‘Monologues’ bigger Saturday; Tower of Power plays Sparks | NevadaAppeal.com
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‘Monologues’ bigger Saturday; Tower of Power plays Sparks

Sam Bauman
Entertainment Editor

As I reported in Saturday’s Appeal, Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” was a tremendous success Friday, with only a few scattered seats unoccupied. Saturday night they did even better, packing the Plaza Hotel and Convention Center to the extent that extra seats had to be brought in.

The benefit show, a fast 90 minutes of comedy and some pathos by more than 20 actresses, some experienced, some brand new to the stage, was probably the best laugh-getting presentation to appear in Carson City in years.

And now Pat Josten, the producer, is ready to write a hefty check to the Advocates to End Domestic Violence.

Director Micha Marie Stevens, who recently appeared in ” When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder” did a fine job of keeping things moving, appearing herself at one point. Also from “Red Ryder” was Michelle Calhoun-Fitts, who punched both the audience and the atmosphere with her powerful raves. In short, the entire cast did a terrific job of discussing, praising and cheering that most unusual heroine, the vagina.

The turnout suggests that locals are happy to support an original and unusual attraction and that the women take violence seriously.

LATE TO THE PARTY

While I’m a jazz and classics devotee, I like most all kinds of music, but I just don’t search some of it out. James Taylor is a perfect example, I have handled many stories about him but never went out of my way to hear him. Earlier this week he appeared on Channel 5 (29 in Carson City) and at the end of the day, I listened. He’s an engaging singer, quiet and controlled, and when he sang “You’ve Got a Friend,” I decided I’ve got a new friend.

TRAVELING TALENT

Hip-hop, rock, funk and soul – Tower of Power has furnished it around the national for years. The San Francisco Bay Area-based band sets up shop Saturday for one cool night in the Celebrity Showroom at John Ascuaga’s Nugget over in Sparks, where they just completed a multimillion dollar expansion. Tower of Power’s horn-driven roots grew in the early ’70s as a group of soul devotees called the Motowns, instigated by a young transplant from Detroit named Emilio Castillo. Tower of Power rapidly ascended the ranks of music stardom, sharing bills along the way with Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sly and the Family Stone and Santana. Tower blasts away at 8 p.m. in the Celebrity Showroom. Tickets are $45. Call (800) 648-1177 or 356-3300 or by visiting janugget.com.

Zepparella comes to MontBleu Resort in Stateline again next Saturday at 9 p.m. after a smash show last July. Zepparella is composed of four women intent on bringing the passion, the beauty, the musicality of Led Zeppelin alive. Doors open at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20 in advance. This is a 21-and-older venue. Advance tickets are available there and online at jambasetickets.com and tickets.com.

The Grand Sierra Resort and Casino hosts comedienne Chelsea Handler as she brings her comedy stand-up act to the stage. Showtime is 8 p.m. Saturday. Comedienne and writer Handler is the queen of late night on “E! Entertainment Television” with her edgy, off-the-cuff and rollicking comedy show “Chelsea Lately.” Call 789-2000 or visit http://www.grandsierraresort.com.

UPDATES ON THE WEB

If you’re wondering about what to do this weekend and next, check Sam’s Best Bets on the Appeal Web site, nevadaappeal.com. Lots of items that I couldn’t squeeze in here.

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

ROM THE VAULTS

This is a documentary that exposes the bigotry of the 1920s in America. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who want to know more about America’s way of justice back then this is hard to beat.

Directed by Peter Miller, it tells the story of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, both born in Italy before coming to the USA. It centers around a murder of a bank guard in Massachussets. Both men were anarchists, one a cobbler and the other a fish monger. Because of their political beliefs they were railroaded by a clearly biased judge named Thayer, and despite airtight alibis were electrocuted.

The case received worldwide attention, sparking riots in Europe. Old photos, newsreels and talking heads such as Arlo Guthrie bring the story to life. Of course, it couldn’t happen now, could it?

Sacco was quoted as saying before his death, “It is true, indeed, that they can execute the body, but they cannot execute the idea which is bound to live.”

Running time 2 hours, not rated, released in 2007.

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