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Clay Walker at Las Palmas Race Park

Schlitterbahn

Visit festiva.themonitor.com today to find out how you can win a trip to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels for a family of four.

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AMY NICHOL SMITH

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TROY MAY 1

DAVID MAY 4

COPY/PHOTO DESK TAMARA CUPPLES AMY CASEBIER BRUNO GARCIA SANTOS GARCIA NYDIA GARZA TELMA GUZMAN JUAN LUEVANO DAVID VALLE

AMBER MAY 3

PHOTOGRAPHERS JAMES COLBURN GABE HERNANDEZ NATHAN LAMBRECHT DELCIA LOPEZ JOEL MARTINEZ

JANNY APRIL 29

MABLE APRIL 30

VERONICA MAY 5

STAY TUNED FOR OUR UPCOMING COVER STORY!

Festiva, a product of The Monitor and Valley Freedom Newspapers of South Texas, is the Rio Grande Valley’s oldest and most established weekly arts and entertainment publication. It is available in every Friday edition of The Monitor. Story suggestions, comments and criticisms may be e-mailed to festivamagazine@ gmail.com. For advertising inquires, contact Christina Castillo at (956) 6834177 or Pily Toledo at


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FESTIVA .THEMONITOR.COM

 NEW EVENTS  MAY 26 & 29

LA TRAVIATA T

he South Texas Lyric Opera will be wrapping up its sixth season this week with two special performances of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata.” The opera tells the tragic tale of Violetta Valery, a courtesan who falls for French nobleman Alfredo, which goes against societal norms threatening to ruin Alfredo’s family reputation. The production will feature professional soloists Edlyn De Oliveira (left) as Violetta and Antonio Albores as Alfredo in Verdi’s most famous work. Founder, general director and maestro Mazias De Oliveira takes the helm in the two-and-a-half hour production. For more information visit www.stlo.org. [CO]

WHEN 8 p.m. Thursday, May 26; 4 p.m. Sunday, May 29. WHERE McAllen Civic Center, 1300 S. 10th Street COST $25, $40, $55 (Senior and student discounts available) TICKETS (956) 681-3800

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 LIVE MUSIC

 GAMING

Hotel California

Pokeman Fundraiser

Can’t make it to The Eagles this year? No worries. Wink’s Saloon has the next best thing: Hotel California, the original Eagles tribute band. The four-man band will be covering the legendary group’s greatest hits as well as classics by Don Henley and Joe Walsh. Tables will be available for groups of four and eight. For more information call (956) 399-9465.

Pokemon is making a comeback and a new Harlingen league needs your help. Founders Jose Flores and Michael Leal are hoping the league provides a new outlet for youngsters in a safe environment. The league, which currently consists of 35 members, meets at 1 p.m. every Saturday at Comics Unlimited. The league will be selling barbecue plates at noon to raise funds for the league.

WHEN: Friday, April 29 WHERE: Wink’s Saloon, 10700 FM 1421, Brownsville CALL: (956) 399-9465 COST: $10 pre-sale tickets; $15 at the door; tables available ONLINE: http://www.winkssaloon.com/  CHARITY

Relay For Life Take a walk and help raise funds for the American Cancer Society. The organization’s annual fundraiser Relay For Life remembers patients who have lost their battle with cancer and those who are still fighting the disease. The event, which lasts all night, challenges teams of people to keep at least one member walking around a track till morning. WHEN: 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. Friday, April 29 WHERE: Cats Memorial Stadium, 315 E. Palm Dr., Edinburg ONLINE: relayforlife.org/edinburgtx  EDUCATION

WHEN: 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30 WHERE: Roosevelt’s, 821 N. Main St., McAllen COST: $10

THE BEST STUFF

 FOOD

WHEN: Noon Saturday, April 30 WHERE: Comics Unlimited, 623 North 77 Sunshine Strip, Harlingen CALL: (210) 528-0297  FITNESS

Zumba World Record Setting the Guiness World Record for anything is an amazing feat. Help Brownsville set the record for the world’s largest Zumba class this weekend. Brownsville will be competing against Glasgow, Scotland, to set the record on the same day. To set the record more than 800 people must do Zumba for 30 minutes without stopping. For more information, call Judy Garcia at (956) 547-6531. WHEN: 7:30 a.m. Saturday, April 29 WHERE: Brownsville Sports Park, 1000 Sports Park Blvd, Brownsville CALL: Judy Garcia (956) 547-6531 COST: Free  LIVE MUSIC

XXXXXXXXXX Crawfish Boil

Adult Spelling Bee For wordsmiths, spelling police and those who never got a chance to show off their spelling skills, the McAllen Literacy Center will present the 2011 Adult Spelling Bee. For just $10, any adult is eligible to show off their spelling skills. And even if participants don’t make it to the final round, they get a free beer of your choice. A mixer and registration will begin at 4 p.m. followed by the first written round of spelling words at 5:30 p.m. A judging panel will decide who goes to the final round. First place gets a trophy and bragging rights.

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Broken Poetz WHEN: 10 p.m. Saturday, April 30 WHERE: Simon Sez, 2007 Orchid Ave. CALL: (956) 618-4178

is the season to get your hands on some mouth-watering Cajun treats. It’s time to take a day off from your diet and indulge in an epic Louisiana feast at the McAllen Convention Center. The Rotary Clubs of McAllen will hold their annual Crawfish Boil on Friday, April 29. A whopping 5 tons of crawfish will be prepared, along with 1,000 pounds of andouille sausage and over 5,000 ears of corn with potatoes. Ice-cold beverages will be available, and the sounds of zydeco band The Mudbugs will provide the soundtrack for a true Cajun experience. [CO]

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 29 WHERE: McAllen Convention Center, 700 Convention Center Blvd., McAllen COST: $40 TICKETS: thecrawfishboil.com CALL: (866) 937-3789

TO HAVE YOUR EVENT CONSIDERED FOR INCLUSION IN OUR CALENDAR FREE OF CHARGE, E-MAIL


vamos FRIDAY, AP R IL 2 9, 2 01 1 | TH E M O N I TOR

TO DO THIS WEEK  LGBT

FESTIVA .THEMONITOR.COM  RACING

 EDUCATION

April May-hem

Huehetl

Get your motors running for April Mayhem. The racing extravaganza will feature various competitions including the burnout contest, a car show and the “True Street Challenge,” which is an Index racing competition. Trophies and over $1,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to winners. For more information and details about what cars qualify, visit www.stmc.ws. WHEN: 5 p.m. Saturday, April 30 WHERE: Edinburg International Racetrack, 15920 N. Highway 281, Edinburg COST: $20 to race; $10 for general admission; $7 for spectators; Free for kids under 12  ALT-SPORTS

Rolleristas WHEN: Friday, April 29; Saturday, April 30 WHERE: Louie’s Backyard, 2305 Laguna Boulevard; Mooncusser’s 205 West Palm Street, South Padre Island COST: $10 for 21 and over; $15 for ages 18 to 20; VIP passes $35

SPI Splash S

pend the weekend at the biggest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender party in the Valley. This year, the glitz and glam will take over Friday, April 29, at Louie’s Backyard and Saturday, April 30, at Mooncusser’s on South Padre Island. Day one will feature performances by Janet Andrews, Naomi Evans, Ka’aliyah McKim-Diamond, Asa Brooks, with club beats by DJ Hugo and DJ Danny. San Antonio-based R&B artist Mallorie will also be providing the soundtrack for this special night.

Saturday, the Mooncusser’s carnival will feature performers Asia O’Hara, Christina Ross, Mr. Gay Texas Mark Anthony, Jay Matthews, Shannon Demilo and music by DJ Master Steve. Tickets for the event will be $10 for age 21 and over and $15 for ages 18 to 20; VIP passes are $35. Attendees will also be eligible for a special Splash rate at the Comfort Suites, the Travel Lodge, the Howard Johnson and Suites at Sunchase. For more information contact Paul Magee at MAGPA4@aol.com or at facebook.com/ splashpadreisland. [CO]

South Texas Rolleristas are scheduled to kick some rollerista butt May 1, and is there really a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon? The Nerdcore Harlots will take on the Fallout Brigade at the Sk8 Zone Roller Rink. The winner will move on to the championship round and battle the Traumakazees. WHEN: 12 p.m. Sunday, May 1 WHERE: Sk8 Zone Roller Rink in Weslaco, 701 S. International Boulevard, Weslaco COST: $10 EMAIL: nercoreharlots@gmail.com CALL: (956)260-4758

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Listen and learn about pre-Columbian music and dance with Huehuetl, a musical group which will showcase the evolution of Mexican musical styles. The Spanish language presentation will begin at 7 p.m. WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, May 5 WHERE: South Texas College Pecan Campus, 3201 W. Pecan, McAllen  ARTS

Valley Poetry Fest Dozens of local poets, plus a few outof-towner featured poets, will be making the rounds from Jitterz Coffeehouse to Carino’s Italian Restaurant to Weslaco’s public library to give readings and participate in slams. The event is happening all week, and kicks off on Thursday with the release of Boundless 2011, an anthology of poetry collected from writers around the world. WHEN: Friday, April 29, through Sunday, May 1 WHERE: Venues vary from Mission to Brownsville, check website for the full schedule COST: Free ONLINE: www.vipf.org  COMEDY

 ART

Diego Monterrubio Local artist Diego Monterrubio will be showcasing “Las Imagenes De Mi Infancia” at the Clark Gallery at the University of Texas Pan American. WHEN: May 3 through May 19 WHERE: Clark Art Gallery, 1201 W. University Drive, Edinburg COST: Free ONLINE: diegomonterrubio.com

ALL DETAILS AND IMAGES TO FESTIVAMAGAZINE@GMAIL.COM AT LEAST TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE.

Laugh-gasm Funnyman Raymond Orta will be headlining the Laugh-gasm Comedy Show Friday, April 9, at the Border Theater in Mission. The local comic will be joined by Noel “Sweets” Reyna, Berto Garcia and Mark the Mexican’t. The show will be taped for a live DVD. WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, April 29 WHERE: Border Theater, 905 N. Conway Ave. Mission COST: $10


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FESTIVA .THEMONITOR.COM

NOW IN THEATERS Fast Five

Prom

RATED PG-13 GENRE ACTION Here we go again. Who would have ever thought this action-packed popcorn flick from 2001, would spawn four sequels? I guess there can never be too much Paul Walker or Vin Diesel because 10 years later “The Fast and The Furious” franchise is still going strong. This time, the two megastars are joined by a bevy of rappers (Ludacris, Don Omar), wrestlers (The Rock) and babes (Jordana Brewster) as they battle a federal agent played by Dwayne Johnson and a South American druglord. [CO]

RATED PG GENRE DRAMA/COMEDY Tweens and teens will be all over this Disney romantic comedy like Clearasil on a zit. “Prom” follows the lives of high schoolers from different cliques as the most important night of their adolescent life (like, OMG) approaches. And even though, the film probably won’t be this generation’s “Breakfast Club” or “Can’t Hardly Wait,” I’m sure it will satisfy any teen’s craving for high school stereotypes. There’s even a rebellious type with a leather jacket and a motorcycle. [CO]

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11:00 11:55 1:55 3:10 4:50 6:15 7:45 9:20 10:40 HOODWINKED TOO! HOOD VS. EVIL PG

THE CONSPIRATOR PG-13 11:05 4:45 10:30 RIO G REALD 3D SHOWTIMES:

11:00 1:30 4:15 7:00 9:45 STANDARD SHOWTIMES:

12:35 3:20 6:05 9:00 SCREAM 4 R 11:20 2:00 4:30 7:15 10:05 REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: ARTHUR PG-13 2:40 4:55 7:10 9:30 DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES: 12:25PM 12:00 2:35 5:15 7:50 10:25 HANNA PG-13 PROM PG 11:30 2:10 5:00 7:45 10:25 11:25 2:10 4:40 7:25 10:10 SOUL SURFER PG AFRICAN CATS G 11:15 2:00 4:45 7:30 10:15 DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES: HOP PG 12:30 3:00 5:20 7:40 10:05 11:35 2:05 4:35 7:05 9:35 TYLER PERRY’S MADEA’S INSIDIOUS PG-13 BIG HAPPY FAMILY PG-13 DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES: 11:10 2:05 4:50 7:35 10:20 11:15 1:55 4:40 7:20 10:00 WATER FOR ELEPHANTS PG-13 SOURCE CODE PG-13 11:05 1:50 4:35 7:25 10:15 2:15 7:35

FAST FIVE PG-13 12:00 1:30 3:00 4:30 6:00 7:30 9:00 10:30 HOODWINKED TOO! HOOD VS. EVIL PG REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: 2:20 4:45 7:00 9:20 DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES: 11:45AM PROM PG 1:40 4:15 7:15 9:50 TYLER PERRY’S MADEA’S 1:55 4:50 7:25 10:05 BIG HAPPY FAMILY PG-13 WATER FOR ELEPHANTS PG-13 1:10 4:05 7:05 9:55

THE KING’S SPEECH PG-13 DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES PG PAUL R RED RIDING HOOD PG-13 I AM NUMBER FOUR PG-13 GNOMEO & JULIET G REALD 3D: JUST GO WITH IT PG-13

11:15 1:55 4:35 7:25 10:05 11:35 2:05 4:25 7:15 9:35 11:30 2:15 4:45 7:45 10:15 2:00 7:40 11:40 2:10 4:40 7:10 9:50 11:25 1:45 4:15 7:00 9:15 11:20 4:50 10:10

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8:45PM HANNA PG-13 11:20 2:00 4:45 7:25 10:10 NO ERES TU, SOY YO PG-13 11:45AM SOUL SURFER PG DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES: 11:35 2:20 5:00 7:35 10:20 12:30 2:45 5:00 7:15 9:30 HOP PG TYLER PERRY’S MADEA’S 11:35 2:00 4:25 7:00 9:35 BIG HAPPY FAMILY PG-13 INSIDIOUS PG-13 11:30 2:10 4:50 7:30 10:10 11:45 2:25 5:05 7:35 10:05 WATER FOR ELEPHANTS PG-13 LIMITLESS PG-13 11:25 2:10 4:55 7:45 10:30 2:20 4:55 7:30 10:15 DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES:

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THE KING’S SPEECH PG-13 12:00 2:40 5:20 8:00 DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES PG 12:15 2:35 4:55 7:15 9:35 PAUL R 11:50 2:20 4:50 7:20 9:45 RED RIDING HOOD PG-13 2:10 4:30 7:40 10:10 DRIVE ANGRY R 10:05PM BIG MOMMA’S: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON PG-13 11:45 2:15 4:45 7:25 9:55 I AM NUMBER FOUR PG-13 11:55 2:25 5:00 7:30 10:00 GNOMEO & JULIET G REALD 3D 12:05 2:30 5:05 7:35 9:40 STANDARD SHOWTIMES: 11:40 2:05 4:10 7:10 YOGI BEAR PG 12:10PM


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FESTIVA .THEMONITOR.COM

Kris Allen

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 LIVE MUSIC

D

on’t miss your chance to see “American Idol” winner Kris Allen at the Cinco De Mayo Hot KissFest Thursday, May 5, at Smokin’ Aces. The eighth-season champ beat out glam-rocker Adam Lambert in 2009. The singer/songwriter found success with the Idol anthem “No Boundaries,” a cover of Kanye West’s “Heartless” and his postIdol hit song “Live Like We’re Dying.” The Idol winner will be joined by Mariachis Las Azucenas, He is We, Katrina, and Mark Broussard. Tickets are only available through Kiss 106.3 and Festiva. [CO]

WITH Matt Hires, He Is We, Katrina, Mark Broussard, Las Azucenas WHERE Smokin’ Aces, 2518 E. Business Highway 83, Mission TICKETS Check out festiva. themonitor.com or listen to Hot Kiss 106.3 to win!

1903 S. CLOSNER EDINBURG, TX

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Pilot Center


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Sundays Live Country Music 3-7 RIVER TOURS! CALL FOR DETAILS & TIMES!

ENTERTAINMENT & EVENT CENTER Serving Food Daily Open 11:00 • Spacious Areas For Rent! For more info call (956) 581-1033 • or visit www.ontheriver.net 214 E. Chimney Road South Mission off Conway Ave

COMING SOON LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY NIGHTS


F R I DAY, AP R IL 2 9, 2 01 1 | TH E M ON I TO R

FESTIVA .THEMONITOR.COM

DASH DAY  MOVIES  LOCAL FILMMAKING

YOUNG MOVIEMAKERS WILL HAVE TO IMPRESS THESE ACCOMPLISHED VALLEYITES TO WIN FILM RACE PRIZE

BY BRANDON R. GARCIA

ALVARO RODRIGUEZ

SCREENWRITER, ‘MACHETE’ YOU’RE NOT AN IDIOT IF YOU UNDERSTAND THIS GRAMMATICAL RULE ...

“The difference between plural and possessive, s and apostrophe s. Or that you don’t end sentences with a preposition. Unless you want to.” IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHICH FAMOUS MOVIE WOULD YOU WRITE THE SCRIPT FOR?

“La Notte.” SO WHICH NOTABLE MOVIE TIME MACHINE WOULD YOU TAKE?

“The one in ‘Time After Time’ where H.G. Wells follows Jack the Ripper into the 1970s.” IF ONE NIGHT DURING YOUR TENURE AS A REPORTER FOR THE MONITOR WOULD MAKE A GOOD MOVIE, IT WOULD HAVE TO BE THIS ONE TIME ...

“It would be a lot like ‘The Hangover’ except with more drinking, fouler language and The Jackson 5 on the soundtrack.” WHAT KIND OF FILM DOES A GUY HAVE TO MAKE IN THE 24-HOUR FILM DASH TO GET YOU TO SHARE IT EAGERLY WITH ROBERT RODRIGUEZ, THAT LEGENDARY PRIMO OF YOURS? “Your best.”

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f you’re making a movie in Hollywood, you usually have a least a few months to get it finished. But if you’re chasing the top prize this weekend at CineSol’s third annual 24 Hour Film Dash, you’ll be lucky if you find a moment to sit down. Teams of local filmmakers will meet at Cine El Rey in Downtown McAllen early Saturday morning, where they’ll find out the secret guidelines (genre, prop, location, character, etc.) they must follow when creating their films, which can run no longer than five minutes. After kickoff, they’ll have exactly 24 hours to meet back at Cine El Rey and turn in their finished products. Festiva spoke to the three Valley natives in charge of judging the entries to find out what they’re looking for in a winner (plus some other really random topics). Here’s what they had to say:

OMAR W. ROSALES

JAY CANTU

IF YOU WERE GOING TO MAKE A MOVIE IN THE VALLEY, WHICH LOCATIONS WOULD YOU LIKE TO FILM AT?

BEST RADIO PERSONALITY/DJ CHARACTER IN A MOVIE?

DIRECTOR, ‘HEAVEN IN EXILE’

ON-AIR PERSONALITY, HOT KISS 106.3FM

“South Padre, Rio Grande City, Jackson Street in Harlingen.”

“Howard Stern.”

BEST ANTHROPOLOGIST CHARACTER IN A MOVIE?

“Me and Angelina Jolie on a movie title yet to be named.”

“Indiana Jones, of course! Archaeology is a subset of anthropology, so the trilogy of Dr. Jones would qualify.” BEST MOVIE* ABOUT TIBET?

HOTTEST MOVIE KISS OF ALL TIME?

FAVORITE SONG FROM A MOVIE SOUNDTRACK EVER?

“‘Kundun,’ Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece.”

“‘Dos Mujeres Un Camino’ from ‘Dos Mujeres un Camino’ (telenovela).”

THREE GREAT MOVIES* WITH “HEAVEN” IN THE TITLE?

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MUSICIAN IN A MOVIE?

“‘Kingdom of Heaven,’ ‘Just Like Heaven,’ ‘All Dogs Go to Heaven’”

“Lou Diamond Phillips, ‘La Bamba’”

THE NEXT BIG PROJECT I’M WORKING ON IS ...

“A music vid for my pal Alan Taylor West.”

“Nothing without a definite ENDING!!!!”

*other than ‘Heaven in Exile’

24 HOUR FILM DASH

IF THE FILM DASH FILMMAKERS WANT TO MAKE YOU HAPPY, WHAT KIND OF MOVIE MUST THEY MAKE?

Saturday, April 30 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Cine El Rey, 311 S. 17th St., McAllen Call Lupita Gutierrez Garza at (956) 536-9596 or Henry Serrato at (956) 793-8783. RESULTS 6 p.m. Friday, May 7, at Cine El Rey

WHEN REGISTER WHERE MORE INFO


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FESTIVA .THEMONITOR.COM

ABBA FANS EMBRACE BELOVED MUSICAL BASED ON HIT SONGS BY AMY NICHOL SMITH


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FESTIVA .THEMONITOR.COM

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t’s taking at least $50 to fill up your gas tank these days. And perhaps reaching the end of the work week seems to take longer than it did in years past. Forget your worries and woes for a couple of hours with the effervescent Swedish pop music of ABBA and the Broadway musical “Mamma Mia!” this weekend at the McAllen Civic Center. When Rachel Villanueva needs a musical pick-me-up or help relaxing, she grabs an ABBA album. “Their music has always been the type that takes me away,” the 40-year-old McAllen resident says. Five years ago, when Villanueva boarded an airplane for the first time, she made sure to listen to ABBA the entire flight. She grew up listening to ABBA because that’s what her parents liked, and the song “Fernando” always reminds her of her childhood. Like her parents, Villanueva has introduced her 5-year-old son to the catchy tunes of the Swedish quartet which ruled the charts in the ‘70s. And he loves it. Villanueva hasn’t seen the Broadway musical, but she’d drop whatever she was doing to go. The stage hit follows the story of 20-year-old Sophie, who is to be married in Greece where her mother Donna lives, and she has a dream of her father walking her down the aisle. Only problem is she doesn’t know who he is. Once Sophie discovers the three men who might be her daddy, she invites them all to her wedding, signing her mother’s name. Confusion, silliness and lots of ABBA songs follow. In the end, well, you probably won’t even care about the plot, but “Mamma Mia!” will guarantee fun for those who let go and enjoy the music. It’s time to stop hiding your love for the disco-flavored songs that just make you want to shake your booty, and sing “Dancing Queen” at the top of your lungs with the cast.

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Your Favorite ABBA Songs “‘DANCING QUEEN.’ TAKES ME BACK TO A TIME WHEN THINGS WERE SIMPLE!”

MARIA FLORES GUERRA

“‘CHIQUITITA’ – IT REMINDS ME OF MY MOM!”

ALEJANDRO OCHOA

“I’M WITH ALEJANDRO. MY MOM WOULD SING AND DANCE ‘CHIQUITITA’ WITH ME WHEN I WAS LITTLE. LOVE THAT SONG!”

ARACELI GARAY

“IN THIS TIME OF YEAR I THINK THE ONE OF ‘MONEY, MONEY, MONEY’ BECAUSE IF YOU LISTEN TO THE LYRICS IT’S TRUE AND WELL, IT’S JUST A SONG THAT’S FACT.”

CHARLEY HERNANDEZ

“‘DANCING QUEEN’ … ‘CAUSE I LOVE TO DANCE!”

TERRY LOPEZ RODRIGUEZ

“‘GIMME! GIMME! GIMME! (A MAN AFTER MIDNIGHT)’” WHEN WHERE COST TICKETS

2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 7; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 8 McAllen Civic Center, 1300 S. 10th St. $58 to $63 McAllen Convention Center box office, 700 Convention Center Blvd., or online at www.ticketmaster.com

CHRISTIAN OVIEDO

“‘DANCING QUEEN.’”

ALMA SHEARIN

“‘DANCING QUEEN’ REMINDS ME OF MY CHILDHOOD.”

ELDA GARCIA


F R I DAY, AP R IL 2 9, 2 01 1 | TH E M ON I TO R  LOCAL MUSICIANS

San Benito teen heads to accordion semifinals

FESTIVA .THEMONITOR.COM

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McALLEN NATURE TOUR APRIL 23

PHOTO BY JOEL MARTINEZ

BY TRAVIS M. WHITEHEAD

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Hours of practice on the accordion have paid off in a big way for Rogelio Garcia. The San Benito High School junior is headed to Austin where he’ll compete in the semifinals of the fifth annual Big Squeeze Accordion Contest. Squeezebox is another name for accordion. “I’m kind of excited,” said Garcia, 17, who has been playing the squeezebox for about three years. The competition April 30 will be held at The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. “I want to see how it is up there,” Garcia said. “I’ve been practicing a lot.” Garcia qualified to compete in the event in March at the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center. He spent weeks practicing five or six hours a day to prepare for the tryouts at the center. At the tryouts, he performed before cameras, and recordings of his performance were sent to judges who determined what performers would compete in the semifinals. Eight players from throughout the Lone Star State were chosen to compete. Two other Valleyites will also participate in competition: Omar Garza and Ernesto Villansana. The two sixteen-year-olds are both from Mission. Garcia believes he has a pretty good chance at winning in the semifinals, which will take him to the 22nd annual Accordion Kings and Queens Festival on June 4 at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre. At the semifinals, Garcia will perform two very difficult pieces: Los Tres Aromas (The Three Scents) by Paulino Bernal, and El Sube y Baja. “The first one is hard, because I’m changing keys,” he said. “I put like three tonos into one polka, so I’m just changing back and forth.” Garcia seemed to think El Sube y Baja (The Up and Down) is pretty easy, but his instructor, Marcus Pesina – he’s trained the young musician for three years – disagreed. “We helped him pick that out,” Pesina said. “Just the whole song I think is really intense. There’s a lot of different transitions in the notes and the chords. It’s just a real difficult piece.”


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Hermes Music brings disabled man to share story with Valley BY CRYSTAL OLVERA

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he Hermes Music Foundation will be hosting a fundraiser with special guest Nick Vujicic on Tuesday, May 3, at the McAllen Convention Center. The 28-year-old pastor and motivational speaker, who was born without arms or legs, will be giving two special presentations: a free one for the public at 9 a.m. and a second dinner event at 6:30 p.m. “We want to bring to McAllen this message of hope, que si se puede (it can be done),” said Alberto Kriemerman, Hermes Music founder. Vujicic was born with Tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare condition that left the newborn limbless with only a right foot and two toes. Although he battled depression as a child, Vujicic learned to overcome obstacles with the use of his foot. He began to learn how to perform daily tasks like brush his teeth and comb his hair on his own. At the age of 17, he began the nonprofit organization “Life Without Limbs,” and has since traveled the world determined to spread his in-

spirational story to others. In 2008, he appeared on the ABC news program 20/20, and recently published his book “Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life.” “He’s changed the life of many people. He’s a brilliant human being,” said Kriemerman who has worked with Vujicic in the past. Most recently Kriemerman and the Hermes Music Foundation visited Los Pinos, the Mexican presidential estate for a special Dia De Los Reyes celebration in January where he met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. “Everyone is invited to this special event,” Kriemerman said. “He has a magnificent story that needs to be told.” All funds raised will go towards the Hermes Music Foundation’s projects in communities and schools. Schools, congregations and the public are invited to attend the 9 a.m. presentation. Those interested can call (956) 686-8742 for tickets.


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Festiva (April 29, 2011)  

Festiva (April 29, 2011)

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