Driving Miss Daisy

El Paseo Arts Foundation Hosts Camille Playhouse’s Production of Driving Miss Daisy

“A heartwarming tale about the manner in which two people of goodwill cross the deep ravines of cultural borders and come to an understanding and respect for each other.” – The New York Times

On Thursday, February 4th, El Paseo Arts Foundation plays host to the Camille Playhouse’s production of Driving Miss Daisy at the South Padre Island Convention Center.

Continue reading

“Shamrocks and Harp” Update

With a heavy heart, El Paseo Arts Foundation must publish a programming update. Due to the serious illness of the lead musician, we will be unable to present the “Shamrocks and Harp” program scheduled for February 12th and 13th, 2016.  We are currently working on a musical program to replace this event and will post that information just as soon as it is finalized.  Our prayers are with the Comhaltas musicans.

El Paseo Arts Foundation to Stage Neil Simon’s Hilarious Door-Slamming Farce, Rumors

Neil Simon’s comic credentials as a playwright are indisputable. The author of dozens of the most beloved American stage comedies, he has turned out popular hit plays for generations and many of his plays continue to be revived on Broadway and produced by regional theatres year after year. On January 7th, 8th and 9th, 2016, El Paseo Arts Foundation will present Simon’s perfect remedy for the winter doldrums — his hilarious door-slamming farce, Rumors. Continue reading

Meet the Author Series at Paragraphs in November

We are very excited to be the choice for the initial book release for Will Everett’s book, “We’ll Live Tomorrow”. A rare evening signing for us, 6PM, to allow folks to attend after work.

Saturday, November 14th, 6 – 7:30 PM
Book signing, discussion and wine/cheese reception with author and NPR correspondent, Will Everett.

Reminders for our other authors this month

Saturday, November 7th, 1-3 PM
Book signing, discussion and reception with author, Robert Jacobus
Sunday, November 8th, 12-1:30 PM
Book signing, discussion and reception with author, Jan Dunlap
Thursday, November 19th, 1-3 PM
Book signing, discussion and reception with author, Melissa Gaskill

The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical – A Delicious Holiday Confection

“Betsy Kelso’s heartwarming and riotously hilarious book…(will) leave the audience absolutely breathless with hearty laughter…David Nehl’s spunky melodies are catchy and the lyrics so gut busting that you’ll need to see the show more than once to catch all the jokes because of how much you’ll be laughing.” — BroadwayWorld.com

It is mid-November in Texas, but it is Christmas time in the Armadillo Acres Trailer Park and El Paseo Arts Foundation is taking us there for a visit on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 17th and 18th at the South Padre Island Convention Center. It’s a delightful way to kick-off the holiday season. Audiences so enjoyed El Paseo’s production the original Great American Trailer Park Musical that the Arts Foundation is returning to the trailer park for more. While sequels often fall short of original productions, most people seem to agree that The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical turns out to have even a larger dose of heart and humanity than the original.  The script by Betsy Kelso and music and lyrics by David Nehls, provide both some hilarious and heartwarming moments, and the musical brings enough holiday cheer to brighten the Scroogiest of hearts.

Continue reading

El Paseo Arts Foundation’s The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical – A Delicious Holiday Confection

“Betsy Kelso’s heartwarming and riotously hilarious book…(will) leave the audience absolutely breathless with hearty laughter…David Nehl’s spunky melodies are catchy and the lyrics so gut busting that you’ll need to see the show more than once to catch all the jokes because of how much you’ll be laughing.” —BroadwayWorld.com

It is mid-November in Texas, but it is Christmas time in the Armadillo Acres Trailer Park and El Paseo Arts Foundation is taking us there for a visit on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 17th and 18th at the South Padre Island Convention Center. It’s a delightful way to kick-off the holiday season. Audiences so enjoyed El Paseo’s of the original Great American Trailer Park Musical that the Arts Foundation is returning to the trailer park for more. While sequels often fall short of original productions, most people seem to agree that The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical turns out to have even a larger dose of heart and humanity than the original.  The script by Betsy Kelso and music and lyrics by David Nehls, provide both some hilarious and heartwarming moments, and the musical brings enough holiday cheer to brighten the Scroogiest of hearts.

The returning characters in the sequel are the enthusiastic and Christmas-happy trio of female narrators: trailer park manager Betty (Liz Mueller), the now-widowed Linoleum or “Lin” (Carolyn Porter), and the naïve, single mother “Pickles” (Julie Boughter). As they were in the original show, these three veteran trailer park denizens are the story-tellers for the audience. They recount the unusual happenings during a very special twelve days before Christmas at Armadillo Acres. They also occasionally step in to a scene to play some hilarious other roles in the story, and they work as the backup singers for many of the songs which range in style from Rock and Roll, to Country, to Blues, with a sprinkling of some beautiful romantic ballads.

The new characters in the story are Rufus Jeter (Dave Boughter), who works several unusual jobs and who loves Christmas as much as the three girls. He works with them to help decorate the trailer park for Christmas in hopes of winning the $10,000 grand prize offered by “Mobile Homes and Gardens”. There’s also Darlene Seward (Kat Lillie), the trailer park’s resident Scrooge who hates Christmas and revels in antagonizing Rufus and the rest of the Christmas-loving residents. Finally, there’s Darlene’s sleazy boyfriend, Jackson Boudreau (Rick Alf), the scheming villain of the piece, who is a money-mad, egotistical owner of a chain of pancake houses called “Stacks” that are something of a cross between IHOP and Hooters.

Normal relations at the trailer park are turned upside down when Darlene gets an electrical shock during one of her tirades. The shock knocks her out and she wakes up with a case of amnesia. She can’t remember who she is and she has turned into a wide-eyed, awestruck Christmas enthusiast. She immediately joins in the decorating efforts even as she struggles to recover her memory, and she finds herself strongly attracted to her neighbor Rufus.

The girls and Rufus try everything they can think of to keep the new Christmas-loving Darlene from returning to her old self during the twelve days remaining till Christmas. One of the funniest scenes in the show includes the girls appearing as the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Recent Christmas Past and the Ghost of Christmas Present. Betty even makes a special appearance as the ghost of Darlene’s former fiance, the biker, Hank. Then on the Eve of Christmas, Jackson Boudreau returns from a business trip and he and his “waitresses” at Stacks tell Darlene that she is really a Christmas hatin’, in fact almost everything- hatin’ kind of woman. The confused Darlene thinks that Rufus and the girls have lied to her. She is “shocked” back to her former self. It sure looks like any hopes of winning that “Mobile Homes and Gardens” prize are gone, as well as any chance for a romance between Rufus and Darlene.

But, hold on, don’t give up hope – there’s still Act II to give this show a happy ending, even if it takes some pretty amazin’ supernatural events to end the Armadillo Acres Christmas Curse, stop the bulldozers, and set everything right by the time the midnight church bell chimes.

The atmosphere and spirit of the show are enhanced by the set and décor that fill the stage with an explosion of colors and all kinds of kitsch. Costumer Joan Ciarroco has outdone herself with some eye-popping and whimsical costumes. The creative cast and crew have crafted some outrageously tacky Christmas decorations to adorn the trailers and the Christmas tree that sits center stage, and to a certain extent acts as a central character in the show.

Musical Director, Mary Hartman, has done a wonderful job with some challenging music, and the talented cast with wonderful voices, captures the beauty of the harmonies, the tempos of the different rhythms and the lyrical quality of the ballads. Choreographer, Stephanie Wilson has added some clever stepping appropriate to the musical style of each of the numbers. Brett Marshal on piano and Marvin Miller on Drums provide the live musical accompaniment for the show. Director, JoAnn Evans, has the simplest task of just bringing all the elements together. It all becomes a glitter and tinsel strewn, bawdy, jug-of-joy-filled, holiday gift from El Paseo Arts to its audience. It has such an upbeat ending that audience members won’t be able to keep from smiling and feeling energized and excited about the upcoming holiday season.

The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical may well turn out to be your favorite holiday confection of the season so it’s a production that you don’t want to miss. Unfortunately, this is one holiday show that is not for young children as it contains adult language and content.

Seating is limited and there are only two performances so don’t wait until the last minute to get your tickets. Each evening performance begins at 6:30 p.m., with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, catered with a trailer park theme by PadreRitaGrill. Curtain goes up on the musical at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the performances are $30 per person/$25 for El Paseo Arts members. Tickets are available for purchase at Paragraphs on Padre Bookstore on the Island, the Art Gallery in Lighthouse Square in Port Isabel, and online at elpaseoarts.org or facebook.com/ElPaseoArtsTX. For additional information about the show, you may contact El Paseo Arts at (956) 943-4700.

A New, Free Event for El Paseo Arts

El Paseo Arts Foundation to Sponsor RiSA Science Café –An Exploration and Discussion of Creative Ideas

On Friday, November 13th, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., El Paseo Arts Foundation invites you to attend a new type of cultural and creative forum – A Science Café – at the lovely art-filled Causeway Café located on the corner of Queen Isabella Blvd. and Garcia Street. There is no admission fee for the event, but participants may purchase food and beverages from the café’s menu.

Science Cafés.org is a national network developed to provide a powerful tool for anyone looking to engage in science outreach with informal public audiences. The format is designed to provide information and encourage discussion about topics of interest to local audiences. Dr. Joey Key, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at UTRGV and Director of Education and Outreach for the Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy, initiated Science Café events in Brownsville. She is also the catalyst for the RiSA Arts and Sciences Festival that will be held this year at Brownsville’s Linear Park from noon to 4 p.m., on Saturday, November 7th.   The sciences and the arts have long been linked together as mediums for the expression of human creativity. Both seek to make meaning of the world around us and the human experience.   It is a natural partnership fit for El Paseo Arts Foundation to join with her in bringing this forum for idea sharing and discussion to the Lower Laguna Madre Area. Rafael Salazar, creative owner-manager of the Causeway Café has graciously agreed to provide the venue for the first gathering.

For the first Science Café in our area, we will be exploring new ideas in the world of visual arts, but future events will include both the sciences and the arts. The speaker for November 13th is Alejandro Macias, a lecturer in UTRGV College of Fine Art and Gallery Director at Rusteberg Hall. Born and raised in Brownsville, he earned his BA in Art at UTB and his MFA in 2D art at from the University of Texas-Pan American. Currently, his own art work explores various painting techniques, human anatomy and his love for pop culture. His presentation will include visuals illustrating his ideas and there will be plenty of time for audience members to ask questions and discuss some of the ideas and issues that are raised. Though he is an exciting lecturer, Alejandro’s teaching philosophy is based on the exchange of ideas in order to promote learning not only for the listeners, but also for him. He is grateful to have the opportunity to engage in dialogue. This will definitely be a forum for audience participation and creative exploration.

Participants will also be invited to suggest topics for future Science Café evenings.

Please accept this invitation to stretch your thinking and exercise your creativity. We hope this will only the first of many more evenings.

El Paseo Announces Auditions for “The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical”

Print

Get ready for the much anticipated show, The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical.   On September 17th and 18th at 6:30 p.m., El Paseo Arts Foundation will hold auditions at the Art Gallery in Port Isabel.  The cast of the show includes six characters, four females and two males.  The vocal score requires two sopranos, one second soprano, one alto, and two baritones – or one baritone and one second tenor.
Continue reading