New release: ‘Sleeping Beauties’ by Stephen King and Owen King

‘Sleeping Beauties: A Novel’ is the new release from the father and son collaboration team of Stephen King and Owen King.

Now on sale is the new Stephen King book co-written with his son author Owen King. Owen King is the author of the novel “Double Feature” and “We’re All in This Together: A Novella and Stories.” He is the coauthor of “Intro to Alien Invasion” and the coeditor of “Who Can Save Us Now? Brand-New Superheroes and Their Amazing (Short) Stories.” In “Sleeping Beauties: A Novel,” they tell the highest of high stakes stories of what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men.

According to Wikipedia, “Sleeping Beauties” revolves around Clint and Lila Norcross, a husband and wife who live in Dooling, West Virginia. It is a small Appalachian town where Clint works as a psychiatrist at the local women’s prison and Lila is the town sheriff. There is a strange epidemic going around town that causes women to fall into a deep sleep and become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. While asleep, they go to another place, a better place, where harmony prevails and conflict is rare. If anyone tries to awaken them or open the cocoon, the women become violent and homicidal. One woman called “Eve Black” is immune to this sleeping disease. Some call her a medical anomaly to be studied while others consider her a demon to be slain. With the men suddenly on their own, they divide into warring factors and turn to violence in an all-male society.

Stephen King is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies and many of them have been adapted into feature films, miniseries, television shows and comic books. He is best known for “Carrie,” “It,” “The Green Mile” and the Dark Tower series.


‘Behind the Screen: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas’ at the McNay

‘Behind the Screen: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas’ opens at the McNay Art Museum on Thursday September 28 and will be on display through Sunday December 31, 2017. Photo: McNay Art Museum, used with permission.

This week the McNay Art Museum is unveiling an exhibit that is both scary and heartwarming. Behind the Screen: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas returns to the McNay for the first time since 2013 and features puppets and set pieces filmed for the 1993 cult classic stop-animation movie that has delighted generations of Halloween and Christmas fans around the world. It will be on display in the main Theatre Arts gallery and the puppets and pieces will be staged more theatrically to help take visitors on a journey. The exhibit opens on Thursday September 28 and will be on display through Sunday December 31. (McNay Art Museum, 2017)

San Antonio native Robert LB Tobin acquired the pieces from a Southeby’s auction in New York City two months after the movie opened in theaters. The movie tells the story of Jack Skellington, King of Halloween Town and his heartfelt yet misguided attempt to take the place of Santa Claus in Christmas Town. It became a surprise hit and has evolved into a holiday movie-watching tradition from Halloween through New Year’s Day. The exhibit will give visitors a rare opportunity to discover how camera crews shot 24 stills for each second of film. The trick-or-treating Lock, Shock, and Barrel have removable heads for different expressions. Holes in the Clubhouse floor indicate the positions of the bathtub that carries the three on a mission to kidnap “Sandy Claws.” Puppets of Jack Skellington, his faithful ghost dog Zero, and his Halloween Town rival Oogie Boogie also are among the collection.

Two other McNay exhibitions with similar themes complement this exhibit. One is Stage Frights, Madness, Monsters, Mayhem which will be on display from Thursday September 28 through Sunday December 31 and features scene and costume designs for plays, operas, and ballets by writers and composers from Shakespeare to Lorca to Anne Rice’s adaptations and from Wagner to Stravinsky to Scott Joplin. Drawing on diverse folklore traditions and popular-culture forms, scene and costume designs entice both adults and children to explore the dark side of their imaginations and the world. The other consists of two large murals by renowned muralist and Blue Star Contemporary’s Artist-in-Residence Alex Rubio with a Dia de los Muertos theme.

McNay Art Museum
6000 N New Braunfels Ave
San Antonio, TX 78209
(210) 824-5368

Tickets now on sale for ‘Irving Berlin’s White Christmas’ at the Majestic

Tickets are now on sale for ‘Irving Berlin’s White Christmas’ coming to the Majestic Theatre in December.

The holiday season is almost here and it is time to start making plans. Celebrate the season with ‘Irving Berlin’s White Christmas’ when it plays at the Majestic Theatre in December.  The stage adaptation of the beloved classic film is coming to San Antonio as part of the North Park Lexus Broadway In San Antonio season. This family friendly production will play for eight performances from Tuesday December 12 to Sunday December 17. Show times are 7:30p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 8p.m.  Friday, 2p.m. and 8p.m. Saturday and 2p.m. and 7:30p.m. Sunday. Tickets are now on sale and prices begin at $30. They are available online, at the box office, through Ticketmaster online or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Box office hours are 10a.m. to 5p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday hours vary. Orders for groups of ten or more may be placed by phone at (210) 226-5967. (North Park Lexus Broadway in San Antonio, 2017)

‘Irving Berlin’s White Christmas’ tells the story of two show business friends who start out putting on a show in a picturesque Vermont inn and end up finding their perfect mates. It is full of dancing, romance and laughter and includes some of the greatest songs ever written. These include “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” “Happy Holiday,” “Sisters,” “Blue Skies,” and the unforgettable title song. Music and Lyrics are by Irving Berlin with Book by David Ives and Paul Blake and is based on the Paramount Pictures film written for the screen by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama and Melvin Frank.

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

Theater review: ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ at The Classic Theatre

‘You Can’t Take It With You’ is now playing at The Classic Theatre. Photo: Siggi Ragnar, used with permission.

Now playing at The Classic Theatre of San Antonio is the comedic play ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ by George S Kaufman and Moss Hart. It is directed by Mark Stringham and stars Andy Thornton, Catherine Babbitt, Jim Mammarella, Christi Eanes, Byrd Bonner, Allan S. Ross, Randee Lutterloh and Megan VanDyke. This is the final weekend to catch this hilarious production as it runs until Sunday October 1 with show times on Friday and Saturday at 8p.m. and Sunday at 3p.m. Tickets are $32 for general admission and $28 for senior, military, educator and SATCO and $17 for student. They are available online or by calling the box office at (210) 589-8450.

‘You Can’t Take It With You’ is set in New York City in the large house of the Sycamore family and the story unfolds in three acts. The family consists of the patriarch, Grandpa Vanderhof, an eccentric old man who keeps snakes as pets and has never paid his income tax. His daughter Penny spends most of her day writing a series of unfinished plays. She is married to Paul who makes fireworks in the basement with the help of Mr. De Pinna, a delivery man who showed up one day and never left. Essie is one of Penny and Paul’s daughter. She is a candy maker who has always dreamed of being a ballerina and spends most of her days pirouetting and pliéing around the house. Her husband Ed is an amateur printer and plays the xylophone. Alice is the other daughter and the only ‘normal’ member of the family. She loves her family but is sometimes embarrassed by their eccentricities.

Alice comes home from work one day and announces that she is dating Tony, a young man she met at work. She plans to invite them over for dinner and the family promises to be in their best behavior. This would not be the crazy play it is if things went as expected and it does not. The madness includes a tax collector, a Russian ballet instructor, a Russian grand duchess and an accident with the beforementioned fireworks. Rheba, the housekeeper and her boyfriend Donald try to keep things from getting out of control but get caught in the middle.

Some of the best plays have universal themes that become timeless and resonate with any audience. Such is the case with ‘You Can’t Take It With You.’ No matter how hard the Sycamores try to act ‘normal,’ Tony’s wealthy and uppity parents meet them with resistance. The cast is big but they all work together to make the action flow seamlessly and there is always someone coming or going. Because the venue is small and intimate, some of the scenes can be overwhelming when there is too much going on onstage. Andrew Thornton is perfect as Paul Sycamore and John O’Neill’s portrayal of Mr. De Pinna is spot on. Overall, it is a must see show filled with humor and a few life lessons mixed in.

Theater review: ‘The Bodyguard’ at the Majestic Theatre

The Bodyguard
‘The Bodyguard’ is playing at the Majestic Theatre until Sunday September 24, 2017.  Photo: North Park Lexus Broadway in San Antonio, used with permission.

Now playing at the Majestic Theatre is the stage adaptation of the 1992 Oscar-nominated Warner Bros. film. It is adapted by Academy Award-winner Alexander Dinelaris and tells the story of former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard Frank Farmer who is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge but what they do not expect is to fall in love. Grammy® Award-nominated and multi-platinum R&B and pop recording artist Deborah Cox stars as Rachel Marron and television star Judson Mills stars as bodyguard Frank Farmer. There are still three chances to catch the hit musical with show times at 8p.m. on Saturday and 2p.m. and 8p.m. on Sunday. Ticket prices begin at $35 and are available online, at the box office, through Ticketmaster online or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

The first scene introduces audiences to superstar Rachel Marron and her music as she performs ‘Queen of the Night’ all the while unaware of the threat she faces from a stalker. Her manager hires Frank Farmer, a former Secret Service Agent to protect her and upgrade the security protocols. This version changes the focus of the story from the bodyguard to Rachel Marron. She collaborates with her sister Nikki on a new song, ‘Greatest Love of All’ and insists on performing her music as usual until she has a close call with the stalker while performing at the Mayan. From there they take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe but when Rachel performs at the Oscars, Frank gets injured trying to protect her. Eventually they go their separate ways as he takes another job and she continues with her tour, ‘I Will Always Love You.’

With more than a dozen songs in the production, ‘The Bodyguard’ is more of a Whitney Houston tribute than a Broadway musical. It appeals to her fans and has a nostalgic feel from the first song to the iconic final performance of ‘I Will Always Love You.’ It is considered a romantic thriller but has occasional funny moments. Show highlights include Rachel’s concert-like performances and the hilarious karaoke scenes with the drunken college girls attempting to sing ‘Where Do Broken Hearts Go’ and Frank’s failed attempt at karaoke. It features such classic songs as ‘So Emotional,’ ‘One Moment in Time,’ ‘Saving All My Love,’ ‘Run to You’, ‘I Have Nothing’ and ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody.’ A word about the curtain call: give Stefan Raulston, who plays the assassin, a break. He is only playing a role. On opening night, he was booed when he took his bow.

Theater review: ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’

‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ is now playing at the Playhouse San Antonio. Photo: Daniel D Baumer, used with permission.

After a successful opening weekend, the Texas premiere of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ continues at the Playhouse San Antonio in the Russell Hill Rogers Theater. Based on the book of the same name by Victor Hugo, it has music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Peter Parnell and tells the story of Quasimodo, the misshapen but gentle-souled bell ringer of Notre Dame. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30p.m. and Sunday at 2p.m. and it runs until Sunday October 15. Ticket prices range from $15 to $35 and are available online.

The somber mood is set from the beginning as the choir and the congregation march into the dimly lit church. Quasimodo is content with his life in the tower since Frollo has convinced him he will be an outcast because of his looks if goes outside. Yet he dreams of venturing out and when curiosity gets the best of him he goes exploring, ‘Out There.’ While taking in the sights at the local festival, ‘Rhythm of the Tambourine’ he meets and befriends a young gypsy dancer named Esmeralda who teaches him the true meaning of friendship and acceptance. The cast includes Bob Galindo as the mean-spirited Claude Frollo, Nick Szoeke as the loveable Quasimodo, Travis Trevino as Jehan, Frollo’s brother and Alyssa Lopez as the gypsy Esmeralda.

There is so much more to this version of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ than the happy-go-lucky Disney version most people have come to know. Despite lighter numbers like ‘Rhythm of the Tambourine’ when the audience is introduced to Esmeralda and the rest of the gypsies, and sporadic comic relief, the themes and subject matter are serious. Bob Galindo is excellent as Frollo, especially during ‘Hellfire’ when he begs to be delivered from damnation. Nick Szoeke expertly brings the role of Quasimodo to life onstage. Some of the highlights of the show include when Esmeralda and Quasimodo are admiring the view from the top of the tower, ‘Top of the World’ and when Quasimodo pours molten lead onto the streets. The cast and crew have done an admirable job in bringing this incredible production to San Antonio audiences. From the incredible voices and acting to the sets and costumes, this professional grade production is not to be missed

Whataburger’s SA Goes Orange Fundraiser

Whataburger is partnering with the San Antonio Food Bank for the eight annual SA Goes Orange campaign.  Photo: Whataburger, used with permission.

September is Hunger Action Month, a campaign designed to get the public mobilized to combat hunger. The month is dedicated to spreading the word and working together to find solutions. Whataburger has partnered with the San Antonio Food Bank for the eight annual SA Goes Orange campaign to encourage the San Antonio community to get involved. This year the San Antonio Food Bank has expanded their services to support Hurricane Harvey victims in the surrounding area. During these difficult times, food banks are on the front line providing relief to families in need by making sure that monetary donations, food and supplies are distributed to those in need. (Whataburger, 2017)

As a sponsor, Whataburger contributed a $25,000 cash donation and is hosting a customer fundraising event. From now until Tuesday September 26, customers who visit any Bexar County Whataburger and donate at least $1 will receive a thank you coupon for a free Whataburger with the purchase of a medium fry and 32-ounce drink on their next visit Throughout the month, 100 Whataburger employees will sort and pack donations at the Food Bank for families and disaster relief efforts. During the first Volunteer Day on September 16 they packed a total of 36,000 pounds of food and 1,200 boxes for seniors. The next one is set for Saturday September 23. Whataburger customers can help by purchasing a Texas t-shirt since the company is donating 100% of the net proceeds from these sales to support the Houston Food Bank and the Coastal Bend Food Bank’s recovery efforts. Texas t-shirts can be purchased online.

Whataburger has been making burgers since 1950 when Harman Dobson opened a humble hamburger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas. He wanted customers to take one bite and say, “What a burger” so he named his stand on Ayers St “Whataburger.” Since then Whataburger now has over 700 locations across the country and continues to deliver fresh, made to order meals everyday with superior customer service. Community support includes charitable giving and volunteerism to nonprofit organizations that focus on children’s charities, cancer research, hunger assistance, disaster relief and military support.

Art to the Power of Ten at McNay Art Museum

Art to the Power of Ten is taking place this Friday September 22 at the McNay Art Museum. Photo: McNay Art Museum, used with permission.

Coming up at the McNay Art Museum this Friday September 22 from 6:30p.m. to 9:30p.m. is the seventh annual Art to the Power of Ten (Plus One) event that features eleven art dealers and venues. It is hosted by the McNay Contemporary Collectors Forum and there will be paintings, sculptures, photographs and prints available for purchase. As a bonus, this year’s event will also highlight a roster of celebrity “guest curators” who will select their favorite works from among the gallery offerings. Guests will be able to enjoy live music, appetizers and specialty cocktails from Bohanan’s Prime Steak and Seafood, Peggy’s on the Green and the San Antonio Cocktail Conference. Tickets are $50 in advance online and $65 at the door. All proceeds to benefit the McNay’s acquisition fund for contemporary art. (McNay Art Museum, 2017)

Participating galleries and celebrity guest curators:

  • ANARTE GALLERY – selections by Dr. Vivian Bucay
  • BLUE STAR’s MOSAIC Student Artist Program – selections by Ted Flato
  • CINNABAR- selections by Dr. William Chiego
  • FREIGHT GALLERY & STUDIOS – selections by Bill Sibley
  • THE GRELLER GALLERY – selections by Mayor Ron Nirenberg
  • ICOSA – selections by Emily Ramshaw, guests from Austin
  • PARCHMAN STREMMEL GALLERIES – selections by Brent Barry
  • PRESA HOUSE GALLERY – selections by Dr. Danny Anderson
  • REVENANT GALLERY – selections by Jesse Borrego
  • RUIZ-HEALY ART – selections by Rick Casey and Elizabeth Chambers
  • SAY SÍ –  selections by Dr. Coleen Grissom

McNay Art Museum
6000 N New Braunfels Ave
San Antonio, TX 78209
(210) 824-5368

‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ at The Playhouse San Antonio

‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ opens at The Playhouse San Antonio on Friday September 15, 2017. Photo: Daniel D Baumer, used with permission.

The Playhouse San Antonio kicks off the new season this week with the Texas premiere of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame.’ It opens on Friday September 15 and will run through Sunday October 15 in the Russell Hill Rogers Theater. Based on the 1831 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo, it has music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Peter Parnell and tells the story of Quasimodo, the misshapen but gentle-souled bell ringer of Notre Dame. It is directed by George Green with Darrin Newhardt as music director and Courtnie Mercer as choreographer. The cast includes Bob Galindo as Claude Frollo, Nick Szoeke as Quasimodo, Travis Trevino as Jehan and Alyssa Lopez as Esmeralda. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30p.m. and Sunday at 2p.m. Ticket prices range from $15 to $35 and are available online. (The Playhouse San Antonio, 2017)

‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ is set in Paris, France in the Late Middle Ages during the reign of Louis XI. An elderly gypsy beggar narrates the story of Quasimodo which begins with two orphan brothers named Claude and Jehan. They are taken in by the Notre Dame cathedral and Claude eventually becomes the Archdeacon. He takes in Jehan’s deformed child and names him Quasimodo. Twenty years later, Quasimodo becomes a kind, but isolated young man who dreams of life outside the tower. His only companions are a trio of living gargoyles named Charles, Antoine and Lori. When he decides to venture out for a day, he meets a young gypsy dancer named Esmeralda who teaches him about true friendship and acceptance.

The Playhouse San Antonio
Russell Hill Rogers Theater
800 W Ashby Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
(210) 733-7258

Theater review: ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ at the Woodlawn Theatre

‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ is now playing at the Woodlawn Theatre through Sunday September 17.  Photo by Siggi Ragnar, used with permission.

The Woodlawn Theatre’s ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ had a challenging opening weekend due to Hurricane Harvey but those who braved the elements were rewarded with a hilarious workplace themed production. The Frank Loesser musical is a satire of big business and office politics and is based on Shepherd Mead’s 1952 book of the same name. There are still three chances to catch the show on Friday and Saturday at 7:30p.m. and Sunday at 3p.m. This being the final weekend, guests can take advantage of special pricing on tickets. By using the promo code WICKET, they can receive $10 off all ticket types as follows: Adult – $19, Senior/Military – $14, Child/Student – $8. This does not include service fees. Tickets are available online.

It begins with a young window washer, J Pierrepont Finch, who is reading the book “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” as he is working. After the Book Voice tells him that the only way to get ahead is to follow the book’s advice, he enters the World Wide Wicket Company looking for a job and he is hired to work in the mailroom. There he meets an ambitious young secretary named Rosemary who is instantly smitten by him, “Happy To Keep His Dinner Warm.” He also has to work alongside the boss’ lazy and arrogant nephew who constantly reminds the other employees of his status in the company. With the book’s guidance, he works his way up to Chairman of the Board, he gets the girl and the staff becomes like family.

The Woodlawn Theatre scores another hit with ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.’ The retro look is straight out of Mad Men but the workplace shenanigans are timeless. Anyone who has ever worked in an office can relate to the office gossiping and backstabbing, the overly ambitious co-workers and the office parties. The unifying force is coffee as the fatigued office staff rushes to get their fix during “Coffee Break.” With social commentaries such as office politics and sexual harassment, “A Secretary Is Not A Toy” it remains as relevant as ever. Brian Hodges is outstanding as the ambitious Finch and Mark McCarver’s portrayal of the seedy and creepy Bud is right on target. With the right combination of humor and romance, there is something for everyone and is a must-see show.