Drunk at the ballet
Sacramento, CA 95816
Plié it up:
The Sacramento Ballet Company closes out their season this weekend with Beer and Ballet, a dancer-choreographed event that, well, combines beer with ballet. When I caught the show a few nights ago, I was hoping it involved the dancers drinking beer before the performance. But I guess the SBC and I hold distinct artistic visions.
For the record, I’m not sure why I was at the ballet; I understand the art about as well as Sarah Palin understands foreign policy. My ballet education begins and ends with that one scene in that one movie where the ballerinas tiptoe along the bulging codpieces of their male counterparts (What do you call male ballerinas, anyway? Ballerinos?).
Actually, I used to dance: In high school, I did a three-year tour of duty in the polka troupe in Elk Grove’s Strauss Festival. (And, hey, if my girlfriend is reading this: I still have a thing for lederhosen.)
Beer was provided by Brew It Up. Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time I got drunk and watched scantily clad dancers. But this event felt sophisticated, so even though the beer was only $2 a cup, I restrained myself and was only four beers deep by the time the show started.
The dances ran through three acts. The numbers varied from traditional, classical-music pieces to dances scored with Elvis Presley hits.
In “Beware the Magic Bullets,” Richard Smith plays the lovestruck Wilhelm who must win the approval of his love interest’s father by slaughtering various small mammals.
“Living” had such a sweet soundtrack that I made a note in my program to pirate the music when I got home.
One audience favorite was “Equanimity,” where choreographers Nikki Trerise White and Ethan White contorted themselves into physics-defying, gasp-inducing lifts that made Cirque du Soleil look like a game of drunken Twister.
After the second intermission, the Brew It Up guy skipped refilling my cup and just handed over the bottle. Call me a true patron of the arts.
My favorite was the third-act piece, “Internal Dialogues,” where dancers danced the roles of Schizophrenic, Agape and Inner Child, and, from what I could tell, was the story of a woman distraught about her overdue library books. But by that time I was eight drinks deep, so take my interpretation as you will. (Ted Cox)
Finger-lick the cure:
Death Ledger wants a bucket of chicken for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Harley White Jr. wants to teach youth about Louis Armstrong and Peter and the Wolf.
This weekend I attended two charity concerts, and both were held at the TownHouse Lounge. The first was put on by Concerts4Charity, benefiting the Benefit to Connect our Musical Heritage, a project started by White Jr. with the goal to showcase orchestral instruments in nonorchestral settings. White wants to do a jazz version of Peter and the Wolf, featuring the trumpet as Peter, in the style of Louis Armstrong.
On the bill were White and his orchestra, Exquisite Corps, and a David Houston supergroup featuring Mike Farrell on guitar. Exquisite Corps played quite excellently, at times channeling Andrew Bird-esque sounds. The band features former Call Me Ishmael lead singer Brian Valenzuela, cello player Krystyna Ogela, drummer Patrick Boylan, and viola player Holly Harrison. The band also employs a fair amount of sampling in the mix.
The Death Ledger show last Saturday night began with recently reunited punk band the Howling, then two-piece yellcore outfit the Babs Johnson Gang, megaphone-punk two-piece cover band Death Ledger and rockers Sasha and the Shamrocks. All donations went to benefit the Lymphoma Research Foundation. The show was organized by Death Ledger singer-guitarist Sean Martin.
“[Hodgkin’s lymphoma] mostly affects young people,” Martin explained. “It kind of effects men more than it does women. Even though it’s relatively curable—there is a pretty high success rate—it still takes quite a long time. There is not really that much money for research for it.”
Martin urged people to get involved and get more educated about different types of cancers and diseases. “KFC sells buckets of chicken now [for breast cancer]. We want a bucket of chicken for lymphoma,” Martin joked. (John Phillips)