Ninth Annual Tucson Fringe Festival. Three cheers for this very Tucson festival, which provides avant-garde and nontraditional performing artists a chance to perform in a low-risk, low-cost setting. AND which provides non-artists like us a chance to take it all in. This year, there are more than 50 shows spread across four days. There's dance, theater, poetry, comedy, storytelling and more, and show titles like "Men Are Garbage" and "Sexology: The Musical!" Thursday, Jan. 9, to Sunday, Jan. 12, at various times. Shows are at the Temple of Music & Art, 330 S. Scott Ave; The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St; StudioONE, 197 E. Toole Ave., the Steinfeld Warehouse Community Arts Center, 101 W. Sixth St.; and The Circus Academy of Tucson, 400 W. Speedway Blvd. Most shows are $10, but you can get a two-show pass for $18, a five-show pass for $43 and an eight-show pass for $64.
Pure Abstract. So, yeah, not everyone likes abstract art—works that use color and forms to express things like thoughts or concepts, rather than to represent objects or sights in a traditional way, can take some getting used to. But, boy oh boy, if you do like abstract art, this exhibit will blow you away. Three established regional artists are exhibiting: Joanne Kerrihard (Tucson) is showing 5-foot-by-5-foot canvases, Amy Metier (Denver) is showcasing midsized paintings and collages and Steve Murphy (Houston) is exhibiting metal and wooden sculptures. Friday, Jan. 10, to Saturday, Feb. 29. Davis Dominquez Gallery, 154 E. Sixth St. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Free.
Theatre and Performances
The Play that Goes Wrong. This play-within-a-play starts with the audience seeing a backstage staff dealing with several mishaps, including a missing dog and a broken mantelpiece. Then you watch it go downhill from there with the cast members of a small theater company forgetting their lines, breaking character and being unconscious. It's been called "the funniest play Broadway has ever seen" and "the illegitimate Broadway baby" of Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python. You'll laugh your pants off, we promise. Tuesday, Jan. 14, to Sunday, Jan. 19, with shows at various times. UA Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. $25 to $115+, with discounts available for seniors, students and military.
Zoppé Family Circus. Way back in 1842, Napoleone and Ermengilda Zoppé launched a circus in Venice, Italy full of acrobats, jugglers, dancing dogs, clowns and aerialists. Nearly 200 years later, their descendants are still going strong on tour with their one-ring, 500-seat tent. Giovanni Zoppé, the sixth-generation circus artist who stars as Nino the Clown, and a whole crew of performers are making their ninth annual visit to the Old Pueblo this month, and it's an absolute treat. This year's show pays special tribute to La Nonna, the matriarch of the Zoppé family, who kept the show going throughout the Great Depression. Friday, Jan. 10, through Sunday, Jan. 26 with shows at various times Thursdays through Sundays. Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento. $10.
12th Annual Southern Arizona Clogging Festival. Have you heard of the Square and Round Dance Association of Southern Arizona? Also known as SARDASA, it's dedicated to promoting and preserving American folk dance here in Southern Arizona. And, with two-day festivals like this one, they certainly do! Come dance the weekend away at workshops with featured instructors Lelia and Russ Hunsaker from San Diego, evening dances and plenty of exhibitions. Make sure your taps are clean, please! Friday, Jan. 10, and Saturday, Jan. 11. Workshops are from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., evening dances are 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday and 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and exhibitions are from 12:30 to 1 p.m. and 7 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Old Pueblo Dance Center, 613 E. Delano St. Registration for individual events varies in cost, but $50 gets you into everything.
Ninth Annual BEYOND at Mission Garden. The subtitle of this Pima County-wide event in honor of those who lost their lives in Tucson's January 2011 mass shooting is Move, Explore, Nourish, Connect. And who wouldn't want to be doing more of those things as we open our arms to a new decade? Events will be held all over Pima County, but over at Mission Garden, Scott Risano is teaching a Tai Chi Class, they're hosting a chance to volunteer in the garden, and Deana Frances (aka Chef Booya-D) will be giving a food prep demonstration. One will be made from produce in the garden, and the other will be a healthy, fatty snack and some information on good fats vs. bad fats. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11. Mission Garden, 946 W. Mission Lane Road.
Discover Petroglyphs in the Tortolitas. For some people, the start of a new year fills them with a spirit of adventure. For some, a new year full of expectations and the awareness of time passing provokes something more like paralysis or dread. Whether you're in an adventuring mood or in need of something to get you out of your rut of ennui, this hike might be just what you need. It's six miles long, with an elevation gain of 900 feet. But it's also a chance to look back in time at the symbols of the past and think about a new year as one small (and, if you look at it in just the right light, sort of exciting) step forward. This event is part of BEYOND. 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 11. Wild Burro Trail, 13810 N. Secret Springs Drive in Marana. Free.
Community Harvest with Iskashitaa Refugee Network. You know what rocks? Oranges. You know what sucks? Wasting oranges! Join fellow community members and the Iskashitaa Refugee Network (a local organization that creates opportunities for UN refugees to integrate into the community) on this journey to glean local fruit trees in Himmel Park and the Sam Hughes neighborhood. This event, part of the 9th Annual BEYOND, is a great chance to help reduce food waste, increase food security and strengthen the local food system. Afterwards, you'll be able to answer "Orange you glad you spent your Saturday morning this way?" with a confident "Yes!" 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 11. Himmel Park, 1000 N. Tucson Blvd. Free.
"Roots" with Akiko Senda. CreativeMornings are delightful, once-a-month opportunities to hear from a local creative and enjoy free breakfast. And what's not to love about that? This month's theme, for CreativeMornings happening all over the world, is "roots." Fittingly, Tucson's talk is by Akiko Senda, the owner of Bloom Maven, a local boutique plant and flower shop located in the Mercado San Agustin. Senda opened a retail boutique business back in 2011, after years of working as a window and prop stylist. From there, she fell in love with floral arrangement. Hear about her journey and her art over coffee and breakfast this Friday! 8:30 to 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 10. The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. Free.
Discover Ikebana. Ikebana, the Japanese art of floral arrangement, is an art in the truest sense of the word: much of the beauty lies in the process. These subtle, elegant arrangements are created in a disciplined and meditative process that aims to embody the harmony between humans and nature. Patricia Deridder, executive director at Yume Japanese Gardens, has studied and taught Ikebana flower arranging styles for more than 40 years. At this event, she'll introduce some of the practice's earliest teachings and then demonstrate some of the arrangement methods that have emerged since. 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12. Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way. Free with regular admission, which is $13 adults, $10 seniors, $9 students/military, $6 kids 3 to 15 and free for kids 2 and under.
Family Day at TMA. Second SundAZe Family Days at the Tucson Museum of Art are a great, monthly opportunity to come visit your local art museum. But this month's is extra special, because it also includes the opening of the recently renovated Alice Chaiten Baker Center for Art Education! The day includes a ribbon cutting, storytime in the galleries, artmaking activities and plenty of refreshments. The UA Fred Fox Jazz Ensemble, the Ballet Rincon Youth Ensemble and the Jovert Steel Band from Tucson High School are all performing. Be sure to register in advance for the curator talk, "Pre-Columbian Masterworks from the Baker and Kasser Collections" at 2 p.m. as well. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12. Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, 140 N. Main Ave. Free.
Fun in General
Tucson Senior Olympics Opening Ceremonies. The Senior Olympics are an incredible event that bring together some of the community's active older adults for a wide range of activities, ranging from powerlifting and basketball to table tennis, bunco and leisure walks. May we all grow into the type of senior citizens who are cool enough to participate in the senior Olympics. At this kick-off event, they've got live music, raffles and giveaways, information booths, recognition of the athletes and even an Olympic torch. 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10. Morris K. Udall Park Laszlo Veres Amphitheater, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road.
DeGrazia Paints the Jungle. They say art imitates life, so it might seem funny that Ted DeGrazia, a Tucson artist who spent much of his life here in the desert, should have such a colorful selection of paintings depicting lush tropical jungles and the cultures of Southern Mexico. But he actually created the dozen paintings in this exhibit, on display at the DeGrazia Gallery for the first time, during his honeymoon with Marion Sheret DeGrazia in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 1947. He came ready to paint, and this colorful, impressionistic set of works is the stunning result. On display through Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, 6300 N. Swan Road. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $8 adults, $5 ages 12 to 18, free for kids 12 and under.
Munay-Ki: Shamanism, Energy Medicine–Rites of Illumination. If you're interested in shamanic practices, the rites of the Munay-Ki, based on the initiatory practices of shamans in the Andes and Amazon, might be perfect for you to receive in the new year. There are nine rites. Four, such as the healer's rite and the harmony rite, are designed to support and strengthen you personally, while five, such as the starkeeper's rite and the creator rite, are for expanding your sense of interconnection with the universe. All of them are meant to transform and upgrade your luminous energy field, heal wounds of the past and re-inform your DNA so you can grow a new body that ages and heals differently. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, and Saturday, Jan. 25. Healing Arts Qigong Center, 326 S. Wilmot, Building B, Ste. 110. $180. Register in advance by calling Beauty Weaver Barbara Gray at 707-478-9849.
The Mercado Flea. If you don't love a good flea market, be honest: What are you doing living in Tucson? Come on down for one of the best of 'em this weekend at the Mercado. This open-air market has more than 35 vendors selling antique, vintage and other used collectible items. And how nice it is to be out in the open air at this time of year! The Wooden Tooth DJs are on deck from noon to 2 p.m., Westbound is serving up some Sunday morning Bloody Marys and The Substance Coffee Diner is on hand for food and coffee. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12. Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento.
Little One-Inch. Little One-Inch is a Japanese folktale about an elderly couple whose prayers are answered when they find a small baby boy by the roadside. As he grows older, he remains very tiny, and one day, he sets off on an adventure, using a rice bowl as a boat and a chopstick as his oar. He encounters a wealthy lord, a princess and an ogre on his quest, which makes for an excellent story if I ever heard one. Come see this show performed in possibly the most whimsical of art forms: a puppet show! Red Herring Puppet Studio, headed by Lisa Sturz (who has worked with Jim Henson Productions, Walt Disney Imagineering and many other prestigious places), is putting on this special treat, ideal for ages 3 to 12. 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 12, 19 and 26, and Feb. 2 and 9. Red Herring Puppet Studio at the Tucson Mall, 4500 N. Oracle Road (between Macy's and Forever 21). $8.