How Merry?—Very merry. The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra presents its popular Very Merry Pops show this Friday, Dec. 22, at 8 p.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Saturday, Dec. 23, at 6 p.m. at UNM's Popejoy Hall. The program consists of fave Christmas and Hanukkah tunes along with a screening of the British animated film, The Snowman. The Albuquerque Academy Chorus and Manzano Day School Chorus will accompany. Tickets are $16 to $52 for the Popejoy show and $15 to $40 for the NHCC show. They're available at nmso.org or by calling 881-8999.
Suzanne Sbarge calls it the M-word. As far as dirty words go, this one's fairly tame, of course, and she doesn't exactly cringe when she hears it. Still, Sbarge is eager to put Magnifico, the defunct arts organization she once served as executive director, behind her.
A former Boeing employee in the early ’60s, Thomas Pynchon smuggled his knowledge of missile systems into his novels V (1963) and The Crying of Lot 49 (1966), and lambasted the depravity of air warfare in Gravity's Rainbow (1973). Now, as the elusive writer enters his 70s, America's most insistently playful-but-serious novelist aside from Kurt Vonnegut has unveiled a supersized tale in which, for once, the air might be our very salvation. Unless, of course, it is bought and controlled by industrialists—or aliens, for that matter.
Sarah Bird excels in hilarious portraits of well-meaning people, bonded in dysfunctional tribes and enslaved by compelling pursuits. Bird's latest novel, set in the University of New Mexico's flamenco program, tones down the humor in favor of a greater resonance and maturity. The wit is still there, but it's ever more mordant.