Peppy is Rockin’ The Planet
By Ramón Hernández
Singer, songwriter Emil “Peppy Castro” Thielhelm is “Rockin’ the Planet with The Greatest Story Ever Sung.”
The former Blues Magoos founding father, guitarist and vocalist, who composed the music and wrote the lyrics to every tune in this musical production, says the message in these songs – all based on the Bible – is to bring peace, love, acceptance, healing, hope and making the world a better place.
“My son, Jesse Castro, contributed to writing the music for five of the tunes; and June Rachelson-Ospa was a co-lyricist to about one-third of the songs,” Peppy said.
Giving the reader an insight on how this project came about and giving credit where it’s due, he added, “It all started four years when Steve Leber called me up at 8:30 a.m. on Christmas Day. And he’s Jewish, so I told myself, ‘this is going to be good,’ and it was.
“He woke up feeling the world was so screwed that he wanted me to write a show call ‘Rock the Bible.’ I thought it was a great idea, and I agreed. Hence, the play was conceived by Steve.”
For those not familiar with Leber, he began his career with the William Morris Agency, where he developed and handled music icons like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles’ Concert for Bangladesh, plus. And that was only the beginning for the behind-the-scenes entertainment entrepreneur who went on to guide virtually every name in baby-boomer entertainment. And at the time he called Peppy, he had just become chairman and CEO of Grandparents.com.
New York City-based Peppy was a member of the original 1968 Broadway “Hair” cast; and his songs have been recorded by Diana Ross, Cher, Kiss, plus many others. So, this world-class caliber play could have been cast and presented on Broadway. It could also have enjoyed a successful run in Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago. So, why did he choose San Antonio?
“I met Jonathan Pennington through June (Rachelson-Ospa) when he did a showcase in New York; and, it was at that time that he asked if I would consider doing a version of ‘Hair’ at the Roxie. My answer was that I would rather do something original. He agreed and here I am,” Peppy said as he pointed to the Roxie’s main entrance.
“I came here not knowing what to expect, and I found a purpose,” said the award-winning playwright and multi-instrumentalist whose office walls are lined with Gold Records.
“Making new friends since I arrived and seeing the future in the kids in the play has become a blessing in disguise.”
“That’s right,” Jonathan added as he offered his analogy of the play. “God must be a teenager because of the things kids go through. Unlike churches that preach God’s fire and brimstone, God has shown me who he is through this production, which as the movie ‘Spiderman – Homecoming,’ contains a little humor. So yes, I think God is my super hero.”
While Leber, Pennington and Emmy-nominated Peppy may be the producers you never see, the ones who are going to impress, wow and amaze you are the cast members who will act and sing their way into your senses, your feelings and into your hearts. They are the stars.
Of course, our Lord and Savior gets universal top billing and the part of God is played by Paden Mercer. Starting out with the Book of Genesis, Sebastián Ramírez and Valeria Jauregui are cast as Adam and Eve. Cain and Abel are portrayed by Allan Jaurejui and Diego Jaurejui.
Then the evil Lucifer tries to steal the scene and Eve’s innocence with an apple as Sean Salazar enters the stage as Satan. However, Salazar later redeems himself as Noah with Jazmin Chacón at his side as Naamah.
We know we are surrounded by invisible angels. However, Savannah Mercer, Ivanna Danforth, Pauline Csitkovits, Yvette Cárdenas and Cristián Plata are five rockin’ angels that you will be able to see throughout each heavenly presentation in which the music is top gun.
It is said that “sometimes, music is the only medicine the heart and soul need,” so if you are feeling blue or just have plain humdrums, make a beeline for the Roxie Theater to go get a good dose of feel good contemporary rock music with a message that may change your life.
From “Creation,” “Seven,” “Make Us Over,” “Angel,” “The Ten Commandments” to “The People’s Hero,” “Flood of Love” to “Just One Love” plus 11 more tunes, be prepared to be transported to a level of peace, joy and delight as ten good-looking, wholesome, talented Alamo City teenagers and two preadolescents, sing, dance and tug at your heart strings.
“Rockin’ the Planet” can be seen at the Roxie Theater Performance House from March 29 to April 14. Performances are: Fridays @ 8:00 p.m.., Saturdays @ 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays @ 4 p.m. The Roxie Theater is located at 7460 Callaghan Road, Suite 333, San Antonio, Texas.
In closing, Leber is also known for his precedent-setting arena tour of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Jesus Christ Superstar,” a project that was such a success that it became a viable industry model. Coupled with Peppy’s experience in “Hair,” don’t be surprised if “Rockin’ the Planet” does not wind up on Broadway, then taken on a national tour.
To purchase tickets and for more information, call 210-360-9180 or visit their website: www.roxietheatrecompany.com/on-stage/rockin-the-planet.
Also, be sure to read the article on Peppy Castro on page ______ in this issue to find out how he went from being one of the early pioneers of the psychedelic garage band rock era to rocking Christian music.
(Note: Jonathan Pennington is the owner and director of the Roxie Theater Performance House.)
Story by: David A. De La Rosa
Photographs by: Joseph Martinez
Alamo City Comic Con Experience 2017
This past weekend I attended San Antonio’s fifth installment of our local pop culture festival known as the Alamo City Comic Con (May 26th – 28th at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center). Convention goers’ have a chance to cut loose and let their inner geek out. This event allows the attendees the opportunity to dress up in costume and in makeup as their favorite superheroes or villains. It’s very common to see a whole family; mom, dad, and the kiddies dressed as their favorite hero’s.
Story by: David A. De La Rosa
Photographs by: Joseph Martinez & Ramon Hernandez
Alamo City Comic Con Experience 2015
I have for a full year been greatly anticipating the third installment of the Alamo City Comic Con. I’ve missed the excitement, and festival like atmosphere of this event. I was very pleased with the event as a whole, and everyone who attended I’m sure were not disappointed.
The Pastie Pops
Pictures and story, joseph Martinez.
Last Saturday night I drop by “Up Town Studio” at 700 Fredericksburg Rd. to see local show “The Pastie Pops”. All involved in the show was just wonderful. The head liner was Missy Lisa, and featuring “Elle Du Jour”. There was a total of eight performers doing their own unique thing. Some, combining song with their acts Poetry and light hearted comedy
Creativity and Graceful moves went hand and hand all night long.
The Wizard World Comic Con Experience 2014
Story by: David A. De La Rosa
Photographs by: Joseph Martinez
The Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con 2014 was a fun filled event to attend for anyone who’s into comics or pop culture in general. It’s the kind of event to let ones inner geek out to put on the old superhero costume and for one day or possibly three to pretend they are their favorite crime fighter.
The evening started with the young indie-alt band Octahedron
Playing tunes with melodic under tones.
Newly formed, in the of the summer of 2013 .These guys are the music of tomorrow. With a little more seasoning under their belt and a few more gigs they will be a force to be reckoned with.
They play all original songs. “Octahedron” Walk their own path.
The members of the band do have one thing in common. They say..
“Making music to make life better”
This hold true because some of their music sales from go to
Story by David A. De La Rosa
Photos by: Joseph Martinez
Alamo City Comic Con: Special Guest Danny Trejo
The inaugural Alamo City Comic Con has come and went; it was set up as a premier comic book convention. The four things people look forward to in a typical convention are comic book collectibles, artwork, dressing up in costume, and meeting celebrities. The Alamo City Comic Con did not disappoint in any of those aforementioned items.
Saturday 10-19-2013 @ 11:45 P.M.
Congratulations to the WINNERS of the 33rd Annual Tejano Music Awards
Song of Year/Artist/Group
Mi Mundo Se Acabo – Siggno
Male Vocalist of the Year
Female Vocalist of the Year
Entertainer of the Year
Album of the Year – Tejano
Contigo Descubri – Elida Reyna y Avante
Album of the Year – Conjunto
Back on Track – Los Hermanos Farias
Album of the Year – Norteño
San Antonio Luminaria 2013
Story and photos by Joseph Martinez
Rain ,Rain stay away and it did. For the folks who braved the cool night they were treated to an amazing evening loaded with the sight, sound and the aroma of food lingering in the air. Walking the park grounds I came to a opinion wishing there were two of me so I can see and enjoy twice as much. There were 6 stages and over 600 artist.