Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
Sun Records: A Million Dollar Story
. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can certainly have Old Tucson put on a brand new show, written especially for everyone’s favorite Wild West attraction. Michael Monroe Goodman’s show is all about the record label that brought the world rock ’n’ roll, by being the first to record artists like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. If you’re not All Shook Up with excitement about this show, you should be! This is the first in a trio of shows which will include a Marty Robbins tribute in June and an Everly Brothers show in September. If you buy all your tickets at once, you can use the promo code ALL3 to avoid paying three separate online convenience fees. Dinner at 6 p.m. and show at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 26. Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Road. $48.95 includes the price of dinner.
Whether you’re into the fine art of ventriloquism or not, Terry Fator has a pretty cute little story of how he got so famous. He got his first dummy when he was in fifth grade, and spent years and years in a band and performing as a ventriloquist at county fairs. One time he performed for the ONE person who showed up in a 1,000 seat venue. Then, of course, he won season 2 of “America’s Got Talent,” and skyrocketed to success, along with his cast of characters, including the little girl with the big voice, the Impersonating Turtle, the Elvis Impersonator and the annoying neighbor. How does he do it? No one knows—his lips are sealed. Doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. Saturday, May 26. Desert Diamond Casino, 1100 W. Pima Mine Road. $35 to $70.
John Philip Sousa in the Park.
The Tucson Pops Orchestra is seeing off Memorial Day weekend with a tribute to the good ol’ American March King. Sousa, or JP to his friends, wrote such bangers as “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” “Semper Fidelis” and “The Liberty Bell,” all of which you’ve heard even if the names don’t sound familiar. (As a side note, Sousa also wrote three novels, and was a fantastic trapshooter.) At this event, you’ll hear just one piece by Sousa, and then a smattering of compositions including “Hymn to the Fallen” and “America the Beautiful.” You’ll also see the world premiere of “Fairy Tale, an Imaginary Ballet,” by composer Pete Fine. 7 p.m. Sunday, May 27. DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center at Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way. Free—but BYOFSOB (Bring Your Own Folding Chair Or Blanket).
The Wizard of Oz.
If you were off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, what would you ask him for? To keep net neutrality safe? To have all the potholes in your neighborhood fixed? Or something simple, like an eegees now that it’s getting hot? You’d better get your answer ready for when you go to see the Academy of Ballet, Tap and Jazz Dance School’s presentation of The Wizard of Oz. Dancers of all ages will be dancing down the yellow brick road, past the flying monkeys and through the Emerald City. It sounds like it’s going to be totally wicked. 2 p.m. Sunday, May 27. Tucson Convention Center Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $16.
Britishmania: Beatles Tribute Touring Act.
Hey Dude, don’t let this opportunity to relive the glory days fade into Yesterday. Because, while you Can’t Buy Me Love, you can buy tickets to this show, where you’ll get to see the band in all its best periods, from the Ed Sullivan Days to the Let It Be era, and all the wonderful LSD-induced lyrical genius in between. If you don’t think you’re going to be able to make it all the way across town, or Across The Universe, to get to the show, we hope you’ll reconsider. If We Can Work It Out, so can you. 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday, May 28. The Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. $25 adults, $23 seniors/students/military, $15 kids.
The First Time–True Stories Told By Youth.
This event is similar to a storytelling event by The Moth, or by Tucson’s own Odyssey Storytelling. But this iteration is completely organized by and focused around youth! Do you remember your first time riding a bike? Trying a food you really hated? Your first time driving, or having a crush, or going on vacation? Growing up is all about trying things for the first time ever, and six young people from the Tucson community will be sharing stories about their firsts onstage, so we can relive all of our own—or at least all the good ones. Food is provided, and raffle tickets for some fun prizes are available. The event is hosted by El Rio’s Reproductive Health Access Project, a group led by youth 14 to 20 years old encouraging their peers to take control of their health. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 26. Thornhill Lopez Center on Fourth, 526 N. Fourth Ave. Free.
EXIST: Messengers of the Cosmos.
What’s cooler than going to the circus? How about going to a circus that combines science and entertainment to explore the idea that we’re made out of the same stuff as the stars? You’ll see media projections, dance, acrobatics, aerial, stilt dance and all sorts of crazy circus props; you’ll hear an original soundtrack and spoken word; and you’ll feel really small—in a good way, though, in the sense that the entire history of human evolution is only .02 percent of the age of the universe. Four circus artists and one storyteller will tell two stories: one about the lifecycle of the universe and another about three notable women in astronomy and the human connection to the cosmos. Watch these stars perform, and remember that if we’re strictly talking about composition, we’re all stars. 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 26. Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. Matinee is $20 adults, $10 kids and free for kids 5 and under. Evening show is $25 adults, $15 kids and free for five and under. Between shows, astronomer Stephanie Juneau will give a free public lecture at 4:30.
arts found: A Salon Series.
For some people, the word “art” conjures up gallery openings in big cities, but for many artists, the expansiveness of rural communities is exactly what they need to do their best work. The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona is partnering with the Tubac Center for the Arts to provide a discussion on artist communities in rural areas. Michael Fenalson, artistic director of the Tubac Center of the Arts, moderates. Panelists include Laurie McKenna, a cross disciplinary artist from Bisbee; Stuart Siegel, director of the Sonoran Desert Inn & Conference Center along with his wife Emily; Dave Tarullo, a sculpture and ceramics artist; and Leslie Miller, an oil painter who lives in Tubac. This is part of the Arts Foundation’s Salon Series, which explores the intersection of art and ideas. 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24. Tubac Center of the Arts, 9 Plaza Road. $20.
Art Now! With Amanda Cachia.
Amanda Cachia, an assistant professor of art history at Moreno Valley College in Riverside, CA, director of the new Moreno Valley College art gallery and curator of more than 40 exhibitions, is up next in MOCA’s laid-back lecture series. Cachia approaches her work with the idea that art isn’t something that everyone should get to partake in, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. She works to make art projects more accessible by including elements like American Sign Language, captioning, and written and audio translations of sound and images. Art for all and all for art! 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24. Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art, 260 S. Church Ave. Free for MOCA members and $10 for non-members.
Sonoran Scenery and Monsoon Mirage Miniatures.
The Desert Artisans Gallery has some seriously beautiful art from local artists on display right now. Sharon Bertrand’s watercolors and pastel capture the red rocks of Arizona and the hidden wildflowers of springtime. Judith Probst’s watercolors have an incredible way of capturing animals’ faces, as well as some of the best views in Southern Arizona. And Alexandria Winslow’s acrylics are bursting with color and good feelings—it’s like she’s the Lisa Frank of high art. The works of Nancy Cressler (fused dichroic glass), David Thekan (oil) and Dikki Van Helsland (Batik, a type of cloth dying) are on display as well, and are all must-sees. Don’t miss this exhibit before its last day on Aug. 5. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Desert Artisans’ Gallery, 6536 E. Tanque Verde Road. Free.
Kate Meyer’s Solo Art Exhibition/Installation.
This is an art installation exploring gender-based violence and power dynamics through performance, video, painting, poetry and residency. That’s right. Residency. Artist Kate Meyer will be living on site (with no internet and no phone—talk about commitment) as part of the exhibit from May 26 to June 2, when the opening reception officially takes place. She’ll also be leading some fundraising efforts in the space to raise money for Hey Baby Art Against Sexual Violence, a local nonprofit and one of the hosts of the event. The exhibit runs from May 26 to June 30, and there are open studio hours from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, May 28 through Friday, June 1. Hours vary. Studio ONE A Space for Art and Activism, 197 E. Toole Ave.
Museums and Historical Events
Summer Safari Friday Nights.
Another week, another trip to the Reid Park zoo for parents of young kids (and really, for anyone looking to have a good time). There’s the usual food and drink specials, live music and animal bio facts, all tied to this week’s theme of biomimicry. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so perhaps tapirs should be flattered we got the idea for snorkels from them, elephants should be blushing that we’ve studied them to learn more about sunscreen and snakes should be charmed that we’re looking to them for ideas about harvesting water. The Freddy Parish Band is playing as well. 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 25. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court. $10.50 adults, $8.50 seniors, $6.50 children ages 2 to 14.
Wyatt Earp Days.
If the Arizonan Wild West were a person, you have to admit that everyone’s favorite saloon keeper/lawman/buffalo hunter/brothel runner/boxing referee/county sheriff Wyatt Earp would at least be in the running. And a man with a resume like that deserves to be celebrated. With a chili cookoff. And with several days’ worth of street entertainment. The Tombstone Lions Club is doing just that on Memorial Day weekend, where the Wild West will come alive, a replica black powder will be raffled off, cowboy/girl getups are encouraged and all proceeds go toward youth activities and programs in Tucson. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 26 through Monday, May 28. The Paul Breuer Memorial Chili Cook-off is tentatively scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 27. The event takes place on the whole of Allen Street in Tombstone, Arizona. Free. Raffle tickets are $1, or six for $5.
Cool Summer Nights at the Desert Museum.
Have you ever gone out for the evening in Tucson and happened to catch the sunset on your drive to wherever you were going? Do you ever think about how that gorgeous spectacle happens every night, but is somehow so easy to forget about or miss? This Saturday, catch the sunset at the Desert Museum, and then catch the star-speckled skies, the night blooming plants and the nocturnal animals of the area. You’ll see bats, beavers and scorpions (you’ll even get to watch those guys glow underneath a blacklight). Bring a flashlight, get there early for the best parking and enjoy this week’s theme, “Creatures of the Night.” Saturday, May 26. 5 to 10 p.m. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road. $22 GA, $20 seniors, $9 kids 3 to 12, $18 military, $17 Arizona/Sonora resident, free for kids under 3.
Learn New Stuff and Get Stuff Done
Fairy Garden Workshop
. I do believe in fairies, I do! I do! But even if you don’t, there’s no harm in building a charming succulent bowl complete with little fairy miniatures and fairy sized amenities. Whether you’re an avid gardener, just really into fairies (you are welcome to wear wings) or just looking for something to do on a Sunday morning, this monthly class is always a good bet. 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, May 27. Green Things, 3384 E. River Road. Prices vary: Pots start at 5 bucks, succulents start at $2.99 and fairy garden miniatures start at $1. If you’re strapped for cash, we heard minimalism is really in for fairy décor right now, so no worries.
Grant Writing Class
. You never know when the skill of grant writing will come in handy. It’s great to put on a resume, or maybe you volunteer with a nonprofit. Maybe you’re an academic who spends a lot of time applying for grants and is looking to step up your game. Regardless, this two-day workshop, which is endorsed by the Grant Professionals Association, will go over everything about how to find and write grants. Beginners and experienced grant writers are welcome to attend the session, hosted by the Tucson Police Department. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23 and Thursday, May 24. Tucson Police Department Westside Substation, large conference room, 1310 W. Miracle Mile. $455.
Free Vaccination Clinic
. Pack up the pets, then PACC up the pets, when you head over to Pima Animal Care Center to get your babies vaccinated. When there’s a free event like this one, with animals of all ages welcome, there’s hardly an excuse for not taking your little furry loved ones on over to make sure they can stay healthy and safe. Maybe treat them to some peanut butter or catnip after it’s over, though. 8 a.m. to noon. Saturday, May 26. Pima Animal Care Center, 2500 E. Ajo Way. Free.
Fun in General
Our Big Fat Gay Yard Sale.
Got some fabulous stuff you don’t need anymore? On the lookout for some fabulous stuff you don’t need, but still want? Head over to this extravaganza hosted by Tucson Pride. They’re looking for donations of pretty much everything under the sun: appliances, furniture, clothing, strollers, potted plants, artwork—you’ve got it, they’re probably interested. All proceeds benefit Tucson Pride, so if you don’t have any items to donate, stop by and buy something. You know what they say: One man’s dingy appliance is another man’s distinguished pleasure. 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 26. 11 N. Longfellow Ave. Free.
Memorial Summer Beach Bash
. Grab your flip flops and pool cover up, because we’re going to the beach! OK, well, we’re going to the Living Room at La Encantada, a wine lounge that’s going to have some seriously beachy vibes in honor of Memorial Day weekend. DJ MGM is playing during the mimosa brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Ten Strings will be providing live reggae music from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., and DJ Phatal will be blessin’ us with the beats from 7 p.m. to close. Grab a burger and beer for 11 bucks, a brat and a beer for 10 bucks and $4 tiki drinks. And it’s happy hour all day! 11 a.m. Saturday, May 26. The Living Room La Encantada, 2905 E. Skyline Dr.
Memorial Day Family Picnic. Memorial Day Picnics, complete with hotdogs, potato salad and some sort of dessert, are incredible. But wouldn’t they be even better if you didn’t have to do any of the planning? Tucson Church International is providing the hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks at this midday rendezvous, and everyone else can bring whatever side dish, dessert and/or friends and family they want. Sunday, May 27. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reid Park, 100 S. Country Club Road at Ramada #3, behind the rose garden and the lake. Free.