Honoring the Greatest Generation
Tribute to World War II Veterans
4:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10
Pima Air and Space Museum
6000 E. Valencia Road
Kids owe their parents a big "thank you" for many reasons—and those reasons are quadrupled if a parent was a World War II Veteran. This weekend, the Pima County Republican Party is giving Southern Arizonans a chance to honor what is often called "the greatest generation."
Walt Stephenson, the event coordinator, served in Vietnam, and his father was a WWII veteran.
"What happened is we found out that we are losing between 1,500 and 2,000 vets every day," says Stephenson. Surprised, he confirmed that, indeed, the survivors among the 3 to 4 million Americans who served in WWII are disappearing at a rapid rate.
U.S. Sen. John McCain, Maj. Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg and Jim Click are all slated to attend. Veterans are the honored guests at the event, and Stephenson says that among them will be a number of survivors of the famous Battle of the Bulge.
"They've gone through a very difficult time," says Stephenson. "Look at what (the veterans) went through for four years, and (this is a chance to) tell them what a great thing they did for us."
The festivities will include a meet-and-greet with McCain and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in the 390th Bomber Group area. The main event will be held in Building 4 and will include a WWII documentary sponsored by KUAT Channel 6, a buffet-style barbecue and 1940s music entertainment. McCain is the keynote speaker at this nonpolitical event.
"Rather than having (McCain) come as a senator, he is coming as a war hero," says Stephenson.
Stephenson suggests that attendees park by hangar 4; doors open at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person, but WWII veterans get in free. Attendees must RSVP. Proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project. —E.N.
The Other World
Lisa Williams talks to dead people
7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 14
Fox Tucson Theatre
17 W. Congress St.
Now that Patrick Swayze has died, let's take a moment to remember some of his finest work.
Who can forget Ghost, that 1990 film in which Swayze's ghost, desperate to warn his wife about corrupt bankers, seeks out the help of the "spiritualist" Oda Mae Brown. Thanks to her knack for hearing the dead, Oda Mae saves the day, and Swayze and his wife get one last posthumous kiss.
It was a cinematically genius moment. But that's a bunch of crap, right? That doesn't happen in real life.
Well, if the rumors are true, Oda Mae doesn't have anything on Lisa Williams, the "acclaimed medium and clairvoyant." She's a psychic, but not just any psychic: She's a psychic with television stardom.
Williams claims that at a very early age, she discovered she was capable of connecting with spirits. On her Lifetime show Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead, Williams connects with the dead loved ones of C-list celebrities and regular folks alike, righting wrongs and passing on messages.
It is suggested on Williams' Web site that those in attendance at her live shows should prepare by doing a few things. First and foremost, you need to gather upwards of $68.50. After that, you're encouraged to look for signs of your dead loved ones and ask them to attend. They need to be pushy; it's going to be a busy night for Williams.
Oh, and, we kid you not: The Web site actually says not to expect too much.
The Weekly tried to contact Williams for comment, but we didn't receive a response. So then we tried ESP, but so far, that hasn't worked, either.
Williams, if you get this, please fill in the quote below.
" ," Williams says.
Tickets cost $45.50 to $68.50. —N.M.
Not Your Typical 90-Year-Old
Hotel Congress' 90th Birthday Bash
7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 9
311 E. Congress St.
The Sweet 16 celebration may be in vogue these days, but here in Tucson, we are all about celebrating the big 9-0.
You may be thinking meatloaf and homemade cake with a side of Golden Girls, but try cabaret performers, a midnight champagne toast and a cake large enough to contain a human (hint, hint).
Hotel Congress is not your typical 90-year-old.
The Parasol Project art collective will be hosting the birthday party, masquerade and launch party. The theme of the evening is "Pueblo Noir," and the party will be a multidisciplinary arts and cinema extravaganza, says Morrighan Clinco, a founding member and co-artistic director of the Parasol Project.
David Slutes, entertainment director at Hotel Congress, promises, first and foremost, a fun party. "When we (at Hotel Congress) decide to do something, we do it in style," he says.
The party will occur hotel-wide. The 21-and-up crowd can expect trapeze artists in one room, a cinematic performance piece in another, a marching band circulating throughout, and a rooftop mariachi band.
"Look in every nook and cranny—there will be a surprise," says Slutes.
The night will also serve as the Tucson Film and Music Festival launch party. Among the featured musical artists is Le Chat Lunatique, a New Mexico-based band that claims filthy, mangy jazz as their forte.
"With the Santa Rita Hotel in a pile of rubble and the Pioneer Hotel gone, Congress is the last of the great hotels in Tucson," says Slutes. "And we are more vibrant than ever."
What's not to celebrate? Tickets are $8 in advance and for those in period costume, or $10 at the door. —E.N.
A Hate Crime Revisited
The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later
7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 12
UA Centennial Hall
1020 E. University Blvd.
After a gay University of Wyoming student named Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered in 1998, playwright Moisés Kaufman led members of his Tectonic Theater Project to Laramie—the scene of the crime—to interview the townspeople. These interviews became the raw materials for the The Laramie Project, a play that has since exploded in popularity and drawn attention to hate crimes in the United States.
The tales of how the people of Laramie dealt with the death still intrigues people. On Monday—the 11th anniversary of Shepard's death—UApresents will be one of more than 100 organizations to showcase an epilogue to the original play that includes new insight into the long-term effects of the high-profile tragedy.
UApresents executive director Natalie Bohnet says that Tectonic Theater Project members Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris and Stephen Belber will be revising the script right up until the show date.
The original play exposed an undercurrent of prejudice that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people face. The new epilogue will show how, if at all, Laramie has changed.
"At the UA, we thought we should stand behind something like this that has to deal with human rights," says Bohnet.
The reading will include a new interview with Shepard's mother, as well as new interviews with Matthew's murderers, who are serving two consecutive life sentences. The actors include one community member, two UA faculty members and several students.
Bohnet says that the material may be disturbing to viewers younger than 12. However, she says that 10 Years Later will be moving even to those who have not seen The Laramie Project.
The event is free. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. —E.N.