Fall into fun this month.
Can you say "fiesta"? Last month's festival free-for-all spills over into this month, starting with the annual Taste of Downtown Silver City on Saturday, Oct. 3. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., you can sample the fare at 16 downtown locations for just a $15 ticket (available in advance at Alotta Gelato, Curious Kumquat and the Chamber of Commerce, or same day at the Farmers' Market). In-between bites, check out the Non-Profit Fair in the Morning Star parking lot, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with entertainment by Joseski (9 a.m.), Cheryl Q. Hudson (10 a.m.), Ed Teja (11 a.m.), Scott Van Linge (12 noon), Erica May Randolph (1 p.m.), and Captain Black & the Arrrgh Attack (2 p.m.). Plus Wally Lawder will be performing at Alotta Gelato (2:30-3:30 p.m.). Silver Spirit Gallery will host the "Cookies & Colors Art Show" from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Toy Town offers free mask making from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Finally, in keeping with the day's tasty theme, the WNMU Silver City International Film Society presents a free showing of Babette's Feast at 6 p.m. at the Silco Theater.
That same day, Main Street in Pinos Altos is home to the 11th Annual October Fiesta. The benefit for the Pinos Altos Volunteer Fire Rescue features live entertainment by the Silver Country Western Band (10 a.m.-noon), Bayou Seco and Friends (12:15-1:15 p.m.), the Gila Highlanders (1:30-2:15 p.m.), Silver Stompers (2:30-3 p.m.) and the Conservatory of Dance Performance Group (3:15-4 p.m.), plus the Gila Rangers Old West re-enactors.
Of course, the following weekend, Oct. 9-12, is Silver City's annual Weekend at the Galleries. If you haven't already checked out our complete guide in this issue's Arts Exposure section, we'll wait here patiently for you to do so.
Back already? Then you're just in time for the 14th Annual Winefest at the St. Clair Winery in Deming, Oct. 17-18, 12-6 p.m. both days. Your $5 admission includes a souvenir glass and gets you into the family fun, arts and crafts, grape stomp and cork-pull contests and, of course, the wine.
Curtain calling: Oh, what a beautiful morning! That's what you'll be singing the day after taking in Theatre Group New Mexico's performance of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Oklahoma!. Showtimes are Oct. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 4 at 2 p.m., Oct. 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 11 at 2 p.m., all at the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theatre in Silver City. Tickets, $10 and $5 for under age 12, are available at Alotta Gelato and Curious Kumquat.
But that's just the start of this month's theatrical action. The Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society will present the comedy Greater Tuna, Oct. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. — the first play in Fort Bayard's newly renovated 1940 WPA theater. Tickets, $8, for the laid-back chuckler about a mythical West Texas small town are available at Alotta Gelato and the Chamber of Commerce.
And in Deming, the month onstage wraps up with Theatre for Today's production of Odyssey and The Adventures of Bill & Alice & Herbert & Martha, a pair of original short comedies by local author Timothy McAndrews (see "Observer of Life," August 2008). Performances at the Deming Depot are Oct. 23 and 24 at 8 p.m., Oct. 25 at 3 p.m., Oct. 30 and 31 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 1 at 3 p.m.; tickets are $8, or two for $15.
Song and dance: October also kicks off concert season in Silver City, beginning Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. with the year's first Grant County Community Concert Association performance, featuring classical pianists Davide Cabassi and Tatiana Larionova. Cabassi debuted with the RAI Radio Symphony Orchestra at age 13, studied at the International Piano Foundation, was a finalist for the 2005 Van Cliburn Competition, and has performed at Carnegie Hall. Larionova, his wife, trained at Moscow State Conservatory and has won awards including the International F. Liszt Piano Competition. Tickets to the concert at the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theatre (FACT) are $20 for non-members; membership is a bargain at $45 for all five 2009-2010 performances.
The Mimbres Region Arts Council's 30th performance season opens Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m., also at the FACT, with the Lula Washington Dance Theatre Company. The 10-member modern dance company, founded in 1980 in the inner city of south-central Los Angeles, has become one of the region's largest and most admired African-American dance companies. Lula Washington is the main choreographer and the artistic voice, but she augments her work with choreography by famous artists such as Donald Byrd and Donald McKayle, and with the work of talented young choreographers. The choreography is set to a range of music from experimental to blues, including Taj Mahal, Vivaldi, Bach, Chopin, John Coltrane, Bob Marley and Duke Ellington. Tickets are $20 for non-members, $15 for members, $5 for students/children.
Then on Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m., the arts council's Folk Series begins its new season at the Silco Theatre with Cheryl Wheeler. Even if Wheeler's name doesn't ring a bell, her songs will: They've been covered by artists as diverse as Dan Seals, Peter Paul and Mary, Kenny Loggins, Garth Brooks, Suzy Boggus, Melanie, Bette Midler, Maura O'Connell, Sylvia, Kathy Mattea and Holly Near. A lively and often comedic performer herself, Wheeler has been performing since age 12; she often appeared in the On a Winter's Night tour, and was part of the Philo 25th Anniversary tour. Tickets are $20 for non-members, $15 for members, $5 for students/children.
Dollars and sense: The WNMU/WILL Economic Summit series continues this month, with "Brother, Can You Spare a Few Trillion?" on Oct. 14, featuring Judith Lawrence with panelists Magdaleno Manzanarez and Rick Sherman, and "The US/Global Economy as if People and the Environment (Really) Mattered" on Oct. 21, with Emma Bailey. Both free events run 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the WNMU Global Resource Center.
Scary stuff: No, we didn't forget that this is also the month of Halloween. You can scare yourself silly and help a bunch of worthy causes at the CarnEVIL, a "Twisted House of Horrors" at the Wherehouse in Silver City. The frightening fun runs Oct. 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31 from 7-10 p.m.; admission is $5, or just $4 with a canned or nonperishable food donation.
Halloween season also means the annual Mesilla Valley Maze, open Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 1, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., at Lyles Family Farms, 3855 W. Picacho in Las Cruces. The family fun will get an extra kick Oct. 10-11 with the New Mexico Pumpkin Festival. You can get lost in the corn maze for $9, or $7 for kids.