Tucson Spotlight

What's New in Tucson - July 2013

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    What's New in Tucson - July 2013


Classic Western Movie. "Hot Bath an' a Stiff Drink" is what nearly every Old West movie character asks for after a dusty, tiring adventure. It's also the title of the latest full-length feature film to be produced at Old Tucson, Hollywood's most famous western movie location where more than 300 movies and television productions have been filmed since 1939. The PG-13 film was shot over 20 days in January and February at Old Tucson and Old Tucson's Mescal western frontier town sets and also at Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson Mountain Park, and Golder Ranch. More than $1 million was spent locally, 1,200 hotel rooms were booked, dozens of locally based crew were hired, and more than 75 residents were cast as extras. The film is scheduled to be screened at the Fox Tucson Theater on Thursday, August 22, 2013. Details about times, tickets, and guest appearances will be announced soon on and Watch the trailer here.

Up on the Roof. People are gathering atop the Pennington Street Garage for fun, entertainment, and terrific views during 2nd Saturdays Downtown, Tucson's monthly, family-friendly urban street fest. This rooftop venue, known as The T.O.P. (Top of Pennington), is the place to enjoy cool evening breezes, music by local musicians, beverages by local Borderlands Brewing Company, and food from local V Modern Thai. From up on the roof, guests can watch the sunset color nearby mountains purple and see the city lights and stars begin to twinkle. The Pennington Street Garage is located at 110 E. Pennington, but the entrance is off Scott Avenue. Downtown Tucson parking options include more than 3,000 covered spaces in parking garages and almost 1,000 spaces on surface streets. For more details, visit or

Master Cooking Classes. The 2013 fall session of the Tucson Originals Master Classes kicks off Tuesday, September 10. The series of six hands-on classes, each led by a different Tucson Originals chef, takes place Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Tucson Appliance Company's kitchen showroom, 4229 E. Speedway Blvd. Cost is $600 per person for the series (may be shared by more than one student) and includes a class notebook, detailed recipes, and a Tucson Originals apron. At the end of each class, students get to enjoy the "fruits of their labor" with the chef at a wine-paired, sit-down dinner. To register, contact Colette Landeen, at 520-323-9985 or at The Tucson Originals is an association of locally owned, independent restaurants dedicated to preserving the fresh original flavors of Tucson.

Magic of Live Vaudeville. Tucson-based Carnival of Illusion opens its fifth season of blockbuster vaudeville-inspired illusion shows at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel-Reid Park, September 20, 2013. National award-winning entertainers Roland Sarlot and Susan Eyed perform feats of old-world magic in an intimate setting for audiences of no more than 50 per show. The duo has performed as house entertainers at the world's top resorts, for Fortune 100 CEOs and for the 200 Most Powerful Women in America. Currently, they pack houses in Tucson and in Phoenix at the Arizona Biltmore Resort. Last season, Carnival of Illusion celebrated its 180th sold-out show in a row. For tickets and show times, call 520-615-5299 or visit

Protecting Scenic Grasslands. Southeast of Tucson, the landscape looks enough like the Great Plains that Hollywood filmed the 1955 classic film "Oklahoma!" here. The semi-desert grassland, with vast swaths of rolling hills covered in grasses and wildflowers, is the subject of Tucson Audubon Society's first Institute of Grassland Ecology, October 3-6, 2013, at Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch of the National Audubon Society, in Elgin, Arizona (site of several "Oklahoma!" scenes). The program will cover the important ecological role of southeastern Arizona's grasslands and conservation threats and management strategies used to safeguard this ecosystem. Cost is $600. For more information and to register, visit, or call Bete Jones, or 520-209-1812.

Mexican Baseball Fiesta. The third annual Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta will be played October 3-6, 2013 at Kino Stadium. Participating teams will include the Naranjeros de Hermosillo, Tomateros de Culiacan, and the three-time Mexican Pacific League champion and current defending Caribbean World Series champion, Yaquis de Obregon as well as a group of instructional league players from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Kino Stadium box office, by calling 520-434-1367, or online at

Bold and Fanciful Paintings. Tucson artist Diana Madaras will unveil 20 new paintings at her "Heart Beat" annual show opening, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013 with an artist reception from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Madaras Gallery/Skyline. The collection of acrylics and watercolors will include a triptych depicting the Sonoran Desert titled "After a Good Rain." The show will also feature an abstract desert landscape, an impressionistic painting of desert surrounding hidden fairways at Starr Pass golf course, southwest architecture from Tucson, and scenes from a ranch in Tubac. Admission to the annual show opening is free but an RSVP is required; call 520-623-4000. The collection will remain on display through November 17. For more information, visit

Play Where the Pros Play. The World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship returns to The Golf Club at Dove Mountain, in Tucson suburb Marana, Arizona, February 17-23, 2014. American Matt Kuchar will defend his title against the top 64 players in the Official World Golf Ranking. For those who like to play where the pros play, the 2014 Dove Mountain Golf Pack special offer -- containing 2 good-any-one-day tickets to the Accenture Match Play Championship, 1 good-any-one-day general parking pass, and 2 rounds of golf at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain -- can be had for $199 (a $500 value). Price does not include applicable fees. This golf pack is available now through October 31, 2013. Golf must be redeemed June through October, 2013 (Sunday through Thursday only in October). For more information, visit

Festival Writing Competition. Fiction, non-fiction and poetry entries are now being accepted for the second annual Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards writing competition and Masters Workshop. First-place winners in each category will receive $1,000, second-place winners $500, and third-place winners $250. All winners all receive scholarships to attend the 2014 Masters Workshop on March 17-18, 2013. The deadline for entries is 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. For more information (including submission guidelines) or to submit an entry, visit The two-day Tucson Festival of Books attracts more than 100,000 book-lovers to the University of Arizona Mall and nearby venues for exhibits, presentations and panel discussions. The next festival is March 15-16, 2014.

Downtown Dining Evolution. With some 50 established restaurants and more on the way, Downtown Tucson is serving up culinary adventure. Restaurants that opened in 2013 include: Thunder Canyon Brewery, craft beer and food made in a scratch kitchen; Penca, Mexico City cuisine and international bar; Diablo Burger, beef and other ingredients sourced close to home; Proper, fresh food with quality ingredients from local and regional sources; and Tap & Bottle, tasting room and bottle shop with craft beers, wines, and spirits. Three restaurants coming soon are: Good Oak Bar, due September 1, 2013, will focus on local farmers and ranchers and only-Arizona beers and wines; Saint House Rum Bar, coming in August, food from the Caribbean and anywhere else rum is produced; Pizzeria Bianco, due in fall of 2013, from James Beard Award-winning pizza chef, Chris Bianco. See the complete list of restaurants on the Downtown Tucson Partnership website.

The Joys of Eating Locally. A new bi-monthly magazine, Edible Baja Arizona, celebrates the joys of eating locally by exploring regional food heritages. The inaugural issue of Edible Baja Arizona includes articles from Tucson-associated foodies, including author Barbara Kingsolver, who in 2005 spent a year making a concerted effort to eat locally-sourced food; Dr. Andrew Weil, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona; and Gary Paul Nabhan, a co-founder of Native Seeds/SEARCH who has written numerous books on food. Edible Baja Arizona plans to distribute 25,000 copies of each issue, available for free at mostly food-oriented locations throughout Southern Arizona. Mail subscriptions are available for $36 per year. Read more on the magazine's Facebook page. (

Granting Beautiful Music. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is one of only five arts groups in the state of Arizona to receive the full amount of state grant money available for the 2014 fiscal year. The Arizona Commission on the Arts made the awards based on three criteria: fiscal ingenuity, broad participation from the state's residents, and programs that reflect Arizona's diversity. The TSO also is the only music organization and the only Tucson-based arts group to receive the maximum amount of grant money. The first professional symphony orchestra in the American Southwest, the TSO is the longest continuously performing professional arts organization in Arizona. The TSO's 2013-14 season, led by Music Director/Conductor George Hanson, will include the return of world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman for the first time in 30 years, legendary pop singer/songwriter Neil Sedaka, and rising stars from the Metropolitan Opera. For more information, visit

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