'Twelve Tenors' a relaxed show; 'Jazz Extravaganza' was just that

The Jazz Extravaganza Friday night at the Brewery Performance Hall was sold out with a nice mix of young and not so young. If you weren't there, you missed some fine music by the Carson High Jazz Band (directed by Felicia Wirgau) and the Mile High Jazz Band, under the direction of David Bugli.

The quintet Five Knights of Jazz, made up of players from the high school band, and the sextet Millennium Bugs, players from the Mile High Band, chimed in with fine combo playing. The high school band committed itself well with jazz standards such as "Fiesta Bahia" and "Blues Rondo a la Turk" (which I confused with "Take Five," but no matter). The Bugs sounded "Blue Monk" tastefully and then were joined by the high school five for "Bernie's Tune."

This was the fourth annual benefit concert sponsored by the MHJB and the Carson High Band Boosters, and all involved did themselves proud. Anyone who thinks the younger generation (whoever that includes) is no more musically advanced than four-chord rock needed to hear these fine young musicians swinging, including the dark-haired girl swinging a mean tenor in the front row. Martin Sosa, the group's fiery trumpetman, really is ready for major touring.

TOO MANY TENORS?

It started out with "The Three Tenors," Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti in the baths of Rome in 1990 as a benefit for cancer survivor Carreras. Now at the Eldorado Hotel Casino in Reno, it's "The Twelve Irish Tenors," and a delightful show it is. Don't go expecting the hear Irish tune after Irish lullaby. Yes, inevitably, "Londonderry Air" (aka "Danny Boy") is offered up quickly, but then the 12 turn to more varied fare, such as Beatles and rock stuff, winding up with a rousing "Hey Jude." Among other songs and arias are "When Irish Eyes are Smiling," "Yesterday," "Twist and Shout," "Mack the Knife, "New York, New York" and the opera classics "Nessun Dorma" and "La Donna E Mobile," the last probably the most popular opera piece ever.

There's a nice casual air about this show. The 12 tenors certainly can sing, and the dancing is easygoing, no tight ensemble work. It's a family show, and if you can, drag your teens to it. They might be surprised to hear such beautiful music vaguely rock- oriented.

The Tenors appear in the Eldorado Showroom through March 24. Tickets start at $28.95. Call the Eldorado at (800) 648-5966 or 786-5700 in Nevada. At the Eldorado, tickets are available at the Showroom Box Office. Visit eldoradoreno.com.

FROM THE VAULTS

"The Lover" ("L'Amant") is an MGM-French picture from 1992 about a romance between a French teenager and a rich Chinese man in Vietnam in 1929. Jane March portrays the teen, and Tony Leung is her admirer and eventual lover. They meet on a ferry on the Mekong River in South Vietnam, she en route to Saigon and high school and he returning to his bachelor apartment. He offers her a ride in his Rolls-Royce, and along the way symbolically holds hands with her. In Saigon, they meet and become sensually involved. Yes, there are nude scenes, very artily done, but effective. She has family problems with one brother and her mother, and he has similar snags with his wealthy, opium-smoking father. This is a highly erotic film, not for the tender-minded. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud adapted Marguerite Duras' novel for the film. March gives her teen more than just nudity; she faces a problem in deciding between love and money. A fine look at old Saigon (the film was shot in 1991 with the approval of the Communist Hanoi government) with the stately French colonial mansions all restored. And the depiction of Cholon, the Chinese quarter of Saigon, brings back short memories of roaming there. Lovely photography, dialogue somewhat stilted, in English. Rated (naturally) R.

Sue Grafton is an experienced mystery-thriller writer, and she proves it again in the latest in her series, "S Is for Silence." (Berkley Novel, $7.99, a fat 352 pages). Private eye Kinsey Milhone is called in to find out what happened to the flamboyant Violet, who disappeared years ago on the Fourth of July. Seems Violet's daughter needs closure after all the years, and Kinsey is the one to find out. Some padding involved to reach those 352 pages, but publishers require fat books these days. A good book for days when the skiing is scanty.

• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or sbauman@nevadaappeal.com.

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