French Fun at the Fox!
Le Petit Carnaval
2 p.m., Sunday, June 6
Fox Tucson Theatre
17 W. Congress St.
Are you missing out on that longed-for trip to Paris? Then you're in luck: This weekend at the Fox Tucson Theatre, you can get un petit taste of France—actually, a pretty grand taste of France, and several other countries—for a lot less money than the cost of plane tickets.
Bring your kids (or your parents, or your friends, or pretty much anyone) to the Fox for Le Petit Carnaval, a French-inspired festival full of music, performances and activities that will transport you across more than one ocean—and back in time, too.
On the main stage, check out Green Light, a jazz-fusion band with Haitian and Afro-Cuban influences; magnifique ballet troupe Le Mademoiselles; and the Turkish Delights, a belly-dance fusion group.
Gracing Fox's plush lobby will be jugglers, magicians, face-painters and fortune-tellers, as well as local entrepreneurs and restaurateurs. And what Tucson carnaval would be complete without the Victorian-inspired magic of Roland Sarlot and Susan Eyed's Carnival of Illusion?
There will even be fun in the basement, which will be set up as a walk-in nickelodeon, developed by the Parasol Project. Live performers, painted in black and white, will put on a short play every 10 minutes for curious onlookers to view through a peephole.
Says Sofia Blue of the Disposable Gallery, who put together the event with co-producer Eric Holm: "My favorite thing about this is you can see so many things for one price in the same space. It's one of those things where you can walk around and never get bored."
General admission is $18; seniors, students and military members get in for $15, while kids get in for $10. Proceeds will benefit Tucson's Arts Marketplace and the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation. —A.M.
Once Upon a ('50s) Time
1 p.m., Sundays, through July 25
Live Theatre Workshop
5317 E. Speedway Blvd
Imagine a beloved fairy tale coming to life—but with a twist regarding the era in which it's set.
Live Theatre Workshop's family-friendly All Together Theatre series is doing just that with a new re-imagining of Cinderella that takes place in the 1950s.
Yes, in Rockin' Cinderella, the young princess still has to be home before the clock strikes midnight—but she's placed in an era of poodle skirts and greased-up hair.
Michael Martinez, the pianist in the play, says that despite the setting change, the play remains faithful to the source material.
"The play stays really true to the original story, but there are a few changes that are in the play," Martinez says. "To make it feel like the play is during the '50s, there are a lot of poodle skirts and leather jackets in the actors'/actresses' wardrobes, and the lingo is a lot different."
One of the main goals of All Together Theatre is to make the crowd become more and more involved as the play progresses. To do that, Cinderella will speak to the audience on numerous occasions, asking for help regarding the choices she should make.
"We changed the Grand Ball's name to a sock hop to give it that '50s feel," Martinez says. "To get the crowd involved with the play, they will be hand-jiving along with Cinderella and the Prince."
Rockin' Cinderella, which features live music, takes place every Sunday through July 25. Tickets range from $5 to $8, with discounts available for cash payments. Call the number above for reservations. —D.O.
Old Dogs, Good Tunes
Old Blind Dogs in concert
8 p.m., Saturday, June 5
Temple of Music and Art
330 S. Scott Ave.
It must take a healthy level of self-esteem to name one's music group "Old Blind Dogs"—and the group that boasts that name is now entitled to all the self-esteem it wants.
Formed in Scotland in the early '90s, the Old Blind Dogs are one of the most cutting-edge Scottish-roots bands out there. While the group's songs are based in Scottish traditions and use time-honored instruments including the fiddle, bagpipe and bouzouki (a stringed instrument sort of like a mandolin), they use the instruments in different ways—and with an incredible energy.
The drumming might be the thing that stands out most when you hear the Old Blind Dogs. It mixes a traditional Scottish style with a world beat, by adding an African drum to a converted drum kit. And the percussionist, Fraser Stone, plays everything with his hands, including the symbols—really fast. The band's bagpipe style is also unique; Ali Hutton uses a fast, "uilleann" style more common in Ireland than Scotland.
The rest of the band also plays instruments fast and hard.
"'Driving' is the word I'd use for the Old Blind Dogs all around," says their Tucson spokesman, Patrick Garrett. "You could almost compare them to a rock 'n' roll band."
Note: Bagpiper Ali Hutton loves AC/DC and ZZ Top.
"There's a genuine enjoyment of what we do, and it has often been commented that audiences can feel and enjoy the fun that we have onstage at our shows," said vocalist/guitarist/bassist/bouzoukist Aaron Jones. "It's an opportunity to sing and dance, and to forget about work and stress, and allow yourself to be transported to Scotland for the evening!"
Tickets cost $20 in advance, or $23 at the door, with discounts for seniors. —A.M.
Experience, Then Write
Bill Carter book-signing and reading
6 to 8 p.m., Saturday, June 5
299 S. Park Ave.
Many authors go out of their way to have amazing experiences—traveling, confronting danger, donning unfamiliar roles—so they can write about those experiences.
Other authors, like Arizona's own Bill Carter, just have the experiences, and then realize what a waste it would be not to write about them.
Carter captured one of his most amazing life journeys in Fools Rush In, which recounts how, after the tragic death of his fiancée, Carter was drawn to Sarajevo in the middle of the Bosnian civil war. There, he joined a maverick humanitarian-aid organization and repeatedly risked his life to deliver supplies to suffering, starving people.
"Nothing prepares you for the most dangerous city in the world," Carter says. "Sarajevo in 1993 was an absolute hellhole. Snipers 24 hours a day. Mortars all the time. People were shut off from the outside world for almost 15 months by that time."
Because of his work there, Carter last year was awarded honorary citizenship in Sarajevo. He also collaborated with the band U2 to bring the plight of the besieged citizens to the world's attention.
Carter's other critically acclaimed memoir, Red Summer, describes his spontaneous decision to go to an Eskimo village on Alaska's wild Bristol Bay and learn the exhilarating, back-breaking job of wild-salmon fishing.
"Fishing in Egegik is a firestorm that weeds out those who can't hack it," declares Carter. "But even though the work was brutal, the landscape, the freedom of the lifestyle and the people kept me coming back year after year."
To celebrate June's paperback release of Red Summer, as well as spring's re-publication of Fools Rush In, Carter will do a book-signing and reading at new artist-run shop, M.A.S.T. The event will include a clip of Carter's in-progress documentary based on Red Summer. —A.M.