Santa Fe’s Tri-M Productions mounts Steven Sater’s Spring Awakening
Seems like only yesterday we reviewed Those You’ve Known, the new-ish documentary about the 2006 Steven Sater/Duncan Sheik musical Spring Awakening. Now the show comes to Santa Fe courtesy of local troupe Tri-M, but with some notable contemporary provisions the original production sorely lacked.
Chief among them? Certified intimacy director Zoe Burke has continued her work with the company, which includes de-roling after rehearsals and performances—a cool-down period through which actors relinquish their characters. That last bit’s a godsend when it comes to a show like Spring Awakening. After all, the show’s themes of abuse, sex, suicide and so forth aren’t exactly easy to broach and inhabit, though Tri-M Artistic Director Marilyn Barnes says the troupe has done great work in handling the tougher themes at play.
“We chose this show before the whole mess with Roe v Wade,” she tells SFR. “It just spoke to us so much what with everything happening with...women’s rights, gay rights and transgender rights being attacked again. Cynics could say that no one is going to see our show except those who already believe what we believe, but I have this thing from working years with David Olson at Theaterwork, who said when we make a beautiful piece of theater, it floats.”
Spring Awakening n00bs should know it’s a challenging bit of theater about young schoolkids in Germany, circa 1800-something who face the constraints of their parents’ generation while navigating a rapidly-changing world. In the HBO doc, Sater discussed the Columbine shooting playing a major part in how he saw the lives of teens shifting. It feels particularly apropos now, given the shape of the world. In short, don’t take your young kids, but teens should absolutely see this show. Oh, and did we mention Tri-M built a six-piece live band to play Sheik’s music?
“I think it’s going to be life-changing,” Barnes says. “We hope it is.” (Alex De Vore)
Spring Awakening: 7 pm Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25; 3 pm Sunday, June 26. $15-$30. New Mexico Actors Lab Theater, 1213 Parkway Drive, (505) 395-6576
You Never Know
Santa Fe Playhouse tackles Branden Jacobs Jenkins’ tricky 2018 morality play Everybody
Though it only published in 2018, playwright Branden Jacobs Jenkins’ Everybody feels a strange mix of timely and timeless, and Santa Fe Playhouse Artistic Director Robyn Rikoon, who co-directed the show with Zoe Lesser, could not be more excited.
The bird’s eye view explanation, Rikoon says, is that a cast of actors is assigned their roles by lottery at the start of each performance—in front of an audience. Looking closer, that means each actor must be prepared to play any role, and the stakes could not be higher—Everybody is about life and death.
“The basic plot is that God is disappointed by humanity and sends death to take everybody, and everybody has to prepare a presentation for God about how they lived their life and why,” Rikoon explains. “So it’s the journey of everybody coming into contact with their own subconscious and ego—but also friendship, kinship, cousinship, stuff, love, material possessions...it’s really on the level of a morality play. They’re looking for help.”
Rikoon tells SFR it was important to tackle this play now for two reasons: One, the non-traditional structure makes for a fun, immersive, fourth-wall-breaking good time, and two: “We just spent two years coming face to face with mortality, and we still don’t have healthy ways to talk about death.”
Jacobs Jenkins gets it, too, and humorously, though not disrespectfully. Even better, no two shows will be alike, which gives theater fans more reason to attend.
“It’s about the impermanence of life,” Rikoon adds. “It’s immersive, it’s weird, and our audiences need to be exposed to different kinds of storytelling.” (ADV)
Everybody: 7:30 pm Thursday, June 23-Saturday, June 25. 2 pm Saturday, June 25 and Sunday June 26. $15-$75. Santa Fe Playhouse, 132 E De Vargas Street, (505) 988-4262
Rivers Like Our Lovers: No Trash Allowed
We live in a modern world, and a modern world means a trashy world. Like, physically trashy. And hey, sometimes we’ve got to go pick up said trash. The Santa Fe Watershed Association joins with the National River Clean-Up program this week to ensure our arroyos and rivers are clear. You can probably see where this is going. Volunteers are in demand, whether as individuals or in teams, and they can pick up trash bags at the watershed offices until 1 pm on Saturday. You’re adding both health and beauty to our community, especially in regions where we can’t afford to dirty what little water we have. All volunteer hours and trash collected during this timeframe will be attributed to national cleanup efforts, too! (Riley Gardner)
National River Clean-Up: Through 1 pm Saturday, June 25. Santa Fe Watershed Association, 1413 2nd St., Ste. #3. Free. tinyurl.com/5n6br8jj
Lido is Life
You’ve probably never heard—or seen—an artist quite like Lido Pimienta. The Toronto-based, Colombian-born performer takes her Afro-Latinx roots seriously, presenting an eclectic stage persona that might be described as otherworldly. It’s not just her music, either. Pimienta’s style, physicality on the stage and dress are all highly expressionistic, and we cannot say enough good things about her blend of classic cumbia melodies, electronic beats and rhythms stemming from Afro-Colombian and Indigenous music scenes. All of that mixed together means this music is sweet. The Grammy-nominated Pimienta’s most recent album, Miss Colombia, was a pandemic project that’s helping her soar to new heights with bangers like “Nada” and “Coming Thru,” so if you’re gonna make it to one summer concert on the Railyard Plaza, make it this one. It’s totally cool, totally colorful and totally queer. (RG)
Lido Pimienta: 7 pm Friday, June 24. Railyard Plaza. Free. tinyurl.com/2s66582n
Pride month festivities are officially in full swing, and it has never been more tempting to get out and celebrate this momentous time with the friends and family you love. The Pride Drive Parade is an excellent opportunity to cruise and help recognize the city’s distinctive, unique, supportive and creative community. It’s almost impossible to feel less than ecstatic while driving around downtown Santa Fe in such a passionate and inviting environment. Also, did we mention each registered car gets a Pride flag and two car-door magnets? Everyone is welcome to participate, of course, but make sure you remember to center queer folks first—and to register beforehand and check-in by 11 am the day of the parade. (Taya Demianova)
Pride Drive Parade: 11:30am-1pm Saturday, June 25th, 2022. $25/vehicle. Event starts in the PERA Building parking lot 33 Plaza La Prensa.
Pass Me Them Good Facts
The Battle of Glorieta Pass is often referred to as the Gettysburg of the West. Sorry to any historians who disagree with that romantic statement—we just think it’s notable some Civil War stuff happened in our backyard. If you’re curious about why the guns were blazing so far from the East, this walking tour offers a great chance to learn. Meet at Agora Center in Eldorado, and from there the historian-guide Randy Egan will talk about the Civil War in New Mexico. Afterward, travel to each battle location with the group (it was a bit spread out) where you’ll learn about tactics, weaponry and the importance of the campaign to the outcome of the war. Use this as a tool to wake the Civil War buffs in your life from their slumbers. Even better, it’s totally free, but bring some cash along to tip the historic site and your guide, because they do this out of love. (RG)
Tour of Glorieta Pass: 10 am Saturday, June 25. Agora Center. Free (but bring some cash to donate). tinyurl.com/4xrnjknj
It’s been a crazy pandemic, Santa Fe, so you’d be forgiven for not knowing that celebrated Santa Fe chanteuse Felecia Ford got married and moved to Old Mexico (and her social media posts have us JELLIN’!). Still, one does not simply leave Santa Fe, and the call of the Land of Entrapment has lured her back this-a-way for a performance on the Santa Fe Bandstand as part of the aptly-named Santa Fe Bandstand series. You know the drill when it comes to Ford: Think rockin’ country-ish jams meeting torch song sensibilities with a little bit of the ol’ two-step and a great big voice from a real cool lady with a long history of absolutely dominating stages. (ADV)
Santa Fe Bandstand: Felecia Ford: 6 pm Monday, June 27. Free. Santa Fe Plaza, 100 Old Santa Fe Trail, ampconcerts.org
Here Comes the Boom
OK, so that last pick o’ the week was about the Bandstand, and this one’s gonna be, too, and you’re just going to have to deal with it, America. This time, the rockin’ comes in the form of Boomroots Collective, Santa Fe’s very own reggae-meets-rock-meets-hip-hop-meets-funk-meets-puro-Santa kinda supergroup. That’s a lot of “meets.” Anyway, Boomroots is the kind of band that’ll make you glad weed is legal around here now, and a veritable who’s-who of Santa Fe musical talent. Mark Ortiz, aka Circumference? Yup. Artist and gallerist Alberto Zalma? Oh, yeah. Sol Bentley, aka DJ Dynamite Sol? Big time. You know these people, or should, anyway, and we can pretty much promise they’re gonna make you dance. (ADV)Santa Fe Bandstand: Boomroots Collective: 6 pm Tuesday, June 28. Free. Santa Fe Plaza, 100 Old Santa Fe Trail, ampconcerts.org