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Symphonic Cinema, Ballet And The Blues: Your Weekend Is Here

UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures

A cinema classic gets a symphonic makeover.  The Institute of Texan Cultures hosts two holiday special events.  And a blues guitarist brings her international talent to town. The weekend is here, and there’s music and dance everywhere. 

First off, the San Antonio Symphony's Jenna Jernigan says a tornado of amazing music will hit the Majestic Theatre.

Credit San Antonio Symphony
Wizard of Oz cast

"Tonight we've got The Wizard of Oz live in concert, where the symphony is going to be playing live with the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, and it's going to be really wonderful," she said.

They will show the film on a large screen on stage while the symphony plays the movie music live.

"You get all the wonderful things of seeing Judy Garland, all the wonderful parts to her voice, then touching music right there, live in front of you," Jernigan said. 

The Wizard is known for its amazing soundtrack, with styles that run the gamut.

"So you have these slower, kinda melodic pieces, but then you have the witches...da-da-da-da-da-da...it gets moving!” she said. 

She references the famous flying monkey scene where Garland’s character is scooped up and taken back to the witch’s castle, made more intense by the orchestra’s playing. Jernigan said you can catch a performance either tonight or tomorrow night.

"This is a family event. Bring the kids,” she said. “Bring everybody because there is nobody that won't enjoy The Wizard of Oz Live in Concert."

IF YOU GO What: Wizard of Oz movie/SA Symphony concert Where: Majestic Theatre When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday Cost:  $28-$67

Then Saturday at the Institute of Texan Cultures James Benavides says you can enjoy a two-pronged event, both holiday-themed.

"The Children's Ballet of San Antonio rendering some suites from The Nutcracker, and we'll also have a visit from the troupe from Our Lady of Guadalupe from downtown San Antonio for a performance of a Pastorela play," he said. 

If you don't know the term Pastorela he explained it this way. 

"What you're seeing is the journey of Mary and Joseph into Bethlehem followed by the Pastores, the shepherds,” Benavides said. “And all along the way the devil is attempting to dissuade the shepherds from their visit, so he'll put temptation and fear and sin in their way."

That play in Spanish is performed at 2 p.m., but first at 1 p.m. you can enjoy the Children's Ballet's performance of Nutcracker excerpts.

Credit Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church

"The athleticism, the artistry is spectacular, the costuming. The arrangement of music and their ability to interpret the music is phenomenal," Benavides said.

Seeing both events is covered when you pay admission to the museum. 

IF YOU GO What: Nutcracker and Pastorela play Where: Institute of Texan Cultures When: 1 p.m. Saturday Cost:  $9-$12, under 5 free

Also on Saturday at Sam's Burger Joint, one of South Texas's greatest blues guitarists. And interestingly, that blues guitarist is a woman. Carolyn Wonderland was raised in a musical household, but she was attracted most to guitar.  

Credit Heather Harris
Carolyn Wonderland

"There was a guitar and a piano in the house and I couldn't carry the piano around with me so the guitar became my go-to," she said.

As to why she gravitated towards blues, she said it spoke to her.

"It was the most honest and the most naked and it was the thing you could jam with people," she said. 

She just got back from a European tour with a giant in the world of blues.

"I've been really lucky this last couple of years. I've been playing guitar with John Mayall," she said.

Mayall is very particular about who he hires to play guitar. One he hired was the Rolling Stones' Mick Taylor. Another was Eric Clapton. But on Saturday night she plays Sam's with her own band.

"Oh, I'm excited. I get to get back together with my boys. It'll be me, Kevin and Bobby,” Wonderland said. “[We] Get to pull out some new songs. We're working on the new record. A couple of holiday songs of the irreverent variety. And a good time for sure." 


IF YOU GO What: Carolyn Wonderland Concert Where: Sam’s Burger Joint When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday Cost:  $19-$78

Jack Morgan can be reached at Jack@TPR.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii