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The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, December 23, 2010

Eye Street

Index Shari Fortino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 John Doe and X to perform . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Arts Alive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Scott Cox’s favorite holiday movies . . . . . . . . . . .23 The Lowdown with Matt Munoz . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Best movies of 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Movie reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26-28 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29-31

Editor Jennifer Self | Phone 395-7434 | e-mail

Countdown to the countdown Plenty to do New Year’s Eve, but it’s smart to plan now




hat are your plans this New Year’s Eve? Depending on what you have in mind, there won’t be a shortage of options in Bakersfield. From bigticket extravaganzas to scaleddown affairs, many local restaurants, nightclubs and bars, will be vying for your dinner reservation or spot on the dance floor. Despite the less-than-festive economy, local venues have taken some creative steps to assure you won’t have a reason to stay home this year. To help get you in the mood, we’ve compiled a list of Bakersfield’s best bets to get your New Year’s Eve groove on. Put together your favorite party duds and plan accordingly. As always, make sure you have a designated driver and party responsibly.


Revelers enjoy New Year’s Eve in New York’s Times Square.

announcement that Buck was about to come onstage, the crowd just rushed the stage. He was definitely the star of the evening. I had to sing backup, and got to see the magic that the guy created.”

Darren Gholston at DoubleTree

The Bellvedere’s Double Header One local bar making party time accessible is the Bellvedere. Offering not one but two chances to celebrate, early birds can start at 10 a.m. with a potluck lunch. Once the clock strikes noon, attendees can shout “Happy New Year,” with everyone in attendance. Bellvedere bartender Sissy Garrett, who’s celebrated her share of parties mixing up festive libations, decided to bring back the daytime event this year after getting requests. “It’s been about four years since we’ve held it last,” she said. We have a lot of regulars that don’t go out at nighttime, so we celebrate the whole day. Everyone brings a little something to eat. There’s no dress code, so we get a wide variety of people. Who doesn’t want to start partying at 10 a.m. on New Year’s Eve?” The nighttime soiree starts with live music, but no potluck. Garrett advises guests to plan their own meal unless they like salted peanuts for dinner.

Duck Soup at The Crystal Palace Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace is changing its tune this year. Known for throwing some of the city’s big-


Sam Irwin is the lead vocalist for Duck Soup.

ger New Year’s shows starring Hollywood actors like Vince Vaughn and Gary Sinise, this year they’ve decided to go golfing, so to speak. “We’re the unofficial band of the PGA Tour,” said Sam Irwin, lead vocalist of Austin-based band Duck Soup, of his group’s claim to cover fame. “We do everything you can imagine: The Beatles; Rolling Stones; Earth, Wind & Fire; The Who; Alabama; lots of Motown.” Discovered by PGA organizers 18 years ago during a show in Austin, Irwin and crew have become a regular fixture at tournament parties from Phoenix to New Orleans. Traveling to Bakersfield for the first time, Irwin said he’s been bragging to friends since getting booked for New Year’s Eve. “We did a big charity show at a golf course backing up different singers. When I made the big

Saxophonist Darren Gholston is reviving his annual New Year’s concert party at the DoubleTree next Friday to offer Bakersfield another great party alternative. “I stopped doing my New Year’s show in 2005 because I wanted to bring my family, and I know there are others who’d like to do the same with theirs.” Known for his soulful live shows, Gholston has been a popular draw around Bakersfield for years as a featured performer at the Cal State Jazz Festival. He’s also thrown regular concerts around town with some big-name guests, including actor/musician Malcolm-Jamal Warner. “I’ll doing my jazz show, but I’m also incorporating a lot of old school for dancing. I call it contemporary jazz with some soul,” he said. “This is for the grown folks.” Joining Gholston onstage will be: Robin Bramlett, bass; Kevin Teasley, keyboards; drummer Lamont Sydnor; bass; and Jorge Evans, guitar. “I’m happy that so many quality things are going on. “You can’t say that there aren’t things to do in Bakersfield,” he said. Gholston’s New Year’s Eve concert will be begin at 8 p.m. with DJ music until 10 p.m., followed by the Gholston and band from 10 to midnight. After the concert, DJ music will return until 1:30 a.m.

Bellvedere Cocktail Lounge: two parties: 10 a.m., food, party favors, champagne, early bird countdown at noon; music by Catch 22, party favors, free champagne toast at midnight, begins at 9 p.m., 3090 Brundage Lane. 3252139. Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace: with Duck Soup, 7 p.m., 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. Dinner tickets $85 to $100; show-only $45 to $55. or 322-5200. Sandrini’s: New Wave New Year’s Party, music by Members Only, 8 p.m., 1918 Eye St. $5 with ’80s costume; $10. 322-8900. DoubleTree Hotel: with Darren Gholston, 10 p.m., 3100 Camino Del Rio Court. $30 to $35. or 322-5200. Fishlips Bar & Grill: Bakotopia & Fishlips New Year’s Eve Pachanga!, with Mento Buru, Velorio, DJ Mikey, party favors, champagne toast, midnight buffet, 8 p.m., 1517 18th St. $15. 324-2557. Cafe Med: two dinner (full buffet) seatings to choose from: (meal only) 4 to 8 p.m., $39.95 for adults, $15.95 for kids 12 and under; 8 p.m. $49.95, includes champagne toast at midnight, dancing, music by John Ranger and the Cougar Town Band, 4809 Stockdale Highway. 834-4433. The Prime Cut: music by Foster & Friends, dancing, dinner, drinks, doors open at 7 p.m., 9500 Brimhall Road. $100 or $180 per couple. 8311413. Nile Theater: party favors, champagne toast at midnight, music by DJ Reflex, 8 p.m., 1721 19th St. $15. 805-2520479. Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar: with two seatings: four-course menu at 5:45 p.m. and a full seven course at 7:45 p.m. based on the Titanic’s fabled first-class passenger menu, which includes champagne, oysters, live music, party favors, dessert bar and dancing, 1310 Truxtun Ave., Suite 160. $45, four course; $110, seven course.

864-0397. Eagles Hall: dinner, party favors, the Feliz Band, mariachi group, DJ Joe Sanchez, 8 p.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Saturday, 1718 17th St. $30 and invited guest. 747-1628. Kern River Brewing Company, music by Slideways, Out of the Blue, champagne toast, 7 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday, 13415 Sierra Highway, Kernville. 760-376-2337. Salon Juarez: Party by Sociedad Juarez, bring favorite drinks/appetizers, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., 815 E. 18th St. $15 or $25 per couple. 8322613 or 638-0444. Elevation Lounge: with Elevation 406, party favors, champagne toast, choose either New York steak or chicken dinner with all the fixins, 7 p.m., 818 Real Road. $20 or $35 per couple. Special room rates available at Days Inn. 325-6864. Rollerama West: New Year’s Eve Skate Party, 7:30 p.m. Friday to 12:30 a.m. Saturday, 7850 Brimhall Road. $10; $3 skate rental. 589-7555. Ethel’s Old Corral Cafe: with Blonde Faith, 8 p.m., 4310 Alfred Harrell Highway. Free. RV space available for overnight parking. 873-7613. T-Bones Steakhouse: with The Beagles, party favors, champagne toast at midnight, dinner and drink specials, 8 p.m., 8020 District Blvd. $10. 398-1300. The Dome: with Orquesta Son Kache, DJs Michael Anthony, Mark Anthony, Art Hollywood and Juan R. Gonzalez, 7 p.m., 2201 V St. $10; $15 after 8 p.m. 327-0190. The Padre Hotel: choose from four themed venues, champagne toast at midnight, 8 p.m., 1702 18th St. $25 advance; $35 at the door. Dinner/dancing package in the Belvedere Room from 4 to 8 p.m. $75 to $100. Special room rates available. 427-4900. Stars Theatre: with Bakersfield Jazz Workshop Orchestra, appetizer, dinner, dancing, champagne toast at midnight, 7 p.m., 1931 Chester Ave. $80 for table of 8; VIP: $325 for table of four. 301-4583 or 444-0853.


Thursday, December 23, 2010 The Bakersfield Californian

Eye Street

Debonaire dame dazzles One-woman cabaret loves teaching dance, music to others BY CAMILLE GAVIN Contributing columnist


ulti-talented Shari Fortino gracefully glides her way through a weekly performing and teaching schedule that makes my head swim. Even one day in the life of this energetic 55-year-old is impressive. On a Thursday in November, for example, Fortino taught a line-dancing class in the morning, played her guitar as she conducted a sing-along, and then directed and acted in a rousing murder-mystery dinner with a cast made up of residents at Rosewood Retirement Community. As if that weren’t enough, she went on to take part in a Halloween party for the Debonaire Dancers, then gave a private ballroom dancing lesson, and finished up by leading a rehearsal of the choreography she designed for a Republican Women’s fashion show. Whew! But wait, there’s more. She also sings — mainly on weekends — with four different bands, including Rough Edges, which is led by her husband, drummer-guitarist Michael Smothers. The group recently performed at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. On Sundays, she serves as the music director at her church, the Center for Spiritual Living. Currently she’s working with the church’s chorus on a Christmas cantata. Fortino candidly explains her reasons for maintaining all this activity, about which she seemingly has no regrets. “I have a hard time saying no to projects,” she says. “I love to entertain people and make them smile.” Debonaire Dancers continues to be her most rewarding activity. The group meets weekly and gives a public performance about twice a year, consisting of ballroom dancing as well as the L.A. Hustle, a line dance. In doing so, she’s carrying on a family tradition. The group is designed for developmentally disabled people and was formed about 45 years ago by her stepfather, Johnny Soiu, who was assisted by Shari’s mother, Jeanne Soiu-Prestage, both of whom have passed on. “I love working with Down syndrome people,” Fortino said. “They are so refreshing to be around.” Debonaires has about 20 members, many of whom have been with the group since it began. Richard Seiden, who’s now in his 60s, has been Fortino’s regular dancing partner since she was 14, a total of for 41 years. “They are completely honest and very spontaneous,” she said, referring to the Debonaires as a whole. “Their emotions are right ‘out there,’ and they are very appreciative. They really want to learn.” Although she has a special education teaching credential from Cal State Bakersfield, Fortino prefers to instruct independently as opposed to the more structured atmosphere of a public school classroom. Professionally, Shari has always used


Richard Seiden and Shari Fortino lead the Debonaire Dancers in a line dance at Northminster Presbyterian Church in November.

Richard Seiden and Shari Fortino have been dancing together for 41 years.

Fortino as her surname, even though she never knew her biological father. She was only 6 months old when she came to Bakersfield from Lansing, Mich., with her mother, who had been hired to co-host the “Hey Kids!” show with Johnny Parker, which was performed live on Saturdays at the Fox Theater and broadcast on local television. Fortino exchanged vows with Smothers on April 10 of this year. She has one daughter, Christeal Milburn, from a previous marriage. Smothers, an instrumentation supervisor at a cogeneration plant for the past 20 years, is also a professional musician. Fortino has been involved in several business ventures over the years. She was an owner of the old melodrama in Oildale for 17 years and until recently ran a singing telegram service called Vaudeville Express. She’s had plenty of memorable experiences doing the latter service. For instance, her hair stylist, Johnna Horvath, once hired Fortino to sing a birthday greeting to a friend and suggested the singer first act as if she were accusing the

innocent recipient of trying to steal her boyfriend. The scenario was played out in the cocktail lounge at the Tam O’Shanter restaurant in La Cresta and came close to being a disaster. “I started accusing this girl of all sorts of things, dating back to her high school days,” Fortino recalled. “She started to get really mad and it was kind of scary so I started singing and the band joined in because they were all in on it — her husband was in the band.” On another occasion, Fortino was hired to deliver a singing telegram to a man at a Rotary Club meeting. She wasn’t told the recipient’s name, only where he would be sitting. She strolled in singing a sexy rendition of “Take Back My Mink,” a song that has some pretty racy lines in it, and was aghast upon reaching the prescribed table to see the “telegram” was meant for for Father Craig Harrison of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. “They talked about it at Rotary for months, but he was fine with it,” Fortino said of the monsignor. “He made a joke out of it.” It would appear that she and Smothers share an impulsive streak when it comes to performing, judging from an episode that occurred on New Year’s Eve two years ago when Fortino and her husband-to-be were celebrating the holiday on Catalina Island. “It was cold and Mike and I were sitting outside this bar near the pier playing our guitars,” she recalled. “It was freezing and I said maybe we should get a gig in that bar so we can stay warm.” Whereupon Smothers left Shari where she was, entered the bar and had a conversation with the bartender. He returned a few minutes later and told her they had a gig for the following evening. Her response was: “Oh, my God! I was just joking.” “I was so surprised,” she said. “I’d never performed in a bar before, but we did and it was great.”


The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, December 23, 2010

Eye Street “I live in Oildale, and I think it's great. There are plenty of characters and I kinda like that. Some people have no shame and I have to tip my hat to that. Very punk rock.”

FASTER E 12:50, 3:10, 5:30, 7:45, 10:10 THE NEXT THREE DAYS C 1:15, 4:15, 7:05, 9:55 MEGAMIND B 11:40, 1:00, 2:00, 3:20, 4:30, 5:40, 7:00, 8:00, 9:20, 10:20 HEREAFTER C 12:40, 3:45, 6:40, 9:45 PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 E 12:10, 5:10 RED C 12:20, 3:30, 6:50, 9:30 LIFE AS WE KNOW IT C 1:00, 4:00, 7:15, 10:00 DEVIL C 2:50, 7:40, 9:55 EASY A C 11:45, 2:20, 4:50, 7:30, 9:50 DESPICABLE ME B 11:50, 2:10, 4:40, 7:10, 9:40

— John Doe, member of the punk band X

Showtimes for December 23

“Give the Gift of Laughter with a Melodrama Gift Card or Season Pass” Opening January 21st Shootout at Ethel’s Old Corral

For reservations 587-3377 12748 Jomani Drive


Los Angeles-based band X — from left, Billy Zoom, John Doe, Exene Cervenka and D.J. Bonebrake — in 1980.














O R S’ C H O I C E P













3D $11.00

3D $8.00

3D $8.00



5 5

50 $

50 $










(11:30AM, 12:30, 2:00, 3:00, 4:30, 5:30), 7:00, 8:00, 9:30, 10:30 I







3D: (11:30AM, 2:15, 5:00), 7:45, 10:30 2D: (12:30PM, 1:15, 3:15, 4:10), 6:00, 7:00 8:40, 9:45

(11:25AM, 12:25, 1:25, 2:25, 3:25, 4:25, 5:25), 6:25, 7:25, 8:25, 9:25, 10:25 THE FIGHTER (R)

(11:20AM, 2:10, 4:40, 5:40), 7:10, 8:10, 9:50, 10:40 HOW DO YOU KNOW (PG-13)

(11:15AM, 1:50, 4:35), 7:30, 10:10

Bargain Shows in ( )

(11:00AM, 12:15, 1:20, 2:30, 3:40, 4:50), 6:00, 7:20, 8:20, 9:40, 10:40 BLACK SWAN (R)


3D: (11:10AM, 1:45, 4:25), 7:05, 9:40 THE TOURIST (PG-13)

(12:00PM, 2:40, 5:10), 7:40, 10:10 TANGLED (PG)

(11:50AM, 2:20, 4:45), 7:15, 9:35 HARRY POTTER 7 (PG-13)

(11:25AM, 2:35)

I Pass/Discount Restrictions Apply

Showtimes Valid Only 12/23/10

X marks the spot — and it’s Bakersfield Show marks milestone for SoCal punk icons BY MATT MUNOZ editor


he spirit of punk rock is where you find it, according to no less an authority on the subject than John Doe. The frontman for X found that vibe in Los Angeles in the ’70s when the groundbreaking band was formed at the dawn of the Southern California punk rock movement. And he’s found it once again in, of all places, Oildale. “I live in Oildale, and I think it’s great. There are plenty of characters and I kinda like that. Some people have no shame and I have to tip my hat to that. Very punk rock,” he said. “I saw some guy wearing spurs on Chester Avenue just like a week ago. He wasn’t wearing them for fashion. He was a cowboy that had just come into town. That’s pretty awesome.” And Doe is bringing his old friends to his new hometown to celebrate a

X When: 7 p.m. Monday Where: Buck Owens' Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. Admission: $18 to $24, general admission standing and reserved seating available for show. Information: 328-7560

career milestone for the band. Appearing Monday at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace is the original lineup: Doe, bass; Exene Cervenka, vocals; Billy Zoom, guitar; and D.J. Bonebrake, drums. Currently in the midst of a 30th anniversary tour commemorating the release of their 1980 debut, “Los Angeles,” the band will perform the album in its entirety and screen their 1986 documentary, “The Unheard Music,” before the concert. “We’ve been calling this tour ‘More X than you bargained for,’” said Doe via telephone of the group’s planned feast for longtime fans. “Maybe too much X.” Formed in 1977 by guitarists Doe and Zoom, the quartet became popu-

lar performing at a handful of Hollywood clubs, including the Whisky, The Roxy, and The Masque, alongside other genre-bending bands such as Fear, The Germs and others. Frowned upon by the mainstream, Doe and his youthful compatriots took their underground sound from the garage to the streets, igniting an undercurrent of revolution in the city throughout the ’80s. “It was time for a change,” he said. “On one side there was Linda Ronstadt, Peter Frampton, Fleetwood Mac — bands that were overindulgent and had lost the kind of essence of rock ’n’ roll music. And then on the other side, you had punk rock.” “Punk rock” was a loud, fast, and rowdy response to the stranglehold Doe and his mates felt the music industry had on listeners. “It was a struggle for sure, but everyone loves a struggle,” explained Doe. “A struggle pulls people together. There was a lot of community in Los Angeles, because in order to find a hall and put together a show, everyone had to pull together their resources. We didn’t realize it at the time that if you identified Please see PAGE 21


Thursday, December 23, 2010 The Bakersfield Californian

Eye Street COMING IN EYE STREET • Restaurants live and die by consistency. Just one unfavorable dining experience can turn a loyal customer into a vocal detractor. After hearing wildly different reports about Grandview Asian Cuisine, Californian restaurant critic Pete Tittl knew he needed to find out what was what. • Herb Benham is sleeping in a strange bed. But before you call the marriage counselor on his behalf, check out his column to find out why.

Saturday If your New Year’s resolution is to get out more, let our January events calendar be your guide.

Sunday Merle Haggard caps off what could go down as the year of his life — at least professionally — on Tuesday when CBS airs a celebration of his career with “The Kennedy Center Honors.” We catch Haggard up with the country music legend and ask him about meeting the president and fellow honorees Oprah Winfrey and Paul McCartney. • Mark Huggs, the visionary behind the 24th Street Cafe, one of Bakersfield’s best breakfast spots, was born to the food business. In


Naomi Denton delivers two arms full of food to customers on the patio of the 24th Street Cafe.

fact, he still runs into people who remind him that he predicted as early as the seventh grade he would one day own a restaurant. Mission accomplished.


yourself like that you were like a pariah to the music industry, but we didn’t really give a (expletive). It was about being concerned with good music and art, and not doing the status quo.” That sense of community helped bands like X continue to perform despite being targets of harassment in a city known for excess. “There was a lot of prejudice against people that looked like us. People would get beat up or wouldn’t get served in restaurants. If you look at the pictures, people didn’t even look that weird. I mean, what is so weird about a black leather jacket and ripped-up jeans? The thing that I always thought was: ‘This is Hollywood. Isn’t this where you’re supposed to be allowed to look like that?’” Fashion statements aside, what made X stand out were their exhilarating live shows and musicianship. Looking to bring rock ’n’ roll back to its rebel roots, X’s style was more akin to Eddie Cochran than Sid Vicious. Guitarist Billy Zoom, in his signature leather-jacketed Elvis stance, was a proficient ax man, smiling with teen idol charm. On the opposite end was Doe, handling bass and vocal duties, sporting a ’50s greaser look. On colead vocals was the striking Exene, whose haunting off-key vocals blended in dissonance with Doe’s melodic vibrato. Behind the drums was classically trained percussionist D.J. Bone-


In addition to his musical pursuits, John Doe, seen in 2007, has also become a part-time actor with a variety of television and movie roles.

brake, keeping time amidst the chaos. “We were always thought of as the hippies of punk rock in Los Angeles, because we played slower songs, there was more melody, song structure, and Billy could play rings around anybody else. So, we were never like the ‘punk rockest of the punk rockers,’” he said. Getting signed to Hollywood indie label Slash in 1980, X also caught the attention of Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who took the band under his wing.

Adv. Tix on Sale GULLIVER'S TRAVELS Adv. Tix on Sale THE GREEN HORNET LITTLE FOCKERS (PG-13) # (1000 1030 100 130 400 430) 700 730 1000 1030 TRUE GRIT (PG-13) # (1045 145 445) 745 1045 TRON: LEGACY (PG) # (1245 345) 645 945 HOW DO YOU KNOW (PG-13) (1040 140 440) 740 1040 YOGI BEAR IN REALD 3D - EVENT PRICING (PG) # (1010 1215 235 435) 710 915 TRON: LEGACY IN REALD 3D - EVENT PRICING (PG) # (1015 115 415) 715 1015 THE FIGHTER (R) - ID REQ'D (1020 120 420) 720 1020 THE TOURIST (PG-13) (1050 150 450) 750 1025 CHRONICLES NARNIA: VOYAGE IN REALD 3D -EVENT PRICE (PG) # (1230 330) 630 900 BLACK SWAN (R) - ID REQ'D (1100 200 500) 800 1035 HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS 1 - DP (PG-13) (1130 245) 600 930 YOGI BEAR - DP (PG) # (1145 205 405) 640 845 (1250 350) 650 950 TANGLED (PG)

Maya Bakersfield 16 Cinemas

Maya Bakersfield 16 Cinemas Matinee $6.00, Children/Seniors $6.00, General Admission $9.00, for 3D presentation add $3.00 to normal ticket price.

Next Thursday A year on the entertainment scene usually begins in a gin-soaked New Year’s party blur — and ends exactly the same way. But there are a lot of highs and lows in between. We’ll run down the list of the most noteworthy things that happened in 2010 in the world of entertainment, culture and arts.

“Ray saw us at the Whisky. We were playing ‘Soul Kitchen’ at about triple speed. I think he saw a similar connection with us and our audience that The Doors had,” explained Doe. Joining the band in-studio for the “Los Angeles” sessions, Manzarek acted as producer and performer, laying down keyboard tracks on much of the album. It was an opportunity Doe says the band couldn’t refuse, even by punk standards. Manzarek stayed with the band for three more releases: “Wild Gift,” “Under The Big Black Sun” and 1985’s “Ain’t Love Grand.” Finding some crossover rock success with their cover of The Troggs’ “Wild Thing” in ’89, they’ve remained DIY heroes for most of their career. Staying musically active during band hiatuses, Doe also became a part-time actor in movie and TV shows, including “Road House,” “Roswell” and “Boogie Nights.” Preferring music to the bustle of Hollywood, one thing Doe also currently enjoys is his new family life in and around Bakersfield. Making comparisons between his hero, Merle Haggard, and punk rock’s outlaw spirit, Doe looks forward to Monday’s show with one small concern. “I hope Buck Owens isn’t spinning in his grave for the fact that we’re playing there. I have a lot respect for Buck and all his crazy things.”

© 2010

Times For 12/23/10

Text Movies to 21321

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!


Tron: Legacy 3D PG-13 10:00 1:00 4:00 7:10 10:15 Yogi Bear 3D – PG 10:15 12:35 2:50 5:05 7:20 9:40 True Grit*** - PG-13 12:15 2:45 5:20 8:00 10:40 Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader 3D PG 9:40 am Little Fockers – PG-13 9:45 11:00 12:00 1:15 2:15 3:40 4:40 6:05 7:10 7:40 8:20 9:45 10:15 10:50

True Grit*** - PG-13 11:15 1:45 4:25 7:00 9:35

The Fighter*** - R 10:30 11:50 1:10 2:25 3:50 5:05 6:30 7:45 9:20 10:30

How Do You Know*** - PG-13 11:25 2:05 4:50 7:30 10:10

Tron: Legacy 2D – PG-13 10:40 11:20 1:40 2:20 4:40 5:15 8:05 10:55

Yogi Bear 2D – PG 11:10 1:20 3:45 6:00 8:10

The Tourist*** - PG-13 10:25 12:40 3:05 5:30 7:50 10:20

Voyage of the Dawn Treader 2D*** - PG 12:50 3:55 6:40 9:25

Tangled – PG 10:05 12:25 2:45 5:10 7:35 9:55

Due Date – R 10:35 PM

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows Part 1 PG-13

9:55 am

Black Swan*** - R 10:10 12:45 3:10 5:40 8:15 10:45

*** Special engagement

1000 California Ave. • 661-636-0484 •

HOLIDAY LIGHTS SCHEDULE EXTENDED BECAUSE OF RAIN Due to the number of postponements caused by rain, Holiday Lights at CALM is being extended a week to include New Year’s Eve and Day. Everything except food is covered in the price of admission, including parking and rides on the giant carousel and the Candy Cane Express train. Admission prices are $12 for adults, $6 for children ages 3-12, $10 for children ages 13-17 and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased at the gate or through Vallitix at 3225200 or at

New to visitors this year are giant animated insects on the nature trail, native animals building a snowman, elves loading a train with holiday fireworks and roasting marshmallows with a dragon’s fire. A big crowd favorite is the synchronized symphony of multi-colored, musical trees, as well as a sea featuring animated, aquatic animal, antics. Holiday Lights is closed Christmas Eve and Day, but otherwise open from 5:30 to 9 p.m. each night through Jan. 2. Information: 872-2256. — Kern County Superintendent of Schools




The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, December 23, 2010


Spotlight in the holiday spirit Year in review show gives patrons a 2010 retrospect


ith this evening’s “One Christmas Night Only,” the folks at Spotlight Theatre are revisiting highlights of this year’s shows and offering a glimpse of what’s coming up. Along with plenty of favorite show tunes, the 30 performers will give a generous nod to the holiday with several seasonal songs — some humorous, some traditional. Michelle Weingarden, Spotlight’s superefficient stage manager, for example, is doing a ditty titled “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” and Alex Neal, who handles a number of duties at the theater in addition to being a fine actor, is doing “O Holy Night.” Hal Friedman, co-director with Jarred Clowes, said it’s being done concert style rather than a show format. Instead of stage costumes, singers and dancers will be dressed in formal clothes. Ruben Carillo will provide accompanying music at the piano. A number of songs are previews of what’s ahead for 2011. Bethany Tanner will sing “Listen,” from “Dreamgirls,” the musical that ends Spotlight’s current season in July. Also on the playbill are songs from shows planned for the 2011-12 season, including “Wheels of a Dream,” from “Ragtime,” sung by Steven Littles and Rachel Sanders; and “Don’t Cry for me Argentina,” from “Evita,” sung by Jessica Merritt. Bryan Maddern serves as master of ceremonies and also does a rendition of “The Night Before Christmas.” The concert ends with “White Christmas,” featuring Matt Swatzell and the entire cast. In the past two years Spotlight has veered away from traditional holiday shows for its December offering, presenting “Children of Eden” this year and “Secret Garden” in 2009. But for 2011 the choice is “White Christmas.” Friedman said the admission price for this evening — $40 a person or $60


Emily Nicholas is seen in New York after a recital in April. She earned a master’s degree in classical music at Manhattan School of Music.

per couple — includes wine, beer and desserts. Proceeds will help fund future productions. Tickets can be purchased at the door but reservations are recommended.

Singer returns for concert Bakersfield native Emily Nicholas, who now lives in New York City, will be in town on Sunday for a concert at The Empty Space. Advance ticket sales have been brisk so it’s a good idea to call the theater to make sure you have a seat. Her program will include holiday standards and a tribute to the late Judy Garland. Bill Brown, another local product, will be her accompanist. “Bill was big in the theater scene there too and recently moved to New York,” Nicholas said in an e-mail message. “We’re rehearsing here and bringing the show to Bako!” Nicholas is a resident artist for Brooklyn’s One World Symphony and Opus 9 Musicians. She has been featured in “Time Out

Camille Gavin’s “Arts Alive!” column appears on Thursday. Write to her via e-mail at

New York” and “Classical Singer” magazines.


Season begins with ‘Pitch Day’

‘One Christmas Night Only’

The Empty Space is noted for being somewhat outside the norm in the shows it produces. A majority explore sophisticated or controversial subjects that other local playhouses seem to avoid. Knowing that, I wondered who makes the decisions for the main stage shows, that is, the free admission shows that begin at 8 p.m. I’m aware the theater holds a “Pitch Day” periodically to give those interested an opportunity to suggest something they would like to see produced. But I was curious about what happened after that. Do a lot of people make suggestions, I wondered, or is it just a few? And who makes the final choices? For the answers I asked Bob Kempf, the theater’s artistic director, to explain the process. He responded in an e-mail message which follows: “Pitch Day at The Empty Space is a huge part of our identity, and always an interesting process,” Kempf said. “There are usually several Empty Space board members on hand to interview each ‘pitcher.’ “Each person brings a prospectus of what he or she wants to produce, whether it be a full-fledged production or a special event. Many come with more than one project in mind. We typically see around 20 prospective directors, playwrights, and/or performers. It can definitely be overwhelming. “The final choice is left to me as artistic director, but I always seek out input from the rest of the board. I try to find a nice balance of plays to compose a season ... a Shakespeare play, a musical, an American classic, a contemporary piece, a new play by a local writer, etc. It’s not always easy putting the pieces of the puzzle together, but the end result is always exciting to see. “We have Pitch Day twice a year, normally in April and September, but submissions are welcome throughout the year.” The Empty operates on the basis of a sixmonth season. Here are the results for January through July of 2011, along with Kempf’s brief notes about the show and the name of each director: Jan. 7 to 22 — “Touch.” A tender and gripping drama of unexpected loss and redemption. Written by Toni Press-Coffman, directed by Justin L. Brooks.

When: 7 p.m. today Where: Spotlight Theatre, 1622 19th St. Admission: $40 per person, $60 per couple Information: 634-0692

Emily Nicholas: ‘Holiday Concert’ When: 7 p.m. Sunday Where: The Empty Space, 706 Oak St. Admission: $15 Information: 327-PLAY Feb. 11 to March 5 — “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Truth and lies, love and disgust, life and death — an American classic written by Tennessee Williams, directed by Jason Monroe March 18 to 26 — “The Vagina Monologues,” in conjunction with the annual VDay observance, an international movement to end violence movement to stop violence against women and girls. An evening of self-discovery, survival and empowerment. Written by Eve Ensler, directed by Alison Martin and Michelle Guerrero Tolley. March 25 and 26 — “Mixed Relief,” in conjunction with SWAN Day, or Support Woman Arts Now. A celebration of creative American women of the past. Written by the members of New Shoe, directed by Julie Jordan Scott April 1 to 23 — “Stage Door.” The classic 1930s American comic send-up of Broadway and Hollywood. Written by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman, directed by Bob Kempf May 6 to 21 — “The Shadow Box.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning drama concerning love, life and loss. Written by Michael Cristofer, directed by Eric Tolley June 3 to 18 — “An American Snapshot.” An original play inspired by random photographs of life in these United States. Conceived and directed by Porter Jamison. July 8 to 30 — “The Wild Party.” An astonishing new musical set during the roaring ’20s. Written by Andrew Lippa, directed by Genia Owens and Meg Calvillo. Note: Most shows begin at 8 p.m., with occasional matinees at 2 p.m.


Thursday, December 23, 2010 The Bakersfield Californian


See these: Yule thank me later Stewart is one of the all-time greats, and he was never better than in this movie. The story is corny and old-fashioned, and that’s why we all love it. Plus, the idea that an honest banker would consider suicide over $8,000 is quite a thought given the current state of the banking industry. I wonder if the crew over at Goldman Sachs has seen this one. Buy a copy and watch it every year with the kids, no matter how old they are.

Classics, irreverent comedies in the mix


he week of Christmas is, for me, one of the best of the year. The shopping is all done, the kids don’t require much driving around, and the Seahawks have usually been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. In other words, it’s time to relax. It’s also the time to enjoy one of my favorite parts of the season: Christmas movies. And you should too. There’s no better way to rev up the old Christmas spirit like sitting down with the family and a cup of cocoa and enjoying one of the classics. Now I know time is tight for a lot of us this time of year, so I have taken the liberty of making a guide to the 10 can’t-miss, alltime-classics, the ones you buy on DVD and watch year after year. I’ve put them in no particular order because I don’t want a bunch of angry e-mails, and, frankly, it would be impossible to pick a winner. I suppose it depends on your mood. Keep in mind that TV movies and shows don’t count. I’m a sucker for “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and “Frosty the Snowman,” but they clearly don’t count. Sorry. So without further ado, here are the top 10 Christmas movies of all time:

1. “A Christmas Story” Made in 1983, and I’ve watched it every year since. The simple story of a kid’s quest for the ultimate Christmas gift — the Red Ryder BB gun. From the quirky family dynamic (Darren McGavin is perfect as Ralphie’s dad), to the scene that made us all think twice before touching our tongues to frozen metal (we still did it, of course, but we thought twice first), this movie is borderline magical. It’s funny and quirky and heartwarming all at the same time. Perfect for anyone who is, or ever was, a kid.

that what Christmas is all about? Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye set the standard for a generation of entertainers. And how do you top a story about two war buddies helping their former general save his Vermont inn? You don’t. If you haven’t seen this movie in years, dust it off and give it another look. I dare you not to sing along.


Edmund Gwenn, left, as Kris Kringle, greeting Natalie Wood in a scene from the 1947 film “Miracle on 34th Street.”

9. “Miracle on 34th Street” ZUMA PRESS

In the classic “A Christmas Story,” all young Ralphie Parker wants for Christmas is a Daisy “Red Ryder” BB gun.


Will Ferrell stars in “Elf.”

2. “The Bishop’s Wife”

4. “Trading Places”

This 1947 classic stars David Niven and Cary Grant. It’s a wonderful story about a man and his guardian angel. Considering the era in which it was made, it’s pretty witty and engaging. The cool thing is that it’s a pretty basic story, very well-written and acted. Plus, if you like your Christmas entertainment with a generous amount of religious imagery, you’ll love it. And if you just want pure entertainment, you’ll love it too. The last of the great black and white holiday classics.

Yes, this does count as a Christmas movie, and a good one at that. Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy are both in their prime, and the whole story of how they outwit the Duke brothers is great. This movie taught me every thing I know about the stock market, so it also counts as educational. It’s funny, it’s clever, and it ends with Jamie Lee Curtis in a bikini. Merry Christmas indeed.

3. “Scrooged” The best version of Dickens’ work ever. We’ve all seen “A Christmas Carol” before, but Bill Murray is hilarious, and this version of the story just works better than any of the previous ones. The cast is great: John Forsythe, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, and plenty more. The transition from awful person to Christmas softy is remarkable, mostly because Murray’s character, Frank Cross, is way worse than any of the Scrooge characters you’ve seen before. This guy is so despicable that you kinda don’t want to see him change. But change he does. Into a good guy at Christmas. Just like the original, but way funnier.

6. “Elf” I didn’t want to like this movie, but my kids talked me into going, and I loved it. Keep in mind that this was way before Will Ferrell made a bunch of terrible movies that made us all like him less. It’s a little too cutesy for some people, but Ferrell’s charm carries this movie. The story is funny and unique, a modern classic. Plus it’s got Bob Newhart, which makes it worth watching automatically. Mix in Andy Richter, Amy Sedaris, Kyle Gass, and the voice of Leon Redbone, and you get a movie that anyone can love.

7. “Bad Santa”


Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and other cast members in a scene from the 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

5. “It’s A Wonderful Life” Just an amazing movie. Jimmy

Scott Cox, whose radio show can be heard from weekdays on KERN-AM, 1180, writes occasional columns for The Californian

I know — it’s got bad language and adult situations, but if you’re all grown up and looking for a modern Christmas movie that’s laugh-out-loud funny, I recommend this one. Billy Bob Thornton is the first movie Santa that makes you root for him to be better. And, thanks to dumb luck/Christmas magic, he is. A classic tale of redemption told through a story of drinking and crime. Watch it after the kids go to bed. If you want old-school wholesome holiday entertainment, look elsewhere.

8. “White Christmas” Corny? Yep. Hokey? You betcha. But it’s still entertaining, and you can watch it with anyone, young or old, and they’ll love it, and isn’t

This movie is pretty dark for its day. It’s got a drunk Santa getting canned, and his replacement going on trial to prove his sanity. Maureen O’Hara is a divorced single mom. In 1947! Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for his portrayal of Kris Kringle, and a then8-year-old Natalie Wood shows us all that we just need to believe. It’s another one of those amazingly sweet movies that will melt the heart of anyone who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus. Watching this movie might get your name moved to the “nice” list. It’s certainly worth a try.

10. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” Did anybody skim down to the bottom to see if I included “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”? Puh-leeze. This movie is the gold standard at my house. We not only watch it every year, but it’s considered rude not to shout out dialogue in sync with the actors. “Get yourself something too, Clark — something really nice.” And on and on. Anybody who gets/has to spend time with family at Christmas time will appreciate this movie. If you have kids, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, or just about any combination of relatives, you’ll get it. You not only get to see Chevy Chase in his greatest role, you get to see Randy Quaid before he lost his mind. Throw in Ray Charles’ classic “Christmas Is the Time of Year,” and you have what may be the best Christmas movie ever made. These are Scott Cox’s opinions, not necessarily those of The Californian.


The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, December 23, 2010

Eye Street The Lowdown with Matt Munoz

Put laughs on your Christmas list Show at Fishlips spoofs holiday music

Bakotopia Unplugged Open Mic Night With hosts Matt Munoz and Pablo Alaniz When: 8 to 11 p.m. Wednesdays. Signups start at 7:30 p.m. Where: Fishlips, 1517 18th St. Information: 324-2557 or visit the Facebook page for updates.


f you’re looking for some holiday ha-has, jump in your sleigh and slide on over to Fishlips at 8 tonight for the “NonDenominational Shmaltz Fest.” Described as an “adult holiday and comedy show wrapped into one,” director, head writer and cast member Morgan S. Roy said he was inspired by ’70s TV. “I used to love those cheesy variety Christmas specials, with The Brady Bunch hosting and all the lame song and dance routines,” said Roy. “This is a full-blown variety show, with multiple sketches, some song and dance — something different for the scene at Fishlips, but lots of music.” But there’s a big difference between “A Very Brady Christmas” and this show, added Roy. “We have lots of messed up Christmas songs.” Known for composing parodies of classics, Roy has also written some originals for the show, including “Santa Doesn’t Come To The Barrio,” “Christmas In Rehab,” “Carol of The Bongs,” “Santa and Mrs. Claus Work Things Out,” “The Most Ignorant Hannukah Sketch Ever” and more. “We’ll be making fun of all the holidays, not just Christmas. If you’re culturally sensitive, you might not wanna come to our show. It’s definitely subversive comedy. We get kinda out there.” Your hosts for the show will be Jared “Smokin’


Thomas G. Robinson was vocalist of the year in 2009 at the “Road to the Fair” Karaoke Contest.


Comedian Morgan S. Roy will be appearing at Fishlips tonight.

Phat J” and Matty D of Bakersfield band Tall Dark and 90, plus fellow funnymen Matt Frederickson and Maurice Pittman, who have dubbed themselves “The R.A.T. Pack.” “This show definitely won’t leave a lump of coal in your stocking. We’re a cheap date,” said Roy. Fishlips is located at 1517 18th Street, admission is $5. Call 3242557 for information.

Thomas G. Robinson off to BCT Citing the need to stretch his wings and see what he can offer the oldest continuous running theater in California, Thomas G. Robinson has decided to leave

The Empty Space for a new position as director of marketing at Bakersfield Community Theater. Working as both gallery and marketing director at the theater on Oak Street for two years, Robinson’s decision to step down comes on the heels of a successful production this month of the Random Writers One Acts at BCT. After the show’s run, Robinson says his experience working with BCT was a friendly change. “The feeling was very welcoming, and I felt they were genuinely glad to have me there.” With a little over a year left on his term on the board-elected executive positions at The Empty

Matt Munoz is editor of, a sister website of The Californian that devotes itself to promoting Bakersfield’s art scene. Matt’s column appears every Thursday in Eye Street.

Space, Robinson felt it would be better for all involved if he resign from the board and allow someone else to replace him. With no hard feelings, Robinson handpicked award-winning local artist Nano Rubio as his gallery director successor. “I don’t feel like I’ve left them in any kind of lurch, as their board is very strong and very active,” Robinson said. “I know that I just wasn’t feeling like I was contributing all I could due to some personality conflicts and feeling somewhat stifled.” Robinson produced, directed, and was one of the stars of The Empty Space’s “Jukebox Legends” last summer, one of the theater’s summer hits. “That one was too much at once,” he said. “I think producing, directing and starring in, as well as helping to design the sets, the marketing, and picking songs and artists was just too much at once — I got kind of burned out, and I’m sure I

rubbed some people the wrong way — well, I know I did!” After that show, Robinson avoided performing theatrically until Bakersfield writer/director James Kopp asked him to be in October’s “Geeks Vs. Zombies.” “I was thankful to James for casting me in that show, as it got me out of my funk and let me fall back in love with live theater,” Robinson said. “Now I’m looking forward to starting new, bringing more good theater to Bakersfield, and to be in a place that has so much history.” “Jukebox Legends” is nominated for five Empty Space Awards, which will take place on Jan. 9 at Stockdale Country Club. Robinson is nominated as Best Featured Male Actor for his role of “God” in “Geeks Vs. Zombies.”

What were the biggest stories of 2010? Bakersfield’s music and art scene had a lot of movement this year. Bands were in the studio and onstage, while art galleries closed and reopened. While I don’t have enough eyes and ears to cover the entire city, I know you readers out there collectively can help. For next week’s column, I’d like to do a nice recap of the year’s highlights. Who made the biggest splash this year? Send me an e-mail at with some noteworthy bits by Monday! Feliz Navidad!


Thursday, December 23, 2010 The Bakersfield Californian

Eye Street

Actors stretched talents 2010 was year of some great performances BY BETSEY SHARKEY


Los Angeles Times


n 2010, they really suffered for their art. All actors, in some way, suffer for their craft, with the very act of losing oneself inside another being coming at a high price. All that pushing and prodding of one’s pain, joy, love, loss and failure and the rest required by the craft is invasive by nature, demanding exposure that few of us would willingly suffer. But there are those roles in which the physical extremes parallel, or outpace, the emotional ones, where art is found in extraordinary action, an “our body, ourselves” melding of the abstract of emotions with the concrete of bone and sinew. In that, 2010 emerged as one of the most grueling in recent memory — bodies drenched in sweat, ribs cracked, pounds lost, pounds gained, muscle memory stretched to the limits. The year has turned acting into an extreme sport for some stars, an extreme pleasure for its spectators. Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, James Franco, Mark Wahlberg, Edgar Ramirez and Colin Firth have been among the prime practitioners, with the fascination in what they have accomplished coming not so much in the illusion but the lack of it. Of course, the wires and mirrors are there, but some things even the best Hollywood magic can’t cheat. Certainly, the physical alone was not enough to make these performances exceptional. It is the special alchemy of emotion and physicality which these actors have created with a fierceness and force that is extraordinary. Best of 2010 In order of preference:

“The Social Network” In capturing the genesis moment of the Facebook cultural monster, a story of computer codes and concepts, director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin unleashed an intellectual thriller packed with crackling dialogue and riveting performances. A mind game extraordinaire and the best action movie of the year. The year’s best movie too.

“Winter’s Bone” In the searing cold of backcountry poverty, director Debra Granik finds heartbreaking sadness and breathtaking beauty. It simply doesn’t get better than Jennifer Lawrence’s young Ree Dolly going up against the worst that nature has to offer, human and otherwise, as she digs into the black soul of the drug-infested Ozark hills.

“Carlos” From the French great Olivier Assayas’ refusal to let this sprawling story be bound by the conventions of

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Justin Timberlake, left, and Jesse Eisenberg appear in a scene from “The Social Network.”

time to Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez’s unerring descent into the charismatic insanity of a terrorist, everything aligns to ensure that each sultry and scorching minute burns.

Woody, Buzz Lightyear and crew.

“True Grit” I love a classic Western, and the Coen brothers have made a classic out of a classic. Infused with roughhewn humor and humanity, the good guys and the bad have something to like, but Hailee Steinfeld’s 14-yearold Mattie is what lingers — a portrait of resilience and determination of the type that forced the frontier toward civilization.


Annette Bening, left, and Julianne Moore star in “The Kids Are All Right.”

“The Kids Are All Right” Director Lisa Cholodenko has concocted the singular blend of family function and dysfunction. From the brittle brilliance of Annette Bening to the breakable beauty of Julianne Moore as two moms whose life is upended when the kids bring home Mark Ruffalo’s seductive spermdonating dad, no detail is overlooked in crafting one of the finest grown-up comedies ever.

“127 Hours” Even in the darkest hours, director Danny Boyle finds a way to inject a kind of giddy exuberance that somehow makes sense — here it is James Franco. In a nearly flawless solo turn as a hiker forced to do the unthinkable to survive his own hubris as much as the boulder that has him hopelessly trapped, the actor embodies the essence of the human spirit.

“Toy Story 3” Who would have guessed that the one true, heart-tugging tear-jerker of the year would come in a story of a boy packing away his toys? Yet for emotional honesty, nothing topped the animated performances of

Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky is like a mad scientist when it comes to experimenting with the surreal, and in “Black Swan” he’s finally gotten the witches’ brew right. At the film’s dark heart is an extraordinary performance by Natalie Portman, whose agony and ecstasy in the brutal world of ballet is an unforgettable flight of fancy.

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“The King’s Speech” A traditional film that becomes an unusually satisfying story of social class, personal failings and friendship. Watching the exchanges between Geoffrey Rush’s speech consultant, the confident, quick-witted commoner, and Colin Firth’s exquisite hesitation as a stuttering royal out of sorts with himself and everyone else, proves how simplicity in the right hands can become exceptional.

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The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, December 23, 2010


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eff Bridges dons John Wayne’s sizable boots in “True Grit,” a grittier Coen Brothers version of the tale that won the Duke his Oscar 40 years ago. And if the fit isn’t as snug and the performance not as warm and exultant as Wayne’s, the movie still manages to be a most worthy Western remake. In that stilted, period-perfect speech that characterized the Charles Portis novel and the first film, the adult Mattie Ross of Yell County narrates a tale from her past, back when her daddy was murdered in rural Arkansas. She was 14 back then, and screen newcomer Hailee Steinfeld is a pistol in this part. The moment we meet young Mattie, dressed in black, she’s haggling with the undertaker. And asking her age, mid-argument, will just annoy her. “That is a silly question.” She nags a poor horse trader (Dakin Matthews), threatening him with legal action from her family attorney, the unseen J. Noble Daggett. She ruffles feathers, even as she earns the occasional “I admire your sand.” Here’s a girl with grit. Mattie is a stubborn kid — “I intend to see Papa’s killer hanged.” Nothing will dissuade her. And as she asks who to hire for the dirty job of chasing the

‘True Grit’ ★★★ Cast: Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper Running time: 110 minutes Rated: PG-13 murderer, one man’s description meets her approval, “a pitiless man, fear doesn’t enter into his thinking.” That would be Marshal Rooster Cogburn, a man, she hopes, “with true grit.” Bridges gives Rooster a lurching, slack-jawed, top-heavy quality. This is a one-eyed drunk who won’t brook any questioning of his past or his trigger-happy methods. This Rooster barely tolerates Mattie, even after she’s met his price for setting off into the Indian Territories in search of the killer, Tom Chaney. Matt Damon is an interesting, chatty choice to play Laboeuf, an articulate pipe-smoker who is entirely too proud of his Texas Ranger status. He wangles his way onto their quest, as does Mattie, who stuffs newspaper into her daddy’s hat so that it’ll fit and will not be brushed off by these two bluff lawmen. “I will see the thing done.” Their odyssey is every bit as epic as you remember it. Cogburn and Laboeuf re-fight the Civil War over their respective parts in it, and Rooster never misses a chance to land a cheap

shot, such as ridiculing the Texan’s horse — “How long you boys been mounted on sheep? The sense of a time and place is as vivid here as it was in the original film. The violent encounters are more violent than those in John Wayne’s day (though not by much) and the story still has an ambling pace. And if the score is less heroic and the scenery less alpine, at least the cast and script are every bit as good as in the much-loved original film. Josh Brolin brings a brutish humor to the thuggish Chaney, and durable character actor Barry Pepper plays the outlaw leader Chaney has hooked up with, Lucky Ned Pepper. (Robert Duvall played Lucky Ned in 1969.) There’s pleasure in hearing Bridges deliver lines the Duke made famous — “I can’t do nothing for you, son. Your partner’s killed you and I’ve done for him.” The funniest scene — the horse trading (Strother Martin was in the original) — is still hilarious. It’s not a better film, just a slightly different, slightly darker one, lacking big laughs and those out-of-body moments that John Wayne, acting like a man who could smell that Oscar, delivered in a truly larger-than-life performance. Bridges is more than Wayne’s match as an actor. But even in his iconic roles, he’s never more or less than absolutely authentic and real-life sized. Something bigger was called for here, both from him and the Coen brothers behind the camera for this sturdy, still-entertaining remake.


Thursday, December 23, 2010 The Bakersfield Californian

Eye Street


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ou know a comedy franchise has hit rock bottom when, within the first 15 minutes of a movie, you’ve been forced to watch an obese man receiving an enema and a 2-yearold boy projectile vomiting into the face of his dad. So it goes with “Little Fockers,” the third and (let’s all cross our fingers here) presumably last installment in the series about the put-upon nurse Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) and his exCIA agent father-in-law Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro). Greg and his wife, Pam (Teri Polo), are now happily, if busily married in Chicago, with their twins’ third birthday fast approaching. But our hero faces temptation in the form of Andi Garcia (Jessica Alba), a knockout pharmaceutical sales rep who wants Greg to become a spokesperson for a new male sexual enhancement drug called Sustengo. (And yes, they beat that joke about how she shares a name with the actor Andy Garcia far into the ground). Jack, meanwhile, is facing mortality: He’s recently suffered a heart attack, which — for reasons that make about as much as sense as everything else in this slapdash effort — only Greg knows. The assorted plot points converge in one of those “I-can’t-believe-I’mactually-watching-this” moments, when Jack has a negative reaction to Sustengo, requiring Greg to inject his aroused private parts with a shot of adrenaline. As much as De Niro probably earned to endure “Little Fockers,” he should have asked for another $5 million for this scene alone. The plot of “Little Fockers,” of course, is really just an excuse to assemble a bunch of familiar faces and allow them to schtick it up. At least on that score, “Little Fockers” obliges. Barbra Streisand, as Greg’s sex therapist mother, and Dustin Hoffman, as his “menopausal” father, endearingly hover around the edges, and Owen Wilson — who’s long been the best part of this series — once again returns as Pam’s ex-boyfriend Kevin, a Zen-preaching investment banker who’s forever in the throes of a spiritual crisis. New to the mix — though large chunks of their performances seem to have been left on the cutting room floor — are Laura Dern, playing the headmistress at a tony preschool where Greg and Pam want to enroll the twins, and Harvey Keitel, as Greg’s do-nothing contractor. Yet there’s absolutely nothing at


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‘Little Fockers’ ★ Cast: Robert DeNiro, Ben Stiller, Barbra Streisand, Owen Wilson Rated: PG-13 Running time: 98 minutes stake here: We know Greg would never cheat on Pam, and we know Jack’s suspicions will eventually be allayed and father-in-law and son-in-law will once

again come to an uneasy truce. Clearly in a state of desperation, director Paul Weitz and screenwriters John Hamburg and Larry Stuckey pile on the puerile sight gags and struggle to come up with new ways to humiliate a bunch of performers who have been humiliated plenty in “Meet the Parents” and “Meet the Fockers.” By the time Greg and Jack have a bloody fistfight in a children’s playground ball pit, “Little Fockers” is no longer running on fumes — it’s empty.

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The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, December 23, 2010

Eye Street

Black no giant in puny film Plot villains are weak and narrative has no drive BY ROGER MOORE The Orlando Sentinnel

It begins with a very short cartoon starring that pre-historic “Ice Age” squirrel and ends with a big song-and-dance number. But no, “Gulliver’s Travels” isn’t all filler. Even though it sometimes seems that way. This Jack Black vehicle plays to a few of Black’s strengths — his physicality, his musicality, his eyebrows. But even at 83 minutes (plus a three-minute cartoon) it’s a drag, another 3-D movie for kids in which the 3-D adds nothing. What’s most surprising about this version of a big man among Lilliputians is how little film technology has improved in the art of putting that life-sized person in that teeny, tiny world. Black plays Lemuel Gulliver, a lonely “Star Wars”-obsessed loser, stuck 10 years in the mail room at a publishing house. When he finally gets up the nerve to ask out travel editor Darcy (Amanda Peet), he backs himself into an assignment. Yeah, he’s a writer. Yeah, he’s traveled. “I had no idea you wrote. Or traveled!” A little Internet cut-and-paste plagiarism gives him credibility, and she’s convinced

‘Gulliver’s Travels’ ★1⁄2 Cast: Jack Black, Jason Segal, Emily Blunt Rated: PG Running time: 85 minutes

he’s the right guy to send on a travel story. And that’s when his rented trawler is sucked into a whirlpool and dropped, with Gulliver, in a land of English-accented Lilliputians, ruled by Billy Connolly, with Emily Blunt as a prissy princess and Chris O’Dowd as an arrogant Gen. Edward Edwardian, suitor to the princess. Alas, poor Horatio (Jason Segel) is but a commoner, lacking the pedigree or “act of valor” to make him worthy to pursue that same princess. Gulliver copes with Lilliput the way he coped with his real life — with exaggeration. On his island, Manhattan, he was president — “President Awesome.” And after he bails Lilliput out of a conflict with rival state Blefescu, all things Gulliver become cool in Lilliput. Army platoons do close-order drill on his back as a massage. He’s able to throw a “Lillipalooza” where Lil-


Jack Black stars in “Gulliver’s Travels.”

liputian versions of his favorite bands hit the stage. And his life story, a mash-up of “Star Wars” origin myth and “Titanic” (which this “King of the World” survived), becomes Lilliput’s new West End hit. Rob Letterman’s film manages a few cute moments and an interesting non-starter —

Sink 2010!

Lower expectations for ‘Gulliver’ film BY CLAUDE BRODESSER AKNER



1 0

New York Magazine

TABLES: 864.0397

New Year’s Eve


he tagline for “Gulliver’s Travels” is “Something Big Is Going Down,” and according to ominous tracking numbers, that thing could be the movie itself. leaked National Research Group data points to an opening of only $10 million to $13 million for the Jack Black family comedy opening Saturday, deadly for a movie that Fox insiders say cost nearly $120 million, but other sources on the production suspect is much higher. According to the survey, only 74 percent of moviegoers were aware of “Gulliver’s,” and only 24 percent of them expressed “definite interest” in seeing it. As the head of marketing at another studio explains, “That means disaster. Only one in four people who know about your movie want to see it.” The film was directed by first-time liveaction director Rob Letterman, who was behind the animated hits “Monsters vs. Aliens” and “Shark Tale.” Sources on the production told New York Magazine that there was a steep learning curve in his

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Gulliver’s visit to “the island where we dare not go” (think gigantic little girl, Gulliver in her dollhouse). The villains are weak and the narrative has little drive to it. And when your big laugh is how a big guy with fully functioning kidneys might put out a little bitty fire, well ...

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move to real actors and a very complicated special-effects situation. Not helping matters, the neophyte director butted heads with his experienced effects supervisor, Jim Rygiel — who won the Best Visual Effects Oscar for his work on all three “Lord of the Rings” movies — and Letterman eventually fired him. (The director, who would not comment for this story, also went through two pairs of editors.) The film was originally slated for a summer 2010 release; while magazine sources claim that Letterman’s inexperience led to the delay, a Fox insider maintained that the studio made the decision to bump it to Christmas way back in July 2009, after the “Night at the Museum” sequel opened in May and grossed $177.2 million: respectable, but $73 million less than the first “Night at the Museum,” which opened in the 2006 Christmas season. Also working against “Gulliver’s” is the fact that it’s opening right on Christmas Day, a Saturday, which means it only has eight days to try to recoup the bulk of its price tag before kids go back to school. Meanwhile, “Little Fockers” opened three days earlier and is also tracking much better: 43 percent definite interest to “Gulliver’s” 24 percent. And while “Fockers” is the first choice of 16 percent of moviegoers, “Gulliver’s” is the first choice of just 3 percent. Can Fox avoid taking what experts say will likely be a $100 million write-down on its Black comedy? The odds of it doing so look to be Lilliputian.


Thursday, December 23, 2010 The Bakersfield Californian


Eye Street


TE T GE QUO m ST N co . E s T O ler LA FABRIE JEWELERS we e j 4560 COFFEE RD. e i r HAGEMAN & COFFEE b fa

GO & DO Today “Holly Follies,” doors open at 7:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m., Intimate Theatre & Music Hall, 2030 19th St. $15 one adult; $25 two adults; $10 children under 12. 323-1976.


New Year, New Look

“It’s a Wonderful Family Christmas Carol,” followed by the vaudeville revue “Santa of the Opera,” 7 p.m., Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall, 12748 Jomani Drive. $21 to $23. 587-3377. HolidayLights @ CALM, see more than 2 million lights, colorful displays, giant carousel, Candy Cane Express for rides around the zoo and more, open daily 5:30 to 9 p.m. through Jan. 2, except Friday and Saturday, CALM, 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway. $12; $10 seniors and children ages 3-17; $6 ages 3-12. or 322-5200, 872-2256. “The Non-Denominational Holiday Schmaltz-Fest!,” subversive holiday variety show featuring Future HasBeens, with Backup Johnny, 8 p.m., Fishlips Bar & Grill, 1517 18th St. 3242557. Winter Playground, ice skating, train rides, arts and crafts room, snow play area, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. today and noon to 3 p.m. Friday, Bakersfield Ice Sports Center, 1325 Q St. $10. 8527400.

Sunday Emily Nicholas, Holiday Concert, 7 p.m., The Empty Space, 706 Oak St. $15. 327-PLAY. Condors vs. Stockton Thunder, 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. Prices range from $7 to $25 advance; $8 to $26 day of. Tickets: Rabobank box office, or 324-7825.

THEATER Improv Comedy Show, with Center For Improv Advancement group, 8 to 9:30 p.m. Saturdays; with high school students, 8 p.m. Sundays, Ice House, 3401 Chester Ave., Suite M. Adults: $5 on Saturdays, $3 on Sundays; children under 12 are $1 every day. 412-3CIA. Comedy Improv Tuesdays, 9 p.m. show Tuesdays, Elevation Lounge, 818 Real Road. $5; 21 and over. 3256864 or 213-8200.

ART Art on Display, by Elaine Collins, Norma Neil, Mary Lou Slinkard, Charlotte White and Norma Eaton, now through December, Guild House, 1905 18th St. 325-5478. Nancy Merrick, featured artist for December and January, Bakersfield Mazda, 3201 Cattle Drive. 328-8000. All Media Class, by instructor Phyllis Oliver, all media welcome, with color theory stressed. 348-4717 or Art classes, beginning watercolor, beginning drawing, advanced drawing and watercolor painters’ group, taught by Carol Bradshaw. 760-376-6604 or

Hair by

Michele Rust at the Look Salon & Spa For Appointment 661.330.9338 5131 Ming Ave. PHOTO COURTESY OF STARS RESTAURANT THEATRE

A scene from “Merry Christmas at Stars.”

GO & DO “A Merry Christmas at Stars!,” doors open at 6:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m., Stars Dinner Theatre, 1931 Chester Ave. $50 to $55; show-only tickets $30. 325-6100. Art for Healing program, of Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield has many unique classes that may help alleviate stress and anxiety resulting in illness, loss, grief or caring for another. All classes are free but some suggest a donation and are held at Mercy Hospital, Truxtun Campus, Truxtun and A St. 324-7070 or Basic Beading & Wire Wrapping Workshop, with Susi Klassen, private instruction or by appointment, The Bead Hut, 610 18th St. 324-0975 or 706-6490. Beginning Oil Painting, with instructor Glen Jelletich, classes held 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays. 399-3707. Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Drawing, by instructor Nina Landgraff, series of five two-hour classes. 304-7002. Framing Clinic, with Toni Lott, for artists who want to frame their work, began April 7, running noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays. 205-3488. Native American Arts Association, meets to learn basketry, beadwork and more, 9 a.m. to noon each Thursday, The Stockdale Moose Lodge, 905 Stine Road. 852-5050. Oil Painting Class with Monica Nelson, 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays, now through December, Juliana’s Art Studio & Gallery, 501 18th St. 327-7507. The Art Center, 1817 Eye St., 8692320; offers a variety of painting and drawing classes. Call for details. The Art Shop Club, 9 a.m. to noon each Thursday, Friday and Saturday, The Art Shop, 1221 20th St. All mediums. 322-0544, 589-7463 or 496-5153. Free art classes, for home-school parents, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Call to reserve your spot. Moore’s Art Studio, 10205 Hurlingham Drive. 5887769. Aliza McCracken, featured artist through January, Bakersfield Center for Spiritual Living and The Martha Chapman Bookstore, 222 Eureka St., bookstore open: 10 a.m, to 2 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 323-3109,

Terry & ’s Charlotte

Open Christmas Eve Regular Hours

Buy 1 Dinner & Get 1


STEAK HOUSE 2515 F Street • 322-9910

Mon-Fri, 11-2 HOURS Lunch: Dinner: Mon-Thurs, 5-10; Fri & Sat, 5-10:30

Dine In Only Expires 12-30-10 Maximum value of $10.95 only. One coupon per table or party. Not valid with any other offers or Holidays.

Terry & ’s Charlotte

Open Christmas Eve Regular Hours

Buy 1 Lunch & Get 1



Maynard Dixon’s “Walls of Walpi,” which dates to 1923.

Go & Do Exhibits on Display, “Space, Silence, Spirit: Maynard Dixon’s West/The Hays Collection,” “Marco Casentini: Grand Junction,” and “Uniquely Yours: Modern Architects in Bakersfield,” now until March 6, Bakersfield Museum of Art, 1930 R St. or 3237219.

STEAK HOUSE 2515 F Street • 322-9910

Mon-Fri, 11-2 HOURS Lunch: Dinner: Mon-Thurs, 5-10; Fri & Sat, 5-10:30

Dine In Only Expires 12-30-10 Maximum value of $6.95 only. One coupon per table or party. Not valid with any other offers or Holidays.

Bakersfield’s original


MUSIC Country Trouts & the Blackboard Stages, 805 N. Chester Ave., 399-6700, offers karaoke, line dancing, West Coast Swing among other various activities. Call for times and days. Ethel’s Old Corral, 4310 Alfred Harrell Highway, 873-7613; Four on the Floor, 7 to 11 p.m. Friday; Noah Claunch, 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday. Tejon Club, 117 El Tejon Ave., 3921747; Crossroads, 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Cover Sandrini’s, 1918 Eye St., 322-8900; A Very Chrisanova Christmas, 9 p.m. Friday. The Bistro After Dark, 5105 California Ave., 323-3905; Old School Saturdays with Noe G, 10 p.m. every Saturday. Ladies free/$10. Please see PAGE 30

4915 Stockdale Highway • 661-834-3068 Monday - Friday: 10-6 • Saturday: 10-5


The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, December 23, 2010


Dancing Joaquin Squares, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Rasmussen Center, 115 E. Roberts Lane. $5. 324-1390, 325-3086 or 399-3658. Folklorico Classes, advance dancers/performing group 6 to 8 p.m. Fridays; and beginners, all ages, 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays, Fruitvale-Norris Park, 6221 Norris Road. $22 per month for beginners; $25 per month for advance dancers. 833-8790. Pairs and Spares Dance, 7:30 p.m. each Friday, Rasmussen Senior Center, 115 E. Roberts Lane. $5; $7 nonmembers. 399-3575 or 332-1537. Country Dance, with music provided Jerri Arnold & Stars & Guitars, jam session, all artists welcome, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Le Corusse Rouge, 4647 White Lane. Dance classes, beginning West Coast Swing, intermediate/ advanced West Coast Swing with instructor Mimi Johanson, at 8214 Mossrock Drive. 927-7001. Whirlaways Square Dance Club, with caller Rick Hampton, 7 to 9:30 p.m. every Monday, Veteran’s Hall, 400 W. Norris Road. or 398-3394. Dance Drill Classes, beginning belly dancing, 8 p.m. every Tuesday; advanced belly dancing, 7 to 9 p.m. every Thursday, Centre Stage Studio, 1710 Chester Ave. $5 drop-in fee for beginning belly dancing; $15 for advanced belly dancing. 3235215.

DJ Rockstarz Party Bar, 7737 Meany Ave., Suite B5, 589-6749; DJ James, 9 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Free. Bellvedere Cocktail Lounge, 3090 Brundage Lane, 325-2139; DJ Brian, 9 p.m. Friday. Le Corusse Rouge, 4647 White Lane, 834-1611; with DJ Chill in the Mixx, 5 p.m. every Friday until 2 a.m. Saturday. The Bull Shed Bar & Grill, at Hotel Rosedale, 2400 Camino Del Rio Court, 327-0681; with Meg, 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Sandrini’s, 1918 Eye St., 3228900; Mothership with DJ Mustache, 9 p.m. Saturday.

Jazz Cafe Med, 4809 Stockdale Highway, 834-4433; Richie Perez, 7:30 to 11 p.m. Thursdays. Imbibe Wine & Spirits Merchant, 4140 Truxtun Ave., 633-WINE; live jazz & wine bar featuring Jazz Connection with Paul Cierley and Rick Lincoln, 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; featuring Bob Beadling, along with 24 wines, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday. Padre Hotel, Prospect Room, 1702 18th St., 427-4900; Jazz & Martinis featuring Zanne Zarow Trio, 7 p.m. Tuesday.


The 2009 Christmas Around the World Holiday event had a display showing the Nativity in a cave, as it often is seen in Egypt.

Go & Do “Christmas Around the World” Holiday Event, with nutcrackers, collectibles, antique Bibles, Nativity displays and more, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, now until Dec. 30, Timeless Design Center, 1918 Chester Ave. $20 family of four; $8 individual; $5 children; children under 8 are free. Proceeds benefit Boys & Girls Club of Kern County. or 326-0222. Le Corusse Rouge, 4647 White Lane, 834-1611; Bakersfield Jazz Workshop, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. every Wednesday.

Karaoke Bellvedere Cocktail Lounge, 3090 Brundage Lane, 325-2139; 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursdays and Sundays. Cactus Valley Mexican Restaurant, 4215 Rosedale Highway, 633-1948; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday; beer pong and happy hour all day Sunday. Cataldo’s Pizza, 4200 New Stine Road, 397-5000; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Don Perico Restaurant, 2660 Oswell St., Suite 133, 871-2001; 7 to 11 p.m. Thursdays. Pour House, 4041 Fruitvale Ave., 589-9300; 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Que Pasa Mexican Cafe, 9000 Ming Ave., 664-1400; 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursdays. T-Bones Steakhouse, 8020 District Blvd., 398-1300; with Irish Monkey Entertainment, 6:30 to 11 p.m. Thursdays. The Old River Monte Carlo, 9750 Taft Highway, 837-0250; 8:30 p.m. every Thursday. The Wright Place, 2695-G Mount Vernon Ave., 872-8831, 8 p.m. every Thursday. Tomi’s Cowgirl Cafe, 1440 Weedpatch Highway, 633-1949; Karaoke King Show, all ages, 7 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. Banacek’s Lounge, 4601 State Road, 387-9224; 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Casa Lopez, 8001 Panama Road, Lamont, 845-1000; 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday (country) and Saturday (Spanish). Dee & Jay’s Bar, 908 Brundage Lane, 325-5615; 8 p.m. to midnight every Friday.

Julie’s The Branding Iron Saloon, 1807 N. Chester Ave., 6 to 10 p.m. every Friday. Maria Bonita Mexican Restaurant, 10701 Highway 178, 366-3261, 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays. All ages. The Prime Cut, 9500 Brimhall Road, 831-1413; hosted by Ed Loverr, 9 p.m. to midnight Friday. Pyrenees Cafe, 601 Sumner, 3230053; 8 p.m. to midnight Saturdays. Rocket Shop Cafe, 2000 S. Union Ave., 832-4800; 8:30 p.m. to midnight Saturday. Sports & Spirits, 6633 Ming Ave., 398-7077; 9 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays. Tejon Club, 117 El Tejon Ave., 3921747; 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Camino Real Restaurant, 3500 Truxtun Ave., 852-0493; 9:30 p.m. Sundays. The Playhouse, 2915 Taft Highway; 397-3599; 7 to 10 p.m. Sundays. Rockstarz Party Bar, 7737 Meany Ave., Suite B5, 589-6749; 8 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays. Schweitzer’s Pit Stop, 10807 Rosedale Highway, 587-8888; 8 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays. The Wrecking Yard, 9817 S. Union Ave., 827-9192; 7 to 10 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Rockstarz Party Bar, 7737 Meany Ave., Suite B5, 589-6749; 8 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays. B. Ryder’s Sports Bar & Grill, 7401 White Lane, 397-7304; 8 p.m. Tuesday. Buck Owens Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd., 3287560; 7:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays. Cataldo’s Pizzeria, 6111 Niles St., 363-7200; 6:15 to 10:15 p.m. Tuesdays.

DoubleTree Hotel, Club Odyssey, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court; 8 p.m. to midnight Tuesdays. Le Corusse Rouge, 4647 White Lane, 834-1611; Wild West Entertainment, 8 p.m. to midnight Tuesdays. Lone Oak Inn, 10612 Rosedale Highway, 589-0412; 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Magoo’s Pizza, 1129 Olive Drive, 399-7800; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. McMurphy’s Irish Pub & Sports Bar, 14 Monterey St., 869-1451; 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesdays. Round Table Pizza, 2060 White Lane, 836-2700; 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. The Bull Shed Bar & Grill, at Hotel Rosedale, 2400 Camino Del Rio Court, 327-0681; 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Trouts & The Blackboard Stages, 805 N. Chester Ave., 3996700; 7 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. B. Ryder’s Sports Bar & Grill, 7401 White Lane, 397-7304; 8 p.m. Tuesday. Ethel’s Old Corral, 4310 Alfred Harrell Highway, 873-7613; 6 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday. Elevation Lounge, 818 Real Road, 325-6864; 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Latin/salsa Latin Salsa Dancing, 8 p.m. Thursdays, DoubleTree Hotel, Club Odyssey, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court. 323-7111. Padre Hotel, Prospect Room, 1702 18th St., 427-4900; Rumba Bongo featuring Lunchbox, DJ Frank & DJ Kosmo, 9 p.m. Thursday. Sandrini’s, 1918 Eye St., 3228900; Velorio, 9 p.m. Thursday. Camino Real Restaurant, 3500 Truxtun Ave., 852-0493; Son Tropical, 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays. Tam O’Shanter, 2345 Alta Vista, 324-6774: Salsa dancing, 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Mariachi Camino Real Restaurant, 3500 Truxtun Ave., 852-0493; Mariachi Imperial, 6 to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Oldies KC Steakhouse, 2515 F St., 3229910; Jimmy Gaines, Bobby O and Mike Halls, 6:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Old school Que Pasa Mexican Cafe, 2701 Ming Ave., 832-5011; Al Garcia & the Rhythm Kings, 8 to 11 p.m. every Thursday.

Open mic Fishlips, 1517 18th St., 324-2557; Bakotopia Unplugged Open-Mic Night, 8 p.m., signups at 7:30 p.m.


Token Okies drummer Kirby Shropshire performs with “The Duke” looking on.

GO & DO Buck Owens Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd., 3287560; Token Okies, 7:30 to 9:45 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

Rock Rockstarz Party Bar, 7737 Meany Ave., Suite B5, 589-6749; live bands, 9 p.m. Thursdays. Elevation Lounge, 818 Real Road, 325-6864; Elevation 406, 9 p.m. Friday.

Songwriters The Prime Cut, 9500 Brimhall Road, 831-1413; Chuck Seaton and Billy Russell’s Songwriter’s Showcase, 7 p.m. Wednesdays.

Top 40 Elevation Lounge, 818 Real Road, 325-6864; DJ Adam E, 9 p.m. Thursday. DoubleTree Hotel, Club Odyssey, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court. 323-7111; 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. every Friday.

Trivia night Bellvedere Cocktail Lounge, 3090 Brundage Lane, 325-2139; 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Sandrini’s, 1918 Eye St., 3228900; Trivia Night with Dave Rezac, 10 p.m. Tuesdays.

Variety Marriott Hotel at the Convention Center, 801 Truxtun Ave., 323-1900: In the Mixx with DJ Noe G., Fridays. 21 & over only. Golden State Mall, 3201 F St., Dance to Joe Loco, 2 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

UPCOMING EVENTS Monday 12/27 “Christmas Around the World” Holiday Event, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Timeless Design Center, 1918 Chester Ave. $20 family of four; $8 individual; $5 children; children under 8 are free. 326-0222. Please see PAGE 31


Thursday, December 23, 2010 The Bakersfield Californian

Eye Street

Kwanzaa a chance to renew cultural ties BY BAKARI SANYU Contributing writer



Winter Science Camp, explore many interesting wonders of science, 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday, Buena Vista Museum of Natural History, 2018 Chester Ave. $70 members; $80 nonmembers. 324-6350. X, 7 p.m., Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. $18 to $24 plus fee. or 322-5200.

Tuesday 12/28 Creative Corner Bazaar, featuring handmade items such as quilts, children’s items and more, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., The Villas at Scenic River, 4015 Scenic River Lane. 871-3340 or 619-4153. Sierra Club Conditioning Hikes, three to five miles, 7 p.m., meet at corner of highways 178 and 184. 872-2432 or 8738107.

Thursday 12/30 Kwanzaa 2010 Celebration,

with dance performances, African folktales, cultural poetry, refreshments, vendors and more When: 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 30 Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 1000 S. Owens St. Admission: Free Information: 319-7611 Locally Owned Since 1979

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) — stresses that we define ourselves by embracing our history, heritage, and culture to develop common interests that are in the best interest of the family and community. Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) — stresses that we practice responsibility to and for each other, by being morally sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the family and community. Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) — stresses the obligation to pool resources, and share, for collective economic strength to meet common needs. Nia (Purpose) — stresses introspect for setting personal goals that are beneficial to the family and to the community. Kuumba (Creativity) — stresses persistent use of our creative energies to build and maintain a strong and vibrant family and community. Imani (Faith) — stresses the obligation to honor the best of our traditions, to always strive for higher levels of achievement, to continuously affirm our dignity and selfworth, and to always maintain confidence in our unique ability to succeed and triumph, irrespective of surrounding adversity. Come out and join the community on Dec. 30 to honor these principles and learn more about this celebration. African attire is strongly emphasized to support the essence and ambiance of this cultural event. — Bakari Sanyu is the director of The Sankofa Collective, a community-based cultural education organization.

performances by the Oblinyanko Drum & Dance Ensemble, the Martin Luther King Community Center Dance Club; African folktales, cultural poetry, refreshments, various vendors and more, 1 to 4 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 1000 S. Owens St. Free. 319-7611.

Saturday 1/1 2011 Polar Bear Plunge, make an ice plunge into the activity pool, must be 7 or older, 11 a.m., McMurtrey Aquatic Center, 1325 Q St. $5 just to plunge; $20 for sweatshirt. 852-7430. Antique Show & Sale, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. $5; $3 parking. 559-638-2639. Kern River Valley Hiking Club, trip to Red Rock Canyon State Park, leave at 7:45 a.m., from Starbucks Coffee, East: Junction of highways 58 and 184 (Weedpatch Highway). or 8225080 or 750-9550.

31 Years Of Exceptional

Chinese Mandarin Cuisine “Great Castle Can Be Recommended For A Fine Dinning Experience.” -Pete Tittl

To our valued customers, Thank You For Your Support in 2010.







ince the 1960s, African-American families and communities all across the USA have continued to collectively present Kwanzaa as an expression of heritage and culture in a multicultural world. On Dec. 30, there will be a Kwanzaa Celebration for our community at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. Our entire Bakersfield community is invited to attend and enjoy this annual cultural celebration. Kwanzaa functions as an avenue for the African-American community to celebrate, honor and collectively acknowledge its African heritage and cultural origin. The cultural holiday is traditionally celebrated from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. Founded and framed within the midst and context of the AfricanAmerican freedom movement of the 1960s, Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in Los Angeles. Intended to address a widespread need to rescue, reconstruct, restore and reinforce rootedness in African heritage and culture, Kwanzaa is a positive and uplifting cultural expression. During the season, families and communities come together to enjoy, be influenced by, and share in the richness and cultural ambiance of traditional ethnic art, dance, poetry, folktales, music, literature, and the beauty of heritage clothing, jewelry, heirlooms, hairstyles and creative productions. The heart and soul of Kwanzaa revolves around seven principles. The Swahili term for the seven principles is the Nguzo Saba. There is one principle for each day of the cultural holiday observance. The principles in Swahili and English with a brief explanation are: Umoja (Unity) — stresses that a profound sense of relatedness, togetherness and oneness in the small and larger circles of our lives be nurtured and maintained.

Kwanzaa 2010 Celebration


Dec. 30 event to feature dances, folktales, poetry

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The Bakersfield Californian Eye Street Entertainment / 12-23-10  

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