Oh Tucson, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. First, your fall season. Er, wait. We don't have a fall season, but we do have a Fall Arts Preview.
No fall evening would be complete without some star gazing, and pointing out of constellations in our beautiful night sky. It's kind of a Tucson tradition to ride up to the top of Campbell and count shooting stars, ambulance lights, and the number of times you hear a "rustling" in the general vicinity.
This fall Tucson Symphony Orchestra has you covered with pairing classical greats with planetary excellence. Led by William Walton, Gustav Holst, and Michael Gandolfi, you will hear Bach's cantatas paired with the voices of the Women of the TSO Chorus, as you gaze in amazement at the planetary visual accompaniment arranged by Adrian Wyard, and produced with Peter Smith, principal investigator for the Phoenix Mars Mission. It's a two-time only event, so if you miss it Oct. 21, at 7 p.m., your next chance is Oct. 23, at 2 p.m. Both shows will be held at Tucson Music Hall, and tickets range from $30 to $86. If you're not yet convinced that this will be epic, go to www.theplanetslive.com.
Now, maybe the planets (or the price tag) don’t float your boat, but you’re a sucker for a soprano. Arizona Opera is what you’re looking for. This fall they have numerous free concerts as they celebrate their 45th Anniversary, aka the Sapphire Gala. On Sept. 28 Say Hello To Opera with the Opera Guild of Southern Arizona, and voices from UA vocal art students. They will shatter glass at the Oro Valley Library (1305 W. Naranja Drive) at 3 p.m. Check out more free events they have this fall at azopera.org.
Looking for something for the kiddos? There’s plenty! Want to try indoor camping under the stars with your little one? The Children’s Museum has you covered with “Space Night,” Sept 10-11, 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. Bring your sleeping bags and be ready for a cozy night—inside.
Ever wonder what a teeny tiny ghost town would look like? Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures wondered that, too, so they built one. Pack up the kiddos and head on down to the museum (4455 E. Camp Lowell) to check out this super cool, super tiny exhibit on display from Sept. 27 to Oct. 20.
You know what another great thing about Tucson in the “fall” is? Our film festivals. Tucson is home to some of the coolest, weirdest, creepiest, most cult noir and avant-garde film festivals out there. First up is the wildly popular, always sold out, Tucson TerrorFest. From Oct.13 to 15, you pay $7 for each screening you attend, or purchase a festival pass for $25, and have the bejeezus scared out of you at the Screening Room. As a past attendee, I can tell you that the one screening I went to had me sleeping with the lights on. Make of that what you will, just do not judge. Tickets have not been released yet, but keep checking in at www.tucsonterrorfest.com. Perhaps fear and bloodletting isn’t your bag. That’s alright. It’s Tucson, and Tucson likes to be inclusive, so it created the Arizona Underground Film Festival. Now in its ninth year, the Underground Film Festival prides itself on being “one of the nation’s top underground film festivals,” boasting categories such as Narrative, Horror, Documentaries, Experimental, Animation, and Exploitation. If this is more your speed, grab your pals for a nine-day bender. This festival runs Sept. 16 to 24, general admission tickets are $8 a day, or you can purchase a festival pass for $45. To learn more about this festival, or buy your way into documentary heaven go to http://azuff.org/about-2.
And alas, no Tucson Film Festival write-up would be complete without mentioning The Loft. The Loft Film Fest is back, now in its seventh year, and is staying true to its “loft” roots. Known for showcasing the “best independent, foreign and classic films, as well as celebrating the work of established and emerging directors, writers, producers and actors,” this Tucson favorite is sure to be a winner. It will run from Nov. 9 to 13, and while times and tickets have not been released yet, they are sure to be on the site soon! Check back at www.loftcinema.com/event/loftfilmfest2016/.
Saving the best for last (in my humble, biased opinion), I bring you the metaphorical crème brule of the fall arts preview amazing-ness—literary arts.
Female Storytellers, every month (first one of the fall season is Sept. 7), is led by six of Tucson’s lady bad-asses. They bring you the sometimes funny, sometimes gut wrenching, but always thought-provoking stories of other local lady bad-asses, and you will thank them for it.
For a complete listing of their fall season (or how to get into the literary lady badass club), head on over to www.fstorytellers.com/get-involved.html, and catch them live at The Flycatcher (340 E. 6th St.).
Also, Words on the Avenue, a haven for Tucson poets, is entering its 5th year of blessing the mic with spoken word, prose, SLAM! poetry and the like. If you are ready to have your ears blessed, Words on the Avenue is a must. Housed at Cafe’ Passe (415 N. 4th Ave.) and hosted by local poet Teré Fowler-Chapman, there is no an entry fee, but a $5 donation is encouraged. Past featured poets and writers include Mason Gates, Mickey Ran and Jes Baker. For more information check out their website, www.wordsontheavenue.com.