ON THE TOWN
Lynn Lynn Oefinger Oefinger Johnny Johnny Hernandez Hernandez Texas Texas Folklife Folklife Festival Festival Cactus Cactus Pear Pear Music Music Festival Festival Mary Mary Heathcott Heathcott of of Blue Blue Star Star SA SA Symphony Symphony 75 75thth Anniversary Anniversary Tobin Tobin Center Center September September Opening Opening Plus Plus 11 11 Additional Additional Articles Articles
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May, June and Season 2014-15: Mark Your Calendar Now Because You Don’t Want To Miss A Thing
A Peek Behind the Curtain of the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre: Entertaining San Antonio for 100 Years San Antonio Symphony’s Diamond Season Sparkles
Texas Folklife Festival: A Taste of the World
Texas Public Radio’s Cinema Tuesday Film Series Goes Back in Time
Golden Keys: Cactus Pear Music Festival’s 18th Season
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts to Open Early September
Rich Dauer: Managing the Boys of Summer
Johnny Hernandez: In His Father’s Footsteps
Le Chat Noir’s Lynn Oefinger: Castroville’s Cordon Bleu Chef
Matisse Highlights a Wide Variety of Exhibitions at San Antonio Museums And Art Centers
Mary Heathcott: New Director Brings a Drive to Try New Things at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum
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Contemporary Latino Art: El Corazon De San Antonio: New Texas A&M University-San Antonio Educational and Cultural Arts Center to Open
Richard Hunt Sculpture Installation Graces San Antonio Botanical Garden
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Book Talk: Florence Byham Weinberg, Scholar, and Novelist
Artistic Destination: Wimberley, Texas - Small Town, Big Art
Out & About With Greg Harrison
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May, June and S Mark Your Calendar Now Because
By Sara Salengo
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Season 2014-15: You Donâ€™t Want To Miss A Thing!
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he months of May and June promise to be ver y enter taining! Evita gets things star ted from day one at the Majestic. This iconic Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice collaboration plays through Sunday, May 4. Gavin DeGraw is nex t up on May 5 at the same venue, followed by Gypsy K ings May 19, the legendar y B.B. K ing May 22, Chicago May 27 and The Voice Tour June 21. MOVE Live on Tour with Julianne and Derek Hough dances its way into the Majestic June 6 while Jay Leno makes us laugh June 13. The Broadway in San Antonio touring musical Sister Act plays eight per formances there June 24-29.
Copilow leads the orchestra in Patriotic Pops May 23-24. On June 14, the symphony offers its 75 th Anniversar y Concer t with vir tuoso violinist Joshua Bell.
Nex t door to the Majestic at the smaller Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, Opera Piccola of San Antonio presents Orpheus and Euridice & Green Sneakers May 10-11 while the Las Casas Scholarship for the Per forming Ar ts Competion takes the stage May 18. Violinist Charles Yang and jazz vocalist Jose James play the Empire in per formances for Ar ts San Antonio May 22 and June 21 respec tively. O ther shows there include Justin Hay ward May 28, comedian R alphie May The San Antonio Symphony per forms its final on June 5 and South Texas Presents: Brent five concer ts at the Majestic in May and June Watk ins & His Big Band June 10. before tak ing up residence in the new Tobin Center for the Per forming Ar ts this fall. Shuber t The AT&T Center is t he p lace to s e e Jo u r n e y & Great, featuring trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth, is The Steve M iller Band M ay 22, Th e Bu d L i g ht first May 9-10, with Beethoven Piano Concer to by R iver Cit y R oc kfest M ay 24, R o me o S a nto s Nicholas Angelich nex t on May 16-17, followed June 6 and funny man G ab r iel â€œFl u ffy â€? Ig l e s i a s by Mahler 5 June 6-7. Sebastian Lang-Lessing June 24. Nex t d oor at Freeman Col i s e u m, J es us conduc ts all per formances. I n between, Carl Chr ist Sup e r star A re na Sp e c tacula r e nte r t a i n s
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on e n i ght o n l y J u n e 19. She n Yu n o ffe rs f i ve per fo r ma n ces at t he Lila Co c k re ll Th e ate r M ay 3-6. I n a ddi ti o n, Blac k Star R i d e rs an d Th e Spa z mati cs a re fe at ured gro ups at t h e A z tec Th eatre M ay 1 and 9, Jas on M o ra n’s Fa t s Wal l er D an ce Par t y com es to th e J o Lo n g Theatre at Ca r ver M ay 17 and Step Af r i k a p e r fo r ms at th at ven u e Ju ne 7. I n other p e r fo r m an ces o f n o te, Fan tasti c Fir sts by Ca me rat a S an Anto n i o i s bei n g presented at c hurch ve n u e s i n B o er n e, K er r v i l l e and S an Anton i o M ay 2- 4, wh i l e M u si ca l B r i dges Around Th e Wor l d ’s E s s en ce of I n di a w i th S a n deep Das is fe at u re d in t h e Ju dy a n d Jef ferson Crab M usi c a l Eve n i n g s at S a n Fer n a n do Cat hed ral S er i es M ay 4. Al s o, M i ra r i B ra ss Q u i nte t is t he g ue st o f Fre d e r i c ksbu rg M u si c Cl u b M ay 18, SO L I C h am b e r E n sembl e presents a program ca lle d Fu t u re at G a l l er y N o rd M ay 19, and Ca m e rat a S an Anton i o’s Ful l C i rc l e i s M ay 31 in Ker r v i lle an d J u n e 1 i n S a n Anto n i o. One final tho ug ht, t h e S an Anto n i o I nter n ati o n al Piano Co m pet it i o n Piano S er i es br i n gs Ed uard o
D elgad o to t he c it y M ay 31 for a co n ce r t at St. M ar k ’s Ep iscop al C hurc h. At community theaters, May-June highlights include Godspell and Breaking Up Is Hard To D o at the Cameo, The Fantasticks at the Sheldon Vexler, Catch Me If You Can and Tarzan at the Woodlawn, D ead Man’s Cell Phone and Funny Girl at The Playhouse San Antonio, plus Noel Coward’s Private Lives by Classic Theatre of San Antonio at Woodlawn’s Black Box. Please check the events calendar in this publication for dates, times and other local theater per formances. Wrapping things up in this two month period, for the little ones it ’s Malika, Queen of the Cats by Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre May 20 and The True Stor y of the Three Little Pigs by Paul Mesner Puppets June 13. Both shows are presented by Children’s Fine Ar ts Series at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre. Also, check out Pinocchio through June 7 at The Magik Theatre and The Bootmaker and the Elves star ting June 20 at the same venue.
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S E A S O N 2014-15
Let’s take a look at highlights from major presenters throughout the city and surrounding area starting with the Broadway in San Antonio series of six shows and three optional ones. Returnees include The Lion King (for an extended three and a half week run), Chicago and Annie. New selections are Dirty Dancing, Newsies and Once. Optionals are Mamma Mia, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Blue Man Group. Nine shows in all. It’s a very good year for Broadway theater aficionados. More about this though a bit later.
2014-15 Valero Classics Series features 14 concerts with performers such as pianists Kirill Gerstein, Jon Kimura Parker, Michael Dalberto, Alexei Volodin and Alexander Gavrylyuk, violinists Jennifer Koh, Daniel Hope and Eric Gratz, cellist Julie Albers, guitarist Pablo Sainz Villegas and percussionist Evelyn Giennie. A Strauss Festival highlights January and February. The 2014-15 H-E-B Pops Series consists of six concerts including Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Holiday Pops, The Music of Abba, Fiesta Pops, Cirque de la Symphonie and Star Wars and More: The Music of John Williams. Above and beyond these series, the symphony has Renee Fleming returning to officially open their season with a special performance Sep. 20 in the H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center. Sebastian Lang-Lessing conducts. Also, in conjunction with the Tobin, the symphony offers a recital series with Itzhak Perlman Feb. 8 and Lang Lang Mar. 2. Wow!
The San Antonio Symphony celebrates its 75 th Anniversary season with a full offering of classical and pops concerts performed for the first time at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Their
Arts San Antonio has also teamed up with the Tobin Center to co-present five shows in the new season. They are An Irish Christmas, Big Band Holidays – The Lincoln Jazz Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis,
It’s always exciting to see the new season schedules offered by performing arts groups. This year it is extra special because the announcements made thus far included one from the new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
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Go Tell It on the Mountain Christmas – The Blind Boys of Alabama and Mavis Staples, Peking Acrobats and Scottish Ballet – A Streetcar Named Desire. Other Arts SA performances include Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, The Nutcracker – Mejia Ballet International, 2 Cellos and Paul Taylor Dance Company at the Majestic, plus Mnozil Brass, Ingudesman and Joo, Beatrice Rana, Fiesta Navidad with Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, and All Vows – Maya Beiser, cello and Glenn Kotche, percussion at the newly opened Aztec Theatre. Two Empire shows are also on the schedule; Suzanne Vega and Frogz performed by Imago Theatre. Opera Piccola San Antonio has announced three operas at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre for 2014-15 starting with The Turn of the Screw, followed by Dido & Aeneas and Broadway versus Opera. Their website has details and dates. San Antonio Chamber Music Society offers five Sunday afternoon performances for the new season. Jerusalem Quartet, Quartetto di Cremona, New York Woodwind Quintet, St. Lawrence String Quartet and Elias Quartet form
the season for the Society. Boerne Performing Arts has three great shows signed up for the new season; Canadian Brass, New Shanghai Circus and Neil Berg’s 102 Years of Broadway. All shows are at the Champions HS Auditorium. In New Braunfels, The Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre offers an eight show season package highlighted by Three Redneck Tenors, The Four Freshmen, and a Celebration of Motown Music with Masters of Soul. Special attractions there include Marty Stuart and The Oak Ridge Boys. T h e i n a u g u r a l s e a s o n a t To b i n Ce n t e r fo r t h e Pe r fo r m i n g A r t s p r o m i s e s t o b e o u t s t a n d i n g. In addition to shows already mentioned as co-presentations with the San Antonio S y m p h o ny a n d A r t s S a n A n t o n i o, t h e To b i n i s s e t t o b r i n g p a t r o n s p e r fo r m a n c e s b y B i l l Co s b y, D o n Wi l l i a m s, K o d o : O n e E a r t h To u r, A r l o G u t h r i e, J e a n n e R o b e r t s o n , G a r r i s o n K e i l l o r, I a n A n d e r s o n , D a v i d S e d a r i s, K a t h l e e n M a d i g a n , T h e C h a r l i e D a n i e l s B a n d, D a ve M a s o n a n d m o r e ! T h e y a r e a l s o o f fe r i n g a
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S i g n a t u re S e r i e s c o m p r i s e d o f fo u r B ro a d w a y t o u r i n g s h o w s a t t h e H - E - B Pe r fo r m a n c e h a l l a n d t w o o t h e r s a t t h e s m a l l e r A l v a re z Fa m i l y S t u d i o T h e a t e r. N i c e Wo r k I f Yo u C a n G e t I t , C i r q u e D r e a m s H o l i d a z e, J e k y l l & H y d e a n d B u d d y : T h e B u d d y H o l l y S t o r y a re s c h e d u l e d a t t h e H - E - B w h i l e 5 0 S h a d e s ! T h e M u s i ca l a n d O n e D r o p o f Lo v e t a k e t h e A l v a re z s t a g e.
Series and Cailloux Theater Presents. I urge you to check their websites periodically for information regarding their 2014-15 seasons. San Antonio and the surrounding area have so much to offer in May, June and Season 201415. Mark your calendar now because you don’t want to miss a thing! Get some tickets and go!
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Ballet San Antonio is onboard with their new season as well. It starts with Dracula in October, then it’s The Nutcracker in late November through Photo Credits: early December. After that come Romeo and Juliet in February and a contemporary Balanchine Pages 8-9 performance in late March. All ballets will be danced at H-E-B Performance Hall at The Tobin. Sister Act Touring Cast I t should be mentioned that at the time of Photo by Joan Marcus this writing season announcements have not been made by San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet, Alamo Ar ts Ballet Theatre, Musical Bridges Around The World, Tuesday Musical Club, The Opera San Antonio, Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio, San Antonio Piano Competition Piano
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Page 10 (L-R) MOVE Live on Tour Julianne and Derek Hough Courtesy Majestic Theatre
Carl Topilow Courtesy San Antonio Symphony Page 11 (L-R) Nicholas Angelich Photo by Stphane de Bourgies
Page 13 (L-R) Tine Thing Helseth Photo by Paul Mitchell 50 Shades! The Musical Courtesy The Tobin Center Page 14 (L-R)
Chicago The Band Courtesy Majestic Theatre
Blue Man Group Photo by Paul Kolnik
Page 12 (L-R)
Gavin DeGraw Courtesy gavingegraw.com Page 15 (L-R)
Chicago The Musical Photo by Jeremy Daniel Dirty Dancing Photo by David Scheinmann
Don Williams Courtesy The Tobin Center The Piano Guys Courtesy The Tobin Center
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A peek behind the curtain of the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre: Entertaining San Antonio for 100 years By Dawn Robinette Photography courtesy Las Casas Foundation
hough it’s tucked quietly on North St. Mary’s Street just off the hustle of Houston Street, there’s nothing quiet about the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre. Comedy, romance, music and drama — the Empire Theatre has shared it all with San Antonio since it opened its doors in 1914, delighting San Antonio with thousands of productions, concerts, movies and more for 100 years.
sister, the Gunter hotel, the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre was fashioned in the Victorian tradition of European elegance and opulence.
The grandeur of the Empire stood unparalleled, boasting elaborate moldings and plasterwork, a grand proscenium, and intricate decorative painting. The ornamental plasterwork did double duty: It was not only aesthetically Originally built for vaudeville shows and silent pictures, the pleasing but also improved acoustics as elaborate sound Charline McCombs Empire Theatre was once the largest systems were not available back then. Six pounds of movie theatre in San Antonio, featuring decorations that gold-leaf embellishes the remarkable plasterwork, while matched the feature of the week while its staff wore mahogany woodwork accents the rich color palette. costumes to match the movies, too. As entertainment evolved, so did the Empire, but time — and a historic flood The outside of the city’s largest theatre was just as — took its toll and the theatre ultimately fell into disrepair. magnificent, with a bronze eagle sitting atop the entrance Las Casas Foundation helped restore this timeless treasure to welcome patrons and entertainers alike. The theatre’s to its original beauty, bringing the theatre back to life, marquee was on the corner of North St. Mary’s and and is now marking its 100th birthday with a year-long Houston streets, making the grand Empire visible on celebration. Houston Street. Located “at the very hub of the city,” the Empire was outfitted to exhibit vaudeville shows and the Designed for Entertainment new craze known as motion pictures. Iconic stars such as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton graced the silver screen The site on which the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre as up-and-coming silent movie stars. sits has been dedicated to theatre since 1879. The location was previously home to the Turner Opera Hall which San Antonio 100 Years Ago operated as Riche’s Opera House, the Houston Street Theatre, the Alhambra Theatre and the Empire Opera Through the 100 years of its existence, the Empire Theatre House before being transformed into the Brady Building has stood watch over downtown San Antonio. At the and Empire Theatre. beginning of the 20th century, San Antonio was just beginning to develop into a “modern” city. The city was The Brady Building, which houses the Charline McCombs literally expanding and streets were being widened to Empire Theatre, was constructed in 1914 by San Antonio accommodate newly popular automobiles. insurance broker and real estate investor Thomas F. Brady. This revolutionary structure not only satisfied the growing The widened Houston Street was San Antonio’s demand for office space on popular Houston Street, but premier location for shopping, entertainment and also the public’s overwhelming response to new cinematic other business—the true heart of the city’s commercial entertainment. district. Not only did the theatre provide entertainment, but after long shopping sprees on Houston Street, Designed by the St. Louis firm of Mauran, Russell and women would meet in the Empire lobby for some relief Crowell, the same firm that fabricated its Houston Street from the sweltering heat. May/June 2014 | On The Town 17
Movies were silent until the late 1920s, but the Empire’s full orchestra and beautifully crafted organ provided all the background music that was needed. Shows were presented in English and Spanish, catering to the diverse culture that makes San Antonio the vibrant city that it is today. There was a complete change of program every Sunday and Thursday, so there was always something new and interesting to see. No matter the entertainment, it was “Always an enjoyable show,” as the sign in front of the theatre often stated. In 1921, a storm producing more rain at one time than the entire previous six years combined caused the San Antonio River to flood the downtown area. Approximately nine feet of water drained into the theatre’s orchestra level. Rather than repair the damaged interior, the theatre’s once beautiful decor was painted a monotone white, masking the gilded walls. Over the years, the theatre continued to delight audiences but fell into a slow period of decline and eventually closed its doors in 1978. Rebuilding an Empire
When the restoration effort began, the theatre’s ceiling was falling down and the building was in true disrepair. Before any beautification could be done, the structural issues needed to be addressed. Las Casas Foundation engaged the nation’s leading architects to direct the restoration, and then worked with local artisans to ensure that the Empire was refined to its original beauty. Through research and painstaking efforts, the entire theatre was restored to its original appearance as accurately as possible. Crimson and blue touches were added throughout in order to mirror the Empire’s sister theatre, the Majestic. The original decorative ornamentation was stripped of many paint layers, repaired, repainted and gilded with six pounds of 23-carat gold leafing to match the initial work. While the leafing was commonplace in 1914, it’s a rarity now that had to be imported from Europe. The mahogany woodwork, which accents the interior, was repaired and re-stained and all of the colors visible in theatre now represent the original design.
While the theatre has experienced several changes throughout its 100 years, the Empire still remains the After being dark for 20 years, this golden jewel was pinnacle of San Antonio entertainment, bringing joy to restored by Las Casas Foundation. The Empire Theatre was audiences of all walks of life. From concerts and plays to a renamed by the City of San Antonio in 1998 as the Charline camp for aspiring entertainers and a special gala honoring McCombs Empire Theatre to recognize a $1 million gift the theatre’s namesake, the Charline McCombs Empire by Charline and B.J. “Red” McCombs. The gift enabled Las Theatre will be feted throughout 2014. Be sure to join in Casas to complete the preservation and restoration of the the fun! theatre, reopening it for all San Antonians to enjoy. For information, visit www.lascasasfoundation.org. 18 On The Town | May/June 2014
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San Antonio Symphony’s Diamond Season Sparkles By Lisa Cruz
ith its inaugural concert on November 24, 1939, the newly formed Symphony Society of San Antonio, launched the first of 75 seasons. And, this year, the community will celebrate the diamond anniversary year of the Symphony in the orchestra’s new home at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
Sebastian Lang-Lessing and featured artist, Joshua Bell,at the St. Anthony Hotel.
While the Symphony will honor its history in the June concert with Joshua Bell, the 75 th anniversary is the year of the diamond, which symbolizes wisdom and clarity. As a testament to the organizations insight, According to the Symphony’s mission, the adaptability and longevity, this season features an organization aims to inspire and enrich the innovative approach to classical programming. community by “influencing the artistic fabric of San Antonio through excellent symphonic performance, “We have a very special project we are working on education and service.” this year to celebrate the combination of our 75th anniversary and the move into the Tobin Center.,” That influence has historically drifted beyond the Gross explained. “For every classical concert, we are music hall and this year is expected to be no different. commissioning a composer to write a brief opening work. Composers from all over the world have agreed “While the Tobin Center is a tremendous opportunity to participate in this very unique project. Audiences will for the Symphony, it’s important we keep our hear new work at every classical concert this season.” presence outside the center, as well,” said David Gross, Symphony President. “We will continue going out to Reinvention is nothing new to the orchestra, and the schools to make sure our education mission is Gross said one of the most impressive aspects of the fully realized and continue to reach more students organization is the long term commitment the musicians than ever before. Being able to engage ourselves in have made to the organization along with the leadership all the different aspects of the community is going to of the music director. be extremely important.” “The orchestra is playing at a remarkably high level The Symphony will kick off celebrations prior to the and throughout the year, they continue to get better,” Tobin Center opening with a special performance by Gross said. “The goal was for the Tobin Center to be renowned violinist, Joshua Bell. designed to present live music in the best possible acoustic environment and everything they are trying “Joshua Bell has performed with the Symphony to put in that facility is going toward that goal, so to before,” Gross said. “To honor both our past and our have the orchestra who performs at such a high level traditions, Sebastian Lang-Lessing chose to mirror in that venue will be incredible.” a lot of the same repertoire that was done on the inaugural concert in 1939.” That level of expertise will be on display throughout the season, starting with its inaugural performance in The concert on June 14 at the Majestic Theatre will the Tobin Center with soprano and four-time Grammy showcase Sibelius’ Concerto for Violin and Orchestra winner, Renee Fleming, who recently released a CD in D Minor, Op. 47, Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod with Sebastian Lang-Lessing. Opening night’s concert from Tristan and Isolde and Ravel’s Bolero among will be on September 20, 2014. other pieces. Following the concert is a special celebration with the Symphony Music Director Other highlights of the anniversary season will include May/June 2014 | On The Town 21
a recital series with virtuoso musicians, Itzhak Perlman on February 8, 2015 and Lang Lang on March 2, 2015. The symphony will continue to perform throughout the city including military concerts and a movie series at the Majestic where the Symphony will perform with live movies being shown. Gross explained that the Symphony has done them before and “to be able to take advantage of what the Majestic Theatre was originally designed for and present films in that format could be really exciting.” A relatively new tradition that will continue is the music festival series celebrating a single composer. The 20142015 festival series will focus on Richard Strauss. The series, said Gross, “brings a wealth of phenomenal repertoire and opportunity for collaboration with community chamber groups and great artists. It’s a great vehicle to bring the community together with a focus on the arts.” The Pops season will start with swing, jazz band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on October 24 and 25, 2014. Pops performances throughout the year will also include the music of ABBA, a performance of Cirque de la Symphonique and Fiesta and Holiday Pops. For a complete list of the Symphony’s 2014-2015 anniversary season, visit www.sasymphony.org
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 20: Joshua Bell Photo by Bill Phelps Page 22 (Above) Renee Fleming Photo by Andrew Eccles / Decca (Center) Itzhak Perlman Photo by Lisa Marie Mazzucco (Below)
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Lang Lang Photo by Harald Hoffman
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Texas Public Radio's Cinema Tuesday's Film Series Goes Back in Time By Peabo Fowler Photography courtesy TPR
eady for the return of the classics? What began as a simple fundraiser and way to while away Tuesday nights during the summer has turned into one of Texas Public Radio’s biggest communitybuilding events, drawing up to 3,000 people annually, all for the love of movies and public radio.
the 75th anniversary of the so-called “Greatest Year in Movies,” 1939. Cone is trying to schedule one of the mostloved films from that year, “The Wizard of Oz.”
This summer also brings a 60th anniversary screening of the original 1954 “Godzilla.” Unlike the Americanized version, Cone said, there’s no Raymond Burr, the TPR’s director of marketing and community engagement characters all speak pure Japanese (subtitled in English), Nathan Cone is the curator of the film series, which began and subtle references to the power of the atom are made in 2001. This year, he said, several significant anniversaries more explicit. It’ll be a rare chance to see the giant lizard have informed his selections for the summer, including on the big screen. 24 On The Town | May/June 2014
Other highlights include Jean-Luc Godard’s “Contempt” and Alfred Hitchcock’s mysterious masterpiece, “Vertigo.” That film recently passed “Citizen Kane” as the greatest film of all time in the once-a-decade Sight and Sound film poll. Its pull continues to sway Cone, who said the film gets “weirder and weirder” each time he sees it. “Hitchcock pulls an amazing performance out of Jimmy Stewart,” Cone said. “To see him so filled with obsession turns our squeaky clean image of him on its head.” Cinema Tuesdays begins on Tuesday, May 27 at the Santikos Bijou Theater, at Wonderland of the Americas mall. Screenings typically start at 7:30 p.m., unless a film is particularly long, in which case the movie starts at 7 p.m. Admission is by suggested donation. All proceeds from the film series benefit Texas Public Radio, which operates five radio stations, two in San Antonio, KSTX 89.1 FM (National Public Radio news) and KPAC 88.3 FM (classical music).
Photo Credits: Page 24 The Wizard of Oz Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Judy Garland and Bert Lahr Page 25 (L-R) Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt Brigitte Bardot
Details are online at TPR.ORG, or by calling 210-614-8977. May/June 2014 | On The Town 25
TOBIN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS TO OPEN EARLY SEPTEMBER By Mauri Elbel Photography courtesy Tobin Center for the Performing Arts he $203 million Tobin Center for the Performing Arts is on the verge of completion, bringing San Antonio a new, high-tech venue worthy of its burgeoning arts scene.
Center for the Performing Arts. “The acousticians will be tuning the building through the summer months. It is a very sophisticated process to tune a performing arts building.”
“We will receive the building on May 31, 2014, but it will open to the public on Sept. 4, 2014,” said J. Bruce Bugg Jr., chairman of the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation, which is constructing and owns the Tobin
The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts is the transformation of the historical Municipal Auditorium, which brought decades of entertainment to the city. The project is being funded with $108 million from Bexar
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County, $41 million from the City of San Antonio and $54 million in private donations, and will comprise three distinct venues: the H-E-B Performance Hall, the Alvarez Family Studio Theater and the River Walk Plaza.
and dance. Among the diverse array of productions and performers booked so far are legendary comedian Bill Cosby, pianist Lang Lang, Country Music Hall of Fame member Don Williams, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (co-promoted with ARTS San The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts recently Antonio) and “Dinosaur Train Live!”, to name a few. announced the performance calendar for its inaugural 2014-15 season –– a total of 33 productions, performing All three of the performance spaces will be utilized over groups and individual artists exclusive of September the course of the season. grand-opening events and subscription performances by resident companies which include the San Antonio “The really cool thing is that we can have all three of these Symphony, the Opera San Antonio, Ballet San Antonio, venues used simultaneously,” Bugg said. “For example, the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio, SOLI Chamber we could have ZZ Top playing in the Performing Arts Ensemble, San Antonio Chamber Choir, Youth Orchestras Plaza, the youth orchestra of San Antonio in the Alvarez of San Antonio, the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio, the Studio Theater and the San Antonio Symphony playing Children’s Fine Arts Series and AtticRep Theater. in the H-E-B Performance Hall simultaneously. The way the buildings have been engineered, there won’t be any The initial schedule totals 73 performances but there noise bleeding from one venue to the next.” are more to come –– a wide variety spanning theatrical productions, concerts, fine arts, comedy, speakers, family The H-E-B Performance Hall will allow San Antonio’s May/June 2014 | On The Town 27
performing arts to be spotlighted as never before. The 1,759 reserved, plush built-in seat theater which includes 39 boxes will feature the United State’s first electronic convertible floor, which allows for a quick reconfiguration that will accommodate up to 2,100 for a general-admission flat floor or up to 720 with banquetstyle seating. “What is unique about the H-E-B Performance Hall is that it will be the first gala seating system in the U.S.,” Bugg said. “With a push of a button, all the seats can go totally flat and fold underneath the floor which will allow the venue to have productive occupancy –– banquets and meetings by day and symphony by night.” Other key features of the 8,200-square-foot H-E-B Performance Hall include world-class acoustics tuned to fit and LED architectural lighting programmed to fit each performance, set-up and event. The second building, the Alvarez Family Studio Theater, is designed for smaller performances, workshops, presentations, receptions and parties. The 3,380-squarefoot space is a smaller but equally flexible venue option equipped with its own special acoustics, lighting and sound systems that can accommodate auditorium-style seating, small in-the-round performances, dinner tables, cocktail tables and a variety of seating arrangements.
accommodate up to 1,000 people for outdoor concerts on the river. A few key features of the 6,300-square-foot dynamic exterior space include access to the San Antonio River Walk with a River Taxi stop, a permanent 30-foot video wall on the exterior of the building and monuments to honor the site’s heritage as a World War I memorial. Throughout construction, careful efforts were made to preserve the historical facade of the Municipal Auditorium that opened its doors in 1926. The project, which comprises an entire block in downtown San Antonio, was designed by LMN Architects of Seattle, Wash., and the longstanding local firm Marmon Mok Architecture. It was in September 2007 –– seven years to the date of the project’s anticipated completion –– when Bugg was approached by the mayor of San Antonio and the county judge of Bexar County to form the Tobin Center for Performing Arts Foundation from scratch. Serving as founder, chairman, CEO and president on a volunteer basis ever since, Bugg said this final construction phase is an exciting and exhilarating time. “I like to say the Tobin Center for Performing Arts is going to be the rising tide that lifts all boats because it is going to give the resident arts organizations the first opportunity to perform in an acoustically correct venue,” Bugg said.
“For example, the San Antonio Symphony right now The River Walk Plaza, Tobin Center for the Performing plays at the Majestic Theater in downtown San Antonio. Art’s third space, is a sprawling outdoor venue that can The Majestic Theatre was designed for silent movies. And 28 On The Town | May/June 2014
I have been told by the symphony that 50 percent of Nice Work If You Can Get It the orchestral output is lost in the baffles before it can Oct. 3-4, H-E-B Performance Hall be presented to the audience. So just think what this is going to do for San Antonio.” 50 Shades! – The Musical, The Original Parody Oct. 14-19, 21-26, Alvarez Family Studio Theater For more information, visit: www.tobincenter.org • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Tobin Center for the Performing Arts 2014-15 Season (as of May 1) The Charlie Daniels Band Sept.17, H-E-B Performance Hall
Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam Oct. 24, 2014 , River Walk Plaza America’s Test Kitchen Live with Christopher Kimball Oct. 28, H-E-B Performance Hall
Bill Cosby – Far From Finished Tour Sept. 19, H-E-B Performance Hall
An Evening with Garrison Keillor -Host of A Prairie Home Companion (Co-presented with IAE) Oct. 29, H-E-B Performance Hall
Loudon Wainwright III Sept. 20, River Walk Plaza
Jeanne Robertson Oct. 30, H-E-B Performance Hall
The Piano Guys (Co-presented with AEG Live) Sept. 23, H-E-B Performance Hall
An Evening with Don Williams Nov. 6, H-E-B Performance Hall
The Best of Jethro Tull performed by Ian Anderson Sept. 27, H-E-B Performance Hall
David Sedaris (Co-presented with IAE) Nov. 9, H-E-B Performance Hall
The Telling Project (Co-presented with KLRN/PBS) Oct. 1-5, Alvarez Family Studio Theater
Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood: Two Man Group Nov. 13, H-E-B Performance Hall May/June 2014 | On The Town 29
An Irish Christmas (Co-presented with Arts San Antonio) Nov. 23, H-E-B Performance Hall Big Band Holidays -- The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (Co-presented with Arts San Antonio) Dec. 10, H-E-B Performance Hall Cirque Dreams -- Holidaze Dec. 11-14, H-E-B Performance Hall Go Tell It on the Mountain Christmas -The Blind Boys of Alabama and Mavis Staples (Co-presented with Arts San Antonio) Dec. 16, H-E-B Performance Hall Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer -- The Musical Dec. 22 -23, H-E-B Performance Hall
Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story Feb. 3, H-E-B Performance Hall Itzhak Perlman (Co-presented with San Antonio Symphony) Feb. 8, H-E-B Performance Hall Jekyll & Hyde – The Musical Feb. 17- 19, H-E-B Performance Hall Kodo -- One Earth Tour 2014: Legend Feb. 20, H-E-B Performance Hall Arlo Guthrie -- Alice’s Restaurant 50th Anniversary Tour Feb. 26, H-E-B Performance Hall Peking Acrobats (Co-presented with Arts San Antonio) Feb. 27, H-E-B Performance Hall
Kathleen Madigan Jan. 9, H-E-B Performance Hall
Lang Lang (Co-presented with San Antonio Symphony) March 2, H-E-B Performance Hall
One Drop of Love Jan. 16-18, Alvarez Family Studio Theater
One Man Star Wars April 10-12, Alvarez Family Studio Theater
Dinosaur Train Live! Jan. 18, H-E-B Performance Hall
Get the LED Out -- The American Led Zeppelin April 25, H-E-B Performance Hall
30 On The Town | May/June 2014
Scottish Ballet -- A Streetcar Named Desire (Co-presented with Arts San Antonio) May 12, H-E-B Performance Hall
Bill Cosby Courtesy The Tobin Center Page 30 (L-R)
• • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits:
Dave Mason Photo by Chris Jensen The Charlie Daniels Band Courtesy The Tobin Center
Page 28 (L-R) Page 31 (L-R) Garrison Keillor Courtesy The Tobin Center Scottish Ballet – A Streetcar Named Desire Courtesy The Tobin Center
Cirque Dreams Holidaze Courtesy cirqueproductions.com Mavis Staples Photo by Chris Strong
Page 29 (L-R) Peking Circus Courtesy The Tobin Center
May/June 2014 | On The Town 31
32 On The Town | May/June 2014
Events Calendar 34-48 32-48
May/June 2014 | On The Town 33
May-June 2014 Events Calendar Music Notes Symphony of the Hills From Russia with Love 5/1, Thu @ 7:30pm Dr. Jay Dunnahoo, conductor Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Black Star Riders – The New Thin LIzzy 5/1, Thu @ 8:30pm Aztec Theatre Camerata San Antonio Fantastic Firsts 5/2, Friday @ 7:30pm Boerne First United Methodist 5/3, Sat @ 3pm Kerrville First Presbyterian 5/4, Sun @ 3pm San Antonio - Christ Episcopal Matthew Zerweck, violin Ken Freudigmann, cello Kristin Roach, piano Rockbox Theater Broadway’s Best 5/2-6/21, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 4:30pm & 8pm Fredericksburg
34 On The Town | May/June 2014
Kyle Park 5/2, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Wayne Hancock 5/2, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store JMBLYA 5/3, Sat @ 3pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Jazz 91.7 Presents Skyline Swing 5/3 & 6/7, Sat @ 7pm Jim Cullum Jazz Band Skyline Room Trinity University UTSA Guest Recital Robby Gibson, Guitar 5/3, Sat @ 7:30pm Recital Hall – Main Campus Monte Montgomery 5/3, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Sean McConnell 5/3, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall
Chapel of the Incarnate Word Music Series The Copperleaf Quintet 5/4, Sun @ 3pm University of the Incarnate Word Musical Bridges Around the World Judy and Jefferson Crabb Musical Evenings at San Fernando Cathedral Essence of India 5/4, Sun @ 6:30pm Sandeep Das, table Big Give Big Bash! George Prado 5/6, Tue @ 5pm Bihl Haus Arts Gavin DeGraw 5/5, Mon @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Swing Night at Sam’s 5/5-6/30, Mon @ 7pm Sam’s Burger Joint Cody Canada Ancira Music Series 5/7, Wed @ 7pm County Line BBQ IH-10
San Antonio Symphony Schubert Great 5/9-10, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Tine Thing Helseth, trumpet Majestic Theatre The Spazmatics 5/9, Fri @ 8pm Aztec Theatre Rosie Flores 5/9, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Delbert McClinton 5/9, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Jason Roberts Band 5/9, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Granger Smith 5/9, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store San Antonio Chamber Choir Endings and Beginnings 5/10, Sat @ 7:30pm First United Methodist Boerne 5/11, Sun @ 3pm St. Mark’s Episcopal
May/June 2014 | On The Town 35
Dale Watson 5/10, Sat @ 8pm Kendalia Halle Freddy Cruz & The Noble Outlaws 5/10, Sat @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Wade Bowen 5/10, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store M. Ward 5/10, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Walt Wilkins and the Mystiqueros 5/10, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Sunday Jazz at the Witte Bett Butler & Joel Dilley: The American Song Book 5/11, Sun @ 3pm Will Smith Amphitheater Witte Museum San Antonio Symphony Discover: Schubert “The Great” 5/11, Sun @ 3pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Majestic Theatre Patty Griffin 5/15, Thu @ 8pm Gruene Hall
36 On The Town | May/June 2014
San Antonio Symphony Beethoven Piano Concerto 5/16-17, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Nicholas Angelich, piano Majestic Theatre
The Bellfuries 5/17, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store
Brandon Rhyder 5/16, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall
Fredericksburg Music Club Mirari Brass Quintet 5/18, Sun @ 3pm Fredericksburg United Methodist
Kelly Willis & Bruce Robinson 5/16, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Natalie Rose Band 5/16, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Turnpike Troubadours 5/16, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Landon Dodd 5/17, Sat @ 8pm Anhalt Dancehall Jason Moran: Fats Waller Dance Party 5/17, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre at The Carver Thomas Legacy & Company 5/17, Sat @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Mike and the Moonpies 5/17, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall
Cooder Graw 5/17, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall
Youth Orchestra of San Antonio Discover Mahler Troy Peters, conductor 5/18, Sun @ 7pm Laurie Auditorium Trinity University Gipsy Kings 25th Anniversary Tour 5/19, Mon @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre SOLI Chamber Ensemble Future 5.19 5/19, Mon @ 7:30pm Gallery Nord Chris King Ancira Music Series 5/21 Wed @ 7pm County Line BBQ IH-10 Journey & Steve Miller Band 5/22, Thu @ 6:45pm AT&T Center
Arts San Antonio Amadeus Leopold in Concert 5/22, Thu @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre B.B. King 5/22, Thu @ 8pm Majestic Theatre San Antonio Symphony Pops Patriotic Pops 5/23-24, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Carl Topilow, conductor Majestic Theatre Wade Bowen 5/23, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Almost Patsy Cline Band 5/23, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Cody Johnson Band 5/23, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store The Bud Light River City Rockfest Featuring Kid Rock 5/24, Sat @ 12pm AT&T Center Josh Abbott Band 5/24, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Rocky King Band 5/24, Sat @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall
Uncle Lucius 5/24, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Don Williams Tribute / Thomas Michael Riley 5/24, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Sentimental Journey Orchestre 5/25, Sun @ 3pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville The Spazmatics 5/25, Sun @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Gary P. Nunn 5/25, Sun @ 8pm Gruene Hall Chicago 5/27, Tue @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre
Almost Patsy Cline Band 5/30, Sat @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall
Whiskey Myers 5/31, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall
Cactus Country 5/30, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall
San Antonio Symphony Mahler 5 6/6-7, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Children’s Chorus of San Antonio Marguerite McCormick, director Majestic Theatre
Blackberry Smoke 5/30, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Camerata San Antonio Full Circle 5/31, Sat @ 3pm Kerrville First Presbyterian 6//1, Sun @ 3pm San Antonio Christ Episcopal Sayaka Okada, Karen Stiles, Anastasia Storer and Matthew Zerweck, violin Marisa Bushman and Emily Freudigmann, viola Ken Freudigman and Ryan Murphy, cello
Cameran Nelson 6/6, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Stewart Mann & The Statesboro Revue 6/6, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Romeo Sanchez 6/6, Fri @ 9pm AT&T Center
Tejas Brothers Ancira Music Series 5/28 Wed @ 7pm County Line BBQ IH-10
San Antonio International Piano Competition Piano Series Eduardo Delgado, piano 5/31, Sat @ 7:30pm St. Mark’s Episcopal
Justin Hayward 5/28, Wed @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre
Casey Donahew Band 5/31, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store
Reckless Kelly 6/7, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall
The Derailers 5/30, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall
Randy Brown 5/31, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall
Max Stalling 6/7, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall
Nick Lawrence 6/7, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store
Sunday Jazz at the Witte The Jazz Protagonists: The Music of George Gershwin 6/8, Sun @ 3pm Will Smith Amphitheater Witte Museum South Texas Jazz Presents: Brent Watkins & His Big Band 6/10, Tue @ 7:30pm Charline McCmbs Empire Theatre Two Ton Tuesday with Two Tons of Steel 6/10, 17 & 24, Tue @ 8:30pm Gruene Hall Aaron Lewis 6/13, Fri @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio Larry Joe Taylor 6/13, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Doug Moreland 6/13, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Vans Warped Tour 2014 6/14, Sat @ 11am AT&T Center Randy Rogers Band 6/14, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels May/June 2014 | On The Town 37
Gary P. Nunn 6/14, Sat @ 8pm Kendalia Halle San Antonio Symphony 75th Anniversary Concert With Joshua Bell 6/14, Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Joshua Bell, violin Majestic Theatre Bleu Edmondson 6/14, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue 6/14, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Super Freestyle Explosion 6/20, Fri @ 7:30pm Illusions Theater at the Alamodome Dale Watson 6/20, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall James McMurtry 6/20, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall The Voice Tour 6/21, Sat @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Gabriel Iglesias 6/21, Sat @ 7:30pm AT&T Center
38 On The Town | May/June 2014
Arts San Antonio Jazz Vocalist Jose James 6/21, Sat @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Darrell McCall 6/21, Sat @ 8pm Anhalt Dancehall Asleep at the Wheel 6/21, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Almost Patsy Cline Band 6/27, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Curtis Grimes 6/27, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Roger Creager 6/28, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Thomas Michael Riley 6/28, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall
Live Theatre Doo Wop City: A Jukebox Musical 5/1-3, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (dinner @ 6:15pm) Harlequin Dinner Theatre
Broadway in San Antonio Evita (touring) 5/1-5/4, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean 5/2-4, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2:30pm The Wimberley Players The Fantasticks New Braunfels Theatre Company 5/2-4, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Seekatz Opera House The Most Important Night of Theater You Will Ever Attend by The Aesthetic of Waste 5/2-4, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 7pm 5/8-10, Thu-Sat @ 8pm The Stables @ The Overtime Theater The Adventures of Cpt. Cortez & the Tri-Lambda Brigade – Season 4 5/2-4, Fri-Sat @ 10:30pm Sun @ 7pm The Overtime Theater Little Republican 5/2-10, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Rose Theatre Company
Catch Me If You Can 5/2-11, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm Woodlawn Theatre Godspell 5/2-18, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 4pm (no show 5/16) Cameo Theatre The Canard of Vaucanson 5/2-31, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 7pm Greg Barrios Theatre @ The Overtime Theater The Fantasticks 5/8-6/8, Thu @ 7:30pm Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm (no shows on Fridays and 6/5) Sheldon Vexler Theatre Nunsense 5/9-24, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Boerne Community Theatre Noel Coward’s Private Lives Classic Theatre San Antonio 5/9-25, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 8pm The Black Box Theatre @ The Woodlawn
May/June 2014 | On The Town 39
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-theMoon Marigolds 5/16-31, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Rose Theatre Company Dead Man’s Cell Phone 5/16-6/1, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm & 8pm Cellar Theatre @ The Playhouse San Antonio Don’t Dress for Dinner 5/22-6/21, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (dinner @ 6:15pm) Harlequin Dinner Theatre Shakespeare in the Park 5/28-31, Wed-Sat, Time TBD San Antonio Botanical Garden Breaking Up is Hard To Do 5/31-6/29, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 4pm Cameo Theatre Anne of Green Gables 6/6-8 – Fri-Sun @ 8:30pm 6/12-21, Thu-Sat @ 8:30pm Smith-Ritch Point Theatre Ingram Funny Girl 6/6-29, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm & 8pm Russell Hill Rogers Theatre @ The Playhouse San Antonio
40 On The Town | May/June 2014
Gilligan’s Island: 1964 6/13-28, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Rose Theatre Company The Skin of our Teeth 6/13-7/6, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2:30pm The Wimberley Players Glen or Glenda 6/13-7/12, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 7pm Greg Barrios Theatre @ The Overtime Theater Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular 6/19, Thu @ 8pm Freeman Coliseum Tarzan 6/20-7/20, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm Woodlawn Theatre Broadway in San Antonio Sister Act (Touring) 6/24-29, Tue- Thu @ 7:30pm Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Les Miserables 6/29-7/6, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Fredericksburg Theatre Company Steve W. Shepherd Theater
Alamo City Dance Company Classics 2 Spring Production 5/3, Sat @ 1pm & 6pm McAllister Auditorium San Antonio College
Pinocchio 5/2-6/7, Tue-Fri @ 9:45am & 11:30am Fri @ 7pm, Sat @ 2pm The Magik Theatre
Shen Yun 5/3-6, Sat@ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm Mon-Tue @ 7:3opm Lila Cockrell Theatre Tinkerbell: The Ballet 5/9-10, Fri @ 7pm Sat @ 2pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver 3rd Coast Rhythm Project: In Full Swing 5/24, Sat @ 2:30pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver Move Live on Tour Julianne & Derek Hough 6/3, Tue @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Carver Community Cultural Center Presents Step Afrika 6/7, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre at the Carver
Theater Tots Children’s Theater Sleeping Beauty 5/14-29, Wed-Thu & Sat @ 10am Rose Theatre Company Children’s Fine Arts Series Malika, Queen of the Cats by Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre 5/20, Tue@ 9:45am, 11:45am & 6:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Children’s Fine Arts Series The True Story of The Three Little Pigs by Paul Mesner Puppets 6/13, Fri @ 9:45am, 11:45am & 6:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Theater Tots Children’s Theater Where the Wild Things Are 6/18-26, Wed-Thu @ 1pm Rose Theatre Company
May/June 2014 | On The Town 41
The Bootmaker and The Elves 6/20-8/2, Tue-Fri @ 9:45am & 11:30am Fri @ 7pm, Sat @ 2pm The Magik Theatre
Comedy Bret Ernst 5/1-4, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Paul Bond 5/1-4, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Warren Holstein 5/7, Wed @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Mike Robles 5/7-11, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Greg Warren 5/8-11, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Ben Moore 5/14-15, Wed-Thu @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
42 On The Town | May/June 2014
Don Barnhart 5/14-18, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Tim Meadows 5/16-19, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Ryan Stout 5/21-25, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Kyle Grooms 5/21-25, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Dustin Ybarra 5/28-6/1, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Craig ShoemakerThe Lovemaster 5/30-6/1, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
Barry Rothbart 6/4-8, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Ralphie May 6/5, Thu @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Orny Adams 6/5-8, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Mark Riccadonna 6/11-12, Wed-Thu @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
Brian Posehn 6/19-21, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Chris Fonseca 6/25-29, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Ruben Paul 6/25-7/1, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
Darrell Joyce 6/11-15, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Jay Leno 6/13, Fri @ 8pm Majestic Theatre Ali Saddig 6/18-22, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club
Spring 2014 International Artist-In-Residence Program Rosa Barba Liz Glynn Jessica Mallios Rita Gonzalez, curator Now-5/18 Hudson Showroom Vincent Valdez 5/8-8/31 Window Works Cathy Cunningham-Little 5/8-8/31
BLUE STAR CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM Rosane Volchan O’Conor: Organismo Now thru 5/11 Claire Watson: Now What Now thru 5/11 Paul Rodriguez: Post Penis Now thru 5/11 Spinning Yarns: Photographic Storytellers 6/5-8/3 BIHL HAUS ARTS La Chamba / Dirty Work: Drawings and Paintings by Albert Alvarez Now thru 5/3 Only from the Heart Sculpture by Marika Bordes 5/16-7/12
INSTITUTE OF TEXAN CULTURES The Struggle for Civil Rights in Texas Now thru 5/4 Hats Off to Fiesta! Now thru 7/6 LINDA PACE FOUNDATION Pace Gems: Selections from the Linda Pace Foundation Permanent Collection SPACE:The Linda Pace Foundation Gallery Now thru 9/13 Adam (Public Artwork) By Arturo Herrera 25’ h x 98’ w, Frost Bank Garage Commerce at Main Now thru 12/2016 McNAY ART MUSEUM Robert Indiana’s Beyond Love Now thru 5/25
BRISCOE WESTERN ART MUSEUM
Robert Indiana’s The Mother of Us All Now thru 5/25
Briscoe Museum Film Series: The Urban West 5/20 & 6/17, Tue @ 6pm
Robert Indiana’s Hartley Elegies Now thru 5/25 May/June 2014 | On The Town 43
The Full Monty: Male Nudes from the Collection Now thru 5/25 Constructing the Stage: Artists from the Theatre Collection Now thru 6/1 Paul Strand: The Mexican Portfolio 6/4-8/24 Beauty Reigns: A Baroque Sensibility in Recent Paintings 6/11-8/17 Matisse and Picasso: A Friendly Rivalry 6/18-8/10 MUSEO GAUDALUPE AT GUADALUPE CULTURAL ARTS CENTER 2014 CAM Perennial Exhibition Curated by Leslie Moody Castro Now thru 5/10 La Carpa Guadalupe Now thru 5/18 SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN Birdhouses Exhibit: A collaboration with AIA San Antonio Now thru 6/29
44 On The Town | May/June 2014
Art in the Garden 2014 (In conjunction with Blue Star Contemporary Art Center) Now thru 1/31/15 SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART Diego Rivera in San Antonio: A Small Special Exhibition (On Display at Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art at SAMA) Thomas Sully: Painted Performances Now thru 5/11 Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct Now thru 6/8 Matisse: Life in Color 6/14-9/7 SOUTHWEST SCHOOL OF ART Nicolas Leiva: Infinite Cycle (Also on display at Ruiz-Healy Art) 5/9-7/6 Ga-Ga: Roygbiv 5/9-7/6 WITTE MUSEUM Alien Worlds and
Androids Now thru 5/27 The World Through Magic Lanterns Now thru 6/1 Julian Onderdonk in New York: The Lost Years, The Lost Paintings Now thru 9/9 Fairytale Fiesta Now Thru 8/24 H-E-B Body Adventure Grand Opening 5/24
Miscellaneous 6th Annual Northside Arts Festival 5/3, Sat @ 12pm McAllister Auditorium San Antonio College Cinco de Mayo 5/3-4, Sat / 10am-10pm, Sun / 10am – 9pm Market Square
Culinaria Festival Week 5/14-5/18, Wed-Sun various locations www.culinariasa.org Tejano Conjunto Festival 5/14-18, Wed-Sun Guadalupe Theatre and Rosedale Park guadalupeculturalarts.org America’s Armed Forces River Parade 5/17, Sat @ 6pm River Walk San Antonio Ragtime Festival 5/17-18, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm Market Square Las Casas Scholarship for Performing Arts Competition 5/18, Sun @ 6pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre A Night of Hope with Joel Osteen 5/24, Sat @ 7pm Alamodome
58th Annual Fiesta Noche del Rio 5/9-8/9, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Arneson River Theatre
Soul Food Festival 5/24-25, Sat-Sun Maverick Plaza at La Villita
Mother’s Day Weekend Celebration 5/10-11, Sat-Sun 12-8pm Market Square
Memorial Day Celebration 5/24-26, Sat-Mon / 12-8pm Market Square
May/June 2014 | On The Town 45
San Antonio Summer Art & Jazz Festival 5/30-6/1, Fri-Sun / 12-10pm Crockett Park Primer Sabado y Domingo Fun in the Sun 6/7-8, Sat-Sun / 12-6pm Market Square Texas Folklife Festival 6/7-8, Sat / 10am-11pm Sun / 10am-7pm Institute of Texan Cultures
Photo Credits: Page 34 (L-R) Kenneth and Emily Freudigmann Camerata San Antonio Photo by Greg Harrison
The Spazmatics Courtesy thespazmatics.net Granger Smith Courtesy grangersmith.com Dale Watson Courtesy liveatfloores.com Page 37 (L-R) Bette Butler Courtesy bettebutler.com Sebastian Lang-Lessing Photo by Marks Moore
Steve Miller Band Courtesy stevemillerband. com Charles Yang Courtesy Tawain BB King Courtesy bbking.com Page 40 (L-R) Carl Capilow Courtesy San Antonio Symphony Almost Patsy Cline Band Courtesy liveatfloores.com
Brandon Rhyder Courtesy liveatfloores.com
Josh Abbott Band Courtesy liveatfloores.com
Page 38 (L-R)
Jim Cullum Photo by James Cullum
Jason Moran Courtesy jasonmoran.com
Gavin DeGraw Courtesy gavindegraw. com
Troy Peters Courtesy of Youth Orchestras of San Antonio
Page 36 (L-R)
Gipsy Kings Courtesy gipsykings.com
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Journey Photo by Alex Solca
Nicholas Angelich Photo by Stphane de Bourgies
Kyle Park Courtesy liveatfloores.com
Tine Thing Helseth Photo by Nesten MonoObservatoriet
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SOLI Chamber Ensemble Photo by Kemp Davis
Memphis Belles Sentimental Journey Orchestra Courtesy sjoswing.com Page 42 (L-R) Gary P. Nunn Courtesy liveatfloores.com Justin Hayward Courtesy justinhayward.com Eduardo Delgado Courtesy SAIPC Piano Series
Stewart Mann & The Statesboro Revue Courtesy liveatfloores.com Page 43 (L-R) Two Tons of Steel Courtesy twotons.net Max Stalling Courtesy maxstalling.com Page 44 (L-R) Joshua Bell Photo by Chris Lee James McMurtry Courtesy liveatfloores.com Jose James Courtesy Arts San Antonio Roger Creager Courtesy liveatfloores.com Page 46 (L-R) Evita National Tour Photo by Richard Termine San Antonio Chamber Choir Courtesy sachamberchoir.org Sister Act National Tour Photo by Joan Marcus Jay Leno Courtesy Majestic Theatre
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Johnny Hernandez: in his father’s footsteps By Chris Dunn Photography Greg Harrison
ohnny Hernandez, award-winning chef and restaurateur, says, “There were very few restaurants that had white tablecloths” on San Antonio’s West Side where he grew up. But he learned early that a restaurant doesn’t have to be upscale to aim high.
In its 20 years of operation, True Flavors has become one of the leading catering companies in South Texas. It has twice received the National Association of Catering Executives’ Caterer of the Year award. Event director Devra Hardy was named Catering Professional of 2013 by the National Association of Caterers and Event At his father’s restaurant and catering business, Directors. “Johnny’s,” located on Old Highway 90, the focus was on food well-prepared and customers well-served. “You’re there for one purpose, which is the customer,” “Everything he touched, he put his heart and soul into says Hernandez, adding, “I like the volume, the it,” says the younger Hernandez. “He didn’t go to school, anticipation of the larger scale … It really gives you all didn’t have training, but he had the determination to do the creative outlets you could ever want.” what’s right.” Hernandez credits his family for much of True Flavor’s His father’s example left a lifelong impression on success. His brother, Mark, “is the acting COO of Hernandez, who grew up working in the restaurant and the business,” he says. Mark’s wife, Denise, oversees helping out at catering events. By the time he attended accounting, customer service, sales and marketing. Kennedy High School, Hernandez was already mapping Hernandez’s sister, Letty, not only handles day-toout his future. “I wanted to own a catering business,” he day operations as corporate secretary, but also “helps says. support a lot of the community things we do,” Hernandez says. After completing high school, and bolstered by his father’s belief in education, Hernandez enrolled in Known for his community involvement, Hernandez the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., founded and organized many charitable events, graduating in 1989. He says his education at the CIA including the annual Corona Paella Challenge, held “opened up my mind to the possibilities of the world of at the Pearl Brewery. He says last year’s event raised food.” nearly $80,000 to benefit the San Antonio campus of the Culinary Institute of America and the Educational Subsequently, he gained experience working in the Foundation of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of high-volume kitchens of the Mirage Hotel and Casino Commerce. in Las Vegas and later at the exclusive Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, Calif. Hernandez’s support of education reflects the importance he has always placed on it in his own life. But his love of his home and culture, and the desire Over the years, he frequently traveled to Mexico to to pursue his dream, brought Hernandez back to San study its many regional cultures and cuisines. He says Antonio. After a brief stint as a chef at the San Francisco his goal has been “working toward being the most Steak House, he founded True Flavors Catering in 1994. knowledgeable person of interior Mexican cuisine in It has been “the heart and soul of our growth,” he says. San Antonio — I wanted to be that person.” May/June 2014 | On The Town 51
He put that knowledge to good use when he was given the opportunity to open a restaurant at the Pearl Brewery complex in 2010. “I wanted to create a concept with a broad base of appeal, that’s casual, comfortable,” he says. He had been thinking about it for 12 years. It would be called “La Gloria,” and his extensive study of interior Mexican cuisine provided the theme — Mexican street food. The years of planning resulted in overnight success. The restaurant was named Reader’s Choice “Best New Restaurant” by the San Antonio Express-News, June 2011, and “Best New Restaurant” by San Antonio Magazine, April 2011. Hernandez was named one of the 50 most influential U.S. Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine and one of the top five Hispanic chefs in America, by Siempre Mujer Magazine. In all his restaurants, Hernandez focuses as much attention on the atmosphere as the tortas and tlayudas. “I honed that skill through my catering experience,” he says. “I think in terms of layers of experience for people that will bring them back.” La Frutería—Botanero, which opened in 2012 on South Flores Street, underscores this. The setting is a festive and colorful tribute to Mexican folk art, and the equally colorful food takes its inspiration from Mexican green grocers, fruit stands and tapas bars. “I always like layers of things,” Hernandez says, “whether in the menu, beverage or décor.” Even his personal residence, Casa Hernán, which also serves as an event venue, reflects Hernendez’s artistic sensibility. Located near Southtown, the building is a modern take on a classic Mexican hacienda, with soaring arches, turned columns, a fountain and lofty interiors. For his latest project, El Machito, located in the old StoneWerks building on Jones Maltsberger Road near Basse Road, Hernandez is creating a fanciful character that reflects the theme of the restaurant. “We’re bringing an image to life around a restaurant and giving him a personality,” he says. Art and décor is being provided by artists from both San Antonio and Mexico. According to its website, the restaurant will “specialize in mesquite-grilled meats prepared in the traditional style of the carne asada of northern Mexico and estilo-campestre of Guadalajara.” “We’re charting new territory,” Hernandez says. It looks like La Gloria’s heavenly sky is not the limit for this visionary restaurateur. 52 On The Town | May/June 2014
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Le Chat Noir’s Lynn Oefinger
Castroville’s Cordon Bleu Chef By Olivier J. Bourgoin (aka. Olivier the Wine Guy) Photography Greg Harrison
ynn Oefinger grew up in Hondo. Obtaining a degree in physical education from Texas A&M Kingsville University in order to become a P.E teacher seemed like the logical thing to do for the former local high school standout track athlete.
functional underground cellar. Local history buffs will say that in the early part of the last century, a woman lived in the house under a lifelong lease agreement of $ 1.00 per year -- and that, somewhat to the dismay of her landlord at the time; she ended up living a very long life. Today, the house belongs Two children later, however, Oefinger decided that to one of Monte Bippert’s relatives. More historical teaching was not going to provide her with the facts (and artifacts) abound, in and around the flexibility of lifestyle she needed to become the property, including the old smokehouse, which super mom she strove to be. A choice of career has been turned into a makeshift museum hosting change was in order. That’s when the decision was several Civil War artifacts that were found on site. made to follow her heart, as well as her passion for This is keeping with tradition since it was once home food and cooking. By the time she graduated from to an antique shop. the Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Austin in 2007, Lynn had formulated a plan. The current layout of the quaint restaurant occupies approximately 1,200 square feet indoors, plus Now remarried to local Realtor Monte Bippert, they another 800 square feet on the outdoor patio. The jointly decided that putting her creative talents and 17 tables can accommodate up to 50 patrons and newly acquired knowledge to work could be a very a staff of five part-timers plus Chef Lynn and her good thing. Together they opened Le Chat Noir in husband take care of everything. a spot where another well-respected restaurant had operated for years. “After La Normandy, closed More about favorite dishes. Lynn’s are the Honey down, we took over their space in 2011,” said Lynn Glazed Duck Breast made with a native Texas raw Oefinger-Bippert. Le Chat Noir was eventually honey glaze (from La Vernia) and the Quail With relocated to its current location at 1803 Angelo St., Blackberry Gastric Reduction. in the fall of 2013. “My new spring menu includes a variation on my “The type of food we serve can best be described other original quail recipe, and this one is going as contemporary American with a French influence,” to be featuring a black fig and port wine sauce,” Monte said. “My favorite dish on the current menu is Lynn said. “I think about food and different ways to the Roasted Rack of Lamb Persillade.” prepare it at all different odd times of the day -- and sometimes at night. A glass of champagne always In its current and latest iteration, Le Chat Noir is helps my creative process.” in a historic building that dates back to the early 1840s. Parts of what is the dining room were built Monte noted: “My wife is phenomenal in the kitchen. shortly after that date, and the section of the house People who have not been exposed to her cooking that serves as the restaurant’s kitchen dates back to are missing out on a hidden gem, and her talent 1853. One interesting distinction is that it is also the really shines most when applied to food and wine only house in the area that is known to have a fully pairings. That’s where she excels.” May/June 2014 | On The Town 55
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Other noteworthy items at Le Chat Noir are the homemade chorizo and homemade harissa (a spicy condiment paste of North African origins made with roasted serrano and red peppers, miscellaneous Photo Credits: spices and herbs in an olive oil base). “We don’t have crackers here,” Monte said. “Instead we serve our own made-fresh daily baguette-style homemade bread.” Page 54 “We’d like to invite people from the city to take the time to drive out for a leisurely dinner,” he said. “Sit and stay a while, ideally for a nice and relaxed twoand-a-half-hour experience. Our wine list has been carefully designed. It is unique and well thoughtout, as is our list of specialty craft beers. We’re just having fun with it. and we also host themed wine dinners monthly.” Whether it’s sitting around with a tray of assorted fruits, nuts and cheeses and a bottle of wine, or ordering something a little more substantial (try the Roasted Duck Lasagna), at Le Chat Noir guests are treated like family while enjoying a fine dining experience. Le Chat Noir: 1803 Angelo St., Castroville, TX. 830-538-9347. 56 On The Town | May/June 2014
Lynn Oefinger Page 56 Monte Bippert and Lynn Oefinger
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Matisse Highlights a Wide Variety of Exhibitions at San Antonio Museums and Art Centers By Betsy Beckmann
evel in the summer of Matisse. The ways in which the Henri Matisse changed how we view art may be intellectually “known”; the pure pleasure of seeing the real thing, with leisure, is indescribable. San Antonians can now immerse themselves in the finest collection his work here in their own back yard. Matisse, Life in Color: Masterworks from The Baltimore Museum of Art (June 14– September 7) brings the celebrated Cone Collection— paintings, sculpture, drawings, and prints bought from the artist’s studios over forty years and eventually honed by Matisse himself to represent his best work—to the San Antonio Museum of Art (www.samuseum.org). An accompanying exhibition, The Art Books of Matisse (June 21–September 7) focuses on the artist’s innovations in published design. Glories of the Baroque: 17th-Century European Art (May 3 –July 26) highlights outstanding, and sometimes surprising, examples in the museum’s European collection. All roads may lead to Rome when we talk “Baroque”, but many of the movement’s innovators and disseminators were “foreign” students who took the style elsewhere and elaborated. In light of its own significant Matisse holdings, the McNay Art Museum (www.mcnayart.org) presents Matisse and Picasso: A Friendly Rivalry (June 18–August 10). The exhibition draws from the two twentiethcentury masters, highlighting the formal interplay of their unique and influential styles, embracing sculpture, drawing, prints, and theatre design. Paul Strand: The Mexican Portfolio (June 4–August 24) features twenty haunting photogravures—all recent gifts to the museum’s collection—from the photographer’s 1933 visit to Mexico, revealing a soft-sepia, pre-tourist, but still achingly hard world of rural churches and fieldworkers. In Beauty Reigns: A Baroque Sensibility in Recent Painting (June 11–August 14), Chief Curator René Paul Barilleaux explores the work of thirteen exuberant contemporary abstract artists who employ “high-key color, obsessive layering of surface imagery, use of overall and repeated patterns, stylized motifs, fragments of representation,
and a tension between melancholy and the sublime.” The Witte Museum (www.wittemuseum.org) invites viewers to continue the city’s spring explosion of tiaras, velvet, jewels, and confetti all summer with Fairytale Fiesta (through August 24), an exhibition of opulent gowns worn by Order of the Alamo “courts” through the decades. Julian Onderdonk in New York: The Lost Paintings, the Lost Years (through September 9) provides valuable context and some surprises for any fan of this iconic painter of Texas landscapes. May 24 sees the opening of H-E-B Body Adventure, a transformation of the Science Treehouse into an interactive exhibition. Created in collaboration with the University Health Science Center, the adventure is specially designed to get sedentary bodies (and brains) moving. Vickie Owen Like the Witte, Institute of Texan Cultures (www. texancultures.com) knows San Antonians don’t give up on Fiesta once the broken cascarones are cleared. Curators at the Institute salute affectionate popular innovation with Hats Off to Fiesta! and Colors of Fiesta (March 6–July 6), celebrations of nearly fifty outlandish hats crafted for the occasion, including some designed by local charter-school students. Texas Contemporary Artists Series: Five Years, Twelve Artists (May 3–October 26) features twenty-four works by twelve local and regional progressive artists curated by Arturo Infante Almeida. And no lover of the state’s rich diversity should miss the Texas Folklife Festival (June 7 and 8). An institution in its own right since 1972, the festival immerses attendees in the food, music, dance, arts, and crafts of more than forty different cultural groups. Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum (www.bluestarart. org) opens three contemporary exhibitions on June 5. Spinning Yarns: Photographic Storytellers (through August 3) focuses on photography as a storytelling medium, exploring the roles that photographer, viewer, and medium play in the construction of narrative. Plexus no. May/June 2014 | On The Town 61
26 (through August 3) features site-specific installations by Dallas artist Gabriel Dawes, exploring thread and fibers as loaded materials that connect fashion, architecture, and the human need for shelter while implicating the construction of gender and identity. In Mixed Mantras (through June 29) Austin-based artist Virginia Fleck takes on western commercial appropriation of yoga culture in the age of Hollywood Buddhism with her intricately crafted, large scaled mandalas composed of consumer detritus. The Southwest School of Art (www.swschool.org) and Ruiz-Healy Art (www.ruizhealyart.com) combine forces to present innovative work in different media from an Argentine artist in Nicolás Leiva: Infinite Cycle and Nicolás Leiva: Infinite Cycle Under Fire (both May 9–July 6). View Leiva’s mystic, playful, and ever-so-slightly-uncanny ceramics at Ruiz-Healy, then shift gears to delve into his paintings and drawings at the Southwest School of Art. Think Artemisia Gentileschi and the visual spectrum for GAGA-ROYGBIV (May 9–July 6), a new collaborative work at SWSA from the Gentileschi Aegis Gallery Association (GAGA) that simultaneously invokes ROYGBIV color gradients and (in spirit) the early Baroque painter. ArtPace (www.artpace.org) features the graphic work of San Antonio artist Vincent Valdez in The Strangest Fruit (May 8–August 21. Portraits of the artist’s friends suspended mid-air seem poised at the disturbing nexus of the heroic visual code of sports photography, invoking exertion and fame, and the dark, little recognized, history of the lynching of Latino Americans. At the Linda Pace Foundation (www.lindapace foundation.org), Pace Gems: Selections from the Linda Pace Permanent Collection exemplifies the founder’s philosophy to collect and stimulate contemporary art both locally and internationally and presents it all in a new, free exhibition SPACE (through September 13). Featured artists include Forrest Bess, Franco MondiniRuiz, John Pomara, and Dario Robleto, Catherine Opie, Donald Moffett, Lynda Benglis, Kendell Geers, Teresita Fernandez, Mona Hatoum, Jim Hodges, Yayoi Kusama, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Marilyn Minter, Glenn Ligon, and Wangechi Mutu.
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Haitian-born sculptor Marika Bordes is the powerful center of the new exhibition at Bihl Haus Arts (www. bihlhausarts.org), Only from the Heart… (May 16–July 12) reveals haunting sculptures rooted in the soul of wood: ebony, oak , Bois d’Arc, and mixed media evoke both a tormenting weight of colonial misery and a fantastical/ melancholy gift for transcendence, partly fueled by the
French Children’s classic The Little Prince. The opening (5:30–8:30 pm) features Haitian cuisine and live music. Don’t miss it.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 60 Henri Matisse French, 1869-1954 Ballet Dancer Seated on a Stool, 1927 Oil on canvas; h. 32 1/8 in. (81.6 cm), w. 23 7/8 in. (60.6 cm) The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland, BMA 1950.254 Photography by Mitro Hood ©2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York San Antonio Museum of Art Page 62 (Above) Extravaganza de Sombrero by Leslie Doty Hats Off to Fiesta® Exhibition Institute of Texan Cultures (Below) Nancy Lorenz, Red Gold Pour, 2013. Gesso, gilder’s clay, red gold leaf, and pigment on burlap, 10 × 8 in. Collection of Lucy Schwalbe Photo courtesy of the artist. McNay Art Museum Page 63 (Above) Henri Matisse French, 1869-1954 The Pewter Jug, 1917 Oil on canvas; h. 36 3/8 in. (92.4 cm), w. 25 1/2 in. (64.8 cm) The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland, BMA 1950.230 Photography by Mitro Hood ©2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York San Antonio Musuem of Art (Below) Fausto Fernandez Love is what you make it out to be, 2013. Collage, architectural plans, maps, acrylic, oil pastel, and spray paint on canvas, 72 x 72 in. Courtesy of the artist McNay Art Musuem
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Mary Heathcott: New director brings a drive to try new things at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum By Ashley Festa Photography Greg Harrison
ho knew that taking a child to a “My first day, we hosted a pop-up exhibition of museum might lay the groundwork for UTSA’s New Media Collective,” Heathcott said a thriving career? about the museum’s one-night-only display. “I was struck by the ability of Blue Star to host “My parents were really good about taking me to something so energetic. There was real vibrancy museums and all performing arts that Houston and dynamism. It was student art so there’s a risk had to offer,” said Mary Heathcott, new executive factor involved, but that’s something Blue Star has director at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. She never shied away from.” frequently visited children’s theaters and the Stages Repertory Theatre. “I had an early introduction to What appeals to her the most about Blue Star is just art, which laid the foundation.” that – its drive to try new things, what she calls a “nimbleness” to seek out challenges. That foundation now supports years of experience built in the arts. Her childhood pastime led to “Everyone is on board with wanting to support a bachelor’s in art history at Trinity University, innovative things,” she said. “Anything that adds to which led to an internship at Blue Star. From there, the discourse and creates a rich discussion. I’m really Heathcott moved to Chicago to pursue a master’s excited to be a part of it because we can do things in humanities and then accepted a position at the that other institutions can’t.” Windy City’s Museum of Contemporary Art. After returning to Texas, Heathcott has worked for the As Blue Star’s leader, Heathcott will ensure the past eight years at Artpace San Antonio, a nonprofit museum continues to provide high caliber exhibits contemporary art center. For more than a year, she and remains relevant to San Antonio’s cultural served as Artpace’s interim managing director while landscape. To accomplish that, she wants to form the institution searched for a new executive. Coming strategic collaborations with other nonprofits with full circle by taking the helm at Blue Star, Heathcott the hope that these partnerships will create the said, was the natural next step for her career. opportunity for combining resources, engaging new audiences and inspiring more support. In the top position since February, she already has a long list of exciting new challenges under her belt and She also wants to bring more attention to many more on the horizon. The first came less than opportunities that already exist at Blue Star. a week into her new job: welcoming Contemporary Art Month in March. And six days after that, Blue Star For example, the museum accepts artists’ exhibit hosted its own kickoff event. proposals, which brings more diversity to Blue Star’s presentations. Though it’s been a lot to take in, she has enjoyed every step. “More artists should know about it, especially the May/June 2014 | On The Town 65
younger crowd,” Heathcott said. “We want them to know that we welcome their proposals. We want to reach more artists.” She also wants to publicize the MOSAIC – or Mosaic Of Student Artists In Community – programs, Blue Star’s educational outreach efforts. MOSAIC brings art study and appreciation to adults and students who don’t have access to art education in their school. Blue Star’s artist-in-residence Alex Rubio currently mentors 15 active members of MOSAIC in a variety of studies, including the business side of art. Blue Star’s Family Day on May 3 spotlights MOSAIC in hopes of reinvigorating family audiences. In addition to students, Blue Star also helps support local artists financially. The upcoming Red Dot Sale on May 21 showcases artists and helps them cultivate more collectors while also raising funds for Blue Star’s exhibits, MOSAIC programs and other outreach offerings. Red Dot features the work of artists invited by Blue Star and artists chosen by collectors. These collectors purchase a piece of work from an artist and also select another piece by the same artist to display in the sale. Artists invited by Blue Star also put one work on display at the sale. Half of the proceeds from Red Dot go back to the artists and the other half benefits Blue Star. “The local artist community needs a collector base of patrons to sustain their practice,” Heathcott said. “The sale raises exposure to artists. We invite members of the community to be collectors.” As Blue Star works to support the local art community, Heathcott hopes that the community’s art lovers will support Blue Star. “We want to increase our membership and diversify our fundraising,” Heathcott said. “We want to show them the wonderful creative resources we have here in this community.”
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Contemporary Latino art: El Corazón de San Antonio New Texas A&M University-San Antonio Educational and Cultural Arts Center to open By Marilu Reyna Photography courtesy of the Artists
ay 9, the first exhibition of the Texas A&M University-San Antonio Educational and Cultural Arts Center, entitled Contemporary Latino Art: El Corazón de San Antonio, will open to the community. The exhibition will run through Aug. 31, with an opening reception at 6:30 p.m. May 9 for the general public.
State University, who strives to make exhibitions more educational and meaningful for all museum visitors. The SI model includes the use of a team curatorial approach bringing education to the center of the exhibition development process.
“Using a model like SI can make exhibitions more inclusive The exhibition will breathe new life into a space that and help visitors appreciate and understand what art will serve to showcase the area’s rich Latino history. can communicate about the Latino heritage,” said Alicia The exhibition will highlight the vibrancy and diversity Viera, director of cultural programs at the Educational of Latino art in San Antonio, while presenting an and Cultural Arts Center (ECAC). interactive educational approach meant to facilitate personal connections between visitors and the art. It “By making exhibitions more personal, the SI model will survey the wealth of talent in San Antonio’s Latino stimulates conversation and reflection and makes a arts community centering on the people, places and significant impact in the museum experience,” Viera said. things closest to the heart. Members of the diverse curatorial team who worked Contemporary Latino Art: El Corazón de San Antonio was on the exhibition were Oscar Palacios, independent curated using the Supported Interpretation (SI) model preparator/installation specialist, exhibit technician, for visitor-centered exhibitions, created by renowned University of Texas at San Antonio; Alex Rubio, artist/ museum educator and scholar Dr. Pat Villeneuve, muralist, artist-in-residence with the Mosaic Project, Blue professor and director of arts administration, Florida Star Contemporary Art Museum; Rosario Torres-Raines, May/June 2014 | On The Town 69
Ph.D., professor of sociology and ECAC university liaison, Texas A&M University-San Antonio; Kathy Vargas, artist/ photographer and professor of art, University of the Incarnate Word; Viera; and Villeneuve. Working in collaboration, the curatorial team aimed to not only utilize valuable local expertise but also to establish a wider process of collaboration with local arts organizations and institutions of higher education. Early this year the Texas A&M-San Antonio Educational & Cultural Arts Center launched its own fully bilingual website to engage the Latino arts community and invite local artists to submit their work for an opportunity to participate in this and future exhibitions. “It is exciting to see Texas A&M-San Antonio take this important next step. The website is a great tool to begin to develop an inventory of Latino artists and artworks that respond to the Latino experience. It will help build a database that the Educational & Cultural Arts Center can reference to inform future exhibits,” said Felix Padrón, executive director of the City of San Antonio Department for Culture and Creative Development. “The website marks a new era of opportunities for the San Antonio art scene.” In conjunction with the website, the curatorial team reviewed close to 700 works, some of which will be considered for future exhibitions. “This process is a great opportunity to get the Latino arts community engaged and involved,” Viera said. “It provides us with a pool of works to consider when planning future exhibitions at the center, and it also keeps us up to date with the newest creations of our Latino artists, which I find to be extremely important as we develop future programming for the ECAC.” The university is committed to programming that will continue the emphasis that the former Museo Alameda, the first formal Smithsonian affiliate, placed on Latino art and culture, but it also intends for the ECAC to facilitate understanding and appreciation through visitor-centered exhibitions and meaningful educational programming for a variety of audiences. In addition, university officials say they understand that the opening of the center and the exhibition are extremely important to the community and the stakeholders of El Mercado Zona Cultural, where the center serves as one of the main anchors.
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Viera noted: “We need to understand the importance of remaining relevant to diverse audience groups and stay committed to helping them connect with Latino arts and
culture in meaningful ways. We’d like for art to ultimately become part of people’s lives.” The exhibition will include artists who have a historical place in the development of Latino art in San Antonio, such as Jóse Esquivel, Rudy and Jesse Treviño, Mel Casas, Felipe Reyes, and Alberto Mijangos. It will include artists who are highlighted at the main campus of the university, specifically Lionel Sosa, Joe Villarreal and Mario Garza. A dynamic group of young artists, Vincent Valdéz, Adriana Garcia, David Blancas, Jenelle Esparza, Adriana Corral, Juan de Dios Mora and Anabel Toribio-Martínez, also are included. The A&M-San Antonio Educational and Cultural Arts Center is at 101 S. Santa Rosa St., and will operate from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays (extended by popular demand as part of Downtown Tuesdays), and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 68 Luis Valderas Love Story (2013) Digital mixed media photo print Page 69 Adriana Garcia Liminal Incubation (2012) Acrylic on canvas Page 70 (Above) Luisa Wheeler Greed (2014) Collage (Below) Anabel Toribio- Martínez Uncouple (2013) Oil on panel Page 71 (Above) José Esquivel Labor Day Celebration (1997) Acrylic on canvas (Below) David Blancas El Corazón, The Heart (2011) Acrylic on Canvas
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Richard Hunt sculpture installation graces San Antonio Botanical Garden By Tracy Lowe Photography Courtesy SABOT
s spring returns, San Antonio Botanical Garden again hosts Art in the Garden, an annual collaboration with Blue Star Contemporary, which this year features works by sculptor Richard Hunt of Chicago. “Richard Hunt is one of the most important living American sculptors,” said Bill FitzGibbons, director of special projects at Blue Star Contemporary. “As a friend of over 35 years, it is a great pleasure to curate his exhibition at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. He has completed more public sculptures than any other artist in the country, including many pieces seen throughout his beloved hometown of Chicago.”
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Hunt was born in 1935 in Chicago and educated at the Art Institute of Chicago. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him as one of the first artists to serve on the governing board of the National Endowment for the Arts. Hunt also served on the board of the Smithsonian Institution. Adequately equipped for fabricating his smallto large-scale sculpture, Hunt’s huge studio formerly was a Chicago Transit Authority electric substation. Using materials that range from corten steel to welded bronze and stainless steel, the sculptures on display cover 50 years of Hunt’s distinguished career, which includes the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International
Sculpture Center in 2009. Incorporating these creative pieces into the botanical garden landscape offers visitors a unique look at and experience with abstract expressionist sculpture. As part of the San Antonio Botanical Garden’s “Cultivate Yourself ” message, young and mature guests alike are able to appreciate the creativity of man and the beauty of nature. Nine sculptures will remain on display in the conservatory at the San Antonio Botanical Garden through next January. “We are so pleased to continue the tradition of Art in the Garden and eagerly anticipate the new sculptures each year,” said Bob Brackman, San Antonio Botanical Garden executive director. “We invite all of San Antonio to experience these contemporary sculptures in our garden setting.” The Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts sponsored this year ’s exhibit. San Antonio Botanical Garden is at 555 Funston Place at North New Braunfels Avenue. Parking is free. The garden, operated under the auspices of the City of San Antonio Department of Parks and Recreation, is open year-round except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year ’s Day. For more information, visit www.sabot.org or call 210-207-3250.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 72 Bill Fitzgibbons of Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum with sculpture Richard Hunt (on right) Page 73 (Above) Hammer Hybrid by Richard Hunt (Below) Rampant Heraldry by Richard Hunt May/June 2014 | On The Town 73
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Festivals & Celebrations
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Texas Folklife Festival: A Taste of the World By James Benavides Photography courtesy ITC
..hether they realized it or not, early Texas settlers stowed hidden passengers away on their treks to the frontier. While clothing, heirlooms and priceless objects went into their trunks, they carried music and recipes in their hearts and minds.
celebrate foods and songs Texans have brought with them through the years. People have come from across the globe to make their home in Texas. In turn, they’ve each added a distinct flavor to the Texas palate. In this spirit, the Texas Folklife Festival puts forward a 2014 theme of “A Taste of the World.”
On June 7 and 8, the Texas Folklife Festival will The Texas Folklife Festival will host some 40 May/June 2014 | On The Town 77
cultures, represented by cultural, community and heritage organizations across the state. Aside from presenting their music and entertainment on six festival stages, they’ll present authentic cuisine at 30 food booths. Festival organizers continually search for new items to add to a burgeoning menu of some 150 selections. New this year is an offering from the Yannguanna N-Tap-Pilam Native America Church. Festival goers can sample Huitlacoche, a dish prepared with mushrooms, white cheese, corn and cornmeal. A stroll through the festival grounds is a stroll through the kitchens of all the great Texan cultures. Some groups have served their dishes since the festival was established 43 years ago. And while Texas may have a reputation for barbecue, its stirfry, gumbo and falafel would give any state some stiff competition. “You’ll end up having a gyro for lunch with the Greeks and an afternoon coffee with the Turks,” said festival director Jo Ann Andera. “Then you go to the Lebanese for a shish-kebab dinner and the Belgians to get a waffle for dessert. There’s no other experience like this.” The culinary adventure through Texas highlights similarities in food customs as well. Argentine empanadas, Indian samosas, Chinese eggrolls and Filipino lumpia are all variations on the turnover – a pastry pocket stuffed with a savory meat or vegetable filling. Even breads -- naan, tortilla and pita – share striking similarities to each other. Same with sausages. The menu includes Belgianstyle white sausage, English bangers, Mexican and South American chorizos, Creole boudin, Polish kielbasa and German varieties such as bratwurst and knackwurst. Satisfied with the festival’s bounty, patrons can then choose any of the six stages featuring live music and dance. The choices can reach across cultures and through time. Folklife is a chance to hear instruments that just aren’t in use anymore, such as the dulcimer, sitar and resonator guitar. It’s an opportunity to hear bluegrass from buddies who have played together for years, and Spanish guitar from a virtuoso. There’s the accordion playing 78 On The Town | May/June 2014
polka, zydeco and conjunto. There a Scottish band marching through the grounds to the sound of bagpipes and drums. “ That’s what’s so amazing about Texas,” Andera said. “ There’s so much variety in our cultures – our traditions, food, music – but we’re all Texans. We have all contributed to the cultural fabric of the state and left indelible marks on the Texas identity. We may be Scottish, Mexican, Lebanese, Polish or Greek, but we’re all Texans. And that’s what we’re celebrating.” The 2014 Texas Folklife Festival is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. June 7 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 8. Tickets go on sale May 1 at TexanCultures.com, the ITC museum store, H-E-B stores in and around San Antonio, the Sam Houston Club at Fort Sam Houston, and Lackland and Randolph Air Force Base Information, Tickets and Tours Offices. Adult tickets (age 13+) are $10 advance, $13 gate. Children’s tickets (age 6-12) are $5 advance or gate. Children 5 and under are always free. For more information, visit TexasFolklifeFestival. org or call 210-458-2300.
You’ll end up having a gyro for lunch with the Greeks and an afternoon coffee with the Turks - then you go to the Lebanese for a shish-kebab dinner and the Belgians to get a waffle for dessert. There’s nothing like this experience.
- Jo Ann Andera Texas Folklife Festival Director May/June 2014 | On The Town 79
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Golden Keys: Cactus Pear Music Festival’s 18th Season By Gary Albright
actus Pear Music Festival’s founder and artistic director Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio has held the keys to great chamber music ever since she was a young violinist playing Mozart string quartets during summers at her family’s Red Fox Music Camp in the Massachusetts’ Berkshires. “The summer months always meant great musicmaking to me,” she said, “and I always envisioned recreating that atmosphere when I became a professional musician myself.” In 1996, she decided to start her own “camp,” and that summer playground of music, of course, is her well-known classical chamber music festival, Cactus Pear, now unlocking the stage door to its 18 th season. Still hosted in San Antonio at Coker United Methodist Church, the festival’s local concerts take place on Thursday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. on July 3, 5, 10 and 12. The artists go on the road to perform in Boerne on July 6 and 13, and in New Braunfels on July 11. Program I, Golden Keys (July 3), features the extraordinary 2012 San Antonio International Piano Competition Gold Prize winner Lo-An Lin in works by Bach, Mozart and César Franck. The brilliant young pianist, originally from Taiwan, has won top prizes in numerous international competitions. She is joined by a string quartet of equally talented artists that includes CPMF favorites violinist Bella Hristova and violist Ara Gregorian, as well as the stellar solo cellist 26-year-old Jonah Kim, making his first appearance with CPMF. The artists take another excursion together in Program II, 20 th Century Passageways (July 5 and 6), as they travel down some classic byways of 20 th century chamber music. “The Toreador’s Prayer,” an evocative programmatic string quartet by Joaquin Turina opens the program, followed by Ernest Bloch’s riveting and powerful Piano Quintet written in 1923. Bella Hristova’s virtuosity and tenderness will be on
display in Bulgarian-compatriot Pancho Vladigerov’s Four Pieces for violin and piano, an exceptional composition rarely heard in the United States. The program closes with Amy Beach’s romantic and passionate Piano Trio in A Minor (1938). Nine more spectacular festival artists join Stephanie for seven performances in the festival’s second week. Hidden Doorways: Rare Treasures for Baritone, Oboe and Strings, Program III (July 10, 11 and 13), is first performed as a free Young People’s Concert on July 9 at 2 p.m. at a venue yet to be determined and again in San Antonio on the evening of July 10. Taiwanese oboist Rong-Huey Liu, making her debut with CPMF, is known to mesmerize listeners with her silky, sumptuous tone. She will bring that touch to Mozart’s Oboe Quartet, K. 370 and in the Divertimento (1823) by Finnish composer Bernhard Henrik Crusell. The program also features the brilliant baritone Timothy Jones in a Handel cantata. The string players unlock a rare gem with their performance of Luigi Boccherini’s elegant Sextet in F Minor, composed in 1776. The program is repeated on the afternoon of July 13, in Boerne’s acoustically crystal-clear and intimate First United Methodist Church, as well as on Friday, July 11 at 2 p.m., when the festival artists perform a shortened, family-friendly version of the program for CPMF’s Young People’s Concert at the McKenna Event Center in New Braunfels. Program IV, The Baroque Baedeker — through France, Germany and Italy (July 11, 12 and 13), is a guided tour through three nations and six exquisite latebaroque gems composed from 1712 to 1749 for strings, harpsichord, oboe and bass-baritone. In true multinational style, baroque specialists Fred and Christina Edelen join the festival from Holland, and the “First Couple of Cello,” Tony Ross and Beth Rapier Ross, fly in from Minnesota to take audiences May/June 2014 | On The Town 81
to Italy with Vivaldi’s virtuosic Concerto in G Minor for two cellos. The program stays in Italy with Arcangelo Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto,” moves on to Germany with Johann Sebastian Bach’s glorious Cantata, Ich habe genug “I am content,” and crosses the border into France with JeanPhilippe Rameau’s Thetis for baritone and strings. “Our audiences love Baroque,” Sant’Ambrogio said. “ This is going to be an exceptional concert of central European baroque masterpieces.” “It’s really going to be a golden season: golden keys, golden artists, golden music,” she said. “There really is nothing more satisfying to me than listening to and performing great chamber music. German poet Berthold Auerbach once wrote, ‘Music washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life’. We have a wonderful journey of the soul in store for everyone this coming summer.”
SCHEDULE PROGRAM I: GOLDEN KEYS Thursday, July 3, San Antonio • 7 p.m. Coker United Methodist Church 231 E. North Loop Road, San Antonio PROGRAM II: 20 TH CENTURY PASSAGEWAYS Saturday, July 5, San Antonio • 7 p.m. Coker United Methodist Church 231 E. North Loop Road, San Antonio Sunday, July 6, Boerne • 2 p.m. First United Methodist Church 205 James St., Boerne
PROGRAM III: HIDDEN DOORWAYS: Rare Treasures for Baritone, oboe and strings Thursday, July 10, San Antonio • 7 p.m. Coker United Methodist Church 231 E. North Loop Road, San Antonio Friday, July 11, New Braunfels • 2 p.m. YPC at the McKenna Event Center For a complete listing of program pieces and artists, 801 W. San Antonio St., New Braunfels Sunday, July 13, Boerne • 2 p.m. go to http://www.cpmf.us/cpmf_season.html. First United Methodist Church 205 James St., Boerne 82 On The Town | March/April May/June 2014 2014
PROGRAM IV: THE BAROQUE BAEDEKER — through France, Germany and Italy Friday, July 11, New Braunfels • 7 p.m. McKenna Event Center 801 W. San Antonio St., New Braunfels Saturday, July 12, San Antonio • 7 p.m. Coker United Methodist Church 231 E. North Loop Road, San Antonio Sunday, July 13, Boerne • 7 p.m. First United Methodist Church 205 James St., Boerne
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Timothy Jones Courtesy singjones.com
Lo-An Lin Courtesy CPMF
Page 80 Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio Photo by Liz Garza Williams
Jonah Kim Courtsy jonahkimcello.com
Bella Hristova Photo by Lisa Marie Mazzucco Tony Ross Courtesy CPMF Rong-Huey Liu Photo by Ana Watts
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FLORENCE BYHAM WEINBERG, Scholar, and Novelist Story and Photography by Jasmina Wellinghof
fter 32 years of teaching college-level French and Spanish – including 10 at Trinity University - Florence Byham Weinberg retired in 1999 to pursue a career in fiction writing. Her first historical novel, Apache Lance, Franciscan Cross, was inspired by the turbulent history of the San Antonio missions where Spanish missionaries, local Indians and colonial settlers faced attacking Apache and Comanche tribes on a regular basis. This was later followed by four historical mysteries centering on the life of Father Ignaz Pfefferkorn, a real-life 18th century Jesuit missionary who worked in the Sonora province of New Spain before being expelled from the New World with his fellow Jesuits and deported to Spain as a prisoner. The first two Father Ignaz books, Sonora Moonlight and Sonora Wind, describe his missionary life while The Storks of La Caridad focuses on his imprisonment in Spain, and the final volume, Unrest in Eden, follows Ignaz’s return to his native Rhineland. Weinberg’s latest brainchild, Anselm, a Metamorphosis, is a contemporary psychological fantasy, released last fall by Twilight Times Books.
We talked to Weinberg in her beautifully appointed library, surrounded by books.
Altogether, Weinberg is the author of eight novels and four scholarly works produced during her professorial years. Her academic background and personal inclination make her a formidable researcher who has traveled to all the locales mentioned in her books and spent endless hours in archives and libraries. As a result, history comes alive in her narratives in an almost cinematic way, whether the story takes place in Texas or in a Rhineland village in Germany. Writing about The Storks of La Caridad, the San Antonio ExpressNews book editor said the book “works on two levels. First, it’s a rollicking mystery full of plot twists based on real events, interesting characters modeled after historical figures … Second, it’s a scholarly recreation of 18th century Spain … thoroughly researched and seamlessly written.”
FW: Yes, at first. Father Balthasar Janacek (who led Las Misiones Capital Campaign) liked the book. He said that the problems faced by the Franciscans, both personally and with the environment and the population, were very well portrayed. It sold fairly well in the beginning. But after Father (David) Garcia replaced him (following Janacek’s death), he refused to sell the book on the grounds that it was “inappropriate.” It had sex in it. I think he was afraid of his then-archbishop’s reaction.
Several Weinberg novels were finalists for various literary awards, and Sonora Wind won the 2010 New Mexico Book Award in Historical Fiction.
JW: Could you describe how you made the switch to fiction writing? FW: When I first came here to interview for the job (at Trinity) one of the first things they did is take me down to the old Franciscans missions. The missions impressed me very much. They were mysterious and obviously very important as national monuments. I told myself if I ever had the chance I would write historical fiction about them but investigate the actual founding of those missions. So when I retired I did just that. JW: And the resulting novel, Apache Lance, Franciscan Cross, was selected by the Archdiocese of San Antonio as part of the fundraising effort to restore the missions, right? You offered to give 50 percent of the sales to that cause.
JW: By that time you were already into Ignaz Pfefferkorn’s life. How did you discover him? FW: In doing research for my first book, I needed information on Indian herbal medicines. I was working in the archives of Our Lady of the Lake University and the archivist, Dora Guerra, said to me, “Have you not read Ignaz Pfefferkorn account of his missionary work in the New World?” And I said “Who?” I had never May/June 2014 | On The Town 87
heard of him. She said, he would probably answer all your questions. I found the book which had been translated into English in 1942 and published by the New Mexico Press. I ended up being as impressed by the man as by the incredible information I found about every aspect of the Sonora region of New Spain, which included parts of Texas and Arizona, an enormous swatch of territory. His personality came through. Then I found out that he was caught in the expulsion of Jesuits from the colonies and was marched to Vera Cruz to be shipped to Spain where he was held prisoner for years. I later found a document in Madrid that no one else had noticed that was a record of the people coming off that ship. Of the 51 who were originally forced to leave their missions, many died on the march to Vera Cruz, and six more died during the sea voyage. Only 21 made it to Spain, and Ignaz was one of them. I was shocked. I knew nothing about the expulsion of Jesuits and what happened to them. He was a sterling example of what a Jesuit was in those days. But the motive to begin writing about him was to publicize what happened to the Jesuits in the 18th century. JW: Why were they treated so harshly? FW: They were considered an upstart order and were too successful in the eyes of the other orders and other officials. They were not cloistered, were free to move in the world and their two main purposes were reform of education and missionary work. Wealthy parents steered their sons into the Jesuits because they wouldn’t be trapped in monasteries. The other orders were jealous of them. Their missions were successful in raising crops; they initiated trades and became businesspeople. Some were confessors to royalty and dukes and duchesses and through that influenced state policy. So they were resented by the secular government councilors. And there were other developments that contributed to it, such as anticlerical feelings. It’s hard to say how it all came together. But the Enlightenment was also happening at that time, and people were reading Voltaire and Diderot and becoming atheists. In the New World, the Jesuits were accused of abusing their converts and of corruption, but in my research I saw absolutely no foundation for that. JW: Why did you choose to weave Ignaz Pfefferkorn’s story into murder mysteries? 88 On The Town | May/June 2014
FW: People love to read mysteries. Pfefferkorn was such a keen observer in real life, I thought he would make a great detective. That part is entirely fictional. I am no great mystery plotter but it worked fairly well. The reviews tell me so.
while I was working on my (Ph.D.) dissertation. It grew to 75 pages. I hid it away and forgot about it. When we moved to San Antonio in 1989 I re-discovered it. Oh, my God, I need to finish it, I thought. But it was rebuffed (by publishers). In January of last year, I finally reworked it as a novel. It’s really a spoof on the idea that JW: In the last Pfefferkorn mystery, Unrest in Eden, mind and body are separate, something philosopher which tells the story of Ignaz’s return to his native Rene Descartes believed in. I started thinking, how it German Rhineland, the murder is actually solved would actually work out if it were true. two-thirds into the book. That’s very unusual. Writers usually don’t reveal who-dun-it until the end. JW: Could you address the issues of finding an agent, working with a publisher, promotion and sales? FW: I had too much material to cover to complete his story. I was more interested in history than in the FW: I couldn’t get any agents to get interested in mystery. I wanted to portray the political and social my work. However, thanks to Cindy Massey (a local context of life in the Rhineland of the late 18th century writer) who had read what I had done, I was invited to and what Pfefferkorn had to deal with upon returning join the Daedalus critique group. It’s a small group of to his homeland. writers who are very helpful to each other. We critique each other’s work in a supportive way. Cindy told me JW: Now that you have parted company with your that she had used an editor (paid by the writer) to long-time protagonist, have you found another one? edit her book and that the book sold well afterwards. I contacted the same editor and sent him The Storks FW: Not yet but I am looking. He was part of my life of La Caridad. He edited it and took it to his publisher for a long time, roughly from 2002 or 2003 to 2010, with a book of his. Not only did he sell his book, he so I feel deprived right now. In my novel, The Seven sold mine, as well. He acted as an agent and didn’t Cities of Mud, the protagonist is a woman. I enjoyed even charge me for that. He really taught me how that and would like to find a woman from history that to write fiction. I still had too much of an academic I could research and build the story around. I have to style. The same publisher, Twilight Times Books, has be passionate about what I am doing or I can’t write published all my books since. They send copies to with any conviction. reviewers but otherwise do not help with promotion. JW: Why do you like historical fiction?
The national review mills pay attention only to what’s coming out of New York. I have had better luck with FW: I enjoy history, and I like to find interesting historical Internet review sites but my luck has been modest. characters to write about. They don’t have to be very With Anselm, the publisher got a publicist for me so I prominent which means not everything is known about had 14 interviews and two reviews. The whole thing is them. That leaves room for my imagination to fill the about becoming known because you are like a needle holes in the information about their lives. in a hay stack. Now I am trying to use the Internet. I am going to make a campaign of it. Writing is what I JW: In your latest book, Anselm - a Metamorphosis, you have dedicated my life to. took on a very different subject. A young self-centered professor falls unconscious and wakes up in someone JW: What advice do you have for new fiction writers? else’s body but internally retains his own identity. He must cope with the fact that everyone else sees him FW: I would definitely advise them to seek a group as this other person, in this case a middle-aged, sick like Daedalus but to make sure that it’s a compatible priest. What attracted you to this theme? one, open minded and helpful, not too critical. FW: Long before I retired I had a dream that something --------------------------------------------------------------------like that had happened to me. The dream stayed with me. I wrote about it in a short story form way back Weinberg’s comments have been edited for space and clarity. May/June 2014 | On The Town 89
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RICH DAUER: MANAGING THE BOYS OF SUMMER By Mauri Elbel Photography courtesy San Antonio Missions Baseball Club
ost of Rich Dauer’s life has revolved around America’s favorite pastime.
Dauer is well known for the years he played with the Baltimore Orioles, but the former professional baseball player also is one of the few to have won a College World Series and an MLB World Series. In 2012, he was inducted into the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame and also named manager of the San Diego Padres’ Class AA affiliate, the San Antonio Missions. Today, it’s safe to say Dauer is spending just as much time on the field as he did during his days as a professional baseball player. As manager of the San Antonio Missions, Dauer is in charge of developing 25 players with an end goal of helping the San Diego Padres win the World Series. Charged with the task of improving the skills of 13 pitchers and 12 position players, each of whom has his eyes set on making it to the big leagues, it’s a tough yet rewarding job Dauer compares to the challenges of being a parent. “There is not a lot of difference between parenting and trying to teach these guys the right way, to not only play the game of baseball, but how to approach it, and the best way to conduct themselves both on and off the field,” Dauer said. “You have these kids’ best interest at heart. That is the first goal: to help them get better as a player and a person. Sometimes that can be very difficult. Sometimes it’s very hard to do. But at the end of the day or end of the year, it is always very rewarding.”
Dauer coached on the San Antonio Missions last year, position player Tommy Medica and pitcher Donn Roach, are now playing with the San Diego Padres. “Probably the toughest part of the job is when you have to release players and shatter their dreams of playing in the big leagues –– at least their baseball career is over with the Padres,” Dauer said. The San Antonio Missions rolled into town March 31 after six weeks of spring training in Peoria, Ariz. The team already is well into the season, no doubt hoping to repeat last year’s victory as the Texas League Champions. From April through September, the players will be together every single day –– a group of young and determined 20-somethings who were drafted out of high school or college because they potentially have what it takes to make it to the big leagues. Each day, Dauer’s players show up at the field at 1:30 p.m. to work on hitting, fielding, pitching and development skills. Games start promptly at 7 p.m., and the long days typically don’t end until around 10 p.m. “The players are there putting in time and work generally eight hours a day with the sole goal –– and it’s every player’s goal and dream –– of making it to the big leagues even for a day,” Dauer said.
So which players make it? Dauer said a lot of it has to do with their individual growth, the kind of success they’ve had over the season and the improvement that they’ve demonstrated. But sometimes, more than anything else, it’s about being in the right spot at the Dauer said his role is riddled with highs and lows –– right time. one of the greatest rewards is when he has a hand in making a player’s dream come true. In fact, two players “Let’s say the major league team needs a pitcher, and March/April May/June 2014 | On The Town 93
it just so happens the pitcher they need to pitch a certain day is more available from the AA team than another pitcher on the AAA team,” Dauer said. “So he plays and has a great game. Many, many careers have started that way.”
But despite the demands, it’s a job –– and a game –– Dauer absolutely loves and wouldn’t trade for any other.
“My goals have changed as I have gotten older,” Dauer said. “As I started out as a baseball player, my whole dream was to make it to the big leagues. And I played In the midst of their grueling schedule, the players also for the Baltimore Orioles. Then when you establish form bonds that can last a lifetime. They live together, yourself, your next goal is to win the championship or practice together and make frequent, long bus rides world series. I did that. Then as your career fades, if you together, providing ample time to get to know one are fortunate, you can stay in the game of baseball –– another, and perhaps themselves, a little better. as a coach or whatever field attracts you. Mine was to stay on the field and coach.” It’s not an easy job for Dauer, either, with the toughest part having to be away from his wife and their three Dauer’s dreams have come true, and it seems the now-grown daughters for most months out of the difficult bumps he encounters along the journey are year, he said. no match for the sweet rewards that sometimes await at the end. “This is my 40th year in professional baseball, and I can tell you after being married for 40 years you have to “The biggest reward is after you’ve coached have a very, very strong and understanding wife,” Dauer somebody, and they can come back and say that said. “But after the season, we are off from September they were happy you coached them or that you were 15 to February 15 every year. That is probably the a part of their lives,” Dauer said. “There is no reward greatest perk –– those five months off.” greater than that. None.” 94 On The Town | May/June 2014
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WIMBERLEY, TEXAS: Small Town, Big Art By Julie Catalano
Wimberley, say the locals, is not a place you run across on your way to somewhere else. Although it’s not far from Austin (38 miles southwest), its off-the-beatenpath location -- think of Austin-bound San Antonians taking a left at San Marcos — means that if you’re in Wimberley, it’s because that’s where you want to be.
hole (blueholeregionalpark.com). Or to browse the massive — and second-largest — outdoor market in Texas, the well-known Market Days (shopmarketdays. com). For many, the biggest draw is its exciting and ever-evolving artistic landscape, with something for everyone art-wise from fine to funkified. Check out the intriguing visual, performing, and culinary arts These days, more people are finding Wimberley the offerings at this former 19 th century trading post, and place to be, and not just to visit this tiny town (pop. see if you can’t wait to get on the road to Wimberley. 2,600) for its natural beauty and legendary swimming One look at singer/songwriter/musician Amanda 96 On The Town | May/June 2014
Mora’s videos and website (amandamora.com) and you’ll be impressed not only by her talent but also by her social and environmental consciousness, nurtured by what she calls her “hippie” musician mother Jill Jones of musical trio 3 Hand High and prolific songwriter father. With cellist Mollie Rose Fischer and more than a dozen others, Mora’s “lifechanging” 2010 European concert tour included audience members pedaling stationary bikes to power the generators for the performances. Next stop: Ireland, Holland, France and Germany. No bikes this time, but “we’re trying to make it as eco-friendly as we can.” In the fall, Mora goes back into the studio for her third album. Mora and Jones also run By the Bridge Antiques (512-847-7165), where “artists frequently drop by to see if they can repurpose a find to incorporate into their work,” Mora said. “There’s no other spot in town like it.”
The same could be said of 6,500 square feet of mind-blowing glass collections, sculptures, vases and more at Wimberley Glassworks (wgw.com) seven miles outside of town near San Marcos. Daily glassblowing demonstrations draw travelers and art glass aficionados from around the world. The alluring exhibit “Fifty Shades of Glass” opens on May 24 and features a new line of blown glass lighting shades using the curve of the human form. In July, scoot on over to the town’s signature summer event — the Fourth of July parade, where Bootiful Wimberley (bootifulwimberley.com) makes its grand debut with a permanent public art installation of oversized (about 4 feet by 6 feet) fiberglass cowboy boots designed and decorated by artists. The Wimberley Fine Arts Center (wimberleyfine May/June 2014 | On The Town 97
artscenter.org) is a collaborative of 14 local and area artists that opened in 2012. The brainchild of longtime artist and gallery owner Rob Pitzer (pitzersart.com), the center is also responsible for the popular Second Saturday Gallery Trail (https:// facebook.com/SecondSaturdayGalleryTrail), where art lovers and collectors enjoy a wine and cheese stroll among nine participating galleries from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. the second Saturday of each month.
recently “Lifeboats” by Heather Carter.
For restaurant art, it would be hard to beat the carved tree creations at Ino’z Brew and Chew (512847-6060), particularly one that pays a touching homage to a cherished goose called Duck Duck, a longtime resident of the spacious grounds who one day just disappeared. Chainsaw artist Craig Johnson immortalized Duck Duck in a 35-foot dying cypress tree, crafting a tree spirit face, an angel pointing to Because cooking is also an art form, The Leaning Pear’s the sky, a fish, and at the top a full-size goose with tantalizing menu (leaningpear.com) is inspired by its outstretched wings. philosophy of fresh, local, seasonal and sustainable. The ultra-modern yet warm and welcoming fine dining The brand-new boutique-style, amenity-rich hot spot has assembled a collaborative of its own-- Flora and Fauna Hotel (hotelfloraandfauna.com) ”Friends of the Pear” made up of local farms, farmers is already generating buzz, largely because of its markets, bakeries and brewing companies. The Pear impressive three-panel outdoor wall mural by also frequently displays work by local artists, most artist Tony Sansevero. The first panel represents 98 On The Town | May/June 2014
dawn, with land and water birds greeting the sunrise. Wimberley icons Jacob’s Well and Blue Hole dominate the middle and largest panel. Sunset is depicted in the third panel, with more wildlife, including a stalking mountain lion.
We’ve saved the best for last. The new Wimberley Valley Arts and Cultural Alliance (WVACA, wimberleyarts. org) has brought together more than two dozen organizations dedicated to arts appreciation, collaboration and education. But here’s the big news: They are in the process of applying to the Texas Commission on the Arts as the 24 th arts and cultural district in Texas. The decision won’t be made until this fall, but we think it’s a no-brainer. Fingers crossed.
Page 97 Amanda Mora and Mollie Rose Fischer Photo by Abra Wise
Page 96 Wimberley Glassworks Gallery & Studio Courtesy WGG&S
Page 98 Blue Hole Trail Photo by Doug Carter
Page 99 There’s tons more to do, see, eat and buy in The Lean Pear Wimberley. Check out wimberley.org, 512-847-2201. Courtesy of the restaurant May/June 2014 | On The Town 99
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