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May/June 2015

Dave Rios Jamie Wyeth Patricia Ruiz-Healy Texas Folklife Festival Tobin Broadway & Dance Cactus Pear Music Festival New SA Symphony Season Plus 8May/June Additional Articles 2015 | On The Town 1

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Features Cont.

Mamma Mia! May and June Offer a Wealth of Exceptional Performances in all Genres. The Opulent Majestic and New Tobin Lead the Way!


Experience Vina Vita at Kuhlman 54 Cellars Where Wine Education is Key A Talk with Jamie Wyeth at SAMA 62

Pilot of the Airwaves Dave Rios Celebrates 20 Years with Kono


Tobin Center’s New Broadway and Dance Series Ready to Shine for 2015-16 Staging Literature: The Classic Theater Of San Antonio brings dramatic literature to life From Bach to Bond, the San Antonio Symphony’s 76th Season


Giant and Mary Poppins Highlight Texas Public Radio’s Cinema Tuesdays Series of Classic Films


Alberico Fine Wine in a Perfect Spot: The Yard in Olmos Park


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Patricia Ruiz-Healy: Ruiz Healy 66 Art, Director Foreign Connections: Cactus Pear 76 Music Festival’s 19th Season


Texas Folklife Festival: Texas --Puro 80 Texas


Departments Events Calendar


Book Talk: Mary Carolyn Hollers George, Professor and Author


Out & About With Greg Harrison


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




Cover Credits Contributors Front Cover Photo: Newsies Photo by Deen Van Meer Performing Arts Cover Photo Newsies Photo by Deen Van Meer Events Calendar Cover Photo Mamma Mia Courtesy Majestic Theatre Culinary Arts Cover Photo Photo by Greg Harrison

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

Greg Harrison, staff photographer Christian Lair, operations manager / webmaster

Olivier J. Bourgoin (aka, Olivier the Wine Guy)

Kay Lair

Julie Catalano

Susan A. Merkner, copy editor

Lisa Cruz Thomas Duhon

Bonny Osterhage

Peabo Fowler

Sara Selango

Dan R. Goddard

Jasmina Wellinghoff

Visual Arts Cover Photo: Photo by Greg Harrison Festivals & Celebrations Cover Photo: Courtesy Texas Folklife Festival Literary Arts Cover Photo: Photo by Greg Harrison is published by Lair Creative, LLC 14122 Red Maple San Antonio, Texas 78247 210-771-8486 210-490-7950 (fax)

vertisement in On The Town, nor does it assume responsibility if this type of editorial or advertising should ws or opinions of the management of Lair Creative, LLC. Since On The Town features information on perforttendance. The publisher assumes no responsibility for changes in times, dates, venues, exhibitions or performances.

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Performing Arts


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Mamma Mia! May and June Offer a W in All Genres. The Opulent Majestic By Sara Salengo

8 On The Town | May/June 2015

Wealth of Exceptional Performances and New Tobin Lead the Way!

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ay an d J u n e ro ck , bo th l i tera lly and f i gu rat i ve l y. I n th e l i tera l sen s e, old t i me ro c k ’n ro l l co mes to tow n through the l i k es o f Wis h b o n e Ash at th e A z tec M ay 1, B oz S k a g g s an d G regg Al l ma n at th e To b in M ay 4 a nd 5 re s p e c t i vel y, Ch i ca go at th e M ajest ic M ay 6 a n d t h e l e g en da r y fo l k ro cker B o b D ylan the ve r y n ex t n i g ht, a l so at th e M a jesti c. Stop r ig ht t h e re an d t h i n k a bo u t th e f a c t that over the co u rs e o f 4 s t ra i ght n i ghts f ro m M ond ayTh ur sd ay yo u can see S k a ggs, Al l ma n , Chic ago a nd D y lan . Th at ’s a to n o f ta l ent. Figurative l y s p e ak i n g, th e t wo - mo nth p er iod a bsolute l y b r i m s w i th o n e great o f fer i ng af ter a no th e r. O t h e r in c redi bl e even i n gs o f l i ve m usic inc lud e Ce l t ic Wo ma n M ay 10 at th e M ajest ic, G e o rg e C l i nto n & Pa r l i a ment Fu n k a delic M ay 2 8 at th e A z te c, Va l er i e Si mpso n Ju ne 6 at the Ca r ve r, G ip s y K i n gs at th e bi g th e ater on Houston St re e t J u ne 6, B l a ck Vi o l i n at the Tob in mi d-J un e, Br i t is h ro ck ba n d Wh i tesn a ke at t he M aj e sti c J u n e 23 a n d M i ch a el M cD o n a l d, ex of the D o o b ie s, J u n e 25 at th e To bi n .

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Tak ing t he leap to c lassic al, S a n Anto n i o Symp hony ’s B e e t hove n 7 get s t hin g s s t a r te d at t he Tob in M ay 1-2, followed by Moza r t Vio lin Conce r to feat ur ing Jennifer Koh wi t h S e b a s t i a n Lang-Lessing cond uc t ing. This on e’s s c h e du l e d for M ay 15-16. The last weekend i n M ay fi n ds t he symp hony p er for m ing again w i t h p i a n i s t Alex and er G avr ylyuk t ak ing on Tcha ikovs k y ’s Piano Conce r to. S che he razade & Peer G ynt conc lud e t he season for t he orc he s t ra Ju n e 5 - 6 on t he Tob in st age. M ay and June also b r ing c lassic al o p p o r t u n i t i e s like M id -Tex as Symp hony ’s hos t i n g o f S a n Antonio violinist Nanc y Zhou in co n ce r t at Jac kson Aud itor ium in S eguin o n Su n day, M ay 3 and S an Antonio I nter nat i o n a l Pi a n o Comp et it ion’s p resent at ion of N a o ko Ta ko a M ay 9 at t he newly renovated Co n ce r t H a l l at I nc ar nate Word. B ot h are not to b e mi s s e d. SOLI C ham b er Ensemb le finishes u p i t s s e a s o n wit h Ex p e r ie nce M ay 18 at t he Ca r l o s Al va re z and M ay 19 at Rut h Taylor R ec it a l H a l l o n t h e c am p us of Tr init y Univer sit y. B e fo re l e avi n g

the c l a s s ical c ate go r y I n eed to menti on t hat YOS A , C h i l d e n’s C h o ru s o f S a n Anto nio and S a n Anto n io C h o ral S o ci et y jo i n to gether in a per fo r man ce o f t h e dy n a mi c Carm i n a Burana at th e To b in M ay 1 7. Troy Peters co n du c t s. Po ps sh ows o n t h e ca l en da r a re C i rque de la Sym p h on i e M ay 8 - 10 w i th Ak i ko Fujim oto con d uc t i n g an d S tar Wars an d M ore: Th e Music of J ohn Wi l l i a m s, M ay 22- 23 u n der th e direc t ion of Stua r t C h afe t z .

M ingo S ald ivar. All event s are at t he G u a da l u p e Theater or R osed ale Par k . M us i c a l Br i dg e s Around t he Wor ld b r ings it s I nter n at i o n a l M u s i c Fest ival to t he Car los Alvarez, S a n Fe r n a n do Cat hed ral and Rut h Taylor R e c i t a l H a l l at Tr init y. S even d ifferent shows are i n c l u de d.

On t he t heat r ic al front, Ne w si es p l ays t h e M ajest ic M ay 12-17 as a p ar t o f t h e N o r t h Par k Lex us Broad way S er ies. Mam ma M ia ro c ks (t here’s t hat word again) eight p e r fo r ma n ce s at t he same venue June 9-14 and co mp l e te s J a zz l ove rs s h o u l d ch eck o u t th e 2015 For t S am what has b een a 10-show 201 4 - 1 5 S e a s o n . Houston J az z S e r i es w i th M a rc Anto i ne and S eason 15-16 is load ed wit h sup e r s h ows to o. J oe M c B r i d e at t h e h i sto r i c Fo r t S a m Houston Th eate r t h e fi rs t e ven i n g i n M ay. Communit y t heater t akes center s t a g e i n t h e sp r ing and ear ly summer wit h o u t s t a n di n g Th ree b ig - t i m e festi va l s ta ke pl a ce in M ay, offer ings like Rumor s at Sheld on Vexl e r Th e at re, star ti ng w it h t h e I nter n ati o n a l Pu ppet Fest ival Mar y Poppins at t he Wood lawn, The M ys ter y o f pre se nte d by C h i l dren’s Fi n e Ar ts S er i es. Dates Edw in D ro o d at The Playhouse S a n Anto n i o, a re M ay 6- 12 wi t h over 50 per fo r ma nces at Vanya & S onia and Masha & Spi ke at Cl a s s i c the To b i n . N ex t up i s th e 39 t h An n u a l Tejano Theater of S an Antonio, and S o u t h Pa cif ic Co n j unto Fe s t i val M ay 13-17 featu r i n g iconic outd oor s at t he Sm it h-R itc h Po i nt Th e at re a ccord i o n i s t s Fl aco Ji men ez , Eva Yba r ra and in I ngram. Also on t he b oard s a re Co u nt r y is

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the M u sic o f M a in Street at th e Cameo, 4000 M il e s at Th e Ce l l ar Th eater at Pl ay h o use S an Anton i o, D r i ve M e C raz y at Th e O ver ti m e and I Hate H a m l et at B o er n e Co mmu n i t y Theat re. Ch ec k t h e e ve nt s ca l en da r i n th i s magazine for i n for m at io n o n th ese a n d o th er co m munit y the ate r s h ows.

P ho to Credits

Da n ce is n ex t w i th M etro po l i ta n B allet of S a n Anto n io p e r fo r mi n g i ts a n n u a l D ance Ka l e i d os co p e at t h e M a j esti c M ay 3. I n a d d it ion, Ar t s S a n Anto n io presents th e S co tti sh Ballet ’s A S t re e tca r Na m ed D esi re, o n e - n i ght- only at the To b in M ay 12. A l i ttl e over a mo nt h later, D e re k a n d J u l ian n e Ho u gh , o f D an c i n g wit h t he S ta rs f am e, b r i n g MO V E LI V E on TO UR to t he M aj e sti c J u n e 20.

C hic ago Cour tesy M ajest ic Theat re

Pages 8- 9: Cast of M amma M ia Cour tesy M ajest ic Theat re Page 10: (L-R)

B oz Sk aggs Cour tesy Tob in Center for t he Per fo r mi n g Ar t s Page 11: (L-R) Jennifer Koh Photo by Juergen Frank

Newsies Op era i s o n t h e M ay-Ju n e l i n eu p a s wel l. Op era Photo by D een Van M eer Picco la o f S an Anto n i o presents Broad way v s. O p e ra M ay 30- 31 at th e Ch a r l i n e M cCom b s Page 12: (L-R) Em pi re. S cot t ish Ballet : St reetc ar Nam ed D e s i re Photo by And rew R oss Live m u s ic, b al l e t, o pera , festi va l s a nd live the at re… . it ’s al l h ere a n d i n a bu n da n ce. M ay Blac k Violin a nd J un e ro ck ! G e t so me ti ckets a n d go! Cour tesy b lac k violin. com

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Pilot of the Airwaves

Dave Rios Celebrates 20 Years with KONO By Bonny Osterhage Photography Greg Harrison


s a boy growing up in Los Angeles, young David Arias used to hotwire two turntables together and ..practice segueing one song into another. Over the years, he has parlayed that talent into a public persona known as Dave Rios, a man who has been spinning hits and entertaining listeners at KONO 101 for the past 20 years. He recently marked that career milestone with an anniversary celebration at the Tobin Center that included a performance by none other than 1970s sensation, The Little River Band, who serenaded the beloved radio host with their hit Happy Anniversary. 14 On The Town | May/June 2015

So what does it take to go from making your own mix tapes on a reel to reel, to becoming what is arguably one of the most recognizable voices to ever come over the San Antonio airwaves? According to the man with the golden voice, it’s a little luck, a little talent, and one really bad air-check tape. OTT: Did you know when you were playing with your turntables as a child that you wanted to pursue a career in radio broadcasting?

DR: I originally wanted to be an actor or some type of performer. My father was from Mexico, and he hosted La Tipica, which was like the official Mexican orchestra of Los Angeles in the 1960s. He was the master of ceremonies, always smiling and entertaining people. He loved being in front of people, and I thought that looked cool — but I was terrified. I studied theater at Los Angeles Valley College and, in the summer of 1975, I studied at the Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. I realized that I liked making people feel things and that I liked hiding behind characters. Radio allowed me to do both.

check tapes. I made a tape at school, sent it in along with my resume, and was hired as the news director — but not because of my tape. According to the program director, my tape was horrible. The thing that got me hired, ironically, was the fact that I had studied at the American Conservatory Theatre. The program director said, “Anyone who can do that can be in radio.” In addition to being the news director, I was also on the air at KXZL as part of the morning show duo Leif and Dave. OTT: How did you become Dave Rios?

OTT: When was your first radio gig?

DR: In 1985, when I moved over to KTSA/KTFM, I felt like I needed a catchier name. KTSA’s Elizabeth Ruiz suggested DR: It was in 1983. I had enrolled in the Los Angeles the name Dave Rios. It stuck. Broadcasters (LAB) school, and I filled in for two weekends at a progressive rock station. I was terrified, OTT: What made you move from KTSA to KONO 101? and the producer had to keep reminding me to move closer to the microphone. Through LAB, I found out DR: KTSA was moving into more of a talk radio format about an opening in San Antonio at KXZL, 104.5. I also and, in 1994, they let me go. As I found out, getting fired found out that it is hard to get a job in radio unless can be the best thing that can ever happen to you. The you already have a job in radio because you need air- program director of KONO was going on vacation and May/June 2015 | On The Town 15

asked me to fill in for one week. I’m still here. OTT: You’ve been very open on the air about your struggles with alcohol. How has that affected your career? DR: When you work in radio, you can develop a penchant for partying. In December 1994, I found myself in the hospital, and the doctor asked me if I thought I had a problem with alcohol. A light went off in my head, and I said yes. Although others had expressed concern with my drinking over the years and had asked me to stop, no one had ever asked me if I thought I had a problem. That was the turning point. OTT: You’ve met a lot of celebrities, from famous DJ Wolfman Jack to the legendary Julie Andrews. Who’s impressed you the most? DR: Kristin Chenowith. She is super-talented, supersweet, and super-loving. She seems like a young soul. OTT: What is the best part of your job? DR: Making a difference in people’s lives. Once a listener told me a story about how she was on vacation in LA and was sightseeing in Hollywood with her family when she found herself in a dangerous situation. She said she could hear my voice telling her everything was going to be OK. You just never know how you are going to touch somebody. I also enjoy the community work that I get to do through KONO, like the KONO Cares for Kids Literacy Program. There’s nothing better than hearing the students at the schools that we visit recite the Pledge of Allegiance on the air. OTT: What do think the next 10 years holds for the evolution of radio personalities and where do you see yourself? DR: As far as the future of radio personalities, there’s an app for that! But seriously, radio is interesting in that I think that there will always be DJs. We are your friends on the radio, and there are a lot of lonely people out there who need a friend. As for where I will be? I may not be doing the morning show any more, but I still see myself being a part of radio and broadcasting. But mostly, I’ll be hanging out with my rescue dog, a terrier named Scout, as well as a few other angels, and enjoying my life.

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Ready to Shine for 2015-16

Tobin Center’s New Bro

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oadway and Dance Series By Julie Catalano Photography courtesy The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

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he first season of the new Tobin Center for the Per forming Ar ts is nearing completion, and from the looks of it, we ain’t seen nothing yet. The center ’s recent announcement of the upcoming 2015-16 Dance Series and the BMW of San Antonio Signature Series of Broadway shows promises to be another string of showstoppers, including— are you ready?--a San Antonio premiere and a world premiere.

world class artists, like we did in the first season, and I think it’s only going to get better.” Grab your calendars and mark the dates. These hot tickets will likely go quick ly. THE DANCE SERIES

Ballet Folk lorico de Mexico, September 14. What better way to k ick off the season than with a longtime crowd-pleasing favorite. The The 2014-15 inaugural season was a “masterful acclaimed dance ensemble depic ts the color ful success,” says Aaron Zimmermann, senior director and moving traditions of Mexico, including of programming and marketing at the Tobin works based on indigenous cultures. Center. “We’ve had huge support from the city that we couldn’t have imagined.” The glowing feedback Forever Tango, November 10. Argentine founder prompted them to “work really hard to gather a and director Luis Bravo presents passionate great lineup of performances, productions, and and mesmerizing world-class tango dancers 20 On The Town | May/June 2015

per forming to original and traditional music. Shaping Sound, Januar y 26. A first for San Antonio, this elec trifying mash-up of dance and musical styles is per formed by a company founded in 2012 based on dance reality show “All the R ight Moves.” Audiences and critics alike have praised the eye -popping show for its innovation and athleticism set to a diverse soundtrack that includes ever yone from Benny Goodman to Queen. Blaze, Februar y 18. Another San Antonio first, the best in street dance and break dance deliver a high- energy show choreographed by some of the hottest names in street dance.

histor y and folk lore of Ireland in music, song, dance and stor ytelling. Ballet Alive! April 8-10. Zimmermann explains the addition of the Tobin’s resident ballet company to the Dance Series season: “ We’re adding this show as a special par t of the season. This is the four th show of the Ballet San Antonio subscription season, and if people want to add this to their subscription they ’ll have that option.” THE BMW OF SAN ANTONIO SIGNATURE SERIES

The Midtown Men, Oc tober 14. A special show in the subscription series, this concer t program features members of the original cast of Jersey Celtic Nights, March 24. A journey though the Boys, the Broadway megahit that told the stor y May/June 2015 | On The Town 21

of Frank ie Valli and the Four Seasons. This quar tet of Broadway veterans have given more than 2,000 live shows on tour, bringing to life the greatest feel- good hits of the six ties. Flashdance, October 20. The season officially opens with the musical version of the iconic movie now celebrating its 30th anniversary. The show features hit songs from the movie (including the Academy Award-winning title song) along with 16 new songs written especially for the musical.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, December 2124. The holiday favorite is back, says Zimmermann. “It was a big hit, people loved it, and we’re going to try to make it an annual event.”

Th e P r o d u ce r s , J a n u a r y 1 3 . B a s e d o n t h e M e l B r o o k s m o v i e o f t h e s a m e n a m e, t h i s a w a r d w i n n i n g m u s i c a l i s a b o u t t wo s c h e m i n g theatrical producers who plan a Broadway f l o p o n l y t o w a t c h i t t u r n i n t o a h i t . Fu n ny, i r r e ve r e n t , a n d w i t h B r o o k s’ s i g n a t u r e o ve r t h e - t o p w i t , t h e s h o w wo n a r e c o r d b r e a k i n g DreamWorks Shrek the Halls, November 6-8. A 1 2 To ny a w a r d s. new holiday show featuring the characters from the movies Shrek, Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda Bullets O ver Broadway, March 6. A San Antonio will have its world premiere at the Tobin Center for premiere, Woody Allen’s critically-acclaimed six performances. “I think it’s very exciting for the musical comedy based on his film of the same city,” says Zimmermann. “It speaks volumes that name hilariously chronicles the mak ing of a DreamWorks would choose San Antonio to start Broadway show financed by a wealthy gangster their tour of a brand new show.” in the early 20th centur y. 22 On The Town | May/June 2015

Saturday Night Fever, March 28. The Tobin Photo Credits Broadway Series season closes out with a musical based on the iconic 1977 film about a Brooklyn Pages 18-19: youth whose disco dreams come true, complete Cast of Bullets O ver Broadway with white suit and music by the Bee Gees. Page 20 (L-R) Zimmermann is enthusiastic about the upcoming Ballet Folk lorico de Mexico season, describing the dance series as “giving a Forever Tango global perspective of dance in a wide variety of styles. It was designed as something for everybody.” Page 21 (L-R) As for the Broadway series, he thinks San Antonio Celtic Nights audiences will embrace it as the perfect mix for an Blaze evening of escapism in the magnificent setting of the Tobin Center. “People want to let go of their Pages 22-23 lives for a little while, forget their problems and Flashdance: The Musical enjoy themselves. We all need to be entertained and the theatre is a great way to do that.” The M idtown Men For more info, Tickets available online or by phone at 210-223-8624.

Shrek The Halls

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Emily Spicer, John O’Neill and Anna Gangai

John O’Neill and John Stillwaggon

Staging Literature:

The Classic Theater of San Antonio brings dramatic literature to life By Jasmina Wellinghoff Production photos by Siggi Ragnar – Founders photo by Gary O. Smith


.f you know the plays of the great Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov, you’ll immediately recognize the names Vanya, Sonia and Masha as belonging to three of his unforgettable characters. But thanks to American playwright Christopher Durang, the three are enjoying a new thespian life in the United States these days. In his Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Durang has mixed elements of Chekhov, Hollywood, rural Pennsylvania, a touch of Greek mythology, and a great deal of zaniness to create a Tony-winning comedy that has been entertaining audiences across the country.

it came up all mixed up. But it’s a really well-made play. I think it’s Durang’s masterpiece.”

The plot is indeed reminiscent of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, though references to his other works pop up here and there as well. Middle-aged American siblings Vanya and Sonia lead quiet, unfulfilled lives in a small Pennsylvania town after spending many years looking after their aging, now dead, parents. They have been financially supported by their Hollywood actress sister Masha, a selfobsessed fading diva who returns home with her boy toy Spike in tow. Also living in the house is the housekeeper The San Antonio premiere of the show takes place Cassandra, a modern-day prophetess of sorts. When May 1-17 at the Classic Theater of San Antonio, 1924 it becomes clear that Masha intends to sell the family Fredericksburg Road, inside the Woodlawn Theater. home, the entire household is thrown into turmoil. “It’s the funniest play I have ever read,” said director Diane Malone has gathered a strong cast that includes veteran Malone, who is also a co-founder of the Classic Theater. actor/teacher John O’Neill, outstanding actresses Anna “Durang said that he put the characters in a blender, and Gangai and Emily Spicer as the two sisters, and the 24 On The Town | May/June 2015

Emily Spicer terrific Danielle King as Cassandra. John Stillwaggon The Classic was founded in 2008 by stage aficionado and McKenna Liesman will appear as Spike and a young Chris Cheever and a group of thespians that included aspiring actress named Nina, respectively. Malone and her husband, Rick Malone, Allan and Terri Ross, and Tony and Asia Ciaravino, all experienced pros Though the name “Classic Theater” implies a focus on who collectively brought in expertise in just about classical works from the past, the company has always every aspect of production, from acting and directing defined its mission in a broader way, describing itself as to scenic and sound design, in addition to managerial devoted to “classics of yesterday, today and tomorrow.” and administrative skills. Today the company is run by Every season features famous plays from different co-artistic directors Allan Ross and Diane Malone, with historical periods. In fact, it’s the only place in town Rick Malone serving as executive director. It’s a nonprofit where you can see professionally produced works by governed by a board of directors. Shakespeare, Moliere or Chekhov, for instance. The Merchant of Venice, which played earlier this spring, Until last year, all performances took place at the was a sellout. But the list of iconic dramas from the former home of the Jump-Start Performance Co. in the Euro-American theatrical canon produced in the past Blue Star Complex, but when the management of that several years includes titles such as Waiting for Godot, development increased rents, both Jump-Start and Hedda Gabler, The Glass Menagerie, All My Sons, Private the Classic had to move. The latter found a new venue Lives, The Lion in Winter, and others, rarely staged inside the historic Woodlawn Theater building in the anywhere else outside of academia. Reviews have Art Deco district. been overwhelmingly positive. “We are still evolving the space, working on the décor,” “In these days when we are in danger of losing a lot of said Rick Malone, who also is an accomplished sound our literature, we are committed to the classical dramatic designer. “It’s been somewhat of a challenge for the cast literature,” Malone said. “I have always been a text- since we changed to the arena format (from proscenium), oriented director. I don’t do performance art or improv. but audiences love it.” I am interested in bringing literature to life on stage and that’s what we do at the Classic.” Though this writer has never experienced a poorly May/June 2015 | On The Town 25

Founders: Rick Malone, Diane Malone, Terri Pena Ross and Allan Ross attended Classic performance, the co-directors remarked that their patrons wait to read the review before deciding to see a show, which often translates into relatively weak ticket sales for the opening weekend. “I would like to get to the point where people would say, ‘I know the Classic is doing work I want to see, so I better go now,’ rather than wait,” Allan Ross said. “They complain when they can’t get tickets for the last weekend because those shows are usually sold out.” To extend its reach and attract new audiences, the company recently introduced special shows under “The Classic Presents” umbrella, and some of those played to packed houses right away. Such was the case with El Corazon de Bolero, Jose Ruben de Leon’s musical tribute to bolero composers from Cuba, Puerto Rico and Mexico. He will be asked back. While deeply involved with their work, the founders also are looking to prepare a new generation of artists and leaders to take over eventually. Rick wants to retire from his administrative post to devote himself exclusively to sound design, so a search for a new executive is under way. “It’s time for some younger blood,” he quipped. Meanwhile, younger designers and directors are being hired for a number of shows. The design crew working on Vanya and Sonia, for instance, is composed entirely of recent college graduates, Rick said. The 2015-16 season will feature younger guest directors Mark Stringham and Matthew Byron Cassi, who also directed The Merchant of Venice. “We are looking forward to more of that. We don’t want it to end with us,” said Allan Ross, a veteran actor, director and designer. “Organizations go through different phases. We are now moving from phase one, when passionate founders did all the work, to the second phase, when a 26 On The Town | May/June 2015

new generation of professionals will follow the vision and move the mission forward.” One of the younger people already moving the mission forward is actress/director Christie Beckham, who joined the company as the director of education and hit the ground running. In addition to appearing on stage, she already has created new outreach programs to foster love of the classics among high schools students or help aspiring thespians to acquire hands-on experience by working with a professional troupe. That said, however, the founders have no intention of retiring any time soon. Both Allan Ross and Diane Malone will be directing plays next season, and Ross said he was looking forward to directing again after a period of mostly acting and designing. “It’s an exciting period for us,” he said. “We look forward to fresh new ideas as we celebrate the hard work we have done so far.”

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The Classic Theater of San Antonio 1924 Fredericksburg Rd, 78201 210-589-8450 2015-16 Season Master Class, by Terrence McNally Sept. 11-27, 2015 Medea, by Euripides Nov. 6-22, 2015 The Seagull, by Anton Checkhov Feb. 12-28, 2016 Born Yesterday, by Garson Kanin April 29-May 15, 2016

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David Gross President 28 The TownSymphony | May/June 2015 SanOnAntonio

From Bach to Bond, the San Antonio Symphony’s 76th Season

By Lisa Cruz Photo of David Gross by Greg Harrison


....rammy-award winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma has been ...quoted saying, “I realized late in life that my twin passions are music and people.” He will have an opportunity to enjoy both when he joins the San Antonio Symphony for a special Gala performance October 16, 2015 at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.

year to create the Las Americas Festival, featuring music of the Americas with compositions from across North, Central and South America. “We are doing everything from Piazzolla to Bernstein to Marquez, Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Samuel Barber,” Gross said. “We feel broadening the Festival to composers from a geographic area allows us to have more partners involved in the community and have much greater community engagement. We have had great feedback from our festival partners.”

The one-night performance is part of the Symphony’s 76th season, which opens September 18, 19 and 20 with the well-known Beethoven’s 9th. Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing will conduct the opening concert of the Valero Classics Series, joined by the San Part of this year’s Festival includes the world premiere Antonio Mastersingers. of contemporary composer Jeffrey Mumford’s cello Next season is shaping up to be extremely diverse concerto with a solo performance by local cellist Christine as the orchestra performs an array of contemporary Lamprea. Mumford has served as Artist-in-Residence at and traditional classical pieces from Brahms 2nd piano Bowling Green State University and as assistant professor concerto to Gamelan D’Drum, a percussion ensemble of composition and Composer-in-Residence at the concerto written by Stewart Copeland, former Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. drummer of the band, The Police. “We continue to be an advocate for new music,” Gross said. David Gross, President of the San Antonio Symphony, “Jeffrey’s music is a little more cutting edge. Christine has explained that the Copeland concert is being gravitated toward more contemporary music. I think the coordinated with an international percussion two of them working together will produce something conference being held in San Antonio the weekend of that reflects both of their ideas, and that gives some good November 13 and 14, hosting 5,000 to 6,000 student synergy to the work.” and professional percussionists. Beyond the classical season, the Symphony’s H-E-B Pops The Symphony will also continue its annual Festival Series continues to reflect a range of musical options. The tradition, featuring pieces reflecting a single theme. Pops season opens with I Love Piano October 30 and 31, Previous festivals have focused on an individual 2015 and brings back fan favorites Holiday Pops, Bravo composer, either through pieces by a single composer Broadway and Fiesta Pops this season. The orchestra will or with a thematic link to a single composer. Symphony also perform Bond and Beyond, memorable music from Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing has chosen this favorite 007 movies and other detective flicks March 11

May/June 2015 | On The Town 29

and 12, 2016. The Pops season closes with a tribute to the For a complete listing of the Symphony’s 76th season, troops Born in the USA: Patriotic Pops May 13 and 14, 2016. visit, or to purchase tickets, visit The Symphony also celebrates the continuation of its Young People’s Concerts, which has introduced classical music to more than 1 million students since 1943. Photo Credits: “The educational concerts provide a connection between the Symphony and the community, and with Page 28: the reduction in school music programs, they provide a very unique experience for the students,” Gross said. David Gross “We coordinate the concerts with core curricula, so the Photo by Greg Harrison students know what they are going to see in advance, Page 30 (L-R) providing a more positive experience.”

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Gross added that because the Young People’s Concerts are now free to students and the Symphony has been able to increase scholarships for transportation, he expects to see an increase of more than 7,000 students this year over last. 30 On The Town | May/June 2015

Yo Yo Ma Photo by Todd Rosenberg Sebastian Lang-Lessing Photo by Marks Moore

May/June 2015 | On The Town 31

GIANT AND MARY POPPINS highlight Texas Public Radio’s Cinema Tuesdays series of classic films By Peabo Fowler Photography courtesy TPR


or 15 years, San Antonians have enjoyed taking a break from the blockbusters during the summer to step back in time for a series of classic films, Cinema Tuesdays. The annual event, held at the Santikos Bijou theater at the Wonderland of the Americas mall, is produced by Texas Public Radio and is an important community initiative. “I can’t say that it began small, because it was a hit right off the bat,” said Nathan Cone, curator of the series and TPR’s director of community and cultural engagement.

32 On The Town | May/June 2015

“That first year, we sold out screenings of La Strada and The Bicycle Thief, and every summer, there are dates we have to turn folks away.” For the series’ anniversary this year, TPR has some big plans – actually, “giant” plans. “We will be opening this summer’s series with the classic film Giant, starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean,” Cone said.

The M ay 26 G i a n t screen i n g w i l l be at t he S antik os Pal l ad i u m , a n d TP R w i l l wel co me a speci a l g ue s t, B o b H i n k l e.

Cone said a world premiere will take place at this year’s Cinema Tuesdays series. Filmmaker and musician Matt Diekman will screen his short film, Upon the Awful Tree, prior to the feature presentation “Hinkle is a former rodeo cowboy and stuntman who of Picnic at Hanging Rock on June 2. Diekman will be was hired by Warner Bros. to basically teach James joined by University of Texas at San Antonio professor Dean how to be a Texan,” Cone said. “He has some Matt Dunne, whose beautiful score accompanies the fantastic stories about the making of the film.” wordless film. Giant won’t be the only screening in TPR’s series welcoming special guests this summer. Musicians, actors and singers will lend their unique perspectives to some of the films being screened.

Rare big-screen showings also are a hallmark of the Cinema Tuesdays series, and Cone said he recommends making reser vations early for Alfred Hitchcock ’s war time thriller, Foreign Correspondent. TPR will be screening it July 21 For Anatomy of a Murder on June 9, Larry Strayhorn, from a 35mm archive print. nephew of the great jazz composer Billy Strayhorn, will talk about his uncle’s famous partnership with Showtime for most films is 7:30pm Tuesdays at Duke Ellington and their collaboration on the the Santikos Bijou, located in the Wonderland of film’s soundtrack. At the June 16 screening of Mary the Americas mall at Interstate 10 and Loop 410. Poppins, moviegoers will be entertained by cast Select features begin at 7pm. Admission is by members from the Woodlawn Theater’s production suggested donation. Details and reservations are of the Disney musical, performing some of the at show’s famous songs. May/June 2015 | On The Town 33

34 On The Town | May/June 2015

Events Calendar 36-48

May/June 2015 | On The Town 35

May/June 2015 Events Calendar Music Notes Wishbone Ash 5/1, Fri @ 6:30pm Aztec Theatre 2015 Fort Sam Houston Jazz Series Marc Antoine and J oe McBride 5/1, Fri @ 8pm (doors @ 7pm) Fort Sam Houston Theater San Antonio Symphony Beethoven 7 5/1-2, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Steve Sloane, conductor Evelyn Glennie, percussion H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Stars in the Hills 5/1-6/27, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 4:30pm & 8pm Rock Box Theater Fredericksburg Reckless Kelly 5/2, Sat @ 7pm Aztec Theatre

36 On The Town | May/June 2015

Nashville Nights with Scott and Emily Reeves 5/3, Sat @ 3pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Children’s Chorus of San Antonio Fiesta in Song 5/3, Sun @ 3pm H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Mid-Texas Symphony Violin & Variations 5/3, Sun @ 4pm David Mairs, conductor Nancy Zhou, violin Jackson Auditorium Texas Lutheran College Boz Scaggs with Rayland Baxter 5/4, Mon @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Greg Allman 5/5, Tue @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Brandon Jenkins Ancira Music Series 5/6, Wed @ 7pm County Line BBQ IH-10 Chicago: The Band 5/6, Wed @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre

San Antonio Symphony Pops Cirque de la Symphonie 5/8-10, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Akiko Fujimoto, conductor H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Jonny Lang 5/7, Thu @ 7pm Aztec Theatre

Blackberry Smoke 5/9, Sat @ 7pm Aztec Theatre

Bob Dylan 5/7, Thu @ 8pm Majestic Theatre

Serenata Para Las Madres 5/9, Sat @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre

Electrify Your Strings Velocity Tour 2015 5/8, Fri @ 6pm 5/10, Sun @ 11am (doors) 4pm (performance) Aztec Theatre Lee Ann Womack 5/8, Fri @ 8pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Larry Joe Taylor and Wagon Aces 5/8, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Naoko Takoa SAIPC Piano Series 5/9, Sat @ 8pm Concert Hall @ University of the Incarnate Word Jason Boland and The Stragglers 5/9, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Celtic Woman 5/10, Sun @ 3pm Majestic Theatre

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Thieving Birds Ancira Music Series 5/13, Wed @ 7pm County Line BBQ IH-10 Justin Townes Earle 5/14, Thu @ 7pm Aztec Theatre Musical Bridges Around The World International Music Festival Latina 5/14, Thu @ 7:30pm San Fernando Cathedral Time, Place, Action 5/15, Fri @ Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Colombia Unbound 5/16, Sat @ 7:30pm San Fernando Cathedral Home Within 5/17, Sun @ 3pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Viva Espana 5/20, Wed @ 7:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Argentina Espectacular 5/21, Thu @ 7:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

38 On The Town | May/June 2015

African Rhythms 5/24, Sun @ 6pm Ruth Taylor Recital Hall Trinity University For more information: San Antonio Symphony Mozart Violin Concerto 5/15-16, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts TJ Smith 5/16, Sat @ 4pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Mat Kearney: Just Kids Tour 5/16, Sat @ 7pm Aztec Theatre San Antonio Chamber Choir The Drum Beat of Vacation 5/16, Sat @ 8pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater Tobin Center for the Performing Arts 5/17, Sun @ 3pm St. Mark’s Episcopal Heart of Texas Concert Band Spring Concert 5/17, Sun @ 3pm Crossroads Baptist Church

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Carmina Burana 5/17, Sun @ 7pm Troy Peters, conductor Children’s Chorus of San Antonio San Antonio Choral Society H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts SOLI Chamber Ensemble Experience 5/18-19, Mon @ 7:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Tue @ 7:30pm Ruth Taylor Recital Hall Trinity University Tejas Brothers Ancira Music Series 5/20, Wed @ 7pm County Line BBQ IH-10 Billy Currington with Sam Hunt 5/22, Fri @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Almost Patsy Cline Band 5/22, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall

San Antonio Symphony Pops Star Wars and More: The Music of John Williams 5/22-23, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Stuart Chafetz, conductor H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Neon River, Girl Talk and Ludacris 5/23, Sat @ 7pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Ciara 5/23, Sat @ 7pm Aztec Theatre Dirty River Boys 5/23, Sat @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Heritage Blues Orchestra Carver Community Cultural Center 5/23, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver The Bud Light River City Rockfest 5/24, Sun @ 12pm AT&T Center The English Brothers Show Western & Cowboy Gospel Music 5/24, Sun @ 3pm Rock Box Theater Fredericksburg

George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic 5/28, Thu @ 7pm Aztec Theatre Rosie Flores 5/29, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall San Antonio Symphony Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto 5/29-30, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Alexander Gavrylyuk, piano

H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts San Antonio Symphony Discover Series Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto 5/31, Sun @ 3pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Alexander Gavrylyuk, piano H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Life Palooza Festival featuring Spazmatics and Jerrod Medulla 5/30, Sat @ 6pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Romeo Santos 5/30, Sat @ 9pm Freeman Coliseum Satisfaction: Rolling Stones Tribute 6/3, Wed @ 7pm Rock Box Theater Fredericksburg

AWOLNATION: Run Tour 2015 6/5, Fri @ 7pm Aztec Theatre San Antonio Symphony Scheherazade & Peer Gynt 6/5-6, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Texas Rebellion 6/5, Fri @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall

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Robin Trower 6/6, Sat @ 7pm Aztec Theatre

Adam Hood & Jason Eady 6/13, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Randy Rogers Band 6/6, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels

Kay & Friends Fredericksburg Music Club 6/14, Sun @ 3pm Fredericksburg United Methodist

Valerie Simpson Carver Community Cultural Center 6/6, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver South Austin Moonlighters 6/6, Sat @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Delbert McClinton 6/6, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall The Gipsy Kings Featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonion Baliardo 6/7, Sun @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Larry Joe Taylor 6/12, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Dale Watson 6/12, Fri @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall An Evening with Travis Tritt 6/13, Sat @ 8pm H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Nothing More 6/19, Fri @ 7pm Aztec Theatre Black Violin 6/19, Fri @ 8pm H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Thomas Michael Riley Music Festival 6/19-21, Fri @ 6pm Sat-Sun @ 1pm Luckenbach Dancehall Super Freestyle Explosion 6/20, Sat @ 7:30pm Illusions Theater @ The Alamodome JMBLYA 6/20, Sat @ TBD Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Julion Alvarez 6/21, Sun @ 7pm Freeman Coliseum Whitesnake 6/23, Tue @ 8pm Majestic Theatre

40 On The Town | March/April May/June 2015 2015

Michael McDonald 6/25, Thu @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Almost Patsy Cline Band 6/26, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall The Avett Brothers with Old Crow Medicine Show 6/26-27, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash 6/27, Sat @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Radney Foster 6/27, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Vans Warped Tour Presented by Journeys 6/28, Sun @ 11am AT&T Center

Live Theatre La Cage Aux Folles 5/1-3, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Woodlawn Theatre Mary Poppins 5/1-3, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 4:30pm Cameo Theatre

Lucky Woman 5/1-2, Fri-Sat @ 8pm 5/8-10 Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 7pm 5/14-16, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Greg Barrios Theater @ The Overtime Theater Vanya & Sonia and Masha & Spike 5/1-17, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Classic Theatre of San Antonio Greater Tuna 5/1-17, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2:30pm The Wimberley Players The Journeymen and Womyn with a Y 5/1-2, Fri-Sat @ 8pm 5/8-10, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm 5/14-16, Thu-Sat @ 8pm 5/22-24, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 7pm 5/28-30, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Little Overtime Theater Rumors 5/2-31, Thu & Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm (no shows Fridays and no shows 5/23-24) Sheldon Vexler Theatre Rebel Yells 5/7-24, Thu-Sat @ 6:30pm (dinner) 8pm (performance) Sun @ 1pm (lunch) 2:30pm (performance) S.T.A.G.E. in Bulverde

I Hate Hamlet 5/8-23, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Boerne Community Theatre Disney Presents Newsies (touring) North Park Lexus Broadway in San Antonio 5/12-17, Tue-Thu @ 7:30pm Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm Majestic Theatre

4000 Miles 5/15-6/7, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Cellar Theatre @ Playhouse San Antonio 53 Million & One NAHREP Presents 2015 Nuevo Latino Tour 5/21, Thu @ 7pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

The Mystery of Edwin Drood 5/29-6/21, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Russell Hill Rogers Theatre @ Playhouse San Antonio Drive Me Crazy 5/29-6/27, days/times TBD Greg Barrios Theater @ The Overtime Theater Country Is The Music of Main Street – In Concert 5/30-6/28, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 4:30pm Cameo Theatre

From The Mahabharata: The Great Dance-Off Attic Rep – International Theatre Festival of San Antonio Inaugural Production 6/3-14, Wed-Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2:30pm & 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

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South Pacific 6/5-7, Fri-Sun @ 8:30pm 6/11-20, Thu-Sat @ 8:30pm Smith-Ritch Point Theatre Ingram Mamma Mia (touring) North Park Lexus Broadway in San Antonio 6/9-14, Tue-Thu @ 7:30pm Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm Majestic Theatre A Life (Asleep) 6/12-7/11, days/times TBD Little Overtime Theater Evita Fredericksburg Theater Company 6/19-7/5, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm Steve W. Shepherd Theater Fredericksburg Mary Poppins 6/26-7/26, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm (except 7/5 which is at 7:30pm) Woodlawn Theatre

Dance San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet Dance Kaleidoscope 2015 5/3, Sun @ 2:30pm Majestic Theatre

42 On The Town | May/June 2015

It’s A Dance Thing 5/9, Sat @ 6pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver

Kris Shaw 5/1-3, Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Sun @ 8:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

A Streetcar Named Desire - Scottish Ballet Company Arts San Antonio 5/12, Tue @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Mike Robles 5/6-10, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

Ballet New Braunfels 10 Years n the Making 5/30, Sat @ 11am & 3:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels MOVE LIVE on TOUR Starring Julianne & Derek Hough 6/20, Sat @ 8pm Majestic Theatre

Opera Opera Piccola Broadway vs. Opera 5/30-31, Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm

Ben Moore 6/3-4, Wed-Thu @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Ron Feingold 6/3-7, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

Jerry Rocha 5/14-17, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

Dave Coulier 6/5-7, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

DeRay Davis 5/15-17, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Harry Basil 6/10-14, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Chad Daniels 5/20-24, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Johnny O 6/10-14, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club


Sheng Wang 5/20-24, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

Moshe Kasher 5/1-3, Fri @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Gina Brillon 5/27-31, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Sonya White 6/17-21, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Donnell Rawlings 6/18-21, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Brad Tassell 6/24-25, Wed-Thu @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Paul Ogata 6/24-28, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Impractical Jokers: “Where’s Larry” Tour starring The Tenderloins Comedy Troupe 6/26, Fri @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Mary Lynn Rajskub 6/26-28, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Tom Green 6/29, Mon @ 7pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

Children’s Kidz Bop Live 5/1, Fri @ 6:30pm Majestic Theatre Shrek Jr. The Musical 5/1-2, Fri @ 7pm Sat @ 2pm & 7pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre @ Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Magic Tree House 5/1-6/6, Fri @ 11:30am & 7pm Sat-Sun @ 2pm 5/5-30, Tue-Thu @ 9:45am & 11:30am, Fri @ 9:45am, 11:30am & 7pm Sat @ 2pm 6/2-6, Tue-Thu @ 10:30am Fri @ 10:30am & 7pm Sat @ 2pm Magik Theatre Children’s Fine Arts Series International Puppet Festival @ The Tobin Center When Animals Were People & The Lazy Bee by Tears of Joy Theatre 5/6-7, Wed-Thu @ 6:30pm Rotunda Fragile by Le Clan des Songes 5/6-8, Wed-Fri @ 6:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater Landscapes by Mimika Theatre 5/7-20, Thu & Fri @ 6:30pm Sat @ 9am, 11:30am, 2pm & 4:30pm Sun @ 12pm, 2:30pm & 5pm Rotundas Out of the Mist a Dragon by Wood and Strings Theatre 5/9, Sat @ 11:30am, 2pm & 4:30pm

May/June 2015 | On The Town 43

Golden Dragon Water Puppets of Saigon 5/9-12, Sat @ 10:15am, 12:45pm, 3:15pm & 6pm, Sun @ 1:15pm, 3:45pm & 6:15pm Mon-Tue @ 6:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater A Wild Goose Chase by Matt Sandbank’s Shadow Factory 5/10-11, Sun @ 12pm, 2:30pm & 5pm Mon @ 9:45am, 11:45am & 6:30pm Rotundas Escape From the Zoo by Wood and Strings Theatre 5/10, Sun @ 11am, 1:15pm & 3:45pm River Walk Plaza Little Red Riding Hood by Paul Messner Puppets 5/11-12, Mon-Tue ! 6:30pm Rotundas For more information: Seussical The Musical, Jr. 5/7-17, Fri @ 7:30pm Sat @ 2;30 & 7:30pm Sun @ 4:30pm Cameo Theatre Chuggington Live: The Great Rescue Adventure 6/12, Fri @ 7pm H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

44 On The Town | May/June 2015

Mercy Watson 6/24-26 Wed @ 10:30am Fri @ 10:30am & 7pm 7/1-3, Wed @ 10:30am Fri @ 7pm 7/8-110, Wed @ 10:30am Fri @ 10:30am & 7pm 7/15-18, Wed @ 10:30am Fri @ 7pm, Sat @ 2pm 7/22-24, Tue @ 10:30am Fri @ 7pm 7/29-8/1, Wed @ 10:30am Fri @ 7pm, Sat @ 2pm 8/5-8, Wed @ 10:30am Fri @ 10:30am & 7pm Sat @ 2pm Magik Theatre

Exhibitions ARTPACE

Window Works Katie Pell 5/28-8/30 BLUE STAR CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM Back From Berlin Featuring Richard Amendariz, Cathy Cunningham-Little, Karen Mahaffy & Vincent Valdez Angelika Jansen, curator Now thru 5/10 Icon (satellite exhibition at Semmes Library) Now thru 6/1

Spring 2015 International Artist-In-Residence Oscar Murillo Henry Taylor Autumn Knight Cesar Garcia, curator Now thru 5/17

Red Dot 2015 5/20

Hudson Showroom Hare & Hound Press + Artpace / The Art of Collaboration Now thru 5/17

Cynthia Gregory: Of Reference, Of Departure, Of Origin 6/4-8/9

Window Works Untitled (Beginning), 1994 Felix Gonzalez-Torres Now thru 5/17


Hudson Showroom Christian Marclay 5/28-8/30

Everyday is Ordinary 6/4-8/9 Transmission 6/4-8/9

New Paintings by Elizabeth Rodriguez: A Women’s History and Contemporary Art Month Exhibit Now thru 5/2

Nature on the Edge: Mutation and Hybridity in 21st Century Art Curated by David Ruben 5/22-7/11 BRISCOE WESTERN ART MUSEUM Film Series: The Comedic West Blazing Saddles 5/19, Tue @ 6:30pm City Slickers 6/16, Tue @ 6:30pm INSTITUTE OF TEXAN CULTURES Texas, Our Texas Now thru 5/30 Patriots & Peacemakers Now thru 6/14 Faces of Survival Now thru 11/15 Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab Now thru 1/3/16 LINDA PACE FOUNDATION It Takes A Village: New Works by Alejandro Diaz Now thru 9/12 SPACE:The Linda Pace Foundation Gallery Adam (Public Artwork) By Arturo Herrera 25’ h x 98’ w, Frost Bank Garage Commerce at Main Now thru 12/2016



World War II in Photographs Now thru 5/10

2015 CAM Perennial Exhibition Curated by Amy Mackie Now thru 5/23

Chris Doyle: Video Works Now thru 5/17 Regarding Ruscha Now thru 5/17 Rodin to Warhol: 60th Anniversary Gifts and Recent Acquistions Now thru 5/17 All the Rage in Paris Now thru 6/21 Design, Fashion, Theatre Now thru 6/21 Villinski Now thru 7/26 Viva Zapata 5/20-8/16 Voices of Suffering 5/20-8/16 Merida’s Mexico 6/3-9/6 Recycled, Repurposed, Reborn 6/10-8/17 Lesley Dill: Performance as Art 6/10-9/6

SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN Rainforest Adventure Now thru 9/20 One Way Trail-Art in the Garden 2015 (In conjunction with Blue Star Contemporary Art Center) Now thru 1/31/16 SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART Diego Rivera in San Antonio: A Small Focus Exhibition (On Display at Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art at SAMA) The Three Worlds of Jose Arpa y Perea: Spain, Mexico and San Antonio Now thru 6/21 Jamie Wyeth Now thru 7/5 SOUTHWEST SCHOOL OF ART Selfies: 50 At 50 5/8-7/5

May/June 2015 | On The Town 45

Christopher Rabb: The Amazing Memorable Thing 5/8-7/5

San Antonio: The Saga 5/1-6/30, Tue, Fri-Sun @ 9pm San Fernando Cathedral

San Antonio Art & Jazz Festival 6/5-7, Fri-Sun Crockett Park


Tejas Fest 2015 5/2, Sat / 10:30am-10pm Maverick Plaza La Villita

The Do Seum Grand Opening 6/6, Sat New museum location @ 2800 Broadway

Arte y Tradicion de La Frontera: The U.S. – Mexico Borderlands in the Works of Santa Barraza and Carmen Lomas Garza Alicia Viera, curator Now thru 5/30

Tejano Conjunto Festival 5/13-17, Wed-Sun Historic Guadalupe Theater and Rosedale Park For information:

The Texas Size Breach Collaborative: From El Paso to San Antonio Now thru 6/14

Culinaria Festival Week 5/13-17, Wed-Sun Various locations For information: www.


Fiesta Noche del Rio 5/15-8/15, Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm Arneson River Theatre on the River Walk

Jewels of the Court: A Journey Through Fiesta’s Coronation Now thru 5/3 Discover the Ice Age Opens 5/23

Miscellaneous Pearl Farmer’s Market 5/2-6/28, Sat-Sun / 9am1pm Pearl Complex

46 On The Town | May/June 2015

America’s Armed Forces River Parade 5/16, Sat @ 6pm River Walk Memorial Day Arts & Crafts Festival 5/22-25, Fri / 11am-11pm Sat-Sun /10am-11pm Mon / 10am-8pm River Walk Extension

Texas Folklife Festival 6/13-14, Sat / 11am-11pm Sun 12pm-7pm Institute of Texan Cultures An Evening with Neil Degrasse Tyson 6/16, Tue @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Robert Irvine Live! 6/18, Thu @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Photo Credits: Page 36: (L-R) David Mairs Courtesy Mid-Texas Symphony

Page 38 (L-R) Chicago Courtesy Majestic Theatre Lee Ann Womack Photo by John Scarpati Celtic Woman Courtesy Majestic Theatre Flaco Jimenez Courtesy Tejano Conjunto Festival Page 39 (L-R) Eva Ybarra Courtesy Tejano Conjunto Festival Mingo Saldivar Courtesy Tejano Conjunto Festival Cristina Pato Photo by Erin Baiano Kinan Azmeh Courtesy Page 40 (L-R) Brentano String Quartet Photo by Peter Schaaf JP Jofre Courtesy Sebastian Lang-Lessing Photo by Marks Moore Jennifer Koh Photo by Juergen Frank Page 41 (L-R)

Nancy Zhou Courtesy Fredericksburg Musical Club

Daniel Bernard Roumain Photo by Julietta Cervantes

Boz Skaggs Courtesy Tobin Center

Troy Peters Courtesy YOSA

Gregg Allman Courtesy Tobin Center

SOLI Chamber Ensemble Photo by Kemp Davis

Billy Currington Courtesy billycurrington. com Page 42 (L-R) Almost Patsy Cline Band Courtesy Stuart Chafetz Photo by Pat Johnson Rosie Flores Courtesy Alexander Gavrylyuk Courtesy San Antonio Symphony

Page 43 (L-R) Akiko Fujimoto Photo by Eric Green Valerie Simpson Courtesy valeriesimpson. net Page 44 (L-R) Dale Watson Courtesy Travis Tritt Courtesy Tobin Center Black Violin Courtesy Tobin Center

Whitesnake Photo by Ash Newell

Gary P. Nunn Courtesy

Page 45 (L-R)

Page 47 (L-R)

Radney Foster Courtesy La Cage Aux Folles Courtesy Woodlawn Theatre Page 46 (L-R) Jonathan Pennington Courtesy Cameo Theatre

Charlie Robison Courtesy charlierobison. com Scottish Ballet: Street Car Named Desire Photo by Andrew Ross

Newsies Photo by Deen Van Meer

Paul Ogata Courtesy Rivercenter Comedy Club

Mamma Mia Photo by Deen Van Meer

Kidz Bop Live Courtesy Majestic Theatre

May/June 2015 | On The Town 47

48 On The Town | May/June 2015

Culinary Arts


May/June 2015 | On The Town 49

Alberico Fine Wine

in a perfect spot: The Yard in Olmos Park By Olivier J. Bourgoin, aka Olivier the Wine Guy Photography Greg Harrison


fter 25 years working as a wine specialist in various capacities, having earned several prestigious wine certifications, and pursuant to having crisscrossed the planet in search of carefully selected signature recipes, owner/entrepreneur Ricardo “Rick” Ramos was ready for the next step. It came in the form of the first Alberico Fine Wine Restaurant and Retail, which he opened in McAllen in July 2011. A few years later, Ramos expanded operations to San Antonio. Where did the name come from? “It is my father’s name, Alberico,” Ramos said. “He taught me to be humble, to be thankful and to follow a simple philosophy in order to be successful in life. My dad taught me, and I thought it would be an appropriate name for my shop/restaurant, to honor him.” 50 On The Town | May/June 2015

Asked why he chose San Antonio for his first expansion out of his native McAllen, Ramos said: “The game plan is to loosely follow the border. Next is going to be El Paso; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Scottsdale, Arizona; and San Diego. All the border states benefit from a sort of dual economy, and I want to take advantage of that.” Located in a 2,000-square-foot space that for many years was home to the Olmos Park Wash and Fold Washeteria, Alberico San Antonio opened its doors on Dec. 15, 2014. Three distinct areas greet patrons. At one end, a small bar offers several beers on tap and wine by the glass. The main dining room is in the middle section and provides a bright and visually pleasant area with oversized bay windows. Large and strikingly elegant photos of world-famous vineyards and estates adorn

the walls. Each of them was captured by Ramos during his globe-trotting forays into foreign wine lands.

But here it’s your baby, and I became petrified when I realized that I would have no one to blame but myself. In fact, the day I came to that realization, I threw away five months of work I had done, and I started from scratch with a brand-new wine list. In addition, in (San Antonio), there is the challenge of new demographics. I had to think out my list from different angles. I come from the school of thought that people work hard for their money, and they deserve to enjoy their dining experience. Why should they buy a white wine with chicken or fish, if I can deliver a fantastic red that pairs well with what we have on the menu?”

The third section presents an impressive selection of fine wines, stored and arranged “library style” in hardwood bins. The highest rows require a ladder. Staff sommelier Gerald Groums, who met Ramos while they were both working at the famed Feldman’s Liquor Store in McAllen, moved to San Antonio to share his vast wine knowledge with visitors and shoppers. Here, the wine prices are under-inflated compared to many restaurants because a big part of Alberico’s concept is to offer a great selection of wines for retail purchase as well as for dining -- at the same price. General manager Vanessa Muñoz earned her stripes in the high-volume bar business at Lansky and Brats, “After 25 years in the wine industry, mostly on the fine another hot spot in McAllen, which is Muñoz’s home. wine side of it, I was called upon to put together many “Rick asked me if I wanted to move to San Antonio,” wine lists for other restaurants,” Ramos said. “I came up she said. “At first, I was hesitant because I was already with the concept for Alberico to purposely avoid typical enrolled for another semester at the university but I’m restaurant wine prices. I wanted it to be more from a glad to be here; although I already told him that I’m retail perspective. I think I have a very good concept on not moving to El Paso. This store is my baby. I want to what I am trying to build. That’s the fun part, creating stay here and see it grow.” a wine list, putting wines together and it’s super cool to be able to create this mutual respect for each other Muñoz said the Steak Tartare (served with capers when you are working with someone else’s restaurant. and a quail egg) is her personal favorite. The FrenchMay/June 2015 | On The Town 51

cut Lamb Chops (with an olive panko crust, Potatoes emulating Del Bosque restaurant in Mexico City. I Dauphinoise and basil jelly) is Ramos’ favorite. recommend it as well. It is spot on. Because the formula for this restaurant is to be a fancy wine store where patrons also can enjoy wine at retail prices when dining in, the staff is happy to make recommendations to pair with guests’ menu selections. Many of the wines are reasonably priced, making the dining experience a value proposition.

“I found this space by pure luck,” Ramos said. “Originally, we had a space in mind on Broadway but I came next door to Olmos Perk for coffee with my realtor and saw the space next door was open. In retrospect, this ended up being a better fit for us and with less overhead.”

On one visit, the smoked salmon chowder and the lentil soup were both delightful, each elegantly served on top of paper lace doilies on a stylish square trayplate. Inspired from a recipe from the Rainbow Room in New York City, and expertly crafted from a savory broth base, the lentil soup with crumbled sausage and tiny diced carrot bits was my favorite on a grey drizzly day. The smoked salmon chowder plucked from a Healdsburgh, Calif., menu includes a smooth combination of tomatoes, mushrooms and leeks for a near-perfect texture with the smoky fish aromas, and it was an excellent suggestion. A glass of Taittinger Brut Champagne millésime 2005 enhanced the experience. For a main course, Muñoz recommended another one of her favorites on the menu, the Chilean Sea Bass,

He added: “We are very much about quality. Everything we serve, the lamb, the duck steaks, everything has to be better. Service has to be better, too, so that customers get great value for their money.”

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Ramos said the best compliment he ever received occurred when one of his satisfied customers commented on a popular food blog, ”I’ve found a five-star restaurant with a blue-collar price tag.” ALBERICO FINE WINE: 5221 McCullough Ave., Olmos Park, 78212. Open 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Sunday brunch. 210-320-VINO (8466).

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Experience Vina Vita at Kuhlman Cellars, Â Benedicte Rhyne (winemaker/founder), Jennifer & Chris Cobb (founders)

where wine education is key By Olivier J. Bourgoin, aka Olivier the Wine Guy Photography courtesy Kuhlman Cellars


f one day you elect to trek down U.S. Highway craft as you will find in any winemaking region 290 near Stonewall and pay a visit to Kuhlman of the world. Cellars, as we did on a sunny Sunday in March, expect to learn a lot. Kuhlman Cellars is also the only winery in Texas to offer wine tastings by appointment only. What is offered here is not your typical, run-of- The idea behind this educational concept is to the -mill winer y tasting. Not only are the wines present the wines as part of a comprehensive of superior quality but the people who make culinary/educational experience, in contrast and promote them are as passionate about their to the more traditional tasting-room fare. Here 54 On The Town | May/June 2015

the tastings are guided by knowledgeable, onstaff sommeliers who provide the guests with a wealth of information. In addition, each flight of five wines is paired with five chef-designed and -prepared, bite-size gourmet food samples. Chef Chris Cook, who also is the co-founder of the Chef ’s Cooperative, is the current guest chef at Kuhlman Cellars. The food-bite selections are seasonal. During our visit in late March, we were treated to the last of the winter offerings. “I like to use local ingredients as much as possible, to help local farmers in need,” Cook said. “ There is never a shortage of such.”

“The reason I came to work here at Kuhlman Cellars is because I believe in the philosophy of what they are trying to accomplish,” Beckmann said. “It resonates with me, and I wanted to be a part of it.” Beckmann explained the science behind the four components of sensory perception of taste: salt, fat, acidity and sweetness. “You cannot make good wine with bad fruit, and a wine has to have enough acidity to make it stand up. Otherwise, what you end up with is a wine that is flabby,” she said. “Acidity is also the element which makes you salivate and which cleans your palate.”

Winemaker Bénédicte (de Carmejane) Rhyne, a native of France, grew up in Aix en Provence. During our visit, we also had the good fortune to When asked why she became a winemaker, draw sommelier Jennifer Beckmann as our tasting she said, “In school, I was better in science so tutor. Beckmann’s knowledge is equally matched naturally I followed more of a scientific path to by her passion about all things wine related. After my education.” working as a sommelier in some of the top finedining restaurants in Chicago, Beckmann came After earning a baccalaureate degree in chemistry back to her native Texas, where she previously in 1982, Rhyne went to Dijon to follow a course in worked for another new star on the Texas wine wine studies, graduating with a master of oenology scene, Bending Branch Winery. from the Université de Bourgogne in 1987. May/June 2015 | On The Town 55

Rhyne gained experience working in a vineyard, Mas de Gourgonnier, located in one of the most beautiful villages in Europe, Les baux de Provence. She finetuned her craft with an internship at world-renowned Chateau Pétrus in Bordeaux under the guidance of famed winemaker Jean-Claude Berrouet.

150,000 cases annually. This led Rhyne to establish a state-of-the-art wine laboratory designed with quality control in mind and, over time, to the creation of her own wine consulting business.

Eventually, Rhyne landed a job in California, working for Ravenswood Winery in Sonoma, leading their Bordeaux-style, “meritage” wine program. She remained there for 10 years, from 1991 to 2002. During that time, production at Ravenswood increased from about 15,000 cases per year to

“Here, it reminds me of Provence in some ways,” Rhyne said. “I want to make wines that reflect an expression of the ‘ Terroir.’ There is no crystal ball. It’s all trial and error and finding out what grows best here; what is most suitable to grow here versus on the high plains. We are still trying

Rhyne and her family moved to Fredericksburg to establish Bené’s Wine Lab. Since then, her wine “After that, in 1988, I took out a loan to travel to Australia country consulting business has flourished. Rhyne and New Zealand,” Rhyne said. “There I worked the also travels weekly to Fort Stockton, where she harvest at Matua Valley Wines. Next, I went to work as a consults for mammoth St. Genevieve Wines. She wine sales rep in London for two years.” became the winemaker at Kuhlman Cellars in 2012.

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and learning. Syrah, for example does not do well here but it can produce some phenomenal wines in other areas. For example, (owners) Chris and Jenn (Cobb) planted Syrah on their property in the Sultemeir vineyard as an experimental vineyard but it produced a terrible Syrah. We’re still trying to find the correct expression of Terroir, but Carignan is per forming well and next year we plan on starting some Mourvèdre and Alianico. I’m an equal opportunity drinker.”

of long-forgotten experimental vineyards planted there eons ago. Co-owner Jennifer Cobb’s expertise is in the operations side of the business. She brings 20 years of financial analysis experience to the Kuhlman Cellars venture. Her role is to be the steward of the brand with a focus on controlled growth.

K u h l m a n Ce l l a r s’ p h i l o s o p hy i s n o t fo c u s e d o n mak ing t he b est wines in Tex as, b u t o n ma k i n g On an interesting side note of near-heretical wines t hat are t he b est t hey c an b e a n d t h e proportions, purists beware: Rhyne is convinced b est t hey c an p rod uce. “ We are u n a p o l o g e t i c that although no one in Burgundy will admit to ab out t he p rod uc t we make wi t h o u t b e i n g it, there might be small amounts of rogue Syrah b raggar t s ab out it,” Cob b said. “O u r a i m i s n o t grapes hidden in between the rows of even some to sell you a few b ot t les d ur ing yo u r t a s t i n g of Burgundy ’s most famous Pinot vineyards; room visit b ut to sell you a few c a s e s e ve r y evidence of natural mutations from the remnants year for t he nex t 40 year s.” May/June 2015 | On The Town 57

With all the intangible elements that come into play, producing quality wine is indeed a labor of love. Disease, pests, birds and other animals, mildew and the occasional late-season hard freeze which can damage young buds on the vine are all realities facing winemakers and their crops.

percent Sauvignon Blanc) and Texas Red Blend (49 percent Merlot, 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 11 percent Cabernet Franc, 15 percent Carignane and 10 percent Grenache).

“I like all of our signature blends but especially the Calcaria,” Rhyne said. “ This one is made from “As far as weather is concerned, anything that is fruit grown in the high plains of West Texas. possible can, will or has happened,” Rhyne said. Blends are a fun thing to make for a winemaker because it combines the art of putting things “It’s another French thing for sure, part of a together so they can enhance each other.” European tradition and of my heritage -- we thrive on blending,” Rhyne said. “Bringing the different A prime example of design-concept architecture, parts together and making it into a marriage with Kuhlman Cellars’ winery building opened Oct. 3, 2014. each part bringing a piece to the whole, like you “We wanted to create a space that was functional and see done so well in some regions, especially like which encompassed what we call the three ‘F’s’ for with the wines from Chateauneuf du Pape -- to friends, family and fellowship -- where wine can be me, those are some of the greatest expressions of enjoyed with passion,” Cobb said. successful blending.” KUHLMAN CELLARS Two must-try wines: Calcaria ( White Blend: 77 18421 E. U.S. Highway 290, Stonewall, Texas. percent Chenin Blanc, 13 percent Sémillon and 10 512-920-CORK (2675). 58 On The Town | May/June 2015

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Visual Arts


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A Talk with Jamie Wyeth at SAMA By Dan R. Goddard Photography of Jamie Wyeth by Greg Harrison


rom the Brandywine Valley of Pennsylvania to the Kennedy White House and from Andy Warhol’s Factory in New York City to the rocky coasts of Maine, Jamie Wyeth on view through July 5 at the San Antonio Museum of Art traces the 50year career of one of the country’s most popular living realist painters.

“The greatest danger for a realist painter is to be too cute or pretty,” Wyeth said. “But if you have an emotional response to an object, why abstract the object? Why not go ahead and use the object? A good realist painter has to go deeper than the click of a camera. I have always used abstract elements to create realistic images. My feeling is my paintings could be hung upside down and they would still be Born into a family of distinguished realist painters interesting.” extending from the 19th-century, including his grandfather, Newell Convers “N.C.” Wyeth (1882- This can be seen most clearly in Bale, an amazingly 1945), famous for illustrating classic novels such as detailed painting of a hay bale that spans a century Treasure Island, and his father, Andrew Wyeth, who of realism’s evolution from Claude Monet’s haystacks painted the iconic Christina’s World, the 68-year-old to Warhol’s Campbell soup cans. At first glance, the artist has struggled to forge his own identity while painting could be 19th-century folk art, but closer remaining true to the family’s distinctive brand viewing reveals a universe of swirls, circles and of meticulously-detailed, emotionally-evocative marks much closer to 20th-century abstraction. American rural realism. “My landscapes I really consider portraits,” Wyeth “I spent my childhood going back and forth said. “I worked on Bale for weeks and became so between my grandfather’s studio, which still obsessed with the painting I had to cover it up at contained all the wonderful costumes and props night to make it disappear. But a neighbor of mine that he used in his illustrations, and my father’s looked at the painting and asked, ‘When did you studio, which was four bare walls,” Wyeth said at get the John Deere baler?’ I consider it one of the a press preview. “My grandfather died before I best compliments I’ve ever had.” was born, so I didn’t know him, but he probably had the most influence on my work, although my The retrospective begins with early childhood father was my best friend. But all my concerns drawings, including a crude seascape drawn below about them and their legacy were left stacked at a portrait profile of the young artist by his famous the studio door while I was doing my work.” father. Wyeth declared his intention to become an artist when he was 11 years old and dropped out to During the latter part of the 20th century, his father be homeschooled by his aunt, Carolyn Wyeth. served as modernism’s whipping boy and fought vainly to find critical favor in an era that declared “I learned a lot about history, literature and the fine realism obsolete, replaced by photography and arts, but algebra remains a mystery to me,” Wyeth said. outmoded by abstract expressionism. The first gallery features his stunning self-portrait May/June 2015 | On The Town 63

at age 17 as well as his Portrait of Shorty, a grizzled old timer sitting in an elaborately embroidered chair, which made Wyeth famous when he was still a teenager.

led to introductions to the Russian ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev and Warhol. Along with Wyeth’s several portraits of the two art superstars is Warhol’s portrait of Wyeth. Most curious are miniature dioramas, including Warhol’s dining room at The “A lot has been made of Shorty’s wife-beater T-shirt Factory furnished with a glowing TV, magazines, a and the fancy chair,” Wyeth said. “He lived along the bar and colorful Fiestaware made by Wyeth. He also railroad tracks and I paid him $4 an hour to pose created miniature versions of Warhol and his friends for me. I had him sit down in the only comfortable using GI Joe doll bodies. He carefully sculpted the chair I had in the studio.” lifelike heads in Plasticine. But the precocious portrait pushed Wyeth into the “Andy and I spent a lot of time going to toy stores,” national spotlight, leading to a commission to paint Wyeth recalled. “We both loved miniature things.” a portrait of the late President John F. Kennedy for the White House, which was ultimately rejected by the family. His grandfather’s forte was action scenes and his father may be most notorious for painting nudes of “The family wanted the blonde, blue-eyed American a neighbor named Helga, but Jamie Wyeth should boy, which he never was,” Wyeth said. “Ireland put it go down in art history as one of world’s great on a postage stamp so the portrait has taken on a life animal painters. An entire gallery is devoted to of its own and has become a lot of people’s favorite birds, including the magnificent Raven and a series image of Kennedy. I like the story about Picasso who of gull paintings inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins. when he was told that his portrait of Gertrude Stein didn’t look like her, replied, ‘Ah, but it will.’ ” But the dog with the conspicuous black circle around one eye reproduced on the exhibit’s catalog cover has A portrait of the opera impresario Lincoln Kirstein a South Texas connection. His name is Kleberg and he 64 On The Town | May/June 2015

was a gift from the King Ranch family of John Kleberg.

purchase from the Charles H. Bayley Picture and Painting Fund, Emily L. Ainsley Fund, and Robert “ They gave him to me when he was a puppy and Jordan Fund, 2014.996 we spent many hours together in the studio,” Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Wyeth said. “But one day he kept getting too © Jamie Wyeth close so I painted the circle around his eye with Photography © 2014 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston black paint, after the dog in the Our Gang series. People though it was funny so I kept doing it for the next ten years.” Southern Light

• • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 62: Jamie Wyeth Photo by Greg Harrison Pages 64-65: Portrait of John F. Kennedy 1967 Oil on canvas 40.6 x 73.7 cm (16 x 29 in.) Partial gift of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth and partial

1994 Enamel and oil on board 91.4 x 121.9 cm (36 x 48 in.) Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth Collection © Jamie Wyeth Photography courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Kleberg 1984 Oil on canvas 77.5 x 108 cm (30 ½ x 42 ½ in.) Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.164 © Jamie Wyeth Photography courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston May/June 2015 | On The Town 65

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Ruiz-Healy Art, director By Dan R. Goddard Photography Greg Harrison


uiz-Healy Art in Olmos Park is emerging as the city’s premier contemporary art gallery. After years of appointment-only shows in the living room of her home in this upscale San Antonio suburb, director Patricia Ruiz-Healy has created a first-class, 1,500-square-foot showplace for modern and contemporary works in the former Bistro Bakery. Located in the 1920s-vintage Spanish Mediterranean-style strip center on the northeast curve of the Olmos Circle, Ruiz-Healy Art has 16-foot high pressed-tin ceilings painted gray and large picture windows allowing in ample natural light. Ruiz-Healy spent about six months renovating the space, which opened last fall, and has presented an impressive string of contemporary art shows by Texas and Latin American artists. “I think we got off to a perfect start,” Ruiz-Healy said. “Starting in my home was the right thing to do because it created a nice client base for us. This space is just the right size, not huge but it still feels intimate, and I just love the natural light.”

She also has had booths at art and print fairs in Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Cleveland and New York. For the past five years, Ruiz-Healy has been a regular at the McNay Art Museum’s annual print fair. “A lot of my sales are out of state, and I have several clients in northern Mexico, especially Monterrey,” Ruiz-Healy said. With a master’s degree in art history from the University of Texas at San Antonio, she has done postgraduate work in London, England, at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and the Courtauld Institute of Art. Ruiz-Healy is currently a doctoral candidate at UT Austin. She is working on a dissertation about Mathias Goertiz (1910-1990) and has already written a book about the German/Mexican painter and sculptor.

“Goertiz brought geometric abstraction to Mexico,” Ruiz-Healy said. “My concentration is on the period from 1950 to 1968 when he had the greatest influence. He made international art possible in Mexico, effectively ending the reign One of only three dealers in Texas who are of the Mexican muralists.” members of the International Fine Print Fair Dealers Association, Ruiz-Healy has a particular affinity Currently, the gallery has a solo show through for works on paper, and she participates in one June 6 by Jesse Amado, the city’s most respected of the world’s best-known print fairs, the INK Fair, conceptual sculptor. After a five-year battle with sponsored by the IFPDA as part of Art Basel Miami. cancer, Amado is showing his work again and teaching at the Southwest School of Art. One of “I know how tough it is to make it as a contemporary the first San Antonio artists to be selected for a art gallery in San Antonio so that’s why I think it’s residency at Artpace, Amado has an MFA from UTSA, important to introduce my artists to other markets and he has a sculpture, Me, We, in the Smithsonian by participating in various print shows and art fairs Museum of American Art. around the country,” Ruiz-Healy said. May/June 2015 | On The Town 67

“We did a catalog for Jesse because it’s important to document the work of an artist,” Ruiz-Healy said. “After the show is over, a catalog is all that lasts. It’s the way curators and critics learn about artists. If we want to build a collector base in San Antonio, we have to educate people about the artists who are here.” Amado’s show will be followed by a two-person exhibit featuring Leigh Anne Lester, known for her composite botanical drawings, and Abelardo López, an Oaxaca painter who does serene rural landscapes. Ruiz-Healy specializes in both contemporary Texas and Latin American art. Among the San Antonio artists she represents are Ricky Armendariz, Nate Cassie, Connie Lowe, Benjamin McVey, Ethel Shipton, Julie Speed and Vincent Valdez. The Latin American artists include the grandson of the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, Pedro Diego Alvardo-Rivera, along with Cecilia Biagini, Andrés Ferrandis, Graciela Iturbide, Nicolás Leiva, Cecilia Paredes and Francisco Toledo. Ruiz-Healy is the executor of the estate of San Antonio artist Chuck Ramirez, who died in a tragic bicycle accident a few years ago near the duplex he shared with the gallery Sala Diaz in Southtown. Currently, Ruiz-Healy is working to restore a public art work by Ramirez at the San Antonio International Airport called “Lost and Found,” a series of largescale photographs of the contents of travelers’ suitcases. The sun faded the color prints and RuizHealy is having them re-printed for a re-installation in the airport’s public spaces. “I think San Antonio is in a great moment,” RuizHealy said. “I am really impressed by what is happening with new chefs and young architects who are introducing so many new concepts. I think we are in a dynamic phase, and I feel super-positive about the future. We just need to build on the momentum and develop our art scene and culture even more. San Antonio has a lot of great artists that the rest of the world needs to discover.”

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ne of San Antonio’s most acclaimed early artists, José Arpa earned an international reputation as a brilliant colorist. Nicknamed the “Sunshine Man” for his skill in handling sunlight, Arpa had a loose, fluid realistic style that made his landscapes and genre scenes glow. He became an acclaimed artist in Spain, Mexico and Texas at the beginning of the 20th century. 70 On The Town | May/June 2015

To celebrate the acquisition of two major paintings by the Spanish-born artist, the San Antonio Museum of Art is presenting The Three Worlds of José Arpa y Perea: Spain, Mexico and San Antonio through June 28. The exhibit features more than 20 paintings from local public and private collections including the Witte Museum, McNay Art Museum

and San Antonio Art League. “This is not a definitive retrospective, but the paintings provide a good overview of the types of work he did,” said William Randolph, SAMA’s chief curator. “We looked at not just the subject matter, but at his technique. For example, he liked to oppose horizontal and vertical elements in his compositions. His paintings often involve startling contrasts of colors, and he likes to play with space and perspective, often flattening things out. Arpa left an indelible impression on San Antonio, and we’re extremely proud of the two paintings that we’ve acquired.” A mother swings her baby around in a sunlit orchard with blooming fruit trees and flowers In the Garden, which dates from the early 1930s when Arpa returned to Spain after nearly three decades of painting and

teaching in San Antonio. The painting was purchased by the Betty Stieren Kelso Foundation. Randolph said SAMA purchased the other painting of a textile factory near Puebla, Mexico, dating from the turn of the 20 th century and notable for showing Mexico’s transition to the Industrial Age. “The rest of the exhibit includes things people have probably seen before as well as things that have not been shown before,” Randolph said. “There’s a wide range of scale from very small paintings to largescale works. The paintings highlight Arpa’s worldly perspective and unconventional views of subjects from the mundane to the historic.” Born in Carmona, Spain, on Feb. 19, 1858, Arpa studied at the School of Fine Arts in Seville, and during his school years received the Prix de Rome three successive times, enabling him to study in May/June 2015 | On The Town 71

Rome for six years. The Spanish government sent four of his paintings to the Chicago Columbian Exposition in 1893 as “representative of the best art of Spain.” Because of this recognition, the Mexican government invited Arpa to become an instructor at the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts in Mexico City. A man-of-war was sent to Spain to bring Arpa to Mexico as an honored guest. But after inspecting the academy, Arpa declined the offer. However, two of his Spanish schoolmates, Manuel Rivero and Antonio Guijano, persuaded him to remain in Mexico and paint.

wrote in Art for History’s Sake. “He had developed a reputation as a brilliant colorist, and the atmospheric luminosity of the radiant Mexican countryside struck a responsive chord in his aesthetic consciousness.”

When the Guijanos sent their children to San Antonio to attend school, Arpa accompanied them as a guardian and advisor. Arpa probably first visited the city in 1899, but did not become a resident until he opened a studio and art school in 1923. He showed a large painting, A Mexican Funeral, at the San Antonio International Fair in the early 1900s that was purchased by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and established his reputation “When Arpa visited Guijano in Puebla, he became in Texas. An active painter and teacher, he was a enchanted with the colorful adobe houses, member of the Brass Mug Club, an informal group glittering church towers, picturesque people that met on Sundays, and counted among his and verdant tropical growth,” Cecilia Steinfeldt friends early Texas artists such as Pompeo Coppini 72 On The Town | May/June 2015

and the Onderdonks, both Robert and Julian.

Photo Credits:

Arpa’s students included his nephew, the sculptor Xavier Gonzalez, and the Texas artist Octavio Medellín. He was a major influence on the Hill Country landscape painter Porfirio Salinas. In 1927, Arpa won the $1,000 purchase prize for his painting Verbena in the Edgar B. Davis Wildflower Competition organized by the San Antonio Art League. Two of his paintings on loan from the Art League in the SAMA exhibit are Cactus Flower, third in 1928, and Picking Cotton, which won the first prize of $2,000 in 1929. “The competition was an important moment in San Antonio’s art history because it brought national attention to the city’s artists,” Randolph said. You can still see the murals by Arpa installed in 1952 in the lobby of the San Antonio Express-News illustrating the production of a newspaper, from cutting logs to pages rolling off a printing press. Arpa, however, left San Antonio in 1932 to return to his native Spain, where he died in Seville in 1952 at the age of 94.

Page 70: In the Garden (En el jardin), ca. 1931 Oil on canvas, h. 52 3/4 in. (134 cm); w. 59 1/2 in. (151.1 cm) Purchased with funds provided by The Betty Stieren Kelso Foundation, 2014.22 Photography by Peggy Tenison Page 71: Picking Cotton, 1929 Oil on canvas, h. 30 in. (76.2 cm); w. 40 in. (101.6 cm) On loan from San Antonio Art League Museum permanent collection Photography courtesy San Antonio Art League Page 72: Cactus Flower, 1928 Oil on canvas, h. 30 in. (76.2 cm); w. 40 in. (101.6 cm) On loan from San Antonio Art League Museum permanent collection Photography courtesy San Antonio Art League

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Festivals & Celebrations


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Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio

FOREIGN CONNECTIONS: Cactus Pear Music Festival’s 19 Season th

By Gary Albright Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio photo by Liz Garza Williams - all others courtesy CPMF


.here would we be as the human race without cross-pollination? No apples, pears, sweet cherries; no onions, broccoli, or spinach? Where would we be artistically without the cross-pollination of cultures, and musically without the connections across borders, across valleys, across languages? It’s a sure outcome that life, art and culture would be poorer without such intermingling. Music would be less rich without the exchange of ideas, of idioms, of rhythms and patterns found across that next valley and border.

Music Festival, now in its 19th season, loves taking those musical mind-trips across borders, exploring the foreign connections that have bequeathed the world such a treasure of diversity in classical music. It’s that mental journey, looking for brilliant nuggets along the way, that inspires Sant’Ambrogio to put together some of the most intriguing and compelling programs for her annual summer music festival. And it’s certainly befitting for San Antonio that she begins that trip with inspiration from our nearest neighbor, Mexico.

Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio, artistic director of Cactus Pear

In Program I: Canciones, Clarinet and Flute [July 9, 10 and

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Jonah Kim 12], she features Antonio Arroyo’s popular Tres Canciones Mexicanas with the silver-toned soprano Mary Bonhag, San Antonio Symphony’s own principal clarinetist Ilya Shterenberg, and pianist Lo-An Lin, the San Antonio International Piano Competition gold medalist who was such a big hit at last summer’s festival. Pollinating the program with lyrical repertoire for strings, flute and clarinet [Mozart Flute Quartet in D] and works that span time [Shawn Jaeger’s 2007 In Old Virginny duo for soprano and double-bass] she keeps us traveling across borders and centuries. Sant’Ambrogio catapults us to the Holy Lands with Schubert’s “The Shepherd on the Rock” vocal masterpiece and wends her way to England with Haydn’s “London” Symphony — an almost around-the-world trip in just the first program. After 2013’s incredibly well-received all-Jewish composer program, CPMF’s artistic director was looking for her next chance to build upon that direction and success. “There were so many composers and pieces that I had to leave out in 2013 that I knew I’d have to revisit those connections,”

LoAnn Lin Sant’Ambrogio said. “And Program 2: L’Chaim | To Life! is a marvelous follow-up with the likes of Copland and Bloch, and I’m really excited to include two contemporary Jewish composers.” Thus, Judd Greenstein’s light and humorous Summer Dances for clarinet, viola and doublebass contrasts against Ernest Bloch’s passionate Baal Shem Suite featuring Israeli-American violinist Carmit Zori. She has also included Irving Schlein’s little-known 1966 gem, Flute Sonata, interpreted by Joanna Martin Berg, as well as works by Mendelssohn and Schulhoff that lead us to the night’s grand finale, Aaron Copland’s magical Appalachian Spring Suite for nine players, one of America’s musical chamber masterpieces. Sant’Ambrogio next stirs the cultural pot with ingredients from the southern hemisphere. “We really are offering something for everyone and every taste this summer,” she said. “Program 3: Brazil or Bust on July 12 in Boerne is a don’t-miss, special one-time offering from the Austin Chamber Music Center. We are really thrilled to be collaborating with Austin this summer in order to May/June 2015 | On The Town 77

Ilya Shterenberg

Carmit Zori

bring the phenomenal Brazilian Guitar Quartet to CPMF audiences,” Sant’Ambrogio said. “They were winners of a 2011 Latin Grammy Award and are going to blow people away.” The Washington Post praised the ensemble for their “seductive beauty” and “virtuosic gusto,” and their unique use of six- and eight-string guitars brings to their audiences both original and uniquely transcribed repertoire.

tribute to Italy — with all of its colors, flavors and vistas — and to a few of the composers who have found inspiration there. From Hugo Wolf’s Italian Serenade to the only surviving chamber work by Giuseppe Verdi, his String Quartet in E Minor, the festival then climaxes with Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence, the Russian’s masterful ride through the Appian countryside.

Back to the heart of Europe, Sant’Ambrogio said, “Who needs first names when speaking of these three composers? Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms are truly the Germanic giants! In this fourth program, we’ll be presenting well-known and little-performed works by these giants. The music is going to be fabulous, but we are really excited to welcome for the first time Eric Gratz, the new concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony. I know our San Antonio audiences are going to love to see him on stage with Cactus Pear.”

Sant’Ambrogio is ready for the journey, her 19th at the helm as founder and artistic director. “I just love the creative process of traveling across borders, across eras, and through musical styles to discover just the right combination of musicians and masterpieces which connect to make up the festival programs. It’s always a thrilling ride, one I’m sure festival-goers will find exhilarating, too.” The 19th season of Cactus Pear Music Festival will be filled with “Foreign Connections” beginning July 9 in Kerrville, July 10 in San Antonio, and July 12 in Boerne.

Bella Italia, Program 5 [July 18] finishes the festival with For a complete listing of program pieces and artists, go a trip south to the rolling hills of Italy. The program is a to 78 On The Town | May/June 2015

Eric Gratz

Gloria Lum




Sunday, July 12, Boerne First United Methodist Church – 7 p.m. One performance only

Thursday, July 9, Kerrville Kerrville Presbyterian Church – 7 p.m. Friday, July 10, San Antonio Coker United Methodist Church – 7 p.m.

Program 4: GERMANIC GIANTS Thursday, July 16, New Braunfels McKenna Event Center – 7 p.m.

Sunday, July 12, Boerne First United Methodist Church – 2 p.m.

Friday, July 17, San Antonio Coker United Methodist Church – 7 p.m.

Program 2: L’CHAIM | TO LIFE!


Saturday, July 11, San Antonio Coker United Methodist Church – 7 p.m. One performance only

Saturday, July 18, San Antonio Coker United Methodist Church – 7 p.m. One performance only May/June 2015 | On The Town 79

Texas Folklife Festival Texas--Puro Texas By James M. Benavides Photography courtesy ITC

When the Texas Folklife Festival star ted in 1972, the goal was to create an event that captured ever ything that being a Texan entailed in a single experience. For one weekend a year, the Institute of Texan Cultures would transform from a museum into a stage where traditions from across the state were brought to life to see and 80 On The Town | May/June 2015

experience. The tradition continues June 13 and 14, when the 44th annual Texas Folklife Festival gets under way. Authenticity is the byword for Folklife and is the founding principle the first festival director, O.T. Baker, instilled in the festival. He

insisted that cultural groups per form their own dances, ser ve their own food, dress in their own customar y fashion. The festival has embraced the continuous change of cultures and has been instrumental in showcasing these changes over the years. The festival has become a reflection of the times we live in, as well as preser ving some vestige of the past. “ That really set the course for what the festival is and what it stands for,” said Jo Ann Andera, festival director since 1981. “It has helped Texans preser ve, embrace and celebrate their heritage. It has prompted groups to come together and research the customs and traditions of their cultures, rediscovering themselves and what they brought to Texas. The Texas Folklife Festival is the quintessential Texan event.”

Food is a major part of Folklife, and it features a menu of unique and traditional items seldom found in local restaurants. Texas is a place where a traveler can find Argentine empanadas and pasta frola, a sweet delicacy. A glance through the menu shows additional selections, such as Hawaiianstyle Huli-Huli chicken, Polish pierogi, Turkish coffee, Lebanese shish-kebab, Greek gyros, Filipino Inihaw and dozens of other options. Folklife presents an opportunity to sample all these great dishes in one place. The festival tends to whet people’s appetites to try new things. A few years ago, hummus and tabouli were strange, foreign-sounding foods that were new and novel and found only at church events and the Folklife Festival, but now are found in most Middle Eastern restaurants and local grocery stores. May/June 2015 | On The Town 81

While enjoying the authentic choices of food, visitors usually seek out a stage for music and dance entertainment, and Folklife always delivers. Multiple stages host musicians and dancers performing Irish folk music, Spanish guitar, Conjunto standards, Chinese lion dances, Czech polkas and a dozen other types of music. The festival prides itself on seeking out small acts and regional talents.

much this event matters.”

Folklife is an opportunity to watch artisans practicing the old crafts that helped win the Texas frontier. Crowds often line up three deep to watch a blacksmith pound out horseshoes, hooks and other practical tools. Children enjoy working in teams using old ranch tools to cut, drill and split wood. They can help a weaver work on a basket or The Ballet Folklorico Boriken features the dances of chair bottom, or sit with a rope braider to see how Puerto Rico and, for the first time this year, will be an essential ranch tool gets made. accompanied by “Pleneros de San Antonio,” with live music of panderos (drums). San Antonio Pipes and The memories made at the festival live long into Drums, the 43-year favorite, leads parades through adulthood and become family traditions of times the festival grounds with the sounds of bagpipes shared. The experiences keep Texans coming and drums. Zorya Ukrainian Dance ensemble once back year after year, to reconnect with friends, again will perform their exciting acrobatic dances. to try new things and to remember the genuine definition of “ Texan.” “What the visitors don’t see,” Andera said, “are the countless hours of practice, the dressmakers “It’s real. All of it,” Andera said. “ There are no feverishly making new costumes, the fundraising actors, no celebrity chefs and no hired help. These and the road trips these groups take on to make are real Texans putting their craft and skill on their appearances at the festival. They know how display in the most honest, straightforward way. 82 On The Town | May/June 2015

It’s so important because it’s authentic. There are Texans who embrace their heritage and keep pieces of our collective identity alive. They help us remember the skills that were necessary to settle this state. They help us remember the meals that bring us together, whether on the trail or around the table. This is the real Texas.” The 2015 Texas Folklife Festival is 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. June 13, and noon to 7 p.m. June 14. Advance tickets are available at HEB stores, Fort Sam Houston, Lackland AFB, Randolph AFB and the ITC Store; and online at Tickets also are available at the gate.

Page 81: Basket weaver James Carthel demonstrates his craft on the Back 40 Page 82 (L-R) Members of the Persine family from the Belgian American Club Isaac Cardenas, a Coahuiltecan Indian, is a member of the American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions

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Photo Credits:

Cowboy ballads and poetry from Cowboy Sunset Serenade keep the culture, tradition and romance of the cowboy era alive.

Page 80: Panamanian folk dancers are among the many Dancers from Ritmo Colombiano represented the performers at the Texas Folklife Festival Colombian community May/June 2015 | On The Town 83

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Literary Arts 86-90

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Book Talk:

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HOLLERS GEORGE, Professor and Author Story and Photography by Jasmina Wellinghoff


fter being a stay-at-home mom for a number of years, Mar y Carolyn Hollers George decided to go back to school to get a master ’s degree in ar t histor y at the University of Texas in Austin. She subsequently taught ar t histor y and ar t appreciation at San Antonio College for more than 25 years. She is the author of several books about San Antonio architects and architecture, including: Alfred Giles: An English Architect in Texas and Mexico (1972); The Architectural Legacy of Alfred Giles: Selected Restorations (2006); and O’Neil Ford: Architect (2013). More recently, George turned her attention to another aspect of local histor y -- the life and demise of Rosengren’s Books, the bookstore that many San Antonians still remember fondly. Rosengren’s Books: An Oasis for Mind and Spirit, was published this year by Wings Press. Originally founded in Chicago by Frank Rosengren Sr., the business relocated to San Antonio in 1935 because Rosengren and his wife, Florence, were told that a warmer climate would benefit their son’s health. Though it changed locations several times, the bookstore ser ved as a center of literar y culture in this par t of Texas for 52 years until it closed its doors in 1987. For most of that time, it was run by Florence Rosengren, a dedicated bibliophile, who was described by the founding editor of the Texas Observer, Ronnie Dugger, as “the chief guardian of civilization from here to Mexico City.”

George knew all the Rosegrens personally and, in fact, lived next door to them for 17 years. (Florence’s daughter-in-law Camille still lives in the family home.) We talked to George in her current Quarr y Village apar tment. JW: Why did you want to do this book? MCHG: I felt this stor y needed to be told. I star ted thinking about doing this book back in 1996 and did most of the inter views for it back then, like with Florence’s son, Frank Jr., and his wife, Camille, Rober t Tobin, Amy Freeman Lee and others who were so involved with the bookstore. But this is what happened: I knew that when the bookstore closed they had put all the records, correspondence, manuscripts and other papers in storage. So I thought I would wait until Frank (Jr.) decided where to place them. I was teaching in Austin at the time and approached both the Center for American Histor y and the Humanities Research Center and both said they would love to take those materials and give me access to them for my research. But Frank turned them both down. Just before he died, he finally decided to give them to the Wittliff Collection (at Texas State University) but they took only 17 boxes. The rest were left on the proper ty. So when I found out about that, I just decided to go ahead with the book and go with what I had. So, it took almost 20 years for it to get published. Maybe someone else can write another book if they ever get access to those boxes.

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JW: What was so special about Rosengren’s Books? MCHG: Oh, so many things! For example, Florence was one of the first to focus on children. That was not her only focus but it was unique. In the book, I tell the stor y of John Douglas, who became the owner of the Twig and VIVA book shops. He was 4 years old when he first visited Rosengren’s. He remembers being taken by the hand by Mrs. Rosengren, led to the children’s area and shown a chair. She told him that it was his chair and that he should sit there and read a book. He gives her credit for helping him develop a lifelong interest in books. Florence was very knowledgeable. It always seemed like she had read every book in the store, and she could always recommend the right book to her customers. She knew what you liked, and she always had time to talk. But it was more than that. It was more than a store. This was the place where people went to discuss books and ideas. So many people I interviewed remembered going downtown to spend Saturday afternoons at Rosengren’s. It was a salon. When you visited Rosengren’s, it was like you were in her home. She made everyone feel comfortable and intelligent. And when famous writers came to San Antonio, they stopped there for book signings. After closing, Florence would organize gatherings for the regulars, serve apples and tea, and you could meet and talk with the visiting authors. JW: Could you mention some of the authors who appeared at the store? MCHG: Katherine Ann Porter, Theodor Geisel (better known as) Dr. Seuss, Robert Frost, John Graves, Edith and Osbert Sitwell, John Dos Pasos, Larry McMurtry, J. Frank Dobbie, Ronnie Dugger, and publishers Alfred Knopf and Bennett Cerf, and others. Janette Sebring Lowrey, the author of the children’s book Poky Little Puppy, one of the bestselling picture books of all times, was Florence’s good friend. Knopf was a good friend, too. JW: Florence Rosengren’s reach went well beyond her shop and the local literati. Tell us about her deal with the libraries?

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MCHG: San Antonio lawyer and philanthropist Harr y Her tzberg was the one who encouraged the Rosengrens to relocate to San Antonio. And he was ver y involved with the public librar y here. I think he got her together with the librarians who at that time did not get the attention of the publishers because they were ordering small numbers of books. Because she had established relationships with some 50 publishers, she could also order for the libraries, both public and militar y libraries, and ser ve as distributor. She took a cut, and the deal worked for ever yone. Florence helped establish the Trinity University librar y, too, in the 1950s. But later on a law was passed requiring libraries to (follow a bidding process for purchases) and she could no longer do that. She was a force who contributed to the level of literacy in our city. JW: And Florence used her connections to help publishing projects, right? MCHG: Oh, yeah! She often tried to connect authors with publishers and publishers with sponsors. For example, Frank Wardlaw, the founder of the University of Texas Press – and later of the Texas A&M University Press – would say to her, “I want to do a series of books about the environment.” Florence would contact her friends and someone would end up endowing the whole series. The Elma Dill Russell Spencer Foundation sponsored the series on the environment. Another example is the M.K. Brown Range Life Series, also published by UT Press... Most of these books are still in print. She could make things happen.

That was Alfred Giles. Most of the buildings were in deteriorating condition. I decided to do my thesis on him. After I decided on the topic, I went to my church one day and there was this woman who always sat behind me. She was the aunt of my college roommate. I told her I had finally chosen my thesis topic and explained about an English architect who came to Texas; his name was Alfred Giles and so on. And she said, “He was my father!” (Laughs.) So that really opened up ever ything! My thesis was later published and attracted new attention to his body of work and brought about the restoration of his buildings. Many years later in 2006, Trinity University Press published my book about those restoration effor ts. JW: Most of your books were published by Trinity University Press but not this last one. MCHG: Charles Butt (CEO of H-E-B) offered to under write the cost of publishing for the Rosengren stor y with a $25,000 grant. Trinity Press turned him down. Charles Butt was a great fan of Rosengren’s Books. His parents were patrons of the shop. But Trinity Press was going through a period of wanting to do only books of national impor tance. They have reversed that decision since and have gone back to local and regional topics. JW: So Wings Press took it on.

MCH G: Yes, Br yce (M illigan, who r u n s Wi n g s Press) was in love wit h t he p ro je c t. H e ad ored t he R osengrens. Af ter I s u b mi t te d t h e JW: Your previous books were mostly about manusc r ip t, he inser ted lit t le amp l i fi c at i o n s architecture. How did you develop an interest in and enhanced it great ly. B ook p u b l i s h e r s a re San Antonio architecture? in it for t he money b ut Br yce isn’t. H e wa nte d to make t he b ook afford ab le for e ve r yo n e. H e MCHG: When I did my master ’s in ar t histor y I is really just am azing. also did a minor in architectural histor y. When I needed to find a thesis topic my adviser said, well, go look at all the buildings you have grown up with. So I did. As I went around doing my research, all the buildings I thought interesting Ms. George’s comments have been edited for turned out to have been created by the same man reasons of space and clarity. who had been dead for 50 years and forgotten.

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Out & About with Greg Harrison


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May/June 2015  

Our May/June 2015 Issue features 15 articles and an extensive events calendar. Some Highlights are Dave Rios, Jamie Wyeth, Patricia Ruiz-Hea...

May/June 2015  

Our May/June 2015 Issue features 15 articles and an extensive events calendar. Some Highlights are Dave Rios, Jamie Wyeth, Patricia Ruiz-Hea...