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Entertainment

  • ‘Belly Flop!’ release party slated for Monday

    Local cartoonist Stephen McCranie will throw a release party for his recently published graphic novel, from 4-6 p.m. Monday at the Mesa Public Library.
    The free event will include a short talk by the author and a chance to purchase a signed copy of the book for $10.
    The new book, “Belly Flop!” is the third volume in the kids graphic novel series, Mal and Chad. The story follows the boy genius inventor, Mal and his loyal dog, Chad.  
    For all Mal’s inventions, he still can’t seem to get the attention of his school crush, Megan.
    But Megan becomes the least of Mal’s worries when his weather machine goes haywire and engulfs the town in a freak snowstorm.
    McCranie began Mal and Chad as a comic strip for The University of New Mexico school newspaper.
    A publisher from Penguin spotted the strip online and contacted McCranie about making the feature into an all-ages comic book series.
    McCranie has since created three Mal and Chad books, including: “The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever!,” “Food Fight!” and most recently, “Belly Flop!”
    Leading up to the release party, McCranie will visit Piñon and Mountain elementaries to teach students about cartooning and what it’s like being a cartoonist.

  • ‘Skyfall,’ ‘Guardians’ duel for box office win

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — James Bond is in a box-office photo finish with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny over what looks to be the last slow weekend of the holidays.
    According to studio estimates Sunday, Sony’s Bond tale “Skyfall” took in $11 million to move back to No. 1 in its fifth weekend.
    That put it narrowly ahead of Paramount’s “Rise of the Guardians,” the animated adventure of Santa, the Easter Bunny and other mythological heroes that pulled in $10.5 million.
    The two movies inched ahead of Summit Entertainment’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” which had been tops for three-straight weekends. The “Twilight” finale earned $9.2 million, slipping into a tight race for No. 3 with Disney’s “Lincoln,” which was close behind with $9.1 million.
    The top movies were bunched up so closely that rankings could change once final weekend revenues are released Monday.
    The weekend’s only new wide release, Gerard Butler’s romantic comedy “Playing for Keeps,” flopped with just $6 million, coming in at No. 6.

  • Under the sea with ACCT

    Atomic City Children’s Theater invites the public to their premiere performance of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid, Jr.”  
    Dive into the sea and meet Ariel (Evelyn Wolbier) who wants to be human.
    Torn between her love for Prince Eric (Jamie Cull-Host) and her life under the sea, Ariel turns to the evil sea witch, Ursula (Nora Cullinan) for help.  
    Meet Ariel’s undersea friends including Sebastian (Joseph Sarrao), Flounder (Kezia Tripp) and King Triton (Johnathan Hood), as well as a host of mermaids, gulls and other sea creatures.  This production features many songs from the Disney motion picture, including “Under the Sea,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and “Part of Your World.”
    Show times are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Duane Smith Auditorium.  Goodies to benefit Los Alamos Middle School and Los Alamos High School students attending the Junior Theater Festival with ACCT in January will be sold at intermission.
    ACCT is part of the Los Alamos Public Schools District.  The play features LAPS fifth- and sixth-grade students.  Another production of “The Little Mermaid, Jr.,” featuring middle school students is scheduled for Feb. 22 and 23.
    Admission is free.

  • Martin to sign book during WinterFest

    Trinity Drive. Peggy Sue Bridge. Bathtub Row. The history of Los Alamos is written it the names given to locations around town.
    The origins of those names and many more are discussed in the second edition of “Place Names of Los Alamos” by local author Craig Martin.
    “The first edition has been out of print since 2002 and I’ve been promising the Los Alamos Historical Society an update since 2005, so it’s about time,” Martin said.
    The book chronicles the stories behind about 500 names and the second edition includes two-dozen new places that have acquired names in the 15 years since the book was first published. And the names of a few places have taken on greater meaning over the years.
    “Cerro Grande was just ‘big hill’ in 1998, but of course now the name is strongly associated with the fire of 2000,” Martin said.
    “Las Conchas, the mountain to the west, wasn’t mentioned before because it is in Sandoval County, but now the name is deeply associated with Los Alamos.”
    Basic names are descriptive, but in New Mexico, they can come in English, Spanish or Native American tongues.
    Other names come from a variety of sources ranging from governmental decree to naming contests to personal memorials.

  • ‘The Webs of Varok’ launched Tuesday

    Longtime Los Alamos resident Cary Neeper’s second novel, “The Webs of Varok” launched Dec. 4.
    A new independent press, California micropublisher Penscript Publishing House, released the book to online booksellers in hardcopy, paperback and e-book formats.
    The second book in “The Archives of Varok” series, this young-adult/crossover science fiction title follows the human and alien cast from Neeper’s 1975 first-contact novel, “A Place Beyond Man,” as they leave a troubled 21st century Earth for the promise of stability on another world.
    What will it take to secure that promise, after a talented traitor sets her eye on the world’s wealth — and their fragile new family?
    Weaving real issues into the fabric of the story, Neeper illustrates sustainability and ecological economics though example.
    She explores trade-offs in planetary stewardship through the adventures of her amiable aliens on a veiled moon of Jupiter.
    Neeper is an avid student of sustainability, steady-state economics and the impact of cosmology on issues of science and religion.
    In addition to the “Archives of Varok” novels, she has written two musical science fiction comedies and book reviews for The Christian Science Monitor.

  • This week on PAC-8, Dec. 7-13

    THIS WEEK ON PAC-8
    Views expressed on programs shown on PAC8 do not necessarily reflect the views of the manager, staff, or board.

    Friday, December 7, 2012
    06:00 AM Democracy Now! – Live
    10:00 AM Democracy Now!
    11:00 AM County Council Replay (12-04-12)
    03:00 PM Celebration of Aging
    04:00 PM Al Jazeera DC Bureau
    05:00 PM Living Treasures Ceremony Fall 2012
    06:00 PM Democracy Now!
    07:00 PM Los Alamos Historical Society “A Brief History of Wendover Airfield”
    08:00 PM Clear Heart, Clear Mind
    09:00 PM FSTV

    Saturday, December 8, 2012
    FSTV

    Sunday, December 9, 2012
    06:00 AM FSTV
    05:30 PM Key to the Kingdom
    06:00 PM Drawing Men to Christ
    07:00 PM United Church
    08:00 PM That Which Is
    09:00 PM Trinity on the Hill
    12:00 PM Free Speech TV

    Monday, December 10, 2012
    06:00 AM Democracy Now! LIVE
    10:00 AM Democracy Now!
    11:00 AM Elizabeth Clare Prophet
    12:00 PM Army Newswatch
    12:30 PM Amy Goodman at Fuller Lodge – “The Silenced Majority”
    02:30 PM Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2012
    03:00 PM The David Pakman Show
    04:00 PM Al Jazeera DC Bureau

  • 'A Separation' screens Thursday

    The Iranian film “A Separation” (2011) is one of the best films I’ve seen in awhile.
    It purports to be about putting a child through divorce and the difficulties of caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease.
    I suppose it is. But it begins and ends in an Iranian courthouse and for me, the focus really became how people tell their sides and the fact that there is no truth, or at least no single truth.
    Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Payman Maadi) certainly have what, in America, we call “irreconcilable differences.”
    Viewers find out in the first minutes of the movie that Simin wants to move with their daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) to the United States.
    Simin has a visa that will soon expire and doesn’t want to miss what she considers a massive opportunity to improve their daughter’s life. Nader refuses to go, because he needs to take care of his dementia-suffering father, who lives with the family.
    This is not the only legal battle fought, or the only separation discussed, in the Oscar-award-winning film (it won for Best Foreign Language Film).
    The other is, in some ways, even more compelling — certainly rich with suspense and, because it involves even more people, it involves even more versions of nuanced truth.

  • Listen to holiday music with LASO

    The Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra will treat the community to a free concert of holiday music at 7 p.m. Dec. 7. The traditional concert will be given in the Betty Ehart Senior Center.
    Don Gerheart will conduct the program. For him, the music is “familiar, lively and fun.”  Included will be “A Christmas Festival” and “Sleigh Ride” — both favorites by LeRoy Anderson. The music will swing with a jazz beat in “A Swingin’ Holiday” and will rock with “Christmas Rocks At The Pops.” The audience will have a chance to participate in a sing-along of familiar Christmas tunes.
    Gerheart is no stranger to conducting Los Alamos ensembles. For 26 years, he has directed bands in various Los Alamos schools. He also directed seven shows for the Los Alamos Light Opera.  He said standing on the podium and conducting is what he likes best.
    The Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra is made up primarily of adults in the community.  Enhancing the group for this concert will be five violinists, two violists and two cellists — all Los Alamos High School students that recently qualified for the All State Orchestra. Some of these students will be playing beside one of their parents, who plays regularly in the orchestra.

  • A fairytale come true

    When Dance Arts Los Alamos Ballet Director and former American Ballet Theatre dancer Christin Severini was a young child, she would spend many hours choreographing and performing elaborate shows for her parents, with the reluctant participation of her younger brothers. The rest is, as they say, history.  
    The storybook ballet, “Hansel and Gretel,” being performed WinterFest Weekend at the Duane Smith auditorium, is an original ballet directed and choreographed by Severini, with additional choreography by DALA’s Executive Director Valerie Silks and Ballet Instructor Lisa Jaegers.
    “Hansel and Gretel” tells the story of the young siblings Hansel and Gretel, as they go through a journey, overcoming adversity and challenges.  
    This ballet features enchanting woodland fairies and pixies, colorful candies and bunnies, butterflies and gingerbread girls, who guide them along the way.  
    Severini’s career with ABT gave her the opportunity to perform in numerous full-length story ballets and she said she is delighted to bring this talent to the Los Alamos community.  

  • 2012 holiday concerts planned around New Mexico

    The Santa Fe Opera’s holiday concerts, “Arias, Carols and Songs,” return to Roswell, Santa Fe and Albuquerque in December.  Soprano Mary-Jane Lee and tenor Matthew Grills, both former apprentices, will perform a program of classical and sacred works as well as music of the season.
    Flutist Valerie Potter and members of Young Voices, the Opera’s program for high school students, will join them. Baritone Alex Harden, who has been a member of Young Voices for the past three years, will sing the hymn “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need.” He is from Tijeras. Kirt Pavitt is the pianist for all three performances.
    The Roswell performance of “Arias, Carols and Songs” will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Anderson Museum. The Santa Fe performance is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 13 at Cristo Rey Catholic Church.
    The Albuquerque concert Dec. 16 will take place in a new venue, Simms Auditorium on the campus of the Albuquerque Academy, at 3 p.m.
    The concerts are free and everyone is welcome. Seating is on a first-come first-served basis and the doors open one-half hour before each performance.
    Lee was an apprentice in 2011 and 2012. She received her bachelor’s degree from Utah State University and a master’s degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.