Saturday, 18 May 2024

Arts & Life

LAKEPORT, Calif. — Journey to the world of Portuguese Fado as interpreted by Ramana Vieira, a northern California native of Portuguese descent.

Vieira will perform at the Soper Reese Theatre in Lakeport at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 23.

Tickets can be purchased at the theater’s website.

Vieira’s parents immigrated to the United States from Portugal, where her grandfather was a well-known musician and composer from Madeira Island.

Her work captures traditional Fado and influences from the Portuguese diaspora in a musical tapestry that ranges from the whispering, haunting ballads of Fado, to American classics and jazzy blues.

She also is a proficient pianist and a gifted songwriter having penned and composed her own original Fados, of which several have been nominated at the International Portuguese Music Awards.

The Soper Reese Theatre is located at 275 S. Main St. in Lakeport, telephone 707-263-0577.



‘KUNG FU PANDA 4’ Rated PG

The saga of a lazy, overweight panda named Po (voiced by Jack Black) began 16 years ago when he dreamed of leaving his family’s noodle shop to join the world of Kung Fu to study with his idols, the legendary Furious Five.

For this chapter of the lovable panda’s adventures, “Kung Fu Panda 4” begs the question of whether eight years after the last episode this fourth journey of an action-comedy franchise is necessary.

Whether the answer is negative, what matters most is that young fans of the franchise are the target audience and the relative dearth of family-friendly films makes the fourth “Kung Fu Panda” a worthwhile entertainment even if the episodes may have run their course.

Time does not look to be on Po’s side either. After three death-defying adventures defeating world-class villains with his courage and martial arts skills, Po’s standing as the Dragon Warrior is facing an unwanted retirement.

Po’s warrior mentor Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) decides to tap the rotund martial artist to become the Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace, which is not exactly the destiny he wants.

Returning to his roots, Po is busy starting his own noodle restaurant, and reconnecting with his adoptive goose father Mr. Ping (James Hong) and his biological father Li (Bryan Cranston).

Other than his own concerns, there are obvious problems since Po knows as much about spiritual leadership as he does about dieting, and he also needs to quickly find and train a new Dragon Warrior before assuming his lofty new position.

A new enemy arrives on the scene in the shapeshifting tiny lizard known as the Chameleon (Viola Davis), a wicked sorceress with her beady little eyes coveting Po’s Staff of Wisdom, which would give her the power of the master villains Po had vanquished to the spirit realm.

Desperately needing some help, Po reluctantly enlists crafty, quick-witted thief Zhen (Awkwafina), a fox who gets under his fur but whose skills prove invaluable.

Slapstick humor and generous fight sequences with plenty of predictable action results in adventure for “Kung Fu Panda 4” that should certainly appeal to the target audience. Innocuous family fun is delivered as expected.




‘RICKY STANICKY’ Rated R

Beware of unintended consequences. This adage apparently did not occur to three childhood friends during their adolescent years when they created an imaginary friend who would take the blame for their pranks.

As the director of “Dumb and Dumber,” Peter Farrelly, who performs the same duties for Amazon Prime’s raunchy comedy film “Ricky Stanicky,” works in his comfort zone of portraying characters that have failed in many ways to leave adolescence behind.

Dean (Zac Efron), JT (Andrew Santino), and Wes (Jermaine Fowler) are first seen in 1999 as their younger selves, pulling a Halloween practical joke that goes so horribly wrong that they create the fictional Ricky Stanicky as the scapegoat.

The deception works so well that the ruse carries on into adulthood. When JT’s wife Susan (Anja Savcic) plans a baby shower, the trio of friends living in New England claim that Ricky has cancer as an alibi to leave town for a gambling trip to Atlantic City.

While gambling and drinking at a casino, they meet Rock Hard Rod (John Cena), a crazed alcoholic who wants to be an actor to do something more profound than performing bawdy parodies of famous rock stars at the dingy Slot Swamp Casino.

A premature birth of Susan’s baby causes the gang to rush back home, where the existence of good friend Ricky comes into question, particularly from JT’s suspicious mother-in-law who seems to have figured out the fictitious nature of someone no one else has ever seen.

As the spouses and partners of the trio demand to finally meet the fabled Stanicky, the boys decide on the dubious scheme to hire celebrity impersonator Hard Rock Rod and bring him to life.

With the mystery man apparently in “remission,” Stanicky arrives to attend the Jewish ceremonial of the baby boy’s bris, going so far as to lend a hand in the ritualistic tradition.

With a lot of bravado and swagger of an ersatz cowboy, Hard Rock Rod portrays his alter ego with a fabricated backstory of charitable work helping starving people in Africa

Just so you know that the subterfuge is fraught with risk, Dean’s wife Erin (Lex Scott Davis), a television journalist seeks to advance her career by pushing the idea of a story about Stanicky’s heroic nonprofit work.

Meanwhile, seeking to embellish his acting craft, Ricky commits to his role so successfully that he manages to impress Mr. Summerhayes (William H. Macy), the boss of Dean and JT, that he’s offered a high-paying corporate job for which he is obviously not suited.

The gang realizes they have created a monster, as the unintended consequences come into full play. Even before the story arrives at this stage, “Ricky Stanicky” succeeds in delivering enough gags and laughs for an amusing diversion.

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

UKIAH, Calif. — The School of Performing Arts & Cultural Education, or SPACE, presents Noche de Estrellas directed by Olivia Zamora on Saturday, March 16, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The performances will take place at the SPACE Theater, 508 West Perkins St., Ukiah.

Noche de Estrellas this year will be 100% live mariachi music with some local community members getting a chance to perform with the mariachi for the very first time.

The show will feature Luther Burbank Center’s Mariachi’s Ensemble, Mariachi Cantares de Mi Tierra.

LBC’s Mariachi Ensemble is a year-round program serving over 120 students focusing on much more than music. Led by LBC’s Music Specialist, Matthew Isais Bowker, students learn critical social and emotional skills including perseverance, leadership, cooperation, and collaboration in addition to technique, musicianship, and stage presence through the lens of mariachi.”

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for youth under 18.

Tickets are available and Mendocino Book Co. (cash or check), SPACE box office and www.spaceperformingarts.org.

For information, call 707-462-9370 or visit www.spaceperformingarts.org.

Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-04) has announced the 2024 Congressional Art Competition for all high school students in California’s Fourth Congressional District.

“The Congressional Art Competition is one of my favorite programs of the year because it highlights the excellent artistic talents of students from across our district,” said Thompson. “I look forward to seeing all of the incredible submissions this year and I encourage all high school students to submit their artwork before the deadline.”

The winning artwork from our district will be displayed in the United States Capitol for one year alongside the winning pieces of artwork from other Congressional Districts. In addition, the grand prize winner from our district will be flown with a guest to Washington, D.C. to attend an awards ceremony. The day of the ceremony will be announced soon.

Yolo County’s Katherine Dowling of Davis Senior High School won last year’s competition for her piece “Theater” which is composed of acrylic paint on a canvas board.” Katherine’s work is currently displayed in the U.S. Capitol.

Artwork must be submitted by April 15 to one of Rep. Thompson’s district offices:

• 2721 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Napa, CA 94558.
• 2300 County Center Drive, Suite A100, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.
• 622 Main Street, Suite 106, Woodland, CA 95695.

The submitted artwork will be judged by a panel of local artists and art experts with the winner announced after the deadline.

The guidelines for the Congressional Art Competition include the following:

• Artwork must be two-dimensional.
• Each piece can be no larger than 26” x 26” x 4” (26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep), including the frame.
• Framed artwork cannot weigh more than 15 pounds.

Acceptable mediums for artwork are as follows:

• Paintings: oil, acrylics, watercolor, etc.
• Drawings: colored pencil, pencil, ink, marker, pastels, charcoal (It is recommended that charcoal and pastel drawings be fixed.)
• Collages: must be two-dimensional.
• Prints: lithographs, silkscreen, block prints.
• Mixed Media: use of more than two mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc.
• Computer generated art.
• Photographs.

Each entry must be original in concept, design, and execution and may not violate U.S. Copyright laws. Any entry that has been copied from an existing photo or image (including a painting, graphic, or advertisement), that was created by someone other than the student is a violation of the competition rules and will not be accepted.

The winning piece must be available to be mailed to Washington D.C. in the original medium (that is, not a scanned reproduction of a painting or drawing).

Students and teachers interested in the Congressional Art Competition may contact any of my district offices for further guidance and instruction.

Thompson represents California’s Fourth Congressional District, which includes all or part of Lake, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties.

From left to right, Claire Jacobs as Annelle, Angela Galli as Clairee, Marlena Shapiro as Quiser and Laura Barnes as Shelby. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — The Lake County Theatre Co. announced its production of “Steel Magnolias,” set to captivate audiences at the stunning Boatique Winery.

Showcasing the timeless charm of Robert Harling's classic play, this production promises an unforgettable theatrical experience against the backdrop of picturesque vineyards and rolling hills.

The Lake County Theatre Co.’s rendition of “Steel Magnolias” will run on March 15, 16 and 17, and March 22, 23 and 24, offering multiple opportunities for audiences to immerse themselves in the heartfelt story of love, friendship and resilience.

Set in the cozy intimacy of Boatique Winery, this production offers a unique ambience, enhancing the emotional depth of the narrative. Audiences can expect to be transported into the charming Southern world of Truvy's Beauty Salon, where laughter and tears intertwine, and bonds are forged that withstand life's toughest trials.

In celebration of our esteemed seniors, the Lake County Theatre Co. is delighted to host a special “Senior Night” on March 15. All seniors aged 60 and above can avail themselves of discounted tickets priced at $15, allowing them to join in the magic of “Steel Magnolias” at a fraction of the cost.

“We are thrilled to bring Steel Magnolias to the stage at Boatique Winery,” said Becky Vreeland, director of the production. “The combination of this timeless story and the enchanting setting promises to create an unforgettable theatrical experience for our audiences.”

Tickets for Steel Magnolias at Boatique Winery are available now. Don't miss the opportunity to witness this beloved play come to life in one of Lake County's most beautiful settings.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.lctc.us.



‘DRIVE-AWAY DOLLS’ RATED R

Together, the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, have an undeniably eclectic style touching on different genres.

Notable, in no particular order, are “Raising Arizona,” “Fargo,” “The Big Lebowski,” and “No Country for Old Men,” just to name a few.

Going his own way with “Drive-Away Dolls” is Ethan Coen directing and co-writing the script with his wife Tricia Cooke. There’s an interesting story about their unconventional relationship that one can easily check on the internet.

A brief description of this one-brother effort is a lesbian road trip in which two young women, the libidinous Jamie (Margaret Qualley) and sexually uptight Marian (Geraldine Viswanathan), travel from Philadelphia to Tallahassee.

They rent a “drive-away” car that needs to be delivered to where they are going. One of the highlights just might be the encounter with rental agent Curlie (the amusing Bill Camp) who runs a dubious establishment.

Jamie’s just had a bitter breakup with Sukie (Beanie Feldstein), a Philadelphia cop who shows up later in an amusing confrontation with two thugs in pursuit of her ex-lover and Marian.

The road trip is an excuse for Jamie, who speaks with a hillbilly Southern accent, to frequent every lesbian dive bar on their journey. What the girls don’t know is that they were given the wrong car which contains a mysterious briefcase and hatbox.

A nasty crime boss known as The Chief (Colman Domingo) has tasked two lunkhead goons, the loquacious Arliss (Joey Slotnick) and ineptly trigger-happy Flint (C.J. Wilson), to retrieve the contents of the drive-away Dodge Aries.

The closet lesbian Marian, a bookworm avidly reading Henry James novels, eventually loses her inhibitions. Matt Damon shows up as Senator Channel, who has an interest in the briefcase, and Sukie arrives on the scene to get rid of an annoying small dog Jamie left behind.

During the trip to Florida, the girls have a blowout on the highway. Maybe the flat tire is symbolic, as the air goes out of “Drive-Away Dolls” long before the final destination.

While “Drive-Away Dolls” may be offbeat (with the help of some psychedelic interludes), any hope for a zany screwball comedy never fully materializes as one would wish for a film with an ostensible Coen knack.

TCM CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL RETURNS

The TCM Classic Film Festival returns to Hollywood for its usual four-day extravaganza of a wide range of programming topics beginning on Thursday, April 18. Festival attendees also get the chance to attend “meet and greets” with TCM guests and enjoy panel discussions.

The central theme is “Most Wanted: Crime and Justice in Film.” While the film schedule is only partially available, the 50th anniversary presentation of “Chinatown,” a neo-noir starring Jack Nicholson’s private eye embroiled in a political corruption coverup and murder investigation, fits the theme.

In addition to the classic venue of the Chinese Theatre for screenings, TCM will be celebrating its 15th annual Classic Film Festival by returning to one of its original homes in the beautifully restored and beloved Egyptian Theatre.

In partnership with the American Cinematheque and owned by Netflix, the Egyptian is capable of screening digital cinema, 35mm and 70mm film, and nitrate prints. The theater will host revealing conversations as TCM hosts and notable guests get a chance to this glorious temple of cinema.

TCM is pleased to announce two of the confirmed screenings at the Egyptian will be a nitrate 35mm print of 1950’s “Annie Get Your Gun,” as well as a new 70mm print of “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962).

The Festival will open in a red carpet gala event with the 30th anniversary screening of the classic neo-noir “Pulp Fiction,” and two-time Academy Award-nominee, Golden Globe and Emmy winner John Travolta will be in attendance.

“Pulp Fiction” is described by Ben Mankiewicz, TCM Primetime Anchor and Official Host of the Festival, as “Quentin Tarantino’s magnum opus and the beginning of a well-deserved comeback for John Travolta.”

Among the announced films, Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller “North by Northwest” (1959) fits the theme. In this case, the most wanted person is Cary Grant’s debonaire advertising executive forced to run for his life after being mistaken for a secret agent.

In a case of mistaken identity, Grant’s Roger Thornhill is thought to be a man by the name of George Kaplan by James Mason’s foreign spy Philip Vandamm and his henchman Leonard (Martin Landau).

While the bad guys try to eliminate Thornhill, circumstances lead the advertising man to be framed for murder. On the run from the police, Thornhill manages to board a train to Chicago where he meets Eva Marie Saint’s beautiful blonde, Eve Kendall, who helps him dodge the authorities.

Is there more to Eve than what appears to be? A dramatic escape at the top of Mt. Rushmore is breathtaking. “North by Northwest” is ranked among the greatest American films of all time by the prestigious American Film Institute, a well-deserved accolade.

More exciting news about the 2024 TCM Classic Film Festival will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.

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

Upcoming Calendar

18May
05.18.2024 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Land Trust benefit
21May
05.21.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
22May
05.22.2024 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Lake Leadership Forum
25May
05.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
27May
05.27.2024
Memorial Day
28May
05.28.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
1Jun
06.01.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
4Jun
06.04.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

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