Sam's Picks for the best of the weekend

Some suggestions for this weekend and next couple of weeks around Carson City and elsewhere, including new DVDs. Check entries in the daily Nevada Appeal for more details, but this should be enough for planning this weekend and the next couple. Ay errors please let me know at

Sam Bauman, entertainment editor

"Guys and Dolls" staged by the college musical group plays at the Community Center running this weekend and next. This is one of the grand musicals of old Broadway and well worth your bucks. Dates are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Don't miss this one, the musical theater company does a fine job. Two great songs (among many) are "If I Were a Bell" and "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat."

"Wonder of the World," is presented by the Proscenium Players this weekend and next at the Brewry Arts Center Black Box Theatre. A marvelously funny play with a distinct disconnect with ordinary TV-type humor. Some of the words may not be your choice for kids (although they hear it every day) so don't take them. But don't let that stop you from seeing one of the most original comdies to play Carson in a long time " if ever. Shows are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

PBS part five of a six-part series about a woman newly elected prime minister in a sort of fluke election. It's really worth your time if you like reasonably literate TV fare. It plays Sunday night on Channel 5 (or 29 for off-the-air antenna reception). Roz is the PM and she's already faced her latest crisis. Now she has to figure out how to fun a stuffy old government. It may be a dream story of democacy at work but it's fun.

"Fragments of Latin America," a collection of photographs by Western Nevada College Graphic Communications instructor Jayna Conkey, will hang in the College Gallery through Nov. 29. The exhibit features digital photographs from Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Call 445-3000.

Charter Communications has added the Gospel Music Channel, America's first 24/7 channel dedicated to all styles of family-friendly Christian and gospel music. Gospel Music Channel is available to Charter customers in Reno, Carson City, Fallon, Gardnerville, and Fernley on channel 482. Information on Gospel Music Channel is at (888) Get-Charter. Amen.

National Geographic Digital Media has the most amazing and beautiful animal photos online. Check out gorgeous photo galleries and learn fun facts on animals ranging from amphibians to reptiles at The NG site is constantly refreshed with new animal photos and interesting stories and is a valuable resource for kids.

Speedy Garfin and the Garfin Gathering appear Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the BAC Performance Hall. After performing in the Catskill mountains of New York for more than 40 summers, Speedy and his group bring a variety of music and humor to the Brewery. The act features Speedy on alto and soprano sax, clarinet, flute, and conga drum; Jakki Ford as featured vocalist; Kerry Shacklett on keyboard and vocals; and George Stigliano on drums. Tickets are $15, with a $3 discount for BAC members, seniors and students. Tickets are at the BAC office, 449 W. King St., or at

Unrivaled king of rock 'n' roll dance and twist-master extraordinary, Chubby Checker performs live in the South Shore Room at Harrah's Lake Tahoe Saturday. Since 1959, Checker has been considered the greatest innovator of "dancing apart from the beat" with the release of "The Twist." Twist-master Checker is on stage in Harrah's South Shore Room at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $40 plus tax. Call (800)786-8208 or see

In the world of entertainment only a handful of performers are recognized by just two syllables. Charo is one. Catch Charo Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Celebrity Showroom at John Ascuaga's Nugget. While her shows are filled with song, dance, humor and fun, the highlight is always when she plays classical guitar. Tickets are $35 at (800) 648-1177 or 356-3300 or by visiting

Brewery Arts Center presents "Patsy Cline, Christmas and More" at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Brewery Arts Center Performance Hall, 511 W. King St. $25 preferred seating; $22 balcony; $3 discount for BAC members, seniors and students. Visit or call 883-1976.

New DVD releases:


AP Movie Writer

"Shrek the Third"

The big green guy with the Scottish accent returns for another animated blockbuster. Voice stars Mike Myers as Shrek, Eddie Murphy as sidekick Donkey, Cameron Diaz as ogre bride Fiona and Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots are joined by Justin Timberlake, who provides vocals for teen cousin Artie, whom Shrek must groom to rule the realm as the future King Arthur. The DVD and HD DVD release include scenes the filmmakers dropped, a featurette with cast and crew interviews, a segment on the advances in computer animation that went into the new movie and a collection of computer gaffes where the animation went haywire. The disc also has an interactive yearbook with snippets on Artie's school classmates, a handful of games and an editing feature allowing viewers to mix and match scenes from all three "Shrek" flicks. The HD DVD high-definition disc also allows fans to watch the movie with a picture-in-picture storybook reel. DVD, $29.99; HD DVD, $39.99. (DreamWorks)

"Ocean's Thirteen"

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and their light-fingered pals are back for a third heist romp. This time, the crew returns to Vegas, staging an elaborate ripoff in revenge against the casino owner (Al Pacino) who double-crossed one of the Ocean's gang's inner circle (Elliott Gould). The movie comes in standard DVD format, as a Blu-ray high-definition disc or in a combination disc with both the standard DVD and HD DVD versions. All three formats have deleted scenes, a documentary segment on the lavishness of Vegas and a featurette in which producer Jerry Weintraub leads a casino tour. The HD DVD and Blu-ray releases also have a segment on the art of the heist in the "Ocean's" movies. DVD, $28.98; Blu-ray disc, $35.99; HD DVD combo disc, $39.99. (Warner Bros.)

"Paris, Je T'Aime," "La Vie En Rose"

Two jewels of France " the city of Paris and singer Edith Piaf " are given loving treatment. "Paris, Je T'Aime" rounds up an amazing group of filmmakers and actors to tell 18 short tales set in different parts of the city, with directors including Joel and Ethan Coen, Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuaron, Alexander Payne and Gus Van Sant, and such performers as Nick Nolte, Gena Rowlands, Natalie Portman, Elijah Wood, Juliette Binoche and Steve Buscemi. The movie comes in a bare-bones single-disc release or a two-disc set whose extras include 18 separate making-of featurettes. "La Vie En Rose" stars Marion Cotillard as Piaf, a street urchin who rose from poverty to become the best-known voice of her country, living a life of triumph and tragedy. The movie is accompanied by a segment on Cotillard's transformation into Piaf, which has earned the actress Academy Awards buzz. "Paris, Je T'Aime" single DVD, $28.98; two-disc set, $34.98. (First Look); "La Vie En Rose" DVD, $27.95. (HBO)

"Amazing Grace"

Ioan Gruffudd, the infinitely flexible Mr. Fantastic of the "Fantastic Four" flicks, stretches his dramatic muscles for this period drama from director Michael Apted. Gruffudd stars as 18th century British politician William Wilberforce, who leads the movement to abolish the nation's slave trade. The film is accompanied by a behind-the-scenes segment, a featurette on the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and Chris Tomlin's music video of the title song. Gruffudd and Apted collaborate for commentary. DVD, $29.98. (20th Century Fox)

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

Steven Spielberg's sci-fi epic celebrates its birthday with an elaborate 30th anniversary edition for the movie starring Richard Dreyfuss as an average guy who becomes one of a group of people fated to journey to the stars as aliens come to Earth to say hi to humanity. The new release packs the original 1977 theatrical cut, the re-edited special edition version released in 1980, and a final director's cut that came out in 1998. The set includes a new interview with Spielberg, along with a 1977 featurette and a making-of segment. The 30th anniversary edition comes in a three-disc standard DVD set, while the Blu-ray release has all three versions on a single disc, with extras contained on a second disc. DVD set, $39.95; Blu-ray set, $49.95. (Sony)

"The Princess Bride"

Years before Shrek started turning fairy tales on their head, Rob Reiner's love story in the land of make-believe was messing with storybook conventions. A 20th anniversary edition gives a DVD makeover to the romantic fantasy that stars Cary Elwes as a peasant boy turned dashing hero, Robin Wright as the imperiled maiden he loves, and Mandy Patinkin as a swordplay master on a mission of vengeance against the man who killed his father. The DVD comes with newly produced extras that include segments on fencing and folklore. There's also a video role-playing game that allows viewers to take on the identity of the movie's characters. DVD, $19.98. (MGM)

"Killer of Sheep: The Charles Burnett Collection"

Writer-director Charles Burnett's feature-film debut kicked around film festivals for years since 1977 and finally got a commercial release this year, welcomed with great acclaim from critics. The minimalist tale follows the dreamlike musings and ramblings of a slaughterhouse worker in Los Angeles' Watts area as he seeks respite from a harsh and unsatisfying life. Burnett offers commentary, and the film is accompanied by a cast reunion session. The two-disc set also has Burnett's 1983 feature film "My Brother's Wedding," plus three earlier short films from the director and a new one on Hurricane Katrina. DVD set, $39.95. (Milestone)

TV on DVD:

"Yankeeography" " The documentary series offers a detailed chronicle of the most dynastic franchise in American sports. The 12-disc set packs all 34 episodes of the show on the New York Yankees and such fabled stars as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson. The set includes 10 hours of extra footage and interviews. DVD set, $99.95. (A&E)

"Melrose Place: The Third Season" " Heather Locklear schemes her way through another season in the prime-time soap opera about a group of neighbors in a trendy Los Angeles neighborhood. An eight-disc set has the third year's 30 episodes. DVD set, $61.99. (Paramount)

"Perry Mason: Season 2, Volume 2" " Raymond returns as the ace defense attorney in the 1950s and '60s courtroom drama. The four-disc set has the last 15 episodes from the second season. DVD set, $42.99. (Paramount)

Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, and with this annual holiday comes the popular North Lake Tahoe Holiday Jazz Festival at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino in Incline Village. This year visitors enjoy live performances Friday Nov.23 and Saturday Nov. 24 from premier artists, including Dave Koz, Johnathan Butler, Wayman Tisdale, Kimberly Locke, Warren Hill, Jeff Golub and Jeff Lorber. Call 832-1234.

An alpenglow isn't something you wear; it's a horizontal red glowing band that can be seen when the sun sets in the West. One of the best places to catch an alpenglow is at Jake's on the Lake Alpenglow Dinners in Tahoe City. Sundays through Fridays (excluding holidays), Jake's (located on the water) offers a three-course meal off their Alpenglow Dinner Menu for only $26 per person from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Call 530-583-0188.

Send a Christmas card of your "baby" at the Santa Paws Pet Photos scheduled for this weekend at Tails by the Lake in the Village at Squaw Valley. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., dogs and owners pose with Santa Claus in front of a holiday background. The sitting fee is just $20 and benefits the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe. For details, click to

It's all laughs at the Tahoe Comedy North show Tuesday Nov. 20, 7 p.m. at the Crystal Bay Casino in Crystal Bay. Headliners are Joe Klocek, known for working the crowd; Tony DiJamco with his "no subject is too personal" approach; and host Kellen Erskine. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 day of the show, and are available at or by calling 833-6333 as well as at the venue.

Fresh off their World Series performance, multi-platinum group LONESTAR will be hitting the national scene once again with a stop by legendary Naomi Judd's television show, complete with a musical performance from their new Christmas album. The show will air on Sunday, November 18th on the Hallmark Channel. To find your local station, visit For more information on Naomi's New Morning, please visit The award-winning group just released their new album, "My Christmas List" available exclusively at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations nationwide and online at The album contains nine holiday favorites and two original songs, including the title track. Visit

Grand Sierra Resort and Casino and ALLCITY Live present a weekend of runways, rock and resplendence. On Saturday the club welcomes Jes from VH1's hit show "Rock of Love" while DJ Ravidrums delivers the electrifying sound of his one of a kind live drum and deejay set for the crowd. ALLCITY Live at Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, Reno.


By Todd Martens(

Los Angeles Times

Jay-Z's album inspired by the film "American Gangster" scores him another No. 1 album on the U.S. pop chart, selling 425,000 copies in its first week. The rapper withstands a strong second-week showing from the Eagles' "Long Road Out of Eden" to earn his 10th album at No. 1, making him only the third artist to land 10 or more albums in the pole position.

The rapper is tied at No. 2 with Elvis Presley. Only the Beatles logged more No. 1 albums, with 19. "American Gangster" went to No. 1 without the support of iTunes, as Jay-Z opted not to sell the album via the digital retailer.

Meanwhile, the actual soundtrack to "American Gangster" enters at No. 36 after selling 21,000 copies.

"Long Road Out of Eden" falls to No. 2 after selling 359,000 copies. In two weeks, the Wal-Mart exclusive has sold more than 1 million copies.

The "Ultimate Hits" collection from country star Garth Brooks enters at No. 3, selling 352,000 copies. The album comes as Brooks has been playing live again and is pondering multiple-date stints in select cities.

The sophomore effort from young R&B star Chris Brown, "Exclusive," manages a No. 4 debut, selling 294,000 copies. The album's "Kiss Kiss" has been the country's No. 1 single the past two weeks.

Last week's Country Music Association Awards gave a huge boost to Taylor Swift, the teen singer-songwriter who performed on the show and won the CMA's Horizon Award, for up-and-coming artists. Her debut album, "Taylor Swift," was re released last week in an expanded edition and jumped from No. 26 to No. 8, with a 156 percent sales increase to 68,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Next week's chart will see the latest from Alicia Keys, "As I Am," vying with Celine Dion's new "Taking Chances."


Special to The Hartford Courant

Richard Youngs' "Autumn Response," Jajaguwar

Richard Youngs' folk albums are stark as a rule, meaning newcomers must have patience if they hope to warm to his latest. With only crisp, circular breaths of guitar beneath, Youngs' voice and lyrics are the absolute focus. Both are sad and evocative, working with the guitar for an effect that would be lulling if there weren't something aggressive lurking in there, too.

His vocals are often double-tracked out of sync so that they overlap, as if there were two Youngs and one was lagging behind. It's eerie, but so is everything here. And since the British songsmith rarely plays live, he doesn't have to worry about replicating the effect. "One Hundred Stranded Horses" is the album's most striking track, hewing closer to the folk tradition, while the weepy "No Edge" might find crossover fans if it lasted more than 90 seconds. Conversely, the closing "Something Like Air" stretches to nearly 17 minutes.

Other songs are likably loopy -- "I was asleep in my vertical machine," he repeats on "I Am the Weather" " but tend to bleed together. Sometimes Youngs seems to have found an entirely new way of writing songs. Other times it's as if he's just being difficult.

-" Doug Wallen

Special to The Hartford Courant

Shooter Jennings, "The Wolf" Universal South

Shooter Jennings isn't sure where he falls on the country-rock continuum: "Am I country enough /Or too rock 'n' roll?" he asks with a wink on the title track to his third album. Rather than fret over genre distinctions, though, he embraces them equally: Jennings is one of the few guys who can please both the country and rock camps.

After the too-wordy opening misstep of "This Ol' Wheel," he and his band, the .357s, are off and running: "Tangled Up Roses" borrows the riff from the Who's "Baba O'Riley," then leads into an inspired cover of Dire Straits' "Walk of Life." The Oak Ridge Boys join in on "Slow Train," and (slightly) more country-leaning tunes "Old Friend" and "Concrete Cowboys" would do his father, outlaw-country legend Waylon Jennings, proud. And because this is a Shooter Jennings album, wine, women and tales from life on the road all show up " sometimes in the same song ("Higher").

The lone knock is that Jennings essentially has released the same album three times in a row, but when the results are this enjoyable, it's not a creative rut, it's dependability.

" Stephen Haag


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