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December 7, 2010


There's something special about New Year's Eve - the desire to either savor the joy or drown the regret of the year that has just passed, the virgin hope of a better year forthcoming, the bittersweet embrace of the complexity of human relationships.

Should old acquaintance be forgot...

But nevermind all that jive - we're here to tell you about a party so sweeping, so dramatic, so, um, kickass, it could conceivably change your gait, or possibly your handed-ness.

Photo credit: Omer Kreso

In these uncertain times, we concluded the best approach would be to theme our party around a bygone era that is comforting at the same time as it hints at the trepidation of a world in the midst of war. That and we've always been taken with the grandeur of Hollywood's Golden Age. Given that our headlining musical act, Tucson's Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta (featuring Salvador Duran), intends to thoroughly embrace the Big Band era (Ellington, Basie, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, et al - they're even changing their name for the night, to 'Sergio Mendoza and His Orchestra'!), we thought, "Hey, let's theme the party around 'Casablanca'!" We recognize that this makes no sense whatsoever, but we plan to conceal our gimmick with smoke and mirrors and white tuxedos and press releases like this here.

Photo credit: Omer Kreso

Speaking of which, what say we make with some details? Most importantly, we need to get the word out that this New Year's Eve Casablanca party is happening on December 31st, 2010, at 8 pm until the legally mandated 2 am closing time. We don't want anybody showing up in 2011 or '12 and missing this year's fun.

We have joined forces with the shadowy conspiracy known as Powhaus Productions, and Produce they shall, all manner of thematically pertinent performances and details. It is their intent to transport us all to Morocco, at least in spirit (although don't blame us if you actually wake up in Marrakesh). This means the Rialto Theatre, which undoubtedly screened 'Casablanca' when it was first released theatrically back in November of 1942 (imagine that!) will appear to have been transformed into Rick's Café Américain. or as reasonable a facsimile thereof as our (admittedly modest) budget permits.

Photo credit: Omer Kreso

Therefore we will have dancers and pianos and gendarmes, although we'd be shocked, shocked! if there was any illegal gambling afoot. Nods to it, however, may be in evidence. What else? Cigarette girls, torch singing by Lola Torch (natch) of Black Cherry Burlesque, Clif Taylor (aka Chick Cashman) and his new thematically-appropriately-named band The Tangiers performing guerilla-style. You'll be dancing along to a difficult-to-pull-off blend of contemporary jams and uptempo swing from the '40s courtesy of DJ Buttafly. Plus Brian Eichhorst on the 88 keys will hold it down like Sam in Rick's Café, only he'll be in our lobby and he's white. But other than that, you know, authentico!

Your hosts for the evening, Kitty Kat, Nadine Roselle, and Diamond Dallas of the aforementioned Powhaus gang, are expecting you to dress to the nines, or at the very least the sevens. A champagne (our legal team advises us to say 'sparkling wine,' but it's their nature to be prescriptivists and ours to defy authority) toast at midnight is included with all tickets, as are sundry party favors and noisemakers. The Countdown (not, it should be noted, the 'Final Countdown' - Europe was already booked) will take place on a Human Clock, if you can believe such a thing. We've purchased nearly every balloon and shred of confetti available on the Western Seaboard (and by that we mean 'Greater Tucson' but we've just always wanted to say 'Western Seaboard,' because no one ever says that, you know?) A coat check will also be available, and although we won't be thrilled about it, we won't throw paint on you if you sport a fur, prioritizing thematic sartorial historicity over contemporary animal rights, as is our charge. But don't go buying a new mink just for this event.

For the Very Important among Tucson's denizens, we are offering something Very Special as well - you see, Sergio Mendoza and His Orchestra are setting up on the floor of the Theatre, and so VIP ticket purchasers will have exclusive access to the Rialto's stage, to hang out and revel and literally look down upon the rest of us. The $35 we are asking for such access is, we feel, a small price to pay to be placed on the proverbial pedestal. Not only that, we've never done this before - think of the pictures you'll be able to post to YouFace and TweetHer. You can pretend like you're Snoop Dogg or Morrissey or Gregg Allman or any of hundreds of the legends who have tread upon that august precipice. Only you'll be the first to ever do it as a patron.

Photo credit: Omer Kreso

For the Hoi Polloi, we're offering a bargain so extreme, it may just put us out of business. Well, not really. But dig if you will - tickets are only $15 for a limited time and only $20 after that limited time is up. We're being cryptic, sure, but a little mystery keeps us all on our toes. Also we want you to get out there and buy some danged tickets! Can you blame us for wanting to share this much splendor with as many people as space permits?

Tickets are on sale now online at www.rialtotheatre.com, the Rialto box office (M-F, 12-6), by phone (520.740.1000), or at any Bookmans Entertainment Exchange.


Posted by rialtoadmin at December 7, 2010 11:17 AM


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BOX OFFICE : 318 E. Congress St. Tucson, AZ 85701   HOURS : M-F 12-6pm   PH : (520) 740-1000
The Historic Rialto Theatre, Established 1920

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