Thursday, November 7, 2002
99 Bottles of Wine on the Wall
THE GREAT WINE ESCAPE WEEKEND As if we needed an excuse. Here in Monterey County, every weekend is a great wine escape just waiting to happen, but this is when the rest of the world drops in for a tipple. It all starts tonight at 7pm with a wine-tasting and jazz concert by the Dennis Murphy Trio at Taste of Monterey ($30), continues Friday with a golf tournament at Carmel Valley Ranch ($150) and winemaker dinners at two dozen local restaurants ($85), and really kicks into gear Saturday and Sunday with narrated bus tours through the Salinas and Carmel Valley wineries (Sat., $55), a tasting at the Monterey Hyatt Sat. at 3pm ($30), a wine auction and gala celebration Sat. at 7:30pm at the Monterey Bay Aquarium ($175), and a grand finale tasting of barrel samples, new releases and reserve wines Sunday at noon at the Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach ($75). Local wineries will all be holding open house Saturday and Sunday, with winemakers present and special bottles opened for those who know to ask.
Tonight through Sunday, various locations. Call the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association at 375-9400 for tickets and information, or visit www.montereywines.org.
Que Locos All Over Again
COMEDY AT PLANET GEMINI Gabriel Iglesias is a funny up-and-comer in the world of comedy right now. He was featured in the recent Que Locos Latino comedy tour (which sold out recently in Salinas), and his name is becoming more well known by the minute. He headlines this three-night show at Planet Gemini, with Felipe Esparza and Armando "Big Spin" Cosio. These are three of the funniest Latino comics around, and they're all together here this weekend. By the way, gringos, the show is in English.
Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9:15. Planet Gemini, 625 Cannery Row, Suite 301, Monterey. 373-1449.
INBALANCE This is not a boy band. These four North Monterey High boys, who met up in the rhythm section of the marching band, play straight-ahead rock 'n' roll, mostly originals, with passion and skill. Some folks were a bit surprised when InBalance won the KMBY battle of the bands last year-their fans were not. For rock fans who haven't been to Dakota's since the one-time county music club shifted its musical focus, this is a good opportunity.
9pm. Dakota's, 808 N. Main St., Salinas. 759-2120.
Babes in Paradise
WOMEN ARTISTS OF THE MONTEREY PENINSULA Tonight the Pacific Grove Art Center opens an exhibition honoring 32 local women artists, whose portraits-shot by photographer Peter Hughes-will hang next to a representative work and quotes from each artist herself. The show aims at telling these women's personal stories, and placing their tales within the geographic and historical context of the Monterey Peninsula. The list of included artists is a real Who's Who of the local art scene, and although two other shows are included in tonight's opening reception, this show will be the major focus of interest, discussion and wine-sipping. (See story pg. 29).
7-9pm. Pacific Grove Art Center, 568 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. Free. 375-2208.
God and Music
BISHOP MAYFIELD Born in Harlem, Mayfield first debuted off-Broadway at age nine in The Music Man. He now lives in the redwood country up north, where he leads a youth choir and teaches drumming. Mayfield has jammed with and opened for some of the most important names in jazz: B.B. King and Bo Diddley come to mind. A man with such talent, such drive to succeed, using it for such good-that's gotta give you hope in the world. Now he's here to spread the goodness at the Unity Church, a non-denominational groovy sort of place where the love of the higher being and music come together. With his long-time friend Charles Lamont, Mayfield will sing to, drum at and inspire the crowd.
7pm. Unity Church, 601 Madison Ave., Monterey. $10 donation suggested. 372-0457.
Life and Death on Stage
'NIGHT MOTHER AND THE SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE Two plays open tonight, each promising an evening of thought-provoking theater. At MPC in the tiny SRO theater, 'Night Mother takes us through one evening in the lives of a mother and daughter as Mom tries to talk her young 'un out of ending it all (see story pg. 40). Out in Carmel Valley at the Magic Circle Center, Jill Jackson stars in the one-woman Lily Tomlin vehicle, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. Like Ms. Tomlin, Jackson is an accomplished comedic actress, and audiences can expect a side-splitting evening of wit and sarcasm as she assumes character after character in her "search" for what makes it all worthwhile.
For times, addresses and ticket prices, see theater listings.
MARK MURPHY QUARTET Murphy has been a relentless winner of Downbeat polls for the past half-decade, with a series of albums ranging from straight-ahead covers of standard ballads to distinctive vocalese readings of the work of Jack Keroac. Murphy starts with a flavorful baritone and an ability to scat improvisations of be-bop classics equally well. He's also a personable and funny entertainer. Pianist Larry Dunlap leads the band.
The Jazz and Blues Company, 236 Crossroads Blvd. $35 (half price for students under 18). BYOB. 624-6432.
Hooligans of Jamestown
THE BLACK IRISH BAND Step back in time to the days when people really lived. Work was hard, drink was hard, life might have been hard. The air smelled like sawdust and smoke and burned metal from the locomotives. Evoking these days gone by is the Black Irish Band, five men with guitars, mandolins and a big bass fiddle. The Hooligans of Jamestown, as they're also known, play in places like Yakima and the Yukon. And Monterey. This weekend they're playing at the old wharf, where it did once smell like locomotives and tobacco-soaked wool and where today, you might still catch a whiff.
2pm & 7pm at the Monterey Maritime Museum, Custom House Plaza, Monterey (the foot of Fishermans Wharf). Tickets at the door, $12 for adults and $6 for kids; kids free with an adult at the matinee. 372-2608, or visit www.blackirish.com.
Dems and Reeps Make Nice
JEFFERSON-LINCOLN AWARDS DINNER For those politics junkies still jonesing for more, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Russell Feingold (D-WI) will be in town tonight at Pebble Beach. They're here to accept an award for playing nice-the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy's third annual Jefferson-Lincoln award, which honors a Democrat and a Republican "who have demonstrated a commitment to bipartisan cooperation in solving our nation's problems." Remember the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill? The one that bans soft money and undisclosed contributions to political parties? Yup, these are the two politicos behind it.
Unfortunately, tickets for the dinner have sold out. But don't resort to hiding in the bushes just yet. There's a waiting list.
6:30pm. The Inn at Spanish Bay, 17 Mile Dr., Pebble Beach. Call 582-4200 to be placed on the waiting list.
SOMETHING FOR THE BOYS Marlene Dietrich, the Andrews Sisters and Jack Benny had an unfair advantage over J Lo and 'N Sync; they lived and performed in the 1940s, and for that reason alone their music and style were better. Tonight the Alliance on Aging presents a live stage review taking audiences back to the USO shows of those war years. Actor and chanteuse Layne Littlepage, known in these parts for her one-woman show "An Evening with Beatrice Lillie," vamps it up as the sexy and mysterious Marlene Dietrich. Comedian Larry Wilde does a stand-up routine replete with WWII jokes, and a handful of singers and actors perform a salute to the Andrews Sisters. A silent auction, dinner and cocktails-perfect Manhattan, we're thinking-precede the festivities, and all proceeds benefit services to seniors.
5:30pm. YMCA, 600 Camino El Estero, Monterey. $100. 655-1334.
HOWARD ZHANG, VIOLINIST Howard Zhang is cute. Cute in the way that you want to pinch his cheeks. He is, after all, only 16. He's also an excellent classical violinist, studying privately with Itzhak Perlman, which is why he's getting his own night to shine with the Monterey Symphony. Zhang's violin is featured in Beethoven's Violin Romance No.2, and Bruch's Scottish Fantasy at three separate concerts, conducted by Symphony music director Kate Tamarkin. Also on the program are Weber's Euryanthe Overture and Mozart's Prague Symphony. Beautiful classical music in the hands of experts makes for an evening of culture, and with only four pieces, you can even take the kids (over age 7, please).
3pm today, 8pm Mon. and Tue. Today and Monday, at Pacific Grove Middle School 835 Forest Ave., Pacific Grove. Tuesday at Sherwood Hall, 940 Main St., Salinas. $15-$55, advance reservations. 624-8511.
MBBF BATTLE OF THE BANDS The Monterey Bay Blues Festival, the big midsummer party that has become one the eminent musical gatherings in these parts, introduced this fall event a couple of years ago, and it's become almost as cool as the Festival itself. Last year's winner, the Shane Dwight band, headlines. (See story, page 36).
2pm. Monterey Room, Monterey Fairgrounds, Fairgrounds Rd., Monterey. $10 (proceeds go to MBBF Youth Scholarship Fund). 394-2652.