California Capital Book Festival offers fun and excitement for book lovers of all stripes

More than 100 authors and thousands of book lovers from 2 to 102 will attend the first California Capital Book Festival, Oct. 25 and 26, at the Sacramento Convention Center. The book festival, which will be a free public event, will be similar to the annual Los Angeles Times Book Festival. It is the first book festival of its scope and size to be held in Northern California.
“Atlanta’s book festival draws some 75,000 visitors each year; Miami, with a population slightly smaller than the Sacramento region’s, attracts hundreds of thousands to its book fair,” said festival organizer Marion Englund, who is a Curtis Park resident. “The greater Sacramento region has hundreds of book clubs, amazing public libraries, and hundreds of authors. We are putting together a program that we believe will bring people from all over the state to Sacramento.”

The festival is designed for widespread appeal, featuring author panels and presentations, storytelling, interactive displays, poetry, history exhibits, demonstrations, live entertainment, publishers and booksellers, sports memorabilia, rare book displays, and more. Featured authors include New York Times best-sellers and award-winners such as John Lescroart, Brenda Novak, Rhys Bowen and Cindy Sample as well as newly published authors such as the “15-ers,” a group of authors debuting their first books in 2015. Authors span all genres: romance, mystery, fiction, history, historical fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, YA, kid lit, biography, memoir and more. The list of authors confirmed to date, and still growing, is available at the festival website (CCBookFestival.com).

The California Capital Book Festival is designed not only to celebrate books and reading, but to explore the spaces where literature intersects with real-life experience. An All Things Pets area will feature dog training demonstrations and pet tricks. The Culinary Delights stage will feature cooking demonstrations, wine and beer pairings, and Farm-to-Table ideas from authors and local celebrity chefs. In Kids Alley, kids of all ages can solve mysteries with the Code Busters Club, conduct science experiments with the Galactic Academy of Science, sing along with the authors of Seasons, Rhymes in Time, and learn how comic books are created at the interactive School of Comics, with comic book writer E.B. Burgoon and local literacy organization 916 Ink. Aspiring authors may attend a track of workshops on how to get published and promote their books. More than 40 area poets will be reading their work and inviting guests to participate in open-mic readings on the Poetry Stage, hosted by the Sacramento Poetry Center. Take a photo with the Wells Fargo stagecoach, centerpiece of the California history section.
The Book Festival will open with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony led by the participants in the first Sacramento Walk4Literacy (walk4literacy.org). The ribbon cutting will take place at 10 a.m., Oct. 25, at the J Street entrance to the Convention Center.
For more information about festival attractions and featured authors, visit www.ccbookfestival.com.

Featuring Capital Artists Studio Tour artists from Arden, Carmichael and Fair Oaks

The following Arden-Carmichael area studios will be open on the weekend of Sept. 20-21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Arden-Carmichael News thanks the following artists for submitting information about their works, which we encourage you, dear reader, to go out and see.

"Biologista" by Amy Green

"Biologista" by Amy Green

Amy Green is using the front portion of her Fair Oaks home (5120 Oak Point Way) to host guests and display her artwork. Amy uses a five-step process to create watercolor and ink paintings that speak to the intersection between nature, science, and spirit. “My paintings are surrealist fantasies, visually challenging yet friendly, odd, accessible and appealing. One painting that exemplifies my love of nature, science and spirit is called Biologista. It depicts an energy exchange between two large scientific figures connected to nature. An octopus has just laid her eggs all over the tree and is resting comfortably with a fishy snack. The watercolor painting is created through a five-step process using graphite, watercolor pencils and ink, and measures 15 inches by 18 inches.

"Lolipop" by Sheila Mun Jacobs

"Lolipop" by Sheila Mun Jacobs

Sheila Mun Jacobs is opening her home studio at, 4365 Morpheus Lane. Her style is varied and so is her medium. “I love to expand and explore in my art making,” she said. Her piece, “Lolipop”, measures 32 inches by 22 inches and is made of papier- mache.

"Patchwork of Vines" by Rhonda Egan

"Patchwork of Vines" by Rhonda Egan

Rhonda Egan will be working out of her Arden Park home studio, 1216 El Toro Way. Rhonda’s passion is to paint plein air (painting outside) landscapes. “There is nothing like capturing the mood of a day, whether it is cloudy, sunny, windy, or threatening rain. I am an oil painter, who paints primarily with a palette knife rather than brushes. I love the easy clean up and the fresh, unmuddied look I get,” Rhonda says. She plans to demo around 2 p.m. both days. She will be demonstrating a landscape using a palette knife and emphasizing the difference of color and value of light shapes versus shadow. One of the paintings that will be at the studio tour is “Patchwork of Vines”, which recently won third place in the Northern California Arts Membership Show. It is a vineyard in autumn with golden vines criss-crossing and encircling dark trees. She has painted this vineyard several times with the vines surrounding the trees.

"Earth Song" by Michelle Andres

"Earth Song" by Michelle Andres

Michelle Andres will be opening her Carmichael home studio for the tour, 6546 Landis Ave. Carmichael. It’s down a private lane off the main road. “I’m a pretty joyful painter. My work is usually colorful, sometimes whimsical and is intended to make the viewer happy or remind them of a story or life event,” she said of her style. One of her pieces at the show is a large abstract, which was inspired by a Ralph Waldo Emerson poem title “Earth Song.” Parts of the poem are collaged within the piece which is in subtle earth tones with a large red mark. Could it be a scar? Her website is www.michelleandresstudio.com

"Inside Spinddrift" by Rachel Lyman

"Inside Spinddrift" by Rachel Lyman

Rachel Lyman will be showing her photography in the yard of her Carmichael home at 3531 Voelke Court, Carmichael. Rachel has been an avid photographer for over 40 years. In recent years, she started painting in acrylic, using some of her photographic images as her subject matter. “Both avenues of creative expression are fulfilling and bring me much joy to share with others,” she said. One of her pieces, “Inside Spenddrift,” is a photographic image she took as Spenddrift was being filled with cold air during the inflation process. The image captures a portion of the rainbow of colored panels of a hot air balloon, looking inside from the top down to the throat where the basket is connected.

"Ruminant" by Bethanie Humphreys

"Ruminant" by Bethanie Humphreys

Bethanie Humphreys is a published poet who integrates poetry and other writings into mixed media visual art. Her work for the tour has been chosen to be highlighted by curator Rachel Teagle. See more at facebook.com/BethanieHumphreysmixedmediaarts She is located at 7220 Sunwood Way, Citrus Heights, a residence, and her studio is an add-on to the backyard. She will have an encaustics demo and a participatory art project.

Dolores Rodriguez will be showing her art at the Blue Moon Gallery, 2353 Albatross Way. Dolores is an abstract artist who uses acrylic paint and gel medium on canvas to create original paintings. One of her paintings, “Sunshine Above Field”, is painted with bright, metallic colors on a gallery wrap-around canvas, which measures 14 inches by 11 inches and is one inch deep.

"Sacrifices a Tolcat" by Carla Bratt

"Sacrifices a Tolcat" by Carla Bratt

Carla Bratt will be working out of the new Adamson Gallery located at 2600 Fair Oaks Blvd., Suite 105. She will be also hosting other very well known Sacramento artists: Gary Dinnen, Judy “JJ” Jacobs and Lauri Luck. This charming, upscale gallery is filled with delightful and thought provoking art from all over the U.S., in a beautiful setting of light and welcoming energy. Colleen Adamson owner/director, has put together a true art lover’s gallery. Carla creates fine art gourds, through wood burning, carving and hand painting. Her emphasis is on culturally iconic symbolism, nature and storytelling, using color and bold graphic images. Carla prefers to work on very large gourds, which gives her the added challenge of maintaining balance, fluid line work and well placed design layouts.

Carla’s large, Mayan influenced fine art gourd bowl, “Sacrifices – A Tolecate”, will be on display during the tour at the Adamson Gallery. It is a striking and mindful piece (17 inches by 19 inches), bathed in blood reds, with carved cut outs, wood burned Mayan symbols, gold leaf applications and designed to tell the story of the Mayan belief in the power of their gods. The commitment to human sacrifice as a gift to the gods who would in turn insure the continued well being of the Mayan civilization, was the cornerstone of their belief system. At once fascinating and terrifying, the Mayans were a people of great intelligence, power and symbolic story telling. Intriguing at every level.

"A Saving Grace" by Judy JJ Jacobs

"A Saving Grace" by Judy JJ Jacobs

Judy “JJ” Jacobs will be showing at The Adamson Gallery located at 2600 Fair Oaks Blvd. off Fair Oaks and Munroe. There is additional parking behind the building – and lots of other beautiful art from various fine artists represented by The Adamson Gallery. JJ Jacobs is a multi-media artist specializing in tantalizing abstract paintings, fused glass art and mixed-media work. She loves color and is not afraid to use lots of it in her work! JJ will be showing “A Saving Grace,” a 48-inch by 48-inch painting on a hand-stretched 2.5-inch canvas. Materials include charcoal, graphite, gesso and acrylics.

At Confusion Glass, Dianne Van de Carr’s home and studio, 3904 Dell Road, Carmichael

"Mobile" by Dianne Van De Carr

"Mobile" by Dianne Van De Carr

Dianne Van de Carr will be showing work at her home studio along with Linda Miller located at 3904 Dell Road, Carmichael (off of Fair Oaks Boulevard between Hollister and San Juan avenues. Dianne said she has been working with fused glass since 1985 and is still “surprised and amazed” when she opens the kiln after a firing. She uses a combination of art and science to make beautiful art pieces and it is “so exciting!” Dianne has been making 3-dimensional jellyfish for a number of years and experimenting with different colors. “In my world, jellyfish don’t have to be traditional colors!” Her website is www.confusionglass.com

"Chico and Photo" by Linda R Miller

"Chico and Photo" by Linda R Miller

Linda R. Miller will be located at the home and studio of Dianne Van de Carr of Confusion Glass, 3904 Dell Road, Carmichael. A painter, Linda specializes in animal portraits and especially loves to show the human connection to our pets. Her work is highly detailed with vibrant colors with a bit of whimsy thrown in, occasionally. She will have hand painted necklaces, small boxes, miniature paintings on easels, and sample animal portraits including a painting of a woman’s arms lovingly wrapped around her sweet terrier mix.

Capital Artists Studio Tour Land Park area artists profiled

The following Land Park area studios will be open on the weekend of Sept. 13-14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Three highlights in the vicinity include happenings at the Broadway Augmented Headquarters, the Delta Workshop and at Verge Center for the Arts.

On Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Broadway Augmented Headquarters, 2421 17th St., Mario Sotelo, a new media artist and the Lead Modeler for the Broadway Augmented exhibition, will talk about the entire project from early experiments to final execution. He will discuss how he collaborated with the artists to translate their designs into 3D models prepared for the Augmented Reality environment.

There will be a free letterpress demonstration on Sunday, Sept. 14 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Delta Workshop, 2598 21st St. Visitors are invited to watch artists make letter-pressed greeting cards on an antique Golding Pearl floor-model platen press. You can also learn more about this form of printmaking that is currently having a major resurgence. Visitors will get to take a few cards home with them, free of charge.

On both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., there will be monoprint demonstrations at Myrtle Press, located inside Verge Center for the Arts (625 S St.) Visitors can tour Sacramento’s only printmaking facility open to the public outside of an academic institution. See examples of different types of prints and see the presses in action. Try your hand at making a monoprint and printing it on the press.

In addition, the Land Park News thanks the following artists for submitting information about their works, which we encourage you, dear reader, to go out and see.

Vann Nguyen will be working out of EN EM Art Space, 1714 Broadway. Vann is the co-owner of the gallery and it is also a working studio for him. The new gallery had its debut show on Aug. 9. The second opening will be on Sept 13 to coincide with Open Studios. In addition to his work, visitors will also be able to view the work of San Francisco based artist, Stephanie Rohlfs. Vann’s current work is interested in exploring the world that Francis Bacon referred to as the “space between sensation and rationality.” The work depicts imaginary constructions and occupations of architecture and landscape. Vann is currently working on a series in which he uses photographs that he’s taken of banal landscape scenes, which are then printed on cotton jacquard fabric. Vann then uses acrylic paint, spray paint, graphite powder and other media on top of the fabric. “The series explores my fascination with humanity’s tumultuous relationship to nature,” he said.

Lisa Culjis will be working out of her detached garage in the backyard of her South Land Park home, located at 1404 Claremont Way. “Collage and assemblage (3-dimensional collage) are the mediums I work in most often. I use old anonymous photographs, found ephemera, paper scraps, small objects (driftwood, bones, buttons, feathers, game pieces), scraps and fragments of discarded things – rusty, dusty, broken, nostalgic little things. I delight in collecting/gathering items from yard sales and flea markets and sometimes right off the sidewalk or curb. The found treasures wait patiently in my cluttered little studio until the moment and inspiration arrives to give them a new life – to cut, arrange, paint, glue or nail them together to create a 2 or 3-dimensional narrative.” One of her pieces, “Double Joy,” is mixed media (collage and paint on 12×16 wood panel.) She uses an old Chinese calligraphy practice paper for the background. She explains, “The image of the woman holding the birds and the image of the woman standing at sea are both from blown up copies of pictures on the back of a deck of playing cards. I added stenciled on paint for the flowers and radiating lines. I love the juxtaposition of the delight expressed by the main figure and the contemplative mood of the figure on the dress.”

At the home garage of Elaine Bowers, 2613 14th St. near Tower Theatre

Elaine Bowers, a watercolor artist, will be showing her work along with Bob Thompson (mixed media, including printmaking, ceramics, photography), metal garden artist Mark Harman and jewelry maker Mary Bartels. The four will be at Elaine’s home garage 2613 14th St. near Tower Theatre.

Elaine paints photorealistic watercolor aerial views of the Sacramento area farmlands and waterways, which are inspired when she flies in a plane. “I love the unique agriculture here especially the rice fields and river area. The environment is so beautiful and its vulnerability is more obvious when seen from above.” Elaine was recently honored to be awarded the Bronze Medal of Honor, one of the top awards in the prestigious American Watercolor Society International Exhibition. She is also designated as a “Signature Status” member of the National Watercolor Society (NWS).

One of Elaine’s pieces, “Delta Sunrise,” is from a flight she took in a 1940s Piper Cub while flying over the Sacramento River in Clarksburg. “We flew very low, and I felt like we could touch the trees. It was very inspiring. I love flying almost as much as I love painting the views. This painting was difficult to create because I paint to the edge of the paper and don’t stretch my paper as in traditional techniques. I like to save the deckle edge. This creates challenges when the paper is wet as the paper can’t be handled easily, so it is difficult to manipulate the large washes. This scene is near the Sugar Mill in Clarksburg.”

Jewelry and metal artist Mary Bartels works in natural stones, sterling silver, copper, brass and gold. She develops inspiration for her designs from the natural stones with which she works, such as her piece, the “Larimar Ring” which is made with a Larimar cabochon from the Dominican Republic. She will be showing her work at the home of Bob Thompson and Elaine Bowers at 2623 14th St.

At Panama Pottery – 4421 24th St.

Twenty-seven studios occupy the historic Panama Pottery factory at 4421 24th St. This factory, which used to produce ceramics such as vessels, urns, lamp bases etc. is now 101 years old, and still has the original huge bee-hive brick kilns that were used during operation. There is also a retail yard that hosts events and sells one-of-a-kind items.

Panama artist Leslie Thompson likes to make art in clay, transforming it into big, richly colored and textured pots – pots informed by 10 years living in the Middle East. “I also create plates, which tend to follow inner promptings and urges and give me a space to express narrative ideas about the world,” she said. Her piece, “Storage Jar,” is a large, 13-inch by 9-inch hand-built pot, which was fired multiple times in Panama’s electric kiln. The plate (18-inch diameter) uses slip trailing to describe a crazy performance piece using chairs and a narrator in red boots.

Marsha Schindler is a sculptor, but for many years she did large murals and paintings. Marsha also teaches art and design at the Art Institute of California, as well as private clay classes at Panama. For several years, Marsha has been exploring tree women sculptures from 1 foot high to 7 feet high. However within the last month, she has begun a completely new series on ships/boats and the journey. “They began as an exploration of dreams I was having about traveling and water. They seem to always include a female swimmer and have already started to transform. I love this series!”

Randy Won is particularly inspired by nature and industrial forms, both separately and through the intersections of them. Most of his recent works explore a concern for the environment through symbolic imagery. One of his pieces, “Balancing Act” currently is being shown at the Verge during the CAST tour. It represents the surreal merging of technology and science. The work is a part of a series that reflects current issues from greed to resource depletion.

Alonso Sanchez uses precise cut clay and broken edges purposely included to appear as an artifact from a past civilization. The artifact shares the word “Industrial” and is interpreted by a clay surface and expressed as beauty in the human form, flowers and fish. One of his pieces titled, “Red Flower Sketch”, (37 inches by 38 inches in ceramic) can be seen at the Verge Center of Arts during the preview exhibition on Sept. 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. (and also during the remainder of the CAST tour).

Miguel Paz graduated from UC Davis with a BA in Art Studio. He studied with the late Robert Arneson and Manuel Neri, both well established artists and teaching professors at the time. He also received a masters of art degree in art from Teachers College, Columbia University in NYC.
At his studio in Panama Pottery, Miguel invites you to come and see a new body of work in the form of large, wheel thrown “tree” pots (Nelson Mandela and Maya Angelou). Other work on display relates to the making of ancestral musical instruments: ocarinas and udu drums ready for everyone to enjoy!

Featuring Capital Artists Studio Tour artists from East Sacramento, Tahoe Park and River Park

The following East Sacramento area studios will be open on the weekend of Sept. 20-21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A highlight of this weekend includes painting demonstrations at Patris Studio and Art Gallery, 3460 2nd Ave on both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The East Sacramento News thanks the following artists for submitting information about their works, which we encourage you, dear reader, to go out and see.

“Trinity” by Jennifer Pickering

“Trinity” by Jennifer Pickering

Jennifer O’Neill Pickering works in three mediums: mixed media, watercolor and digital collage. She will be working on a mixed media sculptural piece at her studio, located at 53rd Street right before 9th Avenue in Tahoe Park It is in her garage that looks like a barn. Her address is 5259 9th Ave. Follow the signs!

House painting by Patt Illouli

House painting by Patt Illouli

Also in Tahoe Park is the home of Patt Illouli (business name House Portraits), located at 2909
58th St., near the corner of Broadway and 58th Street in Tahoe Park. Patt produces both pen and ink
drawings and watercolor paintings. Working from photos that can either be provided by the client or that she takes herself, her work is sometimes mistaken for photos. But it is all hand made, the photo being used only for reference. Over the past 10 -11 years, she has made a kind of specialty of doing house portraits, though she paints people, pets, cars, boats, gardens, landscapes, etc.

“Limbo” by John Fortes

“Limbo” by John Fortes

John Fortes’s art studio is out of his home in a converted garage located at 5861 18th Ave. (off of 58thStreet.) Fortes’s paintings have been exhibited in California, Nevada, Chicago, New York, Hawaii, Venezuela and Norway, and are held in numerous private collections, as well as, the Asian American Art Centre in New York, the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno and the Triton Museum of Art and Crocker Art Museum in California. A recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Granthis paintings are often large scale explorations of self that lean towards the whimsical, dark and obscure. She will be showing a piece titled, “LimboHemia 1”, which is from a series of works that explore self-imposed conflict through the layering of whimsical imagery, text and collage. Words within the painting poke fun and become a means to decode the work. In this case Limbo and Bohemia become LimboHemia, a place where no personal growth or progress occurs and where it’s easier to remain static than confront the unknown. LimboHemia 1 is 8 feet tall by 7 feet wide.

“Evening” by Linda Paris

“Evening” by Linda Paris

Linda M. Paris will be working out of her re-purposed garage at her house 388 36th Way. Linda’s work is inspired by the “anomalies and curiosities of nature. Each medium used reflects a different aspect of nature that has inspired me at that moment.” She will be showing paintings from her “White Tree Series”, mixed media works from her “Books as Objects …. The Object of Books” series, and miniature dioramas from her “Anomalies and Curiosities of Nature” series.

“Smile for the Birdie” by Frankie Hansbearry

“Smile for the Birdie” by Frankie Hansbearry

Ceramic sculptor Frankie Hansbearry produces whimsical pieces in addition to ceramic mosaics, watercolor paintings and some fabric art pieces and will be showing work her home studio, 4210 2nd Ave. “Smile for the Birdie,” a mixed media ceramic sculpture is mounted on an acrylic-painted support. The dimensions are 16 inches by 16 inches by 10 inches.

At Marc Foster Creative, 320 Alhambra Blvd.

"Leaning Model" by Boyd GavinExamples of Boyd Gavin’s two-dimensional work in oil on canvas and ink on paper, as well as, clay sculptures will be on display at the commercial design studio for Marc Foster Creative at 320 Alhambra Blvd. “My art is not primarily concerned with the ‘likenesses’ of things, but with the deeper, abstract complexity that lies behind appearances. My aim is to embody the spirit or ultimate reality of my chosen subject,” Boyd explains.

“Where I End and You Begin” by Shelby Heinzer

“Where I End and You Begin” by Shelby Heinzer

Shelby Heinzer will be showing work at the Marc Foster Creative, a studio space for metal working at 320 Alhambra Blvd. Shelby’s work explores tension through dualities of color, composition and the boundaries between “representationalism” and abstract expression. She will be showing her oil painting, “Where I End and You Begin,” which examines relationships in pairs and questions the boundaries upheld and torn down between two contrasting forces. Through the illusion of floating it evokes a sense of fantasy and wonder for possibilities and growth.

Chautauqua Playhouse opens 37th season with west coast premiere

Scarface1
Scarface1
Chautauqua Playhouse will open its 37th season with the new comedy, “A Visit from Scarface”, by V. Cate and Duke Ernsberger. This is the West Coast Premiere of this funny new show.

“A Visit From Scarface” is an almost true story from the comedic duo who brought us “Don’t Cry for Me, Margaret Mitchell”.

It’s 1930, and successful screenwriter Ben Hecht is in a pickle. He’s just written a script for the movie “Scarface”, inspired by real-life gangster Al Capone. It’s guaranteed to be a hit, if Capone’s hit-men don’t get him first! The jokes fly fast and thick in this hilarious new comedy as Hecht tries to duck gangsters on one hand and the Hollywood censors on the other.

The direction and set design are by Warren Harrison. The cast includes Jason Titus, Melissa Dixon, Karen Sandoval, Rodger Hoopman, Bob Gerould, Jerrold McFatter and Dave McHenry.

Now showing Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Sept. 28, the performances are held at the Chautauqua Playhouse, 5325 Engle Road in the La Sierra Community Center in Carmichael. General admission is $20, seniors and students and SARTA members are $18. For an additional dollar, SARTA members can have premium seating.

Information and tickets are available through the Chautauqua Playhouse website: www.cplayhouse.org or call the box office at 489-7529, during business hours.

Matias Bombal’s Hollywood

“If I Stay”

The MPAA has given this a PG-13 rating.

Warner Bros., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and New Line all got together to bring you “If I Stay”, based on Gayle Forman’s book which relates the experience of a young lady in a terrible car crash who has an out-of-body experience. Whilst in a coma, following the accident, she recalls the joys and pains in her life. She must come to terms with herself: should she choose to live or die.

Miss Chloe Grace Moretz is Mia, an applicant to the Julliard School waiting to find out if she has been accepted for advanced cello studies. Her parents are played by Mireille Enos who you might have seen in “World War Z”, and Joshua Leonard of “The Blair Witch Project”.

As Mia goes over the key points in her life, good and bad, much time is spent on the love of her life, a rocker played by Jamie Blackley. They come from diametrically opposite musical passions, yet share an attraction that blossoms as we experience Mia’s memories.

John de Borman’s composition, lighting, and photography are exquisite. The shots are held for maximum effectiveness, without unsettling quick cutting. I liked very much that this movie took its time to tell its story, and that the shots were held for long, lingering lengths allowing for you to fully comprehend the content of the images. There was one plot flaw that haunted me throughout, but it did not take away my overall appreciation for this good movie.


“The Expendables 3”

The MPAA has given this a PG-13 rating

Loinsgate brings us more major film stars in one movie than it is easy to count with “The Expendables 3,” another story of macho daring-do penned by the lead in the movie, Sylvester Stallone. In this new installment, Barney Ross (Stallone) recruits a young, fresh, new team to go into a special operation after putting the old guard out to pasture. He’s up against Conrad Stonebanks, played by Mel Gibson, the co-founder of the Expendables who apparently did not die previously, and now is an arms dealer ready to take out Barney and his crew, old or new.

The rest of the cast is impressive: Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes, Terry Crews, Kelsey Grammer, Kellan Lutz, Jet Li, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, Glen Powell, Randy Couture, Antonio Banderas, and Dolph Lundgren!

I was brought back to a fun time in my childhood when I played with green army men, and knocking over 40 at once, which did not kill anyone in real life. This movie has this feel; you just check reality at the door and latch on for the ride. Mel Gibson is fantastic in his cool hatred. You may even actually understand Stallone when he speaks.

The photography of Peter Menzies, Jr, (No relation to famous production designer William Cameron Menzies) is quite good with some nice compositions for the wide screen. Happy this was not in 3-D. So nice to see the aging A-list action heroes have fun laughing with themselves and kudos to them for still working.

There’s art in the Pocket!

Pocket artist Richard Turner knows his photographs make people happy. “That’s why I photograph flowers and birds.” He has sold more than 49,000 greeting cards featuring bright, colorful flowers. “That’s a lot of happy people,” he says.
Richard’s home studio is one of the stops on the ninth annual Capital Artists Studio Tour, which, up until this year has not included stops in the Pocket area, which may sound absurd, because, yes, there is art in the Pocket!
Pocket’s stop on the CAST will surely be a fun destination for all art lovers, as great artists demonstrate their work, food trucks and live music entertain visitors on Mast Court near Gloria Drive, across from John F. Kennedy High School. Set for Saturday, Sept. 13 and Sunday, Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., there will be art, food and music. The Kennedy High Marching Band will perform on Saturday and rock and roller blues man Gary Michael Weinberg will perform on Sunday. Artists and neighborhood businesses will line Mast Court and a festive atmosphere will invite guests to have a good time!
This will not be your usual ho-hum art walk. This will be a party.
From acrylic painting by Skip Lee, to bronze sculpting by Jay Bishop who will be demonstrating his techniques, the tour will also include Chinese brush painting by Dorothy Steed, “galactic art” and jewelry by Alex 8, fabric creations by Carol Wittich, and fine art nature photography by Richard Turner who will also be signing his new book, “I Can’t Always See My Path…But I Keep On Walking,” which has been praised by Dr. Wayne Dyer as a “masterpiece” and a “gift to the world.”
“I’ll have many new flower and bird images to share with those who come to the Pocket for the tour,” Richard adds.
Carol wrote into the Pocket News stating that among her creations, her scarves are hand-dyed with synthetic dyes as well as natural dyes, such as pomegranates and basil.
Other highlights of the tour, though outside of the Pocket, include a SAC Open Studios launch party at Verge Center for the Arts on Thursday, Sept. 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. The party will be a preview of more than 125 artworks installed salon-style in the new classroom space at Verge Center for the Arts. This exhibition will be up until Oct. 1.

The Music Man JR features neighborhood actors at the 24th St. Theater

Peter Sunseri as Professor Harold Hill and Clara McNatt as Marion Paroo in the Young Actors Stage's production of “The Music Man.” / Photo by Jane Mikacich

Peter Sunseri as Professor Harold Hill and Clara McNatt as Marion Paroo in the Young Actors Stage's production of “The Music Man.” / Photo by Jane Mikacich

The Music Man JR, a toe tapping crowd-pleaser, is hitting the 24th St. Theater one weekend only, Aug. 8-10 with favorites, including, “Trouble,” “Goodnight My Someone,” “Seventy-Six Trombones,” “Wells Fargo Wagon,” and “Gary Indiana.”

Excited to direct this classic, Liorah Singerman, the Artistic Director of Young Actors Stage, oversees almost 70 children divided into two casts. Included in this musical are many dance numbers, including a full cast tap dancing routine, choreographed by Singerman.

The Music Man JR is part of the Broadway Junior Collection adapted for family audiences. The music and lyrics are by Meredith Willson. The play is based on the timeless Broadway classic which was the winner of five Tony awards, including best musical. The play went on to be a successful award-winning movie, starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. The story follows the fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band he vows to organize. The catch is he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef! His plans to skip town with the cash as foiled when he falls for Marian the librarian, whose belief in Harold’s powers just might help him succeed in the end.

Growing up studying acting at A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory in San Francisco, Singerman also received her BFA in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University and studied in London and New York City with award-winning voice teachers and choreographers. She has a long list of stage credits and is a member of SAG-AFTRA. In 2008, she founded Young Actors Stage, which has brought full-scale musical theatre productions to Sacramento and to the local public and private schools, including Crocker-Riverside, Holy Spirit, Genevieve Didion, Sutterville, and many more.

The role of Professor Harold Hill is played by Adan Hensley and Peter Sunseri, The role of Marian Paroo is played by Clara McNatt and Ana Riley-Portal. All have a great deal of musical theater experience and are looking forward to the show.

The following budding actors provided the following statements for this Valley Community Newspapers article.

Peter Sunseri said, “I’m thrilled to be playing Harold Hill in another one of Liorah’s fantastic productions. Music Man has always been one of my favorite musicals.”

Ana Riley-Portal, an 8th grader at St. Francis Elementary school who plays Marian in one of the casts said the following about her involvement with the production: “It is very exciting to sing such beautiful songs written for a soprano in a classic musical like The Music Man!”

Describing her excitement for The Music Man JR, Ana Konovaloff, a 4th grader at Holy Spirit School who plays Amaryllis, Marian’s piano student, said: “I can’t wait for the show when the whole cast is on stage doing a tap routine together!”

Lastly, Rosie Sunseri said the following about her experience, “I am so excited to play Zaneeta, a lot of dancing, great choreography and such a great cast.”

Anna and Louisa McNatt are excited to be in a show with their big sister, Clara, who plays Marian in one of the casts. All three sisters attend Country Day School. Louisa says, “it is a lot of fun singing and dancing at the rehearsals” and says that “you get to show your personality on stage!”

The shows are at the 24th Street Theater, 2791 24th St., Friday, Aug. 8 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 9 at 1, 4, and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 10 at 1 and 4 p.m.; $10 adults; $7 children.

Matias Bombal’s Hollywood

The Immigrant- Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard

The Immigrant- Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard


The Immigrant (2014)

The MPAA has rated this R
The Weinstein Company, the distributor of “The Immigrant,” has not effectively booked this movie into theatres since it was released, and it is a big injustice to the cinema-going public, for this is nothing less than a masterpiece of movie craftsmanship. It has not opened at all in Sacramento, and I encourage you to ask your nearest theatre to bring it.

It is the best dramatic picture I’ve seen this year.

Set in 1921, a Polish immigrant arrives to Ellis Island with her sister with hope for the future after the Great War, were she had witnessed her parents massacred by soldiers. On the ship, her sister became ill in the squalor of steerage and was separated from her by the immigration authorities to be confined in the hospital on the island. With her family gone, her bond with her sister is vital. Remarkable and strong Ewa, played by Oscar winning actress Marion Cotillard, must find a way to find her sister and not be deported herself.

Ewa’s life changes at an encounter with Bruno Weiss (Joaquin Phoenix) who considers doing what he can for the lovely Polish girl. In a worn tenement area of the city we find that Bruno manages the girls in a burlesque theatre, who work in the world’s oldest profession as well.

He initially set Ewa apart, and as often happens in great drama, things go from bad to worse. Yet through it all, Ewa’s instinct to survive and reunite with her sister shows her inner strength in a majestic and powerful way.

She’s forced into a life of prostitution and develops a complex and volatile relationship with two men: Bruno, and his romantic cousin, Emil, who is also “Orlando the Magician,” played actor Jeremy Renner. Emil brings a ray of hope to the dingy world in which Ewa struggles on to survive. Joaquin Phoenix is absolutely remarkable here. Marion Cotillard transcends time and place.

As we have just celebrated our Independence Day, I find it poignant that this movie has, at its heart, the very contemporary issue of immigration to the United States seen through the eyes of another time. As distant as director James Gray makes 1921 look, these are many of the same issues facing those trying to hopefully reach the Unites States since its very founding.

This movie has captured the Ellis Island experience vividly and is beautifully mounted. The music is lush and appropriate, never intrusive, but highly melodic, both in Christopher Spelman’s original music, and the other well known orchestral pieces selected. Darius Khondji’s photography in wide screen has a sepia air about it with remarkable images that remain in my mind weeks later. The performances are exceptional and show us the zenith of what the acting craft should be.

You MUST experience “The Immigrant” in person on a big theatre screen. Director James Gray has made a masterpiece that you’ll not forget. Now, go find it!

Until next time, this is your pal, Matías Bombal, bidding you a fond farewell.

For more in-depth, complete reviews of these same movies and many more in theatres now, with scenes shown from the movie reviewed, you may see and hear “Matías Bombal’s Hollywood” at: www.mabhollywood.com. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: @MABHollywood

Artistic flow at the river’s edge


On a warm and Delta breezy evening, psychedelic colors illuminated the Sacramento River with their warmth and coolness, spinning out of control from the careful hands of two friends – Ryan and Nate.

Finding comfort in nature, they practice swinging these tethered weights, also known as poi, until the flow of the rhythmical patterns solidify into Celtic-shaped knots.

“It kind of just flows. You make a big circle, then a small circle, and a small circle, small circle, big circle. It’s like a pattern. So if you go at the right pace, it never really stops at any point. It’s Zen-like and a little bit mindless,” Ryan said.

Mindless, perhaps, but their minds are transfixed. The hardest part, Ryan said, is just letting go and allowing the tear-drop shaped, silicone vessels expose the programmable LED lights that changed from solid pinks and blues to rainbow and strobe.

While speaking about his progression into the art form known as flow, Ryan said: “I felt the more I let go and just let it happen, it feels more natural and it flows. I guess that’s why they call it flow because it flows out of you versus trying to manipulate it yourself.”

On another evening, Ryan was there spinning poi as his best friend hula hooped to the sound of waves crashing from the speed boats cruising up and down river.

With effortless control, the hula hoop traveled up and down her body, dancing around her arms, neck, chest and waist, as time seemed to stand still, and as the music of the night, reverberated through portable speakers connected an iPod.

Always interested in fire dancing, Ryan said he found poi through some sleuthing around on the internet. “I saw fire dancers doing it and I thought, ‘wow, that’s really cool. But how do you get to that point? You can’t just practice with fire.’ So I found a tutorial online that taught me how to make sock poi.”

Starting with old knee-high socks, Ryan filled them with rice to make a ball and twirled them around for about a week and a half, but that’s all it took. “I was just hooked; I couldn’t put it down. I thought this is something I could get into, so I just started to do some research.” About five or six months ago, Ryan found the website, www.flowtoys.com, where he said he bought his poi. “I had them for a good month and I was on the fence about it, but then I just fell in love with it, and I really haven’t stopped since.”

editor@valcomnews.com