More rites of summer to lure you out of your living room
A trip around the world is likely to cost you a pretty penny. Well, more like 250,000 pretty pennies. This summer, save yourself some hard-earned copper-plated zinc (and a lot of air time) by traveling to Grass Valley for the California WorldFest. The four-day festival (which will be held Thursday, July 14, to Sunday, July 17) will feature seven stages of live music and dance from around the globe. With more than 20 artists slated to perform, guests will be treated to a little bit of everything, from Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s South African a cappella to the jazz and funk stylings of Australia’s Fruit Trio, the Afro-Cuban beats of Tiempo Libre and the Scottish fiddling of Alasdair Fraser. Even homegrown blues phenom Jackie Greene will perform. A one-day festival pass will cost you a mere $35 (that’s 3,500 pennies), and there are even discounts for the wee ones. The event will take place at the Nevada County Fairgrounds just a hop, a skip and a jump down Highway 80. See www.worldfest.net for performance times, directions and more information.
Beam us up!
There comes a time in the life of every Trekker when we surrender to the inevitable: We no longer hide the prosthetic Vulcan ears in the nightstand and the Starfleet science officer’s tunic in the back of the closet in an old garment bag. On July 9, these items can be worn without shame—and in the company of like-minded others—at the “Star Struck: Out of This World” fan convention at the Scottish Rite Temple Auditorium in Sacramento.
It’s not just your Trekker purists who are welcome at this gathering. While the special-guests list is heavy on Trek tribute-slash-parody bands; a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine assistant director; and William Wellman, Jr., an actor whose credits include playing a Bajoran officer, there are a host of alternatives to the Trekverse. Local horror writer Nicholas Grabowsky, author of The Everborn, is scheduled to attend, and a couple of local filmmakers, Jonathan Morken and Bob Moricz, will be screening some of their work. In addition to an afternoon acoustic set from Warp 11, there’s an evening concert featuring No Kill I: The Next Generation, Space Vacuum from Outer Space, Xenophilia and The Kimberly Trip, with opening comedy by Francois Fly.Sponsored by the Fantastic Frontiers (a Northern California sci-fi/fantasy social club) and Placerville’s Hidden Passage Books, the proceeds from the convention will go to support a science program at a rural Heald elementary school and a literacy program. For more information, see the convention Web site at www.starstruckcon.com, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 417-3365.
It’s a DIY summer
OK, fellow under-18ers, the real key to having fun and hanging out with friends this summer is: Do it yourself. None of my friends would really be that shocked to find that most of Sacramento’s activities involve bars and nightclubs, which is fine—if you are over the legal drinking age. If not, there are always all-ages shows at The Boardwalk, which is also fine—if you happen to have $10 and a car. Hanging out in Old Sac used to be a good idea, until the badge and billy-club crowd started chasing out anyone without a walker. Club Retro seems to be the place to go, but for any secular humanist, it’s a spoonful of sugar laced with bitter medicine. The Rage is a decent club for the 18-and-over crowd two days out of the week, but honestly, what is a 16-year-old kid on the grid supposed to do for entertainment? You could always go to The Naked Lounge and twitch with all of your friends, or rock out at the Friday-night concerts in Cesar Chavez Plaza. But my top suggestion to save your summer: Keep your ear to the ground and listen for the hoofbeats of cool private parties.
—Alex BacaCatch a wave
It turns out that you don’t need a coastline to try the greatest sport around (which, according to the Beach Boys song, is surfing). Six Flags Waterworld Sacramento (formerly Waterworld USA) has just opened the Honolulu Halfpipe, an extreme surf slide that is redefining the term “shootin’ the curl.” Thrill seekers will barrel down the U-shaped waterslide at heart-pounding speeds. And, although you may not be sitting on top of the world, the four-story-high ride does provide a panoramic view of Cal Expo. Admission to Waterworld is $23.99 for general admission, $12.99 for seniors 60 and older, $17.99 for kids 48 inches and shorter, and $11.99 for entrance after 3 p.m. Find the thrilling waterslides at 1600 Exposition Boulevard. Park hours vary. Call (916) 924-3747 for more information.
—Erin SierchioHot, sweaty women … and the women who watch them
This year’s Monarchs are younger, faster, stronger and more aggressive; they’ll be working up a sweat out at Arco Arena all summer as they sprint toward the playoffs, trade elbows with the big girls and show off their muscles. Expect just the sort of excitement that will induce the female-majority crowd into high-pitched screams of excitement.
Last year, the Monarchs knocked the Los Angeles Sparks out of the playoffs, only to fall to eventual champion the Seattle Storm. But this year, it’s not just a new season; it’s going to be a whole new team. Gone are perennial fan favorites Edna Campbell (who took her free agency to the San Antonio Silver Stars) and Tangela Smith (traded to the Charlotte Sting). Also traded was backup center Chantelle Anderson. Lady Grooms is out on maternity leave. And, sadly, the last of the original Monarchs, Ruthie Bolton, turned down a job with the front office to seek a playing slot elsewhere. These major roster changes not only drop the average age of the Monarchs by almost a decade, but also raise the pace of the game on some new, young legs.
This new lineup will have something for everyone. Look forward to DeMya Walker’s perfectly manicured nails, clearly visible as she pulls off her delicate, feminine layups and not-so-clearly visible as she scratches for rebounds under the basket. Returning veteran Yolanda Griffith, who’s already posted back-to-back double-doubles early in the season, brings her impressive—and impassive—game face, as well as some of the most physical inside play in the league. And Kara Lawson is always willing to remind fans that she hasn’t completely left her Pop Warner football days behind, with a defensive game that’s to die for.
While we can only speculate at this point as to who will become the next “Miss Thing,” sensible bets are on Stanford alum Nicole Powell, recently acquired from Charlotte in the Smith trade, who’s happy to flex her considerable muscle in the paint and strike from three-point range at will. And we’ve got to be impressed with what we’ve seen of the two standouts recruited from China, Sui Feifei and Miao Lijie. They both seem determined to have a good time on the court—though Sui has been out with an injury since early in the preseason.
All in all, we can look forward to serious basketball—perhaps the last place to see professionals really play a half-court game, instead of the run-and-gun shoot-fest that the men’s pro game has become. And there will be plenty of eye candy to occupy the less hoops-oriented crowd: the well-known “halftime waltz,” as women meet and greet in friendly circuits around the arena during the break.
This summer has all the signs of a Monarchs season that runs hard and heads straight for the conference title. For tickets, call (916) 419-WNBA or visit www.SacramentoMonarchs.com.
—Kel MungerTelling tales
Nothing beats the heat better than a spine-chilling ghost story. The Woman in Black, based on Susan Hill’s novel of the same name, is a modern tribute to the ghost stories of the Victorian era. Hill, who believes that “a ghost story should have a strong sense of place,” chose a dilapidated manor on a fog-shrouded English marsh for her eerie tale. The Murphys Creek Theatre will do its best to recreate that setting when it tells the tale as part of its Theatre Under the Stars season (which also includes productions of Hamlet and The Comedy of Errors). Performances will take place August 19 through September 17. Tickets are $20 for Friday and Saturday performances, $18 for Thursday shows and $13 for students with a valid ID. The hair-raising tale will be told in the outdoor amphitheatre at Stevenot Winery, located at 2690 San Domingo Road in Murphys. Guests are encouraged to bring low chairs or picnic blankets to sit on. To order tickets, call (866) 463-8659 or visit www.murphyscreektheatre.org.