February 3, 5 – 7 p.m.: Artist reception for ArtForms Member Show
February is For the Love of Art Month, a celebration of the arts coordinated by ArtForms Artists Association of New Mexico. Their annual member show will be held at three locations this year, including the El Paso Electric Gallery at the Rio Grande Theatre, and kicks off with an artist reception during the Downtown Ramble. Artists showing their work at the El Paso Electric Gallery include Milette Lamphere and Ruth Drayer. The exhibit will be on display throughout the month.
February 3, 7 p.m.: Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey, live theatre by Kid’s Entertainment
A special program for young theater fans, “Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey” is a cosmic adventure that celebrates our differences. The play tells the tale of Marvin, a mouse who wants to be popular. Constantly bullied and picked on by the “cool” rats, he is labeled a loser and geek. To get away from their constant badgering, he retreats into his science books and a world of fantasy, with dreams of being the hero in an adventure. Join Marvin on the space adventure of a lifetime: a trip to the surface of the moon in his homemade rocket, where he meets a strange cast of misfit creatures, learns of infinite peril and awesome beauty. Will Marvin make his dreams come true and find the glory and acceptance he craves? Reserved seats for children are $7; adult reserved seats are $26 and are available at riograndetheatre.com.
February 11, 7:30 p.m.: Chris Waggoner’s Tribute to Neil Diamond Play Me
The highly acclaimed "Play Me," a Neil Diamond tribute, features the incomparable talent of local recording artist Chris Waggoner singing in the style of Neil Diamond. News Release Backed by a seven-piece band and the "Diamonette" singers, the show is a high-powered tribute to the music and musical styling of the iconic Neil Diamond. Premium main floor reserved seats are $30; regular main floor reserved seats are $23, and balcony reserved seats are $20. Tickets available at riograndetheatre.com.
February 14, 7:30 p.m.: Rhythm of the Dance (National Tour Series #3)
The National Tour Series continues with the National Dance Company of Ireland’s Rhythm of the Dance, a two-hour dance and music extravaganza which contains a wealth of Irish talent. The show is an inspiring epic, reliving the journey of the Irish Celts throughout history. Using modern art forms of dance and music, this richly costumed show marries the contemporary and the ancient. Combining traditional dance and music with the most up-to- date stage technology, the show is a thousand-year- old story executed with all the advantages of the modern-day stage show. Rhythm of the Dance has heralded a new era in Irish entertainment, internationally rated as one of the most popular — and busiest — Irish step dance shows in the world. The show features a live band, three tenors, and some 22 dancers. This special event for Valentine's Day and For the Love of Art Month is included for patrons with National Tour Series subscriptions. Individual tickets for this show range from $27 – $37 and are available at riograndetheatre.com.
February 16, 7:30 p.m.: Las Cruces Civic Concert Association presents pianist Alina Kiryayeva
Professional concert pianist and chamber musician Alina Kiryayeva is globally renowned for her powerful command of the instrument, unique interpretations, and clarity of sound. She has won numerous awards and is one of the few classical pianists who completed both bachelors and master’s degrees at The Juilliard School of Music on full scholarship. She performs brilliant light-classical music. The concert is included for those who purchased the LCCCA Concert Season. Individual tickets are $25, available at riograndetheatre.com.
February 17, 8 p.m.: Wiley Ramey & the Big O Band present Roy Orbison Returns
The voice remains after the man is gone. Roy Orbison left us with a treasure chest of timeless songs such as “Pretty Woman,” “Crying,” and many more. On February 17, Roy Orbison comes to life at the Rio Grande Theatre and will host a special performance by Wiley Ray & The Big O Band, a nationally touring music group paying tribute to one of the greatest singer/songwriters of all time. They’ll play Orbison standards like “Only the Lonely,” “Pretty Woman,” “Crying,” rounding out the set with sweet delights such as “In Dreams,” “Hound Dog Man,” and “You’re Not Alone.” Wiley Ray & The Big O Band will enchant you with their faithful renditions of the legend’s soulful songs. Tickets are $25 and are available at riograndetheatre.com.
February 23, 7:30 p.m.: African Guitar Summit (National Tour Series #4)
Celebrating Black History Month and For the Love of Art Month, the National Tour Series concludes with the African Guitar Summit, with rhythms and musicality by an international touring sensation featuring award-winning guitar and drum masters from Guinea, Ghana, and Madagascar. AllMusic.com reviewer Sergey Mesenov says, “African Guitar Summit was a project created in 2004 under the guidance of a Canadian CBC radio station that invited several Canadian-based African-born musicians to do a series of collective recordings and performances. All nine performers were selected based on their personal interpretations of guitar music of their respective native countries, which included Guinea, Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya, and Madagascar. African Guitar Summit proved successful with world music lovers and brought the project the 2005 Juno Award for the World Music Album of the Year. In 2006 a sequel to the album followed, and it again brought the band a Juno Award in the same category.” Enjoy world music at its best with rhythms and musicality by this international touring sensation. The performance is included for patrons with National Tour Series subscriptions. Individual tickets for this show are $22 for balcony reserved seats and $32 for main floor reserved seats. Tickets are available at riograndetheatre.com.
February 24, 7:30 p.m.: The Mesilla Valley Jazz & Blues Society presents the Black Market Trust with Gypsy Jazz
Mesilla Valley Jazz & Blues Society presents the Black Market Trust, an American pop/vocal jazz band which combines the sounds of the great American crooners and vocal groups with the romantic Eastern European fire and energy of the gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. Consisting of five world-class musicians who have traveled the globe recording and performing on the world’s biggest stages and with music’s most renowned artists, the Black Market Trust capitalize on their experience and pedigree to deliver a lively, crowd-pleasing performance filled with some of the best songs ever written. Merging their love of everything from The Mills Brothers to The Beach Boys, Sinatra to Lennon and McCartney, the band has arranged three-part vocal harmony lines to many of the Great American Songbook standards. Be transported as they meld two distinctly different vibes, one of a gypsy campfire, the other a slick metropolitan nightclub, into a cohesive, stylish sound. The performance is a benefit concert for the Mesilla Valley Jazz & Blues Society’s scholarship program. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, available at https://mesillavalleyjazzandbluessociety.yapsody.com/event/index/52671/the-black-market-trust.
In the El Paso Electric Gallery: ArtForms Member Show
February is For the Love of Art Month, a celebration of the arts coordinated by ArtForms Artists Association of New Mexico. Their annual member show will be held at three locations this year, including the El Paso Electric Gallery at the Rio Grande Theatre, and kicks off with an artist reception during the Downtown Ramble. Artists showing their work at the El Paso Electric Gallery include Milette Lamphere and Ruth Drayer. Milette Lanphere moved to Las Cruces from Mississippi at six months of age when her mother and father were both employed at NMSU. An active family, they traveled extensively through Mexico and Europe and enjoyed camping throughout the Southwestern United States. Lanphere’s mother was a prolific artist and used these outings to enrich her children’s lives with creative projects and cultural explorations. As an adult, Lanphere was driven by a love of nature and an inherited need to create. She pursued jobs that allowed close contact with animals both domestic and wild. Lanphere works in various fiber arts. Ruth Drayer, one of the founders of ArtForms, will show her work at both the Member Show and in the ArtForms Founders' Show at The Big Picture Gallery, 311 N. Main Street. Raised in Washington, D.C., Drayer has lived throughout the Southwest and in India before returning to Las Cruces in 2016 because she missed the Organ Mountains, the blue skies, clouds, and sunsets and the wonderful arts community. Her eclectic approach to painting was developed from studying art in the churches, museums, and galleries she visited in Europe and Asia. Beginning as a sculptor, her love of color led her to begin painting twenty-some years ago. Rather than starting with an idea, she begins by covering a canvas with a gel or compound to add texture and depth to the work, then paints in a sacred symbol or words and conceals them. Drayer layers on color until the composition “works.” Sometimes some of the hidden symbols or words appear — other times the work is simply a harmony of colors. Acrylics allow her to build up layers. “Just as colors speak a wordless language, my work may whisper or speak out boldly. Art is such an emotional experience, what is most important is if the viewer enjoys looking. Time spent with a beautiful piece of art is healing and soothing to our souls,” Drayer says. The El Paso Electric Gallery at the Rio Grande Theatre is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The exhibit will be on display throughout the month. The Rio Grande Theatre is located at 211 N. Main Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico, and is managed by the Doña Ana Arts Council. The theatre box office and Doña Ana Arts Council office are on the second floor of the theatre. Box office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and one hour prior to show time. For more information or to purchase tickets online, go to riograndetheatre.com. or call (575) 523-6403.