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Extra, extra: Get your weekend plans here
Some arts happenings you won't want to miss
TucsonSentinel.com Press Box Bash Friday at Club Congress
By now, we hope you have already heard about our big launch party, the Press Box Bash, at Club Congress Friday night. In addition to sets by five of the best bands in Tucson, the Bash is a chance to meet Sentinel staffers and give us your feedback and suggestions.
The evening starts at 7 with Jazz Telephone on the patio. Come have a smart cocktail with other Sentinel readers and our staff.
The party continues inside at 9 p.m. After a set of electrified and electrifying blues by Tom Walbank and the Ambassadors, Howe Gelb (Giant Sand) will hit the stage. His tribute to Johnny Cash's "Live at San Quentin" starts at 10 p.m.
Stick around for two relatively new Tucson acts, the Sonoran/Romany hybrid duo Bajo Turbato, who will get even the most reticent to stomp their feet to the gypsy beat, and punk experimentalists Cadillac Steakhouse, who will close us out with their outrageous, provocative, loud set.
Press Box Bash at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. 7 p.m. $7 donation.
Evening of Russian Music and Poetry, Friday at UA Poetry Center
As a part of the UA Humanities week, the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies hosts "Addressing the Beloved: Love, Longing and Separation" at the UA Poetry Center.
This evocative evening will present poetry from 19th and 20th century classics such as Pushkin, Lermontov, Brodsky and Akhmatova, all of which will be read in Russian with English supertitles. Hearing the poems in the original Russian, especially those of the great Anna Akhmatova, is crucial in terms of experiencing the poetry's complexity of rhythm and sound. Of special interest will be readings by acclaimed poet and UA Regents' Professor Vladimir Zakharov.
The musical component of the evening features pianist Suzanne Eanes, cellist Christopher Ashcraft and musical duet Olena Phillips and Chris Ryan. The artists will interpret compositions by Russian greats Glinka, Mussorgsky and Okudzhava, among others.
"Addressing the Beloved: Love, Longing and Separation" at UA Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen St. 626-3765. Friday at 7 p.m. Free.
"Art Fights" Saturday at Sixth Street Gym
If those who believe that comedian/provocateur Andy Kaufman faked his own death are right, he is sure to be lurking in the shadows at this unique event on Saturday. MMA fights? Art? Music? Yes, please.
The 6th Street Gym will transform itself into a gallery/performance space for the occasion, showcasing the work of 15 artists. Mixed martial arts demonstrations by gym staff and regulars will be punctuated by live sets from El Hanko Dinero and Zackey Force Five.
The art is young and edgy, and the fighting is sure to be exhilarating to watch. Best of all, proceeds from the event will benefit the gym's youth programs.
"Art Fights" at the 6th Street Gym, 221 E. 6th St. Saturday 7 p.m.- midnight. $5.
Art.if.Act at UA Stevie Eller Dance Theatre Friday/Saturday
Art.if.Act, a local group of multimedia performers, present their second annual "Dance in the Red" concert to benefit the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, this weekend.
The concert was founded by dancer and choreographer Joshua Blake Carter in collaboration with Art.if.Act Dance Project co-artistic director Ashley Bowman.
Founded by Bowman and fellow UA School of Dance MFA Claire Hancock, the group explains the odd syntax of its name on its website: "ART exists IF we ACT upon our ideas to create
In addition to collaborations between Art.if.Act's dancers and musicians, including musical directors and Tucson Symphony Orchestra members Benjamin Nisbet and Carla Ecker, the program includes two short films featuring the dancers, "Laundromats and Dream Destroyers" and "Facing the Monster."
UA Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, 1713 E. University Blvd. Friday/Saturday 6 p.m. silent auction, 7:30 p.m. concert. $45. Call 780-6879 for tickets.
Oaxacan Folk Art Show and Sale, Tohono Chul Park
On Friday and Saturday, visit Tohono Chul Park to experience the art of Oaxacan wood carvings. Each piece is created entirely by hand from copal wood and painted with amazing patterns.
Also known as alebrijas, these splendid wooden sculptures made by the Zapotec Indians have long captivated collectors everywhere. Along with a huge selection of carvings, other Mexican folk art will be available for sale, including Mata Ortiz pottery and Zapotec rugs.
There is also an ongoing Navajo pottery and weaving show and sale, as well as an exhibit of Yaqui carving at the park.
Oaxacan Art Show and Sale, Friday-Saturday Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N. Paseo Del Norte. Free with park admission.
"The REAL Alice in Wonderland" at Valley of the Moon Thursday-Sunday
A truly unique attraction, the Valley of the Moon was built by spiritualist George Phar Legler. According to the Valley website, Legler purchased the land in 1917, and built throughout the 1920s, creating a space "for the purpose of appealing to the magical imagination of children and of bringing mental and spiritual relaxation for visitors to the site."
Legler's spiritual beliefs and the imaginative landscape they created owe a debt to Lewis Carroll, which Legler reverently acknowledged, so those who were left cold by Tim Burton's recent CGI nightmare of an adaptation should be pleased with the back-to-basics, playful theatricality of the performance, as well as the eerily authentic atmosphere of the place.
In addition to the performance held in the main theatre space, tours of the grounds will leave every 30 minutes. The Valley of the Moon at night will truly feel magical.
"The REAL Alice and Wonderland" at the Valley of the Moon, 2544 E. Allen Rd. Play runs through April 11 with performances Thursday-Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for 7-13 years, and 6 and under are always free. Food Bank nights are Thursdays; receive discounted admission of $3 for adults and $2 for 7-13 years with a donation of 2 cans of food.
Chris Holiman, 35 Summers, Andrew Collberg, Silverbell at Club Congress
This early patio show Saturday marks the official debut of local band Silverbell, featuring the songs and sweet country vocals of Betsy Scarinzi. Betsy has assembled an all-star backing band, including guitarist Gene Ruley (The River Roses, The Drakes), Bassist Jason Steed (Creosote) and drummer Alan Anderson (Greyhound Soul and The Jits). Betsy's soprano is sweet, but her songs are hewn of a rougher, stronger cloth.
Chris Holiman, co-founder of The River Roses and 35 Summers, has a new album. "The Sailor's Daughter" bears the mark of the skilled songwriter Holiman has always been. Holiman will be joined by violinist/singer Bridget Keating as 35 Summers.
Andrew Collberg is more than a ubiquitous sideman; he has plenty of precocious original material to fill out the evening.
Chris Holiman, 35 Summers, Andrew Collberg, Silverbell, Saturday 7 p.m. at the Club Congress Patio, 311 E. Congress St. Free.