RSSAll Entries in the "Arts/Entertainment" Category

Actors enjoy ‘tightly knit’ ensemble

Actors enjoy ‘tightly knit’ ensemble


Trademark silliness will be on display Feb. 26 through March 8 as the Pima Community College arts department presents Monty Python’s “Spamalot” at the West Campus Proscenium Theatre.

A cast of 23 students will perform. The Aztec Press interviewed two, Kainon Bachtel and Maria Gawne.

Kainon Bachtel (Aztec Press photo by Nick Meyers)

Kainon Bachtel (Aztec Press photo by Nick Meyers)

Bachtel said playing Sir Robin will be one of the greatest roles in his acting career.

His favorite part of the show is when he sings “You won’t succeed on Broadway” to King Arthur. The number involves several cast members singing and dancing on stage.

“This is the sort that is only fostered by a tightly knit ensemble, like the one I am so lucky to be a part of,” he said.

Bachtel praised the talents of choreographer Mickey Nugent, music director Martha Reed and director Todd Poelstra.

“This production is unlike anything else I have ever been in,” he said. “The whole show, beginning to end, is all about high stakes, and the only thing that makes a show like that work is lots of drive, lots of focus and lots of energy.”

Bachtel was born in Palm Springs and moved to Tucson during his senior year of high school. He attended Tucson High, where he learned more about acting from teachers Kathleen Erickson and Art Almquist.

He first studied acting when he was in California, attending the first part of high school in Humboldt County.

Bachtel enjoys other creative outlets, including writing and video design. He was able to use his video skills in “Spamalot” and in a previous PCC production, “Stuart Little.”

Maria Gawne (Aztec Press photo by Nick Meyers)

Maria Gawne (Aztec Press photo by Nick Meyers)

Gawne, who plays the “Lady of the Lake,” said playing that role was one of her goals. She enjoys the part, and feels it has improved her singing skills.

The Florida native starting acting 16 years ago in high school and college. She has spent time in New York and Pennsylvania, and was able to see a “Spamalot” production on Broadway.

In Tucson, she has worked with community groups including Gaslight Theatre, Borderlands and Studio Connections. She has also done some directing.

Gawne auditioned for Pima’s version of “Spamalot” after theater students told her about the faculty at the Center for the Arts. She was intrigued, and became interested in learning from them.

Plans after Pima include attending graduate school. She would like to study directing and video production.

Hobbies include sports and “movement” photography, as well as studying anatomy.

Both actors said the directors have made the play a great piece, and called the production “the best they have worked on.”

Fun opens will silly SPAMboree

Opening night of “Spamalot” on Feb. 26 will feature a pre-show SPAMboree and a VIP guest artist.

SPAMboree begins at 6:30 p.m., with all activities included in the show ticket price.

Zany contests will include Spam tasting, a cow catapult contest, coconut clapping, a selfie “Shoot and Share” booth and a Monty Python trivia contest. Prizes will be awarded.

The guest artist was selected in a random drawing from among people who answered a Center for the Arts email.

The VIP guest will appear onstage in a cameo appearance during opening night only.

Other special events during the show’s run will take place on Wednesday, March 4.

American Sign Language interpreters will be on stage that night to help hearing-impaired members of the audience.

The Molly Starr Scholarship Endowment Benefit will also be held March 4 to benefit theater arts students.

Ticket prices will be more expensive, with the extra funds used for scholarship awards.

Regular tickets cost $16 for students and $18 for the general public. Discounted tickets costing $15 are available for groups of 10 or more, seniors and military personnel.

“Spamalot” runs about two hours, with an intermission.

The theater production lovingly rips off the motion picture “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” with original screenplay by famed Monty Python creators Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin.

The play parodies the legend of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table.

Signature characters include beautiful showgirls, cows, killer rabbits and Not Dead Fred.

The show also irreverently satarizes Vegas glitz and Broadway conventions.

The 2005 Broadway production won three Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and received 14 nomination. The show’s run continued on Broadway until 2009.

“Slapstick buffoonery” isthe phrase PCC director Todd Poelstra uses to characterize the humor.

“This production borrows lines and jokes freely from the original film and fans will be intrigued by the trademark silliness and humor to be expected,” he said.

For further information, call 206-6986 or visit

-By Alyssa Ramer

Lady of the Lake (Maria Gawne) and Sir Galahad (Rafael Acuna) rehearse a scene. “Spamalot,” opens a two-week run on Feb. 26. (Photo courtesy of Carol Carder, PCC Center for the Arts)

Lady of the Lake (Maria Gawne) and Sir Galahad (Rafael Acuna) rehearse a scene. “Spamalot,” opens a two-week run on Feb. 26. (Photo courtesy of Carol Carder, PCC Center for the Arts)













“Monty Python’s Spamalot”

Dates: Feb. 26-March 8

Times: Wednesdays-Fridays: 7:30 p.m.

       Saturday, Feb. 28: 7:30 p.m.

       Saturday, March 7: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

       Sundays: 2 p.m.

Special events:

       ASL interpreters: Wednesday, March 4

       Scholarship Endowment Benefit: March 4

Where: Proscenium Theatre, West Campus CFA

Tickets: $18, with discounts available

Box office: 206-6986


Best Bets

Best Bets

Compiled by Katie Stewart Vacio

Upcoming events ranging from the rodeo parade to a steam punk convention adopting a western theme, but other festivals emphasize peace and artistic endeavors.

La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo:

Feb. 21-March 1 

Events from rodeo competitions to barn dances will take place at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4823 S. Sixth Ave. Daily admission prices range from $14 to $28. Parking costs $5.

Details: or 741-2233

Night at Trail Dust Town: Feb. 25 

The Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo returns to Trail Dust Town and Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse, 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road. The event starts at 5 p.m. with a petting zoo and dining specials at the steakhouse. Loop Rawlins-Wild West will perform trick roping, whip cracking and gun-spinning during two shows at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. A rodeo dance starts at 7 p.m. in the Savoy Opera House with a local favorite, the Jack Bishop and the Robert Moreno Band, playing country tunes.

Details: or 296-4551


Rodeo Day Parade: Feb. 26

The world’s longest non-motorized parade celebrates its 90th

anniversary this year. The annual Rodeo Day Parade will begin at

9 a.m. The 1.5-mile route starts at Park and Fair avenues, goes south on Park to Irvington Road, west on Irvington to Sixth Avenue and north on Sixth to the north side of the Tucson Rodeo Grounds. Tickets for grandstand seats on Irvington Road cost $10 for adults and $5 for children under 13. For tickets, call 294-1280.

Details: or


Annual Peace Corps Fair: Feb. 27

The Peace Corps program at the University of Arizona is sponsoring this event, held at the UA Student Union North Ballroom from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., to celebrate the founding of the Peace Corps more than 50 years ago. Festivities include interactive exhibits, an African market and a Pacific Island village. Local organizations will also be available to provide information about how to get involved in the local community.


Peace Fair and Music Festival: Feb. 28

The Tucson Peace Center will host its 33rd annual free festival at Reid Park, near 22nd Street and Country Club Road, from 11 a.m.-

4 p.m. Festivities include live music, entertainment, displays,

children’s activities and food vendors.



Oro Valley Spring Festival of the Arts: 

Feb. 28- March 01

The Oro Valley Festival of the Arts at Oro Valley Marketplace will feature works by regional artisans and craftspeople at 12155 N. Oracle Road from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. with free admission for the public.

Details: or 797-3959


Wild Wild West Steampunk: March 6-8

Old Tucson will transform itself into a western-style steampunk theme park when the Wild Wild West Steam punk convention returns for its fourth year. Activities include concerts, street performers, special events, panels, workshops, rides and games. Online ticket sales end March 1. Event times and ticket prices are available on the website. Old Tucson is located at 201 S. Kinney Road.


Arizona Renaissance Festival:

Through March 29

The 26th annual event takes place every Saturday and Sunday through March 29 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. It will also be open on

President’s Day, Feb. 16.

Tickets cost $20-$22 for adults, with various discounts available. Parking is free.



Pg06-Rodeo cartoon-Sierra




Bernal Gallery seeks student art submissions

Bernal Gallery seeks student art submissions

The Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery has issued a “call for entries” for its Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition.

The competition is open to any student enrolled at Pima Community College in Fall 2014 or Spring 2015.

Students may submit up to three pieces of artwork. The media can be ceramics, digital, drawings, fibers, metals, mixed media, painting, photography, prints, fashion design and sculpture.

The annual student exhibit allows emerging artists to display their work in a professional venue that will be viewed by the general public.

Students must deliver entries to the Bernal Gallery at the West Campus Center for the Arts between March 23-26. The gallery will be open from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each day.

Artist information and an agreement form need to be with the art, and the art needs to be dry and ready to install. Entry forms and the full list of rules are available at the gallery or online at

Students will be notified of acceptance by March 31. Artwork not accepted for exhibition must be picked up March 31-April 1.

The exhibit will be on display April 6-May 8. The gallery will hold a reception and award ceremony on April 16 at 2 p.m.

For more information, call 206-6942.

-By Danyelle Khmara




Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

This will be your best birthday ever, Pisces, and should bring you the best year yet. Embrace it.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Aries, you need a vacation. Get your fancy MacBook out and book a flight to anywhere. Just make sure wherever you’re going has yummy drinks and a sun that never quits shining.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

I get the sense, Taurus, that you’ve had a rough start to your year. So just in case somebody hasn’t already told you, you’re awesome. Whatever happens, keep that smile shining.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Gemini, you’re so well rounded. If you ever find yourself having a bad day, just be happy you’re not a square.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer, if life throws anything your way, I have a feeling it will only be good things, like puppies in pajamas and gallons of ice cream. Odd combo, yes, but still fantastic.

Leo (July 23- Aug. 22)

You’ve always been adventurous, what happened? Get out there, Leo. Let the mountains hear your roar, the road see your foot prints and the world feel your presence.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sept. 22)

You’ve been working so hard, Virgo. It’s time you put your feet up and put the weight of the world down. Go grab yourself an extra-large pizza and a pint of your favorite ice cream, then turn on some Netflix.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

I just looked into my crystal ball and it said good things are coming your way. Not just any kind of good thing, either. It will be something that combines these words: fantastic, glorious and perfect.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Don’t be so hard on yourself, Scorpio. If life was meant to be taken so seriously, there would be a final exam. That’s not the case, so learn to relax a bit more.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec.21)

Pay more attention to the little things in life, Sagittarius. You’re missing out on a whole lot of beauty. Life isn’t a race don’t rush so much.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan.19)

Oh Capricorn, it’s really OK if you don’t have everything in your life perfectly together and planned out. I guarantee nobody around you does either.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Get your cute butt outside, Aquarius, and enjoy the beautiful sunshine that’s always calling your name.

Art Briefs

Art Briefs

Compiled by Katie Stewart Vacio

Chorale & College Singers: March 10

“Renewal” is the theme for a spring concert by Pima Community College’s Chorale and College Singers.

The varied program of choral standards, folk songs and sacred music will take place March 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the PCC Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre on West Campus.

The program opens with the Chorale. The College Singers follow with two folk songs, the Tudor anthem and two spirituals. The last part of the concert highlights the Romantic period with 19th century choral music.

Tickets are $6, with discounts available. Box office hours are Tuesday-Friday, noon to 5 p.m., and one hour before the performance.

For more information, call the box office at 206-6986 or visit

Wind Ensemble: March 12

Pima Community College’s Wind Ensemble will hold its spring concert, “Tunes To Hum To,” on March 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the PCC Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre on West Campus.

The program features songs with endearing and memorable melodies, including some of Gershwin’s best-known songs.

Other highlights include a new band arrangement by Wind Ensemble member Kenneth Wilson and small ensemble works by the woodwind, brass and percussion.

Tickets are $6, with discounts available. Box office hours are Tuesday-Friday, noon to 5 p.m., and one hour before the performance.

For more information, call the box office at 206-6986 or visit


Test your skills at ‘Story Bout’


A “Story Bout” competition will be held at Northwest Campus in room G-105, on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m.
The cash prize storytelling slam on the theme “schooled” is free and open to all Pima Community College students and employees.
People will tell true, six-minute stories without notes, a raconteur style modeled after the renowned Moth story slams. A prize of $200 will be given to the first-place winner.
“At New York and Los Angeles Moth events, audiences line up around the block for storytelling slams,” said Molly McCloy, a writing instructor and the event organizer.
She said the format, a mix of stand-up comedy and dramatic monologue, is something Tucson has enjoyed in non-competitive shows from local storytelling groups, Odyssey and Female Story Tellers. Moth-style storytelling also occurs on Fourth Avenue, at the Flycatcher bar.
“As a two-time Moth Slam winner, I want to bring a slam-style contest to PCC and the larger community,” McCloy said.
She wants slams to be regular events at Pima, and had success in Fall 2013 doing a similar event at the Downtown Campus.
David Fitzsimmons, the political cartoonist for the Arizona Daily Star, will emcee the competition.  Four participants are already locked in for a time slot in the competition. Other interested students can put their name in a hat at 6:30 p.m.
For more information, contact McCloy at or 206-2117.

Chezale blazes path for future mavericks

Chezale blazes path for future mavericks


Pima Community College has been a stepping stone for students who want to influence their community and follow their dreams.
Chezale Rodriguez, a 2003 PCC alumnus, is one of those students. The local singer, dancer, actor and model is also known as Lady Maverick but now goes by Chezale.
“Lady Mav is definitely the most popular alias that I gave myself,” Chezale said.
Chezale chose “maverick” while looking for a word to describe herself.
She recalled her childhood, and remembered how she never stuck to one group of friends and always marched to her own beat.
By definition, a maverick is an unorthodox or independent-minded person. The term was the perfect choice, though she decided to feminize her alias by adding “Lady.”
When Chezale was pursuing her liberal arts degree at PCC, she performed with her dance crew during halftime for basketball games and sang at events held by Student Life.
She also participated in annual youth leadership conferences co-sponsored by Pima and the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Years after graduating, LULAC recruited Chezale to serve on the planning committee for its “520’s Top Dance Crew.”
She served as a judge for the event, which features local high school dance crews battling it out for cash prizes. Michael Montoya, Anthony Reyes and Addison Johnson joined Chezale on the judge’s panel.
“They were looking for judges with knowledge of dance and we’re all teachers,” Chezale said. “They were looking for people that have been around for awhile. We’re not new on the scene.”
LULAC presented the panel and planning committee with a community service award last year.
Chezale’s passion for dance has always gone hand in hand with her music.
She has released two albums, “MY STORY … The Making of a Maverick” in 2007 and “MAVMUZIK” in 2014.
She spent the time in between working on her sound and style. She also collaborated with other local artists and performed at shows.
“My goal was for growth and to evolve,” she said. “Over a period of seven years, the sound changes. Sonically and technically, it’s different.”
Her goal, she said, is not so much about keeping up with the wave as it is about putting out good music – “stuff that people can feel, and quality.”
Chezale’s mother and biggest supporter, Sonja Rodriguez, has witnessed the music’s evolution and dedication.
“She’s constantly re-inventing herself,” Rodriguez said. “She’s always on the grind. She’s constantly booking shows, performing and owning her craft.”
Sounds on “MAVMUZIK” include rhythm and blues, hip-hop and soul.
Some of her influences are Lauryn Hill, MC Lyte and Aaliyah.
“I would like to do something with a reggae vibe,” Chezale said. “I haven’t done straight acoustic ballad, piano. I want to even experiment with a little hip-hop rock.”
Chezale is confident she’ll maintain her personal style no matter what genre she chooses.
“I can make them all still sound like me,” she said.
She hopes people from all walks of life can relate to her albums, and even censored “MAVMUZIK” for her younger audience.
“The number one thing for me is to influence people and touch them in some way with my music,” she said. “I want to say something. There’s enough junk out there already.”
“MAVMUZIK” is available on all major online digital stores.
Visit for more information.

Pg10-Chezale performing-Shana photo Pg10-Chezale-contributed

Art, literary submissions due by March 2

Art, literary submissions due by March 2


Call to artists and writers: March 2 is the deadline to submit work to SandScript, Pima Community College’s award-winning art and literary journal.
The annual journal, created and designed by students, is accepting submissions from PCC students registered for at least two academic credits this spring or last fall.
Each year, the SandScript staff reviews and deliberates over a plethora of art, poetry and prose submissions. The competition to get accepted can be tough, but it’s admittedly easier than a national magazine.
“You’re just competing with your fellow students,” says Joshua Cochran, SandScript’s faculty adviser. “It’s an excellent way to get your first work published.”
This is actually the first year that SandScript is exclusive to students, having accepted faculty submissions in previous years. Students who work part time for the college or do work-study can also submit work.
All submissions are reviewed anonymously, identified by student number only. Therefore, material is chosen solely on merit.
“We got so many great submissions last year,” says Kaycee Petersen, SandScript’s 2014 editor. “It was fun and challenging deliberating over what got in.”
The SandScript staff looks for prose and poetry that is unique but relatable, delving into the many facets of human dynamic and experience.
Prose must have fully developed characters that are genuine and moving. The plot should make the reader think and explore unique perspectives.
Poetry should evoke feelings through details and images, be genuine and yet speak to something that goes beyond one’s personal experience.
For art, SandScript seeks work that shows an understanding of visual composition. The artwork should transcend and delve deeply into the spectrum of emotion, from disturbing to sad, simplicity to joyous abandon.
Art must be submitted in a scanned or digital version. For assistance, email
The semester ends with an unveiling ceremony. The SandScript journal is revealed, and the artists and writers share their work with friends and family.
To submit work, go to There you will find the submission forms and guidelines.
Make sure to thoroughly read the guidelines and follow the directions.
To write and create art takes exploration and hard work. To submit to a journal and share your work takes courage. So good luck artists, and into the fray.

Editors note: Danyelle Khmara is the 2015 editor of SandScript.

Pg10-SandScript 2014

ACADEMY AWARD PREDICTIONS ‘Birdman’ will beat ‘Boyhood’

ACADEMY AWARD PREDICTIONS ‘Birdman’ will beat ‘Boyhood’


With the year’s awards season coming to a close, it is almost time for the highest honor in film making, the Academy Awards.
The Oscar race has been better than usual, with a slew of great films. Indie darlings ruled, making up half of the Best Picture nominations.
They include “Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance,” “Boyhood,” “Whiplash” and “Selma.”
There are two clear front-runners for the Best Picture race, “Birdman” and “Boyhood.”
Both films are also nominated for multiple major awards including Best Director and Best Screenplay, plus numerous acting award nominations.
“Birdman” stars Michael Keaton as a washed-up actor fighting to keep his career, family and sanity.
He believes he can save his career with a new play he is writing, directing and starring in.
The film also stars Emma Stone (“Easy-A,” “Spiderman”), Zach Galifianakis (”The Hangover”) and Edward Norton (“American History X,” “Moonrise Kingdom”). Keaton, Stone and Norton are all nominated for acting.
The film’s director, Alejandro Iñárritu, (“Babel,” “Amores Perros”) is nominated for both directing and for his screenplay.
“Boyhood” is a coming-of-age story focusing on the adolescence of Mason Evans Jr. The film starts with Mason at age 6, and follows him through his first year in college.
Weaving stories of family dysfunction, peer pressure and heartbreak, the film effortlessly and accurately portrays growing up in modern-day America.
What makes this film even more special is the choice to film over a 12-year period with the same actors. We watch them age before our eyes. No special effects or make-up needed.
Richard Linklater (“School of Rock,” “Dazed and Confused”) seems to be the undisputed front-runner for Best Director, picking up every major and minor award this season. says “Boyhood” will and should win, while Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter recently moved “Birdman” above “Boyhood” to take home the gold.
The popular movie website Rope of Silicon called “Birdman” the frontrunner after wins with the Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild.
“Boyhood” picked up Best Picture awards from the Golden Globes and from the American Film Institute.
A film with last-minute momentum like “Birdman” almost always takes home the gold come time for the big ceremony, so my prediction goes to “Birdman.”
As long as Linklater gets a Best Director win, I can live without “Boyhood” winning best picture, though an “A-for-effort” doesn’t quite cut it with a beautiful film that took 12 years to put together.
The Spirit Awards/Independent Film Awards will provide a great way to help separate the two. Both films are nominated for Best Picture, as are Oscar nominees “Whiplash” and “Selma.”
The awards will be given Feb. 21, the day before the Academy Awards ceremony.
The 87th Academy Awards will air Sunday, Feb. 22, at 6:30 p.m. on ABC. Red Carpet fashion coverage will begin before the ceremony at 5 p.m.

Pg12-Boyhood poster     Pg12-Birdman poster


Spring means festival time

Compiled by Kit B. Fassler

2nd Saturdays

Downtown: Feb. 14

The free monthly street fair will take place from 3-7 p.m., with live music on the 94.9 MIXFM Scott Avenue Stage at Congress Street. Featured performers include Hank Topless, Tucson Circus Arts Stilt Dance and Santa Pachita.

Vendors will offer food for sale, and downtown venues will feature special events. Free street parking is available.


Classic Car Show, BBQ & Blues: Feb. 21

View more than 50 classes of antique, classic and muscle cars and trucks, while sampling barbecue and enjoying both live music and DJs.

The festival will run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Oro Valley Marketplace, on the southwest corner of Tangerine and Oracle roads.

Admission costs $5 for adults. Proceeds benefit the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance.

Details: or 797-3959

Rodeo Parade: Feb. 26

The world’s longest non-motorized parade celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. Pima Community College will cancel classes Feb. 26-27 for a rodeo holiday.

The parade will begin at 9 a.m. at Park and Fair avenues. The 1.5 mile route goes south on Park to Irvington Road, west on Irvington to Sixth Avenue and north on Sixth to the north side of the Tucson Rodeo grounds.

Tickets for grandstand seats on Irvington Road cost $7 for adults and $5 for children under 13. Call 294-1280 for tickets. Street spots along the route are free.

Details: or 797-3959

Additional listings at



Compiled by Katie Stewart

Galley reception set for Feb. 12

Pima Community College’s Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery will host two special events on Feb. 12 as part of its current “Breaking Down Surface Tensions” exhibit.
A gallery reception will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. to honor the five showcased artists: Rebecca Crowell, David Longwell, Katey Monaghan, Mark Pack and Kathleen Velo.
The Bernal Gallery is located on West Campus in the Center for the Arts complex.
Following the reception, Crowell will give an artist’s lecture at 6:30 p.m. in the CFA Recital Hall
The “Breaking Down Surface Tensions” exhibit will be on display through March 13.

Librarian performs in ‘El Ausente’ play

West Campus librarian Rosanne Couston is performing Feb. 12-28 in a Borderlands Theater production of “El Ausente/Absence.”
The drama, written by Mexican playwright Victor Hugo Rascon Banda, spotlights three generations of a Mexico City family that endures the absence of loved ones who left to seek work in the United States.
Performances at Zuzi’s Theater, 738 N. Fifth Ave., will be in English except for three Spanish-language shows on Feb. 14, 19 and 22. The Feb. 19 show is a student matinee.
Tickets cost $20 for general admission and $14 for students. For more information, call the Borderlands box office at 882-7406 or visit the theater website at

Grammy winner to conduct TSO

Grammy award winner David Alan Miller will make his Tucson Symphony Orchestra debut conducting performances on Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 15 at 2 p.m.
TSO will perform Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 5” and Beethoven’s “Egmont Overture” as part of its Classic Series.
The concerts will also feature TSO principal trumpeter Conrad Jones performing a commissioned work, “True Colors Concerto” for trumpet and orchestra.
Miller, who has been music director of the Albany Symphony since 1992, called the selections “a beautiful, life-affirming program with two of my favorite heroic masterpieces surrounding a one-of-a-kind American classic.”
The Albany Symphony was among the orchestras that commissioned George Tsontakis to compose a trumpet concerto. Tsontakis wrote it for the ASO’s principal trumpeter and Miller conducted the premiere performance in 2012.
Tickets to the TSO Classic Series program cost $28-$84. They can be purchased online at, by phone at 882-8585 or at the TSO box office, 2175 N. Sixth Ave.


TOP 10 How to V-Day the singles’ way


With Valentine’s Day approaching many Pima Community College students and faculty are busy making reservations for romantic dinners, buying gifts for their main squeeze and conditioning themselves to go the full 12 rounds.
With all the buzz our society gives these romantic excursions it is not difficult to see why some people who are not so amorously blessed might feel left out with nothing to do.
If the only thing you have written in your calendar this weekend is to stare at the drywall ,coveting that which will always escape you, maybe you might benefit from re-imagining your Valentine’s Day.

10. Throw a potluck with your single friends

Misery loves company, and this miserable lot has nothing better to do than sit around, spit some jive and watch each other gain weight. Start meeting biweekly with these turkeys while serving coffee and doughnuts on a side table and you are well on your way to starting a 12-step program. Luckily for you, your winning personality comes before desperate principles.

9. Seek therapy

There’s obviously something wrong with you. Everybody knows it. Oh, you didn’t? Well denial is the first step on the road to recovery. Good job, you’re making progress.

8. Living room Karaoke

Dare I say naked?  Oh yeah, that’s refreshing. Please try to remember to shut the blinds if you live in a school zone, unless you think that the sex offender registry line is a great place to try out your new pick up lines on high school teachers. Nice. You are a weird one aren’t you?

7. Do volunteer work

If you’re seeking a scholarship or still owe the judge 40 hours, now’s as good a time as any to smash those dreaded community service hours out and look like a half-decent citizen. Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky enough to work those hours off reading “50 Shades of Grey” to a blind girl with broken arms.  Remember, charity is its own reward. Live to give.

6. Sleep

It’s Saturday. Why is this alarm even set?  Do yourself a favor and just rip the whole clock off of the wall. Worry about resetting it Sunday night.

5. Take a long walk

Go hiking through Sabino Canyon, take a stroll downtown or just walk anywhere. The simple task will give you time to reflect and figure out why you are alone yet again this February.

4. Troll the bars for strange

Whether you’re a down-rigger or an out-rigger kind of vessel, you aren’t gonna snag the catch of the day unless you check your pole, pack your lures and head on down to the local watering hole. If you can’t get a nibble after happy hour, change location. The key is to blend in with the natural surroundings and not stand out as a predator. If your query is sitting at a bar on Valentine’s Day then they are either single or they are in a relationship they obviously don’t respect. Be sure to get close enough to bag that wide mouth. If patience and subtlety aren’t your defining personality traits maybe trawling the bar is more your style.

3. Read a damn book!

Maybe part of the problem is you haven’t shown the opposite sex that you were built for more than pulling plows and grazing.  If you’re unsure of what to read, it’s always safe to stick to anything that is at least at a high school reading level. Try to read in public and display your sophistication. Anybody who asks you about what you are reading is already interested. Remember that the only good answer in this situation is, “It’s OK, but not as good as I expected.” It gives the impression you read more often. Hence making you seem smarter and more attractive.

2. Take your mother out to the movies

Just because you didn’t have anything planned this Valentine’s Day does not mean she didn’t. Luckily for you she’d rather spend her time with you.  An unsuccessful marriage and awkward step-dad bonding moments will now be averted.

1. Don’t panic

No expensive dinners for two. No roses. No chocolate covered, gold-plated, self-aware, dancing teddy bears that sing Maroon 5’s “Animals” when you squeeze his paw. Do you have any idea how much that would actually run? And that’s just for the girlfriend. Don’t ask what the wife wants. If you don’t know the answer to that riddle my friend, I don’t have any advice that can help you.




Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Someone will be doing dinner for one on Valentine’s Day. Look on the bright side: It will be cheaper. You can still do the two-for-20 deal, it will just be a two-for-20 for one.

Pisces (Feb.19-March 20)
Look, the only chocolate you’ll be getting is the box you buy for yourself on the day after Valentine’s Day. That’s not a bad thing — 50 percent off candy will make you feel better.

(March 21-April 19)
You and your mom can go out on Feb. 14. It wouldn’t be the first time, I bet. You pretty much took her to prom as well, didn’t you?

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Just like the Dez Bryant controversy in Green Bay, you’re not a catch. And just like Cowboys fans, you’re probably crying about that.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
The gem in Gemini doesn’t refer to you. Gems are pretty to look at, and unfortunately you aren’t. You are more of rock, and pretty dull.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Seriously? Look at your zodiac sign name and use that for a way to describe your love life. That’s if you can read it. You’re one IQ point away from being considered a sheep.

Leo (July 23- Aug. 22)
You’ll definitely be more kitten than lion this Valentine’s Day. The only roar you’ll make is from behind your computer screen. I bet you still have MySpace. That’s  kind of sad, dude

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sept. 22)
Roses are red, violets are blue, guess what, no one likes you. Well, maybe your mom but last time I mentioned you she changed subjects.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Check to see if has some discounts this week. That, or ask some Cancers out. They might be goofy enough to say yes. Another thing you might like is that Cancer is considered a sheep.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You’re a paper bag away from being passable. Look to see if your local supermarket can supply you one. That’s if they let you in. I would suggest you send a friend to get the bag, but we both know your friend count is zero.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
I find it funny that someone like you gets a date, even if is just a cutout of someone else. But then again, it is more action than your are getting.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
You’re the only one in this bunchthat I would take out for Valentine’s Day. Just letting you know, that’s nothing to brag about. Have you seen what I said about the rest? P.S., you’re a solid four.

‘Breaking Down Surface Tension’ Exhibit examines abstract art

‘Breaking Down Surface Tension’ Exhibit examines abstract art


The latest exhibit at Pima Community College’s Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, “Breaking Down Surface Tension,” will feature work by five national and regional artists from Feb. 2-March 13.
The artists are:
• Rebecca Crowell
• David Longwell
• Katey Monaghan
• Mark Pack
• Kathleen Velo

Longwell, Monaghan and Velo are Tucson artists, and Pack recently moved from Tucson to St. Louis. Crowell lives in Wisconsin, but just returned from a residency in Ireland.
The Bernal Gallery is located in the Center for the Arts complex on West Campus. A gallery reception will be held Feb. 12 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Following the Feb. 12 reception, Crowell will give an artist lecture at 6:30 p.m. in the CFA Recital Hall.
Crowell will also conduct a Cold Wax Workshop on West Campus Feb. 13-15.
Gallery director David Andres said the exhibition’s five artists use the concept of tension in their compositions to move viewers’ eyes from one location to another.
“They use movement in different ways to bring together elements of paint, photography or mixed media; and yet all break down the understanding of tension uniquely in their art,” he said in a press release.
“The title ‘Breaking Down Surface Tension’ comes from many conversations with artist Nancy Tokar Miller about the abstract art movements of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s that spoke about flatness and juxtaposing medias,” Andres added.

Rebecca Crowell

Crowell is known for innovative painting techniques involving cold wax medium and mixed media, and is represented by fine art galleries in locations ranging from Dublin, Ireland, to Santa Fe, N.M.
She uses a kind of “memory mapping” to create her works. They are visually abstract but often retain faint echoes of landscape and nature through rugged textures, earthy colors and a feeling of light, open spaces.


Rebecca Crowell: “Ceide Fields” – oil and mixed media on panel. (PCC Center for the Arts)

Rebecca Crowell: “Ceide Fields” – oil and mixed media on panel. (PCC Center for the Arts)

David Longwell

Longwell’s paintings feature thick impasto gestures over drawings that fuse ground and line, with knotted webs, skeins of paint and linear movements. He uses action and reaction, continually building surface tension and then breaking it down, until he finds balance.
He considers himself part of the art world’s wave of third-generation abstract expressionists.
“My approach is organic, sometimes mired in disorder, sometimes overlaid with sweeping arabesques,” he said in the press release.
“Abstract expressionism is emblematic of the time of my birth and I sense meaning and purpose in this fact.”


David Longwell: “Speedway Boogie-Woogie #2.” (Center for the Arts)

David Longwell: “Speedway Boogie-Woogie #2.” (Center for the Arts)

Katey Monaghan

Monaghan, who teaches color rendering and theory at PCC, transforms thousands of small, rusted cast-off construction reinforcements to create large-format tapestries on paper and canvas.
She finds the process of oxidizing different metals both challenging and surprising.
“Unlike traditional printmaking, the tools I use to create these tapestries and mosaics have a life of their own,” she said.


Katey Monaghan: “Backbone” – rust on En Tout Casse. (PCC Center for the Arts)

Katey Monaghan: “Backbone” – rust on En Tout Casse. (PCC Center for the Arts)

Mark Pack

Pack, who has exhibited in galleries across the country, said the word “growing” best describes his primary concern while painting.
“Growth happens in all living things,” he said. “If something grows, it is not made. To make a painting is to not make art, but if one lets that painting grow, then art is made.”


Mark Pack: “Sublimity” – acrylic on panel. (PCC Center of Arts)

Mark Pack: “Sublimity” – acrylic on panel. (PCC Center of Arts)


Kathleen Velo

Velo, who teaches traditional and digital photography classes at PCC, makes photographs using pinhole and plastic cameras, as well as varied other mixed media images.
Her current work focuses on the concept of water quality in the southwestern United States, and the inherent alchemy that occurs as a result.
She created a “Water Flow” series of photograms by placing light-sensitive material below the surface of remote rivers, streams, arroyos and water recharge basins.



Kathleen Velo: “Morales Dam, Arizona: Colorado River #15 from the series Water Flow Under the Colorado River” – archival ink jet print, from C print camera-less capture. (PCC Center for the Arts)

Kathleen Velo: “Morales Dam, Arizona: Colorado River #15 from the series Water Flow Under the Colorado River” – archival ink jet print, from C print camera-less capture. (PCC Center for the Arts)


* * *
In addition to the Bernal exhibit, works by the featured artists will be on display at Tucson International Airport from Feb. 4-April 8.
Gallery admission is free.
For more information, call the gallery at 206-6942 or email




Yogi’s offers authentic Indian food

Yogi’s offers authentic Indian food


Yogi’s Indian Market and Cafe is the place to be if you love Indian food, where you won’t find a buffet or a large and overwhelming menu.

It’s a family-run business that takes its cuisine to another level. The restaurant, located at 2537 N. Stone Ave. just north of Grant Road, has been delighting customers since it opened last summer.

Satye Bhati, the owner, said “I really felt that Tucson lacked a proper Indian grocery store and Indian food options.”

Many of the dishes are gluten free and it doesn’t stop there. Yogi’s is the only restaurant in Tucson that serves up Indian street food, such as Pani Poori, Bhel Poori and Nepalese Momos.

“We always test our food before putting it out,” Bhati said.

They also make fresh roti daily that can be purchased in bulk to take home or enjoyed alongside your meal. The menu is categorized mainly in three sections: vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

Yogi’s also has daily specials listed on their menu board, made with the same fresh produce that they sell in their market.

Unlike many other Indian restaurants, Yogi’s prides itself in serving up dishes in a health conscious manner, giving diners the options to choose brown rice and limiting the use of heavy cream. Bhati mentions “Unlike many Indian restaurants, we do not use heavy cream in our spinach dish known as Palak Paneer.”

Forget about paying $10 for Tikka Masala along with another $2 for rice; dishes at Yogi’s rarely exceed $7.99, and the best part is, rice is always included.

I couldn’t help noticing the friendliness of the staff, the cleanliness of the restaurant and the amazing options in the market. The goods sold range from produce and spices to cookware.

There’s plenty of parking in the rear of the restaurant as well as free Wi-Fi.

Prashad Verma and wife Anju came from Rio Rico to check out Yogi’s wide variety of products. “This is our first time here, and they have a good selection,” Prashad Verma said.
The couple initially came to buy groceries but also decided to check out the restaurant’s menu while they were there.

Bhati hopes to experiment with adding south Indian dishes such as Dosas to the menu in the future, and I just can’t wait for what this restaurant come


Pg13-Yogi owner

Satye Bhati, owner of Yogi’s, arranges some of the products available in his grocery store. (Andrew Paxton/Aztec Press)