Local show biz

Renaissance festival transforms South Tahoe woods

Lords and ladies, peasants and barbarians, merchants and soldiers will gather for two weekends of merriment in the mountains during the eighth Valhalla Renaissance Festival at Historic Camp Richardson Resort & Marina, June 3, 4, 10 and 11.

Camp Richardson in South Lake Tahoe will be transformed into Richardson's wood.

Musicians, magicians, jugglers, country dancers, archers, animals and one-act plays performed on three stages will add to the festive atmosphere.

Danish ladies, English merchants, German soldiers, Elizabethan artisans and many other characters will stroll under the fragrant pines to make surprise visits with festival guests. The actors gesture with exaggerated mannerisms and speak in the language of Merry Old England.

The sound of flutes, dulcimers and bagpipes add to the atmosphere.

A daily highlight is the grand joust in which knights on horseback clash in a matter of honor to compete for the Lord Mayor's purse.

Children even compete in their own games in a special location at the festival.

Event hours on both weekends are from l0 a.m to 6 p.m. Saturdays and l0 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

The event is $9 for adults, $6 for seniors (over 65), $4 for children (ages 6-12), 5 years old and younger are free.

Parking is available at the faire for $3 or attendees can take the Nifty Fifty Trolley from any South Lake Tahoe bus stop along Highway 50. Park & Ride is also available at the South Lake Tahoe High School.

For tickets call the Tallac Association at 541-4975.

- David Proud returns to Nugget Show Lounge

He's a powerful singer, a fine musician and a comedian/impressionist. I'm talking about Carson's favorite song and funnyman, David Proud. He returns to the Carson Nugget Show Lounge, Tuesday through June 11. If you want to see great impressions such as the likes of Elvis, Neil Diamond, Willie Nelson, and, get this, Kermit the Frog and Carol Channing -- you'll want to catch Proud all this week.

As always, there's no cover and no minimum at the Nugget Show Lounge.

- The LeLands at the Lizard Lounge

There's a little something for everyone when the LeLands are in town. The LeLand four, as they are known around the casino circuit, have dazzled audiences throughout Nevada's cabarets for years with their blend of vocal, comedy and instrumental talents. They will perform at the Pinon Plaza Wednesday through June 11. Show times begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

- Check out the Monte Vigna Lounge

Jazz singer and pianist Erika Paul performs Wednesdays through Sundays from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Monte Vigna Lounge on the second floor of the Atlantis Casiono Resort Hotel. Enjoy wine, spirit and ambiance from all over the world, not to mention some great music. Call 825-4700.

- Wild West comes alive in in Carson

The spirit of the Wild West lives on in Carson City as pioneers, gunfighters, Native Americans and mountain men gather for the 17th annual Carson City Rendezvous June 9-11 at Mills Park.

A rich and colorful three days of free events and activities, Carson City Rendezvous gives visitors an opportunity to see what life was like in the 1800s with a mountain man encampment, Native American village, Pueblo de Nevada village, Civil War encampment, gun fighters show and farriers contest. There's also a petting zoo, camel rides, western entertainment, over 100 craft booths and some of the finest tasting grub you'll ever experience.

- Concerts in the Park

The Douglas County Parks & Recreation Department will host the fourth annual "Summer Family Concert Series" at the Minden Town Park Gazebo located at Fifth and Esmeralda.

The concerts will be offered free of charge and will take place on the last Friday of each month though August. Each concert will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The concert series was designed as a community and family event. Residents and visitors are encouraged to pack a picnic and come relax in Minden Park and enjoy an evening of music.

The first concert will be held Friday May 26 featuring Brian Farnon and the Tahoe Dance Band. Farnon will be conducting a variety of orchestra arrangements, including jazz and swing, Broadway hits and the classics. He performed with the Spike Jones Orchestra and was the musical director for Nat King Cole. He was musical director, arranger, singer and instrumentalist for a weekly KTLA television show in Hollywood before becoming the musical director in the South Shore Room at Harrah's Lake Tahoe Casino for 25 years.

This program is offered free because of the generous contributions of businesses in our community, which include Carson Valley Inn, Carson Valley Medical Center, Prudential Nevada Realty, Taylor York Salon, Bing Materials and Construction, Stockdale & Crum, Carson Valley Kiwanis, Syncon Homes, Stor-All, Carson Valley Lions Club, Town of Minden, Re/Max Realty, Silver State Printing, Artisan Trophy & Engraving and Carson Valley Sertoma.

- Tahoe Dance Band returns

The music that inspired the generation of swing will return again to the Ormsby House Hotel and Casino when Brian Farnon brings his Tahoe Dance Band to Carson City for a Sunday, June 11 performance.

The show starts at 3 p.m. and costs $5.

-Guitarist takes the stage at Brewery

This should be very impressive. The Brewery Arts Center in Carson City has a couple of venues lined up for June that is sure to pack 'em in.

On Tuesday, June 13, the Brewery Arts Center welcomes folk, classic, and traditional guitarist Richard Gilewitz to its stage.

Gilewitz is known in folk music circles as an accomplished finger-picking guitarist, who mixes an eclectic blend of folk, classic and even blues guitar into his work. As Relix Magazine affirms, Gilewitz is "a player with incredible dexterity and imagination."

Couple Gilewitz's solid playing with his own brand of offbeat humor, and critics will tell you it is a show not to be missed. His talent has even been noted in the Washington Post as a musician with "graceful facility."

In the concert setting, the program he calls "A History of Finger-style Guitar" Gilewitz turns his talent into a two-hour musical journey for the ear as well as the eye. He is known to take his audiences into the past and present realm of instrumental music, according to his publicist.

Never quite knowing what time period he'll chose, Richard blends mixtures of tunes peppered with stories about the composers. Listeners will experience samples of European and Spanish classical works of J.S. Bach, Andres Segovia, Alonso de Mudarra, Fernando Sor, and Isacc Albeniz. The traditional folk section encompasses the American Primitive sounds of John Fahey and Leo Kottke and stories behind the origin of "Freight Tran" by Elizabeth Cotten; "Mrs. Firecracker's Place" and "The Maison Blanche Exit Song."

Gilewitz, who has written seven records, has appeared in concert with such artists as Steve Morse, The Squirrel Nut Zippers, the Indigo Girls, Richard Thompson, Jorma Kaukonen, Norman Blake, John Hammond, Taj Mahal and Adrian Legg.

Tickets for the June 13 performance, which begins at 7:30 p.m., cost $12 for general admission and $10 for students. Call 883-1976 for more information.

- Pianists return to the Brewery

The Brewery Arts Center announces the return of duo-pianists Squeek LaVake and Jane Theiss in an All-American Program highlighting the works of Barber, Copland, Joplin, Gershwin and Gottschalk on Thursday June 22 at 7 p.m.

Jane Theiss and Squeek LaVake, two well-known local musicians with extensive training and performance credits, will present this unique musical experience.

Squeek is a pianist, teacher and composer and holds a bachelor of arts degree in music from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a master's degree from Catholic University of America, with additional study at the Mozarteum in Austria.

Locally, she performs not only classical music but also ragtime and popular music.

She has composed several musical scores for several documentaries and is currently composing music for a local dance company. Squeek is an instructor for UNR and lives in Virginia City and performs at the Gold Hill Hotel and the Bucket of Blood Saloon.

Jane is a graduate of Carleton College and received her master of arts degree from Eastman School of Music in New York. She has performed in workshops in Utah, San Diego and California.

Her many performances have been as piano soloist, as pianist with High Noon String Quartet in Reno and Dayton, as accompanist for the Sierra Nevada Master Chorale at Carnegie Hall and many collaborations with singers Lenora Morvaya, Jon Fay, Patrick Jolly and Karen Randall.

Jane and Squeek sold out the house last year.

Tickets are $10 general public, $8 students, seniors and BAC members for $6 for children 12 and under. Call the Brewery Arts Center at 883-1976 for tickets or for information.

- Music festival announces summer line-up

From Bach to Blues and Beyond is the theme for this year's Lake Tahoe Summer Music Festival 2000.

The music festival has scheduled a variety of music for the performances under the stars, including classical orchestra music, jazz, big band, swing and pop tunes.

Jazz greats Chuck Mangione, Pete Escovedo and Marlena Shaw are on the bill, as well as world class violinist Phillip Ruder.

The Lake Tahoe Musical Festival is also the summer home of The Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, led by musical director and conductor Barry Jekowski.

This summer's events will be held between July 12 and Sept. 2 on Wednesdays and Saturdays with most performances beginning at 7 p.m. Spectacular venues around Lake Tahoe and Truckee include Topol Pavilion in Homewood, Sand Harbor, Sierra Nevada College, Squaw Valley, Sugar Pine Point State Park, Tahoe Donner, Northstar, Valhalla and Granlibakken Resort.

The music festival schedule is:

- Wednesday, July 12: gala; My Fair Lady, Topol Pavilion.*

- Sunday, July 16: Donor event with piano recital.

- Wednesday, July 19: An Evening of Shakespeare at Topol Pavilion.*

- Saturday, July 22: Pops Concert on the Green, Tahoe Donner.*

- Wednesday, July 26: Jazz headliner Chuck Mangione, Topol Pavilion.

- Saturday, July 29: Argenta Quartet featuring Phillip Ruder, Sierra Nevada College.

- Wednesday, Aug. 2: Family Night, Topol Pavilion.*

- Saturday, Aug. 5: Cabaret with Marjorie Tede, Granlibakken Resort.

- Wednesday, Aug. 9: Pete Escovedo and Marlena Shaw: An Evening of Legendary Jazz, Topol Pavilion.

- Saturday, Aug. 12: Beatrice et Benedict based on Much Ado About Nothing, Granlibakken Resort.

- Wednesday, Aug. 16: Sierra Swing Band, PlumpJack Squaw,Valley Inn.

- Saturday, Aug. 19: Classic Brass Quintet, Valhalla.

- Wednesday, Aug. 23: Swing Fever, Northstar at Tahoe.

- Saturday, Aug. 26: Chamber Music, Sierra Nevada College.

- Wednesday, Aug. 30: Bluegrass with the Slide Mountain Boys, Sugar Pine Point State Park.

- Saturday, Sept. 2: Reno Philharmonic's American Salute, Sand

* Performances by the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra

The Lake Tahoe Music Festival began as a small two-week summer series of concerts on Lake Tahoe's North Shore, providing classical music in beautiful surroundings.

The festival has grown into a Tahoe tradition with two months of summer concerts featuring quality music rarely found outside major cities. The festival also hosts a number of special events during the winter months.

For more information and tickets call the Lake Tahoe Music Festival office at 583-3101, visit the Web at www.tahoemusic.org or E-mail info@tahoemusic.org.

(Jeff Munson, content editor for tahoe.com, writes Local Show Biz with Jeff for Diversions magazine. You can reach him at 881-1216 or by e-mail: editor@tahoe.com)


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