EXHILARATING AS A CRUISE IN A CONVERTIBLE. That's what they're saying about The Breathing Show.
The Dance Heritage Coalition has named Bill T. Jones an irreplaceable dance treasure. He has choreographed and performed countless works for modern dance throughout the world. Here's a chance to get a glimpse of the master as he performs solo. This time it's an intimate portrait of his own life as he turns 50 and reflects on his career and his art.
The Breathing Show is a 90-minute revelation of Jones' endurance on stage and in life through the use of dance, film, text and song. UApresents offers a rare opportunity to inhale, if you will, this consummate performer. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. Tickets cost $16 to $38 with discounts for students. There's a free Arts Encounter at 6:45 p.m. with UA School of Music and Dance Professor James Clouser in the lobby of the Arizona State Museum across from Centennial Hall. Call 621-3341 for details.
CRIME PAYS. Pete Hautman, author of such crime novels as Mrs. Million and Drawing Dead, has been favorably compared to top-notch mystery writers such as Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen. Hautman, who crafts the same kind of screwball characters and loony plots, has earned praise from The New York Times to Publishers Weekly. A former Tucson resident, Hautman returns this week to the Old Pueblo as part of a tour promoting his new book, Doohickey, a locally based mystery that moves from downtown Tucson to the badlands of Bisbee and Sierra Vista. Besides the gripping plot, you'll have a great time spotting local landmarks and identifying local characters. Hautman will sign copies of Doohickey at 7 p.m. tonight at Clues Unlimited, 123 S. Eastbourne Ave. For more information, call 326-8533. Tomorrow at 2 p.m., he'll be at Reader's Oasis, 3400 E. Speedway, suite 114. For more information call 319-7887.
CROSSING OVER. Say the word "border" and you know, like the skin on the back of your hand, the stories that unfold there.
Ruben Martinez has been following Latino culture on the Mexican/American border through his work as an editor for the Pacific News Service. He's made it his business to follow the unique culture there. Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail is his newest book. It follows the Chavez family of Michoacan who lost three of the brothers when they were killed in a "coyote's" van while trying to escape Border Patrol police. Martinez brings to life the struggles facing the poor of Mexico and the need for undocumented aliens to do the manual labor we refuse to do here in the U.S.
But the author isn't just a reporter. He says his views changed as he wrote the book. At first, he just wanted to open the borders. But after studying the impact of the migrant worker both in Mexico and the U.S., he now focuses more on policies that could alleviate the plight of the migrant worker--policies such as the guest worker program that honestly recognizes the intricate entwining of the two economies.
Martinez signs copies of his new book at Reader's Oasis, 3400 E. Speedway Blvd., at 7 p.m. For questions, call 319-7887.
JIGS AND REELS AND HORNPIPES AND MORE. Tucson's own Irish traditional music band, Round the House, livens it up with dance tunes that make your feet start tapping.
Don those dancing shoes for a concert of jigs and reels, hilarious and poignant, performed on hornpipes, fiddle, mandolin, bouzouki, banjo, guitar and bodhran (now that's an instrument I have no clue about).
The concert starts at 8 p.m. at Montgomery's Irish Pub at 9155 E. Tanque Verde Road. You can't beat the price: There's no cover charge. For details, call 298-3014.
FEASTING IN THE DESERT. When you take a walk in the deserts that majestically ring our urban sprawl, you're probably not thinking about harvesting anything edible from its plants and trees and cactus.
But there's a veritable feast out there. From 6:30 a.m. to noon today, walk through the desert to identify and harvest edible and medicinal plants using techniques that have been used by generations of desert dwellers. Help prepare and then munch on mesquite cornbread, wild greens salad and lime juice and garlic-flavored nopalitos. Find out what's in three sister's casserole (hint, hint: there are three ingredients). Do you like fruit leather? How about from the fruit of a saguaro? As for seeds and berries, you'll collect whatever is part of this year's harvest.
The co-sponsors of the Native Food Feast are Pima Community College and Dawn SouthWest with members of the Sonoran Permaculture Guild. The walk takes place in northwest Tucson and costs $50 per person with a $10 food fee. Register for the walk at 206-6468.
GUISEPPE AT 189. Old Verde would be quite ancient by now. But a very much alive fan of the 19th century composer shares his birth month. The much-loved singer Luciano Pavarotti turns 67 today.
To celebrate these two musical geniuses, The Opera Guild of Southern Arizona holds its annual Scholarship Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the Tucson Country Club, 2950 N. Camino Principal.
After lunch, Dean and Anna Schoff talk about the life and work of these two men as well as the story of La Traviata. And of course, there's music to enjoy: arias and duets from the opera sung by UA voice students Karin Cole, soprano, Josh Hanna, tenor and Allen Goltz, baritone.
The cost is $35 ($15 of which is tax deductible). Make reservations by calling 299-7714.
PUMPKIN TIME. The scorching summer heat is finally giving way to what we in Tucson know as fall climes--cold enough to wear socks to bed. And despite our temperatures still squarely in the 80s, we do pumpkins in a big way.
The third annual Fiesta de las Calabazas starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 6 p.m. Here's what you can expect: a fine art show, bluegrass and folk music, the Oracle Folklorico dancers and singer Dede Wyland (whom you may have heard on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion).
There's also a Pumpkin Corral for the kids, demonstrations of Native American drum-making, a local author's booth, hiking, food and more. It's hosted by the Oracle State Park, located on Mount Lemmon Highway in Oracle. There's a per vehicle entry fee of $6 for up to four people. If you walk in, you pay just $1. And if you want to come back tomorrow, there's The Soul Ride, an off-road endurance mountain bike race. The pumpkins have their own website--see www.calabazas.org for details.
GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE. The esteemed East Coast city where I hail from used to have a late-night, locally produced TV commercial where an obnoxious hawker would screech, "We're having an art sale--a fine art sale!" Even as a kid, I knew that really fine art isn't supposed to hang on the wall squished together in guilded plastic frames.
Maybe you'll learn a thing or two about art at Dinnerware's annual Art Auction and Fundraiser. Surely you'll come away from it with an appreciation for fine art and maybe you'll buy something. Certainly you'll be supporting local artists in Tucson.
For 20 years the contemporary art gallery has held its auction. They're at it again tonight. The preview gala party starts at 6:30 p.m. and bids open at 8 p.m. More than 80 contemporary artworks are on the block, including paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, mixed media and photographs, all donated by local artists too numerous to list here. Stop by the gallery at 135 E. Congress St. to view the work this week from noon to 5 p.m.
Admission to the auction costs $25 per person or $40 per couple. After the bids start, you get in for $15. Pick up auction or raffle tickets at the gallery. Call 792-4503 for more information.
MICROFAUNA BECOMES ART. According to artist Charles Hedgcock, those of us living in Baja Arizona are incredibly fortunate to have more than our share of diversity. He's referring to the diversity in the world of microfauna--those tiny creatures most people step on.
For Hedgcock, the bugs, lizards, frogs and snails mimic the desert with their hard edges that can take on elegant, sensuous forms. He captures the magical interplay between form, function, life and actions, if only for a moment, in silver gelatin prints.
Complementing Hedgecock's work now on display at the Tucson Jewish Community Center Fine Art Gallery is Moira Marti Geoffrion's mixed-media drawings spanning the decade of the '90s and exploring issues of how we perceive forms in nature. The photographic images are taken from her travels through the U.S., Europe and Australia and then altered with other media or a shift in placement: a tree turned upside down becomes root growths reaching into the white light of the page.
Check out the work at an artist's reception from 2 to 4 p.m. The show continues through October 31 at the gallery located at 3800 E. River Road. Call 299-3000 or just stop by.
MORE THAN MUNCHIES. It's time for the first of Tucson Symphony Orchestra's Moveable Musical Feasts.
At 5:30 today at the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, it's a combo platter: great views, historic elegance and chamber music performances by the TSO Piano Trio playing works of Mozart and Rachmaninoff and the TSO Brass Quintet performing works of Handel and Puccini.
Begin the evening with a quintessential Tucson sunset and settle in for the concert. Sandwiched between the piano and brass is dinner in the inner garden courtyard. Round out the evening with dessert under the stars.
This evening of pure decadence will cost you $90 per person. Get your tickets by calling the TSO Box Office at 882-8585.
BOXED IN. When you filled out your 2000 Census form, were you confused which box to check in the race question? Some of us just don't fit one tidy square.
Thank the Association of MultiEthnic Americans for their persistent efforts at nudging Congress to finally allow people of multiracial heritage to acknowledge their diversity by checking more than one box. Why does this matter? It opens doors to more accurate medical diagnostic testing and research on a national scale. It gives the power back to parents in defining their own children in the educational system. It gives the government the ability to distinguish what the face of America truly looks like.
The multiracial child is the heart of a national conference starting on Sunday in Tucson at the Doubletree Hotel at Reid Park. It continues through Tuesday. Highlights include today's keynote speaker. James McBride talks about his own personal struggles. He's just written Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother. His talk begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the community. Call for ticket information at 299-9142.
I'M THE ONE. The joy of being part of any subgroup is there's always someone vying to be poster child for his constituency. Come hear three viewpoints on what it means to be Jewish at The State of World Jewry: One People, Many Voices. It's the second installment of the 92nd Street Y Satellite Series--screened live in Tucson by way of Manhattan.
Journalist Samuel Freedman, author of Jew vs. Jew, joins Ammiel Hirsch, a Reform rabbi, and Yosef Reinman, a traditional Orthodox rabbi--both authors of One People; Two World--as they dialogue and debate the essential questions of Jewish unity, disunity and peoplehood. Rabbi Phil Miller of the 92nd Street Y moderates.
The screened discussion begins at 5 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center at 3800 E. River Road. Call 299-3000, ext. 211, for details.
FROM THE GROUND UP. That's where geologist Peter Kresan of the UA's Department of Geosciences understands the desert.
Using photographic illustrations, he begins his tour of the world's deserts and then moves on to the formation of our own province. Find out about the natural history of water in the Tucson Basin, our historic uses of water and recent issues surrounding groundwater and water quality in his lecture beginning at 7 p.m. at Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, one stoplight west of Ina and Oracle. Call 742-6455 for information.
IRONS IN THE FIRE. Veteran bassist Mark Helias likes to work the continuum of the music world at all times. There's his solo work, his compositional projects for film and dance, his Marks Brothers duo with equally renowned bassist Mark Dresser, his Attack the Future quintet reserved for his ensemble-oriented writing and last, but certainly not least, his trio.
Open Loose comes to town tonight at 8 p.m. at the Mat Bevel Institute, 530 N. Stone Ave. It's the first concert of the sixth season of Zeitgeist's Jazz at the Institute Series. Helias' trio lives up to its name by straddling the fine line between composition and improvisation. New discoveries are made nightly. Since 1998, Helias has been composing for the group, but it's really more a product of the in-the-moment interaction between himself and tenor saxophonist (and native Tucsonan) Tony Malaby and percussionist Tom Rainey.
Tickets cost $12 in advance at Antigone Books or $14 at the door. Call 882-7154 for details.
RECIPE FOR FUN. Take one part cutting-edge literature, a shaving of dynamic spoken word, a hefty sprinkle of dazzling performance art, a dollop of politically charged circus artistry and a whole pound of raucous hip hop and toss it all in a van. Set it loose across the country. You get Strombolli's Island of Donkeys and Dolls.
Inspired by Pinnochio's soul-searching journey to Pleasure Island and the broken-down playthings of The Isle of Misfit Toys, it's a celebration of underdogs in art, music and literature. You'll find your affinity group beneath the Strombolli big-top whether it's girls, boys or in-betweens, queer, hetero and who-gives-a-crap. Tara Jepsen, performance artist and filmmaker, member of San Francisco's Sister Spit, writer Michelle Tea, co-founder of the aforementioned all-girl performance troupe, Bucky Sinister, host of the notorious open mic and fisticuffs series, and others perform.
They land at Vaudeville Cabaret at 110 E. Congress St. at 9 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m. A mere $3 to $5 gets you in. Call 622-3535 for details.