Tue, Oct 22 - Sun, Oct 27
“The Neverland you never knew” comes to life onstage in Peter and the Starcatcher—Rick Elice’s adaptation of the best-selling children’s novel. Billed as a “swashbuckling grownup prequel to Peter Pan,” the play employs a cast of 12 to portray upwards of 100 characters—including 13-year-old “apprentice starcatcher” Molly Aster (the play’s lone female character), Black Stache (a verbally challenged pirate with a hook in his future) and a nameless orphan destined for greatness. Not typically one to gush, The New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley called the five-time Tony winner a “blissful exercise in make-believe,” referring to its (low-tech) sinking of the H.M.S. Neverland as “the most enthralling shipwreck since James Cameron sent the Titanic to her watery grave in the late 1990s.” $26-$76, 7:30pm Tue-Thu, 8pm Fri, 2pm & 8pm Sat, 1pm & 6:30pm Sun, The Majestic Theatre, 224 E Houston, (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com.
2. JJ Grey and Mofro
Tue, Oct 22
With soul music enjoying a commercial renaissance the last few years, JJ Grey & Mofro—who will perform Tuesday at Sam’s Burger Joint—seem poised to reap the benefit of their slinky backwoods southern soul. After 12 years, numerous lineup changes and a half-dozen albums of originals, the horn-driven swamp blues septet really hits their stride creatively on their latest, This River. But if the accolades don’t roll in, the gruff-voiced frontman is comfortable simply putting in his time. “There’s lots of stuff ballplayers have to go through just to get the opportunity,” said Grey from his Jacksonville, Fla. home. “It wasn’t like they walked on the field and said, ‘Give me a bat; I’m going to be a hero.’” That same steady swing drives This River. The grooves are deep and unhurried with a slight summer swelter on the brow. They go from the greasy swamp-funk of “You’re Lady, She’s Shady,” to the nightclubby jazz-blues in “Florabama” to “99 Shades of Crazy,” a Black Crowes-ish country-soul number. Though they’ve had their own horn section for a few albums now (members of the Daptones played on 2007’s Country Ghetto), this was the first time Grey and Mofro all played together in the studio, and it gives the proceedings a homier, lived-in feeling. “I want[ed] everybody in the same room at the same time so we’d play off each other more like it is live,” said Grey. “These guys are nasty players, all of them.” One of the more striking songs is the “Ballad of Larry Webb,” about a neighbor/co-worker who Grey knew back home. Webb was the unassuming type that worked two to three jobs to make ends meet, had maybe three shirts and two pairs of pants, but always showed up to the dogtrack cleaned and pressed with a smile on his face and a kind word on his lips. “They called him simple,” Grey sings, “but so few see the truth.” On the phone, Grey put it in context: “There are a billion different people and a billion different circumstances ... You can make the most of it or you can wallow in it.” Those are the people that Grey likes to write about—those whose “character shines past all the rat race, all the circumstances, even their own ego.” In the easy, bluesy crackle of these songs, Grey find the simple humanity that defines even the wildest characters. “A writer friend once told me, ‘Everyone’s a character if they have enough room to be one,’” Grey said. “I always thought that meant your surroundings—but I came to realize you give yourself enough room to be a character.” $20-$25, 8pm Tuesday , Sam's Burger Joint, (210) 223-2830, samsburgerjoint.com.
3. A Celebration of the 2013 Texas Poet Laureate Rosemary Catacalos
Tue, Oct 22
Central Library hosts a reading, reception and book signing with Poet Laureate of Texas Rosemary Catacalos, featuring an introduction by Naomi Shihab Nye and live music by Aaron and George Prado. Catacalos is the first-ever Latina Poet Laureate of Texas and the first San Antonio poet to hold the position in four decades. Her first book, Again for the First Time, won the Texas Institute of Letters Poetry Prize. Her latest, Begin Here, is a hand-bound chapbook with handmade paper covers printed by letterpress. Free, 6pm Tuesday, Central Library Auditorium, 600 Soledad, (210) 207-2500, mysapl.org.
Wed, Oct 23
A long-running collaboration between Jump-Start Performance Co. and San Antonio Dance Umbrella, W-I-P is a is a lab for new, in-progress dance and other movement-based performance works accompanied by a post-performance discussion. The October edition showcases Zombie Bazaar Belly Dance, a “tribal fusion” troupe under the direction of Giomara “Gio” Bazaldua. Created in response to “recent news about incidents of rapes both around the world and in the United States,” Zombie Bazaar’s W-I-P project showcases dancer Michi Fink (a “hopeful vegan” and “outspoken, compassionately driven queer womyn”) and features the Nirvana song “Polly.” $3-$5, 7pm Wednesday, The Sterling Houston Theater at Jump-Start, 108 Blue Star, San Antonio, (210) 227-5867, facebook.com/ZombieBazaar.
Wed, Oct 23
The story of New York’s most legendary punk club would seem to be a natural, but CBGB is already, like the dive joint it immortalizes, getting some bad press. It foregoes a serious treatment of the scene for broad comedy, and some of the folks who were there at the time say that it takes a few pretty grave liberties with the truth. However, it’s got a killer soundtrack, great leads in Alan Rickman and the always-appealing Donal Logue, and some fun stunt casting (including Rupert Grint as Cheetah Chrome and Malin Akerman as Debbie Harry) that might make it a fall season must-see, particularly for the punk nostalgia hounds among us. Curiosity-seekers and those interested to see if the guy from The New Normal will make a convincing Stiv Bators can catch it October 23. $7-$10, 7:30pm Wednesday, Santikos Palladium, 17703 I-10 W; Santikos Silverado 16, 11505 W Loop 1604 N, santikos.com.