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July 7, 2005
the Lost Coast to the Edge
by ELLIN BELTZ
"It's been an incredibly
busy four days at the Ferndale Rep," said technical director
Daniel Lawrence. And he wasn't kidding.
Saturday night, Lost Coast
Live, sponsored by DC3 Entertainment, KHUM and Paste Magazine,
brought two incredible young performers to the old Hart Theater
-- redecorated with floor-to-ceiling drapes, thousands of dollars
of sound and lights, flickering candles and a rear-projection
screen. Ferndale Repertory Theatre staff, the Ferndale Rotary
Club and an army of uniformed volunteers stood ready to serve
drinks and sell piles of event merchandise and the artists' CDs.
After a brief biographical film,
Tommy Sims, a singer-songwriter originally from Chicago, launched
into a review of his work. Some songs, like the Grammy Award
winning "Streets of Philadelphia," were recorded by
famous artists. Others were tender ballads from his heart to
the ears of the Almighty. The delightful refrains of "100"
and "The Ballad of Sophie" captured the Ferndale audience.
They were charmed, engaged and entranced -- clapping and begging
for more when the lights came up at intermission.
Humboldt Shadows for Edgefest
Tues., July 12, in Blue Lake.
Next up was the phenomenal guitar
and creative lyrics of Willy Porter, who has opened for several
top names. Porter's lyrics are less spiritual, more folksy and
it took him a song or two to get the crowd in his pocket. They
were still deep in their hearts and didn't shift over to the
faster beat and younger focus of his work until he wrote a song
just for them -- about sex on a fire truck while the cows take
note -- and was presented with a Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department
sweater in appreciation. I hope KHUM plays Porter's "Mr.
Rogers' Neighborhood" and Sims' "100," "The
Ballad of Sophie" and "It Don't Matter to the Sun"
until all of Humboldt knows the words by heart.
Both men came out for an encore
demanded by nonstop clapping, stomping and whistling as the audience
voiced their appreciation for two incredible performances.
"All the proceeds of Lost
Coast Live will go to our local Community Chest, Rotary, the
Theatre and other causes," said Ron Cohn, a KHUM radio personality.
He added that the next Lost Coast Live will be in September and
will probably sell out just like this one did. Keep visiting
their web site for advance notice: www.lostcoastlive.com.
Next up was the Rep's annual
Fourth of July Parade, where fiberglass cows, Shriners, old cars,
modern fire trucks, Miss Liberty, a stilt-walking Uncle Sam and
dozens of local groups and individuals added to the ambience.
As part of its fundraising weekend, the Rep served an old-fashioned
barbecue on the town green and then everyone with tickets returned
to the theater for an unabashedly patriotic celebration, Celebrate
America! The Scotia Band and the Chameleon Singers traded
tunes, interspersed with historic and humorous readings and presentations
by Bob Clark, Vikki Young and Marilyn McCormick. Balloons fell
as part of the grand finale and happy theatergoers streamed out,
toes still tapping and minds still singing along with the band.
If you're in Ferndale next Fourth
of July, call ahead to 786-LIVE and reserve a ticket. This was
the first time I saw "Celebrate America!" but
it won't be the last.
Next week the excitement switches
back to Blue Lake, as Dell'Arte presents Edgefest 2005, a non-stop
kaleidoscope of events at their Carlo Theater. Performances include
the fast-paced puppetry of Humboldt Shadows (Tuesday, July 12,
8:00 p.m.), the quirky physical comedy of Ms. Hilary Chaplain
(Wednesday, July 13, 8:00 p.m.), an incredible two-person show
from the Under the Table Theatre Ensemble (Thursday, July 14,
8:00 p.m.) and two presentations by the Dell'Arte Master of Fine
Arts Ensemble, The Whisper and Swimming in
Orange Peels (Friday, July 15 at 10:00 p.m. and Saturday,
July 16 at noon). Edgefest ends, as it does every year, with
the Annie and Mary Pageant -- fiddlers, samba dancers,
puppets, masks, musicians and costumes of times long gone playing
and parading through the streets of Blue Lake. A great time is
had by all -- if you've never seen a thing by Dell'Arte, don't
miss this all-day family event. Have lunch, watch the fiddle
festival (10:30 a.m.) and wave and dance with the parade to its
amazing crescendo in front of Dell'Arte (4:00 p.m.). Stick around
for the 6:00 p.m. Edgefest Cabaret, where all sorts
of performers will take the stage for what is billed as a "completely
For tickets and more information,
or call 668-5663.
Wonder of the World continues at 8 p.m. at Redwood Curtain, Eureka
Mall, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through July 16 and Sunday,
July 10 at 2 p.m. Visit www.redwoodcurtain.com
or call 443-7688 for more information and tickets.
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