'Play faire' and wipe out with The Surfaris

by Karl Horeis

An invitation to "Play Faire" was extended to the Appeal by the family of Phyllis Patterson, known for organizing renaissance fairs, celebrations of spring with a 16th-century theme, since 1963. The Pattersons describe theirs as "wildly authentic." Period costume is "admired, but not required."

Gardnerville resident Jean Murphy went to the Heart of the Forrest Renaissance Faire at Camp Richardson last weekend. She called to recommend it.

"It was so much fun!" she said. "The costumes were excellent, the food was excellent - it was like food for the eyes. It was the most fun event I've been to in a very, very long time."

Themes planned for this weekend include a spring garland competition on Saturday and "Splendidious Illusions - A Culinary and Artistic Competition" on Sunday. The creative baking contest involves fancy, often-sweet inventions being paraded through camp and presented at the table of mock royalty for judging and consumption. Some foods are in disguise - appearing to be one on the outside but surprising the royal judges by being another on the inside. Other "Splendidious Illusions," called "cockatrices," are creatures with the head of one animal and the body of another.

There's plenty to drink when you're "playing faire," too.

"There was this one woman who was running a tavern, and she yelled out, 'We have ale here, and it won't drink itself!'" said Murphy with a laugh.

The fair also includes jousting knights, strolling minstrels, kids' games and bird shows. First-time Renaissance Faire participants may find it a bit overwhelming so the Pattersons recommend going as an observer. "Mayhaps a costume next year!"

Camp Richardson is off Highway 89 just north of the intersection with Highway 50 at South Lake Tahoe. Adult tickets are $20 and children under 5 are free. Call (415) 897-4555 for details.

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Carson City Reverend Ken Haskins, also a disc jockey known as "The Rockin' Rev," will be the emcee at a Friday night concert called the "Festival of Legends" at Reno's Golden Phoenix casino. Check out this amazing lineup: The Marvelettes (who sang "Please, Mr. Postman"), The Surfaris ("Wipe Out"), Sly Slick and Wicked, Little Caesar and the Romans, J.J. Jackson, Jewel Akens ("Let Me Tell You 'Bout the Birds and the Bees"), The Drifters, The Coasters, The Platters and The Medallions.

"I think with the 10 artists they're going to have something like 64 total top 40 hits and 129 charted singles in all," Haskins said. "So you've got some top-notch acts here."

Haskins said he used to listen to the performers on the radio while playing basketball as a boy.

"It seemed like we didn't go anywhere without a transistor radio back then," he said. "So this is the soundtrack to my life, really."

The concert will run like the old Busload of Stars shows, in which each act does a quick set of three or four songs.

"It'll be a fast-paced, fun show then there will be an opportunity for the folks to meet and greet the artists after the shows," Haskins promised.

According to promoter Richard Gomez, all of the bands are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Shows are at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets are $49.95. Call the Golden Phoenix, located at 255 North Sierra St. in Reno, at 785-7100 for more details.

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A production of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," directed by Christopher James, needs actors, singers, dancers and other talented folks "aged 16 to 116."

A fund-raiser for the Brewery Arts Center, the classic tale of love in the face of impossible odds will open Aug. 20.

Auditions are at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Brewery Arts Center. Call 841-0676 for details.

Contact Karl Horeis at khoreis@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.


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