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January/February 2016

Vikki Carr Love Sculpture ITC Asian Festival Las Americas Festival Villita at South Alamo 25 Years of Broadway Carlos Alvarez Theater Plus 12 Additional Articles January/February 2016 | On The Town 1

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Features Cont.

Welcome to a new year of great performances! 8 January and February lead the way

92 years of fine dining at the corner of Villita and South Alamo streets


Vikki Carr returns to the Tobin Center for February concert


Bingham Family Vineyards: Sixth-generation High Plains family creates new traditions



Cookhouse: A New Orleans Restaurant 72

Tuesday Musical Club to feature David Portillo 26 and the cello-piano duo Kostov and Valkov

Corita Kent, Collecting in Context and On and 80 Off Fred

Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater: Where artists and audiences unite


LOVE sculpture now part of McNay’s permanent collection

Nationally recognized ballet master Willy Shives returns to Texas as the new artistic director for Ballet San Antonio


Public Art San Antonio 86

25 Years of Broadway at the Majestic

San Antonio Symphony’s 2016 winter festival 52 celebrates the music of the Americas Barshop JCC celebrates 15 years of Jewish cinema in San Antonio


Asian Festival 2016: The Year of the Monkey


38th annual CineFestival returns to San Antonio


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Departments Events Calendar



Book Talk: Bryce Miligan, publisher, owner of 92 Wings Press Artistic Destination: Picturesque Door County 98 draws artists to Wisconsin peninsula Out & About With Greg Harrison


Lair Creative, LLC would not knowingly publish misleading or erroneous information in editorial content or in any adv appear under any circumstances. Additionally, content in this electronic magazine does not necessarily reflect the view mances and exhibits, it is recommended that all times and dates of such events be confirmed by the reader prior to at




Cover Credits Contributors Front Cover Photo: Riverdance-Firedance Photo by Rob McDougal Performing Arts Cover Photo: Steven Booth in Kinky Boots Photo by Matthew Murphy

Greg Harrison staff photographer

Jeanne Albrecht Mikel Allen creative director/ graphic designer

Kelley Kendall

Rudy Arispe James M. Benavides

Christian Lair operations manager/ webmaster Kay Lair

Events Calendar Cover Photo: Jerry Seinfeld Courtesy Majestic Theatre

Olivier J. Bourgoin (aka, Olivier the Wine Guy) Julie Catalano

Susan A. Merkner copy editor

Festivals & Celebrations Cover Photo:

Allison Cornwell

Angela Rabke

Lisa Cruz

Sarah Selango

Thomas Duhon

Cecily Romaynne Shives

Dan R. Goddard

Jasmina Wellinghoff

Š Ionsoon |

Culinary Arts Cover Photo: Photo by Greg Harrison Visual Arts Cover Photo: Photo by Greg Harrison Literary Arts Cover Photo: Š

Eclectics Cover Photo: Photo by Greg Harrison Out & About With Greg Harrison Cover Photo: Photo by Greg Harrison is published by Lair Creative, LLC 14122 Red Maple San Antonio, Texas 78247 210-771-8486 210-490-7950 (fax)

vertisement in On The Town, nor does it assume responsibility if this type of editorial or advertising should ws or opinions of the management of Lair Creative, LLC. Since On The Town features information on perforttendance. The publisher assumes no responsibility for changes in times, dates, venues, exhibitions or performances.

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Performing Arts 8-34

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Barber Violin Concerto by symphony principal violinist Eric Gratz Jan. 29-30 and From Bernstein to Piazolla with Juan Pablo Jofre on bandoneon Feb. 5-6. Sebastian LangLessing conducts on three occasions, while John Alexrod leads the orchestra for the American Cello Concerto performances. All take place at the H-E-B Performance In the first two months alone, there are hundreds of shows Hall at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. to see and enjoy. Get tickets and be a face in the crowd for events such as the San Antonio Symphony’s Las Americas Musical Bridges Around the World offers a festival Music Festival Jan. 5 to Feb. 23. During this time, the within the festival. Their International Music Festival symphony is featured with four classical concerts while is a collection of five performances over the weekends other organizations such as Musical Bridges Around the of Feb. 12-14 and Feb. 19-21. Performances by all of World, SOLI Chamber Ensemble, Camerata San Antonio, the organizations involved in the Las Americas Music San Antonio Chamber Music Society, Carver Community Festival deserve shout-outs here, but space won’t Cultural Center, Musical Offerings, Olmos Ensemble, permit. Please seek information from the events Children’s Chorus of San Antonio, San Antonio Chamber calendar in this publication and from each participating Choir, Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, Tuesday Musical organization’s website. Club, Heart of Texas Concert Band and San Antonio Choral Society offer performances focused on music of Classical music opportunities not connected to the festival include Musical Bridges’ Café Columbia featuring the Americas as well. harpist Edmar Casteneda at San Fernando Cathedral Symphony classical performances include Rhapsody in Jan. 17, Spectrum Strings playing for the Fredericksburg Blue Jan. 15-17 with pianist Vincent Balse, American Cello Music Club on the same day, Chamber Orchestra of San Concerto featuring cellist Christine Lamprea Jan.22-23, Antonio’s The Unsung Octet at the Carlos Alvarez Jan. 23, t’s time to make your new year’s resolution to enjoy more of the live entertainment available in and around San Antonio in the next 12 months. Please make this one that you really keep because performing arts never fail to enrich your cultural life. You can count on it.

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violinst Joshua Bell with pianist Sam Haywood at the H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Feb. 2, San Antonio Piano Competition Piano Series with pianist Baya Kakouberi and violinist Gary Levinson Feb. 13 at the UIW Concert Hall, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin Feb. 20 in Seguin at Jackson Auditorium, clarinetist Victoria Luperi for Blanco Performing Arts at Uptown Blanco Ballroom on Feb. 20 as well, the fourth concert of the season for MidTexas Symphony in New Braunfels at the Performing Arts Center Canyon High School Feb. 21, and the Symphony of the Hills’ Shakespeare Fest: A Musical Tribute to the Bard Feb. 25 at the Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater in Kerrville.

In other performance news, Madonna plays the AT&T Center Jan. 10, and Janet Jackson appears there Jan. 21. Def Leppard comes to town Feb. 2 at the AT&T, and the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo takes over Feb. 11-27. Featured artists include Brad Paisley, Hunter Hayes, Pitbull, Alan Jackson, Jason Derulo and Pat Benatar with Neil Giraldo.

January and February bring with them great live theater, too. The Producers hits the Tobin stage for one night only Jan. 13. The Tobin’s Edge Series presentation of Late Night Catechism: Las Vegas promises six hilarious performances from Feb. 25-28 at the Carlos Alvarez Turning to pops opportunities, San Antonio Symphony Studio Theater. Kinky Boots can be seen eight times at has scheduled two shows for all to enjoy in February, the Majestic Jan. 26-31, followed by five performances starting with Raiders of the Lost Ark (with the film score of Riverdance 20 Feb. 26-28. being played live) at the Majestic Theatre Feb. 19-20 and Bravo Broadway Feb. 26-27 at the Tobin Center featuring Community theater is wonderful during the first vocalists Christiane Noll and Doug Lebreque; Akiko two months of the year. Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story Fujimoto conducts. Up the road in Kerrville at the Cailloux, provides plenty of nostalgia at the Cameo while The Symphony of the Hills offers A Night at the Movies Jan. 9. Eastwood Divas does the same at the Little Carver This is followed by Boerne Performing Arts’ presentation Theatre. Rock of Ages, pardon the pun, rocks the of the Hollywood Concert Orchestra’s A Night at the Oscars Woodlawn, Jesus Christ Superstar plays the Playhouse SA, The Diviners is at the Sheldon Vexler and Attic Rep Feb. 6 at Boerne Champion Auditorium.

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performs The Amish Project. Cabaret follows Buddy at the Cameo. Death by Design is the Harlequin Dinner Theatre’s offering, and the Classic Theatre of San Antonio brings us The Seagull. Area shows include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Brauntex in New Braunfels, Into the Woods by the Fredericksburg Theatre Company, The Crazy Quilt Club at Boerne Community Theatre, Getting Sara Married by Playhouse 2000 in Kerrville and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change at the Elizabeth Huth Coates Indoor Theatre in Ingram. The Color of Stars at S.T.A.G.E in Bulverde and Lend Me a Tenor by the Wimberley Players round things out.

Photo Credits:

Other don’t-miss shows in January and February include Vikki Carr, Jerry Seinfeld, Oak Ridge Boys, Janeane Garofalo, Dancing with the Stars, Don McLean, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Band of HM Royal Marines, Blind Boys of Alabama, Brian Regan, Yamato Drummers-Bakuon and TAO: Seventeen Samurai. Check your local listings for days and times.

Riverdance Photo by Rob McDougall

Pages 8-9: Kinky Boots Photo by Matthew Murphy Pages 10-11: (L-R) TAO Seventeen Samurai Courtesy Boerne Performing Arts The Producers Courtesy Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Page 12: (L-R) Christine Lamprea Photo by Vanessa Briceno Photography

Kinky Boots Welcome to a new year of great performances! Get some Photo by Matthew Murphy tickets and go!

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Vikki Carr returns to the Tobin Center for February concert By Julie Catalano


ean Martin called her “the best girl singer in the business.” Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald listed her among their three favorite female singers of all time. Elvis Presley was a fan, as was Frank Sinatra, who said she possessed “my kind of voice.” Johnny Cash called her “one of the finest voices I ever heard.” She even achieved the ultimate in pop culture fame—a nod on the television show “Family Guy,” when Peter Griffin is challenged to name a type of car (“Vikki. Vikki Carr.”)

JC: You have such a history with San Antonio even before you lived here. You basically saved Holy Cross High School from closing and raised scholarship funds with benefit concerts for more than 20 years. You must hear about Holy Cross from the locals all the time.

VC: Living in San Antonio there isn’t a place I can go that either a sister, mother or grandmother will say thank you so much for helping Holy Cross. It’s very heartwarming. That’s the wonderful thing about my career, I think, that When Vikki Carr takes the stage Feb. 20 at the Tobin because of the way I am or the things I have done, people Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, she feel like they know me. That’s the greatest compliment, brings with her an artistic legacy that spans five decades when people come up to you and say, “I love you.” And I in stage, screen and recording, earning her the devotion say, well, thank you very much! of millions of fans, old and new, around the world. JC: Let’s talk about the Feb. 20 concert at the Tobin. This From her home in San Antonio on a November day, will be your second time there? she describes herself as “going crazy -- vocalizing while I’m walking, studying for my show, rehearsing lyrics, VC: Yes. The first time was the Tobin taking a chance on and making lists for Thanksgiving dinner, who’s going me as the first show [as part of the opening festivities to bring what. Other than that, I’m doing nothing.” in 2014]. That was the most exciting thing. They were From that legendary voice comes a beautiful, hearty amazed that we pretty much sold out for the first show. laugh, one that is a pleasure to hear during our phone When that happened, [senior director of programming conversation. and marketing] Aaron Zimmerman said, “She’s coming back, she’s coming back,” which was great to hear JC: I’ve been having a ball watching you on YouTube, [laughs]. So we are going back, and I’m excited. all of your fabulous hit songs, concerts, television appearances, singing with Tom Jones, Tony Bennett, JC: What will the new show be like? a Spanish version of “The Look of Love” with Burt Bacharach, and of course Dean. What an amazing career! VC: The Tobin show is going to be a cross section of some You need to write a book. of the shows I’ve done before that have been incredibly successful. I’ve done stage shows, musicals, jazz -- I do VC: Everybody tells me that. But the only one who can everything. I’ve done tributes to incredible performers really write my book is me, and I’m trying to figure out like Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Judy Garland, how the heck can I do this without parking my butt in a so I thought I would do a show that encompasses what chair and just writing. [Poet and novelist] Naomi Shihab I love to do, paying tribute to the people who have Nye told me to sit down with a yellow pad and write and been important to me in my career for one reason or write and write. But finding the time to do it if you’re not another. We’re also bringing in Mariachi Aztlan, a young a writer is very difficult. mariachi from [Edinburg] Texas, that has been incredibly January/February 2016 | On The Town 15

successful in mariachi contests. And then just do kind of a spontaneous thing. JC: Such as? VC: Years ago I used to take a vocal break by doing a short Q&A, like Carol Burnett used to do in her show. I would tell the audience to ask whatever they want, personal or whatever, feel free to ask anything, because I don’t have to answer it [laughs]. It was amazing the questions I would get. Some can be serious, some can be funny. It’s a good test for my brain, and I enjoy doing it. JC: Anything else? VC: I tell the story of how I changed my name to Vikki Carr [from Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona] and how my father was very hurt. People ask me, especially some of the militant groups, “If you’re so proud to be Mexican, why did you change your name?” My answer is that I didn’t think about that when I was 18 and 19. In my era, that’s what people did. Nowadays it doesn’t make a difference, but as I explain in the medley, I told my father that one day people will know me as much for my real name as they do for my stage name, and that has come to pass. JC: Do you have a bucket list? [long pause] JC: Well, let’s see. You’ve performed for the Queen of England, five U.S. Presidents, and wartime soldiers in Vietnam; won four Grammys including the 2008 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; received dozens of prestigious awards including the 2011 Medallion of Excellence from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, are in the Latino Legends Hall of Fame, have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and have released more than 60 bestselling recordings. Maybe you don’t need a bucket list! VC: [laughs] I have been so blessed. I think my bucket list would be to have more fun at this stage of my life, and to share that fun with everyone. I want to see people smile, and if there’s a tear it’s not a tear of sadness but one that brings back joyous memories. That’s my bucket list—to make people happy and thank God that I am blessed with this gift to sing. 16 On The Town | January/February 2016

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he galaxy of television, music, movie and theater stars who have graced the glittering stage of the Majestic Theatre over the past quarter of a century in countless Broadway plays and concerts almost equals the constellation of tiny, twinkling stars that cover the faux night sky of the painted, blue canopy ceiling high above the seats of patrons. Who wouldn’t be star-struck over the Tinseltown celebrities, and in some cases Oscar winners, who have enthralled Majestic audiences with their mere stage presence or Tony Award-winning thespian skills? Among the notables are Yul Brynner, Faye Dunaway, Rita Moreno, Ann-Margaret, Carol Channing, George Hamilton, Robert Goulet, Morgan Fairchild, Tom Bosley, Richard Thomas, Stephanie Zimbalist, Tommy Tune, Jerry Lewis, Cathy Rigby, Eartha Kitt and on and on. Their appearances all have been made possible through the Broadway in San Antonio Series, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. 20 On The Town | January/February 2016

“ The 1989-90 season was the first time we launched the Broadway series, and it has evolved,” said Mike Rilley general manager of Arts Center Enterprises, which operates the Majestic. “Now, every year there’s always a different highlight.” “When you look back over 25 years, we’ve had Les Misérables, Cats, Miss Saigon, Evita, Cabaret, Jersey Boys, The Lion King and many others. These are all shows that were huge, box-office smashes in London and New York,” Rilley said. “ The series has allowed us to bring these major productions to San Antonio, so that people here can experience them too in their hometown.” The resulting cultural impact to the Alamo City and its theater-loving patrons has been nothing short of stellar. “ The series is like a current in which you get a mass of people who come to see a show,” Rilley said. “It brings a huge dynamic to downtown San Antonio while creating an enormous energy. With 2,200 people every night for eight per formances, Houston Street becomes electric. Restaurants are

full, and sidewalks are bustling with activity. It’s to promote each show. We can have 16,000 to 18,000 people attend during one week, so there’s good for the city, and patrons love it.” a whole lot of moving parts to make sure the The numbers tell the story of just how much San shows are successful.” Antonians love the Broadway in San Antonio series. Currently, some 9,500 people are season On opening night of any given show, don’t expect subscribers, who are treated to six shows per to find the general manager sitting front row center, reclining in his seat alongside friends, year, performed Tuesdays through Sundays. waiting for the lights to dim, the music to begin, “Some shows play longer,” Rilley said, “like Wicked, and the curtain to slowly sweep open. Far from it. The Phantom of the Opera and The Lion King, which “A s G M , I ’m d o i n g a b o u t 1 8 o t h e r t h i n g s b e fo r e played for 33 shows.” e a c h s h o w, a n d I k e e p b u s y b a c k s t a g e o r i n t h e Putting on a large production, such as The f r o n t o f t h e h o u s e t o m a k e s u r e e ve r y t h i n g Phantom of the Opera, Chicago or Annie, takes wo r k s o u t ,” h e s a i d. “ W h e n yo u l o o k a t t h e advanced logistical coordination, a flurry of s t a g e o n M o n d a y, i t ’s e m p t y a n d d a r k ; t h e n behind-the-scenes activity, and rehearsals with t h e n e x t d a y t h e t h e a t e r i s t r a n s fo r m e d, a n d t h e i n t e r a c t i o n b e t we e n t h e l i ve a u d i e n c e cast and crew before the curtain rises. a n d t h e p e r fo r m e r s j u s t c a n’t b e e x p r e s s e d. “Each show is different and can present its own T h e r e’s e n e r g y, t h e r e’s e xc i t e m e n t .” unique challenges,” Rilley said. “For instance, The Lion King loaded in with 17 trucks. It’s about As one might imagine, things don’t always go as having good facilities, a professional theater expected, on or off stage. Rilley recalled that a staff to sell tickets and offering great customer few years ago, the lead actor, or rather the Grinch, service to our patrons, as well as sound marketing in a production of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas January/February 2016 | On The Town 21

was feeling under the weather on a day when he had to perform four shows.

Mama Mia Photo by Joan Marcus

“Luckily, we were able to get him to see a doctor, who took care of him,” he said. “Before long, he was feeling better and was able to per form just fine and delighted audiences with his per formance.”

Evita Photo by Joan Marcus

So as they say on Broadway: The show must go on.

Chicago Photo by Paul Kolnik

For information, visit or call 210-226-5700.

Memphis Photo by Paul Kolnik

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Photo Credits: Pages 18-19: Majestic Theatre Photo by John Dyer Pages 20-21: (L-R) The Phantom of the Opera Photo by Matthew Murphy 22 On The Town | January/February 2016

The Book of Mormon Photo by Joan Marcus Beauty and the Beast Photo by Matthew Murphy Once Photo by Joan Marcus

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David Portillo

Kostov and Valkov 26 On The Town | January/February 2016



or 92 years, Tuesday Musical Club has been Opera, Salzburg Festival at Opera Company of offering concer ts in San Antonio by world- Philadelphia, For t Wor th Opera, Colorado Music class ar tists. The 2015-16 season kicked Festival and Wolf Trap Opera in Vienna. off with breathtaking per formances by pianist Charlie Albright and musical trio Intersection. L ACH EZ AR KOSTOV AND VIK TOR VA L KOV In 2009, the Kostov-Valkov Duo debuted at The club’s Ar tist Series will conclude the season Carnegie Hall and in 2011 won first prize and overall with per formances by tenor David Por tillo at 2 Liszt prize at the Liszt-Garrison International p.m. Feb. 23 and the cello-piano duo Lachezar Competition. Their latest CD, Kostov-Valkov Kostov and Viktor Valkov at 2 p.m. April 12. Duo: Transcriptions and Paraphrases, debuted in September. Hailed for the “awesome purity of his DAV ID P O R T I LLO playing” and described as a “prodigiously skilled Praised by Opera News for “high notes with protagonist,” Bulgarian cellist Lachezar Kostov is ease, singing with a luxuriant warm glow that a tenured member of the San Antonio Symphony, seduced the ear as he bounded about the stage and has appeared as a guest soloist and chamber with abandon,” tenor David Por tillo of Houston musician throughout the United States, the just returned from a month of appearances United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, Germany and with the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Bulgaria. He has won numerous international Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia to rave competitions. Bulgarian pianist Viktor Valkov reviews. Considered one of the leading ar tists has been acclaimed by critics as a “lion of the of his generation, Por tillo is the recipient of keyboard” and “sensational.” A graduate of the the 2009 Sullivan Foundation Encouragement Juilliard School and Rice University, he is only Award, 2009 American Opera Society of Chicago the fifth pianist to play Nenov’s Grande Piano Award, 2009 Shoshana Foundation Grant, 2009 Concerto—and the only to play the entire version. Bel Canto Scholarship Foundation Competition and 2008 Men’s Prize of Union League of Chicago Per formances run 90 to 120 minutes, with a shor t Young Adult ’s Music Competition. Besides intermission, at Laurel Heights United Methodist the Metropolitan Opera of New York, he has Church, 227 W. Woodlawn Ave. Tickets are sold per formed with Metropolitan Opera/Juilliard online and at the door. Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Netherlands Radio Orchestra, For more information, visit or Houston Grand Opera, Washington National call 210-877-4985.

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Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater: Where artists and audiences unite By Lisa Cruz


. . h e w o rd “ t h e a t e r ” h a s ro o t s i n t h e G r e e k wo r d t h e a s t h a i , w h i c h m e a n s “ t o b e h o l d.” The warmth and closeness of a space can m a k e o r b re a k h o w o n e b e h o l d s a p e r fo r m a n c e, a n d t h e C a r l o s A l v a re z S t u d i o T h e a t e r a t t h e To b i n Ce n t e r fo r t h e Pe r fo r m i n g A r t s, n o w i n i t s s e c o n d s e a s o n , p ro v i d e s a u d i e n c e s a u n i q u e a n d i n t i m a t e s u r ro u n d i n g i n w h i c h t o b e h o l d a p e r fo r m a n c e.

“I t was a beautiful rendition,” Purpura said. “ The k ids were right there with the puppet per formers. The puppets were coming out and up into the audience.”

That connec tion with the audience is what appears to be the Studio Theater ’s biggest attrac tion. The theater hosted 155 events by the end of 2015. Shows ranged from children’s per formances to chamber concer ts to T h e C a r l o s A l v a re z S t u d i o T h e a t e r i s n a m e d comedians to mainstream music concer ts. Each a f t e r t h e fo u n d e r a n d C E O o f t h e G a m b r i n u s per formance allowed audiences connec tion Co. , a p r i v a t e l y h e l d, c r a f t b e e r c o m p a ny i n with the ar tists. S a n A n t o n i o. “ T h e C a r l o s A l v a r e z T h e a t e r i s t h e p e r fe c t “M r. Alvarez is a member of the Texas Business ve n u e t o g e t u p c l o s e a n d p e r s o n a l w i t h a ny Hall of Fame and k nown not only for his a r t i s t ,” s a i d E r i c M o n t o y a , h e a d o f a u d i o fo r business exper tise, but also his commitment to t h e To b i n Ce n t e r. “G i ve n t h e i n t i m a c y o f t h e education in our region through philanthropy,” r o o m , we c a p t u r e t h e s o u n d a s i f yo u w e r e i n a said Kendall Purpura, vice president of r e c o r d i n g s t u d i o w i t h t h e a r t i s t . T h e a c o u s t i c s development for the Tobin. “Ar ts education is a r e h i g h l y a d a p t a b l e d u e t o t h e a m a z i n g j o b what excited M r. Alvarez about our plans for the b y t h e d e s i g n t e a m .” Tobin Center and led to his investment in our capital campaign and ultimately the naming of Januar y and Februar y host a variety of the studio theater.” per formances star ting with Janeane Garofalo on Jan. 10. A Studio Sessions per formance with According to Purpura, the Tobin Center has Colin Hay is Jan. 18. ser ved more than 50,000 students and families through its educational programming, including The Studio Sessions series is not a subscription a six- day international puppet festival for series, as tickets are sold individually and children in 2015, which will return in May. The per formances are added throughout the year, festival featured 15 per formances in the Carlos said Aaron Zimmerman, the Tobin’s senior Alvarez Studio Theater as par t of the Children’s direc tor of programming and marketing. Fine Ar ts Series. I n November, resident company Attic Rep brought in a puppet per formance “Studio sessions are the most popular right now,” Zimmerman said. “(Sessions are) generally from I taly to present Pinocchio. January/February 2016 | On The Town 29

larger name ac ts that per form in a studio space. Par t of the allure is the intimac y of it. The far thest seat in the studio is close to 40 feet. From an ar tistic perspec tive, you can really feel the energy of the audience. You are right there, and the audience gets that same experience as well, which is great for them.”

at Trinity University. I ts produc tions all feature local ac tors, designers, direc tors and students. The Tobin Edge Series presentation of Late Nite Catechism: Las Vegas will close out February and the diverse lineup that kicks off 2016. The Edge Series is a formal subscription series, with subscription and individual tickets still available.

The Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio and the SOLI Chamber Ensemble round out musical “ The goal of the Tobin Center is to book per formances in Januar y. A per formance by something for ever yone,” Zimmerman said. the Olate Dogs, winner of America’s Got Talent season 7, is scheduled Jan. 31. Named af ter a man with a passion for education, the intimac y and diversity of the Carlos Alvarez “ The meet and greet, where they (audience) Studio Theater lends itself to educating ar tists will get to take pic tures and meet the dogs, and audiences alike. Like the Greek word theasthai, both users have an oppor tunity to sold out in one day,” Zimmerman said. truly behold one another. Resident company Attic Rep will spend much of Februar y in the theater presenting “ The “I t ’s one of the most unique spaces in town to Amish Projec t.” AtticRep formed a decade ago come and see a show,” Purpura added. “Each

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time you come, you are going to experience the Page 29: space in a different way, yet it ’s always going to be an amazing per formance.” Interior of the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater as configured For information: w w for a Studio Sessions concer t Cour tesy of Tobin Center for the Per forming Ar ts

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Edge Series Presentation of Dixie’s Tupper ware Par ty Cour tesy of Tobin Center for the Per forming Ar ts

R iver Walk Plaza entrance to the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater Cour tesy of Tobin Center for the Per forming Ar ts

Attic Rep presentation of Pinocchio Cour tesy of Tobin Center for the Per forming Ar ts

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32 On The Town | January/February 2016

Nationally recognized ballet master Willy Shives returns to Texas as the new artistic director for Ballet San Antonio By Kelley Kendall Photography Cecily Romaynne Shives


n addition to celebrating its 30th anniversary, Ballet as one of Chicago Theater’s 50 Leading Characters in 2004. San Antonio now has a new artistic director, nationally In 2005 he was honored by his home state of Texas with recognized ballet master Willy Shives. the Legacy Award, which honors the accomplishments of individuals for their excellence in lifetime contribution, Shives began ballet classes as a child in South Texas, but artistic achievement and outstanding service. at age 9 began his formal training with the School of American Ballet and the Harkness Ballet School on full Shives was hailed by The New York Times dance critic Anna scholarship in New York. His professional career began Kisselgoff as an “astounding” dancer. He has performed in 1981, and he has spent the last 16 years with the leading roles in some of the world’s most renowned Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. theaters. His professional engagements include the Eglevsky Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Milwaukee “We are so incredibly lucky to have him,” said Christine Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Tulsa Ballet Theatre Varela Mayer, chair of Ballet San Antonio’s board of and Ballet Austin. His repertoire includes a vast list of directors. “Willy Shives is a professional with integrity. He is 19th-century classics, as well as works by contemporary accomplished, gracious and will undoubtedly bring a fresh masters such as Gerald Arpino, George Balanchine, Lew point of view to Ballet San Antonio. Christensen, John Cranko, Agnes de Mille, Lisa de Ribere, Choo-San Goh, Martha Graham, Loyce Houlton, Jiri Kylian, “His notably wide breadth of abilities combined with Robert Joffrey, Eugene Loring, Kenneth MacMillan, Ohad his capacity for building community through ballet will Naharian, Ruth Page, Ben Stevenson, Lynne Taylor-Corbett empower our company to launch an amazing new chapter and Antony Tudor. of Ballet San Antonio’s legacy,” Mayer said. In addition to his duties with Ballet San Antonio, Shives is “Being named artistic director of Ballet San Antonio is both also a repetiteur for the Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey an honor and a dream come true for me,” Shives said. “I am Foundation. He is featured in the dance documentary, energized and ready to work with the organization and Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance,” directed by Bob the community to build a better, more exciting Ballet San Hercules. His work with the Joffrey Ballet continues with the Antonio, one that reflects the city’s rich and vibrant culture. restaging of Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer’s ballet My family and I are thrilled about returning to our home reconstruction Le Sacre du Printemps and The Nutcracker. state of Texas, and it doesn’t get any better than that.” Shives is married to Evie Pena-Shives, a dancer who also Shives has had a multifaceted dance career, establishing enjoys a career as an elementary school teacher. The himself as an outstanding American-born dancer with a couple have two daughters who also follow their passion virtuoso style and charismatic charm. He joined the Joffrey for dance. Both young women are students in the dance Ballet in 1999 at the invitation of founder and artistic departments of their current schools. Cecily, 21, is a junior director Gerald Arpino. Shives received the title Chicagoan at Western Michigan University, and Ally, 17, is a senior at of the Year by the Chicago Tribune in 2003, and in the the Chicago High School for the Performing Arts. same year, he was recognized for his outstanding artistry by the Chicago Dance and Music Alliance. He was named For information: January/February 2016 | On The Town 33

34 On The Town | January/February 2016

Events Calendar


January/February 2016 | On The Town 35

January/February 2016 Events Calendar Music Notes Eli Young Band 1/2, Sat @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys Dancehall Cory Morrow 1/2, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Keith & Bushong 1/7, Thu @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Mark Chesnutt 1/8, Fri @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys Dancehall Brennen Lee sings Left Frizell 2/8, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Camerata San Antonio Las Americas Festival 1/8, Fri @ 7:30pm Boerne First United Methodist 1/9, Sat @ 3pm Kerrville First Presbyterian 1/10, Sun @ 3pm University of the Incarnate Word Recital Hall

Symphony of the Hills A Night at the Movies 1/9, Sat @ 7:30pm Eugene Dowdy, conductor Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville The Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular 1/9, Sat @ 8pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Whiskey Myers 1/9, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall First Fine Arts Concert Series Matthias Maierhoffer, organ 1/10, Sun @ 3pm First Baptist Church K-BUC 92.5 Classic Country Presents Collin Ray & John Conlee 1/10, Sun @ 7pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour 1/10, Sun @ 8pm AT&T Center

36 On The Town | January/February 2016

An Evening with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis 1/11, Mon @ 8pm Majestic Theatre

Two Ten Empire Series: Blackbird Sing 1/16, Sat @ 9pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre

Shane Smith & the Saints 1/15, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Dirty River Boys 1/16, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Electrify Your Strings! Authentic Tour 1/15-17, Fri @ 6pm Sat-Sun @ 3pm Aztec Theatre San Antonio Symphony Las Americas Festival Rhapsody in Blue 1/15-17, Fri-Sat @8pm Sun @ 2pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Vincent Balse, piano H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center

Fredericksburg Music Club Spectrum Strings 1/17, Sun @ 3pm Fredericksburg United Methodist Musical Bridges Around The World Café Columbia 1/17, Sun @ 6:30pm Edmar Casteneda, harp San Fernando Cathedral

Corey Smith 1/16, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

An Evening with Colin Hay with Special Guest Heather Maloney 1/18, Mon @ 7:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center

Cody Canada and The Departed 1/16, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall

Badfish – A Tribute to Sublime 1/21, Thu @ 7pm Aztec Theatre

January/February 2016 | On The Town 37

Bret Graham Tribute to Willie Nelson 1/21, Thu @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels

The New Buddy Holly Band 1/23, Sat @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville

Janet Jackson: The Unbreakable World Tour 1/21, Thu @ 8pm AT&T Center

City and Colour 1/23, Sat @ 7pm Aztec Theatre

Ryan Bingham 1/22, Fri @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys Dancehall Oak Ridge Boys 1/22, Sat @ 8pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels Chris Knight 1/22, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Billy Joe Shaver 1/22, Fri @ 8:30pm John T. Floore Country Store San Antonio Symphony Las Americas Festival American Cello Concerto 1/22-23, Fri-Sat @ 8pm John Axelrod, conductor Christine Lamprea, cello H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Luckenbach’s 9th Annual Blues Festival 1/23, Sat @ 12pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Chamber Chorus of San Antonio The Unsung Octet 1/23, Sat @ 7:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center Carver Community Cultural Center Monterey Jazz 1/23, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver Farolito Music Presents Tribute to Los Panchos 1/24, Sun @ 3pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver

SOLI Chamber Ensemble Post Cards From Las Americas From Andes to the Rockies 1/25, Mon @ 7:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center 1/26, Tue @ 7:30pm Ruth Taylor Recital Hall Trinity University David Church and Terri Lisa 1/26, Tue @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels Led Zeppelin 2 1/28, Thu @ 8pm Aztec Theatre Chaka Khan: An Evening of Music and Conversation 1/28, Thu @ 8pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Tracy Lawrence 1/29, Fri @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys Dancehall

San Antonio Chamber Music Society Gryphon Trio 1/24, Sun @ 3:15pm Temple Beth-El

Crooks 1/29, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros Tribute to California Rock 1/25, Mon @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels

San Antonio Symphony Las Americas Festival Barber Violin Concerto 1/29-30, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Eric Gratz, violin H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center

38 On The Town | January/February 2016

William Clark Green 1/29-30, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Don McLean American Troubadour Tour 1/30, Sat @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels The Dirty River Boys 1/30, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Danzas De Las Americas 1/31, Sun @ 7pm Troy Peters, conductor Peter Flamm & Peter Wilson, timpani H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Grace Potter 1/31, Sun @ 7pm Aztec Theatre Def Leppard 2/2, Tue @ 7pm AT&T Center Joshua Bell, violin with Sam Haywood, piano 2/2, Tue @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Madeon 2/2, Tue @ 8pm Aztec Theatre

R5: Sometime Last Night Tour 2/4, Thu @ 7pm Majestic Theatre

Texas State Encore Series Kate Campbell 2/5, Fri @ 7:30pm Price Senior Center San Marcos

Hinder 2/4, Thu @ 7pm Aztec Theatre

San Antonio Symphony Las Americas Festival From Bernstein to Piazzolla 2/5-6, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Juan Pablo Jofre, bandoneon Symphany Mastersingers John Silantien, director H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center

Houston Ebony Opera Guild 2/4, Thu @ 7:30pm Chapel of the Abiding Presence Texas Lutheran University Seguin

Boerne Performing Arts The Hollywood Concert Orchestra: A Night at the Oscars 2/6, Sat @ 7:30pm Boerne Champion Auditorium Blue Water Highway Band 2/6, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall First Fine Arts Concert Series Camerata San Antonio 2/7, Sun @ 3pm First Baptist Church

Fat Tuesday with Alex Meixner 2/9, Tue @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Hunter Hayes 2/11, Thu @ 7pm TBA 2/12, Fri @ 7:30pm Pitbull 2/13, Sat @ 1pm & 7:30pm Becky G. 2/14, Sun @ 1pm

January/February 2016 | On The Town 39

Toby Keith 2/15, Mon @ 7pm Casting Crowns 2/16, Tue @ 7pm Jason Derulo 2/17, Wed @ 7pm Randy Houser 2/18, Thu @ 7pm Billy Currington 2/19, Fri @ 7:30pm Trace Adkins 2/20, Sat @ 1pm Chris Young 2/20, Sat @ 7:30pm Old Dominion 2/21, Sun @ 1pm La Maquinara Nolrtena 2/21, Sun @ 7:30pm Alan Jackson 2/22, Mon @ 7pm Brad Paisley 2/23, Tue @ 7pm Brantley Gilbert 2/24, Wed @ 7pm Gary Allen 2/25, Thu @ 7pm Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo 2/26, Fri @ 7:30pm Turnpike Troubadours 2/27, Sat @ 1pm TBA 2/27, Sat @ 7:30pm AT&T Center Cradle of Filth: Inquistional Tourture 2016 2/12, Fri @ 6pm Aztec Theatre

Arts San Antonio Los Lobos – Fiesta Mexico Americana! 2/12, Fri @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Dale Watson 2/12, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Fort Sam Houston Jazz Brian Culbertson / The Azul Experience 2/12, Fri @ 8pm Fort Sam Houston Theater Camerata San Antonio Camerata Salon 2/12, Fri @ 7:30pm Boerne First United Methodist 2/13, Sat @ 3pm Kerrville First Presbyterian 2/14, Sun @ 3pm University of the Incarnate Word Recital Hall Musical Bridges Around The World International Music Festival Jazz Invocation 2/12, Fri @ 7:30pm Laurie Auditorium @ Trinity Persian Impressions 2/13, Sat @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre L’historie du Soldat 2/14, Sun @ 3pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver Singing Strings 2/20, Sat @ 7:30pm Incarnate Word Chapel Souvenir de la Russie 2/21, Sun @ 3pm McAllister Auditorium @ San Antonio College

40 On The Town | January/February 2016

Gary Puckett and the Union Gap 2/13, Sat @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels San Antonio Piano Competition Piano Series Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Violin Part 3 2/13, Sat @ 8pm Baya Kakouberi, piano Gary Levinson, violin University of the Incarnate Word Concert Hall Gary P. Nunn 2/13, Sat @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Bobby Jordan & Ridgecreek 2/13, Sat @ 8pm Kendalia Halle First Fine Arts Lenten Series Cheryl Lindquist 2/16, Tue @ 12pm First Baptist Church Children’s Chorus of San Antonio with Doc Watkins an his Orchestra Live at the Copa Havana 2/16, Tue @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Arts San Antonio Band of HM Royal Marines 2/17, Wed @ 7:30pm Lila Cockrell Theatre

Warren Haynes 2/18, Thu @ 8pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Cory Morrow 2/19, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall San Antonio Symphony Raiders of the Lost Ark Film with live score 2/19-20, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 7pm Majestic Theatre Chamber Orchestra Kremlin U.S. Concert Tour 2/20, Sat @ 4pm Jackson Auditorium Texas Lutheran University Seguin SiriusXM Outlaw Country Presents Jamey Johnson 2/20, Sat @ 7pm Aztec Theatre Blanco Performing Arts Victoria Luperi, clarinet 2/20, Sat @ 7:30pm Uptown Blanco Ballroom Blanco Vikki Carr featuring Marichis Aztlan 2/20, Sat @ 8pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Musical Offerings Las Americas Festival Concert 2/21, Sun @ 3pm San Antonio Museum of Art

Fredericksburg Music Club 4 Proches 2/21, Sun @ 3pm Fredericksburg United Methodist

The Blind Boys of Alabama 2/25, Thu @ 8pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre

Mid-Texas Symphony Concert Four 2/21, Sun @ 4pm David Mairs, conductor Performing Arts Center Canyon HS New Braunfels

Jesse James Decker 2/26, Fri @ 7pm Aztec Theatre

Patio Andaluz Reunion 2/21, Sun @ 7pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center First Fine Arts Lenten Series Trinity Chamber Singers 2/23, Tue @ 12pm First Baptist Church Tuesday Musical Club David Portillo 2/23, Tue @ 2pm Laurel Heights United Methodist Symphony of the Hills Shakespeare Fest: A Musical Tribute to the Bard 2/25, Thu @ 7:30pm Eugene Dowdy, conductor Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville

Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay 2/26, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall San Antonio Symphony Bravo Broadway 2/26-27, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Akiko Fujimoto, conductor Christiane Noll and Doug Lebreque, vocalists H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center The Molly Ringwalds 2/27, Sat @ 8pm Aztec Theatre San Antonio Choral Society Tribute to Downton Abby 2/27, Sat @ 7pm Oblate School of Theology 2/28, Sun @ 4pm First United Methodist Boerne

January/February 2016 | On The Town 41

Thomas Michael Riley Outdoor Show 2/28, Sun @ 1pm Luckenbach San Antonio Chamber Music Society The Shanghai Quartet with Wu Man 2/28, Sun @ 3:15pm Temple Beth-El Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Side-By-Side with San Antonio Symphony 2/28, Sun @ 3pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Troy Peters, conductor H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center

Live Theater Santa the Conqueror 1/1-2, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Little Overtime Theater @ The Overtime Theater Santa Claus Conquers the Martians 1/1-2, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Greg Barrios Theater @ The Overtime Theater Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story 1/2-10, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 4:30pm Cameo Theatre

Tobin Center Signature Series Presented by BMW of San Antonio The Producers 1/13, Wed @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Death by Design 1/15-2/27, Thu-Sat @ 6:15 (dinner), 8pm (show) 12/26, Sat @ 6:15 (dinner), 8pm (show) Harlequin Dinner Theatre The Crazy Quilt Club 1/22-2/6, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Boerne Community Theatre Stage Kiss 1/22-2/14, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Cellar Theatre at The Playhouse San Antonio Zane to Gate 69 1/22-2/20, days of the week & /times TBD Little Overtime Theater @ The Overtime Theater North Park Lexus Majestic Broadway Series Kinky Boots (touring) 1/26-31, Tue-Thu @ 7:30pm Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm Majestic Theatre

42 On The Town | January/February 2016

Divas of Eastwood 1/29-31, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 4pm 2/5-6, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Little Carver Theatre @ The Carver

Attic Rep The Amish Project 2/11-21, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center

Getting Sara Married Playhouse 2000 1/29-2/14, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2:30pm VK Garage Theater Kerrville

Lend Me A Tenor The Wimberley Players 2/12-3/6, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2:30pm Wimberley Playhouse

The Diviners 2/4-28, Thu @ 7:30pm Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm (no shows Fridays ) Sheldon Vexler Theatre I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change 2/5-27, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Elizabeth Huth Coates Indoor Theatre -Ingram Rock of Ages 2/5-3/6, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm Woodlawn Theatre Jesus Christ Superstar 2/5-3/6, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Russell Hill Rogers Theatre at The Playhouse San Antonio Cabaret 2/6-3/6, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 4:30pm Cameo Theatre

The Seagull 2/12-3/6, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm The Classic Theatre of San Antonio The Color of Stars 2/18-3/6, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Spotlight Theatre (S.T.A.G.E) Bulverde New Braunfels Theatre Company Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Raincoat 2/19-21, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2:30pm & 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Brauntex Theatre Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels Into the Woods 2/19-3/6, Fri-Sat @ 7:30 Sun @ 2pm Fredericksburg Theater Company Steve W. Shepherd Theater Fredericksburg

Tobin Center Edge Series Late Nite Catechism: Las Vegas 2/25-28, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri @ 8pm, Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center North Park Lexus Majestic Broadway Series Riverdance (touring) 2/26-28, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Creatures of the Night 2/26-3/26, days of the week & /times TBD Greg Barrios Theater @ The Overtime Theater

Dancing with the Stars: Live! 2/6, Sat @ 8pm Majestic Theater

Ballet San Antonio Peter Pan 2/12-14, Fri @ 7:30pm Sat @ 2pm & 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center



Willie Barcena 1/1-3, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm & 9:45pm Sun @ 7:30pm Improv Comedy Club San Antonio Rivercenter

Opera Piccola of San Antonio The Abduction from the Seraglio 2/6-7, Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre

Tom Rhodes 1/1-3, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Dance Tobin Center Dance Series Shaping Sound 1/26, Tue @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center

Matt Holt 1/5-10, Tue-Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm & 9:45pm Sun @ 7:30pm Improv Comedy Club San Antonio Rivercenter January/February 2016 | On The Town 43

Quinn Hudson 1/6, Wed @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Tommy Johnagin 1/7-10, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Lavell Crawford 1/8, Fri @ 8pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Brian Regan 1/9, Sat @ 8pm Majestic Theatre Janeane Garofalo 1/10, Sun @ 7pm & 9pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center Eric O’Shea 1/13-17, Wed-Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm & 9:45pm Sun @ 7:30pm Improv Comedy Club San Antonio Rivercenter Aries Spears 1/14-17, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Andrew Rivers 1/20, Wed @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

J. Chris Newberg 1/20-24, Wed-Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm & 9:45pm Sun @ 7:30pm Improv Comedy Club San Antonio Rivercenter John Heffron 1/21-24, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Andrew Kennedy 1/29-31, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Doug Benson 1/30, Sat @ 4:20pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Jerry Rocha 2/3-6, Wed-Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Jerry Seinfeld 2/5, Fri @ 7pm & 9:30pm Majestic Theatre Patty Vasquez 2/10-14, Wed-Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm & 9:45pm Sun @ 7:30pm Improv Comedy Club San Antonio Rivercenter

44 On The Town | January/February 2016

Ralph Harris 2/11-14, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Cowboy Bill Martin 2/18-21, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Donnell Rawlings 2/25-28, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Children’s Performing Arts Academy of New Braunfels Into The Woods 1/15-17, Fri @ 7:30pm Sat @ 2pm & 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels Children’s Fine Arts Series and The Tobin Center Present Wild Kratts Live! 1/24, Sun @ 2pm & 6pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Sesame Street Live 2/6-7, Sat @ 10:30am & 2pm Sun @ 1pm Freeman Coliseum

Pegga Pig Live! 2/11, Thu @ 6pm Majestic Theatre Children’s Fine Arts Series and The Tobin Center Present Clifford The Big Red Dog Live! A Big Family Musical 2/19, Fri @ 6pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center James and the Giant Peach 1/22-2/28 For specific days of the week and show times visit Magik Children’s Theatre

Exhibitions ARTPACE Fall 2015 Artists in Residence Cally Spooner Marie Lorenz Larry Bamburg Curated by Cecilia Alemani Now thru 1/17 Hudson Showroom Luz Maria Sanchez Now thru 1/3 Window Works Cruz Ortiz Now thru 1/3 BLUE STAR CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM Landscapes by the Book Featuring Bodil Furu Now thru 2/7

Turn Your Face Toward the Sun Featuring Charlie Morris and Liz Rodda Now thru 2/7 Gift: An Exquisite Exhibition Now thru 2/5 BIHL HAUS ARTS Ten: Bihl Haus Arts Tenth Anniversary Celebration Now thru 1/23

9th Annual On and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour 2/20-21

Briscoe Book Club “Black Indians” by William Lauren Katz 2/9, Tue @ Time 6:30pm

Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab Now thru 4/24



Pony Express Love Letters 2/1-12

Asian Festival 2/13, Sat / 10am-5pm

Immersed An exhibition of works from the Linda Pace Foundation Collection Now thru 2/27

Briscoe Book Club “Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K.Corral” by Mary Doria Russell 1/12, Tue @ Time 6:30pm

Honoring Texas Military Members Now thru 2/28 Faces of Survival Now thru 3/6


Adam (Public Artwork) By Arturo Herrera 25’ h x 98’ w, Frost Bank Garage Commerce at Main Now thru 12/2016

January/February 2016 | On The Town 45

McNAY ART MUSEUM Miro: The Experience of Seeing Now thru 1/10 Martin Gutierrez: Transcending Rhythm Now thru 1/10 Picasso, Braque, and the Cubist Legacy: Prints and Drawings from the Collection Now thru 1/24 Studio to Stage: Dega’s Little Dancer / Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon Now thru 1/31 Art History Goes to the Theatre: Research Secrets of Great Designers Now thru 1/31 The Extraordinary Ordinary: Three Installations Now thru 4/10 Collecting in Context Now thru 4/17 Stephan Westfall: The Holy Forest Now thru 7/31 SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN One Way Trail-Art in the Garden 2015 (In conjunction with Blue Star Contemporary Art Center) Now thru 1/31

Wings of the City Now thru 2/14 SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART 28 Chinese Now thru 1/3 Realms of Earth and Sky: Indian Painting from the 15th to the 19th Century Now thru 2/14 Corita Kent and the Language of Pop 2/13-5/8 SOUTHWEST SCHOOL OF ART Dennis Smith & Friends / Formed: A Survey of Ceramics Now thru 1/24 Christa Blackwood / A Dot Red (The Ballad of Irrelevant Histories) Now thru 1/24 TEXAS A&M CENTRO DE ARTES Veronica Castillo & Kathy Sosa Trees of Life: Cultura, Tradicion e Innovacion Now thru 1/24 WITTE MUSEUM Bodies Revealed Now thru 1/31

46 On The Town | January/February 2016

The Wests of Texas: Cattle Ranching Entrepreneurs Now on display at the Russell Hill Rogers Texas Art Gallery

San Antonio Cocktail Conference 1/14-17, at various downtown restaurants and bars


Winter Arts & Crafts Show 1/15-18 San Antonio River Walk

Spy: The Exhibit Now thru 5/31 Rivercenter Giraffes Are Back! Now thru 12/31 San Antonio Zoo Alamo Bowl 1/2, Sat @ 5:45pm Alamodome WWE Monday Night Raw 1/4, Mon @ 6:30pm AT&T Center Draining of the River 1//4-9 San Antonio River Walk U.S. Army All-American Bowl and S.A. Sports All-Star Football Game 1/9, Sat @ 12pm Salud! Culinary Nights 1/13, Wed @ 6:30pm Witte Museum Chippendales: The 2016 Breaking the Rules Tour 1/13, Wed @ 7:30pm Aztec Theatre

SAGE “Taste the Dream” Gala (San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside) 1/16, Sat @ 7pm Institute of Texan Cultures Monster Jam 1/23-24, Sat @ 7pm Sun @ 2pm Alamodome Harlem Globetrotters 1/26 & 28, Tue @ 7pm Thu @ 7pm AT&T Center Olate Dogs 1/31, Sun @ 2pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at The Tobin Center Dancing with the Stars 2/6, Sat @ 8pm Majestic Theatre Arts San Antonio Yamato Drummers – Bakuon 2/10, Wed @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre

Nelson Illusions 2/13, Sat @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville

Front Row with Verne Lundquist and Charles Barkley 2/23, Tue @ 6pm Marriott Rivercenter

JCC Jewish Film Festival 2/13-17 Embassy 14 Theatre

Boerne Performing Arts TAO: Seventeen Samurai 2/25, Thu @ 7:30pm Boerne Champion Auditorium

CineFestival 2/20-21, Sat & Sun Guadalupe Theatre

Photo Credits Page 36: (L-R)

Cory Morrow Courtesy Maclemore & Ryan Lewis Courtesy Majestic Theatre Mark Wood Courtesy Laura Kay Photo by Maryanne Bilham Page 38: (L-R)

Sebastian Lang-Lessing Courtesy San Antonio Symphony Edmar Castaneda Courtesy edmarcastaneda. com Troy Peters Courtesy Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Colin Hay Photo by Beth Herzhaft

January/February 2016 | On The Town 47

Page 39: (L-R) Grace Potter Courtesy Def Leppard Photo by Gitte Meldgaard Joshua Bell Courtesy Hunter Hayes Courtesy Page 40: (L-R) Brad Paisley Courtesy Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo Photo by Travis Shinn

48 On The Town | November/December January/February 2016 2015

Victoria Luperi Photo by John Giavedoni Vikki Carr Courtesy The Tobin Center Page 42: (L-R) Joan Christenson Courtesy musicalofferings. org David Mairs Courtesy Mid-Texas Symphony David Portillo Photo by Kristen Hoebermann Bonnie Terry Courtesy San Antonio Symphony

Dale Watson Courtesy

Page 43: (L-R)

Baya Kakouberi Courtesy

Doug Lebrecque Courtesy douglabrecque. com

Page 41: (L-R)

Akiko Fujimoto Photo by Eric Green

Gary Levinson Courtesy

Page 44: (L-R)

Gary P. Nunn Courtesy

Kostov and Valkov

Christine Lamprea Photo by Vanessa Briceno Photography William Clark Green Courtesy

Kinky Boots Photo by Matthew Murphy Kinky Boots Photo by Matthew Murphy Page 47: (L-R)

Tracy Lawrence Courtesy tracylawrence. com Page 45: (L-R) Charlie Robison Courtesy charlierobison. com Brian Cheney Courtesy Julia Engle Photo by Shannon Langman Reckless Kelly Courtesy Page 46: (L-R) Blind Boys of Alabama Courtesy Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Almost Patsy Cline Band Courtesy almostpatsycline. com

Riverdance Photo by Rob McDougal Dancing with the Stars Courtesy Majestic Theatre Brian Regan Courtesy Majestic Theatre Yamato Drums-Bakuon Courtesy Arts San Antonio Page 48: (L-R) Willie Barcena Courtesy Improv Comedy Club Rivercenter Janeane Garofalo Courtesy janeanegarofalo. com Page 49: (L-R) Max Stalling Courtesy Mario Flores Courtesy

November/December January/February 2016 2015 | On The Town 49

50 On The Town | January/February 2016

Festivals & Celebrations


January/February 2016 | On The Town 51

Sebastian Lang-Lessing

San Antonio Symphony’s 2016 Winter Festival Celebrates The Music of the Americas Story and photography Courtesy San Antonio Symphony


he stage is set for the sixth annual city-wide winter music festival, as the San Antonio Symphony and its event festival partners bring a particularly American focus to this popular and successful annual event. Symphony performances during the festival, which is part of the Valero Classic Series, will range from the lively, uniquely American classic works of George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Aaron Copland to a musical journey across South America to works that feature compositions inspired by the vibrancy of Mexico, Cuba and Argentina. The festival is led by Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing, who has carefully curated the musical selections for San Antonio audiences.

Highlights of the Las Americas Festival this year include: • Symphony’s Rhapsody in Blue concert, January 15-17, 2016, features concert works from popular music and jazz legends George Gershwin and Duke Ellington. Crosscultural influences include Gershwin’s Latin-themed Cuban Overture and The Essential Ellington: Music of Ellington and Strayhorn. The program includes Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue.

• Musical Bridges Around The World, January 17, 2016, features harpist Edmar Castañeda of Colombia. According to National Public Radio, Castañeda “is the sort of musician who isn’t afraid to challenge the established “The rich diversity of the beautiful lands and music of order. He’s carving out a place for himself in Latin jazz on the Americas was the inspiration for this year’s festival,” an instrument you don’t often hear in his chosen genre: said Lang-Lessing. “We wanted to take the festival in a the Colombian harp.” different direction this year – from the masters of European composition to a celebration of the uniquely expressive • Symphony’s American Cello, January 22-23, 2016, works representing the Americas. Our artists and featured features American Jeffrey Mumford’s cello concerto works stretch from New York to Mexico and Argentina played by Christine Lamprea. The New York Times has and the music we are celebrating is representative of that said that Mumford “has an unerring knack for fashioning wide range of cultures: at various turns it is evocative, rigorous works as changeable as cloudscapes, bursting with color, nuance and poetry” and “a philosophy of provocative, complex, sensual and celebratory.” 52 On The Town | January/February 2016

Christine Lamprea

Juan Pablo Jofre

music making that embraces both raw passion and a gentle imagistic poetry.”

widened its focus to include geographic regions for musical composition rather than a focus on a single composer.

During the eight weeks of concerts, the festival’s artistic partners will present chamber music, concert band music and choral music by a variety of composers. The artistic partners joining the symphony to celebrate the Americas this year include Camerata San Antonio, The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio, Heart of Texas Concert Band, Musical Bridges Around the World, Musical Offerings, Olmos Ensemble, San Antonio Chamber Choir, San Antonio Chamber Music Society, San Antonio Choral Society, SOLI Chamber Ensemble, Tuesday Musical Club, and the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio.


From January 5 to February 23, performances and discussions will take place at various venues around the city including The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio Museum of Art, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Trinity University, the University of Incarnate Word Concert Hall, San Antonio College’s McAllister Auditorium, First United Methodist Church-Boerne, Kerrville First Presbyterian Church, First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio, Travis Park United Methodist Church, Temple Beth-El, the Tuesday Musical Social Club and The Plaza Club. The festival closes on May 22 with a special performance by the San Antonio Choral Society.

San Antonio Chamber Choir Just One of Those Things: An American Love Story Tuesday, January 5 @ 1:30pm Tuesday Musical Club Camerata San Antonio Las Americas Festival Concert Anastasia Parker and Matthew Zerweck, violins Emily Freudigman, viola, Ken Freudigman, cello Friday, January 8 @ 7:30pm Boerne First United Methodist Saturday, January 9 @ 3pm Kerrville First Presbyterian Sunday, January 10 @ 3pm University of the Incarnate Word Concert Hall

San Antonio Symphony Rhapsody in Blue Friday-Saturday, January 15-16 @ 8pm Sunday, January 17 @ 2pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor This is the sixth season for the symphony’s successful Vincent Balse, piano winter festival and marks the first time the event has H-E-B Performance Hall at The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts January/February 2016 | On The Town 53

Musical Bridgers Around The World Café Colombia Sunday, January 17 @ 6:30pm Edmar Castañeda, harp St. Petersburg String Quartet San Fernando Cathedral San Antonio Symphony American Cello Friday-Saturday, January 22-23 @ 8pm John Axelrod, conductor Christine Lamprea, cello H-E-B Performance Hall at The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

John Alexrod Troy Peters

Carver Community Cultural Center Monterey Jazz Festival Saturday, January 23 @ 8pm Raul Midón, guitar and vocals Ravi Coltrane, saxophone Nicholas Payton, trumpet Gerald Clayton, piano Joe Sanders,bass Justin Brown drums Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver San Antonio Chamber Music Society Gryphon Trio Sunday, January 24 @ 3:15pm Temple Beth-El San Antonio Musuem of Art Music at the Museum XVI Featuring Eric Gratz, violin Monday, January 25 @ 5:30pm SOLI Chamber Orchestra Postcards from Las Americas: From the Andes to the Rockies | A musical journey of the Americas! Monday, January 25 @ 7:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at The Tobin Center Tuesday, January 26, 7:30pm Ruth Taylor Recital Hall at Trinity University

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San Antonio Symphony Barber Violin Concerto Friday –Saturday, January 29 & 30 @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Eric Gratz, violin H-E-B Performance Hall at The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Danzas de las Americas Sunday, January 31 @ 7pm YOSA Philharmonic Troy Peters, Music Director Peter Flamm & Peter Wilson, timpani Guadalupe Dance Company H-E-B Performance Hall at The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts San Antonio Symphony From Bernstein to Piazzolla Friday-Saturday, February 5-6 @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Juan Pablo Jofre, bandoneón San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers / John Silantien, director H-E-B Performance Hall at The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Heart of Texas Concert Band Morton Gould: A Tribute to a Legend Tuesday, February 9 @ 7:30pm McAllister Auditorium at San Antonio College Olmos Ensemble Las Americas Festival Concert February 15 @ 7:30pm Martha Long, flute, Paul Lueders, oboe Sharon Kuster,bassoon, Jeff Garza, horn Eric Gratz, violin, Patti Wolf, piano First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio

Vincent Balse Gryphon Trio

The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio Live at the Copa-Havana Tuesday February 16 @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Musical Offerings Las Americas Festival Concert Sunday, February 21, 2016, 3:00 p.m. Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art at San Antonio Museum of Art Spanish Colonial Gallery Tuesday Musical Club David Portillo, tenor Tuesday, 2/23 @ 2pm Laurel Heights United Methodist Church San Antonio Choral Society Musica Sacra de las Americas Sunday, May 22 @ 3pm Travis Park United Methodist Church

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Once in a Lifetime

Belle and Sabastion



One of the shorts is Aya, a film directed by Mihal Brezis and Oded Binnun. Nominated for a 2015 Academy Award, Aya is a 40-minute film about a woman who unwittingly finds herself holding a passenger pickup sign in an airport for a man named Mr. Overby. The romantic tension between the two strangers builds as they get closer to Overby’s In past years, the local festival included 10 feature-length Jerusalem hotel, yet Aya’s true intentions remain hidden films and documentaries shown across five days. This until the final act. Aya will be screened at 2 p.m. Feb. 14. year, however, there will be 12 films, including a couple of shorts and a family-friendly drama. The event runs Feb. Viewers will get a special treat with the dramedy Dough, 13-17 at the Santikos Embassy 14 Theater. featuring well-known Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce he Barshop Jewish Community Center’s Jewish Film Festival, which observes its 15th anniversary this year, may be considered young by some festivals’ standards, but it is every bit as popular as others in larger communities.

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Dough (Pirates of the Caribbean). Nat, a widowed baker (Pryce), is desperate to save his floundering business in London’s East End when he enlists the help of Ayyash, a teenage refugee from Darfur. As the boy helps with chores around the shop, he also sells cannabis on the side to help his struggling mother make ends meet. When one day, he mistakenly spills some in the dough, the challah suddenly starts flying off the shelves, and he and Nat strike up an unlikely friendship. Dough is a warmhearted and gently humorous story about overcoming prejudice and finding redemption in unexpected places. Dough screens at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14.

Reporter. The film will be shown at 2 p.m. Feb. 15, a school holiday, and features a special ticket price for children 12 and under.

Another of this year’s feature films is Fire Birds, an Israeli drama about an 80-year-old man whose body is found with three stab wounds to the chest and a number tattooed along his forearm. Amnon, a police detective and second-generation Holocaust survivor, reluctantly accepts the case. In the weeks leading up to his death, Amikam, the victim, sought a “membership card” to the most horrible club in the world: the club of Holocaust survivors. As the story interweaves past and present, each For the first time, this year’s festival will include a man struggles to rejoin the society that rejected him. Fire family-friendly drama based on a popular children’s Birds screens Monday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. book. Belle and Sebastian, dubbed in English, tells the story of a friendship between Sebastian, a courageous All films will be shown at the Santikos Embassy 14 Theater, young boy, and Belle, his giant sheepdog. Set in the 13707 Embassy Row. snowy Alps during World War II, the movie was called “a well-crafted outdoor adventure in the old-school For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, visit Disney tradition” by Jordan Minzter of the Hollywood or call 210-302-6820. January/February 2016 | On The Town 57

Asian Festival 2016: The Year of the Monkey By James M. Benavides Photography courtesy ITC


sian cultures have been part of Texas for more than a century. On Feb. 13, the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will host the 29th annual Asian Festival, putting Chinese, Southeast Asian, Indian and Pacific cultures in the spotlight. The event unifies the city as it educates on, and celebrates, Asian traditions.

The Asian Festival features China, Southeast Asian nations such as Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the Indian subcontinent, Korea, Japan and the Pacific island nations including the Philippines and even Hawaii. Surrounded by so many amazing cultures and great people, guests will experience something exciting and different.

The Asian Festival is a day packed with the excitement of exotic food, cooking demonstrations, music and dance, martial arts, lectures and other activities that immerse visitors in a vibrant and energetic environment. There are opportunities to try new things and meet new people. With more than 100 participating organizations, dojos, presenters, vendors and entertainers, festival-goers can expect a fun-filled experience.

Food is always a festival highlight, and with 14 vendors, attendees can find a variety of savory dishes and sweet treats. Favorites such as Korean barbecue, yakisoba, samosas and bubble drinks are on the menu, along with a wide range of noodles and stir-fry bowls.

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Guests can visit three stages of entertainment, with music and dance ranging from the traditional to the

contemporary. On the schedule are the classically trained Chinese Orchestra, Indonesian dance, Bollywood-style Indian dance, and Japanese and Korean pop music, “J-pop” and “K-pop.” A special feature this year will be David Hira performing Whimsical Magic From Japan, a magic show for all ages.

making, and Chong’s Korean will show guests how to make Spicy Pork Bulgogi.

A host of presenters will offer insight on Chinese medicine, meditation and Japanese superstitions. In celebration of the year of the monkey, Dr. John Bernal with the Texas Biomedical Research Institute will talk about “Caring for Martial arts demonstrations are a popular part of the the Unsung Heroes of Research.” Mammal supervisor festival. Practitioners perform in various styles, including Anita Santiago will talk about the management and care the aggressive, such as karate; swordsmanship, such as of monkeys at the San Antonio Zoo. kendo and iaido; passive and meditative styles, such as tai chi chuan; and nontraditional, such as the Filipino “These cultures have come from all parts of Asia to call martial arts system, Garimot Arnis. Texas their home,” said Jo Ann Andera, festival director. “There is nothing like this festival atmosphere; no way Inside the museum, San Japan will operate an activity to experience so much in one place and time.” area showing samples of animé, Japanese animation. The viewings are accompanied with hands-on The 2016 Asian Festival is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 13. Tickets opportunities such as animation gel coloring. Nearby, for adults (13 and older) and children (6-12 years) are guests can view a gallery with examples of Bonsai available in advance and at the gate. Children 5 and and Ikebana flower arrangements, or learn how to under are free. Group rates are available in advance play mah-jong. only. VIA Park & Ride service available from Crossroads. Also Inside the museum is the demonstration kitchen, For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit www. where the Jingu House Café will demonstrate sushi

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Mi Familia

Las Tesoros

38th annual CineFestival returns to San Antonio By Rudy Arispe


fficials of the 38th annual CineFestival have a surprise in store for this year’s audiences when the film fest is held in February. Plans call for the festival to open with a cast reunion from a hit Latino film.

being bilingual and bicultural, the festival allows them to appreciate these wonderful works,” Ruiz said. “They also get to view films they might not otherwise get to see since it’s difficult for these films to get distribution in the U.S.”

“We’ve sent out invitations to the cast and the director, Filmmakers travel to San Antonio to view the movies and one of the stars has already confirmed being here,” and participate in pre- and post-screening receptions CineFestival director Jim Mendiola said. “We’re keeping it open to the public. under wraps until we’re ready to announce details.” “These events are created specifically to encourage CineFestival, which is the nation’s original and longest- dialogue with the artists,” Ruiz said. running Latino film festival, runs Feb. 19-27 at the A highlight of the festival is the Latino Screenwriting Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St. Project for aspiring screenwriters, which is made possible Jerry Ruiz, executive director of the Guadalupe Cultural through a partnership with the Sundance Institute. Arts Center, said the festival’s goal is highlighting the best contemporary Latino films from the U.S. and Mexico. Mendiola said organizers put out a national call for scripts and received about 100 entries. “We choose four, and “There are so many great films coming out of Mexico the screenwriters come to San Antonio and are paired and Latin America, and with so many of our audiences with a professional mentor provided by Sundance. We Balfour 60 Jeff On The Town | January/February 2016

No Más Bebés


want to develop more Latino screenwriters.”

Gutierrez, an award-winning documentary editor, will discuss storytelling and careers in film editing. She edited Audiences can expect to see about 30 to 45 films at this the Oscar-nominated documentary, La Corona, for HBO, year’s fest, which will include a combination of short films, which won honorable mention at the 2008 Sundance feature-length films and documentaries. The complete Film Festival. Other panels still are being coordinated, lineup is still in the works. Mendiola said. One of the films is No Más Bebés Por Vida, a documentary by Renee Tajima-Peña about the forced sterilization of Mexican-American women at the Los Angeles CountyUniversity of Southern California Medical Center during the 1960s and ’70s.

The festival director, who has spearheaded CineFestival for the past five years, said he enjoys seeing attendees meeting filmmakers to discuss their works, as well as the post-screening receptions.

The experimental documentary highlights the juxtaposition of pop culture between the U.S. and Mexico, ranging from the Santa Barbara Fiestas and South Carolina’s South of the Border tourist complex, to a Mexican Beatles cover band and Chicano rap, as described by the University of California at Los Angeles Chicano Studies Research Center.

Past guests and filmmakers to CineFestival have included: Luis Valdez, Miguel Arteta, Guillermo del Toro, Lourdes Portillo, Culture Clash, Edward James Olmos, Benjamin Bratt, Lou Diamond Phillips, Carlos Avila, Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales, Guillermo Gomez Pena, and some of the new voices in U.S. Latino film such as Aurora Guerrero, Alex Rivera, Gina Rodriguez and Cruz Angeles, among others.

The festival also includes panel discussions. Carla

For tickets and information:

“The entire festival is a great experience,” he said. “We’re In addition, the festival’s version of “Throwback Thursday” concentrating on U.S.-Latino works. We also feature will be a rescreening of a movie from the catalog of films contemporary Mexican films. I’ve been going to the that have played over the past 38 years. This year’s selection Morelia International Film Festival (in Mexico) and have is Fronterilandia/Frontierland (1995), co-directed and edited established a relationship with program organizers to try by Jesse Lerner and Rubén Ortiz Torres. to bring some of those films to CineFestival.”

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92 years of fine dining at the corner of Villita and South Alamo streets By Susan A. Merkner Photography Greg Harrison


The normally reserved, soft-spoken chef grows animated when discussing traditional French cooking methods, such as braising, roasting and making reductions. Rhea’s grandmother often made roasts, he said.“ The smells of braising stay The Fig Tree restaurant and Little Rhein Steak with you forever. That is the true essence of House are accessible at street level through La cooking for me.” Villita and along the San Antonio River Walk in a The chef said he feels fortunate to work with scenic bend near the Arneson River Theater. “the best ingredients – fresh morels, top-of-theDiners can relax under cypress and live oak trees line steaks.”He describes the Fig Tree’s menu as outdoors while watching boat traffic on the river, a combination of seasonal dishes and signature or settle inside the two historic houses that have items such as Beef Wellington and Bananas Foster. served meals to the public for years: 48 at Little The Little Rhein’s menu emphasizes steaks and Rhein and 44 at the Fig Tree. Both restaurants are seafood. open only for dinner. La Villita dates back to the Coahuiltecan Indians, Laurent Rhea, the Fig Tree’s chef, joined the who founded a settlement there before 1500. enterprise in the summer of 2013. He oversees the In the early 18th century, Spanish soldiers and kitchens at the two restaurants and a third historic Canary Islanders established a village on the site. house that is available for private catered events. A hundred years later, German immigrants moved to the area, which they named the Little Rhein Born in Switzerland and raised in France near district in honor of their homeland. Strasbourg, Rhea enrolled in culinary school knowing that it was not going to be a walk in the The building which now houses Little Rhein Steak park. “From the day I entered, I felt it was going to House was built in 1847 by Otto Bombach, and is be a great journey and that you must be passionate believed to be the first two-story structure in San Antonio. Over the years, the structure has served about food,”he said. as a private home, a boarding house, a private Rhea worked with noted chefs Paul Bocuse and the school, an antique store, a museum, a German late Roger Verge, a leader of the nouvelle cuisine. saloon and a hangout for desperados. In 1967, Rhea moved to the United States and originally Mr. and Mrs. Frank W. Phelps established the Little settled in southern Georgia and Orlando, Florida. Rhein Steak House in the Bombach House, and When friends moved to San Antonio, Rhea joined the following year, the HemisFair ’68 world’s fair them. He worked as a sous chef at L’Etoile and attracted 6.4 million visitors to the area. opened Modern Cuisine. or more than 92 combined years, elegant meals have been served in downtown San Antonio at two family-owned restaurants at the corner of Villita and South Alamo streets.

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Chef Laurent Rhea

Three years after opening the Little Rhein Steak House, the Phelps family bought the house next door to it as their private residence. In 1971, they converted the home to the Fig Tree restaurant. The house, historically known as the Gray-Guilbeau House, was among the last of the private residences in La Villita. The third structure in the scenic cluster is the twostory limestone Dashiell House, which now serves as a venue for private dinners. Built around 1850, the limestone house offers indoor and outdoor spaces that can accommodate groups of varied sizes. Rhea said attention to detail is what sets the restaurants apart from other dining establishments. Crisp white linens, fine china and sparking crystal add to the elegance of the delicate, highly composed dishes at the Fig Tree, reminiscent of a French chateau. “I like that,” the chef said. “It’s how I grew up, and it fits me well. I feel right at home here.” Rhea first visited San Antonio in 1999, and like many visitors, took a boat ride along the River Walk downtown. As the boat rounded the corner where the three historic houses are nestled under the trees, Rhea thought to himself, “ This is the most beautiful spot on the River Walk. It reminds me of Europe. I’d like to work there someday.” For him, someday is today.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • For information on The Fig Tree, 515 Villita St., visit or call 210-224-1965. For information on Little Rhein Steak House, 231 S. Alamo St., visit or call 210-225-2111.

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Bingham Family Vineyards: Sixth-generation High Plains family creates new traditions By Olivier J. Bourgoin Photo of family by Artie Limmer All other photos by Betty Bingham

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winemaking. Each of the children is involved in some aspect of the family business. Daniel Bingham has become the winemaker. He is assisted by Manuel Lechuga, who The large tracts of land were as big as the sky above, but has 28 years of experience, formerly with Pheasant Ridge. land was pretty much all there was. Following the family tradition, Cliff Bingham grew up ranching and farming The logo on the Bingham wine bottles, a capital B styled the land of his forefathers. For nearly 100 years, organic with a musical note, reflects the nature of this musically peanuts and cotton were the main crops farmed by the oriented family. All the children were home- schooled Bingham clan, along with cattle ranching. But farming is before attending Texas Tech University, and all are a business and being a good businessman, Cliff Bingham accomplished musicians. Located in Meadow, Texas, the saw the potential for grapevines as a viable crop. The rest, Bingham Family Vineyards winery is currently producing as they say, is now becoming a part of Texas wine history. a total of about 2,000 cases of six different wines. In addition, they have opened a tasting room in Grapevine, “In 2004, we planted our first vines, Viognier and managed by Kyle Bingham. Gewurtztraminer,” Bingham said. “We now have about 200 acres under vine. When I first started planting “We used about 100 tons of grapes for Bingham, and grape, we planted 25 acres and I thought, 25 acres 400 to 500 tons we sold as bulk wine. The rest we sell to max. I never dreamt we would get into the winemaking about 20 different Texas wineries, most of them in the Hill business, but this year we harvested 1,200 tons, the Country: Becker, Pedernales, Duchman, William Chris, to most ever. Our biggest year before was 750 tons. But name a few,” Cliff Bingham said. we had big freezes in 2013 and 2014, plus we’ve had Today, many grape varietals are farmed here. The top some new vines coming online.” five whites are Viognier (35 acres), Trebbiano, Roussanne Partially inspired by the passion of Bobby Cox, founder and Vermentino (15 acres each) and Albariño. The most of Pheasant Ridge Winery in Lubbock, who was one of widely planted reds are Tempranillo (25 acres), Cabernet their early clients, Bingham and his family -- he and his Sauvignon and Merlot (10 acres each), followed by wife have 11 children -- decided to try their hand at Mourvèdre, Cabernet Franc and Dolcetto. t was in 1910 that Cliff Bingham’s great-grandfather settled on rugged land in the Texas Panhandle.

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Merlot and Cabernet Franc, including a small percentage of the 2006 vintages. “Bingham is the only winery in Texas to produce a wine with eight different years of vintages blended together, and with one dating back to 2006. It reminds me of some of the Alexander Valley wines from 20 years ago,” Krueger said. As mentioned, Cloudburst: A dry white blend composed of Trebbiano, at the time Cliff Bingham’s great-grandfather settled Vermentino, Roussanne, Viognier and Chardonnay. Its here, the tracts of land were big but land was pretty name refers to the rain, which in this part of the state often much all there was. There was no timber, no bricks, comes suddenly. Recently recognized by Texas Monthly no rocks with which to build houses, so early settlers magazine as one of the best whites in Texas. Strictly from would dig a large hole in the ground and build a roof a personal palate perspective, it reminded me of a cross over it. This is what was called a dugout home. between Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. This wine is crisp and refreshing with medium body and good acidity. Fine and Dandy: A sweet red wine bended from Merlot, Dolcetto and Mourvèdre grapes grown in the Texas High Sunset (Rosé): 100 percent Mourvèdre. Extracted from Plains AVA. Not too sweet and with a hint of spice. “Dandy” Texas limestone, more floral and aromatic than the is a nod to Cliff Bingham’s grandfather’s nickname. Cloudburst with hints of watermelon and tart cranberry. Short Rows: A sweet white wine made with Chenin Turnrow: 60 percent Mourvèdre, 40 percent Tempranillo. Blanc. A little sweeter than the red Fine and Dandy. A little more tannic than the Sunset. Light bodied but The name refers to the shortest rows at the end of a complex. Very drinkable and delicious. Turnrow refers field, usually the last ones to be plowed at the end to the narrow dirt roads located at the edge of farm of a long workday. boundaries, where tractors can often be found parked Bingham Family Vineyards tasting room while neighbors chat. 630 S. Main St., Grapevine, Texas Dugout: A nonvintage blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, 682-651-8668 I recently tasted all six of the proprietary-named wines made by the Bingham Winery over lunch with sommelier Steven Krueger. All of the names reflect the family ties to the land they are farming. They were all clean and pleasant.

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Susan and Pieter Sypesteyn 2016 72 On The Town | January/February

Cookhouse: A New Orleans Restaurant By Olivier J. Bourgoin, aka “Olivier, the Wine Guy”


...hat do you do when a chef who is passionate about his craft is in the mood to cook for you and to talk? You eat, you enjoy … and you listen.

pursued culinary arts in California. After graduation, Sypesteyn took a job at the Los Angeles Country Club in Beverly Hills and met Susan, who later became his wife. She now manages the front of the house.

Such was the case when I visited chef Pieter Sypesteyn “Pieter’s parents owned two restaurants in the New at his gem of a restaurant, the Cookhouse, on an Orleans area,” Susan said. “One was called Figaro’s, unseasonably warm and lovely December evening. serving home-style Italian pizzas, and the other one was called Vaquero’s, with Southwest cuisine.” It may have been an otherwise nondescript Wednesday night, but diners were aplenty and the open kitchen After moving to San Antonio, Pieter worked with chef was humming. Thus, it was not until almost 10 p.m. that Thierry Burkle at the Grill at Leon Springs and then with Sypesteyn was able to join our table for a chat. But when chef Andrew Weissman, both at Le Rève and Il Sogno. he did, that’s when his pleasantly exuberant passion, He also operates a successful food truck called Where which we had tasted in his food, overflowed. Y’at, featuring Cajun/Créole staples such as po-boys, boudin balls and beignets. After taking over a space that previously had been occupied by several other iconic San Antonio eateries, On the night of our visit to the Cookhouse, the plates Sypesteyn and his wife, Susan, opened the doors to kept coming, one delicious dish after another: Rainbow their restaurant at 720 E. Mistletoe Ave., a little over a Trout Meunière topped with an Oysters Rockefeller year ago. Quenelle; Barbecued Shrimp prepared New Orleans style and served with a to-die-for authentic spicy, Some minor remodeling and much-needed updates to creamy roux; Fried Oysters with Artichoke and al dente the kitchen occurred. Flamenco and world music from Spaghetti Carbonara served with bits of house-cured the previous tenant are gone and instead guests may bacon and Parmesan. All that, mind you, was after the enjoy live music by the Jim Cullum Jazz band on Fridays. Cajun Cracklings appetizer (crispy fried, skin-on, bitesize portions of meat-on pork belly) accompanied by The Cookhouse’s name is a nod to a tainted but colorful blistered cherry tomatoes and basil. Did I mention the and important culinary past when food for a community crab salad piled on a hollowed-out thick bread canapé of people working on a plantation was prepared with zucchini, shallots, fennel and green apple slivers? communally in a building called a cookhouse. And there was more! “This cooking adventure has forced me to do research and to learn all about New Orleans food and Louisiana culture,” Sypesteyn said, “and to learn from the trinity of Cajun cooking” --onions, bell peppers and celery.

“There is a lot of seafood this time of the year,” Pieter said. “We try to stay local, and we take a lot of pride in our seafood.”

The lunch menu features simpler fare served counterSypesteyn grew up in New Orleans and at age 14, service style. It includes such New Orleans favorites as attended boarding school in New England. He went on po-boys and muffaletta sandwiches, gumbo, dirty rice to study fine arts -- illustration and drawing -- and later and red beans. January/February 2016 | On The Town 73

“I like for us to be called a Third Coast kitchen,” Pieter said. “We look at what we can get from the Gulf. Although some of our fish is farm raised, it’s farmed in natural settings with inlets that bring sea water in from the coast. “I didn’t want to be too clichéd with the jambalaya, étouffée, etc., but I grew up in Louisiana, and I want to be known for making authentic Louisiana food. I try to make my cuisine a replica of what people eat back home. Louisiana is known as a sportsman’s paradise. That’s what’s on the license plates. People there are used to living off the land and eat what’s seasonal. People there are used to that lifestyle and a big part of what I do is to support that.” The Cookhouse 720 E. Mistletoe Ave., San Antonio, Texas 78212 210-320-8211 Open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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Visual Arts 80-90

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orita Kent (1918-1986) is perhaps the most overlooked American pop artist. A Roman Catholic nun and activist who opposed the Vietnam War, she headed the art department at the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles from 1964 to 1968. Her brightly colored, text-based works draw from advertising and consumer culture, but often deal with themes of social justice, peace and the modernization of the Catholic church. Usually overshadowed by her male contemporaries, Kent is being given a closer look by a new exhibit organized by the Harvard Art Museums that places 60 of Kent’s screen prints in context with pieces by pop stalwarts Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, Robert Indiana, Jim Dine and Jasper Johns. “Corita Kent and the Language of Pop” will be on view Feb. 13-May 8 at the San Antonio Museum of Art. “Her biography is impressive – she was touted as the ‘exemplar of the modern nun’ – but she also made a real contribution to art history that has been largely overlooked in comparison to her better-known pop art contemporaries,” said Anna Stothart, SAMA curator of modern and contemporary art. “But Corita definitely holds her own. As a female artist in the 1960s, she was bold in her artistic pursuits and her political activism. I think we can all learn from that approach.” Though Kent borrowed imagery and text from popular commercial brands, she often wove in Christian iconography and references to the Virgin Mary. Riffing on a Del Monte tomatoes tagline, her 1964 screen print, the juiciest tomato of all, is a humorous plea for the church to modernize its view of the Virgin Mother. “Her incorporation of popular culture alongside religious themes is novel and adds a new dimension to our understanding of the pop art movement,” Stothart said. “Her use of color and line is extraordinary. The complex compositions are eyecatching and invite the viewer to look closer at each work. I really love the paper she uses – it is quite unique and holds color beautifully.”

COLLECTING IN CONTEXT Looking behind the scenes at how museums build collections and the sometimes unseen connections between artworks is “Collecting in Context” on view through April 17 in the Butt Paperworks Gallery at the McNay Art Museum. Lyle Williams, McNay curator of prints and drawings, provides some insights into how he’s built the museum’s impressive works on paper collection over the past two decades. For example, Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros’s Portrait of William Spratling is paired with Mabel Dwight’s drawn portrait of Carl Zigrosser, who was the proprietor of the Weyhe Gallery in New York and an early promoter of Mexico’s “Los Tres Grandes” – Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco and Siqueiros. An American silversmith who resurrected the silver industry in Taxco, Spratling often acted as an agent for Siqueiros in his dealings with Zigrosser, who in 1941 became the influential curator of prints, drawings and rare books at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “What many people don’t realize is that when the McNay acquired duplicate prints from the Philadelphia museum in 2000, many of the prints by the Mexican masters were collected by Zigrosser,” Williams said. “The connections between the artworks are explained in the wall labels for this exhibit, which is also intended to show off some of our recent acquisitions.” Another pairing links Mary Cassatt’s masterpiece In the Omnibus and a recently acquired print by Henri Boutet, L’Averse (Deluge), which depicts people rushing toward an omnibus outside the gates of the Louvre. Both color prints were produced in Paris in the 1890s. Other artists in the exhibit include Howard Cook, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Rene Hermann-Paul and Pierre-Georges Jeanniot. ON AND OFF FRED You can find more than 75 San Antonio artists in their natural November/December January/February 2016 2015 | On The Town 81

habitat during the Ninth Annual On and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour set for Feb. 20-21. The self-guided, twoday tour encompasses artists’ studios, area galleries and artactivated pop-ups in and around the Deco District ranging from reclaimed former neighborhood grocery stores to intimate backyard retreats. Organized by Bihl Haus Arts, one of the city’s most popular “art walks” features demonstrations and other family-friendly, cultural activities. “We’re expecting more participation from the theaters and local arts-related businesses than we had in 2015 and a more revved-up social media,” said Kellen Kee McIntyre, Bihl Haus executive director. “New to the tour so far are Margaret Craig and Polyglot Gallery plus a few others. We’re starting to promote ‘Fred’s Amigos’ on our website to help support the tour.” With an emphasis on handmade, original work, the wide variety spans large-scale ceramic sculptures, metalwork, one-of-a-kind light fixtures, art photography, beadwork and embroidery plus paintings in diverse styles. This year’s tour is set for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 20 and noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 21. The tour will open with an autograph party 6-9 p.m. Feb. 19 at Bihl Haus Arts, 2803 Fredericksburg Road. The Bihl Haus website is, and the tour has its own site at

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 80: Abraham Vasquez in his studio Page 82: (Above) Mary Cassatt In The Omnibus, ca. 1891. Drypoint and aquatint plate. Gift of Margaret Batts Tobin. 1978.22 (Center) Corita Kent (American, 1918–1986) for Eleanor, 1964 Screenprint, 29 5/8 x 39 inches Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Margaret Fisher Fund, 2008.143 © Courtesy of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles Image © President and Fellows of Harvard College (Below)

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Corita Kent (American, 1918–1986) round wonder, c. 1965 Screenprint, 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches Lent by Mary Anne Mikulka Karia

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sculpture now part of McNay’s permanent collection Story courtesy McNay Art Museum Photography Greg Harrison


obert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture, a 6-foot-by-6foot-by-3-foot iconic example of pop art, has become a part of the McNay Art Museum’s permanent collection. Constructed from red and gold polychrome aluminum, the sculpture was installed on temporary loan on the museum’s Brown Foundation sculpture terrace in March 2014 as part of the exhibition, Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE.  Since then, the sculpture has become a visitor favorite. LOVE has delighted and perplexed audiences since its debut in the mid-1960s. Commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, as a Christmas card, the original LOVE was an image in chromatically bold red, green and blue. The work catapulted pop art master Indiana to international fame. The countercultural “free love” movement instantly embraced LOVE, but the work’s outsider status didn’t last long. While generations of audiences have responded to the image’s immediate positivity, LOVE’s staying power is tethered to Indiana’s prodigious skill and the inherent mystery of his message. The ubiquity of the word “love,” wry tilt of the O, and bold color combination invite numerous, often contradictory, interpretations. The first LOVE sculpture was created in 1970 for the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and a number of additional sculptures, including the one now owned by the McNay, followed. Today, the instantly recognizable image has been translated into several languages, and sculptures are installed at locations around the world.

In addition to marking a key addition to the museum’s collection, the McNay’s acquisition of LOVE also serves as a fitting ode to the late art collector, philanthropist and patron Robert L.B. Tobin, Indiana’s friend and a beloved benefactor of the McNay. “The addition of LOVE significantly enhances the museum’s collection of monumental modern and contemporary sculpture and strengthens Indiana’s substantial presence in the collection,” said William J. Chiego, the McNay’s director. “The McNay is grateful to the Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts for their support of the purchase, adding to the roster of outdoor works acquired over the years with financial assistance from the fund.” ABOUT ROBERT INDIANA Robert Indiana (b. 1928) grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before moving to New York. While Indiana found a home in New York’s thriving art scene, he changed his given surname of “Clark” to Indiana as homage to his Midwestern roots. Along with 1960s contemporaries Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Claes Oldenburg, Indiana co-opted the lettering, imagery and vernacular used in advertising and consumer culture to create high art that addressed the complexity of the human experience. He is a Pop art pioneer, renowned for the hard edges and boldness of his sculptures, paintings and prints. Now 87 years old, Indiana lives in Maine. For information:

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PUBLIC ART SAN ANTONIO By Angela Rabke Photography courtesy Public Art San Antonio


an Antonio is a city that long has embraced its cultural heritage and unique personality. One important element that contributes heavily to the city’s identity is its collection of public art projects, a collection that is managed by Public Art San Antonio (PASA).

According to its website, PASA is responsible for managing public art projects and programs that express the vibrancy and diversity of the community through art and place-making.  The public art projects managed include those associated with the city’s capital improvement programs that connect to the community January/February 2016 | On The Town 87

through exhibits, presentations, outreach and planning initiatives. PASA also manages programs such as RESYMBOL that feature artworks created by local artists and activate the downtown cityscape with thoughtfully integrated works, and Culture Commons, a two-story storefront gallery and multipurpose exhibit hall in the newly renovated Plaza de Armas building downtown.

“The county and the San Antonio River Foundation have many public artworks, and there is, among many organizations, a recognition that through public art we are enhancing our city and our services,” LeFlore said.

The city looks for artists who are capable of communicating a message about San Antonio or the services that are provided in the public sector. LeFlore notes that while San Antonio has a formal program dedicated to public art, many projects happen outside of or in concert with PASA.

Public art’s impact on neglected areas is profound. LeFlore cites Ballroom Luminoso, an experience created locally by artists Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock. Ballroom Luminoso transformed an ordinary, dark underpass at Theo and Malone streets at Interstate

San Antonio is one of the top cities in the country in valuing public art, he said. “Collectively, there is a small group of individuals in my field. San Antonio Jimmy LeFlore serves as San Antonio’s public art director. has done great in terms of managing finances and The position requires comprehensive knowledge of dealing with economics. We have lots of capital existing and upcoming works, and the processes for improvements happening consistently which gives a lot of opportunities for new public art.” funding restoration, maintenance and new projects.   “Public art is something that encompasses the works of Most larger cities use a percentage calculation to pay art that we have all over the city,” LeFlore said. “These for public artworks. San Antonio has 1 percent tied projects were done over the past 100 years. We have specifically to voter-approved bond programs. For nonartisan-made furnishings, monuments and a lot of really bond programs, there is a 1 percent budget for certain projects that are funded through other programs, and beautiful details throughout the city.” those are adopted as part of the city capital improvement LeFlore said there has been a growing effort in the past program. This percentage is conservative in comparison 15 years to enhance public projects by identifying artists to other cities, which tend to have a range of 1¾ percent who are highly skilled and very creative in working with to 2 percent, but LeFlore said all Texas programs use their dollars efficiently. outdoor or public spaces.

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35 into a community shadow theater. A series of six brilliantly lit, color-changing chandeliers hang from the underpass and each casts bright shapes and colored shadows approximately 40 feet. The chandeliers are made from recycled bike parts and other metals, with LED lights used to allow for creative expression with minimal maintenance. “The project turned this blighted area into a bright, colorful space,” LeFlore said. “It lifted up the area and created a destination and a positive landmark rather than a psychological barrier. The impact that one project can have on property values and quality of life is significant, and communicates to visitors that San Antonio is investing in its community.”   New works include the recently opened Yanaguana River Garden, which boasts six public art installations that invite children to explore art in a hands-on fashion. San Antonio has several new projects in the works. Locals should look for art commissions tied to the Convention Center expansion, which is scheduled to be completed early next year. Organizations such as Luminaria, the Linda Pace Foundation and the river foundation also contribute to public art installations regularly.   To view a catalog of public art or to learn more, visit

Photo Credits: Page 86: Open Hand, Open Mind, Open Heart Douglas Kornfeld Page 87: Puente de Encuentros Rolando Briseno Page 88: (L-R) Ballroom Luminoso Joe O’Connell & Blessing Hancock La Veladora Jesse Trevino Page 89: (L-R) Torch of Friendship Sebastian Fiesta Tower Dale Chihuly

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Book Talk:

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BRYCE MILLIGAN, Publisher, owner of Wings Press Story and Photography by Jasmina Wellinghoff


ryce Milligan is one of the most admired literary figures in San Antonio and Texas and a modern-day Renaissance man. A prolific poet, critic, editor, book designer, teacher and literary activist, he also can build musical instruments, sculpt, write and perform songs, and organize book festivals. Since 1995, Milligan also has run Wings Press, a highly respected small press that he took over from thenpublisher Joanie Whitebird, who was in poor health at the time and died a few years later. With an interest in diversity and underrepresented writers, Milligan energized and transformed Wings into a small press powerhouse that has issued 200 titles by more than 100 authors in the last two decades. Many have gone on to win prestigious literary awards. It’s an extraordinary achievement for a small publishing company. Wings celebrated 40 years of continuous existence and 20 years under Milligan’s leadership on Nov. 14. Among the writers who read from their work at the event – and expressed deep appreciation for Milligan’s vision and guidance -- were Naomi Shihab Nye, Pamela Uschuk, William Pitt Root, Mariana Aitches, Maria Espinoza, Geoff Rips, and the two recent Texas poet laureates, Rosemary Catacalos and Carmen Tafolla. Many others applauded from the audience. Though Milligan was already featured in this column – in fact, he was the first interview way back in 2009 - the remarkable longevity and output of Wings Press more than justifies a second appearance. All Wings titles are distributed globally by the Independent Publishers Group,, and are available from that company, the Wings Press website,, and other outlets. JW: How does it feel to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of running Wings? BM: It feels like I am turning the page. I’ve published

200 books. It’s a nice round number, 200 books in 20 years. I am not retiring or closing the press but I will be switching gears for at least the next couple of years. I have some writing of my own to do, and I have to finish editing a couple of things for other presses, so for the next few years I’ll be publishing only five or six books a year. I have some exciting books coming up next year, a couple of thematic anthologies, one of which is looking back while the other is looking forward. The former is called Far Out, a poetry anthology inspired by the 1960s, edited by David Parsons and Wendy Barker. The other one doesn’t have a title yet but it will be the first Latino anthology of science fiction/fantasy. That’s going to be really neat. I’ve never done science fiction or fantasy before. And I’ll be publishing a novel about the two weeks during which Frankenstein was written. So that’s a little outside my normal box. JW: Let’s take a look back at your history. What motivated you to buy Wings Press back in 1995? BM: I have been involved in some kind of publishing since high school. In college, I was involved in putting out a literary magazine called Green Fuse at North Texas. And in the ’80s I was the editor of Pax, A Journal of Peace and Culture, and then Vortex, A Critical Review. In those days, our work was as much about design as about editing. So I got involved in typography and magazine design, and all those things we did by hand to layout the pages. It was a great education. When the opportunity came along to buy Wings it felt like a natural thing to do. Also, Joanie had just published a book of my poetry, Working the Stone, and then the press went belly up. So in order to get (copies of ) my book I had to buy the press (laughs). By that time I had written many, many book reviews. So, publishing was just a different take on evaluating other people’s work. Instead of reading it and critiquing it, it’s reading manuscripts to see if I want to bring them into the world. It’s like being a birth mother, especially when you are a one-man operation because you work very closely with the authors. January/February 2016 | On The Town 93

JW: Your authors love you, as we all saw (at the anniversary celebration). They couldn’t say enough about you and your many talents. That must be a very satisfying side of running a small press. BM: Oh, very satisfying, indeed. It’s rewarding to bring authors into the world that otherwise would not have been published for a variety of reasons. JW: What did your purchase of Wings Press get you besides the name and the reputation? BM: I got all the books that were stored in a Houston garage. Some were damaged by a flood but others were undamaged and I took all of those. Among them were works by Vassar Miller and songbooks of Townes Van Zandt. Townes (died) two or three years later and those books went through the roof price-wise, which enabled me to fund the press for the first four or five years. Today, you could sell a signed hardcover book of his songs for $1,500. JW: How did you change the press? BM: Every small press reflects the editor’s taste. Joanie was committed to diversity but for her diversity meant black and Native American writers. She never considered the Chicano movement. By the time I got Wings I was already heavily involved in Chicano literature as a critic. I wrote the first review of (Sandra Cisneros’) The House on Mango Street, and, of course, I ran the Inter-American Book Fair at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. So, publishing Chicano writers was part of our mission. The press also reflects my own idiosyncratic view of the world. I am very much to the left politically. And I am into Texas and regional history, not in a sense of straight history but I like it when an author incorporates historical detail and accuracy, a sense of time and place, in his or her work. JW: How do you select what you are going to publish? BM: As our mission statement says, we believe that good writing is innovative, insightful and interesting. But most of all it should be honest. So those are the things I consider when making my selections. I also like it when writers experiment with the limits of language while still respecting the boundaries of language. And the musicality of the language is important as well. JW: You have accelerated the pace of issuing new books in the past several years. How did that come about? 94 On The Town | January/February 2016

BM: I just had more interesting things to publish. I was excited about it, so I did it. I can’t quite explain how I published 25 books in one year, 2012-13, but it happened. Then the following year I had 24, and this year, 18. JW: Could you mention some authors that Wings “discovered”?

but the company invests in the author’s work (editing, design, advertising). I don’t think that ebooks are going to be the end of the world. There are vast numbers of people who like to go to bookstores. They just like that experience. And they like to physically thumb through the book. Some people want the physical object that connects them with the author. Although, I have to say, ebooks have it in every other way, as a green issue, as a financial issue, easy access to dictionaries and other reference sources … I am pretty certain that print and ebooks will continue to coexist for quite some time. It will eventually become financially improbable to do the big hardbacks because they will just get more expensive. The remaining print books will probably be signed chapbooks that will still satisfy that need to have a physical artifact that connects you directly with the author.

BM: I brought out (poet) Pamela Uschuk’s first book, Finding Peaches in the Desert, and it did very well -- sold out the first printing -- and then we brought out several other of her books, including Crazy Love, which won the 2010 American Book Award … Another one is Carmen Tafolla, who had only two books out before I started publishing her. I’ve done all of her major poetry and fiction. I am also very happy that we published her book on (labor activist) Emma Tenayuca which has done very, very well, and has gone through five printings. Another bestseller for us is Borderlines by Steven Schneider. That JW: A lot of small presses make a splash and quickly book has also gone through five editions. disappear from the scene. To what do you attribute the longevity of Wings Press? JW: We are now talking about your bestsellers. BM: Pedro Rodriguez (former Guadalupe Center BM: Our top bestseller is Black Like Me by John Howard director) once came up with a name for me, “litera tonto,” Griffin (who disguised himself as a black man to write meaning “literary fool.” I am not sure that it wasn’t slightly about the black experience in 1959.) We first published derogatory. But I think that’s, in part, what explains the his posthumous novel Street of the Seven Angels, which survival of Wings. It takes one dedicated person to keep it brought us a lot of national attention. The following going. Generally, small presses are not nonprofits because year, we brought out the definitive edition of his best- running the finances for one of these operations is very known work, Black Like Me, with a foreword by Studs crazy. I’ve seen the following scenario happen more than Terkel, additional material and an afterword by (Griffin’s once: a small press reaches a reputation that helps it get biographer and friend) Robert Bonazzi. We sold an awful a nonprofit status and then it gets a board. The board lot of hardbacks and then the ebook came out and it’s takes a look at the finances and they fire the guy who’s now selling really well. As school districts switch from been running it for years because he is crazy! (Laughs.) paperbacks to electronic copies, we’ve got the only one! I have considered going nonprofit but I have seen this downside often over the years. Still, I do occasionally get JW: Now that we have ebooks and the Internet, authors a grant to support specific projects. could theoretically become their own publishers by uploading their books to Amazon and other sites and JW: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? working on their own promotion. Will that become a threat to publishers? BM: The fact that I have been able to have this wonderful life with my librarian wife in an old house where I can BM: Self-publishing is nothing new but what self- make music and write poetry and create books and make published authors lack is the attention of an editor, the a lot of authors happy. It’s been a wonderful life … As a attention of a book designer and a publicist. What I feel is publisher, I have always described what I do as necessary a threat is not the idea of self-publishing. What I feel is a work. I published what I felt needed to be in print, voices threat is Amazon because they are encouraging all these that I thought needed to be heard, styles that needed to authors to ignore the normal course. And, of course, the be explored and things that needed to be said. royalties paid by Amazon look on the surface like they ----------------------------------------------------------------------are much larger than what a publishing company pays Milligan’s comments have been edited for publication. January/February 2016 | On The Town 95

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Artistic Destination:

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Picturesque Door County draws artists to Wisconsin peninsula By Julie Catalano Photography by Jon Jarosh of Door County Visitor Bureau


..aybe you’ve never noticed it, but the Door County peninsula juts out like a skinny “thumbs up” on the map of eastern Wisconsin, set between the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Midwesterners have trekked to this popular destination for generations, affluent visitors have second (and third) homes there, and artists — who always know a good thing when they see it — have been an integral and significant part of the landscape from the beginning.

Through it all, the visual and performing arts reign supreme — more than 100 galleries along with working studios, performing arts organizations, festivals and fairs, art schools and, best of all, an audience that supports, promotes and preserves the artistic legacy of Door County, whether it’s in design, painting, pottery, sculpture, photography, music, theater or literature.

First stop: The Hardy Gallery in Ephraim to pick up a comprehensive Door Peninsula Arts Guide. Located on The lure of Door County is obvious from the moment you the dock of Eagle Harbor, this iconic structure boasts arrive. It’s a year-round destination where each season tons of very orderly graffiti and is listed on the National yields its special treasures in a string of small towns Register of Historic Places. Francis Howe Hardy was an straight out of a calendar: glorious summers teem with amateur painter, businessman and Ephraim summer peak season visitors highlighted by a signature cherry resident from 1930 until his death in 1960. His life’s harvest. Splendid fall foliage has earned Door County ambition, according to the Hardy website ( the title of “Cape Cod of the Midwest.” A stunning winter was “to create in Door County a climate of understanding wonderland draws the hardiest for ice fishing and snow and appreciation of the arts, which would attract both sports, followed by a very welcome and colorful spring. artists and art lovers to the area.” January/February 2016 | On The Town 99

To that end he succeeded spectacularly, said Shari Gransee, owner of Fine Line Designs Gallery and Sculpture Garden ( in Sister Bay. “The Hardy [Gallery] is about education and promotion, and they have such a fantastic building, probably one of the most photographed in Door County.”

and exhibitions. In 2016, the school will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its immensely popular Door County Plein Air Festival on July 24-30.

“We invite approximately 40 artists to create works during that week, painting outdoors where people can watch them work,” McKinley said. The appeal of Door County to Beyond that, “I think all aspects of the arts have been artists is simple: the diverse and beautiful landscape. “We popular up here for awhile. But new people are always have rolling farmland, quaint harbor towns, limestone finding Door County, so getting them exposed to the cliffs and sandy beaches. It’s the natural beauty that has high level of art here is important,” Gransee said. Fine Line drawn artists for centuries.” Designs features a collection of abstract, impressionism, realistic and more. Their annual art fair takes place every With all that natural beauty around, the performing Columbus Day weekend and includes a juried art show arts in Door County happily get into the act. Northern Sky Theater ( in Fish Creek with up to 75 professional artists from the Midwest. presents original summer musical and dramatic outdoor Not surprisingly, Door County is a natural for art productions in what they call “a little piece of heaven” in schools. One of these, the Peninsula School of Art picturesque Peninsula State Park. ( in Fish Creek, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. Up to 3,000 students of all skill Also in Fish Creek, the Peninsula Players (peninsulaplayers. levels from across the country enroll in non-degreed com) at age 80 is the oldest resident summer theater classes each year, said Kay McKinley, director of marketing in the U.S. The venue is actually a covered theater with 100 On The Town | January/February 2016

sliding side doors (for milder seasons) set amid gardens For more information and calendar of events: doorcounty. near the shores of Green Bay. Their 2016 season includes com. Agatha Christie’s The Hollow, The 39 Steps, the Midwest premiere of Alabama Story, and the adult musical The Full Monty. Photo Credits: You really haven’t seen Shakespeare until you’ve experienced it in the woods and under the stars. Page 98: Door Shakespeare ( performs Plein Air waterfront painter outdoors in the town of Baileys Harbor. The 2016 Photo by Jon Jarosh summer productions are Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Page 99: Peninsula School of Art Nonstop focus on the arts is paying off in how Door Photo by Jon Jarosh County is perceived by first-time visitors who initially were drawn to gorgeous scenery, outdoor activities and Page 100: the annual cherry harvest festivities, Gransee said. “We Northern Sky Theater have customers who come into the gallery who tell us Photo by Len Villano that all the time, including one who decided to book her next vacation to coincide with the week of the [Peninsula Page 101: Art School] plein air festival. People are coming back to Painter at Peninsula School of Art Door County because of the arts.” Photo by Jon Jarosh

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