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April 3rd, 2009
The Weekend: Bitter and bittersweet

Chris Knight, one of the most lauded emergering singer-songwriters, is playing Saturday night at Cheatham Street Warehouse.

Scene Editor

When thinking on the works of William Shakespeare, it’s certainly easy to call up images of corseted rosy-cheeked maidens, brooding Danes in tights, glitter-bestrewn sprites and fighting English kings.

Tales of love and bravery abound in Shakespeare’s work, but Will has a very dark side that surpasses any contemporary screenwriter when writing of bloody deeds and grisly devilment. The motives of Iago in Othello are malevolently mysterious, Richard III is as contemptible as an AIG executive, King Lear makes Ozzie Osborne look reasonably sane and even the quandaries of Hamlet are shadowed with an inscrutable angst.

But if you want full-out bloody knifings, treachery, over-weaning ambition and betrayal you’d be hard pressed to find any drama that is more gruesome and surprising than Macbeth.

When Lady Macbeth says after one murder, with a grim saucy wit,  “Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?” you begin to see that the Macbeths, as a couple, may have some stability issues. Indeed, there’s a lot of talk about blood with Lady Macbeth lamenting, post-murder, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?”  When she implores, “Out! Out, damned spot!” she’s not talking to the dog. You can’t have a good play about murderers without guilt and the guilt flows like, uh, blood.

Some of Shakespeare’s most quoted words echo through Macbeth, none of which are more poignant than, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Contemporary movie directors should take lessons from this play, what with the eerie witches, the mounting body count and the paranoia that descends on the guilty. It’s good stuff and you can see it this weekend and next week at the Main Stage at Texas State, April 2-4 and April 7-9 at 7:30 p.m. A 2 p.m. Sunday matinee is showing on April 5.

If you’d rather be dancing, singing, eating, looking at horses, jumping in a bouncy castle, petting a goat, shredding paperwork, buying used books or listening to good music, you are in luck. All that and more awaits you this weekend. Here are some highlights.

Friday, April 3

Today starts the San Marcos Public Library’s giant used book sale at City Park Rec Hall (on the Jowers access off Charles Austin Drive). On Friday and Saturday, the sale goes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and, as always, the prices get progressively better as the selection dwindles. So you can pay $2 for hardbacks and 1$ for paperbacks from a large assortment on Friday and $1 for hardbacks and 50¢ for paperbacks on Saturday. Sunday, the last day of the sale, starts at 1 p.m. and then you can purchase a whole bagful of books for $5. Just remember that the choices are prime on the first day. But any day you choose go you are certain to get a great deal.

Tonight at 7.p.m. Hays High School baseball team faces Lehman at Rebel Field. Should be a nice night for it.

At 7:30 p.m. you can enjoy the aforementioned production of Macbeth at the Theatre Center (Moon Street). Tickets are $10 for general admission, $7 for students. It will play Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on Sunday at 2 p.m. If you miss it this weekend you can still see it April 7-9 next week, also at 7:30 p.m. at the Theatre Building. So you’ve really got a lot of options for seeing this extraordinary play.

Musically, we are as spoiled as ever with a number of wonderful choices. Nothing could be a better way to unwind after a long crazy week than to stop in at the Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary) at 6 p.m. and listen to the awesome Texas Swing/Honky Tonk of the Hoyle Brothers. The Hoyle Brothers will be working hard tonight and you can follow them to Riley’s (8894 FM 1102), where they will be playing at 9 p.m. The Hoyle Brothers are as smooth and intoxicating as a belt of Wild Turkey. They are well worth following.

Nathan Daniel will regale those who make it to the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street) with his exceptional songs and Dying For More will be doing likewise at Wake The Dead Coffee House (1432 Ranch Road). Later on at the Triple Crown, you can hear local faves Muchos Backflips as well as Opposite Day and Falcon Buddies.

Saturday, April 4

You can tell that spring has sprung when Kyle Market days begin in April. This is the opening Market Day and there’s loads of fun to be had with live music, healthy food, fresh produce and hand-made items to tempt you. The festivities are held on Front Street between City Hall and the train depot, running from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Kyle Market Days will be on the first Saturday of each month from April through November.

If you have some old documents you no longer need to save, but fear disposing of them because they contain personal or confidential information, the city of San Marcos can help. Today is a free “shredding event” on the west side of the City Hall parking lot (630 East Hopkins Street) where document shredders will be on hand to cut those papers to ribbons. This is the perfect time to get rid of that birth certificate from Krypton in order to protect your secret super-hero identity or to just get rid of all that pesky paperwork from the 1980’s that’s been cluttering up your drawers.

The Texas Buckskin Horse Association is sponsoring a Buckskin Horse Show at Hays County Civic Center today and tomorrow. There will be many beautiful horses there in the categories of Buckskin, Dun, Red Dun and Gulla. This show prepares the horses for national shows later in the year, and it’s always a pleasure to see fine horseflesh.

On the banks of the San Marcos River on San Marcos Plaza, Youthfest will initiate its sixth year of celebrating the well being of children with a festival. The action will take place between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., featuring music, dancing, poetry reading, arts and crafts and activities like mask making and working with paper mache. All activities are free of charge. The concession sales will benefit the Greater San Marcos Youth Council. Also featured is a bouncy castle (Whoo-hoo!) and a petting zoo. The kids will love it!

Tonight, you can enjoy the hip-hoppin’ rappers Word Association at the Triple Crown. Also on the bill is Phranchyze and Melody Murder. The Kings of Hard Luck will be rockin’ Riley’s.

The Cheatham Street Warehouse proffers the extraordinary talents of Chris Knight at 9:30 p.m. Knight, one of the most highly praised singer-songwriters in recent memory, garnered rave reviews from such disparate publications as Mojo, No Depression, Pop Matters and Entertainment Weekly, just to name a few. He writes a powerful song with lyrics that run the gamut from bitter to bittersweet, and his cynicism is tempered with a worldly charm. He is a true original.

Sunday, April 5

It’s Palm Sunday and First United Methodist  (129 West Hutchison Street) will have a children’s parade with the traditional palm fronds and a Passion play taking the place of the sermon. The services will be repeated at 8:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and noon. Childcare is provided for every service.

It’s the last day of the library’s used book sale in the Rec Hall at City Park starting a 1 p.m. It’s also the last day of the Buckskin Horse Show at Hays County Civic Center if you wanted to canter over for a look-see. Texas States’ Theatre Department stages their matinee of Macbeth at 2 p.m.

The River City Ramblers will be providing the boot scootin’ music for the Sunday afternoon dance at the Geronimo VFW Hall (6808 N Highway 123) in beautiful downtown Geronimo. Theses dances run from 3-6:30 p.m. and, if you’re hungry, the kitchen opens at 2 p.m. It’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The “First Family of Hill country music”, the Ash family, will be blend their beautiful harmonies at the Cheatham Street Warehouse from 4-8 p.m.

The mics are open tonight at the Triple Crown and Riley’s, if you have a hankering to do some singing.

If you’d rather relax in front of the tube, tonight on CBS is the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, which can yield up some astonishing musical performances.

Be sure to check out Turner Classic Movies this month, too. TCM is celebrating its 15th anniversary with loads of great movies, from the first movie it ever ran, Ted Turner’s favorite, Gone With The Wind, to lesser-known classics like Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt and the eccentric Dr. Seuss-authored film, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.

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0 thoughts on “The Weekend: Bitter and bittersweet

  1. We went to see Macbeth on Sunday and had a great time. The performances were great and for $10 ($7 for students, but I have no student ID), it was a far better value than an afternoon at the movies.

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