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The young star of The Hunger Games series, Willow Shields, talks about starting in Albuquerque, her time on Dancing with the Stars and working on one of the hottest film franchises.

A Christmas Story

A FREE Publi cation

Joe Quesada

Winter Jam New Mexico Entertainment • November 2015 I 1

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The World According to Willow!

The New Mexico Native become a star with The Hunger Games and took a moment with New Mexico Entertainment to share her experiences on set. ® Photography by Keith Cotton

PG 6

PG 8

A Christmas Story: The Musical Oh Fudge! Popejoy Hall brings this holiday show to their stage.

Winter Jam Skillet leads an allstar spiritual concert here in New Mexico


PG 10

PG 11

Nutcracker on the Rocks A holiday tradition with Keshet Dance Company

Joe Quesada The local pro-wrestler talks about training, being in the ring and how it began.



PG 12

PG 19

The Martian The outer-space drama has audiences excited about exploration.

Eugene Bullard: World’s First Black Fighter Pilot Learn more about this new novel.




New Mexico Entertainment • November 2015


NME STAFF Teresa Robinson-Ewers Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Ariel Bisbee Photography & Mulitmedia Director Rhonda Heyns Copy Editor CONTRIBUTORS Winter Elise Darlene Esquibel NME Board Teresa Ewers Ariel Bisbee Darlene Esquibel Winter Elise Eddie Robinson SUBSCRIPTIONS New Mexico Entertainment magazine is $24 a year within the Continental United States. Please place your order online at Please note the first issue will take 4-6 weeks. All events submissions can be placed at

231 Sierra Dr. SE, Ste. 11 Albuquerque, NM 87108 505.450.4706

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LET US ENTERTAIN YOU: A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE MUSICAL Top: Susannah Jones as Mother, Christopher Swan as The Old Man, Cal Alexander as Randy, and Colton Maurer as Ralphie; insert: Colton Maurer as Ralphie and the company

his holiday season, for the first time T in Albuquerque, one of America’s favorite Christmas movies comes to life live-on-stage in a hilarious, large scale Broadway musical, at the Popejoy Hall, November 19 – 22. A Christmas Story, The Musical, chock-full of delightful songs and splashy production numbers, chronicles young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle (“You’ll shoot your eye out kid!”). An infamous leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a maniacal department store Santa, and a double-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the distractions that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas wish. This show will have local child performers, Dakota Bohman and Jackson Murrieta, who received the honor after an open audition giving local children the opportunity to perform as an ensemble cast member and help bring the production to life when the tour premieres in Albuquerque. A Christmas Story, The Musical was nominated for three TONY Awards® in-


cluding Best New Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Book of a Musical. The Musical features a festive and nostalgic holiday themed score by composer/ lyricist team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, with a book by Joseph Robinette, based on the writings of radio humorist Jean Shepherd and the 1983 holiday film favorite. The 2012 Broadway production was originally directed by John Rando and the new national tour direction will be by Matt Lenz. TONY Award® winner Warren Carlyle’s Broadway choreography will be reset for the tour by Jason Sparks. Scenery, costumes, and lighting will be based on the Broadway designs by Walt Spangler, Elizabeth Hope Clancy, and Howell Binkley, with the new concepts for the national tour created by Mike Carnahan, Lisa Zinni, and Charlie Morrison respectively. The hounds will play themselves. Tickets for A Christmas Story are on sale now starting at only $35. Tickets are available online at or or at the UNM Ticket Offices and select area Albertsons locations.. NME

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RAMMY®-nominated, platinum-selling rockers Skillet are poised to headline the Western leg of the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular, one of the largest annual tours in the world. Making history earlier this year with more than 600,000 people at a total of 47 shows across the country, the tour will conclude an unprecedented year with stops in nine additional cities in November, kicking-off on November 5 at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. Founded and hosted by GRAMMY®-nominated NewSong, this year’s Winter Jam West will also feature for KING & COUNTRY, Jamie Grace, Lincoln Brewster, Family Force 5 and Love & The Outcome, as well as special guest Sadie Robertson (“Duck Dynasty,” “Dancing with the Stars”) and evangelist Tony Nolan. In addition, the Pre-Jam Party is set to showcase performances from Stars Go Dim, We Are Messengers and OBB. “We are so excited to bring Win8I

Skillet ter Jam out West again,” said NewSong’s Russ Lee. “Every year God exceeds our expectations with the ministry that happens. With this year’s unbelievable artist roster, this is sure to be a night of worship and fun not to be missed.” Promoted by Premier Productions and presented by Holt International, tour sponsors include “God’s Not Dead 2,” Liberty University, Museum of the Bible, PEPSI, Camp Electric, Premier Experience, Xtreme, Wayne E. Bailey and Texas TransEastern. GRAMMY®-nominated and platinum-selling rock band Skillet has sold more than 11 million albums and singles in the U.S., racked up more than 160 million YouTube views and amassed a diehard following whose members number more than five million on Facebook alone. Their 2013 Dove Award-winning release RISE debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Billboard Rock and Christian charts, which led to four consecutive No. 1 radio hits.

New Mexico Entertainment • November 2015

RISE also gave Skillet their late night television debut on “Conan” and follows the band’s 2009 platinum blockbuster, Awake, which garnered three Billboard Music Awards and spawned four multi format hit singles, including the platinum singles “Awake & Alive” and “Monster,” whose companion video has generated more than 69 million YouTube views. Skillet was the only active rock band to achieve RIAA Platinum Certification in 2012. With a career spanning more than 30 years, 19 albums, 20 #1 Christian radio singles, a #1 mainstream AC hit, a GRAMMY® nomination and induction

into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, alongside numerous other achievements, NewSong is among the most respected artists and mentors in Christian music today. Their unparalleled ministry has been highlighted by such defining songs as “Arise, My Love,” “The Christmas Shoes,” “Rescue” and “The Same God.” The band’s latest recording and second live worship set, Faithful (Integrity Music), debuted at #1 on Nielsen SoundScan’s Praise & Worship chart earlier this year. In addition, NewSong’s Faithful DVD—featuring video selections filmed during the live worship recording, as well as exclusive interviews with band members—was recently nominated for a Dove Award for Long Form Video of the Year. Winter Jam Tour Spectacular is only $10 at the door. Jam Nation memberships start at $29.99, which includes early entrance and access to the Pre-Jam party. To purchase tickets or for more information visit or NME

Top: Sadie Robertson of Duck Dynasty below: Founders NewSong

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Rockin’ it out: The cast of Nutcracker on the Rocks


The holidays in December are a time to hold up traditions, like going with family members to watch The Nutcracker. But aren’t all traditions, like rules, meant to be broken, or perhaps, at least bent? Shari Greenburg of Keshet Dance Company bent the rules on a classic when she dreamed up a way to showcase different music and dance styles with her Nutcracker on the Rocks. “My vision was to create a modern classic out of the traditional gem. I chose rock and roll music and incorporated a range of dance styles to infuse the production with a fresh, high-energy feeling that would be engaging for audiences of all ages,” says Greenberg. Keshet Dance Company, which brings together both professional and community performers, will be holding their 19th Annual Nutcracker on the 10 I

Rocks featuring 140 dancers for ten shows in December. There will also be two additional showtimes that will be autism-friendly. This will be the first year the professional repertoire company will hold the Nutcracker on the Rocks at the Keshet Center for the Arts. After purchasing the building on Cutler Avenue in 2013, it’s been through enough renovations to make it worthy of showcasing professional artists. A great thing for the audience is that by having their own location, they can now incorporate new sets, new innovations, and audience interactivity into the performance. So consider bending those holiday traditions and starting a new one. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at nutcracker-on-the-rocks/. NME - Sonja Dewing

New Mexico Entertainment • November 2015



e all know Craigslist as a place to shop for used video games and the like, but did you know a few lucky people find their dreams on Craigslist? Joe Quesada did. He answered a simple ad in 2007 looking for pro-wrestlers. Before he knew it, he was learning how to fall and take a hit as safely as possible. In 2008, he framed his first pay day from pro-wrestling, a five-dollarbill. This is not a hobby you take up for the money. You take it up for the love of wrestling. Hours, months, years of continual training go into being a pro-wrestler. Accidents and injuries are part of the experience. Joe has a scar in his shoulder from one wrestling event with friend, Donny Amsterdam. In the same event, he broke Don-

ny’s nose. Safety is important to all the wrestlers, but anyone who thinks it’s fake is off-base. “[Wrestling] Wanna see a bunch of grown men touch each other…[Wrestling] Exactly what you think it is, but so much better. “ In the end, it’s the stories that keep the audiences coming back show after show. Good guys, bad guys switching sides - it’s exciting to see how each story plays out. The crowds here in Albuquerque all have their favorite characters to watch. The wrestlers work hard to get the crowds to love them or hate them. Come out and see a show, choose your side and choose your wrestler. The passion Joe has for wrestling will move you to cheers. NME - Winter Elise

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t was date night for the mister and me and he was adamant that we see The Martian. He just read the book, loved it, and needed to see if the movie would hold up to what he read. Either way, I thought a night at Icon Cinema with those awesome seats - and they are awesome - all-you-can-eat popcorn and drink, and Matt Damon was an excellent evening. The Martian is an outer-space drama where Mark Watney, played by Damon, finds himself living on Mars after a storm hits the red planet, striking him with debris. and leaving his team to think he’s dead and leaves to survive. 12 I

Once revived, Watney is left to figure out how to survive until the cavalry returns to bring him home. I wasn’t sure what to expect, I heard reviewers compare The Martian to “Lost in Space meets Robinson Crusoe”, but this movie exceeded those two examples. Damon’s performance draws you in. Right off the bat you find yourself becoming friends with this character, which leaves you rooting for him to succeed and survive. The writing is excellent - smart with a sharp wit - but it has those moments that when you find yourself crying with the characters, laughing at the

New Mexico Entertainment • November 2015

triumphs and light-hearted moments, and shouting at the times that NASA thinks more about appearance than saving a life. This movie had it all. The movie also has an amazing cast. Jessica Chastain was a strong mission commander who made the decision to leave Watney behind. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Vincent Kapoor, NASA’s Director of Mars Operations, is another hit for Ejiofor. Kapoor works to create a rescue plan while dealing with resistance from NASA’s Chief, Teddy Sanders, played by the talented Jeff Daniels. But the one character who stood out to me was Rich Purnell, played by the hilarious Donald Glover. Purnell, the paranoid math genius becomes the one to come up with the working idea that brings Watney home and does it with humor along the way. The movie also includes acting talents Kristen Wiig, Michael Peña, Sean Bean, Kate Mara and Mackenzie Davis. I left the theater feels full from the popcorn and soda and fulfilled with the ending. The movie not only left me happy with how everything was wrapped up, but loving NASA again, excited to see space exploration becoming a topic of importance. The film was bold, intelligent, and left us with some great quotes including “I’m left with only one option: I’m going to have to science the shit out of this.” NME - Teresa Ewers

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merica will be experiencing the final installment of The Hunger Games this month with Mockingjay Part 2. New Mexico will once again be excited to see one of their own on the big screen. Willow Shields, who plays Primrose Everdeen in the Hunger Games series, made a big noise recently becoming the youngest competitor ever on the 20th season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Shields shared what the experience was like. “Amazing! Everything about the experience was challenging, physically exhausting, and terrifying! But all in the very best way,” expressed Willow. “Each week you learn something completely new. Each week you get to be a part of this amazing collaboration with your partner. I was lucky to have Mark Ballas as a partner, who is the most amazing choreographer. Every dance we got to tell a story and I was thrilled every week to do it. I still miss the dancing.

I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience on the show.” Willow was born in Albuquerque with twin sister, Autumn and older brother, River, who are also in the business. Shields’ youngest days leave her with fond memories of time being shared with her siblings - she shared what her time was like. “Peaceful and pretty normal,” shared Shields. “We live in more of a rural area, so we had animals - many different kinds. I think at one time we had a goat, ducks, chickens and dogs. We played outside a lot. My best friends were my brother and sister - still are! We had a lot of space to run around - to use our imaginations and read. Reading was big for us.” Willow, who is a lover of Christmas when it comes to how she takes her chile - “I love both too much to ever choose” - started her career at the age of 8. Willow admitted  that her brother was the reason that she lead down this career path.

“I just want to keep doing what I’m doing right now. It’s a great thing to be able to pursue the thing you love.”

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New Mexico Entertainment • November 2015

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“My brother started auditioning for roles here in New Mexico. There were so many films and T.V. shows coming here,” said Shields. “Once I saw what he was doing, I wanted to try, too. When I actually got on a set, I was hooked. I loved the people, the way everyone works together to create something. It’s very inspiring to me. Creating new characters and doing that with other people is exciting. There was very little else I wanted to do after I got a chance to act. Maybe someday direct documentary films. I have a serious documentary film addiction!” New Mexico is slowing becoming its own little Hollywood. As an actor who started her career here, Willow shared what her experience was like landing roles. “I think New Mexico is a great place to get a jump in this business. There are more and more opportunities coming here and it gives beginning actors a chance to get started, in some capacity, whether as an extra or standin - which is what I did at first. There are bigger roles being cast here, too. It’s always exciting to see what new film is shooting here or what T.V. shows may start up. Hopefully, there is continued growth because there are a lot of talented people in New Mexico.” Those opportunities lead her to a successful career at only the age of 15. When asked what gig was the moment she truly felt like an actor, she seems pretty clear on the moment. “I don’t know! Maybe the first day on the set of The Hunger Games, when  some  amazing 16 I

actors surrounded me. Of course, Jennifer Lawrence is incredible, but being around Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks, who I had already grown up seeing in so many movies...I mean, my brother, sister, and I loved Zombieland! Woody is one of the coolest actors ever. I was star struck that day and very nervous. But once the cameras were rolling, and I was actually working, I thought now THIS is what it is all about. Willow’s experience on The Hunger Games series has been an amazing one, building her character, Prim, is one of the many factors Shields loved working on the series. ”I guess I could say I learned pretty much everything I know about movie-making at this point from being on this series. It’s so rare to be able to work on a single character through four films. I was able to grow up with Prim and that is an amazing thing. As far as the scale of the film, I think most films are pretty similar, whether they are smaller films or huge blockbusters. Everyone is doing a job and most people just love being there. There’s something magical about a movie set and it doesn’t matter what size the movie is.” Shields is currently experiencing more of that movie magic filming her latest project The Wonder. She talked about the film and where filming is taking her. “The Wonder is a fantasy adventure, family film, about a teenage girl living a normal, everyday life, who, with her best friend does something incredible. They fly in a rainbow to China, where they find themselves pursued by a mysterious

New Mexico Entertainment • November 2015

“Hopefully, there is continued growth because there are a lot of talented people in New Mexico.” New Mexico Entertainment • November 2015 I 17

organization as well as trying to avert a major natural disaster. It’s amazing being in China and working with the crew here. We are from all over, but in general, it is a Chinese and New Zealand crew. We will be shooting in New Zealand next.” She was also excited to share what’s coming down the pipeline with upcoming projects as well. “I will be doing a film directed by Jennifer Lynch, called A Fall From Grace. It is a psychological thriller that stars Tim Roth, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Forest Whitaker. I think David Lynch will also star, which will be pretty cool. Anything with the Lynch family is exciting to be a part of.” Wilow has been blessed to work with some great actors, but everyone has a bucket list and for her, when it comes to

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who is on her acting wish list, she had two very strong candidates. “Jody Foster for one. She is amazing and has worked for so long. She had an amazing career when she was still a teenager and it has never stopped. I admire that greatly. Joaquin Phoenix would be incredible to work with. He’s a genius!” At 15, Shields has quite a few productions under her belt. When it came to her goals for the future and what she would like her legacy in film  to be, Shields chooses to look at the here and now. “I don’t know about legacies! I try not to think that far in the future. I just want to keep doing what I’m doing right now. It’s a great thing to be able to pursue the thing you love.”

New Mexico Entertainment • November 2015

NME - Teresa Ewers


“Tracer bullets from machine guns in the trenches below streaked around him.” Eugene Bullard: World’s First Black Fighter Pilot jumps into the amazing life of Eugene Bullard. From the ripe old age of eleven, this boy took off on adventures that would make most people’s stomach churn. A fast-pacing reader’s dream, this book, at a mere 162 pages, is a fast, entertaining read. Perfect for an escape into the past. Eugene’s tale begins long before the war when the child runs away from his home in search of a better life - where a black man is treated equally to a white man. This endeavor takes him across the ocean

from the American South to a land his father told him stories about, France. One adventure after another, Eugene learns that not all white people are cruel and not everyone is a good person. The background story allows you to get to know Eugene and sympathize with the boy’s plight. The inside look at the war is as disturbing as it is exciting. The determination of this young man to survive and his continue drive to fight for what he believes in will keep your eyes glue to the pages. A coming of age story wrapped up in war and conflict on the other side of the ocean, this is an enjoyable read that’s hard to put down. NME - Winter Elise

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November 6, 2015 QUEENSRYCHE

November 1, 2015 AWOLNATION Sunshine Theater 120 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102 event/202813

November 1, 2015 Open Space Visitor Center (Westside) 6500 Coors Blvd. N.W. Albuquerque, NM 87120 Join a local naturalist for a guided walk into the riverside forest and discover this world away from the city.

November 1, 2015 23rd Annual South Valley Dia De Los Muertos Marigold Parade and Celebration Barelas/South Valley Centro Familiar and Isleta Albuquerque, NM Dia de Los Muertos is an ancient tradition rooted in Mexico. It celebrates life and honors those who have passed on.

November 1, 2015 Moonlight Ghost Tour Tours of Old Town 303 Romero Street NW Space N120 Albuquerque, 87104

November 7, 2015 Southwest Bacon Fest Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum 9201 Balloon Museum Dr. N.E. Albuquerque, NM 87113 Over 50 top restaurants and food trucks serve up 100 unique bacon dishes. Nine craft breweries, seven top bands, free bacon games and activities and a kids zone, provide something for the bacon lover in us all. All tickets include free access to the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. November 1, 2015 Bike & Brew Bike Tour Routes Bicycle Tours & Rentals, Inc. 404 San Felipe St. N.W. Albuquerque, NM 87104 Take a VIP Tour of Albuquerque’s Best Microbreweries. Bosque Wild Guided Nature Walk

November 1, 2015 Aida National Hispanic Cultural Center 1701 Fourth St. S.W. Albuquerque, NM 87102 The grandest of grand opera - never before performed in New Mexico! UNTIL November 1, 2015 Legally Blonde Every Sunday, Friday, Saturday Albuquerque Little Theatre 224 San Pasquale Ave. S.W. Albuquerque, NM 87104-1133 A fabulously fun, international award-winning musical based on the adored movie, Legally Blonde! November 1, 2015 Sherlock Holmes Popejoy Hall 203 Cornell Dr. N.E. Albuquerque, NM 87131 The legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes takes the stage in a witty, fast-paced production performed by the acclaimed Aquila Theatre.

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New Mexico Entertainment • November 2015

November 3, 2015 Cuban-Style Salsa and Rueda de Casino National Hispanic Cultural Center 1701 Fourth St. S.W. Albuquerque, NM 87102 Dancing Fun! “Casino dance” is known outside of Cuba as “Cuban-Style Salsa Dance.”

UNTIL November 14, 2015 Her Murder Ballad Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday Tricklock Company 110 Gold Ave SW Albuquerque, NM 87102

November 3, 2015 Wine Tasting: Cabernet Sauvignon Slate Street Café 515 Slate Ave. N.W. Albuquerque, NM 87102 Come in to the Wine Loft and enjoy our monthly wine tasting featuring Cabernet Sauvignon. Each guest receives 3 generous tastes as well as an appetizer prepared especially for this event.

November 27- 28, 2015 27th Annual Winter Spanish Market Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town 800 Rio Grande Blvd. N.W. Albuquerque, NM 87104 Traditional and innovative Spanish Colonial art, featuring over 100 artists (adult and youth), music, food and more.

November 4, 2015 Straight No Chaser Kiva Auditorium 401 2nd Street Northwest Albuquerque, NM 87102 November 4, 2015 The Beach Boys Popejoy Hall 203 Cornell Dr. N.E. Albuquerque, NM 87131 November 5, 2015 Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt Location: Kiva Auditorium 401 Second St. N.W. Albuquerque, NM 87102 November 6, 2015 Queensrÿche Isleta Resort & Casino 11000 Broadway Blvd. S.E. Albuquerque, NM 87105

November 27-29, 2015 Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival Holiday Show 300 San Pedro Dr NE Albuquerque, NM 87108 Bring your friends and family to the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival, Thanksgiving Weekend, to kick-off that holiday shopping and ease into the season! November 28, 2015 - January 2, 2016 River of Lights ABQ BioPark 903 10th St. S.W. Albuquerque, NM 87102 Experience millions of glowing, sparkling lights and over 150 dazzling light displays, animated sculptures and synchronized music light show at New Mexico’s largest walkthrough holiday production.

November 28, 2015 January 2, 2016 RIVER OF LIGHTS

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Profile for NMEntertains

New Mexico Entertainment Magazine November 2015  

Cover: The World According To Willow The young star of The Hunger Games series, Willow Shields, talks about starting in Albuquerque, her tim...

New Mexico Entertainment Magazine November 2015  

Cover: The World According To Willow The young star of The Hunger Games series, Willow Shields, talks about starting in Albuquerque, her tim...