Top Tix

Nutcracker2_bySharenBradfordHoliday shows are thick on the ticket-buyer’s table in December, when venues lay out their yummiest confections for the family to savor.

Santa Fe Opera puts on a distinctly New Mexican pageant with Shoes for the Santo Niño at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on the first weekend and The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis on the second weekend. This 40-minute children’s opera is based on the story by Peggy Pond Church out of Northern New Mexico Hispanic and Native American folklore. Composer Stephen Paulus and librettist Andrea Fellows Walters were commissioned by the University of New Mexico to write this work first performed in 2011, and Kathleen Clawson stage directs.

Dec. 1-2, nhcc.com, 505.724.4771; Dec. 8-9, santafeopera.org, 505.986.5900

Popejoy Hall serves up a yummy assortment of treats for your pleasure each December. Any one of these selections would brighten my holiday—all of them together would leave me exhausted in January, but with a smile on my face. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder was the 2014 Tony Winner for Best Musical and the touring company kicks off the month. As far as I can tell, it has not much to do with Christmas, which recommends it in itself. Then Mannheim Steamroller Christmas and Mariachi Christmas appear, each an annual sell-out among fans. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol does a one-nighter just before the holiday, and we are left with plenty of time for last-minute shopping and private feasting.

Dec. 7-22, see separate listings for above shows, unmtickets.com, 505.925.5858

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Art Buzz – Dec 2017—Jan 2018

Albuquerque   

KArl_Hofmann_FINAL516 ARTS presents In the Balance, a large-scale installation by Karl Hofmann, an Albuquerque-based artist with a lot of international exposure. His solo project was commissioned to transform the windows and entrance of the gallery, in part to “engage the cityscape and street traffic in Downtown Albuquerque with non-traditional visual art.” Hoffman uses repurposed scrap building materials to surprising effect, and says, “The title of this project references the profound sense of uncertainty I feel as much of the world seems to teetering between order and chaos.” Check it out from Dec. 1 (when the opening reception’s held in conjunction with First Friday Artscrawl) through Jan. 13. Details at 516arts.org.

Hosted by 516 ARTS in partnership with the Albuquerque Museum, a dynamic show titled The US / Mexico Border: Place, Imagination and Possibility, co-curated by Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims and Ana Elena Mallet, opens in the new year on Jan. 13 and runs through Apr. 15 at the Museum, and Jan. 27 through April 14 at 516 ARTS. The idea is to feature designers and artists working along the US/Mexico border. This is an opportunity to understand what their lives are like in that region of the world and experience images of the migrant-citizen hybrid culture. Details at: 516arts.org and albuquerquemuseum.org. Continue reading

The Buzz – Dec 2017—Jan 2018

Albuquerque

Anything dubbed “nosh” is probably pretty much right up our alley. So when we’re told the ABQ NoshFest is coming to town, our buzzers go off, so to speak. Lovers of all things food and fun, Jan. 14, 2018, is your day. The event celebrates Jewish heritage, bringing to Embassy Suites Hotel the best in Jewish cuisine—from Nosh-talks to a Latke and Vodka tasting, from a Kugel Cook-off to Baillo’s Football Play-off Zone, plus a kid zone, shopping and a raffle—and the money raised benefits the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque. The community center assists homeless families and children; provides summer camp, swim lessons and early childhood education scholarships; supports people with disabilities; helps wounded warriors and beyond. JCC Executive Director Dave Simon says in a press release, “We are pleased that local favorite food establishments have stepped up to the plate to prepare and serve popular Jewish foods not easily found in our city.” Visit abqnoshfest.com; as they say, “Whatever you nosh, you’ll nosh it at the first annual ABQ NoshFest.” Mazel tov!

The Pueblo Harvest Café at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, which was among the first restaurants in the United States to offer pre-colonization dishes, recently launched its new winter menu, which includes several dishes created solely from ingredients present in North America before European contact and colonization. The menu includes an earthy corn-broth-based stew and game meats a-plenty. The dishes highlight Native cuisine and tradition, and abound in the flavors of an Indigenous diet that aren’t as well known to mainstream culinary audiences. “This pre-contact menu is our take on this growing movement of celebrating Native cuisine,” Executive Chef David Ruiz says. “I wanted the stories we’re telling through the food to reflect the stories being told in the museum, what I call the Pueblo-to-table story.” And for those of us who already have a go-to dish on the menu, many post-contact favorites remain to tantalize wintry taste buds. Visit indianpueblo.org. Continue reading

The Buzz – November 2017

Albuquerque

Happy birthday to Flying Star Café! Indeed time does fly, for this month marks the beloved restaurant’s 30th anniversary. And of course, while it is Flying Star’s birthday, their presence in our community has been the real gift to us… As they put it in an email, “We’ve been baking, cooking and creating community from scratch since 1987.” But in honor of its anniversary, the café—all six of its locations—is celebrating its triple-dime milestone with an extra-special treat for its customers. “We invite foodies and dessert lovers throughout our city to join us Nov. 7, 14, 21 or 28 for this wonderful anniversary celebration,” they write. That’s to say, all day each Tuesday in November, the café’s award-winning cakes and pies are going for just three bucks a slice—while they last of course, so fly ye to the Star! Not to mention, check out Executive Pastry Chef Willem Blom’s 30th Anniversary Maple Caramel Checkerboard in the bakery case starting Nov. 1. “It is our way of saying Thank You to the ABQ community for their incredible support and loyalty over the past 30 years.” Thank you, Flying Star, we’ve been lucky to have you here these past several decades…and here’s to many more.

Word has it local favorite Bosque Brewing Co. plans on expanding by about 4,000 square feet with a new, yet-to-be-built, three-story brewing facility (with a rooftop patio, to boot). Yeah, Bosque! We can’t wait. Continue reading

The Art Buzz – November 2017

Albuquerque

More than 80 New Mexico juried artists and artisans show their arts and crafts at the 36th annual Placitas Holiday Fine Arts & Crafts Sale, Nov. 18 and 19. While you browse, enjoy good food and fine local wine. There are three sites to choose from and you should choose them all: Placitas Elementary School, the big tent east of the Presbyterian Church, and the Anasazi Fields Winery. Details at placitasholidaysale.com.

What can you expect from Thanksgiving Holiday weekend other than many opportunities to shop? Well, the 18th annual Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival, Nov. 24-26 at the Lujan Exhibit Complex at Expo New Mexico Fairgrounds is not any old opportunity. Shop from the works of 185 of the best artists and craftsmen from all over the country, and enjoy ongoing entertainment in the form of professional pianists, carolers, mariachis and more. Even Santa Claus will be in attendance! This family oriented event also features dozens of ‘Artists at Work’ and a Kids’ Creation Station! Details at riograndefestivals.com/festivals/holiday-show. Continue reading

Top Tix

“A working musician is all I ever wanted to be,” Alejandro Escovedo says. That he is, and you can hear him in an intimate setting at GiG Performance Space courtesy of AMP Concerts. Roots-rock, punk rock…he always sounded like a version of Dylan to me. I’m not saying he’s derivative, not at all, but just as honest and poetic as ol’ Bobby—that’s what I hear when he writes and sings his own stuff. Alejandro’s on his Burn Something Beautiful tour, and Santa Fe will embrace him. One of the cuts on this album is “I Don’t Want To Play Guitar Anymore.” Don’t believe it. Nov. 4, AMPconcerts.org, holdmyticket.com

Because FUSION Theatre Company always sells out its shows, include Fulfillment Center in your early November plans at The FUSION Forum, the newly re-christened Cell Theatre (plus) in ABQ. This play is fresh from The Manhattan Theatre Club, but playwright Abe Koogler is from New Mexico; his parents live in Santa Fe. FUSION was searching for a Santa Fe venue as of press time. Continue reading