This week I caught up with The Playhouse’s Asia Ciaravino for an overview of the remaining season, and a peek at the fall. By any measure it’s been a wild year for The Playhouse. After last May’s damaging spring thunderstorm, they’ve managed to fix the theater, then pull off an ambitious winter schedule in both of their theaters. Now comes their spring and summer schedule.
This weekend hundreds of singers will gather in San Antonio, but what they sing isn’t common. So much so that I had to look up Sacred Harp singing to be sure of what it was. After doing so, I caught up with a pair of its practitioners in a noisy Portland Oregon train station.
"It’s an old southern hymn tradition that’s still alive, and in the last 10 or 20 years has broken out of the south and taken root worldwide," said John Berendzen.
“Urban 15 is a music and dance ensemble and training center here in San Antonio. You might think that we’re San Antonio’s ambassadors of rhythm and motion," said Urban-15 Music Director George Cisneros.
The group is known for its public performances in parades. Their pounding drums, wild costumes and rhythmic dancing have been seen in San Antonio since 1974.
But now something new is brewing and Urban-15 is looking for a few good men, and women.
"It’s open to people who are in shape, and like to move," said Cisneros.
Many of us may think of chamber choir music as formal and perhaps a bit stuffy. But after speaking to San Antonio Chamber Choir Board President Carl Leafstedt, maybe we've come to that conclusion too quickly. First, Leafstedt reminds us of exactly who they are and what they do.
“The San Antonio Chamber Choir is an organization of professional voices, it’s a paid choir of many of the city’s top voices" he said. "Our mission is to perform music that is not often performed in South Texas -- very difficult and unusual repertory sometimes, at the very highest levels."
The San Antonio Botanical Garden and the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum have teamed up for a project that all started with a pretty simple premise.
"Not everybody in San Antonio is going to be able to come to the museum to see contemporary art, so it’s important to go out into the community," said Blue Star Director of Special Projects Bill Fitzgibbons.
So go out they did. They displayed art in a wide variety of places.
"Everything from St. Paul Square to the grounds of UTSA to the Botanical Garden," Fitzgibbons said.
Bexar County Commissioners today presented the Hidalgo Award to San Antonio artist Jesse Treviño, honoring him for a lifetime of service to the community.
Treviño’s work can be seen all over San Antonio, from his Virgen de Guadalupe mosaic at Guadalupe Plaza to the recently-completed mural at the historic home of José Antonio Navarro depicting scenes of early life on the West Side.
Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo said Treviño’s work is inextricably linked to San Antonio.
It’s a once-a-year arts celebration that’s spread out over several neighborhoods along Fredericksburg Road. The On and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour celebrates the artists of an area of town fast becoming known for the art it generates.
“And that takes place this weekend on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m." said Bihl Haus Arts Executive Director Kellen McIntyre. "And we also have wonderful evening events. On Friday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. there’s the amazing, not-to-be-missed On and Off Fred autograph party."
The new play “All The Way” is now in previews on Broadway. Written by Robert Shenken and commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare festival, it tells the story of a year in the life of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who is played by former “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston.
Beginning in November 1963, when Johnson took office after President Kennedy was assassinated, “All the Way” focuses on Johnson’s push to pass Kennedy’s civil rights legislation and get reelected at the same time.