Fairy Tale on Tiptoes
Ballet Continental Presents The Sleeping Beauty
7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21; 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22
Sahuarita District Auditorium350 W. Sahuarita Road, Sahuarita
There are so many different ways to tell the story of Sleeping Beauty, one of the most well-known fairy tales—even before getting co-opted years ago by Disney. It's been the subject of books, songs, movies, even television. Not to mention the various stage renditions.
The ballet version of Sleeping Beauty, though, might be the most intricate. At least that's how local company Ballet Continental sees it.
"With our company, what (director) Lisa (DiGiacomo) likes to tell us is, we're not dancers, we're more actors who can dance," said Tommy Roxas, a guest dancer who has performed with Ballet Continental the past three years.
"There's going to be a lot of emotion and lot of drama to it. I think a lot of people just come and think people are going to be walking on their tiptoes in tutus."
Sleeping Beauty has been a part of Ballet Continental's rotation since its establishment in 1985, though it hasn't been performed by the company in more than 10 years. Roxas said that's because, since the ballet is so involved and detailed, most years the company didn't have enough dancers to fill all the slots.
"In the past we only did segments of (the story)," Roxas said. "This is the first year that we've had enough girls to fill all of those slots. I think we're going to cover most of the story this time. Sleeping Beauty is a pretty well-known story, I think people will get a good idea of the story when they see it."
Advance tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $8 for children and students with ID. They can be purchased online or at several locations in Green Valley, Sahuarita and Tucson (full listing available at balletcontinental.com). Tickets are $2 more at the door.
Indulge Thyself With the Bard
7th Annual Shakespeare in the Park
7 p.m., Friday through Sunday, Sept. 20-22; 7 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 26 to 29
Himmel Park Amphitheater1000 N. Tucson Blvd.
From the intimate setting of the Himmel Park Amphitheater, the El Rio Theatre Project will present The Merry Wives of Windsor, one of Shakespeare's funniest, yet lesser-known, comedies.
The play centers around the character Falstaff, a bit of an arrogant fellow, who decides to seduce two housewives simultaneously. Catching on quickly, the well-to-do women strike back against Falstaff with their own tomfoolery in an effort to expose his piglike actions to the public.
The Merry Wives of Windsor promises to keep the audience interested with some of Shakespeare's famously juicy adult themes—romance, jealousy and disguise, to name a few.
Michael Givens, the director, set-maker, and overall mastermind behind this year's production, said he took the liberty of doing some minor rewrites to "tone down the language" and ensure that this rendition is family friendly. (A thoughtful touch, but how many kids would catch on to dirty jokes that are 500 years old?)
Givens said that Shakespeare in the Park is a "labor of love" for him and he "looks forward to this time of year" for that reason.
Givens brought Twelfth Night to the Himmel Park stage seven years ago and has been able to continue staging a Shakespeare play each year by collecting donations from the audience, which continues to grow.
"I'm really happy with how successful this has become." Givens said. "Our audience keeps coming back, so we must be doing something right!"
Admission to the The Merry Wives of Windsor is free, but donations are welcome.
Sounds of Scotland
Tannahill Weavers with Manran
8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21
Berger Performing Arts Center1200 W. Speedway Blvd.
There is more to Scottish music than bagpipes. Much more.
Sure, both classic Scottish band Tannahill Weavers and modern act Manran use the iconic instrument. But there also are flutes, fiddles, guitars and accordions, not to mention the vocals that waver between English and Gaelic. Mix all that together and you get up-tempo, stomp-your-feet-and-dance-around merriment, says Don Gest of In Concert! Tucson, which is putting on the all-ages show.
"They'll both do a full hour of music, plus they'll play together at the end," Gest said.
Tannahill Weavers have been around since the mid-1970s, and will be making their fifth visit to Tucson in the past 20 years. Named after Scottish "weaver" poet Robert Tannahill, the group is credited with turning the normally solo bagpipe into an ensemble instrument.
Manran, formed in 2010, is a hot new Scottish act that performed at the 2012 London Olympics and is on its first American tour. The Tucson show is Manran's "first time west of the Mississippi," Gest said.
While Tannahill has more of the traditional sound associated with Scottish music, Manran adds bass and drums to become "essentially a rock band, though they play traditional music," Gest said. Manran also has vocals both in Gaelic and what's known as mouth music: Gaelic lyrics that almost sound like gibberish.
Advance tickets are $27, and $25 for seniors, students and Tucson Friends of Traditional Music members. They're available at inconcerttucson.com; 800-595-4849; Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave.; and The Folk Shop, 2525 N. Campbell Ave. Tickets are $3 more at the door.
Startup Shark Tank
Make a Pitch at Startup Tucson
5 to 9 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22
Tucson Electric Power88 E. Broadway Blvd.
Light bulbs suddenly turn on in the innovative minds of Tucsonans all the time. The folks at Startup Tucson know this, and for the past three years they have provided a platform for these thinkers to bring their ideas to life.
Startup Tucson is dedicated to discovering and supporting new companies and entrepreneurs in the area, and this year it set aside an entire weekend to foster Tucson's finest dreamers. Starting on Friday, individuals will break into teams to develop ideas, envision business ventures and hash out whether there is a legit need for what they hope to provide in their community. Startup Weekend Tucson will end with a grand finale on Sunday modeled after ABC's hit show Shark Tank, with the teams pitching their ideas to a panel of judges in a lively event open to the public.
"The output of the whole weekend, what Shark Tank ultimately represents, is the final pitches and demos," said Justin Williams, chairman and founder of Startup Tucson.
"What we are trying to do is see to it that good ideas are vetted and verified, and bad ideas are not pursued."
The judges, who are members of Tucson's investment community, will ask the contestants a series of pointed questions before doing a final critique of the pitches and declaring a winner.
The decision will be made based on "how well teams followed the process and how much they learned," Williams said.
Winners will get to pitch their ideas to the Desert Angels, a local group of investors; be entered in an extended mentoring program; and enjoy some major local bragging rights.
Tickets are $19.99 and include a T-shirt, food and access to the after party held at Playground Bar and Lounge.