San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

December 12th, 2008
The Weekend: High school raising funds for grand piano

James McMurtry (photo by Julie Farthing)By HAP MANSFIELD
Scene Editor

This week has been a tad on the chilly side, but you won’t need a space heater if you attend any of this weekend’s hot events. And speaking of heat, if you’ve got a spare space heater, please consider donating it to the San Marcos Salvation Army. Since the cold snap hit, the Army is in desperate need of space heaters to give client families. Call (512) 754-8541 for details

Friday, December 12

The weekend starts off with a Halloween twist on an old Christmas favorite. A Monster Carol is the usual Dickens tale told very unusually from within a wax museum full of familiar monsters. The heroes of the story are a vampire, a monster and a museum curator. Tickets are $5 each. This is a guest performance that will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the University Performing Art Center on Moore St. It should be a howling good time for the whole family. For more details see the Mercury Calendar.

The Front Porch Gypsies, a raggedy-tag crew of what can only be described as sounding like slightly tipsy wandering minstrels will be at Lucy’s tonight. You’ll enjoy their lonesome harmonica and their winsome harmonics.

If you haven’t seen it, ABC Family network on cable is showing the movie version of C.S. Lewis’ classic, The Chronicles of Narnia, both tonight and tomorrow night. The movie covers the events of the first book in Lewis’ trilogy, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It’s full of special effects and interesting characters that will appeal to both the lover of literature and the player of video games.

Saturday, December 13

The First Annual Generations of Performing Arts Holiday Concert Spectacular will be at the San Marcos High School Performing Arts Theatre (2601 W. McCarty Lane) tonight. The program is loaded with talented musicians from the San Marcos High School Jazz Band to Texas States’ VocaLibre to the San Marcos High School Varsity Mixed Choir to renowned pianist Rick Rowley and much, much more. All these musicians are coming together to support the purchase of a piano for the San Marcos High School Performing Arts Center. This is no Barrelhouse eighty-eight. This is a grand piano originally valued at $900,000. After loving and slight use, the owner is selling it to SMHS for a mere $25K, thanks to the San Marcos Performing Arts Association. Your attendance at this concert will make this purchase possible and, even, perhaps, help to breed a local Vladimir Horowitz. Tickets are $15 in advance, $25 at the door, and, frankly, they’re worth that even without the added incentive of the piano.

American Graveyard, whose gigs at Antone’s and the Continental Club have garnered them both fans and critical acclaim, will play their distinctive brand of Bluegrass Alt-Country Punk at Riley’s tonight.

At the Cheatham Street Warehouse, that literate, bone marrow shaking, American troubadour, James McMurtry will take the stage before starting a European tour in January. His extraordinary and haunting release on Lightning Rod Records, Just Us Kids, is sure to be on every music lovers “best-of” list for this year. McMurtry’s song “Choctaw Bingo” is a kind of Texas version of War and Peace. It describes the lives of characters in the song succinctly with his typical iron-shaving brevity. The Cheatham Street is the perfect venue for McMurtry, as the only other accompaniment that can do him justice is the lonely wail of a down bound train. Tickets are $12.

Sunday, December 14

If you still haven’t seen A Monster Carol, there are two performances today at the University Performing Arts Center, a matinee and an evening performance. Check the Mercury Calendar for details.

What’s a nicer way to round out the weekend than a late afternoon with the soothing harmonies of the Ash family at the Cheatham Street Warehouse?  If you’ve been rushing around shopping and fretting about money during the holidays, let their plaintive vocals ease your troubles and lighten your heart. They’ll be there from 4-8 p.m.

On cable’s Ion network tonight is the full-version television premiere of Collodi’s classic story Pinocchio. Starring Bob Hoskins as Gepetto, the show features some fun computer graphics as well as a genuine full telling of the story. It’s a long show, originally aired as a mini-series, so it runs from 6-10 p.m. After a long hectic pre-holiday weekend, it might be fun to pop some corn, hunker down on the couch and enjoy a family evening at home. Now that’s a real Christmas gift.

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