Chico Performances, Emmys, autoharps and Dicky

David Sedaris on tour, sans monkey.

David Sedaris on tour, sans monkey.

The new dates are here, the new dates are here No one in Chico comes close to putting as many world-class acts into one calendar year as Chico State’s Chico Performances, so when they say that next year’s calendar is online, it is news. And the fat 2011-2012 season is online at

Series tickets go on sale July 5 (with single-show tix available Aug. 1), and if Arts DEVO were advising which six shows to lock in with the Make-A-Series promotion, his top picks of the season would be (with apologies to the intriguing-looking dance troupes—the insane Pilobolus on Oct. 27, the Martha Graham Dance Co. on Feb. 14—and the disturbingly fascinating Broadway musical CATS on Jan. 24):

• Willie Nelson and Family (Sept. 8): One more time, Red Headed Stranger.

• David Sedaris (Nov. 17): “Boys who spent their weekends making banana-nut muffins did not, as a rule, excel in the art of hand-to-hand combat.”

• David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez (Jan 17): Los Lobos/Latin Playboys studs go acoustic.

• Red Star Army Chorus and Dance Ensemble (Feb. 29): Just go find a video online (especially the vintage black-and-white stuff) and tell me you will get another chance to witness something like “Cossack’s Dance” in your lifetime.

Adam Miller on autoharp.

Photo By sonia lovewell

• Playing for Change (March 14): While I’m not too interested in a We-Are-the-World-esque super group playing covers, I am hopeful that some of the kick-ass street performers from the original videos will be showcased.

• Harlem Gospel Choir (April 11): I will not miss it this year, I will not miss it this year …

Emmy among us Excuse my breathlessness, but remember last month when I said that Chico video producer (and former CN&R film critic) Chris Smith and his cousin/long-time collaborator Ryan Neiz were nominated for an Emmy Award for their video “Every 15 Minutes: Castro Valley High School” in the Informational/Instructional Program/Special category for the Northern California region? Well, they won!

I know that my official awards season is a ways off, but Arts DEVO would like to pile it on by making an exception and giving out one of the coveted DEVOS six months early: The DEVO for a local Winning an Actual Real Award goes to: Chris Smith and Ryan Neiz! Congratulations all over again, guys.


Dicky LaRocca, a DicRoc Production.

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• Autoharp recital: If you’re like me, you probably have to suspend your disbelief when someone is proclaimed an autoharp legend and trust that others know more about it than you do. I do think autoharps are cool, though (especially when played by the women of the Carter Family), so I’m going to just go with the fact that storyteller, folk singer and autoharpist Adam Miller is one of the world’s premier autoharpists. So I’m stoked that he’s coming to play three free, all-ages shows at Butte County libraries: Tuesday, June 21, 3 p.m. (Chico branch); and Thursday, June 23, 10:30 a.m. (Paradise branch) and 1:30 p.m. (Oroville branch).

• The Hard Dicky: The irrepressible Dicky LaRocca (alter ego of Chico theater studette Betty Burns), is headlining Outside the Box—“a night you’re sure to be talking about until later on in the evening”—a multiperformer comedy, dance and music variety show to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Cancer Foundation, Thursday, June 23, 8 p.m., at Lost on Main (moved from its fomerly billed locale of Bustolini’s).