Music on Main Street Features The Jonathan Fox Band and Southern Suburban Country

Music on Main Street on Your Local Color.ComRain threatened us again last Thursday, but the show went on. Nothing is going to stop Music on Main Street. This past Thursday it was The Jonathan Fox Band, and they rocked hard and chased away the clouds. Not to say we don’t need the rain, we do, but a little pause while we had the chance to enjoy a great free outdoor concert is always nice.

Front man and relatively recent UT grad, Jonathan Fox, pulled out all of the stops covering some old crowd favorites and serving up some of his own original tunes. Originally from the DFW area, Jonathan’s brand of Southern suburban country reminded me a lot of Pat Green with a few subtle Garth Brooks-ish undertones. [Read more…]

Music on Main Street Features The Sieker Band and Some Sweet Texas Bluegrass

Music on Main Street on Your Local Color.ComWell, it was a little rainy last Thursday on Main Street in Round Rock but that didn’t keep the show from going on. Right on time the skies cleared, the sun came out and all was well with the world – Music on Main Street was there for us all to enjoy.

For our enjoyment this evening we were treated to Texas style bluegrass by The Sieker Band. I say “Texas Style,” and I mean it, but there is an interesting back story to share about Rolf and Beate Sieker. Like most Central Texans nowadays, they weren’t born here, and like most who enjoy this part of the world, they did get here as quickly as possible, they just traveled a little further. [Read more…]

Penfold Theatre’s Extraordinary Chamber Musical: Ordinary Days

Penfold Theatre Company, Round Rock, Texas, Your Local Color.Com, Ordinary DaysPenfold Theatre’s newest is going to be a real treat for those who are fortunate enough to catch a performance. Ordinary Days will be showing from March 20th through April 6th at the Off Center in Austin, and it is a musical that will feed your need for a true romantic, young-love story.

I can just remember what it was like to be young and brimming with hope. I can also remember the confidence of youth slowly losing ground to self-doubt as I encountered road blocks and personal failures. Who doesn’t? I think this is something with which we could all relate. [Read more…]

The Georgetown Palace Theater’s Current Production Is The CATS Meow

Georgetown Palace Theatre Your Local Color.ComCATS has always been a favorite of mine, not because I have ever seen it all the way through, but because it was my daughter’s favorite. Several years ago she got to know this famous Broadway musical and fell in love with it. She had a video of it and would have it running on our living room TV very regularly.

I probably watched several hours of CATS over those years, catching bits and pieces here and there, but like I said, I don’t think I’ve ever watched it from beginning to end. I wish I had. CATS was just ever-present in our home. I even learned some of the lyrics to the musical just by listening to my daughter singing the songs while she puttered around the house. That really is a happy memory. [Read more…]

Sam Bass Community Theatre’s Current Production: The Boys Next Door

Sam Bass Community Theatre The Boys Next Door Your Local Color.ComSam Bass Community Theatre is currently running The Boys Next Door and it is fantastic. I recently got the chance to drop by, watch the rehearsal, and interview Frank Benge, Publicity Director at Sam Bass, and Director, Eric Nelson.

The Boys Next Door, written by Tom Griffin, is a play about four men who share a group home. The play not only deals with their everyday challenges, but also the personal and professional struggles of their caregiver, Jack. Jack, a truly good man, tries to do his best to take care of ‘the boys’ – Arnold, Lucien, Norman and Barry – while he is also trying to make sense of his own personal and professional life. [Read more…]

What’s Going On At Sam Bass Community Theatre

Red-Velvet-Cake-WarSam Bass Community Theater has a lot going on for the next few weeks. For starters, they are getting close to the opening of their next production which will be The Red Velvet Cake War, directed by Lynn Beaver, and created by the famous comedy writing trio of Jones, Hope, and Wooten. This laugh fest of a show will be starting its run on Friday September 27th and it will run through Saturday October 19th. Please watch the attached video for hilarious clips from Sam Bass’s most recent reading. You will really enjoy yourself.

Jones, Hope and Wooten are well known for their ability to capture the unique flavor of small town southern life. and The Red Velvet Cake cake-red-velvet-cakeWar is that and so much more. The play is situated in the fictional town of Sweetgum, Texas, and is centered on the antics of the Verdeen family, their family reunion, and a hotly contested bake-off. I attended a reading rehearsal, and I laughed the whole way through. Watch the video.

Sam Bass Community Theatre LogoAlso on the Sam Bass Community Theatre agenda is their membership drive, a season ticket drive and fundraising for a new annex. Membership opportunities with SBCT are available at many levels, and depending on the level you choose, memberships come with very attractive perks that really sweeten the deal. Memberships start at a modest $15 and go as high as you want. Some of the perks include complementary tickets, complementary season tickets, invitations to gala events, and of course, you get to support a local, Round Rock organization that is working hard to enrich our lives through superb entertainment. [Read more…]

Round Rock’s Penfold Theatre’s Next Production – RED

Shipwrecked (1)What is art? I can’t really tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it. Haven’t heard that before have you? I know, cliché, cliché, cliché, but it was a reaction I learned to trust over time. For me, it became not so much the piece the artist created, but the strong emotional response I got when the piece first landed on my eyes. Weird, right? Let me give you an example. I have walked through lots of galleries, art fairs, studios and so forth, and I’ve seen a lot of impressive work, but  every once in a great while, I see something that makes me stop and keeps me from moving on. In those rare moments I find myself really enjoying the piece in front of me. It’s a strange feeling I can only describe as “my little happy.”

This happened at a flea market I was wondering through while on a trip to visit my brother and his family while he was stationed in the Navy at Pearl Harbor. It imageswas almost time to close the market, and at one of the last booths I came to there was this young guy selling pottery. He had done all of the work himself. The only pieces he had left were bowls. They were as dark as the lava rocks that cover so much of the island, and there was nothing really special about them at all. Still, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the bowls. I loved the way they felt in my hand, the way the sunlight reflected off their surface – everything. I bought one little bowl about the size of a cereal bowl for five dollars. I still can’t tell you why it felt so good to be the owner of that bowl. That bowl still sits by my bead, and every time I look at it I get the same emotional reaction – every single time. I guess that’s my definition of art.

Shipwrecked (5)I got the same emotional response to a Penfold Theatre reading of RED I attended at Round Rock’s Art Space on Main Street. I didn’t really know what to expect, but for me it was one of those happy accidents where chance and planning intersect and the payoff is sweet. Ryan Crowder, Producing Artistic Director at Penfold, and one of the actors in this 90 minute long, two-man play, once again indulged me with a brief interview that is a part of the video attached to this post. [Read more…]

Round Rock’s Sam Bass Community Theatre – More Hidden Treasure

18ca31_4e42fdcfefa149abf4bcb3a7bf4aeb62.gif_srz_p_175_162_75_22_0.50_1.20_0It has always been tough being a kid. I know, everyone’s experience is a little different, but learning how to become an adult is just not easy. Someone always seems to be there with a clipboard and a stop watch to measure how a child is doing based on some arbitrary standard set by a bunch of experts who we all assume know what they are talking about. If a kid doesn’t live up to these standards when it is believed they should, they seem to have to start all over again and they can’t move on until a box is checked. That has to be unbelievably frustrating.

It just seems like it is a lot more complex now than when I was a kid. I don’t understand all of the causes, but kids seem a little more stressed out and anxious than I remember from my own experience in school and the experiences of my friends.

imagesI saw it when I did substitute teaching for a year in the Austin schools. I saw a lot of frustrated and sullen kids who appeared to have just given up. These kids were where the adults said they needed to be, and that seemed to be the extent of their commitment to the entire process. A lot of kids I worked with seemed to have just given up. It was very sad to see and experience. I was also stunned by the behavior I saw, and although I chalked a lot of it up to how kids treat subs, it was often stunningly offensive and dehumanizing; I wondered how this could have happened. When did this become okay?

I saw something quite different this past week at the Sam Bass CommunityTheatre here in Round Rock.Sam Bass Community Theatre (16) I saw motivated, relaxed and happy children who treated each other with kindness and respect, and they treated the adults who supervised and instructed them with the same level of care. It was wonderful. After my experience substituting in Austin, this really was one of the most uplifting experiences I have ever had. I left with a new appreciation for the adults who take time to work with children. On top of that, all of the adults who were there were not getting paid a penny for their time. This really was a labor of love. [Read more…]

Round Rock Celebrates Juneteenth with Rhythm and Ribs

Round Rock Juneteenth Rhythm and RibsRound Rock had a great time this past weekend celebrating Juneteenth at Old Settlers Park. The event was hosted by The Voice, Inc, the Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department,  and the Round Rock Express Baseball Team.  They did a great job. The whole two day event was a feast of great music and tasty barbeque. It was titled the Round Rock Juneteenth Rhythm and Ribs Celebration and it was a lot of fun. The rhythm was provided by the world class entertainment, and the ribs and barbeque came from folks who showed up for a competitive cook-off.

Round Rock Juneteenth Rhythm and Ribs

DJ Cut Creator

The Celebration started Friday evening and featured a performance by DJ Cut Creator and started again around 2:00pm on Saturday. I was only there on Saturday but if the quality of the entertainment on Friday was as good as it was on Saturday, Friday must have been awesome. Saturday had a superb line up of talent and if you watch the video, it starts off with some great praise music from the One Way Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir. The entertainment wrapped up on Saturday with the featured headliner, The Sonia Moore Experience.

There were several areas to explore while you were taking a break from the great music. There was a carnival area where you could take a spin or

Round Rock Juneteenth Rhythm and Ribs

Sonia Moore Experience

ride a zip line. There was a superb vendor area where you could pick up something special to take home, and there were food trailers there selling some great treats and eats. The Round Rock Police Department showed their support for the event by providing child ID and fingerprinting. Round Rock’s Fire Department also showed up with a pumper engine and passed out red fireman helmets to the kids. If that wasn’t enough, Rhythm and Ribs also invited local healthcare organizations to put on a health fair on site for its guests. Man, there was a lot to do. [Read more…]

Round Rock’s Penfold Theatre Presents Shipwrecked: An Entertainment

Shipwrecked (1)Thinking back when I was a kid, I remember my first adventure story and how thrilling Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was. I loved Captain Nemo’s submarine and all of the fancy gadgets on board. But it was the adventure that was the biggest draw. Going somewhere nobody else had ever been was the goal. Because of that story, I became addicted to fantasy adventure movies and books like Treasure Island, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Robinson Crusoe, Moby Dick, Kidnapped, Robinson Crusoe on Mars (It’s for real. Google it. It was an amazing movie for a five year old boy), Swiss Family Robinson, The Lost World and on and on.

I couldn’t get enough of that kind of entertainment and I knew that one day I would explore Shipwrecked (5)the great unknown. That dream proved fleeting. When I found out there really were no more unexplored desert islands and that the center of the earth was really a blob of molten iron and nickel, I almost gave up on life. Was I going to spend the rest of my life mowing yards in Waco? What was left to do, I asked myself.

Julie Linnard and Robert L. Berry

Julie Linnard and Robert L. Berry

Well, there are still great books and movies to explore and as I grew up I found out that life can be a great adventure even if you never set foot out of your own home town. Getting married and starting a family became my most important high sea adventure. Raising kids was my trip up a tornado in a frame farm house. Teaching my son to use the toilet and not his diaper was my sea monster encounter. It has been a thrill a minute. Still, when life starts to get me down, I can still imagine myself as Tom Hanks, alone on a desert island with nobody to hassle me and my best friend is a soccer ball, but I digress. [Read more…]