Event News Releases

El Paseo Arts Foundation Presents: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Musical

Can you spell “F – U – N”?
Wednesday, November 15 thru Friday, November 17, 2017 El Paseo Arts kicks off its first local actor production of the season with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a Tony award-winning musical! Doors open at 6:30 PM at the South Padre Island Convention Center with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, and the show starts at 7:30.

Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor as a group of students (played by adults) vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing touching stories from their home life, the eclectic group of six pubescents (and some audience volunteers) spell their way through a series of words hoping to never hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box. It’s a riotous ride complete with audience participation.

The Spelling Bee cast includes some of your favorite local actors. Returning to the stage are Julie Boughter as Rona Lisa Perretti, the bee hostess and former bee champion herself, and Dave Boughter as William Barfee, a boy trying to make a comeback after being eliminated the year before because of a peanut allergy. Rick Alf plays Chip Tolentino, a Boy Scout and defending champion from the year before, and Kat Lillie takes on the role of Olive Ostrovsky, an only child with often-absent parents. Carolyn Porter is Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere, an intense and stressed out 10 year old with two dads, and Paul Cardile is Leaf Coneybear, a home-schooled second-alternate with a bit of Attention Deficit Disorder. New cast members from last season include Mark Shellard as Douglas Panch, a less-than-excited vice principal called in to substitute as the word reader, and Chuck Hofmeister as Mitch Mahoney, the official bee “comfort counselor”. Marsha Sargeant makes her EPAF debut as Marcy Park, the ultimate overachiever.

Oh the years of awkward adolescence. Who doesn’t look back on that time and cringe? No one! Which is why The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is the perfect combination of hilarity and poignancy. The Bee is an unforgettable experience. It’s a fast-paced crowd pleaser with fun music, audience participation and loads of laughs. The best way to describe Spelling Bee is that it is hilarious, H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S! Tickets are $30 per person for non-members or $25 for El Paseo Arts members and are on sale now at Paragraphs Bookstore, S.O.S., PadreRitaGrill, the Art Gallery in Lighthouse Square and online at http://www.elpaseoarts.org.

El Paseo Arts Foundation to Present – A’lante Flamenco, a Traditional and Contemporary Flamenco Music and Dance Group

On Saturday, October 28th, 2017, El Paseo Arts Foundation presents A’lante Flamenco at the nightclub located at 5908 Padre Blvd, near the southeast corner of the intersection of Padre Blvd and Sunset Street, South Padre Island, TX. “The sounds of rapid-fire hand clapping, feet pounding the floor, and guitars strumming to the plaintive sounds of flamenco singing are the sensory treats that provide the backdrop for A’lante Flamenco’s newest work, Flamencura. An electrifying evening of flamenco music and dance, Flamencura transports audiences into a traditional Spanish flamenco club, where the four dancers and three musicians of A’lante Flamenco show off their skills with fire and passion.
With the fiery guitar of Jose Manuel Tejeda, searing vocals by Celia Corrales and Isai Chacón, and graceful, powerful dance by Olivia Chacón, Guillermo Tabares, Karen Vilches and Carisa Leal, the performers share the beauty and intensity of the flamenco art form with audiences. Flamenco is all about living in the moment—experiencing every instant to the fullest—and in the nightclub’s’ intimate setting, audiences can get up-close and personal with the artists without missing a single detail of Flamencura. From the chattering castanets of dances like Sevillanas and Asturias to the rapid-fire footwork of Bulerias and undulating hands of Fandangos, A’lante Flamenco will bring a piece of Spain to South Padre Island.
Olivia and Isaí Chacon lived in Spain for five years studying flamenco, performing in the traditional tablaos (flamenco clubs) of Madrid, and touring internationally with groups like La Compania Flamenca de Cristobal Reyes and artists including Antonio Reyes, Laura Tabanera, and others. In 2010, they returned to Olivia’s native Texas to open their dance school in Austin, and formed A’lante Flamenco the following year.
Members of the company hail from the likes of San Antonio, TX; Durango, Mexico; and Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz. From Latin musicians with more than 25 years of experience to multidisciplined dancers experienced in ballet, jazz, modern and folkloric, A’lante Flamenco has the talent to create a performance that is the a perfect blend of spice, passion and incredible entertainment. Come spend the evening with El Paseo Arts Foundation as we present, A’lante Flamenco!
Tickets for A’lante Flamenco are $30 per person, $25 for El Paseo Arts members. A cash bar will be available for the evening beginning at 6:30 when doors open. Curtain is at 7:30PM. Parking is free. 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 thrilling evening of contemporary flamenco music and dance that begins as soon as the talented dancers take center stage, and the electric environment will keep your heart racing all evening.
A’lante Flamenco’s productions have received acclaim from audiences and critics alike. Awards include the Austin Critics’ Table awards for Best Dancer 2012/2013 (Olivia Chacon in The Red Shoes), Best Dance Ensemble 2013/2014 (for Prophecies) and Best Dance Ensemble 2014/2015 (for Desplazados). The Red Shoes: A Flamenco Fairytale was also chosen as one of the “Best Dance Shows of 2012” by the San Antonio Express-News

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.