Ebanazio – A Winter’s Tale of Old San Anto” was the play we saw performed by the Jump Start Company at the Sterling Houston Theatre.

This christmasy, but at times also hilariously funny play/show combines elements of Charles Dickens‘ “A Christmas Carol” with the history of San Antonio in the first half of the 18th century, Christmas 1731, to be exact. Besides thoughtful moments there are satirical elements, too, when e.g. the Indians of the region are taught Christian religion with the help of a quiz similar to the television show “Jeopardy“, and every answer – which the (somewhat dense) Indians of course do not know – has to be Jésus, and when, in the end, exactly as it has to be worded in the show, one of the Indians asks, “Who is Jésus?”

Historically correct even if satirically exaggerated are the characters, the Yanagua Indians, the Franciscan monks, the soldiers of the Presidio de Béxar as San Antonio was called at that time, as well as the settlers from the Canary Islands. Equally historically correct are the conflicts about land use and water rights as well as the class distinctions and the clash of cultures.

The selfish and grabby commander of the Presidio, Ebanazio, who at the end of the play of course is “converted” from a Scrooge to a generous person, is, as the name suggests, clearly taken from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol“.

On the whole it was a well-done performance we enjoyed a lot, and which, in a newspaper article is described as follows:

The show […] includes a few standard holiday show elements, such as a nativity scene, the thawing of a frozen heart and the judicious use of kids and dogs. But it mostly goes on its own refreshingly loopy path, including lots of puns, a couple of deeply silly takes on ‘The Price is Right‘ and ‘Jeopardy,’ and a little bit of sex. It’s ridiculously entertaining.”

The Sterling Houston Theatre is located in the Blue Star Arts Complex,  a former warehouse and brewery area on the banks of the San Antonio River at the southern edge of the city which in the course of the revitalisation of that area and the renaturalisation of the San Antonio River is being converted into an area with small arts venues, restaurants and apartments.

To quote from Wikipedia:

Blue Star is a catalyst for the revitalization of the South Alamo neighborhoods that surround the facility. The Blue Star Complex and has been redeveloped as an arts-oriented mixed-use development that includes loft/studio apartments, galleries, retail, performance spaces, artists’ work spaces, and design offices.”

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