Albuquerque Buzz: March 2012

by Christie Chisholm, LocalFlavor Magazine, March 2012

Jaque Fragua continues on his path of world domination, or at least Southwestern domination. You may remember artist/musician/dancer Fragua from last year’s August issue [“On Native Ground”]. The prolific twentysomething hasn’t slowed down. He’s just finished a new mural in Las Cruces, N.M., and has a brand-new show opening at the Claredon Hotel on March 3 in Phoenix, Ariz. He’s partnering with El Mac to paint another mural in conjunction with the show’s opening. Go see him in action if you’ll be in Phoenix, or watch him create a piece in response to the banning of ethnic studies books here: www.bit.ly/yMPzYJ. To keep up with Fragua, follow him at www.fragua.tumblr.com.   

Jessica Fichot melds her French-Chinese-American background into her music, stripping the barriers between gypsy jazz, Chinese and Latin American folk, and French chanson traditions. She’ll be in Albuquerque for a night on her way back to her home in Los Angeles, so catch the richly layered talents of the chanteuse, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter while you have a chance. The show starts on Saturday, March 31, at 8 p.m., and if you stick around afterward you’ll get an extra aural treat from local dirty-gypsy-jazz favorite Le Chat Lunatique. Tickets are a mere $10 in advance or $12 the day of the show. Find it all at Low Spirits. 2823 Second Street NW, 505.886.1251. www.lowspiritslive.com, www.jessicasongs.com

Heaven and hell. These are the split worlds you’ll be pulled into with Opera Southwest’s newest offering, two of the three one-act operas in Puccini’s “Il Trittico.” Each act follows a separate life, one on its way to heaven, another to hell and the last to purgatory. Through the first two, “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi,” Opera Southwest brings viewers in the starkness and contrast between two extremes. There are only four shows  at the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Albuquerque Journal Theatre from Saturday, March 24, through Sunday, April 1, so make sure you get your tickets in advance. Prices range from $10 to $75. 1701 Fourth Street SW, 505.246.2261. www.operasouthwest.org

Nearly every community theater ever in existence has at some point put on Shakespeare. It’s like a rite of passage. While it’s good to support those efforts, and while you will occasionally be rewarded for them, nothing compares to seeing one of the Bard’s plays put on by professionals. That’s why you should see the Aquila Theatre Company’s version of Macbeth, coming to Popejoy Hall on Sunday, March 18. (Side note: Since all the actors are either British or Scottish, they won’t have to face one of the greatest hurdles that comes with Shakespearean performances—accents.) Get a glimpse of betrayal, assassination, sex and war at www.popejoypresents.com, www.unmtickets.com or by calling 505.925.5858. Show starts at 3 p.m.

You can get a look at some of the most influential pieces of Western art until May 13. Francisco Goya’s Los Caprichos is a set of 80 etchings that feature goblins, prostitutes and aristocrats and deal with notions of witchcraft, abuse by the church and the Spanish Inquisition. Published in 1799, they emerged from a time rife with social repression but still glimmered with Enlightenment thinking. Visit the dark side at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. 2000 Mountain NW, 505.243.7255. www.cabq.gov/museum

It’s possible this will only be exciting to me because I’m a giant nerd, but the Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz is having its third annual Seinfeld Quiz on Monday, March 5. It’s a Festivus for the rest of us! What celebrity sank his teeth into Kramer’s forearm? What was “Mulva”’s real name? What ultimately killed George’s fiancée? Show off your Seinfeld skills at O’Niell’s Juan Tabo location from 9 to 11 p.m. Best of all, it’s free. 3301 Juan Tabo NE, 505.293.1122. www.oniells.com.

It’s al amalgam of dance, music, acting and narration. And it sounds pretty cool. The Figueroa Project brings its interpretation of Igor Stravinsky’s “Histoire du Soldat” (“The Soldier’s Tale”) to the KiMo Theatre. The plot is simple: a poor Russian solider gives the devil his violin in exchange for a book that predicts the future. You can imagine what kind of mayhem ensues. Toby Appel of National Public Radio serves as the narrator, and the story unfurls and Appel interacts with actors and dancers to the backdrop of Stravinsky’s music. Joe Moncada plays the part of the devil, while Louis Giannini plays the hapless soldier and Courtney Giannini the princess. With choreography by Festival Ballet Albuquerque’s Patricia Dickinson and Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70, for strings added to the mix, this promises to be a curious and dazzling performance. Show times are on Saturday, March 10, at 6 p.m. and Sunday, March 11, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 or $50, and the higher ticket price provides preferred seating and a post-performance reception with the artists. 423 Central NW, 505.886.1251. www.figueroaproject.org

It’s simple but really, really tasty. Flying Star spinoff Satellite Coffee has nine locations, and all of them offer some kind of food, but it’s usually standard coffee shop fare—pastries, burritos and sandwiches made elsewhere and stashed in a nice, cold display case, that sort of thing. The location on University is the only Satellite spot with its own kitchen and it comes with an expanded menu. Of course, this makes everything there a little more delicious because it’s made fresh, but one of the standouts is the soft falafel taco. Grilled bits of falafel are tossed with feta cheese and greens sprinkled in a pomegranate vinaigrette, then drizzled slightly with ranch dressing. The whole thing comes taco-style in a warm piece of flatbread, then sliced in half. And it comes with an adorable bag of baby carrots. It’s one of the best items on any Flying Star / Satellite menu, and I wish the Bernsteins would add it to all the locations. It’s just the right amount of everything. 1131 University NE, 505.247.0662. www.satcoffee.com

Mother Road Theatre Company has a new show this month, and since it’s one of the best companies in town, that’s always great news. This time the expert troupe of actors takes on Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer, a dark Irish play about blindness, brotherhood and a game of cards that may lead to a battle over one’s soul. A little supernatural and absolutely captivating, the story is in good hands with Vic Browder, Peter Shea Kierst, Shangreaux Lagrave, Tom Schuch and David Sinkus. Performances run March 9 through April 1, Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 general, $12 students and seniors and $10 for everyone on Thursdays. As usual, it’s at The Filling Station. 1024 Fourth Street SW, 505.243.0596, www.motherroad.org.