All it takes to understand life's possibilities (or at least put a hex on someone) is a little magic. But that's more a brujería approach. Rudolfo Anaya's famous novel Bless Me, Ultima deals mostly with curanderismo, the art of healing through spiritual rituals. So if you're feeling a little achy, under the weather or just want to be inspired, head to the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) to be hypnotized by the Siembra Latino Theatre Festival's rendition of Anaya's much-lauded tome. The story revolves around Tony, a man reflecting on his childhood and remembering Ultima, a curandera who lived with his family in Guadalupe, N.M., in the 1940s. Published in 1972, the novel has been hailed as one of the most important works of fiction in Chicano literature. And for the mere price of $17 to $27, you can experience it live and onstage. The play runs from Thursday, April 16, to Sunday, April 19. Showtimes are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2pm. For more info on this dazzling production, head over to nationalhispaniccenter.org. (Mark Lopez)
Long before everyone knew Academy Award-winning actor Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption, he was starting an experimental theater company in LA. The Actors’ Gang would go on to produce over 100 plays in 40 states and five continents, helped by such illustrious theatrical and film artists as Jack Black, John Cusack and Helen Hunt. The current members have been touring the globe with Shakespeare’s most palatable romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and they’re popping up at Popejoy Hall (203 Cornell SE) for a performance in one of the country’s most theatrical towns—that’s Burque, y’all—on Sunday, April 19, at 3pm.
Directed by Robbins, the fanciful Elizabethan comedy is staged with minimal scenery, moody lighting and few props—a shoestring technique for traveling shows that also shows up in other areas of the troupe’s pared-down staging. The gang’s exaggerated, cheeky performance promises to serve up Shakespeare’s archaic humor afresh, going a long way toward their mission to restore the “ancient sense of the stage as a shared sacred space.” Tickets are $20 to $49 at the UNM box office (925-5858, unmtickets.com) and select Albertsons locations, or at popejoypresents.com. (Blake Driver)
As April blooms, it’s time to unhibernate. How better than with the Placitas Artists Series? There’s the environmentally conscious work of Dorothy Bowen, who uses dyes and wax to create smooth, haunting, nature-inspired images. There are the ceramics of Catherine Alleva, with their sensuous mix of colors topping expertly thrown clay. Jo Anne Fredrikson displays intricately tessellated quilts that combine functionality with artistry. And P.K. Williams shows her paintings with their hybrids of natural and abstract images. “Most of my paintings are inspired by nature, but I just think since Mother Nature has a beauty all her own, I don’t try to copy it or recreate her, I transform it,” she says.
The show gets going Sunday, April 19, at the Las Placitas Presbyterian Church located on Highway 165, six miles east of I-25. After you’ve had a chance to mull the colors, textures and skilled techniques, get ready for some audio—at 3pm violinist Arianna Warsaw-Fan and cellist Meta Weiss unleash their high-energy classical stylings.
The art’s on display and available to buy until May 1, and the 2pm reception is free. Concert tickets are $20 at the door, just $15 with a student ID. Visit placitasartistsseries.org for more info. (Randyn Charles Bartholomew)