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Open House—for Birds

Backyard Chicken Coop Tour

10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5

Tickets and info at the Food Conspiracy Co-op

412 N. Fourth Ave.

624-4821;

www.foodconspiracy.org

Some chickens in Tucson are living the good life—and they might be living in your neighbor's backyard.

Torey Ligon, outreach coordinator for the Food Conspiracy Co-op, has seen upscale chicken-coop designs including upraised abodes made of recycled products and palaces painted to resemble the owner's home—matching trim and all.

"People keeping their chickens are really excited about showing them off," says Ligon.

Coop owners will do just that during the second annual self-guided Coop Tour, sponsored by the Food Conspiracy Co-op. Ligon had heard about a similar tour in Portland, Ore., and thought that such a tour would be a good fit for the Co-op's customer base, as there is only one local egg supplier from which the store makes purchases.

She says that the tour is a way for people to get ideas for building coops. Last year's tour inspired several Tucsonans to build coops of their own.

Future coop builders may ask: Is this a cheaper way of getting eggs?

"There is no way they will cost less than the cheapest dozen of eggs at Bashas'," says Ligon. "But the quality of the eggs you are raising in your backyard is completely different. You have control over what goes into the eggs you are eating."

This is not the case with store-bought brands. If that's not enough to make you want to get out your toolbox, owners claim that chickens make great pets.

Tickets are $5 and benefit the nonprofit Watershed Management Group. Purchase them at the Co-op, and receive a map of all the houses participating in the tour. —E.N.


Musical Multitasking

One-Man-Band Fest

6 p.m. to midnight, Friday, Dec. 4

Parasol Project

299 S. Park Ave.

www.parasolproject.com

For Audra de Bauchera, the real magic in Mary Poppins was in Dick Van Dyke's one-man-band performance. Her fascination with one-man-bands stayed with her into adulthood.

"I don't really know what it is, exactly, but I have always been super-impressed by one-man bands," she says. "It takes an expert musician to be able to do so many things simultaneously."

Here's an explanation for all you neophytes: A musician plays a number of musical instruments all at once using mouth, hands, feet—whatever he (or she) can spare. In other words, the style brings multitasking to a whole new level.

If you're curious, you can see one-man bands for yourself at the show that de Bauchera coordinated in affiliation with the Parasol Project.

Following up on the success of a similar performance three years ago, de Bauchera put together a "super-strong lineup" of nine solo performers, including Al Foul, Mosquito Bandito, Becky Lee and Drunkfoot, Al Perry and Jimmy Carr.

De Bauchera, who has a one-man band contraption of her own, says that a show usually includes a stringed instrument and a percussion element. Singing and harmonica are common too.

"There is just something special in the fact that one person can create so many different sounds," she says.

If you really want to immerse yourself in the one-man band business, you can also attend a free screening of the film One Man in the Band, directed by Adam Clitheroe. This will take place on Thursday, the night before the musician showcase, at 7 p.m. at the Parasol Project, with concessions and refreshments aplenty.

Tickets on Friday are $7 at the door. —E.N.


Gallery Bikes!

BICAS 14th Annual Art Auction

Preview: 7 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5

Auction: 6 to 9 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 6

Art Gallery

1122 N. Stone Ave.

628-7950;

www.bicas.org

The bicycle blender redefines fast food.

Here's how it works: A blender is attached to a bike, and the pedaling spins the blades—proof that bicycle art can be functional, as well as potentially messy.

BICAS (Bicycle Inter-Community Art and Salvage) is a recycling center for bicycles. The nonprofit organization encourages people to, instead of going out and buying a new bike, search around for old parts. The group offers folks the help they need to transform old bikes into something great.

The same concept applies to art. BICAS runs an art-education program in which they educate kids on the importance of recycling, and give them bike parts to incorporate into their artwork.

Local artists donated their own bike art to be auctioned off during the 14th annual event for BICAS.

"Either a bicycle is pictured in the work, or bike parts were used to make it," says BICAS administrative coordinator John Salgado. "A bicycle dinosaur, robot, giraffe, an antique tiffany lamp, purses, belts ..."

Depending on the artists' suggested prices, starting bids on items range from $5 to $1,000 or more. Salgado says all the money made goes into education programs, build-a-bike programs and the purchase of new tires and tubes for general maintenance.

Saturday night is a sneak preview during which people can take a look at the artwork and offer preliminary bids. The actual silent auction will take place on Sunday, and final bids will be called at 9 p.m. Salgado encourages attendance on both nights.

Take advantage of the food and refreshments while you peruse the environmentally friendly art, and listen to the music of Silver Thread Trio and others.

Both events are free, but donations are gladly accepted. —E.N.


Roaring 20s

Phyro-Giants!

10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, through Dec. 12

Beowulf Alley Theatre

11 S. Sixth Ave.

882-0555,

www.beowulfalley.org

Twenty-something.

Either you're approaching your 20s, in the eye of the storm, or looking back and being thankful you survived your 20s. It is a tumultuous time—a decade of working your way into the real world, dealing with college, finding a career to fit into, making money, getting married and ... oh god ... babies.

Beowulf Alley's Late Night Theatre will be offering Phyro-Giants!, a play that finds the comedy in the 20-something. A former correspondent for The Daily Show, Michael Blieden wrote the play in 2001. UA alum and playwright Michelle Sciarrone brought it to Tucson.

"It's so creative. Throughout the whole show, we're at a table, and there are people having a conversation," says Sciarrone. "It's almost like you're hanging out with your friends at dinner."

Sciarrone, who is acting this time around rather than writing, says that even though there's not a lot of action or set changes—in fact, there are no set changes—the story will keep the audience hooked.

"It has dramatic moments and little surprises, but you'll laugh," she says.

A combination of friends and strangers tell stories and disclose personal escapades at dinner—basically, it's a dinner we've all been to before.

The director of late-night shows at Beowulf Alley, Michael Fenlason, says it's better than typical late-night comedy, which generally includes crazies running around half-naked and screaming, he says. Phyro-Giants! is a little more respectable, but it still maintains some late-night antics (read: adult themes and language).

So, get a glimpse of your future, laugh at where you're at, or go to reminisce.

Tickets are $8, cash, at the door. Call 882-0555 for reservations. —A.P.

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