FANTASTIC FREEBIE. Rennie Harris Puremovement will get Tucson hip-hopping into the new year.
Tonight's show, a spectacular, high-energy showcase of hip-hop culture called Rock Da Ring: A Night of Hip-Hop Title Bouts, is free. In a giant boxing ring, the best turntablists, DJs, MCs and hip-hop dance groups from throughout Tucson will compete against each other and against the dancers and performers of Rennie Harris in performance "bouts."
A fashion show will be held between bouts, highlighting local hip-hop clothing outlets and the designs of Tucson company Gigo.
On Saturday, Puremovement will perform its newest piece, Rome & Jewels, at Centennial Hall. The company's latest piece is a hip-hop ballet inspired by West Side Story and the Leonardo DiCaprio/Claire Danes film Romeo and Juliet, which re-conceives the plot and style of Shakespeare's classic tale of star-crossed lovers, creating a contemporary drama and highlighting several different dance styles, including hip-hop and breakdancing.
The Washington Post describes it as "an impressive show--loud, pulse-pumping and intensely physical--with all the back flips, head spinning and upside-down whirling you could want."
Rennie Harris Puremovement, the hip-hop dance company founded in 1992 by choreographer Rennie Harris, embraces the diverse and rich African-American traditions of dance while serving as the voice of a new generation.
The event tonight is from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Nations Hall at Muse, formerly the International Arts Center, 516 N. Fifth Ave.
Saturday's show, Rome & Jewels, starts at 8 p.m. in the University of Arizona's Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., just east of Park Avenue. Tickets cost $16 to $28. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Tickets also are available online at www.tickets.com. For more information, call 621-3341 or 626-4420.
THREE'S A CHARM. A red carpet gala and (black tie optional) reception kicks off what looks like a very busy season for the Tucson Musical Theatre.
The group is producing its first full season of three musicals, including the Arizona premiere of the Rodgers and Hart revue Beguiled Again, which opens with a bit of fanfare tonight.
A professional cast of singers, dancers and musicians is led by Les Castro, and stars Lissa Staples, Jon Thuerbach (Simon Peter of the Simon Peter Festival), Theresa Cummins-Webster, Amy Kenton, Jay Cotner, Cassie Smith and Tom Stefanek.
The company was a recent recipient of a mayoral proclamation designating this as Tucson Music Theatre Day.
The Tucson Musical Theatre takes to the stage again in March with its rendition of the most-often produced musical in the world, The Fantasticks. In May, the season winds up with a production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's A Grand Night for Singing.
Tonight's party-performance starts at 8 at the Catalina Foothills High School Little Theatre. Other shows are scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. For more information and reservations, call 298-2755.
END OF THE LINE. If you've been thinking about taking in a good play, there's a good one playing at Zuzi, but it closes Sunday, so you'd better get moving.
Kiss of the Spider Woman is about two men--Valentin, a political prisoner, and Molina, a gay man accused of "gross indecency"--who share a cell in a South American prison.
The strangers must learn to depend and care for each other despite their differences and beliefs. As they struggle to understand each other, they discover the liberating power of the imagination and escape to a place of healing.
This non-musical version of The Kiss of the Spider Woman was adapted from the 1979 novel by Manuel Puig, an Argentinian native who went into self-imposed exile the year Juan Peron came into power.
Unlike the musical and the film, this version of Spider Woman, which runs through Sunday, is a two-man production, directed by Dan Foote, with a set by local designer John Longhoffer.
Performances are at Zuzi Little Theater, 738 N. Fifth Ave. Tickets cost $17 at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. (cash only) and the Borderlands Theater office, 373 S. Meyer Ave. For show times, reservations and more information, call 882-7406.
WINGING IT. Jerry Fugere wrote the book on all those mothballed planes out there at Davis-Monthan.
Fugere spent more than a few hours at Tucson's air force base compiling information for his new book, Inside AMARC.
The book, about the Aerospace, Maintenance and Regeneration Center, is a superb look at the more than 5,000 planes grounded on more than 2,700 acres of desert. The photography by Bob Shane is spectacular; some of the aerial shots are real works of art.
If you've ever wondered just what in the hell all those birds are doing sitting around in Tucson, you won't want to miss Fugere's talk today at Barnes and Noble.
Inside AMARC is a story you can hear at 2 p.m. at the bookstore at 5130 E. Broadway Blvd. It's free and sure to be interesting. For more information, call 512-1166.
JOIN THE KLUB. The Tucson Volkssport Walking Klub wants you to come along for--what else?--a walk.
The group is sponsoring a noncompetitive 10k walk along hiking trails and roads in Tucson Mountain Park.
The event is free. All you have to do is show up at Todd's Place Restaurant, 2740 S. Kinney Road, at 8 a.m. today, lace up your shoes and put one foot in front of the other. For more information, call 298-4340.
AFTERNOON DELIGHT. The Tucson Symphony Brass Quintet is sure to please any crowd with its versatile repertoire.
Enjoy a performance today that includes Malcolm Arnold's Quintet and the Carmen Suite No. 1 by Georges Bizet.
The quintet's current members are Ed Reid and Mike Walk, trumpets; Kristine Crandall, horn; Michael Becker, trombone; and Mike Sherline, tuba. They hold degrees from prestigious institutions such as the Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University and Michigan State University.
Herbert L. Clarke is easily the best-known cornetist of all time. Conductor, composer, arranger, virtuoso cornetist and teacher, Clarke served as the cornet soloist and assistant director with the John Philip Sousa Band during intervals from 1893 until 1917.
Post intermission, the concert picks up with Clarke's The Maid of the Mist, featuring a cornet solo by Reid.
Planned for the finale is Eric Ewazen's Colchester Fantasy, a sonorous piece for brass quintet written in 2000 and already a standard performed around the world. Ewazen has been a member of the faculty of the Juilliard School since 1980.
The TSO Brass Quintet plays at 2 p.m. at the Tucson Symphony Center. Tickets at $12 are available by calling the TSO box office at 882-8585. The Tucson Symphony Center is located at 2175 N. Sixth Avenue, just south of Grant Road. Tickets also are available at TicketMaster, 321-1000.
FII-ISHY WOMAN. OK. So it's a mystery about Anasazi ruins.
What got me thinking about such a lame teaser was the title of this new book--White Shell Woman.
Anywho, author James Doss will be taking about the seventh page-turner in his mystery series revolving around tribal investigator Charlie Moon and his shaman, Aunt Daisy.
The story involves the Anasazi ruins at Chimney and Companion rocks.
Learn more about White Shell Woman during a visit by Doss to Clues Unlimited mystery bookstore at 5 p.m. today. The store is located at 123 S. Eastbourne. For more information, call 326-8533.
STRONG LINEUP. How is a woman supposed to look at 40, or 50, or 60?
Bailey Doogan is asking the question through her work, which is included in a new group exhibition at Etherton Galleries.
Embodiments: Attributions of Identity includes Holly Roberts' Painted Photographs, Bailey Doogan's Recent Paintings, Santiago's Recent Paintings, and Joe Forkan's Monoprints.
Roberts, known for the unconventional combination of photography and painting in her work, delves the regions simultaneously inhabited by the routines of daily existence and the world of her imagination. By painting over pictures of her family, friends and animals, Roberts captures a bit of the anima, the soul that provides a basis for reflection. But the elusive soul-searching self is always secreted, waiting to appear like invisible ink at any given moment.
As in her 1997 Land/Scape series, Doogan continues to address the mutable landscape of being. In her 1997 paintings this referential mirroring of comment was subsumed, the focus softened, and the emotive figure breathed through a material reference to the landscape.
In recent paintings, Doogan moves in on the body, hers in particular, calling into question how a woman is supposed to look, at what age, at any given time.
Santiago, who survived a strict military/Methodist upbringing before moving to Tucson in 1961, now splits his time between the Old Pueblo and Bellwood Farm, a recently purchased, defunct Pomeranian ranch on a small lake in western Michigan.
Santiago's technique is complicated and secretive, a painstaking and time-consuming process 30 years in the making, and still evolving.
Forkan's monoprints and paintings explore different perceptions of memory. With the freeze-frame recollection of events culled from photographs that are empty of personal memory; he forces the image's moment in time to an appropriated crisis. As these photographic images extend moments, compress time and capture surface, but often record things inadequately, they still suggest the hidden or undisclosed remembrance of things past.
The show runs today through March 30 at Etherton Gallery, 135 S. Sixth Ave. A reception is planned for 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, February 2. Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and until 7 p.m. on Thursdays. For more information, call 624-7370.
PRAISE FOR A POET. A poetry reading series gets off to a strong start tonight as an award-winning Irish writer shares his work.
Paul Muldoon, winner of the Irish Times 1997 Irish Literature Prize for Poetry, opens the spring 2002 Visiting Poets and Writers Reading Series presented by the UA Poetry Center. He is one of Ireland's major contemporary poets.
Muldoon's work is characterized by playful humor, inventive rhyme and multi-layered structures of meaning. His poetry collections include New Weather, Why Brownlee Left, Meeting the British, Madoc: A Mystery, The Annals of Chile, Kerry Slides, Hay and, most recently, Poems: 1968-1998.
Muldoon was born in Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, in 1951. He graduated from Queen's University Belfast where Seamus Heaney was his tutor. He worked as a radio and television producer for BBC Belfast before moving to the United States in 1986. He is a professor of poetry at Princeton University, and in 1999 he was elected professor of poetry at the University of Oxford.
Muldoon is a fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His recent honors include an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, the Irish Times Poetry Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize.
In The Times Literary Supplement, Muldoon has been described as "the most significant English-language poet born since World War II."
The free reading starts at 8 tonight in the UA Modern Languages auditorium. For more information, call 626-3765 or visit www.coh.arizona.edu/poetry.