It’s got soaring musical numbers (literally), flamboyant costumes, one of the best damn sets we’ve ever seen and captivating national talent. Plus, it’s about witches and magic ... and flying monkeys.
2) Tie: Bless Me, Ultima (joint production of The Vortex and the National Hispanic Cultural Center), Under the Big Top (Blackout Theatre Company) 3) Guys and Dolls Jr. (The Box Performance Space's Cardboard Playhouse)
Best Art Exhibition
STREET ARTS: A Celebration of Hip Hop Culture & Free Expression (516 ARTS)
It’s about time Albuquerque started recognizing graffiti as art. Thanks to this effort by 516 ARTS, which collaborated with more than 25 local organizations, our city is more informed about the practice and politics of street art. We’ve also got a host of new murals to show for it.
2) Turner to Cézanne: Masterpieces From the Davies Collection, National Museum Wales (Albuquerque Museum of Art and History) 3) BODIES ... The Exhibition (Albuquerque Convention Center)
It’s got stuff for kids and adults alike, and within the last 12 months, you could see Polaroids intermingling with exhibits on artists with synesthesia. There’s always something going on at the museum.
2) New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science 3) ¡explora!
The KiMo Theatre, with its ornate Pueblo Deco beams and embellishments, has remained one of Albuquerque’s architectural jewels for more than 80 years. Its backdrop helps bring just about any performance to life.
Luminescent cloudscapes and shimmering naturalism make Macpherson a well-loved local. He's had paperback books of his work published, too, so there's a good chance you may have already run across some of this longtime artist's catalog.
Author of the classic Chicano work Bless Me, Ultima, Anayahas inhabited our slice of sun-baked earth on and off since about 1952 when his family moved to Barelas. He's even written a novel named after our city, along with a series of detective novels and books for kids. About 21 years ago, he started the tradition of burning El Kookooee in the South Valley. Three cheers for Anaya, a man who loves and lives Burque.
2) Tony Hillerman 3) Tie: Jimmy Santiago Baca, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
Nothing tells a story like a really great photo or a really great photographer. Rip Williams, other than having a super-cool name, also packs some mad picture-taking and organizational skills (see: Guerilla Photo Group, which Williams founded in 2006).
This nonprofit dance company was just one of 15 youth programs nationwide to receive the prestigious Coming Up Taller Award from First Lady Michelle Obama. But we suspect Keshet's popular Christmastime Nutcracker on the Rocks has more to do with capturing your vote.
2) Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company 3) Tie: Duke Dance Collective, Guilded Cage Burlesk & Varieté
Alex, Joe and Steve, known collectively as The One Night Stanleys, have been a regular fixture at The Box Performance Art Space's Friday Night Improv for ages. Week in and week out, they're making with the funny. Which is probably why they beat out heretofore title-holding but frequently AWOL duo The Pajama Men. (Seriously, Mark and Shenoah, unpack your bags once in a while.)
Though he's from New Mexico and attended La Cueva High School, Neil Patrick Harris, star of stage and screen, now resides in L.A. Nevertheless, Burque and the Alibi's love for the teenage TV doctor cannot be quenched. (Please do an interview with us, Mr. Harris!)
People from outside the 505 aren’t always aware that New Mexico is a roiling cauldron of red-hot artistic prowess, but locals know we’ve got more than our fair share of talent. Creative Albuquerque is devoted to fostering that talent, and the 501(c)(3) does it through education, advocacy and funding, along with a host of other initiatives. Long live the right side of the brain.
2) Blackout Theatre Company 3) Tie: 516 ARTS, Tricklock Company
This citywide gallery tour is an exceptional social gathering. What art lover wouldn't enjoy basking in the glow of the creative class, rubbing elbows with his or her peers, and nibbling on cheeses all at once?