Arts and Music

BEAUTIFUL AMALFI, IN BETTER TIMES

East County News Service
 
April 3, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove artist Jack Ofield’s painting of fabled Amalfi on the Italian Mediterranean coast recalls that ancient enclave in happier times, before the COVID-19 pandemic devastating Italy and much of the world.
 
“It was January years ago when we stayed in a tiny B & B with a view of the sea, run by a mother and daughter,” Jack and his wife, Helen, recall in an email sent to ECM and others. “While at breakfast (delicious coffee, eggs, toast, preserves), with the  windows open to let in brilliant sunshine, a local band marched across the square followed by a priest, who blessed the sardine fleet setting sail for the day's catch.”

REZ RADIO LOL: 91.3 FM GOES ALL FUN FOR APRIL FOOL’S DAY

Source: Pala Rez Radio

March 30, 2020 (Pala) -- With the “new normal” and the gravity of current events beginning to sink in, it’s time to lighten the mood.  Towards that end, Rez Radio 91.3 will suspend all regular programming for one full day and replace it with nothing but novelty songs, stand-up comedy and other classic funny, funny bits that we call “Rez Radio LOL”.  It begins at 1 a.m. Wednesday, April 1 and continues all day and night ending with Wednesday night’s Old Time Radio Hour at midnight featuring “Fibber McGee & Molly” and “The Red Skelton Show."  As always, we’re ready to break in with any urgent news.  But this Wednesday is designed to be a much needed day off for everyone. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: HERE LIES STAND UP COMEDY (1966-2020)

 

By Darryl Littleton

March 30, 2020 (San Diego) -- Stand Up Comedy is dead!   Official cause of death – Coronavirus with Trump complications.  After a lengthy illness due to the politically correct sanctions, and despite recent signs of resurgence (thanks to Netflix), Stand Up finally succumbed this month from the prescription of no public gatherings over 10 people.  That dose was barely enough for a club staff, much less a show.   Not a Stand Up show, anyway.   Not a real one.

TONIGHT ON TV: ELTON JOHN AND OTHER STARS PERFORM IN “FOR AMERICA” CONCERT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Elton John in concert in San Diego

March 29, 2020 (San Diego) – Viewers around the world can tune in on their TVs tonight (Sunday 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Fox) to watch “Living Room Concert For America.” The free concert, organized by Elton, will feature music superstars and will encourage viewers/listeners to donate to benefit Feeding America and First Responder Cihldren’s Foundation.

The musicians will be performing in their own living rooms, since large gatherings such as concerts in arenas or stadiums are banned.  Participating musicians including Mariah Carey, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Alicia Keys, Tim McGraw and Billie Joe Armstrong as well as Elton John and many other performers.

Ellen DeGeneres, Lady Gaga, Ken Jeong, Ryan Seacrest, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone will also be special guests during the “Living Room Concert.”

BORED AT HOME? FREE CLASSES ONLINE IN WRITING, ART, SCIENCE AND MUSIC

Some of history’s greatest works were created during past epidemics

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Playwright William Shakespeare and physicist Isaac Newton are among those inspired to creative endeavors while in quarantine (public domain images via Wikipedia)

March 24, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Creativity can blossom out of hardship. As you’re hunkered down at home due to the COVID-19 epidemic, consider this: during historic epidemic eras, some of the world’s most famous writers, artists and scientists drew inspiration for their greatest works. We've provided a few of their stories, along with some links to free online classes in writing, art, science and music to spark your own creative impulses.

GONZALEZ-FLETCHER ADDS $20 MILLION TO BUDGET TO PARTIALLY OFFSET AB 5 IMPACTS ON NONPROFIT ARTS GROUPS, BUT FALLS FAR SHORT OF HELP NEEDED

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 7, 2020 (Sacramento)-- Musicians, artists and nonprofit arts groups are among the hardest hit by AB 5, the new law authored by Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher (D-San Diego) requiring that many freelancers be reclassified as employees – a prohibitively costly mandate for many small nonprofits. Now Gonzalez-Fletcher is offering some help, though it amounts to a Bandaid approach to the wounds inflicted on the arts and music industries by the new law.
 
Last month, Gonzalez-Fletcher  along with Assemblymember Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita) asked for $20 million to be added to the state budget for the California Arts Council to help small community nonprofit arts groups comply with AB 5, but only in the first year. But there is no guarantee of funding for applicants, nor any help to meet ongoing enormous costs of complying in future years--such as paying unemployment insurance, workman’s compensation and other annual costs for all employees, as well as added payroll deduction and accounting costs. 
 
Moreover, the measure only helps nonprofits able to win grants and show good-faith effort to comply with AB 5. Even then, the measure offers no help to meet ongoing high costs, nor does it offer any assistance to for-profit companies nor to individual artists or musicians losing work due to the new law.

GLADLY COFFEE IN SPRING VALLEY SHOWCASES WOMEN MUSICIANS SUNDAY MARCH 8

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 7, 2020 (Spring Valley) – In honor of international women’s day, Gladly Coffee in Spring Valley (formerly Butler’s) presents “Center Stage,”  an all-female musical showcase this Sunday, March 8 at 3 p.m.

FREE ART WORKSHOPS IN BORREGO SPRINGS FOR ALL AGES

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 6, 2020 (Borrego Springs) – Candlewood Arts Festival Gallery is hosting free art workshops for all ages each Sunday in March from 1 to 5 p.m. Aspiring artists are invited to make new projects with different artists each week:
 
Drop in anytime and stay as long as you wish at Candlewood Arts Festival Gallery, 587 Palm Canyon Drive, #125, at the mall in Borrego Springs.
 
For more information, visit www.CandlewoodArtsFestival.org 

THE HOLLOW REVIEW - AGATHA CHRISTIE MYSTERY

By Kathy Carpenter
 
Photos: Lamplighters Community Theatre
 
March 5, 2020 - (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Community Theatre presents "The Hollow." Everyone loves a good mystery and Agatha Christie's are some of the best. The house was full which proves my point. Why don't they do more mysteries? 
 
When I think Agatha Christie I don't think of humor, but I had not heard of "The Hollow.”  It was quite funny, peppered with one-liners. Since this play is lesser known, it kept me guessing to the end. The play has  everything a good whodunit needs: humor, a plot that keeps you guessing, and a cast of great characters.

DANCING WITH THE STARS LIVE TOUR COMING TO SYCUAN ON MARCH 26

Tickets are now on sale

 

Source Sycuan

 

February 21, 2019 (El Cajon) -- America’s favorite dance show is going back on tour this winter with “Dancing with the Stars – Live Tour 2020.” The longest tour to date will be dancing through Sycuan Casino Resort on March 26 at 8 p.m. The all-new production will feature fan-favorite professional dancers wowing audiences with every type of dance style as seen on ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars.

LATINO FILM FESTIVAL MARCH 12-22 SHOWCASES CINEMA, ARTS AND CULTURE

East County News Service

February 19, 2020 (San Diego) – The 27th annual San Diego Latino Film Festival will take place March 12-22 at two locations, AMC Fashion Valley 18 (7037 Friars Rd) and Digital Gym Cinema (2921 El Cajon Blvd.) The 11-day festival will present over 160 films from Latin America, the U.S., and Spain, showcases Latino cinema, arts and culture.

The even also features opening and closing night parties, the 5th annual Sabor Latino food, beer and wine festival on March 14, Q&A sessions with visiting filmmakers and actors from around the world, free student screenings, and more.

FREAKY FRIDAY REVIEW - JUST ONE DAY

By Kathy Carpenter
 
February 15, 2020 (Spring Valley) -- Remember the saying be careful what you wish for? Freaky Friday is a possible result from the quote. Over-the-top-family-fun. Everyone always thinks the grass is greener on the other side.
 
In Freaky Friday a daughter wants just one day of peace—a hassle-free day from her mom. Her mom wants just one day together with her family under her expectations. When they argue over an hour glass, their lives are changed for a day. But not what they wished for. They are transformed into each other: the daughter now in the mom’s body, the mom is in the daughter's body. Since neither can live their lives looking like the other, they are forced to exchange places. The mom goes to school. The daughter takes on the day before the wedding preparations for a perfectionist mom planning her own wedding.

SAN DIEGO HARP SOCIETY TO PERFORM FREE CONCERT AT MISSION TRAILS CHURCH, MARCH 8TH

East County News Service
 
February 14, 2020 (San Diego) -- The San Diego Harp Society will perform a free concert at the Mission Trails Church, 4880 Zion Avenue, San Diego,  CA 92120.   The concert will be from  3  - 4 p.m.   The church is located up Zion Avenue from the Kaiser Hospital.  There is plenty of free parking.  The church can accommodate 150 people.
 
Then San Diego Harp Society is a local chapter of the American Harp Society.   Harp students playing this year will be  Gigi Accomozzo, Emma MInami, Isabella McCormick, Lauren Colt, Sophie Dimmick, Anna Reynolds and Megan Apostol.
 
Every year the Society presents a recital of their advanced students.  This year there will be 7 young ladies, between the age of 13 and 17 playing tunes from the harp repertoire.   The Society has been with us for six years, the first five when we were at Mission Trails Regional Park.  In January 2019 the concerts moved to a new venue, Mission Trails Church. 

WYNONNA AND THE BIG NOISE LIVE AT THE MAGNOLIA FEB. 8

East County News Service
 
Photo source: Magnolia Center
 
February 6, 2020 (El Cajon)—Wynonna Judd and her band, The Big Noise, will be live in concert at the Magnolia in downtown El Cajon on February 8th.
 
Judd has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. As half of the mother daughter duo “The Judds”, she was once dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline." This iconic performer has received over 60 industry awards, with countless charting singles, including 20 No.1 hits such as “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not me,” and “Grandpa, (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days).”

NUTS THEATRE REVIEW - COURTROOM DRAMA

By Kathy Carpenter
Photo Credit: Daren Scott
 
Photo: Pete Zanko - Andrea Acuna - Steve Murdoch in "Nuts" at PowPAC
 
January 29, 2020 - (Poway) - PowPAC presents "Nuts", written by Tom Topor and Directed by Brent A. Stringfield. Do you love to watch all those courtroom shows we have on television today? For me this was just like watching one of those, but live. Although, Stringfield says those shows don't communicate the truth and honesty of a piece like this. On television we often have some theatrics and flourish by either the defense attorney or the prosecution. With "Nuts", we rely on the acting before us.
 
“Nuts” is a compelling story of a woman trying to prove she is capable of standing trial for murder. Set in courtroom and in New York City's famed Bellevue Hospital in 1979. Have progressed through time? Not really the same story could be told today in my opinion.

LONDON STAGE STAR RETURNS TO ADVISE STEELE CANYON HIGH SCHOOL THEATER STUDENTS

By Jennifer Doucet, President, Steele Canyon Players Drama Booster Club
Photo Credit: 1-3: Helen Maybanks
Photo Credit: Michael Wharley
 
January 29, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- London stage actor Dean Chisnall returns to Steele Canyon Charter High School February 26 to February 29 to help prepare the school’s theatre department for their production of Shrek The Musical premiering March 18th.  Who better to mentor the students than an actor who portrayed Shrek for five years on the London West End stage and on the UK & Ireland tour? 
 
According to Chisnall, that’s 1,318 performances as Shrek; 5,742 hours in green make up; 25 cities and a total of 21 months on tour.  Locally, Chisnall will team-up with Steele Canyon Directors, Nicole LaBella (Theatre) and Heather Luck (Music), to instruct and inspire the Steele Canyon Players to portray the beloved Shrek musical theater characters. 
 
He will also be the main event in “An Evening with Dean Chisnall” benefit night for the SCHS theater students at Steele Canyon High School on the evening of Saturday, February 29 @ 7:00pm. Open to the general public, tickets are $20 online/$25 door. Visit www.schscougars.org or order tickets directly at www.showtix4u.com

BLACK HISTORY MONTH EVENTS AT GROSSMONT AND CUYAMACA COLLEGES

Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
Contact: Della Elliott
 
January 29, 2020 (El Cajon)--Food, movies, dance and cultural and educational presentations are on tap in February at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges for Black History Month.
 
With the exception of fundraisers – a barbecue at Grossmont College and a night of jazz and comedy at Cuyamaca College – all other events are free. The public is welcome to all events.

ECHO CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE OFFERS FEBRUARY CONCERTS TO LOVE

East County News Service
 
January 24, 2020 (Rancho San Diego) -- The ECHO Chamber Music Series offers internationally-acclaimed musicians who have performed across the globe. All performances are at the Samuel M. Ciccati Theatre at Cuyamaca College.
 

GOD OF CARNAGE REVIEW: A MORALITY COIN TOSS

By Kathy Carpenter

January 17, 2020 (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa presents "God of Carnage." Written by Yasmina Reza and Directed  by Tyler Richard Hewes, “God of Carnage” is full of moral dilemmas. What is okay for one person outrages another. The result is hilarious--the kind of humor that we should not find funny but do.

FEBRUARY CONCERT TO FEATURE UNUSUAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT: THE CHAPMAN STICK

By Chuck Carter
 
January 15, 2020 (San Diego) -- The February 9th concert presented by Second Sunday Community Concerts at Mission Trails Church (4880 Zion Ave., San Diego) will be local musician Tom Griesgraber, a graduate of the renowned Berklee College of Music, playing the Chapman Stick. The free concert will be held from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 
The Chapman Stick looks like  a wide guitar neck--without the guitar body.  The Chapman Stick usually has 12 strings, six guitar strings and six bass strings.  The strings are "tapped" rather than plucked. Griesgraber was proficient on electric guitar before deciding to master the Chapman Stick.  He also uses some of the electronics favored by musicians playing the electric guitar including the "looper" and synth pedals that give him more sonic choices.

READER’S EDITORIAL: CALIFORNIA’S NEW GIG WORKER LAW IS DISRUPTING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND THREATENING ALL PERFORMING ARTS

 
By Brendan Rawson
Originally published by CalMatters
 
Musician Alphonso Horne performing with the band, Sammy Miller and the Congregation, at San Jose Jazz in 2019. (Photo, Robert Birnbach, courtesy San Jose Jazz.)
 
January 14, 2020 (Sacramento) -- California has overreached in its effort to address the challenges in today’s tech platform gig-work economy. 
 
The live music sector, the progenitor of the term “gig” work, is being swept up by this law. The irony would be comical if it were not such a serious problem.
 
There are some worthy arguments to be made for Assembly Bill 5 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, San Diego Democrat. It could improve the lot of workers trying to piece together a living in this expensive state. It should help capture unemployment taxes from unscrupulous employers misclassifying workers as independent contractors. 
 
However, the law has created a tangle of red-tape and administrative expense for large portions of California’s cultural sector.

TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS REMIXED REVIEW - A HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA DEC. 20-22

By Kathy Carpenter

December 19, 2019 (San Diego) - Traditions are important, especially at Christmas. Families need rituals, routines and things that bring them together; bonding and memories they can pass on. Perhaps The Traditions of Christmas show is already on your radar. If not, it’s a great family tradition or one-time outing, encompassing everything you would want to see in a Christmas production. The show is colorful, festive, fun, full of joy and infectious holiday spirit.

NEW MURAL UNVEILED IN EL CAJON

East County News Service
 
December 19, 2019 (El Cajon) -- St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil a new mural in historic Downtown El Cajon on Tuesday.
 
The mural, a whimsical depiction of east county flora and fauna is located on the east side of 181 East Rea Avenue (facing Suzfeld Way.) 
 
The mural was painted by Kline Swonger and is one of several colorful murals along what has become known as Alley Cat Alley, home to the annual Alley Cat Art Walk.

SAPS AT SEA PRESENTS 'CHEESE IT, FELLAS! THE COPS!' DEC. 28

East County News Service

December 18, 2019 (Spring Valley) - Saps at Sea, the San Diego chapter of the Sons of the Desert, will host its last program of 2019, “Cheese It Fellas, the Cops!” on Saturday, December 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Williams Hall at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Spring Valley.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS REVIEW: STEELE CANYON HIGH SCHOOL DOES SHAKESPEARE

By Kathy Carpenter 

December 16, 2019 (El Cajon) - Steele Canyon Players and Orchestra presented A Midsummer Night's Dream last week, directed by Nicole Labella and based on the play by William Shakespeare. On the back of winning the National Youth Arts Award for their spring 2019 production of Les Misérables, San Diego/La Mesa Chapter and their award winning production of The Sounds of Music in spring 2018, it's obvious the players can do musicals. Can they do Shakespeare? Shakespeare can be hard. Old English is hard to understand. But besides a few rushed lines the production was well acted and funny.

EL CAJON STAKE CHOIR TO PRESENT CHRISTMAS CHORAL CONCERT ON SUNDAY, DEC. 15

East County News Service

December 14, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon Stake Choir of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will present its annual evening of choral Christmas music on Sunday evening, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. The El Cajon Stake Center is located at 1270 So. Orange Avenue (off Chase Avenue) in El Cajon.

There is no admission charge for the event.

Directed by Marilyn Harris-White, the concert will feature traditional Christmas carols including Harris-White’s own work, “The Greatest Gift.” The concert will also include John Rutter’s “Gloria.” and community sing along of holiday favorites.

MATILDA: THE MUSICAL REVIEW - RISING ABOVE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES

By Kathy Carpenter

December 6, 2019 (San Diego) - Take a break from everything Christmas. Star Repertory Theatre of Escondido presents Roald Dahl's Matilda:  the Musical--fun family entertainment during the holiday season. This performance has cute kids and talented leads.

LAMPLIGHTERS CHRISTMAS PAST REVIEW: TWO FOR ONE

By Kathy Carpenter

December 2, 2019 (La Mesa) - I'm a traditionalist. I want each holiday to have its time. Thus, I refused to watch Christmas movies until after Thanksgiving. Plays...well sometimes, I have to go earlier; I usually need to go in the first couple days to review them and give them adequate time for people to read. In this case, Black Friday was my induction into the Christmas season.

THE SAN DIEGO POTTERY TOUR IS COMING SOON! DEC. 7 AND 8

East County News Service

November 26, 2019 (San Diego) - Potters across San Diego are busily firing kilns full of fine handmade pottery. The nine open studios this year feature new pottery and ceramic art from over 30 of San Diego's best ceramists and a few guests. Take a day or two and visit all the studios, invite your friends, have lunch in local restaurants and enjoy a weekend of ceramic art. Studios will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. It's FREE and self guided, so you'll need a map that's available online at the Tour website: www.sdpotterytour.com

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