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Around Tucson

'Syndicated And Published  Under The Exclusive Rights Of The Southwest Trust' 

 

 

Rocky Rocks!

 

On the third Saturday of each month, there is a happening at the Loft Cinema that has spanned a generation and will probably continue as long as anyone has the urge to jump to the left. When the lights go out around midnight, and the film reel starts to roll, the opening credits launch with a pair of red lips that take us on a journey like no other.

 

I am referring of course to the one and only…

 "Rocky Horror Picture Show".

 

‘Rocky’, as it is lovingly called by its fans world wide, is the story written back in the mid 1970's by playwright Richard O'Brian. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, it is basically what happens when a loving couple has a flat tire and go for help to a castle they passed on the road.

The film adaptation of the 1973 London stage production was released in 1975, where it premiered in New York and instantly became a cult classic. The story, with songs and music thrown in for good measure, maybe did not win any Academy Awards, but the culture and good fun it has produced has been worthy of many an award.

 

As soon as the film was released, people had the urge to get up in front of the movie screen and follow each character as well as sing each song. Meanwhile those still in the audience, created a dialog to go along with the silent moments in the movie, mocking, praising, and creating a language to go right along with the film. If you have never attended a showing before, it can be a bit of a shock to have people right next to you shouting out what some mothers would wash out their kids mouths with soap for, but instead all with a smile on their faces.

 

“Hey, wait a minute, is that your Mom over there in the 7th row with that piece of toast?

 

At the stroke of midnight in 1978Tucson  jumped in to the craze and started showing Rocky Horror Picture Show in a local theatre here. Back then the participants were mostly Air Force military personell who were here in The Old Pueblo for duty and missed a bit of big city living. The company who oversees the entire production here in Tucson is known as Heavy Petting (A line from one of the songs in the movie).

 Heavy Petting makes sure that there is a cast in front of the screen giving it their all and assuring those in the seats an experience that they will want to recreate month after month. This has been happening now continually since 1978 without stoppage, making it the longest running Rocky Horror production in the entire United States.

 

The generational gap is filled like no other event when you go to Rocky. Those who remember seeing the film in the days when you could light up a lighter during one of the songs, now see their children instead holding up their cell phones in place for the same effect.

At the showings the age range runs from 14 to 82, with most attendees in the know of what was happening and what to shout out at the appropriate times. The story is still the same, and it has shown its ability to last with so many thousands of fun seeking people still attending the shows for all these years.

 

If you are new to the experience and attending for the first time, do not be afraid. Do however be prepared to be subjected to a trial by fire known as "losing your virginity".

Prior to the movie, games are held and contest judged for those who admit to being "virgins". The experience will leave you wanting to find your own friends who have not attended and bring them in for the fun and excitement of having them do what you had to.

 

‘Rocky Horror’ plays the third Saturday of each month with the theatre doors opening at 11PM and the movie usually starting by 12:30AM.

 

You can follow the antics of Heavy Petting at their Facebook Page:

 

http://www.facebook.com/#!/heavypettingaz?ref=ts

 

And, you can check out all the other great films that ‘The Loft’ has in store for you at:

http://www.loftcinema.com

 

So, get out there in the community and catch a show, a movie, a concert, or any of the other great events that Tucson has waiting for you!!

 

 .....................................................

 

Hot Fun in the Summer Time

 

Congratulations this time of the year go to all the graduates of every school in the Old Pueblo, and much success is wished to those Tucson graduates on their journeys no matter where that may take them.

 

With the warmer weather that time of year, it is a time that the working world plans its vacations and trips to places that help them to forget how work and the world can weigh on them. While some of us travel away from our fair city this time of year, many stay right in town, taking in all the great summer experiences that are here to offer us.

 

Now for just a little bit of information regarding those places where you can catch some really great live music each summer. There are plenty of places to see a great band, have a fun time, do some dancing and even meet the performers up close here in town. We can take this opportunity to promote local talent and who knows, put Tucson on the map nationally like an Austin or Nashville.

 

No matter what your musical liking, The Old Pueblo seems to have something for just about everyone’s taste. From dressing up in your best tuxedo, to donning a tie dye shirt and dancing the night away like a 1960’s Hippie, Tucson has it all. Here are just a sample of places and their links to head to in summer for some real music and fun.

 

 

Nestled in the heart of Downtown is the historical Rialto Theatre:

 

www.rialtotheatre.com

 

The Rialto has slowly progressed from a dilapidated former theatre to the home of some of Tucson’s better visiting talent at times. So, why would the Rialto be listed here when the headliners are all traveling bands. Because, it is the opening acts & back up bands that seem to take the stage with a purpose and are worth the price of admission by themselves.

Many acts at the Rialto have an opener, usually a local talent who is trying to get their own foot in the music industry's door. After the opener finishes their set, you will probably see them hanging out in the lobby of the Rialto signing CD’s and taking pictures. This is an opportunity for you to truly meet the artists, get photos, and thank them for what they do.

 

Right across the street from the Rialto is one of Tucson’s better musical venues, Club Congress:

 

http://www.hotelcongress.com/club/

 

Located inside the Hotel Congress, Club Congress has one of the more intimate stage settings in Tucson. You can just about reach out and touch the performers on stage, and dance with the music all in one effort. Club Congress showcases many varied musical styles, from the latest in DJ magic, to Folk at its best.

The small venue does fill quickly, but like the Rialto Theatre, gives you the unique opportunity to meet and greet the artists, as they have to walk right through the crowd to get up on the stage. Fans and fellow musicians enjoy shows at the Club Congress, so if you plan on going, get there early to assure a spot on the floor near the stage, or near the DJ booth.

 

 

With the Old Pueblo being the home of the oldest National Rodeo - The Fiesta de Los Vaqueros, its only fitting that we have a venue where the Two-Step is still the dance of choice. That place is The Maverick:

 

http://emol.org/maverick/

 

The self-proclaimed “King of Clubs” is the place to be for live Country Music here in the Old Pueblo. Their new location on Tanque Verde Road is a prime location for a great night of dining and dancing to the music that originated in the American heartland. Live bands take the stage nightly and don’t stop until last call. You can don your best Stetson and boots and shuffle across the floor. Bands are personable here, talking and dancing along with the crowd, never missing a beat. You might even see someone in the crowd end up on stage to sing themselves, as that is always a possibility at The Maverick. Get your Country on and enjoy a down home time.

 

 

Two more locations to quickly mention for great live music.

 

 

The Surly Wench Pub:

http://www.surlywenchpub.com/

 

This unique happening spot on 4th Avenue may surprise you, check it out!

 

 

And, Plush:

 

Both the Surly Wench Pub and Plush are just about smack in the middle of the 4th Avenue Strip and offer some great local and visiting music makers. Most bands are one’s that are up and coming and you can say you saw them right here in Tucson. Both locations offer side bars where you can sit in more quiet settings, so if the music gets to be too much, you can relax with a wine or beverage.

 

Most of the locations mentioned above sell their tickets right at the front door if not on their websites ahead of time. Check them all out, and see who is coming to play in the Old Pueblo.

 

Come on downtown and enjoy the summer music reminding you of those days when summer was fun, and school was out.

 

 

 

.....................................................

Jell-O Wrestling Makes An Annual Appearance

 

 The warmer months bring more events to the Old Pueblo and the longer days make for some fun yet tiring times. Please remember to stay hydrated out there no matter where you are, and make sure you take time to slow down and breathe easy when the temperatures start to rise in  Tucson.

 Every early MAY brings another chapter in the ongoing history of a well known annual event in the Old Pueblo. Mark your calendars for one of the biggest AIDS Fundraisers by the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation in town.

 

The  Annual Tucson Reno Gannon Memorial Jell-O Wrestling Extravaganza and Benefit Auction takes place at various local locations. The bigger venues are needed for the event now days because all the previous venues have become just too small to hold the mass crowds that come out to witness this rolicking annual fun fundraiser. Don't sell this one short on the fun and importance of such a major AIDS/HIV organizations program charity event in town.

 

Locally sponsored teams compete in the ring which is completely filled up with Jell-O and other desert items. There is a referee to proclaim the winner of each bout and those sitting close to the ring are sure to go home with Jell-O stuff on them and love every minute of it.

The wild action is non stop with several Tucson Drag personalities emceeing the event and keeping the comedy in full tilt mode between the wild wrestling bouts. Auction events to raise funds for the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation occur throughout the day, with a big raffle held at the end.

 

This formula has been the staple of the event for many years now, and is a proven fun filled crowd pleaser for all ages.

The inner workings of the event are what make it such a successful endeavor year after year. Scores of volunteers who take time not only at the event but before and after keep the flow going so that any one attending enjoys a time like no other.

The wrestlers themselves all have been raising money for months to make sure that each year’s total is surpassed and everyone is treated to a show that keeps people talking for months and months afterward. The staff of The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation help in making the event colorful and vibrant, while the many other sponsors of the event are a real crown jewel of making the day’s festivities possible.

 

HIV/AIDS is everyone’s issue, and this event proves that like no other one around the Old Pueblo. If you live with HIV/AIDS personally, if you know and love someone who has been given the news no one wishes on anyone, or if you work in the field helping those infected, you know the plight of the pandemic. Jell-O Wrestling provides an opportunity each year to see what efforts are made from the Tucson community to give assistance to those in the fight.

http://www.jello-wrestling.org/

Their website will give you plenty of information regarding the event and what you can do to help the HIV/AIDS cause. If you can not make it to the event, consider helping out anytime. The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation welcomes all donations, whether it is time, money, efforts with our state legislature, or prayers for the fight to one day not have to have an event like this.

That is the wish of everyone you might run across in their journey with HIV/AIDS.

If we don’t have to have the event next year due to a cure found for HIV/AIDS, it would be even better news that trying to top the donations each year.

 

http://www.saaf.org/

 

The above is the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation’s website. If you have questions regarding HIV/AIDS, you can visit it and contact someone who will assist you.

Come on down and have some real fun in the Jell-O-OH reluctant sun.

 

And, have a great time in Tucson!

 

______________________________

 

"A Dust Devil Takes Over Tucson"

 

 Tucson Indoor Sports Complex

On certain given Saturdays, over at the Tucson Indoor Sports Complex (formerly Bladeworld) at 1065 W. Grant Road  624-1234, there is a line of people eager waiting to get inside. The crowd is just as diverse as for any event in The Old Pueblo, with every demographic covered. These folks brave the heat of summer, the cold air of winter, and even the rain to get inside for the sport that they truly love.

2 women roller derby skaters photo

For numerous seasons, the Tucson Roller Derby (TRD) has called the sports complex home, hosting their league bouts, as well as bouts which invite participants from all over the U.S. It is easily a sell out and the action commences right after you walk in the door. Tucson Roller Derby may sell out their bouts at a regular pace, but the sport is still one that the general population has not fully grabbed a hold of as other popular sports.

For those of you who are not in the know, Roller Derby is an actual, league enforced sport in the U. S. and other countries. There are rules, regulations and committees that oversee all the operations to make sure that the sport is played the same in Albuquerque as it is in Honolulu. You can read all about the sport on its local website: www.tucsonrollerderby.com. You can read all about the rules, meet the participants, and see the schedule of coming bouts.

Readers get a chance to see this first hand when the Old Pueblo is once again the host for a tournament that invites league teams from all over the Western states and even further. That is the Dust Devil Tournament, which promises to be one for the ages.  Teams battle each year at the Tucson Convention Center's Arena for the crown that puts them in good position to enter the National Tournament in the coming months from then. Teams compete in the 2 day event in multiple bouts.

Tucson Roller Derby is not like any other local, collegiate, or even national level sport that you may go see. The sport has caught on world wide as a great business and empowering tool for folks who want to venture into knowing how to run a non-profit organization.

All leagues are just that. They are promoted, run and governed by the skaters and staff themselves. Annual officers are elected and groups set to handle the promotion, bout rules, safety and other elements that make the sport as fast and exciting as it can be.

So if you are tired of watching sports people make so much money it is dizzying, and want to see people who love their sport to its true form, and want to take your family to an event that is not going to drain your bank account, then Roller Derby is for you.

If you want to see empowering women of all walks of life exert their all to bring you an entertaining time, and give young ladies role models that they can look up to for their own future, Roller Derby is a place to be and experience.

Hey, if you just want to see fishnets and pads with wheels and helmets take hits that would make an NFL player pale, or if you are up for true action in The Old Pueblo that promises a good time by all, the Tucson Roller Derby is calling you.

So, head on down to one of the annual Dust Devil Tournaments and make some noise for your local teams as they take on squads from all over the United States. 

Get those tickets as soon as you can, because it is often a sell out at the center, and you don’t want to be turned away. Bring the entire family and enjoy what Tucson Roller Derby has to offer!

 

420 March-Parade

Another annual event happens on 4-20 (April 20th) of each year .

In over 300 cities, worldwide, including Tucson, there is a 420 Solidarity March to help bring to attention the importance of legalizing Medical 420 for medical patients.

Whatever your view is on medicines (drugs), the culture and the way the media has portrayed it, Medical 420 works for those suffering from many different diseases. Just some of the illnesses and or conditions that may be benefited include cancer, high blood pressure, skin problems, Hiv, Post Traumatic Stress, migraine headaches, depression, lack of appetite, epilepsy, pain control, immunological support, lung congestion expectorant, muscle problems.

Many states are now looking at evidence that has been in books for many centuries covering the benefits of Medical 420 and how it can also help the community through its taxation at numerous government levels.

You can find out more on this annual event happening every April 20th  at 3:30PM on a major Tucson street by visiting the AZ4NORM website: www.myspace.com/tucsonnorml, or  www.az4norml.org, or by calling them at (520) 323-2947.

________________________________________________________________________

"Play Ball"

 

           

            It is hoped that this installment brings insight as well as pleasure to you with the primary focus put on events in town that spark the interest of those who not only call The Old Pueblo home, but are visiting here for many reasons.

The events are not limited just to those that seem geared towards the LGBTQ community, but the entire Tucson community in general. It has been my observation that the Tucson Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Questioning, and Transengendered LGBTQ community is involved in every bit of the entire city, not just those events that are geared towards any one specific group.

             For many years, Tucson  had a pretty standard calendar from the end of January to April in regards to what events are the cornerstones of the city for residents and visitors. Those events have been a standard that has made this city the subject matter of stories, articles, media, and aspirations to those who have never even ventured Out West

             Ask any native Tucson resident what January to April holds here, and they can rattle it off without any assistance at all.

The Gem Show, Match Play, Rodeo and Parade, Mount Lemmon when it snows, Baseball Spring Training stand out as some main attractions. At one time the Mariachi Festival held a spot somewhere on that list, but that event moved to the warmer months to suffice the crowds and make it easier on the performers.

Tucson Spring Training Stadium & Fans

  One of the downfalls that has taken baseball from the American Pastime to just another reason to complain about high salaries and performance drugs is that consistency has not been on the side of the Major Leagues. Teams have been created, teams have moved away, and teams have just become a punch line for Jay Leno's jokes (has anyone ever seen the Pirates win a game?). The constant change has caused the baseball league to want to look for just about any means possible to balance its growing costs with the ever growing decreases in the fans attendance.

          

 Cactus Baseball League Teams

The teams come and go, but if you are a fan of the game of baseball, or even just like seeing rippling muscled men in nice white tight athletic pants, go check out a game in one of Tucson's two baseball stadium facilities in town.

            

1950's Tucson Baseball Spring Training Photo

                         Spring Training has been a staple of Tucson since back before Dwight Eisenhower was the President.

             Speaking of games, how about Tucson hosts the Gay Games here sometime?  Show the world how amazing our weather is this time of year?

Gay Games In Stadium

 

Just a thought there folks!    

 

Have a great time in Tucson!

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by contributors are exclusively and expressly their own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Gay Tucson News®©

its staff, or any of their advertisers.  


 

 

   

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