There’s something about camping that makes us feel alive. Like the men God created us to be. Instead of tents, we prefer to spend a few days getting back to nature at a cabin in Ruidoso, New Mexico, watching Food Network and catching up on Chelsea Handler books.
But believe us, it really is back to basics at the cabin. The Wi-Fi is slow, the icemaker doesn’t keep up with our margarita-fueled demand and, hell, there are only two types of wine glasses. “Roughing it” sucks.
However – besides the delectable New Mexican cuisine – there’s one thing in Ruidoso that keeps us connected to our city-slicker roots, and that’s the stunning Spencer Theater just a few miles north in Alto, New Mexico. Named “one of the seven finest theaters in the world” by the U.S. Institute of Theater Technology (you know, where all the kids from A/V Club went when they grew up), it truly is a stunning sight to behold.
Nestled in a quaint valley between several majestic mountains, the Spencer is a beacon of limestone, metal and glass that rises from the flatlands like an ancient temple, though to be sure, one created by an architect looking to the future for inspiration. That architect, by the way, is Antoine Predock and his vision is nothing short of breathtaking.
Inside the 514-seat theater, artwork abounds, but most prominently the otherworldly glassworks of Dale Chihuly. Skip a trip to the Bellagio in Vegas and come here instead if you need a Chihuly fix. (And don’t worry, there are two casinos just a few miles away if that’s what you crave.)
As we wandered around the theater before our evening with legendary goddess Charo, we had to pinch ourselves (over cocktails) to remind ourselves that we’re not in a large city. There were wild horses on our drive to the theater, for cryin’ out loud.
Being a smaller theater, this is a great venue to catch a more intimate performance with one of your favorite artists (no seat is farther than 67 feet from the stage). Or catch a touring Broadway production with better seats than you’d ever get in one of the major markets. Acts range from are-they-still-alive singers like Roy Clark, kitschy revues like the upcoming one from Neil Diamond tribute artist Nearly Neil, or Broadway hits like Legally Blonde.
Next time your travel plans find you seeking the perfect combination of high altitude and high culture, we encourage you to get a cabin in Ruidoso and book your visit around a performance at the Spencer Theater. We promise, you’ll want to stand up and cheer.
108 Spencer Road
Airport Highway 220, Alto, NM
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