HOLIDAY TWIST. If you despise Tiny Tim's valiant pluck, refuse to deck any halls (but relish smacking St. Nick), and remain an unrepentant pro-Grinch partisan, then The Eight: Reindeer Monologues is your perfect bitter pill.
Presented by the Green Thursday Theatre Project (Tucson's new "queer" theatre collective), the work is a comedy composed of monologues from Santa's eight little reindeer.
It seems St. Nick has some employees with sexual harassment issues, and it's Vixen who finally blows the lid off these tawdry affairs at the North Pole. The result is a "dark, riotously funny Christmas story unlike any other."
Show time is 7 p.m. in Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Performances continue Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through December 23. Tickets are $10, $8 for seniors and students, and are available at the Hotel Congress front desk, or by calling 795-4322.
INDIGENOUS LEGACY. The Arizona Historical Society notes one family's long commitment to Native American art when it honors Mark Bahti and Bahti Indian Arts.
The store is steeped in history of its own. Mark Bahti's father, Tom, opened the shop in 1952, and over the years became well acquainted with many of the outstanding Indian artists and scholars of the day.
Mark has carried on the tradition with extensive lecturing, and six books on Southwest Indian art and culture. He's also penned a slew of academic papers, and served as an appraiser and judge of Indian art. All of which has provided a deeper appreciation for this region's earliest residents.
The free gathering runs from 6 to 8 p.m. in the historical society, 949 E. Second St. Call 628-5774 for details.
HUMANITARIAN PARLEY. The human rights crisis on our boundary with Mexico is highlighted with Border to Border: Building a Human Rights Movement, converging this week in Tucson.
The broad-ranging summit will address the dire situations on the border, and a methods for reforming ill-conceived immigration policies. Speakers will include keynoter Delores Huerta, co-founder and past vice-president of the United Farm Workers. Other panelists include Congressman Luis Gutierrez, who chairs the Task Force on Immigration for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; Enrique Dovalina, president of LULAC; Raquel Goldsmith, a UA adjunct professor of Mexican/American studies; Sasha Khokha of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; Manuel López Obrador, the mayor of Mexico City; and Felix Pérez of Alianza Contra Basura Tóxica y Nuclear (Alliance Against Toxic and Nuclear Waste) in Juarez, Mexico.
The panel also includes labor leaders, human rights and environmental activists, and José Palafox of the ethnic studies department of UC Berkeley.
Border to Border: Building a Human Rights Movement runs Friday through Sunday at the InnSuites Hotel, 475 N. Granada Ave. The cost is $5 for locals, $10 for those from outside Arizona. It opens tonight with registration from 5 to 9 p.m., and continues with two films, La Ciudad by David Riker, and the premier of Border Crossings by Heather Lares, at 7:30 p.m. in the Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St.
The gathering continues on Saturday with panel discussions from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and a concert featuring La Nueva Onda, the Santa Cruz River Band and Grito Serpentino from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. A $10 donation is suggested. The summit concludes on Sunday with a panel discussion from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information, call 770-1373.
CANYON CHORUS. Seasonal cheer and natural beauty converge with Music in the Canyon.
Hosted by the fine Friends of Sabino Canyon, this year's gala will feature everything from delectable food to great music, all set against a gorgeous mountainside backdrop.
Strolling musicians and Boy Scouts will guide visitors along a luminaria-lit, quarter-mile walk to the Lowell House. That's where the entertainment unfolds with the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, the Ronstadt Cousins, the Old Pueblo Madrigal Singers, the Shadz Utterback Alumnae Band and the Sunshine Generation Chorus. Jimmy Stewart will be the master of ceremonies.
Smoky the Bear will be on hand, watching over the fireworks as a silent auction gets underway for prizes including art work and travel packages.
Music in the Canyon runs from 5 to 9 p.m. in Sabino Canyon, 5700 N. Sabino Canyon Road. A donation of $1 and two cans of food for the Tucson Community Food Bank are requested. Call 749-1900 for details.
PICTURE PERFECT. Longtime KXCI personality Michael Hyatt unveils his powerful artistic talents in Portraits.
Hosted by Elizabeth Cherry Contemporary Art and the Hotel Congress, the retrospective exhibit features black and white photographs focusing on locales from Mexico to the streets of L.A.
"My interest in documentary-style photography began in 1968 after seeing the work of Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson," Hyatt explains. Soon he was immersed in street photography in Boston and L.A. "A large portion of my portfolio from that period focuses on the residents and transients in and nearby the Chapman Hotel, at the corner of Fifth and Wall Street in Los Angeles," he says.
From there, he went on to explore a variety of topics, including the punk scenes in L.A. and Ireland, the legendary band X, and the children of Mexico.
Michael Hyatt: Portraits runs through January 27, with an opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. today in the Hotel Congress Gallery, 311 E. Congress St. For information, call 903-0577.
REVEL WITH BEVEL. Revel in odd holiday cheer with Tucson's maestro of sublime social commentary, Mat Bevel.
His Mat Bevel Institute rings in the season with the Happy Holiday Soirée, which promises to be an event of "Bevelesque eclecticism and gorgeous performance." Entertainment highlights include W.O.M.B. (Warriors of Make Believe), Gabrielle Pietrangello performing "arias de l'amore," Middle Eastern and West African dancing with Domba, and the Beveled one himself as "Dr. Paradox" and "Sgt. Clause."
The Happy Holiday Soirée runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Mat Bevel Institute, 530 N. Stone Ave. Admission is $5. For details, call 622-0192.
PIPE UP. Warm up your rusty pipes and join host Ted Warmbrand for another community sing-along.
A local folk music gadfly and KXCI radio show host, Warmbrand has been organizing these cheery little soireés for decades. And now the tradition continues, with an afternoon that includes families, neighbors and anyone else who wants to make their voice heard.
The community sing-along runs from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in St. Mark's Presbyterian Church, 3809 E. Third St. Donations are requested. Call 323-8697 for details.
DINER OF LIFE. Life stories pour forth like a storm in Bus Stop, presented by the Desert Players Theatre.
This drama by William Inge centers on eight people trapped in a dingy small-town diner by a raging blizzard. Their forced interaction brings out their best--and their worst. Each is subsequently changed in some way, even though they eventually part ways still not really knowing one another. Whether it's love, romance, debauchery, loneliness or despair, the work is a metaphor for how little any of us truly know one another.
Show time is 2 p.m. in the Temple of Music and Art Cabaret Theatre, 330 S. Scott Ave. Performances continue at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, December 15 and 16, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 17. Tickets are $10, or $9 for seniors, students and military, and are available by calling 733-1076.
MISSIONARY ZEAL. The Guadalupe Vespers celebrate the appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe with Camerata Tucsón's concert of Mexican early music performed in the San Xavier Mission.
These holiday vespers traditionally marked the opening of the Christmas season in colonial Mexico City. Highlighted tonight will be selected Renaissance and Baroque masterworks from Mexico, including several pieces in the Virgin's native tongue, Náhuatl. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the San Xavier Restoration Fund.
The performance is at 7:30 p.m. in the San Xavier Mission, 1950 W. San Xavier Road. A $35 donation is requested. Tickets are available at Hear's Music and Piney Hollow. Call 882-0026 for details.
GET A CLUE. The UA history department and Clues Unlimited bookstore host A Conversation with Bruce Alexander.
He's the author of several novels featuring blind magistrate Sir John Fielding, a historical figure who was the founder of London's first police force, the Bow Street Runners. He was also the brother of novelist Henry Fielding.
Set in the late 1700s, Alexander's novels are known for their in-depth research, and subsequently for capturing the sights, smells and crimes of 18th-century London. The latest in his series, The Color of Death, was released in November.
The event is 3 to 5 p.m. at Clues Unlimited, 123 S. Eastbourne Ave. in Broadway Village. Tickets are $10. For reservations, call 621-9359.
HIGH-STRUNG. Catch timeless sounds when the UMC Center Stage presents HarpFusion.
This concert by the UA school of music harp ensemble provides the perfect way to escape your daily bustle--at least for a bit. And best of all, it won't cost you one thin dime.
The performance is at noon in the UMC Center Stage, 1501 N. Campbell Ave. Call 626-7301 for details.
AVOIDING STILL-LIFE. The Tucson/Pima Arts Council offers a cautionary perspective with Health and Safety in the Arts.
The show includes work by Arts District denizens, and is meant to "highlight safety and health issues in the making of art, without compromising quality."
It all started in the fall of 1998, when the Tucson Office of Environmental Management was awarded an Environmental Justice grant from the EPA. From those funds grew a "green" exhibit organized by David Aguirre, with participants using the least toxic material they could find for their respective works.
Health and Safety in the Arts runs through December 21 in the T/PAC Community Gallery, 240 N. Stone Ave. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information, call 624-0595.
LEAPING ACROSS CONTINENTS. Give your fancy footwork a foreign flair when the Living Community Center hosts international folk dancing. Global high-steppers will be on hand to show you the moves, along with plenty of other friendly, dancing folks who promise not to chuckle at your provincial fumbles.
The weekly dances are at 8 p.m. Wednesdays in the Living Community Center, 330 E. Seventh St. For details, call 325-0073.
TINSEL AND TIKES. Seasonal hijinx unfold with The Best Christmas Ever, presented by Tucson Parks and Recreation Community Theatre.
This is the hilarious story of a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant. Unfortunately, they aren't prepared for the Herdman kids--probably the most awful youngsters in history.
Show times are 7:30 p.m. today through Friday, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Randolph Art Center Auditorium, 200 S. Alvernon Way. Admission is free. For details, call 791-4663.