Albuquerque Buzz: April 2011

by Christie Chisholm, LocalFlavor Magazine, April 2011

A young refugee is thrown from his country and lands in America. In a poetic journey, Anon tries to understand and reclaim his past. Anon(ymous), written by award-winning playwright Naomi Iizuka, opens at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) on Friday, April 1, and runs through April 3. Performed by Albuquerque’s Working Classroom, the piece is guest directed by Tea Alagic, a Bosnian refugee living in New York City, whose work has been lauded by the New York Times and who has directed pieces around the world. Showtimes are at 7 p.m. on April 1 and 2 and at 2 p.m. on April 3. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and can be bought over the phone at 505.724.4771 or online at www.nhccnm.org. There’s also an opening night gala, which includes a pre-performance reception, VIP seating and a post-performance reception with the cast for $100. For gala tickets, call 505.977.4932 or go to www.workingclassroom.org.

People love acrobats because they remind them of the stunning grace, deftness and balance the human body is capable of. When it comes to acrobatic works, it’s hard to find a more inspiring act than the Peking Acrobats, who are coming to Popejoy Hall for two performances on Sunday, April 10, at 3 and 7:30 p.m. From Beijing, China, the Peking Acrobats have been traveling around the globe for 25 years, doing things like setting the world record for the highest human chair stack (at 21 feet high). New acts will be unveiled for this Silver Anniversary tour, and for the first time, the Women’s Peace Orchestra of China will accompany the acrobats’ feats of fluidity and strength. Tickets range from $22 to $35 and can be bought at the UNM Ticket Offices, some Albertsons locations, by calling 877.664.8661 or 505.925.5858, or online at www.popejoypresents.com or www.unmtickets.com

A five-foot-tall African hunting sculpture made out of chocolate. That’s what landed Chef Darci Rochau, pastry chef at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, the Best of Show prize at the 19th annual Chocolate Fantasy. The event was held early last month as a fundraiser to benefit the New Mexico Museum of Natural History Foundation. Rochau’s entirely edible sculpture consists of a traditional beaded African ceremonial mask encircled by two elephant tusks, balanced by a thicket of bamboo and perched upon two mahogany African elephants. She calls it “The Hunted.”

I don’t think this one’s going to be a tough sell. On Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17, the Albuquerque Convention Center is hosting the first-ever Southwest Chocolate and Coffee Fest. Why hasn’t someone thought of this before? For two whole days (10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday) the Convention Center will be packed with more than 40 chocolatiers, coffee roasters, candy makers, bakers, cafés, restaurants, caterers, breweries and more. In addition to a smorgasbord of samples (I can’t help myself), there will be cooking demonstrations, cookie-eating contests, coffee and tea seminars, free raffles, cupcake decorating, and live music. Basically, it’s going to be awesome. Tickets are a measly $10 at the door or $8 online, and kids under 12 are free. 401 Second Street NW, 505.768.4575, www.chocolateandcoffeefest.com

Welcome in spring with a three-course meal at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa’s award-winning Corn Maiden restaurant in the Pueblo of Santa Ana. Every Thursday through the month of April, the Corn Maiden hosts “Rotisserie Thursday,” which gets you a salad, an entrée and a dessert for $45. Start your meal off with a chopped salad of romaine hearts, arugula, jicama, roasted corn and cherry tomatoes in a chile lime vinaigrette. Then chose between four tempting sweet chile-glazed, soy orange-marinated or herb rubbed main courses, which includes a vegetarian option. Finish your meal with a flourish or chocolate chile marquis with crème anglaise. 1300 Tuyuna Trail, 505.771.6037, www.tamaya.hyatt.com.

Albuquerque’s comedy scene isn’t huge, but it’s steadily growing. That’s due partly to events like the annual Southwest FunnyFest. This year, four awesomely funny women from Comedy Central, The Late Show, Showtime and LOGO are coming to Albuquerque for the event. Erin Foley, Sandra Valls, Kate Rigg and Dana Goldberg will take the KiMo Theatre stage from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 30. Tickets range from $20 to $30, and part of the proceeds will go to New Mexico AIDS Services. Our city doesn’t get national acts of this caliber often, so don’t miss out. 423 Central NW, 505.768.3544, www.ticketmaster.com.

For more than a decade, Corrales artists have opened their studios to the public, revealing their processes and never-before-seen works. This year’s Corrales Art Studio Tour takes place on Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sixty-two artists who work with paint, glass, fiber, ceramics, jewelry, wood and photography are on this year’s list. Plus, the event is completely free. For more information, visit www.corralesartstudiotour.com.

During World War II, Japanese schoolchildren were enlisted to make giant balloons. They were told they were helping their country’s war effort, but they didn’t know the balloons were used to transport Fugo bombs across the Pacific to American soil. The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum has an exhibit on this topic up right now, featuring a series of illustrations from a book (Ohkuno Island: Story of the Student Brigade, by Reiko Okada) written by one of the 2,000 Japanese schoolchildren employed in making those balloons. You can catch Children of War, Voices for Peace: Japanese and American Perspectives through the end of the month. Admission to the museum is free every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and all day on the first Friday of every month. At all other times, it’s only $4 for adults ($3 for New Mexico residents) and $2 for seniors. 9201 Balloon Museum NE, 505.768.6020, www.cabq.gov/balloon

I almost hesitant to tell anyone about this because I’m selfish and want to hoard the little nugget all to myself. Luckily, that urge is counteracted by my utter excitement over this place. Café Giuseppe has been around for a few years, and it’s always been a cute coffee shop with a penchant for cycling (read: lots of bicycles and photos of bicyclists on the walls) and a mean cappuccino. But it’s recently gained an addition in the form of a large side room. This room is wonderful. With sturdy wooden tables, colorful chairs and a couple benches, it’s the perfect place to hide away and work. Giuseppe’s still has a lovely patio, its small front room and a lounging area replete with cushy black sofa, which are great for sunshine and socializing. But the side room, which is quiet but not too quiet and bathed in a soft, filtered light, is my new favorite place in Albuquerque. Plus, the place has unbelievably tasty, gooey chocolate-almond croissants and the best Americano in town. Use this information for good, and save me a space. 3222 Silver SE, 505.268.1858, www.cafegiuseppe.com.