It's that time of year when autumn slides into the holiday season, with plenty of must-do events representing both seasons. In Las Cruces, fall is still in full swing at the annual Renaissance ArtsFaire, at Young Park Nov. 2-3. But in Silver City on Nov. 2, the holiday shopping season is already starting with the 109th Annual Bazaar at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. More seasonal shopping can be had at the Autumn Harvest Festival at the Grant County Business and Conference Center, Nov. 8-10.
Plenty of performances will tempt your ticket dollars in November, too. The Grant County Community Concert Association brings Irish tenor Anthony Kearns to the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theatre on Nov. 6. Born into a musical family in Kiltealy County, Wexford, Ireland, Kearns began performing in his youth and won several competitions throughout Ireland. Most recently, in March, he performed for President Obama and Irish Prime Minister Kenny at the Friends of Ireland luncheon at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Kearns' repertoire ranges from Irish favorites to Broadway, from light comedy to grand opera.
Then on Nov. 8, the Mimbres Region Arts Council's Performance Series presents the Golden Dragon Chinese Acrobats, also at the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theatre. Continuing a tradition dating back 25 centuries, impresario Danny Chang and choreographer Angela Chang combine acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques. The acrobats use everyday objects such as plates, jars and bowls, and perform such physical feats as the signature "Thousand Hands Dance," umbrella juggling, and air floating.
On Nov. 15 and 17, the Hi Lo Silvers present their autumn concert at First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall. Directed by Valdeen Wooton and accompanied by Virginia Robertson on piano and Bill Baldwin on bass viol, the chorus will sing old favorites, spirituals, and songs from Broadway and film. Also on the program is a song by the Spare Parts barbershop ensemble.
Famed Native American flute player R. Carlos Nakai, along with Will Clipman, performs in a special benefit concert, "Awakening the Fire," for Gila/Mimbres Community Radio on Nov. 17 at the Old Elks Club in Silver City. (GMCR members can attend a members-only house concert and dinner the previous evening.) A native of Flagstaff, Ariz., of Navajo and Ute heritage, Nakai was inducted into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2005. The Library of Congress has more than 30 of his recordings preserved in the American Folklife Center.
The "Fall Classic," the World Series, is barely behind us, and you can still get a bit of baseball at historic Fort Bayard on Nov. 7. A special Baseball and History tour at 3 p.m. will focus on the 1925 baseball team, the players and their families, and those Chicago "Black Sox" players who came to Fort Bayard and the area to work and play. Baseball was a popular activity for players and fans, entertaining locals and the tuberculosis patients at the old fort hospital. Guest speaker and author Mary Darling will present her screenplay, "At First a Prince." Other guests will include family members and descendants of the 1925 Fort Bayard baseball team players, author Terry Humble and tour guide Kathy Hill of the Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society. The tour will begin at the New Deal Theater.
If you'd rather make a pitch, Hollywood-style, find yourself at the Silco Theatre in downtown Silver City on Nov. 13 for "So You Want to Be in Pictures?" This New Mexico Film Office Town Hall will feature headshots for casting directors, 6-7 p.m., a presentation on local film opportunities, 7-8 p.m., and "The Making of a Marquee," a short film about the Silco's new sign.
Hollywood is also the theme for Silver City's annual downtown Lighted Christmas Parade on Nov. 30, "Holiday Magic on the Silver Screen." Before the parade begins at 7 p.m., you can enjoy holiday crafts for kids at the Silver City Museum, get your photo taken with Santa at Gallery 400, and listen to music by Brandon Perrault and Friends on Broadway.
Over in Las Cruces, the season starts even earlier with the world premiere of an all-new musical version of Charles Dickens' classic tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge as he confronts the spirits of Christmases past, present and future. After a preview on Nov. 21, the American Southwest Theater Company's production of "A Christmas Carol" at the NMSU Center for the Arts runs Nov. 22 to Dec. 8. Adapted by NMSU's Tom Smith, the production will feature additional songs by Roger Butterley. Says Smith, "At its heart, this is a ghost story. But it's also a story about confronting one's past, and opening your eyes to the world around you.… It's the ‘everyone' in Tiny Tim's 'God bless us, everyone' that this piece really embraces."