Getting to the Heart of American Culture
'Actions through Redaction'
6 to 7 p.m. for MOCA members, 7 to 8 p.m. for the public, Saturday, May 25
Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson265 S. Church Ave.
Local artist and University of Arizona photography teacher Kenneth Shorr describes himself as a person of interest but not as an interesting person.
Shorr's latest exhibition, Actions through Redaction, will open at Tucson's Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday. Shorr has described the show as an opportunity for viewers to examine the seminal issues of American culture.
At the opening, Shorr will debut a new video, "Chortles" and present pieces from his animation/film novella, A History of Fog.
The Actions through Redaction show has two alternative names: Depraved Indifference and Staring is Caring.
The event will include food from food trucks Planet of the Crepes and Kadooks, a cash bar featuring Borderlands Brewing Co. and music from DJ Matt McCoy.
MOCA members are invited to a preview of the free opening from 6 to 7 p.m.
Shorr is best known for his large murals. His work has been exhibited at the New Museum in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern art and the UA's Center for Creative Photography. He has also had three plays presented at theaters in Chicago, and he has received three NEA photography fellowships.
MOCA is currently closed so the exhibit can be installed. It will reopen in concert with the show opening.
Alt-Classical Group Turns One
ChamberLab First Anniversary Concert
7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Saturday, May 25
Café Desta758 S. Stone Ave
ChamberLab, Tucson's first alt-classical chamber music series, will celebrate its first anniversary with a concert at local Ethiopian restaurant Café Desta.
Chris Black, ChamberLab founder, modeled the series after a similar organization he belonged to in Texas.
"I saw the same thing I had seen in Austin: a lot of incredibly talented people just sitting around," Black said.
The concert series takes local composers with rock or punk backgrounds and members of classical groups and pushes them together, outside of their comfort zone.
It is classical music with a twist and in a more casual venue.
"Music has a lot to do with context," Black said, noting that many of ChamberLab's fans feel more comfortable in bars than at concert halls. "We like people to be able to drink beer while listening to chamber music."
ChamberLab concerts aren't just classical concerts arranged by musicians with indie backgrounds. The group's composers try to be innovative and make the music their own. At its most recent concert, ChamberLab performed a song featuring a violin, a flute and a chorus of Singamajigs—fuzzy children's toys that harmonize when you squeeze their bellies.
Black calls the anniversary concert a "victory lap" that will feature the best compositions from the four previous concerts.
ChamberLab, which has a show every three months, is a part of a nationwide movement known as the Golden Hornet Project. The project is based in Austin, but involves alt-classical musicians around the country. The project is currently preparing for an NCAA-style string quartet smackdown in November.
Tickets for the ChamberLab anniversary show are $15 at the door and $10 in advance through Indiegogo.
Video of ChamberLab performances can be seen at youtube.com/chamberlab.
Soccer's "Super Bowl"
Champions League Final Viewing Party
11:45 a.m., Saturday, May 25
Playground Tucson278 E. Congress St.
A few years ago, it would have been almost unthinkable to imagine that a local bar would promote a match in May between two giants of German soccer, even one with the magnitude of the one being shown at Playground this Saturday at 11:45 a.m. After all, as recently as 2009, the Champions League final, which generally draws a worldwide television audience of around 200 million viewers, was shown on American television on cable in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon (time zones, they're the worst).
However, with a recent surge in American interest in international soccer, last year's match between Bayern Munich and eventual victor Chelsea at Playground was a standing room only affair, with the management directing overflow traffic to sister restaurant Hub, a remarkable change from the days when soccer fans had to beg local sports bar owners to change a channel to a World Cup match. This year, Playground is expanding the festivities, including prize drawings for jerseys, other soccer merchandise and cash.
This year, in the first all-German Champions League final, Bayern Munich, fueled by a roster full of superstars like Arjen Robben, Philipp Lahm and Mario Gomez, returns to the championship match for the third time in four years and their tenth overall (they won in 1974, 1975, 1976 and 2001), faces off against Borussia Dortmund, the underdog returning to prominence under coach Jürgen Klopp after a rough few years including a brush with bankruptcy in 2005.
Odds are there will be a number of Bayern fans in attendance, but even for the casual soccer fan without a particular rooting interest in either squad, it should be an exciting afternoon of soccer for a bar full of those ready to explode when the ball hits the back of the net.
Be a Kid Again
'Miss Nelson is Missing!' All Together Theatre Performance
12:30 p.m., Sundays, May 26 through July 14
Live Theatre Workshop5317 E. Speedway Blvd.
If you're looking to spend time with the family this Sunday, Live Workshop Theatre's All Together Theatre will perform an interactive comedy that may leave your belly hurting.
Miss Nelson is Missing! tells the story of seven rambunctious, naughty children whose teacher, Miss Nelson, mysteriously disappears and is replaced by the evil Miss Viola Swamp. The new teacher forces the children to work all day and even cancels recess, according to Samantha Cormier, the play's director. The children then set out to solve the disappearance and bring Miss Nelson back.
The play is based on the book by Harry Allard and James Mitchell, and adapted for the stage by Jeffrey Hatcher.
"We have adult actors playing third-graders, so it's kind of fun to see," Cormier said, adding that several cast members are teachers themselves.
ATT artistic director Amanda Gremel will play the role of Lavita, a tough girl who chews bubblegum the whole time, thinks girls are better than boys and is "a lot of fun."
Gremel said that although the cast for ATT performances usually consists of high school students, she couldn't resist the chance "to be a kid again."
"It's so cool to be in a show that was a book that I read when I was younger in school," Gremel said. "I hope families can just come together and have a great time and see that, you know, literature can be brought to life."
During the ending, actors will pull children from the audience to dance with them onstage, Cormier added.
"It's a good family experience; lots of laughter," Cormier said. The audience leaves "with their belly hurting and their face hurting from smiling too much."