The inept among us have always marveled as cocktail servers load little round trays with an array of drinks – large and small, bottled and iced – and then set forth across a busy casino floor where people are always stopping or making abrupt turns. The servers steer their way through the throng with seeming ease and usually no spillage.
Put those servers in snowshoes and you’ve got a whole new way to test speed and agility. That’s what happens annually at the popular Snowshoe Cocktail Races at Lake Tahoe’s Camp Richardson, where tray-toting racers shoot up and down the beach outside the Beacon Bar and Grill (1900 Jameson Beach Road). The free competition makes for a great spectator sport as the skills demonstrated are sometimes downright awe-inspiring. Those years of bobbing and weaving past the little ladies suddenly charging out of a row of slots certainly pay off here.
The winners are not only the fastest but also the cleanest. There is no spillage allowed, period. Note to the mountain gods: Some snow would help. Saturday’s competition starts at 7 p.m. Races are also scheduled for Feb. 15 and March 15. For more information, call (530) 541-0630.
Elsewhere, the week offers an array of classic entertainment:
Dionne Warwick’s name from the ’70s through the ’90s changed as often as her onstage demeanor. Sometimes the marquee would have “Warwick” in bold letters. Other times, it would be “Warwicke,” with a little “e” dangling off the leg of the “k.” When performing, she could be warm and gentle, distant and aloof, prepared and unprepared. The joke at Harrah’s among the servers was the audience should all stand up at once and shout “Hey, Dionne, we’re down here!” just to get her to recognize there was an audience. Other times she became one with them.
Still, the constants were – and still are – that Dionne Warwick is a marvelous singer, her voice becoming the major instrument in rich arrangements, and her catalog of pop hits remains the envy of many. Usually, “Alfie” alone is worth the price of admission. (Cache Creek; Saturday; 8 p.m.; $55, $65, $75; www.cachecreek.com)
Booker T. Jones has taken the Hammond B-3 organ to stratospheric heights in pop music, from 1963’s “Green Onions” through last year’s release of “Sound the Alarm.” He plays at Harrah’s Tahoe Saturday. (7:30 p.m.; $44; www.ticket master.com)
Also worth checking out: “The Legends of Motown,” a tribute show with music from Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops and others, at Thunder Valley Saturday (7 p.m.; $27.50, $34.50; www.thundervalley resort.com); the big laughs of interactive comedy show “Frankie and Nina’s Big Wedding” at Jackson Rancheria Thursday (6:30 p.m.; $30; www.jacksoncasino.com); and the power teaming of Blood, Sweat, and Tears with Bo Bice at MontBleu Saturday (9 p.m.; $45, $55; www.montbleuresort.com).