The 9th Annual Rivertini competition

The 9th Annual Rivertini competition is March 23, 2017.  Deadline to register is midnight tonight. Photo: google

The San Antonio River Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to continue to bring recreation, public art and educational opportunities along the San Antonio River expansions. In partnership with U.S. Bartender’s Guild San Antonio they are hosting the 9th Annual Rivertini, a premier cocktail competition. It will take place on Thursday March 23 from 6p.m. to 8:30p.m. at the Wyndham Garden Riverwalk – Museum Reach. Bartender registration and recipe submission deadline is 11:59p.m. on Tuesday February 28, 2017. Prizes include: 1st place – $1,000 cash, 2nd place – $500 cash, 3rd place – $250 cash, People’s Choice – $500 HEB gift card. There will be an after party at the Brooklynite for participating bartenders. (San Antonio River Foundation, 2017)

Guests will be able to sample cocktails from San Antonio’s top bars and restaurants as they the bartenders compete for cash prizes. It will be an evening by the River on the Museum Reach with music by JJ Lopez and hors d’oeuvres provided by Bourbon Street Seafood Kitchen. A panel of industry judges will choose the winner for top drink and guests will choose the People’s Choice cocktail. Tickets are $75 for general admission and $125 for VIP admission and are available online. This event will benefit the San Antonio River Foundation’s continuing efforts to bring dynamic contemporary art to the Museum and Mission Reaches for the public to enjoy.

Wyndham Garden Riverwalk – Museum Reach
103 9th St
San Antonio, TX 78215
(210) 515-4555


New release: ‘Bone Box’ by Faye Kellerman

‘Bone Box’ is the new mystery novel by Faye Kellerman. Photo: amazon

Faye Kellerman is an author of mystery novels with the most popular being the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series. Her stand-alone novels include “The Quality of Mercy,” “Moon Music” and “Straight Into Darkness” and overall her books have sold millions of copies worldwide. “Bone Box,” her newest Decker/Lazarus novel was released today and has Rina Lazarus making a shocking discovery in the woods of her upstate New York community.

According to Amazon, in “Bone Box,” Rina Decker is out for a walk when she stumbles upon human remains that were once buried deep beneath the forest. Her husband Peter, a former detective lieutenant with the LAPD who is now working for the local police is brought in to investigate the case. It turns out that the body had been buried for years and the evidence includes the skeleton of a young woman, a skull wound and long dark strands of hair surrounding the frame. The victim is identified as a missing student from the nearby college.  This leads Decker, his partner and Rina to investigate what turns out to be a series of gruesome, unsolved murders that point to a diabolical serial killer who has been hiding in plain sight for years. They are in a race to protect the community from a killer who is still in the area and in search of a new victim.

‘Rent’ rush: Special $25 tickets

The touring production of ‘Rent’ opens at the Majestic Theatre this Friday March 3, 2017.  Photo: Gayle McCracken, used with permission.

The 20th anniversary of ‘Rent’ comes to the Majestic Theatre this week starting on Friday and North Park Lexus Broadway in San Antonio has announced a special deal on tickets. On each performance day, twenty first row seats in the orchestra section will be available for $25. These tickets are available for in-person purchases at the Majestic Theatre box office located at 226 East Houston on the day of each performance only and two hours prior to the show. They are cash only tickets and are limited to two tickets per person. (North Park Lexus Broadway in San Antonio, 2017)

The tradition of the $25 tickets began in 1996 in New York when the show moved to Broadway after a sold out run in a small downtown theater. The producers of the show are committed to continuing the tradition of offering orchestra seats for $25 in each city the show will play. ‘Rent’ will play five performances from Friday March 3 through Sunday March 5, 2017 as part of the North Park Lexus Broadway in San Antonio season. Performances are at 7:30p.m. on Friday, 2p.m. and 8p.m. on Saturday and 2p.m. and 7:30p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available at the Majestic Theatre box office, online, through Ticketmaster online or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

The winner of the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical, it is a reimagining of Puccini’s La Bohème and follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven struggling artists in New York’s Lower East Side. With its universal themes of love and hardships it has become a pop culture phenomenon that appeals to people of all ages. Its message of joy and hope in the face of fear reminds people to measure their lives with love, which is the only thing that matters.

Majestic Theatre
224 E Houston St
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 226-5700

Mardi Gras Night at Jazz,TX

This Fat Tuesday, February 28, Jazz, TX will be having its first Mardi Gras celebration. Photo: Jazz, TX, used with permission.

Jazz, TX, the Pearl’s upscale jazz venue, is hosting its first Mardi Gras celebration on Fat Tuesday, February 28, 2017. There will be a special menu created by locally renowned guest chef John Russ previously from Luke and a special performance by Kyle Keener, Curtis Calderon and friends during happy hour from 5:30p.m. with no cover charge and Doc Watkins and friends from 8:30p.m. to 11:30p.m. with a $20 cover charge per guest. Guests will be able to enjoy specialty drinks such as a twist on the popular Hurricane and New Orleans menu items. Tickets are available online. (Jazz, TX, 2017)

Mardi Gras menu:
Finger-licking Good Y’all – marinated crab claws, broiled with parmesan
La Grande Vie – Gulf shrimp and celery root remoulade
Oysters en Brochette – wrapped in bacon, on buttered toast
Red Beans and Rice – fried quail tots, crystal
Crispy Rice Jambalaya – pulled pork, andouille, rice crispies
Popcorn Shrimp Po’ Boys – dressed or with buttered bread and pickles
King Cake – no babies

Jazz, TX
312 Pearl Pkwy, Building 6 Suite 6001
San Antonio, TX 78215
(210) 332-938

Theater review: ‘The Tempest’ at The Classic Theatre of San Antonio

Allan Ross as Prospero, Grace Lamberson as Miranda and Hunter Wulff as Ferdinand in ‘The Tempest.’ Courtesy photo, used with permission.

Last Friday William Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ opened successfully at The Classic Theatre to a sold out audience with a library-themed set and newly renovated seating. With the weekend here, there’s three more chances to see quality classic theater in San Antonio. Thought to be one of Shakespeare’s last and greatest work it is part fairy tale and part romance with a touch of magic.

The story takes place on a remote island where Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place as princess of Milan. Years later he develops magical powers and taking advantage that Antonio and his men are in a ship nearby he summons a storm that maroons them on the island. He is aided by Ariel, a spirit, and the slave Caliban, played by John Stillwaggon, last seen at The Classic Theatre in ‘Santaland Diaries.’

Allan S Ross stars as the mature and intelligent Prospero and seems right at home doing Shakespeare. Grace Lamberson is equally impressive as the young Miranda. This time around the male roles are cast as females and the ladies rock the roles. The highlight of the show are the funny scenes, especially those with Linda Ford as Trinculo and Rick Clyde as Stephano. Their drunken shenanigans had the audience roaring with laughter. The most memorable quote from the show is “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” Overall the cast and crew have done an excellent job in bring ‘The Tempest’ to the stage. It is a must see for classic theater fans and it does not disappoint.

‘The Tempest’ is now playing at The Classic Theatre of San Antonio through March 12, 2017. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8p.m. and Sundays at 3p.m. and tickets are available online or by calling the box office at (210) 589-8450

The Playhouse San Antonio’s new season announcement

‘All Is Calm’ returns to The Playhouse San Antonio as part of the 2017 – 2018 season. Photo: Daniel Baumer, used with permission.

Last week The Playhouse San Antonio announced their 2017-2018 season for The Russell Hill Rogers Theater and the Cellar Theater.

The Russell Hill Rogers Theater – The season starts with ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ from September 15 through October 15, 2017.   It is Victor Hugo’s touching story of love and acceptance recreated by an Academy Award winning team. ‘All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914’ returns to The Playhouse for the holiday season from November 24 through December 24, 2017. With musical arrangement by Erick Lichte and Timothy C Takach it is presented in collaboration with The Marcsmen and tells the story of an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music and peace told in the words and songs of the men who lived it. ‘Little Women’ starts off the year and opens on January 26 through February 18, 2018. It is based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott. This musical is filled with personal discovery, heartache, hope and everlasting love. ‘If/Then’ will play from March 16 through April 8, 2018. It is the story of Elizabeth and the consequences that occur when the carefully designed plans collide at the intersection of chance and choice. The popular musical ‘Mamma Mia!’ Ends the season and will play from July 6 through August 5, 2018. A mother, a daughter and three possible dads contribute to an unforgettable trip down the aisle with the music of ABBA as a backdrop.

Cellar Theatre – ‘Constellations’ starts off the season from October 27 through November 19, 2017. A romantic journey that begins with a simple encounter between a man and woman becomes an exploration of parallel universes. ‘A Bright New Boise’ will play from December 29 through January 21, 2018 and takes place in the bleak, corporate break room of a big box store in Idaho where someone is summoning The Rapture. It is where the thorny issues of faith, forgiveness and second chances are put on the table. ‘Wit’ will play from February 23 through March 11, 2018. It is the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and tells the story of Vivian Bearing, a professor of English, who after being diagnosed with a terminal illness looks back on her life and work. ‘Hand to God’ follows from April 13 through May 6, 2018. This ridiculously raunchy, irreverent and funny show revolves around a puppet who takes on a shocking personality all of its own. ‘Assassins’, which will play from June 8 through July 1 is the controversial musical about assassins who justify their actions with wit, humor and a sense of understanding.  Rounding out the season is ‘Aye, No!’ from August 10 through August 26 in collaboration with Teatro Audaz. It is set in a small border town as young Alicia comes home from college with a “friend” for her family to meet.

The Playhouse San Antonio
800 West Ashby Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
(210) 733-7258

Of Country and Culture exhibit at San Antonio Museum of Art

Of Country and Culture: The Lam Collection of Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art exhibit opens Friday February 24 at the San Antonio Museum of Art. Photo: San Antonio Museum of Art, used with permission.

This Friday February 24 the San Antonio Museum of Art will open its newest exhibit to the public. Titled Of Country and Culture: The Lam Collection of Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art this exhibit comes from a collection gifted to the Museum by longtime supporters May and Victor Lam. It is generously supported by the Robert J Kleberg, Jr and Helen C Kleberg Foundation, the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation and May and Victor Lam and will be on view through May 14, 2017. There is a $10 surcharge for this exhibit. (San Antonio Museum of Art, 2017)

Of Country and Culture includes approximately 75 works on view and it explores the contemporary application of Aboriginal artistic traditions. It features everything from sand paintings to body paintings and grave poles used as a way to connect cultural ties to land, heritage and visual communication. The Aboriginal people have inhabited Australia for thousands of years and are one of the earliest civilizations. Art has always played a significant role in their culture with the oldest surviving examples of Aboriginal art being  cave paintings and rock engravings that are 40,000 years old. They predate the cave paintings at Lascaux in present-day France and Altamira in present day Spain. The Lams’ enthusiasm for contemporary Aboriginal art began when they visited the Spirit Country exhibit at the Museum in 2000. Inspired by the works, May Lam and her daughter Dorothy traveled to Australia and during their trip they collected an impressive representation of contemporary indigenous art that ranges from the mid-1990s to 2007.

San Antonio Museum of Art
200 West Jones Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78215
(210) 978-8100

Book review: ‘Fearless and Free’ by Wendy Sachs

‘Fearless and Free’ is new the book by Wendy Sachs

Wendy Sachs is an Emmy-award winning TV producer and a former Capitol Hill press secretary, public relations executive, media and content strategist and CNN contributor. She often writes about work and life issues and women’s issues and has appeared in dozens of radio and TV shows. Her new book ‘Fearless and Free: How Smart Women Pivot – and Relaunch Their Careers’ was released on February 7, 2017. It is a career advice reference book about how women can redefine themselves and their careers regardless of age or experience.

‘Fearless and Free’ begins with an introduction by the author where she introduces herself and what she has learned from her numerous career pivots. The rest is divided into chapters such as ‘Strike a Pose and Feel the Power,’ ‘Congratulations, You’re Fired!’ and ‘Branding Is Not Bragging.’ The job market is always evolving and workers need to adapt if they are to succeed. Some of the practical advice the author gives includes the need for women to believe in themselves, think outside the box and take risks. Most importantly, they should not be too timid to brag about themselves and their skills and should take full advantage of networking. There is also advice for women who have taken time off, sometimes years off, to raise a family. She writes about how these women can translate those experiences into transferable job skills that will help them ease back into the workforce.

Even though it may be geared towards women, both men and women can benefit from this book. The subject matter and conversational tone makes it easy to read and understand. Knowing that even the author herself has struggled makes her relatable and her advice more believable. The subject of branding may be new for some but in this day of age of social media it is more relevant than ever. It is worth nothing that she has previously worked on Capitol Hill so her political connections do come to light. Overall ‘Fearless and Free’ is an excellent resource for career advice. It is recommended for readers looking to sharpen their skills and work ethics to meet the demands of an ever evolving job market.

*A copy of this book was given for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are solely the author’s.

Book review: ‘A Harvest of Thorns’ by Corban Addison

‘A Harvest of Thorns’ is the new novel by Corban Addison.Photo: amazon

Corban Addison is an attorney, activist, world traveler and author who supports numerous humanitarian causes including the abolition of modern slavery, gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS. This latest novel ‘A Harvest of Thorns’ was released in January which was also National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. It tells the story of a factory fire in Bangladesh and the picture of one of its young victims that unmasked the abuses and working conditions that factory workers face.

‘A Harvest of Thorns’ begins with the Prologue set in Bangladesh at the Millennium Fashions Factory where a fire breaks out and claims the lives of hundreds of workers, most of them women. Two of those victims are Nasima and her younger sister Sonia. Nasima dies but Sonia survives by jumping out of the building and over her mouth is a mask made from pants belonging to an American retailer, Presto Omnishops Corporation. When Cameron Alexander, one of Presto’s employees, finds out he sets out to investigate but when he takes his findings to his bosses they ignore him. He has no choice but to rely on Joshua Griswold, a disgraced former journalist from the Washington Post who takes the information and uses to launch an investigation of his own. What follows is a historic case against Presto in the courtroom and the media that Joshua sees as his redemption and Cameron hopes will ease his guilty social conscience.

It is both a courtroom drama and an eye-opening account of working conditions, the enslavement of workers and the abuses that women suffer overseas at these manufacturing factories. Even though it is a work of fiction it makes readers aware that conditions such as these still exist and that they should at least stop and consider where their clothes come from. In the author’s note at the end he lists ways in which conscientious consumers can get involved and make a difference. The subject matter is intriguing and the language and pace of the story makes it a quick and easy read. There is enough character development to make them relatable and helps readers empathize with their stories. ‘A Harvest of Thorns’ by Corban Addison is recommended for socially conscious readers who want to widen their knowledge of worker and human rights.

*A copy of this book was given for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are solely the author’s.

Movie adaptation: ‘Before I Fall’ by Lauren Oliver

The movie adaptation of ‘Before I Fall’ by Lauren Oliver is due out in movie theaters on Friday March 3, 2017. Photo: google

Lauren Oliver is The New York Times bestselling author of young adult novels including ‘Replica,’ ‘Vanishing Girls’ and the Delirium trilogy: ‘Delirium,’ ‘Pandemonium’ and ‘Requiem.’ Her middle-grade novel ‘Liesl & Po’ earned her a 2012 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award nomination. The 2010 stand-alone young adult novel ‘Before I Fall,’ about a young girl who keeps reliving the last day of her life, has been made into a movie and will be released on Friday March 3, 2017.   It stars Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Jennifer Beals and Diego Boneta.

According to Amazon, ‘Before I Fall’ is the story of seventeen year old Samantha ‘Sam’ Kingston who is killed in a car accident in her hometown of Ridgeview. It is written in first person narrative as Sam is forced to relive the day of the accident every day for a week. Because she is trying to figure out why this is happening to her she does things differently everyday hoping for a different outcome. Some of her actions seem out of character for her and surprise her family and friends. When she died she was the type of girl who seemed to have it all including popularity, a boyfriend and unfortunately the kind of social life that made life unbearable for outsiders and social misfits. The novel is a combination of Mean Girls and Groundhog Day that has Sam trying to solve the mystery behind her death and discovering the true value of everything she is in danger of losing. At the end the Sam who inevitably accepts her fate is vastly different than the girl at the beginning of the book.