The Rio Grande Theatre hosts a wide range of holiday performances in December, from opera to ukuleles, choral music to dance. Many events are free and those that have a charge are a bargain. Give yourself the gift of special events this month.
Wednesday, December 2, 7 p.m.: Early Christmas
The newly established Veterans Theater presents its very first Early Christmas play and gift swap. Bring wrapped homemade gifts or give the gift of one to five hours of service. Doors open at 6 p.m., show begins promptly at 7 p.m.. Free and open to the public. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit veteranstheater.com.
Friday, December 4, 5 to 7 p.m.: Artist Reception for December
The regular monthly artists’ reception, taking place in the El Paso Electric Gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. during the First Friday Downtown ArtRamble, will feature the photographic works of Michael Stephens. Meet the artist and get a first-hand look at the artistic process.
Friday, December 4, 7:30 p.m.: Santa Fe Opera Holiday Show
As a special gift to the citizens of Las Cruces, the Santa Fe Opera Educational and Community Outreach Department and the Doña Ana Arts Council present a free holiday concert, featuring arias, songs of the season, musical theater selections and sacred music, all performed by up-and-coming opera stars accompanied by SFO Musical Director Kirt Pavitt. All seating is first come, first served general admission. More information is available at RioGrandeTheatre. com or by calling 523-6403.
Saturday, December 5, 7 p.m.: Lux Boreal
Founded in 2002, Lux Boreal Dance Company is a circle of choreographers and dancers from all over Mexico, converging through dance towards a common language to express their vision of reality through art. Presented by the City of Las Cruces and the Consulate General of Mexico in El Paso, Lux Boreal has performed throughout the world, has won several awards, and was selected by Dance Magazine as one of “25 to watch” in 2009. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the presentation begins at 7 p.m.. Suitable for all ages; admission is free to the public; seating is general admission with first come, first served. For more information, visit RioGrandeTheatre.com or call (915) 544-6489 ext 258.
Sunday, December 6, 3 p.m.: Mesilla Valley Chorale presents Holiday Magic
The Mesilla Valley Chorale, a community chorale of 60 voices under the direction of Nancy Ritchey, presents its annual holiday concert, Holiday Magic. The diverse program includes sacred selections, spirituals and exciting choral arrangements of holiday favorites with instrumental backup. Doors open at 2:30 p.m., show begins promptly at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission. For more information, or to reserve tickets, call 647-2560.
Tuesday, December 8, 6:30 p.m.: Every Other Tuesday: Feliz Navidad! preview
Highlights from the upcoming Feliz Navidad! Christmas In Song And Dance will be presented, highlighting the cultural celebrations of the Borderlands. 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. For more information, visit RioGrandeTheatre.com or call 523-6403.
Thursday, December 10, 7 p.m.: KRWG presents El Paso Brass
One of the country’s finest brass quintets returns to the Rio Grande Theatre for its annual holiday concert. Composed of key members of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and other distinguished musicians from the Southwest, the ensemble is renowned for outstanding musicianship and the diversity of its repertoire. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show begins at 7 p.m. Adult general admission tickets are $15. Children 6 to 8 are $7.50. Tickets available at RioGrandeTheatre.com, the Rio Grande Theatre box office, KRWG FM, The Cutter Gallery, and Better Life Pet Food. For ticket and event info, call 646-2222 or visit RioGrandeTheatre.com.
Saturday & Sunday, December 12 & 13: Feliz Navidad! Christmas In Song And Dance
The Doña Ana Arts Council, in association with Bella Artes Sin Fronteras, continues its 2015/2016 New Mexico Heritage Series with a very special holiday performance, Feliz Navidad! Christmas In Song And Dance. Enjoy the pageantry of a traditional border/cultural celebration of Christmas through the universal language of song and dance. Doors open Saturday, December 12 at 6 p.m., show starts at 6:30 p.m. Doors open Sunday, December 13, at 1:30, show starts at 2 p.m.. Tickets are $32 for reserved seats (all fees included). Ticket price includes a meet and greet, with traditional Christmas antojitos (Mexican street food) one hour before the doors open. For or more information, call 523-6403 or visit RioGrandeTheatre.com.
Saturday, December 19, 7:30 p.m.: The Hard Road Trio CD release, Smoke and Redemption
The Hard Road Trio — made up of mandolin master Steve Smith, guitarist and songbird Chris Sanders, and cellist Anne Luna — will celebrate with an official CD release concert at the Rio Grande Theatre. Also on the bill will be special guest King Ibu, who is a guitarist, percussionist, singer and songwriter from Podor, Senegal. Copies of the new CD, Smoke and Redemption, and other CDs from the trio and King Ibu will be available for last-minute gift giving. Show time is 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $17 for adults; $5 for 12 and under. At the door ticket prices are $22 for adults and $5 for 12 and under. Tickets and more information are available at RioGrandeTheatre.com, at the Rio Grande Theatre box office or by calling 523-6403.
Tuesday, December 22, 6:30 p.m.: Every Other Tuesday: Las Cruces Ukes
The Las Cruces Ukes, a community group of ukulele enthusiasts, will return to the Rio Grande Theatre for their second Every Other Tuesday performance December 22 at 6:30 p.m. Under the guidance of Chief Musical Officer Bob Hull, they’ll be featuring beloved songs of the holiday season, along with some of their anytime favorites. You’re sure to be tapping your toes with songs you know. Bring the family for a fun evening where you can sing along or just sit back and enjoy the show. Every Other Tuesday performances are free and open to all. More information about the group can be found at Facebook.com/lascrucesukes.
The Rio Grande Theatre and the Doña Ana Arts Council offices will be closed in observance of the holidays from Thursday, December 24 through Sunday, January 3. Offices will reopen on Monday, January 4, at 9 a.m.
On Exhibit in the El Paso Electric Gallery
Professional photographer Michael Stephens will be the featured artist for the month of December, presenting dynamic digital photographs originally taken at Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, then subjected to a technique known as light painting. The exhibit will begin with an opening reception on Friday, December 4, and run through the entire month.
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. For additional information, visit RioGrandeTheatre.com or call 523-6403.