Saturday, 25 May 2024

Arts & Life

LAKEPORT, Calif. — The city of Lakeport requested input on arts and culture through a survey that was published on Nov. 2.

A total of 59 individuals shared their comments and interests.

The feedback identified the top reasons that keep individuals and families from attending or participating in creative activities and cultural events as not knowing about the event or can’t attend due to conflicts with schedules and locations.

Additionally, the survey yielded that social media, online publications, and friends through word of mouth are the top platforms where individuals become informed about activities and events.

The survey participants voted that an urban design in arts and cultural activities is a great idea, with a focus on addressing health and wellness, environmental and social service issues.

Results of the survey will be considered as the City develops an arts and culture component in its next economic development strategic plan.

The objectives of the plan are to uplift and celebrate local artists, stimulate a creative economy, make the Lakeport area an arts destination, support the work of arts groups and organizations, and engage the community.

To review the complete survey analytics, please click here.

For more information, contact Victor Fernandez, associate planner, 707-263-5615, Ext. 203, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Julian Sterling (Guy) and Heidi Peterman (Girl) in the Mendocino College production of the musical Once. Photo by Scott Spears.

UKIAH, Calif. — The Mendocino College Theatre Arts Department will present the Tony Award-winning musical “Once” March 23 to April 2 in Mendocino College’s Center Theatre on the Ukiah Campus.

Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, “Once” tells the story of a guy who gives up on love and music, and a girl who inspires him to dream again. The show is based on the motion picture of the same title.

Set in Dublin, the musical is about the relationship between an Irish street musician/Hoover vacuum repairman whose heart stops in its tracks when he meets a Czech pianist with a vacuum needing repair.

It is a story of two people who share a moment in time that changes them forever, a moment that happened “once.” It is a powerful and moving celebration of humanity and music.

Performances will run for two weekends only.

Written by Enda Walsh and with music by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglová, the play features a multi-talented cast of performers who sing, dance , act and play musical instruments.

According to director Reid Edelman, “This beautiful production and astonishingly talented cast present a musical experience that will captivate your soul.”

The production is recommended for all audiences ages 13 and older.

With musical direction by Phillip Lenberg, original choreography by Eryn-Schon-Brunner, and vocal direction by Marilyn Simpson, the production will feature costumes and scenery created by students in Mendocino College’s CTE program in technical theatre under the direction of faculty and staff members Steve Decker, Kathy Dingman-Katz and David Wolf.

Voice and dialect coaching is by Alicia Bales, and theater arts alumna Rickie Emilie Farah is the show’s assistant director, and alumna Shianne Robertson is the assistant costume designer. Student Sarah Jansen is the production Stage Manager.

The talented cast features local musician and guitar instructor Julian Sterling in the leading role of “Guy,” and college Music major Heidi Peterman in the leading role of “Girl.”

The show also features theater students Dakota Laiwa-McKay and Gwendolen van Wyk in the supporting roles of Eamon and Reza. The cast also includes an impressive array of professional local musicians and music educators including Anthony Melville as Billy, Sam Kircher as the Bank Manager, Jean François Buy as Andrej, and college voice instructor Marilyn Simpson as the violinist.

The cast, a mix of students and community members, also includes Kay Spencer as Baruska, Joe Swearengin as Svec, Neil DiBernardo as Da.

Ensemble members also include Hannah Eddy, Shianne Robertson, Stacey Sheldon, Anita Stearns, Cora Schon-Brunner, and Amanda Tuttle.

Once will have a “pay what you wish preview” on Thursday, March 23.

Opening night is Friday March 24. Opening night will include a free gala reception starting one hour before the show. The performance on Saturday, March 25, benefits the Mendocino College Foundation and student scholarships. A free glass of wine is included with the ticket price for this performance.

Following the opening weekend, additional performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 30; Friday, March 31; and Saturday, April 1. There will be a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 2.

Tickets cost $20 for general seating and $15 for students and seniors, and are available at the Mendocino Book Co., online at and at the door as available.

The performance on Thursday, March 30, is a special discount night, with all tickets costing only $10. Audiences are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance.

For information, call 707-468-3172 or visit

Please note regarding Mendocino College Covid Safety Policy: Proof of vaccination is no longer required to attend live performance events at Mendocino College. Masks are optional, but are strongly recommended.

Jim and Susie Malcolm. Courtesy photo.

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. — Award-winning Scottish folk singers Jim and Susie Malcolm will return to Lake County to perform in concert on Saturday, March 4.

The concert will be at the Fore Family Winery located at 3924 Main St. in Kelseyville.

The doors open at 7 p.m.

The special guest Beth Malcolm.

This is a benefit concert for KPFZ 88.1 FM.

Tickets are $22 for KPFZ members and $25 for non-members.

For information and reservations call 707-262-0525 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Truth is stranger than fiction, and in the case of drug smuggler Andrew Thornton II, a deep dive into his history would probably be even more fascinating than the “inspired by true events” movie that fictionalizes the story of a black bear ingesting cocaine.

“Cocaine Bear” lifts off from an actual event in 1985 when Thornton, an Army paratrooper-turned-racehorse trainer-turned-narcotics cop-turned DEA agent-turned-lawyer-turned-cocaine smuggler (oh, and alleged CIA operative, too), jumped from a Cessna.

After ditching duffel bags of cocaine that landed in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Thornton, while strapped with packets of cocaine and wearing dress Gucci shoes and cargo pants stuffed with cash and gold coins, attempted to parachute to the ground.

The film opens with actual news stories of Thornton, nicknamed “The Cocaine Cowboy,” discovered after plunging to his death by landing in a gravel driveway of a residence in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Thornton was not the only casualty of that flight. Months later, it was discovered that a black bear, weighing about 175 pounds, had been lumbering through the wilderness when it bumbled upon a duffel bag that had been ditched.

The bear took some sniffs, and decided to consume the white powder contents of the bag. This turned out be the only known case of a large mammal succumbing to a deadly overdose.

“Cocaine Bear,” taking plenty of liberties with true events, runs with a dark comedy/horror tale by turning the black bear into a 500-pound apex predator that ingests a staggering amount of cocaine and goes on a coke-fueled rampage for more blow and blood.

The ursine behemoth is first introduced through the perspective of Norwegian hikers Olaf (Kristofer Hivju) and Elsa (Hannah Hoekstra), a newly engaged couple taking a break from the stress of wedding planning to vacation in the woods.

Depending on what trailer you may have seen or heard about, it’s probably not a spoiler alert to reveal that the bear becomes so enraged that it transforms into a psychotic monster willing to slaughter anyone that gets in its path.

St. Louis drug kingpin Syd (Ray Liotta), whose mobile office is often a fast-food joint, enlists his trusted fixer Daveed (O’Shea Jackson, Jr.) and his headcase son Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich), to retrieve the coke before his Colombian overlords go full “Scarface” mode.

Meanwhile, at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, detective Bob (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), struggling to complete a quest of many years to take down Syd’s crime family before he retires, heads for the Georgia forest knowing he’s got a chance to make good on his mission.

Bob has an obsessive affection for his dog Rosette, a prim, white Maltese who looks more like a contestant for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show than a regular household pet.

The closest thing to law enforcement at the Chattahoochee National Forest is hapless Ranger Liz (Margo Martindale), who’s oblivious to teen punks stealing candy because she’s fixated on attracting the attention of animal-rights activist Peter (Jesse Tyler Ferguson).

Worse than engaging in petty theft, the gang of kids are tearing through the woods stabbing and robbing people. The punks think of themselves as agents of chaos. The one who stands out is Stache (Aaron Holliday), who might lead Syd and his crew to a hiding place for the cocaine.

Not to be overlooked is the fact that drug dealer Daveed was jumped by the three punks in the men’s room, which they come to regret. Later, surly Eddie strikes up a conversation with Stache about being distraught over losing his wife to cancer.

On this fateful day, precocious 12-year-old Dee Dee (Brooklynn Prince) plays hooky from school with pal Henry (Christian Convery), who’s got a big crush on her, so she can paint a picture of a waterfall and use it gain admittance to an art camp.

Dee Dee’s mom Sari (Keri Russell), a gutsy, skilled nurse who’s divorced, has a fraught relationship with her daughter. Piecing together what has happened, Sari goes chasing for the lost kids, putting her on a collision course with the furry drug addict.

If anything, Sari proves to be the film’s primary hero, seeking to protect her daughter and Henry like a mama bear would guard her lost cubs. She’s tougher and smarter than anyone would guess by her pink jumpsuit.

One stunning sequence involves the ambulance drivers who think they are making a quick getaway once they hit the road with an injured passenger. Let’s just say a coked-up bear has jaw-dropping endurance.

“Cocaine Bear” boils down to living up to its title, causing what to think what the heck is this all about. Given the oddball assortment of characters involved and the overall weirdness of the situation they find themselves in, it’s a combination of dark comedy and slasher film.

The filmmakers were looking to create a surreal rollercoaster ride, making the audience laugh, making them scream, and making the jump.

“Cocaine Bear” reaches its goal, if you are willing to take the ride.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.


A writer of detective pulp fiction, Raymond Chandler made his literary mark with fictional private eye Philip Marlowe in a series of novels, several of which were adapted into films starring Humphrey Bogart, Robert Montgomery, and Robert Mitchum, among others.

The spirit of the hard-boiled detective lives on with Irish novelist John Banville who chooses to publish under the pen name of Benjamin Black, at least for crime fiction, including “The Black-Eyed Blonde,” subtitled “A Philip Marlowe Novel.”

If film noir is defined by stylish crime dramas featuring characters with cynical attitudes, then any movie with gumshoe Philip Marlowe qualifies for the genre. Just take a look at Bogart in “The Big Sleep” or Mitchum in 1975’s “Farewell, My Lovely.”

A dedicated cinephile of the film noir genre would most likely choose Humphrey Bogart’s 1946 “The Big Sleep” as the definitive Philip Marlowe film, with no small measure of help from a starring role for Lauren Bacall.

Liam Neeson, the man with a “special set of skills” in recent action films, is now the brooding, down on his luck detective, the titular character in “Marlowe” and not to be confused with the 1969 film of the same title starring James Garner.

This new “Marlowe” is not based on a Raymond Chandler novel, but rather the contemporary work of Benjamin Black’s first foray into imagining the private eye’s involvement with a wealthy heiress’ search for a missing lover.

While Black’s story is set in the early 1950s, “Marlowe” hews to a fitting time of 1939, where the fedora-wearing sleuth seems to be more appropriately situated in the milieu of a film noir environment.

Peering out his office window on to a street that’s probably in Hollywood, notwithstanding the fictional Bay City setting, Marlowe spots a leggy beauty making her way in the direction of his building.

Of course, this beautiful woman, Clare Cavendish (Diane Kruger), is the type of femme fatale that’s bound to need the services of a detective, in this case to locate Nico Peterson (Francois Arnaud), an ex-lover gone astray.

Initially, the case appears to be solved as a death after a hit-and-run outside the Corbata Club, but then there’s been an apparent sighting of Nico very much alive, maybe in Mexico.

The search for the truth results in Marlowe tangling with an assortment of sinister characters, from the slimy owner (Danny Huston) of the Corbata Club, to a drug smuggler (Alan Cumming) and the usual thugs hired as muscle.

Figuring into the mix of other players are Clare’s mother (Jessica Lange), a film star with an unhealthy interest in her daughter’s personal life, and a couple of Marlowe’s pals from the police force (Colm Meaney and Ian Hart).

The storyline gets convoluted enough that it’s easy to lose track of how sex, drugs, a corrupt studio system and some Mexican gangsters figure into a bigger picture that looks conceivably conspiratorial.

One can’t help but think that Liam Neeson, fittingly world-weary here, may have aged too much for the physical necessities of the role, which he confirms by saying “I’m getting too old for this” after dispatching a bad guy.

The one compensation for Neeson’s senior status is being taller than most of the others, even though we must suspend disbelief that his Marlowe would get the best of thugs half his age.

The saving grace to “Marlowe,” if there actually is one, is that the production’s aesthetic style captures the essence of film noir and the period look of the shady underbelly of Los Angeles as well as the glitzy Golden Age of Hollywood.


Remember when Jared Fogle became recognizable as the pitchman for Subway due to his story of overcoming obesity through a diet of the chain’s sandwiches? He was a model of inspiration for people struggling with weight problems.

But in 2015, Americans were stunned when authorities brought multiple charges of child endangerment against Jared Fogle and his business partner Russell Taylor.

ID TV’s new three-part series, “Jared from Subway: Catching a Monster,” reveals the shocking, previously untold story of the investigation that exposed the monster insidiously lurking behind Fogle’s charming persona and how his true nature as child sex predator was finally revealed.

Charting Fogle’s rise from morbidly obese teenage outcast to beloved Subway spokesman, “Jared from Subway” offers exclusive access into the rise and fall of the disgraced weight loss sensation and the investigation that brought him down.

Over the course of three parts, the docuseries provides key insight from local Florida journalist Rochelle Herman, a single mother of two who later worked with the FBI to investigate Fogle, revealing her secret recordings of his disgusting and disturbing confessions.

The series also explores the charges against Russell Taylor that ultimately led to the raid on Fogle’s home that uncovered child pornography. Emotional interviews with Russell’s stepdaughters reveal how they were victimized by Fogle and their stepfather.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.


Investigation Discovery, known in shorthand as ID TV, is the leading crime and justice network on television, which delivers the definitive nonfiction programming. Just ask Detective Joe Kenda (ID TV fans know who he is).

The new series “Death by Fame” touches on the starry-eyed hopefuls whose fairytale dreams devolve into horrific nightmares.

The six-part series goes behind the scenes to uncover the sinister side of fame and reveal the true stories behind the murder of promising stars.

In the first episode “Celebrity Sexpert” ID TV recounts the heartbreaking death of Drew Carey’s ex-fiancee and renowned Hollywood family and sex therapist, Dr. Amie Harwick, who was found murdered the day after Valentine’s Day.

Police are left to investigate who might be capable of such a deadly act. According to news reports, another ex-boyfriend has been ordered to stand trial for murder of Harwick, allegedly throwing her from the third-floor balcony of her West Hollywood residence.

Additional episodes explore the coldblooded murder of “The Voice” sensation and rising star, Christina Grimmie, whose YouTube channel attracted a stalker with sinister motives, and the story of Macedonian model Adea Shabani who arrives in Los Angeles with dreams and then goes missing.

Figuring into an episode of “Death by Fame” he may not want, actor Lloyd Avery II has overnight success after starring in “Boyz N The Hood” and then goes on the run in a bizarre portrayal of life imitating art.

ID TV bares all with “The Playboy Murders,” revealing tragedies that span decades of the once-iconic brand. A dark side lurks behind the adult men’s magazine that faded away from its print version to apparently being available only online.

This new anthology series recounts murders and mysteries that intersect with the world of Playboy. The six-part series is hosted and executive produced by former Playboy Bunny Holly Madison.

In the premiere episode “Bunny Meets Bachelor,” a tabloid media frenzy occurs after a Playboy party hostess and model is found dead and dismembered in a dumpster.

The mutilated body of 28-year-old Jasmine Fiore was found stuffed in a suitcase, and her fingers and teeth were missing in an attempt to hide her identity. Serial numbers on her breast implants confirmed her identity.

At the time of her murder, Jasmine and her husband Ryan Jenkins, a VH1 reality contestant, were living apart, and he took off for the Canadian border since he was the prime suspect.

Additional stories include Stacy Arthur, the middle-American mom who spent hours on Playboy’s premium 1-900 number, attracting one fan’s fatal obsession who stalked and murdered her husband in a parking lot.

Not every episode centers on a woman being a victim of a horrible crime. Former Playboy bunny Carole Gold was sentenced to life in prison for the first-degree murder and conspiracy in the death of her husband Charles, a gunslinging Wild West show performer.

The cotton-tailed bunny hired a hit man to eliminate her spouse, with the motive being to collect on a life insurance policy. Not every murder is motivated by jealousy, rage or obsession in “The Playboy Murders.”


PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel continues the legacy of Masterpiece for exceptional British drama by expanding to include award-winning TV series and movies from around the world.

Streaming during the month of February will be three seasons of “The Tunnel,” based on the original Swedish series “The Bridge.” The series centers on the investigations and relationships between two detectives.

British detective Karl Roebuck (Stephen Dillane) and French detective Elise Wassermann (Clemence Poesy) are forced to work together when crimes involving both countries are committed.

Season One follows Karl and Elise as they investigate a dismembered body on the border of both countries in the Channel Tunnel. The second season has them reunited to probe a case where a French couple have been abducted from the Eurotunnel.

The third season is set in a mid-Brexit Europe where the English and French teams come together once more in the emotionally charged finale when a stolen fishing boat is found adrift and on fire in the English Channel.

Started as what the New York Times called a “chic TV boutique with a foreign accent,” Masterpiece’s “Walter Presents” showcases award-winning foreign language drama as a service named after its curator, Walter Iuzzolino, a passionate drama fan.

“Walter Presents: Acquitted” achieved the biggest launch ever in Norway when it premiered in 2015. The series follows Aksel Borgen (Nicolai Cleve Broch), a successful businessman who is asked back to his hometown in rural Norway.

Borgen has spent the last 20 years in Asia, and now he’s returned to save the town’s main company from bankruptcy. However, Borgen, who left after being acquitted of the murder of his high school girlfriend, is haunted by his past.

The three seasons of the crime drama “The Tunnel” include 24 episodes in English and French. “Walter Presents: Acquitted” is a 10-episode series in Norwegian with English subtitles.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

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