Alibi Volume 15, Number 38
September 21, 2006
Courtship is very much like a fine piece of theater. It requires poise and wit, well-defined roles and a healthy dose of poetic inspiration. Tennessee Williams knew how to woo lovers of language and drama. And no group of performers has fallen deeper under his spell than our very own Fusion Theatre Company.
The railyard and the theater: a musical love story
Go ahead. Make as much noise as you want.
When you’re parked in a railyard on the outskirts of the warehouse district, there’s no reason to keep it down. The neighborhood around First Street and Lomas is home to a family of storage units, light industrial complexes, a few banks and a legal office. By 5 p.m. each day, the place is as still as a cemetery--save for the rattle and hum of an occasional Santa Fe freight car.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your amplifiers.
“The Cell was born out of its surroundings,” says Cell Theatre proprietor Dennis Gromelski. “I don’t know if we could have done it elsewhere.”
Yes, this urban sanctuary would make for one hell of a punk rock club, but Gromelski is talking about a bona fide theater space--with velvet curtains and everything. There’s no booze, definitely no smoking and the carefully maintained sheen of the place is more appropriate for Death of a Salesman than a Dead Milkmen concert. It has a foyer, for crying out loud.
The Fusion Theatre Company sticks five candles in its cake
Whatever you do, please don't refer to the Fusion Theatre Company as “edgy.” They don't like being called “alternative” either—or “cutting-edge.” “Those are such tired terms,” says Jacqueline Reid, one of Fusion's founders. “They don't say anything.”
The Fusion Theatre Company’s Tennessee Williams Festival
Suddenly Last Summer
Opens Thursday, Sept. 21, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 15. Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22 for general admission, $17 for students and seniors. The Sunday, Sept. 24, performance is pay-what-you-wish and every Thursday except opening night will have student rush tickets available for $10.
Thomas Friedman’s now famous book The World is Flat laid out a gloomy future for American workers. According to Friedman, technology has leveled the playing field at both ends of the labor market. For high-tech, high-skill American workers, outsourcing to India will change their ideas of job security as engineering, computer programming and the like are moved to cheaper, equally skilled Indian workers. At the other end of the labor market, relatively low-skilled American manufacturing workers are being undercut by cheap Chinese workers.
The Bush Translator--President George Bush interrupted prime time last Monday. He had on his red “don’t f*#@ with me” tie and looked very dapper.
An interview with Terry McMains, rainwater harvester
While Albuquerque frets about its dwindling aquifer, Terry McMains is trying to get the world, or at least the state, to listen to his solution: rainwater harvesting. McMains is not a rain farmer—he doesn’t plow through puddles, nor does he collect water in buckets. Instead, he installs high-tech rainwater harvesting systems with the company he founded, Aqua Harvest, Inc. The idea for the company was birthed when Rancho Viejo, Santa Fe’s first master-planned community with a rainwater harvesting system, was built in the late ’90s. McMains was a contractor for the project and thought he could create a company that could help alter the course of New Mexico’s water plight. Last week, he found some time to sit down with the Alibi for a chat.
As the City Council scurries to enact new flood resolutions, our antique drainage system continues to rust
In 1956, Albuquerque was outfitted with a new drainage system—one that has remained largely unchanged ever since.
Embattled Del Rey Mobile Home Park residents remain in their homes ... for now
Local mobile home park residents are, or at least should be, keeping an eye on developments at the Del Rey Mobile Home Park. Their future may depend on it.
Live, from the Robert Vigil corruption trial
I’m sitting in on the Robert Vigil trial. In a room full of blue suits and starched collars, the image that comes to mind is the glow of a colonoscopy monitor. Watching the tracks of dirty money in the guts of a corrupt state government isn’t much different from watching a barium enema work its way through the tail end of the human digestive system.
Dateline: England--A homeowner in the southwestern town of Treovis has been cited by local police for “placing a garden gnome with intent to cause harassment.” BBC News reports that Gordon MacKillop was woken just before midnight by two officers who warned him that the gnome was offensive to his neighbors. Apparently, MacKillop’s neighbor, former policeman John McLean, had complained that the statue is placed in an “annoying position” and is upsetting to potential buyers viewing his home. The statue in question is just under two feet tall and features a gnome dressed as a police officer, standing between a German shepherd and a flashlight-sized nightlight. Mr. MacKillop told the BBC he bought the lighted gnome to deter criminals after his motorcycle was stolen from his driveway. “I’m not having the police tell me what type of garden gnome I can have in my garden,” said MacKillop. “This is a standard gnome I bought from a retail store. If they are considered to be harassing, they should be withdrawn from sale.”
TromaDance New Mexico 2006
The majority of film festivals, be they in the rarified air of Park City’s Sundance or the bustling business atmosphere of France’s Cannes, strive to bring dignity and respectability to the art of cinema. Silver screen legends like Catherine Deneuve and Liv Ullman are installed as judges, filmmakers like David Lynch and Wong Kar-wai are given awards, and distributors strike up bidding wars looking for their next international art house hit.
He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)--OK, so that unforgettable Alice Cooper tune was actually the theme song to Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives. Only a hardcore horror film afficionado would know that, of course. And if you’re one of those, you need to get out to the Cottonwood Starport Theater this week for a special presentation of the original Nightmare on Elm Street. On Wednesday, Sept. 20, and Thursday, Sept. 21, a brand-new, remastered cut of the film will screen in 124 select movie theaters across the country. The screening is a prerelease teaser for the spiffed-up special edition Infinifilm DVD version. In addition to the thrill of seeing this horror classic on the big screen in High-Definition and cinema surround sound, fans will also be treated to a new exclusive feature--“Freddy's Best Kills,” a montage of Freddy Krueger’s gruesome kills throughout the rest of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, including sequels 2 through 6, plus Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and Freddy vs. Jason--that can be seen only in theaters during this special event. Screenings start at 8 p.m. both nights. Tickets are available online at www.bigscreenboxoffice.com or at the box offices for $10.
Old-fashioned adventure tale takes us back to the good old days: World War I
Embroiled, as we are, in the midst of a thoroughly confusing and morally ambiguous war, it’s quaint and a bit reassuring to allow ourselves a flashback to a simpler time when men were men, wars were noble and killing foreigners was just the right thing to do. The producers of Flyboys may have taken this idea a bit too far, however.
“Jericho” on CBS
Every fall, I await with a certain amount of dread the influx of new shows about doctors, lawyers, cops and forensic examiners. Since the success of serialized dramas like “24,” “Prison Break” and “Lost,” however, networks have started to think slightly outside the box. This season, for example, we’ll be seeing a whole host of hour-long shows in which people have careers beyond “the big four.” The shows (like NBC’s “Heroes” and ABC’s “The Nine”) seem intent on inventing unusual situations in which to place their cast of characters. That’s no guarantee of quality, of course, but it holds at least the promise of something fresh.
The Week in Sloth
Yikes!--Their MySpace motto is "You don't need to have a good time to drink!" Apparently, you don't need a liquor license either, or .... do you? SID and New Mexico Department of Public Safety agents, along with the New Mexico State Police, have determined that Harlow's on the Hill has been up to no good. The Nob Hill bar and music venue cleared one year of operation in July, only to get busted last week for not having a liquor license. (But you have to wonder: Does it really take a year to figure something like that out?) Needless to say, the club is closed until further notice. Touring bands like Knoxville's Christabel & the Jons are now freaked and scrambling to find another place to play this weekend. But it's nothing a stiff drink won't cure.
Jimbo Mathus is serving up fish and Old Scool Hot Wings
Jimbo Mathus, Southern blues-country-rocker, consummate gentleman and occasional hellraiser, is holding a cell phone in one hand and tending a grill with the other. He’s talking with me on the phone while watching his freshly caught fish cook, occasionally breaking away to chat with whomever else is at his afternoon cookout. Yet his propensity to multitask goes far beyond grilling and gabbing.
The sixth annual All Around Challenge brings eight downhill and trick skateboarding events to the Sandia Ski area, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22 and 23. Cap it off with a cross-town race and awards party at Kelly’s BYOB on Sept. 24. Free for spectators! Learn more at 474-0074 or www.timeshipracing.com. (LM)
with The MindySet
Sunday, Sept. 24, Atomic Cantina (21-and-over); free: The Deathray Davies are the best band in the world. Period. (I'd like to think that statement alone would be enough to put asses in seats, but I know better. So I'll try and elaborate for you.)
Thursday, Sept. 21, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); free: From Clarence Reid’s beginnings as a potty-mouthed child, to a ‘60s and ‘70s artist and producer of soul, to his current and most recognized status as Blowfly, the original purveyor of X-rated rhymes, the man seems to have been destined to have a perpetual, proverbial party in his pants.
Second annual celebration offers world music, food and fun
What a difference a year makes. In 2005, the inaugural edition of ¡Globalquerque!, New Mexico’s celebration of world music and culture, took place on a Tuesday with a small but impressive lineup of musical acts from around the world. Planned and produced in just six months, the modestly successful event drew a few hundred attendees.
A festival puts Albuquerque on the forefront of the flesh-painting movement
Mark Reid lost his girlfriend when he started body painting three years ago. "She didn't like the fact that I was painting another naked woman, and yadda yadda yadda," he says.
For a long time, Washington, D.C. was without a fictional chronicler—someone to tell the stories of its people, not just its politicians. Edward P. Jones made a bid at the role in his 1993 debut collection, Lost in the City, but he claims it outright in his latest book, All Aunt Hagar’s Children, a powerful group of stories about African-Americans adrift in the District of Columbia in the 20th century.
Takacs String Quartet, one of the world’s premier quartets, will return to Albuquerque this weekend. Takacs brings equal parts passion and intellect to their repertoire. The performance will take place at the Simms Center for the Performing Arts, on the campus of Albuquerque Academy (6400 Wyoming NE), on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 3 p.m. with a free pre-concert lecture at 2 p.m. For tickets, call 268-1990, visit www.cma-abq.org or purchase your tickets at Chamber Music Albuquerque's office at the Symphony Center (4407 Menaul NE). Tickets are $19-$38 in advance or $21-$40 when purchased at the door. Students are half price.
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
Thirty-five photographs from one of America’s pioneers of modernist photography will go on display starting this weekend at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. In the summer, Paul Strand lived and worked in New Mexico from 1930 through 1932. During this time, he created these pieces depicting Southwest landscapes, portraits of Strand's wife, and ghost towns and abandoned haciendas. There will be a free opening for the public with live music and a cash bar on Friday, Sept. 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission to the museum is $4 to $8. For more information, visit www.okeeffemuseum.org. The show will run through Jan. 14.
Read and Converse—The Lannan Foundation's annual Readings and Conversations series gets cooking this week with a heated dialog between legendary muckrakers Seymour Hersh and Amy Goodman. Ever since he uncovered the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam in the late '60s, Hersh has been pumping out some of the finest in-depth investigative pieces to be found anywhere. Due in part to his network of sources within the power structure of our federal government, he's been able to write some of the most informative (not to mention terrifying) investigative articles about our war in Iraq.
General Hotdoggery—Yeah, you don't have to tell me twice: Hot dogs and sausage and all their meaty kin are a disturbing lot. If you really think about it (something I try to do as seldom as possible), they're little more than a matrix of pig lips and fannies, finely minced and mechanically extruded into faux intestinal casings. Sounds vile ... but, man, do they taste good. I'm sorry. And I know I'm burning in hell. But I know that at least some of you must be with me, because hot dogs are making a major comeback all across town.
We are admittedly, and decidedly, dessert deficient. Salt, hot peppers and garlic hold the key to our hearts. Those of you who dutifully read will note that since this column’s official inception back in early ’06 we’ve never—not once—dared pen a sugar script for your sweet tooth.
Twenty more years
I think that we’ve all, at one time or another, had the “where will I be in 20 years?” conversation, either with ourselves or other people. I predict by then I will have gained 10 more pounds. I will also have mastered the art of growing corn (it is an art) and will still be paying off the interest on my student loans. I can also predict some amazing technological advances in the food industry, such as tricolored watermelons, diet doughnuts and nutritious gravy. Utilizing these same gastro-psychic abilities, I can say Huning Highland’s newest well-polished jewel, The Grove Café & Market, will still be a haven for those wishing to have a relaxing lunch in a soothing, almost organic environment.