If you’re not in the mood this week for a spectacularly set stage, live symphony or orchestra, elaborate dresses celebrating Texas’ heroic struggle for independence from Mexico in San Antonio’s beautiful Majestic Theatre involved in fiesta’s traditional Coronation of the Queen of the Order of Alamo, try its polar opposite; Cornyation.
Tracing back to as far as 1951, and originally staged by the San Antonio Little Theater at the Arneson River Theater as part of “A Night in Old San Antonio,” Cornyation is a unique adult sketch comedy show that satirizes local and national politics, jokingly using the traditional regal elements involved in Fiesta San Antonio’s formal events.
The show was revived in 1979 for one year as part of NIOSA before its current iteration in 1982. It was held at the Bonham Exchange club to accommodate larger crowd sizes; however, it has since been moved to the Empire Theater where it is presented today.
In alignment with the traditional elements of Fiesta, the satirical event presents King Anchovy, his empress, the vice empress and the queens during Cornyation. The sketches feature comedic drag queens, half-dressed dancers, zany actors and crazy outfits.
This year will be the event’s 51st, entitled Court of Our Mad, Mad, Mad World, and will feature the events first ever dual King Anchovy, husbands Wayne D. Beers and Michael Bobo, owners of popular eatery W.D. Deli on Broadway.
“The show, of course, will have numerous political references,” said Ray Chavez, who runs the show, in an interview with the Express-News. “And our performers will be wearing at least two tons of makeup.”
The dual kings Beers and Bobo will be presenting a theme of “playing cards” with two kings in the deck. The event will pay homage to the old black and white era of film, with all make up gray-scale including tap dancers and the grand introduction of the two kings by four queens.
The sketches listed include “American Clown Car,” which looks to make fun of the GOP candidates; “Hair Toupee, Gone Tomorrow,” about ridiculous billionaires; “Our Lady of Listeria,” that looks to make light of the Blue Bell ice cream recall; and “Baby’s First Foot Long,” a sketch about recently imprisoned Subway pitchman Jared Fogle.
Since its non-profit designation, the show and organization have raised more than $2 million for the San Antonio Aids Foundation and BEAT (Black Effort against the Threat of Aids). Last year, the first of four annual Robert Rehm scholarships were awarded to four local students majoring in theater arts.
The event will begin Apr. 19 and extend until Thursday of this week. Tickets range from $15 to $40 and are available online at ticketmaster.com. Fans are encouraged to go directly to downtown’s Majestic Empire box office on Houston Street to purchase them.