Albuquerque Buzz: February 2010

by Christie Chisholm, LocalFlavor Magazine, February 2010

Imago Theatre—part illusion, part circus, part alchemy—returns to Popejoy Hall for one night only this month with its family-friendly production ZooZoo. In a dreamlike, anthropomorphized world, polar bears, hippos and anteaters take to the stage through masterful mime and puppetry. A amalgam of two of Imago’s previous works, FROGZ and Biglittlethings, ZooZoo highlights the best of both shows. The terms “mime” and “puppetry” get a bad rap, but when they’re done right, these forms can create breathtaking theatrical spectacles. This Portland-based company doesn’t pass through often—so don’t miss your chance to catch them. Shows are on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 3 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $22, $29 and $35 and can be purchased at the UNM Ticket Office, some Albertsons locations, online at www.popejoypresents.com or www.unmtickets.com, or by calling 877.664.8661 or 505.925.5858. 

Raul Dorn’s paintings begin with sewing patterns. As he cobbles them into a collage, he looks for the organic lines and pathways they shape and builds off the paper-thin tapestries to create rich, textured works with acrylic and oil. This Las Cruces-based artist has his first solo show in Albuquerque at Matrix Fine Art (3812 Central Ave. SE) from Feb. 5 through 27. Catch an early bird preview of Beyond Behind Below - Abstract Paintings by Raul Dorn from Feb. 2 through 5 or stop by for the First Friday Artscrawl reception on Feb. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. 505.268.8952.

Toni Casper has spent 20 years globe-hopping, visiting spas all over the world and learning about both traditional and unconventional massage techniques. Now she’s opened a spa just outside of Old Town, where clients get personalized treatments based on a myriad of philosophies, ranging from classic Swedish techniques to Ayurvedic practices rarely performed outside India. Your Private Adobe is just that—a home converted into a spa, which only treats one client (or couple) at a time. It’s a lavish backdrop, complete with antique claw-footed tub, travertine shower and outdoor Moroccan tent. Go welcome this new Albuquerque addition. 1931 Rio Grande Blvd. NW, 505.508.0113. www.yourprivateadobe.com.

Chelsea Gerlach, a member of the Earth Liberation Front, was sentenced to nine years in prison for burning down a lodge in a Vail, Colo. ski resort. This true story is the seed for Waste Her, a one-woman show written and performed by Tricklock Company’s Juli Hendren. The play is premiering in late February (exact dates haven’t yet been announced, so keep your eye on www.tricklock.com), but Albuquerque got a sneak peek in January of 2009 when it was still in development. And the taste we got a year ago has lingered on our palates. The work, about two women struggling with their ideals and actions, is evocative and suspenseful, and Hendren is a master craftswoman, weaving together multiple personas lithely and seamlessly. It’s bound to be one of the best productions to come out of the city this year.

Albuquerqueans, like any sane citizens, love a good midday meal. Fortunately, local favorite Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro just started serving Saturday brunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., mimicking its Sunday brunch hours, with $7 speciality mimosas and bloody Marys. Plus, Zinc’s Cellar Bar happy hour extended on Sundays and now runs from 4 to 11 p.m. So drink up (and call a cab)! 3009 Central Ave. NE, 505.254.ZINC (9462).

Vegetarians usually have it rough at fine dining establishments. Most entrées you’ll find on a menu at higher-end restaurants include the words “loin,” “breast” or “filet.” And unless you’re in the mood for sautéed squash and cream-based fettuccine, you’re out of luck if you want to eat meat-free. That’s why it’s so nice that Savoy Bar & Grill is offering a special Vegetarian Wine Dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 24, so those of us with a diet centered around plant matter can eat (and drink) in style, too. You can make reservations for the dinner on www.savoyabq.com. And while you’ve got Savoy on the brain, note that it’s having a special Tuscan wine tasting on Feb. 6 and an Australian wine tasting on Feb. 27. 10601 Montgomery Blvd. NE, 505.294.WINE (9463).

Speaking of fine dining, Los Poblanos’ exquisite restaurant, which has been operating for more than a year now, has special Valentine’s dinners planned. Set in its historic inn, the meals focus on fresh, local ingredients. Carnivores can rejoice in a grass-fed organic beef filet crusted with capers, parsley and lemon and served with potato coulis and fried shallots. Or in a poached Maro bass with caramelized eggplant, avocado, yogurt, mint and parsley sauce. And vegetarians can find decadent respite in mixed mushroom pappardelle with bourbon cream sauce and French green lentils. You can find the full menu at www.lospoblanos.com. You need a reservation to be seated, which you can make online. Dinners are on Feb. 12, 13 and 14 and cost $75 per person. 4803 Rio Grande NW, 505.344.9297.

The KiMo Theatre (423 Central Ave. NW) has an especially exciting and diverse lineup this month. On Feb. 12-13, the popular Southwest Burlesque Showcase hits the stage for its fourth year (8 p.m. both nights, $15 to $17). Then on Feb. 19, Henry Rollins—former leader singer of Black Flag, Rollins Band front man and host of “The Henry Rollins Show”—rolls through town to deliver biting, uncensored and generally hilarious spoken word (8 to 11 p.m., $20). And starting on Feb. 27, for something completely different, the Ballet Repertory Theatre presents its award-winning production of Cinderella (Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., Feb. 28 at 2 p.m., March 6 at 7 p.m. and March 7 at 2 p.m., $15 to $25). And that’s just a sampling. To make reservations, go to the KiMo box office or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

BigBang-Brrrd is an explosive exhibition that revels in mosaics of color. Travis Bruce Black’s abstract paintings, which focus on birds and portraits, use patterns that are part psychedelia, part ethereality. You can find his newest show at Bright Rain Gallery (206 1/2 San Felipe NW) from Feb. 5 to March 3, with an opening reception on Feb. 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. 505.843.9176.

Another showing not to be missed is the second installation of Albuquerque Now, titled Winter, hanging in The Albuquerque Museum of Art & History (19th Street and Mountain Road NW). The exhibition features local artists exclusively, with pieces ranging from traditional woodworking to digital video and printmaking. More than 100 of the city’s best living artists are represented. It’s a rare and comprehensive vision of the city’s breathing talent. 505.243.7255.

Albuquerque has a large and diverse array of ethnic eateries. It has fabulous Middle Eastern fare, top-notch Thai food and more Vietnamese restaurants than seem to make sense for its size. But if you ask Albuquerqueans what cuisine our city lacks, they’ll tell you with surprising majority: Ethiopian. Now, Marrakech Restaurant is not Ethiopian. But it does serve food from another African country, Morocco. Patrons can find tagines, king’s bastilla and Tunisian brika on the menu, along with more familiar staples like falafel, baba ganouch and hummus. And almost any dish can be made vegetarian. Chef Ridha Bouajila ran the restaurant once before when it was stationed in the University district in the mid ’90s. Now the space is re-opening at 3000-C San Pedro NE. Let’s give it a warm reception. 505.881.4451.