In the round 

News and notes from the San Antonio theater scene


September begins the new theater season. It's also come to be unofficial Theater Month in SA, as all sorts of stage-related events vie for your patronage.

On September 9, the Magik Theatre, in collaboration with Communities in Schools, will present a "symphonic" revival of one of their most popular original works, Benito's Dream Bottle. Based on the award-winning book by local Poet Laureate Naomi Nye, Benito is adapted by Magik Executive Director Richard Rosen. The music was written by Musical Director Mark Johnson, local bluesman Ruben V, and Roger Underwood. Additional accompaniment will be provided by the Alamo Heights Sinfonietta. The event, which begins at 7 p.m. and includes an after-show dinner, is a fundraiser for the two organizations, which benefit the children of San Antonio through arts and social service. Tickets are $68/person, $170 per couple. Call 227-2751.

On September 10 at 8 p.m., the San Antonio Theatre Coalition's TheatreASAP will kick-off when six local playwrights (including yours truly) randomly draw their subject matter and begin writing short plays that will open for the public, fully rehearsed, 24 hours later. At 8 p.m. on September 11, at the Vexler Theatre, new works by Sterling Houston, Gregg Barrios, Deon von Rooyen, Irma Mayorga, Bruce Limpus, and Laurie Dietrich will be premiered by a brave band of outstanding local actors and directors. Tickets are $10 general admission, and can be purchased from Tracy at the Vex (302-6828) or at San Pedro Playhouse (733-7258).

On September 12, the deservedly ubiquitous Sterling Houston will be honored with the Award of Literary Excellence at INKstravaganza, a benefit fundraiser for Gemini Ink, at 6 p.m. at the Witte Museum. The event will feature the unveiling of a limited-edition, handcrafted collector's chapbook published by Gemini Ink in collaboration with the Southwest School of Art & Craft, and featuring an excerpt from Houston's novel-in-progress, The Secret Oral Teachings of the Sacred Walking Blues. Outback Steakhouse is catering the event and there will be the usual fundraiser fare of live and silent auctions. Tickets are $75 per person. Call 734-9673 to make your reservations by September 8.

The Alamo Theatre Arts Council will present the 14th annual Globe Awards on September 26 - a fact that makes those of us who attended the first one, and the feel-good theater event of that year, the after-party at Ruffino's, feel very, very old. Annella Keys and John O'Neill will host. Beloved theater curmudgeon and eminence-grise, John Igo, will present Remembrances (and who remembers better than he?), and the self-titled "oldest broad in broadcasting," Mary Denman, will receive recognition for the years dedicated to her other love - the theater, as the recipient of the 2004 Jasmina Wellinghoff Award for outstanding contribution to theater.

The main business of the evening, however, is to present awards of excellence to participants in local theater in any of 25 different categories. Productions at area theaters that were seen by the required minimum number of ATAC judges are eligible for nomination based on those judges' numerically scored ballots. Outstanding scores in each category are recognized. In the spirit of award shows everywhere, entertainment is provided in the form of scenes from the past theatrical season.

The event begins at 6 p.m. at McAllister Auditorium on the San Antonio College campus. Tickets are $20 per person. Checks and money orders can be mailed to the ATAC Treasurer, P. O. Box 12671, San Antonio, TX 78212. Credit card purchases may be made through the San Pedro Playhouse Box Office by calling 733-7258. The reservation deadline is September 20.

Compiled by Laurie Dietrich

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