Distilling the Spirit
Violet Crown Cinema hosts limited screenings of Spirited Away: Live on Stage
It may be there is no more iconic early-aught anime film than Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. The tale of a young woman named Sen/Chihiro who, upon moving away from all she knows with her family for a new town, unwittingly becomes an employee of a multi-dimensional bathhouse for spirits and demons. Chihiro must save her parents after they’re transformed into pigs, but contending with a strange new world full of strange new rules, not to mention an increasingly strange cast of characters, that might not be so easy. Like most Miyazaki films, this thing won all the awards, captivated all the ages and made us question how we define ourselves.
Lesser-known, however, might be Spirited Away: Live on Stage, the theatrical adaptation—a first for a Miyazaki film—from Tony-winning director John Caird (known for Les Mis, btw, so he must be good) and a reportedly sprawling and adoring musical recreation of the 2002 film.
The live version is what we might call painstaking in its details; everyone is there, from the evolving Chihiro (Kanna Hashimoto) to the adorable radish spirit; the enigmatic No-Face and unscrupulous bathhouse owner Yubaba; the confounding Haku and that one river spirit who looks like he’s all sludge and mud, but really he’s been polluted by stupid humans. As for the sets and the choreography? Well, the trailers are resplendent, frankly, and the feels are over-the-top. And do you really think Miyazaki would let something less than magical out into the world?
A filmed version of Spirited Away: Live on Stage comes to Santa Fe’s Violet Crown Cinema twice in the coming days, and the timing is fortuitous. With The Super Mario Bros. Movie once again underestimating kids’ capacity to understand and grow from more mature themes, a little something headier is just what the doctor ordered. Oh, don’t get us wrong, there will be fun music and gorgeous costumes and, most likely, very clever sets and style, but the real magic of Spirited Away is in how it doesn’t talk down to anyone, how it puts Chihiro into an impossible world in which she learns and flourishes. For those who’ve been chasing those ‘02 feels from the original film, too, this could soothe the burn—just like it did back then, just like it has been, just like it probably always will. (Alex De Vore)
Spirited Away: Live on Stage: 4 pm Sunday, April 23 and 7 pm Thursday, April 27. $13-$15. Violet Crown Cinema, 1606 Alcaldesa St., (505) 216-5678
Eat Your Donations
If you don’t know about Santa Fe nonprofit Kitchen Angels by now, consider this your opportunity to learn more—and help—while pretty much just living your life as you normally might. At the upcoming citywide Angels Dine Out event, more then 40 local restaurants have promised to donate 25% of each bill to the local org. In turn, Kitchen Angels takes those sweet, sweet bucks and transforms them into meals and delivery services for homebound Santa Feans. Easy, right? Now all you have to do is dine at places like Horno, Second Street Brewery’s Rufina Taproom, Marisco’s, Maria’s, Fire & Hops and sooooo many more, and you’re playing the philanthropy game. Eat hearty, friends. And make a reservation. (ADV)
Kitchen Angels’ Angels Dine Out: Various times and locations Thursday, April 20. kitchenangels.org/angels-dine-out
There are few things we love more than 420 overindulgence (ensuing panic attacks and all), but absurdist drag tops that short list. Combine the themes with Indigenous activism and we’ll be one happy audience member at Roadrunner Runway’s upcoming “Yes We Cannabis!” show—which plans to apply event proceeds to benefit legal aid for Native people. Without harshing the vibe too much, the number of Indigenous people incarcerated over the plant we’re celebrating is pretty staggering, and it kind of seems like the least we can do to stuff singles in some queer cuties’ costumes about it. (Siena Sofia Bergt)
Roadrunner Runway: Yes We Cannabis! Drag Show: 7:30 pm Friday, April 21. $15-$20 suggested. Roots & Leaves Santa Fe Casa de Kava, 301 N Guadalupe St., (720) 804-9379
Just catching the opening horns of La Dame Blanche’s “La Maltratada” drifting from Tumbleroot, you might assume it’s Norteño night. But as soon as Yaite Ramos Rodriguez’ voice pours out over the cumbia beat, all bets are off. Rodriguez developed her unique hip-hop flow while busking in Paris, yet the melodies winding through the Cuban singer/percussionist/flautist’s tracks also evoke Santería cantos and traditional jazz. For those who speak Spanish, her blend of biblical imagery and old-school swagger will hold your ear. And for those who don’t? Those reliable rhythms (she is, after all, the daughter of Buena Vista Social Club bandleader Jesús Ramos) will keep you dancing. (SSB)
La Dame Blanche: 7:30 pm Tuesday, April 25. $20 in advance or $25 day of show. Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery, 2791 Agua Fría St., (505) 303-3808