ON THE TOWN
Itâ€™s Wicked Time! Jim Cullum Fiesta Noche del Rio Carla Veliz Andrew Weissman Texas Folklife Festival Patty Ortiz Plus 14 Additional Articles
May-June 2009 | On The Town 3
Fiesta Noche del Rio 53rd Season at Arneson River Theatre
Features It’s Wicked Time! Majestic Mega-Musical Highlights Entertainment Offerings
Jim Cullum 20 Years as Public Radio’s Jazz Ambassador to the World
A Taste of Music 13th Annual Cactus Pear Music Festival, July 9-19
Savion Glover Tap Dance Great Returns to the Carver
Le Rêve The Dream Team Behind “The Dream”
May-June 2009 Events Calendar
Pinch Pennies and Dine Well Sign Up and Save
The Vex at Ten Q&A with Ken Frazier
Patty Ortiz Comes Home to San Antonio and to the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
Make A Plan 42 Spend a Weekend Absorbing San Antonio’s Art and Culture
Joffrey Ballet Workshop Texas Co-Directed by Buddy and Susan Trevino for 31 Years
The 38th Annual Texas Folklife Festival Celebrates Everything Texas
Fredericksburg, Texas Visiting a Favorite Hill Country Town
4 On The Town | May-June 2009
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: Cinema Tuesdays at the Bijou
More Performing Arts
Portfolio: The Art of Carla Veliz
More Visual Arts
Book Talk: Bryce Milligan – Poet, Publisher and Renaissance Man
Accolades: Mary Carriker – Championing the Cause of Amateur Golf and the First Tee
Picture This: Houston Streetscape by Greg Harrison
Front Cover Photo: Courtesy of Fiesta Noche del Rio Performing Arts Cover Photo: By Joan Marcus Visual Arts Cover Photo: Courtesy Artpace San Antonio - Photo by Kimberly Aubuchon Culinary Arts Cover Photo: © Serjio | Dreamstime.com Festivals & Celebrations Cover Photo: Courtesy Fiesta Noche del Rio Miscellaneous Cover Photo: Courtesy San Antonio CVB
Gary Albright Julie Catalano Paloma Cortez Thomas Duhon, Artist Chris Dunn Peabo Fowler Suzanne French Greg Harrison, Staff Photographer Christian Lair Diana Marin Marlo Mason-Marie Deirdre Murphy
Susan A. Merkner, Copy Editor Toni Piazzi Angela Rabke Lauren Ross Blair Russell Sara Selango Shannon HuntingtonStandley Jeffrey Sykes Jasmina Wellinghoff Erin West Carolyn Williams
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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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Performing Arts 8-36
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8 On The Town | May-June 2009
It’s Wicked Time! Majestic Mega-Musical Highlights Performance Offerings
By Sara Selango
e’ve waited for Wicked with great anticipation, and now it’s here! Speaking for myself, I’ve heard nothing but great things about this show. You can bet I’ll be at the Majestic on opening night ready to take in the story of two girls who met in the Land of Oz long before Dorothy blew in from Kansas. One of the girls, Elphaba, is smart, fiery, misunderstood and green. Yes, she was born with Emerald green skin. Glinda, the other girl, is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. As the story unfolds, they end up being The Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. These unlikely friends serve as the catalyst for a great evening of theater, I’m told. Even though I haven’t seen it yet, I know Wicked just has to be fantastic because a zillion ticket buyers can’t be wrong. The creative team is quite impressive: music and lyrics – Stephen Schwartz, book
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(based on the best-selling novel by Gregory McGuire) – Winnie Holzman, musical staging – Wayne Cilento, and direction - Joe Mantello. Collectively, this group has a string of Tony Awards and well as a few Oscars. There’s a seat at the Majestic with your name on it! Go and enjoy. Wicked time is June 3 – 28. Even though I’m super-excited about Wicked, I have to stop and say to myself – May comes before June, so don’t get the cart before the horse. This thirty one-day page on the calendar is chocked full of incredible performances too, like Bonnie Raitt at the Majestic on May 12 followed at the same venue by Cedric The Entertainer ten nights later. May 16 brings with it a return engagement to the Carver stage by Savion Glover. 10 On The Town | May-June 2009
The San Antonio Symphony has three classical performances scheduled during the month of May starting with symphony concertmaster Ertan Torgul as featured soloist in Korngold’s Violin Concerto on May 1-2. On May 8-9, conductor Rossen Milanov is joined by mezzo-soprano Jennifer Hines and the San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers in a performance that includes Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor (better known to most of us as Stranger in Paradise from Kismet). The final classical concert of the season is May 29-30 with Christopher Seaman conducting and violinist Omar Oliveira featured in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. All classical performances are at the Majestic. In the middle of the month, the symphony plays host to the ever-popular Pink Martini
for two shows at Lila Cockrell on May 15-16. Keeping to their busy schedule, the symphony will play two Cinco de Mayo free neighborhood concerts and a side-by-side concert with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio in this time frame. Check their Web site for details.
fame, will be one of the festival’s most prominent performers. See Ray Wylie Hubbard there also.
A slew of country music notables take to local stages in May, including the likes of Kenny Chesney, Roger Creager, Aaron Watson, Brandi Carlile, Gary Allan, I can’t leave May without mentioning other Two Tons of Steel, Jason Aldean and Charlie Robison. performances in the area that promise to be very Check the events calendar in this ezine for venues, entertaining, starting with the 5 Browns, five siblings dates and times. Elvis and Roy will also appear in The who are Julliard-trained classical pianists. See them Lost Concert on May 23 at the Brauntex Performing in Kerrville at the Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater on May Arts Theatre in New Braunfels. 4-5 as a part of the Kerrville Performing Arts Society season. And speakitng of Kerrville, don’t miss the Community theater rolls through the month with Kerrville Folk Music Festival from May 21 – June 7 at offerings like Man of La Mancha at San Pedro Playhouse, Quiet Valley Ranch. Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul & Mary Last of the Red Hot Lovers at the Cameo, Angel Street May-June 2009 | On The Town 11
at the Harlequin, Vexed: A Musical Review at the Sheldon Vexler Theatre, The Kitchen Witches at Boerne Community Theatre, and Agnes of God by Classic Theatre of San Antonio. June rocks too. Continuing in the community theater category, see The Great American Playbill at the Woodlawn, Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound at the Harlequin, The Fourth Wall (with Cole Porte tunes) at the Cameo Theatre, Guys and Dolls by the New Braunfels Theatre Company at the Brauntex, and Shakespeare in the Park – As You Like It, presented by Magik Theatre. Country music really goes front burner in June because of warm weather and outdoor venues. The biggest of the big in this month has to be Ray Price at John T. Floore Country Store. Chris Cagle, Robert Earl Keen, Jerry Jeff Walker, Randy Rogers Band and Brandon Rhyder are but a few of the others performing at area venues in the sixth month. Coldplay, Il Divo and Il Trovatore are also available to performing arts patrons. The first two are at the AT&T Center on June 10 and 20 respectively, and the third one, Il Trovatore, presented by San Antonio Opera, plays three performances at the Lila Cockrell June 12-14. What am I forgetting in June? Oh yeah, a couple of big-time shows at the Municipal Auditorium. First up is REO Speedwagon with Styx on June 2, followed by the Queen of Soul! Arts San Antonio presents Aretha Franklin on June 16. Great theater, music and dance are yours for the price of a ticket. I hope to see you at a performance soon.
Photo Information Page 8-9 – Katie Rose Clarke as Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked. Photo by Joan Marcus Page 10 – Donna Vivino, the Wicked Witch of the West in Wicked, shown with Katie Rose Clarke. Photo by Joan Marcus Page 11 – Richard H. Blake, Fiyero in Wicked, Shown with Donna Vivino. Photo by Joan Marcus Page 12 – (Above) Bonnie Raitt - Photo by Sam Jones (Below) Il Trovatore - Courtesy San Antonio Opera 12 On The Town | May-June 2009
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14 On The Town | May-June 2009
20 Years as Public Radio’s Jazz Ambassador to the World By Susan A. Merkner
or more than 40 years, jazz lovers have been filling The Landing Jazz Club on the San Antonio River Walk, where Jim Cullum on cornet and his band embrace a musical art form that knows no boundaries of age or location. For the past 20 years, jazz aficionados have listened to Cullum’s weekly radio broadcast on public radio. Riverwalk: Live From the Landing was launched in 1989 on 60 public radio stations. Later rechristened Riverwalk Jazz, the show now is distributed by Public Radio International to 160 stations in more than 200 cities nationwide.
interest to just about any listener. It’s amazing how many people know San Antonio and have an image in their mind from me saying, ‘Across the alley from the Alamo’ at the beginning of the broadcast. They all have different images of what they expect that to look like, and often when people come to The Landing for a show, they will describe how the reality of seeing downtown San Antonio is different from what they imagined it to be. During the show, we talk about the cypress trees lining the river and some of the major landmarks downtown. We try to paint a picture of San Antonio for all those who are listening all across the way.”
Cullum first hit the radio airwaves in 1963 while he was in college, and a group of 22 people each invested $1,000 to open The Landing. Initially, he broadcast a live performance on KITY-FM, using one microphone, with “almost no one listening,” he says. Other commercial radio stations in San Antonio aired Cullum’s show for 26 years before he ventured into public radio. One constant motivation was his desire to fill The Landing. “When you grow up in the music business, you are always worried “When we were in Russia (playing nine concerts in 2007), about going broke,” he says. Cullum has taped all of his I was surprised that so many people there said they were arrangements and material over the years, and catalogued listeners,” Cullum says. “Internationally, there is a group of 1,500 written scores. He hopes to preserve the legacies of people who follow pre-war jazz, some as record collectors, jazz’s greatest artists and the traditions of the genre for some as follows of particular bands. The world is so vast, future generations. but even a small percentage of people listening online translates into fairly large numbers of listeners.” Cullum says one of the highlights of his radio career was the show he did on King Oliver. “Oliver was a pioneer Nicknamed “Dr. Jazz,” Cullum serves as an informal of early jazz. He was born on a plantation outside New ambassador representing San Antonio worldwide, yet Orleans, and worked as a butler most of his life while he remains humble about the impact of his radio show. “I taught himself to play cornet. He worked hard until he think ‘Riverwalk’ has helped broaden the appeal of jazz became among the greatest in the world.” Cullum put and made it more accessible to many more people, to a together a tribute show to Oliver, with William Warfield real cross-section of people. There is so much American reading letters Oliver had written detailing his life and history interwoven with the story of jazz, that it’s really of career. Later, Cullum led efforts to have a marker placed Cullum has shared his love of early 20th century classic jazz with those filling The Landing as well as those listening on the radio by featuring live performances mixed with historical recordings and narratives explaining the music and the artists. His career has transitioned from the vinyl era to the digital age, and now, thanks to the Internet, his fans can listen anytime and anywhere.
Photo courtesy Riverwalk Jazz
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on Oliver’s grave in a pauper’s field in New Jersey. Other highlights have been playing the music of artists whom Cullum’s father, clarinetist Jim Cullum Sr., played with and admired during his lifetime, such as Jimmy Dorsey and Jack Teagarden, as well as giants such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Count Basie, Lionel Hamptom, Dick Hyman, Doc Cheatham and Bix Beiderbecke, among many others. Landing audiences have not changed significantly over the years, he says, continuing to attract a mixture of young and middle-aged listeners. “Last year, going to The Landing for a show was voted the most popular date here in San Antonio. It was some sort of award for best power date, the coolest, most sophisticated place to go,” Cullum says with a laugh. The audience for jazz continues to be strong, with the radio broadcast enjoying 30 percent growth among younger listeners, due to its availability online. Still, Cullum is pragmatic about the genre’s place in history. “Jazz will never again be like it was in the 1930s and ‘40s. Back then, it was the most popular music in the country. It was played on the radio. Everyone danced to it. Now jazz is more of a niche market, boutique music, more esoteric. It takes a certain kind of mind to be attracted to it; you have to be somewhat intellectual to get into it. Jazz is not wallpaper or background music; it creates an atmosphere, and the listener has to figure out that atmosphere. For some people, that means just enjoying the rhythms, finding it stimulating and wanting to do some hard-core dancing to it. For others, jazz is all about the nuances in meaning. When jazz was brand-new music, it was dance music for people who were drinking. The early jazz players were so brilliant at what they did that people couldn’t help but listen to them over and over again. As a musical genre, jazz has grown and evolved, and so have its listeners. Every jazz performance is unique because of the components involved. The spontaneity means the music will be different every time and that adds a lot of excitement to it.” Riverwalk Jazz airs locally on KSTX, 89.1 FM, at 7 p.m. Saturdays and is repeated at noon Sundays. For details, visit www.tpr.org. For more information about the venue, visit www.landing. com. For information on the radio program, streaming audio on demand, and to register for an e-mail newsletter, visit www.riverwalkjazz.org. 16 On The Town | May-June 2009
Photo by Greg Harrison
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Tap Dance Great Returns to the Carver By Deirdre Murphy
18 On The Town | May-June 2009
e’s been called “The Tap Dance Kid,” “a living repository of rhythm,” “a genius of tap,” “a child prodigy grown up to be an adult prodigy” and, the most fitting for the touring show he’s bringing to San Antonio, “a proselytizer for tap, a convincing street preacher practicing the laying-on of feet.”
Savion Glover certainly lives up to those titles, but it could have been a very different story. Born and raised in Newark, N.J., by a single mother, he credits dance for saving him from the tough streets of America. As Glover told Peter Castro in People, “If I didn’t have the dance to express myself, I would probably be stealing your car or selling drugs right now. I got friends who do that, but tap saved me.” Glover may have made it out of the street life in Newark, but he still carries a piece of it in his heart – witnessed by his dress and attitude.
at a leisurely pace and slowly building up to the higher frequency for which he is best known. The performance is compact but intense – an intermissionless 70 minutes of music and dancing. It also includes a performance by a four-person band, The Otherz. Deborah Jowitt, in a 2005 Village Voice article, describes their playing as giving Glover “new puzzles to create and solve, new games to play.” Glover brings Visions of a Bible to the Jo Long Theater at the Carver Community Cultural Center for one performance only at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 16. For information, visit www.thecarver.org or call 210-207-2234.
As Kenya Hunt wrote in a 2002 USA Today article, “There’s a namby-pamby stigma that comes with being a male dancer...” Glover goes a long way to discredit that image. “He often dresses in baggy clothes and a pair of Jordans or Timberlands with the laces undone. Street credibility is just as important as artistic credibility, and he thinks of himself as a tough hip-hop kid who just happens to be extraordinarily gifted on his feet.” Glover’s amazing success becomes even more incredible when you consider how young he was at the time of his accomplishments. He made his Broadway debut, as the main character, at the age of 12 in The Tap Dance Kid; was nominated for his first Tony award at 14 for his appearance in Black and Blue; won the Tony for best choreography for Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk at 22; and has been called “the greatest tap dancer that ever lived” by Gregory Hines, a tap dancing king himself. “The Carver Community Cultural Center had a great run with Classical Savion a little over two years ago, so we are happy to bring him back for his return engagement in San Antonio touring with another dynamic show, Visions of a Bible,” says Carver executive director Yonnie Blanchette. While the performance includes a gospel singer and jazz and gospel music, the literature about the show is quick to point out that the vision is of a bible, not the Bible – a performance honoring the living and departed saints of tap, including Gregory Hines, Charles “Honi” Coles and Steve Condos. Glover ingeniously pairs the vocals of a female gospel singer with his tap dancing, starting off Photos courtesy Carver Community Cultural Center
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May-June 2009 Events Calendar Music Notes Kenny Chesney 5/1, Fri @ 7:30pm AT&T Center Two Tons of Steel 5/1, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Eli Young Band 5/1, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Ertan Plays Korngold San Antonio Symphony 5/1-2, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Ertan Torgul, violin Majestic Theatre Sara Evans Bud & BBQ Music Festival 5/2, Sat @ 7pm SeaWorld San Antonio Fathers and Sons II 5/2, Sat @ 8pm Little Carver Civic Center Ray Wylie Hubbard 5/2, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Jimmy La Fave 5/2, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall
20 On The Town | May-June 2009
All-American Music Symphony of the Hills 5/3, Sun @ 2:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater â€“ Kerrville
Gary P. Nunn The County Line Music Series 5/6, Wed @ 6:30pm (doors open) County Line - 1H-10
Haus Musik with Bass: Rossini, Lanner and Dvorak Camerata San Antonio 5/3, Sun @ 3pm Travis Park United Methodist Church
Texas Renegade KNBT Free Music Series 5/7, Thu @ 7pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels
Old, New, Borrowed & Blues Mid-Texas Symphony 5/3, Sun @ 4pm David Mairs, conductor Kelly Watson, voice-flute New Braunfels Civic Center Celebrated Works of Gabriel Faure Musical Bridges Around The World Presentation 5/3, Sun @ 6:30pm Elena Portnaya, piano Alena Gorina, piano San Antonio Concert Chorus San Fernando Cathedral The 5 Browns Kerrville Performing Arts Society Presentation 5/4-5, Mon-Tue @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater
Charlie Robison 5/9, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Kyle Park 5/9, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store
Roger Creager 5/8, Fri @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio
Nightingale Musical Bridges Around The World Presentation Albina Shagimuratova, soprano 5/10, Sun @ 3pm McAllister Auditorium San Antonio College
Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers 5/8, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall
Bonnie Raitt 5/12, Tue @ 8pm Majestic Theatre
Jason Eady 5/8, Fri @ 9:30pm John T. Floore Country Store Polovtsian Dances San Antonio Symphony 5/8-9, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Rossen Milanov, conductor Jennifer Hines, mezzo-soprano San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers Majestic Theatre Jessica Simpson Bud & BBQ Music Festival 5/9, Sat @ 7pm SeaWorld San Antonio
Deryl Dodd The County Line Music Series 5/13, Wed @ 6:30pm (doors open) County Line - 1H-10 Zack Walther and the Cronkites KNBT Free Music Series 5/14, Thu @ 7pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Jason Aldean 5/15, Fri @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio
Luke Olson 5/15, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Two Tons of Steel 5/15, Fri @ 9:30pm John T. Floore Country Store Pink Martini San Antonio Symphony Pops 5/15-16, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Lila Cockrell Theatre Billy Ray Cyrus Bud & BBQ Music Festival 5/16, Sat @ 7pm SeaWorld San Antonio Gary Allan Sat, 5/16 @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Honeybrowne Sat, 5/16 @ 9pm Gruene Hall 13th Annual KNBT 92.1 Americana Music Jam 5/17, Sun – All Day Gruene Hall Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Side By Side with the San Antonio Symphony 5/17, Sun @ 2:30pm Laurie Auditorium - Trinity Texas Renegade The County Line Music Series 5/20, Wed @ 6:30pm (doors open) County Line - 1H-10 Kerrville Folk Festival 5/21-6/7 Quiet Valley Ranch (9 miles south of Kerrville on Highway 16)
Charlie Robison KNBT Free Music Series 5/21, Thu @ 7pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Reckless Kelly 5/22, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Johnny Cooper Band 5/22, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Elvis & Roy The Lost Concert 5/23, Sat @ 7pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre - New Braunfels Kevin Fowler with Zach Walther and the Cronkites 5/23, Sat @ 8pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Emory Quinn 5/23, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Doug Moreland Sat, 5/23 @ 9:30pm John T. Floore Country Store Memorial Memories Sentimental Journey Orchestra UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures 5/24 @ 2:30pm Sake of the Song Festival Ryan Bingham, Seth James and Whiskey Meyers 5/24, Sun @ 7pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels
Aaron Watson 5/24, Sun @ 8pm Gruene Hall Raven Symone Starburst Summer Concert Series 5/25, Mon @ 6pm Lone Star Lil’s Amphitheater Six Flags Fiesta Texas SOLI Gone Mad SOLI Chamber Ensemble 5/26, Tue @ 7:30pm Ruth Taylor Recital Hall Trinity University 5/27, Wed @ 7:30pm Leeper Auditorium McNay Art Museum Mark McKinney The County Line Music Series 5/27, Wed @ 6:30pm (doors open) County Line - 1H-10 Scott Wiggins Band KNBT Free Music Series 5/28, Thu @ 7pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels An Intimate Acoustic Evening with Brandi Carlile 5/28, Thu @ 8pm Gruene Hall Eleven Hundred Springs 5/29, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Rodney Hayden 5/29, Fri @ 9:30pm John T. Floore Country Store
Pictures at an Exhibition San Antonio Symphony 5/29-30, Fri-Sat @ 8m Christopher Seaman, conductor Elmar Oliveira, violin Majestic Theatre Bob Schneider 5/30, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Musical Offerings at The McNay 5/31, Sun @ 2:30pm Leeper Auditorium McNay Art Museum Musical Landscapes San Antonio Brass 5/31, Sun @ 2pm Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church 6/5, Fri @ 7:30pm First Presbyterian Church Kerrville 6/6, Sat @ 7:30pm St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church Boerne Cherish the Ladies 5/31, Sun @ 6:30pm Lonestar Pavilion at Sunset Station Reo Speedwagon & Styx 6/2, Tue @ 7pm Municipal Auditorium Two Ton Tuesdays with Two Tons of Steel 6/2, 9, 16. 23, 30 @ 8pm Gruene Hall Radney Foster KNBT Free Music Series 6/4, Thu @ 7pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels May-June 2009 | On The Town 21
Gary P. Nunn 6/5, Fri @ 9:30pm John T. Floore Country Store Jerry Jeff Walker 6/6, Sat @ 8pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Luke Olson The County Line Music Series 6/10, Wed @ 6:30pm (doors open) County Line - 1H-10 Coldplay 6/10 Wed @ 7:30pm AT&T Center Cody Canada KNBT Free Music Series 6/11, Thu @ 7pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Concert Under The Stars 6/11 & 25 @ 7pm San Antonio Botanical Garden Blue October 6/12, Fri @ 8pm Lonestar Pavilion at Sunset Station Rich O’Toole 6/12, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Sake of the Song Festival Randy Rogers Band 6/12-13, Fri @ 7pm Sat @ 4pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Ray Price 6/13, Sat @ 8pm John T. Floore Country Store
22 On The Town | May-June 2009
Sunday Jazz at the Witte Joe Posada 6/14, Sun @ 4pm Witte Museum Aretha Franklin Arts San Antonio Presentation 6/16, Tue @ 8pm Municipal Auditorium Colbie Caillat Starburst Summer Concert Series 6/18, Thu @ 6pm Lone Star Lil’s Amphitheater Six Flags Fiesta Texas Brandon Rhyder KNBT Free Music Series 6/18, Thu @ 7pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Chris Cagle 6/19, Fri @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio Robert Earl Keen 6/19, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store An Evening with Il Divo 6/20, Sat @ 7:30pm AT&T Center Jimmy La Fave KNBT Free Music Series 6/25, Thu @ 7pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Boys Like Girls Starburst Summer Concert Series 6/26, Fri @ 6pm Lone Star Lil’s Amphitheater Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Scott Wiggins Band 6/26, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Flatlanders 6/27, Sat @ 8pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Roger Creager 6/27, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Gary Claxton, Eric Hokkenan & Friends 6/27, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall
Taking The Stage All the Great Books (Abridged) by The Company Theatre 5/1-2, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm (Dinner @ 6:30pm) Little Italy Wham! Bam! Burlesque 5/1-2, Fri @ 10pm Sat @ 8pm Overtime Theater Love, Sex and the IRS by Fredericksburg Theater Company 5/1-3, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Steve W. Shepherd Theater Dastardly Deeds at Yoursin Mine or Yukon Take it with You by Crystal Sea Drama Company 5/1-3, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2:30pm Buena Vista Theatre UTSA Downtown
TopDog/UnderDog 5/1-9, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Cellar Theater San Pedro Playhouse Rapuzarella White: A Dysfunctional Off-Broadway Fairy Tale Musical 5/1-10, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm Woodlawn Theatre Angel Street 5/1-23, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (Dinner @ 6:15pm) Harlequin DinnerTheatre ComedySportz San Antonio 5/1-6/26, Fri @ 7:30pm The Overtime Theater The Barber of East LA 5/2-3, Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 4pm Jump Start Theatre Last of the Red Hot Lovers 5/2-24, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm Cameo Theatre The Denials Improv 5/2-6/27 Sat @ 10pm The Overtime Theater Sweetest Sounds 5/3, Sun @ 6:30pm Russell Hill Rogers Theater San Pedro Playhouse Fade to Black Comedy Troup 5/3, 6/7 Sun @ 7pm Woodlawn Theatre
Stories My Grandmother Told Me 5/7-24, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (Dinner @ 6:30pm) Sun @ 3pm (Lunch @ 1:30pm) S.T.A.G.E. â€“ Spotlight Theatre & Arts Group, etc. Bulverde It Happened One Night On the S.S. Applewhite by Steven Stoli Entertainment 5/7 & 21, 6/4 & 18 Comedy Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Thu @ 6:30pm Milanos Ristorante Italiano
ActOne Series: Volume XIII by The Renaissance Guild 5/8-9, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Jump Start Theatre
Pirates vs. Ninjas 5/8-24, Fri @ 9:30pm Sat @ 8pm The Overtime Theater
The Dawnview Crew SketchComedy Show: Episode 3 5/8-16, Fri-Sat @ 8pm The Rose Theatre Company
The Goat or Who is Sylvia? by Attic Repertory in Residence at Trinity University 5/13-31, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Attic Theater Ruth Taylor Building
The Kitchen Witches 5/15-31, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Boerne Community Theatre
Agnes of God by Classic Theatre of San Antonio 5/14-24, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Jump Start Theatre
House of Yes 5/22-31, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2:30pm The Rose Theatre Company
Vexed 5/14-6/7, Thu @ 7:30pm Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 2:30pm (No show on Fridays) Sheldon Vexler Theatre
Man of La Mancha 5/22-6/21, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Russell Hill Rogers Theater San Pedro Playhouse
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The Great American Playbill 5/30-8/6, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm Woodlawn Theatre Shakespeare in the Park – As You Like It by Magik Theatre 6/3-6, Wed-Sat @ 8pm (Gates open @ 6:30pm) San Antonio Botanical Gardens Wicked Cadillac Broadway Across America Presentation 6/3-28, Tue-Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm (Matinee performance also on 6/4, Thu @ 2pm) Majestic Theatre Little Women by Playhouse 2000 6/4-27, Thu-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater – Kerrville The Fourth Wall 6/6-28, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm Cameo Theatre
Guys and Dolls by New Braunfels Theatre Company 6/13-28, Thu-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre – New Braunfels
John Caponera 5/6-10, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:45pm Rivercenter Comedy Club
Take Me Out 6/19-7/19, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Cellar Theater San Pedro Playhouse
Willie Barcena 5/13-17, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:45pm Rivercenter Comedy Club
At The Opera Il Trovatore San Antonio Opera Presentation 6/12-14, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm Lila Cockrell Theatre
The Dance Savion Glover: Visions of a Bible Carver Community Cultural Center Presentation 5/16, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre W-I-P (Works in Progress) 5/27, Wed @ 7pm Jump Start Theatre
Broadway Bound 6/11-7/11, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (Dinner @ 6:15pm) Harlequin DinnerTheatre
Rumba Dreams Carver Community Cultural Center Presentation 6/13, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre
Treasure Island 6/12-27, Thu-Sat @ 8:30pm Point Theatre – Ingram
What Will Happen? 6/12-28, Fri @ 9:30pm Sat @ 8pm The Overtime Theater
Al Ducharme 5/1-3, Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:45pm Sun @ 8:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club
24 On The Town | May-June 2009
Richie Byrne 5/20-24, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:45pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Cedric the Entertainer 5/22, Fri @ 8pm Majestic Theatre AJ Jamal 5/27-31, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:45pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Tom Cotter 6/3-7, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:45pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Felicia Michaels 6/24-27, Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:45pm Rivercenter Comedy Club
For The Children Darwin the Dinosaur Children’s Fine Arts Series Presentation 5/1, Fri @ 9:45am, 11:45am & 6:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre The Dinosaur Musical 5/1-30, Tue-Thu @ 9:45am & 11:30am Fri @ 9:45am, 11:30am & 7pm Sat @ 2pm Magik Theatre The Three Bears Go To the Beach 5/7-8/1, Wed-Thu & Sat @10am Steve Stoli Backyard Theatre Joe Scruggs in Concert Children’s Fine Arts Series Presentation 5/12, Tue @ 10am Laurie Auditorium – Trinity The Dinosaur Show by Paul Mesner Puppets Children’s Fine Arts Series Presentation 6/9, Tue @ 9:45am, 11:45am & 6:30pm Russell Hill Rogers Theater San Pedro Playhouse Phantom of the Alamo 6/17-26, Wed @ 10:30am Fri @ 7pm Magik Theatre
On Exhibit ARTPACE Hudson (Show)Room The World Stage: Africa, Lagos ~ Dakar Thru 5/3 International Artist-In-Residence New Works: 09.1 Richard Grayson Christian Tomaszewski Sterling Allen Thru 5/17 Hudson (Show) Room Jonathan Monk: Rew-Shay Hood Project 5/14-9/6 BIHL HAUS ARTS Conception / Realization James Hetherington Recent Works Thru 5/16 Golden Legacy 5/23-6/6 BLUE STAR CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER Country Wave Featuring Anne Ferrer Thru 5/23 Unreliable Narrator Featuring Joel Carreiro Thru 6/14 Revisitation Featuring Rex Hausmann Thru 6/14
Retrospective Part 1: Artist’s Collection 1980-2009 Featuring Danville Chadbourne Thru 6/16 ARTSmart Student Exhibit 5/9-6/14 INSTITUTO CULTURAL de MEXICO El Nino Fidencio de Espinazo, Nuevo Leon Thru 6/14 Los Paso de Cuevas Thru 6/21 Los Picassos de Cuevas de Pablo Picasso Thru 6/21 Permanencia de Beatriz del Carmen Cuevas Thru 6/21 McNAY ART MUSEUM American Concepts and Global Visions: Selections from the AT&T Collection - Contemporary Paintings and Sculpture Thru 5/17 - Masterworks of Photography Thru 5/17 Fifty Years of Printed Masterpieces: Gifts from the Friends of the McNay Thru 6/8 Tom Slick Collection 6/10-9/13
Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey 6/10-9/13 In Their Own Right: Contemporary Women Printmakers 6/24-8/23 SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir: Art in the Garden Horizons Thru 6/15 Susan Budge: Art in the Garden – Myth, Magic and Mysteries Thru 6/15 SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART Perspectivas Populares Thru 7/09 Vincent Valdez: El Chavez Ravine Thru 8/2 Zoe’s Room Thru 8/2 Imagenes de Mexico: Select Photographs from the Permanent Collection Thru 8/09 Waterflow 5/13-8/23 SOUTHWEST SCHOOL OF ART & CRAFT Ruth Buentello: Solo Exhibition Thru 6/21 All School Exhibition 2009 Thru 6/21
UTSA’s INSTITUTE OF TEXAN CULTURES In His Own Words: The Life and Work of Cesar Chavez Thru 5/24 Fiesta Remembrances: Photographs of Past Events Thru 6/28 WITTE MUSEUM Genome: The Secret of How Life Works Thru 5/25 Breathing Places: A History of San Antonio Parks Thru 8/09 Wild, Wild West: True Stories and the Arena Thru 8/23 Queens and Crowns: Fiesta’s Royal Traditions Thru 9/7 Playing With Time 6/20-9/27
Miscellaneous 2009 Gospel Music Awards 5/10, Sun @ 5pm Jo Long Theatre - Carver Community Cultural Center The Floating Feat-ival An Arts San Antonio Event 5/12-13 Tue-Wed @ 6:30pm River Walk Valero Texas Open 5/14-17, Thu-Sun Westin La Cantera May-June 2009 | On The Town 25
Festivals & Celebrations Cinco de Mayo 5/5, Tue – All Day Market Square Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio 5/6-10 Guadalupe Theatre and Rosedale Park guadalupeculturalarts.com for schedule information Film Festival Remembering Ricardo Montalban 5/10 & 17 Sun @ 3pm / 5pm Instituto Cultural de Mexico Soul Food Festival 5/15-16, Fri-Sat / 5pm-11pm Maverick Plaza La Villita Fiesta Noche del Rio 5/18-8/8, Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm (Gates open @ 7pm) Arneson River Theatre Houston Street Fair & Market 5/30, Sat /12pm-6pm Ice Cream Fest 6/27, Sat / 12pm-6m C4 Ultimate Bull Blowout Texas Folklife Festival 6/12-14, Fri / 5pm-11pm Sat / 11am-11pm Sun / 12pm-7pm UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures
26 On The Town | May-June 2009
Juneteenth 6/19, Tue – All Day Citywide www.juneteenth sanantonio.com for a listing of events
Brandon Rhyder Courtesy brandonrhyder. com Chris Cagle Courtesy chriscagle.com
Helen Frankenthaler Post Card for James Schuyler, 1962-67 Lithograph Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Bequest of Evelyn Halff Ruben
Page 23 (L-R)
Page 25 (L-R)
Robert Earl Keen Courtesy roberearlkeen. com
Vincent Valdez El Chavez Ravine San Antonio Museum of Art
Ertan Torgul Courtesy San Antonio Symphony
Last of the Red Hot Lovers Photo by Eric Fonseca
John Hernandez Living Eye - Zoe’s Room San Antonio Museum of Art
Ray Wylie Hubbard Courtesy raywylie.com
Wicked Donna Vivino, Myra Lucretia Taylor and Katie Rose Clarke Photo by Joan Marcus
Ruth Buentello Chucho Boy Showing Me His Guns, 2009 Acrylic on canvas, 56 x 43 inches Southwest School of Art and Craft
Page 20 (L-R) Two Tons of Steel Courtesy twotons.com
The 5 Browns Courtesy the5browns.com Page 21 (L-R) Pink Martini Courtesy San Antonio Symphony
Savion Glover Courtesy Carver Community Cultural Center Page 24 (L-R)
Brandi Carlile Courtesy brandicarlile.com
Cedric the Entertainer Courtesy Majestic Theatre
Elmar Oliveira Photo by Tucker Densley
Sterling Allen Housing Edition, 2009 Wood, paper, foam, plastic, rubber, Metal, found objects and oil paintings Artpace - Photo by Kimberly Aubuchon
San Antonio Brass Courtesy sabrass.org Page 22 (L-R) Jerry Jeff Walker Courtesy jerryjeff.com Randy Rogers Band Courtesy randyrogersband.com
Georgia O’Keeffe Sun Water Maine, 1922 Pastel on paper Collection of the Slick Family McNay Art Museum
Cell Explorer - Genome: The Secret of How Life Works Witte Museum Page 26 (L-R) Queens and Crowns: Fiesta Royalty Exhibit Witte Museum Joel Guzman and Sara Fox Courtesy mcguckinpr.com Fiesta Noche del Rio Dancers Courtesy Fiesta Noche del Rio Folklife Festival Dancers Courtesy UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures
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Box Office: Cinema Tuesdays at the Bijou By Peabo Fowler
or classic film fans, there is no better place to be this summer than Santikos’ Bijou at Crossroads Theater on Tuesday nights. From May 26 through Aug. 25, Texas Public Radio presents its annual parade of classic, foreign and contemporary film selections to audiences of all ages.
Series curator Nathan Cone hand-picks the films based on audience suggestion, affinity with the public radio audience, and sometimes his own personal love of a particular film.
landscape to the hypnotic score of Philip Glass. “That is one movie that is truly an experience best served by as large a screen as possible,” he adds. Koyaanisqatsi screens June 2. Another great film to see on the big screen will be Max Ophüls’ stunningly beautiful Lola Montès, screening June 9.
Audience-suggested films this summer include The Manchurian Candidate, Sullivan’s Travels and Harvey, the classic story of Jimmy Stewart and his imaginary friend, a six-foot rabbit named Harvey. For The Manchurian Candidate, Cone and his colleague at Texas Public Radio, “This summer, I’m so happy to see Koyaanisqatsi on the James Baker, hope to lure the film’s composer, David big screen,” Cone says, referring to the dialogue-free Amram, to the screening. Amram is a frequent attendee 1983 film that marries startling images of our urban at the nearby Kerrville Folk Festival. 28 On The Town | May-June 2009
Besides the features, each summer Cone tries to include classic short films on select dates. In the past, Cinema Tuesdays attendees have enjoyed Looney Tunes cartoons, or short two-reel comedies from Charlie Chase or the Three Stooges. “Ordinarily,” Cone says, “folks talk about how important it is to see something like Lawrence of Arabia or Doctor Zhivago on the big screen. But I would suggest that cartoons and comedies also benefit from the big-screen treatment. It makes the timing of the gags that much more effective.”
screenings benefit Texas Public Radio, which operates KSTX 89.1 FM and KPAC 88.3 FM in San Antonio, and KTXI 90.1 FM in the Hill Country. Showtime each Tuesday is 7:30 p.m., but the good seats often fill up fast, so Cone recommends arriving at the theater at least 30 minutes before the picture starts. The most complete lineup of films is available at www. tpr.org. There, you can sign up for Cone’s Cinema Tuesdays newsletter and the free Cinema Tuesdays podcast, featuring interviews with filmmakers and reviews of DVD releases.
Screenings take place each Tuesday at the Santikos Bijou at Crossroads Theater. Admission is based on suggested donation levels: $10 for members of Texas Photos (L-R) Scenes from Lola Montés, Public Radio, $12 for non-members. Proceeds from the Koyaanisqatsi and Z. Courtesy of Texas Public Radio
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The Vex At Ten Q&A With Ken Fraizer By Lauren Ross
he Sheldon Vexler Theatre at the Barshop Jewish Community Center is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2009. Since the very beginning, Ken Frazier has served as the theater’s director. What follows is a glimpse into the history of this presenting venue, as told in his words.
our world. I think it is safe to say that we strive to choose shows that cover all of the above bases and remain powerful and entertaining. LR: What is it like having the theater as part of the Barshop Jewish Community Center?
Lauren: What are your personal thoughts on theater, and how have they related to show choices KF: One of the greatest things about the Jewish culture is its history of supporting the arts. The JCC has for the Vexler? a multitude of cultural events throughout each year in Ken: I have never thought of theater as just addition to the Vexler Theatre, including the annual book entertainment. Personally, I am interested in the and film festivals. Live theater is a challenging entity to possibility of saying something meaningful through a keep alive. It is not usually on the forefront of everyone’s production. Great theater is similar to many other forms entertainment budget. The support the Barshop JCC such as great novels, paintings, music -- the powerful provides to the arts allows the Vex to be creative and ones are personal, idiosyncratic works that reflect a open to a variety of styles. Each season has had the unique and honest sensibility. To attract and keep an luxury of presenting a wide variety of styles and genres audience, theater must entertain, but the significance of over the years. That kind of variety just couldn’t happen any art lies in its ability to express truths. I believe theater here without the support and vision by both the board is an excellent medium to reveal and help us understand and staff of the JCC. 30 On The Town | May-June 2009
LR: As the Sheldon Vexler Theatre celebrates its 10th anniversary, so do you as theater director. Take us back to the beginning, and tell us about opening night. KF: It was an extremely exciting experience. I remember feeling pretty anxious with not only the typical opening-night pressure, but the whole idea of opening a brand-new space. We opened with Neil Simon’s Rumors, which is a great piece, very witty and fun. And we had a great cast and crew. Their talent alone relieved my apprehension. And it truly turned out to be a fantastic night. The show went off nicely, and the audience was wonderfully responsive. I knew the theater would be a great place because of the audience and performer energy exchange that night! LR:
How many shows have you directed in this theater?
KF: Well, I think I have produced approximately 40 shows over the 10 years. I would say I directed about 30 of them… I think. LR:
Of all the shows, do you have a favorite, or favorites?
KF: Wow, that’s a very subjective question; each show comes with different challenges and excitement. The Clearing is one of my favorites because it was such a demanding concept utilizing the performers’ talents juxtaposed with lights and sound. Chicago was an awesome experience as well because I felt we put our very own stamp on that production as a team. LR: Talk about the black box configuration of the Vex. What does it add to the theater patron’s experience versus seeing a show in a regular auditorium-style theater? KF: I think the strongest attribute of the Vex is its intimacy. Being a black box, there is no set defined space. The fact that we can move the audience around and change the layout of the audience somewhat lets us design the atmosphere closer to each production’s individual needs. I think it is also exciting for the audience to return and see a show from a whole new perspective. We sort of re-invent the space each time we go into production. LR: What challenges have you faced in producing shows “inside the box?” KF: I have to admit… I am guilty of jumping into projects that are a typically made for larger spaces. We May-June 2009 | On The Town 31
put in an “elevated” train track to hold the orchestra in Chicago, and we built a 2,000-plus gallon pool for Metamorphoses. And I really like producing shows in the round and having the audience on all four sides of the playing space, but that always makes it challenging for the actors and designers. I love the challenge of directing in the space. You have to really concentrate on how the arrangement will interact with the audience -- they are right there with you!
LR: What’s ahead? What can patrons look forward to in coming days at the Sheldon Vexler Theatre?
KF: It is quite a thrill to be at this point. I think what I am most proud of is to be able to look back at all the talent that has been on our stage. Vexed is a great way to really highlight everyone’s hard work over the past 10 years. I think it will be great for the audience to re-live past moments and a nice way for new patrons to see what kind of exciting things happen here.
KF: We haven’t committed to next year’s season at this point, but I know this: The greatest thing about this theater is its adaptability. And I am so fortunate to work with a constant influx of talented artists who are open to stretch and expand and who are not afraid to take on a new style or a “let’s color outside the lines” concept. So when it comes to the Vex, I think it’s safe to say that whatever the future brings… it will include thinking LR: Getting to do Vexed: A Musical Review, featuring outside the box! great performances from the 10-year history of the To find out more about the Sheldon Vexler Theatre at the theater, must be quite a thrill for you? Barshop Jewish Community Center, go to www.vexler.org.
32 On The Town | May-June 2009
Page 30 – Scene from The Crucible Page 31 – (Above) Ken Frazier, director (Below) Scene from Urinetown Page 32 – Scene from Chicago All photos courtesy Sheldon Vexler Theatre
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PA Performing Arts
By Erin West Photos (L-R) Gil Shaham – Courtesy San Antonio Symphony Troy Peters – Courtesy Youth Orchestras of San Antonio
his is an exciting time of year for performing arts aficionados. New season schedules are being announced by many of the area’s major presenters and patron calendars are being filled with nights of exciting entertainment, not to mention matinees. San Antonio Symphony has revealed its 2009-2010 Season, starting with a special 70th Anniversary Concert Celebration featuring violinist Gil Shaham playing Barber’s Violin Concerto. On the same program, Ken-David Masur will lead the orchestra and three hundred singers in the rousing Carmina Burana. This incredible evening takes place on Saturday, September 19 at the Majestic.
Broadway Across America offers eight shows in its 20092010 series at the Majestic. Highlights include the return of Disney’s The Lion King, South Pacific, Young Frankenstein, Mama Mia and the farewell tour of Riverdance. San Antonio Chamber Music Society has gotten on the board early with its new season announcement of six world-class concerts from October ’09 to April ’10. See the Shanghai String Quartet, Lee Trio, Faure Piano Quartet and more on their stage.
Kerrville Performing Arts Society has announced as well. Included on the 2009-2010 schedule are Yamato Drummers, Peter Schickele as P.D.Q. Bach, Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Other symphony classical highlights include Amalia Hernandez, American Big Band, Berlin Philharmonic performances by cellist Alisa Weilerstein, violinist Nadja Wind Quintet, and the legendary Marvin Hamlisch. Salerno-Sonneberg, soprano Dawn Upshaw, pianist Misha Dichter and violinist Nancy Zhou. Pops examples Youth Orchestras of San Antonio made an for the season are Three Phantoms in Concert, Rogers and announcement of a different kind when it named Troy Hammerstein at the Movies, Holiday Pops and Music of the Peters as its new music director and conductor. He succeeds Marlon Chen who is retiring at the end of this season. Beatles with Magical Mystery Tour. San Pedro Playhouse has a brand new sound system. I San Antonio Opera is sure to please opera buffs by couldn’t close without mentioning that. presenting Rigoletto, Madame Butterfly and Daughter of the Regiment at the Municipal Auditorium as their 2009- More area performing arts organizations will be announcing their seasons soon. Stay tuned. 2010 Season.
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Visual Arts 38-48
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38 On The Town | May-June 2009
The Art of Carla Veliz By Paloma Cortez
exican-born artist Carla Veliz breaks through the surface of personal experiences to reveal . some of life’s universal intricacies. Whether it it is expressing the complex beauty of the feminine figure or the grief following tragic loss, Carla’s work expresses the mixed emotions felt by many of us. When asked about her work, she responded, “As an artist, you raise a question. The viewer is allowed to answer or not, just as they wish. Everything is allowed, but with respect on both sides of the canvas.”
Born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, Carla’s relationship with art sparked early when she first exhibited her work at a public showing at the age of 10, then won a statewide art competition when she was 15. At the age of 18, Carla was accepted at the Art Institute in Houston. Speaking very little English and with only $500, Carla was forced to work up to four jobs at a time while attending school and serving an internship. Although her parents were divorced, the life lessons learned from the discrimination her father, an architect,
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experienced as the son of a poor revolutionary, and the tiring hours her mother spent working at her uncle’s restaurant fueled Carla’s inherit determination and helped her graduate with honors. After moving to San Antonio in 1991 Carla worked as a creative director for an ad agency and later freelanced in advertising and production. It wasn’t until her husband, Richard, encouraged her to reignite her relationship with art that Carla decided to devout herself again to painting. Equally important as the paintings are the titles that accompany each work which are vital to the message Carla wishes to convey. In her Katrina series, for example, a solemn tone felt by the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina is maintained throughout each painting. In describing this series of paintings, Carla noted, “These paintings are a whole different species. “Lo que el viento se llevó (What the Wind Took Away)” was inspired by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and is a tribute to the survivors and all those affected by this devastating hurricane. Some of the paintings contain pieces of fabric, including fine upholstery, African cotton cloth, bits of burlap, jewels, metals, etc. The use of the various textiles in combination with other textures and materials represents how a calamity such as Katrina can destroy everything in its path without discrimination. It is a true test of character. A time when we truly discover what we are made of and when all the materialistic possessions are gone, what remains is your true essence.” In her figurative works, Carla explores the complexities of women by either depicting bold female figures with exaggerated features and bright, playful colors or capturing the subtle moods, such as in “Atrapada (Entrapped).” In her words, “It is not a new thing that the beauty of the female figure has inspired the great masters, from the classics to the moderns. For me, it is not only that I am a woman and want to be heard and respected, but a celebration to the incredible beings that we are, able to care in such an unbelievable way, to be able to have life inside of us, and endure 40 On The Town | May-June September-October 2009 2008
and overcome so much… I hope the viewer can see us more than a sex symbol, more than a giver, more than a doer, but to love and respect woman as a whole. I want the paintings to be translated as a tribute to the beauty of femininity.” Carla’s work has been exhibited across South Texas and has become popular among collectors and businesses. She also was included among a select group of artists to contribute a decorated cow for the 2002 Cow Parade San Antonio, where her “Psychadelamoo” was proudly displayed at the Alamo Quarry Market. Currently Carla enjoys life with her husband and 6-year-old twins, Ricardo and Rebekah. She is currently working on her series “Vivencias (Experiences)” which she plans to finish this summer. For more information on Carla Veliz and her work visit www.carlaveliz.com or www.carlacontempo.com
“As an artist you raise a question. The viewer is allowed to answer or not, just as they wish. Everything is allowed, but with respect on both sides of the canvas.” - Carla Veliz
Photo Information Page 38 – Carla Veliz Page 39 – (L-R) Alegria and Churritos Page 40 – (Above) Flor de Invierno (Below) Frutera Page 41 – (Above) La Ejecutiva (Below) Pareja Ideal May-June 2009 | On The Town 41
Make a Plan
Spend a Weekend Absorbing San Antonioâ€™s Art and Culture
Standley 42By OnShannon The Town | Huntington May-June 2009
.he opportunities to take in art and culture in San Antonio stretch to every corner of the Alamo City, so making a plan to spend a day or a weekend filled with educational, fun activities for the entire family can prove to be an easy task. The universe is filled with changes that happen too quickly or too slowly for the eye to perceive—until now! The Witte Museum is putting time into visitors’ hands to slow down, speed up and manipulate through the summer exhibition, Playing with Time, opening June 20. Don’t miss the last weeks of Genome: The Secret of How Life Works, closing May 25, where visitors can delve into the world of genes and DNA to discover who they are, where they came from and who they may become. Take a ride into the Wild Wild West exhibit, on view through Aug. 23, to see the reallife stories of Western heroes, as opposed to those re-enacted in the Wild West shows, through Western frontier artifacts from the post-Civil War era to the 1920s. The Witte’s annual Fiesta exhibit, Queens and Crowns: Fiesta’s Royal Traditions, is on view through Sept. 7. This year’s exhibit honors the 100th anniversary of the Order of the Alamo and highlights the cream silk dress and blue velvet train worn by Helena Guenther, Queen of the Court of Carnival of Flowers in 1911, one of the oldest royal robes in the Witte Museum collection. UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures is chronicling the remarkable career of César Chávez through In His Own Words, on view through May 24. The exhibit features 38 photographs paired with excerpts from his dynamic speeches, interviews and authoritative writings, documenting the full course of Chávez’s career and examining the life experiences that drove him to change the lives of American farmers. This year, ITC is commemorating Fiesta Remembrances: Photographs of Past Events, running through June 28, with 46 color and black and white photographs of various Fiesta events from the 1890s to the early 1990s.
The big news for spring at the San Antonio Museum of Art is the River Walk extension, opening in May, which will provide a back-door entrance for the museum. In celebration of the opening, SAMA is joining the river theme with Waterflow, an exhibition of recent works by 15 Texas artists who have been inspired by water, on view May 13 through Aug. 23. In 2004, musician Ry Cooder hired San Antonio artist Vincent Valdez to paint a mural on a vintage 1953 Chevy ice cream truck, which took 19 months to complete. Vincent Valdez: El Chavez Ravine, on view through Aug. 2, reflects the late 1950s displacement of the Los Angeles Chicano community by the developers who built Dodger Stadium. Alongside Valdez’ work is Zoe’s Room, where artist John Hernandez was inspired by childhood stories such as Aesop’s Fables and Mother Goose to create a composition of earlier sculptures as well as new work, including wall paintings and drawings. Wrapping up the exhibition schedule at SAMA is Imagenes de Mexico: Select Photographs from the Permanent Collection,
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a photographic exhibition on view through Aug. 3. Eight photographers were chosen from the permanent collection who have captured their own vision of Mexico. San Antonio artist and instructor for the Southwest School of Art & Craft’s Young Artist Program, Ruth Buentello, is exhibiting new paintings in Retratos de Nobles, on view at the Ursuline Hall Gallery through June 21. The annual favorite of the Southwest School of Art & Craft, the All School Exhibition 2009, is back and on view at the Russell Hill Rogers Gallery through June 21. This annual tradition showcases outstanding recent works in a variety of media by artists, teachers and students at the school.
based artist Joel Carreiro presents Unreliable Narrator, a display of massive-sized paintings using geometric patterns and shapes over beautifully painted backgrounds and on view through June 14.
Artpace begins the new season with their International ArtistIn-Residence exhibit New Works: 09.1 featuring works by artists Richard Grayson, Christian Tomaszewski and Sterling Allen, on view March 19 through May 17. Richard Grayson, from London, will present video and multi-media works to combine scientific research methods, technology and interviews. Brooklyn artist Christian Tomaszewski remakes the spaces, props and moods of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, mimicking the characters and analyzing details. Recent Bihl Haus Arts has planned a big celebration for the Goldens drawings and sculptures by Austin artist Sterling Allen follow Opportunity Art Program in May, offering weekly painting, a three-step process of assessing sound, shape and image in drawing and yoga, and special art workshops for “Goldens,” the context of emotional response. On view in the Hudson aka seniors, living at Primrose at Monticello Park Apartments. (Show) Room through May 3 at Artpace is Kehinde Wiley: In conjunction with that program, the exhibit Goldens Legacy The World Stage: Africa, Lagos ~ Dakar, a showcase of 10 new opens May 23 and features 100 paintings, drawings and other paintings from Wiley’s multinational the World Stage series. works created by the Goldens under the direction of professOn May 14, a new exhibit rotates into the Hudson (Show) ional artist-teachers Terry Lopez de Castilla and Kim Bishop. Room, Jonthan Monk: Rew-Shay Hood Project, Berlin, Germany. Blue Star Contemporary Art Center boasts a wide range of In this installation, Monk examines the geometric forms of exhibiting artists. Danville Chadbourne presents Retrospective Sol LeWitt’s 1970s series of minimal cubes, abandoning the 1: Artist’s Collection 1980-2009, on view through June 14. original geometry and playfully presenting the work as an Works from this local artist feature a collection of 30 large- odd dressing room. scale paintings and sculptures dating from 1980 to the present. French artist Anne Ferrer’s Country Wave, through The Instituto Cultural de Mexico presents an exhibit of May 23, transforms gallery space into a country furnished drawing, engraving and sculpture in Vida y Obra de José home being invaded by a wave of pink frosting. New York- Luis Cuevas, on view through June 21. Jose Luis Cuevas was
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born in Mexico City in 1934 and is a sketcher, engraver, sculptor and writer. He studied at La Esmeralda, one of the most important schools of art in Mexico. El Niño Fidencio de Espinazo, Nuevo León is a photographic exhibition by artist Gustavo Casasola. This collection from Museo Bernabé de las Casas, Mina, Nuevo León, is on view through June 14. El Niño Fidencio (Jose Fidencio de Jesus Sintora) is a healer who died in 1938, who is still a cult figure and is remembered through animated photographs, original films and people who knew him while living and bearing witness. The McNay Art Museum is presenting a two-part exhibition of the AT&T Collection on view through May 17. Close to 100 works are on view in American Concepts and Global Visions/Selections. The first part, Contemporary Paintings and Sculpture, comprises paintings, sculpture and largescale works on paper. The second part, Masterworks of Photography, boasts classic black-and-white imagery, color photographs and alternative approaches to the photography medium. Friends of the McNay are celebrating their 50th anniversary and have marked the occasion with Fifty Years of Printed Masterpieces: Gifts from the Friends of the McNay, on view through June 7. The McNay is presenting the Tom Slick Collection June 10 through Sept. 13 alongside Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey. Closing out the summer exhibition schedule is In Their Own Right: Contemporary Women Printmakers, on display June 24 through Aug. 23. The Museo Alameda is addressing the journey of the Mexican migrant, from the perils of border crossing to the struggles
of establishing normalcy once in the United States, through Cara Vemos, Corazones No Sabemos: The Human Landscape of Mexican Migration, running through May 10. Also on the schedule at the Alameda is Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement, on view through June 14. Spend the weekend doing something different. Involve the family, take a vote and make a plan to visit these fine institutions and the world-class exhibitions in your own back yard. Photo Information Page 42 - Gary Schott, Martini Shaker, 2006 Mild steel, copper, brass, rubber, wood, stainless steel, glass, paint, lacquer, 11” x 10” x 12” Southwest School of Art and Craft Page 43 – (Above) Isca Greenfield-Sanders Green Suit Bather, 2006 Aquatint Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Transferred from the San Antonio Art Institute, by exchange (Below) Plant Dance - Playing With Time Witte Museum Page 44 - Danville Chadbourne Meditations on the Red Dessert – A Parable of Futility acrylic on wood and plywood, metal, fabric, fiber, wood, 7 3½” H. 116” W., 1987- 93 Blue Star Contemporary Art Center Page 45 - Voch (Yellow) – 2004 Margarita Cabrera - William J. Hokin Museo Alameda May-June 2009 | On The Town 45
VA Visual Arts
By Blair Russell Photos (L-R) Brackenridge Park Parking Garage – Courtesy Witte Museum River Landing – Courtesy San Antonio Musuem of Art
ccess to two of San Antonio’s most prominent museums has become easier. Both the Witte Museum and San Antonio Museum of Art are sporting new additions that make getting in and out a very manageable situation.
On Saturday, May 30, the San Antonio Museum of Art officially opens its new River Landing as a part of the San Antonio River Improvement Project and the citywide celebration marking day one of the Museum Reach. On the north side of the museum’s property, this new facility designed by Overland Partners consists of a river pavilion, covered walkway and covered terrace, creating an attractive and welcoming presence for SAMA along the river and providing the museum with its first ever guest access to the River Walk. The river pavilion, a 3,464 square foot covered patio facing the river, is open for both museum and public events, such as festivals, receptions, lectures and meetings. The space accommodates 300 people. Barge in anytime, after May 30.
Brackenridge Park Parking Garage, designed by Lake / Flato Architects, is now open behind the Witte. This threestory, open-air facility is tucked into the park’s tree canopy and features an environmentally-friendly rain harvesting system and metal screening over the front side that allows vines to flourish and create an inviting façade. San Antonio artist Cakky Brawley designed an installation comprised of brushed aluminum forms for the elevator tower of the facility. The wall behind the artwork is illuminated at night. More than 300 parking spaces are available to patrons See you at the Witte and SAMA soon. Getting to and from these museums has never been easier. making a visit to the museum virtually effortless. 46 On The Town | May-June 2009
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Festivals and Celebrations 50-62
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The 38th Annual Texas Folklife Festival Celebrates Everything Texas
Story by Texas Folklife Festival Staff Photography courtesy UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures
isitors will find themselves “Celebrating Everything Texas” this year at the 38th annual Texas Folklife Festival – even things they didn’t realize were part of Texas. For three days beginning June 12, friends, families and complete strangers will come together to experience the culture and heritage of those who settled, developed and collectively define the Lone Star State. A cross-cultural, cross-generational event, the Texas Folklife Festival showcases more than 250 participants from across Texas who share their most cherished traditions. From the Asians to the Alsatians, the Lebanese to the Lithuanians, and the Irish to the Indians, visitors will find a mini-village of more than 40 ethnic neighborhoods with sights and sounds to delight all of the senses. “Wandering through the cultural neighborhoods of the festival is a fun immersion into the rich diversity that makes up the‘DNA’of Texas’life and lore,”says JoAnn Andera, festival director. “The Folklife Festival is a completely individual experience for everyone who goes—you choose what interests you most and then explore at your own pace.” It’s true, you don’t have to travel far to experience something new this summer. At the Folklife Festival, visitors can wander from country to country throughout the rolling grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures sampling foods, music, dance, costumes, crafts and other artistic traditions. There is something for every age group, and it’s a totally interactive, hands-on experience,” says Andera. “Of course, you can decide how active you want to be—you can sit back and watch the dancers or get up and learn how to clog; you can watch our wonderfully skilled craftspeople or try your hand at basket weaving.” 51 On The Town | March-April 2009
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Ten event stages feature 25 hours of music and performances, ranging from trick ropers, Aztec dancers, Afro-Brazilian acrobats, Texas rock bands, mariachis, hiphop artists, fiddle and banjo musicians, jazz bands, blues artists, gospel choirs and storytellers. Among the new performers this year is Voces y Guitarras, a talented group from Brownsville. For event-goers with a passion for dance, there will be plenty to watch. Troupes of folk dancers perform traditional Turkish, Scandinavian, Filipino and Lebanese dances, just to name a few -- each dressed in authentic, native costumes. Craft aficionados, shoppers and the just plain curious are sure to get a kick out of festival demonstrators and artisans who come to share their talent. For the first time this year, the Purple Martin propagators are bringing bird and bat houses made from gourds and tubes. David Sheppard of Dripping Springs will make his first appearance at the festival selling heirloom and custom-made music boxes. Tthe talent of Texans comes in many forms. Of course, the highlight of any festival is food, and the Texas Folklife Festival is no exception. Traditional dishes from Europe, Asia, South America, Mexico and Texas are some of the many options during a journey through the festival grounds. Additions to this yearâ€™s menu include Korean barbecue and marinated beef bulgogis served by the Korean American Association of San Antonio. The Famguon Guahan (which translates into Children of Guam) will prepare chicken, beef or shrimp Kelaguen spiced with grilled onions, lemon coconut and peppers. The rich tapestry of this giant, multi-cultural celebration never ceases to amaze both newcomers and seasoned festival fans. Widely regarded as the premiere cultural event in Texas, the festival has gained national recognition and won numerous awards. The three-day celebration runs from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. June 12; from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. June 13; and from noon to 7 p.m. June 14, downtown at the Institute of Texan Cultures on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus. Ticket and general information is available at www. TexasFolklifeFestival.org or at the event information line, (210) 458-2390. Advance tickets go on sale at all H-E-B locations May 1. So come with a hearty appetite and expect to be delighted by the entertainment, the fun and the diversity that is as big as the state we know and love â€” Texas! 52 On The Town | May-June 2009
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53rd Season at Arneson River Theatre By Diana Marin
# iesta Noche del Rio, the longest-running outdoor musical revue of its kind in the United States, celebrates its 53rd season in 2009 with performances beginning on May 15. Included in the first weekend is a presentation of La Primera Noche (First Night) which pays tribute to local sponsors as well as to the showâ€™s largest beneficiaries: Any Baby Can and Respite Care of San Antonio, non-profit organizations that provide services and programs to children with special needs.
The musical extravaganza features the songs and dances of Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Texas in a seven-act showstopping outdoor performance. Held at the historic Arneson River Theatre on the San Antonio River Walk, the outdoor show has entertained more than one million locals and visitors since its inception in 1957. Elizabeth Sanchez-Lopez serves as director, choreographer and lead singer. Lopez is the supervisor of the Dance and Theater Fine Arts Department at Northside Independent School District. Her partnership with Fiesta Noche del Rio, where she serves in the role created by the legendary Rosita Fernandez, allows her to celebrate the history and culture of San Antonio while giving back to the community. May-June 2009 | On The Town 55
Her love of dance has touched the lives of many local students pursuing dance. More than half of the cast members for Fiesta Noche del Rio over the years have been former NISD students. Many of them have continued to pursue dance careers of their own. During the Noche season, her husband Gerald Lopez oversees the show’s production and has done so since 1993. She is joined this year by cast members Andrew Mauricio (singer), Kelsey Wildman (dance captain), Daniella Villagran, Priscilla Gamboa, Bianca Mendoza, Celina Rodriguez, Steven Moreno, Rod-J Ona, Ernest Antu, Natalie Sonnen, Kimberly Gutierrez and Brittany Leos, plus Mariachi Festival. Fiesta Noche del Rio is produced each year by the volunteer-run Alamo Kiwanis Club in order to raise funds to benefit local children’s charities. Nearly $3 million has been raised to date. “We are excited about our new season,” reports 2009 chairman Ernest Mora. “We have an outstanding new cast and have tightened the show to showcase more of our most popular numbers.” The Arneson River Theatre gates open at 7pm with performances beginning at 8:30pm every Friday and Saturday night May 15 - August 8, 2008. For tickets and information, visit www.fiestanochedelrio.com.
are excited about ”ourWenew season. We have an outstanding new cast and have tightened the show to showcase more of our most popular numbers. Ernest Mora 2009 chairman Fiesta Noche del Rio
All photos courtesy Fiesta Noche del Rio 56 On The Town | May-June 2009
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Stephanie Santâ€™Ambrogio artistic director Cactus Pear Music Festival Photo by Gary Albright
A Taste of Music 13th Annual Cactus Pear Music Festival, July 9-19
By Gary Albright and Jeffrey Sykes
Glimmering Glacés combines music of the Baroque with music of the modern day, and features two of the most distinctive instruments used for chamber music—the harp and the harpsichord. Bright, sparkly music by Henry Purcell and Jean-Baptiste Leclair opens the program. Glacés continues with a French quintet for flute, harp, and strings featuring virtuoso Canadians flutist Lorna McGhee and harpist Heidi Krutzen. These two artists conclude the first half with “Taheke” by New Zealand composer Gareth Farr. Works by Ravel and George Crumb follow, and the concluding Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 for violin and flute adds the cherry to the top.
Triple Sundae Delight
tephanie Sant’Ambrogio, former concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony and artistic director of the celebrated Cactus Pear Music Festival, delivers the festival’s 13th season filled with a banquet of mouthwatering treats. Always known for sumptuous offerings of music and after-concert receptions, the festival’s four program titles this season hint at the cool, refreshing— and world-class—event that the festival has become in the midst of south Texas’ steamy summers. The musical banquet begins July 9 with the first concert in San Antonio and ends July 19 with a concert in Boerne. The four programs are:
Haydn’s“Lark”Quartet is one of the greatest string quartets ever written, full of wit and inspiration. Its name comes from a soaring, vibrant melody played by the first violin in the first movement. Vaughan Williams’ piano quintet in C minor is the perfect contrast. An early, only-recently published work, this quintet is full of brooding romantic sentiment and yearning melodies. The program ends with Mendelssohn’s piano trio in D minor, a deservedly popular staple of the chamber music repertoire, full of fire and passion. Russian-Spanish cellist Dmitri Atapine and electrifying pianist Peter Miyamoto grace the CPMF stage for the first time.
combines three varied masterpieces of the repertoire. Mozart’s sonata in F Major for piano four-hands—claimed by many as the single greatest piece Mozart wrote for the keyboard— opens the program. Brahms’ trio for horn, violin, and piano follows—a work that elevates the haunting call of the horn to the level of great art. And the program concludes with the passionate, exuberant, quirky, and ultimately humorous Sextet by Ernst von Dohnanyi written for the most unusual combination of clarinet, horn, violin, viola, cello, and piano—truly a sundae of instrumentation. San Antonio Symphony’s principals
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Jeff Garza, horn, and Ilya Shterenberg, clarinet, are the rich musical toppings in this delight.
Appalachian Ice features the most iconic American composition ever written, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, and is performed in its original version for thirteen instruments. It’s a work that completely captures the sense of the American frontier. The festival premieres a new work by San Antonio’s own Timothy Kramer – Three Pairs Suite for piano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello and percussion. The program opens with a delightful arrangement of Haydn’s “London” Symphony for flute, string quartet, and piano. Also on the program is the celebrated Adagio and Allegro by Robert Schumann for horn and piano. The festival is pleased to welcome back Austin’s renowned cellists, Bion Tsang and Amy Levine-Tsang. Festival favorite, flutist Stephanie Jutt, adds her icy smoothness to the mix. Thursday, July 9 Travis Park United Methodist Church San Antonio @ 7:30pm Friday, July 10 New Braunfels Presbyterian Church New Braunfels @ 7pm Saturday, July 11 Travis Park United Methodist Church San Antonio @ 7:30pm Sunday, July 12 First Presbyterian Church New Braunfels @ 2:30pm Wednesday, July 15 First United Methodist Church Boerne @ 7pm Thursday, July 16 Travis Park United Methodist Church San Antonio @ 7:30pm Friday, July 17 Fredericksburg Theater Company Fredericksburg @ 7pm Saturday, July 18 Travis Park United Methodist Church San Antonio @ 7:30pm Sunday, July 19 First United Methodist Church Boerne @ 2pm Photo Information Page 59 (L-R) Lorna McGhee, Jeff Garza and Heidi Krutzen 60 On The Town | May-June 2009
Page 60 (Above) Ilya Shterenberg (Below) Bion Tsang All photos courtesy Cactus Pear Music Festival
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Culinary Arts 64-70
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The Dream Team Behind “The Dream” By Chris Dunn Photography Greg Harrison
. hen a plate of food is ser ved in a restaurant, . it reflects everyone who works there, from the dishwasher to the prep cooks, from the servers to the executive chef. It’s the culinary equivalent of launching a rocket, a group effort that can reach for the stars -- or lose them.
said. The Sandbar is scheduled to move midsummer to a new location in the Pearl Brewery, but Carlson said the focus will remain the same. “When it comes to food, there’s no compromising.”
Sommelier Fabien Jacob has a knowledge of wine and cuisine that belies his 32 years. Born in Lyon, France, Jacob started his career in restaurants at the age of So it is no surprise that the consistently stellar cuisine 12, and his resume includes working for one of the at Andrew Weissman’s award-winning restaurant Le legendary founders of Nouvelle Cuisine, Paul Bocuse. Rêve reflects a team that is equally out of this world. After all, “Le Rêve” is French for “The Dream,” so it is But while attending chef school, he realized he preferred only fitting Weissman would have assembled a dream working the front of the house. “I didn’t like to be in team to work there. the kitchen; I like more contact with the customers,” he said. His decision proved to be a good one: His keen Chris Carlson, a Chicago native with 15 years’ experience palate, passion for his work and attention to customers in fine dining restaurants, eight of them with Le Rêve, is a perfect fit for Le Rêve. could easily be described as Weissman’s right- and left-hand man because of the many roles he fills at In describing how to pair wine with a particular dish, the restaurant. “You have to have a passion for it,” said Jacob said, “There are always key components you have Carlson, describing his 12- to 14-hour workdays. to look at: acidity, earthiness of the dish, is it rich, like with the taste of butter, or is it steamed? I determine the One of his many responsibilities is to oversee kitchen flavor profile of the dish and then what goes with it … I details such as stocks and prep work. He also makes all want to emphasize the flavor of the dish, not the wine.” the bread for Le Rêve, often starting at 1 or 2 a.m., when he prepares poolishes (a preferment of flour, water and To illustrate, he compared the food at Le Rêve to a yeast) for the next day’s bread. He said it reflects his beautiful painting. “The main focus of the restaurant is passion for the “mastery of food in general … because to the food,” he said. “I just want [the wine] to be a frame really do a high-quality bread takes a certain amount of around that.” skill and ability and time and energy and effort to do.” Another outstanding member of the team is Luca Della Evenings, Carlson moves next door to another Casa, a native of Turin, Italy, who started his culinary Weissman restaurant, The Sandbar Fish House and career as a young boy in his grandmother’s restaurant in Market, where he is the executive chef. “Everything is Trieste. “I had a really big passion for the food … I started made fresh -- even the ceviches are done to order,” he to taste flavors – that’s what started to build in me.” May-June 2009 | On The Town 65
After broadening his culinary knowledge working at to greeting and serving, and always with a seemingly restaurants in Spain’s Canary Islands and at the former effortless grace. She even helps select all the wines Sage restaurant in San Antonio’s Fairmount Hotel, he set served at the restaurant. his sights on Le Rêve. Originally from Costa Rico, Maureen admits being According to Della Casa, “It gave me a completely other nervous when she first starting working at Le Rêve perspective … it changed my view. I discovered new because she was just learning English and didn’t know flavors and combinations that for Italian cuisine are not all the restaurant terminology. “I started bringing people that common.” water; I remember my hand would be shaking,” she said with a laugh. In turn, Della Casa gained Weissman’s respect for his extensive knowledge of Italian cuisine and has been In addition to her busy work schedule, she is the mother chosen to be executive chef at Weissman’s new Italian of two children, Maxwell Joaquin, 2½ years old, and Ella, restaurant, Il Sogno (which, not coincidentally, means 14 months. “Max was born on Monday and Ella was born “The Dream” in Italian), slated to open at the end of May on Sunday,” she said, “We planned to close for one week, in the Pearl Brewery. “We’re going to change our menu and I came back to work a week later … In 10 years, I with the seasons, which is very important,” Della Casa never missed one day of work.” said, adding, “We will be doing what we do the only way we know how, which is the best way.” Her dedication is obvious, but speaking on behalf of herself and Andrew, she credits the “great team” at Le Rêve And then, there is Maureen, Weissman’s indefatigable for its success. She said, “It’s like our extended family.” and vivacious wife, who has become an integral part of the Le Rêve dining experience. She is the heart of Photo Information the front of the house, doing whatever is needed to Page 64 – Andrew and Maureen Weissman keep things running smoothly, from taking reservations Page 66 – (L-R) Luca Della Casa, Fabien Jacob, Chris Carlson
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Pinch Pennies and Dine Well Sign Up and Save! By Marlo Mason-Marie
ince money doesn’t grow on trees, I’m all about saving it. That’s how I roll. I wouldn’t refer to myself as cheap, but rather as fiscally responsible. Frugal is another good way to describe my nature. I get a kick out of a good deal, especially when it comes to dining out. I’m not one who feels embarrassed when handing a coupon, savings certificate or dining club card to a server. I think of it this way – if the restaurant didn’t want me to use the discount, then why did it make the offer in the first place? Of course the restaurant wanted me to take advantage of the discount, and so I do. It’s that simple.
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Hopefully, the thoughts that follow will help you pinch pennies and dine well, too. I’m going to explore the world of restaurant Web sites and the unending myriad of offers available to you through their use. Taking first things first, I suggest you create a separate e-mail address totally dedicated to this endeavor, one that is above and beyond your personal mailbox that you most likely already have in place and use every day. Compartmentalize and organize your effort, that’s step one. Next, surf the Web for the restaurants of your
choice and don’t be afraid to join their clubs. Your goal is to get your name and e-mail address on as many restaurant mailing lists as possible. Sign up and start saving immediately. Trust me when I say that you will be bombarded with e-mails offering one tasty deal after another. But that’s the name of the game.
Houlihan’s invited me to have an appetizer on the house (no strings attached) after I signed up for their mailing list. I plan on cashing in on their kind offer by having Chipotle Chicken Nachos with homemade salsa, guacamole and sour cream, a $9.75 value. This membership also includes the services of Houlihan’s text club, known as Foody Calls, that offers couponing directly to your cell phone.
To illustrate the benefits of this process, I placed myself on the e-lists of 10 notable chain eateries just prior to beginning this article. Here’s what happened within minutes of hitting the submit button.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill calls their e-mail club the Mac Pack. When I joined, a complimentary $9 appetizer came my way right away. I’ll enjoy it with my next two entrées purchase.
These are just 10 examples of how you can save on quality dining by being proactive and noodling the net. And the truth is, this is but the tip of the iceberg lettuce. So many more restaurants offer these kinds of clubs and savings. Others I joined prior to this include P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Outback Steakhouse, Landry’s Seafood House, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Zio’s Italian Maggiano’s Little Italy made me a member of their e-mail Kitchen, La Madeleine French Bakery & Café, Canyon Café family by sending a certificate for $10 off my next meal at and Pappasito’s Cantina. their place. All I have to do to qualify is show up and dine. Bigger-dollar eating establishments also use this kind T.G.I Friday’s followed up my enrollment in their Give Me of e-marketing to introduce you to their products and More Stripes club with a double-deal. First I received an then to keep you as a patron. I won’t go through a e-mail with a coupon touting a buy one entrée, get another never-ending list, but suggest you do research on your entrée for $1 offer. I immediately recognized this as my own. I guarantee you’ll be surprised at how much you opportunity to enjoy a New York Strip and Shrimp from can actually save by merely being informed of what’s their Jack Daniels Grill for a single dollar bill. A free appetizer available to you as a valued diner. coupon with no purchase necessary arrived separately. What I have suggested here is free. All the info you’ll need Bravo! Cucina Italiana gladly sent me a free appetizer to sign up and save is at your fingertips. Once you’ve with entrée purchase when I joined Club Bravo! I’ll convert joined, the deals come to you. Saving money on restaurant this bonus into a delicious Crispy Shrimp Napoli, valued dining is a very appetizing thought. Bon appetite! in double-digits, when I drop in for dinner. Links to Websites of Restaurants Mentioned In This Article Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen sent me an e-mail offering www.bravoitalian.com a free appetizer with the purchase of two entrees. I’ll turn this into a Blackened Shrimp and Crawfish Fondeaux www.canyoncafe.com (fondue) in a New York minute. Its value is $13.95, but for www.carinos.com www.carrabbas.com me, it’s free. www.houlihans.com Carino’s Italian didn’t even take 30 seconds before they www.lamadeleine.com welcomed me into their e-mail family with a half-price www.landrysseafoodhouse.com entrée offer. This kind of hospitality will save me $6 the next time I order Lemon Rosemary Chicken, my favorite www.macaronigrill.com www.meltingpot.com dish on their menu. www.outback.com Texas Land & Cattle Steak House welcomed me to The www.pappadeaux.com Club with a complimentary Texas Teaser valued at up to www.pappasitos.com $7.99, with the purchase of an adult entrée, starting at www.peiwei.com $9.99 for dinner. For this $17.98 tab, my savings will be www.pfchangs.com 44 percent. See me there. www.rubytuesday.com Ruby Tuesday thanked me for joining their So Connected www.texaslandandcattle.com club with an immediate buy one entrée, get one entrée www.tgifridays.com free offer. I think I will. www.zios.com The Melting Pot offered membership in Club Fondue. I joined and in a nanosecond received a printable certificate for a free Chocolate Fondue with the purchase of a combo dinner for two. I must admit to having never dined here, but now it’s time to take the dip.
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Patty Ortiz Comes Home Pattyand Ortiz to San Antonio the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center By Angela Rabke Photo courtesy Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
. he arts landscape in San Antonio is as diverse as the people who choose to live here. This is a city where people settle down…a place where people land when family and roots begin to be a priority. They come from all walks of life: locals who have returned after years away, military families who value the quality of life here, those who are here for work and those who never left. All bring to San Antonio bits and pieces of the places they were before. Patty Ortiz, the new executive director at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, is one who returned after years away. Her early education at Little Flower School, Providence and then Jefferson helped established roots in San Antonio and fed a love and talent for art. After receiving her bachelor’s degree at UT Austin, she completed her Master’s degree in Studio Art at UTSA.
This is when Ms. Ortiz took her knowledge to Denver, where she spent many years teaching at a university and growing and shaping arts programs in the area. Her unique ability to balance her perspective as a working artist with a strong business and fund-raising sensibility took her to positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museo de las Americas, where she succeeded in growing budgets and enhancing programming. When a position at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio became available, Ortiz knew that the time was right to return to San Antonio. “My parents are here in San Antonio-they are in their eighties—this was a good opportunity to give back to the community where I was born and raised, and to be with my parents and experience their life after being away for such a long time.” May-June 2009 | On The Town 73
Because she grew up in San Antonio, Ortiz has been able to observe how the arts landscape has changed. When asked how it has evolved Ortiz says, “I was pleasantly surprised. ArtPace and Blue Star exist now, and there are other artist-driven spaces. There are many grassrooted projects in the area, and I started remembering how artists here are such go-getters about initiating projects like that. It is excited to be involved in that realm again.” Indeed, one of Ortiz’s goals for the Center is to work closely with other arts organizations to grow San Antonio’s whole arts environment. While the Guadalupe is located on and responds to the culture of the West Side of San Antonio, Ortiz hopes to bring the organization to a place of relevance on a broader level. “What sets the Guadalupe apart is that it is community-based. It was created to support the local community on the West Side and it carries that identity. Because of that, there are inherent qualities to the art. It is Chicano art: it has a definite feeling—quick and multilayered. I would like to create programs that mirror that aesthetic and make it more accessible to the community at large.” With its multidisciplinary approach, (dance, literature, media arts, theater arts, visual arts and Xicano music) the Guadalupe does offer appealing options for everyone. “Many things will happen to reconnect the organization with the community, and what is great is that everyone wants for it to succeed. I am looking at many aspects of the center right now— from how the infrastructure works, to the building of new resources, to programming. We have tremendous assets and our programming needs to be innovative—bringing us into the 21st century by keeping rooted programs in place that support the community as well as presenting some brilliant new mixed programming.” Inherent in Ortiz’s ideas about the future is the concept of discussion and dialogue with others. “I want to lend all of the ideas from the West side of San Antonio to everything we do, but make it relevant on a global level by encouraging national and international artists to visit, and creating dialogue between those artists and our local artists.”
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From May 5-9, the Guadalupe will present the Tejano Conjunto Festival, an event that Ortiz believes is worth visiting. “This is the event that I always came back for— if you want to get a sense of the scene-the real flavor of San Antonio’s music, this is the place to be.” To learn more about the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, log onto their website at www.guadalupeculturalarts.org.
“What sets the Guadalupe apart is that it is community-based. It was created to support the local community on the West Side and it carries that identity. Because of that, there are inherent qualities to the art. It is Chicano art: it has a definite feeling—quick and multilayered. I would like to create programs that mirror that aesthetic and make it more accessible to the community at large.” Patty Ortiz executive director Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
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Poet, Publisher and Renaissance Man Story and Photo by Jasmina Wellinghoff ryce Milligan is a true renaissance man. A poet, fiction writer, publisher, songwriter, instrument builder, sculptor and carpenter, he also has been at various times a book critic, arts administrator, editor, poet-in-the schools, teacher and designer. He is one of those rare souls in today’s world who will pursue an intellectual interest for the sheer pleasure and challenge that it represents. Easily one of the finest poets in Texas, or anywhere for that matter, Milligan has authored five collections of poetry, four historical novels for young adults, several children’s books and hundreds of essays, reviews and articles.
publishing firm that Bloomsbury Review called “the best little publishing house in Texas.” JW: Is it difficult to juggle so many different hats or do you find it stimulating?
BM: It’s stimulating. I’ve always had multiple projects going on at the same time. One tends to stimulate the other. I am always making something, whether it’s something that is traditionally considered art or carpentry, for instance. And you know, the original meaning of the word “poet” is “maker,” so that’s what I am. But I think of myself Since 1995, Milligan also has been the owner/editor of primarily as a poet. Poetry requires the greatest effort. Wings Press, the only San Antonio-based independent Some of my poems go through 100 drafts. 76 On The Town | May-June 2009
JW: Can you remember your first poem(s)? BM: I was in first or second grade, and I used to listen to my transistor radio at night. The New York folk revival was on, and I got all these songs in my head, and I would rewrite the lyrics. I remember walking to school making up lyrics to the songs I had heard in the middle of the night. But I was in seventh grade when I wrote my first real poem after we had moved to a neighborhood with no trees. I had grown up with big pecan and sycamore trees, and I was missing them. So I was sitting on the roof one day – somehow that elevation was always important to me -- and I began to write a poem about a Roman centurion sitting on the Hadrian’s Wall listening to the echoes of the empire falling… History has always inspired me. JW: What usually moves you to start a poem?
JW: Let’s talk about your publishing business. The literary world is grateful to small presses such as Wings Press for publishing titles that large commercial outfits often ignore. How would you describe Wings Press’ mission? BM: We produce multicultural books, chapbooks, CDs and DVDs that I hope will enlighten the human spirit and enliven the mind. It so happens that 60 percent of our authors are women and of those, 80 percent are Latinas. I edited two major anthologies of work by Latinas, so I knew the field. JW: How many submissions do you get and how do you make your selections? BM: We get about 50 a week. As for how manuscripts are selected, I publish what I like. I like Native American, Chicano and other ethnic literature; also ecologically-minded literature. I like detail and authors who really know the culture they are writing about, and I am a stickler for grammar where it counts. We also publish experimental stuff and a lot of translations. I like to deal with other cultures, as you can see - not that we don’t do mainstream American stuff because we do that, too.
BM: I thought about that a lot, because if you could do it artificially, it would be great. Then you could say, OK, I’ll write a poem today. Being a muse poet, I have to rely on inspiration. I certainly write every day but I can’t say that I write poetry every day. Generally, a poem starts with a phrase or an observation; occasionally a sheer idea. Sometimes, it’s a place or a person. (He picks up his collection “Lost and Certain of It” and points out the inspiration behind several poems.) It comes from many sources. JW: What’s the hard part? JW: How is poetic expression different from prose writing?
BM: The greatest challenge is the nitty-gritty business of getting the books into people’s hands. As a small publishBM: I would think it’s the quality of the language, the use er, you are fighting against huge conglomerates to get of metaphor and symbolism to make the language carry your books on the bookshelves, to get them reviewed, as much meaning as it can, to convey an idea or an image promoted… We recently did $15,000 worth of advertisin the most powerful manner. It’s really about intensity. ing in Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist and other publications, and I believe the sales we saw in JanuYou have to boil it down to that essential kernel. ary and February are the result of that. But it’s a very thin JW: Many people feel that contemporary poetry is in- profit line. I’ve never been able to pay myself a salary. I timidating and inaccessible. Could you suggest some live on the cash flow. This year I am making the transition to a non-profit status. Given the economy and the e-book poets that non-poetry readers may enjoy? challenge, this transition is critical. But I do have a disBM: It’s not a surprise that the most popular poets are tributor in Chicago who has been handling distribution both intelligent and accessible. Accessibility is not a neg- for us. This year, I also have to switch 100 titles to e-book ative. Take, for instance, Naomi Shihab Nye, who is just format. It may be the future market. There are already 1 dynamite in picking up imagery from life around her and million e-books out there but so far that trend has not afimbuing it with symbolism. She’s a wonderfully accessible fected new titles. poet. James Hoggard, the former poet laureate of Texas, is another. Pamela Uschuk is a sensual writer whose work JW: What advice would you give to an aspiring poet? is nature based. Ed Hirsch, who writes about relationships and feelings, you could call him the John Cheever of po- BM: Read! etry; and Donald Hall, the poet of grief. My own shorter ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Some of Mr. Milligan’s comments have been slightly edited for reasons of space. poems are quite accessible. May-June 2009 | On The Town 77
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Joffrey Ballet Workshop Texas Co-Directed by Buddy and Susan Treviño for 31 Years By Julie Catalano
ome teachers are born. Some are made. And some meet and marry each other and teach happily ever after. Fortunately for thousands of ballet students, Buddy and Susan Treviño have carried on a lifelong pas de deux that started 34 years ago when they met while dancing with Austin Ballet Theatre. Since then, as master teachers they have guided countless dancers of all ages through innumerable steps, whether their students viewed dance as a hobby or set their sights on a professional career.
during an annual audition tour where 75 students are handpicked out of hundreds of hopefuls. For three intense weeks – this year from June 27 to July 18 – young dancers ages 11 to 21 attend classes and rehearsals 12 hours a day, six days a week, studying disciplines in everything from ballet to character to music with a stellar faculty. The immersion training – the brainchild of legendary director and choreographer Robert Joffrey who conducted the workshop until his death in 1988 – culminates in a public workshop performance on July 18.
For 31 of those years, the hard-working couple has co- Most people would have been content with the success directed the prestigious Joffrey Ballet Workshop Texas, of the Joffrey Workshop, which relocated from its gathering aspiring dancers from across the country original home at the University of the Incarnate Word
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to St. Mary’s University in 2004. Not the Treviños, who constantly look for fresh venues to share their love of dance with new generations. One of those is the Elite Ecole, a 10-day summer intensive from July 22 to Aug. 1 that follows on the heels of the Joffrey workshop. A separate workshop, says Buddy, was prompted by “having to turn away so many students on the audition tour, kids who were underprepared for the Joffrey but had a lot of potential.” Susan describes it as “a prep program. The students are very motivated, and the caliber of students has risen every year.” So has the number – from 18 in 2005 to 60 last year. The Elite Ecole follows the same 9-to-9 schedule and the same curriculum as the Joffrey – ballet, pointe, contemporary, character, music, dance appreciation and evening rehearsals for the “informance” the students present, this year on Aug. 1. “We have a formula that works,” explains Buddy, adding, “If they can handle 10 days, they are better prepared for 21.” This year brought a pleasant surprise in a field where the females far outnumber the males. So far, says Buddy, the Elite has more boys signed up than the Joffrey. “They’re half the size,” he says, laughing. “But they’re boys!” It all makes for a family atmosphere that you can tell the couple thrives on. Both say they never tire of teaching and consider their students an extended family. “The energy and enthusiasm of these young people are what inspires me,” says Buddy. Adds Susan: “We get to do a job we love, and how many people can say that?” The Joffrey Workshop Performance Saturday, July 18, 2 p.m. Bill Greehey Arena, St. Mary’s University The Elite Ecole Informance Saturday, Aug. 1, 10 a.m. Chapel, St. Mary’s University The Joffrey Workshop Musicians Concert Thursday, July 2, 7:30 p.m. Treadaway Hall, St. Mary’s University For more information, visit www.thejoffreyworkshoptx.com or call 210-744-1272.
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Photo Information Page 78 - Susan and Buddy Trevino Photo by Suzanne French Pages 79-80 - All photos courtesy of Joffrey Ballet Workshop Texas
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Accolades: Mary Carriker
Championing the Cause of Amateur Golf and the First Tee By Tony Piazzi As a busy mom of three kids and the wife of a military officer, Mary Carriker never may have contemplated a career in golf. But in nurturing her own kids’ love of the game, she launched a 20-year (and still counting) career that has touched the lives of men, women and children throughout San Antonio and South Texas who share her passion for the sport. Mary was a stay-at-home mom who always was involved in the activities of her three children, Kellie, Holly and Ben. At the ages of 10 and 13, Mary’s daughters showed an interest in competitive golf. And as any mom would do, Mary supported their interest and became very actively involved in developing their talent for the sport. Although many instructional books have been written about playing the game and lowering your score, there was very little information available on how to navigate the world of junior golf. So Mary and her children had to figure things out as they went.
to San Antonio, where Mary continued her golf career as a golf shop manager; which led her down a path that eventually arrived at the doorstep of Golf San Antonio. In 1990, Mary was introduced to the world of the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) through daughter Holly, who exhibited a real talent for the sport. Not one to just hang around the clubhouse, Mary became active with the AJGA and soon was asked to be the tournament chairman for a new AJGA tournament in San Antonio. The tournament, now known as the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout, remains one of the top events on the AJGA calendar after 19 years, and Mary is still the tournament chairman.
Her experience as a junior golf mom and AJGA tournament chairman made her well equipped to offer guidance in the mid-‘90s to the new team at Golf San Antonio; which was looking for a way to unite San Antonio’s varied junior and amateur golf events and In 1989, while living in California, Mary gave up the life of a programs. Mary was quick with her advice, but Golf San stay-at-home and full-time junior golf mom to take her first Antonio was a bit slow to implement her ideas because paying job in golf. She became the assistant manager at of their focus on securing the long-term future of the an executive golf course. Her time in California was short- Texas Open. lived, as she and her husband Keith moved the family back
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When Valero Energy Corp. signed a long-term agreement in 2002 to become title sponsor of the Valero Texas Open, Golf San Antonio was now in a position to turn its attention to the world of junior and amateur golf. And Mary Carriker was ready to lead the charge. Hired by Golf San Antonio’s CEO, Tony Piazzi, Mary Carriker set about the task of reinvigorating San Antonio’s amateur golf schedule, and she spearheaded GSA’s efforts to launch a new program called the First Tee, a national youth outreach effort created by the PGA TOUR and golf’s other major governing bodies. The goal was to teach life skills to children through golf, while making the sport accessible to a broader segment of the community.
Mary’s contributions have been recognized by the AJGA, which awarded her its coveted Digger Smith Award for outstanding service. She also received the Betty Dodd Award for her contributions to junior golf in San Antonio. In 2008, she was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame and received the Southern Texas PGA’s Special Service Award. What started out as a mom’s desire to nurture her children has flowered into a vocation and avocation devoted to bringing the joy of the game of golf to thousands. And for all the accolades Mary has received, she is perhaps happiest being known as Kellie, Holly and Ben’s mom.
As GSA’s director of the First Tee and Amateur Golf, Mary Photo of Mary Carriker courtesy of Golf San Antonio has made a lasting mark on the golf landscape in San Antonio. She has expanded the amateur schedule to include more events for seniors, juniors and women, and introduced the values of the game to more than 3,500 children through the First Tee of San Antonio. She is also helping to change the landscape of Brackenridge Park; assisting in overseeing construction of a new 6,600-square-foot learning center.
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Fredericksburg, Texas Visiting a Favorite Hill Country Town Story and Photos By Carolyn Williams
t’s that time of year again—time to head to “Fred.” Yes, that’s what some locals call Fredericksburg—everyone’s favorite little Texas Hill Country town. But why now? Because the last bit of a springtime breeze still wafts through the air, and summer’s nearly here, so there’s no better time for a Hill Country road trip.
Combining quiet charm and exciting entertainment options, Fredericksburg (population, approximately 9,000) offers visitors more fun than most major cities. There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to fine dining, fabulous attractions, great lodging and boutique shopping. Besides, there’s nothing like a Sunday drive in the Texas hills.
basics of the whole Hill Country scene are as refreshing as iced tea on a hot afternoon. Even if you’ve been there a thousand times before, late spring in Fredericksburg is worth another visit. Because Fredericksburg is such an easy weekend getaway destination, it is home to hundreds of bed and breakfast inns, country houses, cabins, “Sunday Haus” stays and more, and each offers a unique experience for visitors.
An unusual and enchanting place to stay is the Trois Estate at Enchanted Rock, a Santa Fe-meets-Mayan-style village just 16 miles outside of town on the way to the famous batholith, Enchanted Rock. The estate is a hidden treasure and is home to a fine restaurant, a wedding Fredericksburg has long been a favorite of San Antonians, chapel, a highly unusual underground grotto/swimming for it takes little more than an hour to get there, and the pool, a full-service spa, several shops, a saloon/theater flavor of this old German settlement and the barbecue- venue, special event salons, a well-stocked wine cellar, 84 On The Town | May-June 2009
comfortable private lodgings, quiet courtyards, sunsetwatching spots and even a nifty cap-gun museum housing the largest cap-gun collection in the world.
Another place with a special allure is Settler’s Crossing, a 35-acre estate with seven private historic guesthouses featuring fireplaces and 18th and 19th-century country antiques. Just minutes from Fredericksburg off Highway While you’re there, spend the cool morning hours climb- 290 on Ranch Road 1376, Settler’s Crossing is on the road ing Enchanted Rock. This is a good hike for the whole to Luckenbach, the one-horse town that Hondo Crouch family, as it is just challenging enough to be fun, yet easy bought and Willie, Waylon and the boys made famous with a hit country song in the 1970s. enough that even youngsters can do it. Enchanted Rock is a National Natural Landmark and a State Natural Area Fredericksburg is probably best known for three things: consisting of 1,644 acres on Big Sandy Creek, about 16 German food, superb shops and wildflowers, and you’ll miles north of Fredericksburg. According to the Texas find plenty of each this spring. Main Street is lined with Parks and Wildlife Department, “Tonkawa Indians be- an eclectic mix of shops, biergartens, bakeries and more. lieved ghost fires flickered at the top, and they heard There are two wine bars, cigar shops, workshops of local weird creaking and groaning, which geologists now say crafts people, wine-tasting rooms, art galleries, antique resulted from the rock’s heating by day and contracting stores, candy and fudge shops, coffee houses and more. in the cool night.” Centuries later, the rock still is a place One special find is Chocolat, home to the delicate crewith a sense of mystery and fascination for many. ations of chocolatier Lecia Duke, who went to Switzerland May-June 2009 | On The Town 85
to learn the fine art of making liquor-filled chocolates. Another popular morning stop is the old Dietz Bakery. But don’t sleep in: The bread they make each morning, and most everything else, sells out by about 9 a.m. Fredericksburg and the nearby town of Stonewall are also known for the fabulous fresh peaches grown there and sold at roadside stands beginning in May and into the summer. The Admiral Nimitz National Museum of the Pacific War, the Pioneer Museum, the Vereins Kirche Museum, Gish’s Old West Museum, the Trois Cap-gun Museum and the Fort Martin Scott Historic Site are just a few of the many interesting and educational offerings in Fredericksburg. Of course, Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in the nearby town of Johnson City is also not to be missed. So many sausages, so little time: With just a weekend to stay in Fredericksburg, one often finds that there just aren’t enough meals in the day to enjoy all of its great restaurants. Because the German fare found here is divine, Der Lindenbaum restaurant is always a good choice for a traditional meal of Wiener schnitzel, red cabbage, hot German potato salad and cucumber salad. The desserts are exceptional, too. For a rather sweet start or end to your shopping day, stop in the Rather Sweet Bakery. For years, the Hill Country has been home to the “wine trail” with a string of wineries along the highways and byways of Gillespie County and beyond. With wineries scattered across the countryside like wildflowers in the hills, and with many offering tours, wine-tasting events and overnight lodgings, the Hill Country is a hot destination for oenophiles (wine lovers). It’s also a prime place for those who love the sweet fragrance of lavender. The Lavender Trail comprises about 10 separate lavender farms throughout the Texas Hill Country, with several calling the Fredericksburg area home. Because the Texas Hill Country soil is good for growing grapes and fields of lavender, just as it is in Provence, lavender farms and wineries have found success and popularity with visitors. Buy lavender products such as sachets, soaps, laundry liquid, potpourri and more, or take the children and cut your own lavender fresh from the fields. Many come to take photos, just as they do in the fields of bluebonnets in the spring. Take a special tour of the lavender farms during Fredericksburg’s Lavender Fest and “Lavender Trail: Farm to Table,” which takes place in May. The trail continues with events and open houses through the end of June.
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One of our favorite stops is Becker Vineyard, just a few miles outside of town, as it provides the perfect onestop spot for tasting some of the finest award-winning wines in the Texas Hill Country and seeing some the most beautiful lavender. Becker’s 10,040-square-foot winery
is located in a reproduction 19th-century German stone barn and surrounded by grazing quarter horses, peach orchards, fields of native wildflowers and lavender. Another popular stop is at Wildseed Farms, seven miles outside Fredericksburg on Highway 290. There, beautiful fields of flowers in bloom each spring provide a perfect backdrop for family photographs. Wildseed Farms often offers other family-friendly events throughout the year, like a gourmet chili pepper and salsa festival in the summer. Whether it is the mild spring breezes that bring you back, the great food, fun museums and shopping, the fabulous guest houses or the friendly people there, something always draws Sunday drivers to the Texas Hill Country. So do it: Head to Fred. It’s always a great place to go. Links to Fredericksburg lodging, dining and attractions mentioned in this article: Admiral Nimitz Museum and Historic Site National Museum of the Pacific War www.nimitz-museum.org Annual Lavender Fest – Lavender Trail www.hill-country-visitor.com Austin Street Retreat www.austinstreetretreat.com Becker Vineyards Winery, Lavender Field, and Bed and Breakfast Inn www.beckervineyards.com Chocolat – Quintessential Chocolate Company www.chocolat-tx.us Der Lindenbaum www.derlindenbaum.com Enchanted Rock State Natural Area www.tpwd.state.tx.us Harvest Trail & Texas H ill Country Wine Trail www.texaswinetrail.com Luckenbach, Texas www.luckenbachtexas.com Rather Sweet Bakery and Café www.rathersweet.com Settler’s Crossing www.settlerscrossing.com Trois Estate at Enchanted Rock www.troisestate.net Wildflower Seed Farm www.wildseedfarm.com Photo Information Page 84 – Enchanted Rock Page 85 (Above) Lavender Shop (Below) Settler’s Crossing Page 86 (Above) Trois Estate (Below) Der Lindenbaum Restaurant
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Picture This: Hou
Emily Morgan Hotel
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Houston Street Court
T.C. Frost Statue
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by Greg harrison
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Ben Milam Statue Santa Rosa Hospital
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