UApresents is going to the dogs for its 2013-14 season - literally.
The University of Arizona arts presenter is bringing Cesar Millan, National Geographic's "The Dog Whisperer," to Centennial Hall Oct. 20 to share his canine training insights and demonstrate them on stage.
There's more wildlife headed for the UA stage: On Jan. 26, Centennial Hall will be a jungle filled with 30 animals and their expert handler, Jungle Jack Hanna.
So what do dogs and baby tigers have to do with arts, you ask?
Nothing, and everything if you are UApresents Executive Director Charles Tennes.
"You could say it's not art, but it's things people want to see. We'll get people into the hall," he said, which could in turn entice those people to buy tickets for the more artsy events in UApresents season.
And that list is pretty impressive. A sample:
• Rocker Melissa Etheridge opens the season Sept. 7 in her first Tucson appearance since 1992. She was to have played a show at Casino del Sol's AVA in 2004 but canceled after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
• Classical piano great Lang Lang returns Oct. 22 to make up for a missed date last October when Hurricane Sandy struck New York.
• Metropolitan Opera great Renée Fleming finally makes it back to Tucson in a much-anticipated encore to her nearly soldout 2002 UApresents concert. She's here May 14, 2014.
• Dance gets an urban twist with the French hip-hop troupe Compagnie Kafig on Jan. 18. Other dance highlights include UA's own "Premium Blend" Oct. 24 to Nov. 2; the Tucson debut of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet on Feb. 1; and the return of the popular Joffrey Ballet doing "American Legends" March 23.
• UApresents is moving outside of Centennial Hall for several shows including Arturo Sandoval (Oct. 19) and A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald (March 1) at Fox Tucson Theatre; and young jazzman Jonathan Batiste and the Stay Human Band Nov. 7 through 9 in the lobby of Club Congress. (Tennes said he hopes to recreate the feel of a Greenwich Village bar by putting the show at the intimate Hotel Congress space.)
• UApresents teams up with Broadway in Tucson, which will mount its season at Centennial Hall, for Green Day's critically acclaimed musical "American Idiot" on Dec. 7 and 8.
• Irish ensemble Danú plays the Fox March 4 in what surely will be a highlight of the world music series that includes the Soweto Gospel Choir on April 18.
• The Zoppé Family Circus returns for the third straight year for shows Jan. 10 through 12 at Reid Park. On Jan. 11, UApresents will hold its sixth annual Children's Festival in conjunction with the circus at Reid Park.
Tickets are $25-$150 and discounts are available when packages of four or more or eight or more shows are purchased. Season packages are available starting at 10 a.m. today for subscribers; May 20 for new subscribers, and individual tickets go on sale June 10. 621-3341. For the complete schedule, see azstarnet.com/calientetunedin