Happy New Year everyone! We decided to try something different this year and it turned out to be a wonderful night out on the town exploring Tucson’s historic entertainment district as part of the “First Night Tucson 2010” event. A $12 admission button earned us admission into the Beowulf Alley Theatre, the Fox Tucson Theatre, the Scottish Rite Cathedral and The Screening Room. There were plenty of other choices, including the Armory Park Center, Leo Rich Theatre, and the Tucson Museum of Arts that we didn’t quite have time to squeeze in, but we were very pleased by the remarkable selection and variety of talented performers and there were plenty of free events to choose from also, and a midnight fireworks show.
We had a quick and tasty bite to eat at Jimmy John’s sandwich shop on Congress St. before heading over to the Fox Theatre next door (17 E. Congress St) to listen to the Larry Redhouse Quartet weaving jazz, latin and funk rhythms together in the 1,100 seat theatre. This was my most relaxing experience of the night-just closing my eyes and letting the music carry me off to faraway thoughts.
With performances lasting just 45 minutes, it was an excellent opportunity to sample a variety of venues over the course of the evening. For our second, we chose to walk over to The Screening Room, another place we have never been in Tucson, to watch the year’s best short comedy films.
Next we were off to the Scottish Rite Cathedral on 160 S. Scott Ave to listen to the Santa Cruz River Band. A variety of instruments and talking in between songs cast a story-by-the-fire kind of mood as Teodoro Ramirez and Michael J. Ronstadt peformed songs in English, Spanish, Welsh and American Indian. Most was their own original work, and I enjoyed them very much. A week later I still have one of their songs in my head.
By 9 P.M. we were at the Beowulf Alley Theatre on 11 S. 6th St. to watch a one man skit called: LNT@the Alley- 3 am: In the Absence of Time and Memory, an “uproariously acerbic trot across one man’s night of anger, angst and unemployment.” Some of it was quite funny, while other parts you had to feel kind of sorry for the guy. I hope he was just acting.
We stopped back at The Screening Room to see the Best of 2009 short film winners, but to our surprise many of the comedy films we had already seen were winners so we left a little early. It was a chilly night and we decided to skip the fireworks show and head back to The Big Blue house B&B where our warm room and all its amenities awaited. We had our own suite with microwave, fridge stocked with juice and other goodies, tea, pastries, cereal, etc. The décor was fun too.
There are 7 rooms available for rent and we chose #7 “Elegant Deco.” All the rooms have full kitchens, LCD televisions with 300 channels, free WiFi, water dispensers, ozone air purifiers, their own bathroom and a private commons entrance so you can come and go as you wish. Our room was just $120 and I feel it was a bargain and would happily recommend it to others. We’ll have to do something like this again sometime. The Big Blue House is located on 144 University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85705.