Here’s a quick look at events in Las Cruces for the weekend of Dec. 19-22, 2019.
No Strings Theatre Company’s production of “Surviving Your Family at Christmas” — a Christmas comedy by William Missouri Downs, author of “Cockeyed,” “Mad Gravity,” “Seagulls in a Cherry Tree” and “Headsets,” all popular NSTC productions — enters its final weekend with a special bargain night performance — all sets just $10! — at 7 p.m. Friday at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St.
“How to Survive Your Family at Christmas” follows a Harvard student who returns home for a visit, only to find she has nothing in common with her working-class parents. To complicate things, her cultivated boyfriend, a Massachusetts Kennedy, shows up.
Tickets are $10 for this Thursday performance; other performances are $15 regular, $12 seniors and students. Remaining performances are set for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 20 and 21; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22.
Visit no-strings.org for tickets and more.
Friday, Dec. 20
Las Cruces Chamber Ballet will present its annual production of “The Nutcracker,” along with Michele’s Dance Academy’s “Chaos at Christmas,” set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at NMSU’s Atkinson Recital Hall, 1075 N. Horseshoe Drive on the NMSU campus.
No Christmas season is complete without tradition, and what could be more traditional than the Las Cruces Chamber Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” Leaping Russians, giant mice and a delicate Sugar Plum Fairy make for an enchanting evening of dance. Join LCCB in celebrating its 6th annual production of the Nutcracker Ballet.
Michele’s Dance Academy’s Christmas spectacular, the second half of the evening, will include Axia Productions Youth Actors, under the direction of Constance Hasapopoulos, presenting delightful vignettes throughout the show. Dancers will perform hip hop, jazz, tap, contemporary and musical theater numbers, culminating in a grand finale and the arrival of Santa Claus on his sleigh.
Tickets are $22; visit lascruceschamberballet.org for tickets and more.
Las Cruces Community Theatre, 313 N. Main St., will conclude its holiday production of “A Christmas Story: The Musical” with three weekend performances, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The classic story follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and his quest for the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts — an Official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Rebuffed at every turn with a similar echoing response, Ralphie plots numerous schemes to achieve his desperate desire for the coveted BB gun.
Tickets are $17 adults, $14 seniors, students and military, $10 children younger than 12 and $10 per person for groups of 10 or more.
For tickets and more, visit lcctnm.org.
Friday’s live music schedule includes ALTO at The Game and Eli James Band at The Game II (7 to 11 p.m.); Perfect on Paper at Pecan Grill & Brewery (8 p.m.); CL Smith Duo at NM Vintage Wines (8-10 p.m.); and Tiffany Christopher Duo at Little Toad Creek (8-11 p.m.).
Saturday, Dec. 21
A campfire might seem like an unlikely place to make Christmas cookies, but let’s do it — the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road, Las Cruces, will host the Campfire Christmas Cookies event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Visitors can participate in the age-old art of making cookies using a vintage Pizzelle iron from the 1800s, with vintage cookie cutters and all the fixins and decorations. Bring an appetite and enjoy this sweet taste of history.
While you’re at the museum, stop into this week’s Crafts for Kids program, from 10 a.m. to noon, and make a decorated pine cone tree or pinecone birdfeeder.
Both programs are free with regular museum admission — $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 children ages 5-17. For more, visit nmfarmandranchmuseum.org or call 575-522-4100.
Who wrote the “12 Days of Christmas”? Why is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” so popular? Who sang “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”? What was the first Christmas song to be performed in outer space? And did Frosty the Snowman really come to life? The answers to these questions and many more can be found in Andy Mason’s “A Brief History of Christmas Music,” set for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Rio Grande Theatre.
From 16th century west country English Christmas carols to Christmas music from the new millennium and everything in between, Andy Mason will present fascinating Christmas history and trivia through music. This show is an opportunity for the whole family to sing along to their holiday favorites and get in the mood to celebrate the season.
Admission is free; for more, visit riograndetheatre.org.
Las Cruces Food Truck Winterfest 2019, sponsored by the Downtown Las Cruces Partnership and the Las Cruces Food Truck Fiesta, is set for 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday on the Plaza de Las Cruces, 100 N. Main St. There will be 10 food trucks, free pictures with Santa, holiday music and caroling, holiday lights and a last-minute market featuring more than 25 local art, crafts and merchandise vendors.
Donations of gloves, socks, flashlights, toiletries and nonperishable foods will be collected, with all donations going to Mesilla Valley Community of Hope.
Enjoy a festive evening of food, music, shopping, Santa visits and holiday lights downtown just before the holiday, while giving back to those in need.
For more, visit bit.ly/2EJLx6l.
Capping its weekend performances of “The Nutcracker,” the Las Cruces School of Dance and Music will present “The Cracked Nut,” a whole different take of E.T.A. Hoffman’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” at 7 p.m. Saturday at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts.
Relying on the school’s strong jazz, tap and hip-hop program, “The Cracked Nut” gives dancers a chance to show off a different skill set while giving audiences a darker picture of the story on which “The Nutcracker” is based.
Tickets are $20 at tututix.com/client/lascrucesschool.
Saturday’s live music schedule includes Frontera Jazz at Sombra Antigua Winery (2:30 to 5:30 p.m.); Sage Gentle Wing at The Game and ALTO at The Game II (7 to 11 p.m.); Chelsea Beth and Maxwell Tretter at NM Vintage Wines (8-10 p.m.); Chris Baker Band at Pecan Grill & Brewery (8 p.m.); and The Ghetto Blaster at Little Toad Creek (8-11 p.m.).
Sunday, Dec. 22
Sunday’s live music schedule includes Jerry & Ed at Sombra Antigua Winery (2-6 p.m.); CW Ayon Duo at NM Vintage Wines (3-5 p.m.); and Jason Chaffee at Little Toad Creek. (5-8 pm.).
Next week, celebrate Christmas Eve on the Mesilla Plaza with a traditional luminaria display, candlelight vigil, Christmas carols, hot chocolate and cookies provided by Andele and Salud de Mesilla and more, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24.
Next Weekend: Dec. 26-29
Next weekend, take a ranger-led hike and Lake Lucero Tour to the source of White Sands’ unique gypsum sand; join Southwest Expeditions for the Ladies Night Out! Candle-lit Christmas Haunted Courthouse Tour.
With 2020 just around the corner, it’s time to start making those New Year’s Eve plans! The Sixth Annual Las Cruces Chile Drop will return to downtown Las Cruces on Dec. 31 to bid farewell to the 2010s and welcome the 2020s. For more NYE fun, pick up the November/December issue of Neighbors Magazine, or find it online at http://bit.ly/36NK8Yf.