Sunday, 07 August 2022

Arts & Life

This story has been updated with new dates for the concert’s streaming and availability.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Lake County Symphony Association is still going strong — despite the challenges of COVID-19 — and will present its Christmas Concert as a virtual event, like their recent Fall Concert.

This is somewhat disappointing, since audience participation — the popular “singalong” component — will not be possible in this format. But almost everything else that people enjoyed at the live Christmas Concert is included in this version that was filmed at the Soper Reese Theatre.

John Parkinson conducts the Lake County Symphony Chamber Orchestra (complete with rhythm section, guitar, Irish penny whistle and Bodhran drum) in orchestral holiday favorites: “Sleigh Ride,” “Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Fum Fum Fum,” “Highland Holiday,” “Christmas Boogie” and more.

Jude Darrin is the featured soloist vocalist once again and will be singing custom arranged selections. The concert premieres at 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 24, on the Soper Reese Theatre YouTube Channel.

Tickets may be purchased on the Soper Reese website: Simply purchase a “Ticket Reservation” and the actual link to the premier will be emailed to you on Dec. 23 after the concert is uploaded.

You may also purchase a Link to view the celebration “On Demand” and enjoy viewing it anytime between Dec. 25 and Jan. 2.

On Jan. 3 the celebration will be available for free viewing on both the Soper Reese YouTube Channel called: “Soper Reese YouTube” and the Lake County Symphony YouTube Channel called: “LC Symphony Musicians.”

For those who missed the LCSA virtual Fall Concert, headlined by Camm Linden playing Haydn’s Piano Concerto, head on over to LC Symphony Musicians on YouTube to view for free.

The British monarchy fascinates many and that is perhaps explained by two things. First, there is a subscription video on demand service dedicated to all things Royal, and it is called True Royalty TV.

Second, the royal-centric service is ringing in the holiday season with “A Very Royal Christmas: Sandringham Secrets,” which will give viewers a look at how the Royal Family celebrates Christmas Day at the Queen’s country estate.

Will Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, be a part of the holiday celebration? If one bothers to read tabloid stories about the couple’s rift with the Royal Family, the invitation could be lost in the mail.

Meanwhile, Mariah Carey, who has not to anyone’s knowledge married a prince, has an eponymous holiday spectacular on Apple TV+ entitled “Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues.”

The holiday special will reveal the first and only performance of the multi-Grammy Award-winning global icon’s new single, “Fall in Love at Christmas.”

The singer-songwriter will be joined by Grammy-nominated worldwide artist Khalid and Grammy-winning legend Kirk Franklin, as they bring the spirit of Christmas to fans around the world.

One thing not previously known is that, according to the news release, Mariah is the “Queen of Christmas” who will also ring in the holidays with a dazzling new rendition of fan favorite, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”

NBC finds the Christmas spirit with Grammy and Emmy Award-winning global superstar Kelly Clarkson in her holiday special, “Kelly Clarkson Presents: When Christmas Comes Around,” which has a repeat airing on Wednesday, Dec. 15.

Clarkson’s love for the holiday season is no secret, as she celebrates it all year long with “Ambush Christmas” segments on her award-winning daytime talk show with studio viewers and guests treated to offseason snow, music and epic giveaways.

Timed to the release of her new holiday album, Clarkson’s special will be filled with original new songs as well as a curated list of iconic classics, dancing, performances featuring My Band Y’all with a streamlined modern orchestra and remarkable duets.

According to Clarkson, “People celebrate the holidays in different ways and that is the inspiration behind the original songs and the curated classics that are featured in this special. No matter what your heart is feeling, I hope this hour brings you joy and happiness.”

The Lifetime channel presents “My Favorite Christmas Melody,” in which once promising singer-songwriter Abby (Mya) now finds herself writing uninspired jingles for commercials.

As she heads home for the holidays, Abby is enlisted by the local high school music teacher to help save the school arts program. In the process, Abby rediscovers her voice and regains the confidence to go after her dreams.

Not all holiday programming, unless you go to the Hallmark Channel’s inexhaustible supply of Christmas movies, can be as uplifting or in tune with the seasonal spirit of good cheer.

While it pops into select theaters first, Amazon Prime Video’s “Being the Ricardos,” about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, will drop on the streaming service close to Christmas.

Though the hit “I Love Lucy” television series was a groundbreaking sitcom, Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) battled television sponsor Philip Morris, muckraking gossip columnist Walter Winchell and each other.

“Being the Ricardos” offers an intimate glimpse into the pair’s often turbulent partnership, their whirlwind courtship, their passionate love affair and the burning ambition that made them the leading innovators in the Golden Age of television.

On screen, Ball’s signature screwball comic genius, supported by longtime co-stars William Frawley (J.K. Simmons) and Vivian Vance (Nina Arianda) and the show’s legendary writing staff, make “I Love Lucy” an unprecedented popular success.

In the boardroom, Arnaz’s visionary business acumen creates a brand-new paradigm for television production as they transform themselves from B-movie contract players into the founders of the world’s top independent TV production company, Desilu Productions.

But even as their on-screen marriage and soaring success make the pair one of America’s most admired couples, conflicting desires at home begin to eat away at everything Ball and Arnaz have accomplished.

Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, the story told in “Being the Ricardos” benefits from two stellar actors tasked with revealing the couple’s complex romantic and professional relationship.

It’s likely a good bet that the action-adventure series “MacGyver” (the original one with Richard Dean Anderson) is better known than the cult-film “MacGruber” based on a “Saturday Night Live” parody of the aforementioned TV series.

Peacock’s upcoming action-comedy series “MacGruber” serves as a sequel to the 2010 cult-favorite feature film of the same title, starring once again Will Forte as the titular character.

After rotting in prison for over a decade, America’s ultimate hero and uber patriot MacGruber is finally released. His mission: to take down the mysterious villain from his past, Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth (Billy Zane).

With the entire world in his crosshairs, MacGruber must reassemble his old team, Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) and Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe), in order to defeat the forces of evil.

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

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

For Kayleb Rae Candrilli, as for many of us, the dramatic change of setting — in their case, the arrival at the coast facing the grand Atlantic — can shift our sense of being in significant ways.

For the poet, their affirmation “that lines are always changing” brings a certain comfort. Even more significant is the epiphany that ends the poem: “the tide tells me/ my body can morph/ as many times as it needs.”

“Summering in Wildwood, NJ” celebrates the fluidity of our changing human bodies by connecting them with the defiant fluidity of nature.

Summering in Wildwood, NJ
By Kayleb Rae Candrilli

in a few days, i’ll be on a beach
so bright i can see the sun through my fingers,

each thin vein lit
up blue like a heron’s leg.

this poem is not so much about a beach
as it is about arriving,

blowing stop signs
until the coast affirms

that lines are always changing,
and the tide tells me

my body can morph
as many times as it needs.

American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2021 by Kayleb Rae Candrilli, “Summering in Wildwood, NJ” from Water I Won’t Touch (Copper Canyon Press, 2021). Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2021 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

Shara McCallum never uses the word “haunt,” but the poem is about the haunting of those who have gone before.

Yet the haunting is purposeful. It is shot through with the poet’s sense that she owes the dead some accountability, and the dead seem to agree.

As necessary as it is to read “No Ruined Stone” as a broad meditation on the legacy of a troubled history (the poem, “No Ruined Stone” is the title poem of her new collection that, among other things, explores the implications of transatlantic slavery), at its emotional core, is a tender accounting of loss and memory.

This grandmother, one senses, is also haunting by inhabiting everything the poet sees around her.

This fierce presence is the unusual but quite familiar theme of her elegy.

No Ruined Stone
By Shara McCallum
May 2018: for my grandmother

When the dead return
they will come to you in dream
and in waking, will be the bird
knocking, knocking against glass, seeking
a way in, will masquerade
as the wind, its voice made audible
by the tongues of leaves, greedily
lapping, as the waves’ self-made fugue
is a turning and returning, the dead
will not then nor ever again
desert you, their unrest
will be the coat cloaking you,
the farther you journey
from them the more
distance will maw in you,
time and place gulching
when the dead return and demand
accounting, wanting
everything you have to give and nothing
will quench or unhunger them
as they take all you make as offering.
Then tell you to begin again.

American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2021 by Shara McCallum, “No Ruined Stone” from No Ruined Stone (Alice James Books, 2021.) Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2021 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.

UPPER LAKE, Calif. — The Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake continues its 2021-22 series of monthly informal “Concerts with Conversation” on Sunday, Dec. 12, with the great jazz trio, the Pierre Archain Concept, fronted by one of Northern California’s premier jazz and popular vocalists Paula Samonte.

These relaxing Sunday afternoon concerts run from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in Riffe’s Meeting House next to the hotel.

Seating capacity has been reduced this year, so people are encouraged to purchase tickets as far in advance as possible.

Many concert-goers reserve for a late brunch or early dinner at the Blue Wing Restaurant next door.

“We’re really looking forward to this combination of musical talent,” said Tallman owner Bernie Butcher. “The group was scheduled to appear here just before we had to close down last year due to the pandemic. It’s great that we were able to reschedule.”

“All precautions have been taken to assure a safe and pleasant Sunday afternoon concert experience this year,” said Butcher. “Attendance has been limited to spread out the seating and all guests and performers must show proof of vaccination.”

The petite but vibrant vocalist Paula Samonte is a favorite in Lake and Mendocino counties and, among other honors, she has been a soloist with the symphonies of both counties.

The Pierre Archain Concept is an outstanding trio of veteran musicians with the French born Archain on bass, the outstanding Barney McClure on piano and Fort Bragg percussionist Gabe Yanez.

Tickets at $30 + tax are available online at or by calling the hotel at 707-275-2244, Extension 0. Coffee and cookies are served to guests and the Tallman is offering a 10% discount on hotel bookings that weekend for people purchasing concert tickets.

Here are the remaining concerts in the Tallman’s 2021-22 concert series:

Sunday, Jan. 23: Folk music singer, songwriter and guitarist Rita Hosking, backed by Sean Feder on banjo and dobro.

Sunday, Feb. 20: The dynamic pianist Steve Lucky and the vibrant guitarist, vocalist and entertainer Carmen Getit along with guest star Nancy Wright on sax .

Sunday, March 13: Jazz violinist Mads Tolling together with guitarist Jeff Massanari.

Sunday, April 24: Outside in the garden (weather permitting), this season-ending concert will feature the world-famous avant-garde jazz trio Charged Particles, with special guest Paul McCandless on reed instruments.


Nostalgia is a good thing to relish during the holiday season. For most, we hopefully reminisce about happy times with family and friends gathered for celebrations and seasonal parties.

The same feeling is also most welcome when a movie taps into a sentimental yearning for the past. Good news arrives for fans of “Ghostbusters” for a franchise still alive when it could have been given up for dead after the 2016 reboot.

The aptly-named “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” may evoke the spirit of the 1980s but it is rooted in contemporary times with the relatives of the late Harold Ramis’ Dr. Egon Spengler carrying on the legacy.

“Ghostbusters” is family-driven from the aspect of director Jason Reitman helming this sequel to his father Ivan’s directorial effort for the 1984 original comedic blockbuster.

To be sure, there are plenty of sly special effects with maliciously destructive apparitions, but Jason Reitman is equally focused on a character-driven story that draws the family of one of the original Ghostbusters into the picture.

Estranged from her father, the now divorced and broke Callie (Carrie Coon) learns that she has inherited Spengler’s property in Oklahoma, and she’s hoping for a fresh start with teenage son Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and 12-year-old daughter Phoebe (Mckenna Grace).

Enrolled in a summer school class taught by flippant Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd), the nerdy, precocious Phoebe is befriended by spirited classmate Podcast (Logan Kim), a loquacious but hilarious narrator of even the most mundane details.

Meanwhile, Trevor ends up working at a local diner where he pretends to be older only because he has a crush on Lucky (Celeste O’Connor). Not surprisingly, Grooberson develops a romantic interest in Callie.

There’s a time when Callie wistfully hopes that Phoebe might get into some trouble if only because she seems so proper. Little does Mom know that the adventurous kids are going to unearth the remnants of Spengler’s ghostbusting days.

Finn discovers the vintage Cadillac ambulance used by the Ghostbusters and the kids end up joy riding through town and get their first taste of what it is like to hunt down malevolent ghouls and also end up in the local jail.

While the plot is expectedly predictable, the delight to be had is from a very likable, charismatic cast, from the always genial Paul Rudd to the resourceful kids. A moving tribute to Harold Ramis and great cameos bring a nice touch to the pleasing “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.”

When the credits start to roll, be sure to stay for a mid-credits scene and the one at the very end when the screen goes dark. The “Ghostbusters” franchise has probably not zapped its last ethereal being. A new generation may be taking hold.


Glamour, greed, decadence, betrayal, deceit and ambition are all on florid display in the soap opera drama “House of Gucci,” a turbulent saga about the Italian fashion empire of great wealth that was not spared a scandalous crime.

Some may enter the cinema aware of a sordid wrongdoing that roiled the Gucci family. On the other hand, what I and probably many others know about this Italian company are the famous double G logo and the replica handbags sold to the unsuspecting at flea markets.

What matters in this Ridley Scott directed film based on real life events is how the story moves from bickering Gucci family members to a Gucci empire no longer in the hands of a family member.

Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), son of Rodolfo Gucci (Jeremy Irons), a former actor and dilettante who appears not as connected to the business as his brother Aldo (Al Pacino), is a law student when he meets Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) at a party.

Patrizia, who works as secretary in her father’s trucking company, mistakes Maurizio for a bartender, and he charms her by saying she looks like Elizabeth Taylor, or maybe he should have said Sophia Loren.

The two fall in love and decide to marry, much to the chagrin of papa Rodolfo, who believes she’s a social climber and gold digger. He’s not far off the mark, but Patrizia turns out to be much more than that.

Where Maurizio seems quiet and a bit passive, Patrizia is bold and assertive, pushing him to his rightful place in the Gucci empire. They soon take up residence in New York and go to work with Aldo at the flagship store in Manhattan.

Aldo thinks of his own son Paolo (Jared Leto), who has no talent for business or fashion, as an idiot, and this, of course, becomes another source of tension in Gucci world.

Meanwhile, the marriage sours when Maurizio re-connects with old flame Paola (Camille Cottin) and dispatches his sidekick to inform Patrizia that their marital bond is over.

As the story spins into a reckless spiral of revenge that leads to murder, “House of Gucci” is riveting for the solid performances primarily by Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino and a goofy Jared Leto.

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

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