Friday, 27 May 2022

Arts & Life

MIDDLETOWN – The next installment of the Coyote Film Festival -- Lake County’s own independent film festival – will take place this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 17 and 18, under the stars at beautiful Langtry Estate and Vineyards.

The film lineup this month features several animations, two of which were done by nationally recognized animator, Bill Plympton. Plymptoons brings us the wonderful “Guard Dog” and the followup animation, “Guide Dog,” which have proved to be major festival favorites. Also featured is “A Better Mousetrap” by the wonderful filmmaker of “K-7,” Christopher Leone.

The film shorts that the festival will show this week include “Three-Fifty,” (8:50 minutes), written and directed by Maurice Chauvet. A video store customer's "little white lie" to weasel out of his late fees brings major consequences to his life. This film is a hilarious look at late fees, privacy rights and how much information is available at just the touch of a button.

Three-Fifty Actress and Executive Producer Melinda Augustina will be at the festival for a question and answer session following the showing of Three-Fifty.

Other shorts showing include:

  • K-7” (18 minutes), written and directed by Christopher Leone. It started as an ordinary job interview. It will end in mortal combat. Vincent Kincaid needs this job. He's even undergone a rigorous psychological exam to prove he's the right man for the job. The psych profile has rated Vincent a “K-7.” But what does K-7 mean?

  • Every Thirty Seconds” (5:48 minutes), written and directed by Jeremy Corray. A man is trapped in a world of his own dangerous statistic. Every Thirty Seconds a man is hit by a drunk driver. This is that man! (Computer effects by Brian Gray.)

  • My Name is Yu Ming” (13 minutes). Yu Ming works in a Chinese shop and hates his job. His dream is to come to Ireland and he spends his free time studying everything Irish, including the language. One day his dream comes true and he finally lands in Dublin airport.

  • KnitWits” (5 minutes). In a shady storeroom, two goodfellas prepare to initiate their junior partner to the "club." It turns out to be a knitting circle.

Parental discretion is advised. Films may contain adult situations, strong language and/or violence. The showings featuring a 20-foot screen, stereo sound, circulating fans; popcorn and munchies, and cold beverages are available for purchase.

Doors open at 7 p.m., with films starting at 9 p.m. Bring a picnic and enjoy Langtry's tasting room.

The cost is $12 at the door. All proceeds benefit EcoArts of Lake County.


For more information about the festival, visit

Langtry Estate & Vineyards is located at 21000 Butts Canyon Road, Middletown.


UKIAH – The Mendocino College Theatre Arts Department will hold auditions on Monday, Aug. 27 for the upcoming fall 2007 production of Temptation, Vaclav Havel's adaptation of the classic legend of Faust.

Mendocino College theater professor Reid Edelman will direct the production, with choreography by dance instructor Sandy Metzler.

Havel, an acclaimed statesman and playwright, wrote Temptation in 1986 while imprisoned for protesting human rights abuses in Czechoslovakia under the Communist regime.

His plays, outlawed in his own country until 1989, have been celebrated internationally. According to director Reid Edelman, “the play is a haunting absurdist comedy, similar in style to the works of Tom Stoppard and Eugene Ionesco. In a time when our own civil liberties are being redefined, Havel's examination of bargains made in the names of security and progress are disturbingly relevant.”

In 1989, Havel led the “Velvet Revolution” which peacefully ousted the Communist Regime from power. He was elected president of Czechoslovakia in 1990 and of the Czech Republic in 1993.

Temptation is a modern retelling of the classic Faust legend in which a doctor yearns to master all knowledge but finds that, in order to do so, he must promise his immortal soul to Mephistopheles, the spirit of hell.

Strangely, while in prison, Havel was given various versions of Faust to read. He adapted the legend into a darkly funny play set in a modern scientific institute in an unspecified totalitarian country.

This haunting tale with a demonic sense of humor will run in the college's Center Theater Oct. 26 through Nov. 4.

Interested performers should arrive at the college's Center Theater at 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 27 and plan on staying until 10 p.m. The initial audition will include physical and vocal explorations, ensemble exercises and readings of scenes from the play. No preparation or experience is required; however, all performers should wear comfortable movement clothes (sweat pants and t-shirts are ideal).

Some performers will be invited to attend additional call-back auditions on Tuesday, Aug. 28 and / or Wednesday, Aug. 29.

The cast will include 15 performers, including dancers and actors. The roles include:

  • Foustka: male, 20s-40s, a scientist at the institute. His occult investigations get him into some serious trouble.

  • Vilma: female, 20s-40s, a scientist and Foustka's lover.

  • Fistula: male, 20s-40s, a seedy demon with smelly feet.

  • Director: male, 40s-60s, the director of the scientific institute.

  • Deputy: male, 20s-40s, assistant to the director.

  • Marketa: female, 17-23, a secretary at the institute. Young, naïve, foolishly falls in love with Foustka. A variation on Shakespeare's Ophelia.

  • Kotrly: male 20s-40s, a scientist.

  • Neuwirth: male, 20s-40s, another scientist.

  • Lorencova: female, 20s-40s, another scientist.

  • Petrushka: female, 20s-30s, silent shadow to the deputy.

  • Houbova: female, 40s-60s, Foustka's landlady.

  • Dancer: male, 20s-30s, a professional tango dancer.

  • Messenger: male, 20s-40s, mysterious.

  • Two lovers: male and female, 18-25, the embodiment of pure and true love.

Rehearsals will begin in September and continue until the show opens on Oct. 26. Performances will run through Nov. 4.

Several college courses are associated with the production, and all performers will receive college credit.

In addition to the performance opportunities, numerous backstage production positions are available. Crews are needed to build scenery, props and costumes, as well as to work as stage managers, light and sound operators and run-crew.

For those with a particular interest in learning to build costumes, there will be a costume construction course taught by Kathy Dingman Katz. This class will meet Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

For those with an interest in learning to build and paint scenery, there will be a stagecraft course taught by David Wolf and Dan Stockwell. This class will meet Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Perusal scripts are on reserve now in the Mendocino College Library on the Ukiah Campus.

For additional information about auditions, or to join the backstage production team, contact Reid Edelman at (707) 468-3172.


LAKEPORT – Victoria, proprietress at the new and wonderful Cafe Victoria in Lakeport, smiled as she wrote Poetry Interlude on her calendar for Sunday, August 26, at 1 p.m.

The Interlude will feature its usual poetry and music open mike format where all forms of expressive art are encouraged. Yes, there is a piano on site. There is a tiny stage with microphones and jacks available.

All acts will be expected to set up and break down quickly. Please limit performances to six minutes. We can always do a second round if there is time.

Other events this month at Cafe Victoria will include an open mike on the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 18, emceed by Phil Mathewson and an appearance by Little Deer on Saturday, Aug. 25. Both of events run from 4 to 6 p.m.

At Cafe Victoria, friendly staff custom make sandwiches, wraps, coffee drinks, shakes and fruity drinks. (My personal favorite is the Vegetarian sandwich and a mango Juice Squeeze.) They also serve fountain drinks, pizza, baked goods, ice cream, yogurts, etc. While you are there, be sure to check out the cafe's quirky decor.

Cafe Victoria is located on Main Street at the courthouse corner next door to Watershed Books.


Standing, from left to right, Ed Moore and Phil Mathewson; sitting, from left to right, Michael Brennigan, Lavonne Moore and Karen Priest. Photo by Joanne Bateni.

LOWER LAKE – There was a traffic jam in the vineyard as all the musicians unloaded their equipment for the free Friday night concert, Aug. 10 at the Tuscan Village in Lower Lake.

This week, instead of the usual single performer, four different performing acts took the stage and kept things hopping for three hours.

Phil Mathewson opened with a few of his original Lake County songs, including "Pine Grove" and "Lake County, CA."

Then Ed and Lavonne Moore came up to sing a few country tunes including "Bobbie McGee" and "Have I Told You Lately that I Love You." Ed played the guitar and harmonica while Lavonne sang and strummed her guitar.

Then CLPSO came on stage. That stands for Clear Lake Park Symphony Orchestra. Karen Priest; singer-guitarist, Chris Laubenthal; keyboard player, singer-songwriter; and Tony Jarvis, bass player, are founding members.

Karen sang her own songs "Sailing" and "Who Knows What the Mole Knows" and Chris accompanied Karen on keyboard and sang and played a few solos as well.

The Moores came back with "Your Cheating Heart," "Cotton Fields" and "Little Darling."

Michael Brennigan, who can play five instruments, played a Bulgarian folk dance on his tambuca, which is a Bulgarian guitar. Ed Moore insisted he saw Zorba the Greek dancing in the vineyard during the tune, or maybe his ghost. Michael then sang some old Spanish poetry that he had put to music.

Phil came back wearing and singing about his "Walking Shoes." The audience seemed to identify with the lyrics of "Lakeport Blues" and tapped their feet to "Lakeport Polka."

"Y'all Come" was done by the Moores with help from Phil. Karen Priest sang "Forever" another one of her originals. There was a request for "Little GTO" and that became the grand finale with everyone on the small stage singing and strumming.

The show ended on a quiet note with William Schlick, wearing a tie-dye suit from his onsite tie-dye shop, reciting the entire "Ode to a Nightingale" by Keats from memory. The capacity crowd reluctantly headed home with one member, Charlie, sitting on the edge of the stage and playing his guitar and singing while the musicians packed up.

Phil and Friends may be back in September and will be at Café Victoria in Lakeport next Saturday, Aug. 18 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Dennis Milliken is booked at the Tuscan Village next Friday, Aug. 17, and Dave Hooper, guitar, harmonica player and singer-songwriter, fresh from Austin City Limits, will be on stage Aug. 24. A special concert will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 21, featuring Don Kaufmann and his band.

Call 2Goombas at 994-DELI (3354) for updates or check


RUSH HOUR 3 (Rated PG-13)

The trilogy of “Rush Hour” films is so obviously interchangeable that you could watch them out of order and not miss a beat. The only telltale sign of the advancing age of the franchise is that Jackie Chan, master of the martial arts, is looking like he just signed on with the AARP and will soon be doing commercials for enlarged prostate remedies. On the other hand, his unshakable buddy, Chris Tucker, still runs his mouth with little sign of a slowdown any time soon.

Thus, with Chan gamely throwing his fists and feet in a diminished state of fury, “Rush Hour 3” moves predictably, if not gracefully, with its typical formula of fast-paced action laced with the comic potential of the mismatched crime fighters constantly bickering.

Sticking close to the cinematic blueprint that keeps the strange cop duo fun to watch, director Brett Ratner rolls out in “Rush Hour 3” what seems like an almost improvised comedy and action hybrid. It’s as if Hong Kong Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) and Los Angeles Police Department police officer Carter (Chris Tucker), polar opposites in law enforcement methodology and matters of culture and taste, were asked to do an impromptu riff on their essential differences. In itself, that could be the appeal of this oddly matched pair coming to grips with their undeniable gravitation to incessant bantering and quarreling over the smallest matters.

In the first film, the action took place in Carter’s Los Angeles, and for the sequel, it moved to Lee’s turf in Hong Kong. For the third film, it’s back to Los Angeles, albeit briefly for the set-up that has Chinese Ambassador Han (Tzi Ma) once again threatened, this time by an assassin who wants to prevent his testimony on the nefarious plans of the Triads before the World Criminal Court.

Having being demoted to a traffic cop, Carter shows his greatest interest in arresting young women for minor infractions, but then he gets unwittingly caught up in Lee’s foot chase of the gunman who tried to kill the ambassador.

To add an emotional wallop to the proceedings, the assassin turns out to be Kenji (Hiroyuki Sanada), and he escapes unscathed because Lee could not shoot him at the critical moment. The reason for this is that Lee considers Kenji a “brother” because they grew up together in the same orphanage.

The potential of sibling rivalry is never fully developed, but that is no matter when Lee and Carter discover, after a ridiculous encounter with an oversized kung fu warrior, that they will have to seek a mysterious envelope that is somehow connected to a triad conspiracy sheltered somewhere in Paris.

Their first exposure to Paris is through a deranged cabbie named George (Yvan Attal), who promptly denounces America and its fascination with violence before his cab even leaves the curb at the airport.

Ten minutes later, after some gunplay and wild chase scenes through the Parisian streets, George is singing a different tune, going so far as to don a baseball cap and to spout macho talk that would make John Wayne blush. While George acts as their tour guide, the dynamic duo encounters unwanted attention from a deadly Dragon Lady and Triad henchmen who chase them into the putrid sewers.

The key figure they stumble on is the mysterious, exotic showgirl Genevieve (Noemie Lenoir), the lead dancer at a snazzy nightclub, where it is apparently not uncommon to see Chinese patrons toting machine guns.

In any case, there are other shenanigans going on that involve a sadistic French police official (Roman Polanski), who has a fixation on the rubber glove treatment for his law enforcement counterparts from America. World Criminal Court official Reynard (Max von Sydow) should arouse suspicion, if only because he wraps himself in phony sophistication.

For his part, Carter has no qualms about being the fool, particularly when he pretends to be the whimsical Bubbles, a fashioner designer who insists on personally redesigning the costumes of naked showgirls backstage at the cabaret.

Actually, to make “Rush Hour 3” work, it appears that both Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker have no reservations about playing the fools, going so far as to do an Abbott and Costello imitation. The ardent fans of the franchise will be pleased with the outcome, because this third installment delivers the laughs and the action that are expected. The film reaches a climax with some nifty thrills high up in the Eiffel Tower, which proves to be a nice way to top off the action stunts.

Tim Riley writes film reviews for Lake County News.




Bill Noteman and the Rockets will be the headliner at Friday's concert in Library Park. The group, pictured above, is shown at Kelseyville's Kickin' in the Country street dance in July. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


LAKEPORT – This year's successful series of concerts in Lakeport's Library Park continues tonight at 6:30 p.m.

Week nine features local legends Bill Noteman and the Rockets.

As usual, there will be great goofy giveaways at halftime and plenty of groovy music that will get folks out of their chairs and onto the dance lawn.

Forcasters are calling for showtime temperatures around 82 degrees with a nice 12 mile-per-hour breeze from the west.


Upcoming Calendar

05.27.2022 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
12 Tribe yard sale and fundraiser
05.28.2022 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Cobb Estate Sale
05.28.2022 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
12 Tribe yard sale and fundraiser
05.28.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Steele
05.28.2022 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Rodman Preserve public hours
05.28.2022 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Morning cemetery tour
05.28.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
05.29.2022 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Cobb Estate Sale

Mini Calendar



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