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May/June 2016

Storybook Houses Texas Folklife Festival The Vineyard at Florence Tobin Center 2016-17 Season Rene Romero: Faux-Wood Artist

Cactus Pear Music Festival Arts San Antonio 25th Anniversary Lana and David Duke of Ruth’s Chris 20162016 SA International San Antonio Piano Competition Plus 7May/June Additional Articles 2016 | On The Town 1

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Features Cont.

There’s So much to see and do in May and June 8 Don’t miss incredible opportunities to be Entertained!

Maya, Splendor, Coney, Rodin, De la Selva y mas Area museums and art centers offer grand exhibitions in May and June


Rene Romero: Faux wood artist


New at San Antonio Botanical Garden: Storybook Houses and Saturday Drop-in Programming


Texas Folklife Festival Celebrates 45 Years


20/20 Vision: Cactus Pear Music Festival’s 20th Anniversary Season


The Tobin Center 2016-17 Season Dance, Broadway and a new “edge”


2016 San Antonio International Piano Competition to feature young musicians


Cinema Tuesdays Series begins May 31 with Dial M for Murder


Arts San Antonio notes 25th anniversary with varied programs that “mix and blend” local cultures


Youth Orchestras of San Antonio: transforming lives through the pursuit of excellence


Follow the sizzle to Ruth’s Chris


The Vineyard at Florence is women owned and Texas Proud

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Departments Events Calendar


Artistic Destination: Kerrville's Mueum of Western Art a giant in the Hill Country


Book Talk: Randy Fritz, 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: From Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed Courtesy Witte Musuem Performing Arts Cover Photo: The Wizard of Oz Photo by Daniel A. Swalec Events Calendar Cover Photo: Akiko Fujimoto Photo by Eric Green Culinary Arts Cover Photo: Photo by Greg Harrison Visual Arts Cover Photo: Reginald Marsh, Wooden Horses, 1936, tempera on board, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, The Dorothy Clark Archibald and Thomas L. Archibald Fund, The Krieble Family Fund for American Art, The American Paintings Purchase Fund, and The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 2013.1.1. Š 2016 Estate of Reginald Marsh / Art Students League, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York  Festivals & Celebrations Cover Photo: Courtesy ITC Texas Folklife Festival Literary Arts Cover Photo: Photo by Greg Harrison Out & About With Greg Harrison Cover Photo: Photo by Greg Harrison

Gary Albright

Dan R. Goddard

Mikel Allen creative director/ graphic designer

Antonio Gutierrez

Rudy Arispe 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

Thomas Duhon

Sarah Selango

Peabo Fowler

Jasmina Wellinghoff 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 8-32

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ay and June bring warm weather and hot performances. Right off the bat, Motown The Musical sings and dances its way onto the Majestic stage May 3-8 for eight performances courtesy of the North Park Lexus Broadway in San Antonio series. Later in May the series gives us the opportunity to see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Wizard of Oz at the same venue. Dates for this one are May 31 through June 5. After this, starting in September, touring Broadway at the Majestic includes The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Jersey Boys, Beautiful: The Carol King Musical and Matilda to name a few.

hall, followed by Bruch Violin Concerto with soloist Sarah Chang and guest conductor Gabriel Feltz, May 20-21. Mahler’s Titan concludes the symphony’s classic season June 3-5. Sebastian Lang-Lessing conducts with Augustin Hadelich as violin soloist. In the pops category, the symphony will play the music of John Williams, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, John Phillips Sousa and more at Patriotic Pops, May 13-15, also at the Tobin Center.

Other featured performances at the Tobin’s H-E-B Performance Hall during this time frame are Peter Frampton, Jo Dee Messina, The Glenn Miller Orchestra In addition to great nights of musical theater, the and Chubby Checker. At the smaller Carlos Alvarez Studio Majestic has a full slate of incredible performances to Theatre, the Tobin’s very popular Edge Series bring Men consider in May and June. I’m name-dropping here when Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus to the stage May mentioning the likes of The Gipsy Kings, Celtic Woman, 12-15 for five performances, as well as intimate Studio John Fogerty, Chicago, Whoopi Golberg, Whitesnake and Sessions evenings with Bebel Gilberto, John Waite, Taylor Alan Cumming. All are coming to town at the Majestic in Hicks and John Mayall. Check the events calendar in this those months, as are Graham Nash and Jane Lynch at the issue for days and times. Charline McCombs Empire Theatre next door. Go to the The Children’s International Puppet Festival, presented by Majestic-Empire website and mark your calendar. Children’s Fine Arts Series and the Tobin, comes around A few blocks away at the Tobin Center for the Performing again this year from May 4-10. For young children and Arts, the San Antonio Symphony features Akiko Fujimoto their parents, this is not to be missed. Some of the world’s as conductor and Martina Filjak as piano soloist for greatest puppeteers will entertain all who come to the six Saint-Saens Piano Concerto May 6-7 at the center’s big different shows offered.

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You might also want to check out these wonderful opportunities at the Tobin shortly after the May-June period. Included are performances by America, Case/ Lang/Veirs, Culture Club, Clint Black and Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two-Woman Show.

Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre with multiple performances June 6-19, and Capitol Steps comes to Laurie Auditorium June 26. Not to be forgotten in this sea of shows are Oklahoma at the Smith-Ritch Outdoor Theatre in Ingram, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast by Fredericksburg Theatre Company, Footloose at Circle Arts Theatre in New Braunfels, African Folktales at the Carver, two performances by Hornsby Theatre Company of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide on stage at the Josephine and Shiploads of Shimmies at the VK Garage Theatre in Kerrville.

Spring and summer months are always great at local community theaters. This year, enjoy Memphis at the Woodlawn before it ends May 8, Born Yesterday by The Classic Theatre of San Antonio through May 22 and The Cemetery Club in neighboring Boerne at their theatre until May 21. The list goes on with The Gingerbread Lady on stage at Harlequin Dinner Theatre May 5-28 and with A Chorus Line featured at the Russell Hill Rogers Theatre at Playhouse San Antonio May 6-June Looking again at live music, evenings you don’t 5. Following this at Playhouse San Antonio’s Cellar want to miss in May and June include Boz Skaggs May 7, Asleep at the Wheel May 13, Ronnie Milsap Theatre is Tribes May 20-June 12. May 14, Charlie Daniels Band May 15 and Jerry Jaston Williams of Greater Tuna fame brings A Wolverine Jeff Walker May 20-21 at Gruene Hall, Texas’ oldest Walks Into A Bar (Conversations Over Ice) to Classic Theatre dance hall. Ray Wylie Hubbard also plays there San Antonio for six performances over two weekends June 25 and on the same night Billy Currington starting May 26 and finishing up on June 5. Please allow is featured at Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels. Also in New Braunfels, the Brauntex a personal plug here. I can’t wait to see this one. Performing Arts Theatre is the place for An Evening Attic Rep gets into the act with 14 at the Tobin’s with Gary Morris May 14.

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Two music festivals are on the calendar in May and June aw well. They are the 35th Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival at Guadalupe Theatre and Rosedale Park May 11-15 and the Kerrville Folk Festival with Judy Collins, Terri Hendrix, Ruthie Foster, Peter Yarrow and more at Quiet Valley Ranch May 26-June 12. Before wrapping things up, I want to mention four classical performances and a piano competition. MidTex Symphony, under the direction of David Mairs, offers an afternoon of Copeland and Saint-Saens May 1 at Jackson Auditorium in Seguin while Youth Orchestras of San Antonio performs a program titled European Rhapsody on the evening of that same day at the H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin. Sunday, May 15 has the Fredericksburg Music Club featuring pianist Emil Pandolfi at Fredericksburg United Methodist and Musical Bridges Around The World offering Silk Sojourn at San Fernando Cathedral.

Photo Credits: Pages 8-9: The Wizard of Oz Photo by Daniel A. Swalec Pages 10-11 (L-R) Mairead Nesbitt – Celtic Woman Courtesy Whoopi Goldberg Courtesy Majestic Theatre Martina Filjak Photo by Romano Grozich Chubby Checker Courtesy Tobin Center

And as a noteworthy end to this writing, the San Antonio Pages 12 (L-R) International Piano Competition for 2016 is scheduled for Sarah Chang June 5-12 at Trinity University. Photo by Cliff Watts That’s a lot of stuff in May and June to enjoy. Take my John Fogerty advice and get some tickets and go! Courtesy Majestic Theatre

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Into The Woods


THE TOBIN CENTER'S 2016-17 SEASON: DANCE, BROADWAY... AND A NEW 'EDGE' By Julie Catalano Photography courtesy of the Tobin Center


h e t h ird sea so n o f S a n Antonio' s To b i n Ce nter fo r th e Per fo r mi ng Ar t s p ro m is e s to be th e best yet -- and that ' s say i n g a l o t a f ter a seco n d sea son t hat v ice pre s i d e nt o f pro gra mmi n g a n d ma r ket ing A a ro n Z i m m e r m an n descr i bed a s “a n a bs olutely inc re d i b l e r i d e.” 14 On The Town | May/June 2016

With more than 20 sellout acts in the past year, the upcoming 2016-17 season with its three stellar series — dance, Broadway and adult-themed theater — is sure to sustain the audience love. Ready? Mark your calendars and get your tickets early. More sellouts are surely on the way.

Menopause The Musical THE DANCE SERIES “These are some of the best dance organizations in the world,” Zimmermann said. “Getting all four of them in one season is incredible.” Even better, “all four are going to offer a children's master class, giving young people opportunities they might not otherwise have.” Parsons Dance. Sept. 25. Internationally renowned New York-based modern dance company founded in 1985 by artistic director David Parsons and lighting designer Howell Binkley, Parsons Dance is known for athletic ensemble work and contemporary collaborations with Donna Karan, Annie Leibovitz, Milton Nascimento and others.

Julie Madly Deeply medium. In 2015, Pilobolus was named an “Irreplaceable Dance Treasure” by the Dance Heritage Coalition. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. March 28. A mustsee for every dance lover, the company designated as “a vital American cultural ambassador to the world” by the U.S. Congress has performed on six continents, 71 countries, and in television, film and online. MOMIX: Opus Cactus. April 19. Originally created as a 20-minute piece for Ballet Arizona, “Opus Cactus” is a full-evening work for a riveting company of dancerillusionists under artistic director Moses Pendleton.

THE BMW OF SAN ANTONIO SIGNATURE SERIES Pilobolus: Shadowland. Jan. 18. A unique, surreal, coming- Menopause the Musical. Aug. 19. This raucous, insightful of-age dramedy set to an original score by David Poe, take on the “silent passage” that is silent no more “Shadowland” is the perfect vehicle for a groundbreaking features four female characters — Professional Woman, company famous for constantly exploring innovative ways Iowa Housewife, Earth Mother and Soap Star — as they of using the human body as a graphic and expressive navigate the choppy waters of “the change.” Songs are May/June 2016 | On The Town 15


Alvin Ailey American Dance

styled after baby boomer faves: “Please Make Me Over,” Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, fairy “Puff, My God, I'm Draggin',” more. tales never looked or sounded so good. Using characters from the Brothers Grimm, the magical musical-with-aThe Other Mozart (special show that can be added to the lesson teaches, “Be careful what you wish for.” subscription series). Nov. 17-19, three performances. In the intimate setting of the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. April 8-9, three performances. this one-woman show takes on special poignancy as the The high-powered, over-the-top rock musical first blew true story of Amadeus Mozart's sister Nannerl is told. up off-Broadway in 1998. The story centers on fictional Prodigy, virtuoso and composer, Nannerl's rightful place East German singer Hedwig (formerly Hansel), who in musical history faded in the shadow of her celebrated assumes her female persona after a botched sex-change brother — until now. operation. “We're very excited to have the San Antonio premiere of this Tony award-winning show for its first Mamma Mia! The Farewell Tour. Jan. 29, two tour since closing on Broadway,” Zimmermann said.     performances. This might be the last chance to see the smash hit stage show before it goes off the road. Greater Tuna. April 13. A Texas-born perennial favorite, Fans of Abba's music and this sunny tale of love and the irreverent comedy puts the spotlight on Tuna, friendship set on a Greek island can never get enough Texas' third-smallest town, “where the Lions Club is too of “Take a Chance on Me” and “Dancing Queen.” liberal and Patsy Cline never dies.” Playing everywhere from Broadway to the White House, this two-man, Into the Woods. Feb. 23. With music and lyrics by 20-character show has enjoyed worldwide success. 16 On The Town | May/June 2016

Hedwig and the Angry Itch THE EDGE SERIES Playing in the Studio Theater, “this was the first season of the Edge Series, and I think it worked fabulously,” Zimmermann said. “Edgy, adult-ish, off-Broadway, off-color, we made a statement, and it worked. We're definitely developing the audience.”

Mamma Mia Old Mr. Linger — all brought to life by the brilliant Dubac in this sidesplittingly funny-for-both-sexes hit.

Disenchanted! Feb. 24-26, five performances. A hilariously subversive, not-for-kiddies musical featuring Snow White and her petulant posse that tears off the tiaras of the famous princesses you think My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish and you know. Yes, those princesses. That glass slipper I'm in Therapy. Sept. 23-24. One of the longest- will never look the same. running one-man shows in history, writer and comedian Steve Solomon's brainchild brings Julie Madly Deeply. May 18-20. Billed as a “cheeky to life almost 30 different voices of hilarious yet affectionate cabaret,” award-winning singer and characters in family situations. West End actress Sarah-Louise Young presents a funny and candid love letter to the legendary Dame The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron? Jan. 19-21. Meet Julie Andrews. Young blends iconic Andrews’ songs Bobby (writer, actor, comedian Robert Dubac). He's with stories of her life, from child star to the loss of in a massive state of confusion after being dumped her beloved singing voice. by the girl of his dreams. In trying to find out what happened, he turns to other men, equally clueless (or For more information: are they?) -- the Colonel, the Frenchman, Fast Eddie, Tickets available online or by phone at 210-223-8624. May/June 2016 | On The Town 17

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2016 San Antonio International Piano Competition to feature young musicians By Rudy Arispe


competition, we will have a recital from the gold, silver and bronze medalists,” she said. “It’s interesting to see each finalist evolve to a higher level in order to win.”

So when her name was announced as the 2012 Gold Medalist, it took her by surprise.

For those who can’t make it to Trinity University, all performances will be live streamed. “The competition happens every four years, so you can still watch your favorite pianist as they compete and advance to the next level,” Lambillotte said. “You can watch on your phone, Facebook live or Periscope.”

o-An Lin wasn’t focused on winning when she competed in the San Antonio International Piano Competition four years ago. Instead, she saw it as a wonderful performance opportunity, where she could continue to improve as an artist.

“Unbelievable,” Lin said by phone after a full day of teaching piano to undergraduate music majors at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where she resides. “I had already competed in a number of competitions and won in high school and college. After I started my master’s degree, I stopped competing for two years. I think it helped me to be in a healthier state of mind because I was refreshed and relaxed and just wanted to share my musical ideas.”

This year, SAIPC received more applications than ever before: 96. All submitted a video of a required performance online. “They had to play a specific repertoire, which were reviewed by judges,” she said.

SAIPC commissioned Texas composer Matthew Mason to produce a new work, which all 12 semi-finalists are required to learn. The world premiere of his work will Lin returns to San Antonio on June 5, when she opens then be performed by the five finalists. In addition to the 2016 San Antonio International Piano Competition awards for first, second and third place, there are awards (SAIPC) at the Ruth Taylor Recital Hall at Trinity University. for best performance of the commissioned work, and All performances are free. of works from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th-21st century eras, as well as of a Russian work and Founded in 1983, SAIPC is dedicated to providing an a work by a Spanish, Latin American or Impressionistic enriching musical experience for San Antonio and composer. The winners of these awards will perform at South Texas audiences while offering a challenging yet the Winners’ Recital. inspiring opportunity to promising young artists. Limited to pianists ages 20 to 32, the SAIPC provides significant Past winners, Lambillotte said, use their cash awards – cash awards to the gold, silver and bronze medalists, such as the $15,000 for the gold medalist, $10,000 for the who compete through a series of daily concerts given silver medalist and $5,000 for the bronze medalist – to by 12 semi-finalists, five concerts by finalists, and a final advance their music educations and concert careers. Winners’ Recital. “They often use that money to concertize,” the executive Suzan Lambillotte, SAIPC executive director, said the director said. “Being an artist is about creating a public can enjoy 30 hours of professional classical music reputation. It can be hard. The international competition by pianists from the United States, Russia, Ukraine, gives them an open stage for people to become familiar Israel, China and South Korea. “At the culmination of the with their name.” © Darya Petrenko |

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The gold medalist, for instance, will have an opportunity to play with the San Antonio Symphony, as well as other performance opportunities, such as the Mozart Festival, Cactus Pear Music Festival and Fredericksburg Music Club. “My hope is to assist in developing performance opportunities to help winners concertize,” Lambillotte said. “Our donors and supporters make the competition happen. We thank them for supporting piano artistry in San Antonio.” Lin, meanwhile, has kept busy since winning the gold in 2012. In addition to being a teaching assistant at Eastman School of Music, the 27-year-old Taiwan native is working on her doctorate of musical art at Eastman and also teaches at the Eastman Community Music School, where her private students range from 4 years old to age 60. Incidentally, Lin’s older sister’s desire to play led her into music, as well. “My mom wanted to be fair, so she enrolled me and all my four siblings in lessons,” she said. “At age 9, I auditioned for a music conservatory in Taiwan and was accepted.” The gold medalist offers some advice for the 2016 competitors. “Trust your own musical ideas, be confident and enjoy your performances,” she said. During her June 5 concert, Lin will perform Gabriel Fauré’s “Nocturne No. 6” and Robert Schumann’s “Kreisleriana,” among other pieces. For information about performance dates and times, visit or call 210-655-0766.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 20 (Above) Lo-An Lin 2012 Gold Medalist Photo courtesy SAIPC

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(Below) Ryo Yanagitani 2009 Gold Medalist Photo courtesy S&R Foundation

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Dial M for Murder

Cinema Tuesdays Series Begins May 31 with 'Dial M for Murder' By Peabo Fowler


his year, Texas Public Radio’s Cinema “Few people know that Hitchcock actually shot Tuesdays series is going where it never ‘Dial M’ in the 3D format,” Cone said. “3D movies has before—into the third dimension. were a fad that came and went in less than 10 years back in the ’50s, but with new technology, The popular summer film series, curated by TPR’s we’re able to bring back this classic film the way Nathan Cone, opens with a 3D film for the first it was truly meant to be seen.” That means no red time in its 16-year history. Alfred Hitchcock’s and blue tinted glasses; instead, viewers will get “Dial M for Murder” opens the series on May 31. modernized 3D specs to watch the movie. Wait, Hitchcock in 3D? Didn’t that movie come out in the 1950s? “Dial M For Murder ” will screen at the Santikos

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Ben Hur Palladium, and following that, Cone has a whole summer full of classic films, with a few contemporary gems thrown in for good measure. Highlights include the long-requested film “ To Kill A Mockingbird” (June 14) as well as John Wayne in “ The Quiet Man” (June 21) and the monumental “Ben-Hur,” starring Charlton Heston June 7). For that screening, TPR will present the film with an overture and intermission, just like it was back in 1959.

be too limiting. “Really, the only theme we’ve ever had was that these are all great movies that deserve a big-screen treatment,” he said. “ They are often one-of-a-kind opportunities to share the experience with a friend, family member, or just savor it for yourself. I enjoy meeting and visiting with everyone who comes to the show each week. There’s a real sense of community among TPR cinema fans.”

The Cinema Tuesdays series runs through Aug. 16. The annual Oscar Shorts program (June 28) and Admission is by suggested donation each week, the Ariel award-winning Mexican film “Güeros” and season passes are available for TPR members. showcase some of the best in modern cinema, as All proceeds from TPR’s Cinema Tuesdays benefit will “The Send-Off,” a Texas-made film that won Best Texas Public Radio, which operates the NPR Texas Short at the recent South by Southwest film affiliate KSTX 89.1 FM and classical music station festival in Austin. The short film will accompany a KPAC 88.3 FM in San Antonio. screening of “My Dinner With Andre” on July 5. See you at the movies! Over the years, Cone has resisted creating a theme for any one particular season, feeling it would Details are at

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John Toohey president and executive director Arts Antonio 24 OnSan The Town | May/June 2016

ARTS SAN ANTONIO notes 25th anniversary with varied

programs that ‘mix and blend’ local cultures By Susan A. Merkner


wenty-five years ago, two local arts organizations After repeated requests for funding, local business were married and gave birth to a new arrival: leaders asked the two groups to consider a merger and in ARTS San Antonio. exchange gave the new organization, ARTS San Antonio, a firm budget for each of the next several years. Observing its silver anniversary season this fall, ARTS San Antonio is known as a presenter of performing arts with “ARTS San Antonio is successful because it presents the an emphasis on arts education. highest quality performances, managed in a fiscally responsibly way,” Wood said. “They have highly dedicated Since its birth in 1992, ARTS San Antonio has produced board members and a very good staff.” “The Nutcracker” every holiday season. Collaborating with existing local arts groups and bringing in performers The organization is open about its budget; financial from around the globe, the organization offers a wide reports are posted to its website. Toohey said 65 percent array of performances, with a specialty in dance and jazz. of the ARTS budget comes from admissions, 15 percent from the city, and 20 percent “we need to go out and “Although ARTS San Antonio can’t be all things to all find everyday. We’re committed to our work here. Every people, especially in a city as large and diverse as San performance has to be the best possible performance. Antonio, the organization’s goal is to appeal to the widest What has lasting value is the exchange between the population,” said John A. Toohey, ARTS San Antonio community and the artists.” president and executive director. Toohey, who has spent his professional career working “Our programming is diverse,” Toohey said. “We want it to for nonprofit fine arts groups, including the Fort Worth reflect the nature and composition of the community.” Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Opera, said ARTS San Antonio is committed to education. Guest performers Attorney Jon C. Wood, a founding board member of ARTS often are scheduled for visits to area schools, allowing San Antonio who remains active with the organization, students to meet with the artists personally. said that local arts groups reached an economic nadir in the early 1990s. In past years, cellist Yo-Yo Ma played alongside Sul Ross Middle School students. “Arts groups all faced the same financial trouble: They were in debt at the end of their season, and Spanish Harlem Orchestra musical director Oscar they had to fundraise to make up the deficit,” Wood Hernandez worked with pupils at Clark High School. said. “It was tough.” Members of Ballet Folklórico de Mexico and the band Los Lobos, who performed together at the Majestic Theatre At the time, the San Antonio Festival was an annual event, in February, also visited Roosevelt High School. with a self-produced opera as its centerpiece, Wood said. Simultaneously, the San Antonio Performing Arts ARTS San Antonio also provides free seats for area Association presented a variety of programs each year. students to attend performances. Photo of John Toohey by Greg Harrison

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Jon Wood

San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District presented ARTS San Antonio with an Outstanding Partner of the Year award in April. Named an outstanding community organization by the school district, the arts group was praised for its efforts in providing arts experiences for students and teachers during the past several years. “Our theme is connecting artists to the community,” Toohey said. “It’s one of the ways we are differentiated from other local arts organizations. We provide the oneon-one and small-group opportunities. When you travel to San Antonio to perform with us, it’s expected that you will work with students.” Because of its use of city funds, ARTS San Antonio is required to present programming that reflects the community and is sensitive to the many cultures here, he said. “Programming to the community means you need a great variety of arts,” Toohey said. “The fun we have is getting people to mix and blend and experience new things.”

Margaret King Stanley

2016-17 SEASON The silver anniversary 2016-17 season will feature 17 productions from September through May 2017. Four newly priced subscription packages are offered as well as individual tickets. Scheduled performances include: Italian pianist Alessandro Deljavan, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars with African club music, the Julian Bliss Septet from London with “A Tribute to Benny Goodman,” “An Irish Christmas,” “The Nutcracker” performed by the Mejia Ballet International from Dallas-Fort Worth and the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet, Brazil’s Balé Folclórico da Bahia with “Sacred Heritage,” Pilobolus of New York’s “Shadowland,” a presentation of “What the Day Owes to the Night” by Cie Hervé Koubi from France and Algeria, Spanish guitarist David Russell, the Peking Acrobats, the Five Irish Tenors, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Scrap Arts Music of Vancouver with “Found Percussion of Tomorrow,” Mnozil Brass from Vienna, Che Malambo from Argentina, an evening with U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera of California, and the 5 Browns, a piano quintet from Utah. Learn more at

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transforming lives through the pursuit of excellence By Rudy Arispe Photography courtesy Youth Orchestras of San Antonio


ominic Walsh was at a school band camp several years ago when a peer mentioned the nonprofit organization Youth Orchestras of San Antonio ( YOSA), which helps young musicians develop their talents in classical music. Curious, he researched the nonprofit and decided to audition. “I’ve been a member since the seventh grade,” the 17-year-old Central Catholic High School senior said. “It’s the reason I’m staying in San Antonio to go to Trinity University. YOSA introduced me to a lot of people, who have helped me get involved with the local music scene.”

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Walsh, a percussionist, is one of 1,800 YOSA students. The program’s mission is to enhance education, enrich the community, and transform lives by pursuing excellence in classical music accessible to all youth. “YOSA provides young musicians a safe, nurturing place to cultivate their creative talents and to do so at a higher level,” said executive director Brandon Henson. “Not only are we transforming lives, but we motivate our students to think about their futures. We have some musicians who have been with us for a while and who go on to be first-generation college students.”

In July, about 60 students will take a major leap from local music venues to the world stage during a 10-day, whirlwind tour of Vienna, Prague and Budapest as musical goodwill representatives of the Alamo City. They will be accompanied by 30 staff and parents. “Starting in the mid-’80s, YOSA wanted to look at being ambassadors of our community overseas,” Henson said. “Now our students tour internationally every two years.” In addition to supporting the development of young musicians, the nonprofit impacts the community as well by offering a number of concerts each year. Many are free or low cost. For instance, one of its newer concert series that has quickly grown in popularity is the “Live Series,” in which local rock bands are invited to per form with the 75-piece YOSA Philharmonic. In March, they performed the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” “It bridges the gap between the classical world and the rock world,” Henson said.

On May 22, YOSA presents the free “YOSApalooza” at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. All eight of its orchestras will take turns per forming on stage. The event has become so popular that it is simulcast on a big screen along the River Walk plaza outside the Tobin. YOSA has evolved since officially becoming Youth Orchestras of San Antonio in 1977, beginning in 1949 as the San Antonio Youth Symphony, Henson said. One of the most notable milestones is the expanding number of students who now make up the organization. The group has grown from 218 in 2008 to its current size of 1,800. Since 2009, Troy Peters has served as YOSA music director, instilling a level of musical excellence in his young charges and driving them to greater heights with the wave of his baton. Peters has guest conducted several orchestras, including the Oregon Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Vermont Symphony Orchestra and Vermont Mozart Festival. “ Troy Peters is by far the greatest musical mentor May/June 2016 | On The Town 29

Troy Peters

anyone could ask for,” Walsh said. “It's wonder ful to learn from someone who is so clearly passionate about teaching young people. He has really taught me how to listen to music as a musician.” Henson also has a musical background. Prior to becoming YOSA executive director in 2014, he was a professional bassist for 12 years and freelanced as a jazz artist. He lived in Branson, Missouri, for a while, working as a bassist at the Moon River Theatre for the late gold-and platinum-selling singer Andy Williams. Musically gifted individuals age 8 to 20 can join YOSA. Auditions are held annually for those with at least one to two years of experience depending on their instrument.

Brandon Henson

“We listen to 500 kids and match them in orchestras with students of similar skills,” Henson said. “Last year, we had 10 tubas auditioning, but we don’t have spots for 10 tubas. So it’s always a difficult choice. But for those who aren’t selected, we are always encouraging and tell them to come back next year. The audition process is low pressure. The judges talk to you before your audition to make you feel comfortable.” YOSA violinist Abigail Dickson, 17, recalls being placed in the YOSA Symphony on her first audition two years ago. She was placed in the Philharmonic Orchestra on her second audition. She said she enjoys meeting and working with fantastic professional musicians, such as those from the San Antonio Symphony, as well as guest artists with whom the students rehearse. “In the fall, guest artist Bella Hristova per formed the Barber Violin Concerto with the YOSA Philharmonic,” Dickson said. “She also lead a masterclass where four Philharmonic violinists were able to participate. This masterclass was really wonder ful for me. I became more comfortable in performing as a soloist, and I received excellent advice on how to improve my skills as a musician.”

30 On The Town | May/June 2016

May/June 2016 | On The Town 31

32 On The Town | May/June 2016

Events Calendar


May/June 2016 | On The Town 33

May/June 2016 Events Calendar Music Notes Mid-Texas Symphony Concert 6 – Copland / Saint-Seans David Mairs, conductor Edwin Rieke, organ 5/1, Sun @ 4pm Jackson Auditorium At Texas Lutheran University Seguin Blue October 5/1, Sun @ 6:30pm Aztec Theatre Youth Orchestras of San Antonio European Rhapsody 5/1, Sun @ 7pm Troy Peters, conductor Jennifer Berg, oboe H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Matthew West, Sidewalk Prophets & More: The Bible Tour 5/1, Sun @ 7pm Laurie Auditorium @ Trinity University Ancira Music Series Sam Riggs 5/5, Thu @ 7:30pm The County Line on IH-10

34 On The Town | May/June 2016

Bennett & Hines 5/6, Fri @ 6pm O’Brien’s in Bergheim

Boz Skaggs 5/7, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall

Friday Night Live James Pardo 5/6, Fri @ 7pm The County Line – IH10

Aaron Einhouse 5/7, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience 5/6, Fri @ 7pm Aztec Theatre

Children’s Chorus of San Antonio Mother’s Day Concert 5/8, Sun @ 3pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center

Reckless Kelly 5/6, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Monte Good Band 5/6, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Flans 5/6, Fri @ 8:30pm Lila Cockrell Theatre Stoney LaRue with Bri Bagwell 5/6, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store San Antonio Symphony Saint-Saens Piano Concerto 5/6-7, Fri-Sat 2 8pm Akiko Fujimoto, conductor Martina Filjak, piano H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center

Graham Nash: This Path Tonight Tour 2016 5/9, Mon @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre

Filter: Make America Hate Again Tour 5/11, Wed @ 5:30pm Aztec Theatre Ancira Music Series Mike Ryan 5/12, Thu @ 7:30pm The County Line on IH-10 John Fogerty in Concert 5/12, Thu @ 8pm Majestic Theatre Rick Cavender Band 5/13, Fri @ 6:30pm O’Brien’s in Bergheim Friday Night Live Derek Winters 5/13, Fri @ 7pm The County Line – IH10

La Ley: Adaptacion Tour 5/8, Sun @ 8pm Aztec Theatre

Asleep at the Wheel 5/13, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall

Gypsy Kings 5/9, Mon @ 8pm Majestic Theatre

Emily Herring 5/13, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Celtic Woman 5/10, Tue @ 7pm Majestic Theatre

Alfredo Rodriguez Trio 5/13, Fri @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver

Apocalyptica: Shadowmaker Tour 5/10, Tue @ 8pm Aztec Theatre

Frankie Ballard 5/13, Fri @ 8pm Aztec Theatre

May/June 2016 | On The Town 35

Jody Nix 5/13, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Bob Schneider 5/13, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store San Antonio Symphony Pops Patriotic Pops 5/13-15, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm Stuart Chafetz, conductor H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center An Evening with Gary Morris 5/14, Sat @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels Janice Maynard 5/14, Sat @ 8pm Kendalia Halle Ray Wylie Hubbard 5/14, Sat @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Justin Trevino 5/14, Sat @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall

Fredericksburg Music Club Emil Pandolfi, piano 5/15, Sun @ 3pm Fredericksburg United Methodist Musical Bridges Around the World Silk Sojourn 5/15, Sun @ 6:30pm San Fernando Cathedral Charlie Daniels Band 5/15, Sun @ 8pm Gruene Hall SOLI Chamber Ensemble Under the Lugarian Sun 5/16, Mon @ 7:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center 5/17, Tue @ 7:30pm Ruth Taylor Recital Hall at Trinity University Tobin Studio Sessions Bebel Gilberto 5/17, Tue @ 7:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center 53 Million & One: NAHREP Presents 2016 Nuevo Latino Tour 5/18, Wed @ 7pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center

Eli Young Band 5/14, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Ancira Music Series The Damn Quails 5/19, Thu @ 7:30pm The County Line on IH-10

Ronnie Milsap 5/14, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall

Almost Patsy Cline Band 5/20, Fri @ 6pm O’Brien’s in Bergheim

36 On The Town | May/June 2016

Friday Night Live Brian Catalini & Jake Patek 5/20, Fri @ 7pm The County Line – IH10 Eagles of Death Metal 5/20, Fri @ 8pm Aztec Theatre Robert Glasper Experiment 5/20, Fri @ 8pm Stieren Theater at Trinity University Nick Lawrence Band 5/20, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Zane Williams 5/20, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Thomas Michael Riley Music Festival 5/20-21, Fri @ 4pm Sat @ 12:3pm Luckenbach Dancehall San Antonio Symphony Bruch Violin Concerto 5/20-21, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Gabriel Feltz, conductor Sarah Chang, violin H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Jerry Jeff Walker 5/20-21, Fri-Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Maifest 2016 Donnie Wavra and Al Dressen & Super Swing Revue 5/21, Sat @ 12pm Anhalt Hall

Chamber Orchestra San Antonio A Minimal (Re) Composition 5/21, Sat @ 7:30pm Carlos Izcaray, conductor Francisco Fullana, violin Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center The Legend of Zelda 5/21, Sat @ 8pm Majestic Theatre Strangelove: A Tribute to Depeche Mode featuring The Smiles 5/21, Sat @ 8pm Aztec Theatre The Georges 5/21, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store 20th Annual KNBT 92.1FM Americana Music Jam 5/22, Sun @ TBA Gruene Hall San Antonio Choral Society Musica Sacra de las Americas 5/22, Sun @ 3pm Travis Park United Methodist Heart of Texas Concert Band Marches Around the World 5/22, Sun @ 3pm Judson ISD Performing Arts Center

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Yosapalooza 5/22, Sun @ 7pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Tobin Studio Sessions Tom Waite 5/22, Sun @ 7pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center Peter Frampton 5/23, Mon @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center San Antonio Wind Symphony 5/25, Wed @ 7:30pm Dr. Robert Rustowicz, conductor H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center

Ancira Music Series The Band of Heathens 5/26, Thu @ 7:30pm The County Line on IH-10 Buttercup 5/26, Thu @ 7:15pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Tobin Studio Sessions Taylor Hicks 5/26, Thu @ 7:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center Kerrville Folk Festival 5/26-6/12 Quiet Valley Ranch Kerrville For details visit: Friday Night Live Bexar Creek Boys 5/27, Fri @ 7pm The County Line – IH10

Hal Ketchum 5/27, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall

Chicago 5/28, Sat @ 8pm Majestic Theatre

The Merles 5/27, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Bobby Flores and the Yellow Rose Band 5/28, Sat @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall

Almost Patsy Cline Band 5/27, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Shane Smith & The Saints 5/27, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Josh Abbott Band 5/28, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels The Eric Stanley Project 5/28, Sat @ 8pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center

Mario Flores & The Soda Creek Band 5/28, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Dirty River Boys 5/18, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Mike and the Moonpies 5/28, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Steel Panther: All You Can Eat Tour 5/28, Sat @ 9pm Aztec Theatre

May/June 2016 | On The Town 37

The Bud Light River City Rockfest 5/29, Sun @ 12pm AT&T Center Sentimental Journey Orchestra 5/29, Sun @ 3pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Bunbury 5/29, Sun @ 7pm Aztec Theatre Roger Creager & Cody Johnson 5/29, Sun @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Dale Watson 5/29, Sun @ 8pm Gruene Hall

Aaron Watson 6/3, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store San Antonio Symphony Mahler’s Titan 6/3-5, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Augustin Hadelich, violin H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Bennett & Hines 6/4, Sat @ 6pm O’Brien’s in Bergheim

Ancira Music Series Ruby & The Reckless 6/2, Thu @ 7:30pm The County Line on IH-10

The Magnetic Zeros with Preservation Hall Jazz Band 6/4, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels

Friday Night Live The GR8 Band 6/3, Fri @ 7pm The County Line – IH10

Shelia E 6/4, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver

Charlie Robison 6/3, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall

Rocky King Band 6/4, Sat @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall

Gogol Bordello and Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls 6/3, Fri @ 8pm Aztec Theatre Wagon Aces 6/3, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall

38 On The Town | May/June 2016

Gunpowder Soup 6/3, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall

Radney Foster 6/4, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall The Reed Brothers 6/4, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Blue Water Highway Band 6/4, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Blanco Performing Arts Kathryn Eberle, violin 6/5, Sun @ 7:30pm Uptown Blanco Ballroom Blanco

The Damn Quails 6/10, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Randy Rogers Band & Kevin Fowler 6/11, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels

San Antonio International Leon Larregui Piano Competition 6/5-12, Sun-Sun, Times TBD 6/11, Sat @ 8pm Aztec Theatre Trinity University Concert Hall Bart Crow 6/11, Sat @ 8pm Whitesnake Luckenbach Dancehall 6/6, Mon @ 8pm Majestic Theatre

Ancira Music Series Cody Canada 6/9, Thu @ 7:30pm The County Line on IH-10 Friday Night Live Derek Winters 6/10, Fri @ 7pm The County Line – IH10 Jo Dee Messina 6/10, Fri @ 8pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center The Black Lillies 6/10, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Doug Moreland 6/10, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Cactus Country 6/10, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall

3 Chord Rodeo 6/11, Sat @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Turnpike Troubadours 6/11, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Jonathan Tyler 6/11, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Waylon’s Birthday Bash with Thomas Michael Riley 6/12, Sun @ 1pm Luckenbach Hall Jane Lynch Sings! 6/12, Sun @ 8pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Ancira Music Series Blue Water Highway Band 6/16, Thu @ 7:30pm The County Line on IH-10

May/June 2016 | On The Town 39

Almost Patsy Cline Band 6/17, Fri @ 6pm O’Brien’s in Bergheim

Rick Cavender Band 6/24, Fri @ 6:30pm O’Briens in Bergheim

Friday Night Live Bexar Creek Boys 6/17, Fri @ 7pm The County Line – IH10

Friday Night Live The Reed Brothers 6/24, Fri @ 7pm The County Line – IH10

Larry Joe Taylor 6/17, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Bret Mullins Band 6/17, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Gary Allan 6/17, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Los Lonely Boys 6/18, Sat @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Johnny Bush 6/18, Sat @ 8pm Anhalt Hall Rick Reyna Band 6/18, Sat @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Old Crow Medicine Show 6/18, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store The Glenn Miller Orchestra 6/21, Tue @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Ancira Music Series John Baumann 6/23, Thu @ 7:30pm The County Line on IH-10

40 On The Town | May/June 2016

Uncle Lucius 6/24, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Almost Patsy Cline Band 6/24, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Monte Good Band 6/24, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall William Clark Green 6/24, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Vans Warped Tour 6/25, Sat @ 11am AT&T Center Chubby Checker 6/25, Sat @ 7:30pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Billy Currington 6/25, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Blaggards 6/25, Sat @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville

Tobin Studio Sessions John Mayall 6/25, Sat @ 8pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center

Alone Together Again 5/1-15, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm S.T.A.G.E – Spotlight Theatre & Arts Group Bulverde

Texas Family Tradition 6/25, Sat @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall

Born Yesterday 5/1-22, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm The Classic Theatre of San Antonio

Ray Wylie Hubbard 6/25, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs 6/26, Sun @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre

Motown: the Musical (touring) 5/3-8, Tue-Thu @ 7:30pm Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm

Ancira Music Series Mike & The Moonpies 6/30, Thu @ 7:30pm The County Line on IH-10

The Gingerbread Lady 5/5-28, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (dinner @ 6:15pm) Harlequin Dinner Theatre

Live Theater The Nerd 5/1, Sun @ 2pm Fredericksburg Theater Company Steve W. Shepherd Theater Fredericksburg Legends of the Oldies 5/1, Sun @ 2:30pm Josephine Theatre Memphis 5/1-8, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm Woodlawn Theatre Good People The Wimberley Players 5/1-8, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2:30pm Wimberley Playhouse

The Cemetery Club 5/6-21, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Boerne Community Theatre A Chorus Line 5/6-6/5, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Russell Hill Rogers Theatre at The Playhouse San Antonio Tobin Center Edge Series Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (touring) 5/12-15, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center

May/June 2016 | On The Town 41

Shiploads of Shimmies 5/19-20, Thu-Fri @ 8pm VK Garage Theater Kerrville African Folktales Renaissance Guild Presentation 5/20, Fri @ 10am Jo Long Theatre at The Carver Tribes 5/20-6/12, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Cellar Theatre at The Playhouse San Antonio For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When The Rainbow is Enuf 5/22 & 29, Sun @ 5pm Josephine Theatre Jaston Williams’ A Wolverine Walks Into A Bar (Conversations Over Ice) 5/26-29, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm 6/4-5, Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm The Classic Theatre of San Antonio The Wizard of Oz (touring) 5/31-6/5, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm The Amazing Tour is Not on Fire 6/9, Thu @ 7pm H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center Attic Rep 14 6/9-19, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center

42 On The Town | May/June 2016

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast 6/17-7/3, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Fredericksburg Theater Company Steve W. Shepherd Theater Fredericksburg An Evening with Whoopi Goldberg 6/24, Fri @ 8pm Majestic Theatre Capitol Steps 6/26, Sun @ 7pm Laurie Auditorium @ Trinity University Ruthless 3/4-6, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Performing Arts San Antonio Theatre Creatures of the Night 3/4-12, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 7pm 3/18-20, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm 3/25-26, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Greg Barrios Theater @ The Overtime Theater London Calling 3/11-4/16, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (dinner @ 6:15pm) Harlequin Dinner Theatre Foxfire 3/18-20, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm 3/25-4/2, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Elizabeth Huth Coates Indoor Theatre Ingram

Make Me a Musical 4/1-17, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Performing Arts San Antonio Theatre

Savion Glover & Jack Dejohnette 5/28, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver

Center of The Universe 4/1-16 & 29-30, Fri-Sat @ 8pm, 4/10, Sun @ 3pm 4/24, Sun @ 7pm Overtime Theater

Main Stage Dance Spring Show 6/4, Sat @ 6pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels

Stomp 4/2-3, Sat @ 3pm & 8pm Sun @ 3pm Majestic Theatre Around the World in 80 Days 4/8-24, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm Circle Arts Theatre New Braunfels Disney’s The Little Mermaid 6/24-7/24, Fri-Sat @ &:30pm Sun @ 3pm Woodlawn Theatre

Dance San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet Dance Kaleidoscope 5/1, Sun @ 2:30pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver Alamo Arts Ballet Theatre Alice! A Ballet Wonderland 5/7-8, Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver

Lone Star Dance That’s How Easy Love Can Be 6/11, Sat @ 2pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Mexico 2000 6/15, Wed @ 10am & 1:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels Michael Jackson: I Want You Back Dance Tribute 6/18, Sat @ 7pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels

Opera Lady Bird Texas State Opera Theater 5/12, Thu @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Callioux Theater Kerrville Opera Piccola of San Antonio 5/21-22, Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre

May/June 2016 | On The Town 43

44 On The Town | May/June 2016

Cinema Fathom Events 5/4 – Metropolitan Opera / Elektra 5/12 – Art & Architecture in Cinema /Painting the Modern Garden 5/15 & 18 Ferris Buhler’s Day Off 5/16 – The Abolitionists 5/19 – A Story Worth Living 5/23 – The Shakespeare Show 5/24 – Soledad O’Brien Presents / The War Comes Home: The New Battlefront 5/25 – Kiss Rocks Vegas 6/7 – One Night for One Drop / Imagined by Cirque du Soleil 6/16 – Art & Architecture in Cinema / Teatro Alla Scala: The Temple of Wonders 6/23 – 2016 DCI Tour Premiere 6/26 & 29 – Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory For theater locations and show times: H-E-B Cinema on the Plaza Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 5/13, Fri @ 8pm River Walk Plaza at the Tobin Center

Comedy Kristen Key 5/1, Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

BT Kingsley 5/1, Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club Rivercenter Shayla Rivera 5/4-8, Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club Rivercenter Rob Schneider 5/6-7, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Billy Bonnell 5/11-15, Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club Rivercenter Brent Morin 5/13-15, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Michael Mack 5/18-22, Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club Rivercenter Nick Griffin 5/18-22, Wed-Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

May/June 2016 | On The Town 45

Katt Williams 5/20, Fri @ 8pm Illusions Theater @ the Alamodome Joshua D. Evans 5/25, Wed @ 7:30pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Danny Ingle 5/25-26, Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Improv Comedy Club Rivercenter Tina Giorgi 5/26-29,Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Deon Cole 5/27-29, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club Rivercenter Jim Dailakis 6/1-5, Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club Rivercenter Ralphie May 6/2-4, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Nick Guerra 6/8-9 & 12, Wed-Thu @ 8pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

46 On The Town | May/June 2016

Hypnotist Don Barnhart 6/8-12, Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club Rivercenter

Ben Gleib 6/23-26, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Michael Yo 6/10-11, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Humor for Heroes 6/25, Sat @ 8:30pm John T. Floore Country Store

Chris Fonseca 6/15, Wed @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Andy Kindler 6/16-19, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Earthquake 6/17-19, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club Rivercenter Cowboy Bill Martin & Chad Prather 6/18, Sat @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Ben Moore 6/22, Wed @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Joe List 6/22-26, Wed-Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Improv Comedy Club Rivercenter

Rick Gutierrez 6/30-7/3, Thu @ 8:30pm Fri-Sun @ 8pm & 10:15pm Improv Comedy Club Rivercenter

Children's Charlotte’s Web 5/1-6/1 For details: www. Magik Theatre Children’s Fine Art Series International Puppet Festival Moon Mouse 5/4-5, Wed-Thu @ 6pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center Children’s Fine Art Series International Puppet Festival The Legend of Walter Weirdbeard 5/6-8, Fri @ 6pm Sat @ 11am, 1:15pm, 3:30pm Sun @ 1:15pm, 3pm & 4pm East Rotunda at the Tobin Center

Children’s Fine Art Series International Puppet Festival The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer 5/6-7, Fri @ 6:30pm Sat @ 1pm & 4pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center Children’s Fine Art Series International Puppet Festival Pekka by Theatre des petites amas 5/7, Sat @ 10am, 12:15pm & 2:30pm Fike Family Rotunda at the Tobin Center Children’s Fine Art Series International Puppet Festival The Dinosaur Show by Paul Messner Puppets 5/8-10, Sun @ 12:15pm, & 4:15pm Mon @ 5pm Tue @ 6pm Fike Family Rotunda at the Tobin Center Children’s Fine Art Series International Puppet Festival Ondin by L’Illusion, Theatre de Marionnettes 5/8-10, Sun @ 11am, 2pm & 4pm Mon @ 6pm Tue @ 5pm Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center

Exhibitions ARTPACE Spring 2016 Artists in Residence Exhibition Daniel Garcia Wu Tsang Andriana Corral Juan de Nieves, curator Thru 5/15 BLUE STAR CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM Blue Star Ice Company Thru 5/8 Do it & Do it Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist Thru 5/8

Going on Going Justin Boyd Thru 5/8 Blue Star Red Dot 5/18, Wed @ 6pm BIHL HAUS ARTS Necessary Work: Bryce Milligan’s World of Words and Design Thru 5/21 Profiling Made Visible: The Art of Mark Anthony Martinez & Michael Martinez 6/4-7/9 BRISCOE WESTERN ART MUSEUM Night of Artist Exhibition Thru 5/15

210/West Gallery Talk Selling The West Jenny Chowning 5/3, Tue @ 6:30pm Arid Jack McGilvray 6/7, Tue @ 6:30pm

Voices of the West Distinguished Lecture Series Robert Earl Keen Storytelling and Song in the American West 6/28, Tue @ 6:30pm

Briscoe Book Club Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West Dee Brown 5/10, Tue @ 6:30pm True Grit Charles Portis 6/14, Tue @ 6:30pm


Briscoe Film Series Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 5/17, Tue @ 6:30pm True Grit 6/21, Tue @ 6:30pm

45th Annual Texas Folklife Festival 6/10, Fri / 5pm-11pm 6/11, Sat / 11am-11pm 6/12, Sun / 12pm-7pm ITC Grounds

Our Part of Victory Thru 12/7 Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and Farm Workers Thru 6/5

November/December May/June 2015 2016 | On The Town 47



Secondary Stories by Brazilian Artist Rivane Neuenschwander Thru 7/29

Wings of the City Thru 6/5

Adam (Public Artwork) By Arturo Herrera 25’ h x 98’ w, Frost Bank Garage Commerce at Main Thru 12/2016 McNAY ART MUSEUM My Royal Past: Cecil Beaton and the Art of Impersonation Thru 6/5 Dressed to Kill: Glam and Gore in Theatre Thru 6/5 Stephan Westfall: The Holy Forest Thru 7/31 Art for the Sake of Art: Ornament Prints from the Blanton Museum of Art Thru 8/7 Greg Smith: The Loop Thru 8/28

Storybook Houses Thru 7/10 SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART Roberto de la Selva: Modern Mexican Masterpieces in Wood Thru 6/26 Rodin: The Human Experience Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections Thru 5/29 Highest Heaven: Spanish and Portuguese Colonial Art from the Collection of Roberta and Richard Huber 6/11-9/4 SOUTHWEST SCHOOL OF ART

Anthony Rundblade Echoes From a Bear Cave 5/6-8/21 TEXAS A&M CENTRO DE ARTES Nuestra Gente: Celebrating People Past and Present Now thru 5/8 WITTE MUSEUM Splendor on the Range: American Indians and the Horse Thru 8/21 Mapping Texas: From Frontier to the Lone Star State Thru 9/5 Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed 5/14-9/5

Miscellaneous Cinco de Mayo Celebration 5/1, Sun 12pm-7pm Historic Market Square

Shepard Fairey at the McNay Thru 9/11

Mona Marshall Three Stories About Water 5/6-7/3

Las Casas Foundation presents 2016 Joci Awards 5/1, Sun @ 7pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre

Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008 5/11-9/11

Karen Mahaffy Accumulated Erosions 5/6-7/3

Seven Seas Food Festival 5/1-15 - daily Seaworld San Antonio

48 On The Town | March/April May/June 2016 2016

Savor The Arts 2016 5/5, Thu @ 7pm John L. Santikos Building Southwest School of Art Fiesta Noche del Rio 5/13-8/13, Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm Arneson River Theatre in La Villita Culinaria Festival Week 5/19-22, Thu-Sun For details: www. Soul Food Festival & Gospel On The Plaza 5/20-21, Fri 6p-12a Sat 12pm – 12am La Villita Maverick Plaza Armed Forces River Parade 5/21, Sat @ 5pm San Antonio River Walk Summer Art & Jazz Festival 6/3-6/5, Fri / 5pm – 10pm Sat-Sun / 12pm – 10pm Crockett Park

Coming Soon Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus EXTREME 6/30-7/4 AT&T Center Footloose 6/30-7/24, Circle Arts Theatre New Braunfels

America 7/2, Tobin Center

Photo Credits

Cactus Pear Music Festival 7/5-16. Various Venues

Page 34 (L-R)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 7/8-30, Smith-Ritch Point Theatre Ingram The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas 7/8-8/7, The Playhouse San Antonio Jim Gaffigan 7/10, Majestic Theatre Ted Nugent 7/14, Tobin Center Loretta Lynn 7/15, Majestic Theatre A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum 7/15-30, Playhouse 2000 Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Drum Corp International: Southwestern Championship 7/23, Alamodome Steve Miller Band 7/24, Majestic Theatre

Jennifer Berg Courtesy San Antonio Symphony Reckless Kelly Courtesy liveatfloores. com Martina Filjak Photo by Romano Grozich Mairead Nesbitt-Celtic Woman Courtesy celticwoman. com Page 36 (L-R) Stuart Chafetz Photo by Pat Johnson Gary Morris Courtesy Janice Maynard Courtesy Ray Wylie Hubbard Courtesy Page 38 (L-R) David Mairs Courtesy Mid-Texas Symphony Gypsy Kings Courtesy Majestic Theatre May/June 2016 | On The Town 49

50 On The Town | May/June 2016

Page 39 (L-R)

Page 42

Page 46 (L-R)

Gary P. Nunn Courtesy www.

Taylor Hicks Courtesy Majestic Theatre

Kathryn Eberle Courtesy Blanco Performing Arts

Asleep at the Wheel Courtesy Page 40 (L-R) Almost Patsy Cline Band Courtesy www. Sarah Chang Photo by Colin Bell Gabriel Feltz Courtesy www.gabrielfeltz. com Judy Collins Courtesy Kerrville Folk Festival

Terri Hendrix Courtesy Kerrville Folk Festival DaleWatson Courtesy www.

Jo Dee Messina Courtesy jodeemessina. com Motown The Musical Photo by Joan Marcus

Ruthie Foster Courtesy Kerrville Folk Festival

Jaston Williams Courtesy Classic Theatre of San Antonio

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Page 48 (L-R) Wizard of Oz Photo by Daniel A. Swalec

Sebastian Lang-Lessing Photo by Marks Moore Radney Foster Photo by Marshall Foster

Shayla Rivera Courtesy Improv Comedy Club

Rob Schneider Courtesy Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Tina Giorgi Courtesy Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

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SOLI Chamber Ensemble Courtesy www.

Alan Cumming Courtesy Majestic Theatre

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Culinary Arts 54-62

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Lana 54 On & TheDavid Town |Duke May/June 2016


Seafood Tower

Follow the Sizzle to Ruth’s Chris By Antonio Gutierrez Photography courtesy of Ruth’s Chris


ana Duke was beaming with optimism when she moved from Canada to New Orleans in 1963 at age 18. But she soon found herself in a frustrating predicament.

she learned in her new home.

“It taught me to knock on every door because you don’t want to second-guess someone’s pocketbook,” “No one would hire me,” she said. “I thought, ‘They’re she said. “It also taught me to never give up because going to deport me if I don’t get a job soon.’ I saw in that last door you might knock on, that’s the person the paper they were looking for a salesperson to sell who wanted that set.” pots and pans with straight commission.” Duke, owner of Ruth’s Chris Steak House at Concord Before long, Duke was plying her shiny wares, Plaza, the River Walk and La Cantera (which opened carrying them on her back through neighborhoods. in November 2015), also knows not to secondThat humble experience was one of many life lessons guess people’s appetites. Her guests expect the May/June 2016 | On The Town 55

Tomahawk Ribeye same quality and consistency in every bite of their steak, which she maintains. That premium standard extends from the front of the house to the kitchen.

Lobster Mac & Cheese Crab Stack: lump blue crab, avocado, mango and cucumber. Ruth’s Chris also offers a quarterly seafood dish ranging from halibut to Chilean sea bass.

“What we learned through the years, and we’re not heavy in seafood, but what we do have is excellent,” the restaurateur said. “When you have steaks that are as great at Ruth’s Chris, when you put seafood on the menu, it has to stand out. Our menu has a “A year ago, corporate presented all franchisees really good balance.” with items they were thinking about adding,” Duke said. “They tested them for quite some time in many Then there are the hearty new specialty cuts: Bonemarkets. I think we set ourselves up for another in Filet, Bone-in New York Strip and the 40-ounce Tomahawk Ribeye. “People have been asking for decade of success.” these specialty cuts for a long time,” Duke said, The Chilled Seafood Tower, for instance, is one of “but you want to make sure you do it right.” Expect her new favorite appetizers. “From a presentation to be delighted when you order a specialty cut. A standpoint, it’s served over ice and makes a ‘wow’ manager will offer you a choice of two specialty statement,” she said. It consists of Maine lobster, knives presented in a hand-carved cedar knife box. Alaskan king crab legs, jumbo shrimp and lump blue crab. “You can order it on a small or large scale. If The mouth-watering Lobster Mac and Cheese, with you have a group of eight people and you want to tender lobster, a three-cheese blend and green chilies, is a guest favorite. “People are crazy about it,” impress them, then this is what you order.” she said. “A lot of people order it as an entrée.” Another appetizer she recommends is the new There are too many delicacies to discuss, such as Now the home-goods rep, turned ad-agency exec, turned steakhouse-owner is excited about several new additions to the Ruth’s Chris menu at all three San Antonio locations.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Fire-Roasted Corn

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Grilled Asparagus and Fire-Roasted Corn, among others.

one of her (and founder Ruth’s) favorite quotes and strongest beliefs that ‘a restaurant is either growing or dying, there is no in between.’ With the plans At the helm of her three San Antonio restaurants we have in place, we have grown our restaurant and two in Canada since 1992, Duke is supported by locations and sales by 35 percent since I have come her son and co-franchisee owner, David Duke. She’s onboard with the company. It makes me very proud thrilled he is involved in the family business. to carry on their legacy.” “I was president of an ad agency (whose first client was Ruth’s Chris founder Ruth Fertel), so from the time he was knee-high he heard nothing but Ruth’s Chris,” she said. “Ruth was his godmother. I’m kind of passing the baton although I’m still extremely involved. I’m just not traveling as much. I have two grandchildren I’m crazy about and want to be a part of their lives.”

Ruth’s Chris is famous for broiling its steaks in a trademarked 1,800-degree oven that original owner Ruth Fertel helped to develop nearly 50 years ago. Each USDA prime beef steak is served on a ceramic plate heated to 500 degrees to ensure the steak stays “sizzling” hot from the time it leaves the kitchen and arrives at a guest’s table. The owner said she prefers her steak “filet, medium rare, charred plus. I like it between medium rare and rare. What I do is cut the steak right down the middle, and if it needs a little more cooking, I turn it over and let the beef absorb into the butter, which gives it even more flavor and cook it for about 20 seconds. Then it’s absolutely perfect.”

David Duke, who also is based in New Orleans, visits the Alamo City about twice a month, and said he enjoys working with his mom. “Having grown up watching Lana throughout much of her career, she has been a natural mentor in my journey for success,” he said. Now that she is taking more time to pursue personal goals, I have taken over the day-to-day operations, and I am reminded on a daily basis of For more information, visit

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The Vineyard at Florence is women-owned and Texas proud.

By Olivier J. Bourgoin, aka “Olivier, the Wine Guy” Photography Courtesy The Vineyard at Florence


..uscany, the world-renowned native land of Chianti wines, has been responsible for countless romantic adventures over the centuries. It was while sipping wine there during an Italian vacation that two girlfriends, Kris Davis and Kambrah Garland, decided to pursue their dream to open a winery of their own.

winemaker Dan Gatlin was hired as consultant on the project, and in 2009, the first vintage -- a thousand cases of a 100 percent single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon -- was released.

Since then, the Vineyard at Florence, located north of Georgetown, has followed the natural progression of the Texas industry as a whole, Back to Texas reality, the pair joined forces and made concentrating on grape varietals that are better good on their plan by purchasing the property for suited genetically to Texas weather and general their winery in Florence, Texas, in 2006. climate conditions. The same year, Garland moved there, and the Garland said she and her business partner visited following year, the vineyard was planted. Famed Italy together several times. “We knew the 58 On The Town | May/June 2016

potential for making great wines in Texas was already there, and we wanted to create something more European driven, more old world-style in winemaking,” she said.

the nose with black cherry, raspberry, cola, and dried fruit flavors with a perfect balance of fruit to acid. As folks at the vineyard like to say, think of it as being “the tough guy with a soft side.”

“Our wines are 100 percent estate grown,” Garland said. “ Today, in an optimal year, we release about 5,000 cases. But realistically because of variable weather issues which affect the crop, we can expect to make about 3,000 cases.”

Roma is crafted from the Norton grape and is noted by some as being similar to Pinot Noir, although purists may not agree. It's best described as a slightly translucent, yet brilliant red with notes of raspberries, cherries and more cherries with a crisp, complex finish.

Blanc du Bois, Nor ton and Lenoir are now the featured varietals, Aurelia, a white wine, is a butter y yet crisp, medium-bodied, 100 percent Blanc du Bois, with tones of pineapple, mango and guava culminating into a quick, clean and bright finish.

Another red wine available from the Vineyard at Florence is Forte. In a recent interview, Garland said: “Made from Lenoir, we market Forte as a more spicy-fruit, Shiraz-style type of wine. Our drinkers relate to it more in the vein of big cabs from Napa, super viscous and super fruit forward.”

Galileo and Roma are two red wines produced there. Galileo is an estate-grown blend made up of If you like sweet or dessert wines, Bella Donan is Norton and Lenoir. It is described as having notes a white, port-style wine made from estate-grown of candied fruits, spice and slight vegetation on Blanc du Bois. It brings to the forefront a slightly May/June 2016 | On The Town 59

sweet profile, accented citrus notes of lemon zest and honey, and refreshing crispy finish. “We are still in the process of educating the Texas consumer about what to expect from our wines,” Garland said. “We can’t be everything to everybody, but we are changing the game. It’s nice to see some homegrown, talented winemakers coming up through the ranks.” Garland’s daughter, Daniella DaSuta, also is involved in the business. A wine educator and consultant, DaSuta oversees the Vineyard at Florence Wine Club. “I was lucky enough to interest her into coming on board,” Garland said. “We teamed up from the very beginning. Her brother and her sister are also involved. It’s a family project.” Visitors seeking a romantic getaway can stay at the Villa Botticelli, one of the luxury villas available at the Vineyard at Florence, along with a number of single rooms. Lunch is available at the onsite restaurant, Villa Firenze. The property is also available for weddings and other events. The Vineyard at Florence 111 Via Francesco (8711 FM 487) Florence, Texas 76527 254-793-3363 For more information:


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Visual Arts 64-80

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Area museums and art centers offer grand exhibitions in May and June By Dan R. Goddard


he largest exhibit about the ancient Maya to tour the United States, not to mention the largest exhibit ever presented by the Witte Museum, “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revisited” is set to inaugurate the newly built $15 million, 19,000-squarefoot Mays Family Center for special exhibitions and events. In the past, the Witte had to pass on some major exhibits for lack of space, but the Mays is designed to accommodate the biggest blockbusters.

The McNay Art Museum celebrates the archetypal American beach resort and amusement park with “Coney Island: Visions of the American Dreamland, 1861-2008,” May 11-Sept. 11. But the exhibit spans more than just rides and games, exploring what author Henry Miller famously called “the Coney Island of the mind” using more than 140 objects, including paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, film clips, posters, carousel animals and side-show banners. Because of its proximity to New York City, Coney Island Filling 15,000 square feet, “Maya,” which runs May has inspired a multitude of well-known artists, ranging 14-Sept. 5, features never-before-seen artifacts, from William Merritt Chase and John Henry Twachtman hands-on activities and immersive environments, to modern and contemporary artists such as Diane including re-creations of an underworld cave, the Arbus, Weegee, Walker Evans, Red Grooms, Reginald starry night sky and a vibrantly colored mural room. Marsh, Joseph Stella and George Tooker. Several large-scale carved monuments, or stelae, have been replicated as well as a famous frieze With election fever heating up, the McNay looks at from the El Castillo pyramid in Xunantunich, a Maya Shepard Fairey, the street-artist who rose to fame in 2008 ceremonial center. Artifacts from the tomb of Great with his Hope poster for Barack Obama’s presidential Scrolled Skull in Belize include a jade mosaic mask campaign. Fairey’s prints on view through Sept. 11 are along with numerous vessels and figurines. from the collection of Harriett and Ricardo Romo, the UTSA president and his wife who have collected many Interactive activities enable visitors to decipher glyphs, works by Latino artists produced by Richard Durado’s build corbeled arches, explore tombs and investigate Modern Multiples in Los Angeles, where Fairey’s prints the Maya understanding of math and astronomy. were made. Fairey may not be a Latino artist, but his Because of the scope of “Maya,” Witte president and work often conveys social or political messages similar CEO Marise McDermott is recommending visitors to the Chicano art the Romos are known for collecting. schedule a longer than average time to enjoy the exhibit, demonstrations and programs. The Linda Pace Foundation presents the Texas debut of “Secondary Stories,” a hypnotic roomAlso at the Witte through Aug. 21, “Splendor on the size installation by Brazilian artist Rivane Range: American Indians and the Horse” explores the Neuenschwander, widely acclaimed for her often impact the four-legged creatures had on American ephemeral work that explores narratives about Indians after being introduced into the New World by language, nature, social interactions and the passing the Spanish in the 1500s. Curator Bruce Shackelford, of time. Appearing to take viewers through the stalwart appraiser of Western and Indian objects for looking glass, the overhead installation of brightly PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow,” has assembled a stunning colored circles immerses you in a slowly shifting array of artifacts from the Witte’s world-class collections play of light and color. Hidden fans gently move to examine the culture and lifeways of tribes through the giant confetti-like shapes around a translucent the Plains and Southwest before and after the arrival ceiling and, occasionally, the colored forms slip of the horse. through perforations in the ceiling and flutter to the May/June 2016 | On The Town 65

floor. An Artpace resident in 2001, Neuenschwander had a major exhibit at New York’s New Museum in 2010 and the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo in Brazil in 2014. Along with three video installation works, “Secondary Stories” will be on view April 30 through July 29. Hurry to San Antonio Museum of Art to catch “Rodin: The Human Experience,” which ends May 29. Also at the museum there’s still plenty of time to see “Roberto de la Selva: Modern Mexican Masterpieces in Wood” through June 26. The Nicaraguan-born artist who moved to Mexico City in 1921 is considered a master of the carved wooden bas-relief panels that combine pre-Hispanic craft with modernist painting. If you’re still in the mood for Fiesta, “Medal Mania IV,” featuring a sampling of 2016 Fiesta medals along with medals from the past, including a visual database extending back for several decades, continues through May 29 at the Institute of Texan Cultures.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 64 Frederick Brosen, Fortune Teller, Jones Walk, Coney Island, 2008, watercolor over graphite on paper, Courtesy of Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York. Photograph by Joshua Nefsky; Image courtesy of Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York; © 2016 Frederick Brosen/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Courtesy McNay Art Museum Page 66 (Above) Stoneball Gameyoke from Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed exhibition Courtesy Witte Museum (Below)

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Roberto de la Selva (Nicaraguan/Mexican, 1895—1957) At the Fair, 1934 Painted and carved white mahogany 58 x 47 in. Courtesy San Antonio Museum of Art

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Faux Wood Artist By Dan R. Goddard Photography Greg Harrison


ooking roughly hewn from native wood decades ago, two new bridges at Mission San José’s gristmill are the “false wood” work of Mexico City-born artist Rene F. Romero, who is continuing the San Antonio carved concrete tradition of “el trabajo rustico” or “faux bois” he learned from his mentor, Carlos Cortés.

by Dionico Rodriguez, who introduced the highly secretive technique from Mexico to Texas in the 1920s. His father and Rodriguez, who married into the Cortés family, worked on many structures throughout San Antonio, including bridges in Brackenridge Park and the palapas bus stand in Alamo Heights.

Picnic tables, benches, lampposts, flower baskets, birdhouses and fountains are just a few of the mostly privately commissioned projects he has built at his home studio.

Cortés restored a fountain, cat sculpture and other work by his father and uncle in Miraflores Park across from the University of Incarnate Word. The park, now on the National Register of Historic Places and owned by the city of San Antonio, contains the “I worked with Carlos for five years and began by largest grouping of Rodriguez sculptures in Texas. working on the grotto he built for the San Antonio Romero also worked with Cortés on the sign and River Foundation on the Museum Reach,” Romero picnic tables at the Robert L.B. Tobin Park that’s said. “In the past five years, I’ve been working on my part of the Salado Creek Greenway east of the own doing one-man projects. Most of my business intersection of Loop 410 and Harry Wurzbach Road. comes through word- of-mouth, but it’s hard for me to keep up with demand. I have a great deal of “Doing the bridges for Mission San Jose was a great admiration for Carlos. He has kept the tradition of honor since the mission (also a National Historical faux wood alive.” Park) was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site,” Romero said. “I didn’t really know much about faux The three-story, dream-like grotto is located in a bois until I started working with Carlos, but he was bend of the river between the Camden and Newell a great teacher.” street bridges. Besides the many hand-carved decorations or artist “follies,” the grotto features French for “false wood,” faux bois was first a stairway leading into the jaws of a giant jaguar developed in France in the mid-1800s by garden head. Directly across the river, Cortés constructed craftsmen who built fantasies of fake rock and the palapa-style overlook with a thatched roof held rustic wood-like constructions using mortar over up by a tree trunk sprouting root-like benches. iron rods, barrel bands and machine-made mesh. Today, Romero first builds a hand-shaped and The best-known San Antonio artist to work with welded rebar frame or armature that is wrapped carved concrete, Cortés also created the Witte with heavy-duty galvanized wire mesh and filled Museum treehouse and a rustic pavilion at the with modern concrete mix. Landa Library. He learned the faux-bois technique from his father, Maximo Cortés, who was taught To achieve a realistic wood texture, he uses handJeff Balfour

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carving and customized metal tools to shape concrete so each piece is unique. He often uses the coarse texture of mesquite bark for its dramatic appearance. For the outer surface of bark, he uses a higher proportion of Portland cement than in regular concrete.

The 43-year-old artist moved to the United States when he was 17, settling in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. He had been interested in art since his childhood in Mexico City, recalling his first drawing of an apple tree when he was 5. For eight years, he and his brother did caricatures in a stall at the Mall of America.

“It becomes like glass and can be highly detailed,” “But I got tired of the snow and moved in 1999 Romero said. to San Antonio where I had some family,” he said. Cortes taught him to add color to his work He attended Our Lady of the Lake University and by applying mineral salts, naturally occurring began working with inflatables. pigments that produce “earth tone” colors. Romero usually waits a day or two for the concrete to cure “I made models – black rubber sculptures – that some before spending several hours rubbing in would be turned into the inflatables,” he said. the pigments to achieve the finished, ancient- “I worked at that for five years and then began working with Patrick McMillan at Toxey/McMillan looking patina. Design Associates, which creates museum-exhibit “The French did not add color to their work,” designs among other things. We were doing rest Romero said. “But thanks to Carlos, the French have areas for a park and wanted to do some concrete begun adding color to their pieces. The result is a trees. Patrick pointed me to Carlos Cortés.” functional piece of art, guaranteed to last decades; Working as part of a four-man crew on the a timeless masterpiece that will age with beauty.” 70 On The Town | May/June 2016

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

grotto gave him a quick education. After a few years, customers began to ask him to make private commissions. Romero began showing his creations at the Period Modern furniture store Photo Credits: on McCullough Avenue. That brought him to the attention of restauranteur Cappy Lawton, who Page 70 commissioned him to do some pieces for La Fonda on Main. He created a lamppost, table and hollow Bridge at Mission San Jose concrete squares that look like blocks of wood. A UNESCO World Heritage Site But one of Romero’s favorite pieces is a drinking fountain in the shape of a tree trunk with a frog sitting on the rim of the catch basin and a doggie Page 71 (L-R) dish at ground level that Lawton had installed at the corner of Main Street and West Craig Place Faux wood table on the patio near the restaurant. between Cappy’s Restaurant on

Broadway and Cappyccino’s next door “It’s been fun to see what I can come up with,” Romero said. “I even did a realistic rhino. The family wanted something the kids could climb Drinking fountain in the shape of on and ‘ride.’ With rebar and concrete, I can make a tree trunk with a frog on the rim anything my customers want to look like it’s made of the catch basin of wood.” May/June 2016 | On The Town 71



he San Antonio Botanical Garden is host to Storybook Houses from now until July 10, 2016. Five unique interpretations on a storybook theme come to life at the Garden and are on interactive display for Garden visitors to explore inside and out.

(AIA), aimed at showcasing both organizations' commitment to and focus on the environment, recycling, education and sustainability.

Area architects and design teams submitted entries for consideration, utilizing a wide array of styles and The Storybook Houses Exhibit is part of an materials. A panel of judges representing the AIA, ongoing, award-winning partnership between the San Antonio Public Library and the Botanical Garden San Antonio Botanical Garden and the San Antonio reviewed the designs and scored them based on a variety chapter of The American Institute of Architects of criteria such as creativity of design and use/re-use of 72 On The Town | May/June 2016

weather-resistant materials; focus on recycling, reuse or Worms at Work sustainability; accessibility; collaboration with others; (based on Diary of a Worm) and design appeal for all ages of visitors. Christopher Drown, Bucrane Design Build, Lauran The five entries selected for the exhibit are at the Garden Drown, Bucrane Design Build and ready for exploration now. The Little House "This AIA partnership is a treat for the imagination. James P. Beyer, RVK Architects, Andi Galloway, Joeris This year’s theme opened up so many possibilities for General Contractors the creative teams participating,” says Bob Brackman, Executive Director of the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Sleeping Beauty "The designs will be fun for the entire family to explore." Ernest Guerrero, South San Antonio High School (Angelica Ramos, Teacher) The winning Storybook Houses entries include: "AIA San Antonio is honored to partner with the San Antonio Botanical Garden for the fourth time Oh! The Places You’ll Go on an activity that showcases the  creativity of local Brady Renner, PBK architects," said Executive Director of AIA San Antonio Torrey  Stanley Carleton, Hon. AIA.  "The Storybook San Antonio & the Beanstalk Lucas Mackey, Overland Partners, Esau Hernandez, Houses installation will draw local families and visitors to the Garden to engage in a healthy outdoor activity Overland Partners, Marcel Van der Maas, Overland Partners that shows how seamlessly the built and natural environments can be integrated."  May/June 2016 | On The Town 73

The partnership between AIA San Antonio and the San Antonio Botanical Garden was awarded the 2009 Texas Society of Architects Citation of Honor. The collaboration  began in 2008 with the Terrific Treehouses, followed by the 2010 Playhouses and Forts, the 2014 Birdhouses, and now the 2016 Storybook Houses exhibit.

Storybook Houses programming takes place on second Saturdays from 10am-12pm. Programming will vary but will include activities such as reading the story the Story Book House is based on, creating a simple craft, playing a game, and taking part in a garden exploration activity.

May 14 – Worms at Work, based on Diary of a Worm June 11 – The Little House A special thank you to the sponsors of Storybook Houses: July 9 – Oh! The Places You’ll Go • Gretchen Swanson Family Foundation, Inc. • The USAA Foundation, a charitable trust • A grant from the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation • Dickson-Allen Foundation This spring the Garden also kicks off its Family Drop-In Programing scheduled on certain Saturdays and is free with Garden admission. Family Drop-In Programming will be seasonal, topic specific and allows for hands-on family fun! 74 On The Town | May/June 2016

Later in June, Winged Wonders will include activities such as reading a story about a pollinator, creating a simple craft, playing a game, and taking part in a garden exploration activity. Winged Wonders provides education explaining how birds and butterflies find sustenance for their life cycle at the Garden, sensitizing all of us to the importance of habitat for those who “cohabit” with us. Admission to the Storybook Houses Exhibit is free for Garden members, and is included in the cost of daily Garden admission for non-members. For more information, visit or call 210-536-1400.

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Artistic Destination:

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Kerrville's Museum of Western Art a giant in the Hill Country By Julie Catalano


he Texas Hill Country brims with treasures both natural and manmade, and one place especially stands out as a perfect mix of the two: the Museum of Western Art, where some of the best artwork that can be found anywhere depicts the unique landscape of the American West. Located on a shaded hilltop in Kerrville, the 14,000-squarefoot Southwestern-style building designed by renowned architect O' Neil Ford is a work of art in itself. Inside, paintings and sculptures grace the light-filled galleries; outside, monumental bronzes stand guard on the picturesque grounds. It's a veritable Western art heaven.

Foster of Foster Tourism Marketing called absolutely priceless works. “Once people find us, they say, oh my gosh, this is really something,” Foster said. [Note: Check out the museum's Facebook page for news of rotating exhibits, Artist of the Month, and other special events.] The Children's Gallery is a delightful section that beckons youngsters (and some oldsters) with interactive displays of life in the old West and what it took to survive.

“One of the activities is about what you would take if you were setting out,” Foster said. Trunks with dress-up “People come here from all over world,” said executive clothing and hats, kitchen tools, a nearby covered wagon director Stephanie Turnham, who came to the museum and a teepee with a “campfire” lend a realistic touch. The almost a year ago. “We have about 250 paintings, about charming gallery is in keeping with the museum’s mission 150 bronzes, and selected artifacts. Our primary collection “to educate about our historic and colorful Western past is the Cowboy Artists of America (CA) work; that's in the and to preserve our Western heritage through art and main gallery.” education,” she said. The museum opened in 1983 as the Cowboy Artists of America Museum, later changing its name to the current one when CA split off and designated its museum in Oklahoma City.

Turnham said that all of the museum’s items offer lessons. An education director develops programs throughout the school year. Activities such as storytelling and crafts keep students engaged in a multi-station format. The theme for this year's summer camp is Westward Ho, for The official CA affiliation may be gone but the art ages 6-12, “and kids are already signing up,” she said. lives on — work after magnificent work brings to life vignettes of an era that is long gone. In spectacular The building also features a gift shop and cozy library oils and bronzes, there are scenes with early that boasts about 6,000 resident volumes on art and Native Americans, settlers, pioneers, cattle, rugged the history of the area, for on-site research. “Railroads, landscapes, mountain men — and everywhere, the cowboys, you name it, we can probably find something ubiquitous cowboys and their trusty horses. for you,” said Nan Stover, a museum member and volunteer since 1991. The permanent collection features Cowboy Artists (CA) from the mid-20th century to the present, including Visitors strolling the grounds end up in the company Roy Andersen, Wayne Baize, Joe Beeler, Fred Fellows, of Jason Scull, on those days when he can be found Bruce Greene, Oreland Joe, William Moyers, George hard at work in his studio. “That's an extraordinary Phippen and many more who follow in the tradition of thing,” Turnham said, “having a museum with an artist Frederick Remington. in residence.” Visitors also can see actual Remingtons, which Nancy And not just any artist, but a Cowboy Artist (CA), the May/June 2016 | On The Town 77

only one currently in Kerrville. The affable Scull, who works in bronze, explained what sets Cowboy Artists apart: “We pursue the creation of art in the tradition of Remington and [Charles Marion] Russell that is accurate in its representation of the American West at any given point in time.” Authenticity is the key, he said, with proper historic research as the foundation. As for the enduring popularity of Western art: “I think it's a very relatable thing if you consider the history of our country. There will always be those who love the American West and images from that time.” Looking around the serene grounds of a beautiful institution that houses such treasures, who wouldn't love the American West? For those who do — and especially for those who think they don't — the Museum of Western Art is a must-see and definitely worth the trip. Museum of Western Art 1550 Bandera Highway, Kerrville, TX 78028 For hours and admission fees:, 830-896-2553. 78 On The Town | March/April May/June 2016 2016



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Festivals & Celebrations


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TEXAS FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL CELEBRATES 45 YEARS By James M. Benavides Photography courtesy of ITC


or 45 years, Texas traditions have come to life at the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures’ signature event, the Texas Folklife Festival. For three days each summer, June 1012 this year, Texans bring the museum to life, showing the influences many groups had on the state.

museum about cultures and the ways people live, that narrative runs through every exhibit on display. But to really show that culture, to transform objects and stories into living, breathing, real, relatable people – that changes knowledge into experience.”

The Institute of Texan Cultures exhibit floor showcases Every year, the celebration reaffirms the value of the more than 20 cultures that found a home in the state, knowledge the museum safeguards and maintains. from the Spanish explorers and missionaries, to the The collected knowledge, research, artifacts, exhibits German pioneers of the Hill Country, to the Chinese and programs at the museum define the essence of who built the railroads and more. Unconstrained by gallery space limitations, the Texas Folklife Festival the Texan identity. features 50 cultures on the museum’s grounds. “The Texas Folklife Festival is an extension of the exhibit floor,” said festival director Jo Ann Andera. “When this “We’re maintaining culture and tradition by showing it museum was being developed, the researchers scoured alive and well,” said Andera, “and we’re also introducing the state to find cultural groups and the customs that new cultures that may have just started making their shaped their lives. As difficult as it might be to build a mark on Texas. Sikhs, Koreans, Vietnamese, Argentine, May/June 2016 | On The Town 83

Salvadoran, Bulgarian, Lithuanian – they’ve only that study, with admission for a year and additional emerged in the past few decades. With the festival, we benefits. The museum’s free Second Sunday programs can display these cultures, too.” supplement the learning experience as they focus on other aspects of Texan culture such as pioneer life, or While Andera gives significant credit to living history on specific cultures such as the Maasai. and tradition playing out across the festival grounds, it takes more for ideas to stick. Museum educators often “The festival can help you appreciate another culture, point out that knowledge sticks when three factors and enjoy their food, music, dance, art,” Andera said. come together: experience, emotion and intellect. “Combine that with the events and experiences that have shaped the lives of a people, and you can begin “The festival stimulates the senses,” Andera said. “It’s an to understand. Texas is filled with amazing people, immersive and interactive environment. And with the and they have amazing stories to tell. That’s what museum right there, doors open the whole time, guests makes Folklife and the institute such a powerful have access to the exhibit floor and the intellectual experience. It takes effort. It takes time. And when experience to back up what they have experienced on someone is willing to make that investment, the the festival grounds. There is an opportunity to truly result is spectacular. It’s a global citizen. It’s someone who can look at another human being, regardless of connect with and understand other cultures.” race, religion, language or custom, without fear or One of the best ways to experience the festival and judgment. That’s why we’ve kept this tradition going the museum, Andera believes, is to approach the Texas since 1972 and why this museum has been a part of Folklife Festival as an introduction to the Institute of Texas since 1968.” Texan Cultures, with a year of follow-up programs that bring other aspects of Texan culture to life, and The 2016 Texas Folklife Festival runs 5 to 11 p.m. June a museum full of information to help research and 10; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. June 11; and noon to 7 p.m. understand other cultures available throughout the June 12. For information, call 210-458-2300 or visit year. A museum membership is one way to pursue 84 On The Town | May/June 2016

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Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio ©2015, La Bella Vita Photography 86 On The Town | May/June 2016

Kostov Lachezar

Ellen Pavliska

20/20 VISION:



e blink and realize that our child is going off to college when she was just learning to walk “yesterday.” Up pops an Oscarwinning film, and we can’t believe we saw “Titanic” in the theater 20 years ago with some upstart actors named Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. And what about that upstart summer chamber music festival that in the same year, 1997, made its appearance in San Antonio? Cactus Pear Music Festival and the vision artistic director and founder Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio had one spring evening on the San Antonio River Walk as she nursed a cactus-pear margarita — the eponymous drink for which the festival was named — are now focused on the organization’s 20th season.

“It's been an exciting journey,” she said. “We are ready to celebrate the 20th in style, with 20-20 Vision our season’s theme, for what has been and what is yet to be. “For season 20 we are pulling out all the stops: 20 artists collaborating in 20 pieces by greats such as Schubert, Brahms and Dvořák, and cutting-edge works by celebrated living American composers Puts, Bunch and Daugherty,” Sant’Ambrogio said. “The repertoire ranges from intimate piano sonatas by Scarlatti to large ensemble sextets, septets and even a nonet with percussion in Poulenc’s “Le bal masqué.” And for the first time, I decided to invite some of the extraordinarily talented alums from our May/June 2016 | On The Town 87

Ryo Yanagitani

Eric Gratz

7-8 and 10), featuring the music of Pulitzer Prizewinning composer Kevin Puts, “Aria for violin and piano.” The centerpiece of program one, on every “top 10 greatest” chamber music list, is Dvořák’s boisterous and folksy “Piano Quintet,” while Fauré’s “Piano Quartet No. 2 in G Minor” adds a layer of fantasy. Audiences will get to see the seasoned Yanagitani perform with his 2011 YAP protégé Pavliska as they sit side by side The festival’s founder is known for hiring world- performing the expressively beautiful four-hand class musicians season after season. “We are blessed “Schubert Fantasie.” to have a wonderful mix on stage of some of my favorite chamber artists from across the globe, as Passions Old, Passions New, the July 9-10 program, well as a select handful of ‘stars’ from the San Antonio showcases the most recent winner of the festival’s young composer prize, Thomas Dougherty, who, at Symphony,” she said. 25, is stirring hearts with his evocative writing. His “Joining me in Brahms’ passionate “Piano Quintet” string quartet will be led by YAP alum Colin Sorgi. will be San Antonio International Piano Competition Sant’Ambrogio includes a little-known piano trio winner Ryo Yanagitani, violist Ara Gregorian and cellist by Arno Babadjanian. “I was first introduced to it in Lachezar Kostov. Our dear pianist friend Jeffrey Sykes 2010,” she said. “Its haunting melodies and exotic is back, along with husband and wife cellists Tony beat patterns have gripped me ever since. I’m Ross and Beth Rapier, flutist Stephanie Jutt, baritone eager to share it with our audiences.” The program Timothy Jones, as well as oboist Rong-Huey Liu and climaxes with Brahms’ lushly romantic “Piano the symphony's Eric Gratz, Sharon Kuster, John Carroll Quintet in F Minor.” and Sherry Rubins. It is going to be a season of perfect Inspired by her recent sabbatical in France, vision and artistry on stage. I can't wait!” Sant’Ambrogio created the third program, French The festival opens with Fantasies and Folktales (July Impressions (July 15). Redolent with some of the Young Artist Program (YAP, Cactus Pear’s tuition-free educational mentoring program) to join us on stage as professional colleagues. It will be thrilling for all of us to play with pianist Ellen Pavliska [2011] and violinist Colin Sorgi [2005] in week one, and pianist Wayne Ching [2009] and clarinetist Sam Almaguer [2008] for our final two programs.”

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Timothy Jones greatest French composers— Ravel, Poulenc, Debussy and Auric — she also pivoted the program around the rich, burnished voice of bass-baritone Timothy Jones, who is featured in Ravel’s “Don Quichotte à Dulcinée.” She said, “Martinu is not a Frenchman, but you can’t get more French than his ‘La Revue de Cuisine,’ a delightful morsel that always brings the house down.”

Rong-Huey Liu SCHEDULE

Program 1: FANTASIES AND FOLKTALES 7 p.m. July 7, First Presbyterian Church, Kerrville 7 p.m. July 8, Coker United Methodist Church, San Antonio 2 p.m. July 10, First United Methodist Church, Boerne Program 2: PASSIONS OLD, PASSIONS NEW 7 p.m. July 9, Coker United Methodist Church, San Antonio Program 4 (July 14, 16-17) is a true Firecracker Finale 2 p.m. July 10, First United Methodist Church, Boerne with dazzling works by Poulenc, Menotti, Bartok and Americans Michael Daugherty and Puts. In 2012, Program 3: FRENCH IMPRESSIONS Sant’Ambrogio organized a five-festival consortium 7 p.m. July 15, Coker United Methodist Church, San to commission a quintet from Puts composed to Antonio feature baritone Timothy Jones along with some of One performance only her favorite partners on stage. “In at the Eye” receives Program 4: FIRECRACKER FINALE its Texas premier this July. 7 p.m. July 14, McKenna Event Center, New Braunfels With an eye to CPMF’s anniversary season, Sant’Ambrogio 7 p.m. July 16, Coker United Methodist Church, San Antonio said: “One day you have a dream of something that 2 p.m. July 17, First United Methodist Church, Boerne could be, and you hope your enthusiasm for the idea is met with the kind of support that will bring that vision VENUES into reality. I feel so blessed; it’s been met in spades.” The 20th season begins July 7 in Kerrville, July 8 in San Boerne: First United Methodist Church, 205 James St. Kerrville: First Presbyterian Church, 800 Jefferson St. Antonio, and July 10 in Boerne. New Braunfels: McKenna Event Center, 801 W. San Antonio St. For a complete listing of program pieces and artists, San Antonio: Coker United Methodist Church, 231 E. North Loop Road go to May/June 2016 | On The Town 89

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Literary Arts 92-96

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Book Talk:

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RANDY FRITZ, AUTHOR Story and photos by Jasmina Wellinghoff


an d y Fr i t z a n d h i s w i fe Ho l l y moved fro m Wisco n si n to Centra l Texas in 1979 to s ettl e i n th e h ea r t o f the Lost Pines fo re s t w h e re th ey bu i l t th ei r f i rst house. He wa s a p o t te r, s he a da n ce tea ch er. O ver t he year s, th e y wo u l d bu i l d th ree o th er resid ences wh i le Fr i t z t ran s iti o n ed i nto a pu bl i c ser vice ca re e r, f i rs t as a B a stro p Co u nt y ju dge (19919 4 ) a n d l ate r as Ch i l dren’s Hea l th I n s urance Burea u ch ie f fo r th e Texa s D epa r tment of He a l th an d e ve nt ua l l y COO fo r th e D epar t m ent of State H e al t h S e r v i ces. D ur i n g t h e d e vastati n g B a stro p w i l dfire of 2 0 1 1 - t h e m o s t destru c ti ve i n Texa s histor y -th e Fr i t z fam il y l o st i ts h o me a n d th e forest the y love d was t ur n ed i nto a gh o st o f it self. D e e pl y u n s e t t l e d by th i s exper i ence of loss, Fr i t z w ro te a bo o k th at do cu ment s t he con se q u e n ce s o f th e a n n i h i l ati n g f i re, as well a s h i s i nte n s e re ac ti o n o f gr i ef a n d a n ger t hat ling ere d fo r m o nth s. I nterspersed w it h t his na r rati ve are s h o r t a cco u nts o f th e f a mily ’s life before t h e f i re. Ti t l ed, Hai l of Fi re - A Man and His Fam i l y Fa ce N atural D i saster, th e book was publi she d by Tr in it y Un i versi t y Press i n 2015. I t wa s o n e t h e t hree f i n a l i sts fo r th e Tex as I nsti t ute o f Le t te rs Ca r r Co l l i n s Awa rd for B est B o o k of N o n f i c t i o n pu bl i sh ed i n 2015. Fr it z co nt i n u e s to l i ve i n B a stro p i n a new house wi t h h is w i fe a n d yo u n gest daughter M i ra n d a. H e c u r re ntl y wo r ks a s a n i n dep end ent con sultant, s p e c i al i z i n g i n h ea l th i n s urance is sues.

JW: Tell us why you c hose to live i n t h e Lo s t Pines forest and ab out your love o f t h e fo re s t. RF: I t ’s more of a p ast tense at t h i s s t a g e b ec ause t here isn’t muc h lef t of i t. Th e ma i n p ar t of Lost Pines t hat rem ained af te r t h e 2 0 1 1 fire b ur ned in t he fire of 2015. Bu t t h e re a s o n I loved it is b ec ause it rem ind ed me o f w h e re I grew up -it was ver y green, w i t h t a l l t re e s. The lob lolly p ines t hat we had gre w ve r y t a l l and grew in am azing ways. A lot o f t h e m do not just shoot st raight up. They c u r ve, grow in sinew y ways; t hey are ver y st r ik i n g, u n u s u a l t rees. We had m illions of t hem . Th e e s t i mate s are t hat some t wo million t rees d ie d. Th e fo re s t has suffered a c at ast rop hic loss. JW: You lost your house b ut als o t h e t h re e p revious houses your family lived i n . I t ’s a l o t of p er sonal histor y to lose. R F: Ever y one t he houses b ur ne d exce p t t h e fir st lit t le one t hat we b uilt ; b ut t hat o n e b u r n e d in 2015. A house is sor t of a sp ir i t u a l a rc h i ve of family life and we had mult ip l e h o u s e s l i ke t hat, m ost of whic h we b uilt our s e l ve s exce p t for one, and t hey are all gone. I t ’s a te r r i b l e loss. There’s no p lace we c an go now a n d p o i nt to our grand k id s ‘ That ’s where yo u r mo m wa s b or n; t hat ’s where she grew up.’ O u r fa mi l y ’s ent ire ecosystem has b een d est roye d. I n t he b ook I d esc r ib e going to re vi s i t t h e p laces t hat b ur ned and I t alk ab o u t t h e fa c t t hat if I could go b ac k in t im e like E mi l y do e s i n (t he p lay) O ur Town, I would revis i t t h e h o u s e

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where we lived while our k id s were l i t t l e. I u s e d to d r ive by t hat house at least o n ce a we e k for year s, just b ec ause I liked look i n g at i t a n d b eing remind ed of what hap p ene d t h e re. JW: You seem to have b een mo re de e p l y affec ted t han your fam ily m emb e r s o r yo u r neighb or s. Why d o you t hink t hat wa s s o ? R F: I c annot answer t hat analy t i c a l l y. I c a n sim p ly say t hat it was a com b inat i o n o f t h i n g s. I was t he only p er son in my fami l y to g o b a c k (to t he house) while t he fire was ra gi n g. I s ave d some of our t hings b ut had a nar row b r u s h w i t h d eat h. I t hen went b ac k t he nex t mo r n i n g a n d saw what my house looked like a f te r t h e fi re was d one wit h it. As I said, I saw t he de s t r u c t i o n of our fam ily ’s ent ire ecosystem a n d t h at k i n d of t raum at ized me. JW: What p romp ted you to d ec i de to w r i te a b ook? R F: I guess, as muc h as anyt hing, i t wa s b e i n g in t herapy and realizing t hat I had s o me t h i n g to say to p eop le who have g o n e t h ro u g h sim ilar ex p er iences. There are n o b o o ks o u t t here wr it ten in t he fir st p er son by p e o p l e w h o have gone t hrough a m ajor natu ra l di s a s te r. S ome fic t ion account s exist b ut I co u l dn’t fi n d a single m emoir wr it ten from t he fi r s t p e r s o n p er sp ec t ive. S o I felt t hat t his wa s a b o o k t hat need ed to b e wr it ten. And I a l s o t h o u g ht t hat it would b e a healing t hing to do fo r o u r communit y. Thousand s of p eopl e h ave re a d t he b ook loc ally and t he resp ons e h a s b e e n over whelming. JW: Your b ook is d ivid ed into sec t i o n s t h at a re not only d ated, b ut t he hour of t h e day i s o f te n ind ic ated. Did you keep a jour nal t h ro u g h o u t t he p ost-fire year ? R F: No, b ut I kep t a c alend ar of t h i n g s to do. S o it was ver y sim p le for m e to reco n s t r u c t w h at hap p ened. There were a coup le of t i me s w h e n I took notes on my ip hone ab out a co nve r s at i o n t hat p ar t ic ular ly st uc k in my mind. Al s o, a l o t of what hap p ened in t he year af te r t h e fi re i s as fresh in my memor y as it coul d b e. S o me 94 On The Town | May/June 2016

conver s at i o n s we re rel ated a l mo st ve r b at im bec a use t h e y h ad su ch a bi g ef fec t o n m e.

resp onse to Hur r ic ane K at r ina and R i t a . Bu t t h at ap p arent ly d id not help you to be p e r s o n a l l y read y when d isaster st r uc k .

JW: Yo u d e s c r i b e t h e trees, th e l a n dscap e, t he sk y a nd t h e fi re it s el f i n a r i ch , po eti c l a nguage. R F: As a st ate offic ial I hand led t h e di s a s te r s D o yo u re ad p o e t r y o r per h a ps w r i te i t too? from a p hysic al and logist ic al s t a n dp o i nt. I k new t heoret ic ally t hat m ent al he a l t h s e r vi ce s R F: (L a u g h s ) N o, I do n’t w r i te po etr y. That ’s were imp or t ant ; b ut I had no real a p p re c i at i o n lik e re a l l y h ard ! I do tr y to w r i te po eti c p rose. for t hat. Now, in hind sight, I b elie ve t h at t h o s e Th ere’s a b ig d if fe ren ce bet ween w r i ti n g p oet ic ser vices are am ong t he most im p o r t a nt t h i n g s pro se a n d b e in g a po et. B u t I do rea d a lot of t hat need to hap p en af ter a d is a s te r. Cl e a r y, po e tr y. I am ve r y fo n d o f v i v i d l a n gu age and t here’s t he init ial need to get food, wate r a n d that ’s w hy I l i k e to rea d l i tera r y f i c ti o n . a safe p lace for d isloc ated p eop le to g o to ; b u t, once all t hat is t aken c are of, I t h i n k me nt a l JW: H ow h ard o r h ow ea sy wa s i t to find a healt h ser vices are ab solutely ess e nt i a l. Pe o p l e publi she r? suffer emot ional and sp ir it ual de va s t at i o n . That ’s what linger s on for a long t i me. R F: I t was s u r p r i s in gl y ea sy. On e o f my ad viser s (p eopl e h e co n s ul ted w i th w h i l e wr it ing), JW: Wit h your ex p er ience in mind, w h at wo u l d J a ni ce Sh ay, h ad a l o t o f co n n ec ti o n s in t he you say to a p er son who has just l i ve d t h ro u g h bo ok wo r l d, s o s h e a c ted a s a n i n fo r mal agent a nat ural d isaster ? for m e. S h e we nt to th e B o o k Expo o f Am er ic a in Ne w Yo r k i n M ay 2014 a n d ta l ked to some R F: I would p rob ab ly say, “Have yo u t h o u g ht fr ie n d s o f h e rs, a n d ju st l i ke th at, I had a ab out going into t herapy?” Again, mo s t p e o p l e coupl e o f o f fe rs. I ch o se Tr i n i t y Press for t wo who suffer a great loss are go i n g to n e e d rea son s: i t ’s a Tex a s pu bl i sh er w h i ch g ave me t herapy at som e p oint. But m ayb e t h at q u e s t i o n the opp o r t u n i t y to wo r k w i th peo pl e who are is too p er sonal. Whic h b r ings me to a n o t h e r g e ogra p h ical l y cl ose; a n d th e o th er i s, I went reason I wrote t he b ook : t hough t h e re a re ma ny down to s e e t h e m, a n d i t wa s o bv i o u s to m e b ooks ab out p syc hot herapy, t here a re ve r y fe w that th e b o o k h a d a n emo ti o n a l i mpac t on p er sonal account s of what ac t uall y h a p p e n s i n tho se wh o re ad it. I fel t th ey wo u l d b e t r ue t herapy. I n my b ook , I wrote ab out t h e p ro ce s s cha m pi o n s o f my wo r k . it self ; you are ac t ually eavesd ro p p i n g o n my t herapy sessions. I t hought it was i mp o r t a nt to JW: Inevitably, a memoir is not only about the d emyst ify and d e -st igmat ize t hat p ro ce s s. person writing it, but also about other people. Your family, neighbors, your therapist and many JW: Any final t hought s? others are talked about and quoted in Hail of Fire. Were you careful not to ruffle any feathers? RF: I am glad that you noticed the poetic element in my writing. I guess that ’s the thing I like about RF: It would have felt weird to me to write about the book. I mean, you don’t want to write a book these people without using their real names. that you don’t like yourself (laughs). I am a person As long as there was nothing negative….. All of who is ver y selective about what I read, maybe them read the book but sometimes I didn’t hear a little of a literar y snob. So I was somewhat from them until months later. It was as if at first worried about writing a book that I was not they had their guards up and it took months for going to feel good about later. But I reread my the book to really hit them. Then they typically book about six months after publication and it said, “ Thank you for writing it. It has helped me.” was like, “I’m proud of this book.” JW : I n yo u r fo r mer pro fessi o n a l cap ac it y, M r. Fr it z ’s com ment s have b ee n e di te d fo r you were i n ch arge o f o rga n i z i n g th e st ate’s p ub lic at ion. May/June 2016 | On The Town 95

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May/June 2016  

Our May/June 2016 Issue features 16 articles and an extensive events calendar. Some highlights are: Storybook Houses, Texas Folklife Festiva...

May/June 2016  

Our May/June 2016 Issue features 16 articles and an extensive events calendar. Some highlights are: Storybook Houses, Texas Folklife Festiva...