Are you sometimes wondering what to choose for a fun evening out? By buying a series ticket subscription now, you can fill your calendar for exciting events through next spring. The Rio Grande Theatre in Downtown Las Cruces, New Mexico, has two exciting series of programs available for purchase: the National Tour Series, which leads off in September with the premiere Selena tribute by the talented Karla Perez, and the New Mexico Heritage Series, which kicks off in October with local musician, drummer Yolanda Martinez.
Those purchasing an entire series will save fifteen percent from the cost of buying tickets individually and will be able to reserve the same seats for each performance. Series tickets go on sale Tuesday, August 16, and are available until September 2. Individual tickets will be available beginning September 3.
The National Tour Series features performers who are traveling the country and making a stop in Las Cruces to perform at the beautifully restored and technically updated Rio Grande Theatre. The New Mexico Heritage Series features the Native American, Hispanic, and Western traditions that make our state the Land of Enchantment, with many local favorites performing in their home town.
The National Tour Series’ first event on September 17 coincides with a special evening in Downtown, the dedication of the new plaza. Make it a full evening by enjoying the dedication and dinner out, and then heading to the Rio Grande Theatre for a show that commemorates the music of Latina superstar Selena, the Queen of Tejano music. Karla Perez and her band hit it out of the park, and do honor to the memory of Selena.
The next performance for this series is slated for November 11 with the Sons of the Pioneers, the group that made Western music famous. The Western Music Association calls them "A living legend in their own time ... an American institution" and American Cowboy Magazine calls them "the world's premiere cowboy singing group." Enjoy an evening of Western music favorites with the singers who made the songs a part of our culture.
February brings For the Love of Art Month to the Mesilla Valley. This series includes two special shows as part of this annual event. On February 14, for a Valentines Day treat, the series continues with Rhythm of the Dance, a show evocative of Riverdance, with talented musicians and 35 extraordinary Irish step dancers who present a two-hour program that relives the journey of Irish Celts throughout history. This show has been presented around the world by the National Dance Company of Ireland, but this is the first time they are visiting Las Cruces.
Celebrating Black History Month, on February 23, the National Tour Series concludes with the African Guitar Summit, with rhythms and musicality by an international touring sensation featuring award-winning guitar and drum masters from Guinea, Ghana, and Madagascar. AllMusic.com reviewer Sergey Mesenov says, “African Guitar Summit was a project created in 2004 under the guidance of a Canadian CBC radio station that invited several Canadian-based African-born musicians to do a series of collective recordings and performances. All nine performers were selected based on their personal interpretations of guitar music of their respective native countries, which included Guinea, Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya, and Madagascar. African Guitar Summit proved successful with world music lovers and brought the project the 2005 Juno Award for the World Music Album of the Year. In 2006 a sequel to the album followed, and it again brought the band a Juno Award in the same category.”
The National Tour Series is priced at $125 per person, all fees included, with series tickets available August 16 through September 2 by calling or visiting the Rio Grande Theatre office.
The Rio Grande Theatre’s New Mexico Heritage Series also includes four shows and is sponsored by Heritage Hotels and Resorts and Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces. On October 7, New Mexico native and the 3-Time Grammy Award-winning Yolanda Martinez will entertain the audience with her Native Drums program. This Native American Music Award-winning artist has made her own drums since 1986 and traces her heritage to her Apache, Comanche, and Hispanic ancestors. Martinez conducts drum-making workshops, drumming circles, women’s circles, and concerts nationally and internationally and will bring her talent to the Rio Grande stage to kick off the Heritage Series.
Ring in the holidays with more extraordinary local talent on December 3 when the series continues with a program entitled “Feliz Navidad! A Christmas Celebration.” This show features traditional song, dance, and music that reflects the Hispanic culture of our Borderland. This show is co-produced by the Rio Grande Theatre and Bellas Artes Sin Fronteras. Bring the family to get in the Christmas spirit.
On January 21, the Heritage series brings Las Crucen Randy Granger to the stage to share his storytelling, drumming, and flute-playing talents. He will be joined by several guest performers from the Mesilla Valley to present an unforgettable evening of entertainment by some of our best local talent. Granger has been nominated for and won many awards, including the Indian Summer Music Awards, Native American Music Awards, New Mexico Music Industry Awards, and many others. Granger’s music is heard on the Hearts of Space, Sirius “Mystic Soundscapes,” Pandora Radio, NativeRadio.com, Audiosyncrasy, World and Native American radio programs worldwide, podcasts and programs around the world.
The Heritage Series wraps up with Viva España! performances on April 8 and 9 by New Mexico State University Flamenco and Spanish Dancers. The costumes, music, lighting, and choreography make this an event that has grown to be an annual favorite of the community. This show is co-produced by The Rio Grande Theatre and the Flamenco and Spanish Dance Program at NMSU.
The New Mexico Heritage Series is priced at $65 per person, all fees included, which is a fifteen percent savings from purchasing individual tickets.
All shows for both series are at 7:30 p.m., with an additional 2:30 p.m. matinee on April 9 for the Viva España! program.
Series tickets are available Tuesday, August 16, through September 2. To purchase a full series, call (575) 523-6403 or visit the Rio Grande Theatre box office at 211 Main Street. The box office is on the second floor of the theatre and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tickets for the series may not be purchased online. Series tickets subscribers may reserve the same seats for the entire season. Individual tickets will go on sale September 3 at riograndetheatre.com. Individual ticket prices may vary. For more information, visit the website or call the office during business hours.