Consecrated to the cosmos, Sky Bar is a solar-powered caf? in the daytime and an astronomy-themed bar by night. The caf?'s solar installation uses 323 solar panels to eschew the consumption of fossil fuels and help keep the planet healthy. At night, the focus turns to celestial bodies other than our own, as images from the bar's rooftop telescope are projected inside to create a cosmic ambiance. On open-mic nights, local and traveling musicians take the stage under the auspices of host DJ Odious, whose vinyl collection includes a 7-inch cut from Saturn's rings.
The music factory of PHAT Entertainment marks its 10-year anniversary by thumping and bumping downtown Tucson with a two-day celebration of elephantine beats and contagious dance music. More than 30 performers fill two kaleidoscopic stages and one seemingly boundless clown car. The first day of PHATFest takes over the Hotel Congress, infusing both the outside stage and Club Congress’ innards with a pulsating soundtrack. Friday night's line-up features a dozen specialists in electronic euphoria, including the Arizona debut of mixologist duo Run DMT, licensed knob-twiddler DJ mLe, and the first Tucson appearance of Parisian bass-blasters Dirtyphonics, who have played some of the biggest festivals and most intimate PTA meetings in the world.
The Rialto Theatre saturates its spacious 90-year-old confines with film, comedy shows, and music performances. Groupon holders can roll into the all-ages nonprofit venue and redeem the $20 gift card for any event on the schedule. The Flor de Muertos film screening on July 22–24 explores attitudes about death in Mexico and the United States, interspersed with concert footage from Calexico ($6–$15). Laughter enthusiasts can inject humor into their veins at Doug Benson's Saturday, September 10 show ($21 in advance; $26 day of show), soaking in absurd comedy and the answers to every Magic Eye ever. Peruse the theater's photo gallery online, which displays high-profile past performances and the tasteful decorations of the Rialto.
Raising their jokes on a steady diet of worldly observation and offbeat experiences, Laffs' seasoned yuckwranglers re-release laughter into its natural habitat during their weekly standup spectacles. Guffaw-seeking guests are strapped into a pair of preferred seats before being buffeted by buffoonery as Laffs buses in an invigorative mix of nationally recognized comedians and promising local talent. Join in jesterly jabs during performances from pedigreed jokesters, including Joey Medina of the Original Latin Kings of Comedy (February 18–19) and Last Comic Standing competitor Dave Landau (March 4–5), or snicker intently through Kevin Jordan's tales of life as an L.A. police officer during the city's tumultuously delicious 2003 waffle riots (February 25–26). Check out the schedule for a full list of available show times.
Under the baton of conductor George Hanson, the TSO's string, brass, and wind ensembles will kick off the concert series with Stars of the Symphony, which showcases a glittering array of chamber gems that culminates in Handel's jubilant Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 12 in B minor. Marvelous Mozart celebrates the genius of Mozart in non-synthesized fashion with his instantly recognizable "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" before closing with the graceful complexity of Wolfgang Amadeus' Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, which he composed shortly after springing fully formed from his father's head. Schumann Romance focuses on the husband-and-wife team of Robert and Clara Schumann, particularly Robert's famous Overture, Scherzo & Finale, Op. 52 and piano concerto. Pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe will juxtapose Robert's energetic concerto with Clara's more playful, elegant Piano Trio in A Minor. The season closes with Virtuoso Violin & Haydn as concertmaster Aaron Boyd dazzle audiences with the soaring stringsmanship of Beethoven's Coriolan overture, Vieuxtemps' brilliant Violin Concerto, and Haydn's joyous 92nd Symphony (the Oxford).
Headlined by a trio of brainy joke crafters, The Evolution of Comedy Tour skewers superstition and politics from the storied stage of Laffs Comedy Caffe. Ian Harris, Jason Resler, and Maurice Northup combine skepticism, rationality, and humor to roast commonly held beliefs in the tradition of no-holds-barred social commentary. T-shirts emblazoned with the tour's logo demonstrate the wearer's logical inclinations and fear of exposing long-regretted flat-Earth chest tattoos. Over its comic-hosting career, spanning back to 1989, the brick-backed stage of Laffs Comedy Caffe has seen the observations of such beloved jokesters as Jerry Seinfeld, Mitch Hedberg, and Robin Williams.