Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment

September 28, 2012
Father Boyle, author and anti-gang advocate, to speak in Carmichael

Father Greg Boyle, the Jesuit priest who founded Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles and is a leading advocate for gang intervention, will speak Saturday night at a Sacramento-area church.

The event, which is free, begins at 7 p.m. at Carmichael Presbyterian Church, 5645 Marconi Ave.

Homeboy Industries offers a variety of services for gang members and other troubled youth, including education, job training and counseling. Boyle wrote a book about his work with Homeboy Industries titled "Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion."

Boyle also once worked at Folsom Prison.

September 28, 2012
Lawrence of Arabia reissue to screen at local cinema houses....


It's now been 50 years since "Lawrence of Arabia" hit the movie theaters, and its only fitting that this cinematic classic get its due with the release of a new digitally restored print.

The screening of the film will take place on Oct. 4 when distributor NCM Fathom screens the film at nine cinema houses in the Sacramento region (participating theaters, below).

Winner of seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1962, "Lawrence of Arabia" is considered the greatest achievement in the career of legendary director David Lean... as well as the film that put actor Peter O'Toole on the map.

September 27, 2012
Mondavi offers free courtyard concerts

The Mondavi Center is offering a series of free outdoor concerts to dovetail with concerts it has scheduled throughout the 2012-13 season.

The new series, dubbed the Corin Courtyard Concerts, features musicians from Northern California and are to be performed prior to select performances throughout Mondavi's 10th anniversary season.

The kick off concert features local Davis band The West Nile Ramblers on Sept. 28 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The free concert precedes two paid Mondavi Center events, Elvis Costello, solo in Jackson Hall and Christian McBride in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, both at 8 p.m. on Sept. 28.


September 27, 2012
Crocker Museum offers first SketchCrawl

As part of its Thursdays 'til 9 events, Sacramento's Crocker Art Museum tonight is launching its first SketchCrawl -- a chance to sip beer and try your hand at sketching.

Area artists will be on hand to demonstrate drawing techniques and display some of their sketches. The no-host bar will feature regional beers on tap and specialty bottled beers.

Hours are 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the museum, 216 O St., Sacramento.

The SketchCrawl, an idea borrowed from San Francisco animation artist Enrico Casarosa, is in conjunction with the museum's exhibition, The Artist's View: Landscape Drawings from the Crocker Art Museum, which features landscape drawings from the major European schools. The exhibit runs through Jan. 6.

Admission to the SketchCrawl is free with museum admission, $10 for adults, $8 for those 65 or older and for college students, $5 for those ages 7-17 and free to children 6 and under and to museum members.

Information: (916) 808-7000, or

Bee Staff

September 26, 2012
Sonoma raceway announces NASCAR date for silver Cup race

It will be a silver season for NASCAR next June in Sonoma.

The Toyota/Save Mart 350 - Northern California's only Sprint Cup race - will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2013. The race will be held June 23, 2013, track officials announced Wednesday.

NASCAR weekend is set for June 21-23 at the wine country raceway in Sonoma. On the first weekend of summer (and a week after Father's Day), the silver anniversary party will salute past winners as well as continue its current tradition of ultra-competitive racing.

Clint Bowyer, who won the 2012 edition, was the eighth different winner in eight years at the renowned road course.

Sonoma always has been tough. Ricky Rudd set the tone with his victory in the inaugural NASCAR Cup event June 11, 1989. With a memorable last-lap duel, Rudd edged Rusty Wallace by only .05 seconds, still the race record for the closest margin of victory.

Fans can sign up now for ticket alerts, priority pre-sale or renew season tickets. Call (800) 870-7223 or click on

September 26, 2012
Archives Crawl will open the door to Sacramento's past

Bringing the past to the present is what archivists do best. Their skills will shine in October, which is American Archives Month, a nationwide celebration to "raise awareness of the value of archives."

Here in Sacramento, four downtown venues will be part of Sacramento's second annual Archives Crawl, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 6. The theme is "Building Sacramento/Building Communities."

Rare photo and text collections, correspondence, and "a treasure trove" of other historical archives will be on display at the venues. This will be a rare chance to get up close and personal with our area's history, and find some surprises during behind-the-scenes tours.

Archival displays and tours will be at California State Library (900 N St.), California State Archives (1020 O St.), Center for Sacramento History (551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd.) and the Sacramento Room at the Sacramento Central Library (828 I St.).

Part of the Archives Crawl includes a passport (available at all venues), to be stamped at the four sites. Visit three of the four sites and receive a set of limited-edition coasters with images of the Tower Bridge, the Capitol, Sutter's Fort and Memorial Auditorium.

For complete details, go to

September 26, 2012
American River Parkway Foundation Receives $30K Donation

The American River Parkway Foundation has received a $30,000 donation from the running organization Sacramento Friends in Training (SacFit), the foundation announced Wednesday.

SacFit, which sponsors the annual Parkway Half Marathon, has raised approximately $200,000 for the Parkway Foundation in the six-year history of the running event. The $30,000 in net proceeds this year will go toward adding additional drinking fountains along the Parkway.

Presentation of the check will take place Saturday at 7 a.m. during a SacFit member breakfast at the William B. Pond Recreation Area along the Parkway.   


September 26, 2012
Sacramento pianist performs before heading to Washington D.C.


Local pianist and composer Tanya Plescia will be performing at Sacramento's Governor's Mansion as a tune up for two concerts she will give in Washington, D.C.

Plescia, founder of the Sacramento Piano Conservatory, will perform works by Mozart, Reinagle and Hewitt at the mansion before heading to the nation's capital where she is booked at the National Gallery of Art and the Washington Arts Club.

Part of the proceeds go to the Sacramento Piano Conservatory scholarship fund and the Governor's Mansion State Historic Park.

Tanya Plescia, piano
WHEN: October 21, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Governor's Mansion, 1526 H St., Sacramento

September 24, 2012
Nevada City makes Outside magazine Best-of List

Magazines thrive on "lists," and Outside magazine's latest compilation -- Best River Towns -- has given a nod to Nevada City.

Credit should go to ... the citizens of Nevada City.

According to the magazine, "a whopping 2,539 people -- 83 percent of the populace -- cast their ballots for this tiny hamlet on the edge of the Tahoe National Forest."

Interesting, though: Many of the features that garnered Nevad a City attention aren't technically in the town proper: the Yuba River, the Tahoe National Forest, the Sugar Bowl ski resort.

But, hey, all of those attractions are close enough.

By the way, Sacramento did not get recognized as a top "river town," but it did get a tiny mention as a "write-in candidate."

September 24, 2012
Billy Mills: First Inductee to Sacramento Running Hall of Fame


LC BILLY MILLS.JPGThe Sacramento Running Association's newly-formed Hall of Fame has named its first inductee -- Olympic gold medalist distance runner Billy Mills.

Mills (left), who lives in Fair Oaks, won the gold medal in the 10,000 meters in one of the biggest upsets in Olympic track and field history in the 1960 Tokyo Games. In the decades since, Mills, an Oglala Lakota Sioux, has worked as a spokesman for Running Strong for Native American Youth. He also has promoted physical fitness at schools throughout the country.

Mills will be honored at a dinner on Jan. 26 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.

The SRA's Hall of Fame is looking for nominations for other runners deemed worthy of enshrinement. Nomination can be made via the organization's website   through Oct. 15. Categories include, track, cross country, road racing, marathon and ultramarathon.

Tickets for the banquet cost $50 and can be purchased online on SRA's website.


September 22, 2012
'Lawless America' comes to Sacramento today

A Sacramento courthouse and the State Capitol will be the backdrop for filming today of the documentary, "Lawless America ... The Movie."

Bill Windsor, an entrepreneur and publisher turned filmmaker, brings his 143-day cross-country odyssey to Sacramento. At each stop, he interviews people about judicial and government corruption.

According to his blog, Windsor hopes to interview more than 700 people on a 16,000-mile trek that will take him to all 50 states. His Sacramento stop -- Day 101 of his journey -- starts a California tour with visits to San Francisco, San Quentin, Santa Barbara, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Diego.

At 5 p.m., his crew plans to unfurl a 150-foot "Crime Scene" banner at William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse, 3341 Power Inn Road, Sacramento.

"All victims of that court who are present will be able to go on camera to make a short sound-bite comment," Windsor said.

Then, it's onto the State Capitol, where the group plans to stretch the banner on the front walkway. Windsor will do his on-camera interviews near L and 10th streets.

"All victims of California government who are present will be able to go on camera ...," he said. "Following the filming there, we will return to the Homewood Suites at 3001 Advantage Way, where 'Lawless America ... The Movie' will film additional victims."

Windsor hopes to interview at least 175 Californians for his documentary. For more details (and Windsor's blog), click on the film's website,

September 21, 2012
Sacramento youngster gets her close-up in 'The Master'


Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master," to which I gave four stars in today's Bee, was shot partly in Vallejo, Oakland and on Mare Island.

But at least one cast member is even more local. Four-year-old Lorelai Hoey of Sacramento appears in the film as the daugher of Philip Seymour Hoffman 's and Amy Adams' characters.

Lorelai (shown in the photo above, with Adams and Hoffman) doesn't have a speaking role, but she appears in several scenes.

Hoffman and Adams "were so sweet and loving and kind" to her daughter on set, said Lorelai's mother, Britany Hoey. Director Anderson was kind as well, she said, and took an "organic" approach to the shoot.

Lorelai, then 3, wasn't aware of who the actors were or that she was shooting a movie. But she was a natural in her first acting role. "She took direction well," Hoey said.

Mom and daughter now have seen Lorelai's photo twice in People magazine. "She is kind of recognizing it is her," Hoey said. "We say, 'Remember when you got to play pretend?' But I don't think she understands."

Britany, a kindergarten teacher, had last summer free and answered a casting call for siblings. Lorelai and her now 2-year-old brother, Liam, won the roles. But Liam appears little in the final cut.

"He was not so in to being on a movie set," Hoey said of her son, who was just about to turn 1 when the film was shot.

"The Master" is rated R, so Lorelai cannot see herself on screen.

"We are waiting for it to come out on DVD, and we can show her just her scenes," Hoey said.


September 20, 2012
Yeardley Smith returns to Sacramento with Marchez Vous

So many fashion-conscious women showed up at the Pavilions Salon Shoes store last April to meet and greet Yeardley Smith that the actress-designer is coming back for an encore engagement.

The big draw was Smith's line of Italian-made padded high heels, pumps, booties and wedges from Marchez Vous, the high-end footwear company she founded.

Yeardley (pronounced "YARD-lee") Smith is well-known as the voice of Lisa Simpson, the brainy daughter of Homer and Marge on the Fox network's "The Simpsons," but that's just part of her resume.

September 19, 2012
Wynton Marasalis to headline UOP's Brubeck Festival

Thumbnail image for WyntonMarsalis.jpegWynton Marsalis, pictured left, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will headline the 2013 Brubeck Festival in March in Stockton, the festival announced today.

The University of the Pacific and the Brubeck Institute released the initial lineup of the festival, which also will feature an appearance by trumpeter-composer Marsalis on campus with the school's Pacific's Powell Scholars, the recipients of a the schools most prestigious academic scholarship. That question-and-answer event will also be open to the public, according to an emailed press release from UOP Media Relations Coordinator Chris Heredia.

As part of the festival's educational mission, the Brubeck Institute will reserve 250 free tickets for school children to see Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Bob Hope Theatre in downtown Stockton, the press release said.

Thumbnail image for Dave-Brubeck-cropped.JPGThe Brubeck Festival is an annual cultural celebration that explores the legacy and influence of celebrated jazz pianist and 1942 UOP alumnus Dave Brubeck, pictured right.

Bee Staff

September 19, 2012
Bonnie Raitt brings chops, friskiness to Mondavi Center show

By Greg Lucas

Special to The Bee

Revisiting musicians who have been performing for multiple decades can produce mixed results. Chops might be a bit choppy. The set list appears drawn exclusively from the years when red, white and blue striped Levi's bell-bottoms were king. Just kinda iPhoning it in.

But at the other end of the spectrum is a singularly uplifting affirmation that though much is taken, much abides, as Al Tennyson would say. That here's an artist still on a forward trajectory, celebrating the journey but pushing on toward new musical destinations.

Bonnie Raitt's performance Tuesday night at the Mondavi Center was way the latter and so not even remotely near the former. Her musicianship and frisky bonhomie - "frisky being one of my favorite sports," she allowed - has been demonstrated on stages for more than 40 years.

Delightfully intact at UC Davis, that generosity and connection were shared equally with her tightly coiled band, her opening act -- the marvelous Mavis Staples -- and, of course, the audience.

In front of an artfully lit backdrop of horizontal slats in front of stony towers, Raitt praised the venue, urged the audience to appreciate the standout work of other band members and bitched briefly about menopause.

She and her band also treated the 1,800-person crowd to the better part of two hours of inspired blues, funk, gumbo and Raitt's swampy signature tunes.

A particular target of her friendly gibes was longtime guitarist George Marinelli, who turned Raitt's age - 62 -- an hour after the band's set concluded Tuesday night.

When Raitt wanted to start a song and Marinelli was still tuning, she said: "We all know what doddering is about." Rather than doddering, Raitt said she would stay moist from hot flashes: "It's nice being your own microclimate."

A better example of her generosity was stepping out to trade vocals with Staples on a rollicking, slide-guitar-steeped "Will The Circle Be Unbroken."

Dressed in black pants and a black blouse with aquamarine accents, Raitt was clearly having fun, rolling out familiar tunes like "Something to Talk About," "Have a Heart" and "Thing Called Love" and then offering up a haunting version of Bob Dylan's "Million Miles From You," from Raitt's latest album, "Slipstream," from which a goodly chunk of her set was drawn.

Also featured from "Slipstream" was its opening song, "Used to Rule the World" and the album's hit, a reworking of the late Gerry Rafferty's 1978 tune, "Right Down the Line," which live was less reggae-lacious than the studio version.

In addition to Marinelli, who offers frilly counterpoint to Raitt's slide, or growls sonorously when she plays acoustic guitar, Raitt is blessed with a veteran band that, in the main, has worked together for decades. The new guy is Mike Finnegan, who isn't exactly callow, having played with Jimi Hendrix, Etta James and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Raitt and the band let Finnegan air it on several songs, including "Million Miles from You."

If a complaint were to be lodged, it's a request for more snaky, scalding, sinuous slide -- very, very much more. Like maybe all slide all the time. The red-haired Rock and Roll Hall of Famer can rev up into swirling spirals or coax out languorous lament - and all kinds of wondrous stuff in between. Yes, a band is a collaboration, but slide as breathtaking as Raitt's solo on "Come to Me," from "Luck of the Draw," needs to be heard far more in this world.

The emotional pinnacle of Raitt's set was her take on John Prine 's "Angel From Montgomery," which she dedicated to her mother, Marjorie Haydock, the musical director for her father, Broadway star John Raitt. Her mom never got her due, Raitt said, and poured that sentiment into her reading of the song, which left a number of listeners with tear-stained cheeks. It helps that the story is more compelling when voiced by a woman, since an "old woman" is the main character. But Raitt going a cappella on the first verse sealed the deal.

Casting back to the much-is-taken-much-abides theme, Staples, 73, still rocks deliciously hard. After one of her signatures, "The Weight," by The Band, she exhorted the crowd to give it up for Levon Helm, who she said was in a better place.

From the Staple Singers' more than 50-year-old playbook came the still fresh and inspiring "Freedom Highway," written by Staples' father "Pops" in 1962 for the march from Selma to Montgomery. She's still walking, Staples told the crowd, and they should be, too.

Staples closed her set with an inspired call-and-answer version of the extraordinary 40-year-old "I'll Take You There," which seems one-third spiritual, one-third protest song and one-third saucy invitation.

For photos of the concert, go here.

September 17, 2012
Lake Tahoe's 'in-between' season offers a full agenda

It's the "in-between season" around Lake Tahoe, that time of year when armies of tourists have ended their occupation of the lake, making it easier for you and me to get around.

The in-between season, also known as the "shoulder season" by those in the travel biz, gets better as September goes by, peaks in October and winds down in November, ending with the first snowfall. Just about everything you can do at the lake in the summertime, you can do now, without the crowds.

Festival-wise, consider these (details at

- Music, hayrides, pumpkin-painting, pie-eating contests, a beer garden and a cornucopia of gourmet fare will be among the highlights at the Resort at Squaw Creek's Harvest Festival, Oct. 5-14 in Olympic Valley.

- Choose from among three-course lunches and dinners for $20, $30 and $40 at restaurants around the lake during Tahoe Restaurant Week, Oct. 7-14. No tickets or coupons are necessary.

- The Tahoe City Harvest Festival and Oktoberfest will offer a tasting of German wines, 5-K and 10-K runs, a pub crawl, a ghost walk and a pumpkin-carving workshop, Oct. 6-20.

- Grilled bratwurst, beer, live music and arts-and-crafts will headline the Oktoberfest in Incline Village, Oct. 13.

- The adults-only Historical Haunted Walking Tour in Truckee will take attendees back in time, Oct. 18-19. Plan on hearing ghostly tales at "historic buildings and legendary watering holes."

September 13, 2012
Public invited to conference on Hinduism

By Stephen Magagnini

Saturday, those curious about Hinduism, a 10,000 year old religion practiced by close to 1 billion people worldwide - including 25,000 in the Sacramento region - are invited to to a free Sangam, meaning confluence.

Devotional music, dance, teachings, discussions, plays and Sanskrit poems will be presented at the Shree Laxmi Narayan Mandir temple, 7495 Elder Creek Road, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event - sponsored by various Indian organizations under the banner "Annapoorna," a Sanskrit word meaning well-fed -- will offer free Indian vegetarian food for everyone at 12:40 to 2 p.m., said Venu Mallesara, one of the organizers.

September 13, 2012
Folsom Symphony taps Sacramento Youth Symphony alum for next concert

Folsom SYnp.png

What is the measure of a good youth orchestra?

Some say it is judged on the merits of how far a musician has evolved since leaving such an orchestra.

For its first concert of the 2012-13 season, on Oct. 20, the Folsom Symphony will showcase former Sacramento Youth Symphony violinist Rebecca Corruccini in a performance of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.

September 12, 2012
Drive down memory lane to 1968 at California Automobile Museum

Where were you in 1968? And what we're you driving?

The California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front St., Sacramento, will take a detailed look at the tumultuous year - and the cars that were part of it - in its "1968" centerpiece exhibit, kicking off Sept. 22 and running through May 12, 2013.

Sponsored by Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, the showcase includes colorful walls with information and photos of cars of the era, automotive magazines, popular culture of the times and a timeline of key 1968 events, many of which occurred in the Golden State. A revolving display of 1968 cars will be the center of attention.

A "Mod Preview Party" of the exhibit (wear your best 1960s clothes), is open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 21, featuring guest speaker Stan Atkinson, retired reporter/anchorman for Sacramento TV station Channel 3 (KCRA).

More info: Call (916) 442-6802 or visit

Bee Staff

September 11, 2012
Train to be a docent at Cosumnes Preserve

Amateur nature lovers can train to be an expert starting next month when the Cosumnes River Preserve begins a program to train volunteers to be docents.

Classes begin Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. at the preserve site in Galt. In all, there will be four evening classes and one Saturday session. Participants will be trained by naturalists on all aspects of the preserve and its project, as well as wildlife-friendly farming, birds, cultural history and plants. 

And, yes, participants will get extended ogling of the famous sandhill cranes currently putting on a show every dusk.

Meet at the Cosumnes River Preserve's visitor center at 13501 Franklin Boulevard in Galt on Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. For more information, email

September 10, 2012
Cal Expo hosts day of reflection for victims of 9/11 attacks

On this 11th anniversary of the terror attacks of 9/11, Sacramento-area residents can pay tribute to the victims at Cal Expo, which is hosting a day of reflection Tuesday at the State Fair's September 11 Memorial Plaza from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Parking and admission to the memorial are free on Tuesday.

Construction of the Cal Expo memorial began a year after the attack, when board member Larry Davis acquired and donated 125,000 pounds of wreckage from the World Trade Center to Cal Expo. The memorial also includes a granite ball inscribed with the names of 9/11 victims.

For more information:

September 7, 2012
Sacramento roller-derby skaters work it in photo exhibition

DaddysGirl_Small.jpgRoller derby competitors are bruisers on the track.

But in their non-derby lives, they are chefs and real estate professionals.

Those dual existences are the subject of a Saturday photo exhibition by derby skater and photographer Jenna Baxter. The exhibit will be up starting at 6 p.m. at Salon Paisley, 2404 K St., hSacramento.

"A thing I thought was really cool was that everyone had their daytime life, but then they would come and play," Baxter said of her fellow skaters in Sacramento's Sacred City Derby Girls league. "I thought it would be interesting to contrast their daytime lives against their personalities as skaters."

Baxter's photos show the skaters in work clothes (or kitschier, sexier variations thereof) and work settings. But they still have on their skates.

Sacred City skater Daddy's Girl, shown above, had to navigate a cleaver and skates during a photo shoot at her workplace, a restaurant. Other photos by Baxter depict a bartender, a real estate agent and a warehouse worker.

Baxter is selling the prints from the show for $250. But her goal for the project was to raise awareness of Sacred City Derby Girls. The league has a big event coming up in February 2013 at Memorial Auditorium.

Saturday's Salon Paisley event will feature derby skaters wearing their wheels, hair-styling demonstrations and a DJ.


September 7, 2012
Multi-cultural center opens on Del Paso Boulevard

A multi-cultural community center will open Saturday with a celebration on Del Paso Boulevard.

Fusion International Arts Center opens in the building at 501 Arden Way, which once was home of LIMN furniture.

Saturday's celebration starts at 11 a.m. and continues through 6 p.m. with international arts and crafts exhibits, entertainment and food trucks. Admission is free.

Organizers of the non-profit Fusion center say it will showcase local artists through music, dance and art with the hope of nurturing understanding among diverse cultures.

Bee staff

September 7, 2012
Cultural diversity served up at Little Saigon neighborhood fair

The cultural diversity of the neighborhood will be available for sampling at Big Fair in Little Saigon this weekend.

The Greater Sacramento Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce hosts the fair at the corner of Stockton Boulevard and Florin Road from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The fair comprises a variety of entertainment acts, food booths, a fashion show, ping pong tournament and carnival rides.

For information, call (916) 627-5165 or go to

Bee staff

September 6, 2012
Sacramento's Classical Revolution continues evolution at Bows and Arrows

Classical Revolution has now found a place to call home.

The midtown cafe, clothing shop and gallery Bows & Arrows has invited Classical Revolution Sacramento to perform every 2nd Thursday at 8 p.m., starting this October.

Hatched six years ago in San Francisco's Mission District at a small bar called Revolution Cafe, the Classical Revolution movement brings classical music to alternative venues like cafes and bars. It has spread to 30 active chapters in cities around the United States, Canada and Europe.

September 6, 2012
Bee Book Club will feature 'The Orphan Master's Son' tonight

Stanford University creative-writing professor Adam Johnson invested seven years in research and writing - including visits to North Korea - for his novel "The Orphan Master's Son." It's set in the world's most secretive country - the Democratic People's Republic of Korea - and is one of Random House's most acclaimed titles of the year.

It's the Bee Book Club's choice for September.

Johnson will give a presentation and autograph books at 6 p.m. tonight at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St., Sacramento. Barnes & Noble will be there to sell the trade paperback edition of "The Orphan Master's Son" for 30 percent off the retail price (Random House, $15, 480 pages).

The epic tale takes place in territory previously uncharted in the literary canon. Readers follow "average citizen" Pak Jun Do throughout his life, first as a boy in a work camp for orphans, then as a soldier patrolling the dark tunnels underneath the demilitarized zone, next as a crew member aboard a spy boat.

Later, Jun Do is briefly hailed a hero, then damned to a gulag as a threat to the state. Freed in a bizarre case of state-engineered "mistaken identity," Jun Do's arc intersects with North Korea's sociopathic "Dear Leader," Kim Jong Il, and that of iconic movie star Sun Moon.

Along the way, readers meet the country's propaganda-saturated citizenry, murderous secret police and paranoid party leaders. Despite the bleak vision, the story interweaves hope with humor, dignity with courage.

For information on the Bee Book Club: (916) 321-1128.

September 6, 2012
Wiz Khalifa to perform in November at Power Balance Pavilion

Wiz Khalifa, promoter of all things black-and-yellow and a few things green, will perform Nov. 11 at Power Balance Pavilion.

The rapper hit it big with his album "Rolling Papers," which produced hit singles including "Black and Yellow," a tribute to Pittsburgh sports teams. His single "Work Hard, Play Hard," off his forthcoming album "O.N.I.F.C," already has gone platinum.

Tickets are $43.80-$54.75 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday through Live Nation

September 4, 2012
Head for the high country for sips, samples and cool air

Ready to get out of town and into some cool mountain air? Nosh a little food, sip a little wine?

Now's the time to make plans to join 2,000 other foodies on culinary safari at the 27th annual Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival. It's going on now, but the heart of the event will be this weekend at the Village at Northstar ski resort (

"We're moving forward with the growing trend of culinary tourism," said Pettit Gilwee, public-relations representative for the North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureau.

The centerpieces of the festival will be the Grape Stomp (Friday in Tahoe City); Gourmet Marketplace, and classes, seminars, demonstrations, tastings, food-and-wine and beer-and-cheese pairings, and cooking competitions at Northstar (Saturday); and the Grand Tasting and Culinary Competition at Northstar (Sunday). At the judged Grand Tasting food-and-wine pairing, guests can graze and sip at more than 30 booths.

Some events are free, others are ticketed ($15 to $95). For details (including special lodging packages) and to buy tickets:

September 2, 2012
Greek Festival brings delicacies galore to convention center

Greece is the word as the 49th annual Greek Festival continues today. More than 30 Greek delicacies, including baklava (pastry), pastitsio (baked pasta) and spanakopita (spinach and feta pie), will be offered for purchase.

In addition to food and drinks, there will be cooking demonstrations, games, live music by Mythos Band, dance lessons and more.

When: Noon to 10 p.m. today (Sunday, Sept. 2).

Where: Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J St., Sacramento

Cost: $5 general, $4 for seniors and free for children 12 and younger.


September 2, 2012
Gold Rush Days: Shootouts, pony rides, music in Old Sac

Gold Rush Days continues through Monday as Old Sacramento, the city's 27-acre historic district, is transformed into a scene from the Gold Rush era with the help of nearly 200 tons of dirt.

The four-day event features K Street shootouts, live music, dancing, Old West theatrics, history re-enactments, horse-drawn carriages, pony, wagon and train rides, gold panning and children's games. The popular Tent City will give visitors a peek at daily life during the Gold Rush.

When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today (Sunday, Sept. 2); and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3.

Where: Streets of Old Sacramento

Cost: Free

Information: (916) 808-7777 or


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