March 8, 2009: One Night of Queen, CulinART, and the Week Ahead
     We just returned from “One Night of Queen” at The Long Center, and my ears are still ringing.  My adopted son Tim Green joined me (his first visit inside The Long Center) for the
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concert experience starring Gary Mullens as Freddie Mercury, with Mullens and his band The Works recreating a full concert of the super-group Queen on The Long Center’s concert hall stage.   Mullens embodies every inch of frontman Mercury, and lead guitarist Davie Brockettwas simply amazing.  It’s a shame more folks didn’t experience the show.
    The small but enthusiastic audience ate up every guitar rift and stage strut, with the Dell Hall providing exceptional acoustics for the high-power show.  I’m eager to return on Friday night for the Austin return of the Bob Wills musical A Ride with Bob, starring Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel.
    Thursday night proved once again to be spectacular when I served as emcee for the annual CulinARTS gala at the U.T. Texas Exes Ballroom.  We ran into several Central Texas philanthropists, including national AIDS expert Dr. Gary Werntz and Hill Country Ride for AIDS founder and executive director David Smith.
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     Staged by the International Special Events Society, the event raised several thousand dollars for the Wright House Wellness Center, and special guests Bud “The Pie Man” Royer and Hoover Alexander were great fun to interview live on stage.  Kudos to all the chefs and event planners that donated their time and resources for the fete, and super kudos to all the folks that not only bought tables for the event but also bid up the live auction items and extensive selection of artwork in the silent auction.
    It’s another busy week ahead.  Tuesday night is the opening night for the national tour of Monty Python’s Spamalot, playing through Sunday at Bass Concert Hall.  Check out our exclusive interview with star Richard Chamberlain, who plays King Arthur in this national Broadway tour.
    Thursday night we’ll be heading to the Paramount Theatre for Montana Repertory Theatre’s staging of To Kill a Mockingbird.  Then Friday evening before A Ride With Bob, we’ll be stopping by the open house for massage therapist Scot Maitland’s new offices.  
     Saturday night brings the champagne opening night for Zachary Scott Theatre’s much-anticipated staging of the Tony Award-winning play The Grapes of Wrath.  Then we cap the week with a trip to the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo.  We’ll have highlights of all the adventures later this week.

(Image: Gary Mullens and The Work; photo courtesy One Night of Queen)