Sutan Amrull learned how to apply makeup from “his 14-year-old friend Eva, who was under house arrest for breaking into a restaurant.” Those lessons paid off: In addition to a client list that includes Dita Von Teese and Adam Lambert, Amrull served as makeup artist for nine cycles of America’s Next Top Model, impersonating Tyra Banks on occasion. Adopting the alter ego Raja Gemini, Amrull competed on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, joining the Heathers (a clique that Gawker noted “perfected the mean girl skill of making others feel like shit”) and becoming the show’s first Asian-American winner. Dubbed the “King of Queens” by LA Weekly, the performer/recording artist lands in SA courtesy of Rey Lopez Entertainment. But be warned: “Stand in her way and Raja will shantay past you like fashion roadkill.” $10-$15, 11:30pm, The Saint, 800 Lexington, (210) 225-7330, facebook.com/reylopezentertainment.
Thu 12/12-Fri 12/13
Holiday Laser Show
From now until New Year’s Eve, SA has its dose of jingle bellish celebrations. But no matter how much you look, you won’t find anything as exciting and trippy as Urban-15’s Annual Holiday Laser show, which this year will take place somewhere inside the former Museo Alameda. The show is a stunning 50-minute choreographed combination of laser beams and 3D animation synchronized to your favorite holiday classics, concocted by Tim Walsh (president of Laser Spectacles) and Urban-15 music and media director George Cisneros, who have worked together in the past (anywhere from Austin’s Texas Sesquicentennial in 1986 in front of 200,000 people to Luminaria 2008 and 2009). Proceeds benefit Urban-15’s youth programs. $10-$15, 7pm, Texas A&M - San Antonio Education and Cultural Arts Center, 101 S Santa Rosa, (210) 736-1500, urban15.org. —Enrique Lopetegui
Venice, Calif., crossover thrash titans Suicidal Tendencies always stood apart. Even after the release of its now-acclaimed, deeply influential self-titled 1983 debut, punks didn’t know what to do with this gangsta-looking bunch of skaters who didn’t sound or dress like anyone else. “All these people told us we needed the proper ‘etiquette’ for the massive punk rock goal being an individual,” founder (and sole remaining original member) Mike Muir quipped in Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal. “I always thought that was a little strange.” Now Muir is back with the first ST album in 13 years, aptly titled 13 (sorry, Ozzy), and still thrashing while no one dares to argue. With Terror, Trash Talk and the Inspector Cluzo. $20-$25 ($13 if you enter “earlybird13” as a passcode), doors at 7pm, Backstage Live, 1305 E Houston, (210) 698-2856, backstagelivesa.com. —EL
Mark and Angela Walley: “Creation to Consumption”
Filmmakers Mark and Angela Walley dive into the worlds of video camera invention and commercial marketing. Sala Diaz will be transformed into a product showroom to unveil and demonstrate the WALLEY POS-86, an impossible video camera that represents a reverse trend in consumer electronics. Through the use of sculpture, video and design, their “Creation to Consumption” satirizes the seemingly interminable production and distribution of new retail electronics. Free, 6-9pm Friday, Sala Diaz, 517 Stieren, (210) 852-4492, saladiazart.org.
Fri 12/13-Sat 12/14
Created in the vein of rock operas like Jesus Christ Superstar, Green Day’s 2004 concept album American Idiot follows fed-up Jesus of Suburbia out of Jingletown and into a gritty city in search of meaning in the post-September 11 era. Thanks to a collaboration between the SoCal punk trio (led by Billie Joe Armstrong) and Spring Awakening director Michael Mayer, American Idiot is now a loud and irreverent Broadway musical, the touring version of which lands at the Majestic this week. Anchored by a theme of rage versus love, the 2010 Tony winner employs all its namesake album’s tracks (plus minimal dialogue and other Green Day hits) to paint what The New York Times described as “a pulsating portrait of wasted youth ... bring on the sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, please!” $31.50-$66.50, 8pm Fri, 2pm & 7:30pm Sat, The Majestic Theatre, 224 E Houston, (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com. —BR
Fri 12/13-Sun 12/15
Penned by Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes at the height of the civil rights movement, Black Nativity employs a predominantly (if not entirely) black cast to the reframe the birth of Christ with poetry, dance, gospel songs and folk spirituals. An expression of Hughes’ late-in-life interest in the oral traditions of the African-American church, the musical debuted in 1961 and is now a holiday tradition for roughly a quarter-million annual viewers. Directed by Danielle King, the Renaissance Guild’s 4th annual production offers theater-goers a unique opportunity to experience Black Nativity in its original form before (or after) heading out to see Kasi Lemmon’s modernized new film starring Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson and Tyrese. $21-$26, 8pm Friday, 3pm & 8pm Saturday, 4pm Sunday, Jo Long Theatre, Carver Community Cultural Center, 226 N Hackberry, (210) 207-2234, therenaissanceguild.org. —BR
Ruthie Foster is a Texas treasure. Equally comfortable, admired and recognized in the worlds of blues, soul, folk and gospel, the singer/songwriter/guitarist/pianist was recently named Blues Artist of the Year (Female) in the 20th Annual Living Blues Awards Critic’s Poll, and also took her third consecutive Koko Taylor Award for Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year at the Blues Music Awards this year. Her latest album, Let It Burn (2012), shows her versatility channeling Adele (“Set Fire to the Rain”), a glorious, unrecognizable rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” and even Los Lobos’ “This Time,” among others. But Foster doesn’t “do covers”—her own material is as good if not better than anything on Let It Burn, so come and get hooked, if you aren’t already. $17-$20, 8pm, Sam’s Burger Joint, 330 E Grayson, (210) 223-2830, samsburgerjoint.com. —EL
OPEN: Downtown Pop Up Shops
An initiative of the City of San Antonio’s Center City Development Office in cooperation with Federal Realty/REATA and Service Lloyds Insurance Company, the OPEN Downtown Pop Up Shops (4-9 p.m. Tuesdays and noon-9 p.m. Saturdays through December 21) are designed to "encourage innovation, benefit local entrepreneurs, keep downtown an active and attractive destination, and connect art, retail and real estate" while transforming underutilized and vacant properties. At 140 E Houston, look for fair-trade folk art and textiles from St. Sarita as well as Vinously Speaking and Fresh Urban Flowers' collaborative wine gallery and art bar, CANVAS. At 311 E Houston, Pinkberry Boutique offers a selection of women’s clothing and accessories. And at 231 E Houston, browse for books about the Alamo City from San Antonio History LLC and "awesome art and boutique furniture" from Zubiate Projects, Katie Pell and Bygoe Zubiate (along with Freaky Tiki jewelry by Tracy Stephens) at The Fantastic Super Happy Shop. Free, noon-9pm Saturday, 140, 311 & 231 E Houston. For details, visit Open: Downtown Pop-up Shops on Facebook. —BR
San Antonio Coffee Festival
Are you ready to get your coffee buzz on? The second annual San Antonio Coffee Festival will take place in La Villita on Saturday, December 14. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., attendees can sample more than 30 locally roasted coffees sourced from around the world, attend educational seminars and buy java paraphernalia from vendors. A tasting flight of four “artfully brewed” coffees runs you just $5. Information about participating exhibitors can be found online at sacoffeefest.com, and tickets for a flight can be purchased near the fountain in La Villita’s Maverick Plaza. Stick around to counteract your caffeine with some coffee cocktails at the after-hours event from 4 to 7 p.m. A tasting flight of four spiked libations from restaurants including the Fig Tree, Boudro’s and Guadalajara Grill costs $12. Presented in part by the City’s Department for Culture & Creative Development and La Villita Historic Arts Village, Coffee Festival is the brainchild of Linda Brewer. A New Orleans transplant, Brewer comes from a family of coffee aficionados and professionals (her grandfather, father and she all worked in the industry). She organized the first Coffee Festival of this kind in NOLA in 2009. More than 5,000 people attended last year’s event, also held at La Villita, sampling 31 coffees from eight exhibitors. Brewer expects a similar or even larger crowd and this year the number of exhibitors will increase to 12. Another new addition? The Fig Tree is offering an omelet brunch from 10 a.m. to noon for $24.99 (make reservations online at figtreerestaurant.com or by calling (210) 224-1976). “Most of the exhibitors that come out are local to the San Antonio area, all of them are roasters, and some of these folks have amazing backgrounds,” explained Brewer. “They’ve actually gone out to the farms, consulted with farmers, graded beans, followed the entire chain of production,” she said. The educational component of Coffee Festival will include a full schedule of half-hour seminars with topics ranging from the history of coffee and cold brewing to the future of the industry and latte art. The schedule of sessions will be posted on the Festival’s website prior to the day of the event. “People love coffee,” said Brewer, “and it’s also about the connections. Coffee is global and people drink it every day from all over the world.” She’d like to see the festival grow to a multi-day event, drawing locals and tourists alike. As for her favorite coffee? Brewer had only this to say: “My favorite coffee is the one I haven’t tried yet!” $5 per tasting flight, 10am-5pm Saturday, La Villita, 418 Villita, sacoffeefest.com. —Miriam Sitz
Sat 12/14-Sun 12/15
“Small Hall Sale”
If the recurring Contemporary Art Month happening “Home Towners” hasn’t lured you to Missi Smith’s Studio 455, this holiday-timed “Small Hall Sale” offers both an introduction to the Louisiana-born artist and a rare peek inside one of SA’s more off-the-beaten-path art spaces. Possibly best known for her movement-based body of work “Gathering Values” (which she created by “broadcasting” charcoal and dry pigment while dancing barefoot on canvases), Smith addresses environmental concerns (including Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill) in multi-textured projects incorporating such unconventional materials as catfish skulls, corrugated cardboard and clock parts. As part of her creative process, Smith often builds small-scale assemblages, a selection of which will be smartly priced and up for grabs this weekend in the small hall that leads into her gallery space—housed in a 1940s-era church of Latter Day Saints. Free, noon-5:30pm Saturday-Sunday, Studio 455, 455 Bailey, (210) 241-0527, missismith.org. —BR
Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.