Here’s a quick look at the events going on in the Las Cruces area the weekend of April 19-22, 2018.
Thursday, April 19
Kick your weekend off early with the “bargain night” performance of No Strings Theatre Company’s production of “Waitless,” set for 8 p.m. Thursday.
In its final weekend, “Waitless” is a unique new play exploring the challenges of uprooting. This backwards love story starts with a happy ending — blissful newlyweds Shelly and Trent find love, top-notch careers and excitement in New York City — but with a transfer to London for Trent, they must swap this for a new life in London. Shelly gives up her dream job to follow her heart, only to find expat life is not all it’s cracked up to be.
All seats on Thursday are just $10. “Waitless” continues with showtimes at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday — that’s it. For tickets and more, visit http://no-strings.org.
Friday, April 20
The Doña Ana Arts Council Arts and Cultural Center, located at 1740 Calle de Mercado, in Mesilla, will present “An Iliad” by Theatre Dojo — which combines the improvisatory skill of Las Cruces musician Randy Granger and the raw theatre style of actor-playwright-director Algernon D’Ammassa — at 7 p.m. Friday.
“An Iliad,” based on Robert Fagles’ translation of Homer’s epic poem, is a modern retelling of the Trojan War including gods, warriors, their families and the endless battles of human history with a gripping, contemporary voice. D’Ammassa and Granger play mysterious, homeless storytellers who create the ancient world for an audience using storytelling, a few simple props, and an improvised musical accompaniment on a variety of musical instruments. Theatre Dojo’s production debuted in Las Cruces in 2014 and has since toured to cities throughout New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and North Carolina.
Tickets are $10. Visit www.daarts.org and www.theatre-dojo.org for tickets and more, and don’t be Theatre Dojo’s second performance of a back-to-back weekend, of its first original show, “Killing Buddha,” on Saturday afternoon — see more below.
At 7 p.m., A Children’s Theatre of the Mesilla Valley will bring to the stage J.M. Barrie’s beloved classic “Peter Pan,” featuring a talented cast of Las Cruces and Southern New Mexico youth. A follow up matinee performance is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, also at the Rio Grande. All tickets are $8 and are available online at http://achildrenstheatre.wixsite.com/achildrenstheatre.
Saturday, April 21
Following up their Friday night performance of “An Iliad,” Theatre Dojo — Las Cruces musician Randy Granger and actor-playwright-director Algernon D’Ammassa — return to the Doña Ana Arts Council’s Arts & Cultural Center in Mesilla for a performance of their original play, “Killing Buddha” at 7 p.m.
Algernon and Randy, portraying the same homeless storytellers who perform “An Iliad,” eat, pray, sing and tell the audience a story in a different but related vein. Leaving Greek tragedy and the history of warfare behind, the storytellers take us to Asia and tell the human story behind a famous bit of Buddhist folklore in which a very human Buddha encounters a serial killer. The story presents a difficult moral problem about forgiveness and redemption.
Plaza de Las Cruces will host the 2018 Earth Day Festival from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The environmental-themed celebration will include live music, kids’ activities, educational booths, a science march, raffles, local food, the sixth annual Reuse and Recycle Fashion Show and more.
Also on Plaza de Las Cruces is the Cruces Kids Can Downtown Marketplace, during with entrepreneurial kids will create a business plan, develop a product or service and then open for business. For more, visit www.facebook.com/cruceskidscan.
Sunday, April 22
Mesilla Valley Rotary Club will host its 17th annual youth talent show, Mesilla Valley’s Got Talent, beginning at 3 p.m. at on the stage of the Rio Grande Theatre. Children from all over the county are invited to participate, bringing with them acts including singing, dancing, improvisational acting and music. Contestants benefit from coaching by local celebrities. Doors open at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door. For more, visit www.riograndetheatre.org.
Beat back the mid-week blues with a screening of the documentary “Changing the World, One Wall at a Time,” set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 25 at the historic Rio Grande Theatre. This documentary feature focuses on Education Is Not A Crime, one of the world’s largest street art and human rights campaigns, which raises awareness of education discrimination by Iran’s government against tens of thousands of Baha’is. The film features interviews with popular artists and with experience of the Civil Rights movement, the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa and human rights work on behalf of Iranians of all backgrounds. Iranian Baha’is with personal experience of being denied their right to higher education also share their stories. This event is free to attend. For more, visit www.riograndetheatre.org.
Next Weekend: April 26-29
Next weekend, get ready for the American Southwest Theatre Company and NMSU Department of Theatre Arts production of the beloved, Tony Award-winning musical “Rent” on the stage of the ASNMSU Center for the Arts; learn about the role trains played Las Cruces history at the 11th annual Railroad Days at the Las Cruces Railroad Museum; spend a day sampling reds and whites at the La Viña Spring Wine Festival; and get a double dose of Prince with a screening of “Purple Rain” and a performance by Purple Madness at the Rio Grande Theatre.
The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum will host the annual Blessing of the Fields on May 15. Visitors can join the colorful, music-filled procession around the museum’s campus as the livestock, plants, water and bread are blessed in the tradition of the day. Piñata making (and busting) also is part of the fun of this historic tradition. Visit www.nmfarmandranchmuseum.org to start planning.