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ON THE TOWN

May/June 2012

Chris Brooks – Ruth’s Chris Steak House Cirque du Soleil – Michael Jackson Mike Rilley – Majestic / Empire South Texas Heritage Center The New Woodlawn Theatre Cactus Pear Music Festival Texas Folklife Festival Plus 11 Additional Articles May-June 2012 | On The Town 1


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Features

Cover Credits

Loretta, La Cage, Cirque, Star Wars & More May and June Bring Great Performances to SA and Surrounding Area

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Mike Rilley: New Majestic and Empire GM

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Court Jesters: San Antonio’s Band of Lawyers

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The New Woodlawn Theatre: 22 The Show Must Go On SOLI Chamber Ensemble: Creating Classics

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KPAC On the Air in San Antonio

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Cirque du Soleil Brings Michael Jackson: THE IMMORTAL World Tour to AT&T Center

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Chef Chris Brooks: A Winner in Every Way

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Fiesta Noche del Rio Celebrates 56th Season at Arneson River Theatre

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Front Cover Photo: Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson: THE IMMORTAL World Tour Photo: OSA Images Costumes: Zaldy Goco © Cirque-Jackson I.P., LLC Performing Arts Cover Photo: Loretta Lynn Photo courtesy Majestic Theatre Events Calendar Cover Photo: La Cage Aux Folles Photo by Paul Kolnik Culinary Arts Cover Photo: Greg Harrison

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Festivals & Celebrations Cover Photo: Courtesy Fiesta Noche del Rio

Cinema Tuesdays: Classic Films Soar 70 on the Big Screen

Visual Arts Cover Photo: Greg Harrison

Caffeinated Concerts: Cactus Pear Music 72 Festival’s 16th Season

Culinary Arts Cover Photo: Greg Harrison

Travel Through Art

Literary Arts Cover Photo: Greg Harrison

Texas Folklife Festival: Preserving a Texan Way of Life

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Witte Museum Opens Much-Anticipated South Texas Heritage Center

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Eclectics Cover Photo: Greg Harrison

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


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Departments May-June 2012 Events Calendar

Contributors 38

Pinch Pennies & Dine Well: Plan Your 58 Meal, Get a Steal Book Talk: Gilbert Garcia Journalist and Author

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Artistic Destination: The Heart of Nashville 94 Out and About with Greg Harrison

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Gary Albright Mikel Allen, creative director / graphic designer James Benavides

Greg Harrison, staff photographer Shannon HuntingtonStandley Michele Krier

Julie Catalano

Christian Lair, operations manager

John Clare

Kay Lair

Cynthia Clark

Diana Marin

Lisa Cruz

Marlo Mason-Marie

Kemp Davis

Susan A. Merkner, copy editor

Thomas Duhon OnTheTownEzine.com is published by Lair Creative, LLC 14122 Red Maple San Antonio, Texas 78247 210-771-8486 210-490-7950 (fax)

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Dana Fossett

Angela Rabke Sara Selango

Ashley Festa

Christine Schipper

Peabo Fowler

Jasmina Wellinghoff

Paul Garcia

Cassandra Yardeni

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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Loretta, La Cage, Cirq

May and June Bring Great Performa

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que, Star Wars & More!

ances to SA and Surrounding Area

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ver the past few weeks, many outstanding performing arts organizations in and around San Antonio announced their 201213 seasons. I can’t wait to tell you all about what’s featured on their future schedules, but first I need to give props to the per formers and shows on the entertainment agenda for the remainder of the current season. The final show in the Cadillac Broadway in San Antonio Series is La Cage Aux Folles starring George Hamilton. Catch it if you can at the Majestic from Tuesday, May 8-Sunday, May 13. In community productions, Cries That Bind is featured at San Pedro Playhouse’s Cellar Theater until May 6, For the Love of an Anesthesiologist plays the Overtime through May 12 and Dirty Blonde continues at the Cameo until May 13. Openings include, but are not limited to, The Fantasticks by Off-Broadway Productions at The Josephine May 4-26, Oliver! at the Sheldon Vexler May 10-June 10 and Classic Theatre of San Antonio’s King Lear at the Sterling Houston Theatre in the Blue Star complex May 11-27. The curtain also rises on The Drowsy

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Chaperone at Russell Hill Rogers Theater in San Pedro Playhouse starting May 18 and running for a month, Baby The Musical at the Josephine June 8-24, The Pillow Man in the new Black Box Theatre at the Woodlawn June 14-July 7 and Next to Normal June 29-July 29 on the Woodlawn’s main stage. For an evening of murder mystery, take in the Cameo’s Mamma Mia, That’sa Murder at the Spaghetti Warehouse May12 & 26. In June, a theatrical event of a different kind comes to town that is super-worthy of your attention. Michael Jackson: THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil weaves its magic at the AT&T Center for one night only June 23. To keep up on all things “entertainment” on the local level, check the events calendar in this magazine. First up is the music category, which prompts me to mention the San Antonio Symphony ’s presentation of Mozart in Old Style at the Majestic on May 4-5 with Barry Douglas conducting as well as being the featured pianist for the evening. A free concert, Berlioz and


Barzun, is next on Tuesday, May 15 with Sebastian Lang-Lessing on the podium. Michael Krajewski then leads the orchestra in a pops per formance of Star Wars and other Space Odysseys on Friday and Saturday of the same week at Laurie Auditorium on the Trinity University campus. Rounding out the month is the return of Alondra de la Parra in a program at the Majestic titled Alondra Conducts Copeland on May 24-25. Bruckner Blockbuster featuring pianist Olga Scheps and conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing concludes the symphony season June 1-2. The month of May is loaded with other classical opportunities that merit your consideration. Symphony of the Hills goes Out of This World at the Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater in Kerrville May 3 while Mid-Texas Symphony travels to The West and the West Side at the New Braunfels Civic Center May 6. On the same day, Youth Orchestras of San Antonio presents Music For Great Cities at the Majestic. The plethora of per formances continues with Olmos Ensemble’s A Wonderful Pianist and an Excellent Oboist on May 7 at

First Universalist Unitarian and SOLI Chamber Ensemble’s Freedom May 8-9 at Ruth Taylor and McNay ’s Leeper Auditorium respectively. More opportunities include five per formances by San Antonio Brass of Olympic Spirit beginning May 13 (check the listings for details), two per formances of Jazz Meets Classical 20th Anniversary from Musical Offerings May 14 in the Great Hall at San Antonio Museum of Art and May 15 at Ruth Taylor, plus Caribbean Express presented by Musical Bridges Around the World on Sunday, May 20 at McAllister Auditorium on the campus of San Antonio College. Classical choral per formances abound in May, with some in June too. Be sure to check the listings for concerts by Children’s Chorus of San Antonio, Voci di Sorelle, San Antonio Chamber Choir, The Copperleaf Quintet and Alamo City Men’s Chorale. One of the biggest moments for me in the next couple of months will be when Loretta Lynn takes the stage at the Majestic at 6:30pm on Sunday

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evening May 20. The word “legend” comes to mind rather quickly. I will be a face in the crowd. K.D. Lang and the Siss Boom Bang follow at the same theater two days after that, with Idina Menzel of Wicked fame per forming there on June 12. One week later, Buddy Guy & Jonny Lang play the Majestic. Another big name appearing in the Alamo City is Stanley Clarke at the Carver ’s Jo Long Theatre June 2.

in our lives might be just what the doctor ordered, to borrow an overused phrase. Acquire a dose of fun any night of the week at both Rivercenter and Laugh Out Loud Comedy Clubs. Usually the better known comedians are booked from Wednesday to Sunday, but don’t take my word for it, check the calendars for both clubs for complete details. Before saying hasta luego, I want to mention three tributes and a dance. See Liverpool Legends: Beatles Tribute Band at Rockbox Theatre in Fredericksburg May 15-16, The Legends: A Tribute to The Temptations at the Palace Theater in Seguin May 18, and Donny Edwards: A Tribute to Elvis at the Brauntex in New Braunfels May 27. The dance per formance is Dallas Black Dance Theatre at the Carver May 5.

Country music in the area is ubiquitous. Here are but a few of the well-know per formers you can enjoy in May and June: Ronnie Dunn, Emmylou Harris, Asleep at the Wheel, Robert Earl Keen, Jerry Jeff Walker, Dierks Bentley, Roger Creager, Radney Foster and Cory Morrow. Visit the websites of Gruene Hall, John T. Floore Country Store, Whitewater Amphitheater and Cowboys San Antonio for their complete lineups. Also take There is so much to see and do. Get some tickets an online look at Cavender Toyota Music Series at and go! The Country Line BBQ. Another form of entertainment that’s available to us on a daily basis is comedy. A few more laughs

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Photo Credits

Idina Menzel Cour tesy idinamenzel.com

Pages 8-9 Loretta Lynn Cour tesy Majestic Theatre Pages 10-11 (L-R) La Cage Aux Folles Photo by Paul Kolnik George Hamilton La Cage Aux Folles Photo by Paul Kolnik Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson: THE IMMORTAL World Tour Photo: OSA Images Costumes: Zaldy Goco © Cirque -Jackson I.P., LLC

KD Lang Cour tesy kdlang.com

Michael Jackson: THE IMMORTAL World Tour Photo: OSA Images Costumes: Zaldy Goco © Cirque -Jackson I.P., LLC

Pages 12-13 (L-R) Gibaro de Puer to Rico Cour tesy Musical Bridges Around the World Olga Scheps Cour tesy San Antonio Symphony Alondra de la Parra Photo by Fernando Aceves Michael Krajewski Cour tesy michaelKrajewski. com

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Mike Rilley:

New Majestic and Empire GM By Angela Rabke Photography Greg Harrison

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.here’s no doubt that the Majestic Theatre lives up to its name. It’s as expansive as a blockbuster release, as awesome as a cast of thousands. But what’s truly amazing is that San Antonio has yet another gem – The Empire Theatre – that dates back to Vaudeville days. And it’s literally just around the corner. The Empire’s a little more intimate in scale, but certainly not shy when it comes to flaunting its gold leaf … ” – www.visitsanantonio.com The description above, from the San Antonio visitor website, nicely encapsulates the splendor of SA’s two treasured downtown theaters. And while those of us in San Antonio might take them for granted, it is incredible that these two cultural gems, the Majestic Theatre and the Empire Theatre, exist not only within the same city, but within blocks of each other. The Majestic — which is home to our symphony, Broadway performances and the Pops Series — is familiar to most locals. The Charline McCombs Empire Theatre hasn’t been as prominent in the entertainment landscape, but is gaining popularity as a venue for intimate performances, including recent shows by the Courtyard Hounds and Matisyahu. While both properties claim a rich historical and architectural history, they present differing marketing and booking challenges, which are handled by new general manager Mike Rilley.

Rilley moved to San Antonio in August after Art Center Enterprises, the management company for both the Majestic and the Empire, placed him, a gentleman with significant experience in performing arts management, in this role. Rilley came to San Antonio from Dallas, where he served as managing director for the Dallas Center for Performing Arts before handling the management transition for Dallas’s Majestic Theater. Rilley’s career in theater/venue management began when he was in law school. “I started working with the Cleveland Orchestra at their outdoor venue, the Blossom Center, in the ‘80s,” Rilley said. “I was in law school at the time, and realized very quickly that I would enjoy a career doing this. I will never forget my first show with Robert Plant and Stevie Ray Vaughan.” It is evident that his love for memorable performances motivates Rilley to provide the same opportunities at the venues he serves. His resume prior to arriving is San Antonio is impressive: after graduating from law school at the University of Akron, Rilley went to work for a historic theater management company in Columbus (CAPA), where his first assignment was serving on the team that restored the historic Southern Theatre in Columbus. Since that time, Rilley has filled his resume with significant experience, May-June 2012 | On The Town 15


including performing arts management, startup situations and working with constituent arts groups. He served as general manager of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, held a variety of leadership roles with the Columbus Association of the Performing Arts (of which the symphony was a resident constituent). He led negotiations with Disney and the City of Chicago for CAPA to operate the Chicago Theatre, which he oversaw for three years and worked with artists ranging from Phillip Glass to Sting. In 2000, he became vice president of programming and business development, managing CAPA’s contract with the Shubert Theater in New Haven and serving as liaison to the resident arts groups of CAPA’s six venues. Rilley’s experience also includes positions with the Columbus Arts Council, Blossom Music Center and the Indianapolis Arts Garden. His experience with historical venues means that he knows the value of what already exists in San Antonio. “One thing that is great about this job is that there is nothing that needs to be ‘fixed.’ There are always things that we can do better, and I am still learning things, but we have consistency in management and great opportunities ahead of us.” The Majestic’s lineup for the 2012-13 season was just announced. “It’s always exhilarating to usher in a new season of the best Broadway shows currently on tour,” Rilley said. “We have an exceptional lineup of new hits and family classics with themes that address equality, deception, triumph, adventure and just enough theatrical magic to make it a season you won’t want to miss.” Neither will people want to miss upcoming shows at the Empire. According to Rilley, there are great opportunities that utilize the Empire Theatre’s more intimate size. “We can do some smaller and more unique shows there. It allows for such a cool relationship between the artist and the audience member. I’d like to see more happening there and am doing the research and talking to people in the community to see what opportunities will work there.” For more information on the Majestic and Empire theaters, visit www.majesticempire.com.

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SAN ANTONIO’S BAND OF LAWYERS By Michele Krier Photography Courtesy of the Court Jesters

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ou might not think a team of legal eagles was “born to be wild”, but the Court Jesters, one of San Antonio’s most popular bands, really get ‘the house rockin’’” whenever they perform. The big band of local musicians (who also happen to be attorneys) has been making beautiful music together since 2005, entertaining non-profits, private parties and corporate events. They’ve performed for the American Heart Association Heart Ball, several Elf Louise benefits, the San Antonio Zoological Society (2010 Zoo Ball), the State Bar of Texas, and the San Antonio Bar Association, to name just a few of the groups the Court Jesters have brought out to the dance floor over the years. Major players in San Antonio, with a record of giving back to the community, the Court Jesters just kicked of the Fiesta 2012 Opening Ceremonies in Alamo Plaza, and can be seen regularly at La Fonda Oak Hills on the first Saturday of the month from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. “We play a lot of civic and charitable events,” notes Doug Walsdorf, longtime Court Jester band member. He points to an upcoming civic festival in Boerne, where the group will be part of a city-wide celebration dedicating the new Heart of Boerne Trail. Doug says that the band plays several gigs a month around South Texas. Venues they have played include Majestic and Empire theatres, all the big River Walk hotel ballrooms, including the Grand Hyatt, as well as the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and the new J.W. Marriott Hill Country Resort, the Pearl Stable, Red Berry Mansion, and various country clubs. They’ve also enjoyed several gigs on the Texas Cavaliers Fiesta River Parade barges and at Fiesta Oyster Bake. In addition to favorite songs from over the years, Doug says the band has been trying to add more music with a modern edge. “You’re likely now to hear a piece from Cold Play next to our traditional playlist which features songs like Mustang Sally, Honky Tonk Woman, and Huey Lewis’ Power of Love. The members in the band have had successful careers. For example, Doug Walsdorf’s practice has consisted almost exclusively of conducting mediations since 1995, although he has handled various other legal matters. Similarly, he plays trumpet almost exclusively in the Court Jesters, although he does sing on some numbers. The rest of the Court Jesters include two judges--Sol Casseb (drummer and civil district judge) and Mark Luitjen (bass player and criminal district judge). There are six other attorneys in the band. These include Steve Barrera (guitar), Ruben Barrera (trombone & trumpet), Joe Casseb (vocals and guitar), Jim May-June 2012 | On The Town 19


Frost (saxophones), Mike Jackson (guitars & vocals), Brett Rowe (trumpet & vocals). Rounding out the band is Bobby Trevino, the only non-attorney in the band. Trevino is a commercial real-estate broker and handles all the keyboards for the band. Although several of the band members had crossed musical paths in years past, the Court Jesters were “created” to play a handful of songs at a San Antonio Bar Association dinner back in 2005. “After that one show, most of the group felt we could make a go of this bit of musical fun” says Walsdorf. Their love for music and entertaining keeps the band of 10 together. Doug says one of the highlights of his musical career is hands down the night the Court Jesters opened for Huey Lewis and the News at the Majestic Theatre. “I’m still riding that wave! I got to hang out with Huey Lewis’s sax player Johnny Colla.” Another highlight connected the Jesters with Harry Connick, Jr.’s band. “I took a private lesson from Roger Ingram who plays trumpet in Connick’s band. What really struck me was that we met Harry, who came down later in the bar. He said that we were all really lucky to be playing music because we want to play, without the pressure of making a living in the music business.” Doug, whose musical taste runs from classics to New Age and everything in between, plays music at his church every weekend. “Anytime you can get up and play music, it’s great,” he says speaking about his passion for music. “Thank God for my wife, she lets me do it!” Doug and his musically talented wife, were college sweethearts. Their son and daughter are in band and orchestra, carrying on the family’s musical tradition. “People may not realize this, but some of the finest musicians in Texas perform here every year at the Texas Music Educators (TMEA) Association conference. I take my kids to the concerts. It’s a great way to hear some of the best musicians who are already performing in All-State bands and their local orchestras.” Over the years the Jesters have played with a Who’s Who list of San Antonio musical favorites, including Patsy Torres, the Krayolas, who are enjoying a royal resurgence of their own, Spot Barnett, Shawn Sahm, Bobby Rey, Rick Cavender, Los #3 Dinners, and the legendary Augie Meyer, known for jamming the keyboards with everyone from Hendrix to Bob Dylan.

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For the Court Jesters, playing the venerable Gruene Hall would be as noteworthy as Carnegie Hall. “We’d love to play Gruene Hall,” says Doug. And judging from the growth of their fan base, let’s hope the Mecca for Texas musicians will pop up soon on their concert tour schedule. Stay tuned. You can follow the band on Facebook (“The Court Jesters”) and also on their website at courtjestersband.com.


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The New

Woodlawn Theatre: The Show Must Go On By Julie Catalano Photography Greg Harrison

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n the best Andy Hardy tradition of, “Let’s turn this theater into a...theater,” Kurt and Sherry Wehner have done a master ful job of taking one of San Antonio’s most iconic buildings and continuing its second life as a theatrical venue. Best of all, its newly renovated digs in the city ’s Deco District are a snazzy portal back to the Woodlawn’s glory days when John Wayne himself hosted the premiere of The Alamo movie in 1960. There were bumps along the way, most recently the dissolution of a partnership with a local production company and original renovator after Kurt purchased not only the theater but also the adjacent Woodlawn Center. The new Woodlawn Theatre Inc., is a nonprofit organization, and its new caretakers – along with its new board of directors and artistic director – are only looking forward, not back.

“We are going to keep making it nicer cosmetically,” said executive director and technical director Kurt, while also hoping to eventually “tweak the sound and lighting systems, and some of the rigging.” He holds a construction management degree from the University of Houston and a master ’s in land development from Texas A&M University. Sherry is a pathologist who per formed in dance and drill teams in high school and met Kurt when they worked together in a downtown Houston theater similar to the Woodlawn. They moved to San Antonio in 1998.

It was the couple’s young daughter Conley and her passion for per forming that got them into the theater biz. Moving from production to production, Conley “ended up in a show at the Woodlawn several years ago,” Kurt said. As dutiful parents supporting their fledgling star (“We enjoyed the space and wanted to become a part of That’s not to say they aren’t celebrating the it,” Kurt said) they served as volunteers, began to Woodlawn’s venerable past that began in 1946, see the possibilities, and the rest is history. They when it was one of about 100 movie palaces also have a son, Wes, who is headed to Texas A&M designed by American architect John Eberson, University to major in aerospace engineering. who also designed the Majestic. The enterprising couple has recreated an elegant and glamorous Kurt believes that the Woodlawn’s real niche is era with the lobby ’s new look, fixtures, rugs and in ambitious, full-scale musicals. “We have such the striking floor logo. a large stage and backstage area, we’re able to May-June 2012 | On The Town 23


put on productions that others can’t do,” he said. They ’ll also be “going for newer, more modern musicals, with a younger feel.” Their first show was Legally Blonde in April, directed by Josh Harris. “We had almost 250 people on opening night,” Sherry said. “It was great.” The next show, Next to Normal, runs from June 29 to July 29 and will be directed by SA theater veteran and new artistic director Greg Hinojosa. “Greg has done a fabulous job and has extensive roots in the theater community,” Kurt said. “ That’s going to help us expand our base.” There’s expansion all around. “I think the thing that’s going to improve it the most is the addition of the black box theater next door,” Kurt said. Designed for dramatic plays and “edgier productions,” it will add another 3,000 square feet to the existing 11,000. More intimate, with 150 seats to the main theater ’s 400, the as-yetunnamed black box will, according to Kurt, “make a big difference. That’s going to make us competitive with some of the other theaters in town, like the San Pedro Playhouse Cellar Theater.” It opens with The Pillow Man, described as “a dark, adult fairy tale” that runs from June 14 to July 7. The long-term goal, Kurt said, is “to create a theater where we can attract talent from out of town, from Austin, San Marcos, Texas State, so we can grow our audience base so we’re not getting the same audience every time.” As marketing director and co-director of youth educational programs, Sherry concurred. “You have to work really hard to get people in, but once you do, they usually fall in love with it and become regulars.” Call them realistic optimists, or optimistic realists, the youthful, energetic couple have more than a touch of Mickey and Judy in them. They’re going to need it to carry out an artistic vision that includes reacquainting the neighborhood with the new old theater, providing scholarships to foster the next generation of per formers, and running a year-round children’s theater program. “It’s a lot of work but it’s fun,” Kurt said. “I have high hopes for it.” Sounds like the per fect soundtrack.

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Kurt and Sherry Wehner


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SOLI Chamber Ensemble: Creating Classics By Lisa Cruz Photography Kemp Davis

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or nearly 20 years, the musicians of SOLI Chamber Ensemble have brought the innovative, yet timeless sounds of 20th and 21st century classical music to San Antonio audiences. They have done so not only by creating a unique, intimate experience but also by featuring never-before-heard compositions. SOLI’s final concerts of the 2011-12 season on May 8 and 9 will feature their 25th commissioned piece. Internationally recognized and award-winning composer Steven Mackey will present the worldpremiere of Prelude to the End. In partnership with video artist Mark DeChiazza, Prelude to the End takes the audience on Mackey’s own journey of self-discovery. As Soli artistic and managing director and violinist Ertan Torgul explains, Mackey begins by trying to recapture the playfulness of his youth, eventually moving into a realm of maturity and discovering, in the end, how life’s experiences mold him and his music into what they are today. “When we approached Steven about commissioning another piece for us, he associated us with a previous piece he had written for electric guitar and clarinet,” Torgul said. “It was a very youthful, driven piece, and Mackey describes how he could never do that type of piece again. Twenty years have passed and life has happened, so he thought about how to ‘reconcile mature, worldweary wisdom with this almost immortal energy.’ He created a piece that takes the audience on the journey with him as he embraces who he has become instead of who he was.” As part of the experience, DeChiazza has created a visual representation of the piece with images on two screens, not quite touching. “ This represents the impossibility of these two worlds (the younger and older self ) coming together. Eventually, the images migrate together on a third screen in the middle to create a convergence of the two worlds, however imperfect,” Torgul said. Prelude to the End is part of SOLI’s final concert of the season, titled “Freedom.” “Each of the pieces we will feature in this final concert has a feeling of freedom running through May-June 2012 | On The Town 27


them,” Torgul said. “Mackey’s piece pulls them together, because hearing a piece for the first time frees people’s minds to take them wherever they want to go and achieve that peak experience.” “Freedom” is the culmination of the 2011-12 season, titled “Peak Experiences.” The title and heart of the season originated from a Psychology Today article that discusses life’s peak experiences, SOLI artistic director and clarinetist Stephanie Key writes on the ensemble’s website. “SOLI is about that feeling of new awareness, of intense power … through music … of sharing and communicating that emotion to others,” Key writes. “ That is the gift of music for me, for us as an ensemble. Music is strength and connection – and empowerment.”

While the musicians of SOLI, including Torgul, Key, Carolyn True on piano and David Mollenauer on cello, have been playing together for 16 years, Torgul said their commitment to each other, the music and the audience keeps them creative. “ The repertoire is not conducive to just sitting back,” Torgul said. “It’s difficult to put together and understand, but our work together helps the audience unlock the mystery of each piece, and the audience trusts us to guide them through the piece.”

San Antonio audiences have been trusting SOLI for two decades now. SOLI recently launched a new fundraising program called Sound Investors, where contributions will underwrite the cost of commissioning new musical works and showcasing those pieces to global audiences, helping create The “Freedom” concert also will feature Led “the music of our time,” Torgul said. Zeppelin’s Kashmir, the premiere of Andy Warhol Sez from Paul Moravec, and works by Richard With the commissioning of new works and Carrick and Stephen Hartke. showcasing the next generation of classical artists, an international audience will have the “Our goal, as an organization, is not only to opportunity to trust SOLI to guide them through enlarge the repertoire but present composers and the future of classical music. new pieces for the first time that could become masterpieces in many years,” Torgul said. “It’s SOLI’s “Freedom” concerts will be at 7:30 p.m. May amazing to be a part of how our future is being 8 in Ruth Taylor Recital Hall at Trinity University, shaped. We have showcased world-premiere and 7:30 p.m. May 9 in Leeper Auditorium at the music right here in San Antonio for years, and we McNay Art Museum. are getting noticed nationally and internationally as people want us to premiere their pieces. It’s For more information, call (210) 317-8816 or visit much bigger for us and the community than just www.solichamberensemble.com. presenting concerts.” Below: (L-R) Carolyn True, David Mollenauer, Ertan Torgul and Stephanie Key

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KPAC ON THE AIR IN SAN ANTONIO By John Nasukaluk Clare Photo Courtesy Texas Public Radio

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PAC 88.3 FM is one of the few remaining full-time classical music stations in the United States. Until recently, KPAC was broadcasting via a 500-watt backup transmitter on the roof of Texas Public Radio’s (TPR’s) office building as construction of a new 1,125-foot tower started in November 2011. Although the project was expected to be completed in late December, frequent rain and high winds led to numerous unanticipated delays. With the tower now a finished product and the station back to full power, host John Clare prepared this profile of his coworkers. A set of seven simple questions for each announcer produced a myriad of answers.

and writing about movies, especially classic films, and occasionally painting and drawing. Cone also plays piano, guitar and alto saxophone. His favorite composers include: Beethoven, Bach, Frederick Delius, Aaron Copland, Philip Glass, Michael Torke, and Krzysztof Penderecki. In the jazz world, he loves Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and, of the newer artists, Kenny Garrett. In rock/pop, his all-time favorite is the Beatles, followed by the Ramones, King Crimson, U2 and the Rolling Stones. Cone says he enjoys discovering and re-discovering music every day at KPAC. “I enjoy broadcasting because I like to share my passion with friends.”

Randy Anderson moved to San Antonio in 1971 and was first on KPAC in November 1982. Anderson Nathan Cone is director of classical programming is the music director at KPAC and hosts morning at TPR. Cone moved to San Antonio in 1991 and drive weekdays, 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and “The Piano” started at KPAC in May 1995. He enjoys watching Sunday afternoons. He used to play cello, drums 30 On The Town | May-June 2012


and trombone, but nowadays can be found at the piano occasionally. When he was young, Anderson studied to be a portrait painter and has taken that up again recently. Motorcycling and building tube amplifiers – high fidelity systems in general – and being a fan of B movies round out his activities. Anderson likes pretty much all music from 10th century to the 21st. As for being on air, he loves the fact that KPAC brings great music to anyone with a radio in San Antonio. “Radio is such a personal media, and I like the fact I have great friends I have never met, but they know me very well.”

1993, with Dvorak’s Seventh Symphony. He lived off and on in San Antonio from 1975 to 1981 and became a permanent resident in 1987. These days, Baker can be heard on air weeknights from 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday (including “Listener ’s Choice”) to Tuesday, co-hosting “Alternate Routes,” and producing “Itinerarios” (music and musicians from throughout Latin America) on Sundays. An accomplished French horn player, Baker has a wide range of musical favorites from the three B’s to Mozart, Strauss (Richard), Bruckner, Mahler, Wagner, Copland, Bernstein, Carlos Chavez, Arturo Marquez, Daniel Catan, Eugenio Toussaint, the Beatles, the Chicago Symphony, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Eric Dolphy, Oliver Nelson (Blues and the Abstract Truth), Villa-Lobos, Piazzolla, Ella, and Diana Krall. He gardens, birdwatches, runs, camps and hikes with his dogs. Baker takes pleasure in “sharing music with friends, and I like to think of KPAC as an opportunity to share the experience of listening to a wide range of music.”

In 1980, Deirdre Saravia moved to San Antonio, began part-time employment at TPR in 1993, and started full-time the next year. She hosts classical music mid-days, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. weekdays, and “World Music” on KSTX Saturday nights. A former Irish dancer, she appreciates the music of Mozart as well as a myriad of international composers and performers. Saravia reads, gardens, paints, bicycles and travels for fun. As for being on air and broadcasting, she notes, “The milieu of broadcasting allows anonymity unless you speak.” As for me, John Clare, I also love the chance to interview musicians occasionally. Most memorable For the last 35 years, Ron Moore has lived in San were discussions with Daniel Catan, David Amram, Antonio, but he also has spent time in Europe, on the Sarah Willis, Wayne Barrington (my teacher and East Coast and in Los Angeles, where he was born. mentor), Anne Burt (wife of Alfred Burt), and An original founding board member of KPAC, Moore writer Gene Lees. I moved to San Antonio to be on started working part time in 1997 and moved to air for KPAC’s afternoon drive, 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. full time in 2004. Moore holds air shifts Wednesday weekdays, and to host “Classical Spotlight” on through Friday, 6 p.m. to midnight, and 11 a.m. to Thursday afternoons. A radio veteran in markets 6 p.m. weekends, co-hosts “Alternate Routes” and from Las Vegas to D.C., I now do a lot of new media in the off season of the Met, he does the same for with Blogger, Twitter and Facebook, providing “Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.” A failed pianist video of classical groups and musicians. No doubt (his words), Moore enjoys singing lieder when he one of the few Inuit broadcasters (especially in walks, and his favorite composers are Miles Davis classical music), I travel wherever and whenever and Brahms, though Monteverdi, Faure and late possible, enjoying concerts, interviews, cigars Wagner are not far behind. He also enjoys writing and laughs. Andrzej Panufnik is one of my alland reads endlessly. When it comes to broadcasting time favorite composers, and music from living on KPAC, Moore likes the camaraderie of the staff, composers is a passion. Having talked with Pulitzer which extends to the management, and, of course, Prize-winners to youth orchestra musicians, daily exposure to great music and musicians. exploring creativity and musicality is not just part “When an interview goes well, to have the sense of of my job, but a joy. exploring a musically adept and sensitive mind in conversation … sharing that with a larger audience Tune in for all of us at 88.3 FM and find out more at is an incredible experience.” Moore most recently http://www.tprclassical.org. spoke with baritone Simon Estes and mezzosoprano Denyce Graves. Photo previous page: (L-R) Randy Anderson, Ron Moore, John Clare, Deirdre Saravia, James Baker James Baker started at KPAC at midnight April 8, and Nathan Cone May-June 2012 | On The Town 31


32 On The Town | May-June 2012


Cirque du Soleil Brings Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour to AT&T Center By Christine Schipper Photos: OSA Images Costumes: Zaldy Goco © Cirque-Jackson I.P., LLC

M

ichael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour combines Michael Jackson’s music and choreography with Cirque du Soleil creativity to give fans a unique view into the spirit, passion and heart of the artistic genius who forever transformed global pop culture. The show has been written and is directed by Jamie King, a leading concert director in pop music today, and features more than 60 international dancers, musicians and acrobats in a concert setting. The show will visit the AT&T Center in San Antonio one night only at 8 p.m. June 23. Aimed at lifelong fans as well as those experiencing Jackson’s creative genius for the first time, the show captures the essence, soul and inspiration of the King of Pop, celebrating a legacy that continues to transcend generations.

more than 30 of his songs, Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour underscores the performer’s global messages of love, peace and unity. Writer and director King said, “[ The show] is really just a celebration of [Jackson] and his legend and his immortality. Even though he’s not there physically, you will feel him spiritually and emotionally because of what you’re visually seeing and hearing. It was easy for us because Michael has not only always been a fan of Cirque but has always lived in a kind of fairytale, fantastical way. So in many ways he’s already kind of Cirque-like … He loves magic, fairytale, theatricality and appreciates everything that Cirque provides. So now that we have this great marriage, we have such a great opportunity to flip things upside down and make it larger than life.”

The video projections in THE IMMORTAL World Jackson’s powerful, inspirational music and lyrics — Tour play a key role in making Jackson’s presence the driving forces behind the show — are brought palpable. A large, multi-purpose LED screen, larger to life with extraordinary power and intensity. than a basketball court, was developed for the Through unforgettable performances incorporating show, and the stage extending into the audience May-June 2012 | On The Town 33


is equipped with a conveyor belt. To showcase Jackson’s voice and support the huge cast, musical director Greg Phillinganes, who had worked with Jackson for more than 25 years, has rounded up a stellar group of musicians, including Jonathan “Sugarfoot” Moffett, who played drums for Jackson for 30 years. “Michael was always trying to top himself, and I fundamentally believe he would have liked this show – even though I added horns to the band, which he never used in concert and thought were ‘archaic.’ The guy was a huge fan of Cirque du Soleil, ever since he caught one of their tented shows in Santa Monica in 1987. He visited their headquarters in Montreal more than once. The last time, in 2004, Michael found the costume wing and lost his mind. He didn’t want to leave. He really respected the creativity of the Cirque shows and how they obsessed on everything, down to the last little detail,” Phillanganes said. Few stage performers have created iconic looks that are directly related to specific songs. Jackson’s world was the wellspring of costume designer Zaldy Goco’s creativity. Goco also was the exclusive designer for the THIS IS IT concert series. “In par ticular, we explored techniques such as 3D printing and LED, pushing the limits just as Michael would,” Zaldy said. More than 90 costume pieces in three acts use unique LED light technology. The production brims with imaginative costumes and outfits also utilizing pyrotechnics and Swarovski cr ystals. Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour will perform in North America through the fall and then move to Europe. For more information, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/michaeljackson.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Note: All photos by OSA Images All costumes by Zaldy Goco © Cirque-Jackson I.P., LLC 34 On The Town | May-June 2012


May-June 2012 | On The Town 35


36 On The Town | May-June 2012


Events Calendar 38-52

May-June 2012 | On The Town 37


May-June 2012 Events Calendar Music Notes The Fresh Beat Band 5/1, Tue @ 6:30pm Majestic Theatre Staind and Godsmack 5/2, Wed @ 6:30pm Illusions Theater at the Alamodome Cavendar Toyota Music Series Roger Creager 5/2, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ I-10 Symphony of the Hills Out of This World 5/3, Thu @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater-Kerrville

Todd Snider 5/4-5, Fri @ 8pm, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Randy Rogers Band 5/4, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Childen’s Chorus of San Antonio Spring Song 5/6, Sun @ 3pm Maureen McCormick, conductor Alamo Heights United Methodist

Rockbox Theater Fredericksburg 5/4-6/30, Fri @ 8pm, Sat @ 4:30 & 8pm, Sun @ 2pm

Voci di Sorelle Travelin’ Shoes: American Hymn & Spirituals 5/6, Sun @ 3pm Ruth Moreland, conductor St. Mark’s Episcopal 5/12, Sat @ 7:30pm The Union Church-Kerrville 5/20, Sun @ 3pm Bulverde-Spring Branch Library

San Antonio Symphony Mozart in Old Style 5/4-5, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Barry Douglas, conductor/ piano Majestic Theatre

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Music for Great Cities 5/6, Sun @ 4pm Troy Peters, conductor Majestic Theatre

38 On The Town | May-June 2012

Mid-Texas Symphony The West and the West Side 5/6, Sun @ 4pm David Mairs, conductor New Braunfels Civic Center Gipsy Kings 5/6, Sun @ 8pm Illusions Theater at the Alamodome Olmos Ensemble A Wonderful Pianist and an Excellent Oboist 5/7, Mon @ 7:30pm Colette Valentine, piano Mason Tran, English horn First Universalist Unitarian Jane’s Addiction 5/7, Mon @ 8:30pm Lila Cockrell Theater SOLI Chamber Ensemble Freedom 5/8, Tue @ 7:30pm Ruth Taylor Recital Hall Trinity University 5/9, Wed @ 7:30pm Leeper Auditorium McNay Art Museum

Mana 5/8, Tue @ 8pm AT&T Center Cavendar Toyota Music Series Charlie Robison 5/9, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ I-10 Mid-Texas Symphony Quintet Words and Music 5/10, Thu @ 7:30pm Steele HS Auditorium Turnpike Troubadours 5/11, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Almost Patsy Cline Band 5/11, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall James McMurtry 5/11, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store 99.5 Kissfest featuring Marilyn Manson 5/12, Sat @ 7pm Sunken Gardens Theatre


May-June 2012 | On The Town 39


Jake Kellen 5/12, Sat @ 8pm Kendalia Halle San Antonio Chamber Choir Deep Water 5/12, Sat @ 8pm Scott McPherson, conductor St. Joseph’s Catholic 5/13, Sun @ 3pm St. Peter Prince of Apostles Catholic Dirty River Boys 5/12, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Radney Foster 5/12, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Miles Zuniga with Lonnie Trevino 5/12, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall San Antonio Brass Olympic Spirit: Faster! Higher! Stronger! 5/13, Sun @ 2pm Becon Hill Presbyterian 5/14, Mon @ 7:30pm First Presbyterian-Kerrville 5/22. Tue @ 7pm St. Luke’s Episcopal 5/29, Tue @ 7:30pm Abiding Presence Lutheran 6/4, Mon @ 7:30pm St. Mark’s PresbyterianBoerne

40 On The Town | May-June 2012

Sunday Jazz at the Witte Three Divas: Brett Butler, Joan Carroll & Katchie Cartwright 5/13, Sun @ 4pm Witte Museum Musical Offerings Jazz Meets Classical 20th Anniversary 5/14, Mon @ 7pm Great Hall San Antonio Museum of Art 5/15, Tue @ 7pm Ruth Taylor Recital Hall Trinity University San Antonio Symphony Berlioz and Barzun 5/15, Tue @ 7pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Majestic Theatre Liverpool Legends Beatles Tribute Band 5/16-17, Wed-Thu @ 7pm Rockbox Theater Fredericksburg Cavendar Toyota Music Series Brandon Jenkins 5/16, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ I-10 The Copperleaf Quintet Copperleaf at Southwest School of Art 5/17, Thu @ 7pm Southwest School of Art

The Legends A Tribute to The Temptations 5/18, Fri @ 6pm Palace Theater-Seguin

Josh Abbott Band 5/19, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Cory Morrow 5/18, Fri @ 7pm Cowboys San Antonio

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit 5/19, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Ronnie Dunn with Jason Eady & Bri Bagwell 5/18, Fri @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels

San Antonio Symphony Paint to Music 5/20, Sun @ 2:30pm Laurie Auditorium

San Antonio Symphony Pops Star Wars and other Space Odysseys 5/18-19, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Michael Krajewski, conductor Laurie Auditorium Trinity University Kick-A-Boot Band 5/18, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit 5/18, Fri @ 8:30pm John T. Floore Country Store Jerry Jeff Walker 5/18-19, Fri-Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Shake Rattle & Roll / Country Comedy Tour 5/19, Sat @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre-New Braunfels

Musical Bridges Around the World Caribbean Express 5/20, Sun @ 3pm McAllister Auditorium San Antonio College Fredericksburg Music Club Kay and Friends 5/20, Sun @ 3pm Fredericksburg United Methodist San Antonio Chorale Society W.A. Mozart - Requim, K.626 5/20, Sun @ 4pm Jennifer Seighman, conductor Travis Park United Methodist Loretta Lynn 5/20, Sun @ 6:30pm Majestic Theatre


May-June 2012 | On The Town 41


KD Lang and the Siss Boom Bang 5/22, Tue @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Cavendar Toyota Music Series Kyle Park 5/23, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ I-10 Rammstein 5/24, Thu @ 8pm AT&T Center Kevin Fowler & Reckless Kelly 5/25, Fri @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Max Stalling 5/25, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Rosie Flores 5/25, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall San Antonio Symphony Alondra Conducts Copeland 5/25-26, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Alondra de la Parra, conductor Mikhail Simonyan, violin Majestic Theatre Skrillex 5/26, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels

42 On The Town | May-June 2012

Cactus Country 5/26, Sat @ 8pm Kendalia Halle

Emmylou Harris 6/1, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall

Micky & The Motorcars with Jason Eady 5/26, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Rosie Flores 6/1, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Hall

Jesse Dayton 5/26, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall

San Antonio Symphony Bruckner Blockbuster 6/1-2, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Olga Scheps, p;iano Majestic Theatre

Donny Edwards: A True Tribute to Elvis 5/27, Sun @ 3pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels Spazmatics 5/27, Sun @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater Gary P. Nunn 5/27, Sun @ 8pm Gruene Hall New Braunfels Two Ton Tuesdays 5/29, 6/5, 12, 19, 26 Tues @ 8:30pm Gruene Hall Cavendar Toyota Music Series Rick Cavendar Band 5/30, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ I-10 Geoff Tate of Queenryche 5/31, Thu @ 8pm Charline McCombs Empirt Theatre

Wayne Hancock 6/1, Fri @ 9:30pm John T. Floore Country Store Randy Rogers Band 6/2, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Stanley Clarke Band 6/2, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre at Carver Community Cultural Center

Cavendar Toyota Music Series Jason Boland & the Stragglers 6/6, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ I-10 Concert Under the Stars: Ron Wilkins Quartet 6/7, Thu @ 7pm San Antonio Botanical Garden Gillian Welch 6/7, Thu @ 8pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Delbert McClinton 6/8, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Jamie Richards 6/8, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Hall Two Tons of Steel 6/8, Fri @ 9:30pm John T. Floore Country Store

Kris Kimura Quartet 6/3, Sun @ 2pm Artpace

Robert Earl Keen with Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis 6/9, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels

New Edition 6/3, Sun @ 7pm AT&T Center

Dale Watson 6/9, Sat @ 8pm Kendalia Halle


Rodney Crowell 6/9, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall

Weldon Henson 6/15, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Hall

Mario Flores & The Soda Creek Band 6/9, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Cody Johnson Band 6/15, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Idina Menzel 6/12, Tue @ 8pm Majestic Theatre

WWL Worship Concert featuring Tye Tribbett 6/16, Sat @ 7pm Freeman Colisuem

Cavendar Toyota Music Series Brandon Rhyder 6/13, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ I-10 Concert Under the Stars: Local 34 6/14, Thu @ 7pm San Antonio Botanical Garden Roger Creager 6/15, Fri @ 7pm Cowboys San Antonio Dierks Bentley with Hayes Carll & Kristen Kelly 6/15, Fri @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Bob Schneider 6/15, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall

T.J. Smith Voices in My Head Tour 6/16, Sat @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Amber Digby 6/16, Sat @ 8pm Anhalt Hall Cory Morrow with Waylon Payne 6/16, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers 6/16, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Granger Smith 6/16, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store May-June 2012 | On The Town 43


Buddy Guy & Jonny Lang 6/19, Tue @ 8pm Majestic Theatre Cavendar Toyota Music Series Bart Crow Band 6/20, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ I-10 Concert Under the Stars: Strings Attached 6/21, Thu @ 7pm San Antonio Botanical Garden Don Williams 6/22, Fri @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Van Halen 6/22, Fri @ 7:30pm AT&T Center Larry Joe Taylor 6/22, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Gary P. Nunn 6/22, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Alamo City Men’s Chorale Songs of Jubilation 6/23-24, Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 4pm David Lingle, conductor Travis Park United Methodist Asleep at the Wheel 6/23, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Mockingbird Sun with Cameran Nelson 6/23, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Scorpions – Final Sting Tour 2012 6/26, Tue @ 7:30pm Illusions Theater at the Alamodome Cavendar Toyota Music Series Dirty River Boys 6/27, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ I-10

Casey Donahew Band 6/23, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels

Concert Under the Stars: Josh Weathers and the True Endeavors 6/28, Thu @ 7pm San Antonio Botanical Garden

Bobby Flores and the Yellow Rose Band 6/23, Sat @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville

Mary C. Rohe Classical Music Series Ellison Sax Quartet 6/29, Fri @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater-Kerrville

44 On The Town | May-June 2012

Joe King Carrasco & The Crowns 6/29, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Van’s Warped Tour 6/30, Sat @ 12pm AT&T Center Micky & The Motorcars 6/30, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Emory Quinn 6/30, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Uncle Lucius with Lincoln Durham 6/30, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall

On Stage The Overtime Theater For the Love of an Anesthesiologist 5/3-12, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (no show on Fri, 5/4) S.T.A.G.E – Bulverde The Red Velvet Cake War 5/3-20, Thu-Sun @ 8pm (no show Sunday, 5/13) Kraus Haus Playhouse 2000 Do Not Go Gentle 5/4-5, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater-Kerrville

Stephen and Mary Birch Texas Theatre-Seguin Ship of Dreams 5/4-6, Fri-Sat @ 7pm Sun @ 2pm San Pedro Playhouse Cries That Bind 5/4-6, Fri-Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 2:30pm Cellar Theater Cameo Theatre Dirty Blonde 5/4-13, Fri-Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 3pm Off-Broadway Productions The Fantasticks 5/4-26, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Josephine Theatre Cadillac Broadway in San Antonio La Cage Aux Folles 5/8-13, Tues-Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Attic Rep Theatre God of Carnage 5/10-27, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Trinity University Sheldon Vexler Theatre Oliver! 5/10-6/10, Thu@ 7:30pm Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm (no shows of Fridays)


May-June 2012 | On The Town 45


Boerne Community Theatre Cabin Fever 5/11-26, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm

Off-Broadway Productions Baby The Musical 6/8-24, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Josephine Theatre

Classic Theatre of San Antonio King Lear 5/11-27, Fri-Sat@8pm Sun @ 3pm Sterling Houston Theater at Blue Star

San Pedro Playhouse In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play 6/8-7/8, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Cellar Theater

Cameo Theatre Production at Spaghetti Warehouse Mamma Mia, That’sa Murder! 5/12 & 26 Sat @ 6:30pm San Pedro Playhouse The Drowsy Chaperone 5/18-6/17, Fri-Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 2:30pm Russell Hill Rogers Theater Shakespeare in the Park: Othello 5/30-6/2 - TBD San Antonio Botanical Garden Hill Country Arts Foundation Doo-Wop Wed Widing Hood 6/8-10, Fri-Sun @ 8:30pm 6/14-23, Thu-Sat @ 8:30pm Smith-Ritch Point TheatreIngram

Black Box Theatre The Pillow Man 6/14-July 7, Thu-Sat @ 8pm The Woodlawn Theatre Micheal Jackson: THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil 6/23, Sat @ 8pm AT&T Center Fredericksburg Theater Company Honk 6/29-7/15, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Steve W. Shepherd Theater Woodlawn Theatre Next To Normal 6/29-7/29, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm

46 On The Town | May-June July-August 2012 2009

Dance

Children’s

Graduation by River City Ballet 5/4 & 6, Fri @ 7:30pm Sun @ 4pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels

The Magik Theatre Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type 5/1-5, Tu-Thu @ 9 :45am & 11:30am Fri @ 9:45am, 11:30am & 7pm Sat @ 2pm

Dallas Black Dance Theatre 5/5, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre at Carver Community Cultural Center Shen Yun 5/8-9, Tue @ 7:30pm Wed @ 2pm & 7:30pm Lila Cockrell Theater Bridges: National Tap Dance Day 5/19, Sat @ 7:30pm Jo Long Theatre at Carver Community Cultural Center Quenedit Ballet School’s Swan Lake 5/26, Sat @ 7pm Jo Long Theatre at Carver Community Cultural Center Guadalupe Cultural Center Fiesta de Verano 5/26, Sat @ 7pm 5/28, Mon @ 3pm Guadalupe Theater

The Magik Theatre Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical 5/11-6/16, Tu-Thu @ 9:45am & 11:30am Fri @ 9:45am, 11:30am & 7pm Sat @ 2pm (No performances 6/1) Children’s Fine Arts Series Rapunzel 6/15, Fri @ 9:45am, 11:45am & 6:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre

Comedy Kevin Hart 5/5, Sat @ 8pm AT&T Center Dan Davidson 5/2-6, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club


March-April May-June 2012 2011 | On The Town 47


Alex Reymundo with Special Guest Edwin San Juan 5/3-6, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Hypnotist Gary Conrad 5/9-13, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Loni Love 5/10-13, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club World Series of Comedy Regional Finals 5/16-19, Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Darren Carter 5/16-20, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Justin Worsham 5/23, Wed @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

48 On The Town | May-June 2012

Jim Short 5/23-27, Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sun @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

Spanky 6/13-17, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

Gary Gulman 5/24-27, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Corey Holcomb 6/14-17, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Mike MacRea 5/30-6/3, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Vic Henley 5/30-6/3, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

On Exhibit ARTPACE International Artist-InResident New Works: 12.1 Adam Pendleton James Sham Florian Slotawa Jeffrey Grove, curator Thru 5/20

Erin Jackson 6/20-24, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

Hudson (Show) Room New Works Now Alex de Leon, Katie Pell, Juan Miguel Ramos and Lordy Rodriquez Opens 5/10

Joey Kola 6/20-24, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Window Works Thomas Cummins 5/10-9/9

Paul Virzi 6/6-10, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

Jim McCue 6/27-7/1, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

Rick Gutierrez 6/6-10, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Tommy Blaze 6/27-7/1, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

BIHL HAUS ARTS The Boy Made of Lightning: The Willie Velazquez Story Opens 5/8 Golden Visions: New works by Bihl Haus Goldens @Cafe Tutti, Opens 5/16 GLOW: The Nuclear Show Opens 6/15


BLUE STAR CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER Passage to the Future: Art from a New Generation in Japan Thru 5/5 Guillermina Zabala: Juanito Thru 5/5

Timeless Texas Toys Thru 8/5 40 Years of Texas Folklife Festival Memories Thru 8/26 Texas Trails & Tales 6/18-7/27 McNAY ART MUSEUM

San Antonio Painters -Curated by Barbara MacAdam 5/31-8/18

Adolf Dehn’s Selected Tales of Guy de Maupassant Thru 5/6

GUADALUPE CULTURAL ARTS CENTER The Inaugural Perennial: Natural Abstraction Thru 5/25

Drawn Forth: Contemporary Drawings from the Collection Thru 5/6

INSTITUTE OF TEXAN CULTURES Texas Contemporary Artists Series: Henry Catenacci Thru 5/19 Texas Photographers: Descriptions of China Thru 5/27 A Maverick’s Texas Thru 6/17

Andy Warhol: Fame and Misfortune Thru 5/20 An El Greco Rediscovered Thru 5/20 Baroque to Bauhaus: Designs from the Tobin Collection Thru 6/10 Rouault’s Miserere: Printed Prayers 5/16-7/29 May-June 2012 | On The Town 49


A Century of Collage 5/16-9/2 Radcliffe Bailey: Memory as Medicine 6/6-9/2 MUSEO ALAMEDA Revolution & Renaissance: Mexico & San Antonio 1910-2010 Thru 6/2012

The Chinese Art of Cricket Keeping: The Ernest K.H. Lee Collection Thru 6/17 Imagenes del Pueblo: Spanish Popular Graphics from the Permanent Collection Thru 6/28 San Antonio Collects: Contemporary Thru 7/1

Guanajuato Through Resendiz’ Art 5/11-11/11

SOUTHWEST SCHOOL OF ART

SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN

David Almaguer: Apotheosis 5/11-7/8

Art in the Garden 2012 (in conjunction with Blue Star Contemporary Art Center) Through 3/1/13 SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART San Antonio Collects: African American Artists Thru 5/6 San Antonio Collects: Theodore Gentilz and Mission Life of San Antonio and Northern Mexico Thru 5/20

50 On The Town | May-June 2012

WITTE MUSEUM Witte Through Time: 85 Years and Still Growing Thru 5/26 Family Traditions: Easter In Brackenridge Park Thru 6/24 Designed for Royalty: Staging the Coronation Thru 8/26 Darwin: How One Man’s Theory Turned the World on its Head Thru 9/3 If The River Could Talk: 12,000 Years of Life on the San Antonio River Opening May 2012

Joey Fauerso: Drama 5/11-7/8

Miscellaneous

Ovidio Giberga: Signal To Noise 5/11-7/8

First Friday Art Walk 5/4, 6/1 Southtown

Helen Hiebert: String Theory 5/11-7/8

5th Annual Luminaria 5/5, Sat / 6:30pm-12am HemisFair Park Fountain Plaza www.luminariasa.org for details

TEXAS A&M-SAN ANTONIO Picasso, Amigos and Contemporaneos Thru 5/20

Arts San Antonio’s Floating Feastival 5/8-9, Tue-Wed @ 6pm El Tropicano Riverwalk

Lucha Libre USA Tour 5/11, Fri @ 7:30pm Illusions Theater at the Alamodome Fiesta Noche del Rio 5/11-8/11, Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm Arneson River Theatre Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio 2012 5/15-17, Various events at Guadalupe Theater 5/18, Fri / 5:30pm-12am 5/19, Sat / 12:30pm-23am 5/20, Sun / 1pm-11pm Rosedale Park www.guadalupecultural arst.org for details Culinaria Wine and Culinary Arts Festival 5/16-20, Wed-Sun / Various events-locations www.culinariasa.com for details Texas Folklife Festival 6/8, Fri / 5pm-11pm 6/9, Sat / 11am-11pm 6/10, Sun / 12pm-7pm Institute of Texan Cultures Boerne Berges Fest 6/15, Fri / 5pm-12am 6/16, Sat / 10am-12am 6/17, Sun / 10am-8pm Main Street


Photo Credits

Radney Foster Courtesy radneyfoster.com

KD Lang Courtesy kdlang.com

Idina Menzel Courtesy idinamenzel.com

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San Antonio Brass Courtesy sabrass.org

Kevin Fowler Courtesy kevinfowler.com

Dierks Bentley Courtesy dierks.com

Musical Offerings Courtesy musicalofferings. com

Reckless Kelly Courtesy recklesskelly.com

Roger Creager Courtesy liveatfloores.com Barry Douglas Courtesy barry-douglas. com Randy Rogers Band Courtesy liveatfloores.com Voci di Sorelle Courtesy bennissimomusic.org Page 40 (L-R) Troy Peters Courtesy Youth Orchestras of San Antonio David Mairs Courtesy Mid-Texas Symphony Mark Ackerman Courtesy olmosensemble. org SOLI Photo by Kemp Davis Page 42 (L-R) Charlie Robison Courtesy liveatfloores.com

George Hamilton Courtesy Majestic Theatre

Page 48 (L-R) Page 43 (L-R) Sebastian Lang-Lessing Photo by Marks Moore Liverpool Legends Courtesy liverpoollegends. com Page 44 (L-R)

Max Stalling Courtesy maxstalling.com Alondra de la Parra Photo by JLC Two Tons of Steel Courtesy twotons.com

Cory Morrow Courtesy liveatfloores.com

Geoff Tate of Queensryche Courtesy Empire Theatre

Ronnie Dunn Courtesy ronniedunn.com

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Gillian Welch Michael Krajewski Courtesy michaelkrajewski. Courtesy Empire Theatre com Jerry Jeff Walker Courtesy jerryjeff.com

Stanley Clarke Band Photo by Steven Parke

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Kay and Friends Courtesy kayandfriends. com

Robert Earl Keen Courtesy liveatfloores.com

Page 51 (L-R) La Cage Aux Folles Photo by Paul Kolnik Mamma Mia, That’sa Murder Courtesy Cameo Theatre Cirque du Soleil Micheal Jackson: THE IMMORTAL World Tour Photo: OSA Images Costumes: Zaldy Goco © Cirque-Jackson I.P., LLC Dallas Black Dance Theatre Courtesy Carver Community Cultural Center

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Culinary Arts 54-62

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54 On The Town | May-June 2012


CHEF CHRIS BROOKS:

A Winner in Every Way By Ashley Festa Photography Greg Harrison

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he steaks aren’t the only sizzlers at Ruth’s Chris Steak House; the employees also are earning their share of accolades.

the restaurant, and he strived for consistency between both locations. His efforts proved he could handle the responsibility, and he soon became executive chef, overseeing both locations.

But before Chris Brooks became a star among the more than 70 franchise locations, he was just trying to get Brooks comes by his love of food and being in the his foot in the (kitchen) door. kitchen honestly; both of his grandmothers loved to cook, and his mother and father both loved to Brooks started in the Ruth’s Chris pantry making entertain. Originally from Mexico City, Brooks learned salads and desserts. “I just wanted to get in about comfort foods from one grandmother, and the and prove I’m limitless,” he said, which he has other, who hailed from London, taught him more accomplished in spades. refined techniques. Among the awards the San Antonio Ruth’s Chris locations brought home from the franchise owners’ annual regional meeting was the Sizzling Plate Award, given to district executive chef Brooks. The 2011 Ruth’s Chris Steak House Franchise Chef of the Year oversees both the downtown and Concord Plaza restaurants.

Brooks’ mother found joy in cooking for her guests, a love she passed on to her son. “She’s my main inspiration,” he said.

He began washing dishes at age 13, and though he went on to do other types of work – landscaping, historic restoration – he discovered he missed being in Brooks gave credit to his team, saying he couldn’t have the kitchen. Now at age 33, he’s celebrating his biggest won the award without their support. He noted that it’s award and eight years in the kitchen at Ruth’s Chris. sometimes the small things that add up to big awards. It was about the time he started work at Ruth’s Chris “This job is all about the details,” Brooks said. Those that Lana Duke began holding etiquette classes and details, he said, include being passionate and going an annual Thanksgiving dinner for children at Roy above and beyond what’s expected. Maas’ Youth Alternatives, a charitable organization close to her heart. Lana Duke, owner of both San Antonio Ruth’s Chris restaurants, has witnessed Brooks’ eagerness to always “We were preparing all the night before,” Brooks do a little bit more. said. “It’s really nice to see the results and the smiling faces of the kids. It makes you realize what “He has bought flowers for people on their anniversary a long way I’ve come.” out of his own pocket,” she said. As a teenager, Brooks’ bad behavior landed him at Roy Moving up from the pantry, Brooks became sous chef at Maas for a time. Now that he’s come full circle to work January-February May-June 2012 2011 | On The Town 55


for a woman dedicated to youth in crisis, Brooks finds ways to reach out to the children. Every summer he teaches a cooking camp, and the kids learn more than their way around a kitchen. “We teach life skills and try to inspire them to do better,” said Brooks, who works one-on-one with the campers. “If I can make a difference in someone’s life, it’s all worth it.” His main job these days at the restaurants is to coach and develop the kitchen staff. He still cooks sometimes, places all the orders for food, dishes and silverware, and he also maintains organization in the kitchen, especially at the downtown location. “It’s a difficult kitchen to work in because it’s two floors,” he said. The food prep area is downstairs, and the galley, where food is served, is upstairs. “We’re running our butts off,” so organization is a must, he said. Also essential to a fine dining restaurant is the consistent taste of all the dishes prepared at both locations. “I’m always tasting food and making sure it’s right, and teaching the staff what it should taste like,” Brooks said. Line check is from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., and that’s when this chef tastes all the dressings, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach and soups to ensure each dish is up to snuff. “There’s a gym right next door, so I go right after,” he said, laughing. Though the tasting and teaching are great parts of the job for Brooks, his favorite thing about working at Ruth’s Chris is his team. “This is my family. I see them more than anybody else,” he said. “This award wasn’t me. It was all of us pulling together and making it happen.” “Chris has a heart bigger than Texas,” Duke said. “I’m so proud of how far he’s come.” Ashley Festa is a San Antonio freelance writer. Contact her at ashley@ashleyfesta.com.

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Pinch Pennies & Dine Well: Plan Your Meal, Get a Steal By Marlo Mason-Marie

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ick a date, any date. How about Thursday, May 24? Here’s my plan. 1. Make 7 p.m. reservations for two at Citrus in Hotel Valencia Riverwalk on Houston Street through opentable.com and earn 1000 points – which are worth $10 when I qualify for an Open Table Dining Cheque. 2. Take advantage of complimentary valet parking provided to dining guests by the hotel. 3. Bring the $100 Citrus gift card I purchased through iCitycerts.com at the reduced rate of $40. 4. Order the three-course dinner for two because it’s the best, and we deserve it. 5. Enjoy an evening of culinary excellence prepared by Chef Jeffrey Balfour and staff. 6. Pay $40 prior to tax and tips, which will net down to $30 after my Open Table Dining Cheque is issued.

Example 1: The Book of Free cost me $50 during the 2011 holiday season. If I take advantage of the offers below over the course of 2012, I will save $205.69, a net gain for me of $155.69. These are not “buy one, get one free deals” but rather “no strings attached” totally free entrees.

Plan your meal and get a steal! By taking the time to plan, you can save megabucks on fine dining at many area restaurants. However, before you can plan, it is imperative that you research the myriad of offers available to you. Here’s a “starter kit” that will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of hard-earned dollars.

Aldino at the Vineyard – Free dinner pasta up to $14.99

Silo Elevated Cuisine – Free dinner entrée up to $29 (2) = $58 Silo Elevated Cuisine – Free lunch entrée up to $12 (2) = $24 Nosh – Free lunch or dinner entrée up to $12 (3) = $36 Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q – Free dinner for two, up to $13 (3) = $39 Aldo’s Ristorante Italiano – Free dinner entrée up to $19

Los Barrios Mexican Restaurant – Free dinner entrée up to $8.95 La Hacienda de Los Barrios – Free lunch entrée up to $7.95

Familiarize yourself with these purveyors of off-price Tiago’s Cabo Grille – Free street vendor tacos entrée @ 9.80 dining opportunities: Total: $205.69 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Restaurant.com Groupon Living Social Urban Dealight Amazonlocal Deals Deal of the Day SA SA Current Deals KGB Deals iCitycerts.com Entertainment Book Enjoy the City Book Book of Free KLRN Member Card Local Steals Val-Pak Money Mailer

With the exception of Local Steals, Val-Pak and Money Mailer, each of these services requires dollars upfront to purchase their gift certificates or books. Not to worry, the return on investment is staggering. Here are two examples:

Example 2: Restaurant.com offers gift certificates at greatly reduced rates, but attaches provisions for use. For example, with a code (they send the code via email) you can purchase a $25 gift certificate to any of thousands of restaurants across the country for as little as $2. Most of these require spending a minimum of $35 at the restaurant in order to receive the $25 from the certificate. If you spend exactly $35 on your meal, the bill will be $10. Add in the $2 cost for the certificate, and you’ve dined for a grand total of $12, prior to tax and gratuity. That’s a 65 percent savings. Currently there are 70 restaurants in San Antonio on this service. You also should get to know OpenTable.com. This incredible company actually pays you money (in the form of dining cheques) to make free reservations through their service. How good is that, eh? Discount offers are out there, everywhere. If you will take the time to research, organize and plan your dining experiences, you will save a small fortune. You really can pinch pennies and dine well! May-June 2012 | On The Town 59


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Festivals & Celebrations 64-76

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Fiesta Noche Celebrates 56 at Arneson R By Diana Marin Photography Paul Garcia

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he Alamo Kiwanis Club Charities Inc. celebrates the 56th season of Fiesta Noche del Rio – the longest-running outdoor musical revue of its kind in the United States. All shows are per formed at the Arneson River Theatre ever y Friday and Saturday night from May 11 through Aug. 11 beginning at 8:30 p.m.

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Fiesta Noche del Rio is a professionally produced, fast-paced and colorful musical revue performed in seven acts. It features beautifully costumed dancers and singers with lively music from Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Texas. Since 1957, the outdoor show has been seen by more than 1 million locals and visitors. It was created by, and is produced each year by, the volunteer-


e del Rio 6th Season River Theatre run Alamo Kiwanis Club Charities Inc. to raise funds to benefit local children’s charities. Some of the charities include Respite Care of San Antonio, Any Baby Can, the Children’s Shelter, Children’s Miracle Network, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, among others. Nearly $5 million has been raised to date.

Andrew Mauricio, lead male singer; Mauricio Rios, dance captain; and dancers Moises Saenz, Roger Mendoza, Erin Galvan, Alexis Estrada, Valerie Chavarria and Natalie Sonnen.

Individual tickets may be purchased at the gate on the night of each performance, online at www. The 2012 cast includes: Elizabeth Sanchez-Lopez, fiestanochedelrio.com, or by calling (210) 226-4651. lead female singer, director and choreographer; Group and military discounts also are available. January-February May-June 2012 2011 | On The Town 65


66 On The Town | May-June 2012


Texas Folklife Festival: Preserving a Texan Way of Life By James Benavides Photos courtesy Institute of Texan Cultures

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ver y second weekend in June, Texans gather at the Institute of Texan Cultures for a celebration of who they are and what they ’re about. The Texas Folklife Festival encapsulates the Texan identity in three days of music, dance, food, enter tainment and more.

pioneers had to use what was available to fix it. That meant preparing a cowhide replacement. Har tman does it the old-fashioned way, scraping and washing a hide fresh from the packing house. Guests can watch as he cuts a pattern and lacing straight from the hide and fits it to the chair frame. With about two weeks’ dr ying time, the The spotlight shines brightly on the 40-plus cowhide will shrintk and tighten into a new seat. par ticipating cultures, but with some exploring Har tman says several guests relate treasured on the festival grounds, guests can find some of memories about uncles or grandfathers who had the finest ar tisans in Texas, preser ving the skills cowhide chairs out on the front porch. and crafts that made a way of life possible. Eric Jackson tells a similar stor y. He says the Festival founder O.T. Baker was determined greatest compliment he can receive is being to preser ve Texas folkways and operated a told he made someone’s favorite cup. Jackson smokehouse on the festival grounds, showing has worked with clay for 32 years. He and a team visitors how pioneers would preser ve meats. of ambassadors from the Texas Clay Festival have demonstrated potter y at the Texas Folklife “ We’re going to tr y to give all the visitors that we Festival since 1999. can a chance to learn how to do something that maybe they ’ve heard talk about but never had “As each piece is made, we offer it up to visitors, the chance,” Baker said in an oral histor y from mainly kids, and invite them to decorate the the festival’s early years. “You can sit down and piece with a stick,” he said. “ The dynamic allows learn how to whittle. You can get in a pen with for a relaxed, informal discussion of clay, craft, an ax and learn how to chop, or you can learn to the Clay Fest, community, and life in general.” cut stained glass and lead it in.” As guests explore more of the festival’s Back 40 David Har tman of Beaumont demonstrates area, circulating among the ar tisans’ tents, they pioneer ingenuity by utilizing available may meet a rare breed of gunsmith in James materials to repair and reuse scarce resources. Stephen. He built his first muzzleloader in 1956. Since 1985, Har tman has made cowhide chairs at the festival. He explains, in the frontier days, a “I feel that, historically, the basic skills of the classic ladder-back chair might come from Sears early days of Texas are an impor tant par t of who or Montgomer y Ward, but once the seat wore out, we are,” he said. “Muzzleloaders were used for May-June 2012 | On The Town 67


over 200 years, for defense and to procure food on the frontier.”

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Though leather work, potter y and muzzleloading have been around for centuries, the skills are fading in a modern society. Guests can experience these lost ar ts with a trip to the Texas Folklife Festival. The festival preser ves not only the unique aspects of Texas’ diverse cultures, but the classical ar tisanship and skills required to tame the frontier.

Photo Credits:

“ They wanted to have people splitting rails and making butter and sausage and doing all of those things that a frontier person had to do in his daily life,” festival founder Baker said in an oral histor y inter view. “ Well, surely I knew what folklife was, in fact, I was folklife!”

David Har tman Maker of Cow Hide Chairs

Page 66 Texas Folklife Festival grounds at the Institute of Texan Cultures Page 68 (R-L)

Karen Hobbs Handmade Brooms and Baskets

Mary Brown The 2012 Texas Folklife Festival is June 8-10 at Basket Weaver the Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. For more information, visit www. texancultures.com/festivals_events.

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Cinema Tuesdays: Classic Films Soar on the Big Screen By Peabo Fowler | Photography Courtesy TPR

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lassic film fans in San Antonio have reason to rejoice each summer, as Texas Public Radio opens its 12th summer of its popular Cinema Tuesdays series on May 29 at the Santikos Bijou theater in the Wonderland of the Americas Mall.

TPR cinema’s curator Nathan Cone said he always is excited to begin the season each year, but this May brings something extra special. “Our opening film on May 29 will be Wings, which was shot in San Antonio,” Cone said. “It’s a spectacular story of WWI flyboys and the girl they love, played by Clara Bow. And until this year, it was the only silent film ever to win best picture at the Oscars.”

The 14-week series presents high-quality presentations of the greatest films of all time each summer, with a few modern rarities thrown in for good measure. This year brings two silent films, a Cone was referring to the fact that the silent French musical, a documentary with Texas roots, and the film The Artist won best picture earlier this year. Wings greatest film of all time, Citizen Kane. isn’t entirely silent, though. A recent restoration by Paramount Pictures added an orchestral score to the 70 On The Town | May-June 2012


soundtrack, and even sound effects. “These effects are not anachronistic,” Cone said. “Back in 1927, live effects artists would create the sound of machine guns or airplanes in the theater as the picture rolled. Paramount has done a great job of recreating that.”

is the preferred method of projection. A stickler for top-quality images, Cone has shunned screening films from DVDs in the past unless it was absolutely necessary, such as for the annual Oscar Shorts program (which takes place on June 12, by the way). Now, theaters across the country are transitioning to digital Another film with Texas roots this summer is Thunder projection systems that can show films in 2K or 4K Soul, a documentary about Houston’s legendary resolution. The images are several times better than Kashmere Stage Band. The 1970s high school band even top-shelf Blu-ray systems at home can deliver. went against the grain to play funk music when other high schools stuck to Louie, Louie. Members of the “This summer, we’ll be showing films in a variety Kashmere Stage Band reunited to honor their teacher, of formats,” Cone said. “Some will be projected Conrad Johnson, and that joyous moment is captured from 35mm prints, and others will be digital on film in the award-winning Thunder Soul, which presentations. Either way, it will be an experience screens on June 26. you can’t get at home. I hope everyone will enjoy this summer’s series.” Other highlights this summer include Orson Welles’ astonishing debut film, Citizen Kane, on June 19; the The Texas Public Radio Cinema Tuesdays series runs French epic Children of Paradise on July 10; the noir from May 29 through Aug. 28 at the Santikos Bijou film Gilda on Aug. 7, starring Rita Hayworth; and the Theater. For more information, call (210) 614-8977, or Mexican drug-war drama Miss Bala on Aug. 14. visit www.tpr.org/cinema. For the latest movie news from here, there and everywhere, follow Nathan Cone One thing that has changed this summer, Cone said, on Twitter, @TPRCinema. May-June 2012 | On The Town 71


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Caffeinated Concerts: Cactus Pear Music Festival’s 16th Season by Gary Albright | Photography Courtesy CPMF

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offee? Make that eine Kaffee in Germany, uno caffé in Italy, or qahwa in the Arab world where it all started. No matter where you go on the globe, you can get it – even on the remotest coffee corner in the hinterlands of Hinterland. It’s that toasted taste and caffeinated compulsion that drove J.S. Bach to pen his delightful miniature comic “opera,” The Coffee Cantata, his ode to the brown bean and the addictive quality that made coffee such a talkedabout social issue in the early 18th century. Like the good addiction that coffee is, music lovers are looking forward to their next fix of Cactus Pear Music Festival’s worldclass summer chamber music festival, whose season 16 thematic centerpiece is J.S. Bach’s satiric masterpiece.

program that has all the musical elegance one would expect from the uncontested musical capital of 18th century Europe — two trios and a quartet for piano and strings, all composed in Vienna by the legendary trio of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. San Antonio International Piano Competition gold prize-winner Ryo Yanagitani is featured, along with violist Aloysia Friedmann, cellist Dmitri Atapine and Sant’Ambrogio.

Program II, “German Espressos,” on July 7 in San Antonio and July 8 in Boerne, features two German greats, Richard Strauss and Johannes Brahms. Strauss’ youthful piano quartet pieces, Little Love Song and Arabian Dance, open the program and then prepare the listeners for baritone Timothy Jones’ powerful renditions of some of Strauss’ most popular and dramatic lieder. Brahms’ “Last summer in Madison, I saw Jeffrey Syke’s hilarious Rondo alla Zingarese movement of his boisterous Piano 21st century alternative coffee house staging of Quartet in G Minor, Op. 25 will bring the program to a The Coffee Cantata,” said artistic director Stephanie caffeinated conclusion. Sant’Ambrogio, “and I just had to bring it to Texas. And being our 16th season, it reminded me that “Brazilian Breve,” Program III, showcases the brilliant Mendelssohn wrote his incredible String Octet Brasil Guitar Duo in a program of baroque transcriptions masterpiece when he was only 16 years old. When I by Rameau and Scarlatti, along with duos by Piazzolla, decided to program the octet, it was logical to build Villa-Lobos, Gismonti and some exciting Brazilian another program around our four stunning violin pieces. Winner of the Concert Artists Guild International soloists. In our fifth and final program, we’ll present the Competition, duo members João Luiz and Douglas eight Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzolla, along with Evan Lora have been performing and touring together for Premo’s miniature song cycle of Seasons performed by 16 years. The concert takes place at 7 p.m. July 8 in Duo Borealis, the same program that was an enormous Boerne’s acoustically warm and intimate First United hit and drew record-breaking crowds back in 2007.” Methodist Church. The thematic centerpiece, The Coffee Cantata, will be performed on Program IV, “Coffee Cantata,” July 12 in San Antonio, July 13 in New Braunfels, and July 15 in Boerne. A delightful French take on the dark elixer, Le Caffé Cantata by Nicolas Bernier opens the program, featuring soprano Mary Bonhag, flutist Joanna Martin and the incomparable baroque duo of Fred and Christina Scott Edelen traveling in from Amsterdam. The sensational young Bulgarian violinist Bella Still centered at Coker United Methodist Church, the Hristova will lead the strings in Mendelssohn’s greatest festival’s San Antonio concerts take place on consecutive chamber music work, the String Octet in E-flat major. Thursdays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. beginning July 5. The first shot of caffeine starts with “Caffé Viennese,” a The festival ends with Program V, ”Cappuccino Suite: Without missing a coffee beat, Sant’Ambrogio continued: “With our lineup of some of our regular CPMF favorite artists and a few ‘piping hot’ new artists, this is a supercharged season! We’re also starting a new tradition by bringing in a pre-formed ensemble for its own concert – the young and exciting Brasil Guitar Duo, who will perform a program of Latin, as well as classic Baroque, gems.”

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Equal Parts Vivaldi and Piazzolla,” reprising the 2007 concert whose triple-shot of Vivaldi, Piazzolla and Premo was the most successful program of CPMF’s festivalography. Violinists Katarzyna Bryla, Carmit Zori, Bella Hristova and Sant’Ambrogio will grace the stage in San Antonio July 14 and in Boerne for the final festival performance July 15. “I can’t vouch that every musician drinks coffee, but I know that we are all born with caffeine in our musical veins,” Sant’Ambrogio said. “This festival is going to pulse with energy.” It’s hard not to believe the dynamic artistic director when she makes those caffeinated claims. For more information, go to http://www.cpmf.us/ cpmf_season.html PROGRAM 1: CAFFÉ VIENNESE 7 p.m. Thursday, July 5, Coker United Methodist Church, 231 E. North Loop Road, San Antonio. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Quartet No. 1 in G minor, K. 478 for piano, violin, viola and cello Yanagitani, Sant’Ambrogio, Friedmann, Atapine Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) String Trio in G Major, Op. 9, No. 1 Sant’Ambrogio, Friedmann, Atapine Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Trio No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 100, D. 929 for piano, violin and cello Yanagitani, Sant’Ambrogio, Atapine

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PROGRAM 2: GERMAN ESPRESSOS 7 p.m. Saturday, July 7, Coker United Methodist Church, 231 E. North Loop Road, San Antonio. 2 p.m. Sunday, July 8, First United Methodist Church, 205 James St., Boerne. Richard Strauss (1864-1949) Two Pieces for Piano Quartet, TrV 169 Liebesliedchen • Arabische Tanz Yanagitani, Sant’Ambrogio, Friedmann, Atapine Richard Strauss (1864-1949) Selected Songs for baritone and piano Jones, Yanagitani Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Quartet in G minor, Op. 25 for piano, violin, viola and cello Yanagitani, Sant’Ambrogio, Friedmann, Atapine PROGRAM 3: BRAZILIAN BREVE 7 p.m. Sunday, July 8, First United Methodist Church, 205 James St., Boerne. Featuring the Brasil Guitar Duo Program to be announced PROGRAM 4: COFFEE CANTATA 7 p.m. Thursday, July 12, Coker United Methodist Church, 231 E. North Loop Road, San Antonio. 7 p.m. Friday, July 13, New Braunfels Presbyterian Church. 2 p.m. Sunday, July 15, First United Methodist Church, 205 James St., Boerne.


Nicolas Bernier (1664-1734) Le Caffé Cantata for soprano, flute and basso continuo Bonhag, Martin, F. Edelen, C. Edelen Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) The Coffee Cantata, BWV 211 (1734) for tenor, soprano, baritone, flute, string quartet, harpsichord Orig. German libretto by Christian Friedrich Henrici Brabant, Bonhag, Jones, Martin, Bryla, Johnson, Budish, Atapine, C. Edelen Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) String Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20 Hristova, Sant’Ambrogio, Zori, Bryla, Budish, Okada, Atapine, F. Edelen PROGRAM 5: CAPPUCCINO SUITE: Equal Parts Vivaldi and Piazzolla 7 p.m. Saturday, July 14, Coker United Methodist Church, 231 E. North Loop Road, San Antonio. 7 p.m. Sunday, July 15, First United Methodist Church, 205 James St., Boerne. Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741) Astor Piazzolla (1921 – 1992) Soloists: Bryla, Sant’Ambrogio, Zori, Hristova, Premo, Bonhag Artists: B. Johnson, Budish, F. Edelen, Atapine, Redzic, C. Edelen Vivaldi Spring and Piazzolla Summer in Buenos Aires (violin soloist: Bryla) Premo In Just Spring and Summer for bass and soprano (Premo, Bonhag)

Vivaldi Autumn and Piazzolla Winter in Buenos Aires (violin soloist: Sant’Ambrogio) 2012 Young Artist Program [YAP] ensemble performance [SA only] Vivaldi Winter and Piazzolla Autumn in Buenos Aires (violin soloist: Zori) Premo It Would Melt and Velvet Shoes for bass and soprano (Premo, Bonhag) Vivaldi Summer and Piazzolla Spring in Buenos Aires (violin soloist: Hristova)

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 72 Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio Photo by Liz Garza Williams Page 74 (L-R) Aloysia Friedmann, viola Bella Hristova, violin Brasil Guitar Duo Page 75 (L-R) Dmitri Atapine, cello Joanna Martin, flute Mary Bonhag, soprano Photos on Pages 74 & 75 Courtesy of Cactus Pear Music Festival

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Visual Arts

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TRAVEL THROUGH ART by Cassandra Yardeni

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or many, the warm weather brings with it a growing sense of wanderlust. Longer days and pleasant evenings excite the summer spirit in all of us and fortunately for San Antonio, the local art scene boasts exhibits that will transport viewers to exotic locales and to times past, without having to step outside the city.

modern biological science. Darwin is an engaging and enlightening exhibition for visitors of all ages.

The Witte’s South Texas collections include saddles, spurs, basketry, branding irons, historical clothing, land grants, art and firearms. The South Texas Heritage Center provides immersive and engaging experiences of reallife stories of the men, women and children of South Texas. Hear the traveling narratives of Tejano Freighters and the historical narratives of Chili Queens, merchants, Texas Indians, Spanish settlers, trail drivers, ranchers and farmers. Encounter historic personas sharing the stories of vaqueros, cowboys, oilmen and women, gas industry leaders and the children who grew up on the land.

“We wanted students to take their classroom lessons out into the real world,” said Ashlie McKenzie, an education specialist with the Institute of Texan Cultures. “Geography teaches the importance of ‘place’ and ‘culture.’ With inspiration from Griff Smith, it was our hope that students would see their lessons come to life in a new and challenging way.”

Through May 27, the Institute of Texan Cultures showcases Texas Photographers: Descriptions of China, a new work by famed Southern shutterbugs, Ricardo Romo, Peter Brown, Ansen Seale, Al Rendon and Joel Opening May 26, the Witte Museum invites you to Salcido. These five Texas photographers were invited journey back to the 1800s as it reclaims the legendary to exhibit images of Texas at the 14th Annual China story of wild and vivid land that is South Texas. The highly International Photographic Art Exhibition. Curated by anticipated grand opening of the Robert J. and Helen C. Arturo Infante Almeida, Descriptions of China includes Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center will pay homage images of the people, culture and landscapes of an to this untamed country that served as the birthplace ancient place in the 21st century. of ranching empires that continue today, and was the crucible from which emerged the American Cowboy See the work of talented Texas high school students as from his Vaquero forbearers. they document their culture for a student exhibit at ITC, on view through June 17. Under the direction of Texas The 20,000 square-foot, two-story building incorporates Highways Magazine photographer, Griff Smith, a group the historic Pioneer Hall and will serve as a permanent of students from Pasadena Memorial High School, just home for the Witte’s South Texas collections, exhibitions outside of Houston, Texas, A Maverick’s Texas, named and public programs, combined with the latest museum for the Pasadena Memorial mascot, showcases the technology, to trace the legendary history of South Texas. uniqueness of Pasadena through images and artworks.

Blue Star Contemporary Art Center similarly showcases local talent this summer with their San Antonio Painters exhibit, on display beginning May 31. The collection, curated by Barbara MacAdam, Deputy Editor of ARTnews Still on display at the Witte is the critically acclaimed magazine, features the work of ten artists, whose work Darwin: How One Man’s Theory Turned the World on was chosen based on “originality…and diversity…in its Head exhibit. Making its exclusive Texas debut style, medium and genre.” at the Witte, Darwin offers visitors a provocative exploration of the life and discoveries of Charles Let there be light at the San Antonio Museum of Art! Darwin, whose insights led to the theory of Starting June 2, Sublime Light: A Survey of American evolution, forever changing the perception of the Photographs from the Permanent Collection offers visitors origin and nature of our own species and launching the chance to experience more than fifty masterful and May-June 2012 | On The Town 79


iconic images from SAMA’s holdings of photography. The exhibit illustrates the breadth and vitality of the medium over the last one and one half centuries. A selection of historic photographic images emerge from SAMA’s vault for the exhibition, dating from the mid to late 19th century by largely unknown photographers or studios, and offers a rare glimpse into the early years of fixing image to plate or paper. This exhibition features some of America’s most accomplished and celebrated photographers such as Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Margaret Bourke-White, Imogen Cunningham, Elliot Elisofon, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, Irving Penn, Kay Bell Reynal, W. Eugene Smith, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, George Tice, Edward Weston, Minor White and James Van Der Zee. Subjects range from cityscapes, industry, and rural landscapes, to portraits, figures, and still-lifes that are imbued with elegance and poignancy as well as sublime beauty. The McNay Art Museum is hailed for taking visitors far and wide with a simple canvas, and this season is no exception. Opening May 16, Rouault’s Miserere: Printed Prayers showcases work inspired by Psalm 51’s “Oh Lord, have mercy on me.” The artist’s suite of 58 prints is a modern prayer of deliverance from the scourges of war and for forgiveness of those who have strayed from the faith. Also debuting May 16 is A Century of Collage, featuring the 1912 masterpiece Guitar and Wine Glass—one of Pablo Picasso’s most important collages. The exhibit marks 100 years since Georges Braque and Picasso brought a scrapbooking technique into the realm of fine art. The McNay’s extensive holdings of collages include works by John Baldessari, Natalia Gontcharova, Lee Krasner and Robert Motherwell.

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Life is a stage at the McNay through June 10, as Baroque to Bauhaus connects theatre designs to the larger history of visual culture from the 1600s to the early 1900s. The juxtaposing styles offer a visual feast, with the spare, clean lines of the Bauhaus challenging the painterly illusionism of the Baroque. The Baroque theme includes modern designs in an ornate mode by artists such as Alexandre Benois and Eugene Berman, along with designs from the 1600s–1700s by Giacomo Torelli and the Bibiena family. The Bauhaus theme focuses on artists affiliated with the German school that stressed unity of art, craft, and technology in the 1920s–1930s, including Laszlo


Moholy-Nagy and Grit Kallin-Fischer, as well as exponents of international Constructivism such as Alexandra Exter. The Southwest School of Art offers a variety of stunning and transformative modern art, from David Almaguer’s Apotheosis and Joey Fauerso’s provocative Drama, to Ovidio Giberga’s Signal to Noise and Helen Hiebert’s thought-provoking String Theory. With subjects as varied as these, one need not travel far to experience a world of beauty, fantasy and history. Take advantage of the summer’s slower pace and explore the vast landscapes the local art scene offers without needing a passport or luggage. Cheers!

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 78 A Maverick’s Texas Reminiscent Photo by Shawnna Hall of Pasadena Memorial High School Institute of Texan C ultures Page 80 (Above) Texas Photographers: Descriptions of China Photo by Dr. Ricardo Romo Institute of Texan Cultures (Below) David Almaguer: Apotheosis Man of Steel, 2012 Aerosol and acrylic on wood, 24 x 36 in. Southwest School of Art Page 81 (Above) Guitar and Wine Glass by Pablo Picasso A Century of Collage Exhibit McNay Art Museum (Below) South Texas Heritage Center Courtesy Witte Museum

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Witte Museum Opens Much-Anticipated South Texas Heritage Center By Shannon Huntington Standley Photo courtesy Witte Museum

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t’s time South Texas reclaimed the legendary story of this wild and vivid land, and the Witte Museum is doing just that with the grand opening of the South Texas Heritage Center, Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 26, 2012.

The Witte’s South Texas collections are cherished links to our interwoven heritage and include saddles, spurs, basketry, branding irons, historical clothing, land grants, art and firearms. The South Texas Heritage Center provides immersive and engaging experiences of real-life stories of the men, women and children of When Spanish explorers came to South Texas and the South Texas. Hear the traveling narratives of Tejano lands of the Rio Grande, they found a place ideally Freighters and the historical narratives of Chili Queens, suited to raising livestock and ranching. This untamed merchants, Texas Indians, Spanish settlers, trail drivers, country was the birthplace of ranching empires that ranchers and farmers. Encounter historic personas continue today and was the crucible from which sharing the stories of vaqueros, cowboys, oilmen and emerged the American Cowboy from his Vaquero women, gas industry leaders and the children who forbearers. This 20,000 square-foot, two-story building grew up on the land. that incorporates the historic Pioneer Hall, serves as a permanent home for the Witte’s South Texas collections, The main galleries of the new Center include exhibits exhibitions and public programs, combined with the on ranching, farming, San Antonio’s Main Plaza in latest museum technology, to trace the legendary the 1840s, the oil and gas industry, horse culture, history of South Texas. life along the border and a gallery dedicated to the Witte’s seminal 19th and 20th century early Texas Art 82 On The Town | May-June 2012


collection. The Witte Museum is renowned for creating highly interactive and theatrical exhibitions and programs that bring history to life. Through collections and advanced technology, the South Texas Heritage Center boasts robotic characters and simulated sights and sounds to put into context the history of South Texas in a way that has never been seen before. Visitors are immersed in fascinating stories of ranching families and cowboys emerge in real-time narratives, beginning in San Antonio’s Main Plaza of 1847, traveling through the ranches of South Texas and ending in the oil and gas refineries of the Texas Coast.

and compelling way—and proved that present-day visitors want to understand the past. “Most people don’t know where they came from. And if you don’t know where you came from, I don’t know how you can set a course for where you’re going to go…It’s an important thing the Witte is doing to preserve the heritage of the families that developed and pioneered in South Texas,” said Mary West Traylor, South Texas rancher and Witte supporter.

Other Highlights of the South Texas Heritage Center include a grand two-story entry hall; classroom space Additionally, the Witte’s ground-breaking 2006 for educational programs for students; an outdoor exhibition, A Wild & Vivid Land: Stories of South Texas, amphitheater; sculptures and much more. which attracted more than 100,000 visitors, has been enhanced and now takes its home in the South Texas The South Texas Heritage Center will be included with Heritage Center. A Wild & Vivid Land revealed the museum general admission. For more information call relevance and real-life stories of South Texans in a new 210.357.1910 or visit www.WitteMuseum.org. May-June 2012 | On The Town 83


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Literary Arts 88-92

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Book Talk:

GILBERT GARCIA Journalist and Author

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an Antonians may remember him as the former music writer for the San Antonio Current, but Gilbert Garcia also has covered politics, sports and religion during his 20-year career in journalism. Besides the Current, he has worked for the Dallas Observer, Phoenix New Times, the San Antonio Light and the San Antonio Express-News, winning 12 regional and national journalism awards along the way. He currently writes for the online publication Plaza de Armas and has recently published his first book, “Reagan’s Comeback: Four Weeks in Texas that Changed American Politics Forever.” Published by Trinity University Press, the book tells the story of how Ronald Reagan won the 1976 Texas primary and how that victory paved his way to the White House four years later. Reagan was going up against President Gerald R. Ford, and by late March of that year his campaign was in serious trouble. He had lost several states in a row, was low on funds and had little support from prominent Republicans who were rallying around Ford. But his huge victory in Texas changed everything. It gave Reagan stature at the 1976 national convention, mobilized a new breed of conservative activists and ultimately led to the revival of conservatism in American politics. Ford lost to Jimmy Carter, but Reagan triumphed four years later. We spoke to Garcia at his San Antonio home. JW: Are you an admirer of the former president? GG: I wouldn’t describe myself that way but I am fascinated by him. Whether people like him or not, Reagan’s become such an iconic figure; he can’t be ignored. His political skills were impressive. When you look at some Republican candidates today, many are expressing views similar to the ones he expressed but they lack the political skills that he had. So I have an appreciation for how effective Reagan was with the voters. But I have disagreements with him on policy issues. JW: Why did you want to write “Reagan’s Comeback”? GG: I’ve always been interested in the challenge of writing a book, and I have had some ideas over the years that didn’t really go anywhere. With the 2012 election approaching, I started thinking about how Texas has changed in my lifetime, how the South has changed politically, and I sort of started thinking about Reagan’s impact and this particular primary, and how pivotal it was

to his career. And I realized that while many books have been written about Reagan, this was one story that had not been explored in depth. JW: Contemporary readers may be surprised to learn that before 1976 Texas used to be a solidly Democratic state. That’s so different from what we have today. Could you explain? GG: This was really rooted in the post-Civil War era. Coming out of the Civil War there was a lot of antipathy toward Republicans everywhere in the South since it was the party of (President Abraham) Lincoln. So, Democrats dominated throughout the South for more than a century. But the Democratic party in Texas was largely controlled by conservative Democrats and an uneasy alliance existed between conservative and liberal Democrats. Back then, the Republican Party was a non-factor. At one point in the book, I mention that out of 181 state legislators, 180 were Democrats. That started to change after Lyndon Johnson, as a Texas Democrat, pushed forward the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Conservative Democrats rebelled against that. But conservatives had no strong motivation to leave the party because their party still controlled the political scene in Texas in 1976. I think that Reagan was the person who gave them that motivation. Many were so drawn to him that they crossed over to the Republican Party, making his victory possible. JW: What was Reagan’s appeal? GG: Texans have generally gravitated to politicians who conveyed toughness and confidence, and Reagan certainly did. Also, he made no apologies for his conservatism. He emphasized national defense and national security and the fear that America was becoming weaker, all of which struck a chord. He talked about individual freedom and that government should be beholden to the people, not the other way around. He basically tapped into the frustration that conservatives had at that time. Ford was always careful not to alienate anybody; Reagan was forceful and if someone disagreed with him, he did not back down. JW: Do you think that Reagan essentially repackaged Barry Goldwater’s ideas and presented them in a more effective way, or did he contribute new concepts of his own? GG: The ideas were very similar. Goldwater’s book, “The Conscience of a Conservative,” was kind of a bible for Reagan. Reagan did bring the social issues into May-June 2012 | On The Town 89


the equation a little more than Goldwater had and things about the Tea Party today. repackaged what Goldwater had done 12 years earlier in JW: Tell me about the genesis of the book. How hard was a way that people found reassuring. it to find people to interview, and how did you decide on the structure, which is not a linear narrative? You also JW: Would you say that he managed to turn the offer insights into other political figures on the scene, Republican party from an enclave for the rich to a some of whom, like Ron Paul and Rick Perry, are still very populist party? much in the game. GG: That was his great accomplishment. Today when we think of the South, we think Republican, but that was a complete flip from before. And the party started attracting working people like never before. You have to point at him as the agent of that change, and all of that started in Texas during that primary. JW: In your book you make it clear that the unsung heroes of Reagan’s successful Texas primary were two not particularly prominent volunteers, Ray Barnhart and Ernest Angelo, and a couple of other “outsiders” who threw themselves heart and soul into mobilizing supporters, including Democrats, and finding ways to raise funds. Once again, their story proves that a few determined individuals can “change history,” as you said.

GG: I had done a little bit of research in the fall of 2010 to get the book proposal together. Then I did no further work on it for a few months. When I eventually talked to the people at Trinity University Press, they and I agreed that it would be great to get this book out in early 2012 to time it with the presidential primary season. To do that, I was going to have to complete the project in about three months. So it was a big challenge. One of the challenges was that (these events) happened 36 years ago, and many of the people involved had passed away or were in poor health. Still, I was able to find most of the people I wanted to talk to and, I would say, most were very receptive to the idea of being interviewed. For them, this really was a pivotal event in their lives, and there was a bit of a hunger to tell that story.

GG: Oh, absolutely. I think they were the two most important people. Their loyalty to the cause was all consuming, and they put everything else aside for months. Their doggedness was crucial because the Ford campaign had so much more money, so much more support in the Republican establishment, and they had John Tower, the U.S. senator, who actively campaigned for Ford.

While I was writing, there were certain figures that emerged in the story, like John Tower, John Connally, Ron Paul, that I felt I should devote extra attention to. Initially I thought of incorporating all that in the chronological development of the story but it didn’t feel comfortable to me. In my own way I viewed it as a documentary, and if you had a documentary, you would pause to explain to the audience who John Tower was, or John Connally, and then you would go back to the story which, hopefully, would JW: You have made a connection between the grassroots make more sense to them (after those explanations.) So rise of conservatism in Reagan’s time and the Tea Party. that’s the way I did it. I didn’t want to throw off the reader, Could you elaborate on that? but those individuals deserved chapters of their own to make their role in the story clear. GG: The connection is really between the Reagan 1976 movement and the Tea Party. Because by 1980, JW: After the book was published, have you heard from Reagan’s appeal had broadened, and he won the general a Reagan family member or anyone from his former election in a landslide. But in 1976, he had a pretty entourage? narrow conservative base, but it was intensely loyal. His supporters were not satisfied with the Republican party GG: No, but the Washington Times ran a review of my as it was. They saw it as wishy-washy and were very book by Peter Hannaford, a close friend of Reagan’s. It frustrated. The Tea Party movement is somewhat similar. was a very positive review. Many Tea Party people lean Republican but their loyalty is really to a set of ideas, and they are willing to challenge and confront their Republican representatives if they are not satisfied. Reagan’s 1976 supporters were viewed by the establishment as outsiders and troublemakers, and I Garcia’s comments have been edited slightly for space and think that Republican leaders would privately say similar clarity. His book is available wherever books are sold.

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Eclectics 94-104

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Artistic Destination:

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f I were in charge of the world’s travel plans, I would make Nashville a mandatory stop for everybody – specifically downtown Nashville, where you’ll find practically everything that is wonderful about Music City. No matter what you think you know about this Tennessee capital city, nothing can prepare you for the perfect combination of first-class arts and entertainment, history, honky-tonks and hospitality all within a handful of city blocks. But you’ll soon get the idea after these first few stops. 94 On The Town | May-June 2012

Ryman Auditorium (116 Fifth Avenue North, ryman.com). Known as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” the Ryman Auditorium is a National Historic Landmark and a Nashville must-see no matter what your musical tastes. Daily self-guided tours and backstage tours (subject to availability) showcase the fascinating history of the building and the phenomenal talent that has graced its legendary stage – everyone from Enrico Caruso and Harry Houdini to Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, James Brown and Elvis Presley to today’s music


The Heart of Nashville By Julie Catalano Photography Courtesy visitmusiccity.com

legends. The guided backstage tour includes dressing rooms and the wings of the stage itself. The Ryman was the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974 (and is now at its new home at Opryland, about 10 miles from downtown). But you can catch the Opry at the Ryman during the winter months, November through January, when it returns each year to its historic roots. Honky-tonk Row (Lower Broadway). Fittingly enough, this colorful area is right behind the Ryman, since

it’s often a springboard for budding songwriters and musicians on their way to fame and fortune and a longtime regular venue for popular local and regional bands. Most clubs have no cover charge, and it’s a great place to people watch and catch a glimpse of a celebrity, or one in the making. Two new additions are the National Underground (thenationalunderground.com), owned by singer-songwriter brothers Gavin DeGraw and Joey DeGraw, and a sister music club to the original location in New York City; and Honkytonk Central (honkytonkcentral. May-June 2012 | On The Town 95


com), housed in the renovated Seanachie Building and co-owned by Steve Smith of the legendary Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge (tootsies.net). Hatch Show Print (316 Broadway, countrymusichalloffame. org). You’ll know the signature look of a Hatch Show Print when you see it – it was created at one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in the country. Since 1879, their posters have featured some of the biggest names in country, pop, rock, and blues; companies such as Nike and Jack Daniels; and magazine covers, CDs and books. You can watch them prepare a poster using up to 10,000 basswood and maple-wood blocks, thousands of photo-plates, and drawers filled with wood and metal type. Schermerhorn Symphony Center (1 Symphony Place, nashvillesymphony.org). Surprise! Nashville has one of the best classical concert venues to be found anywhere. Named for the Nashville Symphony’s late maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn, the $123.5 million home of the 85-member, Grammy-winning orchestra is simply stunning. The neoclassical structure’s centerpiece is the magnificent shoebox-style, 1,844-seat Laura Turner Concert Hall, which in turn is home to the massive Schoenstein & Co. concert organ. One-hour building tours are free and highly recommended, held most Wednesdays and Saturdays at 1 p.m. (more than 10 require reservations). The 2012-13 season kicks off Sept. 7 and 9 with “Mahler’s Eighth – Symphony of a Thousand,” featuring the Nashville Symphony, the symphony chorus, the Blair Children’s Chorus, and soloists TBA. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (222 Fifth Avenue South, countrymusichalloffame.org). This is it, the mother lode of all things country music – 40,000 square feet of archives, artifacts, exhibits, costumes, rare videos, recordings and more. The museum store alone is worth the visit. The new exhibit, “The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and California Country,” is narrated by Dwight Yoakum and runs through Dec. 31, 2013. Do not miss the guided tour at nearby RCA Studio B, where more than 35,000 songs were recorded, including 200 by Elvis Presley.

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Frist Center for Visual Arts (919 Broadway, fristcenter.org). With no permanent exhibits of its own, the 24,000-squarefoot Frist Center plays host to key exhibitions from around the world in a former U.S. post office Art Deco building. Shows include 63 drawings and paintings by Alabama artist Bill Traylor through Sept. 3; and English landscape master, “Constable: Oil Sketches From the Victoria and Albert Museum,” from June 22 through Sept. 30.


The Hermitage Hotel (231 Sixth Avenue North, thehermitagehotel.com). You’ll need a rest after all this, and what better place than Tennessee’s only Forbes FiveStar and AAA Five-Diamond luxury hotel. The fabulous Hermitage is not just a pretty face – although it’s a stellar example of the School of Beaux Arts architecture – but has served as the social and political center for Nashvillians and beyond since 1910. The guest book is a Who’s Who of American history, featuring six presidents, politicians, film stars, athletes and entertainers. The excellent Tennessee State Museum (505 Deaderick St., tnmuseum.org) nearby is one of the largest state museums, and it’s free. What you need to know: Stop by the Nashville Visitor Information Center (Fifth Avenue South and Broadway, information line (800) 657-6910) which is an entertainment venue in itself. In addition to the usual brochures, tickets, maps and souvenirs, Nashville musicians regularly appear on the center’s stage in free performances open to the public. To browse more than 120 Nashville area clubs, download Nashville’s Live Music App for iPhone and Android. You can search the live music calendar for tomorrow or any specified date for two weeks out. Go to visitmusiccity.com for more information.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits Pages 94-95 Nashville skyline with the General Jackson showboat Page 96 (Above) Ryman Auditorium (Below) Schermerhorn Symphony Center Page 97 (Above) Honky Tonk Row (Below) Frist Center for the Visual Art

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May/June 2012 Issue