Next weekend will be the first time I sing and dance on stage since grade school, when my twin brother and I performed the song, “Anything you can do, I can do better” for a small theatre filled with parents and fellow performers. Now that I think about it…did I even go through with that? I’ve never been one to volunteer myself for the stage and there’s a black hole where that memory should lie.
When Joey Palacios of Texas Public Radio asked if I would like to join the Gridiron cast and/or crew, I probably scrunched and said something like, “I dunno, I probably have to work,” a familiar phrase to my friends and family. But as weeks went by, I figured, “Why not? It’s for a good cause.”
So, you’ll have a chance to see me in a few song and dance routines on stage at San Antonio College’s McAllister Auditorium, 1300 San Pedro Ave. on Saturday, Sept. 19. Even if I black out* Gridiron promises to be a good time – with far more provocative dance moves, cussing, and satirical jabs at local politicians than most local theatrical productions.
Whether you follow local politics, believe me, very little of this chisme-based mockery will fly over your head.
Proceeds from the show fund scholarships for area journalism and communications college students. The local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, which produces the show, awarded $12,000 to seven college students in 2015.
Tickets are only $30 if you purchase in advance online and $35 at the door. Program advertising opportunities are also available. For tickets and ads, go to sanantoniospj.ticketbud.com/gridiron2015.
Did I mention the money goes to fresh, young (or old, who cares) journalism students – the future of the Fourth Estate?
Frankie Saucedo, the wildly talented director and choreographer of this year’s show, has become a master of balancing patience with authority by working with, for the most part, a bunch of untrained singers, dancers, and actors. The cast and crew is made up of folks from almost all angles of mass media: journalists, editors, public relation specialists, producers, and more from print, television, radio, online, corporate, and governmental outlets.
It’s nice to see these people outside of City Hall or the eight-hour police union contract negotiation meetings. As you can probably tell from the promotional material (see top image), we have a lot of fun poking fun at what we do in our day (and night) jobs, and what we watch politicians do to each other (…and with our lives). Gridiron is basically a hybrid of “Saturday Night Live” and Cornyation, an evening of skits and musical numbers written by and starring the people behind all that news and information you consume.
The Most-Panned Award will be given out to the local newsmaker who has received the most flak from the media over the past year. The theme this year, “Bad Blood,” plays off of the mayoral election – but the skits touch on a variety of controversies and in the local headlines, with nary a sacred cow in sight.
The local production gets its name and concept from the Gridiron Club established in 1885 in Washington, D.C. that hosts annual dinners featuring satirical music and skits. The local troupe started in 1985 – but this isn’t the 30th anniversary show, necessarily. The show has taken some sabbaticals over the years – something about probably having to work overtime…
*Just kidding. I’ll be fine, Frankie.
Full Disclosure: I’m in this show. Obviously.
CORRECTION: Apparently there will not be libations for sale at the theater. Get a drink (not too many) before the show and join me for one after.