Albuquerque Buzz: March-April 2010

by Christie Chisholm, LocalFlavor Magazine, March-April 2010 

March is Women in History month. To celebrate, the National Hispanic Cultural Center is putting on its fifth annual Women and Creativity series, featuring more than 60 classes, performances, panels and exhibitions throughout the month that celebrate women and the arts. Take knitting or African dance classes, see salsa or jazz concerts, sign up for writing workshops or sit in on fashion shows. Women and men of all ages are welcome at the large and diverse array of events available. For more information, visit www.nhccnm.org.

Birds aren’t the only animals who travel by wind. Squirrels, fish, frogs and snakes also use air to manipulate their speed and direction. On March 7, the Balloon Museum’s newest exhibit, Sky Sailing, will explain the anatomies that allows these creatures, along with human-made mechanisms, to take flight without engines or motors. See sailplanes, paragliders and hang gliders with wingspans of up to 50 feet. There will be a free open house on March 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that will feature gliding demonstrations, music, activities and an acrobatic paragliding performance by Ozone Team. 9201 Balloon Museum Drive NE, 505.768.6020, www.cabq.gov/balloon.

Come to the Cabaret for one night only this March. Follow young, London-born Sally Bowles through her life as a Berlin nightclub singer in this World War II-era performance. The familiar, 44-year-old musical plays at Popejoy Hall courtesy of Windwood Theatricals, the same company that toured Bye Bye Birdie at Popejoy in 2008-2009. Shows are on Sunday, March 14, at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Get tickets for $33, $41 or $49 at the UNM Ticket Offices, some Albertsons stores, online at www.popejoypresents.com or www.unmtickets.com, or by calling 877.664.8661 or 505.925.5858.

Another high drama takes the stage with Opera Southwest’s Carmen, a story of lust, betrayal and jealous destruction. For those who haven’t seen one of the world’s most famous theatrical pieces, Georges Bizet’s French opera is about a Spanish gypsy who collects various lovers, including the soldier Don Jose and the bullfighter Escamillo. It’s sung in French, but it will be accompanied by English subtitles. It plays at the KiMo Theatre March 20, 23 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. and March 28 at 2 p.m. Reserved seating ranges between $20 to $65, with senior, student and group discounts available. 423 Central NW. To make reservations, go to the KiMo box office, call 505.243.0591 or visit www.operasouthwest.org.

Maybe it’s the science geek in me, but the idea of spending the night in the city’s Aquarium—among devious octopuses and with but a sheet of (albeit impenetrable) glass between me and a swarm of sharks and other marine life—sounds like a splendid time. On Friday and Saturday, March 26 and 27, you’ll get the chance to do just that. For $30, you’ll get a overnight full of games, crafts and movies, and you’ll get to learn all about the ocean species at your bedside. 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. Kids under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. To register, call 505.848.7180.

For something entirely different, the Monster Truck Winter Nationals (silly—don’t they know it’s spring?) come to the Santa Ana Star Center on Friday and Saturday, March 26 and 27. Watch cars get crushed into quivering piles of spare parts by massive auto beasts (the largest of which is apparently named Bigfoot). Things get even more exciting with the addition of The Bad Boys of Arenacross, who will compete against local racers on a track riddled with giant jumps, propelling riders up to 80 feet in the air. Tickets run $13.50, $18.50 and $28.50 before fees (and increase by $2 each day-of-show). If you buy tickets before March 15, you can also get a family four-pack for $64. Get tickets at www.comcasttix.com, by calling 888.694.4849 or in person at the Santa Ana Star Center Box Office. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Visit www.santaanastarcenter.com for more info.

Milagro Vineyard’s apple- and pear-imbued 2007 Chardonnay took a gold medal at this year’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, which concluded in January. And its berry-, tea- and vanilla- infused 2007 Zinfandel, which was barrel-aged for 15 months in French oak, took home a bronze. The Corrales wines can be found at a number of local stores, but if you want to buy it straight from the source, you can visit the winery by appointment. Call 505.898.3998. www.milagrovineyardsandwinery.com.

Speaking of wine awards, The Ranchers Club of New Mexico is celebrating its ninth consecutive Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence with a special deal through March. Until March 31, get any bottle of wine from its featured wine list at 50 percent off on Tuesday through Thursdays. 1901 University NE, 505.889.8071, www.theranchersclubofnm.com.

Slam poetry is a big deal in Albuquerque, due at least in part to the city’s team winning the National Poetry Slam in 2005. Since the big win, the tradition has continued, with last year’s team placing second at the countrywide competition. Part of the makeup of this year’s team will be decided on Saturday, April 3, at the 2010 ABQ Grand Slam Poetry Slam Championship at the Outpost Performance Space. The winner, chosen by audience members from a lineup of ten of the city’s top performance poets, will earn a spot on the team, to compete for the national award in St. Paul, Minn. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, $5 for Outpost members and students and can be bought in person (210 Yale SE) or by calling 505.268.0044.

Think of it as a $50 discount with a bunch of free, pretty awesome perks. La Casita de Kaleidoscopes hosts a kaleidoscope-making class Saturday, April 10. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., you’ll make a one-of-a-kind instrument—choosing from three different mirror systems, more than 20 casing exteriors and thousands of objects with which to fill your psychedelic trinket—that would normally retail for $200. Registration for the workshop costs $150, but beyond instruction and the cost of materials, it also covers a lunch at Quesadilla Grill. Even if you don’t participate in the class, other retailers near the Old Town shop will set up outdoor displays and specials, and classical guitarist Harry Irizarry will provide live music throughout the day. To register, call 505.247.4242 or 505.615.3132. 326-D San Felipe NW, www.casitascopes.com.

Spend a day on the road with UNM’s Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. Meet at the museum at 8 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday, April 17 and 18, and travel to seldom-visited Chaco outlier sites near Grants, New Mexico, like Andrews, Casa Mero, Las Ventanas and Dittert. Explore and learn about prehistoric roads, great houses, kivas, architecture, site layout and ceramics. Cost is $75 each day, and for an extra $15 you can ditch your car and travel by van. Tuition remission is also available. For information and to make reservations, call 505.277.1400.

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to wear that 19th-century Spanish-era Southwestern getup you have in the back of your closet, you’ve found it. The city is hosting its annual Founders Day Fiesta in Old Town on Saturday, April 24, to celebrate its 304th birthday. If you come in a costume that “represents one of the five eras: Native American Era, Spanish Era, Mexican Era, Territorial Era or Statehood Era,” according to the city’ website, you can be in the running to win prizes in a costume contest. If you want to show up period piece-free, you can still enjoy an outdoor market, Founders Day Parade, live music and performances, and a smattering of kid-friendly activities. Takes place from noon to 5 p.m. For more info, visit www.cabq.gov.