ON THE TOWN
Paula Paula Owen Owen Asian Asian Festival Festival Marvin Marvin Hamlisch Hamlisch Yonnie Yonnie Blanchette Blanchette Jorge Jorge“George” “George”Cortez Cortez Historic Historic Cameo Cameo Theatre Theatre SA SA Stock Stock Show Show & Rodeo Plus Plus 12 12 Additional Additional Articles Articles
January-February 2010 | On The Town 3
Features Yonnie Blanchette: Renaissance Woman
As The Decade Turns: What’s On Stage in Early 2010?
Q&A With Marvin Hamlisch
Historic Cameo Theatre in the Spotlight January-February 2010 Events Calendar Paula Owen: Leadership, Approached Artfully
New Year, New Experiences: Museums and Art Centers Inaugurate 2010 in Grand Style
Mi Tierra - A Celebration of Life An Interview with Jorge “George” Cortez
Pinch Pennies and Dine Well: Champagne Appetite on a Beer Pocketbook
60th Annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo: February 4-21
4 On The Town | January-February 2010
Laredo Says Happy Birthday, by George
Institute of Texan Cultures Celebrates the Lunar New Year at the Asian Festival
Front Cover Photo: Courtesy nainichen.com Performing Arts Cover Photo: Greg Harrison Visual Arts Cover Photo: Greg Harrison Culinary Arts Cover Photo: Myrlys Stockdale / Big Stock Photo Literary Arts Cover Photo: Barry Gregg / Big Stock Photo Festivals & Celebrations Cover Photo: Courtesy Museo Alameda
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
Departments Box Office: February Film Festivals
More Performing Arts: Twice the Laughs
Portfolio: The Art of James Wyatt Hendricks
More Visual Arts: Muralismo in the City
More Culinary Arts: SavorSA.com
Book Talk: Modrea Mitchell-Reichert and Shelia Rinear â€“ Playwrights, SAT Playwrights Members
More Literary Arts: Grilling by the Book
Picture This: On The Town Profiles from Year One
James Benavides Julie Catalano Cynthia Clark Thomas Duhon, artist Chris Dunn Dana Fossett Vivienne Gautraux John Griffin Greg Harrison, staff photographer Melinda Higgins Michele Krier Christian Lair Kay Lair
Claudia Maceo-Sharp Marlo Mason-Marie Susan A. Merkner, copy editor Nicholas N. Mistry Angela Rabke Lorraine Pulido-Rameriz Lauren Ross Sara Selango Shannon Huntington Standley Sue Talford Suede Tallichet Jasmina Wellinghoff
Gerry Lair â€“ Publisher Lair Creative, LLC 14122 Red Maple San Antonio, Texas 78247 210-771-8486 210-490-7950 (fax)
vertisement in On The Town Ezine.com, 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 Ezine.com features information on perforttendance. The publisher assumes no responsibility for changes in times, dates, venues, exhibitions or performances.
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Contents page 3
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8 On The Town | January-February 2010
Performing Arts 10-44
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10 On The Town | January-February 2010
Yonnie Blanchette: Renaissance Woman By Julie Catalano Photography Greg Harrison
hen Yonnie Blanchette first learned that she was to be the interim director of the Carver Community Cultural Center, the retired lieutenant colonel didn’t even flinch. “In the Air Force, you move from assignment to assignment. You’re given a job, and you say yes, and you go.”
understand the process.” There was plenty to learn, Blanchette says, and she asked plenty of questions: How do we go about getting a season? How do we get that season approved by city council? How do you negotiate with management companies? How do you know what acts to choose?
This assignment, however, was far different from anything she had ever done. After her military retirement, she worked first for the City of San Antonio as a caseworker for the department of community initiatives, then management analyst. In 2005, she became a management assistant and later a special projects manager in the city manager’s office. The interim appointment to the Carver became permanent in May 2008.
Blanchette then headed to Washington, D.C., to meet with people at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian and other arts institutions, putting together a season that included the Shirelles, Freda Payne’s Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Garth Fagan Dance Company and more.
Besides relying on her 10-member staff (“They work long, strange hours, and they never complain”) Blanchette mined another treasure: her legendary predecessor. “I reached out to Jo Long to try to help Freely admitting that she has “no background in the me understand all that goes into running this place.” arts whatsoever” -- her undergraduate degree is in Blanchette says Long is “totally amazing. I knew I would social work and her master’s is in human relations -- never fill those shoes.” Still, she says, the feedback on Blanchette was nevertheless undaunted. “I was never her run so far has been good. “I think it’s going in the really afraid or intimidated. The Carver is part of the right direction,” she says, adding with a laugh, “and I City of San Antonio, and I knew how to get things didn’t destroy it.” done there.” There were -- and still are -- challenges along the She was also realistic: “I was sure that I didn’t way. One was the image of the Carver among the necessarily know everything that I was supposed to San Antonio community at large. “It was almost as if know, but there was a staff here, so I felt confident that people had forgotten the Carver was open.” A fourI had the right people around me who would help me year shutdown of the main stage for major renovations January-February 2010 | On The Town 11
ending in 2004 didn’t help matters. “It felt like people didn’t think about it anymore. We wanted to get it back on people’s minds, and remind everybody that this truly is a little gem on the East Side.” Another issue was a perception that the Carver is “only African American, and we’re not.” Although the emphasis is on African American artists, their seasons typically show diversity. The current season features the Chinese Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, the Koreanborn Ahn Trio, and last fall they featured folk/country musicians Tom Frost, Terri Hendrix, Lloyd Maines and Willis Alan Ramsey. Blanchette is especially proud of the role the Carver plays in the community, citing the Youth Matinee Series, Family Days, and the year-round classes in painting, dance, drumming and theater held at the Carver School for Visual and Performing Arts. Gallery space in the lobby of the Jo Long Theatre for the Performing Arts is provided to local and regional artists. The Little Carver is a 150-seat venue that hosts the Carver Intimate Series, featuring local artists such as the Renaissance Guild, the city’s premier black theater company, and singer Ken Slavin, in a cabaret setting. In her precious little spare time after 50-hour work weeks, Blanchette enjoys “hanging out” with her children, Ashley, 17, and Chris, 11, and husband, Stephen, a wealth manager at USAA. She’s also a road trip enthusiast, ready to hop in the car at a moment’s notice. Her favorite destination? “Anywhere.” At 55, the North Carolina native is petite, trim and youthful, taking everything in stride despite the weighty responsibility of overseeing a center that’s been a cultural institution since 1929. “There are days when I get overwhelmed and say to myself, ‘I’m a social worker!’ “ she says, laughing. But the deeply profound artistic legacy of “the little gem” keeps her going, and she’s excited about a future that she hopes will see more people enjoying the provocative, innovative offerings at the Carver. “I hope that when people are looking for a place to go, they’ll think of us.” It’s a theme that she wants remembered as a rebirth of sorts. “Renaissance. This is a renaissance. We are providing first-class entertainment that’s multicultural and multinational. We’re back.” For a complete calendar listing of the Carver’s season, go to www.thecarver.org. 12 On The Town | January-February 2010
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As The Decade
Whatâ€™s On Stage in Early 2 By Sara Selango
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goes up for the first time on Feb. 2, and it plays the week. This comedy smash features four actors playing more than 150 characters in a fast-paced tale of an ordinary man on an extraordinary adventure. Next up at the big theater is Rodgers and Hammerstein’s I venture to say that during those 10 years that passed South Pacific, which technically is not in the first two super-quickly, the city of San Antonio grew up in months of the year, but it’s oh, so close. Opening so many ways. Population was one of them, while night is March 2, and it runs through March 7. quality of life was still another. Regarding the latter, I really enjoy living here and being entertained year Community theaters promise great evenings and after year by everything the city has to offer, from matinees on stage, as well. Starting in January, San street festivals and rodeos to the world champion Pedro Playhouse offers patrons the chance to enjoy San Antonio Spurs and spectaculars on the Majestic Beehive at the Russell Hill Rogers Theatre and SAT Playwrights PlayFest at their intimate Cellar Theatre. Theatre stage. The Woodlawn features Tick, Tick…Boom – The To me, San Antonio is a very entertaining place, Rock Musical by Jonathan Larson beginning Jan. 8 and I can’t help but think it’s only going to get and continuing to the end of February. Also at the better and better. Take the first couple of months of Woodlawn from Jan. 29 through Feb. 28 is Fire on 2010, for example. They’re packed with electrifying the Bayou – The Cajun Voodoo Musical from Allegro performances that I hope you will take the Stage Company. Check the Woodlawn’s Web site to opportunity to see. Of course, I do have my favorites. see how these two shows will share one theater. ot only are we starting a new year, but also a new decade. My, how time flies when you’re having fun? It seems like only yesterday when we celebrated the arrival of the new millennium.
I can’t wait to be a face in the crowd watching Alfred Neil Simon’s comedic drama Jake’s Women spends Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps at the Majestic. The curtain the month of February on the Sheldon Vexler stage,
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and The Hollow, an Agatha Christie mystery, goes mid-January to mid-February at the Harlequin. Starting Feb. 5 at the Little Carver Civic Center is the Renaissance Guild’s portrayal of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Out-of-towners during the first two months of the new decade include The Producers at Circle Arts in New Braunfels, First Baptist of Ivy Gap at Boerne Community Theatre, Man of La Mancha by Fredericksburg Theater Company and The Miracle Worker by Playhouse 2000 at the Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater in Kerrville. Also at the Cailloux on the weekend of Jan. 14-17 is A Ride With Bob featuring Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel. Big-time musical evenings are also very plentiful in early 2010. The San Antonio Symphony starts the year with the solo performance of youthful violinist Nancy Zhou. Zhou, a native San Antonian, will perform with the orchestra Jan. 15-16. Following heris pianist Stewart Goodyear on Jan. 29-30 playing Grieg Piano Concerto. February brings performances by classical guitarist Manuel Barrueco and pianist Benedetto Lupo. Pops aficionados will have the opportunity to enjoy Star Wars and More
John Williams with Michael Krajewski conducting on Jan. 22-23. Please refer to the events calendar in this publication for additional musical presentations during the January-February time period by Camerata San Antonio, SOLI Chamber Ensemble, San Antonio Chamber Music Society, Tuesday Musical Club, Musical Offerings, Symphony of the Hills, Mid Texas Symphony and more. San Antonio Opera offers Daughters of the Regiment to opera lovers Jan. 8-10 at Municipal Auditorium, the same venue for Arts San Antonio’s presentation of Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez on Jan. 20. Other Arts SA presentations include Pablo Ziegler Trio for Nuevo Tango on Jan. 30 at Ruth Taylor Recital Hall – Trinity University, Haochen Zhang, the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition gold medalist, at Charline McCombs Empire Theatre on Jan. 11 and TAO: The Martial Art of Drumming at Laurie Auditorium on Feb. 28. The Carver has four shows on the boards in January and February, starting with Harlem Gospel Choir on Jan.
January-February 2010 | On The Town 17
16 and ending with DBR & The Mission: A Civil Rights Multimedia Spectacular on Jan. 22, followed by the Reader on Feb. 27. In between are Nai-Ni Chen Dance Michael Jackson Multimedia Tribute on Jan 23. Both are at the Majestic. Then sit back and laugh with Bill Company on Jan. 30 and Ailey II on Feb. 11. Maher on Jan. 29 at Laurie Auditorium and Gabriel To wrap things up, I want to mention quality “Fluffy” Iglesias at the Majestic on Feb. 12. Let’s entertainment from neighboring performing Rodeo San Antonio! The annual event is Feb. 4-21at arts presenters. First up is Kerrville Performing the AT&T Center and features great entertainers Arts Society with their contribution of two such as Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, performances of Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Foreigner, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins and more. Amalia Hernandez on Jan. 21, two appearances by Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet on Jan. 26 and Okay, here are the last two. Tuna Does Vegas hits the 28, plus an equal amount of shows by American boards with eight shows at the Charline McCombs Big Band on Feb. 21. Accolades are also given to Empire Theatre from Feb. 16-21 and Willie Nelson Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre in New Braunfels takes the stage at the Majestic on Feb. 28. The new for their full schedule of events including Winter decade looks very promising. Get tickets and go! Dance Party (with Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper tribute artists) – Jan. 9, One Night • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • With You (Elvis Presley by Donny Edwards) – Jan. 23, The Platters – Feb. 5, Radney Foster – Feb. 12, Photo Credits: and American Big Band – Feb. 20. Page 14-15 Oops! I almost forgot two multimedia spectaculars, Jeffrey Kuhn as a Policeman and a couple of incredible comedians and one of Sean Mahon as Richard Hannay San Antonio’s greatest events. Take in Pink Floyd in The 39 Steps, © Joan Marcus
18 On The Town | January-February 2010
Page 16-17 (Left to Right)
Page 18-19 (Left to Right)
Joe Sears and Jaston Williams of Tuna Does Vegas Photo by Brenda Ladd
Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez Photo courtesy Kerrville Performing Arts Society
Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company Photo courtesy nainichen.com TAO: The Martial Art of Drumming Photo courtesy drum-tao.com Loretta Ables Sayre (center) and company Photo by Joan Marcus 2008 Broadway Cast Rodgers & Hammersteinâ€™s South Pacific
Atos Trio Photo courtesy atos-trio.de Benedetto Lupo Photo courtesy San Antonio Symphony Francesca Faridany as Pamela and Sean Mahon as Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps ÂŠ Joan Marcus
American Big Band Photo courtesy Kerrville Performing Arts Society
Willie Nelson Photo by Danny Clinch
Daniel Bernard Roumain Photo courtesy dbrmission.com
Haochen Zhang Photo courtesy cliburn.org
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Q&A With Marvin Hamlisch By Gerry Lair with Sue Talford
must admit, I didnâ€™t realize just how much Marvin Hamlisch has accomplished in his life as a composer and entertainer until I did research for this article. Hamlisch, who will perform two shows for the Kerrville Performing Arts Society on Sunday, March 28 at the Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater, has amassed an amazing collection of achievements over the course of five decades. The sheer volume of his work is incredible, as is the abundance of his success. Marvin Hamlisch has won every major award, and in some cases three and four times. To have had the opportunity to converse with him was a true pleasure. I hope you enjoy the questions, and the answers.
GL: In preparation for this interview, I read much about you and came away very impressed. For starters, I found that you entered Juilliard at the age of seven as their youngest student ever, had a hit song (Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows recorded by Lesley Gore) by the time you were 21 and landed you first job as the rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand on Broadway prior to graduating from college in 1967 at 23. This is not what I would call an ordinary resume. Just how exciting were these early times for you? MH: It wasnâ€™t as much exciting as it was nerve wracking to go to Juilliard at the age of seven. There were a lot of other kids there who were wildly talented and so it was more of a competitive school than most. But when I landed the job as a rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl, I felt more at home in a milieu I adored; show business. Going to work every day to hear Barbra Streisand sing was one of the most wonderful times of my life. GL: In May of 1972 you served as music coordinator for Liza with a Z, 51 minutes of madefor-television musical history from Kander, Ebb, Fosse, and Minnelli. It must have been an extreme pleasure working with these revered individuals? MH: I have always found that when you work with really smart, brilliant people it not only brings out the best in you, but it makes the process truly memorable. I have also said that if I am the least talented in the room, I am exceedingly happy. Working with John Kander and Fred Ebb and Liza Minelli was one of those great experiences. GL: I venture to say that no one has ever come close to the success in one decade that you had in the 70s with The Way We Were, The Sting and A Chorus Line. After winning three Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, four Grammy Awards, a Tony and the Pulitzer Prize in this ten-year period, you must have been on top of the world? 20 On The Town | January-February 2010
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MH: The early 1970s was an absolutely spectacular time for me, however winning prizes can also put pressure on the next part of your career because you start to wonder if you can do it again. Finally you realize it’s not the winning of the prize that is most important, rather it is the doing, the composing, that is the most important part of your musical life.
GL: Your association with Barbra Streisand brought you two Emmy Awards in the mid 90s for your contributions to Barbra Streisand: The Concert. They completed your gamut of “special awards.” Only you and nine other individuals have won at least one Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony. This is rarified air indeed.
GL: You wrote many songs that were nominated for Academy Awards including Nobody Does It Better from The Spy Who Loved Me and Through the Eyes of Love from Ice Castles. Both were collaborations with Carole Bayer Sager with whom you were romantically linked at the time. The two of you later teamed with Neal Simon on They’re Playing Our Song which opened on Broadway in 1979 and ran for 1,082 performances. Was this musical a fairly close depiction of your life with Carole?
MH: Each time I am introduced before a performance, I hear the announcer give the list of my awards and I keep wondering – is this my obituary? I am thrilled for these awards, but I don’t look at them on a daily basis – they are in closet and I am pleased to visit them occasionally.
MH: Neil Simon always thought it was funny and interesting that two people who worked together could also have a relationship. However, he never interviewed me or Carole Bayer Sager about our lives together, so They’re Playing Our Song is his version of what it could have been. I personally love They’re Playing Our Song and am happy that Robert Klein and Lucie Arnaz were the stars.
GL: To go one step further, you and Richard Rogers are the only two people to have won all of these awards plus a Pulitzer Prize. I would say you are in very good company. MH: Since Richard Rogers is one of my idols, I can honestly say I am very happy to be in his company, though I am perfectly aware that I don’t come even close to his achievements or abilities.
GL: I read on your website that you are currently the principal pops conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Colorado GL: I must go back and ask about the significance Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, of A Chorus Line in your career. You wrote the score Seattle Symphony and San Diego Symphony. You along with lyricist Ed Kleban. Michael Bennett certainly keep a busy schedule. The obvious question choreographed and directed the show and it won is, how do you find the time? everything. As the winner of the New York Drama Critics Award, nine Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize, MH: I have always been good at being “schedule the musical earned legendary status with a run of oriented” – meaning that I can divide 16 hours of work6,137 performances. Since this was your first Broadway time amongst many different projects. That’s what keeps me sane and able to maintain a busy schedule. musical, would you talk a bit about opening night? MH: Opening night of A Chorus Line remains one of the most bittersweet memories of my life. Doing the show with El Kleban and Michael Bennett was a glorious adventure. The show was everything I could have wanted it to be. As I started reading the reviews for the show it became clear that the critics were wild about the show but not as wild about the music. It took a while, with the help of Tylenol and Maalox, to get through the first few nights living with the knowledge that I might have “failed.” However, Walter Kerr wrote a review in the Sunday Times which gave glowing notices to the music. Finally I could go back to eating! 22 On The Town | January-February 2010
GL: With all you’ve accomplished, including being inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2009, what’s next? MH: What’s next is simply to continue doing what I love to do – writing, conducting and rooting for the New York Yankees. For information regarding two performances by Marvin Hamlisch at the Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater in Kerrville on Sunday, March 28, please visit www.kpas.org.
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24 On The Town | January-February 2010
Historic Cameo Theatre in the Spotlight
By Michele Krier Photo of Jim Zaccaria by Dana Fossett
im Zaccaria, the owner of the Cameo Theatre in historic St. Paul Square, is making history himself these days with his success in attracting theater-goers from all over San Antonio to performances at the charming theater which dates back to the 1940s. In the Cameo’s heyday, Louis Armstrong, B.B. King and Fats Domino took to the stage. More recently, theater fans are coming to sold-out performances of Menopause, the Musical, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Cabaret and Ruthless. I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and The Great American Trailer Park Musical are a few examples of other recent hit shows which garnered rave reviews.
Originally built for families living on the East Side, the Cameo is now an important hub in community theater. Tom Masinter, renowned San Antonio musical theater director, said, “Jim has really made a major contribution to advancing awareness of community theater. Because Jim has encouraged people to see live theater at other venues, his efforts have helped raise the bar for all of us.” Zaccaria credits The Rocky Horror Picture Show for putting the Cameo back in the spotlight it has been enjoying for many years. “We tend to alternate between presenting comedies and musicals,” he says, adding San Antonians have a special love for comedy. Although he’s not an actor, Zaccaria serves in nearly every other capacity for January-February 2010 | On The Town 25
the theater company, including marketing, developing the program and producing the shows for the 300-seat Cameo. The 70-seat cabaret, called the Zumbro Lounge, is used for a variety of shows. Born in San Antonio, Zaccaria spent several years in New York and Boston, falling in love with the theater scene. That experience, and his devotion to theater, have paid off. The Cameo won seven awards recently for its production of The Last of the Red Hot Lovers. “I just like theater,” Zaccaria says, adding, “and I love comedies.”
The Cameo facilities also are available for private receptions, special events or convention groups. The theater is conveniently located downtown off IH-37 at Commerce Street. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, or to make reservations, call (210) 212-5454, e-mail cameocenterSA@aol.com and visit www.cameocenter.com. Photo Credits:
Page 24 The Cameo also is known for other presentations, Jim Zaccaria including cabaret shows, live music and comedy, such as the recent Three Blonde Moms run, although live Page 25 theatrical performances have built its core audience. Menopause, the Musical With a mailing list that any marketing person would envy, Zaccaria keeps his patrons connected and Page 26 (Left to Right) coming back for the next show. The Great American Trailer Park Musical The Cameo is located at 1123 E. Commerce St. Contrary High Hair & Jalapenos to the perception about parking downtown, many Ruthless convenient parking areas are located in St. Paul Square. I Love You, Your Perfect, Now Change 26 On The Town | January-February 2010
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January-February 2010 Events Calendar Music Notes San Antonio Rose Live 1/1- 2/28, Fri @ 7pm Sat @ 2pm & 7pm Sun & Mon @ 7pm Aztec Theatre Brandon Rhyder 1/2, Sat @ 8pm Gruene Hall Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert 1/7, Thu @ 7:30pm AT&T Center American Rhythms: Barber, Copland, Milhaud, Gershwin, Shulman Camerata San Antonio Presentation Kerrville: 1/7, Thu @ 7:30pm First Presbyterian Church Boerne: 1/8, Fri @ 7:30pm First United Methodist Church San Antonio: 1/10, Sun @ 3pm Travis Park United Methodist Church Bellamy Brothers 1/8, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store
Winter Dance Party: A Tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & The Big Bopper 1/9, Sat @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre, New Braunfels Wayne Hancock 1/9, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store If It’s Not Baroque, Don’t Fix It Musical Bridges Around the World Presentation 1/10, Sun @ 3pm Mercury Baroque Ensemble Angela Malek, soprano Nathaniel Mayfield, trumpet McAllister Auditorium, San Antonio College Claire Huangci, piano Tuesday Musical Club Presentation 1/12, Tue @ 2pm Laurel Heights United Methodist Church Violin Sensation San Antonio Symphony 1/15-16, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Christopher Seaman, conductor Nancy Zhou, violin Majestic Theatre
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Harlem Gospel Choir Carver Community Cultural Center Presentation 1/16, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre Roger Creager 1/16, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Lafayette String Quartet San Antonio Chamber Music Society Presentation 1/17, Sun @ 3:15pm Temple Beth-El Pink Floyd Laser Show 1/22, Fri @ 8pm Majestic Theatre Star Wars & More San Antonio Symphony Pops 1/22-23, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Michael Krajewski, conductor Municipal Auditorium Preservation Hall Jazz Band Symphony of the Hills Pops 1/23, Sat @ 7:30pm Dr. Jay Dunnahoo, conductor Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater, Kerrville
Cecile Licad, pianist 1/23, Sat @ 5:30pm McAllister Auditorium, SAC One Night With You: Donny Edwards as Elvis 1/23, Sat @ 7pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre, New Braunfels Multi-Media Tribute to Michael Jackson 1/23, Sat @ 8pm Majestic Theatre Bart Crow 1/22, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store American Residency: The Music of Aaron Jay Kernis SOLI Chamber Ensemble Presentation 1/25, Mon @ 7pm Gallery Nord 1/26, Tue @ 7pm Ruth Taylor Recital Hall, Trinity University Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet Kerrville Performing Arts Society Presentation 1/26 & 28, Tue @ 7:30pm Thu @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater
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Grieg Piano Concerto San Antonio Symphony 1/29-30, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Scott Yoo, conductor Stewart Goodyear, piano Majestic Theatre Pablo Ziegler Trio for New Tango Arts San Antonio Presentation 1/30, Sat @ 7:30pm Ruth Taylor Recital Hall, Trinity University Ray Wylie Hubbard 1/30, Sat @ 8pm Gruene Hall Northern Lights presented by Youth Orchestras of San Antonio 1/31, Sun @ 4pm Laurie Auditorium, Trinity University Bohemian Rhapsody: Martinu, Shulhoff, Dvorak Camerata San Antonio Presentation Kerrville: 2/4, Thu @ 7:30pm First Presbyterian Church Boerne: 2/5, Fri @ 7:30pm First United Methodist Church San Antonio: 2/7, Sun @ 3pm Travis Park United Methodist Church The Platters 2/5, Fri @ 7pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre, New Braunfels
Chris Knight 2/5, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Randy Rogers Band 2/6, Sat @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio Nachtmusik Mid Texas Symphony 2/6, Sat @ 7:30pm David Mairs, conductor Larry Mueller, oboe Oakwood Baptist Church, New Braunfels Musical Evenings at San Fernando Cathedral Musical Bridges Around the World Presentation 2/7, Sun @ 6pm San Fernando Cathedral, Main Plaza Haochen Zhang Gold Medal Winner - 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Arts San Antonio Presentation 2/11, Thu @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Radney Foster 2/12, Fri @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre, New Braunfels Eleven Hundred Springs 2/12, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Concierto de Aranjuez San Antonio Symphony 2/12-13, Fri-Sat @ 8pm David Angus, conductor Manuel Barrueco. guitar Majestic Theatre
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ATOS Trio San Antonio Chamber Music Society Presentation 2/14, Sun @ 3:15pm Temple Beth-El American Big Band 2/20, Sat @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre, New Braunfels American Big Band Kerrville Performing Arts Society Presentation 2/21, Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Cantus Tuesday Musical Club Presentation 2/23, Tue @ 2pm Laurel Heights Methodist Church Mike McClure Band 2/26, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Chopin Piano Concerto San Antonio Symphony 2/26-27, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Benedetto Lupo, piano Majestic Theatre DBR & the Mission: A Civil Rights Reader Carver Community Cultural Center Presentation 2/27, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre Kyle Park 2/27, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store
Jazz Reflections Musical Bridges Around the World Presentation 2/28 Sun @ 3pm Bennie Maupin, clarinet Albert Heath, drums Michal Barnanski, bass McAllister Auditorium, San Antonio College Willie Nelson 2/28, Sun @ 7pm Majestic Theatre Tao: The Martial Art of Drumming Arts San Antonio Presentation 2/28, Sun @ 7:30pm Laurie Auditorium, Trinity University
On Stage Inspecting Carol 1/1-3, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Cameo Theatre The Lion King Broadway Across America Presentation 1/2-3, Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 1pm Majestic Theatre Hard Bargain Overtime Theatre Presentation 1/8-30, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm The Sterling Houston Theater at Blue Star
Tick, Tick, Boom! 1/8-/24, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm 1/31-2/28, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Woodlawn Theatre
Beehive 1/22-2/21, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Russell Hill Rogers Theatre San Pedro Playhouse
SAT Playwrights PlayFest 1/8-31, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Cellar Theatre San Pedro Playhouse
Dearly Departed 1/27, Fri @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre
The Rose: Jessie Rose and Friends 1/9, Sat @ 7:30pm The Rose Theatre Company
The Producers 1/28-2/28, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm Circle Arts Theatre, New Braunfels
The Hollow 1/14-2/13, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (dinner @ 6:30pm) Harlequin Dinner Theatre A Ride with Bob Featuring Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel 1/15-17, Fri @ 7:30pm Sat @ 2pm & 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater, Kerrville Alice and the MK Ultra Experience 1/15-30, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm The Rose Theatre Company Shock Puppets 1/22-2/6, Fri-Sat @ 9:30pm The Rose Theatre Company Request Concert 1/22-23, 2/19-20 Fri-Sat @ 8pm The Sterling Houston Theater at Blue Star
Fire on the Bayou: The Cajun Voodoo Musical Allegro Stage Company Presentation 1/29-2/28, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm Woodlawn Theatre Alfred Hitchcockâ€™s The 39 Steps Broadway Across America Presentation 2/2-7, Tue-Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm Majestic Theatre The Miracle Worker Playhouse 2000 Presentation 2/4-14, Thu-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater, Kerrville January-February 2010 | On The Town 31
Jake’s Women 2/4-27, Thu @ 7:30pm Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm (No shows on Fridays, and no show on Sunday, 2/14) Sheldon Vexler Theatre
Blood Wedding 2/19-27, Wed-Thu @ 7pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Jane and Arthur Stieren Theatre – Trinity University
Dawnview Crew Episode 9 2/5-6, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm The Rose Theatre Company
Night Watch 2/25-3/14, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (dinner @ 6:30pm) Sun @ 3pm (lunch @ 1:30pm) S.T.A.G.E – Spotlight Theatre & Arts Group, etc. Bulverde
First Baptist of Ivy Gap 2/5-20, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Boerne Community Theatre Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Renaissance Guild of San Antonio Presentation 2/5-21, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 4pm Little Carver Civic Center Shards / My Brother’s Keeper 2/12-27, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm The Rose Theatre Company All of This / Where Are We Going? 2/12-27, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm The Rose Theatre Company
32 On The Town | November-December January-February 2010 2009
Fabulous Divas of Broadway Starring Alan Dalmer 2/12-14, Fri-Sat @ 8:15pm Sun @ 2:30pm Josephine Theatre Tuna Does Vegas 2/16-21, Tue-Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 6pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre The Lady’s Not For Burning 2/19-27, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm Coates Theatre @ UIW
Man of La Mancha Fredericksburg Theater Company Presentation 2/12-28, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Steve W. Shepherd Theater
At The Opera
Sob Choke Love 3D! Overtime Theatre Presentation 2/12-3/14, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm The Sterling Houston Theater at Blue Star
Daughter of the Regiment San Antonio Opera Presentation 1/8-10, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm Municipal Auditorium
En La Sombra De Sus Pasos /In the Shadow of Her Footsteps 1/15-17, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm The Sterling Houston Theater at Blue Star
Jimmy Shubert 1/1-2, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez Arts San Antonio Presentation 1/20, Wed @ 7:30pm Municipal Auditorium Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez Kerrville Performing Arts Society Presentation 1/21-22, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company: Year of the Tiger Carver Community Cultural Center Presentation 1/30, Sat @ 10am & 8pm Jo Long Theatre Ailey II Carver Community Cultural Center Presentation 2/11, Thu @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre
Laurie Kilmartin 1/1-3, Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Sun @ 8:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Willie Barcena 1/6-10, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Randy Lubas 1/6-10, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club
Jewish Comm Center FP
Pete Correale 1/13-17, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Barry Friedman 1/13-17, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club January-February May-June 2009 2010 | On The Town 33
Ron Shock 1/20-24, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Marc Ryan 1/20-24, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Ricky Allen 1/27, Wed @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Cory Kahaney 1/28-31, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Marc Unger 1/27-31, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Bill Maher 1/29, Fri @ 8pm Laurie Auditorium Vic Henley 2/3-7, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Danny Villalpando 2/3-7, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club
Nick Griffin 2/11-14, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Gabriel Iglesias 2/14, Sun @ 7pm & 9:30pm Majestic Theatre Tommy Blaze 2/17-21, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Chas Elstner 2/17-21, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Andy Hendrickson 2/24, Wed @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Maryellen Hooper 2/25-28, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Don Barnhart 2/24-28, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club
For The Kids Darwin the Dinosaur Children’s Fine Arts Series Presentation 1/8, Fri @ 6:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre
34 On The Town | January-February 2010
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs 1/8-2/6, Tue-Fri @ 9:45am & 11:30am Fri @ 7pm, Sat @ 2pm Magik Theatre Goodnight Moon & the Runaway Bunny Children’s Fine Arts Series Presentation 1/22, Fri @ 6:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Ananse: Early in the Day By Wood and Strings Theatre Children’s Fine Arts Series Presentation 2/12, Fri @ 6:30pm Laurie Auditorium, Trinity University If You Give a Mouse a Muffin 2/16-3/20, Tue-Fri @ 9:45am & 11:30am Fri @ 7pm, Sat @ 2pm Magik Theatre Harry the Dirty Dog Children’s Fine Arts Series Presentation 2/26, Fri @ 6:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre
Miscellaneous Valero Alamo Bowl 1/2, Sat @ 8pm Alamodome U.S. Army All-American Bowl 1/9, Sat @ 12pm Alamodome
Monster Jam 1/16-17, Sat @ 7pm Sun @ 2pm Alamodome Harlem Globetrotters 1/28, Thu @ 7pm AT&T Center Arenacross 2/20-21, Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 10am Alamodome Taste of CIA Cooking and Baking Classes: Sharpening Your Knife Skills 1/16, Sat / 9:30am-2:30pm Culinary Institute of America at Pearl Brewery Taste of CIA Cooking and Baking Classes: The Flavors of Asia 2/20, Sat / 9:30am-2:30pm Culinary Institute of America at Pearl Brewery
On Exhibit ARTPACE International Artist-In-Residence New Works: 09.3 Adriana Lara Mario Ybarra, Jr. Adrian Esparza curated by Jens Hoffmann Thru 1/10 Hudson (Show)Room Alejandro Cesarco 1/14-5/2
BIHL HAUS ARTS Revelations in Color: A Year of Paintings by James Saldivar 1/15-2/13 3rd Annual On and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour 2/20-21 BLUE STAR CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER Kim Bishop: Passage Thru 1/2 The Familiar Unknown Featuring Susan Beiner, Rebekah Bogard, Rebecca Hutchinson and Anne Drew Potter Ovidio Giberga - Curator Thru 2/13 Sally Weber: Tertium Quid, the Third Thing Thru 2/13 INSTITUTO CULTURAL de MEXICO The Mini Series II Michael Mehl – Curator Fernanda Chemale – Brazil: ElefanteCidadeSerpente Tom Drahos – France: Jaina Alastair Magnaldo – France: Hautes Coutures Philip Scholz Ritterman – California Light Drawing Erwin Staiheli – Switzerland Passages Berthold Steinhibler – Germany Ghost Towns Thru 1/10
Nuevo León - Imágenes de Nuestra Memoria Michael Mehl – Curator Thru 1/10 Bajo el Manto de la Virgen Thru 1/10 Expresion Mexicana Thru 1/10 McNAY ART MUSEUM The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art: Works on Paper Thru 1/3 Reclaimed: Paintings From the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker Thru 1/10 Recent Acquistions Modern and Contemporary Art Thru 1/10 Onstage in Amsterdam: Prints from the Schouwburg Theatre Thru 1/17 Recent Acquisitions of Prints and Drawings 1/20-3/14 An Impressionist Sensibility: The Halff Collection 2/3-5/9 Impressionist Graphics from the McNay Collection 2/3-5/16 January-February 2010 | On The Town 35
TruthBeauty: Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art 2/3-5/9
Peter Sowiski: Stealth Service Thru 1/24
Art of Pulp Painting Thru 1/24
Jesse Trevino: Mi Vida Thru 2/28
Art for Giving Thru 1/9
Arte En La Charreria: The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture 1/27-5/2 SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN David Rogers’ Big Bugs’ Thru 1/3 John Henry: Art In The Garden Curated by Bill FitzGibbon Thru 6/1 SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART The Art of the Missions of Northern New Spain Thru 1/3 Culinary Delights Thru 2/21 Seasons of Beauty: Yoshitoshi’s Thirty-Two Aspects of Life Thru 1/17
Louis Vega Trevino: Color Shift 1/21-4/3 Vincent Valdez: Flashback 2/11-4/3 Bruce Metcalf: The Miniature Worlds 2/11-4/11 Flipping the Bird 2/11-4/18
Don Yena: Painting the South Texas Story Thru 1/10 Circus Folk: Secrets Behind The Big Top Thru 2/14 Colors on Clay: Pottery of San Antonio Thru 3/21 Table of Contents: Stories of Hunger and Resilience 1/16-4/3
Festivals & Celebrations
INSTITUTE OF TEXAN CULTURES
San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo
Tusks! Ice Age Mammoths and Mastodons Thru 1/3
Extreme Bulls / Randy Houser 2/4, Thu @ 7pm Lady Antebellum 2/5, Fri @ 7pm Tim McGraw 2/6, Sat @ 1pm & 7:30pm Selena Gomez 2/7, Sun @ 1pm John Rich with Cowboy Troy 2/8, Mon @ 7pm Darius Rucker 2/9, Tue @ 7pm Third Day 2/10, Wed @ 7pm Casey Donahew Band 2/11, Thu @ 7pm Foreigner 2/12, Fri @ 7pm James Otto 2/13, Sat @ 1pm
Military Aviation Comes of Age in San Antonio Thru 7/4 Nativity Art of Ferdinand Pribyl Thru 7/4 Race: Are We So Different? 1/23-5/16
SOUTHWEST SCHOOL OF ART & CRAFT
Engaged and Fragmented Thru 1/24
Lonesome Dove Photographs by Bill Wittliff Thru 1/3
36 On The Town | January-February July-August 2009 2010
Rodney Atkins 2/13, Sat @ 7:30pm Blake Shelton 2/14, Sun @ 1pm Ramon Ayala 2/14, Sun @ 7:30pm Dierks Bentley 2/15, Mon @ 7pm Trace Adkins 2/16, Tue @ 7pm Alan Jackson 2/17, Wed @ 7pm Toby Keith 2/18, Thu @ 7pm Gary Allan 2/19, Fri @ 7:30pm Extreme Bulls / Jake Owens 2/20, Sat @ 1pm Eli Young Band 2/20, Sat @ 7:30pm First Friday Art Walk 1/2 & 2/6, Fri / 6-9pm Southtown / Blue Star / King William Light The Way Thru 1/6 University of the Incarnate Word CineFestival ’10 en San Antonio 2/4-7 Guadalupe Theatre 9th Annual Jewish Film Festival Barshop Jewish Community Center Presentation 2/13-17 Bijou Theatre Asian Festival: Year of the Tiger 2/20, Sat / 10am-5pm Institute of Texan Cultures
January-February 2010 | On The Town 37
On Screen Der Rosencavalier Metropolitan Opera 1/9, Sat @ 12pm 1/27,Wed @ 6:30pm Cielo Vista 18 Fiesta 16 Theatre McCreeles Mall Cinema Carmen Metropolitan Opera 1/16, Sat @ 12pm 2/3, Wed @ 6:30pm Cielo Vista 18 Fiesta 16 Theatre McCreeles Mall Cinema A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor 2/4, Thu @ 7pm 2/9, Tue @ 7pm Cielo Vista 18 Fiesta 16 Theatre McCreeles Mall Cinema Simon Boccanegra Metropolitan Opera 2/6, Sat @ 12pm 2/24, Wed @ 6:30pm Cielo Vista 18 Fiesta 16 Theatre McCreeles Mall Cinema Otello 2/11, Thu @ 7pm 2/14, Sun @ 3pm Embassy 14 Theatre Don Quixote 2/25, Thu @ 7pm 2/28, Sun @ 3pm Embassy 14 Theatre
Daniel Bernard Roumain Photo by Julieta Cervantes
Page 28 (Left to Right) Bellamy Brothers Courtesy liveatfloores.com
Page 33 (Left to Right) TAO: The Martial Art of Drumming Courtesy Arts San Antonio
Nancy Zhou Courtesy San Antonio Symphony
The Lion King ©Disney Phindile Mkhize as “Rafiki” Photo by Joan Marcus
Lafayette String Quartet Courtsey www.lafayette stringquartet.ca
Page 34 (Left to Right) The 39 Steps Cast members Jeffrey Kuhn, Francesca Faridany, Arnie Burton and Sean Mahon. Photo by Joan Marcus
Michael Krajewski Courtesy www. michaelkrajewski.com Page 30 (Left to Right) Cecile Licad Photo by Ken Go Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet Courtesy Kerrville Performing Arts Society Haochen Zhang Courtesy Arts San Antonio Eleven Hundred Springs Courtesy liveatfloores.com Page 31 (Left to Right) Manuel Barrueco Courtesy San Antonio Symphony American Big Band Courtesy Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre Page 32 (Left to Right) Cantus Courtesy singers.com
38 On The Town | January-February September-October July-August 2009 2010 2009
Daughter of the Regiment Courtesy San Antonio Opera Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez Courtesy Arts San Antonio Ailey II Courtesy Carver Community Cultural Center Page 35 (Left to Right) Bill Maher Courtesy billmaher.com Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias Courtesy Majestic Theatre Page 36 (Left to Right) Edward Hopper American, 1882-1967 House by an Inlet Oil on canvas, 26 x 38 in. McNay Art Museum
Charles Sprague Pearce American, 1851-1914 Lady with a Fan, ca. 1883 Oil on canvas, 27 ¾ x 22 ½ in. McNay Art Museum Jesse Trevino La Raspa Acrylic on Canvas 66 x 88 in. Museo Alameda Arte en la Charreria The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture Museo Alameda Page 38 (Left to Right) Louis Vega Trevino Slim, 2009 Oil on canvas, 28 x 33 in. Southwest School of Art and Craft Vincent Valdez Boom, 2007 Oil on canvas, 64 x 64 in. Southwest School of Art and Craft Taiso Yoshitoshi Japan (1839-1892) Smoky: the appearance of a housewife of the Kyowa era, 1801-1804 Thirty-Two Aspects of Daily Life, 1888 Woodblock print on paper 37.6 x 25.7 cm overall paper Lent by Lenora and Walter F. Brown Photography by Peggy Tenison San Antonio Museum of Art Gentry Wagon From Circus Folk: Secrets Behind the Big Top Witte Museum
January-February 2010 | On The Town 39
February Film Festivals T
he Barshop Jewish Community Center and the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center offer outstanding film festivals in mid- and early February, respectively. The JCC’s five-day event takes place at the Bijou Theatre in Crossroads Mall while the Guadalupe’s four-day celebration is on screen at the historic Guadalupe Theatre. 9th Annual Jewish Film Festival Feb. 13-17 By Lauren Ross Photos Courtesy Barshop Community Center From the beautiful love story of Villa Jasmin to the uproariously funny comedic film A Matter of Size, the Barshop Jewish Community Center’s Jewish Film Festival offers a variety of refreshing features and documentaries taking attendees from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other.
40 On The Town | January-February 2010
Created in 2001, the JCC’s Film Festival provides the entire San Antonio community with the opportunity to explore Jewish identity, history and culture while sharing in cinematic experiences that speak to all people. This year’s lineup includes forays into the plight of two freedom fighters/assassins in WWII (Flame and Citron), a suspenseful “who-done-it” (The Last Suspect), the comedic story of Yisrael Campbell, who converted to Judaism not once, but three times (Circumcise Me) and the emotional journeys looking back at the Holocaust (Menachem & Fred and No. 4 Street of Our Lady). The annual event will be held Feb. 13-17 at the Bijou at Crossroads. Known for its local artsy flavor, the Bijou provides the perfect backdrop for the eclectic mix of 10 films from around the world. Located at Crossroads mall, the venue affords moviegoers a
central location and access to restaurant-style fare, along with a terrific selection of beer and wine.
Antonio Chavira of Desperate Housewives. Don’t Let Me Drown features an elegantly simple story, layered characters and standout performances. Another stellar movie that CineFestival will offer is Al Más Allá, directed by Lourdes Portillo, and Stages, directed by Meerkat Media Collective.
General admission is $8 per person per film or $70 for a package that includes one ticket to each film. Tickets may be purchased at www.jccsanantonio. org, by calling (210) 302-6820 or at the Barshop JCC, located at the intersection of N.W. Military Highway CineFestival also will feature the prestigious Premio Mesquite audience award and juried awards for and Wurzbach Parkway. best feature, best short, best documentary, and emerging artist. 32nd CineFestival en San Antonio Feb. 4-7 By Lorraine Pulido-Rameriz For information, visit www.guadalupeculturalarts. Photography courtesy Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center org or call (210) 271-3151. CineFestival coordinator Manuel Solis is available at firstname.lastname@example.org. CineFestival en San Antonio, the nation’s oldest Latino film festival, takes place Feb. 4-7 at the historic The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1980 to preserve, Guadalupe Theatre. promote and develop the arts and culture of the CineFestival showcases the best Latino features, Chicano/Latino/Native American peoples for all ages shorts, documentaries, animation, experimental and backgrounds through public and educational films and youth works for its 32nd annual festival. programming in six disciplines: dance, literature, The four-day event features screenings, workshops, media arts, theater arts, visual arts and music. panel discussions, networking opportunities, gala celebrations and musical performances. Innovative uses Photo Credits: of new technology also will be highlighted through competitions, demonstrations of new cameras and Page 40-41 software, and the involvement of youth filmmakers (Left to Right) Flame and Citron from video programs throughout San Antonio. Yisrael Campbell One of the movies selected is Don’t Let Me Drown, Al Más Allá by director Cruz Angeles, featuring actor Ricardo Don’t Let Me Drown
January-February 2010 | On The Town 41
PA Performing Arts
Twice the Laughs: Rivercenter and Laugh Out Loud Comedy Clubs By Suede Tallichet
Left: Laurie Kilmartin Photo courtesy kilmartin.com Right: Tommy Blaze Photo courtesy tommyblazecomic.com
Blue Star FP Ad
ivercenter Comedy Club, located downtown near the River Walk on the third level of Rivercenter Mall, has served as a partner in fun and laughter for patrons of standup humor for nearly 20 years.
With the opening of this brand-new facility, comedy fans now have two A-list clubs in the city where every headliner has national credentials ranging from the Tonight Show, Jay Leno and the David Letterman shows, to the Las Vegas, Aspen and Montreal comedy Owners Bruce and Colleen Barshop have built a festivals, as well as appearances in Las Vegas or New strong reputation for presenting top comedians from York. Opening week this past November at Laugh Out around the country, including the likes of George Loud featured Richard Lewis. Lopez, Ron White, Drew Carey, Tommy Chong, Chris Rock, Carlos Mencia, Jeff Dunham and Larry the Cable Add a bit of hilarity to your life by visiting www. Guy. In addition to the scheduled performers each sanantoniocomedyclubs.com where you’ll find a week, impromptu appearances have happened at listing of comedians performing at both clubs and times as well. An example of this occurred recently ticket information. when outrageous funnyman Kat Williams dropped in for the late show. Twice the laughs are now available in San Antonio – downtown at Rivercenter and uptown at the all-new After almost two decades at Rivercenter Comedy Laugh Out Loud. Funny thing about parking, it’s free! Club, the Barshops have added the 400-seat Laugh LOL has complimentary parking right in front of the Out Loud Comedy Club in Park North Plaza between club, and Rivercenter offers three hours of validated San Pedro Avenue and Blanco Road on Loop 410. parking in Rivercenter Mall.
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44 On The Town | January-February 2010
Visual Arts 46-62
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Leadership, Approached Artfully
By Vivienne Gautraux Courtesy 46 On The Town | Photography January-February 2010 Southwest School of Art & Craft
aula Owen, president of the Southwest School of Owen’s influence within the San Antonio arts community Art & Craft, has to be one of San Antonio’s best is substantial, and not only because she manages one of the city’s largest arts institutions. “She’s the proverbial multi-taskers. iron hand in a velvet glove” says one local arts leader, Her staff agrees she’s a strong and inspirational leader, “who has a reputation for getting things done, and done efficiently running the nearly $4-million institution that right, yet with an overarching sense of community.” currently ranks in the top tier of U.S. community art schools (and quite possibly may be the largest school of Her quiet but firm leadership style has been behind many its kind in the country). Since arriving in town in 1996, of the high-value initiatives in the local art scene – for she’s doubled the art school’s enrollment, and these days, instance, Owen was one of the founders and a Co-Chair about 4000 very diverse students attend classes there of the Cultural Alliance of San Antonio (CASA), which went a long way toward eliminating territoriality among each year. local arts institutions. This year, Owen, along with George She’s a published author of an art-related textbook, a Cisneros, is heading up the city’s newest arts festival, frequent writer on art topics, the curator of national Luminaria. And a few years ago, under her auspices, the exhibitions, and her abstract, minimalist paintings have Southwest School was instrumental in pulling together been exhibited locally and in cities around the country. the Arts Education Task Force that examined the role of Considered a thought leader in the arts world, Owen the visual arts in our community’s schools. is frequently invited to speak about the visual arts at various conferences and symposia. Recently, she was Owen and the institution she leads are impassioned one of only 40 arts executives from across the country advocates for honoring the power of art in everyone’s life, who was selected to attend Stanford University’s summer in whatever form it may take –in other words, she defines Executive Program in Leadership. an artist not only as someone who makes art, but also as January-February 2010 | On The Town 47
someone who lives creatively. Her vision, and the school’s as well, is that art is for everyone. “Surely, it’s no coincidence that San Antonio has such an extraordinarily vibrant visual arts scene today, since we’ve had a successful community arts school here for four decades leading the way,” says Janet Flohr, founder of the fine arts print studio Hare & Hound Press and the current Chair of the school’s Board of Trustees. The art school balances its commitment to teaching traditional art forms with a dedication to contemporary art – and its “consistently provocative” (and always free) exhibitions examine ideas in contemporary art that often fall outside the mainstream. Within recent years, the Southwest School collaborated with the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Library to bring exhibitions by Dale Chihuly, and then Fernando Botero, to San Antonio. Just as the word “art” is expanding to include more and different materials and modes, the Southwest School of Art & Craft looks toward an expanding future. Physically, its much-loved historic site anchors the southern end of the “Museum Reach” river project, and the art school now owns property along Navarro Street, including the northeast corner of Augusta and Navarro streets, for future expansion. “While the art school and its historic site have a storied past, I think its future will be just as remarkable,” Owen says. While she didn’t elaborate on the Southwest School’s plans more specifically, she did recall “a favorite” quote of hers – one which looks ahead and not behind, and which sums up her role in helping future artists have a welcoming place to learn -- “the vocation of the artist is the reclamation of the future.” Photo Credits: Page 46 Paula Owen, president Southwest School of Art and Craft Page 47 Southwest School of Art and Craft campus Page 48 Top: Paula Owen and Felix Padron, executive director of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs Bottom: Classroom setting 48 On The Town | January-February 2010
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New Year, New Experiences Museums and Art Centers Inaugurate 2010 in Grand Style 50 On The Town | January-February 2010 By Shannon Huntington Standley
he rush of the holiday season has passed, the year has come to a close and a new year is a great opportunity to embark on new experiences. While the weather is cold and drab, the warm, stunning and vibrant galleries of San Antonio’s art and cultural institutions await. The first of four seasonal rotations in the San Antonio Museum of Art’s Lenora and Walter F. Brown Asian Art Wing, Seasons of Beauty: Yoshitoshi’s 32 Aspects of Daily Life, comes to an end Jan. 17. Don’t miss this season’s presentation of works by Taiso Yoshitoshi, one of the greatest Japanese woodblock print artists. In addition, SAMA is serving up Culinary Delights. On view through Feb. 21 and featuring the photographs of nationally acclaimed photographer David Halliday, the exhibition focuses on still life compositions using food—a natural subject for an artist who began his career as a chef. UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures is exploring the
science, history and everyday affect of race and racism. RACE: Are We So Different? is an important exhibition encouraging the understanding of what race is and is not and is on view Jan. 23 through May 16. Through a powerful combination of artifacts, historic and contemporary photographs, multimedia components and interactive activities, RACE provides an opportunity to think and talk about a topic that touches lives daily. The circus is still in town at the Witte Museum! This is your last chance to take a peek behind the canvas with Circus Folk: Secrets Behind the Big Top, on view through Feb. 14. The Witte fantastically unravels the secrets from behind the big top and drew the exhibition from its famous Hertzberg Circus Collection, one of the largest and most impressive collections of circus art and artifacts in the world. The Witte also is hosting Colors on Clay: Pottery of San Antonio, on view through March 21. Drawn from the outstanding private collection of Susan Toomey Frost, this exhibit features a selection of brightly colored tiles decorated to reflect January-February 2010 | On The Town 51
the popular imagery of Mexico and South Texas. Generically referred to as “San José tiles,” the works were produced locally by small groups of artisans working in a succession of three workshops from 1931 to 1971, led by entrepreneur Ethel Wilson Harris. Two new exhibitions go up at Artpace Jan. 14. In his self-titled exhibit, Alejandro Cesarco challenges viewers to seek new meaning behind the texts and images of his works. This particular exhibition unites, for the first time, the different components of a body of work entitled Index (2000-2008). Consisting of an alphabetized list of terms and ideas arranged as if indexing a specific publication, the works are half biographical and half theoretical. The exhibition also features a new film commissioned for the occasion, The Two Stories, consisting of the reading and telling of a story, with the two narratives overlapping each other. Also on exhibit as a self-titled show, David Zamoras Casas is a self-trained painter who incorporates threedimensional objects into his oil and acrylic paintings, including materials such as lace, bones, branches, thorns, skeletons, fabric, flowers and images cut and collaged from porn magazines. Working with light in the dark at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center is artist Sally Weber. The experience of loss, grief or mourning reveals a thread leading to the unexpected. Tertium Quid, the third thing, is neither the innocence before, nor the despair. It is a merged perception which sees the complexity of the human condition as it is. Closing Feb. 14, The Familiar Unknown features nationally known artists Susan Beiner, Rebekah Bogard, Rebecca Hutchinson and Anne Drew Potter, and is curated by Ovidio Giberga, who is the head of the ceramics department at UTSA. Through the medium of clay, Bogard sculpts fictional animals revealing her real-life stories; Hutchinson creates works based on organic structures and deformities found in nature; Potter blurs anatomical signifiers of gender, race and age; and Beiner transforms the organic into the synthetic. Many galleries at the McNay Art Museum are swiftly changing, with four new exhibitions debuting in the new year. Leading the schedule is Recent Acquisitions of Prints and Drawings, on view Jan. 20 through March 14. The exhibition features 36 works on paper, showing the rapid growth of this collection in the past three years. Opening Feb. 3 and continuing through May 9 is An Impressionist Sensibility: The Halff 52 On The Town | January-February 2010
Collection, highlighting 26 American paintings from the outstanding collection of Marie and Hugh Halff. Complementing this exhibit is Impressionist Graphics from the McNay Collection, running Feb. 3 through May 16. The exhibition of 20 prints and drawings are by American artists represented in the Halff Collection, as well as some of their French contemporaries and precedents. Finally, on view Feb. 3 through May 9 is TruthBeauty: Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art, 1845-1945. Drawn from the rich collections of the George Eastman House, TruthBeauty shows the rise of Pictorialism in the late 19th century through more than 130 masterworks from well-known photographers such as Alvin Langdon Coburn, F. Holland Day, Robert Demachy Frederick Evans, Gertrude Käsebier, Heinrich Kühn, Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz. The Southwest School of Art & Craft debuts four new exhibits with the new year. Opening Jan. 21 in the Ursuline Hall Gallery is Louis Vega Trevino, a local artist, whose new paintings blur color, line and form; Flipping the Bird, opening Feb. 11 in the Navarro Lobby Gallery, is a print portfolio curated by Margaret Craig, chair of the Painting, Drawing and Printmaking Department; an acclaimed San Antonio artist now living in Los Angeles returns to show new works with Vincent Valdez: Flash Back opening in the Russell Hill Rogers Gallery Feb. 11; finally, also opening Feb. 11 in the Russell Hill Rogers Gallery II is The Miniature Worlds of Bruce Metcalf, who is an acclaimed metalsmith, sculptor, professor, writer and arts philosopher. The Museo Alameda’s dedication to a seminal figure in the Chicano art movement, Jesse Trevino: Mi Vida, is a major retrospective examining the career of nationally recognized artist Jesse Trevino. On view through Feb. 28, the exhibition title is inspired by a work, Mi Vida, which recently was rescued from demolition by art collector Cindy Gabriel. Opening Jan. 27, Arte en la Charrería: The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture, is an exhibition illustrating one of the richest on-going traditions of Mexico through art objects and costume. Bihl Haus Arts has two events of note in the January - February time frame starting with Revelations in Color: A Year of Paintings by James Saldivar. The exhibit goes up on Jan. 15 and runs through Feb. 13. Bihl Haus has also organized the 3rd Annual On and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour on Feb. 20-21. For more info: www.onandofffred.org January-February 2010 | On The Town 53
Through a variety of mediums, subjects, time periods and cultures, this community is offered experiences second to none. If it has been a while since you took advantage of what the art and cultural stewards of this community have to offer, the new year is a perfect time to experience something new. Photo Credits: Page 50 John Singer Sargent American, born Italy, 1856-1925 The Sulphur Match Oil on canvas, 23 x 16 1/4 in. McNay Art Museum Page 51 David Halliday Fish Heads and Pumpkins, 2007 Archival pigment print, 20 x 30â€? Courtesy of the artists and Arthur Roger Gallery , New Orleans Page 52 Top: Frank Weston Benson American, 1862-1951 Elizabeth and Anna, ca. 1909 Oil on canvas, 32 x 25 in. McNay Art Museum Bottom: La Carta de Amor Colors on Clay: Pottery in San Antonio Witte Museum Page 53 Top and Bottom: Arte en la Charreria The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture Museo Alameda Page 54 Top: James Saldivar Sweet, 2009 Oil on canvas 48 x 24 in. Bihl Haus Arts Bottom: Sally Weber Descent â€“ six part installation Fossil, 2006 Pulsed laser images between glass, Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center 54 On The Town | January-February 2010
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The Art of James Wyatt Hendricks By Susan A. Merkner Photo of James Wyatt Hendricks by Greg Harrison 56 On The Town | January-February 2010
ames Wyatt Hendricks has worked for some of bronze rattlesnake. He recently bid on design work San Antonio’s biggest firms and has been self- for sculptural light fixtures for the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. employed – often simultaneously.
As an artist, he feels the common push-pull of creative A graduate of East Central High School, he attended San Antonio College, where he studied visual arts and freedom and the need to make a living. graphic design. He credits one of his SAC professors, Hendricks carves out time for his artwork – about 10 Mark Pritchett, chair of the visual arts program, with to 15 hours per week – in addition to holding down a opening his eyes to a variety of artistic styles and full-time job as an illustrator at Pearson. He’s also the expressions. father of two daughters, ages 23 and 10. Another influence on Hendricks’ life was HemisFair, the “I’m a bit of a workaholic,” Hendricks, 51, says in his 1968 world’s fair held downtown, he says. “HemisFair brought in sculptors from around the world. There soft-spoken, understated manner. were all kinds of interesting exhibits and displays. It The sculptor, painter and illustrator says he “could was just fascinating.” almost make a living” from his architectural metal work, which graces homes in The Dominion and Hollywood In the business world, Hendricks has worked at Park, among other upscale neighborhoods. His art Fairchild Aircraft, where he learned to use Apple can be found throughout the San Antonio area. computers in his design work. He also was a partHendricks has produced works for the Lighthouse owner of Geomedia, a full-service video and film for the Blind, the Buffalo Soldiers organization and production house, for seven years. the McNay Art Museum. For the opening of Ronald Reagan High School in 1999 he created a 14-foot Hendricks spent 14 years at the San Antonio ExpressJanuary-February 2010 | On The Town 57
News as a graphic artist and visual journalist. He was among the approximately 75 editorial department employees laid off during the March 2009 firing frenzy. Before he could begin his job search last spring, Hendricks was offered a full-time position at Pearson, where he had worked previously as an independent contractor, illustrating testing materials. He estimates he has produced about 40,000-plus illustrations. His San Antonio studio, which he opened almost 10 years ago, is at 918 Nolan St., east of Dignowity Park. It’s housed in a 1920s-era former grocery store with 4,000 square feet of interior space and an adjacent yard where Hendricks can set up his welding projects. Before that, he had operated a studio in Bulverde for nine years. Hendricks says he learned welding when he was 18, working for construction companies needing metalwork. “I’m a fairly technical person, and I can learn things quickly.” He fine-tuned his metalworking and blacksmithing skills working with a mentor in Boerne a decade ago. At that point, he also branched out into carving sculpture from stone. The artist has designed 500 sculpture pieces and can produce 12 works a year, depending on their size and complexity, he says. Painting and illustrating can be profitable, but he cautions that the entire field of visual arts is extremely competitive. Public art commissions, in particular, may pay well but take a lot of time, including designing and bidding. On his Web site, Hendricks divides his work into six categories: sacred birds, sculpture, painting, public art, drawings/illustration, and prints. Online and in his studio, the artist’s comfort with a wide range of materials is evident. At home, he has a collection of about 300 art and art history books. “I’m constantly learning,” Hendricks says. “I like all types of art.”
58 2009 2010 58 On On The The Town Town || July-August January-February
His inspiration has its roots in classical art, he says. But he speaks most enthusiastically about the Modern Art movement because of the skill of its craftsmen. “They did a lot of the work themselves,” he says. “I admire people with the skills to do it in a way that the craftsmanship is there.”
Among the artists who have influenced Hendricks’ work were David Smith, an American Abstract Expressionist sculptor in the 1920s through ‘40s, who created huge, abstract metal pieces, and Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese American artist known in the 1930s and ‘40s for his stone and metal sculpture and public works. Among his contemporaries, Hendricks says he likes the work of Donald Lipsky of Philadelphia, who created the sunfish sculpture on the new Mission Reach section of the San Antonio River Walk. Hendricks was commissioned by the Tobin Collection at the McNay Art Musuem in 2009 to create 32 sculptures for table centerpieces at a fundraising dinner. Each piece, which was about 30 inches high, was auctioned as a part of the evening’s fund raising. “The exposure was great,” Hendricks says with a low chuckle. Now, he just needs more hours in the day. For more information, visit www.wyatthendricks.com. Photo Credits: Page 56 James Wyatt Hendricks Page 57 Native Americans Watercolor and pencil Page 58 Top: Blue Tree Painted steel 20 feet Bottom: Free Fall I Oil on canvas 30 x 30 in. Page 59 Top: Japanese Girl Prisma color (pencil) and water colors Bottom: Caged Bird I 14 x 14 x 8 in. Bronze and steel January-February 2010 | On The Town 59
VA Visual Arts
Muralismo in the City San Anto Cultural Arts’ Community Mural/Public Art Program By Melinda Higgins Photography Courtesty San Anto Cultural Arts
hese aren’t just concrete with paint thrown about, but images that bring us hope. Our future is not lost. Our children have something to look up to: Images of hope,” writes poet and San Anto Cultural Arts mural participant Enrico “Caso” Salinas in The Walls. Salinas could not have put it any better. San Anto’s Comm60 On The Town | January-February 2010
unity Mural/Public Art Program (CMP) does not create art simply for art’s sake. The 37 murals scattered throughout the West Side are meant both to inspire viewers with positive images of this neighborhood’s cultura, and empower those who work on the murals through teamwork, quality artistic training and the opportunity to produce something for the greater community.
The CMP identifies, trains and mobilizes artistically inclined youth, adults and elder residents to create three to five major murals/public art works per year through the crew system, which teams a lead muralist with crew members. Lead muralists are typically former crew members who have gained enough experience to lead their own projects. Crew nembers are individuals with interest/talent in art who are recruited by wordof-mouth, school presentations or on the street.
started as a participant in the program, and led her first mural when she was 18. Upon her graduation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ruth came back to lead the program that first unleashed her talent. She is one of San Antoâ€™s many examples of what can happen when art and passion combine.
San Antoâ€™s work in muralismo helps make our city brighter and more colorful, but it also empowers both viewers and participants to rise up and do good Taggers, community artists and art professionals alike for the community. To support San Anto Cultural Arts have come together through the CMP to work on murals. or take a guided mural tour for $10 per person, call Even the current CMP coordinator, Ruth Buentello, (210) 226-7466. January-February 2010 | On The Town 61
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Culinary Arts 64-72
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Mi Tierra--A Celebration of Life An interview with Jorge “George” Cortez By Chris Dunn Photography Cynthia Clark
i Tierra Café y Panaderia in San Antonio’s Mercado is a perpetual celebration; a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year holiday that never takes one.
shimmering banners float above you; art, autographed celebrity photos and mementos surround you; the bakery cases are piled high with a dazzling display of conchas, pasteles, breads and candies of all kinds; strolling musicians, “los trovadores,” perform all hours A constellation of star-shaped piñatas greet you at the of the day and night; and servers are adorned in bright door; multicolored lights festoon the ceilings and walls; colors and brighter smiles.
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But there is a more serious celebration going on at Mi Tierra -- a celebration of a people, a culture, a vision and life. Jorge Cortez, eldest son of the restaurant’s founder, Pete Cortez, said, “Mi Tierra had to be more than enchiladas, tamales and tacos. It had to be about life, about love, about our community and, most of all, God’s blessings.”
and eventually acquired the entire city block. Today the Mercado is home to more than 125 shops, and the family owns and operates three restaurants -- Mi Tierra Café y Panaderia, La Margarita Restaurant and Oyster Bar, and nearby Pico de Gallo Restaurant -- as well as two bakeries.
Over the years, the Cortez family has won many awards, including Best Mexican Food in San Antonio, Best Place The restaurant is filled with affirmations of that to Take Out-of-Town Guests, Best Late-Night Dining, statement. Outside the restaurant is an “ofrenda,” Best Margarita and Best Fajitas (which were introduced a permanent Dia de Los Muertos display in to the United States in the early 1980s at La Margarita). remembrance of family, coworkers and friends who Since Pete’s untimely passing in 1984, the Cortez have passed away. family has continued to follow his vision, both in their businesses and community. In the entryway of the restaurant is a religious shrine, resplendent with crosses, statues of saints and, at the Jorge worked with doctors at Santa Rosa Hospital, center, the Virgin de Guadalupe. Downstairs, where community leaders and the City of San Antonio to customers never go, is another little altar and shrine for revitalize Milam Plaza near the Mercado, making it an private meditation. inviting area of green space for children and families in a part of town that greatly needed it. “Many wonderful The massive baroque bar, designed by Armando Sanchez citizens of this community came together, and we raised and Jorge “George” Cortez, is imbued with ancient money,” he said. Mayan, Aztec and Mexican symbols, reflecting one of Pete Cortez’s cardinal principles: “Preserve our culture.” He has also been a driving force behind the Alameda National Center for Latino Arts and Culture, which In the back dining room is a huge Jesus Diaz Garza mural includes the Museo Alameda, the first museum affiliate dedicated to Latinos who have contributed so much to of the Smithsonian Institute outside of Washington, San Antonio and the United States. D.C., as well as a capital campaign to restore the iconic Alameda Theatre, which, when built in 1949, was the The original dining room, referred to as the “corazon,” largest Spanish-language entertainment facility in the or heart, of Mi Tierra, is a memorial to the spirit and United States. vision of Pete Cortez and an affirmation of the family’s mission statement, which includes, “We will glorify God His younger brother, Ruben Cortez, won the 2008 by honoring the vision of our founders…” San Antonio Restaurant Association Outstanding Restaurateur Award. He is also a leader of the Healthy That vision began in 1941, when Pete Cortez, a 23-year- Restaurants Coalition, which is dedicated to bringing old from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and his wife, Cruz, healthy menu choices to San Antonio restaurants. bought a three-table restaurant in the Mercado for Another brother, David, is actively involved in the $150. The atmosphere of the market, with its farmers National Restaurants Association and a member of its and produce workers, Chile Queens serving homemade advisory board. food, and musicians strolling around, reminded him of home. “He wanted to serve the best to the humblest Pete Cortez’s vision is being carried forward by the people -- that’s where he came from,” said Jorge. second and third generations of the family. “It’s a big family affair here,” said Jorge. Pete acquired his second restaurant in 1951 and named it “Mi Tierra,” “my land,” but holding on to it wasn’t easy. Property has already been secured on the north side of town for a new restaurant venture, and in downtown That area of town was run down; the produce market San Antonio, the family hopes to establish an extended moved, and Pete had to fight to save the Mercado cultural zone. “We’re working on a shopping district from being demolished by the city. But he persevered from San Fernando and the river down to the Mercado,” January-February 2010 | On The Town 65
he said, “from Houston Street down to Dolorosa Street -- a Zona Cultural.” But the symbol of that vision will always be Mi Tierra, a San Antonio landmark which hosts more than 2 million visitors a year. “This restaurant is to me like life,” said Jorge. “It’s got its ups and downs. It’s got its joy and at times a little sadness here. It’s almost like a mother that opens her arms…embracing every person that walks through this door.” 66 On The Town | January-February 2010
Photo Credits: Page 64 George Cortez Page 66 The Cortez Family (Left to Right) Christina Cortez-De La Fuente, Angelica Cortez, Jon Cortez, David Cortez, Michael Cortez, Pete Cortez, Ruben Cortez, George Cortez (seated), Deborah Cortez
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Pinch Pennies and Dine Well Champagne Appetite on a Beer Pocketbook By Marlo Mason-Marie
© Creasencesro | Dreamstime.com
t this point in time, you don’t have to be rich to enjoy wonderfully prepared cuisine at outstanding eateries in the city and surrounding area. All you have to do is to figure out how you can most efficiently take advantage of all the “deals” offered by these establishments. I am truly amazed at what’s available and where it’s available. If you’ve read my previous articles then you know I have successfully wired myself into the “savings network,” so to speak, by joining every restaurant e-mail club imaginable and by wisely investing a few dollars in restaurant discount programs. Now, the deals find me. This is how I pay for my champagne appetite with a beer pocketbook. I strongly suggest you do the same. 68 On The Town | January-February 2010
Let me begin illustrating what being “wired in” means by mentioning that my recent birthday unleashed an explosive onslaught of e-mail offers. Restaurants, in staggering numbers, couldn’t wait to wish me happy birthday and make an offer I couldn’t refuse. The best of the best were McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant (I wish we had this restaurant in San Antonio) and The Palm. M&S electronically loaded my preferred guest card with $30 to use any way I saw fit, and The Palm sent an 837 Club certificate for a free entrée, excluding only a double steak (I can’t eat two) and lobster tails over three pounds. These were straight up, “come and get it” deals, not “we will give you this if you buy that” offers. I joined each of their customer clubs years ago for a one-time cost of $25 each, and I’ve reaped benefits like these ever since.
Houlihan’s was another restaurant that invested heavily in me for my birthday by e-mailing a free entrée certificate with no restrictions that was valid at either lunch or dinner. Since their e-mail club is totally free, I came out mucho dining dollars ahead on this one. Zio’s Italian Kitchen also wanted me to eat free at their place, so I did. Ruby Tuesday offered a high-dollar hamburger for no dollars at all, and I enjoyed it also.
Mansion Hotel, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Biga on the Banks and Grey Moss Inn. WOAI Radio, and all other Clear Channel stations, offer half-price discounts to restaurants as well. My previous purchases from their service include Tomatillo’s Café y Cantina, Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse, Yard House, Crumpets, Meson European Restaurant and Golden Wok. Great dining can come at greatly reduced prices, if you know where to look. Check out Restaurant.com, Entertainment.com, EnjoytheCity.com and the KLRN member card, too.
Another way to save big bucks at quality restaurants is by faithfully surfing Web sites for KENS-TV/Good Morning San Antonio and WOAI-TV/4Savers. You never know which restaurant will be offered next at Pinch your pennies and dine extremely well. It’s easy, half price. In the past, I’ve bought $50 gift certificates smart and downright fiscally responsible. for $25 to Ounce Steakhouse, Las Canarias in La
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CA Culinary Arts
SavorSA.com A Comprehensive Food, Wine and Dining Site
By John Griffin Photography Nicholas N. Mistry SavorSA
Left: Powdered sugar is the final touch for this homemade tart Right: Assorted peppers and eggplant from the Olmos Basin Farmers Market
f you want to sink your teeth into San Antonio’s Equally important is partner Nicholas Mistry, whose food scene, then sample SavorSA.com, a new, photographic skills and Web design have enhanced the site’s appetizing visual appeal. comprehensive site covering food, wine and dining.
Online for just six months, this colorful ezine is wired into the city’s restaurant scene, from openings and closings to changes in menus, chefs and locations. The site also covers major events, such as the New World Wine & Food Festival and KLRN-TV’s annual San Antonio Wine Competition.
Among SavorSA’s growing readership are food enthusiasts who are well aware that San Antonio is entering a new level of national recognition for its food scene.
While the city offers some of the tastiest examples of its traditional Tex-Mex, far more culinary excitement If it’s recipes you’re looking for, this is a good place to is at hand. With the creation of the third and newest find them, from articles on making jam out of the bounty campus of the Culinary Institute of America here at of fruit that grows in San Antonio, to how to deep-fry a the Pearl Brewery, the opportunities for San Antonio becoming one of Texas’s major, serious food centers turkey or make pizzas on the grill. is at hand. As more young chefs come out of the SavorSA also culls through the huge number of events CIA, more restaurants will be here to offer them happening each day in the city, finding those with the professional opportunities. most appeal to food and wine enthusiasts. SavorSA intends to take the lead in tracking what promises While readers and local writers contribute to the content, to be a vibrant, new culinary consciousness in this city -most of the articles are written by SavorSA partners and and invite you to explore with us all the delicious, new editors John Griffin and Bonnie Walker. San Antonio prospects coming up. food lovers know these two from their days at the San Antonio Express-News where they were the lead writers If San Antonio is eating it, drinking it or talking about it, for the award-winning food and dining sections for SavorSA will keep on top of it. Look for daily updates. more than 10 years. January-February 70 On The Town | July-August 2009 2010
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Book Talk: Modrea Mitchell-Reichert and Shelia Rinear Playwrights, SAT Playwrights members Story and Photo by Jasmina Wellinghoff
he San Antonio theater scene may be lively and diverse yet we rarely get to see works penned by local playwrights. Most theatergoers would probably be hard pressed to name even one local script writer. But that may be changing. An active little group called SAT Playwrights has been nurturing new stage writers since 2002 and producing its members’ works annually during the SAT Playwrights PlayFest since 2004. Thanks to growing audiences, the 2010 fest will be a milestone of sorts as it will be the first to run for four weekends as a regular part of the San Pedro Playhouse Cellar Theater season. Scheduled for Jan. 8 - 31, the festival will feature original plays by eight authors under the umbrella title of Chicago Breezing. (See box). Each script must have a connection to the city of Chicago but what the writers do with that slim requirement is entirely up to them. Past fests had Las Vegas and New Orleans themes. All plays are fully staged by professional actors and directors.
but is especially proud of three full-length works: Women of Letters, also produced by Stoli; Chasing the Blues, produced by the San Pedro Playhouse and winner of a number of honors; and her newest Cries That Bind, that had a staged reading in November at the Dramatists Guild in New York City. The latter deals with the aftermath of a loved one’s suicide, something that Rinear’s lived through herself after her adult brother killed himself.
We talked to SAT Playwrights founder and artistic director Modrea Mitchell-Reichert and SAT Playwrights member Sheila Rinear – both prolific script writers – about their group, the state of their art in our city and their own work in order to shed light on this important part of the literary arts. Mitchell-Reichert is probably best known for her two full-length plays, Little Old Ladies on the Lamb and Silver Wings, both produced by the former Steven Stoli Playhouse. A drama teacher for 22 years, Rinear is the author of dozens of short scripts
JW: How has the organization evolved since its inception in 2002?
JW: Modrea, what motivated you to start SAT Playwrights? MMR: I wanted a place where I could get together with other writers to discuss writing and I also wanted a chance to see our work produced. There were no playwrights’ groups in town, though other writers’ groups existed. I decided this was an opportunity to focus on playwriting as a unique genre.
MMR: At first, we were just getting together to have workshops or, as we call them, salons, where members’ plays were read by actors and then everyone, actors and other playwrights, offered feedback to the writer whose play was read. In 2004, we introduced our first PlayFest. The following year, the Stoli Playhouse made it part of its season. We eventually introduced January-February 2010 | On The Town 75
a newsletter that lists information about where to submit work nationally, playwriting competitions, members’ news, etc. This is important because San Antonio doesn’t have a lot of outlets for original works. And the PlayFest has grown and changed. Of course, we continue with our monthly salons. That’s part of our mission – to help playwrights develop their scripts. JW: How has the Play Fest changed? MMR: The first year, we had one one-act play and several short 10-minute ones. We found out that that didn’t work for an evening of entertainment because the rhythm is different between the two formats. Then we decided to go with the 10-minute format. It’s a challenge for writers to get their story and character development that tight. Clearly you can’t get a whole lot of development but in ten minutes you can create characters with considerable depth. There’s usually a lot of back story that’s hinted at which makes it interesting for the audience because theater engages the imagination much more than other genres. Also, because writers are given a specific theme, they have to write a new script, they can’t just pull something out of the drawer and submit. This encourages them to write. The 10-minute format also allows for more writers to have their stuff produced. JW: The chosen themes seem to revolve around specific cities, New Orleans, Las Vegas and now Chicago. Why? MMR: What I was trying to do is to give some cohesion to the evening. We started with physical locations but it doesn’t mean that it won’t change in the future. To get an audience interested in new works, the more you can tell them upfront and kind of give them a sense of what to expect, the more receptive they will be. It increases their comfort level. JW: Are the actors and directors all volunteers? MMR: They were until last year when we were able to pay them stipends from ticket sales which we split with the San Pedro Playhouse. We hope to do the same this year. But the real reason we have been able to get quality actors and directors is the artistic challenge. For a director to get to shape a new work is a joy. It’s the same for an actor to get a role that’s never been done before. It’s also an opportunity for new artists to build a portfolio. JW: Sheila, as a playwright, how do you benefit from 76 On The Town | January-February 2010
belonging to SAT Playwrights? SR: I belong to other writers’ groups but I really like the dynamics of this group. It’s a very safe environment for writers. Everyone is helpful and supportive. They always start by pointing out what’s good (about the work) and then suggest that you look at this or that you might want to change or rework. Modrea will not pick a play for the fest unless we workshop it. When you see the results of the rewriting that members do thanks to the salons, you realize she is holding the standards up and I want to be part of that kind of group. The salon they gave me last April for Cries That Bind was so helpful. I thought the play was in pretty good shape at the time but the suggestions that were made – Oh my gosh! – they were fabulous. We have very intelligent participants who get very excited about each other’s work. JW: How do you feel when you see your words brought to life by actors and directors? SR: I trust actors and directors because I know they want to do a good job. I’ve directed some of my own pieces but I prefer to have someone else do it because it’s more fun to see what their take will be. Theater is a collaborative effort. JW: Is this collaboration the reason you write plays instead of, say, novels? SR: You know how they tell you to do what you did as a kid if you want to be happy as an adult? Well, ever since I was little, in the summer time my sister, my cousins and I would put on plays for which I would create the scripts. I love to write, to read and do research but I am really a people person. And if I know I am going to share the experience with other people, it’s like getting ready for a party. I love the process of working with other artists. JW: Modrea, why have you chosen to write for the stage? MMR: Plays are organic and visceral. Actors generate an energy that connects with an audience and draws them into the action. If done well, a play will touch, sometimes exacerbate, the emotions, the imagination or the intellect, so there is a catharsis… Plays connect to us on an immediate, unfiltered level; have an immediate impact.
JW: Most playwrights seem to lean toward one or a couple of preferred themes. What are you interested in? MMR: I tend to write about the experiences of characters who don’t quite fit in, the outsiders. In my one-act The Gift, for instance, the main character is an Asian war widow who arrives to visit her Ohio in-laws for the first time. They have never met her and they see her as somehow responsible for their son’s death. She’s an outsider. Most people have that outsider experience in some situations in their lives. What interests me is how the individual deals with it. JW: Are you both having plays in this month’s PlayFest? SR: I am. It’s called I Didn’t Sign On for That. It’s a parable. I happened to see an article in the New York Times about a blog for women whose husbands lost their jobs on Wall Street (due to the financial crash). So I have these three women whom I call Widows of the Wall Street Economic Downturn meet in a bar and react to what is happening. The fourth character is the bartender who serves as a Greek chorus. He gives the audience permission to laugh. JW: Generally speaking, what can be done to encourage more San Antonio playhouses to produce original plays by San Antonio authors? MMR: I think playhouses want to support original work. However, two forces hinder them from offering full-length productions. One is local audiences’ reservations about new work. Original is unfortunately often equated with avant-garde, edgy, or gratuitous use of profanity… The second force is economics. If an original script draws only a meager attendance, the theater has to consider the ramifications of staging another such script. That’s why I like the 10-minute format in the PlayFest. It’s a smorgasbord of flavors and styles, united by a theme, which allows someone to experience these new writers and become a little more receptive to seeing original work in the future. SR: Modrea has been a one-woman force in educating San Antonio audiences. Last year (at the Play Fest) they had to turn people away. If the festival gets the reputation that its plays are fun for the audience – even though some are very serious, too – that educates them to look for more such work.
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SAT Playwrights 2010 PlayFest January 8-30, 2010 Chicago Breezing Cellar Theater, San Pedro Playhouse The following plays will be presented: I Didn’t Sign on for That! written by Sheila Rinear The Right Thing, written by Mary Ellen Rainwater Bread and Roses, written by Rebecca Burroughs Shopping, written by Mellissa Marlowe Doctor’s Secret Remedy, written by Antoinette Winstead The Phone Call, written by Lindsey Van de Kirk Love is Like Chicago, written by J.C. Alvarez-Klebahn Masquerade, written by James Venhaus For ticket information and reservations contact box office at 733-7258
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Grilling By the Book By Claudia Maceo-Sharp Photos Courtesy Twig Book Shop (Left) Cooking The Cowboy Way by Grady Spears with June Naylor (Right) Emeril at the Grill by Emeril Lagasse
n January and February, San Antonians are used to dodging the RVs of “Winter Texans,” recognized by their Midwestern and Northern license plates, as they make their way through our fair state to the coast and the valley so low. They come to share what we, being Texans, boast about: our mild winters. We fire up our grills year round simply because we can.
With the Stock Show and Rodeo within hollerin’ distance and folks coming in to enjoy the sites and shows, set out Texas BBQ, photographs by Wyatt McSpadden, to set the mouths of your guests watering as you prepare to smoke and sear. If you were to feel a chill, you can warm yourself over the pictures of the firepits; the smell of wood smoke exudes from the pages of this fine coffee table book.
bet that cowboys would have eaten cauliflower gratin if they’d had the ingredients handy, or at least when their mamas served it to them. While you no doubt guard your own personal barbecue recipe, the following cookbooks are sure to inspire some reconsideration of the ingredients and techniques by the likes of Emeril Legasse. That T-bone on the cover of Emeril at the Grill lures you in. For the more openminded grillers, there within lie recipes for things you might never have considered grilling, side dishes and beverages to boot.
If somehow you have been deprived of grilling knowhow, it is not too late. Based on the success of his grilling books, look to an older reference: The Barbeque Bible, second edition by Steven Raichlen, author of How to Grill Bridging photography of wide open spaces with and BBQ USA. Raichlen brings in the grilling flavors of authentic recipes, Cooking the Cowboy Way by Grady Asia and the Caribbean as well as the traditional spices Spears with June Naylor contains recipes for beans as seasoning beef, pork, fish, fowl and vegetable. you might expect. Fajitas and vaquero migas, too. I am willing to believe that these were indeed inspired by The answers to all of your grilling questions sizzle in the “campfires, chuck wagons and ranch kitchens.” I’ll even pages of these books. 78 On The Town | January-February 2010
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Festivals & Celebrations 82-93
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60th Annual San Antonio
& Rodeo|Feb.4-21 By Angela Rabke Photography Courtesy San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo
nce a year, the world-famous San Antonio Spurs pack up their bags, hop on a plane and head out of town for two weeks of excitement. They’re not on vacation, though — they’re taking their game on the road to make room for 2,160 tons of dirt, which is a good sign that the rodeo is taking over the AT&T Center.
host them, and we do everything we can to make San Antonio their home away from home,” says Pam Rew, one of the assistant executive directors at the rodeo.
The affection appears to be mutual. Every year, members of the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) vote to select the Rodeo of the Year, which is the equivalent of a national championship in the The transformation brings an entirely new set of rodeo world. And each year for the past five years, San athletes to San Antonio from all over the world — Antonio has been selected as the Large Indoor Rodeo human and animal athletes. The bullriders, barrel of the Year, making it the only rodeo besides Rodeo racers and ropers that make the trip to this rodeo are Houston to win for five consecutive years. at the top of their game. Only the best in the business qualify to ride in San Antonio, with the hopes of For those who are lukewarm about the actual rodeo, it winning a piece of the $1 million purse. does not hurt that each of the 21 performances ends with a lineup of musical acts that appeal to country “The cowboys and cowgirls that compete in our rodeo and western music lovers, plus a few special nights are at the top of their game. We’re always honored to dedicated to Norteno, Christian and pop acts. January-February 2010 | On The Town 83
Let’s Rodeo San Antonio FP Editorial
The 2010 show brings Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Selena Gomez, Journey and many more. The rodeo is continuing its program, called “The Star Experience,” that allows individuals to purchase a ticket to watch the concert performance from the actual dirt in the rodeo arena — up close and personal!
The weather in February can be unpredictable, but it seems that more often than not, it is perfect. For families with young children, the stock show grounds are an ideal place to visit and provide more than one full day of activity and entertainment. During the week, the grounds are active but not heavily crowded, and children can experience multiple petting zoos, There might be some who would be surprised to find a the largest junior livestock show in the world, carnival rodeo taking place in the heart of the nation’s seventh- rides and pig races. Adults enjoy acres of unique largest city, but location might be one aspect of the shopping opportunities and the types of food that are event’s success. Rodeo planners have access to all of found only at fairgrounds: kettle corn, corn on the cob, the amenities of the AT&T Center, which they share funnel cake and the famous fajitas that volunteers grill with the Spurs, the support of 5,000 volunteers and nonstop throughout the event. the enthusiasm of a city that embraces cultural events. 84 On The Town | January-February 2010
Let’s Rodeo San Antonio FP Editorial
“Every year, we work hard to bring back the traditions that people have come to love, but we also work hard to provide new exhibits. We try to provide a little something for everyone,” says Rew.
scholarships, grants, endowments, show premiums and the calf-scramble program. Since its inception, the stock show and rodeo has raised more than $96 million for Texas youth.
The volunteers roaming the grounds are reminders that over the course of San Antonio’s favorite February activity, the 1 million-plus visitors can feel great knowing that their money is going to a great cause. Hundreds of kids show their animals in hopes of winning a space in the auctions, where supportive businesses and individuals purchase the prize-winning animals and dedicate the proceeds to the students’ educations. Additionally, money is distributed through
Tickets to the rodeo can be purchased online at sarodeo.com, ticketmaster.com, at the AT&T Center Southwest box office, any Ticketmaster location or by calling 1-877-63-rodeo. The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo is a volunteer organization that emphasizes agriculture and education to develop the youth of Texas. For more information, visit www.sarodeo.com. January-February 2010 | On The Town 85
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Institute of Texan Cultures Celebrates the Lunar NewYear at the Asian Festival By James Benavides Photos Courtesy ITC
or more than 20 years, San Antonio’s Asian community has shared its tradition of the Lunar New Year celebration. The Asian Festival, which moved to the Institute of Texan Cultures in 2000, was originally a “family reunion” for the San Antonio Asian community. The Institute will celebrate a decade of hosting the Asian Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20.
The festival will begin with a traditional Lion Dance Parade, complete with drums, cymbals and fireworks to frighten away evil spirits. The San Antonio Lion Dance Association leads the parade, with two-person teams in elaborate lion costumes performing synchronized dance and acrobatic feats.
The day’s activities continue with other music and dance performances, from the Matsuri Japanese The Asian Festival is scheduled around the time of Dancers to the India Association of San Antonio, which the Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year. In China, recently sponsored the “Diwali” Festival of Lights. the Indian subcontinent and the island nations of the Guests can enjoy the sounds of traditional instruments Pacific —including native Hawaiian culture — the and performances from classically trained Okinawan Lunar New Year is a time of great celebration, marked dancers, to Hawaiian hula-style fire dancing, to the with festivals, dance, food and fireworks. Filipino Binasuan, a test of balance in which dancers January-February 2010 | On The Town 87
perform with glasses of water on their heads. The Asian Festival is an opportunity for San Antonians to learn more about Asian cultures through a variety of lectures, including Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, customs such as the Japanese tea ceremony, and the unique history of various regions and nations. Participants from Ikebana International and the San Antonio Bonsai Society exhibit their intricately arranged botanicals, following a minimalist philosophy of aesthetically pleasing displays. Storytellers use the Japanese tradition of Kamishibai to bring folktales to life with large illustrated cards and hand puppets. The Chinese Womenâ€™s Club invites guests to learn the dominolike game of mah-jongg, which is much different than the matching game commonly found on computers. Martial arts organizations perform throughout the day, showcasing several styles of self-defense. Many demonstrators take a few moments to speak on the history of martial arts and discuss philosophies of discipline and honor that govern their respective practice. Kendo demonstrates traditional styles of swordsmanship. Tai Chi Chuan demonstrates a deliberate and meditative exercise. Sumo demonstrates how the ancient wrestling form relies on dexterity and footwork to off-balance an opponent. In addition to dance, music and martial arts, Asian Texans celebrate the New Year with food. Favorites include Thaistyle bubble drinks, Japanese sushi, Chinese-style egg rolls, spring rolls and stir-fry. The Indian and Pakistani vendors offer a selection of curry, samosas and tandoori dishes. Filipino foods served at the festival include a popular adobo chicken and a noodle dish called pancit. The Aloha Kitchen serves island standards including kalua pork and an assortment of tropical desserts. The St. Philipâ€™s College culinary arts program, the Aloha Kitchen, the Pakistani group and many others will demonstrate and share the secrets of cooking Asian-style cuisine. Vendors also will have a wide selection of colorful clothing, jewelry and novelties for purchase. Many import fine art, fabrics, craftwork and literature from overseas. This is a good opportunity to take home a reminder of the Asian Festival experience and a memento of the New Year. The Asian Festival is a great opportunity to share a day of fellowship with San Antonioâ€™s diverse Asian community and to participate in their traditions. The festival is entertaining, educational and family-friendly. Advance tickets and more information are available at TexanCultures.com. 88 On The Town | January-February 2010
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Laredo Says Happy Birthday, by George! By Julie Catalano Photos Courtesy Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association
And while San Antonio’s bash honors the fallen heroes of the Alamo and San Jacinto, Laredo’s festivities commemorate a different type of battle -- a mock conflict in 1898 between Indians and “the white man” for control of Laredo, according to history. The simulated battle ended when the defenders fell and the mayor presented the key of the city to the Great Chief Sachem (Washington’s code name during his freedom fighting days when the Sons of Liberty dressed in Indian disguise) as a sign of unconditional surrender. Sachem then in turn presented the key to Princess Pocahontas, who represented a “vanishing race.” “It’s very reminiscent of Fiesta,” explains Anselmo Castro, The celebration lasted for two days, ending with a reJr., president of the Washington’s Birthday Celebration enactment of the Boston Tea Party. Association (wbcalaredo.org) for 2009-2010. Although not as large in scale, the party lasts longer, this year In modern times, says Castro, the event has come to from January 21 to February 21. “Over 30 days we have symbolize a greater understanding among the peoples 39 events, with most of them concentrated in two big of the Americas, and to promote Laredo as a patriotic and weekends, February 12-13 and February 19-20.” culturally vibrant city. Still, he admits, the first question hink of Laredo, and you don’t automatically think “George Washington.” But maybe you should. Every winter for the past 113 years, this Texas city has staged a blowout on the border that pays tribute to the first president in what is the largest celebration of its kind in the nation. Two parades, a debutante ball, a Mardi Gras style block party, and about three dozen other events featuring food, drink, music and merriment attract nearly half a million visitors and pump an estimated $14 million into the local economy.
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people ask about the annual celebration is: Why? The answer might be found in the celebration’s focal point: the abrazo (hug) ceremony, featuring the Abrazo Children (two from each side of the U.S./Mexican border), who meet in the middle of the International Bridge connecting Laredo and Nuevo Laredo to exchange heartfelt hugs. The hugs symbolize friendship, goodwill, and a mutual appreciation between the two countries. After the children embrace, the U.S. and Mexican dignitaries also meet their counterparts in the middle of the bridge and share the same gesture to commemorate the close ties between “Los Dos Laredos” and between the U.S. and Mexico. This year’s ceremony takes place on February 20.
And that it is, confirms Castro. “It’s huge. There are so many things going on.” Along with the elegant cocktail parties, lavish balls, majestic pageants featuring ornate hand-beaded gowns, and other formal events, Castro stresses that they strive to keep the celebration “inclusive of everybody. We try to keep our ticket prices low.” You can’t get lower than free, and one of the earliest free events is the street festival Jamboozie on Saturday, January 23, from 4-12 midnight. “This is our version of Mardi Gras,” says Castro. “It’s located in the area that was once the entire city of Laredo in 1898. There’s beads. There’s masks. You name it, it happens.” Other free and low-cost events include:
* American Historical Theatre George Washington History and symbolism aside, the event has garnered an Performance. Wednesday, February 10, 7 p.m., Texas international reputation for being one gigantic party. A&M International University Center for the Fine and January-February 2010 | On The Town 91
Performing Arts. * Carnival. February 11-21 (hours vary). Laredo Entertainment Center parking lot. $2 admission, individual tickets .75 each. * Family Fun Fest and Musicale. Saturday, February 13, 12-5 p.m. Laredo Community College campus. * Stars and Stripes Air Show Spectacular. Sunday, February 14, 11 a.m. $5 adults, 12 and under free. Laredo International Airport. * Youth Parade Under the Stars. Thursday, February 18, 6 p.m. Free general seating, bleacher seating $3 at gate, $2 pre-sale. * Jalapeno Festival. Friday, February 19, 6-12 midnight, Saturday, February 20, 3 p.m. - 1 a.m. $10 at gate, $5 presale (Friday); $15 at gate, $10 pre-sale (Saturday). El Metro Park & Ride, Thomas and Hillside. * Washington’s Birthday Parade. Saturday, February 20, 9 a.m. Free general seating, bleacher seating $5 at gate, $4 pre-sale. * Fireworks Extravaganza. Sunday, February 21, 8 p.m. Free admission. L.I.F.E Downs on Highway 59 East. “It takes a huge chunk of community effort to make this a success every year,” says Castro, citing the numerous corporate and organizational sponsors that contribute time, money and talent to the festivities. He also assures first-times that they won’t be disappointed. “If you’ve never been, come. Come and enjoy because it is one big party. We like to call it the celebration with something for everyone because there is something for every member of the family.” For a complete calendar of events and ticket information, www.wbcalaredo.org. For information on Laredo, www.visitlaredo.com. Photo Credits: Page 90 The Society of Martha Washington Colonial Ball Page 91 Washington’s Birthday Parade Page 92 Top: Fireworks Extravaganze Bottom: Jamboozie Street Festival 92 On The Town | January-February 2010
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Picture This: On The To One. Thanks For Letting
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own Profiles from Year g Us Tell Your Stories.
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Photo Credits: Page 94 Top: L-R John Toohey President and Executive Director Arts San Antonio March-April 2009 Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Angela Rabke Brad Braune Artist March-April 2009 Photo: Gerry Lair Story: Gerry Lair
Betty Ward Artist, Co-Founder of Artist Foundation of San Antonio March-April 2009 Photo: Todd Johnson Story: Susan A. Merkner Jim Cullum Jim Cullum Jazz Band Riverwalk Jazz on Public Radio May-June 2009 Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Susan A. Merkner Page 95
Alex Rubio Mosaic Art Program March-April 2009 Photo: Courtesy Blue Star Contemporary Art Center Story: Gabriella Scott
Top: L-R Savion Glover Tap dance legend May-June 2009 Photo: Courtesy Carver Community Cultural Center Story: Deirdre Murphy
Bottom: L-R Dianna Barrios Trevino Los Barrios Restaurant, La Hacienda Los Barrios March-April 2009 Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Chris Dunn
Ken Frazier Director Sheldon Vexler Theatre May-June 2009 Photo: Courtesy Sheldon Vexler Theatre Story: Lauren Ross
Carla Veliz Artist May-June 2009 Photo: Courtesy Carla Veliz Story: Paloma Cortez Bottom: L-R Andrew and Maureen Weissman Il Sogno and Sand Bar Restaurants May-June 2009 Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Chris Dunn Patty Ortiz Executive Director Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center May-June 2009 Photo: Courtesy Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Story: Angela Rabke Bryce Milligan Poet, Publisher Wings Press May-June 2009 Photo: Jasmina Wellinghoff Story: Jasmina Wellinghoff
Page 96 Top: L-R Susan and Buddy Trevino Directors, Joffrey Ballet Workshop Texas May-June 2009 Photo: Suzanne French Story: Julie Catalano Mary Carriker Golf San Antonio Director of First Tee and Amateur Golf May-June 2009 Photo: Courtesy Golf San Antonio Story: Tony Piazzi Mark Richter Founder and Artistic Director San Antonio Opera July-August 2009 Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Susan A. Merkner Middle: L-R Anya GrokhovskiMichaelson Founder and Artistic Director Musical Bridges Around The World July-August 2009 Photo: Liz Garza-Williams Story: Julie Catalano
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Gilbert Duran Artist July-August 2009 Photo: Cynthia Clark Story: Paloma Cortez
Jack Fishman President and CEO San Antonio Symphony September-October 2009 Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Lisa Cruz
Bill FitzGibbons Executive Director Blue Star Contemporary Art Center July-August 2009 Photo: Rick Hunter Story: Gabriella Scott
Middle: L-R Jesse Trevino Artist, Muralist September-October 2009 Photo: Dana Fossett Story: Paloma Cortez
Bottom: L-R Larry West Hot Glass Sculptor July-August 2009 Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Greg Harrison Suzy and Cappy Lawton Cappy’s, Cappyccino’s La Fonda on Main July-August 2009 Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Chris Dunn Chris Brooks Executive Chef Ruth Chris Steak House July-August 2009 Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Bonny Osterhage Page 97 Top: L-R Carmen Tafolla Author July-August 2009 Photo: Jasmina Wellinghoff Story: Jasmina Wellinghoff JoAnn Boone President and CEO Rio San Antonio Cruises July-August 2009 Photo: Cynthia Clark Story: Angela Rabke
Marise McDermott President and CEO Witte Museum September-October 2009 Photo: Cynthia Clark Story: Julie Catalano Damien Watel Bistro Vatel, Ciao Lavenderia, Ciao2, Bistro Bakery September-October 2009 Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Chris Dunn
Page 98 Top: L-R Marion Oettinger, Jr. The Betty and Bob Kelso Director of the San Antonio Museum of Art November-December 2009 Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Angela Rabke Carlos Cortés Faux Bois Sculptor November-December 2009 Photo: Cynthia Clark Story: Paloma Cortez Joe Cosniac Ristorante Paesanos, Zuni Grill, Rio Rio Cantina November-December 2009 Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Chris Dunn
Middle: L-R Bottom: L-R Barbara Ras Jay Brandon Director Attorney and Mystery Trinity University Press Novelist September-October 2009 November-December Photo: Jasmina Wellinghoff 2009 Story: Jasmina Wellinghoff Photo: Jasmina Wellinghoff Story: Jasmina Wellinghoff Kirk Feldmann Executive Director and Louise Locker Partner Elf Louise Arts Center Enterprises November-December November-December 2009 2009 Photo: Cynthia Clark Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Paige-Ramsey Story: Julie Catalano Palmer Mayra Worthen Founder and Artistic Director Ballet San Antonio November-December 2009 Photo: Dana Fossett Story: Michele Krier
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Yonnie Blanchette Executive Director Carver Community Cultural Center January-February 2010 Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Julie Catalano
Bottom: L-R Marvin Hamlisch Composer, Performer January-February 2010 Photo: Courtesy Kerrville Performing Arts Society Story: Gerry Lair/ Sue Talford Paula Owen President Southwest School of Art & Craft January-February 2010 Photo: Courtesy Southwest School of Art & Craft Story: Vivienne Gautraux Jim Zaccaria Cameo Theatre January-February 2010 Photo: Dana Fossett Story: Michele Krier Page 99 Top: L-R James Wyatt Hendricks Artist, Sculptor January-February 2010 Photo: Greg Harrison Story: Susan A. Merkner Jorge “George” Cortez Mi Tierra, La Margarita, Pico de Gallo January-February 2010 Photo: Cynthia Clark Story: Chris Dunn Modrea MitchellReichert and Shelia Rinear Playwrights January-February 2010 Photo: Jasmina Wellinghoff Story: Jasmina Wellinghoff
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