Vegetarian Food and Jazz Swing
Hot Club of Tucson
6 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 19
Lovin' Spoonfuls Vegetarian Restaurant
2990 N. Campbell Ave., No. 120
Lovin' Spoonfuls owner Peg Raisglid became a vegan in 1989, and for 5 1/2 years has been serving up the vegan dishes which helped her make the transition.
Born in Virginia and raised in Flushing, Queens, New York, Raisglid spent years as a chemist and chemical engineer for businesses like Mobil, but her move to Tucson reshaped her thinking about her career: Opportunities were sparse for chemists in Southern Arizona, so she scouted out restaurant locations and now operates the successful vegan eatery, which has been bringing in live music since its opening.
"We have a very nice ambience, and with live music, it just puts it over the top," Raisglid said.
The gypsy-jazz swing band Hot Club of Tucson has appeared at Lovin' Spoonfuls twice before, after a regular customer said the band would be a great fit.
"Now customers say, 'When they are famous, you will be able to say they played here,'" Raisglid said.
Every Friday night, Lovin' Spoonfuls brings in live music, ranging from a French bossa nova musician to a harpist. But the Hot Club of Tucson has always been a stand out.
"It's a really nice match. ... The first couple times they were here, they had the whole place rocking," Raisglid said. "The kind of jazz swing that they do is just a perfect fit for the clientele and the atmosphere."
Modeled somewhat after the famous Hot Club of France, the Hot Club of Tucson is one of many music groups that Raisglid hopes to bring to Lovin' Spoonfuls.
"I'm always very open and welcome for different artists—local artists—because it helps them establish their name," she said. "And it really creates a nice atmosphere for the restaurant.
Admission is free. —J.W.
Every Show Is Unique
8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 19
UA Centennial Hall
1020 E. University Blvd
Paula Poundstone, best known these days for her appearances on NPR's Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! on National Public Radio, rarely asks for an introduction.
"I'm (usually) the only person on the bill, and if they can't figure it out, well ...," Poundstone said. "It doesn't really matter what I've done before. Someone with a lot of accolades could do badly, and someone with none could do really well."
Poundstone feels her crowds are unique.
"The people who come to see me are certainly not the majority of any city," she said. "They are smart, and they have a broad spectrum of topics that they'll go with you on," Poundstone said.
An asexual atheist with a live feed of her 16 cats on her website, Poundstone feels her comedy has evolved with time, age and experience—but, most of all, confidence.
"I have an act, and I'll tell jokes, and it is not in a particular order; it's not exactly written down anywhere," she said. "It's kind of in a giant Rolodex in my head, and it kind of turns. I pick a direction to go, and the Rolodex spins that way and then back again."
According to Poundstone, her show is "not particularly avant-garde. It's not the most cutting-edge, razor-sharp thing," but she does feel she brings a level of individualism to each crowd.
"I thought it was terrible if I couldn't stick to exactly what I had planned to say," Poundstone said about her early-career performances. "... I like having jokes, but I like to have that freshness and spontaneity. That's the fun part—where (the act) just belongs to the crowd that is in that room, in that moment."
Admission is $15 to $39. —J.W.
Medicine, Hold the Politics
"Health Care Reform and Community-Based Health Care: Who Pays? Who Stays? What Are My Options?"
6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 22
Pima Community College District Office Community Board Room 4905 E. Broadway Blvd.
In an age when health-care reform is a hot-button topic, and options are continuously changing at Capitol Hill, it can be difficult for seniors and aging patients to know what their health-care options are.
That's where Dr. Ceanne Alvine comes in.
Alvine will be making a presentation and taking questions on community-based health care, and its effects on older adults, as part of Pima Community College's Speakers' Series.
Pima County has a large aging population, and Alvine will review various levels of care and what happens after hospitalization, said Alvine, a PCC nursing faculty member and affiliate of the University of Arizona College of Nursing.
Alvine stressed that while she can speak about the options facing aging individuals, her talk is de-politicized and does not speculate on what health-care changes may be on the horizon from state or national politicians.
"People shouldn't come in expecting that," Alvine said. "I don't have a crystal ball."
Each semester, the Speakers' Series schedules three speakers to talk on various topics facing members of the Tucson community.
While 60 to 100 audience members typically show up to each Speakers' Series event, PCC officials are expecting Alvine's talk to be packed to the brim because of wide interest in health-care issues both nationally and locally, said Rachelle Howell, PCC assistant vice chancellor for marketing.
"This is going to be a really great community event. How do you maneuver through health care?" Howell said. "It's very challenging for individuals. That's what Dr. Alvine will speak to."
Admission is free. —S.B.
Cruise Over to PCC
Anything Goes, presented by Pima Community College Performing Arts
7:30 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 23 through March 6
PCC Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre
2202 W. Anklam Road
Comedy from the 1930s might not seem relatable to current times, but Todd Poelstra believes that Cole Porter's classic musical Anything Goes hasn't lost its touch over the decades.
"We're really focusing on the classic comedy ... almost a Vaudeville approach," said Poelstra, the show's director. "It is still just as funny now as when I first saw it (35 years ago)."
The high-energy, tap-dancing musical is a story of intertwining love and hijinks aboard an ocean liner traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. For a group of students who largely had no previous tap-dancing experience, bringing the show together has been hard work for all, Poelstra said.
"It's rare to see 36 people on stage tap-dancing at the same time," he said. "I'm having a hard time keeping the set from bouncing."
The actors' representations of the slapstick comedy, along with the "huge set," are just a few of the reasons audiences should come out to see a show that has taken months to prepare, said Tashiana Holt, who is playing Reno Sweeney, a nightclub singer.
The ocean-liner set was so massive and intricate that some students had to take craft classes at the college to be able to build it, Holt said.
"The audience needs to see this musical at least once in their lifetimes," Holt said. "I just think they're gonna be wowed by this show."
With more than 60 students devoting countless hours to the musical both onstage and off, Poelstra said, the end product will be a win for the audience.
"The music is transcendent for all ages, and it's probably one of my favorite shows," Poelstra said. "It's a visceral experience."
Admission is $18, with discounts for the Wednesday, Feb. 23, preview show, groups, seniors and others. —S.B.