Setting aside the actual roots of Cinco de Mayo—the Mexican Army's victory over France at the 1862 Battle of Puebla—the holiday has morphed into the having of fun. We asked around, and it turns out that's OK (so long as you don't do that cultural appropriation thing that people seem to love). But what's it gonna be? SFR chose a whole day's worth of cool stuff just for you.
For example, say you're more of a daytime person; no problem, because it also happens to be Free Comic Book Day at Big Adventure Comics (10 am-7 pm. Free. 418 Montezuma Ave., 992-8783). It's just what it sounds like and everything! To really get you in the mood, pop by the Cinco de Mayo Celebrations at Zalma Lofton Gallery (5 pm. Free. 407 S Guadalupe St., 670-5179) to see paintings from gallery owner Alberto Zalma, photography by Vic Macias and multimedia works by Carlo Martinez.
By early evening you'll no doubt be ready to get the party started, so swing by Las Magueyes for a killer Mexican meal and the cabaret stylings of pianist/satirist Charles Tichenor's Le Chat Noir (6 pm. Free. 31 Burro Alley, 992-0304). Maybe grab a margarita? Follow this up with DJs Mayrant and Sherdon's Root Down at the newly opened Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery (7 pm. Free. 2791 Agua Fría St.), sampling from any of their beers or spirits.
If you've got the time and the will, Norteño-slash-ranchero trio Lone Piñon appears out in Madrid at the Mine Shaft Tavern (8 pm. Free. 2846 Hwy. 14, Madrid, 473-0743), and if there's one thing we know about these dudes, it's that they're all about tradition.
Otherwise, close out your night with burlesque troupe Zircus Erotique's sixth annual ¡Cinco de Mayhem! party at The Palace Saloon (10 pm. $15-$25. 142 Palace Ave., 428-0690), a veritable cornucopia of sexy good times and a special guest performance from drag queen Dr. Lucky, one of the most infamous performers on the circuit.
Install Uber of Lyft on your phone, too, please, and remember to be safe, respectful and prepared for the next day's no-doubt-bonkers hangover.
(Alex De Vore)
Since the Flood
In a confrontation of toxicity—both culturally (the show-business rat race) and internally (codependence and manipulation)—playwright Jane Martin's H2O is an intimate glimpse at personal interaction as social commentary. Starring Julian Fox and Jessica Haring, musician and all-around artsy-type Paris Mancini tries her hand at directing for the stage for the first time. The show is "interesting, challenging and really badass," Mancini says; "It's not cutesy. There's a lot of rough subject matter. … It's inside a Hamlet-like character's mind. It's a crazy, heavy ride." Despite the intensity, Mancini realized in a preview with friends, "Most of this play is jokes! I didn't even know!" she says with a laugh. With an ethereal set and dedicated actors, she assures, "I trust the levity to come through, even if I don't see it." (Charlotte Jusinski)
East of West hosts a variety of Middle Eastern and North African artists in Artummah, a show that shares a name with a social media collective dedicated to art of the region (facebook.com/artummah). Blending elements of traditional and contemporary life, the resulting show is not only beautiful, but culturally significant. "It is important to showcase multiple narratives to give a more nuanced view of people and communities who often are the target of bigotry [and] racism," says gallery owner LE Brown. "This exhibition helps tell a distinct story that is both familiar to those from MENA and relatable to universal experiences." (Pema Baldwin)
Artummah Opening Reception:
5 pm Friday May 4. Free.
East of West,
2351 Fox Road,
We've said it before and we'll say it again—local troubadour Bill Palmer really gets the whole singer-songwriter thing. With multiple solo releases and countless shows under his belt, Palmer's boiled down song craft and performance into an easily accessible formula wherein he's unafraid to get personal, skirts the line between gritty and beautiful and meticulously blurs divisions between alt.country, blues, rock and folk. For more on this, check Palmer's A Whisper in the Trees from earlier this year. Did we not mention he's also a kickass producer?Even better, you can get to supporting Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery, one of the best new stages in town. (ADV)
5-7 pm Tuesday May 8. Free.
Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery,
2791 Agua Fría St.