News and notes from the San Antonio theater scene
The biggest theater news this month is still a rumor, albeit a very well-substantiated one: The Magik Theatre and Arts San Antonio are finalizing the structure and logistics of a partnership to bring Shakespeare in the Park back to San Antonio audiences, and to do it with local actors. The original annual event used local artistic and technical talent, and was successful not only in introducing San Antonio audiences to Shakespeare, but also in unifying and supporting the local theater community. In recent years, however, embarrassing sums of money have been spent to import companies from as far away as Canada to perform (or not - often performances were rained out) who took that money with them when they left. Specifics will follow, but for now it looks like summer Shakespeare will return in late June in the guise of A Midsummer Night's Dream, a nod to the first SA Shakespeare in the Park production (some 15 years ago), which also featured Midsummer.
On Sunday, April 3, the San Pedro Playhouse will ring with "The Sweetest Sounds," a gala entertainment event featuring music created by three generations of the famous Rodgers family. Performers (more than 35 of them!) include Mary Denman, Roy Bumgardner, Scooter Barnes, Kim Bianco, and Michael Berlet. A champagne reception featuring desserts from a selection of SA restaurants is included with the $50 ticket. Proceeds will benefit the 70-year-old nonprofit Playhouse. Call 733-7258.
Speaking of the Playhouse, it might just be an ideal venue for North East School of the Arts stand-out Tyler Phillips' new musical, Fairest of Them All, a Grimm Brothers synthesis dealing with the frailties and strengths of the human condition. At press time, the show by SA's successor to Sondheim didn't have a home, although some New York companies are having a listen. The Playhouse, other interested venues, and you, too, can hear samples from the show, as well as from Phillip's latest CD release, Versatyle Smyle, at kamelrockproductions.com.
And speaking of fairytales, the 2004-2005 St. Philip's College theater season ends with Quack ... Quack!, a new version of the Hans Christian Andersen Ugly Duckling story created by Charles Jeffries, Drama Instructor and Coordinator of the St. Philip's Theatre program. His version doesn't have ducks, but deals instead with a Prince and Princess, both of whom suspect they are lacking in looks; comedy (with a nice little moral) ensues. Suitable for kids of all ages. April 1, 2, 15, 16 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 3 at 2:30 p.m. Call 531-4704 for reservations.
Some sad news this month: Jump-Start Performance Co. member and Jefferson High School theater teacher Robert Rehm was severely injured in a fall during rehearsal for University Interscholastic League competition. While he remains hospitalized, cards and well wishes may be sent care of Jump-Start, 108 Blue Star, SATX, 78204.