Remember the Alamo

`Remember the Alamo, A King Hill Ballet


Texans are often rightly accused of being more nationalistic about their state than being proud of the USA.  Not that we are not proud of the USA but we were our own country before entering the Union by treaty.  Another thing that is often surprising to people outside of Texas is how big it is.  It is one thing to look at it on a map, it is another to drive places for hours with out seeing a telephone pole or house (of course when I said that to a friend of mine in Dallas he retorted he could drive for hours on I35 and barely go 15 miles).  Texas must be experienced.  Part of the pride comes from the history.  For instance, who hasn't heard the phase, "Remember the Alamo."?

I mentioned distance because it is faster for me to drive to Missouri from my home in Amarillo, than it is to drive to San Antonio where the Alamo is.  But I didn't have to drive as the Alamo came to me in the most marvelous production by King Hill in conjunction with the Lone Star Ballet.  Remember the Alamo was performed at the Globe News Theater, and I got the incredible honor of photographing it.

From February 26 to March 6, 600 brave defenders held against the 6000 of Santa Anna's best.  That act of bravery and tactical brilliance to last that long has been the stuff of movies and books.  Those defenders' names are immortalized.  Men such as Davy Crockett (You all go to hell I am going to Texas), Austin Travis, Sam Bowie and the rest are common names.  For instance, I live on Crockett street.

Globe News Theater

Many who only pass-through Amarillo or have heard about its quakry residents and attractions like Cadillac Ranch, might not know but our town has some wonderful culture.  We have the Lone Star Ballet, Symphonies, Opera, world class plays.  Many of those take place at the Globe News Theater which is world class in its beauty and acoustics.  

Colonel William B Travis  and Santa Anna Confront each other on stage.  But this view gives you a glimpse of the theater.  I have photographed many events here and it is one of my favorite places to photograph performances.

King gives a pep/prep talk to the cast. 

One of the great joys of photographing a performance is the backstage view.  I am like a mouse running around seeing the thousand stories of the cast getting ready.  There are 1000s of marvelous happy dramas that play out with each performance backstage in getting ready,  be it a rock show or ballet.  Watching and catching those dramas with my camera is such a gift.  I am at once part of it and an observer.  By the way, I wish someone would have recorded King giving his prep talk.  He is a marvelous speaker and motivator.


Ed Montana Opens.  If you have not heard Ed sing, You are missing out.  

I got to be honest, I am not very cultured.  Growing up we just didn't go to ballets or symphonies.  And the bit I have been exposed to left me scrambling for Van Halen and George Straight, so I didn't know what to expect.  I love history and the guy responsible for all this, King, is a joy in conversation so I trusted this was going to be a bit different.

Ed Montana opens with a cowboy ballad sort of tune that is purely wonderful (of course I love Marty Robbins so there is that).  He introduces the main cast in marvelous story telling form.  The wonder of this performance  is most of the dialogue is from primary sources of those at the Alamo.  So, the monologues and dialogues are wonderfully accurate.  This is a great teaching tool about the Alamo.

Brooks Boyet as Colonel William B Travis, reading from Austn Travis' actual historical letter.

Sabrina Meck, playing role of Susannah Dickinson, sole Anglo Alamo Survivor with infant daughter, sharing her fears before the final assault.

Raul Rodarte-Suto, in the role of the old Enrique Esparza, who was an 8 year old boy at the Alamo and witnessed the battle.  He is plays the older version remember the Alamo.  BTW he is most masterful in his story telling!

Del (Delores) Maldonado portrayed a Bexar resident who supported Santa Anna

Sawyer Landry portraying Alamo defenders, Daniel Cloud. Lucia Gandara, played the role of Trinidad Saucedo, who was a young girl who was in love with Alamo soldier, Daniel Cloud and who also supported the Texian cause

Mexican soldier, was played by Julian Hughes.

General Santa Ana, was played by Eric Bui.


Madam Candeleria, played by Mary Faulkner Bralley.


I couldn't help but to take some artistic liberties with some of my photos.  Black and white screamed to be had with some of the vintage costumes and dramatic light.

While King uses the historical dialogue to tell the story I waited for the dance.  I was curious how King was going to weave the story of the Alamo and Ballet together. And I was blown away.  The music and dance were done masterfully.  Now I am no expert.  I watch for visuals (photographer) and notice this largely from that vantage but let me tell you, the costumes and lighting, the movement spoke to me deeply and I think my camera caught a bit of that magic...

Raul Rodarte-Suto closes the story of the Alamo

Ed Montana closes the play with another amazing tune.  


The Lone Star Ballet is a true treasure in Amarillo.

Craig Henderson, Executive Director of Lone Star Ballet who produced show in conjunction with Catherine Meck, executive director for Window on a Wider World.  Here is Craig in a balcony seat before the show.  If you are in Amarillo, please support the Lone Star Ballet.  Truly this is a treasure for us.  

And the man himself, B. King Hill who wrote and directed the entire shindig.  Wonderful artist and historian.  BTW King just came out with a new book, look it up on Amazon, The Butterfly Decision.

As an afterthought worth sharing, King explained to me: "Additional note, it took me over a year of intensive research to write the show. All characters were historically based. The script and its content included the required curriculum content for Texas schools."