sam's Best Bets for upcoming entertainment

Some suggestions for this weekend and next couple of weeks around Carson City and elsewhere. Check entries in the daily Nevada Appeal for more details, but this should be enough for planning this weekend and the next several. Also, see for updates of video games, movie news, TV shows or specials, musical events and reviews.

Sam Bauman, entertainment editor

- "The Met: Live in HD" series continues this weekend with "La Boheme," the seventh in a series of eight performances that will be transmitted live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York via satellite into more than 350 movie theaters across the country. The passionate, timeless, and indelible story of love among young artists in Paris, "La Boheme" can stake its claim as the world's most popular opera.

In Franco Zeffirelli's iconic production, Angela Gheorghiu sings Mimì at the Met for the first time in 12 years, opposite Ramon Vargas as Rodolfo. The cast also features Ainhoa Arteta as Musetta and Ludovic Tezier as Marcello. Nicola Luisotti conducts. The transmission, hosted by acclaimed soprano Renee Fleming, will feature live backstage interviews with the stars and the conductor. The live transmission of La Boheme is directed for telecast by Gary Halvorson. Jay Saks is audio producer.

The Met's series is expanding with this transmission with a debut in France and on the high seas. Nineteen Princess Cruise Ships and seventeen theaters throughout France join the Met's international network for the live HD transmission of "LA BOHÈME" on April 5. With unprecedented advance sales and increased distribution, the high-definition opera will break the previous attendance record for an HD production.

Tickets are $22 U.S. adults; $20 U.S. senior; $15, U.S. children. See Time: Saturday, April 5 at 10:30 a.m.

- U.S. audiences will be able to watch performances of one of the most prominent American opera companies, the San Francisco Opera, at local movie theaters. The Bigger Picture will release San Francisco Opera performances beginning Saturday March 29.

All performances are recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco and include a 10-minute intermission and English subtitles. For a complete list of venues, ticket information and show times visit The venue list will continue to be updated as theaters are added to the schedule. Operas are:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Don Giovanni," Saturday and Sunday, April 12-13, Monday and Tuesday, April 14-15.

Giacomo Puccini's "Madama Butterfly, "Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20; Monday and Tuesday, April 21-22.

- Ani DiFranco appears a the Lawlor Events Center in Reno Thursday April 10 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $235 in advance, $37 a the door. Call 784-4444 or see

- George Winston, he of the romantic piano, appears at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in Reno July 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $32 in advance, $35 on show date. Tickets are the Pioneer Center.

- America's most beloved musical, "Annie," is back in 30th anniversary tour, giving a whole new generation the chance to experience this classic musical about never giving up hope. The timeless tale of Little Orphan Annie will be coming to the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in Reno for five performances from April 18-20.

Performance schedule is Friday April 18, 8 p.m.; Saturday April 19, 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday April 20, 1 and 6 p.m.

Tickets at the Pioneer Center box office, online at or by phone at (877) 840-0457. Ticket prices range from $40 to $80 and are subject to service charges. Groups of 20 or more should call 686-6600.

- Slot Machines: The Fey Collection from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Nevada State Museum, 600 N. Carson St. In the South Changing Gallery, held over by popular demand. Call 687-4810, ext. 239 or 245.

- The CCAI Courthouse Gallery, 885 E. Musser St., will show artist Galen Brown's free show, "Waves: Line and Rhythm." The show will continue through May 23. See The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

- The Carson Chamber Singers, directed by Judy Monson, will present their annual spring concert Saturday April 5 a 7:30 p.m., at the Brewery Arts Center Performance Hall, 511 W. King St.

This year's concert features "Dona Nobis Pacem" by Ralph Vaughn Williams, a cantata in five sections based on the poetry of Walt Whitman. Guest soloists are Jennifer Tibben-Lembke, soprano, and Stuart Alan Duke, baritone. Nancy Mielke will accompany the Chamber Singers.

The Carson Chamber Singers, a group of more than 30 singers, formed in 1985 as an affiliate of the Carson City Symphony.

Soprano soloist Jennifer Tibben-Lembke teaches voice at the University of Nevada, Reno, and is artistic director and conductor of Bella Voce women's choral ensemble. Baritone soloist Stuart Alan Duke is noted for his appearances with orchestras and opera in the United States and in Europe.

Admission is $12 for general admission; $10 for seniors, students, and Carson City Symphony Association members; and $1 for ages 16 and under. Tickets are available in advance at the Brewery Arts Center office, 449 W. King St. and online at

Call the Carson City Symphony at 883-4154.

- Starz Entertainment's Weekly Hot Items List through April 6:

Saturday, April 5, Starz Saturday Premiere:

"Next" (Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel) 9 p.m.

A man who can see into his own future has to avoid capture by a government organization and win the love of a woman who will be the mother of his child.

"Hip Hop: Raw & Uncut" - Episode 5, 1 a.m. on Starz In Black

A 60-minute, monthly live concert series. This episode is hosted by Larry Dog (BET Comic View, Def Comedy Jams) and features Lyfe Jennings, Young Berg, Jibbs and Blood Raw.

Sunday, April 6, Queens of the Screen

A double-feature of films featuring the favorite actresses of yesterday and today airs on RetroPlex each Sunday night through May.

8 p.m. "Charade" (Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Walter Matthau)

10 p.m. "The Children's Hour" (Audrey Hepburn, Shirley Maclaine, James Garner)

Click here for information about what's airing on Starz On Demand and Vongo.

Saturday, April 19, Starz Saturday Premiere

"Ratatouille "(Brad Garrett, Janeane Garofalo, John Ratzenberger) 9 p.m. on Starz

This is the rat you want to find in the kitchen! The hilarious story of a French three-star chef " he just happens to be a rat " who finds a human cooking partner and a restaurant that needs help. An animated delight from Pixar.

Sunday, April 20, "Queens of the Screen"

A new double-feature of films featuring the favorite actresses of yesterday and today airs on RetroPlex each Sunday night through May.

- 8 p.m. "The King and I" (Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Rita Moreno); 10:20 p.m. "Separate Tables "(Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Burt Lancaster)

- CNN Presents: "Black in America" April 3-April 7

Thursday, April 3: 9 to 11:00 p.m. "Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination"

Repeats Saturday, April 5: 8 to 10 p.m., Sunday, April 6, 2 to 4 a.m. 8 to 10 p.m., 11 to 1 a.m., Monday, April 7, 2 to 4 a.m.

CNN Presents: Black in America " "Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination"

Forty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., this first installment of CNN's groundbreaking documentary series Black in America is reported by anchor and special correspondent Soledad O'Brien. O'Brien describes how escaped convict and armed robber James Earl Ray had already spent an uncommon year on the run that included plastic surgery the month before his path collided with that of the civil rights leader in Memphis, Tenn. Through interviews with first-person witnesses and investigators, O'Brien retraces the steps of King, Ray and investigators and explores alternative scenarios of what may have happened that fateful day on April 4, 1968. O'Brien asks who was ultimately responsible for the murder that, for some, may have meant the end to the U.S. Civil Rights Era. The Black in America series is filmed in high definition. More information, including images, can be found at

- Starz presents "Grindhouse," Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's homage to exploitation B-movie thrillers Monday, March 31 at 9 p.m. Over three hours, the two feature-length films, turned into a double-bill, complete with fake trailers, missing scenes and bad film stock will be shown in its entirety, the way it was originally screened in movie theaters. In Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror," a small-town deals with an outbreak of murderous, infected people called "sickos," and a gun-legged stripper named Cherry (Rose McGowan) and her martial arts-wielding boyfriend (Freddy Rodriguez) take on the zombie army. Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof" has a psycho named Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) stalking and killing beautiful women with his '70s muscle car.

- At the casinos:

"The Male Intellect" has closed at the Eldorado with a new dance show "Floor Play" opening Tuesday. Frank Caliendo appears at the Silver Legacy April 4, $45 to $55 tickets, 325-7401.

It's retro time at Harrah's Lake Tahoe with The Spinners appearing Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The Spinners were hot in the '70s when I was living in Europe so never had a chance to dig them. Big hit was "Rubberband Man," which I never heard but does conjure up some strange visions. Anyhow, if you're a retro music lover, catch them in the South Shore Room for a modest $35, a steal when you consider other rock affairs. Call (800) 786-8208.

The Gin Blossoms play at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks at 8 p.m., Friday April 18 for a calm $32. Call (800) 648-1177. Seether and Flyleaf (gotta love that billing) hit the Grand Sierra Friday April 11 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $32 for the post-grunge Seether and heavy metal-men Flyleaf out of Texas. Another winner at $32, call (800) 648-5080.

FloorPlay is a hot dance show at the Eldorado in Reno these days. Natch, it's an offspring from the TV dance shows without the name dancers. But reportedly it "mixes a youthful flair with the sensual and the physical chemistry of ballroom and Latin dancing." Tickets are $29.95 to $43.95 at 786-5700. ... Believe it or not, Greg London's "Icons" is still playing at Harrah's Reno. Quick costume changes are the key to this show. Call 788-2900, tickets are $29.95-$39.95.


A one-night stand by a TV producer results, as such encounters sometimes do, in "Knocked Up," a funny, contemporary comedy starring Katherine Heigel as Alison the knocked up, and Ben, Seth Rogen, the knocker-upper. Judd Apatow directed this very funny look at twentysomething Americans.

This could be written off as just another puerile comedy of wayward people, but Heigl is so open and honest that she lifts it above that. And Rogen is a very natural guy, enmeshed with his fellow layabouts, waiting for their Internet porn site ships to come in.

Lots of drug use, profanity (although today profanity seems to be a quaint word) and some graphic scenes of delivering the baby.

Some critics sneered at this movie, but it is better than many and addresses an important subject with care and sympathy. Faced with the choice or abortion or delivery, Heigl makes the pro choice and makes it make sense.

Co-starring are Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd, as a married couple having problems. Mann is Heigl's sister and turns in a fine performance. Music by Loudon Wainwright III nicely captures the mood and feeling of the times.

Through all their ups and downs the lovers keep a nice pace going, even when Heigl is wearing some kind of ugly fake stomach to offer proof of her pregnancy. Rogen got the big hype for the film, but Heigl steals it away from him.

DVD is unrated and runs 2 hours and 127 minutes. Worth watching.

- Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or


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