Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment

September 28, 2007
This man runs two Sac stations?


Yes, folks, that indeed is Bruno Cohen, the top suit at channels 13 and 31, donning Elton John-like glasses and earrings and busting a move like Travolta on today's "Good Day Sacramento." (He's flanked by reporters/disco divas Courtney Dempsey and Tina Macuha.)

Well, it's good to see Bruno doesn't take himself too seriously.

View the carnage report here.

September 28, 2007
Fall fashion roundup

WORTH.jpgSacramento is becoming quite the fashion scene during the weekends - especially this fall. New collections are being shown, shows are taking place - and people are shopping, shopping, shopping!

Here's a roundup of activities to put on your fashion calendar:

* It's worth it: The Worth Collection, which is a leading luxury fashion company for women, has its winter wardrobe available for previewing in our area. Rep Sonya Wilson is taking appointments for clients to check out the collection at her Sacramento home. The season's must-haves? Wide-leg pants, bowed blouses and, of course, a great black dress like the open-back version shown at left.

And the Worth Collection piles on the accessories, too. Handbags, belts, scarves, shawls, wraps. Sizes are 0 to 20 for misses and 0 to 18 for petites. To schedule an appointment, call (916) 832-3900 or e-mail The winter looks are on preview through Oct. 9.

* On consignment: Placer County is divulging one of its best-kept fashion secrets - Dressing Up Diva, a women's clothing consignment event coming to the county fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday. If you're recycling and rejuvenating your closet, you can sell clothing and accessories and earn 70 percent of the selling price, then turn around and shop for other people's stuff!

Many items will be donated to PEACE for Families, a nonprofit that aids victims of domestic abuse. Divas should head to Jones Hall on the fairgrounds. The event is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free!

* You should be dancing: The Foster Youth Education Fund is gearing up for its sixth annual fashion show, "Dancin' in the Streets," at 2 p.m. Sunday in Sac State's University Union Ballroom.

The show will feature foster youth as the runway models. Last year, FYEF (a nonprofit that provides grants for college-bound kids from foster care) donated $20,000 to the Guardian Scholars Program. Tickets for the show are $25 for adults, $15 for students and children 5 and older. Call (916) 335-5485.

September 27, 2007
Carla Meyer's Movie Picks

Every week in Friday's Weekend Ticket section, I review new movies and I recommend previously released ones. Can't wait? Well, this feature now appears at 21Q each Thursday afternoon.

My picks among recently released movies:

Eastern Promises
3 stars
Armin Mueller-Stahl plays his character, a restaurateur and mob godfather, as the warm host who visits each table to ensure his borscht suits patrons’ tastes. But if you look carefully, the manner seems too studied and the eyes too intense. His offer to interpret the Russian-language diary of a dead 14-year-old girl doesn’t stem from altruism.
Rated R

In the Valley of Elah
3 stars
Former MP Hank (Tommy Lee Jones, pictured with Susan Sarandon) left the Army years ago, but he still shines his shoes each day v. ELAH
and makes up his motel-room bed with hospital corners. Yet Jones lets the cracks show right away. Upon hearing that his soldier son has returned to the U.S. from Iraq and promptly gone AWOL, he leaves a message on the son’s cell phone that seems a bit too polite. Assuming the young man is on a well-earned bender, Hank doesn’t admonish him for failing to contact his family. There’s love in this gesture but also a hint of emotional distance.
Rated R

3 1/2 stars
Shia LaBeouf is one of today’s most promising young stars. So why not see him (and a bunch of alien robots) in Imax?
Rated PG-13

September 27, 2007
Bear rescue 'bearly' without puns

It's been, oh, at least two weeks since local TV news has had a good bear story out of Tahoe. (It's too early for rampaging deer stories; those are in November, in time for sweeps.)

But Channel 3 this morning aired a report (check it out above) on the amazing rescue of a bear stuck on a bridge in Tahoe.

Equally as amazing is that Walt Gray and Deirdre Fitzpatrick resisted temptation and didn't resort to too-cute bear puns to give the story added zest. To their credit, Walt and Deirdre kept a slightly ironic tone throughout the report, just as I'm trying mightily not to say that I could bearly wait to blog on this without paws. Har.

Yeah, I'm a hack writer. But you already knew that.

September 26, 2007
'Vivien' clarifies

I recently reported here that the Sacramento Theatre Company has added a production of Rick Foster’s “Vivien” starring Janis Stevens to its Stage Two season, Dec. 12-Jan. 6.

While I stated the production was a “perennial” in Sacramento, Stevens has charmingly written to say that this will really only be the second local production in Sacramento.

“It has only been produced once before in Sacramento: at California Stage in the 2000 season, when it ran for two weeks in May and was then extended, after I returned from Maine that summer, for another six weeks in the same venue.”

(There have been, however, several other Northern California productions, including at the San Francisco Magic Theatre in 2001 and a production at the Mendocino Theatre Company in 2002.)

The production here will be directed by Peter Sander, Stevens’ long-time acting coach, who says she was instrumental in the production receiving its 2006 Drama Desk nomination.

Stevens also writes: “We are taking the show to the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. I will fly out to NYC the Sunday that I close 'Vivien' at STC’s Stage 2...and start rehearsing in Philadelphia on Jan. 8 for a preview on the 15th and official opening on the 17th. It will run at the Walnut Street through Feb. 3.”

Stevens says she and Sander also had a successful run of “Vivien” at Lost Nation Theatre in Montpelier, Vt., earlier this year and they’ve been asked back in May of 2008 to do Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie.”

September 26, 2007
Happy anniversary!


Thirty years of fashion (and now fame) is being marked Thursday at Brown House clothing store in Loehmann's Plaza.

Owner Doris Pittell (pictured) is planning a big celebration. I asked her to send me a little history lesson about her boutique. Here's what she says in an e-mail:

"It's grown from humble beginnings in a 'brown house' in South Land Park, selling silk blouses and tennis outfits out of a small den, to a full-service store on Fair Oaks Boulevard selling the latest that fashion in America has to offer."

Doris began buying samples from showrooms in Los Angeles, piling them
in a car and driving back to Sacramento. Now she's such a fashion diva, she jets to New York to check out the latest trends on the runway.

Her store's mantra? "When you want something a little nicer."

I've been in Brown House numerous times and know that Doris has one of the most loyal clienteles in the area. The fashions cover everything from sportswear, daytime (playtime!) to after five.

If you have a chance to stop by Thursday, put your name in a hat for a drawing to win a holiday jacket from Canvasbacks.

And be sure to give Doris a big hug. She deserves it!

September 25, 2007
'Dancing' with style

111108b.jpgI said to myself Monday that I didn't know if I could commit to another season of "Dancing With the Stars."

Would I actually have the time? Could I watch, knowing new mom Samantha Harris would be on maternity leave, leaving her co-hosting job up in the air? Do I really want to see Wayne Newton, er, dance?

Well, at 8 p.m. on the dot, there I was, perched on the couch, wishing I looked good in sequins as the six women contestants competed in either the fox trot or the cha cha. The six men perform tonight.

(Season 2 winner Drew Lachay had stepped in as co-host in Samantha's absence and appeared stiff, which is soooo unlike him.)

Anyway, as usual, the early competition is often painful because the stars are figuring out that this is not exactly the twist. Sometimes they don't click with their professional partners, sometimes they whine (a lot!) and, well, sometimes they simply can't put one foot in front of the other without tripping.

But I was pleasantly surprised by the hoofing capabilities - and the grace - of two of the female stars, Jane Seymour, who at 56 is the oldest female competitor, and a woman they called the "Pride of Provo," Marie Osmond, who turns 48 next month.

Jane and her dance partner, Tony Dovolani (in the ABC photo above) glided in their fox trot - she in a lovely pink chiffon dress with flowing curls, he in a classic tuxedo.

And, while Jane and Tony didn't earn quite as many judges' points as former Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan and her partner, newcomer Mark Ballas, they held their own and I'm rooting for Jane to steal the competition.

That way, there will be more fancy outfits for me to drool over, especially after I found out from former "Stars" competitor Lisa Rinna during an interview before the Emmys that Lisa had pretty much total say in what she wore.

Of course, tonight I'll be watching two-time professional winner Cheryl Burke attempt to lead Vegas superstar Wayne Newton across the floor. At age 65, he'll probably be the sentimental favorite. (Think George Hamilton several seasons ago.)

Nevertheless, let's keep Jane on her feet!

September 25, 2007
They've got a date!

I just got word this morning that the local R.A.W. Design charity fashion show that I've been blogging about not only has a new date - Friday, Oct. 5 - but a new venue.

The event, which had been scheduled for this past Saturday in Cesar Chavez Park in downtown Sacramento, was postponed because of bad weather. Wet fashions are anything but fashionable.

So show organizer Alexis Weber e-mailed me today to say the show will be held at the Sacramento State Alumni Center, 6000 J St. The time remains the same, from 7 to 10 p.m. And Alexis says that if you have already purchased tickets, just hold on to them because they will be honored.

"Thanks for everyone's patience," she writes. "I can assure you that this is a show you don't want to miss out on."

Showcased will be the fashions of five local designers - Shenita Barnes (HyhKlas), Jennifer Schmidt (JennyAngel Co.), Katrina Jones (KJ Diamonds), Kristina York (Berkeley BrownE) and Alicia Brogle (Vanity).

Tickets can be purchased online for $12 here. Or, they'll be $18 the day of the show. A portion of the proceeds will go to Oakland's Children's Hospital.

September 25, 2007
Sactown and Prosper: Looking good

Two of Sacramento's monthly/bi-monthly magazines have won Ozzie Awards, recognition for top magazine design by a panel of experts put together by the industry publication, Folio magazine.

Sactown won the "gold" award for "New Magazine Design" for its April/May edition, beating out Heal (a cancer survivors' publication) and AtHome in Fairfield County (a Connecticut lifestyle mag).

And Prosper won the "gold" for "Redesign" for its June edition.

Click here for a complete list of winners.

September 25, 2007
Own a Schornack


You never know what you're going to find in used furniture stores.

When the weekend edition of "Good Day Sacramento" sent Lori Wallace to an Elk Grove consignment store just to rummage around (hey, they've got a lot of time to fill on that show), the intrepid reporter stumbled upon quite a find - a used table (plus six chairs) from a Sacramento "celebrity" - a.k.a. a local TV news anchor.

View the clip here.

Because "GDS" thrives on wackiness, it did a quiz to choose which anchor ditched traded in the table: Channel 3's Walt Gray, "GDS's" Marianne McClary or News10's Dale Schornack?

The answer was ... Schornack.

(Just wondering: Are times so hard at News10 that the main anchor has to sell off his furniture?)

Anyway, Schornack was actually nice enough to answer my e-mail to confirm that the table was indeed his.

"I wish I had some good stories to go with the table, maybe it would sell faster," Schornack writes. "We actually have some gawdy stuff they refused to take (white couches, only used by the dog)."

If you want an original Schornack, the table and chairs can be yours for $395.

September 24, 2007
Ratings for 'The War' are in: It's a hit


Despite going up against new prime-time programming, the first night - Sunday - of Ken Burns' nearly 15-hour documentary, "The War" (featuring many Sacramentans), earned very good ratings ... but below those of his 1990 PBS documentary, "The Civil War."

"The War" was seen by 15.5 million viewers. Plus, there was a repeat airing that drew additional viewers.

“The War” airs this week through Wednesday, then next Sunday through Oct. 2.

Read more here.

Oh, and don't worry: We're not going to do a spoiler here and tell you wins.

September 24, 2007
Update on 'Mongolia' filmmaker

You might recall that, a few months ago, we reported on a local young filmmaker, Chris Rufo, who, through some grit and pluck, completed a documentary about Mongolia and is close to getting it sold to National Geographic and the Documentary Channel.

Rufo checked in to say he's got a new project - "We've already raised $80,000 in investor capital," he says - about a Muslim baseball team in the Gobi desert.

September 24, 2007
Water and local radio still don't mix


Uh oh. Here we are again with another popular morning radio show pulling a stunt involving ... water.

No worries. No loss of life - Arnie States just lost his dignity. As if the rotund, Curly-esque comedian on 98 Rock's top-rated morning show "Rob, Arnie and Dawn" really cares about what you think.

Here's what went down in the studio last week:

The gang, which has a video camera in the studio, puts some of its more visual gags on its Internet site for the viewing pleasure of its audience. So, apparently, Arnie was having some ear problems and showed Rob and Dawn how he cleans out his ears without a docter's help.

The ewww factor got ratcheted up a notch when Arnie took his shirt off (Dude, you got some serious moobs there) and tilted his head into a bowl. Then he sprayed water from a bottle into the ear canal and showed off the wax that came out.

Dawn's reaction: "This is really lame."

Truer words were never spoken.

Rob, however, had the best line: "You know, there's a history of radio shows and water interacting in a bad way."

View the video - at your own discretion - here.


September 24, 2007
Popular Sac blogger logs off

Beckler, the popular local blogger who goes by the name Heckasac, is pulling away from the keyboard and quitting her gig.

Here's her going-away post.

Then again, close Beckler watchers predict she'll be back. Stay tuned.

September 21, 2007
Fashion show shift

Cesar Chavez Park in downtown Sacramento will NOT be the setting for Saturday's R.A.W. Design charity fashion show featuring five local up-and-coming designers. (If this rings a bell, I blogged about this show earlier this week.)

Anyway, show organizer Alexis Weber called me today to say the threat of rain forced a date change - and a change of venue.

The five designers, who I know put a lot of work into their creations, certainly don't want raindrops falling on their heads - or their fashions. And Alexis didn't want to cancel completely and disappoint the folks at Oakland's Children's Hospital, with part of the proceeds from the show to go to them.

The new date is Saturday, Oct. 5. Alexis, who also owns R.A.W. Modeling, says she'll share more as soon as other details are worked out.
Stay tuned to 21Q for updates.

The five designers and their lines: Shenita Barnes (HyhKlas), Jennifer Schmidt (JennyAngel Co.), Katrina Jones (KJ Diamonds), Kristina York (Berkeley BrownE) and Alicia Brogle (Vanity).

September 21, 2007
'Sacramento Bee finally gets recognition'

Sacramento Bee/Michael Allen Jones

During a stop in San Francisco this week to promote his forthcoming animated film "Bee Movie," Jerry Seinfeld became quite animated himself after I told him where I was from.

"The Sacramento Bee!" Seinfeld exclaimed. "Finally! This (movie) has got to be the headline on the front page of the The Sacramento Bee. ... This is a big story: 'Sacramento Bee finally gets recognition' - that should be the headline."

Of course, we at 21Q have no power over headlines on The Bee's front page. But we do write headlines for our blog items. So for this item, I'll consider Seinfeld a guest editor.

He had much more to say, of course. You can check out my story on Seinfeld and "Bee Movie" in The Bee's Ticket+section on Sunday, Oct. 28. The film opens Nov. 2.

September 21, 2007
Happy birthday, Serendipity!

MAJ-FASHION.jpgIt's five candles to blow out on the giant cupcake at Sacramento's own Serendipity Boutique. That's right. Five years open, five years of fab fashions!

But they're not resting on their laurels over there. Even as I post this blog, owner Barbara Lym is walking the walk in New York City, no doubt looking for the hottest fashion trends for next spring. What will she return with?

Anyway, I love a birthday party (as long as it's not my own). And the cherry on top of this cake: 10 percent off everything in Serendipity today and Saturday. Great way to get a jumpstart on your fall wardrobe.

More details: Serendipity is at 5362 H St. (next to Selland's Market). The store is open until 6 tonight, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

* On a hair-raising note: Saturday night is the second semi-final round of something called Hair Games 2007, which features 12 of Sacramento's top salons in a competitive fundraiser to coif the best style - and to raise funds for the Active 20-30 Club, which, in turn, will turn the proceeds over to the Sacramento Children's Fund.

This round of the styling competition kicks off at 9:30 p.m. at the Empire Events Center, 1417 R St. It's being coordinated by Jo Ann Baumert, owner of Bella Toscana Salon. Each participating salon plunked down $300 to enter, plus they're selling 20 event tickets and ponying up a prize basket at their individual salons.

Tickets are $10 (admits two people) and can be purchased at any of the 12 salons: Frumoasa Salon & Spa, GS Hair, Jerry Lee Beauty College, Salon 360, Enchante Grand Salon, Pearl Salon, Beauty Secrets Salon & Spa, Hair Phases International, Space 07, Hair Gone Wild, Chet TJ and Andrea Avilla and Erin Marquez from Carmichael.

The final two rounds will be at the same time, same place next Saturday (Sept. 29) and Oct. 6, with the grand finale on Oct. 20.

What will the winning salon receive? A prize valued at $2,500, five tickets to the 2008 Matrix Destination Event in Viva Las Vegas. And, of course, bragging rights to the best style in town!

September 20, 2007
Rock Band makes local 'tour stop'

So, my friend Kortnee is obsessed with Guitar Hero - the video game that lets you act like a pinwheelin' guitar god, Dance Dance Revolution-style.

Now, a new version of the game is on its way. Rock Band, as the name suggests, lets you take on everything from bass and drums to guitar and vocals. So awesome.

But hold on to that drum solo - Rock Band will be in stores in November. The good news is, however, that you can preview it today through Sunday.

MTV Games, Harmonix and EA are bringing the Rock Band Tour to Sacramento. Check it out today until 6 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. at Sac State's (6000 J St.) Serna Plaza. Or on Saturday from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., visit the Rhythm and Ribs Fest in the Raley Field parking lot (400 Ballpark Drive, West Sacramento).

And, if you're brave enough to try the game on a "Rock Off" main stage, you can compete for the chance to win a trip to New York and hang out with a "real band." No word on who this quote-unquote real band is, but you'll also have an opportunity to show your stuff on MTV's "TRL" video show, so who really cares, right?

Happy rocking!

September 20, 2007
Free movies! (And Carla Meyer's Picks!)


This week's edition of Carla Meyer's Movie Picks, which runs every Thursday afternoon here at 21Q, will start with films you don't even have to pay to see. That's because:

Tonight, the Sacramento Drive-In (9616 Oates Drive, off Bradshaw) will thank customers for their patronage over the summer by showing "E.T." (pictured above), "Grease" and "Wayne's World" at no charge.

The "Grease" part is especially exciting, since every musical can become a sing-along within the comfort of one's own vehicle.

Gates open at 6:45 and movies start at 7:45.

Meanwhile, here are my other picks for this weekend, culled from films that opened in recent weeks. (This list also appears in Friday's Weekend Ticket; apologies to those who see that list for my inclusion of "Interview," which is no longer playing in Sacramento. I was sure it was going to stick around, but alas, it did not.)

The Bourne Ultimatum
4 stars
The action and exposition tend to leave the viewer half a step behind, a wonderful place to be when a movie subsequently allows you to catch up, as this film does.
Rated PG-13

3:10 to Yuma
3 1/2 stars
A sense of desperation pervades not just struggling rancher Dan Evans’ (Christian Bale) existence, but the whole landscape. Director James Mangold eschews grand, sweeping shots for a grittier cinematic West where danger, as manifested in surprising bursts of violence, seems to wait around every corner.
Rated R

3 1/2 stars
The Imax version of this summer action film, which was already rather exciting in non-Imax form, hits the Esquire theater Friday.
Rated PG-13

September 20, 2007
Shopping for a cause

Retail Sales.jpgMacy's is gearing up for its annual Community Shopping Day, on Friday, Sept. 28. If you've never been, then plan to take the day off because you'll drop after you shop!

This year's theme is "Fashion and Compassion," with more than 65 local nonprofit organizations benefiting from the event, including the Sacramento Philharmonic League. The groups will receive proceeds from sales of the $10 shopping-day tickets, which can be purchased at Macy's.

And, of course, buying a ticket is tax-deductible.

So what else is in it for you, the shoppers? Well, you'll get 10 percent to 20 percent off regular, sale and clearance-priced merchandise. And, hey, that includes designer fashions!

Plus, there will be live entertainment, food sampling, cooking demos and mini makeovers.

I'm getting this info out early because if you buy your $10 shopping ticket by Sept. 27, you can pre-select the items you can't live without. You can then pick up your goodies from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. the day of the event or up to 10 days afterward.

Just FYI: The Sacramento Philharmonic's opening concert of the season, "Michael's 50th With Mahler's 5," debuts Saturday, Oct. 13.

September 20, 2007
Van Halen tickets go on sale Saturday

Music Van Halen.jpgYeah, we're runnin' a little bit hot tonight
I can barely see the road from the heat comin' off
You know what I'm sayin'
Ahh, I reach down....

OK, maybe I better stop right there - but now that I've got "Panama" stuck in your head (and mine), no better time than to tell you that tickets for the Nov. 27 Van Halen show at Arco Arena are going on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Yeah, I know - finally.

Just in case you weren't aware of this earth-shattering concert news, Van Halen is reuniting this year for a massive tour featuring original lead singer David Lee Roth and guitarist Eddie Van Halen on the same stage. Question is - will their respective egos implode and blast the whole thing to smithereens before the tour even takes off? Guess only time will tell.

Anyway, all this nostalgic craziness will set you back between $47.25-$147.25; just point your browser to to get in on this reunion frenzy.

September 20, 2007
Reading the other blogs

I read the other media blogs in Sac so you don't have to....


* Stefanie Cruz, on "Good Day Sacramento's" blog, sheepishly admits to triteness in reporting the latest O.J. Simpson saga.

But you can also detect a measure of pride that late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel mocked "GDS" and other unimaginative local TV news anchors for falling back on the old "squeezing the Juice" line.

Here's the link to Kimmel.

* Great rant recently by News10's Dan Adams, about the slow service at P.F. Chang's.


Is it too much to ask that, when you're on your lunch break, you can get served in a restaurant in a half hour or less? I think not. Unless, apparently, you're eating at PF Changs in downtown Sacramento.

To celebrate the new job that our talented assignment manager, Jennifer Watts, just got (at ABC News in NY), five of us from the station went to PF Changs for lunch ... Jennifer Smith, Marcey Brightwell, Jenn Watts, photojournalist Brandon Atchison, and I. We got there at 11:50 ... the place only half full. We ordered right away ... and then waited ... and then waited ... and then waited ... and then waited some more. We asked what was going on with our order. Finally, at 12:50, Marcey and I had to go on a story, just as the food arrived. The manager said he was sorry and the meal was on him. What meal? We left unfed.

Come on PF Changs, get your act together. It's too late for me ... I won't go to your restaurant again ... at least not the one in Sacramento. By the way, I did finally get lunch ... a PayDay candy bar I bought out of the station's vending machine. Sheesh!

* The always-provocative blog skewers the alt-weekly Sacramento News & Review for its "coverage" of an anti-war rally.

Take heart, SN&R. The Bee is routinely skewered (and occasionally praised) by those snarky Ragsters.

* Zach Melchiori, formerly one of Channel 13's Internet czars, has taken his tech blog to Prosper magazine, Zach's new employer.

September 19, 2007
Bob Dylan shills for 21Q

dylan ad hawk

OK, not really. But be sure to turn to Page 3 of Thursday's Scene section in The Bee for a "very special" Ad Hawk feature.

Bob Dylan will tell you to read our beloved blog.

Actually, it's a cool Internet viral ad publicizing Bob's new greatest-hits compilation, which we've tinkered with for our own self-promotion purposes. See, Columbia Records unleashed its techies to make it so users could personalize messages on the cards that Dylan holds up (in a scene from his famous documentary, "Don't Look Back").

Want to do your own message for friends - or enemies? Go here.

September 19, 2007
Movie night on Del Paso Boulevard

A friend and I were driving down Del Paso Boulevard the other day, noting all the spruced-up buildings and cute new shops that seem to be opening up, and we agreed that, maybe this time around, the district really is enjoying something of a resurgence.

More proof: Movies on a Big Screen, the ongoing film festival/micro-cinema collective, is staging a movie night at the Artisan Theater, 1901 Del Paso Blvd.

This Saturday night, check out two films, "From a Silk Cocoon" and "Homecoming". The former, directed by Sacramentan Satsuki Ina, is about what happens to a family when it discovers a small metal box containing family secrets.

The latter, directed by Adam Hauck and George Gawood, is a documentary about the lives of 15 men and women who grew up in both public and private orphanages. Hauck and Gawood, by the way, are also of Sacto -they now live in SoCal - and they'll both be on hand for a Q&A.

The evening starts at 5 p.m. and admission is $15 - that includes some wine (if you're 21 or over, of course) - and net proceeds wll go to the Capitol Church Clothes for Career Project.

For more info, visit the Movies on a Big Screen MySpace page.

And, for more details on all the good stuff happening on The Boulevard, visit the Del Paso Boulevard Partnership site.

September 19, 2007
More free theater to come

The third annual Free Night of Theater returns in October, and 25 Sacramento-area theaters will be participating for a second year.

Here's how it'll work: On and/or around Thursday, Oct. 18, theatergoers across the country will be able to attend free performances presented by more than 600 theaters in some 50 cities coast to coast.

Another important (time) and date to remember: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, , when the free ticket sign-up begins (and likely ends soon thereafter, because tickets go quickly) online.

For more information, click here.

The area theater companies involved include the B Street Theatre, Beyond the Proscenium, Big Idea Theatre, California Musical Theatre-Broadway Series, Capital Stage, Celebration Arts, Chautauqua Playhouse, City Theatre, Davis Musical Theatre, Foothill Theatre Company, River City Theatre Company, River Stage, SacActors.Com, Sacramento Theatre Company and the Woodland Opera House.

Other cities taking part include Atlanta, Austin, Texas, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Philadelphia; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle/Greater Puget Sound, and Washington, D.C.

The Free Night will be produced statewide in Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

The idea is to expose people to theater, and surveys of audience members who attended Free Night performances in 2006 showed that two out of three Free Night audience members attended a theater that they had never been to before, and 32 percent of them returned within six months.

The program will be presented in Sacramento by the League of Sacramento Theatres, SARTA and Theatre Bay Area.

September 19, 2007
Fashion show on Saturday

Cesar Chavez Park in downtown Sacramento will be the setting for Saturday's R.A.W. Design charity fashion show featuring five - count 'em - five local up-and-coming designers.

Their names and their lines: Shenita Barnes (HyhKlas), Jennifer Schmidt (JennyAngel Co.), Katrina Jones (KJ Diamonds), Kristina York (Berkeley BrownE) and Alicia Brogle (Vanity).

The event starts at 7 p.m. (with the actual show at 8), but if I were you, I'd get there earlier because you'll have a chance to mix and mingle with the designers. A refreshment bar will be set up, hosted by Smart Water, Vitamin Water and Go Girl energy drink.

And, in true fashion-show fashion, the first 250 attendees will receive gift bags. Tucked inside? Something special from each of the designers, gift certificates from local boutiques, and salon coupons and samples.

What will you see on the runway? Well, according to organizer Alexis Weber, who also owns R.A.W. Modeling (which is new to us and is sponsoring the show), it's an opportunity "to showcase that Sacramento has mainstream fashion that we can all embrace."

"We don't have to go to the big cities (read: San Francisco) to get high-end tastes in clothing," Alexis says.

Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at the "red carpet" entrance, which will be set up in the park. And, if you're looking for yet another reason to attend, get this: Part of the proceeds from the fashion show will go to Oakland's Children's Hospital.

To find out more about the show and the R.A.W. Modeling agency, click here.

September 18, 2007
Williams vs. KFBK: Getting uglier

It's been more than a year since Mark Williams, the conservative nighttime radio talk show host, was fired from KFBK (1530 AM) .

And for months, Williams has declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding his ouster.

But now, on his blog, Williams writes about seeking a six-figure settlement from KFBK and its parent company, Clear Channel.

KFBK general manager Jeff Holden, target of the criticism in Williams' blog posting, declined to comment on the matter for legal reasons.

September 18, 2007
WEAVE wants you

COMPLEMENTX3.JPGIf you're a local stylist or salon owner who's got an itch to give back, WEAVE has an opportunity for you.

The organization, which assists victims of domestic violence, is inviting local salons to get involved in Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is October. WEAVE seeks donations of gift certificates for haircuts and colors, waxing, facials, pedicures, manicures, massage and makeup consultations.

If it's a beauty service, they'll take it!

The donations, which will be accepted through Friday, can be dropped off or mailed to WEAVE at 1900 K St. (Sacramento, 95811; attention Angela D'Arcy). The gift certificates will be passed out to survivors throughout October.

Also, salons and spas have the chance to partner long-term with WEAVE in education and outreach programs designed to spot signs of abuse and assist victims in their recovery process. For more information: (916) 448-2321.

* An unrelated fashion note: The Saints Peter & Paul Ladies Guild in Rocklin is selling tickets for its annual luncheon and fashion show, which will be held at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 13 in the church social hall, 4450 Granite Drive. The tickets are $25 each and are available by calling (916) 408-5085.

September 18, 2007
Richard Thompson at the 24th Street Theatre

Richard Thompson.JPG OK, it's Tuesday and I'm already wishing it were Saturday, but here's a little something to boost my spirits and hopefully yours, too - news of a Richard Thompson show, Dec. 5 at the 24th Street Theatre.

Do I even need to tell you how cool this is? I mean, you already know how awesome it is that Thompson, who normally performs at places like the Crest (or bigger) is playing a more intimate gig, right? And, of course you know how important, influential and just plain good Thompson's work is considered, right?

The former Fairport Convention singer-songwriter, after all, is responsible for - along with now ex-wife Linda Thompson - one of the best break-up records ever, 1982's "Shoot Out the Lights."

But did you know that Thompson also does a mean take on the Britney Spears hit "Oops! ... I Did it Again"? And by "mean," I'm not talking mean-spirited but more "Oh, wow, maybe that really is a good song."

The details: Tickets ($32.50 advance, $35 door) are on sale Oct. 1 at R5 Records and The Beat or through

September 17, 2007
The 'Flawed Estate'

A few months ago, I wrote in The Bee about the portrayal of journalists in movies. Inspired by "A Mighty Heart," I contrasted that film's depiction of journalists as resourceful and intelligent with most films' portrayals of news folks as ethically challenged and/or likely to sleep with their sources.


A quick glance at current films shows that journalism remains the go-to profession for screenwriters out to create morally murky characters. In "Interview," which I mentioned in July but which just reached Sacramento, a political reporter's (Steve Buscemi) transgressions while interviewing a starlet (Sienna Miller) start with being unprepared and then escalate.

In "The Hunting Party," opening Friday, a disgraced television correspondent played by Richard Gere oversteps journalistic bounds in about a hundred ways. But the worst has to be Jodie Foster (pictured above) in "The Brave One."

Foster's character guns down criminals, then shows up, microphone in hand, to interview a detective (Terrence Howard). At least her character is more radio host than reporter, which is some comfort.

September 17, 2007
The 'Inside' scoop

photo_deborah.jpgDeborah Norville isn't letting any red carpet fibers stick to her stilettos after the Emmy Awards, which she covered in L.A. Sunday night for "Inside Edition."

She was in Sacramento today promoting "Inside," which she's anchored for almost 12 years and which airs at 7:30 weeknights on Channel 10. Tonight's show? Her Emmy wrap-up.

I caught up with Deborah by phone before she headed back east. (She lives in New York City). We exchanged red carpet verbage. You know, likes and dislikes. Who wowed. Who didn't. Of course, because I wasn't actually in Hollywood, her take on the scene was different from mine. (See my blogs from Sunday night, below.)

"It’s interesting to see everything from the perspective of being on the sidelines," she says. "What you see at home is very structured and polished. You don’t see the chaos in between. And I think sometimes we’re (networks) remiss in not showing that."

"Inside Edition" had two cameras on the carpet, so the stars were usually within reach of at least one interviewer. Deborah says she also keeps her eyes on the stars' publicists, who might be pushing two celebs at you at once - someone viewers recognize and someone they might not.

"We try to be as accommodating as possible, but we only have a finite amount of time to tape," Deborah says. "Cable TV, however, with two hours can end up talking to everyone, including the limo driver."

We also compared fashion notes, and we both agreed that "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria was, well, hot!

"She looked spectacular, and she's no bigger than a pencil," Deborah says. "Eva is also very kind and sweet."

Deborah added that she didn't think "Project Runway" host and supermodel Heidi Klum looked like, er, Heidi Klum.

"There's a softness about her that makes her so appealing across the board. She's both sexy and sweet," she says. "But last night, her makeup artist didn’t do her a favor with the red lips and heavily drawn eyes."

Another trend neither of us liked was long hair that was coifed to look short. Think Heidi and Ellen Pompeo. Waaay too much of a time commitment.

Of course, Deborah got to see the scads of jewelry up close and personal, too, and declared it all to be "unbelieveable." And, yes, it was pretty toasty on the carpet, with a number of publicists looking for tissues to wipe their clients' brows.

Interesting programming note: On Tuesday night's "Inside Edition," the show will profile Estelle Rees-Arroyo who, at age 90, is attending Sacramento State. Bee staff writer Cynthia Hubert 's story appeared in The Bee last week. To read it, click here.

Next up for Deborah? She'll be interviewing presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton Tuesday morning in Washington, D.C.

September 17, 2007
Pledge drive goes visual


We know you love public-radio pledge drives as much as I do, so you'll be interested to know that not only can you hear the likes of KXJZ's Jeffrey Callison and Donna Apidone (pictured) begging asking for donations, but now, you can see them, too, on a fuzzy Web cam mounted in the studio.

Capital Public Radio wags are calling it "Fundervision."

Hey, things get pretty weird during pledge time.

Why don't you call and donate so that they can get back to their real jobs?

Here's the link.

September 16, 2007
Emmy Fashions: Postscript

EvaLongoria.jpgOK, now that the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards show is almost history, what are my final fashion thoughts?

Well, I thought Katherine Heigl was a winner all around. In a flowing white Zac Posen gown, she radiated - much like Grace Kelly. I loved the red lips, which are a major beauty trend for fall.

Oh, and did I mention she also won best supporting actress for “Grey’s Anatomy?"

Clearly, though, my favorite fashionista was "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria (pictured here in an Associated Press photograph). I don't know if she was glowing because of her sparkly gold cocktail dress - with an open back - or because she's still basking in the glow of being a newlywed.

Smart choice, too. The low-cut back made for a more comfortable evening in the heat.

Lastly, I couldn't be happier to see a no-plastic-surgery-allowed star like Sally Field being "loved" again by audiences. Her strapless Valentino gown was simple yet elegant.

And, hey, isn't it really cool that she's being honored for great acting, too, on "Brothers & Sisters?"

Well, we won't have this chat again until early next year, when the awards season gets nutsy with the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild and, of course, the Oscars.

Until then, I'm sticking with my sweat pants. Maybe pink ones!

September 16, 2007
Emmy Fashions: ... And on with the show!

As the red carpet rolls up and the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards broadcast gets started, I want to remind fashion fans that, of course, I'll have plenty of pics from tonight's red carpet in Monday's Scene section.

So, what's the overall feeling?

It was strapless, strapless, strapless!

Many stars turned their fashion sights on the recently wrapped New York Fashion Week to find their ensembles.

Emmys-Arrivals(2).jpg Loved that actress Glenn Close (pictured left, in an Associated Press photo) said she hated the dreaded, "Who are you wearing?" question. "It always sounds like someone's clinging to me!"

My favorite Regis Philbin fill-in-host Neil Patrick Harris quipped about his black-on-black-on-black Prada suit: "Who doesn't want to be a human sauna?"

And, this advice from "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman (also pretty in pink), who mentioned some tips from her book (written with a best friend) about keeping romance going: "If you want to get lucky, fix something!"

September 16, 2007
Emmy Fashions: Heidi ho! ...

I'm soooo ready for Season 4 of "Project Runway" to get going (later this year), so it was fun to see Heidi Klum on the red carpet (with hubby Seal). Even though I thought her shoes didn't quite match her raspberry-red dress.

If her show were already on, it would be "auf Wiedersehen" to that.

"Grey's Anatomy" star Ellen Pompeo informed us she has both a fiance - and a boyfriend! Don't know much about the husband-to-be, but the beau is none other than "PR" judge Michael Kors, who designed her gown for the Emmys. I wasn't blown away, though, with the hair.

Loved "Brothers & Sisters" star Rachel Griffiths giving Joey Fatone her best Welsh accent. I'm really pulling for this cast to win something - anything - tonight.

Oh, and let's not forget, in the category of reality TV, both "PR" and my four-month-long project, "American Idol," are both nominated. And there was Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson chatting it up right before the show started. Simon, of course, was in full, unbuttoned-shirt mode doing his best to show support for Emmy host Ryan.

His advice? "Don't talk a lot." Natch! Added Randy: "We love him no matter what."

Last, I loved "Law & Order: SVU" star Mariska Hargitay's cute, cute bob 'do (pictured left, in an Associated Press photograph).

In fact, I like the hairdos better than a lot of the gowns tonight.

Like, what the heck happened to lovely and gracious Helen Mirren? The stylist had to have jumped ship since the Academy Awards.

A fitting wrap to the red carpet? Kanye West's words of wisdom to perennial wardrobe misfit Britney Spears (and a nod to his latest CD): "Go buy a graduation."

Cross your fashion fingers Miss Brit doesn't show up tonight!

Now, on with the show!

September 16, 2007
Emmy Fashions: From A to D Listers

GRIFFIN_WOZNIAK.jpg For the life of me, I can't figure out why Kathy Griffin, and a very sweaty Steve Wozniak (pictured left, in an Associated Press photograph), were everywhere - or anywhere - on the red carpet. Yack, yack, yack. She claims to be back on the A list, but I don't know....

Definitely never leaving the A list, "Desperate Housewives" star Marcia Cross was dripping in turqoise and talking about "twos," as in her twins, who are now six months old.

Emmys-Arrivals(3).jpg"Ugly Betty" star Vanessa Williams (pictured right), who floated in on her foam green Kevin Hall feathered dress (it really was very pretty), also talked about being a mom, noting how the paparazzi avoids focusing on her and her four kids.

When asked about her beauty routine, Vanessa replied, "The more fit I am, the better I feel."

Meanwhile, Joey Fatone made a slight misstep, calling Charlie Sheen's show "Three and a Half Men" instead of the correct "Two and a Half Men." But, really, who's counting?

And remember the whole Mary-Louise Parker/snake photo that raised so many eyebrows? When E! asked her about getting over her fear of the slithery reptile, she quipped, "I just put it around me and it squeezed me."

Ugh! It still creeps me out!

September 16, 2007
Emmy Fashions: Bring it!


Talk-show host Ellen Degeneres showed up with partner Portia de Rossi (both pictured here in an Associated Press photograph) and seemed super unhappy with the hot lights. She tried to rally, though. The twosome said they helped each other pick out their outfits. Ellen quipped, "Just ask us questions."

After the two left the stage, Juliana Rancic accidentally stepped on Portia's designer gown - and ripped it! Oops!

Meanwhile, loved Stephen Colbert, who said his tie was "very Mel Gibson, living dangerously."

Stephen, always the consummate good-humor guy, said he was at the Emmys to provide "cutting-edge information, so bring it!"

September 16, 2007
Emmy Fashions: TMI

Mack_Selleck_daughter.jpgBack to the guys: We're starting to see some of the younger guys (read: cast of "Heroes") wearing tuxes with ties, but veteran stars like Tom Selleck (pictured here in an Associated Press photograph), arriving with wife Jillie Mack, right, and daughter Hannah Selleck, hit the red carpet in traditional bow tie.

Nominee Hugh Laurie also went old-school, looking elegant.

Emmys-Arrivals.jpgIn the too-much-information category, Jaime Pressly ("My Name is Earl," pictured right) revealed how she dropped her post-baby weight: "The cabbage soup detox." OK.

Still, loved the St. John Couture gown and Jimmy Choo sandals. I even liked this new coif. What a change from her TV do.

Speaking of Choos, the fancy footwear was on many, many well-heeled feet. But, of course!

September 16, 2007
Emmy Fashions: Seeing red - carpet!

EmmysArrivals.jpg I'm "switch-hitting" as the red carpet coverage of tonight's Emmy Awards gets under way in L.A. I'm flipping between E! (with its "Stiletto Cam" - yes, you read that right) and the TV Guide Network, where Lisa Rinna (pictured left, in an Associated Press photograph) and Joey Fatone make their debut as hosts of the fashion parade.

(Snarky aside: Ryan Seacrest must be getting mega bucks to not only host a portion of E!'s red carpet but also to host Fox's actual broadcast in, oh, less than two hours!)

Speaking of Ryan, he is joined, as usual, by Juliana Rancic, who recently wed "Apprentice" winner Bill Rancic in Italy. (As a result, we hear lots about the nuptials!)

Two of the first stars to walk the walk included Eva Longoria ("Desperate Housewives") and nominee Debra Messing ("The Starter Wife"). I loved Eva's Kaufman Franco beaded cocktail-length dress. The designer also created the gown Eva wore to her wedding reception in July in France. "It reminds me of my pageant days back in Texas," Eva said.

And, leave it to Lisa not to hold back on questions. Hers for Eva? "How is sex with Tony (Parker)?"

"He's a fantastic lover!" Eva said. FYI: Tony didn't accompany Eva to the shindig because he was playing with the French national team in Europe.

All the fashion experts were oohing and ahhing over Debra's Ralph Lauren strapless. For me, she needed, well, more of a bosom to fill out the top of the gown. Although the bottom was a hit.

So far, guys are wearing tuxes with ties and sweltering under the heat and the lights. Former vice president Al Gore, who is in Hollywood to promote the new "Current TV" network, looked like he needed a roll of Bounty.

Loved Sarah Chalke's ("Scrubs") pinky-poo gown from designer Monique Lhuillier and Joey's Gucci tennis shoes. Why not? A guy's gotta be comfortable on the red carpet!

There was someone in a red dress that at first I couldn't make out. Turns out it was "Heroes'" Ali Larter. I thought she looked fab.

Stay with me because the hits - and misses - will keep coming!

September 14, 2007
Give me the boot!

5814-SAN-PROD.jpgI know it's not officially sweater weather - but it's getting here!

Nevertheless, I saw boots on every street corner of San Francisco's Union Square a few weeks ago. Heck, it was chilly enough for them.

But it's never too late to start inspecting your stash of UGGs. I know, either you're an UGGS fans or you're not. It's sort of like with CROCs. I am a diehard UGGS fan - maybe because I always have cold feet!

If you're in my fashion camp, you'll want to check out Serendipity boutique's UGG Australia trunk show Saturday - 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. - at the store, 5362 H St. (next to Selland's Market). For this particular show, customers will be able to order any style in stock.

Owner Barbara Lym is sure to have all the latest UGG trends, including the crochet boot (pictured), which is soooo comfortable.

Heck, I figure if it's below 90 degrees, you can break out the UGGs!

September 14, 2007
Countdown to the Emmys!

EMMYS-ARRIVALS.jpgOn Sunday, the Boston Red Sox will be hosting Game 3 of their series against the New York Yankees. Does it get any better than that?

Oh, and the Emmy Awards will be taking place in La-La Land!

I'm going to watch the first hour of the game with my son, whose 15th birthday is Sunday, then it's off to blog live as I go from bats and balls to evening gowns and stilettos!

That's OK. I like TV stars, and the red carpet is always full of surprises. It will be nice to see actors we haven't seen in a while, like Sally Field. (I love her show "Brothers & Sisters.")

And, I'm looking forward to seeing how Lisa Rinna and Joey Fatone handle their new duties as hosts of the TV Guide Network's red carpet coverage. I wrote about their debut in Wednesday Scene; click here to read my interview with Lisa.

She's got nerves of steel! Hope she's picked her gown by now. You know about those pesky alterations.

Last year's Emmys were several weeks earlier - in August - with stars like Debra Messing (pictured) sweltering under a blazing L.A. sun. This year, the event returns to its traditional September airing. Fox will cover the actual awards show (at 8 p.m.), getting its football coverage (49ers at the Rams) out of the way that morning.

Look for my postings on the red carpet here at 21Q starting at 6 p.m. - or whenever the first fashion faux pas occurs!

September 13, 2007
Ken Burns in Sacramento: The Crest premiere

Ken Burns 92054_52.JPG
(Photo credit: Cable Risdon, 2002)

Ladies and gentlemen, Ken has left the building.

In truth, Ken Burns doesn't leave town until Fridaymorning, after concluding tonight's �world premiere� of his documentary, �The War,� which features some Sacramentans. He�ll be in San Francisco for another �world premiere� Friday night.

But, since the judge finally signed the restraining order barring us from within 2,000 feet of Burns, we, alas, will not be blogging about him Friday. Kidding, just kidding.

Seriously, a large and appreciative crowd showed up at The Crest for the final installment (see the previous two postings below) of Burns� �Victory Tour� of Sacramento before the Sept. 23 start of his PBS epic. Many of the World War II vets and family members interviewed in the doc were in attendance, as well as a gaggle of PBS geeks who worship (and rightly so!) Burns.

We�ll give you the highlights. But first, about this �world premiere� thing:

Sacramento is actually the fourth city to have a �world premiere.� The other three cities Burns chose to feature in his epic � Luverne, Minn., Mobile, Ala., and Waterbury, Conn. � already had their �world premieres� earlier this month. On Sept. 7 in Luverne, the sellout crowd in the school gym gave him repeated standing ovations. On Sept. 8 in Mobile, 3,000 people showed up to hear him at a local college. And on Sept. 10 in Waterbury, the town held a parade for Burns.

Here in Sac, Burns was treated like the public-television rock star he has become. And they gave him a standing ovation after the 81-minute clip concluded.

Congresswoman Doris Matsui, who was also there, said, �Ken Burns, you�re an inspiration to all of us.�

David Hosley, general manager of KVIE, which sponsored the showing, said Burns �defines what public television is.�

It all sounded very pious, but Burns showed a sense of humor to deflate any pomposity. Just before introducing the preview of the 14-hour film, he joked, �Filmmakers hate to show clips. So I�ve told the ushers to lock the doors. You�ll be out by 10 o�clock tomorrow morning, if we take no bathroom breaks.�

Hosley moderated a Q&A afterward, and Burns graciously answered the same questions he�d been asked since 7:30 this morning, when he went on local TV and radio talk shows. All told, he made seven appearances in 14 hours and still seemed ready to talk even after Hosley wrapped things up.

Someone asked Burns, best known for �The Civil War� and now �The War,� what his next documentary will be about. He smiled and said it will be a look at the history of America�s national parks.

�Nobody dies,� he quips. �It�s soooo nice.�

September 13, 2007
Carla Meyer's Movie Picks


Wondering which movie to see this weekend?

Every week in Friday's Weekend Ticket section, I review new movies and I recommend previously released films. Can't wait to see? Well, this feature now appears at 21Q each Thursday afternoon.

My picks among recently released movies:

Becoming Jane
3 stars
Anne Hathaway (pictured above) sparkles as a young Jane Austen, and James McAvoy brings vigor to the role of the slightly rough-hewn Irishman who charms the young writer.
Rated PG

3:10 to Yuma
3 1/2 stars
Christian Bale is more instantly sympathetic than Van Heflin, was in the same role as a struggling rancher in the 1957 original. Whereas Heflin seemed like a weakened man’s man, Bale’s rancher character is a visibly vulnerable guy who seems unable to catch a break. A drought has ravaged his land, and he no longer can provide for his family. The angular Bale looks hungry, in sharp contrast to the full-faced Russell Crowe, criminal anti-hero to Bale’s hero.
Rated R

2 Days in Paris
3 stars
His role as uptight American Jack at first seems one-note, but Adam Goldberg finds degrees of tension to play within the coiled Jack, whose senses are under attack in Paris. But though Jack’s jealousies and various ailments evoke Woody Allen, it’s French girlfriend Marion (Julie Delpy) who wears the thick black glasses in this family. Delpy is, after all, director, writer and star, so it’s only fitting that she give herself the juiciest part, which she proceeds to act the heck out of.
Rated R

September 13, 2007
Ken Burns in Sacramento: Risking writer's cramp

war book

It's 3:30 and, as far as I know, Ken Burns is still at The Avid Reader, signing books.

I wimped out and left at 3.

The man is indefatigable.

A crowd of about 40 Burns groupies showed up to hear the filmmaker talk about "The War" and answer questions. Then came the signing of the companion book for the series.

One woman - I kid you not - actually genuflected in front of Burns as he signed her book and then gushed, "I just wanted to thank you on a number of levels for your body of work."

Burns seemed slightly embarrasssed by that, but he is nothing if not gracious.

His fans are certainly hard-core. One, Joan Kruger, a professor at American River College and Delta College in Stockton, bought three books. She showed up early and says she's been a Burns fans since he produced "The Civil War" 17 years ago.

"He is incredible," she says. "The thoroughness of his research! And he's so blessed to have PBS give him the time to explore these subjects. Even if it's a subject you aren't really that interested in, he can hook you."

Dennis Wright of Sacramento, a Vietnam vet, brought a bunch of mementos from that war for Burns to sign.

"I just had to come down and be in his presence," Wright enthused. "It's a privilege to have a man of his status in Sacramento."

Another man in a three-piece suit handed over a book for signing and said to Burns: "Your work is like a diamond in an ocean of garbage."

What strikes me is Burns' patience. Scores of people wanted to chat him up about any number of things, and he obliged.

And when Pamela Henstell, the West Coast promotions director from his publisher Knopf, told Burns he had to sign another giant stack of books, he didn't bat an eye. This man is no diva.

"Hey," Burns told Henstell, "I heard on Monday night that the book is No. 4 on And it isn't even published yet."

Next stop for Burns: The Creat Theatre at 7 p.m. for an invitation-only screening and talk.

September 13, 2007
Playing Polo


Things will be hopping Friday and Saturday at the Polo Ralph Lauren store in the Pavilions shopping center. That's because Bruce, Martin, Karen, Rochelle and the rest of the staff will be hosting special events both days showcasing men's and women's fall fashions.

RL_GOLDOUTFIT07.jpgThe women's collection is inspired by none other than Grace Kelly, whose style and elegance defined a look that Lauren effortlessly captures. For example, I love the chocolate-brown suede bustier worn with an antique gold wool and cashmere skirt (pictured left). It's soooo French Riviera-esqe when paired with the matching hand-knit cloche and cashmere scarf.

Then there's the same skirt (pictured right), paired with a matching "Beaumont" coat. Either way, the skirt is a fall must-have. And, to make shopping easier, Lauren rep Lori Koniski will be on hand Friday to answer questions about the collection.

And guys, you need to get in on the action, too. It's time to update your fall wardrobe, and what better way than with a one-on-one with Brooks Brown of Ralph Lauren Tailored Clothing. He also will be in the store Friday. And he'll be showing samples of some of the line's exclusive fabrics.

If you'd prefer a private appointment, the store can accommodate that, as well. Just call ahead at 922-7656.

September 13, 2007
Ken Burns in Sacramento: 'Luddite' as filmmaker?

Editor's note: Ken Burns, creator of the upcoming PBS documentary "The War," is in Sacramento today, presenting excerpts of the film, doing a signing for a book connected with the project, and leading a screening at the Crest Theatre. We're stalking following the filmmaker for the day. Watch 21Q for updates.

Tv Burns The War.jpg

So here is Ken Burns, the acclaimed documentary director, famous for a cinematic technique called "The Burns Effect," standing before a packed house at the California History Museum and trying in vain to get a DVD in the computer to project onto the screen.

Well, at least Burns had a sense of humor about it.

"Normally, I'd be travelling with my children to do this, but school's started," he says, adding later, "My Luddite status has been completely verified in front of you."

The crowd - ranging from World War II vets to high school history students to politicos such as Secretary of State Debra Bowen - ate it up, chuckling knowingly.

Once the technical difficulties were cleared up, Burns showed a 10-minute clip from the seven-part, 14-hour epic, which will premiere locally on Channel 6 on Sept. 23.

If you happened to glance at Burns during the preview, you would've thought he had never seen the footage before. (In fact, he spent six years gathering and editing footage.) Sitting in the front row, he leaned forward, hand on chin, intently watching. The images, clearly, still enthrall him.

It was somewhat surprising because you figured that - having trotted out the same footage and the same spiel during countless personal appearances the past few months - Burns would take the time to check his BlackBerry or maybe slip out the back for a breather.

But no - the guy has a certain evangelical zeal about "The War."

Before the museum appearance, Burns did interviews with News10's Jonathan Mumm and a crew from Capital TV News. His PBS publicist, Brian Moriarty, watched the 54-year-old Burns work the media and marveled at his stamina.

"I'm almost half Ken's age, and I feel like such a wuss because I can't keep up with him," Moriarty says. (Burns has got five rotating publicists from PBS - Moriarty handles the West Coast.)

After the interviews were over, Burns rejoined Moriarty and joked, "That was my 657th interview for this."

We'd say he's underestimating it a bit. Not only has Burns presented the documentary in each of the four cities featured - Sacramento, Luverne, Minn., Mobile, Ala., and Waterbury, Conn. - he's also recently made stops in Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York, etc.

"It's like a relay race," Burns jokes, "but there's no one for me to hand the baton off to."

Make no mistake, Burns is not complaining. He actively seeks every possible venue to hype the documentary - especially as its Sunday premiere will be going up against several new shows in the network fall TV season.

"It's the old high school corollary: If a tree falls in the forest and no one's there to see it fall...well, it's the same for me. If you make a documentary that you really are proud of and no one's there to watch it, did it really happen?" Burns says. "So I don't mind at all answering the same questions about it."

KFBK's Kitty O'Neal, the moderator of the museum event, tried to cover some new ground during the Q&A. O'Neal, noting that now, as then, there was a debate about how much information to give the public about the war, asked Burns to comment on the Iraq conflict.

And Burns didn't back down.

"We debate that very thing today," he says. "Our government doesn't even let us see the caskets coming home."

Burns' only other overtly political statement concerned public sacrifices today versus during World War II: "After 9-11, (the government) told us not to worry our pretty little head and go shopping. We perhaps could've tried to wean ourselves from foreign oil."

But he quickly added: "There's not a political bone in this documentary."

The biggest laugh came when O'Neal asked Burns why he chose Sacramento as a featured city.

Burns: "If you said, pick a West Coast city, your first choice would not be Sacramento." (Big laughs.) It has nothing to do with you. (Chuckles.) We fell in love with Sacramento. But if we chose other cities, like Seattle or San Francisco or Los Angeles, they'd come with too many preconceived notions."

Burns' next stop: a 2 p.m. book signing at The Avid Reader on 16th and Broadway.

September 12, 2007
Shoes for a good cause


With ovarian cancer so much in the news these days - especially when it comes to early detection - something as frivolous as shoes might sound, well, frivolous.

But, I found out recently that uber-shoe designer Stuart Weitzman has called in his favorite celebrity feet, uh, stars to help raise money for research into what's called the "silent disease."

So now through Oct. 4, you can go to Weitzman's Web site and click on Annual Celebrity Shoe Auction. There, you can bid on beautiful pumps designed and autographed by a variety of stars, including Molly Sims (her shoe is pictured), Hayden Panettiere, Kelly Ripa, Oprah, Marcia Cross, Vanessa Williams, Charlize Theron and Queen Latifah.

And get this: 100 percent of the funds raised will go to ovarian cancer research at the Folkman Institute in Boston.

My own personal opinion is this is yet another venture via the fashion industry to raise awareness about women's issues. In Weitzman's own words: "The celebrities we enlisted have made extraordinary creations that are sure to bring a great amount of attention to this important cause."

Why not make a bid? Heck, you could be walking in Sharon Stone's shoes!

September 12, 2007
'Daily Show' or local TV news: Part 14


Channel 13 led its late news Tuesday with a story about "bullies with an air gun" who shot a pellet at a 7-year-old boy riding his bike in Cameron Park.

Two comments:

1. We heard, not once but twice, that classic parental lament whenever horseplay turns serious: "You could've taken an eye out!"

2. What is this strange fascination Channel 13 has about shoving objects in front of the camera to make a point? Just off the top of my head, I recall Dennis Shanahan sticking a brownie into the camera, Tony Lopez attacking the camera with his hand, and Steve Large duct taping the camera when talking about a robbery.

Now, we get Anny Hong going all "Charlie's Angels" on us and pointing a gun (albeit a fake, plastic one) at the screen.



September 11, 2007
Tuesday threefer with Neil Hamburger, Black Francis and Meshell NdegOcello

Frank_Black_uke_hi.JPGSometimes shows slip in past the Coming Distractions deadline - this week, three noteworthy ones managed to sneak in.

First up is comedian Neil Hamburger Sept. 27 at the Blue Lamp (1400 Alhambra Blvd.). Hamburger is one of those guys whose fame sort of defies logic - his stage presence is often awkward and cringe-inducing. But, if you can stick it out, you'll be rewarded with some truly off-kilter humor. It's no wonder the hipster kids love him. Pleaseeasaur opens the show. Tickets ($8 advance, $10 door) are now on sale.

Then, Black Francis (pictured), Oct. 7 at Harlow's (2708 J St.). The Pixies frontman was going by the "Frank Black" moniker, but now he's re-adopted the name he went by during the iconic rock band's run. I know, I know - it can all get so confusing. But either way, the show is a must because Black Francis' solo stuff is pretty great. Tickets ($15, $18 door) are now on sale.

Finally, acclaimed singer-songwriter Meshell NdegeOcello plays Oct. 21 at Harlow's. In the early '90s, NdegeOcello was one of the first artists signed to Madonna's Maverick label and since then she's collaborated with the likes of John Mellencamp and Chaka Khan and racked up a few Grammy nominations. Tickets ($22.50, $25 door) go on sale Saturday.

Tickets to all show are available through R5 Records, The Beat, Dimple Music and You also can get tix for the Harlow's show via

September 10, 2007
We'll always have Paris?

Associated Press/Matt Sayles

It seems all eyes were on Miss Brit during Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards in viva Las Vegas - in particular, the Maloof's Palms Hotel and Casino. And, while the "oooze" quotient was high during her "performance," let's not forget about the other celebs who showed up - in all manner of garb.

I couldn't help but notice, for instance, pouty Paris Hilton (pictured), with her bouffant hair and leopard-print bra and bustier/skirt ensemble. No more post-jail braids for her. She's all grown up now!

Then, there was a lot of Pamela Anderson as she clung to some guy named Hans Klock. And Beyonce was flashing leg in a slit-up, slit-down gold gown.

Let's put it in simple terms: There was plenty of cleavage to go around. This, in sharp contrast to Friday night's "Fashion Rocks" show on tame CBS. Now, thatwas a well-dressed group of performers, possibly because the show was held during New York Fashion Week. Hooker attire just doesn't cut it with the likes of Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

The highlight of Friday's show? A toss-up between Mary J. Blige partnering with Usher and Alicia Keys rocking with Carlos Santana.

September 10, 2007
Christine Craft off the air ... temporarily?


Christine Craft, the lone liberal radio talk-show host locally, will be off the airwaves at KSAC (1240 AM) for the rest of September. And there’s a chance she may not be back at all.

The official word, confirmed by Craft today, is that she has four weeks of vacation time accrued, but that she’ll lose it if she does not take it immediately. (In her stead, the station will run syndicated programming.)

Meanwhile, Craft says she’s been in talks with Paula Nelson, the station manager, and that the show might have to be reduced from three hours to one in order to save money.

As a result, Craft says she isn’t sure if she will return. Nelson’s only comment: “We need to get through these negotiations on a new contract, and then I can say more.”

Craft says her mandatory vacation has nothing to do with her daily coverage of the shaken baby death trial in Roseville. She says it's unfortunate that she no longer will be able to provide coverage for KSAC listeners.

In her time off, Craft says she will occasionally be filling in on KGO (810 AM), the huge Bay Area talk station that can be heard in parts of Sacramento.

September 10, 2007
Please don't drive to the theater

The Walk/Bike California Film Festival, starting Tuesday night at Davis' Varsity Theatre, takes the immediacy of handheld camera work to new levels.

Among the 26 works featured at the four-day festival will be "Midnight Ridazz: The Movie," which documents a ride by 1,500 people through the streets of Los Angeles. The short film was shot from bikes by bicyclists.

It'a all about commitment - a recurring theme of the film festival and of the Walk/Bike California Conference with which it coincides. The conference brings together advocates of alternative transportation. Or, as they call it in Davis, "transportation."

For more information on the festival and the conference, just click here.

September 10, 2007
Good Charlotte will still make good on Sac in-store performance today

Just because Justin Timberlake doesn't want to party, Sac-style, doesn't mean Good Charlotte is pulling the plug, too.

Well, kind of. The pop-punk band, of course, won't be playing Arco Arena tonight - thanks to JT's "doctor-mandated" cancellation, citing a need for "vocal rest." Yeah, whatever - I blame it all on Britney Spears' abysmal showing at Sunday night's Video Music Awards in Vegas. Timberlake must be emotionally scarred by how badly his ex-girlfriend crashed and burned during her "performance."

Anyhoo, Good Charlotte may not be able to rock the big house tonight, but the band will still do a free in-store show at the Verizon Wireless Communications Store (3635 N. Freeway Blvd.) between 4:15 and 5:30 p.m., as we had told you last week.

In addition to a quickie set, the Brothers Madden (Joel and Benji - duh) and the rest of the band will sign autographs.

Take that, JT.

September 10, 2007
Changes to daytime TV


All of you daytime TV fans should check out today's story in The Bee about changes in the programming.

Suffice it to say, it's not a good day for soap fans. "Passions" is off the air at NBC (Channel 3 locally), and only digital TV subscribers can catch new episodes.

Meanwhile, several readers have asked why Channel 13, a CBS owned- and-operated station, does not air the long-running, Emmy-winning CBS soap, "Guiding Light."

Channel 13 hasn't done so for nearly a decade, and current station manager Bruno Cohen says there's no chance that "GL" (whose actors are pictured) will be making it on air any time soon. Its spot in Channel 13's lineup is occupied by "Montel Williams," which Cohen says gives the station solid ratings.

But why, if Channel 13 is owned by the network, doesn't it carry a network show?

Cohen's answer: There's more advertising money to be made from syndicated shows, such as "Montel."

"Occasionally, we'll get a call about 'Guiding Light,' usually from someone who's new in town," Cohen says, "but there hasn't been a huge response."

September 7, 2007
'Daily Show' or local TV news: Part 13


Just when we thought Channel 13's quest for shock-value reporting and cynical pandering disguised as news couldn't get any more blatant, along came Serene Branson's report Thursday night on a men's-only hair salon in Modesto.

Branson: "The owner of the salon Tiitz says maybe this was too much for Modesto."

Gee, ya think?

Branson then went on to salaciously say of the salon, "Think Hooters meets hair salon...Stylists wear low-cut referee shirts and short shorts."

I'm no prude, but this story does not belong on a respectable newscast.

Judge for yourself by clicking here.

September 7, 2007
Fashion rocks this weekend!

Associated Press/Jeff Christensen

As Fashion Week marches on in New York, those of us left to our own devices in Sac can get sort of a long distance look at the beautiful people who make fashion, well, rock.

To that end, I'm really looking forward to tonight's "Fashion Rocks" show at 8 on Channel 13. The two-hour, star-studded event actually took place Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall, so we're seeing a taped version.

That's OK, though, because this a prime-time chance to see how fashion and music truly can collide - and co-exist - on the same stage. Not like that hasn't been happening for some time, but it's fun to check it out.

The show, hosted by "Entourage" star Jeremy Piven, features performances by solo artists and groups you might not be accustomed to seeing on the same stage. For instance, I understand Aerosmith rocks with Fergie and, for sure, I know that Alicia Keys and Carlos Santana performed together (pictured).

And then, there's Jennifer Lopez, Martina McBride, Maroon 5, Fall Out Boy, Carrie Underwood. And, of course, everyone will be dressed to the over-nines because this is, after all, about style.

Conde Nast Media Group, which owns some of the world's most-read mags (Glamour, Vanity Fair, Allure), produced the show. Earlier today, I caught a glimpse via our wire service of Vogue editor Anna Wintour arriving for the event. Guess even she can rock when fashion is involved!

* Meanwhile, back here at home, here's a fashionable event to jot down:

Sugar Shack boutique (2425 J St.) will be hosting DJ Roger & Guest along with an "Otono" fashion show during Second Saturday. Food is coming from Beach Hut Deli in midtown. The first fashion "walk" starts at 7 p.m., the second at 8. An added bonus? All Sugar Shack clothing will be 15 percent off between 6 and 10 p.m.

* On a completely, completely different fashion note: Draper's & Damon's women's clothing store in Loehmann's Plaza (2541 Fair Oaks Blvd.) is part of a 44-store event that launches Sunday - just in time for Grandparents Day.

Appropriately enough, the event is called "Granny Chic Week,", although what the store will be offering is anything but granny-esque. D&D is looking to outfit the fashion-conscious woman 55 and older in apparel that allows her to be comfortable and stylish at the same time.

Some of the looks include:

* Get Frisky: Animal prints in separates, shoes and bags.

* Grandmother Knows Best: Autumn fashions with classic touches, such as silk kimonos and textured jackets.

For more info about this event: (916) 979-9695.

September 7, 2007
Another shot of (Tila) Tequila

tila2.JPGWell, I'm not going to say that I was right about the public's desire to watch a Tila Tequila reality show, but I will say that at least I wasn't wrong since - want her or not - they're going to get her.

I interviewed the famous-in-a-MySpace-kind-of-way model/actress/singer back in May. Fast-forward a few months and, MTV's just announced the arrival of "A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila." In it, the L.A. resident will be at the center of a dating show in which 16 men and 16 women will wrangle for her love. Or attention. Or residuals of her D-List fame.

The series is set to debut Oct. 9 on MTV. (I will admit that I was wrong about that - I had reported that her series would air on sister network VH1, but in my defense, no one at either network felt it necessary to correct me at the time.)

My interview with Tequila was by phone as she was leaving a Hollywood restaurant. As we chatted, I envisioned her in a pair of Juicy Couture sweats - maybe clutching a teacup-sized dog, keeping an eye out for the paparazzi in the hopes that they'd be chronicling her every move.

But Tequila, who was polite, if not a wee bit chilly, wanted to make it very clear that she is not another Hilton or Richie, trying to get famous for the sake of being famous.

"I don’t do anything that will make (me) famous," Tequila told me. "I do things that are fun and that suit me."

So, there you have it.

September 6, 2007
Carla Meyer's Movie Picks


Wondering which movie to see this weekend?

Every week in Friday's Weekend Ticket section, I review new movies, and I recommend previously released films. Can't wait to see? Well, this feature now appears at 21Q each Thursday afternoon.

My picks among recently released movies:

2 Days in Paris
3 stars
Julie Delpy , above, with Adam Goldberg, is simply delightful when her character, Marion, fibs to try to save her boyfriend’s feelings when he questions her about other men. Sporting a goofy grin, Delpy layers self-consciousness atop deception. Marion knows she’s a bad liar, but she can’t stop herself.
Rated R

3 stars
This raunchy but sweet picture captures the urgency attached to an end-of-year party and the stress such an event can impose on teens who want this one night to hold all that high school didn’t. It’s not surprising that best friends Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) end up bickering when their plans go awry.
Rated R

The Bourne Ultimatum
3 stars
Memory-challenged assassin Jason Bourne, an implausible character, compels in large part because of Matt Damon’s performance. Resembling a bullet in build and determination, Damon’s Bourne will attempt to eradicate all obstacles. He was trained to do so. But the key to his character's appeal is that he doesn't want to be what he is.
Rated PG-13

September 6, 2007
Kitchen aid

"Rachael Ray"

If you're planning to watch the second-season opener of "Rachael Ray" on Monday, I can either ruin it for you - or spice things up a bit.

The show, set for 3 p.m. on Channel 3, welcomes "Desperate Housewives" Teri Hatcher, who - with Rachael - heats up the set's kitchen as they prepare Buffalo Chicken Pie (pictured).


Anyway, seems Teri is all over the place these days. What with "Housewives" ramped up for its fourth season premiere at the end of this month, she also signed on over the summer to be the new face of the fashion line Badgley Mischka.

In fact, Teri was at New York Fashion Week today as the line presented its spring 2008 collection.

But, I digress. On Monday's "Rachael Ray" show, we're told that Teri will also dish on these hot topics: her love life, and why she's afraid her new treadmill may kill her cats.

TiVo, TiVo, TiVo!

September 6, 2007
Weekend fashion in Sacramento and beyond

Everyday Imaging

There's so much happening this weekend locally - from Sacramento to Granite Bay - that I'm getting the word out today and Friday so that you fashionistas will have time to prepare...and restock your checking accounts!

* First up, the trendy marketplace known as Quarry Ponds (pictured above) is hosting a "Fall 2007 Fashion Show in the Plaza" starting at 7 p.m. Friday. The show will take place in the central plaza, beneath the Kalwall archway (for those of you familiar with the European-style marketplace), at 5550 Douglas Blvd.

This is absolutely a destination shopping location because it has everything you need: fashion and food! Two great purchases that go great together.

The featured boutiques in Friday's show include: FF Apparel, Dionna K, Dara Denim, Rima, NAT Boutique, Shoefly and Obsoulete Boards.

Then, at 11 a.m. Saturday, the marketplace will turn things over to children's and maternity fashion, featuring adorable clothing from boutiques such as Posh Maternity and Silver Spoon.

* Next up, Serendipity Boutique (5362 H St.) will host a trunk show Friday and Saturday featuring the Jeanine Payer jewelry collection, which is based in San Francisco. Jeanine does rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Very different, very unique. Worth a look.


* Another place to check out if a great piece of jewelry is on your shopping list: the Pamela Skinner/Qwenna Howard Gallery (723 S St.), which will be featuring local designer Carolyn Cozad's Studio Work collection (pictured right) during this weekend's Second Saturday; the event is from 6 to 9 p.m.

Carolyn actually creates her works of art near The Bee in midtown, so I strolled by the other day and was amazed at her use of color and materials - including parts from a vintage bowling bowl!

Stay tuned to this space for more ....

September 6, 2007
'Daily Show or Local TV News: Part 12


You'd think that our local TV news folks would have learned to avoid "covering" these blatantly manufactured store-opening "news" events, which only makes the stations look silly and lends weight to criticism.

(See Krispy Kreme, Chick Fil-A, Ikea, etc.)

Today, it was the opening of the Boudin bakery at Fulton Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard that got morning TV all in a lather.

Several local stations were offenders. But My58TV's morning show - little sister to KCRA's "Where the News Comes First" - sent out reporter Brian Hickey, a photographer and LiveCopter3 to cover arrival at the new store of the "mother dough," said to be 158 years old.

Watch the report below to learn what's so special about "mother dough." I don't want to waste the bandwidth to explain.

A snippet:

Hickey to "master baker" Fernando: "Does it move? Does it talk?"

Fernando: "Oh, it's going to move, believe me."

September 5, 2007
Single tickets, schedule change for STC

As the Sacramento Theatre Company announced this week that single tickets are on sale for its 2007-08 season, it also announced a schedule change.

The English import “Sophie Tucker’s One Night Stand” is out, and the near-perennial “Vivien” is in.

“Vivien” will play on Stage 2 from Dec. 12 through Jan. 6. The one-woman show, written by Rick Foster and starring Janis Stevens, not only has had several productions in Sacramento, but Stevens has successfully taken the show around the country, including a stop in New York.

Based on the life of actress Vivien Leigh, the show takes place in an abandoned theater as Leigh looks back on her tumultuous life and legendary career in film and theater.

Stevens’ New York run was nominated for a 2005 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance. The busy bicoastal actress will squeeze in the new Sacramento booking just in front of a Philadelphia engagement of “Vivien.”

For more information, go here.

September 5, 2007
Good Charlotte pre-show show

Good Charlotte.jpg

Attention Good Charlotte fans:

The Madden Brothers-fronted band is, as you already know, opening for Justin Timberlake this Monday at Arco Arena.

But, did you also know that Benji and Joel will be doing an in-store acoustic performance before the big rock show?

Yep - on Monday, you can catch them at the Verizon Wireless Communications Store (3635 N. Freeway Blvd.) between 4:15 and 5:30 p.m.

In addition to a short music set, they'll be signing autographs. So bring your copy of the pop-punk band's latest album, "Good Morning Revival." Or, maybe, one of those tabloid pictures of Joel Madden and baby mama Nicole Richie.

Kidding! We kid.

Can't get off work early enough? There are still tickets available for the Arco show. Visit and be prepared to cough up between $56-$152.75 per seat.

September 5, 2007
Fall at Five Figs


What are you doing Thursday night?

Well, if you're up for a visit to Davis (or certainly if you live there), Five Figs Couture is putting out all its fab fall clothes for an informal fashion show/event from 6 to 8 p.m.

Owner Pam Pacelli says she's getting boxes full of beautiful clothes almost daily, from such designers as Rundholz, Ivan, Babette, Neesh, Allude, Elm, Mike & Chris, Zoom, Filly, Zambesi and Nom'd.

So with all this new merchandise, Pam figures it's time to show it off.

"To make the event even more pleasing, we will be giving away $$ the form of Five Figs $100 gift certificates," Pam writes in an e-mail. "One every hour. And a special evening discount, too!"

Plus, there will be plenty of beverages and what Pam calls "Ooohs and aahhhs!"

The boutique is at 231 E St., Suite 3. The fashion show will begin pronto at 6:30 p.m.

In the meantime, for a preview of what's arriving, you can check out the fashions at Five Figs' Web site.

September 4, 2007
White out!

WHITE-SHOES-1.jpgIt can't come as a surprise that I'm laying down the law - again.

White shoes to the back of the closets!

I hope everyone got their white shoe fix over the summer, because it's time to put them away now. Every year I say this, and every year, folks want to know why it's a fashion don't to wear white shoes after Labor Day. After all, it's still hot in Sacramento, so why not?

Well, as a card-carrying member of G.R.I.T.S - Girls Raised in the South - women from Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia have it stamped into their genteel souls from an early age: It's just not right to wear white after Labor Day.

Besides, white shoes often draw unwanted attention to your feet. As a matter of fact, this is what Kendall Farr, author of "The Pocket Stylist," told me several years ago in an interview on the subject:

"They're not very flattering to the leg," she said. "Your shoes should be the punctuation point in your ensemble. White shoes just break up the line. They really only work on brides."

So, there you have it. Oh, and that goes ditto for white flip flops.

September 4, 2007
Second time the charm for Kelly Clarkson?

Music Kelly Clarkson.jpgWell, Kelly Clarkson is nothing if not determined. No, seriously, the original American Idol winner is quite the talented Top 40 singer and, lucky you, she's giving the world of touring another chance.

As you may remember, Clarkson's "My December" tour was scheduled for a summer trek (oh, the irony), which included a July stop in Sacramento. But then, citing poor ticket sales, Clarkson pulled the plug.

It probably didn't help that the "My December" album hadn't even hit shelves yet or that Clarkson was publicly fueding with her record label boss Clive Davis.

But, we digress.

Now, summer's over, Clarkson's record is finally out and, well, whaddya know?, mama's got a brand new attitude. Not only has K.C. publicly apologized to Davis, but she's just announced the relaunch of the "My December" tour.

Now, what you need to know: She'll be in town Nov. 14 at the Memorial Auditorium. If you're astute like that, you'll notice this is a much smaller venue than the original Arco Arena destination. We're thinking that's a smart move.

Anyway, tickets go on sale Sept. 15 - price info is pending. Stay tuned.

September 4, 2007
Channel 19's news director is gone


Pedro Calderon (pictured), who oversaw many ratings successes but also saw many disgruntled employees leave during his tenure, is no longer news director at Channel 19 (KUVS), Sacramento's Univision affiliate.

The change at the top of KUVS' newsroom was confirmed this morning by Maryam Banikarim, Univision's chief marketing officer; Steve Stuck, Channel 19's general manager, directed all inquiries to the corporate office.

The search for a replacement will begin immediately, Banikarim says. She did not elaborate on Calderon's departure.

Under Calderon, who was elevated from anchor to news director in 2005, Channel 19 consistently finished first in the ratings for late news in the 18-to-34-year-old demographic. (Channel 19 is the only Spanish-language TV news outlet in Sacramento.)

But some former Channel 19 employees say Calderon's confrontational management style created rifts in the newsroom and led to the departures of more than 20 editorial employees - out of a newsroom of about 30 - in the past 2 1/2 years. Included among the high-profile departures: "Voz y Voto" hosts Xochitl Arellano, Pablo Espinoza and Arnold Torres; reporters Tatiana Bedoya, Catalina Martinez and Cristina Godoya, and Modesto bureau chief Alberto Godinez.

Behind the scenes, the producer of "Voz y Voto" and the evening news also resigned, as did three photographers. Perhaps the biggest loss: two-time regional Emmy Award-winning photo journalist Felix Mendoza, who left to join the satellite news service PacSat International.

Calderon could not be reached for comment.

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