You may have seen "Wicked" at the Majestic recently, but did you know that several of the orchestra members are San Antonians? Peter Rubins is one of them and plays French horn with the San Antonio Symphony, but this month he’s one of nine local players also playing with the orchestra for their production of "Wicked."
"There are a lot of moving parts in a production of this size," Rubins said.
I asked him if "Wicked" was particularly challenging music.
The touring version of smash Broadway hit "Wicked" is playing the Majestic Theater in March. I caught up with one of its stars, Kathy Fitzgerald, who plays Madame Morrible in the Broadway touring company..
Her role is a decidedly evil one.
“Yeah, I’m not nice," Fitzgerald said. "I’m not nice."
In researching the story I read up on exactly what the play was about. It has got a rather twisted premise: That iconic American film "The Wizard of OZ" didn't do everyone justice.
If you’ve been meaning to, but haven't quite got around to seeing "The Nutcracker" this year, you’ve got one more chance at the Majestic Theatre. The Moscow Ballet returns to San Antonio to perform the ballet on Monday night.
"It’s more than my job, it’s my life," said the ballet’s Natalie Miroshnyk, who is also the audition director that chose the San Antonio children who perform parts with the Moscow Ballet in the production.
A hard-hitting multi-Tony award winning musical is coming to the Majestic Theatre. "American Idiot," the highly-acclaimed musical that was borne out of the seminal Grammy Award-winning Green Day album of the same name, is coming December 13-14.
"'American Idiot' is about three disaffected teens growing up in a place called Jingletown, USA," said Dan Tracy, who plays Tunny in the production. "They’re all trying to find their way to a better life and each of them gets lost in their own way."
"The Nutcracker" is now an American Christmas tradition, but when Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky debuted the work in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892, it wasn't a success. San Antonio Symphony’s Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto explains.
"You have to understand, until Tchaikovsky came along, ballet music was just ballet music," Fujimoto said. "It wasn’t appreciated for its own good, and Tchaikovsky single-handedly did that."
The pedigree of “South Park” and “Avenue Q” is evident in the raucous, raunchy musical “The Book of Mormon,” which opened Tuesday night at the Majestic Theatre. Anyone who knows the former will know what to expect from “Mormon,” but what surprised many of the audience members I spoke to at intermission at Wednesday night’s performance was the sweetness and good heart behind the words, many not fit for radio broadcast.
"It's harder than it looks. You practice it, and it seems pretty straight forward. But when you add the orchestra, with the scoring and rhythms, it is not as easy as it seems, in fact it is really hard!" said Martina Filjak discussing Nights in the Gardens of Spain by Manuel de Falla.
Martina has played the piece for ten years now, and recently visited the gardens that inspired the work in Sierra de Cordoba.
Richard Stoltzman is a legendary musician, winning Grammy Awards, playing chamber music, new music and concerti around the world. He's also famous for his jazz, playing with greats like Woody Herman, Mel Torme, and Chick Corea. This weekend, Stoltzman will share his artistry with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Philharmonic.
In the late 1930s, still fresh off the success of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” Walt Disney came across a story by the English writer P.L. Travers about a magical nanny that visits the Banks family — young Jane, Michael, and baby twins John and Barbara. Disney became fascinated with the stories, and felt they’d make an ideal setting for a motion picture. He pursued Travers for some 20 years until she finally relented and allowed Disney to adapt her books.