Leave your jokes about clown college at the door — Jamie Coventry and Natasha Kaluza have the sort of hand-eye coordination usually reserved for surgeons and super heroes. They take clowning to a level so high you almost don't want to be afraid of clowns. The San Francisco Circus Center Clown Conservatory graduates are about more than just pratfalls and seltzer bottles (though, they aren't above that sort of ridiculousness). They're acrobats, jugglers and theatrical comedians.
On Sunday, March 30 at 6:30 p.m., the crafty and capable Coventry and Kaluza are performing in the Goodwin Forum at Humboldt State University (free). The two-hour, family friendly show is chockablock with spectacle, hilarity and entertainment for all ages. In addition to slapstick vignettes with a modern twist, they have some razzle-dazzle tricks up their sleeves: knife juggling, extreme hula hooping and bizarre acrobatics.
Sure, they'll toss some conventional clowning into the mix for the sake of tradition, but don't expect tiny cars or squirting flowers. These clowns aren't of the birthday party variety. Their skills and thrills have made them two-time winners of the Best Comedy/Clown Act at the American Circus Festival and (in case you missed it) they juggle knives.
Coventry and Kaluza wont hog all of the fun, though. The audience can contribute by donning a costume or at least a silly hat. The night's merriment breeds more tomfoolery with all of the proceeds from concessions going to the Humboldt Juggling Festival, which takes place April 11-13. Because clowning is the gift that keeps on giving.
Thank you, Winter, that will be all. We're done here.
We are tossing the wool socks and sweaters. In fact, some of us are even jumping the gun and going straight into summer — a flash of sun and suddenly people are in cut-offs and flip-flops. Daylight savings? Pfft. We are on island time.
If you can't wait for beach weather, cruise over to the Eureka Veterans Memorial Hall on Saturday, March 29 at 6 p.m. for the luau ($17.50, free for kids under 6). Will there be tiny umbrellas in the drinks? Will there be hula dancing? You bet your hibiscus there will.
Make like mid-career Elvis and sip a Blue Hawaii while the Polynesian Dance Group sways to live music. When you get peckish, there'll be authentic Hawaiian Kahlua pig with coconut pudding and pineapple upside-down cake for dessert. Too decadent? No need to feel guilty — proceeds from the festivities and the raffle go toward maintaining the building. So stuff a few bills in the 50/50 bucket and hang loose.
Be prepared to blow your top. The Redwood Coast Jazz Festival is a weekend of jazz, blues, swing, dance and general excitement. The festivities boogie-woogie their way onto the scene with the Kick-off Dance at the Adorni Center on Thursday, March 27 at 7 p.m. Donna Landry and Swing Set open the evening, followed by High Street. The dance is $8 with event tickets and $10 without. Taste of Main Street ticket holders also get a discount on entry.
The official opening ceremony is at the Adorni Center at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 28. This free event features music from The Au Brothers, John Cocuzzi, Otis Mourning and Gator Nation. That's a lot of cool cats for one ceremony.
The Jazz Festival doesn't stop at jazz. Ya gotta have some blues, too. Blues Night takes over the Eureka Theatre at 4:30 p.m. Friday with over six hours of soulful tunes from Tommy Castro and The Painkillers, Twice As Good 2XG, Tom Rigney and Flambeau, and Dave Bennett and The Memphis Boys ($25). If you're not in the mood for blues, you can hoof your way over to the Eureka High School auditorium for Eureka High School Jazz Ensemble and The Commanders Air Force Jazz Combo at 7 p.m. It's free and promises to hit on all sixes.
Think you've got moves? High step it over to the Eureka Muni at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 29 for the dance contest. Entry is only $5 and there are multiple dance categories to choose from. At 3 p.m. on Saturday, The Morris Graves Museum is hosting a wine tasting with hors d'oeuvres from local venues, as well as music from John Cocuzzi and Kristy Reed Cocuzzi. Tickets are $35 without a festival pass and seating is limited. The Eureka Muni keeps the dancing going after the contest with a dance party at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Sunday, March 30 is the final day of the festivities. The Eureka Theater presents two silent movies with live accompaniment at 1 p.m. and tickets are only $5. The day wraps up with the closing ceremony at the Adorni Center at 3 p.m. for $10 and an after party at the Red Lion at 5 p.m.
You can pay for each event individually, or you can head over to www.redwoodjazz.org and pick up all-event tickets for $85. Either way, the weekend will be the cool cat's meow.
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