Event News Releases


It’s a Milk-Snorting Funny Evening as El Paseo Arts Hosts The Wonder Bread Years on September 18 and 19, 2017.


Pat Hazell takes the stage at the SPI Convention Center on September 18 and 19, 2017, to perform his one-man show, The Wonder Bread Years, a fresh and funny salute to Americana. The Wonder Bread Years is a fast-paced, hilarious production that gracefully walks the line between standup and theater. Audiences across the country have enjoyed this show that not only restores a much-needed sense of wonder, but leaves them laughing at stories about the years before technology changed the world. 

Hazell describes the show as “slice of life humor” that he says require a delicate recipe to achieve the proper harmony between comedy and nostalgia.  He believes that we, as a community, share more in common than we have differences.  With this show, he salutes the common denominators of humanity.

Showtime once declared Pat Hazell one of the five funniest people in America. His 30 years of experience as a writer, producer and director have made him a go-to guy for new American theater.

Pat Hazell is one of the original writers for NBC’s Seinfeld, a veteran of The Tonight Show, a critically acclaimed playwright and a contributing commentator to National Public Radio. He is recognized for his genuinely funny Americana humor and his salute to nostalgia.  As a playwright, Pat’s first endeavor, Bunk Bed Brothers, was optioned by Columbia Pictures, then gained the attention of the TV industry and was filmed as the sitcom, American Pie, for NBC. Hazell’s signature work, The Wonder Bread Years, a grand salute to the baby-boomer generation, aired on PBS where they referred to Hazell as “America’s foremost pop culture anthropologist.”  Currently, the live theatrical tour of The Wonder Bread Years is enjoying success across the US.

As the Chief Creative Officer of Sweetwood Creative, Hazell is responsible for the national tours of four original productions: Bunk Bed Brothers, The Wonder Bread Years, The Good Humor Men and A Kodachrome Christmas. Pat is currently in development on a musical adaptation of his original play Grounded For Life.

Doors open for the event at 6:30 p.m. with a cash bar available for patrons to enjoy.  The curtain goes up on the performance at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets for the show are $30 per person; $25 per person for El Paseo Arts members.  Tickets are available for purchase at Paragraphs Book Store, S.O.S., PadreRitaGrill, the Art Gallery in Lighthouse Square and online at www.elpaseoarts.org.


Whether it’s a story about sitting at the kids table or riding in the way back of the Country Squire Wagon, The Wonder Bread Years hits a comic bull’s-eye.  Jerry Seinfeld calls it “milk snorting funny”.  For the “more mature” audience members, it will be a chance to revel in pure unpasteurized nostalgia; for the younger crowd, it will provide a revealing and funny look at the world as their parents and grandparents knew it when they were the younger generation.

El Paseo Arts Foundation Opens its Thirteenth Season of Events with “Cabaret Night” Concert

September 6th, 2017
El Paseo Arts Foundation kicks off its thirteenth season of events with an amazing evening of music on September 6, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., at the South Padre Island Convention Centre. Cabaret Night is an engaging evening of musical theater songs and dramatic lyrics about people at a crossroads: choosing a soulmate, declaring love, losing love, and occasionally looking for love in all the wrong places. Your musical tour guides for the evening, vocalist Liz Cass and pianist Graham Yates, share stories through the music and about the music that will make you laugh, cry, and maybe even pause and reflect on our shared humanity. Music by the famous young Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years) and the wildly imaginative cabaret and ragtime composer William Bolcom feature strongly in the program. Works by Bob Dylan, Kander & Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago) and classical composers Bizet (Carmen) and Samuel Barber (Adagio for Strings) make appearances too. Even the performer Graham Yates presents his “Spam Songs” – miniature and eclectic art songs inspired by the junk in everyone’s email inbox. Cabaret Night is inspiring, funny and a little bit zany. Liz and Graham believe passionately in the power of concerts to
The two virtuoso musicians for “Cabaret Night” are Liz Cass and Graham Yates. Liz Cass is an Austin-based mezzo-soprano, Executive Producer of LOLA – Local Opera Local Artists, voice teacher, and public speaker. Ms. Cass holds the position of Community Liaison for the Armstrong Community Music School where she has been a member of the faculty and staff for over 12 years. Liz is a regular soloist with Austin Opera, The Austin Symphony, Austin Chamber Music Center, Austin Classical Guitar Society, and Chorus Austin. Each year, Ms. Cass travels to Guatemala City and Antigua, Guatemala to perform Handel’s Messiah. Liz Cass is a graduate of the University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory of Music. She began studying with Inci Bashar at UMKC in 1997, and continues studying with her to this day.
Graham Yates on piano found his element when he learned that even as a pianist he did not have to play all by himself. His performing career is almost exclusively in collaboration with singers, instrumentalists, choirs, chamber groups, pit bands and orchestras. Mr. Yates holds a BA in piano performance, a Master of Music with an emphasis in piano accompaniment, and an MBA in nonprofit management. In 2014, he relocated from his homeland of British Columbia, Canada where he was the director of two music schools, to Texas, where he owns North Austin Piano Studio and is the founder, producer and pianist for “A Room with A Few” house concert series in Austin.
“Cabaret Night” is a special kind of chamber concert performance in the intimate setting –an evening of wildly imaginative music that includes some story-telling songs that may even impart some life-affirming wisdom. It will be a very romantic and entrancing evening of beguiling and provocative chamber music to stir your soul – inspiring, funny and a little bit zany. Liz and Graham believe passionately in the power of concerts to unite people and they hope you’ll leave the performance having run the gamut of emotions, forged a deeper appreciation for wonderful music, and with a renewed zest for life.
Tickets for “Cabaret Night” are $30 per person, $25 for El Paseo Arts members. A cash bar will be available to patrons to enjoy beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale August 7th, 2017 at Paragraphs Book Store, SOS, PadreRitaGrill, the Art Gallery in Lighthouse Square, and online at http://www.elpaseoarts.org. Share the night with a special person or special friends and celebrate the start of our thirteenth season of local arts events here in the bay area. Thirteen is going to be a wonderful season for El Paseo Arts Foundation.
A Season Brochure will be available at the ticket table that evening.  The ticket table will open at 6 p.m. to purchase season tickets and sponsorships for the new season or to renew / get an annual membership and receive the discount on that nights tickets.

El Paseo Arts Foundation Hosts the Camille Playhouse Production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s

On Tuesday and Wednesday, May 23rd and 24th, El Paseo Arts Foundation plays host to the Camille Playhouse’s production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at the South Padre Island Convention Center.  Based on Truman Capote’s classic novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s tells the story of a young Southern-born writer, known to us only as Fred, who becomes infatuated with his Upper East Side neighbor in New York City: the beguiling beauty Holly Golightly.

Richard Greenberg’s play adaptation is remarkably faithful to the original Capote story – less romanticized than the 60’s film version of Holly.  Greenberg frames the action of the play in 1957, as the now successful and more mature young writer played by Jose M. Pereyra, reminisces about his relationship with Holly during the post-depression, war-torn years of 1943 and 1944.  He is a handsome, but impoverished young writer when he meets Holly, and as he shares his story, he frequently breaks the fourth wall by addressing the audience.

Capote’s Holly became the synonym of style, sly charm, and fragile dreams.  So too in Greenberg’s play she is intoxicating and attractive.  She can’t help it; everyone falls in love with her, – including Fred. Vivian Gonzalez takes on the challenging role of Holly in the Camille’s production. Holly makes her living as an “escort” for men who can afford to give her $50 when she goes to the powder room.  She pulls Fred into her world of spontaneous parties and luxury, and he finds himself increasingly fascinated by her.

However, as Fred is poor and himself taking money from an older lady in return for his attentions, he finds himself competing against Holly’s other marriageable suitors: a playboy millionaire and the future president of Brazil.  In the end, Holly’s life nothing is as it seems and all too soon the realities of her past and present cause her dream world to collapse around her and chase her away from her beloved New York.

The play is directed by Christopher Ikner, the Artistic Director for the Camille and the strong cast includes Cary Cadena as Joe Bell; Rodrigo Caraveo as Sid Arbuck/Editor; Kelvin Fok as I.Y. Yunioshi; Martie Digregorio as Madame Spanella; Alex Robles as Rusty Trawler; Michele Wolding as Mag Wildwood; Anthony Hudgins as O. J. Berman; John Paul Garza as Jose; Marisa Garcia as a Journalist; Sam Allen as a Reporter and Jose’s Cousin; Lucy Willis as Stern Lady Boss; Sam Allen as a Cop and Department store Owner; Jacqueline Garza as a Female Cop; and Doug Monroe as Doc.

The curtain goes up on Breakfast at Tiffany’s at 7:30 p.m. on May 23rd and 24th.  Tickets are priced at $30 per person, $25 for El Paseo Arts members, and are currently available for purchase Paragraphs Book Store, PadreRitaGrill, S.O.S., the Art Gallery in Lighthouse Square and online at www.elpaseoarts.org.

El Paseo Arts Foundation to Present – Exit the Body by Fred Carmichael
From March 30th to April 1st, El Paseo Arts Foundation presents Exit the Body at the South Padre Island Convention Centre, 7355 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX. Most closets inside a home don’t see a lot of traffic, but keep an eye on the one in Fred Carmichael’s murder mystery/comedy. You will have a thrilling good time as you try to keep up with the delightful twists and turns of this “who dunnit” or at least “who dun what” at EPAFs production of Exit the Body.
Successful mystery novelist Crane Hammond (played by EPAF veteran, Andrea Wright) rents an old house in New England to rest up before she begins writing yet another best-seller. But her plans are quickly interrupted by bodies that begin to appear from a closet (hence the title), a mix-up with husbands and a seemingly endless parade of intruders on the peaceful premises. As Crane notes with bemusement, “In one day, I’ve moved into a new house, discovered two bodies and find myself with two husbands.” Crane’s secretary, Kate (Lucinda Wierenga) complains about the lack of noise while missing the sounds of traffic and muggers in New York City.
A talented and dynamic cast propels the action as we also get to meet the odd collection of locals in this sleepy New England town: Vernon (Andy Riley), the inquisitive town sheriff and taxi driver; Jenny (Kat Lillie), the incompetent housekeeper; and Helen (Lisa Kinsolving), the busybody realtor who constantly drops in to check on her celebrity renter. Down the road is Crane’s best friend Lillian (Haley Huffman), a famous fashion designer who has secretly married her boyfriend Lyle (Mark Shellard), and always has a “flare” for the dramatic. This delightful cast of off-kilter personalities is even punctuated with an unseen (and unheard) telephone operator named Mabel, who seems to work the switchboard 24hrs a day.
Among various bodies lurking in that overused closet are petty thief Randolph (Dave Boughter), who’s seeking diamonds hidden somewhere in the old house, amnesiac Philip (Rick Alf), who’s been conked on the head and can’t remember why he’s there, and an unexpected visitor, Richard Hammond (Chuck Hoffmeister), who’s untimely arrival brings everything together.
Tickets for Exit the Body are $30 per person, $25 for El Paseo Arts members. Tickets include light hors d’oeuvres which will be served at 6:30PM –as well as the option of a cash bar. Curtain is at 7:30PM. Parking is free at the SPI Convention Centre. Tickets are available for purchase at Paragraphs Book Store, SOS, PadreRitaGrill, the Art Gallery in Lighthouse Square, and online at http://www.elpaseoarts.org.
It’s a fun evening of theatre that begins as soon as the talented actors take center stage and the fun and laughter continues until they take their final bows. You don’t want to miss Exit the Body – it’s a mystery/comedy that will keep you guessing at every ‘risen corpse’, twist and turn until the lights finally go out!
“Hilarious, delicious, uproarious, hysterical…. [The] audience, howled, guffawed, and applauded.” – Bennington Banner
“Never have tears of laughter flowed so freely.” – Rutland Herald

El Paseo Arts Foundation to Present the Comedy Mystery – Murder Me Always

On February 21st and 22nd, El Paseo Arts Foundation once again transforms the ballroom at the Isla Grand Beach Resort into a Mystery Dinner Theatre for a production of the comedy mystery spoof, Murder Me Always by Lee Mueller.  Doors to the Ballroom open for sponsor seating at 6:20 p.m. and for general seating at 6:30 p.m.  Complimentary light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be open from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. when the curtain goes up on the play. The actors will be circulating among the audience during the cocktail hour, providing some information about themselves and possibly some clues about the murder that will occur during the play.

Murder Me Always is a comedy about a group of actors who are giving a bad performance in a murder mystery.  The setting for the “fake play” is a fancy dinner party at a Victorian mansion.  As the “fake play” is underway, the director is murdered off stage.   The “fake mystery” then comes to a screeching halt and the real mystery begins.  The “Murder Mystery Murderer” is on the loose and has struck again.  Luckily, Detective Joe Mamet, a 1940’s type gumshoe, has staked out the audience and rises to the occasion to begin an investigation.  Could it be that one of these very bad actors is really a very bad person?  Will this “real” murder mystery be any better than the fake one?  Is art imitating life?  Is the play really the thing?  Don’t miss your chance to figure out who the murderer is while laughing all evening.  El Paseo Art Foundation’s mystery “dinner” event is always fun, and there are great prizes for the top five guests who solve the mystery.

The cast includes some familiar local performers and some new comers to our local community theatre group.  Danny Dollar takes the stage as Detective Joe Mamet and DeeOnda Ahadi appears as Trixie, Mamet’s able assistant.  Lexie Guthrie Hanson makes her debut on the El Paseo stage as the director of the “fake play”.  The lovely Julia Gomez Montalvo plays Wanda Hawthorne, the femme fatal character of the “fake play”.  Ron Pitcock plays Fritz Fontaine, a pompous actor who demands to do things his way all the time.  Andy Riley assumes the role of Henry, an older actor who appears to be bumbling and forgetful.  Andrea Wright is the beautiful Muffy, a spoiled, rich girl, playing the ingénue lead in the “fake play” and Tyler Houston plays opposite her in the “fake play” as her would-be suitor.  He is also rich and spoiled, but a little more devious and shady than Muffy.  Mark Shellard takes on the role Drew Graham, a hippie, wanna-be rock star who really doesn’t like acting and appears to be spaced-out most of the time.  Judy Brewer plays the very wealthy widow in the fake play and helps alibi Fritz during the mystery investigation.  Finally, Rick Alf is a typical New York cab driver just trying to get the fare that Drew owes him; however, he finds himself caught up in the real mystery that Mamet is trying to solve.  All the actors in the “fake play” have motives and opportunity to kill the director.  It’s up to Mamet, Trixie, the cab driver and the audience to unravel all the clues and discover who killed the director. The audience will have a chance to pick the actor they think is the killer and Mamet and Trixie will draw the names of five audience members from those who identify the real killer – these five audience members will receive a prize for their effort.

Tickets for Murder Me Always are $30 per person, $25 for El Paseo Arts members.  Tickets are available for purchase at Paragraphs Book Store, SOS, PadreRitaGrill, the Art Gallery in Lighthouse Square, and online at www.elpaseoarts.org.

It’s a fun evening of theatre that begins as soon as the audience walks into the room and the fun and laughter continue until the final bows.  You don’t want to miss Murder Me Always – it’s a mystery, a comedy, and a chance for the audience to be part of the action.  If you’ve never seen a mystery “dinner” show”, you’re in for a special treat.  If you’ve attended these events in the past, you know how much fun they can be.

Timeless Tuesdays Classic Film Festival

January 10, 24 February 7, 21, and March 7

Island Cinema

 This year, El Paseo Arts Foundation’s Annual Film Festival will feature classic films.  Many are award-winning; all are landmark films in the history of cinema or major film star careers.  The series is titled:   “Timeless Tuesdays”.  The five films are some of the best loved and most popular films ever made.  Classic film fans will enjoy seeing them once again on the big screen as they were originally intended to be viewed.  The films will be shown at 7:15 p.m. on five Tuesday evenings at Island Cinema beginning on Tuesday, January 10th and ending on Tuesday, March 7th. Tickets for the individual films are $10 each and are available at the door of the theatre on the night of each film.  Purchase a “Timeless Tuesdays” Season Pass for $40.  Season passes will be available for purchase at Paragraphs Book Store after January 5, 2017, or at the Island Cinema on opening night, January, 10, 2017.

The first film in the “Timeless Tuesdays” series is the classic Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western that is the final film in the “Dollars Trilogy” of westerns that catapulted Clint Eastwood to film star status.  Clint plays a hero who is not one of the “white hat” type cowboy heroes from the earliest western films.  The film is The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and stars Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach.  It not hard to guess who plays each of the title roles as a bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance in a race against a third man to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.  The film is known for Leone’s use of long shots and close-up cinematography, as well as his distinctive use of violence, tension, and stylistic gunfights.  Over the years the film has come to be seen as a highly influential example of the Western Film genre and one of the greatest films of all time.

On January 24th, Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert star in one of the best romantic comedies ever made – It Happened One Night, directed by the famous Frank Capra.  Although no one working on the film expected it to be a success, this film swept the 1935 Oscars, beating out the dramatic films and winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing and Best Actor and Actress awards for the stars.  This feat had never been accomplished in previous film history and would not be duplicated until some 30 years later with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  The plot sounds simple, as a spoiled heiress trying to run away from her controlling parents is helped on her journey by a man who is really a reporter in need of a big story.  The twists and turns along the road, the romance that develops between the two, the fast-paced, witty dialogue, great performances and fine direction make the film anything but trite and simple.  No one can view this film without forever remembering the trumpet and “The Walls of Jericho”.

On February 7th, just in time for Valentine’s Day, we have Love Story.  This film is a 1970 romantic drama written by Erich Segal, who also penned the best-selling novel of the same name.  His initial popularity as an author was earned with his short, inspirational novel, Jonathan Living Seagull.  Directed by Arthur Hiller, the film starred Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal, two immensely popular young film stars at that time.  The film is the love story of the wealthy, upper-class Harvard law student who falls in love and marries a bright, talented but lower class Radcliffe student.  His family disapproves and totally cuts off support.  The two struggle to make ends meet and the girl develops a terminal illness.  The film is tragedy but is considered one of the most romantic films of all time and, adjusted for inflation, is on the top 40 list of highest grossing films.  This film also spawned dozens of imitations, parodies and homages.  It brought melodrama back to the silver screen and basically set the template for our “chick” flick today.  While many modern viewers may find it too sappy and sentimental, anyone who saw it when it originally opened can remember the tears shed by audience members.  It remains, today, one of the top 100 films on the American Film Institute list of the top 100 Passions list for love stories.

February 28th, comedy is in the spotlight again, with Billy Wilder’s 1959 film, Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.  Voted the top comedy film by the American Film Institute on their list of AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Laughs poll in 2000, the film received widespread critical acclaim and six Academy Award nominations.  The final line of the film, “Well, nobody’s perfect,” is one of the greatest and most memorable last lines of all times.  The film’s plot is based on the story of two broke, out-of-work male musicians who witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and are forced to flee Chicago.   They take a job in an all-female band that is heading to Florida and disguise themselves as women.  Of course farcical complications ensue as romances of various types develop and the mob chasing them comes to a mobsters’ convention at the hotel where they are playing.  Film critic Roger Ebert wrote that, “Wilder’s 1959 comedy is one of the enduring treasures of the movies, a film of inspiration and meticulous craft.”  In 1989, this film became one of the first 25 films inducted into the U.S. National Film Registry.

Finally, on Tuesday, March 7th, the “Timeless Tuesdays” series ends with a film that has been achieved almost legendary status by contemporary critics and is often regarded and the best movie musical ever made – Singin’ in The Rain.  Directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly and starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor, the plot of the film follows the trials and tribulations of a silent film production company trying to make a very difficult transition to sound.  The simple story is embellished with great comic antics, fabulous dancing, wonderful music, and outstanding comedy and musical performances.  Gene Kelly’s dance in the rain to the title song is one of the most iconic scenes in all film history.  The film tops AFI’s Greatest Movie Musical list and was ranked as the fifth greatest American motion picture of all time in AFI’s updated list of great American films in 2007.

We hope you will join El Paseo Arts for this fabulous classic film series.  These iconic films represent some of the best films ever made in each of the genres, and we know you will enjoy seeing them on the big screen again.  Take a sentimental journey with “Timeless Tuesdays”, or if you missed these films when they first came out, don’t miss this chance to see them now.

El Paseo Arts Presents a Madcap Comedy Delight with Don’t Dress for Dinner

“Two of the most rib-tickling hilarious hours I have spent in the theatre…the perfect farce.” – Chicago Style Magazine

“Gut-busting! Hilarious!” – Entertainment Weekly

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 13, 14 and 15, 2017 at the South Padre Island Convention Center, El Paseo Arts Foundation is delighted to present Don’t Dress for Dinner, a comedy that serves up a generous portion of madcap comedy in the true style of a French farce Bernard is planning a romantic weekend with his chic Parisian mistress, Suzanne.  He has invited her to spend the weekend at his charming converted French farmhouse, while his wife, Jacqueline, is away, visiting her mother. He has arranged for a cordon bleu cook to prepare gourmet delights.  His bachelor pal Robert has called to announce his return from Hong Kong, so Bernard has invited him over for the weekend as an alibi. Bernard believes he has developed a foolproof plan, but he is the one who is fooled.

What could possibly go wrong?  Well, just about everything.  When Jacqueline realizes Robert is coming for a visit, she cancels the trip to her mother’s.  It seems that Jacqueline and Robert are secret lovers and they are planning a secret rendezvous of their own.  Robert arrives, unaware of Bernard’s planned tryst with Suzanne and finds himself thrust into the role of Suzanne’s lover – thus providing Bernard an alibi for Suzanne’s presence.  Things get much worse when Robert mistakes the Suzette, the cook, for Suzanne, the mistress.  The result of that error is that the cook must play the role of the mistress while the mistress, who can’t cook, must play the role of the cook.  One lie leads to another and soon everyone’s alibi is confused with everyone else’s.  The very savvy Suzette takes full advantage of her multiple roles as mistress, actress, model and niece, collecting 200 Francs for every “extra” and a Chanel coat to boot.  Don’t Dress for Dinner is a frenetic case of mistaken identity with more twists than a corkscrew.  One impossible situation leads to another as the hapless Robert and Bernard find themselves the targets of both amorous attention and wrathful vengeance.  It’s an evening of hilarious confusion played at breakneck speed, culminating in the free-for-all when Suzette’s husband arrives to take her home.

DeeOnda Ahadi plays the saucy and scheming Jacqueline, and Danny Dollar is her philandering husband Bernard who is caught is a maze of lies, alibis and wet shirts. Dave Boughter is Robert, the man in the middle of an impossible mess.  Andrea Wright is Suzanne, the mistress turned cook who finds her romantic rendezvous turned into a culinary nightmare. Brenda Bailey is Suzette, the very clever cook who juggles her multiple roles with aplomb and capitalizes on the “delicate situation” from which she must extricate the two would be Don Juans.  And newcomer, Greg Lockwood takes the stage as Suzette’s very jealous and very menacing husband, George.

The evening of theatre begins at 6:30 p.m. with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar catered by PadreRitaGrill.  The “curtain” goes up at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets for the show are $30 per person, $25 for El Paseo Arts members.  Tickets are available for purchase at Paragraphs Book Store, the Art Gallery in Lighthouse Square, S.O.S., PadreRitaGrill and online at www.elpaseoarts.org.

This sumptuous farce is a theatrical treat filled with silly suspicion and topped with comic chaos.   Don’t Dress For Dinner, by Marc Camoletti, the author of the hilarious farce Boeing! Boeing!, is a delicious theatrical invention that will provide audiences with an evening of laughter from curtain up to curtain call.   Bon Appetit!


EPAF Showstoppers!

A  Musical and Comedy Revue

December 17, 18 and19, 2016

SPI Convention Center 

Try to remember some of the best loved shows that El Paseo’s local players have presented.  On December 17, 18, 19, 2016, at the South Padre Island Convention Center, El Paseo Arts Foundation will present a very special local production that is something of an extravaganza – a revue of some of the funniest and most memorable moments from plays and musicals that El Paseo Arts Foundation’s local players have performed over the past 11 years.  Instead of a single play or musical with a beginning, middle and end, EPAF’s Showstoppers! is a collection of scenes and songs showcasing some of El Paseo’s most popular local performers in signature roles. DeeOnda Ahadi takes on the challenging task of holding all the pieces together in her role as the production’s narrator.  She will also sneak in a glimpse or two of a couple of her favorite roles as she carries out her assignment.  DeeOnda is assisted by the talented Brett Marshall who provides the musical accompaniment and the musical transitions for the production.

After an opening number that sets the theme for the production, the show begins with a hilarious scene that was performed in El Paseo Arts Foundation’s very first season.   “I’m Herbert,” features Ray Stewart and JoAnn Evans reprising their roles as Herbert and Muriel, two very old people whose memories have faded badly.  Act I also includes some memorable musical numbers written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt and Stephen Sondheim.  David and Brock Hughston and Rick Alf capture the beauty and the humor of “Try to Remember”, “Never Say No” and “It Depends on What You Pay”.  Lisa Kinsolving will wow audiences with Sondheim’s “I’m Still Here”.  Paul Cardile, Dick Stabler and Rick Alf harmonize on the melodious “Pretty Lady”, and Brenda Bailey vamps Sondheim’s “Broadway Baby”.   The opening scene of one of El Paseo’s early and best-loved productions, Sylvia, is replayed with Alita Bagley in her title role as the dog who ultimately wins the hearts of both of her new people, played by David Hughston and Brenda Bailey.  Finally, Act I closes with a cutting from the powerful and moving production Billy Bishop Goes to War.   David Hughston recreates his magnificent performance as the World War I Canadian Ace, with Brock Hughston on piano.

DeeOnda returns to open Act II with an invitation to revisit the funniest trailer park in the country – as Julie Boughter, Sally Scaman, Brenda Bailey, Dave Boughter and Carolyn Porter retell the love story in The Great American Trailer Park.  The scenes include the musical numbers “The Buck Stops Here”, “Owner of My Heart” and “He’s Mine/It’s Never Easy”.   Then it’s on to the 2016 season with the 2013 Tony Award Winner for Best Play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.  Spike stops the show with his reverse strip tease and audition monologue in a scene featuring Austin Bailey, Brenda Bailey, Andrea Wright, Dave and Julie Boughter and DeeOnda Ahadi.  Finally, EPAF’s Show Stoppers! wraps up with a return to Armadillo Acres for The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical as Mary Hartman, Julie Boughter, Carolyn Porter, Kat Lillie, Dave Boughter and Rick Alf celebrate the spirit of Christmas with scenes featuring the songs, “There Will Always be Christmas Next Year”, “Black and Blue Christmas”, and “Heart Full of Christmas”.

Putting together a production like EPAF’s Show Stoppers! is no easy feat.  El Paseo Arts had to obtain the production rights for every single scene individually and had to sign a contract with ASCAP to cover the rights to individual songs.  There will be a couple of extra pages in the program just to list all the production rights for the revue.  There were scenes from several plays that might have been included in the revue, except that the authors did not allow cuttings from those shows.  It took more than two months to get all the contracts in place, but the result is a delightful and entertaining journey through the highlights of some of El Paseo’s best-loved shows.  Mary Hartman is the Musical Director; Stephanie Wilson is the choreographer, and JoAnn Evans pulls all the pieces together in her role as Production Director.

If you saw all these shows when they were first perf0rmed, you will enjoy the chance to watch some of these wonderful moments of theatre again.  If you missed any of these productions, this is your chance to see at least part of the shows that El Paseo audiences continue to talk about.  There’s no big set, just some good plays and memorable music showcased by amazing performances.  There will be some new lighting and sound amplification for the production thanks to new equipment purchased by the Convention Centre for use in the theatre room.   The lighting effects create the setting and mood for each scene and song, and the sound will be rich and full.   If you’ve never been to one of the productions before, this is your chance to sample the quality and entertainment value of El Paseo Arts Foundation’s local productions and you should leave the theatre looking forward to the next four shows this season.

The evening begins at 6:30 p.m., with a cash bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres catered by PadreRitaGrill.  Curtain goes up on the performance at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets for EPAF’s Show Stoppers! are $30 per person, $25 per person for members.  Tickets are available for purchase at Paragraphs Book Store, the Art Gallery in Lighthouse Square, PadreRitaGrill, S.O.S., and online at www.elpaseoarts.org.

Celebrate the Christmas Season with El Paseo Arts and

UTRGV’s  Mariachi Juvenil Aztlán

On December 6, 2016, at the South Padre Island Convention Centre, El Paseo Arts Foundation presents a special holiday gift for our patrons with a Christmas Concert by the award-winning Mariachi Juvenil Aztlán.  The concert has a special holiday ticket price of just $15 per person.  The Mariachi ensemble features eight violins, two trumpets, a harp, guitarron, vilhuela, guitar and five vocalists.   The exuberant and colorful performance celebrates the beauty of Mexican folk tradition as the talented musicians ring in the holiday season by showcasing traditional folk music and the Christmas traditions of Mexico.

Mariachi Juvenil Aztlán was founded in 1989 by Dr. Dahlia Guerra, Assistant Vice-President of Public Art at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and is co-directed by Mr. Francisco Loera, who is on the faculty of the School of Music at UTRGV.  The Mariachi Aztlán has been selected numerous times as the “Outstanding College or University Mariachi”.  In collaboration with the Houston Grand Opera, Mariachi Aztlán premiered the stage production of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, the world’s first “Mariachi-Opera” in 2010.  Other concerts include appearances at the Hollywood Bowl, the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center, the White House, a premiere performance of the mariachi opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna in 2013, and a second opera in 2015 with the Opera 0f Chicago.

This very special concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the theatre room at the SPI Convention Centre.  A cash bar will open at 6:30 p.m. and remain open through intermission.  Tickets for the concert are available for purchase at Paragraphs Book Store, the Art Gallery in Port Isabel’s Lighthouse Square, PadreRitaGrill, S.O.S., and online at www.elpaseoarts.org.

The holiday season is a time that should be filled with music and joy.  This is the perfect holiday celebration to be shared with loved ones and friends.