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White Bunnies and Top Hats!

Magic, Illusions and Dreams
8 p.m., Saturday, April 4
Berger Performing Arts Center
1200 W. Speedway Blvd.
888-0509; arizonarose.cc

When you go to the Arizona Rose Theater Company Web site, a small YouTube clip welcomes you. This humorous clip about a man holding his breath for three days offers a preview of their Magic, Illusions and Dreams show.

So, should you expect a series of David Blaine-like stunts?

Not quite. However, the circus-themed show will bring together some of Southern Arizona's best magicians. Mark Bond, Michael Howell and John Coppin will all take the stage at the Berger.

Coppin's profile reads, "In the world of magic, John Coppin has been involved for more than three decades performing magic, illusions and having fun ... He is deftly adapt at the art of wonder, illusion and entertainment."

The show will also include clown performances and other special acts.

While Arizona Rose representatives did not return our calls as of press time (ahem), we can learn more from the Web site, which says the company's "initial mission was to establish a community based theater company that would exist without funding from public sources. ... After 21 years ... the fundamental mission of the company has not wavered, but it has expanded to include educational concepts and community (local, regional and national) support with music and performance."

Advance tickets can be purchased at Williams Magic and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle's Toys. Adult admission is $15, with discounts for military members, seniors and children. —L.L.

3-D Paper Art

Art installation by Nick Georgiou
Opening reception 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, April 3
Open noon to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday (open until 8 p.m. on Wednesday), April 3-24
UA Student Union Gallery
1303 E. University Drive
621-6142

Many people claim the printed word is becoming obsolete, pushed aside by technology and computers.

However, sculptor Nick Georgiou molds this relic material into hand-carved and textured sculptures depicting faces and creatures. To him, it's not obsolete at all.

"It's paper that you might throw away or recycle, and now it's art," says Union Gallery curator Holly Brown.

As a site-specific artist, Georgiou comes to a location and creates art. He's been in Tucson since the beginning of February to produce works for the Union Gallery show, and Georgiou has been using Tucson's local newspapers for his creations. In other words, this story could perhaps be a body part on a future Georgiou creature!

"It's very eye-catching; it has a lot of personality. ... Having a face look back at you is very interesting," says Brown.

But Georgiou's creatures are more than skin-deep; his work has a social message about the evolution of mass communication and the newspaper as a medium, says Brown.

Visitors will be able to get up-close and personal with the 3-D sculptures, as well as meet Georgiou; he will be using part of the Union Gallery as his studio a few times a week.

"It's a great way to get students directly involved with artists," says Brown.

The Union Gallery will be hosting an opening reception for Georgiou on April 3 from 5 to 7 p.m., with an artist's talk at 6 p.m. There will be an artist lecture, "Technology and Communication in the 21st Century," on Wednesday, April 8 at 6 p.m. A meet-the-artist dinner will be held on Monday, April 13, at 5 p.m. —L.A.

See Max Cannon's Big Gong

First Friday Shorts
9 p.m., Friday, April 3
Loft Cinema
3233 E. Speedway Blvd.
795-0844; loftcinema.com

If you're a good filmmaker—I mean, if you're really good—you may be lucky enough to show your short film in its entirety this Friday at the Loft Cinema.

If you're not good and/or lucky, well, then prepare yourself for the sound of a gong.

First Friday Shorts, held every month at the Loft and hosted by "Red Meat" cartoonist Max Cannon, has taken our city by storm.

"It's huge, one of our most popular events," says Loft assistant manager Casey Dewey, who adds that 250 to 400 people show up for the event each month, where, on average, 15 to 25 films are shown.

Here are the rules: Anyone—and the Loft means anyone—can submit a short (no longer than 15 minutes) film on DVD, VHS or MiniDV before the event. Your film is guaranteed to play for three minutes; at that point, if the audience dislikes your artistic and directorial vision, they may call for the gong, at which time your screening will abruptly end.

"It's not your average film festival," says Dewey. "It's new and unique (that) the audience chooses the winner."

You may think that Loft employees would pre-screen the films to make sure there is no, um, pornographic content being shown—but to my surprise, they do no such thing. This truly is a different film festival.

"There are all sorts of people (showing films). ... We've had it all, from a 16-year-old kid to a 75-year-old woman," says Dewey.

One of the joys of First Friday Shorts is that it allows both professional and amateur filmmakers to test out new pieces and ideas. If your handy-work fizzles, you can always rework the piece and show it again. What's the worst that could happen?

Admission is $5. —L.A.

Beyond Recycling

Tucson Earth Day
9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 4
Reid Park
Country Club Road and 22nd Street
tucsonearthday.org; 206-8814

I've never even heard of a bike rodeo, much less seen one; however, my bike-rodeo curiosity will be sated during this year's Tucson Earth Day Festival.

"You will just have to come and see," teases organizer Flo Wooters when I ask her what in the world a bike-rodeo is.

Beginning promptly at 10 a.m. a parade of local organizations, vendors and participants will work its way through the festival. Accompanying the parade and festival activities will be live music from Batucaxé (who are having a busy weekend; see the Pick of the Week), the Shadz Alumni Jazz Band and the Retro Rockets.

Wooters says the purpose of the Tucson's Earth Day Festival is to "raise awareness for all species about recycling, etcetera, and whatever else they need to know in order to keep a green Earth that is livable for all living creatures." She says 70 vendors, local organizations and educational presenters will be participating and offering composting, recycling and conservation workshops.

Wooters says Tucson Earth Day will also include "solar-car races ... and much, much more," including youth solar-car and solar-house competitions. Wooters explains: "The kids are provided with a kit, which they use to put in their (model) cars and houses. Then it is their job to charge the car or house with sun power!"

The best part of the festival may just be the free admission to the zoo, and free ice cream for guests arriving on air-friendly bikes who are wearing helmets! And don't forget the free puppy-petting booth, thanks to the Humane Society.

Admission is free! —L.L.

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