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FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

FEBRUARY 2014

3

Going a little crazy for cupid V
alentine’s Day is Feb. 14. For you guys, that’s 12 days after the Super Bowl, plenty of time to shift the focus from blocking and tackling to chocolate and tickling (your woman’s fancy, that is). You know the drill by now … cards, candy, flowers, jewelry. You can thank the diamond industry for that last one. It was their push in the 1980s to promote Feb. 14 as an occasion to give fine jewelry that significantly upped the per capita spending. Your average person spent about $130 on Valentine’s Day last year, a nice little post-Christmas spike for the local economy. Not bad for a day that originally celebrated a third-century saint. But then, hijacking a religious icon’s feast day to encourage a feeding frenzy of consumerism is not an entirely new concept.
Paul Cambra Features Editor

Music

Mojo Green has earned their reputation as one of the region’s premiere funk and soul bands. Catch them with Nevada County’s Earles of Newtown at the Auburn Event Center for one of many Valentine’s day musical options. 10

Cover Story
You can go in any direction on Valentine’s Day and still come up smelling like roses

4

Theater
Sierra Stage’s sixth season has something for everyone

14

Art
A perfect blend of tea and art

Though at one time the day may have been a celebration between those in love – or hoping for love – that was well before my time. I was handing out impersonal, mass-produced Valentines to every kid in my class when I was in grade school. And the tradition continues today, though the cards have gotten cooler. What says “Be Mine” better than a lenticular-animated image of Megatron battling Optimus Prime under the caption “Transform My Heart?” At around the same age, Valentines started to come from the most unromantic of places, like your mom. Not that we didn’t appreciate the candy, but the true meaning of the

day was being ignored as we were force-fed a ritual meant for lovers before we were even old enough to date. These days, people toss around the “Happy Valentine’s Day” greeting like it was a heart-shaped hacky-sack. Where are the “politically correct” cops when you need them? What if you don’t believe in romance? Have you no respect for the brokenhearted? OK, I’ll stop. I really do like picking out a card for my wife each year, sometimes even buying flowers. And I too have fallen into the trap of buying my kids a box of sweets. But I’ve drawn the line at animals. While 9 million people gave their pets a Valentine’s gift last year, it’s safe to say my dog will not be receiving anything shaped like a heart and smelling like liver. That’s between him and the poodle next door.

18 FEBRUARY 2014 Volume 2 • Number 2
1030 High Street, Auburn • www.auburnjournal.com
General Info: (530) 885-5656 or (800) 927-7355 foothillsentertainer@goldcountrymedia.com General Manager: Jim Easterly, (530) 852-0224, jime@goldcountrymedia.com Editor: Dennis Noone, (530) 852-0231, dennisn@goldcountrymedia.com Features Editor: Paul Cambra, (530) 852-0230, paulc@goldcountrymedia.com Production supervisor: Sue Morin, susanm@goldcountrymedia.com

Events
Fireworks and dragons usher in the Year of the Horse

22

ON THE COVER:
Roses courtesy of Auburn Blooms Florist and Gifts (auburnbloomflorist.com). Chocolates by Aunt Flo’s Chocolates (auntfloschocolates.com). Champagne from Sierra Starr Vineyard (sierrastarrwine.com). Diamond engagement ring from Roper’s Jewelers (jewelry-auburn-ca.com).
KIM PALAFERRI • FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

Publisher: Todd Frantz (530) 852-0200, toddf@goldcountrymedia.com

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The publisher shall not be responsible for any liabilities arising from the publication of copy provided by any advertiser for the Foothills Entertainer. Further, it shall not be liable for any act of omission on the part of the advertiser pertaining to their published advertisement in the Foothills Entertainer. A publication of Gold Country Media.

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VALENTINE’SDAY

FEBRUARY 2014

FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

Lots of ways to say ‘I love you’
PHOTOS BY KIM PALAFERRI • AUBURN JOURNAL

Foothills a rich source for candy, flowers, jewelry, fun
BY PAUL CAMBRA
FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

Roper’s Jewelers in Auburn offers beautiful jewels for your special someone, like this engagement ring with 1.06-carat Marquis center diamond in a 14-karat gold, .38-carat total weight Milgrain mounting. In the photo at left, chocolates by Aunt Flo’s Chocolates in Auburn are a sweet way to celebrate, and champagne from Sierra Starr Vineyard in Grass Valley can make your Valentine’s truly special.
Hopefully not end up like explorer James Cook, who met his fate on Feb. 14, 1779, in a fight with Hawaiian natives. But that would never happen in this day and age because the day is all about love, right? To the tune of $18.6 billion, the estimated total spending that will be reached this year. But you don’t have to spend $130 (that’s the national average) to profess your love. You can, but sometimes big bucks won’t go as far as a little thoughtfulness.

It all started with a card
Legend has it that a third-century priest named Valentine, imprisoned for performing marriages against the will of the emperor, sent a letter to his jailer’s daughter on the day of his execution that read “From your Valentine.” Not exactly the romantic beginning we all envisioned, but it did spawn a card-making industry that dates back to the late 18th century. Today, Valentine’s Day is the second-most popular card-sending holiday — behind Christmas — with about 190 million cards being exchanged every year. Of those, 145 million are purchased. “We start stocking them the second week of January,” said Sue Urban, owner of Dawn’s Hall-

n 1967, Aretha Franklin recorded “Respect,” In 1971, Richard Nixon installed a secret taping system in the White House and in 1990, Voyager I took a picture of the entire solar system. So what are you going to do this Valentine’s Day?

I

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FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

FEBRUARY 2014

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Mary Domschot, owner of Aunt Flo’s Chocolates in Auburn, shows off a tray of chocolate dipped s’mores. Choices include peanut butter s’mores, marshmallow crème s’mores or combine the two for a “Hockey Puck” s’more.
mark in Auburn. “The rush starts about the last week of January and really starts picking up.” Urban said that women lean toward romantic cards, There are while for men, the 1,400 more varieties of expensive the Hallmark better, Valentine’s sometimes greeting spending up to $10 cards. for a Valentine. They also offer recordable cards, so your sweet nothings can be whispered back every time the card is opened. If you ask Urban — and people do — she would prefer to receive a romantic card, something that says, “I am valued and I am special.” “People ask my advice all of the time,” Urban said. “‘What do you think of this?’ they’ll ask. It’s funny how open they’ll be, mostly the men.” removed from New Year’s in Guittard chocolate,” Day that most resolutions she said. “The dark to lay off the chocolate are chocolate is 72 percent long forgotten. And with cocoa, and we also offer a recent revelations that gluten-free.” There are also the old dark chocolate may actually be good for you (helps favorites like truffles, turlower blood pressure, tles and haystacks -- just improves cognitive func- don’t look for straight tion, hardens tooth chocolate. With Mary, enamel and is loaded dipping’s the thing. “There are 46 different with antioxidants) a trip to the candy shop might things I dip,” she said. “I be just what the doctor was dipping Cheez-Its in white chocolate and my ordered. “Chocolate dipped husband said ‘Stop!’ You strawberries are the most can’t dip the world.’” With so many options popular Valentine’s Day item,” said Mary Dom- to choose from, Mary schot, owner of Aunt Flo’s offers a sampler box (22 Chocolates in Auburn. items) and a half sampler “And pretzel rods, (11 items) that include a mixture of because us milkand girls like salty More than 35 dark-chocoand sweet.” late-dipped Virtually million heart brownies, Oreeverything at shaped os, apricots, Aunt Flo’s is Krispie dipped in chocolate boxes Rice treats and chocolate, from the are sold for this peanut butter healthy (dried day each year. cups. Or think outside the box apricots) to and fill up a jar the not so much (Twinkies). There or a plate with the items are chocolate-dipped for- of your choosing. Lazy Dog Chocolate tune cookies, potato offers the traditional chips and churros. “Everything is dipped • SEE SWEET PAGE 6

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VALENTINE’SDAY

FEBRUARY 2014

FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER
and white and purple and tates a significant price red. Men are brainwashed; increase on Feb. 14. “Roses are always more red roses mean love, and expensive on Valentine’s Day Valentine’s Day means love.” For the record, a red rose - double or triple in price means love and respect. Pink coming to us,” said Rachel says, “I am having sweet Eakins, owner of Art In Bloom thoughts about you,” and a Flowers in Grass Valley. “We have to pre-order white rose stands An estimated them a month in for purity and says, “I am wor- 224 million roses advance.” And with Valenthy of you.” are grown for tine’s Day, timing There is also some numbers Valentine’s Day. is everything. “We’ll do 200 that come into play. One rose It brings florists deliveries on that day,” Baehr said. stands for love at about $14.7 “On Mother’s Day first sight and a dozen says “I love billion worth of there are more deliveries but they you,” while 108 is spread recommended for business, similar are throughout the marriage proposto the GDP of week. On Valenals -- and 999 Iceland. tine’s Day, they means “we’ll want it on that always be togethday.” er.” But less expensive options One shy of a thousand could put quite a dent into do exist — and are no less the old wallet, considering romantic. “I always prefer to deliver that supply and demand dic-

continued from 5 heart-shaped box of chocolates, with a twist. “The heart shaped box is made of chocolate and full of hand-dipped strawberries,” said Mary Jane Parker, who works at the Grass Valley chocolateria. “We have every kind of turtle imaginable in milk or dark chocolate. From the classic pecan to almonds and cashews and sea salt.” The shop also carries suckers in heart and lip shapes, cupid corn (pink, red and white candy corn) and “Sugar Shacks,” little houses made out of
COURTESY

SWEET: Can’t forget the roses
chocolate. And for those with a bad attitude about Valentine’s Day? “The ‘Love Stinks,’” Parker said. “It’s a chocolate outhouse.”

Say it with flowers
Blame Venus, the Roman goddess of love, for naming roses as her favorite flower. Of all the beautiful blooms out there, the rose — especially the red one — has become synonymous with Valentine’s Day, to the tune of 189 million sold in the U.S. last year (approximately 110 million of them were red). “Seldom people know what the colors mean,” said Lisa Baehr, owner of Auburn Blooms Florist & Gifts in Auburn. “I don’t order a lot of yellow and orange around Valentine’s Day. It’s all pink

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FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER
tulips to today’s younger females,” Eakins said. “They might be a little untraditional. I have a young daughter who would prefer something more radical. She might find red roses boring and old fashioned. Something her mother or grandmother might have gotten.” Tulips are half the price and last just as long. And then there’s the anthurium, a red tropical flower that’s actually in the shape of a heart. “They are pretty unusual,” Eakins said. “The heart is still the symbol to celebrate the occasion, it’s still pretty valid with the girls; they still want their romance.” And you don’t need 12 of them, as their large bloom is best used not in multitudes but with a “less-is-more feeling.” Those can be shipped overnight from Hawaii, along with white orchids. For many flowers, timing is everything. “Lilies need to open; we get

• FEBRUARY 2014

VALENTINE’SDAY
Nevada City. “They just finished spending a lot of money on Christmas. Small, petite necklaces or rings, single stud earrings -- nothing extravagant.” She also said anything red or in the shape of a heart is popular. And of course, there’s the diamond. “A simple diamond is always good; they sparkle,” said Mike Baker, jeweler and designer for Stucki Jewelers in Grass Valley. “A huge part of our business is designing one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry for engagement rings.” He said they see a little spike in sales around Valentine’s Day

7

them on Monwait until the An estimated $4.4 day for Friday last minute to billion will be spent pick out that deliveries,” Baehr said. “Sunperfect gift. But nationally for flowers come in once they get Valentine’s Day their feet planted closed. Roses you can get in that day inside the store, jewelry and send them out they can find anypurchases. thing from earrings to right away. At $80 a dozen on Valentine’s engagement rings. Day, you want them to “Most of the time it’s last.” just a nice little gift,” Seitzinger said. “Something special, earrings or Perhaps something a pendant.” that sparkles And it doesn’t have to Despite the jump in be expensive, she said. If wedding proposals on you are looking to spend less Valentine’s Day, most jewelers say it’s not their busiest time of than $50, she can steer you toward a sterling silver the year. “It’s a very compact time of charm and a chain, or year, unlike Christmas, where freshwater pearls. “Valentine’s Day you have quite a lead-in,” said Peggy Seitzinger, general man- shoppers are often ager of Roper’s Jewelers in looking for something Auburn. “Usually it’s a little very simple,” said jump a couple of days before Diane Dyer, owner of Stone in and then on Valentine’s Day Utopian itself.” Chances are it’s the men who COURTESY PHOTOS

FAMOUS PEOPLE BORN ON VALENTINE’S DAY:
John Barrymore (1882) Jack Benny (1894) Jimmy Hoffa (1913) Florence Henderson (1934) Carl Bernstein (1944)

but they are pretty productive in that category throughout the year. So while locals buck the trend of Valentine’s Day engagements, they certainly aren’t saving the champagne for their wedding day.

Splendor in a glass
Tiana Rockwell of Grass Valley loves Sierra Starr’s three varieties of sparkling wine, though on this day she’s buying six bottles to give away as gifts. “I like to drink the almond sparkling wine with some coconut and
• SEE BUBBLY PAGE 8

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VALENTINE’SDAY

FEBRUARY 2014

FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER
classic aphrodisiac are tiramisu and chocolatestrawberries. very high in zinc and said covered to increase the libido. With a bottle of chamCasanova ate 50 raw oys- pagne, you cannot go wrong.” ters every day. Nevada City’s own You will not be offered George Souza 50 raw oysters at Emily’s Sweet- A Champagne will provide flastyle heart Dinner in cork reaches menco music. Nevada City, but a velocity “It’s going to you will be be background served the of about 40 music,” she said. freshest ones “Awesome available alongmph if ambience.” side a celery popped out For dinner lemon sorbet. “It’s really of the bottle. music that does anything but refreshing,” said chef Emily Scott-Arvaugh fade into the background, of Emily’s Catering, you might want to see whose seven-course prix how the other side deals fixe menu includes with love in “A Mafia Wedbraised short ribs, grilled ding: Tony Finally Marries artichokes, butternut Gina.” This Valentine’s Day squash ravioli and, of edition of murder myscourse, food to share. “The last course is a trio tery dinner theater takes presented to share,” she place at Lou La Bonte’s in The show said. “Heart shaped Auburn. caramel cheesecake, remains the same but the

continued from 7 chocolate,” Rockwell said. “It tastes like almond roca or an almond joy.” The Grass Valley winery offers a “Starr Bright” Brut, an almond sparkling wine and a peach sparkling wine. “It’s made from Chenin Blanc grapes, in Woodbridge,” said owner Anne Starr. “It’s an off-dry Brut, with just a tiny bit of sweetness. People who don’t normally like champagne enjoy it.” Starr said they can call it “California Champagne,” even though the grapes were not the grown in that region of France, because the people have been making it for so long, the name was grandfathered in. “We sell a lot of it around Valentine’s Day,” Starr said. “We sell mostly

BUBBLY: Enjoy local tastes

PAUL CAMBRA • FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

Anne Starr, co-owner of Sierra Starr Winery in Grass Valley, pours a glass of ‘California Champagne,’ a Brut made from Chenin Blanc grapes grown in Woodbridge. They also offer an almond sparkling wine and a peach sparkling wine.
Brut but the other flavors have their fans. It goes well with figs.” Which, perhaps not ironically, is one of the top 10 romantic foods, said to be Cleopatra’s favorite.

Dinner for two
Oysters are probably the one food most associate with romance. The

FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER
menu will expand a little, and tuxedo cake for dessert. So whatever you decide to with lobster ravioli added to do for the prime rib buffet. The Spanish found avocados Valentine’s Day, you In the dinso obscenely sexy that won’t have ing room, they’ll also Catholic priests prohibited to go far to enjoy it. offer New their consumption. From York steak baubles to with jumbo scampi, stuffed airline bubbly, the foothills have chicken breast cordon bleu you covered.

FEBRUARY 2014

9

A TASTE OF CHOCOLATE
The 9th annual A Taste of Chocolate is back. Stroll the historic streets of Old Town and choose special treats provided by more than 25 retail merchants and restaurants. Proceeds benefit the Old Town Business Association and the American Association of University Women. Entertainment provided by the Sugar Plump Fairies.

When: Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb.9 Where: Old Town Auburn Cost: $25, includes one raffle ticket Info: Linda Robinson, (530) 888-1585, sunriver@inreach.com, oldtownauburn ca.com.

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10

MUSIC

FEBRUARY 2014

FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

How about a musical Valentine?
From tributes to troubadours, sweet harmonies abound on Feb. 14
BY PAUL CAMBRA
FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

COURTESY PHOTOS

Bob Caudle takes on Dean Martin, cocktail and all, in the Rat Pack tribute band, “The Dean-O-Holics.”

hat could be more romantic than hearing Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra sing “The One I Love” on Valentine’s Day? For those who missed the opportunity when the pair was alive and performing, the nextbest thing awaits. Reasonable facsimiles of Dino and Old Blue Eyes will be covering classics from the great American songbook at a dinner-dance in Grass Valley this Valentine’s Day.

W

Also making the trip will be Bobby Darrin, Cab Calloway and Marilyn Monroe, or should we say people who look a little and sound a lot like them. And if you’d prefer a more contemporary crooner, Scott Keo will be channeling Michael Bublé, as well. “He’s an old friend that started with us,” said Bob Caudle, who plays Dean Martin in the popular Rat Pack tribute group the Dean-O-Holics. “Now he headlines in Vegas and Atlantic City doing Bublé tributes. Even the real Bublé people have hired him.” Caudle has arranged for a 24-piece band to accompany the singers — the biggest band they’ve

had for a California show, he said. Longtime DeanO-Holic Mike Martis will tackle the Sinatra role, Sherri-Lynn Laboissanniere is Marilyn Monroe and Peter Petty handles Bobby Darin, Cab Calloway and, for this night, Sammy Davis Jr. “Peter Petty is insane,” Caudle said. “He brings it to another energy level. There is a ton of interaction when he’s on stage.” All of

the interaction is unscripted, Caudle said. “I love the cast we have now,” he said. “I like the blend. We have a lot of fun onstage; there’s a lot of joking around.” They have joked around
• SEE SINATRA PAGE 12

Scott Keo will sing Michael Bublé songs at the dinner dance.

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MUSIC

FEBRUARY 2014

FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

SINATRA:
continued from page 10 the past four Valentine’s Day at the Blue Goose Fruit Shed in Loomis, selling it out every time. Now they’ve moved the act to Grass Valley. “It’s a little bigger venue,” Caudle said. “Antonio (Ayestaran) Catering is doing the food; everybody around here loves him.” And everybody loves somebody sometime, they say, so put on your dancing shoes and get in on the fun. They will play two shows at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building that night and there’s a pretty good chance you’ll hear “My Funny Valentine.”

MORE MUSIC
See listings on page 20

COURTESY

David Lindley brings his act to the Nevada Theatre on Valentine’s Day
thing, there are plenty more live music to be had on Valentine’s Day. “Maxi-instrumentalist” David Lindley, who cut his teeth as a session musician with the Los

Angeles-based singersongwriter crowd (Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, Linda Ronstadt), forged a formidable solo career playing everything from rock ’n’ roll and country to world music, on instruments that range from the acoustic guitar to the zither. And the term “eclectic” is not restricted to his music, as the “Prince of Polyester” is sure to ruffle some fashionista feathers. He plays in the Nevada Theatre.

blues, jazz, country and swing, and Mojo Green has earned their reputation as one of the region’s premiere funk and soul bands. Catch them at the Auburn Event Center.

SINATRA AND FRIENDS VALENTINE’S DINNER-DANCE When: 5 and 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 Where: Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building, 255 S. Auburn St., Grass Valley. Tickets: $65-$100 Info: (530) 273-4667, (530) 265-2692. MUMBO GUMBO AND THE EARLES OF NEWTOWN Where: 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 Where: Auburn Events Center, 145 Elm Ave., Auburn Tickets: $15 advance, $20 day of show Info: keepsmilinpromotions.com LOVER’S BALL WITH ACHILLES WHEEL AND THE FALL RISK When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 Where: Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring St., Nevada City Tickets: $20 advance, $25 at the door Info: (530) 265-5040 OLIVER MTUKUDZI AND THE BLACK SPIRITS When: 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 Where: The Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley Tickets: $20 members, $22 non-member Info: (530) 274-8384 ext. 14, thecenterforthearts.org DAVID LINDLEY When: 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 Where: Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad St., Nevada City Tickets: $20-$25 Info: (800) 838-3006, paulemerymusic.com

Lovers have a ball
The Lover’s Ball at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City features Americana folk rockers The Fall Risk, and the high-energy roots and world music of Achilles Wheel.

Third world music
Called the “elder statesman of Afropop,” Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi brings his band, the Black Spirits, to The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley. Dubbed “Tuku music,” his style incorporates elements of various musical traditions from all over Africa.

Earles of Newtown come to your town
Nevada County’s Earles of Newtown will lure you on to the dance floor with their very own style of

For those who love Lindley
If swing is not your

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THEATER

FEBRUARY 2014

FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

Sierra Stages offers interesting sixth season lineup
Something for Mom and Pop and the kids as well
J.R. Lewis as Bobby (seated, center) gets an earful from his male married friends, from left, Casey Burke, Isaias Acosta, Jonathan Hansard, Conor Nolan and Stephen Wellman, in rehearsals for the Sierra Stages production of the musical comedy “Company,” playing Feb. 27 through March 22 at the Nevada Theatre.
COURTESY • FRED HALL

BY JUDY COOK
FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

P

utting together a “season” of community theater stage productions is serious business. There are a lot of considerations before committing publicly to bringing together a group of shows for theater goers to enjoy. Sometimes the “season” is just right. The shows have appeal to young and old. The musical talent shows up to audition. The actors are enthusiastic and talented. The technical and creative staff are willing to put in the long hours for

no or low pay. When these things happen, the season is a success. From all indications the sixth season slated by the nonprofit theater group Sierra Stages should be a great success. It’s a mixed bag of musicals and plays. The season opens with “Company” a Stephen Sondheim classic and is followed by J.M. Barrie’s original version of the classic “Peter Pan.” Finally the season offers the favorite off-Broadway musical “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.” In addition, the nonprofit local theatre group will present David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Proof” for a limited run.

FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER
With five successful seasons to build upon, Sierra Stages looks to again strengthen its reputation for quality, affordable theater in the foothills. It is a member of SARTA and has received 33 Elly nominations in various categories and brought five of the coveted Elly awards to the foothills. With season pass pricing running slightly more than $18 a show, the three-show pass is a great deal and the best way to see all three regular season shows. Priced at $55, it comes with perks like choosing your own dates for attending the shows … a big plus for busy families. Add the ability to purchase discounted tickets for “Proof” and the deal is a true winner.

• FEBRUARY 2014

THEATER

15

SIERRA STAGES COMMUNITY THEATER
COMPANY When: 7 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays March 2 and 9, Feb. 27 through March 22 PETER PAN When: July 10 through Aug. 2 YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN When: Sept. 18 through Oct. 12 PROOF When: May 1-18. Where: Nevada Theater, 401 Broad St., Nevada City and Off Center Stage, 315 Richardson St., Grass Valley Cost: $25 general with discounts for seniors and students. $55 for a three-show season pass Info: (530) 346-3210, Sierrastages.org

Company
Five married couples, three single women and a very eligible bachelor examine the state of married life and consider the alternatives using comedy and powerhouse musical numbers. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by George Furth, “Company” opened on Broadway in 1970. Since then it has enjoyed two Broadway revivals (with a few tweaks to the book in

1995) and hundreds of productions around the world. The message is universal: to marry, to

divorce, to remarry or retain the status quo. The winner of six Tony Awards, including best

musical, the show offers songs you will recognize such as “Being Alive,” “Side by Side by Side,” “The Little Things You Do Together” and “Ladies Who Lunch.” The Sierra Stages production of “Company” is directed by Jac Royce, with musical direction by Ken Getz and musical staging by Becky Browning. The cast includes Isaias Acosta, Casey Burke, Nancy Haffey, Kate Haight, Jonathan Hansard, Kay Hight, Tinley Ireland, JR Lewis, Carley Neill, Conor Nolan, Kelly Taylor, Kim Wellman, Stephen Wellman and Carolyn Winters. This production features a

full orchestra with ten instrumentalists and a female chorus. The sets are ambitious. Sierra Stages has purchased professional scaffolding to give the Nevada Theater Stage three levels to echo the urban setting of the show. Cynthia Levesque is handling costume design with lighting by Erin Beatie.

Peter Pan
From July 10 through August 2 at the Nevada Theatre, Sierra Stages will present J.M. Barrie’s original version of “Peter Pan.” First staged in 1904
• SEE THEATER PAGE 16

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THEATER:
continued from page 15 this production is true to the original. Unlike the musical with a female lead, this version eschews music and dancing and tells the story as it was envisioned by Barrie. And yes … there will be flying! Sierra Stages has engaged the famous Flying by Foy to thrill the audience and the cast as well.

Troupe moves forward with every show
BY JUDY COOK
FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

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Proof
As an addition to the regular three show season, Sierra Stages will present a limited run of the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning “Proof.” An entertaining and moving play, “Proof” asks whether there is a link between genius and madness, as Catherine worries she has inherited both from her mathematician father. Directed by Robert Rossman, it exemplifies the cutting edge theater that Sierra Stages presents in the community. “Proof” runs from May 1 through May 18 at the Off Center Stage in Grass Valley

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t can be difficult to figure out what makes an organization “tick.” Why is it that some groups come on strong, and then fade to gone with a little sigh and no fanfare? Well certainly the willingness of the people in charge to do the hard work that keeps the wheels turning is one component. Perhaps another, even more important component, is a clear vision, a clear mission if you will, about what the organization might dream, attempt and do to make that vision come alive and stay viable through the years. Sierra Stages Community Theater is a great example of people doing what they love while moving forward to make this nonprofit’s mission of quality theater in the foothills a community staple that will grow and prosper. First producing “The World Goes Round” at Off Center Stage, in 2008, the company quickly incorporated as a nonprofit public benefit program the same year. 2009 brought a full-scale production of “Side by Side by Sondheim” and a popular “Broadway Concert Series.” 2010 brought “Lend Me a Tenor” and that received an Elly Award for Overall Production of a comedy and an award to Bob Rossman for Leading Actor in a Comedy in addition to four additional Elly nominations. Not bad for a fledgling company. Fast forward to 2012 which saw “Death of Salesman” receiving eight Elly nominations from Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance (SARTA) and proved Sierra Stages chops for not only great musicals but excellent dramatic plays. Now, in 2014 the ambitious group will mount a three-show regular season as well as a limited run of “Proof.” Not enough? There are plans afoot to do a school touring production of “Stone Soup” as well as “Theater by the Book” which is an intriguing mix of acting, dramatic reading and staging that offers audiences a unique chance to see a “production” that isn’t really a production but an interpretation of what a production might looks like. It opens windows to otherwise unaired scripts and challenges the audience and actors to fill in the blanks. And while all this is going on, Sierra Stages gives back to the communities that support it through tickets sales and contributions, participation at such events as Victorian Christmas in Nevada City and by providing entertainment for such fundraisers as Habitat for Humanity. Sierra Stage’s Peter Mason, president of the Board of Directors and a 40-plus-hour-a-week nonemployee, tried to put things into focus when asked what the group wants to accomplish with each new season. “It’s hard to answer that,” Mason said. “We have a generic mission to present accessible and affordable theater. We’re a community theater. I don’t think we’d ever become professional. There is lots of talent here in all areas of theater. Just lots of artistic people who do theater. Some of them have been Equity (Actors Equity union members) but are now retired.”

FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER
Ken Getz, musical director for the company, says “What we’re doing is working hard but always adapting. We do a series of plays, staged readings of plays … one of which led to production of that play. For musicals we look for great music and a good book (story). Our choices try to allow for a broad range of actors who get good, juicy parts.” That philosophy must be working. This season will see actors coming from as far as Sacramento to work with the creative team at Sierra Stages. Its participation in the SARTA and resulting nominations and awards has given it a nice reputation in the region. Keeping up with your own good name is sometimes difficult. One ingredient for keeping things interesting for a regional audience is making choices for the season that are a little different than what are expected. Rob Rossman, artistic director, sees two ingredients to making the seasons succeed. “We did ‘Death of Salesman’ a few years ago,” he said. “We’re not a community theater that brings in ‘used’ shows. We did ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.’ That’s not particularly expected.” Without a theater to call home, Sierra Stages has rented a rehearsal space where they can do a little storage, enjoy office space and have room to tape off the actual stages on which they will perform. It’s been a big help. They must schedule their shows with local venues such as the historic Nevada Theater and rehearsal space was tricky before the new rehearsal hall.

FEBRUARY 2014

17

THEATER LISTINGS
Magician Nick Fedoroff performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, in the Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City. $20-$25. Info: (800) 838-3006. 1940s Radio Show plays at 8:15 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Feb. 22, at Off Broadstreet Theater, 305 Commercial St. Nevada City. $25. Info: (530) 2658686, obs@offbroadstreet.com, offbroadstreet.com. “A Mafia Wedding: Tony Finally Marries Gina,” murder mystery dinner theater at 7:30 p.m. Friday Feb. 7 and Feb. 14. at Lou La Bonte’s Dinner Theatre, 13460 Lincoln Way, Auburn. Dinner and show: $39.95 per person ($49.95 per person on Valentine’s day). Reservations: (530) 885-9193. Also at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at The Holbrooke Hotel, 212 West Main St., Grass Valley. Dinner and show: $45 per person. Reservations: (530) 273-1353. Info: (916) 230-1335, mmgsite.com. “Lend Me a Tenor” plays at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 14 to March 1 (plus 2 p.m. Saturday Feb. 22 and March 1) at the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center at the State Theatre, 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn. $18-$22. Info: (530) 8522708, info@placertheater.org. Nevada Union High School’s Advanced Production class presents “A Flea in Her Ear” plays at 7 p.m. Jan. 31, Feb. 1, 6, 7 and 8 in the Don Baggett Theater, 11761 Ridge Road in Grass Valley. $10. Info: (530) 273-4431 x2102, rmetcalf@njuhsd.com.

MOVIE LISTINGS
Silver Screen Classic: It’s Love I’m After plays at 1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, in the Beecher Room of the Auburn Library, 350 Nevada St., Auburn. Free. Info: (530) 878-7938, auburnsilverscreen.com. Cinema at the State: When Harry Met Sally at 2 and 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6 at the State Theatre, 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn. $8. Info: (530) 885-0156, appac@att.net, livefromauburn.com/tickets. Nevada Theater film series: 2014 Oscar nominated short films play on Saturday, Feb. 15, and Sunday, Feb. 16, at 401 Broad St., Nevada City. $7-$8. 2014 Oscar nominated live action short films on Friday, Feb. 21, Saturday, Feb. 22 and Sunday, Feb. 23. Info: (530) 477-9000.

What’s on the horizon?
The company tries to use some new talent in each show as well as those actors who have proven their abilities in other shows. As a group they want to expand on their audience base, bringing more people in from Placer County to

enjoy their art on a regular basis. It is their hope that as more people subscribe they will also become members and their dues will help enhance the operations of the group.
Judy Cook is a freelance writer who lives in Applegate. words-n-images@hotmail.com.

18

ART

FEBRUARY 2014

FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

The tea stops here
Elixart brings out the best in brewed beverage, fine art
BY STEFAN ADCOCK
FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

hen I think of Nevada City, I think of lifted trucks, hunting rifles and American flag bug shields on the aforementioned trucks. However, when I was told about an art tasting room called Elixart, I honestly didn’t know what to think. So, I decided to make the trek to Broad Street in Nevada City, and I got a bit of a reality check. Instead of what my head showed me, I got to stroll down a street flanked by huge pine trees, and every shop had brilliant, rustic, Victorian-esque décor. As I continue down the street, I come across Elixart.

W

There were a few people seated at the bar directly in front of the entrance, chatting with owner Colter Merrick. The shop is a mediumsized space to the left of the bar, which takes up only about one-eighth of the place itself, and every other wall is plastered with a huge variety of art, photography and even sculptures of varying degrees in size. One wall is covered in high-definition pictures of natural formations and bodies of water. Another one is dedicated to an artist named Imago Dei, and his paintings are full of vivid and flowing canvases with subjects that flow and distort into other parts of the paintings them-

selves. After wandering around for a bit taking it all in, Colter came over and brought me a menu to look at. I ordered a saffron spice latte. He returned a short minute later, with this yellow colored beverage that, upon tasting it, was the most floral, yet creamy beverage I have had in a long time. It’s a saffron tea with steamed milk mixed in with it, and it flowed very well. With drink in hand, I sat down at the bar and took a more detailed look around the area, seeing a wide variety of loose leaf teas, rows of herbal tonics, and a selection dedicated to raw food snacks. As I looked around,

COURTESY

Elixart in Nevada City is a combination fine art gallery and tea bar.

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Colter and his wife and co-owner, Sharon, struck up a conversation with me about his shop. “We started off doing tea from donations, and we wanted to go into the process of making the kitchen,” he said. “So we remodeled in March (2013), and reopened on July 1 with all the improvements in place in the kitchen, tea selection, and the expansion.” Their wide selection of tea and herb-based drinks are made from a variety of all natural ingredients that all have a variety of health benefits to them. But there is one that catches my eye, called CaCoCo, a locally made drink mix that both satisfies the chocoholic in all of us, with the added benefit of its “superfood” ingredients. And by superfood, I mean ingredients that are packed with vitamins and minerals that one wouldn’t normally get from something as sugar ridden as regular chocolate. Sharon whipped up a little for me to try, and I was floored. It was like drinking fine hot chocolate that was good for me! On the back shelves behind the bar, small bottles that have what looks like eye-droppers in them contain Elixart’s full selection of tonics, some based off of Chinese recipes. “All of our tonics are herb based,” Sharon said, adding that they can add them to a variety of their drinks for health benefits. “Chinese tonics … are superfoods themselves, in the sense they help boost performance, organ function, and your overall energy,” Colter

• FEBRUARY 2014

ART

19

ELIXART
Where: 408 Broad St., Nevada City Hours: Noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday Info: (530) 265-1901, elixart.net SEVEN-COURSE RAW GOURMET DINNER When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, feb. 14 Cost: $50 per person Reservations: (530) 265-1901.

said. The raw food snack selection is prepared by one of their local chefs, their friend Atma. Sharon lets me try a piece of the onion flat bread, which is a green tinted wafer covered in their sunny pate. It was crunchy and flavorful and the smoky flavor of the pate really

came together well and made you feel like you should be enjoying this at a fine dining establishment. “Atma … whips up all these raw food snacks for us, and they are all vegan, plant based, and made from local produce,” Sharon said. “It’s all about treating

yourself better, and that’s what we strive for,” Colter said. Elixart does a great job presenting this diverse experience in a very relaxed environment. Before I met Sharon and Colter, tea was just tea to me. I had no idea there were so many varieties, herbal supplements, and food items that complement them so well. The aforementioned art begs mentioning again. Imago Dei’s artistic style is what Colter called “visionary art.” There is a central subject in the piece, and the artist melds a wide variety of colors, shapes, and subjects into it in tandem. The end result is a piece of art so visually rich, you can’t help but get lost in it. Dei’s paintings occupied one wall, and the opposing wall was also

covered by the same type of artist named Ashley Foreman, who draws a lot of inspiration from Dei’s paintings. On Valentine’s Day, Elixart will be offering a full seven-course raw gourmet dinner starting at 6:30 p.m., all prepared by their in-house chef, Atma. The full experience is $50 per person, but seating is limited. Reserve a spot in advance by calling (530) 265-1901. In addition, they offer live music on Friday nights, along with $15 bottomless CaCoCo beverages, which could only serve to placate the pickiest of people. I would heartily recommend this place to anyone looking to branch out and try new things. It is the perfect spot to relax after enjoying the surrounding foothill countryside.

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CALENDAR

FEBRUARY 2014

FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER
ley. $45-$53. Info: (530) 274-8384 ext. 14, thecenterforthearts.org. Two Barrels Shy play from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Dono dal Cielo Vineyard & Winery, 6100 Wise Road, Newcastle. Free. Info: donodacielo.com. San Francisco Opera Center Adler Fellows at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16 at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 12889 Osborne Hill Road in Grass Valley. $28. Info: (530) 273-3990, inconcertsierra.org. Jeremy Spencer and special guest Evie Sands play at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring St., Nevada City. $20-$40. Info: (530) 265-5040. Boca do Rio will play at Moondance 2014 on Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring St., Nevada City. Info: (530) 265-6060. Suzy Bogguss will play at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Auburn Events Center, 145 Elm Ave. Auburn. $25$30. Info: keepsmilinpromotions.com. Jack Smith “The Silver Fox” performs from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Mt. Vernon Grange, 3185 Bell Road, Auburn. $5-$7. Info: (530) 3888558, silverfoxjsmith@ gmail.com. Auburn Symphony Family Concert: “It’s About Time!” at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 in the Placer High School Theatre, 275 Orange St., Auburn. $7. Info: (530) 823-6683, auburnsymphony.com. Kuo, Pahinui and Mahi, Hawaiian slack key guitar, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley. $22-$25 Info: (530) 274-8384 ext. 14, thecenterforthearts.org. Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas CD release concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley. $22-$30. Info: (530) 274-8384 ext. 14, thecenterforthearts.org. Zepparella plays at 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring St., Nevada City. Tickets: $20- $25 at the door. Info: (530) 265-5040.

MUSIC LISTINGS
Rita Hosking Band & Evie Ladin Band from 7:3010:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at the State Theatre, 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn. $25. Info: (530) 885-0156, livefromauburn.com. Young Composers “New Songs for Midwinter” concert at 2 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, 828 W Main St., Grass Valley. $10 adults, 17 and under free. Info: (530) 265-6124, info@musicinthemountains.org. The DoubleShots play from 2-5 p.m. Saturdays Feb. 1 and 22, at Dono dal Cielo Vineyard & Winery, 6100 Wise Road, Newcastle. Free. Info: donodacielo. com. MaMuse at 8 p.m. Friday,

Feb. 7, in the Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City.$20-$25. Info: (800) 838-3006. Flamenco del Oro at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, in the Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City. $20$25. Info: (800) 838-3006. Major Powers and the LoFi Symphony at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley. $8-$10 non-members. Info: (530) 274-8384 ext. 14, thecenterforthearts.org. Quinn Hedges plays from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at Dono dal Cielo Vineyard & Winery, 6100 Wise Road, Newcastle. Free. Info: donodacielo.com. Marc Broussard Trio at

7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley. $25-$28. Info: (530) 2748384 ext. 14, thecenterforthearts.org. Lukas Nelson and P.O.T.R. at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at the Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley. $20-$22.. Info: (530) 274-8384 ext. 14, thecenterforthearts.org. Billy Buckman will play from 8-10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, at Dave’s Cave, 540 Wall St., Auburn. $15 general, $7 students. Info: (530) 878-2488, davescave@newfaithucc.org, newfaithucc.org/davescave. Sweet Honey in the Rock at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Val-

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EVENT

FEBRUARY 2014

FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

Here’s another chance to ring in the New Year
Nevada City Chinese community to hold festival, parade
BY MATTHEW WHITLEY
FOOTHILLS ENTERTAINER

Chinese lions are used to ward off evil spirits as the Chinese New Year is celebrated; one of the many symbols used in the New Year’s festivities each year.
COURTESY • DAVID WONG

I

n a return to a great tradition once celebrated in the Sierra Foothills, the local Chinese community is celebrating the Chinese New Year with Nevada City’s third annual Chinese New Year festival at noon on Sunday, Feb. 9. They will bring to life the great traditions with fireworks, dancers, food, martial arts demonstrations, mah jong games, Japanese taiko drummers, jugglers, art exhibits, a parade, and, of course, the lion dancers to ring in the

COURTESY • SEARLE’S LIBRARY

Chinese New Years parade on Commercial Street in Nevada City more than 100 years ago.
year 4712 (for the Western world, that would be around the time when the Easter Island statues were being built). For the community in Nevada City, the New Year festivities is a time to celebrate the contributions of the Chinese community during the expansion of California, including the building of the railroad and the Gold Rush, and to honor early ancestors who once numbered in the thousands during the Gold Rush era, and to celebrate the diversity of the region. Chinese New Year officially marks the start of the New Year after the winter solstice and ending on the full moon 15 days later, “Nian Jie” or festival of the year According to Chinese mythology, the mythical beast Nian would come into villages and eat livestock, crops and even children. So, food was set out to appease it and firecrackers would scare it. It
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was afraid of the color red, so children and houses would be dressed in bright red and red lanterns set out. Rituals began about “chasing out the demons” or bad energy and bringing the new, the good prosperity as it were. For the Chinese, the New Year is a time to celebrate family, honor ancestors, come together for a meal and remember loved

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ones who are gone but still a part of the family with altars set up with photos, incense, rice and wine. If you’re a kid, you receive red envelopes with cash or candy from relatives. For most, New Years is about letting go of the past and opening up to the future. Jeannie Wood, executive director of CATS (the Community Asian Theatre of the Sierras), and one of the organizers and sponsors of the event along with Kwong Chew, the Union and Nevada City Chamber of Commerce and others, invites everyone to come for the festivities at this free, familyfriendly event. The parade will begin at the Chinese Monument on Commercial Street in what once was the Old Chinese Quarter of Gold Rush-era Nevada City, and will head down to Robinson Plaza where all the food and booths will be set up. So come ring in the Year of the Wood Horse, which is a time for adventure, romance and production. But you have to act fast. In a Wood Horse year, energy is high and things move quickly. Wishing you prosperity in the Chinese New Year: “gung hay fat choy!”

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