We’ve celebrated the holidays and taken a deep breath. Now it is February, time for hearts and flowers. But first, let’s take a look at some of the fun we shared or missed during the holiday madness.
Events are listed by date, like a calendar. Some organizations offer multiple events or dates, and these items appear at the end of the column.
December 13 – 14 and on the 17th, Centro Sol y Luna Gallery presented Los Cantantes, led by Timothy G. Ruff Welch. Tim Welch is a personable director with a touch of humor. He admittedly works his singers hard. And it shows in their precision and spirit. The medleys had some of the audience humming in their seats. The program combined English, French, Spanish and Nahuatl songs. Two pieces were written by Mark Sirett of Toronto, who placed first in a worldwide competition. When the quartet of Marian Wellman, Ann Price, Tim Welch and Ted Dresie sang a cluster of four songs, we were privileged to hear amazingly clear voices. In our age bracket, such clarity is rare, I’ve been told.
The venue, however, presented two problems. First, an afternoon performance was met with a lowering sun pouring through the windows behind the choir. That’s tough for photography. Secondly, many up front had their view of the various performers blocked by two otherwise stately columns. This choir of 60 is a wonderful addition to our entertainment schedule, and it would be my pleasure to hear them sing any time of year.
Los Cantantes Choir
This lovely display of holiday spirit greeted locals and visitors alike.
Ajijic plaza gazebo dressed for the holidays
December 14 at the foot of Madero by the Chapala pier, there were two castillos fired up, starting at 8:30 p.m. These were purely Mexican products and creativity. North American-style fireworks brought up the grand finale. Thousands of people attended, many staking out their viewing positions quite early. I found myself a safe distance but close enough for photos, and soon I was surrounded by families with excited but well-mannered children. They made the waiting fun.
Man in the Moon display
Ajijic Writers Group Guest Artist Carmen Germain read her poetry to the group on December 19. Visiting family at Lakeside, Carmen brought impressive credentials with her. She teaches writing and literature at Peninsula College, Port Angeles, Washington where she is also co-director of the Foothills Writers Series. Her poetry has been published in nine different publications since 2002. Poetry is not my strong suit, but I found hers absorbing and thought provoking. If you would like to see a sample, you may visit the online poetry anthology, Verse Daily.
Carmen Germain reads poetry at Ajijic Writers Group
December 19 at the Ajijic Cultural Center, there was a photo exhibit of works by Jay Koppelman. Often seen at art displays, Jay’s work offers such clarity as this wonderful contrast between Mexico’s historic charro (cowboy) events and the use of cell phones.
Cowboy with cell phone by Jay Koppleman
January 10 was the opening day for Deena Hafker’s showing of art works at Luna del Sol. Deena is President of the Art Society of Ajijic (ASA), and her art forms focus on florals and modern impressionism, some very nice pieces, clean in design but only seemingly simple.
Maggie Van Ostrand, one of the Ojo’s most popular columnists, was invited to the Obama Inauguration. Maggie’s work is syndicated in many major newspapers in the US and she has performed her stand-up comedy routine in no less a prestigious venue than the Waldorf Astoria hotel in NYC.
Maggie and President Barack Obama
ACÁ presents Eco Talks at the Lake Chapala Society Tuesdays, 12-2. Schedule of topics available at LCS and through the ACÁ Eco Center.
The American Legion greets the month of love (February):
- February 1, 8, 16 & 23, 12-3, is the Legion Grill with the “best burgers Lakeside.” Regular $35 pesos, cheeseburger $40 pesos, all with salad and beans. Pie is available for dessert at $28 pesos.
- February 2, 10 a.m., is a pancake brunch, followed by meetings at 1 and 2:30 p.m.
- February 3, 11 a.m., is the Auxiliary Executive Board meeting
- February 4, 10-12, US Consulate and Social Security
- February 6, 8-1, is the Legion Yard Sale
- February 10, 11 a.m., auxiliary general meeting
- February 12, 11a.m., legion general meeting
- February 14, 4 p.m., is the Valentine’s Day dinner
- February 24, 3 p.m., is a candlelight dinner
For more information, contact the American Legion, Dan Williams 765-2259 or for matters re the auxiliary, contact Anita Wikum 765-4342.
February 5, starting at 6 p.m., there will be dining and dancing at the Hotel Real de Chapala in Ajijic at an event named Starry, Starry Night. This event is to benefit Niños Incapacitados del Lago to help children with disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. Dine on botanas and a delicious chef’s carvery buffet dinner. A cash bar will also offer a cocktail named for the event. Then dance the night away to the ever-popular Noé and The Classics. Silent auction will include items from delectable dinners to a week by the ocean in a new condo. Tickets are $400 pesos each, available at Lake Chapala Society’s Tickets, Etc. daily 10-12:30. To reserve a table of 10 or seats at an “open” table, contact Phyl Gaskell at 766-2722, firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 7-28, on the 2nd floor, Sala #2 at the Casa de la Cultura (the cultural center on the Ajijic plaza) there will be an exhibit of mixed media art by Jesús Lopez Vega. The Opening Reception will be Saturday, February 7, 4-8 p.m. The artist’s work focuses on metaphysical, surrealistic and magic realism.
February 11, 7:30 p.m., the Auditorio in La Floresta will present an R&B and Jazz concert supreme, starring Gaynell Rose. Her last appearance here was three years ago. If you love truly professional musical acts, this is for you. Gaynell is an R&B singer with a heart of soul, whose warm, throaty voice expresses dramatic depth that sweeps her audiences through a spectrum of emotions. This performance will, in part, support Centro de Desarrollo to counteract domestic violence and promote women’s health, tickets $350 pesos.
Gaynell Rose, R&B singer
February 19 at 6:30 p.m. Lakeside School for the Deaf is sponsoring Blues in the Night for a night to remember. Villa Encantada is the place for the Rhapsody in Blue dinner dance. The “Eventos” venue in Chapala is the premier event and catering spot. Start with a zesty margarita and sumptuous appetizers prepared by well-known hostesses and volunteers. Dinner overlooking the lake consists of a 5-course gourmet meal prepared by the chefs at Villa Encantada, followed by music and dancing. This will be a chance to dress “to the nines,” put on those dancing shoes and join your friends for a special evening. And all for a good cause, Lakeside School for the Deaf and Children with Special Needs. Donation: 750 pesos. For tickets and information, contact Barbara at 766-2592 or Leslie at 766 -2274.
Rhapsody in Blue Dinner Dance
February 26 is the next date for House Tours, an opportunity to go behind the walls and visit some of Lakeside’s most interesting homes. Lakeside School for the Deaf sponsors the popular house tours. Following this one, there will be just two more this season, one on March 26 and the last on April 23. Ticket price is $150 pesos, including transportation. Ticket reservations may be made through Leslie Martin at 766 – 2274. Everyone meets at 10:15 a.m. at the foot of Colon (Morelos) in the parking lot by the pier. The tours take two hours. All proceeds go to the Lakeside School for the Deaf & Children with Special Needs.
Northern Lights Music Festival returns for a seventh season to the Auditorio in La Floresta February 27, March 1, 3, 5 and 7. Become a Patron for $1,400 pesos per person, or a Benefactor for $5,000 pesos (two tickets for all events). For information call Judy Parker at 766 – 5379 or email email@example.com.
February 28 Toller Cranston of former ice skating fame will be present in Ajijic for an art show of his paintings at Luna del Sol. He has been painting for 18 years, according to one source and is quite renowned for his talent. This is one show you will want to attend. Not only will he be there himself but he will be accompanied by the Northern Lights Music Festival Concert which will be followed by a cocktail buffet, tickets at $250 pesos.
Toller Cranston at Luna del Sol with Northern Lights
Lakeside Little Theatre presents the Tony Award winning Cole Porter musical Kiss Me Kate, adapted from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. The director is Betty Lloyd Robinson, music directed by Richard & Eleanor Stromberg, and the choreographer is Alexis Hoff. In 1948, Kiss Me Kate opened on Broadway at the Century Theatre. It was the first show to run more than 1,000 performances. It won the very first Tony Award for Best Musical and again won a Tony for Best Revival of a musical. This from another era, full of fun and familiar tunes such as I Hate Men, Why Can’t You Behave and Brush Up Your Shakespeare.
The show opens on Saturday, February 28 and will run through March 10. Evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees start at 3:00 p.m. For ticket information contact Paula McTavish at 766-0954 (leave message) or email Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The LLT is located in San Antonio Tlayacapán, just off Allen W. Lloyd. At the stop light near Super Lake and directly next to the purple restaurant, turn toward the mountains and drive to the end of the road.
Open Circle at LCS on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m.:
Feb 1 David Truly – Retirement migration
Feb 8 Tony Burton – Mexico’s indigenous people
Feb 15 Jim Tipton – Recent work - Poetry about love
Feb 22 Jim Spivey – Rediscovering your soul purpose
Music Appreciation Society (MAS) 2008-9 season offers four remaining concerts. Note dates and program.
Feb. 3 The Medina-Gracián Guitar Duo
Feb. 17 Boris Zarankin, Inna Perkis, pianists play
Mar. 17 The New Pacific Trio
Apr. 7 Youth Choir A Capella from Guadalajara sing
All performances are at 7:30 pm, Auditorio in La Floresta.
For information on individual concert tickets, contact Bev Denton at 765 – 6409 or email email@example.com. MAS accepts US dollar and peso checks made out to Music Appreciation Society, AC and thanks you for your continued support.
VIVA La Musical offers bus trips to four concerts of the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra Spring Season at $1,000 pesos for members, $1,200 pesos for non-members. Individual concerts will be $275 pesos per person.
Feb. 13, 8:30 p.m. Beethoven & Smetana
Feb. 20, 8:30 p.m. Beethoven &Schumann
Mar. 1, 12:30 p.m. Beethoven & Mozart
Mar. 6, 8:30 p.m. Stravinsky & Rachmaninoff
March 25 – 28 is a possible trip to San Miguel de Allende for a Baroque Music Festival. Also there may be a bus trip to Mexico City to see the opera Cinderella, by the Metropolitan Opera of NYC on a big theater screen. Both of these are contingent upon your showing enough interest. Contact Rosemary Keeling, 766 – 1801, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A play reading of Michael Warren’s The Perfect Alibi was held at the LCS back patio for the benefit of the Music Appreciation Society. Michael Warren narrated, keeping the audience aware of where the story stood at the beginning of each scene. The audience used its imaginations, enhanced by sound outstandingly produced by Gary Sharpe. Neal Checkoway played “Sir Aubrey Winner,” a newspaper tycoon whose body is discovered in the boardroom. He had been with “Tina Lopez,” his mistress, played by Roseann Wilshere. Roseann also played the part of “Erica Bond,” wife of the editor of one of Sir Winner’s newspapers. Sir Winner’s wife “Romana” was well-played by Jeritza McCarter, and their daughter “Angela” was portrayed by Cindy Paul, whose subtle nuances made the daughter come alive. Everyone did a good job. Perhaps the play will be come to the LLT stage yet.
Happy Valentine’s Day