by Jim Nintzel
The respective staffs of The Rialto Theatre/Tucson, Arizona, Hotel Congress and Club Congress, and The Loft Cinema, along with Tucson bon vivant Kitty Katt McKinley, were, like most every sentient music fan, deeply saddened at the unexpected passing of Prince, an artist who has left an indelible mark on music and popular culture for over four decades. After shaking off the shock and tears, the three organizations joined forces on a combination of events intended to pay our respects to Prince, his life, legacy and unparalleled greatness.
To that end, we are announcing I Would Die 4 U: 2cson’s Tribute 2 Prince Rogers Nelson.
Things will kick off at The Loft Cinema on Friday, April 29th, with a 7 p.m. sing-along to Prince’s classic cinematic debut Purple Rain, widely regarded as one the best rock films ever made. Regular Loft Cinema admission prices and policies apply.
Later that same night, at 9 pm, Hotel and Club Congress will transform itself into a southwestern Paisley Park, Prince’s famed residence and studio in Minneapolis, for a wild, unrestrained and funky dance party hosted by DJ Herm. Dance your sadness away until the wee hours, or just dance and cry like we all plan to do. If you come dressed like His Royal Badness (and make a real effort), you will be admitted for free.
On Saturday, April 30th, The Rialto will open its doors at 7 pm for the finale for this tribute to a true musical legend. The event will be hosted by Kitty Katt McKinley and features Prince tribute act The New Purple Generation (with guests Najima Jamilah, Clifton B Taylor, and Paul Jenkins) who will be accompanied by a small orchestra ensemble; Southwest Soul Circuit mainstays Kevin and Tanishia; KXCI Community Radio’s Cathy Rivers performing “Darling Nikki” and other choice cuts with Mike Mihina and Lovemound; Jaime J.; postmodern chamber music wizard Chris Black and his ensemble; a rain stage (do you have any doubt it will be lit purple?), burlesque acts by The BIG Bang McGillicuddy, Lola Torch, Stormy Leigh, and Pussy Willow, and lots more including a new mural from Joe Pagac. After the live performances, a dance party will follow until U are completely exhausted. Dress to impress and get half price drinks all night long. DJed by DJ Butta Fly aka Xavier Lopez.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Wingspan.
While we hate that Prince’s passing is the occasion that will bring us all together, we intend to embrace the joy that this wonderful performer, writer, and person has brought into the world. He will live on in our hearts for as long as we keep His memory alive.