Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Arts & Life

The ladies of Fayro, Texas will put a whole new spin on Christmas. Courtesy photo.


LAKE COUNTY – Hold onto your hats, comedy fans! The funniest thing since "Greater Tuna" is now in rehearsal!

This production by Lake County Theatre Co. (LCTC) Is called " Christmas Belles" and features the "fine ladies" of Fayro, Texas, as they struggle to present their annual Christmas Pageant ... and with a new director! Can you imagine?


This pageant will include a surprise pregnancy, a prisoner on temporary release, a lost relative and a love-sick sheriff. Why, heck! Nearly everybody will be there!


There is no better way to jump start your Christmas holiday season than to laugh your way through "Christmas Belles" and a visit from Santa like nothing you have seen before!


Written by a genius group of writers (Jesse Jones, Nicholas Hope and James Wooten) the characters portrayed by the talented LCTC cast will demonstrate a well-known truth: Anything that can go wrong with a pageant, will ... and especially in Texas!


Now is the time to put "Christmas Belles" on you calendar: Nov. 28 and 29, and Dec. 5 and 6 at 7 p.m.; Nov. 30 and Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.


The Weaver Auditorium in the Lower Lake School House Museum in Lower Lake is the place. Tickets are only $14 for reserved and $12 for general seating; $2 less for seniors, students and LCTC members.


Reserved and general seating tickets will be available soon at Catfish Books, Lakeport (263-4454) and Highlands Senior Service Center, Clearlake (994-3051). General seating tickets will be available at Wild About Books, Clearlake (994-9453) and Shannon Ridge Tasting Room in Clearlake Oaks (998-9656).

Get ready to have fun! Joy to the world!



Jump start your Christmas holiday season with "Christmas Belles," a production of Lake County Theatre Co. Courtesy photo.



CLEARLAKE – "Escape from Suburbia" takes an inspiring look at the pioneers who are even now preparing for Peak Oil, and the film will be Second Sunday Cinema's featured presentation on Nov. 9.

Many of you have seen the excellent documentary, "The End of Suburbia." "Escape from Suburbia" is the second in the series by the same filmmakers, this one assuming that most of us are aware that we may soon be facing ever scarcer fossil fuels and higher prices for just about everything.

Our own neighbors in Mendocino County are featured toward the end of this film. They watched "End ...," found it real and challenging, and founded WELL – Willits Economic LocaLization. They believe that meeting their own local needs increasingly locally is the best answer to the looming threat of limited and expensive fossil fuels. They are researching just what they need to thrive: food, water, transportation, housing and heating. They are learning what and how they can realistically provide for themselves. Self-reliance and community-building go hand in hand.

Two guest speakers will appear along with the movie. Liam UiCearbhaill from WELL will speak on what his group of merry preparers is doing. WELL believes in helping its neighbors. Also appearing will be a resident of Lake County who agrees that we may well be facing fuel shortages in the near future. However, he strongly disagrees about the causes, so his take requires a very different response.

These respectful and informed people will mean great discussions and questions and answers from the audience. Of course there will be opportunities to connect with these people and to make something happen here in Lake County if anyone wants to.

Second Sunday Cinema exists to inform people about really important issues facing us today. We also hope to help create community here in Lake Co. Out of community, good things can happen.

As always, this film is free. As always, our venue is the Clearlake United Methodist Church, at 14521 Pearl Ave. in Clearlake (near Mullen). We open our doors at 5:30 for snacks and conversation. At 6 p.m. we'll welcome everyone and then start the film. This film will be followed by brief talks, question and answer, and discussion. We hope to see you there! More information is available at 279-2957.


LAKE COUNTY – The next edition of KPFZ 88.1 FM's “Accent on Words” show will feature a former Lake County poet laureate.

The show will be broadcast on Monday, Nov. 3, at 2 p.m.

The host for “Accent on Words,” current Lake County Poet Laureate Mary McMillan, will feature as its guest former Lake County Poet Laureate Carolyn Wing Greenlee.

Greenlee has published a collection of her poetry, “Wildflowers in the Snow,” and she is currently writing a memoir. She will be discussing her memoir and her poetry and writing in general.


LAKE COUNTY – Lake County's own piano man, David Neft, has numerous performances around the county and beyond scheduled for November.

Neft will perform on the following dates.

  • Nov. 9: Weekly Sunday brunch at the Calistoga Inn, Creekside Patio Dining (or inside depending on weather), noon to 3 p.m. Reservations suggested: 942-4101.

  • Nov. 11: Saw Shop Gallery Bistro, Main St., Kelseyville. Neft is donating music for the annual “Habitat for Humanity” Benefit Dinner and Auction at 6 p.m. For information and tickets call Habitat for Humanity Lake County, 994-1100.

  • Nov. 16: Weekly Sunday brunch at the Calistoga Inn, Creekside Patio Dining (or inside depending on weather), noon to 3 p.m. Reservations suggested: 942-4101.

  • Nov. 23: Weekly Sunday brunch at the Calistoga Inn, Creekside Patio Dining (or inside depending on weather), noon to 3 p.m. Reservations suggested: 942-4101.

Watch for special upcoming holiday concert dates with Neft, among them the annual Christmas Tree lighting event with special musical surprises at Hidden Valley Lake on Dec. 6; Christmas Open House at Tulip Hill Winery in Nice on Dec. 13 and 14; and a New Year's Eve performance with Bill Noteman and the Rockets at Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa in Kelseyville.



Like most Hollywood talent, Angelina Jolie has had her share of frivolous film work, but any notion that she is anything but a serious, dedicated actor should be easily dispelled by her riveting performance in “Changeling.”

Under the expert direction of Clint Eastwood, Jolie so fully owns the role of a spirited woman refusing to submit to the corrupt culture of Los Angeles 80 years ago that it is easy to feel her emotional pain, as well as to admire her resolve to fight evil. She manages the feat of being equally tough and vulnerable without so much as a hint of trite, overbearing sentimentality.

Based on a disturbing factual story long forgotten, “Changeling,” though obviously dramatized for the screen, is one of the most compelling works in the pantheon of films that unveil the sleaze and corruption of early twentieth century Los Angeles.

Though centered on the type of corrupt, amoral behavior found in “Chinatown” and “L.A. Confidential,” the emotional and provocative drama of “Changeling” digs into the murky world of mistreatment of women, particularly those who dared to challenge the establishment.

Jolie’s single mother Christine Collins lives in the tidy, working-class suburb of Lincoln Heights with her 9-year-old son Walter (Gattlin Griffiths). By day, she works as a supervisor at the local phone company.

On a sunny Saturday in March 1928, Christine is asked to fill in for a sick colleague, and when returning late in the afternoon discovers Walter is missing. An exhaustive and fruitless search ensues, but Walter has disappeared without a trace.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Department seems hardly moved to fully investigate, but the police are only too eager to bask in a publicity coup of reuniting mother and child five months later. Police Captain J.J. Jones (Jeffrey Donovan) joins Christine at the train station to meet the missing boy who had been found in Illinois.

The reunion at Union Station turns out not to be what was expected. Though having a passing resemblance to Walter, the boy is not Christine’s son, a fact that she impresses upon Captain Jones and LAPD Police Chief Davis (Colm Feore). Dazed by the swirl of cops, reporters, photographers and her own conflicted emotions, Christine is persuaded by the devious Captain Jones to take the boy home, if only on a trial basis. In her heart and mind, she knows the boy is not Walter, particularly since he’s about 3 inches shorter.

Pestering the authorities to keep searching, Christine runs into downright hostility from the corrupt LAPD. The increasingly abusive Captain Jones goes so far as to slander her as a delusional and unfit mother. Facing an onslaught of mistreatment at the hands of corrupt cops, Christine finds an ally in Rev. Gustav Briegleb (John Malkovich), a community activist who rails against the LAPD from his pulpit and radio show. One of the shocking elements of this story is that Christine, continuing to get under the skin of Captain Jones, finds herself committed forcibly to the county psychopathic ward as a patient.

Inside the psychiatric ward, it turns out that other women have been committed without a warrant or any legal due process. Fortunately, the good reverend manages to get her released from custody and enlists the help of a prominent attorney to go after the corrupt cops in dramatic City Hall hearings.

Meanwhile, on an almost parallel track, one honest cop, Detective Ybarra (Michael Kelly), is hot on the trail of a serial killer of young boys, which ostensibly has a connection with Walter’s disappearance. Eventually, the bodies of many kids are discovered on an isolated chicken ranch in Riverside County.

With the arrest of psychotic child killer Gordon Northcott (Jason Butler Harner, playing the part to a creepy extreme), there’s the very odd intersection of Christine’s desire to learn the truth bumping up against the sick mind of a sociopath playing a twisted cat-and-mouse game. Right up to the time of his execution by hanging, Northcott tormented Christine by not confirming his involvement in Walter’s vanishing act.

Compelling and mesmerizing, “Changeling” is a serious bit of entertainment that revels in the power of a good story and even better performances. Some might say Angelina Jolie is too glamorous for the part of an ordinary working woman, but she delivers real conviction as the distraught mother willing to fight back. It’s impossible not to be moved by her plight. Once again, Clint Eastwood proves that he knows what he’s doing behind the camera, delivering a spellbinding experience.


If the spirit of Halloween lasts beyond Election Day, then the followup to the original cult classic horror film should be welcomed on its DVD release.

“Return to Sleepaway Camp” resurrects a gruesome new installment picking up two decades later at rustic Camp Manabe, where it is summer as usual until a series of freak accidents begin to mysteriously plague the campers and staff. As corpses begin piling up, memories of a grisly bloodbath at nearby Camp Arawak a few decades earlier flash through everyone’s mind.

Why do these horror films so often occur at camp? I won’t even pitch a tent in the woods. Yet, teens flock to this kind of movie, regardless of its quality, which appears to be seriously lacking in “Return to Sleepaway Camp.”

As a bit of trivia, it should be noted that this is Isaac Hayes last feature film.

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


LUCERNE – It's been done for centuries in Asia, it's big in Europe and now painting on silk has become very popular in the U.S.

Silk is an amazing fabric and you get startlingly beautiful results. Now you have the opportunity to meet artist Diana Liebe who will demonstrate silk dying techniques at the Lakeside Art Gallery in the Harbor Village Artist complex at 6195 E. Highway 20 in Lucerne.

The demonstration takes place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2.

Come to Lakeside Art Gallery, meet Diane Liebe and discover the artist in you.


Upcoming Calendar

05.29.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
PG&E virtual town hall
06.01.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
06.04.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
06.05.2024 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Vision of Hope Village market
06.08.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
06.11.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
Flag Day
06.15.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
Father's Day

Mini Calendar



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