimed CD. The 32-member choir will also perform a few pieces from English composer Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols, with Gregg Reynolds on harp.

The performance is at 3 p.m. in the Fountain of Life Lutheran Church, 710 S. Kolb Road. A $5 donation is suggested. Call 792-8141 for details.

MESSIAHMATINEE. The Catalina Chamber Orchestra belts out Christmas praise with a powerful seasonal masterwork, G.F. Handel's Messiah.

Under the direction of Dr. Enrique Lasansky, the orchestra will host several guest soloists, including sopranos Elena Todd and Stephanie Marsh; alto Robyn Austin; tenor William Don Carlos; counter tenor Rodney Glassman; and bass Benjamin Sorenson.

Performance begins at 3 p.m. in the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. Tickets are $15, $8 for students, available at Hear's Music, The Book Mark, Borders Books and Music, or by calling 624-0170.

HIGHLANDS HOLIDAY. In case you didn't know, Dolan Ellis is indeed the Copper State's official balladeer, and he spins his rustic tales from his Folklore Preserve, high up in lovely Ramsey Canyon near Sierra Vista.

Ellis invites you and yours to share the holidays with An Arizona Christmas. The program will include his classics, "Arizona Christmas" and Cowboy's Vision," as well as a selection from his personal photography collection, created over 20 years of holidays spent on the Navajo Reservation.

The preserve is headquartered in a charming, 1920's-era cottage in Ramsey Canyon. This time of year, it's decked out in pine bows and mistletoe, and hot cider and cookies will be available.

An Arizona Christmas will be presented at 2 p.m. in the Arizona Folklore Preserve. Additional performances are offered at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, December 26 and 27. Reservations are required, and a $6 donation is requested.

To reach the preserve, take I-10 east to the Sierra Vista exit, turning south on Highway 92. Travel six miles south of Sierra Vista, and turn right on Ramsey Canyon Road for approximately 3.5 miles. Drive time is about 90 minutes. For reservations and other information, call (520) 378-6165.

Monday 21

FINEST FESTIVITIES. The teens and tots of the Bianco Theatre Company are geared up for nothing less than their seasonal best. That's one tall bill to fill, but they pull it off with dramatic flair in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

This musical comedy tells the raucous story of one family of roughneck kids who takes over the annual church Christmas pageant. The rest, as they say, is holiday history.

Show time is 11 a.m. in the Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway. Performances continue at 11 a.m. through December 30. Tickets are $7, $5 for children and students, and available at the door, or by calling 886-0860.

MORAL MEMORIES. If you were born in the pre-Nintendo dark ages, you no doubt cut your teeth on the gently moralistic Aesop's Fables. The ancient stories were told by a clever Greek slave who disguised his foolish characters as animals to avoid the wrath of his master.

Now artist Marjorie Coffee brings those timeless dramas to life in multi-media illustrations, on display through December in the Dusenberry-River Center Branch Library, 5605 E. River Road. Library hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, 1 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Call 791-4979 for more information.

Tuesday 22

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. Ann Mandelbaum has a photographic habit of making universes of minute details, challenging the viewer to see the human body and other organic subject matter as both mysterious and intimate terrain. Her close-up perspectives and lustrous gray prints combine to startle and seduce audiences, and redefine the limits of seeing through the lens.

Nearly a decade's worth of her provocative work is on display in Proximities: Ann Mandelbaum, running through January 24 in the UA Center for Creative Photography, at the south end of the pedestrian underpass at Speedway and Park Avenue. Hours are 9 a.m. to
5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call 628-5774 for information.

HIGH ART. Wandering through a forest of dead military metal might not sound like a thrill. But the steel, aluminum and other trappings of America's war birds are hardly boring when they're displayed with the evident expertise of the Pima Air and Space Museum.

Some of the aircraft are gargantuan, others are small, almost quaint. But they're all testimonies to the brave folks who manned them. And if you're ever in doubt about those veterans having cajones, imagine being strapped in the gunner's seat--often a clear bubble hanging beneath the plane's belly--and cruising over enemy territory at several thousand feet.

Altogether, the museum has 185 military, commercial and civilian aircraft, including a full-scale mock-up of Kitty Hawk, a presidential plane used by newsmen and JFK, and a treasure-trove of memorabilia like photos and space uniforms.

The Pima Air and Space Museum is at 6000 E. Valencia Road. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors and military, $4 for children ages 10 to 17, free for children under age 10. Call 574-9658 for information.

Wednesday 23

BUSTING OUT. Latin culture is often a colorful antidote to the blander recesses of WASP-dom, and Tucson's El Centro Cultural de las Americas often brings those contrasts into sharp focus, tapping into timeless traditions emanating from beyond the border.

Today, they continue their educational mission with a workshop on paper products--namely the crafting of delightful piñatas, papel picados and cascarones.

The workshop runs from 10 a.m. to noon in El Centro Cultural, 40 W. Broadway. There will be a minimal fee for materials. For information, call 770-1245.

TIP O' THE HAT. If you've just wrapped up a day of trekking Madera Canyon or wearing that Green Valley grin, nothing washes away your weariness better than a tall, cold one in Sahuarita's friendliest roadside saloon.

We're talking The Big Hat bar, folks, home of the Texas-sized Stetson and towering frosty pitchers. The Hat is second home to the requisite Sahuarita regulars, who keep their amiable eyes on dart machine scores, pool sharks, and a jukebox well-stocked with Conway Twitty's golden melodies.

Best of all, it's also home to the dream machine of nearly all guys, and certainly all bachelors. Yes, gentlemen, this humble outpost boasts nothing less than a Beer Can Dispenser. We don't mean some measly plastic cooler in the corner. Nope, this is a bona fide high-end pleasure device: The bartender pops a little lever and a cylinder of your favorite brew sallies forth, chilled, shining, and ready to inhale.

It's almost too cool for words, but that doesn't mean there's ever a shortage of intellectual discourse at The Big Hat, 9022 S. Nogales Hwy. Hours are 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily, except for Sunday, when times (and hangovers) vary. Call 573-0248 for details. 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

 Page Back  Last Issue  Current Week  Next Week  Page Forward

Home | Currents | City Week | Music | Review | Books | Cinema | Back Page | Archives

Weekly Wire    © 1995-98 Tucson Weekly . Info Booth