Sunday, 14 August 2022

Arts & Life

Annie Perez and Erin Call won awards at the recent Redwood Empire Fair Fiddle Contest. Courtesy photo.


LAKE COUNTY – several Lake County fiddlers brought home cash awards and medals from the Redwood Empire Fair Fiddle Contest last weekend.

Annie Perez and Erin Call won first place in the Twin Fiddle class; Erin Call won first place in the Junior class; Annie Perez won fifth in the Open class; Clayton Rudiger came in second in the Junior-Junior class; and Mollie Bainbridge, 6 years old, won second in the Amateur Class.

In the Adult Class, Greg Bushta won third and Debbie Bainbridge won fifth place. Bushta and Andi Skelton won prizes in the accompanist class also.

The contestants are all members of the Konocti Fiddle Club, which entertained the crowd between contest divisions.

They were joined by additional Konocti Fiddle Club members Aaron Bielenberg, Jennifer Cox and Debbie Bielenberg.

Be sure to see the Konocti Fiddle Club perform at the upcoming Old-Time Bluegrass Festival at Anderson Marsh, and the Kelseyville Pear Festival in September.

For information about the Konocti Fiddle Club call 279-4336.



Mercy, how we love to tell ourselves some outside force can take us over and make us do horrid things.

The latest version of The Devil Made Me Do It is “The Invasion,” the fourth film to be based on Jack Finney's 1955 novel “The Body Snatchers.” It opens today.

Thoughtful critics say it's a good one to skip, sloppy and boring, and with a tacked-on upbeat ending that negates its message.

Critics and academics are still arguing about just exactly what Finney and director Don Siegel had in mind in the first film, in which aliens emerge from pods and take over the people of a small California town. Was it a warning against communists among us? Or a warning against Joe McCarthy's terror campaign?

Finney himself kept insisting it was just an entertainment, but who listens to the writer? It was vastly entertaining, a little bit scary, and had one lovely moment when a character looked into the camera and yelled "They're here already! You're next!"

By 1978, when the second version appeared, movies and audiences were more sophisticated. The story moved to Mill Valley and San Francisco, audiences familiar with the first version loved director Philip Kaufman's references to the original. The New Yorker's Pauline Kael said "it may be the best film of its kind ever made."

Abel Ferrara's 1993 version didn't fare so well. Where the first two kept it homey with the local police as the prime enablers of the pod people, this one moved it to an Army base with a toxic spill.

They all share the same premise, fear of losing your humanity and originality, becoming an emotional zombie or watching your loved ones do so. And of being taken over by hyper-powerful forces -- like the enforcers and the health industry -- which really, truly, do not have the individual's best interests at heart but just want to create a clean and tidy stress-free world without dissent.

It's a rational fear,and one that Finney explored more than once in his writing. His 1977 novel “The Night People” exudes a gentle and humorous paranoia about the potential horrors of creeping suburbia and the joys of harmless non—conformity.

All the horror movies are so cathartic. We scream, they end, we come out and the shark/giant squid/alien critter hasn't eaten us and everything's fine. And it's a lot cheaper, takes less time and isn't nearly as much hard work as examining the monster that might live in our own interior closet. They're not such a bad short-term substitute for psychotherapy.

So far as I can see, there's no need to see “The Invasion.” We've seen it before, we're living it now. Or still.

Anyway, I've never thought Nicole Kidman is quite human. There's the eerily translucent skin, the eternally teenage body, and as Roger Ebert said of the pod people in the '93 version, “They don't look quite right around the eyes.”



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


Tom Rigney and Flambeau play at tonight's Summer Concert in the Park. Courtesy photo.


LAKEPORT – As the summer starts to wane, so does the 19th year of our free concerts in the park.

Tonight's performance marks the end of the 2007 season of Summer Concerts in the Park, which has become more than just a tradition for Lake County residents and their guests. And there's no better performers to take it out on a high note than violinist Tom Rigney and his band Flambeau as they return to Library Park for the season finale.



A very popular and busy group, Rigney and his mates travel and perform extensively throughout the Western states and will add a trip to Alaska to their resume later this month.



This evening should please everyone with tons of energy and mounds of original music. Expect pleasant mid-80s temperatures, light winds and goofy half-time giveaways; we will have more memories and reasons to look forward to next year's series.

Once again KNTI DJ Eric Patrick and the crew from Bi-Coastal Media will host the festivities.


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.


Upcoming Calendar

08.15.2022 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Community Visioning Forum Planning Committee
08.16.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.16.2022 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
08.18.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
08.20.2022 7:30 am - 3:00 pm
Yard sale to benefit Sponsoring Survivorship
08.20.2022 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Junior Ranger Program: Weather and climate
08.20.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.20.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
08.20.2022 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Taste of Lake County

Mini Calendar



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