Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

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

April 30, 2013
Kenny Wayne Shepherd to headline Sacramento Music Festival


The Sacramento Music Festival continues to slowly shed its image of banjos, straw hats and dancers with parasols.

Blues guitar phenom Kenny Wayne Shepherd has been booked to headline Friday (May 24) at the Sacramento Music Festival - formerly known as the Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee and the Sacramento Dixieland Jubilee.

Latin-rock stalwarts Los Lobos will headline May 25.

The festival will still feature plenty of the traditional jazz groups that have been a hallmark of this annual event, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

But the focus has shifted in the last few years toward broadening the types of bands, which now encompass rockabilly, bluegrass, Latin styles and more. That original dixieland demographic has dwindled and the challenge for organizers is to appease that core audience while adding more contemporary touches to the lineup.

The Sacramento Music Festival runs May 24-27 in Old Sacramento.

For more information:

April 30, 2013
Davis-based novelist John Lescroart launches his 24th title

New York Times bestselling legal-thriller novelist John Lescroart will host a launch party for his new novel, "The Ophelia Cut," at 6:30 p.m. May 7 at the Odd Fellows Hall, 415 Second St., Davis; (530) 297-2108.

The centerpiece will be his onstage conversation with "Morning Edition" host Donna Apidone. The evening will include a reading and book-signing; music; wine and catered food will accompany. The public is invited.

"I may even sing a song or two," Lescroart said.

Visit him at

April 19, 2013
Rescue baby birds in Placerville

Sierra Wildlife Rescue's April Baby Bird Nursery needs volunteers to help feed rescued orphaned and injured nestlings and fledglings from early May through July. But to help out, volunteers must be trained.

The SWR will provide that training at 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at its center, 3030 Newtown Road, Placerville. The feedings will continue from May through July.

Reserve a spot for the training at 530-621-2650, or at

April 18, 2013
Free movies next Thursday at Sacramento drive-in

The West Wind Sacramento Drive-In off Highway 50 and Bradshaw offers inexpensive entertainment every night. But on Thursday, April 25, it will show movies free of charge.

"Wreck-It-Ralph," "Fast and Furious 5" and "Jack the Giant Slayer" will be offered for free as part of the drive-in's customer appreciation night.

West Wind has offered customer-appreciation nights for the past few years as acknowledgments of robust drive-in attendance.

Gates will open at 6 p.m. at the Sacramento Drive-in at 9616 Oates Drive. Movies begin at dusk. The event will feature live music and bounce houses for children.

. For information, see the drive-in's website.

April 11, 2013
Sacramento plays bit role in Louis C.K.'s new HBO comedy special


Louis C.K.'s new stand-up special "Oh My God" will debut at 10 p.m. Saturday on HBO. The special was shot in February in Phoenix, but Sacramento played a role as well.

Louis C.K, whose brilliance I examined (with the help of some local comedians) in this Bee article, booked his February show at Wells Fargo Pavilion to prepare for the HBO special taping later that week at Phoenix's Celebrity Theatre.

The comedian told his Sacramento audience that he chose Sacramento because he needed a theater in the round like Wells Fargo Pavilion, to practice for the Celebrity, also a theater in the round. Otherwise, he did not care about Sacramento or its populace, he said.

Then he delivered more than 90 minutes of amazing comedy, suggesting he actually did care. It will be interesting to see what bits from the Wells Fargo Pavilion show made it into Saturday's hour-long special.


April 10, 2013
Late singer-actor-innovator Serge Gainsbourg to be feted

He was a singer, songwriter, actor, director and all-around innovator, and on Saturday, the Sacramento French Film Festival will pay tribute to Serge Gainsbourg with its fourth Serge! tribute party.

As is apt for any celebration of Gainsbourg, the event will include music (live and by DJs), short films and liquor. Guy, the French bartender, will serve special Pastis cocktails as part of a no-host wine and beer bar.

The smoking will need to happen outside the Verge Center for the Arts (625 S St., Sacramento), site of the celebration.

Admission is $7, and proceeds go to the Sacramento French Film Festival, happening in June at Sacramento Crest Theatre, and to Verge Center for the Arts.

Gainsbourg, who died in 1991, would have been 84 this year. He left behind a treasure trove of experimental, influential music and the wonderful actress-singer Charlotte Gainsbourg, his daughter with model and actress Jane Birkin.

The SFFF also has put out a call for Gainsbourg-themed stencil drawings that can be include on the "Gainsbourg wall" in Paris. The artwork must be no more than 1 square yard and must include "Sacramento" somewhere within it. Deadline is May 30. University Art, at 2601 J St., will accept entries.

For information, call (916) 455-9390 or visit the French Film Festival website.

(Above is a video for "Bonnie and Clyde," a Gainsbourg duet with Brigitte Bardot and one of the coolest songs ever).

April 9, 2013
New space is previewed at San Francisco's Exploratorium

By Ed Fletcher

With triple the space at its new Pier 15 location, the Exploratorium promises to build on what was already a must-see San Francisco experience.

The new building opens to the public April 17 and adds 150 brand new exhibits -- including a free outdoor space -- to the experience.

"It was a bit dark," Dennis Bartels, the center's executive director, said of the old space where the hands-on museum lived for 43 years in the Palace of Fine Arts.

He said the new center with views to both the city and the bay will be more accessible.

Some 200 journalists attended the preview Tuesday.

Advanced tickets are for sale online. Tickets are $25, with discounts for various groups. For more information visit Read the full preview in the April 19 ticket section.

April 9, 2013
See puppy matches at Sacramento dog show at Cal Expo

dogshow.jpg This week, Cal Expo goes to the dogs - and it's a good thing.

Starting Thursday, the Sacramento Kennel Club hosts its annual show, a Sacramento tradition stretching back almost a century.

More than 4,000 dogs representing 100-plus breeds are expected to compete in this four-day event, which runs through Sunday. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. In addition, dozens of vendors will offer canine-related products and services.

For the first time, the Sacramento show will host "puppy matches" - special competitions open only to puppies, age 4 to 6 months. Organizers expect the puppy matches to become an instant fan favorite.

Admission is $10; seniors and juniors, $8.50. Children under age 12 are admitted free. Only dogs participating in the event are allowed on the Cal Expo grounds.

Thursday and Friday are devoted to terriers. All breeds will compete Saturday and Sunday. For full details and schedules, click on

April 4, 2013
Tonight in Davis: Prom, poetry and pink wine

time_.jpgPeople Magazine staff writer Oliver Jones will be at the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis tonight (April 4) for a reading of his essay "The Last Time I Had Zinfandel," part of the book "The Time of My Life: Writers on the Heartbreak, Hormones and Debauchery of the Prom."

Jones, who was written for magazines including Details and Premiere and is a past winner of the Glasscock Poetry Prize, will be joined by poet and UC Davis English and creative writing professor Joe Wenderoth, whose work has been widely anthologized.

Language and topics might be not be suitable for some listeners. Time permitting, there will be a Q&A after the event (an open mic at the gallery begins at 9 p.m.).

John Natsoulas Gallery is located at 521 First St. in Davis. Event starts at 8 p.m.

-- Tim Swanson

April 3, 2013
Rolling Stones play Northern California in May


Maybe it's not so much of a drag getting old.

The Rolling Stones have announced new dates for its "50 and Counting" tour - celebrating the band's 50th anniversary - and they include stops at Oakland's Oracle Arena on May 5 and San Jose's HP Pavilion on May 8. (What? No Sleep Train Arena?)

Front man Mick Jagger, who turns 70 this summer, will be there along with guitarists Keith Richards, Ron Wood and drummer Charlie Watts. Former Stones member Mick Taylor will also share the stage.

"'50 and Counting' has been pretty amazing so far," Jagger said in a statement. We did a few shows in London and New York last year ... and had such a good time that we thought ... let's do some more. It's a good show. Lots of the classic stuff everyone wants to hear ... with a few gems tucked in here and there."

The last major Stones tour was its "A Bigger Bang" show that ran August 2005 to August 2007.

"50 and Counting" tickets for Oakland, San Jose and other cities go on sale Monday (April 8) at 10 a.m. local time and will be available at

-- Tim Swanson

April 1, 2013
Here's looking at 'Casablanca' on Sacramento-area big screens

Bogey and Bergman will always have Paris, and film buffs will always have "Casablanca."

Thumbnail image for Casablanca2.jpg

Round up the usual suspects, get the tub of popcorn and settle into a screening Wednesday of the 1942 Academy Award winner at selected Sacramento-area theaters.

The showings are part of the Cinemark Classics Series.

Thumbnail image for Casablanca1.jpegWhen: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Cinemark theaters in Elk Grove, Rocklin, Roseville and Sacramento.

Cost: $7-10



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