PICTURE PERFECT. Snap up top camera equipment at bargain-basement prices when the Arizona Photographic Collectors host their annual auction.
All shooters are welcome to buy or sell at this lens-related smorgasbord. Set-up begins at 4:30 p.m., with the auction starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Tucson Junior Chamber of Commerce Hall, 1115 E. Fort Lowell Road. Call 529-5072 for details.
ULTERIOR DESIGNS. Fast-paced comedy takes center stage when Live Theatre Workshop presents Noel Coward's Design for Living.
This story of love among the artists focuses on Gilda, who has a thing for both Leo the playwright and Otto the painter. She can't seem to do without either. Meanwhile, her torment is assuaged by Ernest, an old family friend who offers poor Gilda refuge "from the storm of emotions."
Thus, heavy questions abound. Can Gilda get it all sorted out? And is she able to find happiness with just one man?
Find out in this 1933 Coward classic, starring James Mitchell Gooden, Missie Hinske and Stephen Elton. Ruth Baron and Bruce Bieszki round out the cast, with direction by Elizabeth Gooden.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. in the Live Theatre Workshop, 5317 E. Speedway Blvd. Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, through August 20. Tickets are $11, $10 for seniors and students, and are available by calling 327-4242.
HIGH STEPPERS. Strut your debonair stuff with The Arizona Ballroom Company. Whether you've got the moves of Astaire or two left feet, these dancers invite you to join in--and improve your smooth moves--on "the best dance floor in town."
Dancing runs from 8 to 11 p.m., starting with a beginners' class on Friday and a class for intermediates on Saturday, at The Arizona Ballroom Company, 5536 E. Grant Road. Admission is $6. Call 290-2990 for information.
TOP GUNS. High fliers land on the stage with a performance by the U.S. Air Force Tops in Blue.
This time out, the ensemble presents If You Believe, a musical medley ranging from big band, R&B and contemporary Latin to nostalgic rock-and-roll. "Tops in Blue is the Air Force's premier entertainment showcase," says producer Tom Edwards. "The new 2000 team is a reflection of the 'best of the best' performers throughout the Air Force."
The free performance is at 8 p.m. in the TCC, 260 S. Church Ave. Call 228-3204 for information.
LITERARY LIGHTS. More than 20 regional talents gather in the TCC for a heavyweight book-signing event, held in conjunction with a Hispanic-oriented information conference.
The authors roster includes Patricio Preciado Martin, José Galvez, Byrd Baylor, Carmen Tafolla, Piri Thomas, Alberto Ríos, Milton Jamail and Bobbi Salinas. They'll be joined by 48 national and local vendors, including Arte Público Press, Libros Sin Fronteras, R&V Books and Graphics, and Crizmac Arts and Culture. The conference is hosted by the National Association to Promote Library and Informational Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, or Reforma. Rounding out the event will be songs by acclaimed children's musician and author José Luis Orozco.
Orozco will perform from 10:45 a.m. to noon in the TCC Greenlee/Graham Room, followed by the book signing from 2 to 4 p.m. in the TCC Exhibit Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Both events are free. Call 791-4393 for details.
RAW RHYTHMS. Italian underground group Raw Power brings its sublime sound to Tucson for one performance in Scrappy's.
It's been years since the gripping band, together since 1981, has visited our far-flung clime. "In fact, this is the first time they've played here since 1988," says club spokeswoman Kathy Wooldridge. "They play old-school punk, kinda heavy stuff." Raw Deal will be joined by L.A. punkers Tongue.
The all-ages show is 8 p.m. in Scrappy's, 201 E. Broadway Blvd. The cover is $7. Call 620-1824 for details.
MUTTS AND MUSES. Heat-addled brains have contributed a gravy-train of great art for Dog Days of Summer, showing in the Wilde Meyer Gallery. The exhibit features work by Gregory Eltringham, Abbie Williams, Charles Davison and Ron Burns, among others.
Eltringham's paintings use dramatic, contrasting colors to enhance the graceful and muscular bodies of greyhounds, while fun-loving dogs riding in pickup trucks or just lounging about are among the captivating images captured in Williams' realistic pieces. Davison adds a bit of orneriness to his western multi-media paintings with mixed-breed hounds. Ron Burns rounds out the ticket with his "fabulously colored canines."
Dog Days of Summer runs through September 8 in the Wilde Meyer Gallery, 3001 E. Skyline Drive. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call 615-5222 for information.
GRAND GRUBSTAKE. Take a break from canned Muzak and creamed peas at the Tucson Farmers' Market.
A different way to shop? You bet. Dig this from apple-meister Dwight English: "I want to be the guy who provides the state of Arizona with Macintosh-crosses, for people hunting for something other than what you see in every major supermarket--Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Granny Smiths. I'm experimenting with early varieties, hard-to-find varieties."
English also harvests his fruit by hand, allowing the apples to actually ripen on the tree.
Altogether, it's certainly a far cry from the big chain groceries, whose experimentation focuses on new ways to lure shoppers into buying quantities of potted meat products--or keeping pubescent baggers from squishing your squash.
Enjoy la diferencia at the Tucson Farmers' Market, running from 7 a.m. to noon at St. Phillip's Plaza, on the southeast corner of Campbell Avenue and River Road. Call 743-8063 for details.
FRIGHT FLIGHT: Movies are mirrors of life, often fleshing out our dreams, or dissecting our greatest horrors.
Tom Hanks did a bang-up job roaring through space via Hollywood sound stage in Apollo 13. Of course, the courageously wealthy Hankster always knew day's end would be met with a limo and chilled aperitifs.
But in the real world, folks who really hurtle into the galactic void must content themselves with chewing dehydrated kibble and peeing into baggies, wondering all the while whether they'll arrive back home as mere cinder chips.
The Pima Air and Space Museum honors that gutsy lot with its Launch of Another Kind Gallery, at 6000 E. Valencia Road. Exhibits include mock-ups of early space machines and solar system novelties like Marvin the Martian. "There are also several different space toys," says a museum staffer.
Hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily through August. Admission is $7.50, $6.50 for seniors and military, $4 for kids ages 7 to 12, and free for those 6 and under. For details, call 574-0462.
GUTTER SNIPES. Well lubed or not, The Dude had a way with the lanes. Yep, from The Big Lebowski to A Streetcar Named Desire, the sport of kings is here to stay.
In fact, when we conducted a brief, highly scientific poll, we recently discovered those alleys of antiquity are still thick as thieves throughout Tucson.
And--clutch yer livers--Golden Pin Lanes, 1010 W. Miracle Mile, now hosts Monday Madness, the zany element coming from endless beers for 50 cents from 9:30 p.m. to midnight.
"Actually, we all call it drunken insanity," one Golden staffer remarked. "But just the employees say that." Either way, admission is still $6, with 50-cent beer and cheap hot dogs. Call 888-4272 for details.
If you're looking for a more sedate sports setting, Tucson Bowl, 7020 E. 21st St., may be your spot, with open bowling from 9 p.m. to midnight for only $5 per person. For information, call 747-1363.
HORROR RECALLED. The Tucson Museum of Art sheds new light on horrific history with Witness & Legacy: Contemporary Art About the Holocaust.
Originating at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the riveting collection consists of 84 pieces created by 22 artists, including five powerful, room-size works. To date, it has traveled to more than 15 museums nationwide. The artists themselves range from Holocaust survivors and their children to others empathizing with the Holocaust experience.
Several programs will accompany the display in coming months, including a lecture in September by Stephen Feinstein, the show's co-curator. His talk will be followed by a panel discussion with selected artists and Holocaust survivors. Similar events will also be held in October.
Witness & Legacy runs through October 29 in the TMA, 140 N. Main Ave. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2, $1 for seniors and students, free for children ages 12 and under, and free for everyone on Sunday. For details, call 624-2333.
WACKED WHOOPFEST. Gather your kin and hustle on down to the Red Barn Theater for a night of good clean fun with Wacky Wednesday: Comedy That Won't Curl Your Hair.
These weekly, family-oriented yukfests include comedic skits, acts, songs, stunts and audience participation. There will even be contests with prizes. And no offensive, adult or disturbing content is allowed.
The theater also invites performers hankering for the spotlight to sign up each night, contributing stand-up, skits, songs, dances and stunts.
Wacky Wednesday runs from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. each week in the Red Barn Theater, 948 N. Main Ave. Admission is $1. For details, call 622-7856.
HOT AND COLD. Look back at a harrowing struggle with Korea: The First Hot Spot of the Cold War, a lecture hosted by the Arizona Historical Society.
Continuing the Historical Society's "Cold War and Hot Politics in the Old Pueblo" series, tonight's lecture will feature historian and Korean War vet Joe Alvarez. He'll discuss that conflict's strategic importance, describing how it became the first major war fought by the United States against Soviet communism, albeit by proxy. Alvarez will also explain how that distant fight hit home in Tucson.
The lecture runs from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Arizona Historical Society Museum, 949 E. Second St. Admission is $6, $5 for AHS members and $3 for students. For information, call 628-5774.