Arts Devo

Getting 2016 started on a weird note

It’s Ruth!

It’s Ruth!

The year of your dreams “A man can dream, can’t he?” That’s a tagline from Dream Show, a new faux talk show being produced by some of the merry pranksters from Chico’s faux band of beauty-pageant fathers, The Pageant DadsDanny Wardwell, Alex Coffin and Gavin Fitzgerald—plus Shane Fitzgerald (Gavin’s bro). The one doing the dreaming is Wardwell’s character Ruth, a seemingly clueless sad sack ineptly trying to navigate his first show on a community-access station, with “help” from a cast of misfits. There’s gratuitous green screen, many technical difficulties and uncomfortable camera close-ups. It’s rad!

Chico Dance Hams

Photo by Michelle Camy

The show is set to air soon on the new community-access TV station,, and to build anticipation, the first episode is being released—one-third at a time—each Wednesday on the Dream Show YouTube channel (link via Two are already up; the final third comes out Feb. 10.

Speaking of dreams and weirdness: Having a stage in a beautiful old theater on which to play in front of a sold-out crowd of happy people who are up for absolutely anything—the weirder the better—is a dream come true. And last week’s Keep Chico Weird talent show at the El Rey Theatre took full advantage of the setting and went off the hook (as did the art show at the 1078 Gallery a couple days earlier). Machetes were juggled, a full-on medieval battle laid waste to the stage, and Dragonboy emerged from a giant egg. In the end, the Chico Dance Hams took the top prize at the talent show with their crowd-pleasing “Get up offa that ham” routine, and Victor Porter—for the third year in a row!—won best of show at the art reception for his impressive “Displaced Paradise” sculpture.

“Displaced Paradise”

Let’s carry this momentum of weirdness into a fulfilling year of risk-taking, fun-making and supporting each each other along the way!

Big changes for CAMMIES After 10 years of producing the CAMMIES, the Chico News & Review is making some changes to the annual local-music celebration. First, the name—the CAMMIES—will now stand for Chico Area Music Celebration (replacing Chico Area Music Awards). And instead of the CN&R producing a dozen genre showcases over one long weekend, we’ll be highlighting a week’s worth of live music (April 21-30) showcasing local artists. The clubs will create their own shows celebrating local music—featuring any mix of genres they see fit—and we will include every gig that highlights local bands in our CAMMIES guide (published April 21). Finally, we are doing away with the nominations, and the only voting will be for best local act, and every band in town will be eligible. We’ll still host the free CAMMIES Music Festival & Awards Show (this year outdoors at Patrick Ranch on Sunday, May 1), where we’ll party with a wide range of local acts, enjoy some local food-truck cuisine, and announce the winner of the public vote as well as a handful of critics’ choice awards.

So, if you’re a currently active musician and you want to make sure you’re on our big list of local acts, send a note to If you’re a venue interested in taking part, send your local-music events to the same email and we’ll publish them in the CAMMIES guide. And, if you need some help, hit us up and we’ll put you in touch with more local bands than you can handle!