FANTASY ISLAND. Do you hanker for a surreal little stroll where you'll rub shoulders with otherworldly apparitions amid phantasmic formations and ethereal scenery? And nope, we're not talking the nearest mall.
Instead, you can enjoy one man's visionary legacy with Haunted Ruins guided tours at Valley of the Moon. The creation of late eccentric George Phar Legler, the lunar outpost is maintained by a hardy band of volunteers who celebrate Halloween in creative style. And chow will be dished up by Barb's Grill.
Tours run every 30 minutes from 7 to 9:30 p.m. today through Sunday at Valley of the Moon, 2544 E. Allen Road, east of Tucson Boulevard and north of Prince Road. Tours continue October 19 through 22 and 26 through 30. Admission is $5, $3 for children 7 to 12, and free for members and children under 7. For details, call 323-1331.
STRING FEAT. Cello wonder Yo-Yo Ma rolls into town for one performance at the UA Centennial Hall.
Ranked among the world's greatest classical musicians, Ma is also considered one of the genre's most adventurous ambassadors: His 1997 Tucson concert ranged from Brahms and Stravinsky to Argentine tangos and Appalachian waltzes. For tonight's return appearance, he'll present a solo concert featuring the music of his first and most lasting influence, Johann Sebastian Bach: three suites for unaccompanied cello.
It's sure to be another of the artist's legendary performances. "What makes Ma's Bach knock your socks off is his ebullient serenity, interrupted at times by sheer abandon," says The Washington Post.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Hall, inside the UA main gate east of Park Avenue. Tickets range from $48 to $60, and are available at the Centennial Hall box office or by calling 621-3341.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE. Comedy rules when the University Activities Board presents Kevin Nealon.
A veteran of Saturday Night Live, Nealon clearly sets himself apart from other comedians through his bone-dry wit and bizarre sense of humor.
It's a style that suited him well on SNL, where's he's best remembered for characters including The Subliminal Man, Hanz and Franz and the "Weekend Update" anchorman.
Show time is 9 p.m. in the UA Centennial Hall, inside the main gate east of Park Avenue. Tickets are $27, $25 for students, and are available at the Centennial Hall box office and at the door. For information, call 621-3341.
TWINKLE TOES. UA dancers leap to life in Family Ties.
Presented by the School of Music and Dance, the performance travels the globe with "English Suite," a neoclassical ballet choreographed by Melissa Lowe and Jory Hancock. Other works include "Excursions," choreographed by Amy Ernst and Susan Quinn, and featuring Adam Davies, Clair Hancock, Miguel Perez and Joanna Zepeda; and folk forms that have evolved into classical work, portrayed through dances such as the mazurka, tarantella and waltz.
Show time is 5:30 p.m. in the Gittings Dance Theater, north of McKale Center on the main mall. Tickets are $8 at the door. Call 626-8030 for details.
SPOUSAL ESCAPADES. A cabbie with dual matrimonial affections is driven to distraction in Run for Your Wife, presented by the Desert Players Theatre.
This Ray Cooney comedy centers on John Smith, a taxi driver who lives in Wimbledon with his wife Mary. But he also lives in Streathham with his wife Barbara. You might have guessed that Mr. Smith runs on a very tight schedule, which starts unraveling during a 12-hour stint in the hospital.
Show time is 8 p.m. today and tomorrow and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Temple of Music and Art Cabaret Theatre, 330 S. Scott Ave. Performances continue at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, October 20 through 22. Tickets are $10; $9 for seniors, students and military. They're available by calling 733-1076.
FOLK LUMINARY. Legendary folk songbird Kate McDonnell will play tonight in a fund-raiser for the Bridge School.
McDonnell has been making her distinctive mark since the '70s. But she really started earning much-deserved recognition in 1996, following the release of her Broken Bones CD. Her star has only risen since, with opening gigs for everyone from Arlo Guthrie and Patty Larkin to Judy Collins, Suzanne Vega, Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan. She arrives hot on the heels of her latest release, Next.
Proceeds will go to the Bridge School, a landmark facility for children with severe speech and physical impairments.
Show time for this house concert is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, or $45 including a vegetarian dinner with the artist at 5:30 p.m. For tickets, location and other information, call 744-0235.
TURNING THE PAGE. Tucson's literary set gathers to celebrate a great new book store. And get this: Reader's Oasis sports nary a corporate string, nor a wearisome dot.com.
It's been a long time coming for our well-read burg, which witnessed the fall of beloved independent giants like the Book Mark and the Haunted Bookshop in recent years. Reader's Oasis boasts some 17,000 titles ranging from top fiction, history and biography to the "Inner World," a selection of philosophy, alternative medicine and self-help books.
Today's grand opening will feature mystery writer Sinclair Browning; children's author Susan Lowell; photographer and writer John Heisey; short story ace (and Tucson Weekly alum) Stacey Richter; and poet/novelist Demetria Martinez. There will also be raffles for a plethora of high-minded prizes.
The event runs from 2 to 4 p.m. at Reader's Oasis, 3400 E. Speedway Blvd. Call 319-7887 for details.
THE DEVIL IN BEVEL. Resident performance madman Mat Bevel throws what caution he possesses to the wind for a benefit bash tonight.
The Beveled One invites you to "pander to your ritualogical sensibilities and join in on a night of frenetic kinetics and generally eclectic performance including live music, DJs, fire, poetry, comedy and puppets." Participants in this rambunctious flurry include Crawdaddy-O, Radio Limbo, the Retainer Club , Slop, Swami Robbi Bobbi, the Tucson Puppet Works and of course Mr. Bevel himself.
The party runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Mat Bevel Institute, 530 N. Stone Ave. Admission is $5. Call 662-0192 for details.
CELTIC COWBOYS. The Emerald Isle takes a Southwestern turn with a performance by Small Potatoes.
Calling themselves "eclecto-maniacs," this powerhouse duo describe their style as "Celtic Cowboy" with a mix of folk, Irish, blues and '30s swing music. Both Jacquie Manning and Rich Prezioso sing, and play an orchestra's worth of instruments including guitar, mandolin, tin whistle, flute and bodhran. And they even toss in a yodel or two. "There aren't many groups, folk or otherwise, with a broader range than these tater tots," says the Chicago Tribune. "Small Potatoes is obviously steeped in the tradition of the entire folk spectrum."
Show times are 2 p.m. for a children's concert, and 7:30 p.m. for a general audience in St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 602 N. Wilmot Road at Fifth Street. Matinee tickets are $4, $3 for children, or $10 for families. Advance tickets for the evening performance are $8, available at Antigone Books, Enchanted Earthworks and the Folk Shop, or by calling 297-9133. Tickets are $2 more at the door.
CULTURAL TABLEAU. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum toasts the season--and our regional heritage--with Celebración del Desierto.
After last year's slam-dunk day-long party, the Desert Museum decided to expand the fun to a month of Sundays. "Visitors to this year's Celebración del Desierto will get a much better feel for the traditional Hispanic culture," says executive director Richard Daley. "Each Sunday will highlight different aspects for a more complete experience."
That experience comes complete with music, crafts and steamy Mexican chow. There will also be a Mata Ortiz pottery exhibit, and a performance by the touring troupe Ballet Folklorico San Juan. The events conclude with a D'a de los Muertos celebration on October 29.
The festivities run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Sunday through October at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road. Admission is $8.95, $1.75 for children 6 through 12, and free for members and children under 6. Call 883-2702 for information.
LUDDITES' LAMENT. Industry: A Gallery continues creative production with new pieces by Matt Lisenby.
The Scottsdale artist works with the effects of time on matter, and the overlapping of texture and fluid. His pieces combine both experimental and traditional application methods, and he invites viewers to "enter the portal and experience the joy of color and form, free from the shackles of everyday living."
That approach has garnered Lisenby widespread praise. His works have appeared in the Smithsonian Institution's Local Vision Exhibit in Scottsdale, and are held in numerous private and corporate collections throughout the country.
Also on display are pieces by Francisco Rodriguez, José Galvez, David Wasserman, Jeff Jonczyk, Jenny Lynn, John Maggiotto and Beth Guinter.
The exhibit runs through October 29 in Industry: A Gallery, 439 N. Sixth Ave. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For information, call 792-2620.
POETRY AND LIGHT. The Bangkok Post calls it a "rare gem of theatrical art ... a show of technical and choreographic brilliance."
Now the Far East gem arrives in Tucson with Uttar-Priyadarshi, presented by Ratan Thiyam's Chorus Repertory Theater. Performed in the Manipuri language (with English subtitles) by a 27-member cast, the work by India's acclaimed director Thiyam is imbued with poetry, rich in imagery and electrifying intensity. Drawn from ancient texts and tales of the Far East, it depicts the tale of Ashoka's conversion to nonviolence and Buddhism when faced with the horrors of war.
Theater members are trained in acting, dance and martial arts--a strictly disciplined style enabling them to accomplish astounding aural and movement feats, and push the physical limits of human expression.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. in the UA Centennial Hall, inside the main gate east of Park Avenue. Tickets range from $16 to $28, and are available at the Centennial Hall box office or by calling 621-3341.
CLASHING PASSIONS. The budding civil rights movement, be-bop jazz and the aftermath of World War II provide a dramatic backdrop for Lynn Nottage's Crumbs from the Table of Joy, presented by Arizona Theatre Company.
This warm and funny drama centers on the Brooklyn apartment of the Crump family, where Godfrey Crump has found emotional relief from his wife's early death in the religious movement of Father Divine. Soon he uproots his two teenage daughters and hauls them to Florida, where he can be closer to his guru. The girls adapt by living glamorously tragic fantasy lives through the movies. That's until Aunt Lily blows through town with a gale of profanity, laughter, black power and communist rhetoric, in this charming drama of clashing ideals and frustrated passions.
Today's pay-what-you-can preview performance is at 7:30 p.m. in the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Performances continue Tuesday through Sunday through November 4. Times vary. Tickets range from $22 to $35, and are available at the ATC box office, or by calling 622-2823.
HEART MURMURS. The shades of human emotion are plumbed in Tohono: Espacios del Corazón, now on display in the Central Arts Collective.
The show features sculptures by Lori Andersen, photographs by Cynthia Stewart and painting by Glenn Johnson. All three explore connections between the physical and metaphysical/spiritual aspects of the Sonora Desert. And they all share one ascendant goal: expressing the inherent luminosity of this unique and beautiful land.
Tohono: Espacios del Corazón runs through November 18 in the Central Arts Collective, 32 E. Congress St. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For information, call 623-4588.