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January/February 2017

ITC Asian Festival Peggy’s on the Green Onderdonk Exhibition SA Cocktail Conference

Mozart Festival Tobin Parking Garage Boerne Performing Arts Plus 11 Additional Articles January/February 2017 | On The Town 1

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Welcome to a very happy new year of performing arts Comedy, Mozart, Magic, Mamma Mia, Ballet, C&W, Rock ‘n Roll and more



Features Cont.

West Texas vineyard reborn Blue Mountain poised to produce wine again


From Australia to France, flowers to sky, exhibits run the gamut of artistry


Celebrating the genius of Mozart 14 San Antonio Symphony hosts 7th annual On and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour 76 composer festival reaches a 10 year milestone $17 million Tobin Center parking garage 18 paves the way for patron convenience Julian Onderdonk: A Catalogue Raisonne 78 captures artists’ work The new Roxie Theatre makes its mark 20 30 years of Asian celebrations 90 Music Fest is international showcase 24 Year of the Rooster at UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures Boerne Performing Arts: Small Town, Big Shows


16th Annual Jewish Film Festival at the Palladium February 18-22


Senior Moments focuses on humorous aspects of aging


Mark Bohanan brings energy, experience to Boerne with Peggy’s on the Green


Events Calendar

Don’t put your party plans on ice 66 San Antonio Cocktail Conference January 11-16

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Departments 42

Book Talk: Jayme Lynn Blashke, journalist 84 and author Artistic Destination: Victoria Symphony Orchestra: Musical Gem of the Coastal Bend 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: Photo by Greg Harrison

Performing Arts Cover Photo: Mamma Mia Courtesy The Tobin Center Events Calendar Cover Photo: Carrie Newcomer Courtesy The Tobin Center Culinary Arts Cover Photo: © Tomboy2290 | Visual Arts Cover Photo: Alma Nungarrayi Granites Australian (Warlpiri, Central/Western Desert), born 1955 Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming), 2007 Acrylic on canvas, h. 35 13/16 in. (91 cm); w. 29 15/16 in. (76 cm) Gift of the Lam Family, 2016.14.57 © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VISCOPY, Australia Photography by Peggy Tenison Courtesy San Antonio Museum of Art

Mikel Allen creative director/ graphic designer

Dan R. Goddard Greg Harrison staff photographer

Rudy Arispe James M. Benavides Olivier J. Bourgoin (aka, Olivier the Wine Guy) Julie Catalano

Christian Lair operations manager/ webmaster Kay Lair

Allison Cornwell

Susan A. Merkner copy editor

Lisa Cruz

Sara Selango

Thomas Duhon

Jasmina Wellinghoff

Eclectics Cover Photo: Courtesy is published by Lair Creative, LLC 14122 Red Maple San Antonio, Texas 78247 210-771-8486 210-490-7950 (fax)

Out & About With Greg Harrison Cover Photo: Photo by Greg Harrison

Literary Arts Cover Photo: Photo by Greg Harrison

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 8-40

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Comedy, Mozart, Magic, Mamma Mia, By Sara Selango

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, Ballet, C&W, Rock ‘n Roll and More

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unny thing, I want to start off this story with opportunities for you to enjoy some great standup comedy. We are all in for giggles and laughs in January and February, starting with Bill Engvall Jan. 8 at the H-E-B Performance Hall in the Tobin Center. Following him is a two-show appearance by Ron White at the Majestic Jan. 28. Less than a week later, on Feb. 3, the Majestic welcomes Jay Leno. Next, the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre brings Kathleen Madigan to the stage Feb. 10. Before the month is over, your chance to see Billy Crystal happens at the Majestic Feb. 24. With Engvall, White, Leno, Madigan and Crystal, January and February promise to be a blast.

Additional noteworthy performances guaranteed to make you laugh include Miranda Sings Jan. 25 in the Tobin’s big room, Heather McDonald at the Tobin’s Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater Feb. 3 and Comedy – Taylor Mason Style at the Rockbox in Fredericksburg Feb. 4. On a more serious note, the San Antonio Symphony celebrates the brilliance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with its Mozart Festival Jan. 6 – Mar. 2. The symphony schedule includes five different concerts with multiple performances each at the Tobin’s H-E-B Performance Hall starting with Mozart’s 40th Symphony Jan. 6-7. Sebastian Lang-Lessing conducts. The performance also includes soprano Deanna Breiwick, tenor Morgan Smith, the Symphony Mastersingers under the direction of John Silantien and the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio lead by Joseph Causby. A week later it’s Mozart & Mendelssohn with Kolja Blacher conducting and as featured violinist. The third concert in the series at the Tobin is Mozart & Tchkaikovsky Jan. 27-28 under the baton of guest conductor Gerard Schwarz with Julian Schwarz as solo cellist.

The city’s two comedy clubs have more big-name comedians coming to town to tickle your funny bone in the first two months of the year. Pablo Francisco has a three-night stint at Improv Comedy Club downtown Jan. 5-7 and Gina Brillon plays the same venue Feb 1-4. Felipe Esparza finishes things up at the Improv Feb. 23-26. Erin Foley and Leanne Morgan are featured at Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club on the Northside Jan. 12-15 and Feb. 15-18 respectively. To learn more about these folks, check The Mozart Festival continues into February with Mozart Piano Concerti Feb. 3-4 with Jeremy Denk out their websites, Netflix and Comedy Central.

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playing two Mozart piano concertos. Eric Gratz read all about it in the story about the festival in this issue leads the orchestra. The final Tobin Center concert of On The Town Ezine. in the series is Mozart No. 39 & Jupiter Feb. 10-12 with Seven touring live stage shows dot the calendar in Sebastian Lang-Lessing conducting. January and February. The magic begins, literally, with In addition to these concerts, the symphony The Illusionists Jan. 10-15. This one is a part of the North offers a Mozart at the Cathedral series and a Young Park Lexus Broadway Series at the Majestic. Next up is The Tobin Center Edge Series show titled The Male Intellect: People’s concert. An Oxymoron. Catch it at the Carlos Alvarez Jan. 19-21. Supporting the efforts of the symphony with Mozart Another Edge Series offering is Disenchanted: The Musical performances of their own are SOLI Chamber Ensemble, Feb. 24-25, also at the Alvarez. Between the two comes Opera San Antonio, Musical Bridges Around The World, Mamma Mia Jan. 19 and Into The Woods Feb. 23. Both Olmos Ensemble, UTSA Department of Music, San are at the H-E-B Performance Hall and both are from the Antonio Chamber Choir, Cactus Pear Music Festival, BMW of San Antonio Broadway Series. Number six in this Texas Public Radio, Musical Offerings, San Antonio category is Drumline Live! at the Tobin Feb. 1 with number Chamber Music Society, San Antonio Choral Society, seven being Peking Acrobats from Arts San Antonio at Youth Orchestras of San Antonio and San Antonio the Majestic Feb. 10. International Piano Competition. Community theatre shines as well with shows like The For a complete schedule of Mozart events, go to www. Secret Garden at The Playhouse San Antonio, The Rat Pack Lounge followed by All Shook Up at the new Roxie Theatre, Pippin at the Woodlawn. North Shore Fish at the Another music festival that warrants your attention and Vexler, Senior Moments at the Carol B. Conway Theater, consideration is the 4th Annual International Music Festival Deathtrap at the Harlequin, Watch Your Step: The Men of presented by Musical Bridges Around The World. You can Eastwood at the Little Carver Civic Center and The Tempest

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Three out-of-towners wrap things up. Boerne Performing Arts brings us Vocalosity on Valentine’s night and Russian To take a look at what’s on the boards at all community Seasons Dance Feb. 27. Both are at Champions Auditorium. theaters in San Antonio and the surrounding area, please And finally, Victoria Symphony presents Blood, Sweat & consult the events calendar in this magazine. While Tears at the Victoria Fine Arts Center Jan. 21. you are there, also find Ted Vigil as John Denver at the Rockbox in Frederiecksburg, accordionist Alex Meixner There is so much to see. Get some tickets and go! at the Brauntex in New Braunfels and violinist Simone Photo Credits: Porter in concert for Tuesday Musical Club. Pages 8-9: It’s rodeo time again and the San Antonio Stock Show Mamma Mia & Rodeo offers us a wealth of great entertainers. This Courtesy Tobin Center year you can enjoy a rodeo performance then stay to see such folks at Willie Nelson, Little Big Town, Pages 10-11 (L-R) The Band Perry, Dierks Bentley, Huey Lewis and the Jay Leno News, Rascal Flatts and John Fogerty of Creedance Courtesy Majestic Theatre Clearwater fame. There are more stars on this year’s Akiko Fujimoto schedule, other than the ones just mentioned, so Photo by Liz Garza Williams check the rodeo website for details. Simone Porter Photo by Jeff Fasano Before closing, there are still a few more performances I Ron White want to include in this writing. Arts San Antonio brings Bale Courtesy Majestic Theatre Folklorico da Bahia to the city Jan. 12 at the Lila Cockrell. Following that, the same organization presents The Five Page 12 (L-R) Irish Tenors at the Majestic Feb. 23. Carver Community Alex Meixner Cultural Center features Dallas Black Dance Theatre on the Photo by Nicole C. Kibert Jo Long stage Feb. 11 and Ballet San Antonio offers four Kathleen Madigan performances of Sleeping Beauty at the H-E-B Performance Courtesy Charline McCombs Hall at the Tobin Center Feb. 17-19. Empire Theatre at the Classic Theatre of San Antonio.

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Gerard 14 On TheSchwarz Town | January/February 2017

Stephanie Sant’Ambrosio

Sebastian Lang-Lessing

CELEBRATING THE GENIUS OF MOZART San Antonio Symphony hosts 7th annual Composer Festival By Lisa Cruz Photography courtesy San Antonio Symphony


he San Antonio Symphony will engage audiences in January and February with its seventh annual composer-centered festival celebrating the original work and inspired works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

As in festivals past, the symphony incorporates other composers whose work influenced or was influenced by the highlighted composer.

Kicking off the festival this year on Jan. 6-7, along with Mozart’s 40th Symphony, is Fauré’s Requiem featuring the San Antonio Mastersingers, the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio and soprano Deanna Breiwick. Mozart’s Ave verum corpus also will be presented.

Both genres will be heavily featured in concerts throughout the festival. The San Antonio Chamber Choir will present Mozart Opera Excerpts Jan. 1314 in the Rotunda at the Tobin Center prior to the Symphony’s Mozart and Mendelssohn concert. Musical Bridges Around the World will welcome

“Interestingly enough, Mozart is a very standalone artist and created this universe, but did not One of the most celebrated composers of all directly influence other artists of the time,” music time, Mozart was just 5 years old when he started director Sebastian Lang-Lessing said. “He created composing and 35 years old at the time of his this unique style at the end of the classicism era, death, but he amassed a repertoire of more than inventing the form of opera we know today and 600 works. especially the piano concerto we know today.”

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performers from the Houston Grand Opera Studio to perform a Mozart Extravaganza Feb. 24 at the Empire Theatre. Highlighting Mozart’s piano concertos, the Symphony’s Feb. 3-4 concerts at the Tobin Center will feature pianist Jeremy Denk led by concertmaster Eric Gratz. The San Antonio International Piano Competition will showcase Mozart’s Piano Sonata K. 281 in B-flat major at the University of the Incarnate Word on Feb. 25. Partnering with Camerata, the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio, the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the SOLI Chamber Ensemble, the San Antonio Chamber Music Society, the Cactus Pear Music Festival and many others, the symphony has developed a festival fit for the depth and breadth of Mozart’s genius. “Mozart is a composer who deserves big attention to detail,” Lang-Lessing said. “With Mozart, there is one gem next to another.”

Deanna Breirwick Kolja Blacher

In addition to the number of collaborative performances, audiences will have an opportunity to hear Mozart in a variety of settings, including Mozart at the Cathedral, a presentation of three chamber music performances beginning Jan. 8 at San Fernando Cathedral. Even Texas Public Radio is joining the action this year to showcase a special screening of “Amadeus” Jan. 10 at Santikos Palladium. Viewers will watch the three-hour directors cut of the film and have an opportunity to visit with symphony musicians after the showing. “The festival reflects both the historical time and the approach to the music of Mozart,” Lang-Lessing said. The Mozart Festival runs through March 2 with a Young People’s Concert; however, the classical series concert ends with an all-Mozart tribute complete with Mozart’s last symphony written, No. 41, “Jupiter.”

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“This is one of the most-played pieces, but I don’t know when the last time it was played by a symphony orchestra,” Lang-Lessing said. “This last concert kind of sums it up and is a testament to his writing, which will be a highlight for me.”

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atrons, who visit the downtown Tobin Center for the Performing Arts for a concert or conference next year, won’t have to drive around in circles hoping to snag a good parking spot close to the entertainment venue. Construction broke ground in late November on the Tobin Center’s $17 million, six-floor parking garage at Fourth Street and Taylor Street with 521 parking spaces that is expected to be completed by the time the performing arts center launches its fourth season in September 2017.

As an even greater benefit to Tobin patrons, Fresher added, when they purchase a ticket to a Tobin event, they can also buy a parking pass for a reserved space at the parking garage. “You can leave your house without having to get here early to beat everyone to the garage,” he said.

Citing the additional need for the parking garage, Fresher pointed to the lack of parking for people who attend the Tobin Center during the day for events, such as corporate breakfasts or business conferences. “We have a lot of activity going on here,” the CEO said. “( The garage) will only increase “When the Tobin Center was first conceived, in that since we won’t have to hodge-podge blocks of various surveys and studies that were done, one of parking to try to accommodate a corporate event. the top concerns of San Antonio and Bexar County People can park in our garage and walk across the residents was parking,” said Mike Fresher, Tobin street (to the Tobin).” Center president and CEO. “Now for people who had had reservations about coming to the Tobin In addition, Fresher believes the parking garage or downtown because they perceived parking as will alleviate the already shrinking number of parking spaces in and around Auditorium Circle an issue, that obstacle will be taken away.” 18 On The Town | January/February 2017

and Travis Park where the Tobin Center is located because of existing businesses in the vicinity. “As we begin to add to the neighborhood, we’re beginning to see development,” he said. “So we’re going to start losing some of the spaces we have used at night (for patrons). We’re going to position this to make sure that five to 10 years from now there is adequate parking.”

garage. Lower levels contain sections of inlaid decorative tile with patterns found in early San Antonio architecture, and vertical openings are designed in a 3-section vertical ‘lancet’ historic form found in the surrounding architecture.” Total cost for the project is $17 million. The Tobin Center contributed $7 million. Complete funding was secured with a grant from the City of San Antonio and Bexar County, each contributing $5 million towards the $17 million total. J. Bruce Bugg Jr., founding board chairman of the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation, which owns and operates The Tobin Center, recognized the city and county for their support of the project.

The parking garage also includes 14,000-squarefeet of space on the first floor available for lease, which will be handled by Providence Commercial Real Estate Services. “We want to try to get a restaurant group to look at it,” Fresher said. The parking garage was designed by MarmonMok Architecture with specific recognition and consideration of nearby structures in the “County Judge Nelson Wolff has been with us on The surrounding historic area. Tobin Center project from the beginning, and Mayor “Surrounded by recognized historic structures like Ivy Taylor and City Manager Sheryl Sculley have been the First Baptist Church, the Toltec Apartments, the great advocates from the City of San Antonio. I also Carter House and The Tobin Center, the building’s want to thank Tom Stephenson, a board member design relates to and respects the massing and of the foundation, who headed the work on all the materials on these historic buildings,” said Steve details of this project for us, and our president and Souter, managing partner with MarmonMok. “All CEO Mike Fresher. Truly, this has been a cooperative of these buildings are of masonry construction effort all the way and it will result in even stronger which is reflected in the base of the parking success for The Tobin Center.” January/February 2017 | On The Town 19

Jonathan Pennington 20 On The Town | January/February 2017

Jonathan Pennington's ROXIE THEATRE MAKES ITS MARK By Jasmina Wellinghofff Photography Nancy Doan


hen Jonathan Pennington returned to San Antonio last summer after an eight-month stint in New York City, he proceeded to do what he had already done successfully twice before =- he launched a new theater venture. And he had the foresight to locate it in the middle of the burgeoning area north of 410 where there are few arts institutions to serve the huge and growing loop-land population.

real-life “Rat Pack” members - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. – as characters in a fictional stage story set in a nightclub. While the plot is fiction, the songs are the real thing, and there will be lots of them. The musical aspect of the show will be in the capable hands of Tom Masinter, one of the best musical directors in the city.

“These are songs made famous by the characters in this play, songs like My Way, Young at Heart, What Kind of Fool Named after his beloved dog, the Roxie Theater opened Am I, Everybody Loves Somebody, and a bunch of others. its doors this past October and has been going strong They are still very popular with the theater-going public,” ever since. A play, two musicals and two youth musical notes Masinter. “As a pianist, I play for a number of private productions have already been staged, including one, functions and I play these songs. There’s a sophistication The Paisley Sisters’ Christmas Special, that has never about this music that people respond to.” been produced here before. Pennington is looking forward to introducing many more shows to local Cast as the famous protagonists are Ryan Guerra as audiences, as well as his own original pieces in the Sinatra, Sean Salazar as Martin and Dwight Robinson as slightly more distant future. Davis, all of whom have worked with Pennington before. The single female character identified only as Angie Most will likely be smaller productions that put (most likely based on Angie Dickinson) will be played performers and audiences closer together to enhance by Lauren Mitchell, while the owner of the bar where the theatrical experience. Before Pennington the action takes place will be portrayed by Chad Collins. remodeled it, the Roxie space was a bar and it still Also in January, the theater will bring back the very retains that intimate vibe, with the actual original bar successful youth production, The Lion King Jr., for two still intact and serving drinks to theatergoers. more performances. “I wanted it to have a studio feel,” says the producer/ director. “My style is interactive and this space creates an immersive environment which is what I wanted to accomplish. While I was in New York, I saw performances in several intimate places like this and I felt like a part of the show just by sitting there. I want the focus to be on the actors and actors feed off the energy of the audience.”

To retain flexibility in programming, Pennington avoids announcing a pre-determined season. So far, only three other shows are being advertised for 2017 - All Shook Up, Saturday Night Fever and Cry Baby. He describes the first of these musicals as a take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, set in the 1950s and punctuated by Elvis’ songs, such as Heartbreak Hotel, Love Me Tender, It’s Now or Never, Don’t Be Cruel, and many more. “It’s a great love story,” he The intimate bar setting is perfect for Roxie’s January adds, “and what is better for Valentine’s season than a offering, The Rat Pack Lounge, a show that features the love story. It’s a really good show.” January/February 2017 | On The Town 21


Following the stretch at the Woodlawn, the young producer moved to the Cameo Theater in St. Paul Pennington fell in love with music and drama as a Square where he pursued his passion while also young boy thanks to a music minister who knew how to learning a great deal about the business side of combine the two to tell the story of Jesus’ life, death and running a playhouse from Jim Zaccaria. Along the resurrection in an especially powerful way. “It was much way, Pennington won multiple ATAC Globe Awards more than the typical church production,” he recalls. “It not only as producer and director but also for sound was very polished, very theatrical. It definitely captured and scenic design. His last show at the Cameo was my attention.” Young Jonathan started singing in the Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story, which is his very church choir at age five and stayed involved through favorite musical, so favorite, in fact, that he could do the end of high school. Encouraged to pursue music as it “all the time,” he admits wistfully, as our interview a career, he did just that, first at Texas Tech and later at is winding down. UTSA from where he graduated with a degree in musical education. Both vocal and instrumental music were part Altogether, he has nearly 100 shows on his resume, of the curriculum, including an emphasis on operatic which prompts Masinter to suggest that they should have a party to mark the actual 100th one, singing, but his heart belonged to musicals, he says. likely to occur this year. The two men have worked Soon after graduation, Pennington launched his first on many projects together and sing each other’s theatrical production company at the Woodlawn Theater, praises. Masinter says Pennington is good to work a building that at that point had been dark and neglected with because he has “an easy touch,” “He allows me for some time. With a loan from his family, he managed to be creative and bring the best out of the music to whip it into shape, and then started producing one and performers.” For his part, Pennington observes musical after another for six-and-a-half years. Unlike that he has learned an important lesson from his most local companies, his Pennington Productions never partner: “Tom taught me to make everything fun. I became a nonprofit, a tradition he still follows. Why tend to be a perfectionist, always working hard, and bother with boards and meetings when he can spend his he reminds me to enjoy it and have fun while I work. We are a good team.” time putting on shows! 22 On The Town | January/February 2017

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hroughout the world, music festivals are usually summertime affairs but in San Antonio it seems to happen the other way around. The trend probably started when the San Antonio Symphony launched its first special winter festival seven years ago and other groups happily joined in, turning January and February into a feast for music lovers.

that San Antonio audiences have not seen before. We believe that music is a medium that brings people together and we have an incredible lineup this year.”

To kick off the proceedings in high spirits, MBAW has chosen two authentic African-American gospel groups – the Jones Family Singers and the Soulfruit Gospel - that will take the stage at the Charline One of those groups is Musical Bridges Around McCombs Empire Theater Feb.12. This will be the the World (MBAW ) whose mission is to bring to first time that gospel music has been included in San Antonio musicians and music from other the fest, notes Grokhovski who enthusiastically cultures across the globe. This Februar y, MBAW adds that these singers are the real thing; “they is presenting its four th International Music actually sing in churches.” Festival of multi-cultural music, featuring ar tists from Cuba, Argentina, Indonesia, Canada, Spain And they also sing at well-known festivals, such as SXSW, the Newport Folk Festival, Monterrey Jazz and Armenia. Festival and others. Consisting of five sisters, two “Everything we do is based on cultural diversity,” brothers and their father, the Jones Family has says MBAW founder and artistic director Anya gained a large following around the U.S., garnering Grokhovski. “Every year, I try to bring new artists glowing reviews along the way. Following their 24 On The Town | January/February 2017

appearance at SXSW in 2014, both NPR and the Rolling Stone magazine described them as “a must-see act.” The other group, Soulfruit, is a Houston-based trio that, according to its website, “delivers a strong message of hope and joy alongside impeccable harmonies.” Musically, their contemporary, urban sound is a product of fusing a range of styles such as R&B, gospel, neo-soul, country, hip-hop and jazz. Unlike gospel, jazz has been part of the international festival before and it will again be represented this time by a number of outstanding artists, including the 13-year-old Indonesian piano prodigy Joel Alexander, whom Grokhovski called “the 8th wonder of the world.” She found him and his trio on the Web and promptly contacted his manager. At first, she thought that the requested honorarium was a bit steep for MBAW but after the young man was featured on 60 Minutes, it quickly became clear that the price would only go up, so she “grabbed him.” The teen’s 2015 debut album, My Favorite Things, received two Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Improvised Solo for his rendition of John Coltrane’s Giant Steps. He is the youngest jazz player ever to receive a Grammy nomination. So,

this is your chance, San Antonio! The trio performs Feb 18 at the Empire. More innovative jazz, but this time with a Cuban flavor, will be heard at the Tobin Center when Cuban-born, multiple award-winner Gonzalo Rubalcaba takes over the stage at the H-E-B Hall on Feb. 26. He is probably the best known artist in the entire lineup with two Grammy wins and 15 Grammy nominations to his name. And virtuosic jazz and world music accordionist Victor Prieto from Galicia, Spain, is scheduled to dazzle you with his unusual use of the accordion at a special Valentine’s Day concert at the Southwest School of Art Chapel. But the riches do not stop there. There’s also innovative Canadian cellist Zoe Keating who creates original music by combining live cello with multi-layered computer recordings of her own playing. (Feb. 16, Southwest School of Art); the JP Jofre Tango Band from Argentina (Feb. 25, Empire), and the musical play Lost Spring, a collaboration between Syrian-Armenian visual artist Kevork Murad and actress-singer Anais Tekerian, also an Armenian. Lost Spring is a multi-disciplinary stage piece that revolves January/February 2017 | On The Town 25

around a contemporary Armenian mother who Photo Credits: tries to talk to her young daughter about the Turkish genocide of the Armenian people in the early 20th century. Murad, who directed the play, Page 22 (L-R) supports the action by painting and drawing live JP Jofre throughout the show. Photo by Mihyun Kang As if all of this was not enough, MBAW will also honor the Symphony’s Mozart Festival with the Zoe Keating Mozart Extravaganza, a concert of the composer’s Photo by C. Laudershade best loved arias performed by alumni vocalists from the Houston Grand Opera Studio. Page 23 (L-R) “A festival is like a celebration,” notes Grokhovski. “I am glad that we can bring to San Antonians a Gonzalo Rubalcaba Photo courtesy MBAW part of the richness of other cultures.” Concerts are free but the venues fill up fast as music lovers from the entire region travel to San Antonio for the occasion. “Last year, people came even from New York and Boston to enjoy our concerts,” says the artistic director. “They couldn’t believe they were free.” To help the organization, however, and to secure reserved seats you can buy a membership for only $60. Now that’s a bargain! For venues and times go to 26 On The Town | January/February 2017

Kevork Mourad Photo courtesy MBAW Page 24 Jones Family Singers Photo courtesy MBAW

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here's a saying in theatre: there are no small parts, only small actors. For the small town of Boerne, Texas (pop. 12,384) there are no small town shows, only big time performances from around the globe, thanks to Boerne Performing Arts (BPA).

“For us, that's it,” said Talford. “ Trying to get our little community worldwide exposure.”

From points near and far (ar tists have also hailed from New York City, Atlanta, Hollywood, and Philadelphia), an eclectic parade of per formers such as The Ten Tenors, Canadian Brass, Voca Their mission statement (”bringing the world of People, New Shanghai Circus, Bowfire, Drumline per forming ar ts to Boerne”) sounds impossibly Live and more have wowed audiences since BPA's ambitious, except that marketing/publicity founding in 2011, when their 2012 inaugural manager and board member Sue Talford has season sold out the 985-seat Champion the visual to prove it. Sure enough, on the Auditorium, their permanent venue. Ever y show organization's web site (boerneper formingar ts. since then has been a sellout. com) is a route map of the world proudly connecting Boerne to Austria, Japan, Canada, Former elementary school music teacher/principal Ireland, Australia, Israel, China, India, and Russia. Talford and her husband Greg—former band Photo byTown Alexander Devora Still 2017 Life Photography 28 On The | January/February

director at University of Houston—were tailor made to start a performing arts organization in Boerne, but it wasn't their idea. BPA board president Carol Schultz knew the Talfords from their work with Kerrville Performing Arts, which brought shows to Boerne. That sparked a plan to bring the couple back, “but only as Boerne Performing Arts,” said Schultz. The volunteerdriven BPA then grew “from the ground up,” with help from local businesses, Boerne Kendall County Economic Development Corporation, Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce, and the Boerne Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“I t ' s ab out get t ing t he k id s i nvo l ve d a n d giving t hem an ap p rec iat ion for th e a r t s,” s a i d Sue. “ We d on' t exp ec t t hem all to g o i nto t h e p er for m ing ar t s, b ut we hop e we ' re c re at i n g aud iences for t he fut ure.”

A strong partnership with the Boerne Independent School District has resulted in thousands of area elementary students—more than 15,000 at last count—attending one-hour matinee versions of the evening performances. Special needs students from all grades are also included. Young audiences are mesmerized by the shows and the interaction with artists, which can range from master classes to students singing onstage with the artists to conducting an orchestra.

I nstead, aud iences are t reate d to a n inter nat ional p anop ly of ar t ist s— a n a dmi t te d gam b le in t he b eginning. S c hult z re me mb e r s t he fir st season wit h a c huc k le. Th e Vi e n n a B oys C hoir was one t hing; a Jap a n e s e S a mu ra i d r um group q uite anot her.

As BPA's ar tistic director, Greg Talford looks for “a variety of things” when booking shows. “I don' t want the same thing over and over, and I especially want to bring in international ar tists that people wouldn' t normally see. There's no sense hiring a singing cowboy. You can go anywhere, any night, to see that.”

“We'd hear from people, 'I'm going to buy season tickets and I will attend, but I can't imagine listening to drumming for two hours.'” The thrilling January/February 2017 | On The Town 29

performance by TAO was a smash, and the group For more info and tickets, boerneperformingarts. returned by popular demand to celebrate BPA's com, 830-331-9079 fifth anniversary in 2016. “If you don't go, you won't know,” added Greg. He too has seen an evolution of not just audiences, but performers who would ask, where in the world is Boerne? “Now I probably get as many calls from agents as I make to agents. They know that the artists are going to be treated well.” This includes catered meals, maybe a barbecue, horseback riding, and other perks in a laid back, friendly atmosphere—a nice break for some of them on nonstop whirlwind tours where one big city can start to look like another.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 28: Russian Seasons Dance Company Page 29:

“Now that they've been here we want them to want Taj Express to come back,” said Sue, who has done her part to give artists from around the world a singular Texas experience. “I have a picture of every member of Page 30: the Vienna Boys Choir sitting on a Longhorn.” Vocalosity: The ACA-Perfect Concert Experience 2017 SEASON Vocalosity, February 14 All photos courtesy of Boerne Performing Arts Russian Seasons Dance Company, February 27 Taj Express, April 7 30 On The Town | January/February 2017

January/February 2017 | On The Town 31

In Search of Israeli Cuisine

16TH ANNUAL JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL AT THE PALLADIUM FEBRUARY 18-22 By Allison Cornwell Photography courtesy Barshop Jewish Community Center


he Barshop Jewish Community Center’s 2017 Jewish Film Festival will be held February 1822 at Santikos Palladium IMAX, a new venue for the event. The Palladium will offer a number of features that will continue to accommodate audiences and provide opportunities to enhance the overall festival experience. In addition to a larger theater of more than 400 seats for the opening night film on Saturday, Feb. 18, the Palladium also features an IMAX screen, state-of-the art audio/visual equipment, and a vast number of dining options for patrons, both at the theater and in the RIM shopping center. Valet parking is also offered Saturdays and Sundays for a fee. This year’s festival will include a total of twelve films at eleven screenings over the span of just five 32 On The Town | January/February 2017

days. The opening night film, Remember, features Academy Award® winner Christopher Plummer, as Zev Guttman, a 90-year old man struggling with memory loss. Following his wife’s death, Zev receives a surprising package from his close friend Max. Zev and Max are survivors of Auschwitz, and the same sadistic guard murdered both of their families – a guard who lives in the U.S. under an assumed identity. With Max’s guidance, Zev embarks on a journey to settle the score with the man who destroyed both their lives. The film also stars Dean Morris, of Breaking Bad fame. Remember, directed by Academy Award® nominated director Atom Egoyan, will keep audiences on the edge of their seats, and will stay with them long after the film has ended. The screening will be held Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8pm, and is preceded by the short romantic comedy Jewish Blind Date.

Fanny’s Journey


Two of this year ’s films are recommended for audiences ages ten and up. On the Map is a documentar y that recounts the stor y of how one Tel Aviv basketball team no one thought could win toppled the four-time defending European Champions and put Israel firmly on the map. Featuring inter views with the Jewish American athletes who made histor y, On the Map combines the pulse -pounding action of a high-stakes game with an incendiar y political situation at the height of the Cold War to deliver a film that honors Israeli heroes, mesmerizes fans of the game, and captures the spirit of a nation triumphant and victorious against all odds. The film will screen Sunday, Feb. 19 at 2pm.

will be screened Monday, Feb. 20 at 2pm; a perfect destination for the President’s Day holiday.

Fanny’s Journey, a French period drama, is an incredible tale of bravery, strength and survival, a story of a daring young girl who will stop at nothing and fear no one. In 1943, 13-year old Fanny and her younger sisters were sent from their home in France to an Italian foster home for Jewish children. When the Nazis arrive in Italy, their caretakers desperately organize the departure of the children to Switzerland. Suddenly left on their own, these eleven children will do the impossible to reach the Swiss border in order to survive. Fanny’s Journey

The 16th Annual Jewish Film Festival will kick off with a Prequel event Saturday, Jan. 7 at the Barshop JCC featuring the comedic documentary, Very Semi-Serious, preceded by the Oscar-nominated comedic short, Ave Maria. Tickets for the kick-off include a pre-film dessert reception, beginning at 7pm. The film screening will begin at 8pm.

Other festival highlights include the film In Search of Israeli Cuisine, about Israel’s budding and dynamic food scene. Having won the James Beard award for embracing these authentic flavors, Israeli-American celebrity chef-restaurateur Michael Solomonov returns to his homeland to discover his culinary heritage anew. From Tel Aviv’s most exclusive eateries, to street bazaars, to simmering pots in family kitchens, In Search of Israeli Cuisine excites the taste buds with multicultural recipes passed on and elevated. The film will be screened Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 4:30pm.

For a complete line-up with film synopses, trailers, tickets, and more information, visit, or call 210-302-6820. January/February 2017 | On The Town 33

34 On The Town | January/February 2017

‘SENIOR MOMENTS’ FOCUSES ON HUMOROUS ASPECTS OF AGING By Susan A. Merkner Photography courtesy San Antonio School for the Performing Arts


or people of a certain age, a memory lapse can be viewed as either a worrisome symptom of serious mental impairment (“Do I have Alzheimer’s?”) or brushed off as a simple “senior moment.”

Local writer and real estate saleswoman Linda Kaufman, 78, structured the show as a series of vignettes on topics related to aging, such as hearing loss, grandchildren and dating.

Her show is largely based on real situations she has For those interested in focusing on the humorous experienced with family and friends. Her husband, aspects of getting older, there’s “Senior Moments,” a 94, has a twin sister in Beverly Hills with whom he is musical production billed as a poignant and hilarious extremely competitive, Kaufman said. view of aging in all its many facets. Each of the 13 vignettes in the show includes original “Senior Moments” will be staged in nine music and lyrics, a writing task Kaufman described performances January, 14-22 in San Antonio. as easy. January/February 2017 | On The Town 35

“It took me about 30 minutes to write each song,” “Aging is a big topic,” Kaufman said. “It can be said Kaufman, who also teaches piano. The writing enlightening, as well as entertaining, to see it from took about four months, she said, adding, “It’s easier someone else’s perspective.” than real estate sales.” Kaufman hopes to mount “Senior Moments” Kaufman has written other musicals that have been again elsewhere, perhaps turning it into a touring staged in San Antonio, such as “Estherella” and shows production. based on Jewish folk tales. Rather than resisting change, seniors should embrace Mark A. Lit, former president and CEO of the Barshop it, she said. “Be open to the positives in life. You can Jewish Community Center, directs “Senior Moments.” either cry about life or make humor about it.” Lit directed two performances of the musical when it debuted in July at the JCC. Aaron Prado returns as “Senior Moments” will be presented in nine music director. weekend shows Jan. 14-22 at the Carol B. Conway Theater, 11210 Disco St., San Antonio, TX 78216. The seven-member cast includes Sonny Melendrez, The theater, which is part of the San Antonio School local broadcaster and motivational speaker, and for the Performing Arts (SASPA), is located near U.S. his wife, Linda. Returning cast members are Sherry Highway 281 North and East Nakoma Drive. Gibbs Houston, DuWayne Greene and Anna Gangai. Tickets are available online at or by calling Kaufman said there is “plenty of funny stuff ” in the 210-495-0129. Valet parking will be available. show. “I write what I know.” 36 On The Town | January/February 2017

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40 On The Town | January/February 2017

Events Calendar


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January/February 2017 Events Calendar Music Notes Red Hot Chili Peppers 1/5, Thu @ 7pm AT&T Center Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue 1/6, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall San Antonio Symphony Mozart’s 40th Symphony 1/6-7, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Deanna Breiwick, soprano Morgan Smith, baritone H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center The Peterson Brothers 1/6, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Symphony of the Hills The Very Best of Broadway 1/7, Sat @ 7:30pm Dr. Eugene Dowdy, conductor Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville

Dale Watson & Ray Benson 1/7, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall San Antonio Symphony Mozart at the Cathedral 1/8, & 22 Sun @ 7pm 2/5, Sun @ 7pm San Fernando Cathedral Back in Black and Eclipse: A Tribute to AC/DC and Journey 1/7, Sat @ 8pm Aztec Theatre Who’s Bad- The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute 1/12, Thu @ 8pm Aztec Theatre San Antonio Chamber Choir Mozart’s Operas 1/13-14, Fri-Sat @ 6:30pm East Rotunda @ the Tobin Center Chubby Checker 1/13, Fri @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels

42 On The Town | January/February 2017

Lukas Graham 1/13, Fri @ 8pm Aztec Theatre Josh Abbott Band 1/13-14, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Reckless Kelly 1/13, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store San Antonio Symphony Mozart & Mendelssohn 1/13-14, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Kolja Blacher, conductor and violin H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center The New Buddy Holly Band 1/14, Sat @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville The Reed Brothers 11/14, Sat@ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Fredericksburg Music Club Miro Quartet 1/15, Sun @ 3pm Fredericksburg United Methodist The Arts at Coker Jelani Eddington, organ 1/15, Sun @ 3pm Coker United Methodist San Antonio Symphony Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Concert 1/15, Sun @ 7pm Andre Raphel, conductor MLK Mass Choir Jerome Roberson, director H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Jackie Venson Live: MLK Weekend 1/15, Sun @ 7:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center Jonathan Butler 1/15, Sun @ 7:30pm Lila Cockrell Theatre Don Henley 1/17, Tue @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre

January/February 2017 | On The Town 43

Red Bull Flying Bach 1/18, Wed @ 8pm Aztec Theatre Bret Graham: Music of Guy Clark & Steve Earle 1/19, Thu @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime 1/19, Thu @ 8pm Aztec Theatre Kane Brown: Ain’t No Stopping Us Now Tour 1/20, Fri @ 8pm Aztec Theatre Oak Ridge Boys 1/20, Fri @ 8pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels San Antonio Symphony From Gospel to Soul to Broadway 1/20-21, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Akiko Fujimoto, conductor Capathia Jenkins, soprano H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center The Dirty River Boys 1/20, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Luckenbach’s 10th Annual Blues Festival 1/21, Sat @ 12pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Tribute to John Denver featuring Ted Vigil 1/21, Sat @ 7pm Rockbox Theater Fredericksburg Victoria Symphony Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice 1/21, Sat @ 7:30pm Victoria Fine Arts Center Harpeth Rising 1/21, Sat @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Mario Flores and the Soda Creek Band 1/21, Sat @ 8pm Anhalt Hall American Aquarium 1/21, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Mid-Texas Sym[hony Sounds Like KPAC 1/21, Sat @ TBD David Mairs, conductor McAllister Auditorium San Antonio College Chippendales 2017: Best Night Ever Tour 1/21, Sat @ 9pm Aztec Theatre San Antonio Chamber Music Society Aeolus Quartet 1/22, Sun @ 3:15pm Temple Beth-El

44 On The Town | January/February 2017

Mid-Texas Symphony Side By Side Concert 1/22, Sun @ 4pm Wupperman Theater Texas Lutheran University Seguin Youth Orchestra of San Antonio Mozart at the Opera 1/22, Sun @ 7pm Troy Peters, conductor Shana Blake Hill, soprano Zachary Gordin, baritone H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Opera San Antonio / SOLI Chamber Ensemble The Land of the Magical Flute 1/24, Tue @ 7:30pm Ruth Taylor Recital Hall Trinity University

Kyle Park 1/27, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Mike and the Moonpies 1/27, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Zane Williams 1/27, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Arts San Antonio What the Day Owes to the Night, Compagnie Herve Koubi 1/28, Sat @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre The Noise Presents Pop Evil 1/28, Sat @ 8pm Aztec Theatre

Aaron Lewis: The Sinner Tour 1/27, Fri @ 7pm Cowboys Dancehall

Gary P. Nunn 1/28, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Carver Cultural Center Presents Gregory Porter 1/27, Fri @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre at the Carver

Hayes Carll 1/28, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall

DNCE 1/27, Fri @ 8pm Aztec Theatre

Musical Offerings Mozart Festival Collaboration 1/29, Sun @ 30p Christ Episcopal Church

San Antonio Symphony Mozart: Posthorn Symphony 1/27-28, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Gerard Schwarz, conductor H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center

UTSA Guest Recital Series Austin Baroque Orchestra 1/29, Sun @ 3pm Recital Hall UTSA Main Campus

Tobin Studio Sessions Carrie Newcomer 1/29, Sun @ 7pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center Tuesday Musical Club Simone Porter 1/31, Tue @ 2pm Laurel Heights United Methodist Reel Big Fish 2/2, Thu @ 7pm Aztec Theatre

Foreigner 2/2, Thu @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre

Shinyribs 2/3, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall

The Hot Club of San Francisco 2/3, Fri @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels

Flatland Cavalry 2/3, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

San Antonio Symphony Mozart Piano Concerti 2/3-4, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Jeremy Denk, piano H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center

Tobin Studio Sessions Tish Hinajosa 2/4, Sat @ 8pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center

Roger Creager 2/4, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Heart of Texas Concert Band The Music of John Barnes Chance 2/5, Sun @ 3pm Mark Rogers, conductor McAllister Auditorium San Antonio College

January/February 2017 | On The Town 45

Texas State University: Stars at Night Concert Series Billy R. Hunter, trumpet 2/8, Wed @ 7:30pm Performing Arts Center Recital Hall Pepe Aguilar 2/9, Thu @ 8:30pm Majestic Theatre Josh Abbott Band 2/10, Fri @ 7pm Cowboys Dancehall Hayes Grier & The Boys Present: Detour 2/10, Fri @ 8pm Aztec Theatre Marty Stuart with Connie Smith 2/10, Fri @ 8pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels San Antonio Symphony Mozart No. 39 & Jupiter 2/10-12, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm Sebastian-Lang Lessing, conductor H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Tobin Studio Sessions Sara Watkins 2/10, Fri @ 8pm Carlos Alvarez Theater at the Tobin Center

Dale Watson 2/10, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Musical Bridges Around The World International Music Festival D’s on Keys 2/11, Sat @ 6pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Hank Williams Tribute by David Church 2/11, Sat @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Tobin Studio Sessions George Winston 2/11, Sat @ 8pm Carlos Alvarez Theater at the Tobin Center Ricky Skaggs 2/11, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Bricks in the Wall 2/11, Sat @ 9pm Aztec Theatre Gary P. Nunn 2/11, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dncehall Musical Bridges Around The World International Music Festival Jones Family Singers & Soul Fruit Gospel 2/12, Sun @ 3pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre

46 On The Town | January/February 2017

Blanco Performing Arts James Dick, piano 2/12, Sun @ 3pm Uptown Blanco Ballroom Kelly Willis Sweetheart Tour 2/12, Sun @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Olmos Ensemble Might Mozart 2/13, Mon @ 7:30pm William Wolfram, piano Laurel Heights United Methodist Mary Jane Presents Juicy J – The Rubba Band Business Tour 2/13, Mon @ 8pm Aztec Theatre Boerne Performing Arts Vocalosity: The ACAPerfect Concert Experience 2/14, Tue @ 7:30pm Champion HS Auditorium Boerne Valentine’s Day with Rodney Crowell 2/14, Tue @ 8pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels Adam Ant: King of the Wild Frontier 2/15, Wed @ 8pm Charlene McCombs Empire Theatre

Aaron Stephens: Music of Otis Redding & Bill Withers 2/16, Thu @ 8pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels Valentine’s Super Love Jam 2/17, Fri @ 7:30pm Illusions Theater at the Alamodome History of Rock n’ Roll From the 560s to Today 2/17-18, Fri @ 8pm Sat @4pm Rockbox Theater Fredericksburg San Antonio Symphony Jurassic Park in Concert 2/17-19, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm Majestic Theatre Shooter Jennings & Waymore’s Outlaws 2/17, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Cory Morrow 2/17, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Hal Ketchum 2/17, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Mid-Texas Symphony Concert No. 4 – Big Band Blowout 2/18, Sat @ 7:30pm David Mairs, conductor San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble New Braunfels Civic Center Musical Bridges Around The World International Music Festival Joey Alexander Trio 2/18, Sat @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Billy Mata and the Texas Tradition 2/18, Sat @ 8pm Anhalt Hall Eric Johnson 2/18, Sat @ 8pm Aztec Theatre Ray Wylie Hubbard 2/18, Sat @ 8:30pm John T. Floore Country Store Fredericksburg Music Club Alamo Metro Chorus 2/19, Sun @ 3pm Fredericksburg United Methodist Steven “N” Seagulls 2/21, Tue @ 7:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center

San Antonio Choral Society Mozart: Great Mass in C Minor 2/22, Tue @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Arts San Antonio The Five IrishTenors 2/23, Thu @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Symphony of the Hills Invitation to Dance 2/23, Thu @ 7:30pm Dr. Eugene Dowdy, conductor Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Musical Bridges Around The World International Music Festival Mozart Extravaganza 2/24, Fri @7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Laser Spectacular Presents The Music of Pink Floyd 2/24, Thu @ 8pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Yacht Rock Revue 2/24, Fri @ 8pm Aztec Theatre January/February 2017 | On The Town 47

San Antonio Chamber Choir The Mozart Effect 2/24, Fri @ 7:30pm Rotunda at the Tobin Center 2/25, Sat @ 7:30pm University United Methodist Church 2/26, Sun @ 3pm Rotunda at the Tobin Center San Antonio International Piano Competition Piano Series Younggun Kim 2/25, Sat @ TBD Luella Bennack Music Center Concert Hall University of the Incarnate Word Musical Bridges Around The World International Music Festival JP Jofre Tango Band 2/25, Sat @7-30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Victoria Symphony Master Series 4 – The Romantic Fourth 2/25, Sat @ 7:30pm Darryl One, conductor Jose Franch-Ballester, clarinet Victoria Fine Arts Center

48 On The Town | January/February 2017

San Antonio Chamber Music Society Les Amies Trio 2/26, Sun @ 3:15pm Temple Beth-El Jimmy Eat World 2/26, Sun @ 8pm Aztec Theatre The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio Ballads of the Borderlands 2/27, Mon @ 7:30pm St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Fat Tuesday with Alex Meixner 2/28, Tue @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels

Live Theater North Park Lexus Broadway in San Antonio The Illusionists (touring) 1/10-15, Tue-Thu @ 7:30pm Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Little Overtime Theater The Last Waltz 1/13-22, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm

The Renaissance Guild Watch Your Step: The Men of Eastwood 1/13-22, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 4pm Little Carver Civic Center The Playhouse San Antonio Fool for Love 1/13-2/5, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Cellar Theatre at San Pedro Playhouse Harlequin Theatre at Fort Sam Houston Deathtrap 1/13-2/25, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Senior Moments 1/14-29, Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 1pm & 5pm Carol B. Conway Theatre at San Antonio School of Performing Arts Roxie Theatre The Rat Pack Lounge 1/14-2/5, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3:30pm Tobin Center Edge Series The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron (touring) 1/19-21, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pn Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center

The Overtime Theater Generic Eric 1/20-29, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm 2/3-5, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 7pm 2/10-11, Fri-Sat @ 8pm 2/17-26, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 7pm Greg Barrios Theater Basic Training 1/28, Sat @ 8pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center BMW of San Antonio Broadway Series Mamma Mia (touring) 1/29, Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall At the Tobin Center Drumline Live! (touring) 2/1, Wed @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall At the Tobin Center Sheldon Vexler Theatre North Shore Fish 2/2-26, Thu @ 7:30pm Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm (No shows on Fridays) Boerne Community Theatre Gargoyles and Scarecrow Sins 2/3-18 Thu @ 7:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm January/February 2017 | On The Town 49

Circle Arts Theatre – New Braunfels The Drowsy Chaperone 2/3-26, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm Arts San Antonio Peking Acrobats 2/10, Fri @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Elizabeth Huth Coates Theatre Last of the Red Hot Lovers 2/10-11, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm 2/17-19, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm 2/24-25, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Ingram The Wimberley Players The Miss Firecracker Contest 2/10-3/5, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2:30pm Wimberley Playhouse The Playhouse San Antonio The Secret Garden 2/10-3/12, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Russell Hill Rogers Theatre at San Pedro Playhouse Woodlawn Theatre Pippin 2/10-3/12, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 2/16-3/5, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (dinner served @ 6:30pm) Sun @ 2:30pm (lunch served @ 1pm) S.T.A.G.E in Bulverde at the Krause House Fredericksburg Theater Company Hello Dolly! 2/17-3/5, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Steve W. Shepherd Theater The Classic Theatre San Antonio The Tempest 2/17-3/12, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Roxie Theatre All Shook Up 2/18-3/19, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3:30pm BMW of San Antonio Broadway Series Into the Woods (touring) 2/23, Thu @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall At the Tobin Center Tobin Edge Series Disenchanted: The Musical (touring) 2/24-26, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center

50 On The Town | January/February 2017

Dance Arts San Antonio Bale Folclorico Da Bahia 1/12, Thu @ 7:30pm Lila Cockrell Theatre Carver Cultural Center Presents Dallas Black Dance Theatre 2/11, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre at the Carver Ballet San Antonio The Sleeping Beauty 2/17-19, Fri @ 7:30pm Sat @2pm & 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Boerne Performing Arts Russian Seasons Dance Company 2/27, Mon @ 7:30pm Champion HS Auditorium Boerne

Opera Alamo City Opera Cinderella / Rossini’s La Cenerentola 2/4-5, Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Jo Long Theatre at the Carver

Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio Opera San Antonio Realizations: Tristan Und Isolde 2/16 & 18, Thu & Fri @ 8pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center

Cinema Fathom Events The Met Live – Nabucco 1/7 & 11 Carousel 1/8 & 11 Singing in the Rain 1/15 &18 Lost in London Live 1/19 The Met Live – Romeo & Juliette 1/21 & 25 Bolshoi Ballet – Sleeping Beauty 1/22, Dirty Dancing 1/29 & 2/1 Bolshoi Ballet – Swan Lake 2/5 An Affair to Remember 2/12 & 15 Disney’s Newsies Broadway Musical 2/16, 18 & 22 The Met Live - Rusalka 2/25 For theater locations and show times for these performance visit

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Comendy Brad Williams 1/1, Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Ralph Harris 1/1, Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club Dave Tobey 1/4, Wednesday @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Danny Ingle and Friends 1/4, Wed @ 8:30pm Improv Comedy Club Pablo Francisco 1/5-7, Thu @ 8:30pm Fri & Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Improv Comedy Club Damien Lemon 2/5-9, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Aaron Aryanpur 1/11, Wed @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Paul Ogata 1/11-15, Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club Erin Foley 1/12-15, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Monty Franklin 1/18-22, Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club Bobby Lee 1/20-22, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Miranda Sings 1/24, Wed @ 8pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center

Bill Engvall 1/8, Sun @7pm H-E-B Performance Hall At the Tobin Center

Jay LaFarr 1/25, Wed @ 8pm Improv Comecy Club

Danny Ingle and Friends 1/8, Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club

Walter Campbell 1/25, Wed @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

52 On The Town | January/February 2017

Ali Siddig 1/26-29, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Tony Hinchcliffe 1/26-28, Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Improv Comedy Club Ron White 1/28, Sat @ 7pm & 10pm Majestic Theatre Ringside with Jim Ross 1/29, Sun @ 2:30pm Improv Comedy Club Vic Henley 2/1, Wed @ 8pm 2/3-4, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Gina Brillon 2/1-4, Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Improv Comedy Club Jay Leno 2/3, Fri @ 8pm Majestic Theatre Comedy-Taylor Mason Style 2/4, Sat @ 7pm Rockbox Theater Fredericksburg

Tom Simmons 2/8-12, , Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club Mike Yard 2/9-12. Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Kathleen Madigan 2/10, Fri @ 8pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre DC Benny 2/14-18, Tue @ 8pm Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Improv Comedy Club Leanne Morgan 2/15-18, Tue-Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club XIII Love & Happiness Comedy Show 2/18. Sat @ 7:30pm Illusions Theater at the Alamodome Matt Golightly 2/19, Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club

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Bert Kreischer 2/23-26, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:16pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Felipe Esparza 2/23-26, Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club Billy Crystal 2/24, Fri @ 8pm Majestic Theatre

Children's Disney’s The Lion King Jr. 1/6-8, Fri @ 7:30pm Sat @ 2:30pm Sun @ 3:30pm Roxie Theatre Willy Wonka Jr 1/12-15, Thu-Fri @ 7pm Sat-Sun @ 3pm & 7pm Woodlawn Theatre Roxaboxen 1/13-2/19 The Magik Theatre for exact days and times Odd Squad Live! 1/16, Mon @ 6pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Xanadu Jr. 2/10-12, Fri @ 7:30pm Sat & Sun @ 3:30pm Roxie Theatre





2017 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Student Art Show 2/5-26

Our Community: The History and Heritage of New Braunfels, Texas Thru 2/12

Sounds of the West Settling the West in American Popular Songs 1/7, Sat @ 3pm

Painted Churches of Texas Thru 3/5

Fall International Artists in Residence Exhibit Kim Morgan Kim Faler Lily Cox-Richard Denise Markonish, curator Thru 1/10 BLUE STAR CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM Plexus C18 Thru October 2019 Reclaimed by Nature Thru 1/8 Beneath Metropolis Thru 1/8 Flexible Foundation Thru 1/8 Hold Still Thru 1/8 30th Anniversary Exhibit 2/2-5/7 BIHL HAUS ARTS On & Off Fredericksburg Road 2/18-19 On & Off Fredericksburg Road Group Show Thru 3/17

54 On The Town | January/February 2017

210/West Gallery Talk: Near Death Experiences and the Ex Voto 1/10, Tue @ 6:30pm 210/West Gallery Talk: Ledger Art: Stories on Paper 2/14, Tue @ 6:30pm Sounds of the West Conjunto Meets Country and Western 2/21, Tue @ 6:30pm 2017 Native Film Series Four Sheets to the Wind 2/28, Tue @ 6:30pm CENTRO DE ARTES Our Comida, Our Cultura Thru 2/17 GUADALUPE CULTURAL ARTS CENTER Artist Lab Thru 2/3

Foreign by Land, Native by Heart Thru 4/9 1000 Parks and A Line in the Sky Thru 4/16 Texans One and All Ongoing 28th Annual Asian Festival 2/4, Sat / 10am-5pm LINDA PACE FOUNDATION Secondary Stories Thru 7/29 McNAY ART MUSEUM Jennifer Steinkamp: Selections from the Botanic Series Thru 1/8 Art Matters 16: John Fraser Thru 1/8

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Telling Tales: Contemporary Narrative Photography Thru 1/15 Living and Collecting Mexico: Gifts from Susan Toomey Frost Thru 2/5 Parlour Games: Ruloff Kip’s Toy Theatre Thru 2/6 Leigh Anne Lester: A Variety of Forms Recovering from Transubstantiated Clarity Thru 7/30 Monet to Matisse: A Century of French Moderns 3/1-6/4 MEXICAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE Diego and Frida: A Smile in the Middle of the Way Thru 1/29 THE MUSEUM OF WESTERN ART KERRVILLE The Legend Lives: Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection Ongoing

SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN Art in the Garden: Scattering Screen by Alyson Shotz Thru June 2017 SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART Carlos Merida: Selections from the Permanent Collection Thru 1/29 The Magic of Clay and Fire: Japanese Contemporary Ceramics Thru Fall 2017 Julian Onderdonk and the Texan Landscape 1/20-4/23 Of Country and Culture: The Lam Collection of Australian Aboriginal Art 2/24-5/14 SOUTHWEST SCHOOL OF ART Beck Whitehead & Pulparazzi Thru 1/15 Hadar Sobol Thru 1/15 Erin Neve Thru 2/26 Todd Christensen Thru 2.26

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Southwest School of Art Faculty Critical Mass 1/26-2/26 WITTE MUSEUM National Geographic: Earth Explorers Thru 1/22 Texas Art of Early Days to Now: The Witte Collection Thru 5/29 Rudolf Staffel: Gathering Light Thru 5/29 Above and Beyond 2/18-5/7

Miscellaneous San Antonio Coffee Festival 1/7, Sat @ 10am La Villita Historic Arts Village U.S. Army All-American Bowl & San Antonio Sports All-Star Game 1/7, Sat @ 12pm Alamodome San Antonio Cocktail Conference 1/11-15 Sheraton Gunter Hotel City of San Antonio MartinLuther King, Jr. March 1/16, Mon @ 10am Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy

San Antonio Restaurant Week 1/16-28 for details Neil Degrasse Tyson: The Cosmic Perspective 1/19, Thu @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Monster Jam 1/21-22, Sat @ 7pm Sun @ pm Alamodome WWE Royal Rumble 1/29, Sun @ 5:30pm Alamodome Michael Carbonaro Live! 1/29, Sun @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo 2/9-25 AT&T Center Entertainment after Rodeo Performances 2/9, Thu @ 7pm Cody Johnson 2/10, Fri @ 7:30pm Little Big Town 2/11, Sat @ 1pm & 7:30pm Sam Hunt 2/12, Sun @ 1pm Maddie & Tae 2/13, Mon @ 7pm John Fogerty 2/14, Tue @ 7pm For King & Country

2/15, Wed @ 7pm Chris Young 2/16, Thu @ 7pm Willie Nelson & Family 2/17, Fri @ 7:30pm The Band Perry 2/18, Sat @ 1pm Chris Janson 2/18, Sat @ 7:30pm Chase Rice 2/19, Sun @ 1pm Dan + Shay 2/19, Sun @ 7:30pm Edwin Luna y Trakalosa de Monterrey 2/20, Mon @ 7pm Fifth Harmony 2/21, Tue @ 7pm Dierks Bentley 2/22, Wed @ 7pm Jake Owen 2/23, Thu @ 7pm Huey Lewis & The News 2/24, Fri @ 7:30pm Rascal Flatts 2/25, Sat @ 1pm Aaron Watson 2/25, Sat @ 7:30pm Josh Turner Jewish Film Festival 2/18-22 Embassy 14 Theatre filmfestival

Oden Dupeyron 2/19, Sat @ 8pm Lila Cockrell Theatre The No Sleep Podcast 2/19, Sat @ 7pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center CineFestival 2/24-3/4 Guadalupe Theater

Photo Credits Page 42 (L-R) Deanna Breiwick Photo by MLE Jayne Photography Chubby Checker Courtesy Brauntex Theatre Akiko Fujimoto Photo by Eric Green Ted Vigil Photo by Heather Bunker Page 44 (L-R) Mario Flores Courtesy Alolus Quartet Courtesy SA Chamber Music Society

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Troy Peters Courtesy YOSA

Ray Wylie Hubbard Photo by Courtney Chavanell

Little Big Town Courtesy SA Stock Show & Rodeo

Kyle Parks Courtesy

Page 49 (L-R)

Page 45 (L-R)

Les Amies Trio Courtesy SA Chamber Music Society

Maddie & Tae Courtesy SA Stock Show & Rodeo

Gary P. Nunn Courtesy Carrie Newcomer Courtesy Tobin Center Simone Porter Photo by Jeff Fasano Marty Stuart Photo by Alysse Gafkjen Page 46 (L-R) Connie Smith Courtesy Sara Watkins Photo by Kaarten deBoer George Winston Courtesy James Dick Courtesy Page 47 (L-R)

Alex Meixner Photo by Nicole C. Kibert

John Fogerty Courtesy SA Stock Show & Rodeo Page 56 (L-R)

Page 50 (L-R)

Willie Nelson Courtesy SA Stock Show & Rodeo

Senior Moments Courtesy Linda Kaufman

The Band Perry Courtesy SA Stock Show & Rodeo

Mamma Mia Courtesy Tobin Center

Dierks Bentley Courtesy SA Stock Show & Rodeo

Drumline Live Courtesy Tobin Center

Huey Lewis and the News Courtesy SA Stock Show & Rodeo

Erin Foley Photo by John Rudoff

Page 57 (L-R)

Page 52 (L-R)

Rascal Flatts Courtesy SA Stock Show & Rodeo

Jay Leno Courtesy Majestic Theatre

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Courtesy Tobin Center

Kathleen Madigan Courtesy

Page 58 (L-R) Reckless Kelly Courtesy

William Wolfram Courtesy

Leanne Morgan Courtesy

Vocalosity Courtesy Boerne Performing Arts

Felipe Esparza Courtesy Improv Comedy Club

Page 48 (L-R)

Page 54 (L-R)

Heather McDonald Courtesy Tobin Center

Michael Hix Courtesy Rockbox Theater

Pablo Francisco Courtesy Improv Comedy Club

Russian Seasons Dance Courtesy Boerne Performing Arts

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Taj Express Courtesy Boerne Performing Arts

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Culinary Arts 62-70

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Mark Bohanan Brings Energy, Experience to Boerne with Peggy’s on the Green By: Olivier J. Bourgoin (aka. Olivier the Wine Guy) Photography Greg Harrison


heck your memories at the door. Forget any remembrances you may harbor about the space that for decades was known as the Limestone Grill. Venerable as it may have been, the time for a change of atmosphere and culinary concept was well past due.

It is reputed to be haunted by the ghosts of its original owners, Erastus and Sarah Reed. We sat down for a question-and-answer session with Bohanan.

Q: You’ve been successful with your two ventures Enter the vision of chef Mark Bohanan and the in downtown San Antonio. What prompted you to charismatic and contagious energy he brings to open another restaurant? the table. A: San Antonio is coming this way, and me and With his patented and pronounced, yet endearing, my wife and our daughter live this way, so it made Southern drawl, Bohanan exclaims: “You know the sense to expand in this direction. The space was old sayin’ about the glass being half-full or half- a mess. The kitchen was laid out all wrong but empty? I don’t believe in it at all. I look at life as if we did some remodeling and here we are. There the glass is always half-empty because if you think are no rose petals in them, but we modernized it’s half-full, it’s gonna have a tendency to make and upgraded the restrooms, and we offer you complacent, even lazy. It’s a loser philosophy. complimentary valet parking. But if you look at it as being half-empty, you’re always gonna be workin’ hard to keep it full and Q: How did you select the name? you’ll never go below half. That’s my philosophy.” A: I don’t have a lot of formal training. I didn’t go to With a successful one-two punch in downtown San the (Culinary Institute of America) CIA or anything Antonio, with Bohanan Steakhouse and Bohanan like that. I got my degree in business from (Texas) bar downstairs on Houston Street, Mark Bohanan is A&M University but I spent a lot of time in the still working hard to keep his glass above half-full. kitchen watching my grandma make everything from scratch. Peggy is my mother’s name. I added Located on the bank of Cibolo Creek and originally “on the green” as a nod to Tavern on the Green. known as the Reed House, the historic building that houses Peggy’s on the Green -- but is not affiliated Q: How would you describe the style of food you’re with it -- was built in 1859. Once Boerne’s only serving at Peggy’s? stagecoach stop, it has been known as Ye Kendall Inn since 1909 and once hosted Jefferson Davis, A: I would say that it’s refined Southern. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Robert E. Lee. Unpretentious, relaxed elegant. No jacket or tie January/February 2017 | On The Town 63

required. We have a full bar outside so you can grab a cocktail on the patio. We brought in some of the steaks from Bohanan’s because that’s what made us famous as well as some of the other favorites. People like our crab cakes and our pork chops. Also the soft-shell crabs, the shrimp and grits. and the quail appetizers are popular. But this is not downtown. We have a different clientele in a different market so we’ve adopted a different train of thoughts. We cater to casual elegance, and we try to impress by meeting or exceeding expectations. Q: What are your personal favorite items on the menu? A: I’m partial to steaks but this here is no steakhouse. I like the pork chops, and I love the shrimp, yes, I do. But as far as what are the most popular items with our guests, the quail is No. 1 followed by the Chicken Skins. They’re authentic, simple; no fancy foo-foo! We use the best grease we can buy, and some of our sides are popular, too: the Portobello Mushroom, Baked Squash, Mexican Street Corn and the Lobster Mac and Cheese. Q: Are you planning any other ventures in the future? A: We’re looking at some other things. Maybe in Austin. I’m not sure. But yeah! We’ll probably do a little something else down the road. But this and any future projects are always gonna have a different feel than Bohanan’s. There I had to make a living, buy a home, etc. But now, I’ll be 50 soon and married 18 years. This is over the top, without the pressure. It’s not the same financial guidelines. I didn’t have to do this. There are things I do because I want to. I love doing what I do. … And keeping the glass half-full! PEGGY’S ON THE GREEN 128 West Blanco Road Boerne, TX. / 830.572.5000 Open for dinner Sun. - Th. 5 p.m - 9 p.m. Fri. & Sat. 5 p.m - 10 p.m. Open for brunch Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m - 2 p.m

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San Antonio Cocktail Conference January 11-15 Photography courtesy SA Cocktail Conference


an Antonio Cocktail Conference tickets are on sale now, and you won’t want to miss a single sip of the cool events. Step away from your 2016 holiday gatherings to make serious par ty plans for 2017.

their new Women Shaking Iit Up. , but this time it ’s Cookies and Cocktails!

SACC will partner with the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas to present cocktails from female bartenders, thoughtfully paired with bites from local female The San Antonio Cocktail Conference (SACC), chefs, each accompanied by a Girl Scout cookie – hosted by Houston Street Charities, offers - flavor. Held again at Plaza Juarez at La Villita on gives you five days and nights of par ties, product Jan. 11, this one is a party to anticipate. tastings, seminars and whimsy – all focused on the creative craft of cocktails. Besides the The SA Cocktail Conference Opening Night at the sheer joy of the events themselves, guests will Majestic has been a beloved event for years, but you’ll feel good knowing that 100 percent of the this year SACC has made some changes. Opening event ’s profits from Houston St. Charities events Night at the DoSeum will be held Jan. 12 at San are donated to children’s charities. Antonio’s children’s museum. Whimsical hijinks and fantasy performances from stilt-walkers, jugglers This year ’s SACCe 2017 SACC events promise to and more will be a part of the entertainment. be bigger and bolder than ever, featuring new event venues and twists on favorites. After last Returning are old favorites including Waldor f year ’s success, the conference is bringing back on the Prairie Jan. 13 at the St. Anthony Hotel 66 On The Town | January/February 2017

and Stroll on Houston Street Jan. 14. The regal setting of the St. Anthony offers glamour and style that matches the cocktails being ser ved, and the street par ty that takes over two blocks of Houston Street features a live orchestra on the plaza and food and drinks at ever y stop for two blocks. The cour tyard at Bohanan’s is always a photo-wor thy spot, and the pop-ups along the way add the element of surprise to the par ty.

ticket with the potential for lots of learning. Finish off the weekend at the Spanish Governor ’s Palace for Brunch in Old San Antonio on Jan. 15. Immerse yourself in San Antonio’s heritage in the courtyard of a historic landmark, accompanied by craft cocktails and brunch. Tours of the original adobe building, the furnished rooms and artwork will be available throughout the morning.

Another new addition to the schedule is After Hours at SACC – A Draught Par ty at Alamo Beer Brewer y on Jan. 14. Held from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., the event features draught beer and draught cocktails, with live music and late -night eats.

Experience a taste of the conference or bite off the whole cocktail menu: Tickets are available to individual events and tastings, or on a multi-event pass called the High-Jinx Pass, named for this year’s signature cocktail. Or support the conference in style with a Premium Pass that will ensure you The treasure of SA Cocktail Conference is the schedule bump the lines at the door and offers access to a of seminars on Jan. 13 and 14. Classes and workshops private seating area with wine service during the offer all kinds of cocktail knowledge. This year’s classes headliner events. Additionally, SACC partners with are offered on three tracks: Cocktail Industry, Cocktail the St. Anthony Hotel and the Valencia Hotel for Aficionado and Cocktail Rookie. Seating is limited. rates during conference week, so guests can just take an elevator home after partying! Add the Tasting Suites to the schedule for Jan. 14. Guests may stroll from suite to suite in the Tickets sell out each year; advance purchases Valencia Hotel to meet brand ambassadors and recommended. For a full schedule of events, distillers from all over the world, sharing their visit or email spirits, blends, mixes and mixers. It’s an affordable January/February 2017 | On The Town 67

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© Danil Chepko |


‘BLUE MOUNTAIN’ POISED TO PRODUCE WINE AGAIN By Olivier J. Bourgoin (aka “Olivier, the Wine Guy”)


he first vineyards planted in North America were located in Texas in 1659. Over the years, West Texas has had its share of pioneering winemaking ventures, some more fledging than others. Blue Mountain Trail Vineyard is one of them.

Before this venture, Adam had planted a vineyard in Natalia. Jack, who also is president of the San Antonio Regional Wine Guild, also had dabbled in amateur beer and winemaking. Adam’s Medina County vineyard is planted with Grenache, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Lenoir. He is experimenting Planted between 1972 and 1977 by Gretchen Glasscock, with harvesting two crops per year. the vineyard once produced wines that were sold under the Blue Mountain label until Pierce’s Disease The first commercial release of Chateau Wright wiped out most of its vines in 2003. Unfortunately wine from Blue Mountain vineyard will be a very for some of those gutsy wine pioneers at the time, small release of 2016 Viognier, to be released in the Texas wine industry, as it is rightfully referred to 2017. “For right now, I’m using the facilities at Blue today, had not yet then become one. Things being as Lotus winery in Seguin which is owned by Mike tough as they were then, the previous owners of Blue Poole to make my wine,” Jack said. “This first run is Mountain Vineyard threw in the proverbial wine- and only going to make about 60 gallons, which is just sweat-soaked towel. about 22 cases.”


Not to be confused with Blue Mountain Vineyard located in the Lehigh Valley AVA of Pennsylvania, or the Blue Mountain Vineyards in Berthoud, Colorado, or Blue Mountain Vineyards in Dahlonega, Georgia, this Texas beauty has been revived. Fast-forward a decade or so, and we find San Antonian Jack Wright, along with partner Adam White, now the proud owners of this unique vineyard located at an elevation of 5,400 feet above sea level -- the highest among all Texas vineyards. The altitude as well as the geographical location provide plenty of sun but not too much heat, which is pretty ideal for growing grapes.

“I saw an opportunity and bought the land in 2011 at the tail-end of three consecutive years of draught,” Jack said. “People thought I was crazy but the unique climate here, high in the Davis Mountains, is exceptional for growing grapevines.” The original vineyard had 17 acres under vine; now there are 21 acres planted, with half of that under trellises. There are 30 miles of road on property. Originally, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Merlot were produced here. Other grape varietals have been introduced, such as Tannat and Tempranillo, for example, and they are well-suited to the area’s climate and disease-resistant.

Jack says he prefers to age win in Hungarian oak barrels. “It’s the same species of tree as French oak but because it’s grown in a colder climate, it produces tighter wood grain density, and as a result it’s one-third heavier then French oak but it’s also a lot cheaper,” he said. “A French barrel can set you back $1,200 and up, whereas Hungarian oak is only $500 to $600.” Jack obviously is passionate about wine in general and about his vineyard project in particular. Among his inventions are several items he has created to improve winemaking or grape-growing, including a custom vineyard tractor and a bottling pumping system. With one of his inventions, Wright brags about having been able to plant as many as 1,700 vines in one week. “We are experimenting with fishmeal as a fertilizer,” he said. “The vines love it.” CHATEAU WRIGHT AT THE BLUE MOUANTAIN TRAIL VINEYARD 125 Blue Mountain Trail, Fort Davis, TX 79734 210-381-8290 January/February 2017 | On The Town 69

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Visual Arts 72-82

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he McNay Art Museum’s new director, Rich Aste, helped write the book on “French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950.” Actually, he co-authored the catalog with Lisa Small at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, where they curated a national touring exhibit of 65 paintings selected from one of the country’s best collections of French Impressionism, including 19th and 20th-century superstars such as Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Paul Cezanne, Marc Chagall, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas, “Monet to Matisse: A Century of French Moderns” runs Feb. 22 to May 21 at the McNay, providing an opportunity to compare the Brooklyn paintings with Impressionist works collected at about the same time by Marion Koogler McNay, the museum’s founder. Aste served as the European curator for the Brooklyn Museum for six years before becoming director of the McNay last September.

The exhibit spans the development of modern art from naturalism to abstraction centered on the avant-garde of Paris. “Telling Tales: Contemporary Narrative Photography” continues through Jan. 15 at the McNay, and “Living and Collecting Mexico: Gifts from Susan Toomey Frost” runs through Feb. 5. San Antonio art dealer Harry A. Halff and independent art researcher Elizabeth Halff spent 20 years tracking down about 1,200 works by San Antonio’s best-known artist to complete “Julian Onderdonk: A Catalogue Raisonné,” which also features an essay by Emily Ballew Neff, former curator of American painting and sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. An accompanying exhibit, “Julian Onderdonk and the Texas Landscape,” debuted last fall at the Houston museum and is scheduled for Jan. 20 to April 23 at the San Antonio Museum of Art. January/February 2017 | On The Town 73

SAMA ventures Down Under with “Of Country and Culture: The Lam Collection of Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art” Feb. 24 to May 14. Inspired by the 2000 traveling exhibit “Spirit Country,” long-time SAMA trustee May Lam and her daughter, Dorothy, traveled across Australia acquiring works that formed the basis of the 100-object collection May and her husband, Victor, have donated to SAMA. Created by Aboriginal artists since the mid-1990s, the collection ranges from the intricately painted bark paintings of Arnhem Land to the pukumani grave poles of the Tiwi Islands.

exhibit features nearly 100 photographs by their friends and family, including Guillermo Kahlo, Edward Weston, Manuel Álvarez Bravo and Juan Guzmán. The exhibit originated at the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo in Mexico City.

Mexican, Mexican-American and Tex-Mex food culture is the tasty subject of “Our Comida, Our Cultura,” a San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture exhibit through Feb. 17 at Centro de Artes in Market Square featuring cuisine-oriented work by seven San Antonio artists: Rolando Briseňo, David Casillas, Jimena Marin, Design and test fly your own supersonic jet in “Above and Destiny Mata, Arlene Mejorado, Mark Menjivar and Beyond,” probably the most immersive and interactive Chuck Ramirez. aeronautical exhibit ever, Feb. 18 to May 7 at the Witte Museum. Pilot a drone into the eye of a hurricane, fly like With support by the Surdna Foundation, the Guadalupe a bird in a futuristic wing-flapping aircraft and take an Cultural Arts Center presents the third “Artist Lab” exhibit elevator ride to the edge of space using flight simulation, through Feb. 3 showcasing six young, emerging San augmented and virtual reality. The gravity-defying exhibit, Antonio artists: Lisette Chavez, Raul Gonzalez, Sarah Fox, which will tour to London, Tokyo and Riyadh, is produced Jose Villalobos, Andrei Renteria and Kristel Puente. by Evergreen Exhibitions in association with Boeing The 2017 On and Off Fred Road Studio Tour, the city’s and in collaboration with NASA and the Smithsonian’s largest do-it-yourself art walk, is set for Feb. 18-19 with National Air and Space Museum. The history and science a kickoff autograph party Feb. 17 at Bihl Haus Arts on museum is preparing for the unveiling of the expanded, Fredericksburg Road. Wander through artists’ studios renovated new Witte in March. and backyard sanctuaries seeing pop-up exhibits with large-scale ceramic sculptures, metalwork, photography, “Diego and Frida: A Smile in the Middle of the Way” beadwork, embroidery and a wide variety of paintings runs through Jan. 29 at the Mexican Cultural Institute and other media. The On and Off Fred group show in HemisFair Park. Tracing the lives of Mexico’s most continues through March 11 at Bihl Haus, where you can famous artist couple, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, the pick up a catalog and map. 74 On The Town | January/February 2017

In 1986 the city’s contemporary artists created the Blue Star Art Space, now the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, which celebrates with a “30th Anniversary Exhibition” Feb. 2 to May 7 that will re-interpret the first “Blue Star Exhibition.” Also on tap are solo shows by Jessica Halonen, John Steck Jr. and Julia Barbosa Landois. The Linda Pace Foundation presents the premier of “Love Lettering,” the third video in a series by Rivane Neuenschwander, 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 2 in the SPACE Gallery in CHRISpark with literary performances on the themes of love and chance from Gemini Ink. The Brazilian artist’s “Secondary Stories” installation, which is somewhat like being inside a giant cascaron, continues through July 29. This spring, the foundation expects to break ground for the 14,000-square-foot Ruby City, an exhibition space for Linda Pace’s contemporary art collection designed by famed British architect David Adjaye, whose Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture opened last fall in Washington, D.C.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits:

Page 72: Berthe Morisot (French, 1841–1895). Madame Boursier and Her Daughter, circa 1873. Oil on canvas, 29 5/16 x 22 3/8 in. (74.5 x 56.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 29.30. Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum

Page 73: Patrick Mung Mung, Australian (Gija, Kimberley), born 1948 Purnululu, 2007 Natural ochre and pigments on canvas, h. 35 7/16 in.; w. 47 ¼ in. Gift of the Lam Family, 2016.14.50 © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VISCOPY, Australia Photography: Peggy Tenison Page 74-75: (L-R) Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926). Rising Tide at Pourville, 1882. Oil on canvas, 26 x 32 in. (66 x 81.3cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Horace O. Havemeyer, 41.1260. Photo: Brooklyn Museum Unknown Artist Australian (Tiwi, Tiwi Islands) Figural Pukamani Pole, n.d. Ironwood with natural ochre pigments, h. 25 ¾ in.; d. 5 ¾ in. Gift of the Lam Family, 2016.14.35 Photography: Peggy Tenison Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796–1875). The Young Woman of Albano, 1872. Oil on canvas, 29 3/16 x 25 13/16 in. (74.1 x 65.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Horace O. Havemeyer, 42.196. Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum Alfred Sisley (British, active France, 1839–1899). Flood at Moret, 1879. Oil on canvas, 21 1/4 x 28 1/4 in. (54 x 71.8cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of A. Augustus Healy, 21.54. Photo: Brooklyn Museum January/February 2017 | On The Town 75

JD Morera

Michelle Love

ON AND OFF FREDERICKSBURG ROAD Studio Tour Reaches a 10 Year Milestone 70 Artists Participate in Neighborhood Gallery Walk Feb. 18-19 By Rudy Arispe Photography courtesy Bihl Haus Arts


hen Dale Jenssen moved to San Antonio, specifically the Fredericksburg Road area 10 years ago, she discovered the nonprofit arts organization Bihl Haus Arts and befriended the executive director, Kellen McIntyre.

homes and studios of local artists.

“It’s definitely evolved from 27 artists to more than 70 participating artists,” Jenssen said, and that includes the artist herself, who has been showcasing her works ever since the gallery stroll began in 2007. She invites Through her involvement with Bihl Haus Arts, she the public to stop by the Jenssen Studio on West learned that the area is home to a number of thriving Woodlawn Avenue during the 10th annual On and Off artists. Jenssen along with McIntyre, Eric Lane and Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. artists David and Maria Guerrero struck upon the idea Saturday, Feb. 20, and noon to 5 pm Sunday, Feb. 21 in of starting a neighborhood art tour. Today, the On the Deco District. and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour celebrates its 10th anniversary and continues to draw people “The On and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour is the from across San Antonio and other cities, like Houston longest, continuously running, art studio tour in San and Austin, who come for an intimate peek into the Antonio,” McIntyre said, adding that Bihl Haus Arts hosts 76 On The Town | January/February 2017

David Guerrero

Pearl Sanchez

growth to the Fredericksburg Road Cultural Corridor. “I’m proud to say that there has been an investment and development in the neighborhood as an indirect result “Fred,” as the event is known, is a self-guided of the exposure that the Fred Studio Tour has provided tour of private homes, art studios and galleries of to the area over the years,” she said. more than 70 artists, including painters, sculptors, photographers and metal smiths. In addition, more The Deco District, she adds, has become a hot spot than 200 musicians, poets, and theater and dance for many of the Alamo City’s artists. In fact, all artists groups help make this community event one of the featured in Fred live and/or work in the surrounding Fredericksburg Road communities: Alta Vista, Beacon most diverse studio tours in Texas. Hill, Jefferson, Keystone, Los Angeles Heights, Monticello Last year, more than 2,500 locals and visitors walked, Park and Woodlawn Lake. biked and drove the meandering 15-mile tour on and off Fredericksburg Road to get a first-hand look at the Jenssen, meanwhile, has invited several other artists working in their studios and to purchase their art, artists to display their works at her studio during the Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour. While she McIntyre said. specializes in custom and limited-edition light Attendees can purchase either the hardcopy color sconces, Jenssen also creates chandeliers; table, catalog consisting of a map to help people plan floor and hanging lamps; folding screens; tables; their route, artist bios and an image of their work, mirror and picture frames; punched metal door and or the online catalog for $10. For more information, cabinet panels; and sculpture. visit or call Bihl Haus Arts She also enjoys designing in any architectural style: at (210) 383-9723. contemporary, retro, arts and crafts, southwestern or my McIntyre, who has lived in the Monticello neighborhood own quirky amalgam of them all. “I usually work alone, of the Deco District for the past 20 years, envisions the meticulously crafting each piece start to finish and using studio tour as helping bring exposure and economic a variety of techniques and materials,” she said. the tour each year. “We have evolved tremendously since its inception 10 years ago.”

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JULIAN ONDERDONK: A Catalogue Raisonné Captures the Artists’ Works By Dan R. Goddard Photography courtesy San Antonio Museum of Art


arly Texas ar t dealer Harr y A. Halff spent 20 years on the trail of San Antonio’s most famous ar tist, tracking down more than 1,200 drawings and paintings compiled and illustrated in the landmark “Julian Onderdonk: A Catalogue Raisonné,” a 384-page opus published by Yale University Press ($100), which now stands as the definitive resource on the American Impressionist painter best known for his bluebonnet-strewn South Texas landscapes.

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“I think Julian is one of the best artists Te x a s h a s p r o d u c e d o f a n y e r a ,” H a l f f s a i d . “He knew a lot about the contemporary art o f h i s d a y . B e s i d e s s t u d y i n g i n N e w Yo r k , he traveled around the country visiting t h e s t u d i o s o f s o m e o f t h e n a t i o n ’s l e a d i n g a r t i s t s a s a c u r a t o r f o r t h e S t a t e Fa i r o f Te x a s . I h a v e l o n g a d m i r e d h i s w o r k a n d thought he deserved a definitive catalog l i k e a n y m a j o r a r t i s t .”

his reputation as one of Texas’ most impor tant ar tists,” Rudolph said. “It was a herculean task, and the result is a spectacularly beautiful book. Though he was always devoted to landscape painting, Julian was primarily interested in evoking the experience of nature, and he was constantly experimenting with different perspectives and techniques. In his later work he begins to experiment with abstraction. But William Keyse Rudolph, SAMA’s Marie and Hugh because he died young, we do not know what Halff Curator of American Ar t and Mellon Chief direction he might have taken.” Curator, said the exhibit features almost 40 of the “best of the best ” paintings of Onderdonk ’s Halff said his decades-long study of Onderdonk ’s career, including several works from private career reveals the ar tist was more than just a collections rarely exhibited publicly. Rudolph “bluebonnet painter.” Born in San Antonio in curated an impor tant Onderdonk retrospective 1882, Onderdonk was the son of a well-regarded ar tist, his father, Rober t, who knew how hard it in 2008 for the Dallas Museum of Ar t. was to make a living as an ar tist in Texas and “Julian is a terrific American landscape painter, encouraged his son to go to New York in 1901 and this catalog raisonné should help solidify to train with the nation’s leading landscape Celebrating the publication of the catalog, “Julian Onderdonk and the Texas Landscape” runs Jan. 20 to April 23 at the San Antonio Museum of Ar t. A “catalogue raisonné” documents all the works by an ar tist – the oeuvre – and is a critical tool for dealers, curators, ar t historians and collectors in researching the authenticity of a work of ar t and its provenance, or record of ownership.

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painter, William Merritt Chase, and study at the Ar t Students League. Julian Onderdonk returned to Texas in 1909, set up a studio and painted landscapes until his premature death from appendicitis at age 40 in 1922.

worked with his former wife, Elizabeth Halff, to locate and compile information about ever y painting, pastel, watercolor and drawing done by Julian Onderdonk. He used a large file of index cards the ar tist kept recording his sales, which until the mid-1990s was housed in Onderdonk ’s studio located behind his family ’s home at 128 W. French Place. The studio was moved to the grounds of the Witte in 2008. Assisted by Julian’s niece, Ofelia “Dutzie” Onderdonk Laidlaw Robbie, who divides her time between San Antonio and New Jersey, the Halff team assembled an archive of nearly 1,000 items including almost 600 letters by Julian, his father and family.

“Julian’s natural gift of ar tistic talent was honed by years of study and practice,” Halff writes in his introduction. “ Together the talent, study and practice shaped an ar tist whose principal inspiration and focus was working to capture the light and atmosphere of South Texas. Julian’s interest in botany and love of wildflowers is evidenced in the detailed drawings and studies he left behind. His understanding of how shadows alter color, and how he subtly por trayed While 80 percent of Onderdonk’s paintings remain these colors to create depth and structure in his in Texas, many belonging to prominent families in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, the Halff team landscapes, defined his technique.” pursued the artist’s work through more than 400 Building on pioneering research done by the collectors, institutions, dealers and auction houses. “First Lady of Texas Ar t,” Witte Museum curator Cecilia Steinfeldt (1915-2013), who organized “ We also compiled ever ything that has ever been the first major Onderdonk exhibit in 1975, Halff written about Julian Onderdonk and prepared 80 On The Town | January/February 2017

an annotated, illustrated chronology of his life derived from primar y source materials,” Elizabeth Halff said. “I’m not an ar t histor y scholar, but I feel I got a real sense of him as a person. I really grew to appreciate the atmospheric effects he captured in his landscapes. We hope that this catalog raisonné will be a useful resource for those who wish to study Julian Onderdonk ’s work, and we hope that it does justice to his brilliant ar tistr y and reflects his extraordinar y contribution to American ar t.”

Page 79: Julian Onderdonk, Afternoon, Southwest Texas, 1912, oil on canvas, h. 25 in. (63.5 cm); w. 30 in. (76.2 cm), Bobbie and John Nau Collection. Page 80:

For more information:

Julian Onderdonk, Blue Bonnets and Cactus in the Rain, San Antonio, Texas, 1914, on panel, h. 19 ½ in. (49.5 cm); w. 29 ¾ in. (75.6 cm), William J. Hill Collection.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Page 81:

Photo Credits: Page 78: Julian Onderdonk, A Road in Late Afternoon, 1921, oil on canvas, h. 20 in. (50.8 cm); w. 30 in. (76.2 cm), William J. Hill Collection.

Julian Onderdonk, Sunlight and Shadow, 1910, oil on canvas, h. 16 in. (40.6 cm); w. 24 in. (61 cm), the Museum of Fine Ar ts, Houston, gift of the Houston Ar t League, the George M. Dickson Bequest.

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Literary Arts


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JAYME LYNN BLASCHKE Journalist and Author Story and Photography by Jasmina Wellinghoff


graduate of Texas A&M University, Jayme Lynn Blaschke worked in the newspaper business for a time while also pursuing his interest in science fiction (SF) as the fiction editor for, media director for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and as the author of a number of short stories published in SF magazines. In 2005, the University of Nebraska Press published his non-fiction book, Voices of Vision – Creators of Science Fiction and Fantasy Speak, a volume of interviews he conducted with established SF writers. Last August, History Press released his latest and most significant work to date, Inside the Chicken Ranch – The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, a wellresearched documentary account about the famous country brothel near La Grange that inspired both the Broadway hit musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and the 1982 movie by the same name starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds. As a Columbus native, Blaschke came of age hearing allusions and story snippets about the notorious establishment which opened its door in 1915 and continued to prosper even after prostitution became illegal in Texas. The last madam to run it, known as Miss Edna (Edna Milton) had an ally in the powerful Fayette County sheriff, Big Jim Flournoy, who was the law in the county for decades. Though it reportedly caused little trouble, the Chicken Ranch was abruptly closed in 1973 after the reporter from Houston’s KTRK-TV station, Marvin Zindler, went after it in a series of exposés, forcing Governor Dolph Briscoe to order the closing. (Some law enforcement agencies helped the effort.)

record straight. It took him nearly seven years but he is glad he did it. The former five-term Texas Lieutenant Governor Willian “Bill” Hobby praised the work as “… the best account of the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas ever written.” Blaschke currently works for the Texas State University News Service in San Marcos. JW: After you decided to go for it, what was the first thing you did to research the material? JB: I said, if Edna is still alive and if I can find her, and if she would agree to talk to me, then we’ve got a book. If not, no way. So I did some investigating and I tracked her down in about two weeks. She was living in Phoenix, AZ, and said that she had always intended to write a memoir but never got around to it, and she invited my wife and me to visit her. We flew out there in February 2009 for two days and interviewed her. That was the start. JW: She had been a prostitute herself who bought the brothel from the previous owner and, by all accounts, ran a tight ship. How would you describe her?

JB: The tendency is to frame a person like her as the prostitute with a heart of gold but she was a businesswoman first and foremost. She had concern for the women who worked for her because she had gone through very hard times and had been mistreated and taken advantage of, so she made every effort to ensure that the women working for her weren’t abused. At the same time, she did not tolerate anyone challenging her authority. We saw some of that attitude while we were interviewing her. She used language to Because so much of what people thought they knew manipulate and control the situation, to establish about the Chicken Ranch was more lore than fact, her control over us and maintain authority, so we Blaschke decided to write a book about it to set the wouldn’t question what she says. January/February 2017 | On The Town 85

JW: Reading your book, one gets the impression that the Chicken Ranch was an almost pleasant place to work at. Good food, companionable relations between the women, well-behaving customers, regular medical exams, etc. JB: I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was a wonderful place but for a prostitute at that time, it was the best place to be, and they often stayed a long time, until they were ready to transition to another stage of life. JW: Why were the sheriff and lawmen in general, so tolerant, even supportive? JB: Because (prostitution) had always been there. Prostitution traces its roots in La Grange to about 1844. The majority of the population in Fayette County were German and Czech immigrants and they came from countries where prostitution was legal, so there was a general tolerance toward it. For them, the Chicken Ranch was part of the landscape. Also, prostitution was legal in the U.S. too and vice districts existed throughout the United States at the turn of (the 20th) century. Waco had the first regulated vice district in the state. Prostitution did not become illegal until World War I when the War Department in Washington became afraid that venereal disease would negatively impact the military, so any community that wanted to keep a military base was required to close its vice district. One more thing, however. The Chicken Ranch always cooperated with the authorities if they needed any information and intelligence that the women could provide. Texas Rangers and the sheriff used them for intelligence and even the FBI. JW: According to your book, men from all walks of life frequented the place, from busloads of A&M students to Austin and Houston politicians. The stage musical emphasized the hypocrisy of these politicians who used the services but publicly denounced prostitution. Could you comment on that? JB: Edna herself talked about Gov. John Connally visiting and his brother State Sen. Wayne Connally as well. Other people said that the brothers were regular fixtures at the Ranch. U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson, known as “Good-time Charlie”- and from the movie Charlie Wilson’s War - was asked once if he 86 On The Town | January/February 2017

had ever gone to the Chicken Ranch. He said, “Never, but I might have driven past it a time or two.”

the booklets of Miss Edna’s “rules and regulations” which were quite extensive.

There’s a poem in the book, Nostalgia, written by a state legislator, mocking his colleagues for not being present at the Capitol to cast a vote. (The last two lines say: “If you’ll kindly poll the Chicken Farm/I think we’ll have a quorum.”) Politicians have a sense of entitlement and if they can get away with something, they often will.

I had one gentleman from Odessa who was visiting his daughter in San Antonio and she surprised him with the tickets for the play. When she did, he said, “Oh, I remember when this happened…” and the daughter said to him: “Dad, it’s just a play. It’s not real.” She could not believe that this was based on a true story. I encountered that more than once. People just can’t believe that this long-running brothel actually existed, patronized by all the powerful politicians and lawmen in Texas.

JW: Apparently, LBJ was one of the customers. JB: Yes, it’s explicitly stated in the book. One of the women who worked there, Penny, whom I interviewed, met with LBJ eight times but off the premises. The women always went to him… After I had interviewed Edna, her nephew asked me, “Did she show you the picture?” He was referring to the picture of the presidential limousine waiting in front of the Chicken Ranch.

JW: Who owns the former Chicken Ranch property now?

JB: A gentleman by the name of Mike McGee who owns a car dealership in Waco. He acquired it through a debt settlement. He didn’t even realize what he was getting when he agreed to the settlement. I have been working with him to get a historical marker placed on the property. Some JW: Has the societal attitude toward prostitution people in La Grange have voiced their opposition changed in the last 40 years or so? to the idea, so he has chosen to put off filing the application until later in 2017. JB: You don’t have the country brothels anymore. The Chicken Ranch was pretty much the last of those. JW: Was it difficult to find a publisher? Yet prostitution exists today in connection with human trafficking – it’s a big issue. These women JB: Yes, quite difficult. Some said, well, we like it are actually forced into prostitution by organized but it’s too breezy and accessible. We would like crime syndicates. Then, there are high-priced call it to be more academic and serious. Others said, girls who operate out of penthouses. Prostitution well, we like it but it’s too detailed with all these is very much alive, adapted to the changing times notes and references. Can you take those out and and environment. make it sexy and tawdry? That wasn’t my goal. I set out to write a history book that was the definitive JW: A few months ago you were invited to assist history as close as possible. I meticulously cited all the Playhouse San Antonio while it was staging a my references and sources but at the same time, I new production of The Best Little Whorehouse in didn’t want it to be a dry, academic tome. I wanted Texas. Tell us about that? it to be an interesting read. It wasn’t until I got to the History Press where the acquisition editor was JB: That was a lot of fun. I had approached the Twig from Texas, that I got a “yes, please!” answer. He bookstore about a book signing and they told me understood the history and the broad appeal the that their events manager was playing Jewel in the book would have. Best Little Whorehouse show. So, I contacted the ----------------------------------------------------------------Playhouse and offered to make presentations on the topic and they loved the idea. I went on Sundays Mr. Blaschke’s comments have been edited for when they had matinee performances and set up publication. All comments and claims made in this a station in the lobby and talked to anyone who article are those of Mr. Blaschke, and not those of wanted to talk and ask questions. I also passed out the publication. January/February 2017 | On The Town 87

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30 Years of Asian Celebrations Year of the Rooster at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures By James M. Benavides Photography courtesy ITC


t’s been 30 years since May Lam donated a small sum to the San Antonio Museum of Art to put on a family program for the Chinese New Year. That small donation snowballed into one of San Antonio’s great celebrations: The Asian Festival. While Lam saw a simple museum program, the community saw something else. Asian communities around San Antonio rallied, and hundreds joined in the first Chinese New Year celebration. Community members put on dances and demonstrations, and a pair in a lion costume came on their own, saying, “You can’t have a new year festival without a Lion Dance!”

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The event quickly outgrew its venue and its original form, as more diverse Asian communities began to celebrate along with the Chinese. Soon, the festival encompassed Korea, Japan, the nations of the South China Sea such as Vietnam and Indonesia, then the Philippines and Pacific nations, and the countries of the Silk Road including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. “San Antonio’s Asian communities came together in an unexpected swell of pride,” said Jo Ann Andera, festival director. “This turned into an opportunity for San Antonio to become acquainted with the

many Asian cultures which call Texas their home and for the Asian communities to be recognized for their cultural contributions. It was their ‘debut’ in San Antonio.”

coming to the U.S. and making their home in San Antonio. Many of these individuals have become entrepreneurs, government officials, or professionals in the medical, legal or scientific fields.

The festival moved to the Institute of Texan Cultures as it continued to expand, attracting more festival-goers interested in experiencing Asian music, dance, martial arts, cooking, crafts, gaming, philosophy, world affairs and more.

“We have learned so many fantastic stories from our Asian neighbors,” Andera said. “Many came here with nothing and became respected and wellknown members of the community. Their stories are the treasures they will gladly share.”

On this 30th anniversary, the Asian Festival will In a day filled with activities and experiences, offer new foods, lectures and activities, further festival-goers can enjoy an Asian Libation Station expanding the festival’s offerings. serving Chinese and Japanese beers and sake. Two stages will feature music, dance and entertainment. A n d e r a s a i d t h e fe s t i v a l wo u l d h a v e m o r e fo o d A dedicated martial arts performance area will ve n d o r s t h a n e ve r. Ad d i n g t o a n e x p a n s i ve welcome several exciting and elegant disciplines. m e n u o f s t i r - f r y, l e t t u c e w r a p s, c u r r y a n d Around the museum veranda, dozens of vendors a d o b o w i l l b e Vi e t n a m e s e p h o n o o d l e b o w l s will sell unique and hard-to-find Asian keepsakes. and Japanese sushi. As a bonus, museum members will enjoy exclusive access to a special tea tasting. Education and entertainment offerings will call on longtime participants to share their stories of For more details and tickets, visit January/February 2017 | On The Town 91

Artistic Destination:


Musical Gem of the Coastal Bend By Julie Catalano Photography courtesy Jennifer Short (VSO) and Explore Victoria, Tx. The Victoria Symphony Orchestra (VSO) is celebrating its 43rd season this year—a testament to the fact that you don't have to be a big Texas city to build a successful Texas symphony … even if it does take awhile.

Sweat and Tears on Jan. 21; the Romantic Fourth on Feb. 25 featuring the orchestra's first Bruckner symphony; and Pictures at an Exhibition and the Cliburn Project on April 29 with Cliburn gold medalist Vadym Kholodenko, and Ravel's orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, complete with original art produced by local students.

Of course it helps that the non-union VSO is a per-service orchestra, meaning there are no full-time musicians in the 40- to 45-member core group, which is filled out with up to 20 additional members, depending on the program. Twenty-year VSO veteran music director Darryl One (pronounced OH-nay) attributes the group's track record Still, it is no small feat to produce a nine-concert and longevity to teamwork among the administration, season—five as part of the annual Master Series, and board of directors and himself. four children's/family concerts, including two school outreach performances. “We've always had the mindset that success is not a point of arrival but rather a constant journey,” One Upcoming 2017 Master Series concerts at the Victoria said. “We find works, concerts, venues and marketing Fine Arts Center include a pops concert with Blood, that prove to be successful (in attendance, accolades, 92 On The Town | January/February 2017

revenue) and while we enjoy that success, we are the budget significantly.” It was a smart move and a turning point. “We hoped it would improve the quality, looking for the next success.” and it did,” he said. Thanks to an ideal location in the state's coastal bend area that puts them within reach of millions of residents, Optimism reigns as to the vision of VSO's future. “What they don't have to look far. “We're called the crossroads I'm most proud of is the level of professionalism that region,” said Michelle Hall, VSO's executive director. we've been able to implement to the administrative “Victoria is two hours from San Antonio, Austin and side of running a nonprofit and an orchestra,” Hall said. Houston, and about one hour from Corpus Christi, and we market to the surrounding communities immediately around Victoria.” VSO was founded in 1974 by Dr. Robert Lyall, now the general and artistic director of the New Orleans Opera Association. “The University of Houston-Victoria recently recognized him with an award for his contribution to our community,” Hall said. VSO was founded, she added, “because he and others in the community felt that there was a musical void here that needed to be filled.” Victoria resident Dr. Michael Hummel was one of those “others.” He has served on the VSO board from its beginnings, when the orchestra was almost all volunteers. “We were convinced that we should start paying the musicians even though it would add to January/February 2017 | On The Town 93

Theatre Victoria

“Because the board committed to funding a part-time art offerings in a variety of mediums, and they are welldirector of education, our education programs have known enough to bring people from out of town.” grown exponentially.” Following are some upcoming events and destinations: Another goal, Hummel said, is to “ultimately have more concerts, and continue to attract well-qualified musicians Victoria Ballet Theatre, Coppelia, March 4-5, that will help us grow and mature.” JAM Fest, annual downtown festival presented by the One gives credit to a loyal base that has helped to build Victoria Fine Arts Association, April 15, up VSO over its four decades and counting. “The stable factor in the Victoria audience is the solid core who pass Victoria 42nd Annual Bach Festival, June 6-10, on their love for symphonic music to their children who eventually become the new leaders of the core,” One said. “Victoria audiences realize the value of a cultural Museum of the Coastal Bend, permanent exhibit experience in their lives and feel it is important enough displays the last 13,000 years of Texas history, to pass on. The old adage says 'slow and steady wins the race' and that has been a mainstay in the Victoria formula.” The Nave Museum, six to eight diverse exhibitions each year For more info and tickets:, 361-576-4500. in painting, photography and more, THE ART OF VICTORIA “Support for the arts in Victoria is extensive,” said Joel Novosad, director of Explore Victoria, Texas, the city's convention and visitors bureau, adding that it's been that way for decades. “Victoria is a haven for fantastic 94 On The Town | January/February 2017

Theatre Victoria presents five productions annually as the resident company at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Art, Learn more:

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January/February 2017  

Our January/February 2017 Issue features 18 articles and an extensive events calendar. Some highlights are: ITC Asian Festival, Peggy’s on...

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