Camp your style

Looking to take that summer vacation over the top? Get a load of this action.

Runway-walk the plank

Anyone who’s seen Drop Dead Gorgeous knows how campy pageants can be. Consider the glitzy dresses, cheesy choreography, overdone makeup and inane interview responses about achieving world peace and ending hunger. Not to mention the crowns and sashes—or, for that matter, the entire notion of judging someone’s onstage congeniality or ability to walk with poise in 3-inch heels and a swimsuit. Campy? Ya think? They may not all be as ridiculous as the Hollywood renditions, but come on. Even the upcoming Placer County Fair pageants—which emphasize things like responsibility, knowledge of Placer County and essay-writing skills—will have contestants in heels and gowns as the judges consider stage presence, manners and grooming.

Placer County Fair pageants

The one unique element of any given pageant—its theme—is sometimes the campiest of all. This year, the Placer County Fair’s theme is “Tropical Adventure,” so all the pageants have tropical-dress segments in addition to the usual gowns and swimwear. “From Port to Port” is the special theme for the Miss and Miss Teen Placer County pageants (7:30 p.m. on June 22), and “A Pirate’s Life for Me” is the theme for the Junior Teen and Junior Miss Placer County pageants (6 p.m. on June 24). (There’s also a Wee and Little Miss Mermaid Queen event at 6 p.m. on June 23, with ocean-themed wear.) All pageants take place on Mahan Stage at the fairgrounds, at 800 All America City Boulevard in Roseville. Admission is free with fair entrance. Visit for more information.

—Sarah Sol

Glow bowling

Black light, big balls

Let’s pause to appreciate the finer points of bowling: It will never be rained out. It’s cheap. It’s air-conditioned. It has a pop-music soundtrack and special shoes. You can sit down in the middle of it, and you don’t have to wait until after the game for beer and pizza. Should you find yourself without a local bowling option, consider West Sacramento’s humble Capitol Bowl, located just beyond the Tower Bridge at 900 West Capitol Avenue. Sure, it’s a little worn down, but that’s part of the charm. Local bands often play free shows in the bar, but the schedule is irregular, so it’s best to call for details. On Fridays and Saturdays from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m., the Capitol Bowl gets gussied up with glow bowling. (Think black lights, neon balls and pins, and loud rock ’n’ roll.) $20 buys an hour’s worth for six people. If you prefer the simpler pleasures of fluorescent lighting and matte bowling balls, the rates are even cheaper the rest of the week. Call (916) 371-5631 or visit for more information.

—Becca Costello

Soul survivor

Thanks to the folks at V101.1 FM, you can get down to the funkified sounds of the Super ’70s Soul Jam, an evening performance that’s sure to have you shakin’ your groove thang. The Spinners will resurrect hits like “Rubberband Man,” “It’s a Shame” and “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love.” Plus, enjoy performances by the Stylistics, the Chi-Lites, Cuba Gooding Sr. and the Main Ingredient, and emcee Jimmie “J.J.” Walker. Yes, him. The party takes place at the Radisson Grove (500 Leisure Lane) at 7 p.m. on June 9. Tickets are $38.50-$47.50. Visit for more information.

—Erin Sierchio

Board stiffs

Just the thought of playing Clue and puzzling over whether Colonel Mustard murdered poor Mr. Boddy (a.k.a. the dead guy) in the conservatory with the revolver, or whether Miss Scarlet dunnit in the library with the candlestick, is so fantastically theatrical and corny that it must qualify as automatic camp. If you’re dying to help Inspector Brown crack that case, we know some people you should meet. The Sacramento Boardgames Club, which consists of 226 gamers, is happy to welcome you into its game-playing world. In addition to investigating the mysterious demise of Mr. Boddy, the group plays German-strategy games, tradable-card games and “party games” such as Scrabble and backgammon. Most members bring a variety of card and board games to the meets, so all first-timers have to worry about is just showing up. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at the Fox & Goose, starting at 7 p.m. For more information, visit http://boardgames.meetup. com/19.

—Veronica Acosta

Def Leppard

Arena rock rocks!

Break out the acid-washed jeans and the Aqua Net; the ’70s and ’80s are back in a big way (and we’re not just talking about fashion and hair). Journey and Def Leppard are on a three-month tour, and we Sacramentans are lucky enough to have a show in our area. Now, before you get your panties in a bunch, we need to come clean and admit that Steve Perry will not be busting out the ballads with his Journey bandmates. Instead, Steve Augeri, who replaced Perry back in 1998, will be on vocals. Luckily, Def Leppard still consists of its original lineup, so when you hear “Love is like a bomb, baby, come on get it on,” you can rest assured that you’re hearing Joe Elliott—that is, if you can hear him over the roar of the crowd. The arena-rockers will rock the Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Marysville at 7:30 p.m. on August 27. Tickets are $29.50-$85. Visit for more details.

—Erin Sierchio

This one time, at jazz camp

This is so camp—jazz camp, that is. Enjoy five days (July 12-16) of what the Sierra Jazz Society promises will be an “exciting, fun-filled musical adventure.” Or, to take it out of square-speak, five days of jumpin’, smokin’ and snappin’ your cap. The camp is open to aspiring hepcats and daddy-os (instrumentalists and vocalists alike) of all ages, and it’s taught by a faculty of experienced musicians, mostly from the Bay Area. Classes go down daily from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley. The curriculum includes sectionals, combos, theory development and a faculty concert. Camp concludes with a public gig at the Center for the Arts, where students get to show off their newfound chops. True, the program will set you back $350, but you’re sure to come away as one cool customer. Call (530) 273-5489 or visit to swing on in.

—Veronica Acosta

Pure rubbish

In the past, SN&R has called the Trash Film Orgy (TFO) “Sacramento’s best film festival … for its ingenuity, gore content, retro-zaniness and pure excess.” Well, we freakin’ mean it. TFO absolutely delivers the trashiest and most bizarre movies ever made. Typical of the offal on offer over the years at the historic—and allegedly haunted—Crest Theatre (1013 K Street) are delights like The Apple, a sci-fi musical once described as a “low-rent mixture of Rocky Horror, Xanadu and Grease, with a little half-baked Adam and Eve allegory.” TFO screenings, notorious for their live stage shows and exuberant audience participation, happen Saturdays at midnight from June 24 through July 29. Arrive an hour early and enjoy fun and games in the lobby and drinks in the Retro-Trash Lounge. Tickets are $9.50 for ages 18 and older (sorry; if you’re younger than 18, you’re SOL). Visit for this year’s lineup, already looking good with classics like Repo Man, Unholy Rollers and Frankenhooker.

—Veronica Acosta

Engelbert Humperdinck

Hearts in the dark

Whenever we ask ourselves, “What would the Beavis and Butt-Head Do America soundtrack be without the lyrical suavity of ‘Lesbian Seagull?’” we are affirming our loyalty to the king of romance himself, one Mr. Engelbert Humperdinck. “No crooner has the range I have,” he has said. “I can hit notes a bank couldn’t cash.” Oh, how he belongs to our hearts. The buttery voice, the dreamy eyes, the bushy mutton chops. If this man doesn’t know his way around love’s curves, who does? The steadfast casino circuiteer makes an appearance at Jackson Rancheria, 12222 New York Ranch Road in Jackson, on July 27 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $49 to $79. You just know you want to spend an evening with the ’Dinckster. OK, so maybe nobody actually calls him that. Well, you can be the first. “After the Lovin’,” of course. Visit for more information.

—Jonathan Kiefer