You know how a caterpillar hangs out in a chrysalis, safe from outside elements until the timing is right to emerge and transform into a butterfly?
That’s kind of what it’s felt like throughout Tucson’s live entertainment industry since the COVID-19 pandemic closed everything down in March 2020.
Orchestras, theater troupes, choirs and rock bands all hunkered down waiting for the timing to be right to re-emerge in a quasi post-pandemic world.
We’re there — sort of.
While everyone has planned out big back-to-live-entertainment seasons with uplifting titles like Arizona Friends of Chamber Music‘s “A Fresh Season” and True Concord Voices & Orchestra‘s “A New Day: Imagine A World Transformed,” COVID numbers are still registering north of where health officials had hoped and the number of people getting vaccinated is far south of where we thought we’d be.
Which is why Tucson’s largest independent venues — Fox Tucson Theatre, Rialto Theatre and Hotel Congress — have adopted stricter COVID-19 protocols including that ticketholders provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test before attending an event.
That policy, adopted by independent venues around the country, went into effect Sept. 20, and Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Arizona Friends of Chamber Music are among the arts organizations following suit.
As Fox Executive Director Bonnie Schock said recently, if venues don’t ensure that audiences and artists feel safe coming back to the theater, the industry will suffer.
“If the music industry is to survive, we must do this,” she said.
We encourage you to research the protocols before you buy a ticket or head out to a venue for a show. We also expect some events will be postponed or called off as a result of the health situation.
Tucson arts organizations and venues have combined to present well over 100 events between now and the end of December, from rock shows and festivals to symphonies and Broadway plays including the highly anticipated 2½-week run of “Hamilton” Nov. 17-Dec. 5. We’ve compiled the lists to help you plan out your perfect return to live performances.
Arizona Arts Live
Formerly UA Presents, the University of Arizona arts presenter hosts events at venues throughout Tucson in a variety of genres from music to performance art. Find more information or get tickets at arizonaartslive.com.
Cartography live documentary, Oct. 27-29, UA Marroney Theatre
The University of Arizona theater presents professional-quality performances by students at the Tornabene Theatre on campus. Get tickets through theatre.arizona.edu
“Into the Woods,” Oct. 10-24.
“Three Sisters,” Nov. 7-21.
“Everybody,” Dec. 3-5.
Performances are at the Temple of Music and Art downtown. Get tickets through arizonatheatre.org.
“My 80-year-old Boyfriend,” Sept. 25-Oct. 16.
“Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley,” Nov. 6-Dec. 4.
The arts education program is the regional leader in musical theater. Tickets and details through arts-express.org.
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” Oct. 22-31.
“White Christmas,” Dec. 3-19.
Performances are held at Centennial Hall on the UA campus. Tickets through broadwayintucson.com.
“Alton Brown Live: Beyond the Eats,” Nov. 10.
“Hamilton,” Nov. 17-Dec. 5.
Family friendly performances include matinee shows. Tickets through the thegaslighttheatre.com.
“Frankenstein,” now through Nov. 7.
“Elf’d,” Nov. 11-Jan. 2.
The company is in its 50th season. Performances are at its venue. Get tickets through invisibletheatre.com.
“Looped” by Matthew Lombardo, now through Sept. 26.
50th Anniversary Retro-Spectacular Cabaret, Oct. 30-31.
The company mounts a children’s theater program in addition to its mainstage performances. Tickets and reservations through livetheatreworkshop.org
Tyler West’s “The Conundrum at Camp Catalina,” now through Sept. 26.
Steven Dietz’s “Bloomsday,” now through Oct. 9.
Performances are at the West Campus on Anklam Road. Tickets through pima.edu/centerforthearts.
“Little Shop of Horrors, “ Nov. 11-21.
“Elf Elegies: Essential Workers of the North Pole,” Dec. 4-5.
In addition to the live performance, the theater is offering video options for those who aren’t comfortable returning to in-person performances. Tickets and details at theroguetheatre.org.
“The Awakening” by Kate Chopin, now through Sept. 26.
Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” Nov. 4-21.
The award-winning professional company has dubbed its fifth season “Dreams of A New World.” Tickets through scoundrelandscamp.org
“Babel,” now through Oct. 3.
“Mary’s Wedding,” Oct. 21-Nov. 7.
“A Sonoran Desert Carol,” Dec. 9-19.
Performances are held at Desert View High School, 4101 E. Valencia Road. Tickets through sapactucson.org
“Nunsense,” Sept. 24-Oct. 3.
Sept. 26 — Rickie Lee Jones, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Sept. 27 — Waxahatchee, Hotel Congress Plaza.
Sept. 30 — Shannon & The Clams, Hotel Congress Plaza.
Oct 1 — Realize CD release party, Club Congress.
Oct. 1 — Cleopatrick, 191 Toole.
Oct. 1-3 — Tucson Music & Film Festival, The Screening Room.
Oct. 2 — Algiers, Club Congress.
Oct. 5 — Butcher Babies, 191 Toole.
Oct. 8 — Champagne Drip, 191 Toole.
Oct. 9 — Tommie Sunshine, 191 Toole.
Oct. 9 — Angel Du$t, Club Congress.
Oct. 10 — Sweeping Promises, Club Congress.
Oct. 13 — Exsul, Club Congress.
Oct. 14 — Limbeck, Club Congress.
Oct. 15 — Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 16 — The Score, Club Congress.
Oct. 16 — The Psychedelic Furs, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 16 — Tops, 191 Toole.
Oct. 17 — Skillet, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 19 — Candlebox, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 21 — Black Jacket Symphony, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 22 — The Fab Four Ultimate Tribute, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 22 — Chris Isaak, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Oct. 22 — Post Animal and Hot Flash Heat Wave, 191 Toole.
Oct. 23 — Starcrawler, 191 Toole.
Oct. 26 — Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening, Tucson Music Hall.
Oct. 27 — Squirrel Nut Zippers, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 29 — Circle Jerks, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 29 — Mayer Hawthorne, Hotel Congress Plaza.
Nov. 1 — Heartless Bastards, 191 Toole.
Nov. 1 — George Clanton, Club Congress.
Nov. 2 — Kikagaku Moyo, Hotel Congress Plaza.
Nov. 3 — Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular, Rialto Theatre.
Nov. 3 — Japanese Breakfast, Club Congress.
Nov. 3 — Code Orange, 191 Toole.
Nov. 4 — Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers, 191 Toole.
Nov. 5 — Snarky Puppy, Rialto Theatre.
Nov. 5 — Crystal Method, 191 Toole.
Nov. 5 — Atlanta Rhythm Section, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Nov. 6 — Blue Oyster Cult, Rialto Theatre.
Nov. 7 — Blackberry Smoke, Rialto Theatre.
Nov. 8 — Ohtis, Club Congress.
Nov. 10 — Negativland, Club Congress.
Nov. 11 — The Meteors, Club Congress.
Nov. 12 — The Beach Boys, AVA.
Nov. 13 — Birdtalker, 191 Toole.
Nov. 13 — REO Speedwagon, Tucson Music Hall.
Nov. 13-14 — Dusk Music Festival, Jacome Plaza.
Nov. 15 — Grayscale, 191 Toole.
Nov. 16 — Death Bells, Club Congress.
Nov. 19 — The Black Angels, 191 Toole.
Nov. 19 — GWAR, Rialto Theatre.
Nov. 20 — Igor & the Red Elvises, 191 Toole.
Nov. 23 — Black Label Society, Rialto Theatre.
Nov. 26 — Black Veil Brides, Rialto Theatre.
Nov. 28 — Tonstartssbandht, Club Congress.
Dec. 5 — Katzú Oso, Club Congress.
Dec. 7 — Luna Luna, Club Congress.
Dec. 13 — Deeper Graves, Club Congress.
Dec. 29 — Buckcherry, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 2 — Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 8 — Asleep at the Wheel, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Oct. 8 — Midland, AVA.
Oct. 14 — Robert Earl Keen, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 22 — Gary Allan, Tucson Music Hall.
Oct. 24 — Amy Grant, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Oct. 31 — Jamey Johnson, Rialto Theatre.
Nov. 5 — Martina McBride, Tucson Music Hall.
Nov. 6 — Michigan Rattlers, 191 Toole.
Nov. 6 — Zach Williams, Tucson Music Hall.
Nov. 11 — Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Rialto Theatre.
Nov. 26 — Sara Evans, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Dec. 3 — Bartees Strange, 191 Toole.
Dec. 5 — Lindsey Buckingham, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Dec. 6 — Purity Ring, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 1 — Tech N9ne, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 18 — Isaiah Rashad, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 22 — 98 Degrees and Bell Biv DeVoe, AVA.
Oct. 30 — Boldy James, 191 Toole.
Nov. 2 — OhGeesy of Shoreline Mafia, Rialto Theatre.
Nov. 17 — San Holo, Rialto Theatre.
Sept. 29 — Zoe, Rialto Theatre.
Sept. 30 — Metalachi, 191 Toole.
Oct. 8 — Las Cafeteras (Arizona Arts Live), MSA Annex.
Oct. 8 — Le Vent du Nord, Berger Performing Arts Center.
Oct. 12 — The High Kings, Rialto Theatre.
Oct. 19 — Gabriel Ayala, Hotel Congress Plaza.
Oct. 27 — Little Jesus, Club Congress.
Oct. 28 — Mon Laferte, Rialto Theatre.
Nov. 13 — Lisa Morales Band, Hotel Congress Plaza.
Dec. 9 — Mariachi Sol de Mexico, Fox Tucson.
Dec. 10 — An Irish Christmas, Rialto Theatre.
Dec. 11 — Revolución de Amor, Rialto Theatre.
Dec. 16 — Mary Lattimore, Club Congress.
Sept. 25 — TKMA fundraiser, Monterey Court.
Sept. 27 — Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, 191 Toole.
Sept. 26 — Samantha Fish, 191 Toole.
Oct. 5 — Pat Metheny, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Oct. 8 — Lizzy & the Triggermen, Hotel Congress Plaza.
Oct. 16 — Fall Blues Revue with Bob Margolin, MSA Annex.
Oct. 26 — Lydia Loveless and Lilly Hiatt, Club Congress.
Nov. 6 — Tommy Emmanuel, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Nov. 7 — Boney James, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Nov. 9 — JD Simo, 191 Toole.
Nov. 12 — Slaid Cleaves and Robbie Fulks, 191 Toole.
Nov. 21 — Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, Rialto. Theatre
Nov. 21 — Paul Thorn Band, Hotel Congress Plaza.
Nov. 24 — Gregory Alan Isakov, Rialto Theatre.
Nov. 27 — Jake Shimabukuro, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Dec. 1 — Louis Prima Jr. & the Witnesses, Hotel Congress. Plaza
Dec. 3 — Ann Hampton Callaway, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Dec. 4 — Mary Chapin Carpenter, Marc Cohn, Shawn Colvin, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Dec. 11 — The Robert Cray Band, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Dec. 11 — Slim Jim Phantom Trio, Club Congress.
Dec. 17 — Pokey LaFarge, Fox Tucson Theatre.
Dec. 19 — Béla Fleck, Sam Bush and others, Fox Tucson. Theatre
Sept. 24 — Kyle Kinane, 191 Toole.
Oct. 2 — George Lopez, AVA.
Oct. 3 — Jeff Dunham, Tucson Arena.
Oct. 16 — John Cleese, Tucson Music Hall.
Oct. 28 — Paula Poundstone, Fox Tucson.
Nov. 11 — Randy Rainbow, Fox Tucson.
Nov. 13 — Ryan Hamilton, Rialto Theatre.
Nov. 13 — Gabriel Iglesias, AVA.
Dec. 1 — Kevin Nealon, Rialto Theatre.
Get tickets and more information at arizonaartslive.com.
“A Thousand Thoughts,” film and live performance by Kronos Quartet, Nov. 11, Centennial Hall.
The group is celebrating its 40th season. Arizona Early Music is requiring audience members to be fully vaccinated or have proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of the event. Get tickets through azearlymusic.org.
Aulos Ensemble final tour, Nov. 14, Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Concerts are presented at Leo Rich Theatre unless noted. Those attending in-person performances must be fully vaccinated. Concerts also will be available online. Tickets are available through arizonachambermusic.org.
Pianist Maxim Lando, Oct. 17, UA’s Holsclaw Hall.
Jerusalem Quartet, Oct. 27.
Hermitage Piano Trio, Nov. 10.
Juilliard String Quartet, Nov. 17.
Cellist Jonathan Swensen and pianist Noreen Cassidy-Polera, Nov. 21.
St. Lawrence String Quartet, Dec. 8.
The volunteer choir performs at local churches. The ensemble, under the baton of Ryan Phillips, will perform a holiday concert on the following dates:
• Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Dec. 10
• Christ the King Episcopal Church, Dec. 12
• St. Albans Episcopal Church, Dec. 17
• Christ Church United Methodist, Dec. 19
Performances are at Tucson Music Hall and the Temple of Music & Art as noted. Get tickets through azopera.org.
“The Copper Queen” film, available online in October. Requires ticket to access stream.
“El Milagro del Recuerdo” (The Miracle of Remembering), Dec. 11 and 12 at the Temple of Music & Art.
The community orchestra, under the baton of Conductor Charles Bontrager, is in its 45th season of presenting free concerts. For details, visit cotmusic.org
“Triple Threat” tribute to Beethoven, Oct. 23 at Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene; and Oct. 24 at UA’s Crowder Hall.
“Made in America, Part II,” Dec. 4 at Valley Presbyterian Church in Green Valley, Dec. 5 at Christ Church United Methodist.
The 60-voice community choir is celebrating its seventh year. Get tickets through heliosensemble.org
Bach, Price, Brahms & Bruckner Motets, Nov. 7, Catalina United Methodist Church.
Performances are held at Pima College west’s Center for the Arts on West Anklam Road. Get tickets through pima.edu/centerforthearts.
Soprano Kirsten C. Kunkle and pianist Kassandra Weleck, Sept. 26.
Performing arts showcase, Oct. 17.
Guitarist Michael Lich, Oct. 21.
Cellist Juan David Mejia, Oct. 23.
Jazz ensemble, Dec. 1.
Wind ensemble, Dec. 2.
Guitar ensemble, Dec. 3.
Orchestra, Dec. 4.
Chorale and college singers, Dec. 5.
The volunteer community orchestra performs at DesertView Performing Arts Center in SaddleBrooke on Saturdays and at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Tucson on Sundays. Get tickets through sasomusic.org
Verdi and Grieg, Oct. 16-17.
Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns and Mendelssohn, Nov. 13-14.
The professional choir performs at venues throughout Tucson and in Green Valley as noted. Get tickets through trueconcord.org.
“From Darkness to Light,” Oct. 22 Green Valley’s Valley Presbyterian Church, Oct. 23-24 at Catalina Foothills High School.
“From Conflict to Peace,” Nov. 19 at Valley Presbyterian Church, Nov. 20-21 at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Oro Valley.
“From Anticipation to Joy: Lessons & Carols by Candlelight,” Dec. 9 at St. Philip’s In the Hills Episcopal Church, Dec. 10 at Green Valley’s St. Francis in the Valley Episcopal Church, Dec. 11-12 (matinee only) at Catalina United Methodist Church, Dec. 12 evening at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.
The community chorus has been around since 1949 and performs several concerts a year. Tickets and details at tucsonmasterworkschorale.org
Fall concert, Nov. 21, Catalina Foothills Church.
The orchestra performs its classical concerts at Tucson Music Hall and its MasterWorks concerts at Catalina Foothills High School. TSO is requiring audience members to be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID test 72 hours before a concert. Tickets are available through tucsonsymphony.org.
Tchaikovsky Fourth opening night with violinist Lara St. John, Sept. 24 and 26.
Mozart’s “Jupiter,” with cellist Amit Peled, Oct. 15 and 17.
Scheherazade with pianist Joyce Yang, Nov. 12 and 14.
The Thrill of Tchaikovsky, Dec. 10 and 12.
Brahms and Mozart, Oct. 2-3.
Mozart Symphony No. 40, Nov. 6-7.
Messiah, Carols and Songs, with vocal soloists, Dec. 18-19, at Catalina Foothills High School.
Performances are on campus in Holsclaw and Crowder halls. Get tickets through music.arizona.edu
Arizona Symphony Orchestra, Sept. 25 and Nov. 20.
Faculty bassoonist Marissa Olegario, Sept. 29.
“Music + Festival 2021: Nadia Boulanger and her students,” Oct. 8-10, school of music.
UA Philharmonic Orchestra, Oct. 8, Dec. 3.
UA Wind Symphony, Oct. 14.
UA Wind Ensemble, Oct. 15.
Arizona Wind Quintet, Oct. 21.
Opera Theatre: Copland’s “The Tender Land,” Oct. 28-31.
19th annual Octubafest, Oct. 28 and 31.
68th annual Band Day, Oct. 30, Arizona Stadium.
Chamber Music Soiree, Nov. 3.
Malleus Percussion, Nov. 4.
3rd annual UA Saxophone Day, Nov. 7.
University Community Chorus, Nov. 7.
2nd annual Tucson HarpFest, Nov. 12-13.
Collegium Musicum, Nov. 14.
An Evening of Opera Scenes, Nov. 18
Baritone Andrew Stucky and pianist Douglas Kinney Frost, Nov. 19.
2021 Vocal Arts Showcase, Nov. 20.
Coro Choral Ensemble, Nov. 21.
Treble Glee, Nov. 21.
Mariachi Arizona, Nov. 23.
Steel Pan Ensemble, Nov. 28.
Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet, Dec. 1.
UA Jazz Band and Studio Jazz Ensemble “Beyond the Pandemic,” Dec. 1.
UA jazz combos, Dec. 2.
UA Wind Ensemble, Dec. 4.
William Wolfe Guitar Award Recital, Dec. 5.
Undergraduate Percussion Ensemble, Dec. 5.
Fred Fox Graduate Brass Quintet, Dec. 5.
UA Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band, Dec. 7.
Tucson New Horizons Band, Dec. 12.
String Chamber Music, Dec. 14.
Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at email@example.com. On Twitter @Starburch
Contact reporter Gerald M. Gay at firstname.lastname@example.org.