Performing Arts and Live Music
Albuquerque’s arts scene graces a number of excellent stages. The most beautiful of them all, the city-owned KiMo Theater (423 Central Ave. NW, 505/768-3544, www.cabq.gov/kimo) often hosts locally written plays and dance, as well as the occasional musical performance.
Bigger acts visit the Roy E. Disney Center for Performing Arts at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 4th St. SW, 505/724-4771, www.nhccnm.org), a modernized Mesoamerican pyramid that contains three separate venues, the largest of which is a 691-seat proscenium theater; this is the place to catch a performance by visiting or local flamenco artists—with the National Institute of Flamenco headquarters in Albuquerque, there’s often someone performing.
Albuquerque is usually a stop for many bands’ national tours. Check the schedules at the casinos, which offer not only the enticing jingle of slot machines but also excellent stages. These relatively intimate auditoriums, with low ticket prices, are where you might catch a legend such as Merle Haggard or Etta James.
The ritzier Sandia Casino (I-25 at Tramway, 800/526-9366, www.sandiacasino.com, 8 a.m.–4 a.m. Mon.–Thurs., open 24 hours Fri.–Sun.) has a great outdoor space.
Also see what’s on at El Rey Theater (620 Central Ave. SW, 505/242-2353, www.elreytheater.com) and Sunshine Theater (120 Central Ave. SW, 505/764-0249, www.sunshinetheaterlive.com)—both converted movie houses, they have excellent sightlines.
Outpost Performance Space (210 Yale Blvd. SE, 505/268-0044, www.outpostspace.org) books very good world music and dance acts.
You can catch local thespians at Albuquerque Little Theater (224 San Pasquale St. SW, 505/242-4750, www.swcp.com/~alt), founded in 1930.
The Vortex (2004 1/2 Central Ave. SE, 505/247-8600, http://vortexabq.org), near the university, is Albuquerque’s longest- running avant-garde space, putting up everything from Beckett to local playwrights’ work in its black box since 1976.
The Filling Station (1024 4th St. SW, www.fillingstationabq.com) hosts another local theater company, as well as the Sunday Church of Beethoven (10:30 a.m.) and occasional hijinks by improv geniuses The Pajama Men.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition