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Lensic a great community asset for our city

SANTA FE, N.M. — “If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to,

why don’t you go where fashion sits?

Puttin’ on the Ritz!”

– Irving Berlin

Do you feel a little sense of melancholia after the holidays … empty house, family packed up with their bespoke presents and gone; parties over; glitter gone or on the edge of banishment; coming down off the high of all the jolly and cheer; feeling fat!

I reflect on my shortcomings and ideas for changing them, so I tape my resolutions on the mirror and vow this year I will become a better human.

One good way to beat the blues is to go down to the Lensic and hear something good! As I sit writing this in front of the fire, Rachmaninoff’s 3rd is on. Now whenever I hear it, I am transported back to the fabulous evening at the Lensic a few months ago when the spectacular Olga Kern pounded out this epic masterpiece on the Lensic’s Steinway with such Russian (and American) passion and fervor that her ancestor Mr. Rachmaninoff himself would have been on his feet with the screaming crowd at the jumping ovation she received, and well deserved. Lordy!

How lucky we are to have OLGA KERN here! An international superstar, prize winner, child prodigy, master pianist! Descendant of both Sergei R. above and Tchaikovsky. Here at Santa Fe’s Lensic theater! Wow!

I’m embarrassed to admit to you what a total dork I was backstage at the Lensic when I got to meet Judy Collins after her lovely, nostalgic concert, where she played so many memorable songs. When I was introduced to her afterward, like a blithering idiot teenage groupie, I gushed something stupid to her about how she’d been my college idol and I had all her albums (albums!), and I knew all the words to all her songs. And then I said, “I loved that you played ‘Since You’ve Asked,’my favorite. I used to practice it for hours on my guitar in my dorm room!”

Ugh! What a nerd! And then she laughed and replied, “That’s a piano song! You can’t play it on the guitar!” Well thank goodness. Now I know why my versions never sounded so good. How amazing to be able to listen to JUDY COLLINS right here in Santa Fe. In our beautiful, comfortable, intimate Lensic downtown. We are so lucky!

Also fun were the (I understand once again sold out) Hot Sardines. Fresh from Manhattan, little miss snappy French crooner and foot tappin’ tilty hat piano man, tinkling the ivories along with their SMOOTH jazzy band performing swingy songs from vaguely “back when, somewhere,” but with a twist, and a real tune, and quite a beat.

You have to twitch in your seat, and smile. This was their second time at the Lensic. Wouldn’t miss them! What good luck that Performance Santa Fe brought the HOT SARDINES to the Lensic in Santa Fe.

A fun event during the holidays was the Lensic Patrons Party. About 150 Lensic supporters mingled for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres among the silver trees up onstage.

General Manager Joel Alberts spoke briefly about the 100 organizations that use the Lensic space. I’ve only mentioned a few of my favorite recent events. Others rave about seeing Pilobolis there, The Blind Boys from Alabama, Latin acts, jazz acts, dance performances, the Symphony. In addition, during the course of the year, 14,000 schoolchildren visit the Lensic for perhaps their first (and one hopes introductory, not sole) exposure to the performing arts.

What an asset for our Santa Fe community family to have such a gorgeous, special theater as The Lensic, and we are blessed for the many varied, juried, first rate, thrilling performances it offers.

So … go!

Lensic.org

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