TRAIL OF TEARS. Learn about one of this region's most despicable episodes when historian Joel White presents a lecture titled The Camp Grant Massacre.
White will discuss events leading up to the bloody 1871 "battle" in Arivaipa Canyon, when more than 125 Apaches -- all but eight of them women and children -- were slaughtered by a group that included Tohono O'odham and Mexicans, and was led by prominent Anglo citizens of Tucson. The gathering is hosted by Arizona Pathfinders.
The free lecture starts with a Pathfinder "brown-bag" social hour at 6 p.m. in the Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. Second St. Call 888-3257 for details.
SHADOWS OF JAZZ. Jazz cats who howled in the shadows of fame take center stage in the ATC's production of Side Man, by Warren Leight.
They were proud, dues-paying musicians who backed the Big Band era's more glamorous personalities. Among them was Gene, who rocked the heavens with his horn. Then there was Terry, who gave him her love, and dreamed of his success. But for Gene and the other players who shared the musical roller-coaster, this was it.
Gene and Terry's story is told through the eyes of their son, who remembers moments both hilarious and haunting. It's the boy who recalls the stunning talent of his brilliant but inattentive father, watches his mother's disintegration, and must ultimately return to pick up the pieces of a shattered dream.
"There was something going on in New York in the 1950s that makes people particularly nostalgic for the period that these musicians represent," Leight says. "They were immature, they couldn't make their rent, but they were so alive when they played, they were as pure as artists can be."
Leight won acclaim for Side Man, including the 1999 Tony Award for Best Play. (See this week's Arts section for details.)
Curtain time is 7:30 tonight in the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Performances continue through January 29. Show times vary. Tickets range from $20 to $32, and are available at the ATC box office and all Dillard's outlets. To reserve by phone, call 622-2823.
BRIGHTER COLORS. Get improved artistic value in New! With Anti-Oxidants, now on display in the Hazmat Gallery.
This show brings together the work of one local and five national artists. They include the deeply disturbing paintings of Craig Cully; sculpture by Zane Fischer, director of Plan B Art in Santa Fe; elegant paintings by Lauri Lynnxe Murphy, founder of Denver's Ilk Gallery; figurative, doll-like steel and textile pieces by Ohio sculptor Angela Morales-Artega; and video and installation work by Valerie Soe of San Francisco.
New! With Anti-Oxidants runs through March 4, with an opening reception from 7 to 9 tonight in the Hazmat Gallery, 191 E. Toole Ave. Regular gallery hours are 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. For details, call 624-5019.
LIT AND LOVE. As part of the Make A Date With a Poet reading series, Gene Guerreno shares deeply personal verse about her sister's battle with Alzheimer's.
Seventeen years of watching two people she loved become strangers became the inspiration for Guerreno's book of poetry, Destroyer -- Lines from the Diaries of Hell. Not long after learning of her sister's illness, Guerreno's husband was likewise diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Her reaction is charted in poetry that's simultaneously poignant, angry, inspiring and enlightening. Open readings will follow Guerreno's appearance.
The free gathering begins at 6 p.m. in the New Life Cafe, 4841 E. Speedway Blvd. Call 881-5180 for information.
EL BAILE. Latin tradition takes beautiful flight with a performance by Ballet Hispanico.
A major success when they visited three years ago, the troupe returns with three new works by three noted choreographers -- a lineup The New York Times calls "a dynamic mix of jazz dance and ballet, alternating spurts of energy with stunning moments of stillness."
The new pieces include David Roussève's Somethin' From Nothin', set to music by Latin superstar Eddie Palmieri; Avenida Brazil by Brazilian choreographer Regina Miranda; and Bury Me Standing, a piece written by Spanish choreographer Ramón Oller and set to Gypsy melodies.
Show time is 8 p.m. in UA Centennial Hall, inside the main gate east of Park Avenue. Tickets range from $16 to $28, and are available at the Centennial Hall box office, or by calling 621-3341.
ANOTHER NEW YEAR. Enjoy tradition from abroad with the annual Malanka New Year's party.
Presented by the Ukrainian American Society of Tucson, and the UA Russian and Slavic departments, this New Year's party arrives via the old Julian calendar. Yep, it's all Greek to us, too, but what the heck -- a party is a party.
This one includes plenty of dancing and live music with the Troika Band. All proceeds go to the Children of Chernobyl Relief Fund.
The event runs from 6:30 to 11 p.m. in the UA Student Union Senior Ballroom. Tickets are $30, $15 for students, and reservations are required. For reservations and other information, call 296-0085.
SEAL OF FATE. Life and legend combine in Childsplay theatre's production of Selkie.
Centered around a 13-year-old girl, this coming-of-age story is based on the legend of seals who become human and dance on the shore on Midsummer's Eve.
It's a poignant tale, presented with Childsplay's award-winning fine touch. "Selkie calls to the heart and soul," wrote a Tribune Newspapers critic. "We are transfixed as seals transform from sea lovers to landlubbers, a metamorphosis made with delicacy. We are touched as the hushed treatment of fragile souls speaks louder than words, like the clarion call we all recognize when someone is calling us home."
Performances are at 2 p.m. today and tomorrow in the International Arts Center, 516 N. Fifth Ave. Tickets are $10, $7 for seniors and students, and available at the door. For advance tickets, call (800) 583-7831.
ANCIENT HOWL. Hailing from somewhere between the sixth and 11th centuries, Beowulf has its roots in the art of the bardic storytellers who helped preserve the history of early medieval England.
That ancient magic is revived in Benjamin Bagby's adaptation of the epic, presented by The Arizona Early Music Society. Bagby is co-founder of the medieval ensemble Sequentia. In this performance, he assumes the role of the bard, conveying the tale's chilling power in song and speech, accompanying himself on the six-stringed lyre.
"Bagby's lusty performance was a revelation," wrote the Cleveland Plain Dealer following a recent show. "The crowd became totally engrossed in the vivid narrative. Bagby used silence and pause with telling theatrical effect, and he bit into the chewy Anglo-Saxon words as though they were an elocutionist's feast."
Benjamin Bagby performs Beowulf at 3 p.m. in St. Philip's In the Hills Episcopal Church, 4440 N. Campbell Ave. Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors and students, and available by calling 889-4310.
FRONTIER FORTITUDE. A chapter of Tucson's past is celebrated today with The Chapels of Fort Lowell, a lecture presented by Frederico McAninch, curator of the Arizona Historical Society's Sosa-Carillo-Fremont House.
Hosted by the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood, the talk will focus on three chapels of the San Pedro property. Dating from 1915, the chapels -- Guardian Angel, La en Capillita and San Pedro -- served largely Hispanic congregations.
The free lecture begins at 3 p.m. in the San Pedro Chapel, 5230 E. Fort Lowell Road. For information, call 318-0219.
SLEIGHT-OF-HANDERS. Brad Montgomery headlines tonight's It's Magic Show.
Described as a "sure-fire entertainer," Montgomery's "Freshly Brewed Magic and Comedy" anchor this show filled with squeaky-clean humor and amazing trickery. Be forewarned: The performance requires audience participation, so you might have to get off your duff and join in the fun.
Montgomery arrives in Tucson via the Magic Castle in L.A. and New York's Mostly Magic Nightclub. He'll be joined by the stunning illusions of John T. Sheets and Co.
Show time is 7 p.m. in The Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. Tickets are $10, and available at Williams Magic and Novelties, or by calling 790-4060.
HISTORY DISTILLED. The humble agave -- and its not-so-humble nectar -- is thoroughly distilled with a night of tasting and discussion.
Raymon Flores and Robert Plotkin, authors of Toma! Tequila, describe the devil's drink with a tasting of various agave incarnations, followed by a fine dinner dished up by El Charro.
The gathering begins at 4:30 p.m. in El Charro Café, 311 N. Court Ave. Cost is $65, and reservations are required. For reservations and other information, call 742-6455.
DISTRESSED IMAGERY. Ethereal work and searching souls dramatically combine in the Obsidian Gallery's current exhibit.
Linda Lewis works in distressed paper applied to sheer fabric or delicate fiber frameworks. Her themes tend towards the controversial -- either challenging or humorous -- and the very paper she uses, which contains the printed work and potent themes, drives the point home.
Brooches presented in a media-spiced format tell deep tales in the creations of Kristin Beeler. The presentation and installation grew out of a journey by the artist to Czechoslovakia, and is based on a series of letters narrating a budding relationship, but also expressing a turbulent pre-war period in Eastern Europe.
The exhibit continues through March 20 in Obsidian Gallery, 4340 N. Campbell Ave. in St. Philips Plaza. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For information, call 577-3598.
WELL STRUNG. Tucsonans are treated to fine instrumentals by the Julliard String Quartet.
Brought to town by the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, this ensemble from America's premiere arts school features a spanking-new violinist, and is "off and running for another half-century of outstanding quartet playing." They'll perform pieces by Mendelssohn, Shostakovich and Beethoven.
Show time is 8 p.m. in the TCC Leo Rich Theatre, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets are $15, $5 for students, and available by calling 577-3769.
LITERARY PASSAGE. Take a literary junket with Writer's Journeys: Real and Imagined, An Evening with Writers of the Southwest.
This annual event sponsored by the UA Women's Studies Department will feature writers Kathleen Alcalá, Nancy E. Turner and Ofelia Zepeda.
Alcalá is author of the story collection Mrs. Vargas and the Dead Naturalist and Spirits of the Ordinary, a highly praised novel that earned her the Pacific Northwest Booksellers award. Born in California of Mexican heritage, she lives in Seattle and works for the Seattle Review.
Turner wrote These is My Words, a fictionalized diary vividly detailing one woman's struggle with life and love in frontier Arizona. The book has appeared on the London Times bestseller list. She currently attends the UA.
A longtime Tucson literary light, Zepeda is a winner of the very weighty MacArthur "genius" award. A member of the Tohono O'odham tribe, she is the author of two books of poetry, Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert and Jewed 'I-Hoi/Earth Movements. Zepeda teaches at the UA.
The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Doubletree Hotel, 445 S. Alvernon Way. Advance tickets are $25, and available at the UA Women's Studies Department, Antigone Books, and by calling 621-7338. Tickets will be $30 at the door.