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

November 21st, 2008
The Weekend: The shows will go on

Eleven Fingered CharlieBy HAP MANSFIELD
Scene Editor

Well, last weekend kind of blew up when the World United Music Festival apparently didn’t have its act together and cut itself short halfway into its engagement. Nothing so large is planned for this weekend, which means the shows will go on.

Friday, November 21

Hello! It’s World Hello Day and anyone can participate by just giving a friendly “howdy” to ten people. This holiday was created in 1973 to emphasize the importance of personal communication for preserving peace and was developed in response to the Egypt-Israeli crisis. Since then, World Hello Day has been observed by people in 180 countries.

Forget the Seinfeld re-runs and the lame Comedy Central stand-ups, there is a funnier and more thought provoking alternative this weekend. The Department of Theatre and Dance at Texas State is presenting John Guare’s extraordinary play “House of Blue Leaves” Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

John Guare you may remember as the author of Six Degrees of Separation. House of Blue Leaves is a masterpiece of absurd comedy and pop culture commentary about a zookeeper who wants to be a songwriter, his crazy-like-a-fox wife, his cooking mistress, his Hollywood bigwig friend, his stage-struck son and a gaggle of wacky nuns all converging on the day the Pope visits New York.

More than just comedy ensues. First hitting the stage in 1966, the play still stirs up mixed feelings and reviews with critics. Guare’s words always attract stellar performers and actors who have taken a crack at the play on Broadway include Ben Stiller, Stockard Channing, Christine Baranski, Julie Hagerty and Danny Aiello.

Tonight’s performance starts at 7:30 p.m. at the University Performing Arts Center. The production is directed by Jay Jennings. Admission is $10 for the general public and $7 for students with a Texas State ID. Tickets can be purchased at the University Box Office in the Theatre Center , located at the corner of Moon Street and University Drive and available by phone at (512) 245-2204.

For additional information, call (512) 245-2147. Check the Mercury Calendar for more details.

The Triple Crown features the unique musical proficiencies of Shand Walton (see Mercury Story for details) at 6 p.m. Stick around for locals Ars Poetica at 9 p.m. They’re sure to make a big splash soon.

Saturday, November 22

It’s really time to mosey on down to Lucy’s at 9 p.m. and see the eclectic reggae blend of Eleven Fingered Charlie. According to the band’s website, “above all else, Eleven Fingered Charlie stresses a love for all things positive, like good music, good friends, and good times with an understanding that life has its moments of disparity.” Their smooth musical interpretation of this philosophy will keep you feeling warm on a cold November night.

Riley’s features Rick Broussard’s Rock-a-Billy-Hill-Country-Punk band, Two Hoots and a Holler. They’re not your average roots music band and song titles like “Whips and Furs,” and “She Took a Lot of Pills (and Died)” certainly illustrate that. They’ll be starting up at 9 p.m.

Sunday, November 23

The Texas State University-San Marcos Wind Ensemble will be welcoming two distinguished artists for a special afternoon concert at Evans Auditorium. James F. Keen, director of bands emeritus at the University of Illinois, will guest conduct Norman Dello Joio’s “Scenes from The Louvre,” an Emmy Award-winning composition originally written for an NBC special on the world famous museum. Internationally renowned composer John Mackey will also be in attendance for a performance of one of his latest works for winds, “Kingfishers Catch Fire.” Admission to the 3 p.m. performance is $5 for adults and $3 for students. See the Mercury Calendar listing for more details.

If you’ve ever contemplated the ironies of fame, here’s one more for the books. Big John Mills, that legendary Texas guitar player, the winner of the Texas Music Awards 2006 Musician of the Year, the fella with the sweet voice and the amazingly nimble fingers, had a ruptured gall bladder and had to have emergency surgery.

Fame and talent mean nothing to medical expenses and Kent Finlay is trying to shift that balance by having a benefit to help Big John pay the bills. We all know the incredible costs of health care and emergency health care is even more expensive. Finlay says he hopes the benefit can help to cover even a small portion of John’s expenses.

So again, the Cheatham Street Warehouse opens its heart and doors so musicians can give of their talent to help. The music starts at 4 p.m. and will go until midnight. The all-star lineup features the talents of Doctor G and the Mudcats, The Midnight River Choir, Jimmy Keiser, Charlie Bishop, Jason Marbach Band, Russel Bisbey, Cameron Joiner, Texas FX, Tim Fralik, Mike E. Messick and others.

Minimum donation is $10 at the door and anyone can contribute even if they are unable to attend, by sending or bringing their donation to 119 Cheatham Street, San Marcos, TX 78666. Checks should be made out to John Mills.

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