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Ribera Arts Review - December 9, 2017

Calendar Girls

The Lakeside Little Theatre’s final production for 2017 is Tim Firth’s “Calendar Girls,” an adaptation of a film with the same name.

This is a slightly risqué comedy based on a true story of Women’s Institute members in Yorkshire, England who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for leukemia research.

Overcoming their initial reserve, the friends drop their dressing gowns, their modesty spared only by artfully placed cakes, knitting and flower arrangements. As media interest snowballs, the Calendar Girls find themselves exposed in ways they’d never expected, revealing more than they’d ever planned. A very English story with a very English heart, Calendar Girls is quirky, poignant and hilarious.

The play is directed by Candace Luciano and the cast includes: Georgette Richmond, Wendy Petersen, Ed Tasca, Diana Rowland, Chris L’Ecluse, Susan Quiriconi, Greg Clarke, Peter Luciano, Debra Bowers, Jean Llewellyn, Lupita Campbell, Collette Clavadetscher, Lori Grant and Pamela Johnson.

“Calendar Girls” will run Friday, December 8 through Sunday, December 17. The first Saturday and both Sunday shows are 3 p.m. matinees and the curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. on rest of the performances. Tickets, 250 pesos, are available at LLT’s box office 10 a.m. to noon, every Wednesday and Thursday and one hour before curtain. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (376) 766-0954.

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Actors’ Showcase

A series of short, funny and dramatic plays acted, directed and produced by Roseann Wilshere’s Actors’ Showcase participants, will be presented at the Bravo Theatre Saturday, December 9, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 10, 2 p.m. Featured actors are Rosann Balbontin, Joy Cook, Emily Crocker, Johan Dirkes, Karen Hughes, Jutta McAdam, Dennis McCary, Kathleen Morris, Pam Pettus and Diane Schmidt.

A special feature of this showcase is a short one-act play by Jordi Mand called “Between the Sheets.” A schoolteacher and the mother of one of her students have a very estranged parent-teacher night filled with mystery and suspense. Also on the program is “Mere Mortals” by David Ives, where, a threesome of construction workers on the 50th floor grapple with their secret identities.

Continuing is the opening scene from “Fish in the Dark” by “Seinfeld” author Larry David. Next up is “Cell” by Bonnie Culver, another 15-minute play about two sisters arguing over the disposal of the family home.

The tragic romance between Mitch and Blanche in “Streetcar Named Desire” will be performed by Balbontin and Dirkes. “The Lottery Winner” is a humorous play based on the original “Devil and Daniel Webster” story with a wonderful take on the end. Three tiny short skits in the Carol Burnett style are also thrown in for extra laughs. Included is “Ole,” “Mexican Maid” and “Chocolate,” by unknown authors.

The Bravo Theatre is at Rio Bravo 10 in West Ajijic. Tickets, 100 pesos, are available at Diane Pearl, Mia’s Boutique or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">.

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LCS Bach Concerto

A group of classical musicians will give a free performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in the gazebo of the Lake Chapala Society Saturday, December 9, 2:30 p.m.

The musicians are from Mexico, Canada and the United States and include Max Debreeson, Norm Greer, Marie and Larry Laframboise, Rodrigo Martin Leal, Alberto de Loza, Alberto de Loza II, Juan Pablo Medeles, Jerry Mundel, Deen Rasky and Joan Sauro.

The third Brandenburg Concerto is reminiscent of the genre of the Italian concerto. There is a Vivaldi feel to the work, but the harmony and counterpoint are unmistakably Bach. While defined as a concerto with three movements, the second movement is a brief adagio, which is heard as a short violin cadenza. It may appear that there are no soloists, that the players are all soloists, or that the violins, violas and cellos occupy their own solo groups.

Traditional Christmas play

“Pastorela Tapatia,” a comical take on the traditional birth of the savior complete with the wise men and the devil, will be presented in the auditorium at the Centro Cultural Antigua Presidencia in Chapala, Saturday, December 9, 7 p.m.

Student show

The students of the Classical Ballet and Contemporary Dance School de la Auditorio de la Ribera, under the direction of Hector Hernandez and his wife Laura Fernandez Davalos (parents of international ballet stars Isaac and Esteban Hernandez) will give a performance Sunday, December 10, noon, at the Auditorio de la Ribera. The performance will include scenes from the Nutcracker and Chopin’s Les Sylphides, along with solos of traditional ballet repertoire and contemporary dance. Also included in the program are dances to the much-loved Mexican music compositions, Moncayo’s Huapango and Marquez’s Danzon No. 2. Tickets, 50 pesos, can be purchased at the door, or by calling Jill Flyer at (376) 766-3025.

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Lip Sync auditions

The annual lip sync benefit show, which runs January 18-21, will conclude auditions on Monday, December 11. All those interested in being in the large and long-running lip sync show should contact Michae McLaughin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The production is also in need of backstage help as well as ushers.

New Ceramic Guild

Potters Rob Miller, Frank Howell, Denis Meloche, Steve Weckel and Jeanne Green comprise the new Lake Ceramic Guild. They will show their work, both decorative and functional, at an artists’ reception at Sol Mexicano Gallery, Colon 13, in Ajijic, Friday, December 15, 3-6 p.m.

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Chorale presentations

The Lake Chapala Chorale holds free “I’ll be Home for Christmas” concerts Friday, December 15, 5 p.m. at the Little Chapel by the Lake and Saturday, December 16, 5 p.m. at the Lakeside Presbyterian Church.

Pre-Hispanic roots

The music and dance group Corazon del Cielo will perform Aztec and contemporary fire dances, accompanied by pre-Hispanic style instruments in a free presentation on the esplanade of the Centro Cultural Ajijic, Saturday, December 16, 7 p.m.

The Mask

The Lake Chapala Dance and Fitness Studio will present The Mask Show Dance Sunday, December 17, 5 p.m. The performance includes swing, salsa, chachacha and rock numbers. Tickets, 200 pesos adults, 100 pesos children, area available at the studio in its new location at Carretera Pte. 7A in West Ajijic. Call 331-574-2583 for more information.

Classical concerts

Bravissimo! is a four-concert series held over four months, featuring singers from Guadalajara, Mexico City and Lakeside.

Mireya Rubalcaba, a mezzo-soprano from Guadalajara with a “golden voice,” has performed in operas including Carmen, Faust, Turandot, La Boheme and others.  She is a member of the Coro Municipal de Zapopan and has sung at the Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Teatro Degollado, Museo Nacional, Teatro Diana and Ex Convento del Carmen.  Her concert, Luz de Luna, on Sunday, December 17, contains works by Agustín Lara and Georges Bizet, among others. Next up on January 14, 2018, will be local favorite Amaranta Santos with her concert Storytellers, with works by Kander and Ebb, Randy Newman and José María Cano. Santos was formerly a back-up singer for Shakira and has graced many Lakeside theater and musical stages. February 5 brings us tenor David de la Mora with Canciones del Mundo – Songs of the World. Finally, on March 18, tenor Ricardo Calderon, winner of several national awards brings a selection of composers from Spain, Con amore ... a España.

Timothy G. Ruff Welch is the collaborative pianist for all four concerts. Welch is the director of the Coro Municipal de Zapopan, Los Cantantes del Lago and the Minister of Music at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church. He has performed around the world as a pianist, chorister and director. Most recently he has directed the choruses for Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Otello” and “The Planets” at the Teatro Degollado. In 2017, Welch was the guest director for two operas at the Bellas Artes in Mexico City.

Tickets for these concerts may be purchased individually for 300 pesos, or as a series at 1,000 pesos for four concerts, at Diane Pearl, Mia’s Boutique or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  All the concerts will be presented at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church.

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