David Rogers’ Big Bugs exhibit coming to the San Antonio Botanical Garden

David Rogers’ Big Bugs exhibit opens this weekend and will be on display through Sunday December 8. Photo: google

David Rogers’ Big Bugs larger-than-life sculptures is coming to the San Antonio Botanical Garden. The exhibition opens this Labor Day weekend, August 31 through September1, and will be on display through Sunday December 8. Exhibit viewing times are 9a.m to 5p.m. Regular admission rates apply. Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for senior citizens aged 65 and older, military (active, retired, reserve) with current ID, dependents not included and students with current ID; $9 for children ages 3-13. Children under 3 and members get free admission. Museums for All rate – per person, up to four people, must show EBT or WIC card with valid ID – $3. (San Antonio Botanical Garden, 2019)

Opening weekend events:

  • Saturday, August 31 from 10a.m. to 2p.m.- Educational Children’s Activities: Children will have an opportunity to participate in an educational scavenger hunt and make insects using natural materials.
  • Saturday, August 31 – Sunday, September 1 from 9a.m. to 5p.m. – Social Bingo and Prizes: Take photos with 5 David Rogers’ Big Bugs and show them at the Gift Shop for a prize. Offer only valid during opening weekend, while supplies last. Use hashtags #DavidRogersBigBugs and #SABOTgarden.

They are big, really big. David Rogers’ Big Bugs stand as tall as 25 feet and have wingspans up to 17 feet wide. David Rogers’ Big Bugs exhibit includes 10 larger-than-life insect sculptures, all made from natural materials, positioned throughout the 38 acres of the Botanical Garden. The sculptures are created using various combinations of whole trees found standing or fallen dead, cut green saplings selectively harvested from the willow family, dry branches, and other forest materials. Guests can shop for bug merchandise and edible insects at the Garden Gift Shop.

For the past 25 years, David Rogers’ Big Bugs exhibition has educated the public about the importance of preservation and conservation on the planet by introducing them to the world of insects, the role they play in the plant world, and their interconnectedness to our lives. Bugs outnumber humans one million to one. Many live in communal groups working as one for the common good of all. Their ranks include engineers, soldiers, weightlifters, weavers, hunters, stalkers, gatherers and even royalty. When you take this remarkable and diverse group of hidden gardeners and recreate them on a gargantuan scale, you have David Rogers’ Big Bugs.

The artist was not a traditional learner. He was not good in school or sports like his siblings. Instead, David found peace in the woods near his home.  As he focused on his artwork, he understood it came from “not fitting a mold.” And it became something much bigger. His art now teaches others about the importance of caring for our natural world. David also finds that his personal story connects with other non-traditional learners.

This exhibit is made possible by the generosity of these sponsors: Dickson-Allen Foundation, Gretchen Swanson Family Foundation, Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation and The USAA Foundation.


Hopdoddy opens second San Antonio location this Saturday

Hopdoddy’s Llano Poblano burger. Photo: Matt Lankes, used with permission. 

Hopdoddy Burger Bar, the nationally renowned burger and beer joint, is thrilled to announce its newest location, its second, in San Antonio opening Saturday, August 31. The restaurant will be opening in The Vineyard shopping center and will feature its menu of iconic burgers, shakes and fries. (Hopdoddy Burger Bar, 2019)

To commemorate the grand opening and show appreciation to the community, Hopdoddy will feature festive offerings on Saturday, including raffle prizes throughout the day and the first 50 people in line will win Hopdoddy Burgers for a year. Hopdoddy The Vineyard will partner with a local organization, the Texas Disabled Veterans Association, to donate a portion of sales from every Good Night / Good Cause Burger purchase year-round.

“We are excited to debut our second San Antonio location this weekend at The Vineyard. This will be the 32nd Hopdoddy, and the level of anticipation for this location is beyond humbling. San Antonio has been a wonderful city to us and we look forward to expanding and creating a new spot for friends and family to kick back with fantastic burgers and beer in a great setting.” – Jeff Chandler, CEO of Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Founded in Austin in 2010 by Guy Villavaso, Larry Foles and Chuck Smith, Hopdoddy Burger Bar is a nationally-recognized burger and beer joint. Hopdoddy stands out for its “from scratch” ethos and a menu that includes burgers, hand-cut Kennebec fries, farm fresh salads and handcrafter milkshakes. They also offer vegetarian menu items, including the newly launched Impossible Cheesesteak. Alongside its burgers Hopdoddy also carries a variety of local craft beers on tap, can and bottle and a has a full bar featuring regional spirits, house-made liqueurs and freshly squeezed juices. Named “The Best Burgers in America” by Food & Wine, Hopdoddy has locations in Texas, Arizona, Colorado and California with more to come.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar at The Vineyard
1301 North Loop 1604 W Suite 101
San Antonio, TX

San Antonio VegFest 2019 at Sunset Station

The first ever San Antonio VegFest will take place this weekend at Sunset Station. Photo: San Antonio VegFest

V.I.D.A (Vegan Initiative Dynamic Association) is proud to present the first San Antonio VegFest this Saturday August 31 beginning at 10a.m. through Sunday September 1 at 8p.m. San Antonio VegFest 2019 is a plant-based vegan festival which seeks to inspire people to reduce environmental pollution and animal suffering, caused by factory farming, by choosing to live a plant-based lifestyle. The event will feature nationally recognized speakers, informative exhibitors, cooking demos, yoga sessions, VegFest Live Concert, a large variety of vegan food vendors, exclusive festival giveaways, interactive activities, and a catered Vegan VIP area, which will include delicious samples of vegan food from veg-friendly restaurants and food companies. San Antonio VegFest will be a kid and pet-friendly event, and children 12 years of age and younger will receive free admission. The Live Concert is on Saturday August 31, from 7:15p.m. to 10p.m. and is free with festival ticket purchase. Tickets range from $5 through $50 and are available online.

San Antonio VegFest 2019 live performance line-up includes headliner Official Grey Music, DJ Melon, Intre, DJ Cosmicaa, 2 Throwed Mindz, Basik, DJ Suavae and Kaylie King. There will be yoga and fitness classes both days (see website for schedule) and speakers and panel discussions. These include Rachel Cywinski’s “Planting for Independence with Edible Native Plants,” Jessica Salazar’s “A Week of Cruelty-Free and Secondhand Style: How Veganism Goes Beyond the Plate and Into Your Wardrobe” and Adam Sud’s “From Pills to Plants.”

Sunset Station
1174 E Commerce St
San Antonio, TX 78205

Twin Liquors announces August 2019 Dollar Sale

Twin Liquors’ summer 2019 Dollar Sale begins Thursday August 29. Photo: Julia Keim, used with permission.

Twin Liquors, Central Texas’ fine wine and spirits retailer, has announced the dates for its summer 2019 Dollar Sale which offers incredible deals on wine and spirits. The highly anticipated sale will take place from Thursday, August 29 through Saturday, August 31, 2019.  The fine wine and spirits retailer will be offering deals at highly-discounted prices. (Twin Liquors, 2019)

The Dollar Sale will take place at all 85 plus Twin Liquors locations. Twin Liquors’ Dollar Sale will feature incredible savings on wine and spirits 750 ml and larger. Prices will drop down to the absolute lowest plus a dollar. Shoppers can look forward to amazing prices on collectible wines, rare whiskies and other popular spirits.

Highlights of the sale include:

Product (750ml) Retail Dollar Sale Price Savings
Suntory Toki Japanese Whiskey $37.99 $27.00 $10.99
Casamigos Blanco Tequila $46.99 $35.33 $11.66
Macallan 12yr Double Cask Single Malt Scotch $68.99 $49.59 $19.40

On Thursday, starting at 10a.m. shoppers at all Twin Liquors Marketplace locations can expect Deep Eddy Betty’s to be serving Bloody Mary’s featuring Deep Eddy’s Lemon Vodka as well as complimentary breakfast tacos provided by Deep Eddy Vodka. Marketplace locations include: College Station Marketplace, Hill Country Galleria Marketplace, Hancock Marketplace, South Lamar Marketplace, and San Antonio Marketplace.

On Saturday, starting at 10a.m., shoppers at select Twin Liquors Marketplace locations will be treated to Lunazul Tequila Sunrises and breakfast tacos provided by Lunazul Tequila. The select Twin Liquors Marketplace locations include: College Station Marketplace, Hill Country Galleria Marketplace, and Hancock Marketplace.

Tips for shoppers:

Tip #1: Arrive early: This might be obvious for Dollar Sale vets but arriving after doors open can be a lethal mistake. Get in line early before the store opens and grab a cart for all of your favorite goodies. If you arrive late, you may end up missing out on the best deals or your favorite products entirely.

Tip #2: Know your store: It is best to familiarize yourself with your local Twin Liquors store layout. Know where your favorite wines and spirits are. The morning of, you do not want to be scrambling as Dollar Sale pros zoom past you beelining for your favorites.

Tip #3: Wear comfortable shoes: The last thing you want to worry about is slipping while heading towards your favorite spirit or wine. Throw on your favorite tennis shoes and get to it.

Tip #4: Preview the sale on Twin Liquors’ Facebook Live: The evening before Dollar Sale begins, Twin Liquors staff will host a Facebook Live event where you will l be able to ask about specific prices and products. Have your questions ready and be sure to take notes.

Tip #5 Shhh…Super exclusive insider only tip: The evening before Dollar Sale, visit your local store about an hour before the store closes. If you are lucky enough, you may be able to get a leg up on last minute planning and catch a glimpse of store employees beginning to price products.


Tickets for ‘Cats’ go on sale Friday August 30

The North American tour company of ‘Cats.’ Photo: Matthew Murphy, used with permission.

‘Cats,’ one of the biggest hits in theatrical history, is coming to the Majestic Theatre for eight performances from Tuesday October 29 through Sunday November 3, as part of the North Park Lexus Broadway in San Antonio 2019-2020 season. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10a.m., Friday, August 30. Prices start at $45 and are available through Ticketmaster online, by phone at 1-800- 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. 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. (North Park Lexus Broadway, 2019)

‘Cats’ is a sung-through musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and based on the 1939 poetry book “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T. S. Eliot. It is the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make the “Jellicle choice,” deciding which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life . The musical includes the popular song “Memory” as sung by Grizabella and over the years, it has captivated audiences in over 30 countries and 15 languages. Now on tour across North America, it features new sound design, direction and choreography for a new generation.

The creative team for the new production of ‘Cats’ includes John Napier (Scenic & Costume Design), Natasha Katz (Lighting Design), Mick Potter (Sound Design), choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, based on the original choreography by Gillian Lynne, and direction by Trevor Nunn. The musical debuted on Broadway in 1982 where it won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Both the original London and Broadway cast recordings won Grammy Awards for Best Cast Album. The hit song “Memory” has been recorded by over 150 artists from Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis to Liberace and Barry Manilow. The Tony Award-winning Best Musical held the title of longest-running musical in Broadway history until it was surpassed in 2006 by Lloyd Webber’s ‘The Phantom of the Opera.’ This marks the first tour of the first-ever Broadway revival of the iconic musical. The first live-action film adaptation of ‘Cats’, produced by Universal Pictures and Working Title, will open on December 20, 2019.

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

Movie adaptation: ‘Blinded by the Light’ by Sarfraz Manzoor

Photo: google

Sarfraz Manzoor is a British journalist, documentary maker and broadcaster. He is a regular contributor to The Guardian, presenter of documentaries on BBC Radio 4 and a cultural commentator who appears on programs such as Newsnight Review and Saturday Review. His first book, ‘Greeting from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N’ Roll,’ a charming memoir about the impact of Bruce Springsteen’s music on a Pakistani boy growing up in 1970s Britain, was published in 2007. The movie adaptation is now in theaters as Blinded by the Light and stars Viveik Kalra, Hayley Atwell, Rob Brydon, Kulvinder Ghir and Nell Williams. Manzoor co-wrote the script and Gurinder Chadha directed it.

According to Amazon, ‘Blinded by the Light,’ originally published as ‘Greeting from Bury Park,’ centers around Sarfraz Manzoor. He was two years old when, in 1974, he emigrated from Pakistan to Britain with his mother, brother and sister. He spends his teenage years in a constant battle, trying to reconcile being both British and Muslim, trying to fit in at school and at home. When his best friend introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteen at age sixteen, his life changes completely. From the moment Manzoor heard the opening lines to “The River,” Springsteen became his personal muse, a lens through which he was able to view the rest of his life. Both a tribute to The Boss and a story of personal discovery, ‘Blinded by the Light’ is a warm, irreverent, and exceptionally perceptive memoir about how music transcends religion and race.

Students return to Savor at the Culinary Institute of America

The pomme frites will be part of Savor’s happy hour appetizers. Photo: Julia Keim, used with permission.

Savor, the latest restaurant by The Culinary Institute of America, is excited to re-open with a new rotation of culinary students after their summer hiatus. Under the direction of CIA faculty, students will continue to prepare and serve dinner as part of their associate degree studies. The students are returning for an official reopening on Thursday August 22 and will spend seven weeks gaining hands-on experience in the kitchen followed by another seven weeks serving in the dining room. The current class is returning to once again share their delicious food and refreshing cocktails with the people of San Antonio. (The Culinary Institute of America, 2019)

In addition to bringing back delicious classics like Irish Pointe Oysters and Steak Tartare, Savor will resume offering their popular happy hour on Tuesdays from 5:30p.m. to 8p.m. The happy hour includes $5 cocktails and $1 off delicious bites including the orange chili wings and pommes frites. Guests can also look forward to a few fall-themed menu additions this October.

Savor at Pearl
200 E Grayson St., Suite #117
San Antonio, TX 78215

‘Romeo and Juliet’ at The Classic Theatre

‘Romeo and Juliet’ opens at The Classic Theatre on Friday September 6. Photo: The Classic Theatre, used with permission.

Coming up next month at The Classic Theatre of San Antonio is ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ written by William Shakespeare and directed by Joe Goscinski. Shakespeare’s famous story about two star-crossed lovers in the depths of forbidden love despite an ancient family feud opens on Friday September 6 and will run through Sunday September 29. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 8p.m. and Sunday at 3p.m. Tickets are $33 for general admission, $29 for senior, military, educator or SATCO, and $18 for student and are available online or at the box office by calling (210) 589-8450. Proper ID is required. Season Subscriptions and Flex Passes are now available. On opening night, there will be a complimentary champagne reception after the show. (The Classic Theatre, 2019)

‘Romeo and Juliet’ is set in Verona, Italy and is described as a tragedy that Shakespeare wrote early in his career. It centers around the two young lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families, the Montagues and the Capulets. During his lifetime, it was one of his most famous plays and along with ‘Hamlet,’ it is one of his most frequently performed. The title characters are often regarded as archetypal young lovers. Cast includes Josh Davis as Romeo and Alyx Gonzales as Juliet.

Special Student Performances — September 12, 19, 26, 2019 at 7p.m. School groups can register for this program online.

“So often the first Shakespeare play students are exposed to in high school is Romeo and Juliet. Its impetuous teen protagonists, fighting, flirting and fast-paced time frame make it a great beginners’ slope for Bard newbies.” – The Hollywood Reporter

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

‘Dreamgirls’ opens this Friday at the Woodlawn Theatre

‘Dreamgirls’ opens at the Woodlawn Theatre on Friday August 23. Cast includes (left to right)Amanda Jeffries as Michelle Morris, LaToya Chenelle Crawford as Deena Jones and Janecia Stevenson as Lorell Robinson. Photo courtesy of Woodlawn Theatre, used with permission.

Coming up at the Woodlawn Theatre is ‘Dreamgirls,’ which opens on Friday August 23 and runs through Sunday September 15. ‘Dreamgirls’ is a musical about the aspirations of a female singing trio that take them from Chicago to the Apollo Theatre where they meet a would-be manager and begin their musical journey of fame, love, betrayal, and friendship that spans a decade. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3p.m. Special Educational Night on September 13 (closed to public). Tickets are available online or by calling the Box Office at 210-267-8388. Ticket prices are: Adults $30, Senior/Military/First Responders $24, Children/Student $18. Groups of 10 people or more receive a 20% discount. (Woodlawn Theatre, 2019)

‘Dreamgirls’ chronicles the story of Effie White, Deena Jones, and Lorrell Robinson, three friends who form the singing group The Dreamettes in 1962 Chicago. Over the years, as the close-knit trio rises from obscurity to superstardom, the dynamics within the group shift, leading to damaging careers and devastating relationships. Based on popular Motown artists such as The Supremes, The Shirelles, and The Chiffons, ‘Dreamgirls’ is a dazzling musical befitting the glamorous and competitive world of the entertainment industry in 1960s and 70s. Cast includes LaToya Chenelle Crawford (Deena Jones), Janecia Stevenson (Lorell Robinson), Naomi Williams Johnson (Effie Melody White), and Amanda Jeffries (Michelle Morris). The foursome will make their Woodlawn Theatre stage debut together. With notable songs such as “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” “One Night Only” and “Fake Your Way to the Top,” San Antonio audiences can expect a high-drama, high-energy musical.

During the entire run of Dreamgirls, Woodlawn Theatre will be partnering with the nonprofit The Renaissance Guild in San Antonio. Media sponsor is KONO 101.1.

Promotional Nights:
Student Night – Saturday August 24 – $10 Student/Child tickets with code: STUDENT
Pride Night – Friday September 6, 25% off tickets with code: PRIDE
ASL (American Sign Language) Night – Sunday September 15, 25% off tickets with code: ASL

“’Dreamgirls’ takes place during thrilling and tumultuous times as we watch the rise of Motown, mainstream pop versus R&B, and the coming of disco. Themes such as ambition, family, betrayal, and achieving the American dream are all key to the story and like all show business sagas, ‘Dreamgirls’ has its share of romance and heartbreak.” – Director Tim Hedgepeth

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

Book review: ‘Law and Addiction’ by Mike Papantonio

‘Law and Addiction’ is the new legal thriller by Mike Papantonio. Photo: google

Mike Papantonio is a writer, prominent trial attorney and co-host of Ring of Fire, a nationally syndicated weekly radio talk show, along with Robert F Kennedy, Jr and Sam Seder where he is known as ‘America’s lawyer.’ He has written several books including “In Search of Atticus Finch, A Motivational Book for Lawyers,” “Resurrecting Aesop: Fables Lawyers Should Remember” and the Nicholas “Deke” Deketomis’ legal thrillers “Law and Disorder” and “Law and Vengeance.” In his newest novel, “Law and Addiction,” Mike Papantonio pulls back the curtain on America’s deadly opioid epidemic with a legal thriller about greed, corruption and the power of personal conviction.

“Law and Addiction” begins with a Prologue that has Blake Rutledge, in the middle of a drug-induced paranoia attack, becoming another victim of the opioid crisis: “Blake’s lungs slowed to a stop, but his mind didn’t know it.” This was one week before his twin brother Jake’s law school graduation. Upon hearing of Blake’s death, Jake returns to his hometown of Oakley, West Virginia, who many now refer to as “Zombieland” because most of the city has been ravaged by the opioid epidemic. Seeking justice for Blake, he plans to take on Big Pharma but realizing that he is way out of his league, he seeks out famed lawyer Nicholas “Deke” Deketomis for help. Together they join forces but soon death threats, bribes and unlawful property seizures threaten to derail their legal efforts. To discredit Jake, he is kidnapped and unwillingly turned into an addict. He escapes, but not unscathed because now he is faced with his own battle to become clean.

With his latest novel, Mike Papantonio successfully translates the opioid epidemic into a suspenseful legal thriller. The research Deke’s team does to prepare the case develops into a narrative into how the pharmaceutical companies fueled the epidemic and eventually profited from it and it is nothing short of eye opening. As with his other novels, the story has a strong beginning with the Prologue where readers have a front row seat to witness Jake’s suffering and death. The author re-introduces Deke’s legal team, so readers who may be unfamiliar with them are not lost. Regarding the legal jargon and courtroom drama, they are both easy to understand and the fast-paced action flows easily from page to page. The characters are well-developed and relatable and the poetic prose brings a fresh perspective to the storytelling: “skeletal branches from trees reached for him, snagging his clothing.” “Law and Addiction” is a must-read and recommended for fans of smart legal thrillers, but it also has elements of suspense and mystery with some politics mixed in to appeal to most readers. Since Mr. Papantonio uses his real life cases as springboards for his novels, readers can surely look forward to more in this exciting series.

“As I write these words, somewhere in America an individual is dying of a drug overdose. During the next twenty-four hours, there will be at least 115 deaths from the same cause.” – Mike Papantonio (Author’s Note)

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