Day of Dance and Cirque Zuma Zuma return to the Rio Grande

The historic Rio Grande Theatre hosts a variety of dance, music, and theatrical events in April, including the return of the Day of Dance, as well as a special presentation of a play by Irene Oliver-Lewis entitled Dichos de Mi Madre. The theatre is located downtown at 211 N. Main Street with parking on Water Street.

Tuesday, April 12, 6:30 p.m.: Every Other Tuesday: Cantilena Plena
Cantilena Plena is a five-member group, led by James Helder, that performs a highly varied, multifaceted repertoire on a variety of wind, string, and percussive instruments.

Every Other Tuesday is a Doña Ana Arts Council program that showcases local performers beginning promptly at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Friday, April 15, 6 p.m.: International Day of Dance
Sponsored by the City of Las Cruces Museums System, the International Day of Dance is a multicultural and multi-heritage dance event suitable for all ages. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, email or call 541-2154.

Saturday, April 16, 7:30 p.m.: Irene Oliver-Lewis: Dichos de Mi Madre
The Doña Ana Arts Council’s New Mexico Heritage Series at the Rio Grande Theatre continues with Cecilia-isms – Dichos de Mi Madre, a one-woman play by writer and storyteller, Irene Oliver-Lewis. The Las Cruces native honors her parents, Cecilia Triviz Fitch Oliver and Fred Frieze Oliver, in an evening of humor, song, family and memories of the Hispanic culture. “Family stories are like shadows. They are part of you wherever you go,” Oliver-Lewis said. “They echo our lives. They ensure that we remember from generation to generation. It’s just like making tortillas. Who makes them anymore?” She uses dichos — Mexican idioms — as metaphors of “my cultural DNA and to purge my baby-boomer bilingual soul.”

Santa Cecilia is the patron saint of music, and Cecilia Fitch dreamed of being a mariachi singer when she was young, but instead her melodies have become soulful dichos — words that bring wisdom, laughter and melancholy to a Latino culture and history in jeopardy of fading. The play was originally commissioned by the National Hispanic Cultural Center as part of their 500 Years of Living History series. Reserved tickets are $11.50 for balcony seating and $22 for main floor seating (all fees included).

Sunday, April 17, 3 p.m.: Mesilla Valley’s Got Talent 2016
Mesilla Valley’s Got Talent 2016 is Mesilla Valley Rotary Club’s 14th youth talent show competition. Children from all over the county are invited to participate. Acts often include singing, dancing, improvisational acting and music. The talented contestants will benefit from coaching by local celebrities. Since 2002, Mesilla Valley Rotary has contributed $71,000 for youth-oriented community service projects with proven track records of success. Tickets are $5 general admission at the door. Doors open at 2 p.m., show begins at 3 p.m. For more information, email Mesilla Valley Rotary Club of Las Cruces representative Rebecca Villalobos at or call 649-0211.

Friday, April 22, 7:30 p.m.: Cirque Zuma Zuma
Back again after selling out the Rio Grande Theatre last season, Cirque Zuma Zuma returns to the Mesilla Valley to wow you once again. You don’t want to miss this unique blend of traditional arts and circus skills done in an African-style. Cirque Zuma Zuma is a high-energy dance act, part Cirque du Soleil, part Harlem Globetrotters, and above all, it is fastpaced and full of acrobatic ingenuity. Adult tickets are $42.50 for main floor, and $32 for balcony; Children 12 and under are $12, all seats; and student tickets are $22 (with valid ID, balcony only). All seats reserved. Price includes all fees.

Tuesday, April 26, 6:30 p.m.: Every Other Tuesday: Ray Scroggins & Young at Heart Chorus
The Young at Heart Chorus entertains residents of assisted living and nursing homes in the Las Cruces area, and has a really good time in the process. The group has been in continuous operation since 1972, with the name of the group, the director, piano accompanist, and venues changing through the years. Currently there are 25 members, who perform at four facilities each month. Music changes monthly, selected from a large collection of old songs, generally favorites of the audience and the chorus. Programs are enhanced by varying the themes and by highlighting the talents of individual members with vocal solos or duets, group harmony, and instrumental accompaniment.

The event is free and open to the public.

Friday, April 29, noon: Promoting Art in Las Cruces
Promoting Art in Las Cruces, a free monthly series presented by the Doña Ana Arts Council, explores different ways for artists and arts organizations to promote themselves and their events, and gives individuals or groups the opportunity to connect with other members of the arts community. The event is held monthly on the last Friday of the month at the Main Street Bistro, 139 N. Main Street. The event is free and open to the public, however, attendees may order the buffet lunch for $10, plus tip; RSVP by 10 a.m. the day of the event if you will be ordering lunch. (RSVP to or 523-6403.)

Saturday, April 30, 10 a.m.: Santa Fe Opera: Unshakable
Take a break from Saturday morning shopping at the Farmers’ Market to visit the Rio Grande Theatre when the Santa Fe Opera presents the one-act opera Unshakeable, about an abandoned theater in New Mexico 25 years from now — three years after the viral pandemic Erasure. As a result, everyone has some degree of memory loss and people are less connected to one another. Wyatt and Meridian, Shakespearean actors and former lovers, have not seen each other since the start of the pandemic. Free and open to the public. The entire program will last approximately one hour.

On Exhibit in the El Paso Electric Gallery
The El Paso Electric Gallery presents for the month of April Piercing the Veil of Illusion, an exhibit by Las Cruces visionary artist Barbara Besser.

Barbara Besser, also known as Analeia, has been a New Mexico resident since 1993. She has lived in Silver City and Albuquerque, and now resides in Deming. Besser is an art educator, ordained minister, and visionary artist. She has toured the country showing her work, while lecturing and offering her “spiritual portraits” as her specialty. Piercing the Veil of Illusion represents many years of Besser’s work in multi-media and three-dimensional techniques.

Every month the Doña Ana Arts Council welcomes local artists to exhibit in the El Paso Electric Gallery in the lobby of the Rio Grande Theatre. Regular exhibit hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, or to book an exhibit, call the Arts Council offices during regular working hours.

The Rio Grande Theatre is located at 211 N. Main and is managed by the Doña Ana Arts Council. For additional information, visit or contact the Doña Ana Arts Council, 523-6403, located on the second floor of the Rio Grande Theatre