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ON THE TOWN

November/December 2012

Killis Almond Historic La Villita Mark and Lisa Bliss Aphrodite at SAMA Tuesday Musical Club Las Nuevas Tamaleras SA Cocktail Conference Plus 8 Additional Articles

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Features

Cover Credits

The Nutcracker Ballet and Peter Pan Highlight Holiday Performances

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Kathy Miller of Children’s Fine Arts Series Celebrates 30th Anniversary Season

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Las Nuevas Tamaleras: A Holiday Tradition at the Guadalupe Theater

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Front Cover Photo: © Iperl / Dreamstime.com Performing Arts Cover Photo: Kenny Rogers Courtesy Majestic Theatre

Maestro Mairs: David Mairs Leads Mid-Texas 20 Symphony in Its 35th Season

Events Calendar Cover Photo: Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan Photo by Isaac James

Tuesday Musical Club Presents an Exceptional Lineup of Acclaimed Artists

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Culinary Arts Cover Photo: © Juri Semjonow / Dreamstime.com

Restaurateurs Mark and Lisa Find Bliss

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Give the Gift of Art

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Aphrodite and the Gods of Love at SAMA until Feb. 17

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On The Subject of Public Art: Bill FitzGibbons 70 Shares His Thoughts Killis Almond: Setting the Stage for Historic Preservation

Talking Houston Street with Jackie Mallette Historic La Villita: The Little Village in the Heart of Downtown

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Visual Arts Cover Photo: Ignacio Gomez, El Pachuco, 2002. Screenprint. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of Harriett and Ricardo Romo Urban Cover Photo: Alameda Theatre Photo by Greg Harrison Literary Arts Cover Photo: © Matilda / Dreamstime.com Out & About with Greg Harrison Cover Photo: Greg Harrison

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


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Departments November-December 2012 Events Calendar

Contributors 28

Book Talk: Christopher Phillips – Author and 88 Pro-Democracy Advocate Out and About with Greg Harrison

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Jeanne Albrecht Mikel Allen, creative director / graphic designer

Christian Lair, operations manager / webmaster Kay Lair

Christa Brothers Susan A. Merkner, copy editor

Julie Catalano Lisa Cruz

Laurie Pickei

Louis Doucette Angela Rabke

Thomas Duhon

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

Chris Waters Dunn

Marilu Reyna

Ashley Festa

Sara Selango

Dana Fossett

Jasmina Wellinghoff

Greg Harrison, staff photographer

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

Cassandra Yardeni

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Performing Arts 8-26

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The N H

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Nutcracker Ballet and Peter Pan Highlight Holiday Performances By Sara Selango

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oliday season is Nutcracker season. Pytor Ilych Tchaikovsky ’s beloved The Nutcracker Ballet will be per formed a total of 21 times this year in San Antonio and the surrounding area. To say that it is a holiday tradition would be an understatement.

Ar ts San Antonio follows with its presentation of The Nutcracker as per formed by Mejia Ballet International at the Lila Cock rell Theater. Four per formances will be danced Dec. 2123. Moscow Ballet ’s Great Russian Nutcracker concludes the season’s offering with three per formances at the Majestic Dec. 28-29. Please Things get star ted on the weekend after check the events calendar in this magazine for Thanksgiving with four per formances at the more information. Majestic Theatre by Ballet San Antonio in conjunction with the San Antonio Symphony. Turning to another magical event, Peter Pan These outstanding ar ts groups come together starring Cathy Rigby, comes to the Majestic in again the following weekend for four additional early December as par t of the Cadillac Broadway per formances of The Nutcracker at the same in San Antonio Series. Eight oppor tunities exist venue. Akiko Fujimoto, assistant conductor of to see her per form this iconic role, from Dec. 4-9. the San Antonio Symphony, leads the orchestra in all eight per formances. Community theater is exceptional in November and December. The Over time Theater features Next up is Ballet New Braunfels with three Open Sesame: A Bollywood Musical through Nov. performances of The Nutcracker at the Brauntex 10, while Alfred Hitchcock ’s The 39 Steps graces Performing Arts Theatre shared between Nov. 30 and the Sheldon Vexler stage until Nov. 15. On Dec. 1. Alamo City Dance Company presents three Golden Pond concludes its run at the Harlequin performances of the ballet Dec. 15-16 at McAllister Dinner Theatre on Nov. 17, and November (that ’s Auditorium on the campus of San Antonio College. the name of the play) is offered at The Playhouse

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San Antonio’s Cellar Theatre three times a week through Nov. 18. The Cameo presents Buddy: The Buddy Holly Stor y throughout the month of November and into the first week of December. Also playing in the eleventh month are Eurydice at the new Woodlawn Black Box, It’s a Wonder ful Life (a live radio play) by Classic Theatre of San Antonio at the Sterling Houston Theatre, Elvis Has Left the Building at Boerne Community Theatre, and Alice in Wurst- erland, a melodrama at Circle Ar ts Theatre in New Braunfels per formed nightly during Wurstfest, Nov. 2-11.

The Santaland Diaries and Seasons Greetings at The Playhouse’s Cellar Theatre, Cats at the Cameo, and 1940s Radio Hour by Fredericksburg Theater Company. The discussion of music during the holiday season begins with the San Antonio Symphony ’s first pops concer t of the year, Wicked Divas at Laurie Auditorium Nov. 2-3 featuring Katie Rose Clarke and Nicole Parker from the Broadway musical of the same name. The other pops concer t during this time is Holiday Pops, the symphony ’s traditional Christmas show at the Majestic Dec. 21-22. Akiko Fujimoto conducts. The Symphony of the Hills gets in the holiday spirit with its per formance of Christmas Through the Ages Dec. 6 at the Cailloux in Kerr ville, while Mid-Texas Symphony presents Sleigh Bells Ring at Jackson Auditorium in Seguin Dec. 9.

November star ts that run well into December include Las Nuevas Tamaleras at the Guadalupe, A Christmas Story at The Woodlawn, Harlequin Dinner Theatre’s Getting in the Mood for Christmas, Dashing Through the Snow at the Elizabeth Huth Coates Theatre in Ingram, and The Plight Before Christmas by Playhouse 2000 at the Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater in Kerr ville. Classical music in November and December is abundant. The San Antonio Symphony is quite December-only shows are Annie at Russell Hill busy, star ting with Bolero featuring pianist Rogers Theatre at The Playhouse San Antonio, Mar tina Filjak Nov. 9-10. Jupiter is next, Nov.

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16-17 with pianist Ewa Kupiec. Sebastian LangLessing conducts on both occasions at the Majestic. Other symphony per formances include the Salute to Service Nov. 11 at the Majestic, Christmas Baroque at San Fernando Cathedral Nov. 25 and Handel’s Messiah at three churches Dec. 1-2. Opus One Piano Quartet comes to town for a Nov. 11 per formance presented by the San Antonio Chamber Music Society at Temple Beth-El. Two days later, organist Paul Jacobs is featured at Laurel Heights Methodist in a per formance for Tuesday Musical Club. Next up is French Impressions, a Musical Bridges Around the World presentation at San Fernando Cathedral, followed by Musical Offerings’ The Circle of Aphrodite: Music of Love and Beauty at SAMA for two per formances Dec. 3. Musical Bridges returns with Invocation featuring the Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quintet at McAllister Auditorium Dec. 9. Much more is offered in the classical music

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genre from other outstanding groups and organizations during November and December. Please take time to secure details from the events calendar. I couldn’t wrap things up without mentioning the absolute plethora of other great shows coming to the city and surrounding area in the next several months. Some favorites include Olivia Newton-John, Celtic Thunder, Kenny Rogers, Rober t Earl Keen, Br yan Adams, Randy Travis, Steve Winwood and Mannheim Steamroller at the Majestic, plus The Romeros at the Empire. Also, don’t miss Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the AT&T Center. Out-of-towners that really interest me are Neil Berg’s 102 Years of Broadway at the Brauntex in New Braunfels and Gaelic Storm, Ray Price and The Four Freshmen at the Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater in Kerr ville. Willie’s playing Gruene Hall, too. Happy Holidays! Get some tickets and go!


Photo Credits:

Captain Hook – Peter Pan Photo by Isaac James

Pages 8-9 Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan Photo by Isaac James Pages 10 -11 (L-R)

Page 12-13 (L-R) Olivia Newton-John Photo courtesy Majestic Theatre

Sebastian Lang-Lessing Photo by Marks Moore

Steve Winwood Photo courtesy Majestic Theatre

Ray Price Photo courtesy of Cailloux Theater

Gaelic Storm Photo courtesy Cailloux Theatre

The Four Freshmen Photo courtesy of Cailloux Theater Nutcracker Ballet by Mejia Ballet Interntional Photo by Marty Sohl

Robert Earl Keen Photo courtesy Majestic Theatre Ewa Kupiec Courtesy San Antonio Symphony

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Kathy Miller of Children’s Fine Arts Series Celebrates 30th Anniversary Season By Ashley Festa Photography Greg Harrison

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hen she was 10 years old, Kathy Miller performed puppet shows for the neighborhood kids. She wrote the scripts, designed the scenery and created the puppets. She charged attendees only 4 cents to see the show and offered Kool-Aid to draw a crowd.

This season’s series, which runs concurrently with the school year from October to June, offers six shows performed by professional touring companies. Miller does all the booking herself, and she’s hired groups from all over the world. Companies from Korea, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Nova Scotia, Germany and Vietnam are among the wide variety that have Not only did the endeavor earn her some valuable performed for Miller’s audiences. marketing experience, the performances gave her a creative outlet for several summers when she “People really do like these shows,” she said. “They was young. So it’s no wonder that as an adult, she say they wouldn’t see these types of shows in San continues to share her passion with children as Antonio if it weren’t for my shows.” executive director of the Children’s Fine Arts Series, a nonprofit organization designed to stimulate The performances also bring communities together creativity and intrigue participants. to share cultural events. When a Korean group called the Little Angels came to perform, the entire local Miller got the opportunity to bring together school Korean community came out to see the show. children and the performing arts in 1982 when she volunteered to lead a fundraiser for Judson And the cultural experiences vary from group to Montessori School. She became chairwoman of the group. During a Vietnam group’s puppet show, the committee and continued leading the event for five performers stood in a vat of water 3 feet deep, while years. In 1988, she and some of the other volunteers the puppets were on top of the water. turned the fundraiser into a nonprofit. In one of this season’s performances called The Man Instead of the fundraiser’s Sunday shows, the fine Who Planted Trees, a Scottish puppeteer group will arts nonprofit began offering performances during teach children about the importance of taking care weekdays to accommodate school field trips. Miller also of the environment. It’s important, Miller said, for the offers evening shows for families to attend together. students to have fun and also to learn something. During the first season, 2,500 San Antonio Independent School District children received free admission to the performances. The tradition has continued ever since. This year, as part of the organization’s 30th anniversary celebration, Miller wants to invite even more San Antonio schoolchildren to attend shows for free, and she’s working to secure funding to make those tickets available.

“Every single company has an educational element, things outside the show for children to do,” Miller said. “Studies say that the arts enhance education and all learning experiences. Live performances are different from movies and television. [Years later,] kids still remember going. “It adds something to your whole life. Things like November-December 2012 | On The Town 15


that, you can give children make their lives fuller and richer,” she said. Beyond the educational and creative aspects of the shows, Miller knows just how to cater to her young audiences. Shows are no longer than one hour to accommodate the attention span of the 3- to 10-yearolds who are the primary attendees. And the other nonnegotiable: “It has to be the best that I can find,” Miller said. She won’t compromise on quality. In addition to booking performances, Miller also writes all the grant proposals to secure funding for each season. “As long as I can do it and other people appreciate it, then I’ll keep doing it,” Miller said. She’s investigating the possibilities of including new venues in her rotation of performances. Now, most shows are at the Empire Theatre and at Laurie Auditorium at Trinity University. Part of the fun of booking is being on the hunt for those outstanding performing groups. But because funding is limited, Miller must be prudent about the companies she hires. Sometimes, though, she gets lucky. “If you get them when they’re new, they’re not as expensive,” she said. “I got Sharon, Lois and Bram before they were on television. When I hired them, they charged only $2,500.” After the singing group became nationally known, hiring them would have cost 10 times that amount. More recently, she hired Darwin the Dinosaur, a group that has performed – with great success – on America’s Got Talent. She’s glad she booked them before they got their 15 minutes of fame. “They’ll be too expensive later on,” she said. “We try to do a whole spectrum of performing arts,” Miller said. Dance shows, musicals, opera, narratives re-enacting storybooks, and more traditional actors have all been included in the series. “We try to have a variety.” Of course, “there are lots of puppet performances,” she said, “because I like puppets.”

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Las Nuevas Tamaleras A Holiday Tradition at the Guadalupe Theater By Marilu Reyna

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s the holiday season approaches, we all look forward to enjoying our annual family holiday traditions. For many, we string lights, we decorate the tree, and in almost every case, if you’re lucky, you gather to eat. Food is a big part of what brings families together in San Antonio and South Texas. We are lucky to have wonderful, deliciously delectable, delicately hand-crafted tamales as a part of our holiday tradition.

St. Peter to partake in the tradition they both miss dearly, with both bragging about being experts back in the day. These characters are grandmothers, aunts and the spirits of our ancestors. The story would not be as moving without them.

The play depicts three young Latinas attempting to take on the task of seasoning the scrumptious meat filling, kneading the masa with might and determination, and gently hand-rolling each tamal, wrapping each like an individual gift – all in a day’s work that is known in this neck of the woods as “the tamalada.” Adding to the drama, and joining the novices in the kitchen, are the “spirits” of two veteran tamaleras who have been sent down from heaven by

Las Nuevas Tamaleras invites guests to dive into tradition, sit in the masa splash zone and get ready for the holidays.

Alicia Mena wrote this play as a tribute to her mother and all the women she grew up around who took the time to prepare this delectable holiday treat. She mixes humor and chisme (gossip) with hard work and What is a tamal? How is it made, you ask? Luckily, the determination to create a story that will make you laugh story is told every year in colorful detail with a cast of and make you cry! Coming to the Guadalupe Theater characters we all can relate to, in the hilarious theatrical again for the 2012 season, celebrating nearly 20 years production of Las Nuevas Tamaleras. on the stage, this production is not to be missed!

The show opens Nov. 23 on the weekend after Thanksgiving and runs for three weeks. Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 3 p.m. Sunday. On Nov. 24, the theater will be set up for dining; tickets for that night only will include dinner and drinks. November-December 2012 | On The Town 19


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Maestro Mairs: David Mairs Leads Mid-Texas Symphony in Its 35th Season By Lisa Cruz

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transformation is the ac t or process of altering somebody or something. Music has the ability to change people, and musicians are the change agents, so who leads these musicians to create great change? Af ter 17 seasons with the M id-Texas Symphony, Music Direc tor David Mairs continues to transform lives and is “thrilled to be a par t of mak ing great music.” “It ’s like a family,” Mairs said, describing the 65 to 70 musicians who comprise the Mid-Texas Symphony. “ They are wonder ful musicians who come from all over. And, over the years, we’ve tried to focus in on playing really excellent music that has become such a whole or oneness and amazing things have happened musically and ar tistically.”

“ There is good music in all genres and bad music in all genres,” he explained. “For me, it ’s the experience we create. Like the Spurs, at their best, they are really exciting to watch, because they play as one, and that ’s what happens in an orchestra that plays well together.” Mairs’ passion for classical music developed during his militar y ser vice. As he considered how best to ser ve his countr y, playing the Solo Horn for the elite U.S. Army Band in Washington, D.C was his oppor tunity to contribute. He continued as a musician after leaving the ser vice until he had the oppor tunity to ser ve as Assistant Conductor for the Flint Symphony and then Resident Conductor for the San Antonio Symphony from 1988 until 1999, where he directed classical concer ts, pops, and educational and family concer ts.

As a Music Director, Mairs is responsible for bringing together musicians to create an experience for audiences that only live, classical For the Mid-Texas Symphony ’s 35th anniversar y music can provide. season, Mairs has chosen celebrator y pieces that November-December 2012 | On The Town 21


run the gamut of emotions. Upcoming concerts include the Symphony ’s December holiday celebration, Sleigh Bells Ring, which will include a 4th and 5th grade group from New Braunfels-area schools and the Mid-Texas Symphony chorus. In February, the orchestra will per form Superbows, featuring composers Mozart and Schubert. The March 3 concert is Pines of Rome featuring the 2012-2013 Young Artist Competition winner as a vocalist. The season ends on May 5 with composers Copland, Britten, Debussy, Delius and Tchaikovsky ’s 1812 Overture. A natural-born teacher, Mairs especially delights in sharing music with young people and making music accessible. He was named the Denton Independent School District ’s 2010 Teacher of the Year. He frequently directs the Austin Symphony educational and family concer ts and has ser ved as Conductor of Orchestras at UTSA, Music and Administrative Director of the Nor th East School of the Ar ts and Music Director of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. “Music speaks universally, because it communicates those things about composers and musicians that draw us in, that we are all just human beings developing a way to express ourselves,” Mairs stated. Teaching music-lovers of all ages is his goal, even during concer ts. “I want to see people at ease, so I explain things at a level that relaxes ever yone,” Mairs said. “ These musicians are really talented, and our job is to make you enjoy it. It ’s not rocket science.” Having the oppor tunity to bring joy to others is a theme for Mairs, and his reflection on his career is one that focuses on making a difference. “I’m not sure I was purposeful, so my career in music just kind of happened,” Mairs explained. “But, when I had the chance to conduct, I realized I loved it. I began to realize I could help others to love music and bring out the best in others, and that is my favorite par t.” Photos of David Mairs on Pages 20 and 22 by Gerr y Lair

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Paul Jacobson

Joyce Yang

TUESDAY MUSICAL CLUB Presents an Exceptional Lineup of Acclaimed Musicians By Jeanne Albrecht Photography courtesy Tuesday Musical Club

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or 89 years, one of San Antonio’s best-kept The remaining three performances for 2012-13 are: secrets was the Tuesday Musical Club’s classical music concert series featuring world- Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m. -- Paul Jacobs, organ class musicians, but the word is out! Called “precisely what the organ scene needs right “We just launched our 90th season in early October now” by the Los Angeles Times, Grammy Awardwith a duo recital by violinist Philippe Quint and winning organist Paul Jacobs has been lauded by pianist Navah Perlman (yes, daughter of Itzhak critics and audiences alike for his tremendous technical Perlman) … and the crowd was fantastic!” said abilities and for the wide range of emotions he is able Claudia Robison, chair of the TMC Artist Series. to coax from the instrument. Amassing stellar reviews “People are finally realizing that they can enjoy — “a spellbinding recital” (The Denver Post) to “The acclaimed international artists for an incredibly low leading American organist of his generation” (The price — and students are free.” New Yorker) — Jacobs has won acclaim worldwide.

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Darrett Adkins

Jan. 22, 2 p.m. -- Joyce Yang, pianist Feldman is one of America’s leading chamber music (Sponsored by the Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts) and accompaniment pianists. He studied at Juilliard School of music, joined its faculty and now is head of Critically acclaimed as “the most gifted young its accompanying department. pianist of her generation” with a “million-volt stage presence,” Yang captivates audiences around the All concerts occur at Laurel Heights United Methodist globe with her stunning virtuosity and interpretive Church, 227 W. Woodlawn Ave., with free parking (use sensitivity. Just 25, she has established herself as one doors facing Woodlawn). Concerts are 90 minutes to of the leading artists of her generation through her two hours in length. innovative solo recitals and notable collaborations with the world’s top orchestras. In 2010, she won Tickets are available online and at the door one hour an Avery Fisher Career Grant, one of the most before each concert. Students are free at all concerts prestigious prizes in classical music. with proper ID (suggested age is 12 years and older). Seating is first come-first served. Apr. 9, 2 p.m. -- Duo recital: cellist Darrett Adkins and pianist Jonathan Feldman Founded in San Antonio in 1901, the Tuesday Musical Club is the oldest musical club for women in Darrett Adkins belongs to the new generation Texas, and is dedicated to the promotion, study and of American musicians redefining the concert performance of classical music to the community. experience. His critically acclaimed performances of contemporary music have inspired critics to call For more information about the Artist Series, him “stunning,” “intensely involving” and “fiery.” In visit www.satmc.org, call (210) 383-2147 or email 2002, Adkins was the cellist of honor at the Rio de contact@satmc.org. Janeiro International Cello Encounter. Jonathan November-December 2012 | On The Town 25


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Events Calendar 28-48

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November-December 2012 Events Calendar Music Notes CMT on Tour 2012: Featuring Jake Owen 11/2, Fri @ 7pm Cowboys San Antonio Drew Womack 11/2, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Almost Patsy Cline Band 11/2, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Cody Canada & The Departed 11/2, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store San Antonio Symphony Pops Wicked Divas 11/2-3, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 8pm Nicole Parker and Katie Rose Clarke, vocalists Steven Reineke, conductor Laurie Auditorium at Trinity The Mavericks 11/2-3, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall

Rockbox Theater Fredericksburg 11/2-12/30, Fri @ 8pm, Sat @ 4:30 & 8pm, Sun @ 2pm An Evening with Jim Brickman 11/3, Sat @ 8pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Pat Green 11/3, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Country Rewind Concert Series Sammy Kershaw 11/3, Sat @ 9pm Bluebonnet Palace Billy Garza & the 40 Guns 11/3, Sat @ 9pm Twin Sisters Dance Hall Hunter’s Ball with Chris Wall 11/3, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall The Arts at Coker Series Esperanto Flute Duet 11/4, Sun @ 3pm Coker United Methodist

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KONO 101.1 Presents Olivia Newton-John 11/4, Sun @ 7pm Majestic Theatre

Jody Nix and the Texas Cowboys 11/9, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall

YOSA Philharmonic Stolzman’s America 11/5, Mon @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre

Nick Lawrence 11/9, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Donny Edwards: A True Tribute to Elvis 11/9, Fri @ 7pm Brauntex Theatre New Braunfels

pARTy at SAMA 11/9, Fri @ 6pm Gloria Gall River Landing at San Antonio Musuem of Art

Kyle Park 11/9, Fri @ 7pm Cowboys San Antonio

San Antonio Symphony Bolero 11/9-10, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Martina Filjak, piano Majestic Theatre

Gaelic Storm 11/9, Fri @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Chris Story 11/9, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Fall Music Classic featuring Kem 11/10, Sat @ 7pm Lila Cockrell Theater

Sean McConnell 11/9, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall

Stoney LaRue 11/10, Sat @ 7pm Cowboys San Antonio


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Copperleaf Quintet Rostros de Maria: Songs to the Virgin 11/10, Sat @ 7pm San Antonio Museum of Art Dale Watson 11/10, Sat @ 8pm Kendalia Halle Amber Digby 11/10, Sat @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Charlie Robison 11/10, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Solo Appearance by Taj Mahal 11/10, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall San Antonio Chamber Music Society Opus One Piano Quartet 11/11, Sun @ 3:15pm Temple Beth-El Sunday Jazz at the Witte Henry Brun and the Latin Playerz 11/11, Sun @ 4pm Witte Museum San Antonio Symphony Salute to Service 11/11, Sun @ 7pm With United States Air Force Band of the West Majestic Theatre

Celtic Thunder 11/12, Mon @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Gary Allan 11/16, Fri @ 7pm Cowboys San Antonio Eddie Vedder 11/16, Fri @ 7:30pm Lila Cockrell Theater Jamie Richards 11/16, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Cactus Country 11/16, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Six Market Blvd. 11/16, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Jason Boland & The Stragglers 11/16-17, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall San Antonio Symphony Jupiter 11/16-17, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Ewa Kupiec, piano Majestic Theatre Lee Brice 11/17, Sat @ 7pm Cowboys San Antonio

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Gospel Meets Jazz 11/17, Sat @ 7pm Jo Long Theatre at the Carver Childen’s Chorus of San Antonio Candlelight Celebration 11/17, Sat @ 7pm Laurel Heights United Methodist Neil Berg’s 102 Years of Broadway 11/17, Sat @ 7:30pm Brauntex Theatre New Braunfels Arts San Antonio Chucho Valdes 11/17, Sat @ 7:30pm Lila Cockrell Theater Jake Hooker & The Outsiders 11/17, Sat @ 8pm Anhalt Hall Cody Canada & The Departed 11/17, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Jon Wolfe 11/17, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Fredericksburg Music Club Karla Hamelin, cellist 11/18, Sun @ 3pm Fredericksburg United Methodist

Musical Bridges Around the World French Impressions – Judy and Jefferson Crabb Musical Evenings at San Fernando Cathedral Hugues Leclere, piano Carolyn Sproule, soprano Elena Lacheva, accompanist 11/18, Sun @ 6:30pm Randy Travis 11/18, Sun @ 7pm Majestic Theatre Newsboys 11/18, Sun @ 7pm Laurie Auditorium at Trinity Olmos Ensemble Warren’s Back with Baritone Andrew Garland 11/19, Mon @ 7:30pm First Unitarian Universalist Daughtry & 3 Doors Down 11/20, Tue @ 7pm Illusions Theatre at the Alamodome Wiz Khalifa 11/21, Wed @ 7pm Illusions Theatre at the Alamodome Hayes Carll 11/21, Wed @ 8pm Gruene Hall Bob Schneider 11/23, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall


Josh Peek 11/23, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Felix Truvere 11/24, Sat @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall

Landon Dodd 11/23, Fri @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall

Reckless Kelly 11/24, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Cory Morrow 11/23, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Kevin Fowler 11/24, Sat @ 7pm Cowboys San Antonio

Wade Bowen 11/24, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Kelly Willis, Bruce Robison, Charlie Robison and Robyn Ludwick 11/24, Sat @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Ray Price Christmas 11/25, Sun @ 3pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Willie Nelson 11/25, Sun @ 7pm Gruene Hall San Antonio Symphony 2012-13 Baroque Series: Christmas Baroque 11/25, Sun @ 7pm San Fernando Cathedral

Steve Winwood 11/27, Tue @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre The Four Freshmen 11/29, Thu @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Easton Corbin 11/30, Fri @ 7pm Cowboys San Antonio Rush 11/30, Fri @ 7:30pm AT&T Center

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Carver Community Cultural Center Betty Lavette 11/30, Fri @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre at the Carver Drew Womack 11/30, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Shawn Colvin 11/30, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Ryan Beaver 11/30, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan 12/1, Sat @ 7:30pm Lila Cockrell Theater Carolyn Wonderland & Guy Forsyth Holiday Roast 12/1, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Roger Creager 12/1, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Cameron Nelson & Guardrail Damage 12/1, Sat @ 9pm Twin Sisters Dance Hall Gary P. Nunn 12/1, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

San Antonio Symphony Handel’s Messiah with Symphony Mastersingers 12/1, Sat @ 7:30pm University United Methodist Church 12/2, Sun @ 2pm Coker United Methodist Church Sun @ 7:30pm Trinity Baptist Church

Carver Community Cultural Center Aaron Neville Christmas 12/6, Thu @ 8pm Jo Long Theare at the Carver

Childen’s Chorus of San Antonio Winter Magic 12/2, Sun @ 3pm Concordia Lutheran

Almost Patsy Cline Christmas Show 12/7, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Conrad & The Country Legends 12/2, Sun @ 8:15pm Leon Springs Dancehall Musical Offerings The Circle of Aphrodite: Music of Love and Beauty 12/3, Mon @ 6pm & 8pm San Antonio Museum of Art UTSA Guest Artist Series 12/3, Mon @ 7:30pm UTSA Recital Hall Main Campus Symphony of the Hills Christmas Through The Ages 12/6, Thu @ 7:30pm Dr. Jay Dunnahoo, conductor Eric Bowser, violin Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville

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Chris Cagle 12/7, Fri @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio

Jason Boland, Cody Canada & Chris Knight (acoustic) 12/7, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Mario Flores and the Soda Creek Band 12/7, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Bobby Jordan & The Ridgecreek Band 12/8, Sat @ 8pm Kendalia Halle Kevin Fowler 12/8, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Tejas Brothers 12/8, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Granger Smith 12/8, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Musical Bridges Around the World Invocation: The Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quintet 12/9, Sun @ 3pm McAllister Auditorium at San Antonio College Camerata San Antonio Camerata Recital 12/9, Sun @ 3pm Emily Freudigman, viola Carolyn True, piano Christ Episcopal Church Hill Country Youth Orchestras Christmas Concert 12/9, Sun @ 3pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Mid-Texas Symphony Sleigh Bells Ring 12/9, Sun @ 4pm David Mairs, conductor Jackson Auditorium Seguin Kenny Rogers 12/10, Mon @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre Arts San Antonio The Romeros 12/13, Thu @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Chris Story 12/14, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall


Los Lonely Boys 12/14, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Bryan Adams 12/14, Fri @ 8pm Majestic Theatre Jerry Jeff Walker 12/14-15, Fri-Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Randy Rogers Band 12/15, Sat @ 7pm (door open) Cowboys San Antonio

Jeff Tracta 12/15, Sat @ 7:30pm Brauntex Theatre New Braunfels Thompson Lee Band 12/15, Sat @ 8pm Anhalt Hall Asleep at the Wheel Christmas Show 12/15, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Hall

San Antonio Chamber Choir Holiday Treasures 12/15, Sat @ 7:30pm Mission San Jose Church 12/16, Sun @ 2:30pm St. John’s Lutheran TJ Smith and the New Buddy Holly Band Holiday Spectacular 12/15-16, Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm Kathleen C. Cailloux T heater Kerrville

Voci di Sorelle Glad Tidings: Music of Christmas 12/16, Sun @ 2pm Chapel at Incarnate Word The Arts at Coker Series Hess Brothers Jazz Trio 12/19, Wed @ 12pm Coker United Methodist Robert Earl Keen 12/19, Wed @ 8pm Majestic Theatre

November-December 2012 | On The Town 33


Jack Ingram 12/21, Fri @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio

Cody Johnson Band 12/22, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Charlie Robison 12/21, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall

San Antonio Symphony Holiday Magic 12/23, Sun @ 2:30pm Akiko Fujimoto, conductor Children’s Chorus of San Antonio Laurie Auditorium at Trinity

Josh Peek 12.21, Fri @8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Bleu Edmondson 12/21, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store San Antonio Symphony Holiday Pops 12/21-22, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Akiko Fujimoto, conductor Children’s Chorus of San Antonio Majestic Theatre Trans Siberian Orchestra 12/22, Sat @ 3pm & 8pm AT&T Center Gli Unici 12/22, Sat @ 7:30pm Brauntex Theatre New Braunfels The Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison Holiday Show 12/22, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Christmas Ball with Gary P. Nunn 12/22, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Cody Canada & The Departed 12/27, Thu @ 8pm Gruene Hall Reckless Kelly 12/28, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Will Taylor & Strings Attached House of Will Show 12/28, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Roger Creager 12/29, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Eleven Hundred Springs 12/29, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall The Christmas Music of Manheim Steamroller 12/30, Sun @ 7pm Majestic Theatre Casey Donahew Band 12/30, Sun @ 8pm Gruene Hall

34 On The Town | November-December

Josh Abbott Band 12/31, Mon @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio Stoney LaRue 12/31, Mon @ 8pm Gruene Hall Billy Mata & Texas Tradition 12/31, Mon @ 8pm Anhalt Hall Dale Watson 12/31, Mon @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Landon Dodd and the Dancehall Drifters 12/31, Mon @ 8:30pm Kendalia Halle Buckshot 12/31, Mon @ 9pm Twin Sisters Dance Hall Two Tons of Steel 12/31, Mon @ 9:30pm John T. Floore Country Store

The Overtime Theater Open Sesame: A Bollywood Musical 11/1-10, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Greg Barrios Theatre Sheldon Vexler Theatre The 39 Steps 11/1-15, Thu & Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm (No shows on Friday or on Sun, 11/10) Barshop JCC Harlequin Dinner Theatre On Golden Pond 11/1-17, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (Dinner @ 6:15pm) Proxy Theatre Company End Days 11/1-17, Thu-Sat @ 8pm The Overtime Theater Rose Theater Company Dark Side of the Rainbow 11/2-3, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm

On Stage

Playhouse 2000 The Mousetrap 11/2-3, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm, Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville

The Company Theatre The Groucho Show! 11/1, Thu @ 7:30pm (dinner @ 6:30pm) Big Apple Room @ Little Italy

Circle Arts Theatre New Braunfels Alice in Wurst-erland 11/2-11, Mon-Fri @ 7:30pm Sat @ 4pm & 7:30pm Sun @ 4pm


November-December 2012 | On The Town 35


The Playhouse San Antonio November 11/2-18, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Cellar Theater

Fabulous Divas of Hollywood Starring Alan Palmer 11/9-11, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm Josephine Theatre

Cameo Theatre Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story 11/3-12/2, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 4pm

St. Philip’s College Theatre Julius Caesar 11/9-18, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Watson Fine Arts Center

Backstage at the McNay: Before Viagra 11/8, Thu @ 6:30pm Leeper Auditorium @ McNay Art Museum Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre: Dr. Faustus (On screen presentation) 11/8, Thu @ 7pm Santikos Bijou Cinema Bistro & Embassy 14 Theatres

UIW Theatre Arts Antigone 11/9-11, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm 11/15-16, Thu @ 7pm Fri @ 8pm Coates Theatre Trinity University Department of Theatre La Tempesta 11/9-17, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Wed & Thu @ 7pm Stieren Theatre

Carver Community Cultural Center The Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi 11/8, Thu @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre at the Carver

Classic Theatre of San Antonio It’s a Wonderful Life (A Live Radio Play) 11/9-17, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sterling Houston Theatre @ Blue Star

Northwest Vista College Drama Program Hay Fever 11/8-17, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Black Box Theatre @ Palmetto Center for the Arts

Boerne Community Theatre Elvis Has Left The Building 11/9-25, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 2:30pm

36 On The Town | November-December

Woodlawn Black Box Eurydice 11/9-25, Thu-Sat @ 8pm American Musical Geniuses: Irving Berlin Featuring Herb Keyser and Brett Butler 11/12, Mon @ 7:30pm Josephine Theatre UTSA Lyric Theatre An Evening of Sondheim 11/15, Thu @ 7:30pm UTSA Recital Hall Main Campus Rose Theater Company Death of the Shock Puppets: The Musical 11/16-12/1, Fri-Sat @ 8pm What’s Up With The Revolution Dude? 11/17, Sat @ 7pm Josephine Theatre Hill Country Arts Foundation Dashing Through the Snow 11/16-18, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm 11/23-12/8, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Elizabeth Huth Coates Theatre Ingram Las Nuevas Tamaleras 11/23-12/9, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Guadalupe Theater

Woodlawn Theatre A Christmas Story 11/23-12/23, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3:00pm Harlequin Dinner Theatre Getting’ In The Mood For Christmas 11/29-12/22, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (Dinner @ 6:15pm) Playhouse 2000 The Plight Before Christmas 11/30-12/8, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm, Sun @ 2pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Jump Start Performance Co. Ebenazio A Winter’s Tale of Old San Anto 12/1-16, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm Sterling Houston Theatre @ Blue Star Cadillac Broadway in San Antonio Peter Pan 12/4-9, Tue-Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm Majestic Theatre


The Playhouse San Antonio The Santaland Diaries & Seasons Greetings 12/7-16, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Cellar Theatre Rose Theater Company A Country Christmas 12/7-22, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm The Overtime Theater Hell and Back 12/7-1/5, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Greg Barrios Theatre

Fredericksburg Theater Company 1940s Radio Hour 12/13-23, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm, Sun @ 2pm Steve W. Shepherd Theater Rose Theater Company Zombie Apocalypse Christmas 2012 12/14-22, Fri-Sat @ 9pm The Playhouse San Antonio Annie 12/7-23, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Russell Hill Rogers Theatre

Cameo Theatre Cats 12/15-12/31, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3:30pm (Special performances also on 12/27 and 12/31 @ 8pm)

Opera Jesus Christ Super Star UK Rock Opera Spectacular (On screen presentation) 11/1, Thu @ 7:30pm Cielo Vista 18

The Metropolitan Opera Series: L’Elisir d’Amore (On screen encore presentation) 11/7, Wed @ 6:30pm Cielo Vista 18, Huebner 14 & McCreeles Cinema The Metropolitan Opera Series: The Tempest (Live on screen) 11/10, Sat @ 11:55am Cielo Vista 18, Huebner 14 & McCreeles Cinema

November-December March-April 2012 2011 | On The Town 37


The Metropolitan Opera Series: Othello (On screen encore presentation) 11/14, Wed @ 6:30pm Cielo Vista 18, Huebner 14 & McCreeles Cinema

The Metropolitan Opera Series: La Clemenza Di Tito (On screen encore presentation) 12/19, Wed @ 6:30pm Cielo Vista 18, Huebner 14 & McCreeles Cinema

Arts San Antonio The Nutcracker performed by Mejia Ballet International 12/21-23, Fri @ 7:30pm Sat @ 2pm & 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Lila Cockrell Theater

The Metropolitan Opera Series: The Tempest (On screen encore presentation) 11/28. Wed @ 6:30pm Cielo Vista 18, Huebner 14 & McCreeles Cinema

Dance

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker 12/28-29, Fri @ 7pm Sat @ 2pm & 7pm Majestic Theatre

The Metropolitan Opera Series: La Clemenza Di Tito (Live on screen) 12/1, Sat @ 11:55am Cielo Vista 18, Huebner 14 & McCreeles Cinema The Metropolitan Opera Series: Un Ballo In Machera (Live on screen) 12/8, Sat @ 11:55am Cielo Vista 18, Huebner 14 & McCreeles Cinema The Metropolitan Opera Series: Aida (Live on screen) 12/15, Sat @ 11:55am Cielo Vista 18, Huebner 14 & McCreeles Cinema

The Snow Queen 11/3-4, Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Jo Long Theatre at the Carver

Children’s

San Antonio Symphony The Nutcracker performed by Ballet San Antonio 11/23-25 & 11/30-12/2 Fri @ 7pm Sat @ 2pm & 7pm Sun @ 2pm Akiko Fujimoto, conductor Majestic Theatre

The Magik Theater The Kid Who Ran for President 11/1-3, Thu @ 9:45am & 11:30am, Fri @ 9:45am, 11:30am & 7pm Sat @ 2pm

Ballet New Braunfels The Nutcracker 11/30-12/1, Fri @ 7pm Sat @ 1pm & 7pm Brauntex Theatre New Braunfels

The Magik Theater Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells 11/14-12/22, Tue-Thu @ 9:45am & 11:30am, Fri @ 9:45am, 11:30am & 7pm Sat @ 2pm

Alamo City Dance Company The Nutcracker 12/15-16, Sat @ 2pm & 6pm Sun @ 2pm McAllister Auditorium @ San Antonio College

38 On The Town | November-December

Theatre Tots Children’s Theatre Goldilocks and The Three Bears Thansgiving! 11/14-23, Wed-Thu @ 10am Rose Theatre

Theatre Tots Children’s Theatre A Christmas Surprise 12/5-21, Wed-Thu @ 10am Rose Theatre Children’s Fine Arts Series Babes In Toyland 12/7, Fri @ 10am & 6:30pm Laurie Auditorium at Trinity

Comedy Andy Kindler 11/1-3, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Pete Lee 11/1-4, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Justin Worsham 11/4, Sun @ 8pm Laught Out Loud Comedy Club Tony Munoz Character show 11/7, Wed @ 8:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Andy Gross 11/7-10, Wed & Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club


November-December 2012 | On The Town 39


Thea Vidale 11/8-11, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

Brad Upton 11/28-12/2, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

LOL All Star Show with Clifton Simmons 11/12, Wed @ 8pm Laught Out Loud Comedy Club

LOL All Star Show with Larry & Regan 11/29, Thu @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Kelly Morton 11/14-18, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

DL Hughley 11/30-12/2, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Bret Ernst 11/15-18, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Kristin Key 11/23-25, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club JR Brow 11/23-25, Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Sun @ 8:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club LOL All Star Show with Bobby Smith 11/28, Wed @ 8pm Laught Out Loud Comedy Club

Andy Haynes 12/5-6, Wed & Thu @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Andres Fernandez 12/5-8, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Bryan Callen: Man Class, The Tour 12/7-9, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Tim Young 12/12-16, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

40 On The Town | November-December

Tom Simmons 12.12-16, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Billy D. Washington 12/19-23, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Big Ed Blake 12.19-23, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club LOL All Star Show with Tony Torino 12/26, Wed @ 8pm Laught Out Loud Comedy Club Todd Paul 12.26-31, Wed, Thu @ 8:30pm Fri, Sat & Sun @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Mon @ 8:15pm & 10:15pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Rahn Ramey 12/27-31, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat & Mon @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

On Exhibit ARTPACE International Artist-In-Resident New Works: 13.1 Dor Guez David Benjamin Sherry Sarah Sudhoff Heidi ZuckermanJacobson, curator Opening 11/15 Hudson (Show) Room: Swap Meet: Artpace and the Dikeou Collection Thru 12/30 Window Works Mas Rudas Thru 12/30 BIHL HAUS ARTS Journey to the Underworld and Other Forbidden Places before the End of Time: New works by Jane Madrigal Opens 11/30 BLUE STAR CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER San Antonio Painters II Bryson Brooks, Ana Fernndez, Megan Harrison, Chris Sauter, Corbin Sringn, Cornelia White Swann & Jason Pearce Willome Thru 11/17


November-December 2012 | On The Town 41


George Tobolowsky: Found Objects Thru 11/17 Blue Starry Night 11/30, Fri / 7pm-11pm INSTITUTE OF TEXAN CULTURES Honor: Student Remembrances Through Altars Thru 11/4 IndiVisible: AfricanNative Lives in the Americas Thru 11/25 Timeless Texas Toys Thru 12/31 Texas Contemporary Artists Series: Ana Fernandez Thru 1/20 Bantu Eyez: Somali Bantu of Texas Photography by Cristina J. Sanchez Thru 3/3 Arte Chihuahua 11/12-5/5 Fantasyland: Remembering the Holidays at Joske’s 11/17-12/31

INSTITUTO CULTURAL de MEXICO

SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN

Sintesis De Nuestra Identidad Nacional 11/8-3/31

Dinosaur Stampede Thru 12/31

Culturas Mesoamericanas 11/8-3/31 Estampa Mexicana 11/8-3/31 McNAY ART MUSEUM Songs of Social Significance: Designs from the Tobin Collection Thru 12/2

Art in the Garden 2012 (In conjunction with Blue Star Contemporary Art Center) Thru 3/1 SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART Love in Three Capitals Thru 12/9 Adad Hannah: Intimate Encounters Thru 12/30

For Jerry: Masterpieces from the Lawson Bequest Thru 1/13

Aphrodite and the Gods of Love Thru 2/17

Prints of the People: The Taller de Grafica Popular Thru 1/20

Rostros de Maria: The Virgin as Archetype and Inspiration Thru 2/20

Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection Thru 1/27 America’s Finest: Recent Works by Vincent Valdez Thru 1/27 Cecelia Condit: World Thru 1/27

42 On The Town | November-December

SOUTHWEST SCHOOL OF ART Dia de Los Muertos: La Ofrenda Lorena Angulo, Lead Artist Thru 11/3 Peter Finch: Connecting Moments Thru 11/25

Interplay: Mechanical Objects Thru 11/25 Mary Jo Adams & Bruce Barshop: San Antonio Snapshots Thru 11/25 Justin Boyd: Days and Days 12/6-2/10 Anita Valencia: Sun She Rises, Sun She Set, And You Ain’t Seen Texas Yet 12/6-2/10 Juan De Dios Mora: Laters 12/6-2/10 WITTE MUSEUM If The River Could Talk: 12,000 Years of Life on the San Antonio River Ongoing Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center at The Witte Museum Now Open Texas Performers Under the Big Top Thru 1/13 Artists on the Texas Frontier Thru 5/27


November-December 2012 | On The Town 43


Mummies of the World Thru 1/27 Threads of South America: 2,000 Years of Textiles Thru 3/31 Witte Through Time: 85 Years and Still Growing Thru 8/13/13

Miscellaneous Dia de los Muertos Citywide Celebration 11/2 First Friday Art Walk 11/2, 12/7 Southtown Bands of America: San Antonio Super Regional Preliminaries 11/2-11/3, Fri @ 11:30am, Sat @ 7am Alamodome Wurstfest in New Braunfels 11/2-12 Diwali San Antonio Festival of Lights 11/3, Sat / 5pm-10pm HemisFair Park

Bands of America: San Antonio Super Regional Finals 11/3, Sat @ 6:15pm Alamodome

Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony 11/23, Fri @ 7pm River Walk

Tejas Rodeo – Bulverde Open Pro Rodeo & Dance 11/3-17, Sat @ 7:30pm

The Story Tour: A Christmas Celebration 12/8, Sat @ 6pm Freeman Coliseum

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses 11/3, Sat @ 8pm Majestic Theatre U.I.L. State Marching Band Contest for AAA Schools 11/5, Mon @ 9am (preliminaries), 7pm (finals) U.I.L. State Marching Band Contest for AAAAA Schools 11/6, Tue @ 9am (preliminaries), 8pm (finals) Guts and Glory: An Evening with Anthony Bourdain 11/8, Thu @ 8pm Laurie Auditorium at Trinity Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon and Half Marathon 11/11, Sun @ 8:30am Light The Way 2012 11/17, Sat @ 7:30pm Benson Stadium @ UIW

44 On The Town | November-December

Ford Holiday Boat Caroling 11/29-12/23, Nightly @ 6:30pm River Walk Hecho a Mano / Made by Hand 11/30, Fri / 6pm-9pm 12/1-2, Sat-Sun / 11am6pm Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center

Art.i.copia 12/8, Sat / 10:30am-6pm Southwest School of Art La Gran Posada 12/16, Sun @ 6pm Begins at Milam Park and concludes at San Fernando Cathedral Cowboy Christmas 12/22-23, Sat-Sun / 10am5pm Enchanted Springs Ranch Boerne Batman Live: World Arena Tour 12/27-30, Thu @ 7pm Fri @ 3pm & 7pm Sat @ 12pm, 4pm & 8pm Sun @ 1pm & 5pm Freeman Coliseum

Fiesta de las Luminarias 11/30-12/16, Fri, Sat & Sun only River Walk

20th Annual Valero Alamo Bowl 12/29, Sat @ 5:45pm Big 12 vs. PAC 12 Alamodome

La Tamalada at the Witte 12/1, Sat / 12pm-1:30pm & 2pm-3:30pm Witte Museum

Celebrate San Antonio 12/31, Mon @ 6pm Alamo Street between Market and Cesar Chavez

Tamales! At Pearl 12/1, Sat / 12pm-6pm Pearl Brewery

Photo Credits:

Holiday Arts & Crafts Show 12/7-9, Fri-Sun / 11am11pm River Walk

Page 28 (L-R) Katie Rose Clark Courtesy San Antonio Symphony


November-December 2012 | On The Town 45


Nicole Parker Courtesy San Antonio Symphony

Charlie Robison Courtesy charlierobison.com

Randy Travis Courtesy Majestic Theatre

Roger Creager Courtesy liveatfloores.com

Bryan Adams Courtesy Majestic Theatre

Rock Box Theater Courtesy rockboxtheater.com

Page 32 (L-R)

Mark Ackerman Courtesy olmosensemble.com

Gary P. Nunn Courtesy liveatfloores.com Page 38 (L-R)

Jerry Jeff Walker Courtesy jerryjeff. com

Pat Green Courtesy liveatfloores.com Page 30 (L-R) Olivia Newton-John Courtesy Majestic Theatre Troy Peters Courtesy Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Gaelic Storm Courtesy Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Sebastian Lang Lessing Photo by Marks Moore Page 31 (L-R) The Trishas Courtesy thetrishas. com Stoney LaRue Courtesy liveatfloores.com Dale Watson Courtesy liveatfloores.com

Opus One Piano Quartet Courtesy op1.org Henry Brun Courtesy henrybrun. com

Kevin Fowler Courtesy kevinfowler.com

Celtic Thunder Courtesy Majestic Theatre

Reckless Kelly Courtesy recklesskelly.com Page 36 (R-L)

Ewa Kupiec Courtesy San Antonio Symphony

Ray Price Courtesy Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater

Page 33 (R-L)

Willie Nelson Courtesy liveatfloores.com

Neil Berg’s 102 Years of Broadway Courtesy www.neilberg.com Cody Canada and The Departed Courtesy liveatfloores,com Jon Wolfe Courtesy liveatfloores.com Karla Hamelin Courtesy karlahamelin.com Page 34 (L-R)

46 On The Town | November-December

Chris Knight Courtesy cmt.com Mario Flores and the Soda Creek Band Courtesy liveatfloores.com Rez Abbasi Courtesy reztone. com Josh Abbott Band Courtesy liveatfloores.com Page 40 (L-R)

The Four Freshmen Courtesy Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater

David Mairs Courtesy Mid-Texas Symphony

Bettye Lavette Courtesy bettyelavette.com

Kenny Rogers Courtesy Majestic Theatre

Page 37 (L-R) Mariachi Vargas Courtesy mariachimusic.com Two Tons of Steel Courtesy twotons. com

The Romeros Photo by Sandy Scheller Courtesy Columbia Artist Management Los Lonely Boys Courtesy liveatfloores.com Page 42 (L-R)

Randy Rogers Band Courtesy randyrogersband.com Asleep at the Wheel Courtesy sonicbird. com Page 44 (L-R) Voci di Sorelle Courtesy benissimomusic.org Robert Earl Keen Courtesy liveatfloores.com Akiko Fujimoto Courtesy San Antonio Symphony Trans-Siberian Orchestra Courtesy Stone City Attractions Page 46 (L-R) Paul Jacobs Courtesy Tuesday Music Club Chris Cagle Courtesy liveatfloores.com Las Nuevas Tamaleras Courtesy tamaleras. com Peter Pan Photo by Isaac James


November-December 2012 | On The Town 47


48 On The Town | November-December


Culinary Arts

50-58

November-December 2012 | On The Town 49


50 On The Town | November-December


I

n the winter of 2010, an unusually heavy snow fell around Lake Tahoe. Mark and Lisa Bliss were staying at their family vacation home in nearby Truckee, Calif., and being snowbound gave them a lot of time for reflection — not only on the winter beauty, but on what to do next in their careers.

smarter to do something here [in San Antonio]” because he already was well known to the dining community. “Our concept was upscale without attitude,” Lisa said. “The last thing we want to be is pretentious,” Mark said.

They were drawn to the laid-back attitude and eclectic energy of Southtown and teamed up with Jack Lewis Mark was enjoying taking some time off after more than of Mission Restaurant Supply to transform an old two decades of working in the restaurant business in Humble gas station (not Magnolia, as has been reported San Antonio. He had been a bartender at Raffles, an elsewhere) into their dream restaurant. Architect a.m. sous chef for Bruce Auden at Polo’s in the Fairmount Candid Rogers, artist Harold Wood and craftsman/artist Hotel, executive chef at Pour la France, chef de cuisine John O’Brien completed the creative team. at Auden’s original Biga, and executive chef in the Tower of the Americas. He also had spent a dozen years at Silo The result is a facility and environment as breath-taking Elevated Cuisine, starting in 1997, where he burnished as the food. The original extended octagonal shape of his reputation as one of the finest and most creative the building has been preserved and the pine ceiling chefs in San Antonio. beams exposed, giving a sense of permanence, height, and depth; the multilayered, many-colored coats of His wife, Lisa, also was enjoying having some time paint on the old brick walls remain in all their peeling off to be with her husband. During their 26 years of glory—a touch of what the Japanese call wabi-sabi, the marriage, Lisa had raised their son and daughter, had kind of beauty that derives from age and imperfection. been business manager for Joe Harrison Motorcycles, There is also liberal use of contrasting stainless steel in and had even managed to gain some notoriety for her the kitchen and on the outside of the building. own cooking skills, if only among her immediate family (“She makes a mean rigatoni,” Mark said), but their busy Beautifully grained dining tables, meticulously schedules left little quality time with each other. Lisa handcrafted by John O’Brien out of reclaimed longleaf said those days in Lake Tahoe, “being together 24/7 after pine from an old cotton mill in Alabama, obviate the years of being apart,” gave them a “different perspective” need for table linens. Windows are situated to give about the future. optimal views of sights downtown, such as the Tower of the Americas, and an interior etched window overlooks Mark said they wanted to do something where they could the chef’s table located off the kitchen. work and be together, so they set about developing a business plan for a restaurant they could call their own. The charcuterie station and bright red hand-crank “We wanted to be successful,” Lisa said, “but didn’t want Italian meat slicer add touches of color and character to sell our souls.” to the convivial bar area. A patio in the back with a fire pit, award-winning landscaping and herb garden is Mark said they came to the conclusion that “we were much peaceful and inviting. November-December 2012 | On The Town 51


The artwork by Harold Wood has a simple, clean and Bliss takes gnocchi off the menu for the night. “Our No. essential quality that reflects one of the artist’s main 1 goal is to make people happy,” he said. inspirations, Levelland, Texas; but it also may give insight into the owners of the restaurant. One of the ways he makes people happy is to serve the chicken-fried oysters that he created with David Garrido Bliss said over the years his personal taste has moved and Bruce Auden many years ago at the original Biga. “We’d toward “simple flavors, less on the plate … when you discuss ideas all day long,” Bliss said, and that particular day have good ingredients and technique, you don’t need the subject was what to do with a large quantity of oysters. a lot.” Lisa agrees. “Our favorite foods are simpler,” Garrido was chicken frying some tuna, Mark proposed she said. doing the same with the oysters, and Auden suggested serving them like a deconstructed Oysters Rockefeller. The But simplicity does not imply limitation. Mark utilizes creative collaboration became, and still is, one of the most favorite ingredients and dishes from around the world, popular appetizers served in San Antonio. such as Monterey Bay sardines, grilled and served with olive oil, lemon and Dijon mustard, Maine scallops Bliss Restaurant’s upscale interpretation presents the fried served on Anson Mills Grits and garnished with avocado oysters on buttermilk chive biscuits with candied bacon, mousse and a cilantro lime jalapeño beurre blanc, spinach and brown butter hollandaise. The portion size Australian lamb loin with Yukon gold mashers and has also recently been increased, as well. “It converts ratatouille, and Gulf red snapper ala plancha. people who normally don’t like oysters,” Lisa said. “It’s not so much contemporary American,” the chef said, “but new Southern cuisine,” pointing to the authentic South Carolinian grits that accompany the scallops, his crispy fried buttermilk quail, and the red beans and rice. At the restaurant, quality of ingredients and technique are paramount. If the gnocchi expert isn’t in the kitchen, 52 On The Town | November-December

But to love the food at Bliss takes very little persuading. It’s rare in any business, especially restaurants, when the right people, plan and place come together to create something extraordinary. Lisa modestly said, “Our goals were very realistic, and we’ve exceeded them.” Others would say it’s Bliss.


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54 On The Town | November-December


November-December 2012 | On The Town 55


San Antonio Cocktail Conference 2013: Mark Your Calendars and Raise Your Spirits By: Laurie Pickei

W

ith January around the corner, cocktail novices, enthusiasts and industry experts from across Texas, the U.S. and beyond are gearing up for San Antonio Cocktail Conference 2013. Taking place Jan. 17-20, 2013, this second annual event promises to be even bigger and better than before. Featuring more classes, tasting rooms, competitions, evening events and after parties, San Antonio Cocktail Conference 2013 is sure to impress. Cocktail Conference visionary, Bohanan’s Restaurant 56 On The Town | November-December

& Bar Owner and Executive Chef Mark Bohanan, is anxious to see what this year’s conference will bring. “San Antonio Cocktail Conference 2013 will have more to offer than ever before, and will continue to bring the cocktail community together,” he says. “Last year was a huge success raising $57,000 for HeartGift, and my goal is to exceed that donation this year.” San Antonio Cocktail Conference serves up the perfect mix of education and good old-fashioned fun, with the


exciting schedule of events kicking off on Thursday evening. Beginning at 7pm, the Majestic Theatre will present a spectacular jazz performance by Grammywinning artist Arturo Sandoval. Selected spirit brands will host several bars placed throughout the theater, and the San Antonio Chef Coalition will also contribute to the dazzling opening evening. Friday, Jan. 18 features a variety of seminars at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel, the Original Cocktail Competition, and an evening full of river level events. Guests can hit the party scene with stops at Luke, SoHo, The Esquire Tavern, and El Tropicano/Lani Kai for a Tiki party. Jump from location to location via Rio San Antonio Cruises, as river barges provide transportation along the beautiful San Antonio River.

Trattoria, and The Brooklynite. Enjoy unique views of the city atop double-decker buses provided by City Sightseeing San Antonio as you make your way to the evening’s party venues. The night keeps on going with after parties at Hyatt Regency San Antonio’s Lone Star Palace and The Menger Bar. And what better way to round out the San Antonio Cocktail Conference experience than with a delicious Sunday brunch sponsored by Tito’s Vodka and a tequila cocktail event at La Margarita Restaurant & Oyster Bar. For the second year in a row, proceeds from San Antonio Cocktail Conference will directly benefit HeartGift, a non-profit organization that provides lifesaving heart surgery to children in areas where necessary care is unavailable. It’s all about pouring our hearts out for a top-shelf cause.

Saturday, Jan. 19 brings more classes and tasting rooms to the Sheraton Gunter Hotel plus Sasha Petraske’s very own Skills Competition at The St. Anthony Hotel. So mark your calendars for Jan. 17-20, and stay tuned When night falls, guests will make their way to a street for ticket information, a detailed class schedule and level party at multiple locations: Bohanan’s Restaurant more at www.sacocktailconference.com. Cheers! & Bar, Bar 1919, The Standard Pour bar takeover at Tre November-December 2012 | On The Town 57


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Visual Arts

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60 On The Town | November-December


Give the Gift of Art by Cassandra Yardeni

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he holidays are upon us! Soon, families and friends will gather around turkeys, trees and trays full of treats to catch up, wind down and celebrate the life around us. As we enter the season of dinner, dates and gift giving, the eclectic San Antonio arts and culture community offers up a wealth of options for each; a visit to a local gallery or museum is at once the perfect present and the ideal activity for groups large and small.

Continuing the tradition of firsts, through November 25, the Institute of Texan Cultures is home to IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas, its first exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services, since becoming an Affiliate in 2010. IndiVisible focuses on the seldom-viewed history and complex lives of people of dual African American and Native American ancestry. Through the themes of policy, community, creative resistance and life ways, the Making its exclusive Texas engagement at the Witte exhibition tells stories of cultural integration and diffusion Museum, Mummies of the World is the largest exhibition as well as the struggle to define and preserve identity. of mummies and related artifacts ever assembled. On display through January 27, this compelling collection, “IndiVisible is an opportunity to focus on the complexities presented with reverence and dignity, includes ancient of shared heritage and identity,” says Angelica Docog, mummies and important artifacts from Asia, Oceania, executive director of the Institute of Texan Cultures. South America, Europe, as well as ancient Egypt, dating “Looking at San Antonio and South Texas, we see as far back as 6,500 years. a blending of cultures and life ways – not only in communities, but in families. This is the opportunity to A fascinating mix of old and new, this never-before-seen understand our unique identities and embrace our roots. collection bridges the gap between past and present This exhibit will help paint a more complete picture of with contributions from 20 world-renowned museums who we are as Texans.” and organizations across seven countries. Visitors are invited to embark on a journey into the extraordinary It’s Christmas 1960 in San Antonio and atop Joske’s world of mummies and mummification. Through department store sits a giant 30-foot-tall Santa Claus modern science, engaging interactive and multi-media waving his giant hand and beckoning guests to come in exhibits featuring 3-D animation, explore how mummies for a singular experience: a Christmas Fantasyland, also are created, where they come from and who they were. on display at ITC. Using state-of-the-art scientific methodology, discover how modern science enables researchers to study Looking back these 25 years since the store closed, mummies through innovative and non-invasive ways, anyone who visited Joske’s Fantasyland still has fond offering unprecedented insights into past cultures and memories of a magical place and experience. November civilizations. 17 to December 31, the Institute of Texan Cultures will November-December 2012 | On The Town 61


capture a piece of Christmas Past, with a photo exhibit on Joske’s Fantasyland. Fantasyland was the San Antonio residence of Santa Claus. Some stories claim the magical setting took up the entire fourth floor of the store’s downtown location. A miniature train took passengers through a Christmas tree forest and into a village inhabited by animatronic talking animals. “It seems like every year, a guest will ask us if we have any information or images from Fantasyland” says Bryan Howard, director of exhibits. “It’s such a treasured memory and it’s really a pleasure to help San Antonio reconnect with this part of a cherished past.” The photo exhibit takes up the entire entrance wall to the museum. Photos that guests might recognize include the gingerbread-like village shops, the train and the talking bear that greeted guests as they entered the display. Through January 27, the McNay hosts Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection, the most comprehensive survey of the contributions of Latino artists of post-1960 American printmaking to date. The exhibition chronicles the late 1960s at the outset of the Chicano Movement to the confident expressions of the 2000s. Estampas de la Raza introduces recent gifts to the McNay from San Antonio collectors Harriett and Ricardo Romo. More than 60 prints by 44 artists reveal the richness of a mixed cultural heritage, with depictions of Frida Kahlo, lowriders, a quiceañera, the Statue of Liberty, tattoos, and the Virgin of Guadalupe. “Estampas de la Raza is a celebration of the achievements of Latino printmakers, their rich and vibrant culture, and the incredible generosity of Harriett and Ricardo Romo,” says Lyle Williams, exhibition curator and McNay Curator of Prints and Drawings. “Thanks to them, we are all able to enjoy these great works of art that chronicle the Latino experience in the U.S.” Organized thematically in five sections, the exhibition focuses on aspects of the Latino experience in the United States: the identity of individuals striving to define themselves; the Chicano Movement’s struggle to achieve economic, political, and personal equality; tradition, memory, and culture in the everyday lives of Latinos; icons that represent guideposts or social and political causes; and other voices revealing the complex and everchanging directions Latinos choose. Many images are 62 On The Town | November-December


larger than life, serving up a colorful, visual feast. Bihl Haus Arts presents Journey to the Underworld and Other Forbidden Places before the End of Time, an installation and exhibit of new works by artist Jane Madrigal, a cosmic journey through time and collective consciousness. The exhibit opens with a performance and reception on November 30. The installation will feature a temple to Coyolxauhqui, goddess of the moon, and artworks dedicated to other indigenous feminine deities revered before the Conquest. These works honor the ancient belief that held sacred the feminine principle and equated it with spiritual power and reverence. This is a journey through time in which women are goddesses and warriors rather than wives or whores. Run, don’t walk, to Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, where George Tobolosky’s Found Objects will remain on display though November 17. The collection features abstact metal scultpures from steel and stainless steel “found objects.” “The found objects are not of the everyday sort,” says the artists, but rather bulky industrial metal castoffs that I scour scrap yards and fabrication plants to find. I rarely alter theses metal pieces but instead work to fit the individual scraps together – much like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle – into balanced compositions. My sculptures are one part assemblage and one part recycling, which follows closely with the philosophy of another early artistic influence, Louise Nevelson.” Just in time for your Christmas wish list, the Southwest School of art unveils three captivating exihibits on December 6. Justin Boyd’s Days and Days; Anita Valencia’s Sun She Rise, Sun She Set and You Ain’t Seen Texas Yet; and Jaun De Dios Mora’s Laters are free and open to the public and offer a veritable feast for the senses and mediums and subjects that will captivate art aficionados of all stripes. Fall in love with Adad Hannah: Intimate Encounters, on display at the San Antonio Museum of Ar through December 30. In this provocative exhibit, Canadian artist Adad Hannah creates staged photographs and video tableaux that reinterpret art-historical masterpieces and raise questions about the change and evolution of a work’s meaning over time. For Adad Hannah: Intimate Encounters at the San Antonio Museum of Art, Hannah exhibits projects created in response to an antique bust of Eros and Aphrodite, a painting of Adam and Eve by November-December 2012 | On The Town 63


Albrecht Dürer, and a nude sculpture from The Burghers of Calais by Auguste Rodin. Chosen for their subtle erotic overtones, these selections from Hannah’s oeuvre complement the concurrent exhibition Aphrodite and the Gods of Love. Also on display at SAMA is Rostros de Maria: The Virgin as Archetype and Inspiration, on view through February 20. Many aspects of the Roman Catholic cult of Mary are deeply rooted in religious beliefs of the Old Testament and pre-Christian ritual associated with fertility, fecundity, maternity, nourishment and other core human needs. For many centuries, Catholic Marian devotion manifested itself in myriad forms throughout Europe, supported by apparition accounts, dress, physical appearance and other local cultural and ethnic patterns. With the arrival of the Spanish, Portuguese and French in the Americas in the early sixteenth century, the Virgin Mary appeared in hundreds of communities—on the banks of rivers, inside caves, atop mountains, and other places which had been sacred long before the landing of Europeans. Usually, the Virgin appeared to ordinary folks, often speaking indigenous languages, wearing local dress and manifesting familiar somatic features. Her presence in art has provided centuries of inspiration for believers throughout Latin America and continues to be a comforting model of sacrifice and fidelity. Whether it’s a festive affair or just to satisfy your cultural curiosities, treating yourself to one, a few or all of these local galleries should be at the top of your wish list this year. Happy holidays to you and yours!

• • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 60: Raul Caracoza, Young Frida (Pink), 2006. Screenprint. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of Harriett and Ricardo Romo McNay Art Museum Page 62 (Above) Jane Madrigal Journey to the Underworld and Other Forbidden Places before the End of Time Bihl Haus (Below) 64 On The Town | November-December


Fantasyland: Remembering the Holidays at Joske’s Image courtesy Institute of Texan Cultures Institute of Texan Cultures Page 63 (Above) Mummies of the World Michael Orlovits Courtesy American Exhibitions, Inc. Witte Museum (Below) Lawrence Colación, Veterano, 1995. Screenprint. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of Harriett and Ricardo Romo McNay Art Museum Page 64 (Above) Anita Valencia Sun She Rise, Sun She Set, And You Ain’t Seen Texas Yet Southwest School of Art (Below) InDivisible Foxx family (Mashpee Wampanoag) Image courtesy Smithsonian Institution Institute of Texan Cultures Page 65 (Above) Statuette of Eros wearing the lionskin of Herakles Greek, East Greek, late 1st century BC Terracotta with traces of pigment H 15 3/4 in. (40 cm) Museum of Fin Arts, Boston Henry Lillie Pierce Fund, 00312 San Antonio Musuem of Art (Below) Mummies of the World Howler Monkey Courtesy American Exhibitions, Inc. Witte Museum November-December 2012 | On The Town 65


66 On The Town | November-December


Aphrodite and the Gods of Love at SAMA until Feb. 17 Originally published in The View, a San Antonio Museum of Art publication

A Conversation with Jessica Powers The Gilbert M. Denman, Jr., Curator of Art of the Ancient Mediterranean World, on Aphrodite and the Gods of Love, Rome, old maps and the usefulness of art

which will go near the end of the exhibition in an area focusing on Eros, or Cupid. We’ve also included our large and impressive Apulian platter depicting the Judgment of Paris. It will be placed near a wall painting from Pompeii that also shows the Judgment of Paris, so viewers will be able to compare two very different renderings of this pivotal moment in Greek mythology.

And we’re adding a statuette of Venus and Cupid to the section on the Roman Venus. It’s a small sculpture that Was it flattering to be asked to be a host museum has been on display in a case with several other objects, for this exhibition, which was organized by the so it tends to get a little bit lost. But the statuette is Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and to be a venue for actually one of my favorites in our collection, and I’m the exhibition along with the Getty Villa in Malibu? looking forward to being able to see it on its own and walk around it. Yes. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Getty Villa are two of the three museums—the Metropolitan What’s the most exciting part of putting on this Museum of Art in New York being the other—with the exhibition? largest Greek and Roman art collections in the United For me the most exciting part is that we are bringing States. It’s nice to see our name in their sphere. in several works of art on loan from the Museo How does the exhibition at SAMA differ from its Archeologico Nazionale in Naples. I believe it’s the first time SAMA has had loans from an Italian museum— incarnation in Boston or at the Getty? certainly the first time we’ve borrowed antiquities We have the advantage of a larger and more flexible from Italy. Six of the seven pieces are from Pompeii. gallery space than either the MFA or the Getty had for I’ve studied material from Pompeii for years—in fact, I this exhibition. The overall organization is similar to wrote my doctoral dissertation on a house in Pompeii— Boston’s, though we’ve made the visitors’ experience so that connection is very gratifying. somewhat more structured to clarify the flow of one section of the exhibition to another. And we have Most of our permanent Greek and Roman collection added six pieces from our permanent collection that came from Gilbert Denman, who collected in a very encyclopedic way. By concentrating on the figure of enhance several of the exhibition’s themes. Aphrodite, the exhibition complements our permanent collection through this more focused look at classical For instance? antiquity. I like the way the exhibition shows this one The largest addition is our statue of Cupid and Psyche, goddess in many aspects and in different media. And November-December 2012 | On The Town 67


the loans from the MFA include many kinds of objects that we don’t have in SAMA’s collection—elaborate bronze mirrors, statuettes in bronze and silver, and some remarkable terracotta statuettes as well. Did you already know everything there was to know about Aphrodite? No, and I think visitors will learn what I did. This is not the coffee table book version of the goddess of love and sex. The Greeks had a much more complex view. The show speaks to her different roles in mythology as goddess of political unity and harmony, as an armed victory goddess and civic patron goddess, and a patroness of brides. And you learn something about the Greek way of life—what objects the Greeks used, what they did. There’s also a whole section on images of sexual activity. It’s material that Americans might perceive as pornographic, but for the Greeks (and Romans) such explicit, erotic images were neither taboo, nor were they limited to certain audiences or occasions. When did you get interested in Ancient Greek and Roman Art? As a child, I read biographies of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. I was fascinated by the maps, and in particular by the places around the Mediterranean. I thought it was cool, old, interesting and romantic—just like kids who come to the museum today—and I was curious about history. I grew up in rural Virginia. I never went to an art museum as a child, but my mother had a strong interest in American history, and we visited lots of colonial sites and Revolutionary War battlefields-places like Yorktown, Williamsburg and Jamestown. When did you decide to study art history? My sophomore year in college. I majored in Art History, but I was in a course of study that allowed me to study the classical language and ancient history, too. I studied Latin in college and classical Greek in graduate school. Did you ever take a studio art class?

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I can’t draw to save my life—in fact, our exhibition designer is constantly teasing me about my lousy drawings! But the summer after my junior year of college, I spent six weeks in the Rhode Island School of Design’s summer program in Rome. It was part art


history course and part drawing and painting scenes around Rome and the surrounding area. I went because I wanted to go to Rome, and I loved it.

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What did you love about Rome?

Photo Credits:

It was my first time in Europe. Having grown up where I did, I had never experienced the density of urban living—I loved being able to walk everywhere. I was struck by the beauty of the city: the palazzi, the piazze, the fountains. And the past is still present there. Here when a new building is built, the site is most often cleared and the building is constructed from scratch. But in Rome I loved the way that successive generations have built around and on top of old buildings—there’s this wonderful sense of the layering of thousands of years of the city’s history. You travelled to Europe recently, what were you doing there? I went to Copenhagen and London, Oxford and Cambridge to do research. I’ve been asked to write an article for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Roman Sculpture on current trends in museum displays of ancient sculpture, so I visited several museums with large collections of antiquities. And I had great conversations with my European colleagues about the challenges and opportunities we’ve all encountered in installing sculpture collections and presenting this material to our visitors. Should art be useful or “useless?” That’s a big question. The Greeks would say useful. Virtually all Greek art, including the objects on display in the exhibition, was made to fill some specific purpose— serving vessels, cult objects, votive offerings. It’s only in the Hellenistic period that more purely “decorative” or aesthetic objects begin to appear—like statues in villa gardens, for example—more along the lines of what we would consider “art for art’s sake”.

Page 66 Statuette of Aphrodite emerging from the sea Greek or Roman Eastern Mediterranean 1st century BC – 1st century AD Marble H 16 15/16 in. (43 cm), W 11 7/16 in. (29 cm) Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Frank B. Bemis Fund, 198620 Page 67 Jessica Powers The Gilbert M. Denman, Jr., Curator of Art of the Ancient Mediterranean World Photo by Oscar Williams Page 68 Statue of Aphrodite Roman, from the amphitheater of Capua, AD 117-138 Marble H. 82 5/8 in. (210 cm) Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei, Museo Archeologico di. Napoli, 6017 Image courtesy www.pedicinimages.com

I think visual arts from any culture stimulate us to think about the human experience. Works of art can express the values and customs of a people. And, of course, they can make us think about ourselves and reconsider why we do the things we do. We’re still thinking and worrying about the same things that concerned the ancient Greeks—government and politics, wars in the Middle East, religion, sickness and health. November-December 2012 | On The Town 69


ON THE SUBJECT OF PUBLIC ART:

Bill FitzGibbons Shares His Thoughts By Christa Brothers

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ill FitzGibbons, at the helm of the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center for the past 10 years, is one of the driving forces of San Antonio’s art scene. As an accomplished artist himself with many public art projects to his name, and as an art administrator with 70 On The Town | November-December

extensive experience, he offers a unique perspective on the role public art plays in our culture. FitzGibbons received his BFA in sculpture and art history from the University of Tennessee, and his MFA in


sculpture and multimedia from Washington University in St. Louis. During his career, he has exhibited his works in England, has taken part in the Museum Night celebration in Reykjavik, Iceland, by installing Poem of Light on the outside walls of the city hall there (through a Fulbright scholarship), and, of course, San Antonians remember his Cathedral Lights, an installation bathing the historic San Fernando Cathedral in curtains of light during Luminaria, San Antonio’s celebratory evening of the arts. His permanent public art installation, Light Channels, beneath the underpasses of Interstate Highway 37 at Houston and Commerce streets is a wellknown, loved fixture in the cityscape.

Center in Anchorage, Alaska, followed in 1988 with a move to San Antonio to become department head of sculpture at the San Antonio Art Institute. His current position is president and executive director of the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center. When we recently met up with him at his studio on Lone Star Street, it quickly became apparent that the subject of public art was close to his heart. In his words, “Public art isn’t anything new at all; in fact, public art was always part of various cultures, just think as far back as the art found in the caves of Lascaux, France, or all the public art in ancient Greece or Rome. Art is part of the human psyche; there has always been art throughout history.”

His experience as an administrator is just as impressive as his portfolio of outstanding art projects. Positions He continues, “The nice thing about public art is that held include director of sculpture at the Visual Art it is accessible to everyone. It does not matter what November-December 2012 | On The Town 71


income level you belong to, if you own a bank or even sweep the streets, anyone can enjoy it. Besides the enjoyment art brings, there is hard evidence that public art directly correlates with the well-being of a city. It is sufficiently documented that cities which embrace public art do better. Art attracts tourists; they come to experience the culture of a city, the art and architecture. Art creates a quality of life a creative and educated workforce will seek out. People want to move to a cultural city and with it generate more jobs, more revenue, a win-win for everyone.”

When asked about San Antonio and how he feels about the “state of public art” in the city, FirzGibbons answered readily. “Good! San Antonio gets it now – like Donald Lipski’s fiberglass fish at the River Walk, a fantastic piece, or think of the creative masterpieces at Brackenridge Park. Glorieta, slices of wood and bronzes by Ann Wallace, just wonderful, and the list could go on.”

It makes sense that art attracts a more educated workforce and that it will bring more tourists to a city, but FitzGibbons reasons that only a city that embraces art will be successful and thrive. “Some critiques will argue that it is hard to pay for public art projects, that some cities just don’t have the money, and that there are more important things to do with city funds. This kind of thinking has been proven to be wrong over and over again, it just does not match the economic realities. For instance, Millennium Park in Chicago was very controversial at first, now it is one of the biggest assets for the city. The park features many public art projects like Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor or the Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa. The buildings close to the park transformed, property values rose, and with it the revenue for the city. The plan was to pay for it through parking fees over the next 20 years; it was paid off in four.”

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FitzGibbons summed things up with one final thought. “Public art should not be viewed as an expenditure, but rather as a true investment with a return in real dollars and cents.”

Photo Credits: Page 68 Cathedral Lights by Bill FitzGibbons Photo courtesy Blue Star Contemporary Art Center Page 69 Light Channels by Bill FitzGibbons Photo courtesy Blue Star Contemporary Art Center Page 70 (L-R) Torch of Friendship by Sebastian F.I.S.H. by Donald Lipski Starpointer by John Henry Photos by Gerry Lair


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Urban 76-86

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Killis Almond: Setting the Stage for Historic Preservation By Julie Catalano Photo of Killis Almond by Greg Harrison

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an Antonio architect Killis Almond is a colorful character with a colorful name, but his true colors come shining through when he talks about old buildings – particularly historic theaters – that get a new life after being rehabbed, restored and renovated. While some architects may wax poetic about the airy, artsy nature of a project, the design, the creative process, the drawings -- this one gets right to the heart of what matters most.

It could be that Almond’s practical side comes from a rural upbringing in the small and long-gone Texas town of Florence Hill, between Grand Prairie and Cedar Hill, where “we’d walk down the street to go fishing, and on the first and last day of school we could ride our horses to school.” The son of a carpenter and the godson of an architect, Almond went off to college “not really knowing what an architect was.” He soon learned, receiving two architectural degrees from the University of Texas-Austin, working construction in the “Construction is when architecture becomes real,” summers to pay his way through school – and where Almond said. “That’s why I’ve always admired the he first gained his appreciation for the craft as well as people on the job sites who create what we design. To the art. watch a theater be rebirthed or to watch a house come back in ways that folks never imagined, that always It also got him hired by none other than the prestigious was, and still is, the part that I enjoy the most.” San Antonio architectural firm of Ford, Powell & Carson. November-December 2012 | On The Town 77


Almond recalls: “Boone Powell told me, ‘Killis, I’m going to hire you because you know construction. I can teach you how to draw.’ ” From then on, Almond was on his way.

renovation will be to “create a building that would be a national focal point for Spanish language performing arts.” A new stage shell, ADA dressing rooms, loading dock, rehearsal space, a new lobby and concession area are part of the three-phase project, with Phase 1 As president of Killis Almond & Associates (almond- scheduled for completion in fall 2013. architects.com), Almond – a fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) – has been in private Although Almond concedes that starting over might practice since 1978, with a focus on theater restoration sometimes be easier than renovation (“It’s like putting and consulting since 1981. The statistics of the past 10 pounds of potatoes in a seven-pound bag, stuffing, 34 years are mind-boggling: He has served as a grunting, shoving and making people mad”), he firmly professional consultant and architect on more than believes the result is worth it. “A city that has its history 80 separate theater projects, producing master plans spelled out architecturally over time is a city that has and user studies for almost half of those, and racking roots. It’s a comfortable place where people can see up accolades and awards along the way, like the 2009 buildings of different generations and different stories.” Outstanding Individual Contribution Award from the But, he adds, “It’s impossible to save every building.” League of Historic American Theatres. A sampling of his projects include the Grand 1894 Opera House, One building he’s especially glad he saved is his own Galveston; Sarasota Opera in Florida; Saenger Theatre, South Side office, home to his staff of five. Originally Biloxi, Miss.; Paramount Theatre, Abilene; and the New built in the Prairie School style of architecture by England Performing Arts Center in Franklin, Mass. George Willis – a Frank Lloyd Wright protégé – the 1917 building is listed on the National Register of Locally, San Antonio is currently benefiting from Historic Places in Texas. “I literally saw it and bought Almond’s expertise on the downtown Alameda Theatre, it. I fell in love with it, which I tell my clients never to built in 1949 as a Spanish-language vaudeville house. do, because here it is 30-plus years later, and I’m still Almond said the goal of the estimated $20 million working on it.”

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Almond has been married 42 years to wife Beverly. The couple has one daughter, Kate, who was assistant director for the Rice University centennial celebration in October. The mere mention of hobbies makes him laugh, saying he “lives to work” rather than the other way around. As a mentor to numerous young people through the years, “I tell them, I don’t care what you do, just find something you love and do it ‘til it kills you.” Describing himself as “blessed for all these years by doing something I absolutely love,” he added, “I’ve been able to do some amazing things, meet amazing people, and work with amazing craftsmen. For me it’s been a true joy.” If the walls of Killis Almond’s buildings could talk, they would probably say the same.

Page 77 1894 Grand Opera House Galveston, Texas Photo by John King Keisling Page 78 (L-R) Sarasota Opera House Sarasota, Florida Photo courtesy Killis Almond Architects, Inc. Fort Sam Houston Theater San Antonio, Texas Photo by Kevin G. Saunders Photography

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Page 79 (L-R)

Photo Credits:

Paramount Theater Abilene, Texas Photo by John King Keisling

Page 76 Killis Almond Photo by Greg Harrison

Majestic Theatre Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Photo by Don Pearse Photographers, Inc.

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Talking Houston Street with Jackie Mallette By Gerry Lair Photography Greg Harrison

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R

ecently I had an opportunity to visit with Jackie Mallette, senior property manager of Reata Property Management Inc., at her office on Houston Street in downtown San Antonio across from the Majestic Theatre. It was my opportunity to ask her a few questions about the Federal Realty Investment Trust holdings that she oversees on a daily basis.

through coordinated efforts. Federal has opportunities at the Kress and Schaum buildings for future consideration. GL: Has an association been organized for the purpose of informing the public about things happening on Houston Street, and even more specifically at Federal properties?

JM: In 2005, in an effort to promote Houston Street, Reata Property Management formed a new 501(c)4 corporation called the Houston Street Development Corp., a nonprofit organization whose sole purpose was to provide exposure to a new destination of hotels, restaurants, theater GL: To put things in perspective, which buildings and weekend family events. You should see some on Houston Street are owned by Federal Realty action from the Houston Street Development Investment Trust and managed by Reata? Corp. in the first quarter of 2013. Below are her answers to seven questions that give insight into the impact of the Federal purchase of a group of buildings on Houston Street in 1998 and the resulting redevelopment successes that followed.

JM: They include the Court Building which serves as offices for Catto & Catto Insurance and other companies; the Kress Building, where Texas de Brazil is located; the Walgreens building, which is also home to Nix Hospital administrative offices and Big Apple Bagel; Vogue, with offices and Toscana Ristorante; Schaum, which includes Bohanan’s and The Palm. They also have the land lease for Hotel Valencia which includes SIP and Acenar and the parking facility on the corner of Houston and Jefferson streets. GL: All of those are within blocks of each other and are either by, or very near, the Majestic and Empire theaters. How has this concentration of revitalization efforts on Federal’s part positively impacted the street as a whole? JM: We set out to help create, coordinate and manage a plan to realize the goals of our client and also to establish Houston Street as a destination in this community. I believe that has been accomplished.

GL: When you take into consideration the number of upscale, full-service restaurants now located on Houston Street from Soledad to Alamo Plaza, has consideration been given to creating and promoting the Houston Street Restaurant District? JM: I believe the Houston Street Development Corp. will take this to the next level in 2013. GL: Since it’s the holiday season, I must ask if you are going to “light up” Houston Street again this year? JM: We will be doing the traditional tree lighting from St. Mary’s to Navarro streets on both sides of Houston Street and also the courtyard located across from the Majestic Theatre. GL: What are your thoughts about the future of Houston Street revitalization in years to come?

JM: With the interest and growth in residential living downtown, I believe Houston Street will continue to thrive. I see a need for retail shops GL: Are there still opportunities for future to grow, more affordable dining for residents and redevelopment within the current buildings tourists, closer grocery store access and parking. owned by Federal? It’s an exciting time for San Antonio and Houston Street, and we look forward to being a part of the JM: Yes, I definitely think so. Federal continues growth for years to come. to unite the properties with other surrounding developments and engages the immediate residential community and local city government November-December 2012 | On The Town 81


Historic La Villita:

The Little Village in the Heart of Downtown By Angela Rabke Photography Dana Fossett

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f you’ve spent more than five minutes in San Antonio, you can guess that “La Villita” translates to “Little Village,” but many in San Antonio don’t know much more about this charming spot nestled in the heart of downtown, which is fondly translated as “hidden treasure” by some of the shop owners. Tucked away on the south bank of the San Antonio River, each historic building is a treasure filled with treasures, and offers one of the more festive and unique cultural opportunities of the holiday season.

France settled there, and became San Antonio’s business leaders, bankers, educators and craftsmen. The cultural mash-up that occurred is articulated by a variety of architectural styles, from Palisado to Victorian. But as the city grew outward, La Villita fell into decline. After a period of time as a slum, the area was revitalized in 1939 as a part of a WPA project along with the creation of the River Walk and the Arnison River Theater.

City fathers led by Mayor Maury Maverick acted to preserve this colorful part of San Antonio’s history, and today, La Villita is a thriving example of San Antonio’s vibrant art scene — the perfect marriage of our city’s historical and creative cultures. This area was the original art scene in San Antonio, and as such it is filled with art studios, unique shops that include Western items, a master jeweler, stained glass and copperware, as well as fantastic restaurants. La Villita also provides access to the River Walk and the one-of-a-kind beauty it offers, especially during the Later, European immigrants from Germany and holiday season. Visitors often are surprised by the The history of La Villita is worth remembering: considered by many historians to be San Antonio’s first neighborhood, La Villita began when Spanish soldiers stationed at the Alamo set up their huts. When the San Antonio River flooded in 1819, adobe, brick and wooden homes replaced the more transient structures, and the village grew to a considerable size by 1836, when Santa Ana marched to the Alamo.

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“wildlife,� as La Villita is home to many well caredfor resident cats, pigeons and squirrels. There is so much peace and beauty in the area that many of the store owners have been happily settled into their locations for as long as 40 years.

reminder of its history is the beautiful Little Church of La Villita, which is home to many San Antonio weddings and celebrations. This church has services every Thursday and Sunday, as well as running an active food pantry and a wonderful gallery called The Starving Artist, named after the original starving The holiday season brings much excitement to artist of La Villita, Jesse Sanchez. After a career in the area. Tuesday nights offer free parking and the Army, he attended the Kansas City Art Institute, a special show at the Arnison River Theater with then Trinity University. One day Sanchez decided James Martin. Kicking off the holiday season is the to reimagine his life as a starving artist, so he tore Day of the Dead event Nov. 3, which will include up his Social Security card and dedicated himself to a student art show and sale by South San Antonio the arts. It is he who convinced the minister at the High School students, a procession by Los Monas, church to begin the Starving Artist Show, which is and a display of loved ones in Maverick Plaza. still a beloved part of city culture today. Nov. 24 brings a special event known as the tamalada, which is a where visitors learn how to make tamales (just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas), and the evening serves as the holiday open house for the many stores and galleries nestled there. After the shops close at 7 p.m., twinkling lights on the river are welcome scenery, while Little Rheine Steakhouse and The Fig Tree Restaurant offer fine dining.

To spend time at La Villita during these few cooler months of the holiday season is to be reminded of everything there is to love about San Antonio and about the holidays: a warm and creative community that acts as a family and is able to move forward with a firm memory of the past, combined with the breathless beauty of the River Walk and downtown. It feels a bit like going home.

Another lovely aspect of the area and a strong

For more information, visit www.lavillita.com.

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Literary Arts 88-92

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Book Talk:

Christopher Phillips, Author and Pro-Democracy Advocate

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CP: Kind of randomly, to be honest with you. I traveled from Virginia to California and met with people who were interested in the project. Sometimes I would tell the group a week or two in advance which article we would be examining so they could look at it and reflect on it. Sometimes I would show up with an idea about what I thought we would discuss, and they would have another idea The success of the Socrates Café initiative eventually or they would propose something that’s not even in led him to launch a new small-group discussion the Constitution but that they felt would make the series focusing on the document that many Constitution even more cohesive as a document. Americans consider sacrosanct – the Constitution of the United States. Named Constitution Café, the In one case, I went to the Apple Worldwide Developer project invites ordinary Americans from all walks of Conference in San Francisco, where a lot of inventors life to examine various constitutional articles and were hoping to get Apple interested in their amendments and decide how they would rephrase inventions, and I parked myself in the lobby entrance them if they were modern-day framers gathered at with my sign. The people who stopped by wanted to a constitutional convention. talk about crafting a new constitutional article about patent law. At a junior high school in Arizona, the The author of several books on philosophy, Phillips students wanted to eliminate inheritance laws. They describes his constitutional debate experiences in his came up with the concept that all inherited money latest volume: ¬Constitution Café: Jefferson’s Brew for should go into a pool to be equally distributed among a True Revolution. all 18-year-olds in the country (so that all would have a fair start in adult life and to keep poor students As Gemini Ink’s Breakthrough Thinker Series guest, hopeful and motivated.) he facilitated a “café” gathering at the University of Texas at San Antonio Oct. 25 and met with Gemini JW: Throughout the book you intertwine the Ink supporters for a book signing and a Colloquium writings of Thomas Jefferson with the accounts of Luncheon the next day. the contemporary discussions. Would you like to elaborate on that? JW: What prompted you to initiate the discussion about changing the Constitution at this particular CP: Well, a lot of it is based on Jefferson’s ideas. I went time? to the same college he attended (College of William and Mary) where I studied his thought and writings. CP: It wasn’t so much about changing it; it was more Jefferson (who was not involved in the drafting of the about starting a conversation about it. Polls show Constitution) brooded a great deal over it and wrote that most Americans have not read the Constitution his own drafts. The ideas he proposed were ground as adults. They often assume that certain things are breaking, sometimes so much so that he knew his in the Constitution and are surprised to find out that contemporaries would not accept them. He was also they are not. I thought, if we could take the imaginary the first to propose that the Constitution be revised role of being the new framers of the document, we every 20 years or so, because he felt that it needed would have to immerse ourselves in the Constitution to represent the aspirations of each generation. It’s a and learn what it does and does not include. You can’t fascinating idea. have a vibrant democracy without constitutional literacy. So I launched the initiative in the hope of JW: You have held more than 150 Constitution Café bringing people together to engage in thoughtful discussions. How did you choose the examples that discourse about this document that is the foundation you included in the book? of our lives. CP: It was largely based on the insights that a JW: How did you choose which parts of the particular group offered. Often they had a slant I Constitution to bring up for discussion? had not previously considered. For instance, I held irginia native Christopher Phillips believes in the power of civilized philosophical discourse between people who hold different points of view. Translating his belief into action, he has been holding such discussions around the United States under the umbrella name of Socrates Café for many years. About 500 such groups continue to meet today.

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dialogues about the preamble to the Constitution. This one group came up with the idea to include parts of the Declaration of Independence in the preamble. They felt that the Constitution itself should include the language from the Declaration about the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – and they added dignity – because without that language they felt that the Constitution and the articles that came after the preamble did not have quite the moral direction that they should have. JW: Any surprises along the way? CP: What I found most surprising is how seriously people took the project. They were respectful of different views and opinions. That was one of my goals in starting the project. At this time when Americans are so polarized, to see that people could engage in respectful dialogue was uplifting. JW: What did people care about the most? CP: That’s a little difficult to answer because I usually brought up a different topic with each group. Generally, however, the participants wanted a document that would make elected officials more accountable and would prevent the president, Congress and the courts from taking on powers not granted to them by the Constitution. JW: What issues generated the most heat and controversy? CP: One was the second amendment about the right to bear arms. The group was evenly split between those who believe that the amendment gives that right to organized citizen groups, such as militias, and that the arms should be returned to a modern-day version of a magazine (warehouse) when not in use, while the other section maintained that the amendment gives the right to all citizens to have arms on their property. Then they discussed the definition of “property” and “arms” but they ended up divided. (As a result, two versions of the Constitution Café amendment were crafted and both are included in the book.)

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Another hot issue that I discussed with a group of lawyers was the Supreme Court’s right to judicial review of legislation. That right is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. Many people would be surprised to hear that. Jefferson believed that giving that right to the justices would put them at a higher level of


authority than the other two branches of government, and he felt that would be wrong for it would take power away from the elected representatives of the people. Some in the group argued that the Supreme Court has effectively had that right for so long, it could cause more harm than good to take it away from them. Yet the Supreme Court was not meant to be part of the legislative conversation as long as Congress followed properly its own rules and procedures. JW: Are there other things that Americans would be surprised to discover are not part of the Constitution? CP: Yes. For instance, most people think that we have 435 members of the House of Representatives because the Constitution says so. Actually, it only says that the number of representatives “shall not exceed one for every 30,000.” Yet the actual number of House members has been static for decades, since 1911 when the House decided on that number. This means that today, each congressman represents 650,000 constituents (a number more than 20 times larger than prescribed by the Constitution). Today every congressman has 22 staffers. If we followed our founding document, we would have some 10,000 elected representatives rather than thousands of unelected staffers handling the people’s business. It’s not an outlandish number. And it would seem even less outlandish had we been increasing the number gradually as the population grew. JW: So, where are you taking your Constitution Café project from here? CP: I have written a guide on how to establish a Constitution Café group to expand the dialogue. You can find it on www.constitutioncafe.org. At this point, I am not a mover and shaker behind a call for a new constitutional convention, but there are individuals and groups who are. I tell people, “Not so fast!” Actually I would love to be part of such a convention but those who want to do it right away are acting prematurely, I think. We first need to gain constitutional literacy to understand the existing document before we become serious about changing it, especially if we want to involve ordinary Americans in the conversation. ------------------------------------------------------------------Phillips’ comments have been edited slightly for space and clarity. His book is available wherever books are sold.

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Out & About with Greg harrison 94-100

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November/December 2012 Issue