RHAPSODY IN GREY. It's been said that to hear Sara Grey is to love Sara Grey. Tucsonans will have a chance to find out, when the acclaimed ballad singer arrives in town for a performance at the Zenith Center.
Born in New Hampshire and reared on the mountain music of the Carolinas, for the last three decades Grey has lived out her folk-music passion in the highlands of Scotland. Her voice is described as "both powerful and sweet," and she boasts an extensive repertoire of American, Scottish and Irish ballads. Grey's vocal talents are matched by her skill on the claw-hammer banjo and her fine storytelling.
Show time is 8 p.m. in the Zenith Center, 220 E. Seventh St. Advance tickets are $7, $6 for TFTM, TKMA and KXCI members, and available at the Folk Shop and Guitars Etc. Tickets will be $1 more at the door. For information, call 327-1779.
CHAOTIC FOOTNOTE. Playwright Dario Fo reveals why he landed the Nobel Prize in Accidental Death of an Anarchist, presented this weekend by Quintessential Productions.
This is a supremely comic look at modern political life, expertly probing its constant contradictions through a character known only as "The Fool." As the fulcrum for this wicked satire, he in turn impersonates a variety of characters, tricking others and ultimately "making fools" of everyone he meets.
Tonight's preview is at 8 p.m. on The Quintessential Stage, 118 S. Fifth Ave. Show opens at 8 p.m. Friday, with performances at 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday, through September 26. Tickets are $12, $10 for seniors, students and military, and reservations are strongly suggested. Call 798-0708 for tickets and information.
PERFECT PROCEEDS. What better way to fight the scourge of Lou Gehrig's disease than a fundraising night at the ballpark?
Today, the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association of Southern Arizona teams up with the Tucson Sidewinders for this special autograph party and sports memorabilia auction. Players will sign their names to a variety of memorabilia, and there will also be plenty of other giveaways. Folks from KIIM-FM will be on hand to add a musical touch, and the event will be followed by great Pacific Coast League baseball, when the Sidewinders face off against the Las Vegas Stars.
The party runs from 5 to 6 p.m. at Tucson Electric Park, 2500 E. Ajo Way. Admission to the game is included with a donation of $10, or $5 for children under age 10. For information, call 882-8009.
FOOTSIE FETE. Buff your feet, polish your toes, and head downtown for another Bohemian Boogie at the Barefoot Ballroom.
These Dionysian soirées promise to get your heartbeat up, your inhibitions down, and your gyrating spirit in tip-top shape alongside a herd of fellow movers and shakers.
The boogie runs from 8 to 11 p.m. every Friday in Orts Space, 121 E. Seventh St. Admission is $3. For details, call 323-2438.
CHICANO BLITZ. Glimpse a fascinating subculture in wartime L.A. with Zoot Suit, presented by The International Arts Society Film Program.
This 1981 classic musical by Luis Valdez deals with the infamous "Zoot Suit Riots" in the '40s, and the demonization of Chicano youth by America's dominant institutions. The story centers around the false imprisonment of Mexican-American gang members and efforts to obtain their release.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. in the UA Modern Languages Auditorium, east of the Student Union on the main mall. Admission is free. For information, call 621-3527.
CREATIVE REMEMBRANCE. When she died recently, artist Susan Chambers left behind more than her work. As president of WomanKraft, she's also remembered for a lifetime of inspiration, now recalled in a special display at the gallery.
One full room will display Chambers' well-known paintings, and her silkscreens inspired by many years spent in Japan. Accompanying the display will be photographs by her husband, Art Chambers. Their creative talents are combined for this powerful, poignant memorial exhibit entitled Travel Show.
The exhibit runs through October 30, with a special reception tonight from 5 to 10 p.m. in the WomanKraft gallery, 388 S. Stone Ave. Regular gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Call 629-9976 for information.
MUSICAL GUMBO. Widely considered the king of New Orleans harmonica players, Jumpin' Johnny Sansone brings his burning Louisiana harp to the Old Pueblo for a rocking dance party tonight.
Drawing on Louisiana's indigenous sounds has proved a winning strategy for Sansone, who's had an incredible year including a slew of awards from Offbeat magazine for his latest CD, Crescent City.
Jumpin' Johnny roars through a roster of swamp blues, zydeco and Gulf Coast R&B starting at 8 p.m. at Plaza Palomino, on the corner of Fort Lowell and Swan roads. Tickets are $12 in advance, available at Enchanted Earthworks, Hear's Music, Beaver's Band Box on Oracle Road, or by calling 881-3947. Tickets are $15 at the door; $12 for KXCI and TBS members.
FULL STEAM AHEAD. Pull on your groovin' spats and prepare to sweat when the Tucson Jazz Society warms up for fall with its Some Like It Hot dance party.
This year's festival will include the first-ever salsa/Latin dance competition featuring the sizzling sounds of hometown pistols Descarga. Twenty couples will compete for prizes including cash awards and free CDs.
As for Descarga, if you haven't caught this local favorite in the clubs, you're in for a treat as they glide through a roster of cumbias, rumbas and other great Latin styles.
Some Like It Hot runs from 8 p.m. to midnight at St. Philip's Plaza, on the corner of Campbell Avenue and River Road. Admission is $11, $6 for TJS members. For details, call 743-3399.
DOG DAY. Spend your Labor Day watching other species work up a sweat -- namely the speedy canines at Tucson Greyhound Park.
The south-side sporting outpost adds a few more lures to the mix with a special doggie treat: Monday night at the races. Fifteen races to be exact, with dogs "drawn from the best-card lineup," says park spokesman Ryan Smith. In other words, they're promising the top greyhounds in town. The evening features another star dog, this time fired up on the grill and served in a bun for a mere 50 cents, along with burgers for just over two bucks, and $1 draft beer. And the first 100 kids ages 12 and under get a free sports mug.
Racing starts at 7:25 p.m. in Tucson Greyhound Park, 2601 S. Third Ave. Clubhouse admission is free, and general admission is $1.25. Call 884-7576 for information.
GET BACK. On this holiday, remember all those who labored before us...like those dedicated souls who spent hours fixing their 'do, struggling into platform shoes and buttoning up swanky leisure suits, just to get funky.
How, you ask, can a mere mortal pay fitting tribute to such sacrifice? Consider a trip down to Club Congress for Relapse Funk Night. Within the black belly of the big Club beast, master DJs spin the best funk tunes from the '70s and '80s, all in the name of groove. And it don't cost you one thin nickel.
Doors open at 9 p.m. at 311 E. Congress St. Admission is free. For details, call 622-8848.
LABORED BREATHING. Work up a sweat for charity when the Southern Arizona Roadrunners host their Labor Day Run.
This 30th annual romp through Saguaro National Park East combines cardiovascular action with philanthropic heart, and proceeds go to the Children's Fitness Fund.
Events include an eight-mile run and two-mile fun run/walk along the park's paved roads. Cash will be awarded to top performers.
The starting gun fires at 6:30 a.m. at the Saguaro National Park East Visitors Center, 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail. Registration at the gate is $20 for eight-milers, and $12 for two-milers. Call 326-9383 for information.
LENS CRAFTER. Noted nature writer and wildlife photographer Roland Smith packs up his gear and gets in touch with wee ones at the Kid's Center.
He's one nature aficionado who truly knows his stuff. Before becoming a full-time writer with more than 16 books to his name, Smith was a zoo keeper, biologist, and a shooter for National Geographic. Now he'll share all that knowledge, and sign copies of his books -- which include such award-winners as Journey of the Red Wolf, Thunder Cave, Jaguar and In the Forest with Elephants.
The event runs from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Kid's Center, 1725 N. Swan Road. Call 322-5437 for information.
LOOKING IN. Fourteen artists, each represented by two or three works, draw upon various media for Outside.
This group exhibit by associates of The Drawing Studio explores both literal and metaphoric interpretations of the outside world. Not to be confused with "outsider art," these folks probe the simultaneous fear and attraction of being outsiders. It's a sensation common to artists, and increasingly to the rest of us in this technologically driven world. These artists examine alienation through materials including watercolor, collage, drawing, pastel, photography, monoprint and bas-relief clay.
Outside runs through December 13 in the UA McClelland Hall Corporate ArtSpace, 1130 E. Helen St. Hours are 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. For information, call 620-0947.
MEAN STREETS. The year is 1910, the setting Ellis Island. Immigrants from every country in Eastern Europe are setting sail for the brave new world, and what they hope will be the promised land. Yet reality will soon take its toll, as bitter hardship steadily replaces milk and honey on the shores of America.
This struggle between the past and future, myth and reality, comes to the stage in Rags: An American Musical, presented by Borderlands Theater.
Adapted from a book by Fiddler on the Roof author Joseph Stein, Rags is the story of Rebecca Hershkowitz, who arrives in America with her young son at the height of the great European emigration wave. They hope to find Rebecca's husband, Nathan, who has lived in America for several years. In the same boat, Rebecca meets Avram and her daughter Bella, likewise propelled by the dreams of a better life. She also encounters Ben, a brash young man who's fallen in love with Bella, and is ready to take over America's "streets paved with gold."
The Boston Herald calls Rags "a beautiful and stirring experience," while Theatre Week describes the drama as "one of the richest and most distinguished Broadway scores of the decade."
Tonight's preview is at 8 p.m. in the PCC Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Tickets are $12, $8 for students, available in advance at Antigone Books, the PCC Center for Fine Arts box office, or by calling 882-7406.
Rags opens with a gala celebration at 8 p.m. tomorrow. Tickets are $18, and include a reception after the show. Regular performances are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, through September 26. Tickets range from $8 to $16.