Life is a cabaret at the Preserve, inside or out! Photo courtesy of Tony DiGiorgio.

Ann Lange

On Saturday, July 13 a music-making trio featured music man extraordinaire, Chuck Moses, with musical weather and musical chairs. The mesmerizing cabaret show was preceded by an outdoor symphonic orchestra, conducted by Maestra Mother Nature, with an overture that showed no mercy – just a fierce beauty that tormented the sky, thunder that made the mountains shake and an exhilarating sky dance, ablaze with lightning.

The looming clouds did not gently etch adagio or andante across the desert land. The light, breezy air did not begin to stir lento or legato. The soft humming above did not crescendo or give prelude to the tumultuous tempo and lack of harmony that was to come. The woodwinds blew allegro into a maelstrom. The percussion clammored with tosto into thunderous drum rolls. The brass blared bravura into exploding flashes of forked firebolts. The strings plucked and pelted with tremolo, and the firmament opened full fortissimo, unleashing the rain. There was no time to say, “Ready, get set, get wet.” An enchanting evening of cabaret music on the Preserve patio turned into a helter-skelter, run-for-shelter from the swelter-pelter of monsoon madness.

Now, we wouldn’t let a weather williwaw dampen our party or rain on our parade, but when Preserve Manager Gilbert Zazueta suggested that when thunder roars, get indoors and that in a monsoon, move to the dining room, 60 wet and wild wrinkletons were eager to play musical chairs, joined by the already-seated guests, who graciously moved so that the Preserve could sit together. Those who had arrived extra early to stake out a good table on the patio, got a little sopped and then a little soaked. And without much notable ado or sing-song, these gents grabbed their gear and their gals, and even in the patio pandemonium, adhered to our strict motto: no drink left behind. When everyone was seated, plated dinners of Chef Peter’s delectable prime rib, salmon or chicken asiago were served. From the dining room windows, we witnessed Mother Nature’s dolce fifth movement – the muted rainbow, with the timid reappearance of the sun in a peaceful sky and tranquility of the first star.

The show must go on, and our captivating and charismatic crooner, Chuck Moses, sings rain or shine. No sooner had he finished setting up his “one-man band,” than the monsoon struck. Without missing a beat, the renowned local Tucson talent moved inside and set up again. Moses’ play list is extensive, and if you check it out at, you can see that the water-logged wags among us could have requested a multitude of songs such as Stormy or Ridin’ Out the Storm. However, we much preferred Moses’ hypnotic selections that wooed us into a trance, and requests such as Fly Me to the Moon filled our hearts with song for the ones beside us who still make our toes curl. Despite the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” policy, when Moses jumped into Boogie Shoes, everyone in the room, including our rocking waitstaff, kicked their shoes off and boogied down for hours. Yes, it was a marvelous night for a monsoon dance.

On a major musical scale of one to seven, our cabaret night rated seventh heaven. We experienced music, dining, SaddleBrooke camaraderie and nature at their very finest. The magic of the monsoon left the deliciously fresh scent of renewed life and the mountains beautifully verdant and efflorescent. With Bonnie Barazani as our activities chair, we know that no matter the weather, we bring our own sunshine. Perfect patio weather is way, way overrated, and the forecast at the Preserve is always “fun, with a high chance of peltering laughter.”