Put away those Val-U-Pak weenies and that boxed white zin—if you’re going to take part in the Santa Fe Opera tailgate party on Opening Night, you’ll want to break out a moveable feast worthy of the name. We’re talking the creamiest brie, the freshest figs, the béchamelest béchamel. Also, a wine you can swirl in your mouth and pronounce “oaky with floral notes.” A longtime Opening Night tradition, tailgate parties combine humor with just enough high culture to bring out the best in opera patrons, from their most exquisite finery to their zestiest canapés. In its 57th season, the Santa Fe Opera is showing the party crowd some official appreciation with their first-ever tailgate contest. Winning entrants, who must be pre-registered ticket-holders on Opening Night, June 28, stand to win posh goodies ranging from tickets to gift certificates to champagne. For those not competing, the convivial atmosphere before the show is sure to make for scrumptious people watching, even by Santa Fe standards. So break out the candelabra and the engraved pocket watches; the parking lot opens at 4:30 p.m. and winners are determined by 7. The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein gets underway at 8:30, launching another much-anticipated opera season. Opening night performance tickets range from $40 to $225 at santafeopera.org.
Jay, Arty, Bella, Louie, Eddie, Gert. And steely-eyed Grandma Kurnitz. They’ll dismantle your notions of family and reassemble them according to comedic logic laced with human sincerity. If you find yourself laughing and crying at the same time, take comfort—you’re not as emotionally repressed as Grandma Kurnitz. Neil Simon’s 1991 play Lost in Yonkers, winner of both a Pulitzer and a Tony, takes place in New York in 1942. Eddie hits the road as a traveling salesman to pay off debts incurred by his wife’s death, leaving his two young sons to experience the chilling home life he escaped years before. So it’s family: all that ugliness and strain surrounding uncles and aunts and parents and children. But because Simon’s gift is finding the likeable in the ignoble, it’s also coming of age and learning to stand up for yourself. Director Heather Lovick-Tolley takes on the challenge of this nuanced seriocomic work at the Adobe Theater (9813 Fourth Street NW) starting Friday, June 28. The show runs through July 21 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are just $12 opening weekend, $15 thereafter, at adobetheater.org or call 898-9222.
Holy guacamole, the bus for Extravaganza! A Travellin’ Cabaret has broken down in Albuquerque, and they can’t get back on the road until they make some cash. Instead of standing on an I-40 exit ramp or hitting up strangers for “gas money” in Walmart parking lots—surely the more traditional fundraising methods—they’re putting on four outlandish shows in four Albuquerque venues over the course of one long weekend, June 27 to June 30. Thursday at 8 p.m., they’re at Tricklock Performance Laboratory (110 Gold SW). Friday at 8 p.m., it’s ArtBar (119 Gold SW). Saturday at 8 p.m., take in the show at Hooligans Tavern (9800 Montgomery NE). And by the end of Sunday’s 7 p.m. performance at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW), let’s hope they’ve finally got enough to pay off the mechanic. Performances, which cost only $5 each, will be followed by music from different local bands. Hats off to Blackout Theatre for once again bringing their love of the performing arts to us in the most delightful of oddball metanarratives.