Hotel Emma’s Salvation Army benefit kicks off with concert on Saturday

Hotel Emma will host a holiday concert this Saturday to kick off the season. Photo: Nick Simonite, used with permission. 

Hotel Emma is thrilled and honored to continue their annual Salvation Army benefit this holiday season from December 14 through December 22. To kick off the holiday season and give a special preview of the upcoming caroling, Hotel Emma will host a concert on Saturday, December 1 from 3p.m. to 5p.m. in the Pearl Amphitheatre. The community of San Antonio is invited to sing along with local 12-year old musician Marisa Rose Mejia and additional holiday performances including the Children’s Choir. Santa will be available for photo opportunities and guests will be able to enjoy complimentary cookies and hot chocolate during the performance. The presentation is free and open to the public. (Hotel Emma, 2018)

Chordsmen will perform in Supper for guests’ enjoyment from December 14 through December 22 from 11a.m. to 2p.m. Reservations for Supper are encouraged and can be made by calling (210) 448-8351. Donations can be made to the Salvation Army kettles in Supper and in the hotel lobby area. Hotel Emma will be matching all donations received up to $5,000.

Holiday Performance:
Pearl Amphitheatre
303 Pearl Pkwy
San Antonio, TX 78215

Carolers at Supper:
Supper at Hotel Emma
136 E Grayson St
San Antonio, TX 78215


‘Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley’ at The Classic Theatre

Alyx Gonzales and Hunter Wulff in ‘Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley’ at The Classic Theatre. Photo: Siggi Ragnar, used with permission. 

Just in time for the holiday season, the next production at The Classic Theatre of San Antonio, ‘Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley,’ opens on Friday November 30. This San Antonio premiere is based on the characters from Jane Austen’s beloved novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and is written by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon and directed by Kelly Roush. It runs from Friday November 30 through Sunday December 23. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 8p.m. and Sunday at 3p.m. Tickets are available online and at the box office and are $33 for general admission, $29 for senior, military, educator or SATCO and $18 for student.  ID is required. On opening night, there will be a complimentary champagne reception after the show. (The Classic Theatre, 2018)

‘Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley’ takes place two years after the conclusion of Jane Austen’s beloved novel ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ where the bookish, oft-neglected middle sister, Mary Bennet becomes the center of this holiday story. When the shy, bookworm Arthur de Bourgh turns up unexpectedly at the family celebration, Mary must learn to be the heroine of her own story in order to receive the romance she longs for.

Special Student Performances – Thursday December 6 at 7p.m.

The Classic Theatre of San Antonio
1924 Fredericksburg Rd
San Antonio, TX 78201
(210) 589-8450

Tickets to ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ go on sale Friday

Tickets to ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ go on sale this Friday November 30.  Photo: Joan Marcus, used with permission. 

North Part Lexus Broadway in San Antonio is proud to present the San Antonio engagement of the Tony Award®-nominated Broadway revival of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ at the Majestic Theatre. It will play for eight performances from Tuesday March 26 through Sunday March 31, 2019. Tickets go on sale this Friday November 30 at 10a.m. Showtimes are 7:30p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 8p.m. on Friday, 2p.m. and 8p.m. Saturday and 2p.m. and 7:30p.m. on Sunday. Tickets start at $40 and are available by Ticketmaster online, by calling (800) 982-2787 or by visiting the Majestic Box Office. The Majestic Box Office does not accept single ticket orders over the phone; all ticket sales must be made in person. Majestic Box Office hours are 10a.m. to 5p.m. Monday through Friday. Orders for groups of 10 or more may be placed by calling (210) 226-5967. (Broadway in San Antonio, 2018)

‘Fiddler on the Roof’ is the heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives and life, love and laughter. This classic musical is rich with Broadway hits including “To Life (L’Chaim!),” “If I Were A Rich Man,” “Sunrise Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “Tradition.” A beloved theatrical classic from Tony Award-winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer Prize- winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ is directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, The King and I); choreographed by the acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter; inspired by the original choreography of Jerome Robbins; and has musical direction by Ted Sperling. The show won the 1965 Tony Award for Best Musical in addition to eight other Tony Awards that year. This acclaimed revival proudly introduces a new generation to the iconic musical adored across the globe.

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

‘Annie’ now at the Woodlawn Theatre

‘Annie’ plays at the Woodlawn Theatre through Sunday December 23. Courtesy photo, used with permission. 

After a successful opening weekend, the Tony-Award winning musical ‘Annie’ continues at the Woodlawn Theatre. This family friendly musical centers around little orphan Annie, a spunky orphan who must endure life at an orphanage headed by the despicable Miss Hannigan. It runs until Sunday December 23 with showtimes every Friday and Saturday at 7:30p.m. and Sunday at 3p.m. Tickets prices are $30 for adults, $24 for senior/military/first responders, $18 for children/students and groups of ten or more receive a 20% discount. They are available online or by calling the box office at (210) 267-8388. (Woodlawn Theatre, 2018)

‘Annie’ is based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Thomas Meehan. It is set in New York City’s depression era of the 1930s. After enduring a life of misery at the orphanage, her luck begins to change when she is chosen to spend a fairytale Christmas at the home of wealthy businessman Oliver Warbucks. Meanwhile, spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her true family. After winning the hearts of the household staff, Mr. Warbucks and Grace Farrell, his personal secretary, she finds a new home complete with the loveable mutt Sandy. Among the most popular musical numbers are ‘Tomorrow,’ ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’ and ‘You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.’

Cast includes Maya Abelow and Alex Phillips as Annie, Roy Bumgarner as Warbucks, Nora Martinez as Grace Farrell, Melissa Gonzalez as Miss Hannigan and Jake as Sandy. Christopher Rodriguez serves as Director, Carla Sankey as Choreographer and Jane Haas as Music Director.

Promotional Nights:
Family Pride Night – Saturday December 1
ASL Night – Friday December 7
Student Night – Friday December 14
Education Night (sold out) – Friday December 21

Woodlawn Theatre
1920 Fredericksburg Rd
San Antonio, TX 78201
(210) 267-8388

Grinch brunch and reading at SweetFire Kitchen

Join the Grinch at SweetFire Kitchen at La Cantera for brunch and a reading of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Courtesy photo, used with permission.

Welcome to Whoville! Join Grinch for a Brunch Feast at SweetFire Kitchen at La Cantera Resort & Spa, Saturday, December 1 from 10a.m. to 3p.m. Grinch will read “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” to the children by the Christmas Tree on Plaza San Saba, just off the patio at SweetFire Kitchen at 11a.m., 1p.m. and 3p.m. Brunch seating will be from 10a.m. to 3p.m. Feast menu includes Roast Beast; Who Hash; Grinch Greens; Cindy Lu Salad; Who Pudding; Grinch Bread, Whoville Feast treats, Grinch juice and so much more. The Grinch will make his rounds, stopping by the tables to pose for photos.(SweetFire Kitchen, 2018)

Tickets are $75 for adults and $30 for children. Five dollars from every ticket sold will benefit the San Antonio Library Foundation. To make a reservation please call 210-558-2479.

SweetFire Kitchen
La Cantera Resort & Spa
16641 La Cantera Parkway
San Antonio, TX  78256
(210) 558-6500

Book review: ‘Temptation Rag’ by Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard

temptationragElizabeth Hutchison Bernard is an award-winning author of historical fiction but her first love was music. As a vocalist, flutist and songwriter, she toured for nearly a decade. She was a Communications graduate of Northwestern University and in 1997 became the Communications Director for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Her in-depth knowledge of plastic surgery lends a unique perspective to her first historical novel, ‘The Beauty Doctor,’ and music takes center stage in her upcoming book, ‘Temptation Rag,’ both set in turn-of-the-century rag-time era New York City. ‘Temptation Rag’ is scheduled for release on Monday December 3 and centers around seventeen-year old May Convery, who is unhappy with her privileged life and dreams of becoming a poet.

The story in ‘Temptation Rag’ begins with May, who as a young girl, meets Mike Bernard, a talented young aspiring pianist and immediately falls in love. He is her piano instructor but their lives cross paths during parties and concerts. When their secret marriage is discovered, it is annulled and they both go their separate ways. As the years pass, their stories are told simultaneously as Mike abandons serious music to defend his title of Ragtime King of the World and May struggles to find her voice as an artist and a woman. The book is separated into four acts and each begins with a chapter told from the view of Ben Harney’s sideman, Strap Hill. They are as follows: Act I (1895-1896), Act II (1900), Act III (1912-1913) and Act IV (1928-1929). In the Curtain Call set in August 1943, Mike’s son Bert Bernard meets the brother he never knew he had; Melvin Livingstone, who is his May and Mike’s son.

In the Author’s Note, Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard explains how this historical novel is based on historical facts but that while some characters are real, like Mike Bernard, Ben Harney and Tony Pastor, some of the characters are fictional. Fans of the genre will be thrilled to find out that the author’s husband’s grandfather is the real Mike Bernard, the American musician who influence the development of ragtime-era music. Even though May and Mike’s story is a complicated romance that spans decades, the history taking place in the background, including vaudeville stars, early African American musical theatre actors and actresses and the woman’s suffrage movement is the gem of the novel. Especially gripping is the chapter titled ‘The Parade’ in Act III which is set in Washington DC in March 1913 during a suffragette march where May and other women are arrested. May’s character is relatable because it realistically describes a women’s never-ending search for her identity, especially in that era. ‘Temptation Rag’ is a gripping page-turner that has romance, history and music and is recommended for readers who appreciate a smart retelling of history through multiple points of view. It might even introduce some readers to the joyful sounds of ragtime.

“May wiped away an errant tear before it could leave its trail on her cheek. She felt light, giddy. It seemed the secrets that had weighed her down for decades also had the power to set her free.”

*The author received a copy of this book for an honest review. The views and opinions expressed here belong solely to her.

Book review: ‘The Golden Sequence’ by Jonni Pollard

‘The Golden Sequence: A Manual for Reclaiming Our Humanity’ is Jonni Pollard’s exciting new book on finding true purpose and responsibility. Courtesy photo, used with permission.

Jonni Pollard is best known for bringing meditation to the mainstream through his organization 1 Giant Mind and its Learn to Meditate smartphone apps which have taught hundreds of thousands of people worldwide how to meditate for free. He leads mass meditations at some of the world’s biggest lifestyle events and festivals like Wanderlust, Lightning in a Bottle and The Big Quiet and also teaches private meditation and personal development for entrepreneurs, CEOs, celebrities, political leaders and wellness experts across yoga and meditation. His first book ‘The Golden Sequence: A Manual for Reclaiming Our Humanity’ was released this month and in it, Jonni Pollard presents a powerful case that the current global crisis is rooted in people’s disconnection from their true purpose and responsibility to belong.

At one time, Jonni Pollard was struggling to make sense of the world and find true purpose until a master teacher in India introduced him to ancient Vedic practices. This changed his life forever because the anxiety he felt for years was replaced with a deep sense of purpose and fulfillment. As a meditation teacher, his mission is to share the knowledge and techniques he learned to help others reclaim their power to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. According to him, the best way to accomplish this is through what he calls ‘The Golden Sequence.’ “The Golden Sequence teaching, when practiced diligently, rapidly awakens the creative intelligence that flows from within us when we are connected to the sacredness of life.” This book begins with an Introduction where the author introduces himself, his background and how he got to his current state. Chapters include The Heart of Our Crisis, The Wisdom in Our Bodies, The Four Golden Insights, The Twelve Ways of Wisdom, The Greatest Threat to Fulfillment, The Golden Sequence Technique and How Can I Be of Service in This Moment.

‘The Golden Sequence’ is more than just a how-to book on meditation and new age concepts; it is a manual for these troubled times and gives much needed advice on being human, kind and benevolent. It expands on the basic definitions of pity, compassion and love, the most impactful being ‘love’ as “…carrying the loving intention to do no harm to others and to be of loving service whenever possible by supporting and encouraging each other.” Chapter 7: The Twelve Ways of Wisdom stands out because it touches on ideas like Devotion and Grace with a section for each and at the end has a practical exercise on how apply them. Chapter 11: How Can I Be of Service in This Moment is a practical reference guide for daily tips such as seeing failures as opportunities to grow and making a connection with at least one person every day. With easy to understand terms and language, ‘The Golden Sequence’ is recommended for readers interested in self-improvement and who are genuinely concerned with making a difference not only in themselves, but in others and the world around them.

“Where there is love, there is wisdom. Where there is wisdom there is the ability to find a light side of ourselves and every situation.”

*The author received a copy of this book for an honest review. The views and opinions expressed here belong solely to her.

‘All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914’ at The Public Theater of San Antonio

‘All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914’ will be playing at The Public Theater of San Antonio from November 23 through December 23. Photo: Siggi Ragnar, used with permission. 

A new holiday tradition returns to The Public Theater of San Antonio with opening night of ‘All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914’ on Friday November 23. It will play in the Russell Hill Rogers Theater until Sunday December 23 and has George Green as Director, Zachariah Baker as Music Director and Courtnie Mercer as Choreographer. It stars Zachariah Baker, Chaz Ingraham, David Nanny, Robby Vance, Travis Trevino, Robert Nauman, Gavin Rohrer, Aaron Ely, Eric Dean Buchaus, John Towry, Miguel Ochoa and Trey Hoadley. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30p.m. and Sundays at 2p.m. Tickets are available online or by calling the box office at (210) 733-7258. Prices are $30 for Adults, $25 for Military members with ID, $25 for Seniors age 60 and older and $25 for Students with ID. Group rates are available for ten or more guests. (The Public Theater of San Antonio, 2018)

‘All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914’ by Peter Rothstein has musical arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C Takach. It is set in 1914, at the Western Front, where out of the violence comes a silence, then a song. When a German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing “Stille Nacht” it brings about a night of camaraderie, music and peace. A remarkable true experience, it is told in the words and songs of the men who lived it. This acapella musical highlights the beauty and power of the human spirit during the darkest of days.

Special Event Nights:
Opening Night with post show reception to follow – Friday November 23
Education Night – Thursday December 6
Food Truck Friday – Friday December 7
Special Marcsmen performance following show – Friday and Saturday December 14 and 15

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

November activities at Horseshoe Bay Resort

Horseshoe Bay Resort has a number of activities planned for the holiday season. Photo: Horseshoe Bay Resort, used with permission. 

Horseshoe Bay Resort is at the forefront of Texas’ luxury travel destinations, named by Condé Nast Traveller as one of the ‘Top Resorts in Texas and The Southwest.’ Just a short 90-minute drive from San Antonio, it features a variety of lakeside activities, kid-friendly amenities and dining outlets with spectacular views of Lake Lyndon B. Johnson, Horseshoe Bay Resort is the perfect place to cozy up for the holiday season and enjoy seasonal programming like a complimentary shuttle to the Marble Falls Walkway of Lights, Winter Wonderland, New Year’s Eve activities and more. (Horseshoe Bay Resort, 2018)

Upcoming events for November:
Thursday November 22 through Saturday November 24
• 6p.m. to 7p.m. – Marble Falls Walkway of Lights – watch more than two million lights transform Marble Falls Lakeside Park into a Winter Wonderland. Complimentary shuttles are available for overnight guests and club members.

Saturday, November 24
• 5p.m. to 9p.m. – Candy Cane Course – guests can enjoy a round of putting at the Whitewater Putting Course while surrounded by beautiful scenery decorated in holiday cheer. Regular rates apply.

• 6:30p.m. to 8p.m. – Letters to Santa – guests can take a memorable holiday photo and let the little ones hand deliver their letters to Santa. Enjoy a complimentary laser light show and candy cane s’mores.

Horseshoe Bay Resort’s everyday activities for November:
• 9a.m. to 5p.m. – Creative Play – at the Jungle Kid’s Club, children can create crafts including slime, suncatchers, dream catchers, mini-pumpkin decorating, edible crafts and more. Cost is $15 per child and all children must be accompanied by an adult.

• 11a.m. to 12p.m. – Birds of the Bay – guests can take a memorable photo with the exotic birds on property. A staff member will be on-site to share interesting bird facts.

• 11a.m. to 12p.m. – Tortoise connection – mingle with the tortoises on-property as guests learn unique facts. Guests may feed the tortoises a snack and take a picture to commemorate the occasion.

Horseshoe Bay Resort
200 Hi Circle North
Horseshoe Bay, TX 78657
(877) 611-0112

North Star Mall cowboy boots light up for the holidays

North Star Mall’s cowboy boots will light up starting Thursday November 22. Photo: North Star Mall, used with permission.

The world’s largest cowboy boots at North Star Mall will light up after sunset on Thursday, November 22 as a beacon for the holidays. The glow from 8,000 red and white LED lights that adorn North Star’s 35-feet tall Cowboy Boots during the holidays serve as a guiding light for Santa Claus and officially symbolizes the beginning of the holiday season. The boots will glow nightly from 5:45p.m. to 7a.m., November 22 through December 31. The Boots are located at the frontage road of Loop 410 in front of Saks Fifth Avenue. (North Star Mall, 2018)

The boots stand 35 ft. high, are 8 ft. in diameter and weigh five tons, that’s 5,000 lbs. each. Artist Bob Wade, a native Texan, originally created the boots in 1979 for the Washington Project for the Arts, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. The black, brown and white simulated plucked ostrich skin boots took Wade six weeks to build. In November 2014, Guinness World Records officially declared the art sculpture that symbolizes cowboy phenomena the “World’s Largest Cowboy Boot Sculpture.”

North Star Mall
7400 San Pedro
San Antonio, TX 78216
(210) 340-6627