What I did on my summer vacation

Summer memories for the making

Ticha Penicheiro’s unstoppable jump shot ensures the Monarchs’ reign.

Ticha Penicheiro’s unstoppable jump shot ensures the Monarchs’ reign.

Photo By Jill Wagner

Girls of summer: the Sacramento Monarchs
First, a disclaimer: I am a 6-foot- 4-inch power forward trapped in a short, fat chick. Thirty seconds after Title IX brought girls’ basketball to my school, I was cut from the team, which did absolutely nothing to dim my love of the game. Love of the game is what the WNBA is all about. One look at these women’s salaries, and you know they’re not in it for the money. After a disappointing, injury-plagued season last summer, Sacramento’s other pro basketball team is poised for a championship run, with great seats available at prices that would only apply to the nosebleed section for a Kings game. Yolanda Griffith, Ticha Penicheiro and Edna Campbell are all back and healthy this year. With a strong inside game, three-point shooters and the league’s best sixth woman (Ruthie Bolton), the Monarchs have a good shot at beating Los Angeles and taking the Western Conference this summer. Home games are held at Arco Arena. Tickets are $8-$31.50. Visit www.wnba.com/monarchs or call (916) 419-WNBA for a game schedule or tickets. —K.M.

Prince Buster’s coming to Frogtown
For the 99 percent of folks who have no idea what that headline means, Frogtown—in the heart of Calaveras County—is home to the annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. Prince Buster, who headlines the festival’s closing night, is as important to ska as Bob Marley is to reggae. A former boxer, Cecil Bustamante Campbell went to work as a studio security guard in 1961 and soon fought his way to the top of Jamaica’s music industry. He launched his own label with a 1962 version of “Oh Carolina” (32 years before Shaggy). Often hysterical and always quirky, Prince Buster’s vocals, production and repertoire (including hits like “Madness,” “Judge Dread” and “One Step Beyond”) have inspired the Specials, the Selecter and every ska band since. The Sierra Nevada World Music Festival runs June 20-22 and features dozens of other artists, including Capleton, the Wailers, Pablo Moses, Eek-A-Mouse and Pato Banton. You can even pitch a tent and stay all three nights. Kids under 10 get in free with ticket-holding adults. Visit www.snwmf.com or call (916) 649-TIXS for more information. —B.F.

The best wet yet
When the temperatures climb into the triple digits, it’s time to head for water. For daily relief, Waterworld USA is too expensive, and the beach is too far. Why not explore our community pools? The city of Sacramento has 15 pools ready for your best backstroke. Of course, the snazziest option in aquatic recreation is the state-of-the-art Pannell Meadowview Recreational Pool, located at 2450 Meadowview Road. The pool features eight competition-length lanes for athletes, an interactive play structure and a 35-foot slide for kids, and beach-style entry to make sure everyone can get into and out of the water safely. Best of all, public-pool admission is only $1 for adults and 50 cents for children! Visit www.cityofsacramento.org/parksandrecreation for the hours and locations of the pool nearest you. —B.C.

Mary Ellen Mahoney keeps ABBA alive in Mama Mia!

Snow-Cone savvy
You’re hankering for an icy treat, and you can’t remember the last time you saw your Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine. You have two options. You can drive out to Toys “R” Us to purchase a SpongeBob Squarepants Snow Cone Maker, stop at the store for some ice, go home, assemble the toy and starting cranking. If that’s too hectic, visit Osaka Ya for Midtown’s yummiest snow cones. The delicious slush comes in flavors from bubble gum to piña colada. Even the largest size will set you back only $2.25! Osaka Ya also sells Japanese pastries and delicious Asian snacks, such as wasabi peas and rice candy. The snow cones are waiting at 2215 10th Street. Call (916) 446-6857 for info. —B.C.

Victory Gin stops to smell the flowers before its July 18 show at the Radisson.

After midnight
Despite the misgivings of Evil Sid the Crest Theatre Manager, film critics and decent people everywhere, the Trash Film Orgy has risen from the dead for another season of cult-movie mayhem. Opening night features Peter “Lord of the Rings” Jackson’s bloody comedy Dead Alive. Other B-movie selections include Blacula, Robotrix and Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! (a must-see for anyone who likes murderous women with go-go boots and breasts that defy the laws of physics). The annual Trash ’til Dawn slumber party, the crowning of the Queen of Trash and a mystery wedding also are planned. Join the orgy Saturdays at midnight from June 28 until August 2. The Crest is located at 1013 K Street. Visit www.trashfilmorgy.com or call (916) 44-CREST for more information. —B.C.

Mama Mia!
If you read that headline and began humming the ABBA song of the same name, you need tickets for Mama Mia! The Tony-nominated musical based on the songs of Sweden’s catchiest pop-music quartet is coming to Sacramento for a two-week run as part of California Musical Theatre’s Broadway Series. More than a musical revue, Mama Mia! is the original story of a girl’s reunion, in the days before her wedding, with the three men who might be her father. The play’s creators selected more than 20 different ABBA songs to punctuate the story. The internationally successful musical runs June 4 through 15 at the Community Center Theater, 130l L Street. Call (916) 264-5181 or visit www.californiamusicaltheatre.com for tickets or more information. —B.C.

Talking without a net
Every major phobia breeds people addicted to the rush of overcoming it. Many people are afraid of flying, but a few become stunt pilots and skydivers. A fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias, but poets, actors, comedians and storytellers thrive on performance. MatrixArts Gallery hopes to attract such extreme oration enthusiasts to its new Caffé and Conversation series. On the fourth Wednesday of every month, the gallery opens its doors to seven-minute open-mic performances about a set theme. June’s theme is “Rising from the Ashes.” July’s is “Independence.” In August, the performances will focus on “The Dog Days of Summer.” Bring a story to share, a monologue to perform or a poem to read, plus $5 to cover the cost of refreshments. Caffé and Conversation starts at 7 p.m. at 1518 Del Paso Boulevard. Call (916) 454-4988 for more information or to suggest a theme. —B.C.

Where to find Sammie
Faithful readers will remember that SN&R sponsored the Searching for Sammie songwriting contest for local musicians last winter. The 14 winning songs were to be compiled into a CD of the area’s best acoustic music. Good news, music fans! The winning bands have been busy in the recording studio with Tesla’s Brian Wheat, and the CD is scheduled for public release this August. To get a copy before that, you’ll have to attend one of four Searching for Sammie: Sacramento Unplugged music showcases. Victory Gin, Mixed Friction, Xenophilia and Zachary Tree open the series on July 18. Mama’s Pride, Nu-Clear, ¡Bucho! and the Ricky and Del Connection play July 25. On August 1, Luxt, Soulmotor and Page29 take the stage. The series closes on August 8 with Honeyspot, Anton Barbeau, Bobby Zoppi and Looking Star. $17 gets you admission to one show and a copy of the CD; $37 buys a CD and admission to all four shows. The concerts are at the Radisson Hotel, 500 Leisure Lane. Call (916) 498-1234 or visit www.newsreview.com for information. —B.C.