Hope for the homosexual. Glory Box, the Australian term for "hope chest," probes U.S. immigration laws that discriminate against lesbian and gay families.
Glory Box is my most personal piece and my most political, my funniest show and the most intense," says writer-performer Tim Miller. "I want the piece to conjure for the audience a new kind of hope chest, one that can be an alternate site for placing memories, hopes, and dreams of gay people's extraordinary potential for love."
Little wonder, then, that the inspiration for Miller's latest production is intensely personal. His Australian partner of eight years, Alistair, is in the United States on a visa that expires soon, yet the two are not allowed to marry. Many other Western countries grant immigration rights to their gay citizens' partners from other countries with or without marriage, but Miller and Alistair say they will have to leave the United States to stay together.
Creating art and entertainment from his personal life is the hallmark of Miller's work.
From his novels Shirts & Skin and Body Blows to numerous performance pieces and appearances, Miller is the consummate storyteller as he relays the challenges of this world and confronts the injustices he faces as a gay man living in America.
Miller's performance piece, Glory Box, is an intense, humorous journey that chronicles his experiences, from wanting to marry another boy in grade school to the difficulties of being in a binational relationship with his Australian partner.
Miller's performances have been presented all over the United States, Europe and Australia. He has taught performance in the dance and theater departments at UCLA and Cal State and is a co-founder of the two most influential performance spaces in the United States: P.S. 122 on Manhattan's Lower East Side and Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. today, and at 8 p.m. Friday and Feb. 15 and 16 at Nations Hall at Muse, 516 N. Fifth Ave. General admission seats are $25, with discounts available for all students and UA faculty and staff. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets also are available online at www.tickets.com. For more information, call 621-3341. (Due to frank discussion of adult subject matter, the show is recommended for mature audiences only.)
Indulge yourself. Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 is one of the composer's quietest and most introspective works and appears to have been performed only twice during his lifetime.
Beethoven was the soloist both times; the second concert marked his last public performance before increasing deafness made such appearances impossible. The concerto, dedicated to Archduke Rudolph of Austria, opens with a brief, pensive passage for solo piano, which sets up the main motive and the basis for the first theme before the orchestra enters with a long exposition.
Hear this interesting work tonight as pianist Benedetto Lupo, Bronze Medalist in the Eighth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and dubbed "devastatingly brilliant" by The Manchester Evening News , will appear at the Tucson Convention Center Music Hall with music director and conductor George Hanson and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.
Opening TSO's Classic Concert No. 6: An Indulgence in Beethoven, Schumann and Mendelssohn is Robert Schumann's deeply personal Manfred: Overture, inspired by a poem that made a tremendous impression on the composer. The poem's medieval hero, Manfred, illegitimate son of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II who struggles with the forces of good and evil and is driven half-mad, struck a resonant chord in Schumann, who suffered from chronic mental problems himself and would end his days in an insane asylum.
Highlighting the evening is Felix Mendelssohn's revolutionary piece, Symphony No. 5 (Reformation), which Mendelssohn was asked to compose at the age of 20 as a celebration of Lutheranism for the tricentenary of the Augsburg Confession, an historic statement of the doctrines of the Lutheran Church. Originally entitled Symphony for the Festival of the Reformation of the Church, this is one of the few Mendelssohn works that was not an instantaneous success.
Concerts start at 8 p.m. today and Friday and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the TCC Music Hall. Tickets are $11 to $35 for the evening performances and $12 to $23 for Sunday's show. Tickets are available by calling the TSO box office at 882-8585 or by visiting the TSO box office at 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets also are available through Ticketmaster at 321-1000. A pre-concert talk with Hanson precedes the concert at 7 p.m. and is free to all ticket holders. For more information, call the box office.
No words to describe it. "To watch Bill Bowers' collection of silent stories . . . was to see the technical elements of a European style that probably still brings Marcel Marceau to mind."
That's what Margo Jefferson, a New York Times critic, thought of Bowers' Under a Montana Moon.
The unique performance celebrates the abundant spirit of a young boy spinning under a western moon. Performed without words and within a tapestry of sound, the author takes the audience on a journey that is sometimes hilarious, often heartbreaking and always profoundly moving. Bowers recalls growing up in rural Montana, his coming out as a young gay man and various other issues.
Bowers is an actor and a mime who recently appeared on Broadway as Zazu in The Lion King. He also originated the role of Leggett in the Tony-nominated musical, The Scarlet Pimpernel. He has studied mime with Marceau and Stefan Niedzialkowski.
The show starts at 7:30 tonight in the Directing Studio, Room 116, UA Campus, southeast corner of Park Avenue and Speedway Boulevard. Tickets are $5 and are available through the UA Fine Arts Box Office at 621-1162. For more information, call the box office or visit www.arts.arizona.edu/theatre.
Hot and spicy. Serving up a tasty stew of jubilant music, Mumbo Gumbo makes its first Tucson appearance tonight.
Community radio KXCI presents its first annual Mardi Gras extravaganza -- and it really sounds like a serious good time. Cajun food from the French Quarter and local bands Carnivaleros and Black Leather Zydeco opening for Mumbo Gumbo make this night a full-throttle celebration.
Sacramento-based Mumbo Gumbo has received rave reviews from critics for their original songs and music, which combine elements of New Orleans rhumba, zydeco, and Cajun with Latin and Caribbean rhythms. Mumbo Gumbo has six CDs to date, the most recent, titled Seven, was released last summer and is filled with original songs representing the ever-bubbling festive stew that is Mumbo Gumbo. Other releases include: Potluck, Deep Soup, Big Smiley, The Adventures of Mumbo Gumbo, and the self-titled Mumbo Gumbo.
Local band Carnivaleros will take the stage at 7 p.m., performing their inimitable blues/zydeco/swing/Tex-Mex sound. Fronted by former-Molly Gary Mackender on accordion, the group will feature Mitzi Cowell on electric guitar, "Hurricane" Carla Brownlee on sax, Chris Giambelluca on bass, and Richard Medek on drums.
At 8 p.m., Tucson's only zydeco band, Black Leather Zydeco, will take the stage for a set of rousing Cajun tunes. You'll hear the Right Reverend Jeremiah Peabody on accordion and vocals, "Shotgun" Slim Edelman on electric guitar, Lala Lagniappe on scrub-board, and T-Ric Sieger on bass. A longtime Tucson favorite, Black Leather Zydeco will certainly get you in the dancing mood.
The Mumbo Gumbo bonanza begins at 7 tonight. Doors open at 6:30 at El Casino Ballroom, 437 E. 26th St. All concertgoers receive Mardi Gras beads at the door and dressing in costume will make you eligible for great prizes. Tickets are $17 in advance for KXCI members, $20 for non-members. Tickets are $3 more at the door. Tickets are available at Antigone Books, Hear's Music, and the studios of KXCI, 220 S. Fourth Ave. Tickets may be purchased at 623-1000, ext. 20.
Assimilate this. Powerful, soaring leaps across the stage mingle seamlessly with exquisitely crafted movement to create a new dance "folklore" that explores the issues of our time: gender, assimilation, class, loss and gain.
With an astounding mixture of grace, soul and masterful agility, choreographer Ronald K. Brown's modern dance company Evidence fuses the precision of ballet with the polyrhythmic energy of West African traditional dance to create stirring compositions that reflect, if not narrate life. The result is a whirlwind journey from the intellectual to the spiritual that leaves the audience breathless and deeply moved.
"Like rich African batik, Brown's choreography offers vibrant colors, complex patterns and powerful images," raves Dance Magazine. Among the pieces Evidence will perform include Ebony Magazine: to a village, which explores the emptiness of materialism and the need to find a spiritual center, and Walking Out the Dark, Brown's latest abstract work, whichfocuses on spiritual meditation and evokes images from traditional African death ceremonies.
Brown began his dance training at age 17, working with legendary modern dancer Mary Anthony. But his style has grown out of many influences, including Martha Graham, José Limón, and Alvin Ailey. He integrates his movement with traditional West African dance to form a new genre, not unlike Katherine Graham, who fused Caribbean dance styles with modern dance in the late 1930s and 1940s. Brown is adamant about educating people to change the way they look at diversity on and off the stage.
Tonight's performance begins at 8 p.m. at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. Tickets are $16 to $28, with discounts available. Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets also are available online at www.tickets.com. For more information, call 621-3341.
Just bead it. OK, that's about as lame as a tease can come.
But hey, whatever. Bead lovers will just want to know that there is still time to check out the Whole Bead Show, which features beads of every shape, size and color.
You'll also find books, tools, and beaded jewelry at the event that runs through Monday at The Windmill Inn, 4250 N. Campbell Ave. at River Road. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $5. For more information, call 800-292-2577 or visit www.wholebead.com.
Get in the mood . . . Romance is the theme for a pre-Valentine's Day concert featuring bassist Patrick Neher.
The music includes Giovanni Bottesini's Seven Romantic Songs for soprano, double bass, and piano, and Colin Seamarks' Seven Mehitabel Magpies for soprano and double bass, with references to the famous cat Mehitabel. Among the concert's highlights is Eugene Kurtz's The Last Contrabass in Las Vegas for one man, one woman, and one contrabass. It is a satirical work about one woman's obsession with the bass.
The romantic theme continues with Frank Proto's Sonata 1963 for double bass and piano, a work that includes a pizzicato jazz movement. The concluding work is music improvised with double bass, percussion, and electronics, featuring Norman Weinberg, percussion.
Also joining Neher will be Betty Allen (soprano) and Suzanne Knosp (piano).
Neher, a member of the faculty of the University of Arizona since 1984, was solo bassist with the acclaimed New 20th Century Players for two seasons and principal bassist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for 10 years. He performs as solo bassist with Santa Fe Pro Musica, the country's premier conductorless chamber orchestra.
The concert starts at 7:30 tonight at Crowder Hall, Music Building, UA Campus, at the south end of the pedestrian underpass on Speedway Boulevard east of Park Avenue. Tickets are $10 general; $8 UA employee and seniors; and $4 students. Tickets are available through the UA Fine Arts Box Office, 621-1162. For more information, call 621-2998 or visit www.arts.arizona.edu/music.
Cat scratch fever. OK, so it's not a Ted Nugent concert, but it is about cats.
The Sky Island Alliance presents the latest installment in its lecture series, Borderland Jaguars.
Carlos Lopez Gonzales, research associate with the Denver Zoological Society and co-author of the book Borderlands Jaguars, will present a lecture and slide show on these elusive cats.
The free event takes place at 7 tonight at the DuVal Auditorium at University Medical Center, 1501 N. Campbell Ave. For more information, call 624-7080.
Really WILD 'bout the cats? Kevin Hansen, an expert on mountain lions, will scratch whatever itch Carlos Gonzales (see above) was unable to reach.
Hansen, author of Cougar: The American Lion, will present entertaining and educational information about mountain lions.
Wildlife biologist D.J. Schubert will also speak about the current Game and Fish Department plan to kill lions for the benefit of hunters.
Killing lions sure sounds like a good idea to me. They're a real hassle. (Don't get me started. I wish somebody would waste all those pesky bears in Alaska, too. What a pain they are.)
Anyway, this is a free event sponsored by the Animal Defense League of Arizona, so you just know Schubert's in for a grand time.
The mountain lion slideshow and lecture starts at 7 tonight at the Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room, 101 N. Stone Ave. For more information, call 882-0597 or visit www.adlaz.org.