Albuquerque Buzz: May 2011

by Christie Chisholm, LocalFlavor Magazine, May 2011

Fashion shows are fun. Afternoons of high tea can also be a pretty good time (maybe not if you’re a lumberjack ...). The Friends of the Albuquerque Little Theatre are bringing you both in one ladylike explosion at the Tanoan Country Club on Sunday, May 1, from 1:30 to 5 p.m. A silent auction, raffles and a trunk show will also be on the day’s menu, with the fashion show proper, featuring designs by Laura Sheppherd of Santa Fe, starting at 2:30 p.m. Tickets to Fashion to a Tea are $50, and proceeds will help fund the restoration of the historic Albuquerque Little Theatre. 1081 Academy NE, 505.822.0422,

Speaking of theater, there are a lot of great shows coming up this month, and since I can’t choose just one to highlight, I’m going to touch on a few of them. First up is For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, the inaugural production for the exciting new Rainbow Studio Theater Company. The new group is helmed by artistic heavyweights Cathryn McGill and Regina Dawley, who have impressive track records and hefty plans for the company, and I can’t wait to see what they do with this first show. It only runs through Sunday, May 1, so catch the 2 p.m. show if you can at VSA North Fourth Art Center. 4904 Fourth Street NW, 505.344.4542, Tickets are $20; $15 for students and seniors. Next, don’t even consider missing Virtual Reality at The Filling Station. This is the first in a series of rarely produced one-act plays Mother Road Theatre Company will be putting on, and here are a few reasons why you should go: 1) Nearly everything I’ve seen from Mother Road has been fantastic. 2) The show, about two men hired to do some strange business, is written by Alan Arkin. 3) The two actors in this production, Chad Christensen-Brummet and William Sterchi, are two of New Mexico’s finest. Basically, the odds are stacked on it being great. It runs through May 19, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. Tickets are only $10. 1024 Fourth Street SW, 243-0596, Lastly, Grease is coming to Popejoy Hall. Do I really need to say more? There are five shows Friday through Sunday, May 13 through 15, and tickets run $35 to $55. 505.925.5858, To find out about other shows on stage this month, visit the Albuquerque Theatre Guild at

I love festivals. Especially art festivals. And this one, Kenny Chavez’ Cinco de Mayo Folkart and Music Festival, is one of the cooler ones to be found in Albuquerque. On Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., celebrate the holiday with work by more than 35 local artists, live music from half a dozen bands, food (including Sanchez Taco Truck and Flamingo Steve’s Italian Ice), a costume contest (for Best Fiesta Dog) and a raffle. If you don’t know who Kenny Chavez is, he’s the recycle folk artist who owned Nob Hill’s In Crowd for nearly 20 years before it closed in 2003. Now occupying his old space is much-loved Masks Y Mas, which he helps manage and where you can still find his work. La Parada will host the event for the third year in a row. You know what else? It’s free. 8917 Fourth Street NW, 505.897.8203,

I realize this is a strange recommendation, at least according to some people ... the non-pickle-loving people. And I realize that it’s not even all that new, although I’ve never written about it here. But O’Niell’s Irish Pub has an absolutely fantastic appetizer of fried pickles, and besides the random State Fair offering, I don’t know of any other place in New Mexico to find such a thing. O’Niell’s uses crisp, quartered dill pickles, and it must flash-fry them, because even though the insides are steaming hot, they’re never mushy or overly juicy. They’re perfect. And dipped in a little ranch, which comes on the side next to long slices of carrots and celery, it’s the best late-night snack around. Now that the weather is gorgeous and O’Niell’s Nob Hill patio—which is stocked with flowers and even a small waterfall (I hear the one on Juan Tabo is nice, too)—is open, sometimes nothing feels better than a sitting outside on a warm evening with a pint of IPA and an order of fried pickles. I’m just sayin’. 4310 Central SE, 505.255.6782; 3301 Juan Tabo NE, 505.293.1122;

You know what always makes you feel good? Helping children. And you know what makes helping children even nicer? When you get to have a fun time doing it. On Friday, May 13, the National Dance Institute of New Mexico is hosting its annual fundraising event, the Put a Little Love In Your Heart Gala and Performance. Starting at 6:30 p.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, more than 500 kids from APS will give a performance. Following the show, there will be food, dancing and live entertainment. Go home feeling good about yourself. Tickets are $100 for adults and $25 for kids 12 and under. 1701 Fourth Street SW, 505.246.2261,

Wagon Mound Ranch Supply is a store my grandparents would love, and I mean that in a very good way. The two of them come from cowboy culture—building things off the land, raising a horse or two and always donning a well-loved pair of cowboy boots. Even in his 80s, my grandfather can shimmy his way up a telephone pole with nothing more than his belt and a little bit of might. Wagon Mound Ranch Supply embraces that culture as well, stocking its shelves with, as it says, things that complement the Western lifestyle—horse gear, camping equipment, cooking supplies, tools and even some Western music. It’s been around for 28 years, but it just relocated to The Village Shops at Los Ranchos. Stop by and welcome it to the neighborhood. 6855 Fourth Street NW, Suite E2, Los Ranchos, 800.526.0482,

Wine festival time has arrived. Celebrate it with tastings from more than 27 New Mexico wineries, the smell of spring grass, loads of food, arts and crafts, and a bunch of awesome live bands. The Albuquerque Wine Festival takes over Balloon Fiesta Park for Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 28, through Monday, May 30, from noon to 6 p.m. each day. Felonious Groove and the DaddyOs take the stage Saturday, with Red Wine and Nosotros stepping in Sunday, and Victor Andrade and Ben Martinez finish off the weekend on Monday. Tickets are $15 and include a souvenir wine glass. People under 21 are free, but have to be with a parent or legal guardian, of course. And on Monday, military members get $3 off the price of admission. If you want to start your day of drinking with some blood flow, Divine Proportion Fitness is hosting the Will Run for Wine 5k midmorning on Saturday. And one more neat thing: Parking is free. For more information about the festival, visit, and for more details on the 5k, go to

Here’s a heads-up about a great event happening in early June. The Albuquerque Aquarium and the Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico are hosting the Sustainable Seafood Festival on Thursday, June 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. Seafood lovers are becoming more aware of the environmental hazards of overfishing, which is why events like this, which teach people how to sate their culinary cravings without depleting the world’s oceans, are so crucial. Sample some tasty tidbits, listen to live music, watch a film, wander around the Aquarium and garden, and, most importantly, learn how to make sustainable choices. Tickets are $20. 2601 Central NW, 505.848.7180,