Center Stage – Performance Buzz October 2017

Teatro Paraguas offers up a gem in Sotto Voce by Nilo Cruz (Anna in the Tropics), a play that personalizes the 1939 “Voyage of the Damned,” when Cuba, the U.S. and Canada turned away Jewish émigrés, sending nearly half of them back to their deaths in Europe. Bernadette, a German-born novelist, and Saquiel, a young Jewish-Cuban man, correspond by phone and email until she gives up her story to him, and perhaps her heart.

Here is insight into a certain scene, from impresario Argos MacCallum: “Stage left is the writer’s apartment; Saquiel is stage right, on the street. Lucila (Bernadette’s maid, an immigrant from Colombia) is a go-between. Saquiel invites Lucila to a dance class. As they dance, they transform into Ariel Strauss (Bernadette’s old lover) and Ariel’s sister Nina on board the S.S. St. Louis.” It’s haunting.

Through Oct. 15, teatroparaguas.com, 505.424.1601.

Let’s see scary plays in the summer, when we need the chills. The Turn of the Screw at Aux Dog Theatre Nob Hill is going to keep me up these autumn nights. Director Barry Simon has nefarious plans for this show, based on Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation of the novella by Henry James. “There will be two actors. The woman will play the governess, and the man will play everyone else, including the little boy and the housekeeper, Mrs. Grose,” he says.

The “turn of the screw” refers to the medieval practice of squeezing the sin out of sinners. Are the children bad? Do the characters see ghosts or don’t they? As to the latter, I’m hoping the answer is “no.”

Oct. 20-Nov. 12, auxdogtheatre.org, 505.254.7716.

‘Fraidy cats should probably stay away from The Lensic on Oct. 21 when John Waters pops up courtesy of Santa Fe Independent Film Festival and Meow Wolf. His This Filthy World: Dirtier & Filthier is a revised version of the stand-up act the Sultan of Sleaze performs about his life and work. He’s cute as a button; only, the anecdotes about show biz are scary.

Oct. 21, lensic.org,ticketssantafe.org, 505.988.1234.

It’s still not safe at The Lensic later in the month, when the venerable venue presents The 5 Browns. It’s hard not to speak of them in circus-barker superlatives (Five pianos! 440 keys! Accepted at Juilliard en masse!). Read about their extraordinary story online before you go (the5browns.com) but sit back and listen to what is certain to be an unforgettable experience. And they’re even cuter than John Waters.

Oct. 27, lensic.org, ticketssantafe.org, 505.988.1234.

Chatter is on a mission to expand their audiences before the die-hard core of us, well, die. To that end, they have added At Dialogue to their selections. At Dialogue is a late-night, modern music experiment aimed at young urbanites with a taste for craft beer from Dialogue Brewing across the street from Las Puertas, the Chatter Sunday venue. Taglined “night sounds for the adventurous listener,” doors open at 8 p.m. on a chosen weeknight; in this case, Oct. 3, a Tuesday. The cover is $15 with a cash bar to hear David Felberg on violin and James Shields on clarinet play numbers like David Lang’s “Killer.”

Oct. 3, chatterabq.org.

Entreflamenco reports that their new choreography is in place at El Flamenco de Santa Fe through Oct.14. The beer and wine license should follow quickly to accompany the tapas you can enjoy from Andalucia during the dance performances. With a new guitarist to accompany Antonio Granjero and his dancers, this outstanding troupe entertains and teaches, too. Such a good neighbor.

Through Oct. 14,entreflamenco.com, 505.209.1302.

Opera Southwest knows how to have fun, because their Rossini-scholar Maestro, Anthony Barrese, has a wonderful sense of humor. At a fundraiser in August (called Rooftop Rossini because it was held atop the Banque Lofts on Central Avenue in Albuquerque), he said, “The mark of a true gentleman is that he can talk about ‘William Tell’ without ever mentioning ‘The Lone Ranger.’”

Barrese is conducting William Tell this month for OSW and has made judicious cuts to get it under three hours, with one intermission. Thank you, Maestro.

The opera features Baritone Sean Anderson as Guillaume Tell (it’s in French, don’t cha know); he has taken up archery and will be giving lessons this month to high-dollar donors. Soprano Sharin Apostolou will sing the role of Jemmy, Tell’s son, from whose head he shoots the apple. Stage Director Nathaniel Merchant is a New Yorker and a foodie, and we must get him to Santa Fe for a dinner or two, because he already visited Albuquerque’s best restaurants when he was in town directing Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. I know; I handed him the list at lunch.

Oct. 22-29, operasouthwest.org, 505.243.0591.

Unsettled. That’s how Director Scott Harrison wants you to feel witnessing The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s classic depiction of an American witch hunt, while you’re sitting in the cauldron-like performance space at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe.

“The actors have several different ways to get onto the stage,” Harrison says. “You never know who’s whispering behind you, who is observing you, where they will come from next. We want the audience to be as immersed in the story as possible.” The Crucible opens on Halloween weekend, of course. Actors Equity member David Anderson stars as John Proctor.

Oct. 26-Nov. 12, ironweedsantafe.com, 505.927.5406.

by Stephanie Hainsfurther


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