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.)
From Blues Magoos and “Hair” to “Rockin’ the Planet” with “The Greatest Story Ever Sung”
By Ramón Hernández
Peppy Castro’s musical story is truly one of the greatest stories to be told for he has been here, there, everywhere; and he has done it all.
His musical journey began when he learned his first guitar chord as a result of being in a Christian church play at age 13.
“That’s when I realized that I could be a singer and musician,” Peppy said of his Christian upbringing and what he credits to be his biggest luence. “But,then you go through the rebellious years.”
Alamo City Comic Con Experience 2018
Story by: David A. De La Rosa
Photographs by: Joseph Martinez
In south central Texas there are two things I look forward to in the fall. One is the change in climate, from the hot humid air to the cool dry air. The other thing I look forward to is attending our local pop culture festival that is the Alamo City Comic Con. This past weekend this event was held at the Alamodome (Oct 26th thru 28th). People that attend this event have a chance to don their favorite superhero/villain costume and congregate with other geeks to have a good time. This comic con has always been very family friendly and this year was no exception. Mom and dad can take the kiddies down to this event with the expectation of having a good time at a reasonable price.
The Long and Winding Road of Jimmy González
By Ramón Hernández
Was Jimmy González trying to tell us something through his music?
Normally, this writer would say, his most ‘recent CD,’ but in this case Jimmy’s latest production was his ‘last CD.’ And, the title to the last song, which was sung by Danny Ortíz was “The Long and Winding Road.”
The previous CD was titled “Que Cante El Mundo (Mi Dolor).” Today radio stations are playing his music all day long and fans are singing along in sorrow. And before that, he included “Porque Me Gusta a Morir” (“Because I Like You till Death”). Was the multi-Grammy Award winner telling his fans – between the lines – that he loved them until he died?
Jimmy Gonzalez of Grupo Mazz dies in San Antonio hospital
Gonzalez was taken to the hospital after his blood sugar dropped. Family members said he died around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Author: Rudy Trevino / KIII TV south Texas ABC
Published: 10:19 AM CDT June 6, 2018
Jimmy Gonzalez of Tejano band Grupo Mazz died Wednesday morning after being hospitalized in San Antonio, according to Gonzalez’ relatives.
Gonzalez was taken to the Methodist Hospital of San Antonio after his blood sugar dropped. Family members said he died around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Little Joe on Politics, Racism and Chicano Rights
Article and photos by Ramón Hernández
Is Little Joe Running for Political Office? No, but he is throwing in his hat into all races and hitting the campaign trail to help Texas turn back to blue from local city elections to the governorship and state congressmen and women.
Scream Queen 2017
It was mid-November, I found myself in “Wonderland Land of the America’s” indoor mall.
There were many venders to visit. Selling a wide variety of goods from comic books, trinkets and bats under glass, quite interesting to look at. It’s a bargain hunter’s delight.
One thing I must point out. I have been to many conventions and comic cons. Some of the same kinds of things I looked at were cheaper here. The price to attend was Zero. That’s the best deal of all! Wonderland mall have a wide range of events going on all year long just keep an eye out for them. https:// www.facebook.com/wonderlandoftheamericas
The Bedouin Belly Dancer was on hand entertaining a cheering small audience . Many of the dancers did several different styles of dances. All preformed with grace and dignity. If you would like to give it a try belly dancing; check out www.asheba.com
Archie Bell to Tighten Up Tejano SOUL Cruise
By Ramón Hernández
Archie Lee Bell says, “ ‘There’s Gonna Be a Showdown’ on the Carnival Valor cruise ship that sails out of Galveston on Monday, November 13.
“We’re going to ‘Tighten Up.’ ‘Everybody’s gonna have a good time. So ‘Let’s Groove’ together by signing up for this cruise.”