New films: Jersey Boys, The Rover

Jersey Boys Directed by Clint Eastwood I’ll start with an admission. Several years ago, when I first encountered a listing for “Jersey Boys” on stage, I read the description of the show and just thought it was a generic story about a bunch of kids who formed a band and made it to the big time. I’m not sure exactly how much time passed before I later realized it’s about the (mostly) true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. And it’s an appealing story – a bunch of kids with talent, and a side order of mob connection, who end up in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, albeit after a few problems along the way. So, my own original ignorance of the source material seems to be matched by people I’ve heard expressing surprise at a musical being directed by Clint Eastwood. It’s like the underlying sentiment is something like “What’s Dirty Harry doing in musical land?” But Eastwood is an accomplished musician and composer, has previously directed a film about jazz musician Charlie Parker (“Bird”) and has written or co-written his own film scores for years. This isn’t a guy who’s disconnected from music. The other thing that’s worth noting in that regard is that “Jersey Boys” doesn’t follow the pattern or style of many/most “musicals.” This isn’t a film […]

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Circus Oz Amazes Audience

Audience members sat on the edge of their seats during a multitude of spectacles known as Circus Oz’s show "Steampowered." Almost 1,000 people from all backgrounds and ages, filled the Mondavi Center on Sunday to watch the world-renown, Australia-based Circus Oz. The light rock music, fog and the costumed performers who were interacting with the audience on stage and within the crowd, set the mood for what would be a two-hour, high-energy rock-n-roll adventure of acrobatics, death-defying feats and irreverent humor . The families that made up the audience sat in anticipation of the stage-contained show. Some performers mingled with the crowd before the show, while another played with guests from the stage itself by throwing his hat out and seeing, when it was thrown back by a patron, if he could catch it on his head. Coming alive to the sounds of steam-powered engines, like a train, the stage bustled with people, and the dome rose to reveal a marching band with classic uniforms of red button-up jackets and pants with a stripe down each side. The drummer sat in a makeshift, pipe-like enclosure, giving the impression that it was steam-powered. The musicians also performed as our multitalented entertainers throughout the performance as well. Most of the performers did not use cables or other protective gear. Instead, thick mats were placed below the artists […]

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Circus Oz brings its dazzling feats to the Mondavi Center this weekend

Fun for all ages, every child or child-at-heart will enter a fantastical Victorian Era where top hats and petticoats are mixed with contemporary elements such as human pyramids and juggling, during the two hour, high-energy, extravaganza of dazzling acrobatics, death-defying feats, irreverent humor and rock-n-roll also known as Circus Oz. The world renown, Australia-based circus is performing at the Mondavi Center in Davis this weekend. The show "Steampowered" is animal-free and performed by 13 people, one of which is a rigger (person whose job is very heavy lifting), all of whom juggle between different jobs within the chaos of the show, such as being part of the live band, performing acrobatic stunts and helping move props and sets on and off stage. "It’s like watching a sporting team work together, but in the end, the objective is laughter. A small group of people working together can achieve extraordinary things." Circus Oz Artistic Director Mike Finch said. Understanding what makes it different from other normal circuses is important. "Define normal," Finch said during a phone interview Monday. "It’s different from the great American tradition circus in that it is performed in one ring, and we don’t use animals, it’s all human performers." The costume, props and the set resemble the Victorian Era, where everything was steam powered, instead of digital. The performers resemble the era by […]

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Sacramento Australian Rules Football Club to expand league

It’s been described as exhilarating and challenging. It’s a sport that combines strategy, physical endurance and teamwork with kicking, passing and scoring goals. It’s not soccer, football or even rugby. It’s Australian rules football – footy for short – and it’s Australia’s own fast-paced team sport. But you don’t have to go Down Under to be a part of the action. Sacramento is home to an ever-growing population of footy enthusiasts and an expanding league. The Sacramento Australia Rules Football Club (SARFC) is entering its fourth year as an organization and is expanding its league to include a co-ed tag footy facet as well as separate men’s and women’s tackle, full-contact teams. SARFC is a part of the United States Australian Football League (USAFL), which governs all clubs and teams in the nation. “(The USAFL is a ) pretty tight knit community,” Amy Bishop, one of the founders of SARFC said. The co-ed SARFC spring season begins its practices on April 3 at McKinley Park in East Sacramento, and the tackle teams begin playing on May 19 at Nugget Field in Davis. Traditionally, footy is a full-tackle game. The object of the game is to get the ball from one end to other and score points by putting the ball through a hoop similar to basketball, but with all the kicking of soccer, Amy Bishop […]

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