Jeff Lewis a changed man – maybe

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lewis2.jpg Jeff Lewis is an interesting character. He showed on the Bravo reality show “Flipping Out” an obsessive-compulsive nature that made everyone crazy as they flipped house. Lewis says the past few years have been a wake-up call and you will see how he has changed in the new Bravo series “Interior Therapy With Jeff Lewis.”

He’d better be different because in the new series he takes over a person’s home to redesign not only their space, but their lives. The series launches at 9 p.m. March 14.

“I don’t think I could have done this show five years ago because it really was about my taste and my design. I did what I wanted to do, and if somebody didn’t like my house, there were four other people lined up ready to buy it,” Lewis says. “So now it’s a much different economy. It’s a much different situation we’re in.”

Lewis has had to put a damper on his own design tastes and listen to the client. He will try to keep the clients as involved in the process as possible but he doesn’t want to ruin the surprise.

Keeping the client in the dark is new for Lewis. The only time he has done that in his own business was when a client who lived in Colorado gave him $500,000 to redo his beach house. It was the most stressful job Lewis had ever done because he was worried the client might hate the work.

The other hard part of the new series was that Lewis had to connect to the client.

“We’re spending so much time with these people that you can’t help to become attached, connected. And then, all of a sudden, it’s not even just about a paycheck, which is to be honest, that’s why I did the show. You really become like, ‘Wow. I’m really invested in this. I want this to be great for them.’ Some people were entitled and ungrateful, and I wanted to walk out the door and go to the neighbor’s house and see what I could do there,” Lewis says.

Kasey Kahl going to ‘Therapy’

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KKAHL.JPG Within a span of five minutes, I got e-mails about Kasey Kahl, an advertising account executive from Clovis who was one of 25 suitors on the sixth edition of the reality show “The Bachelorette,” and Ali Fedotowsky, who was the bachelorette who rejected Kahl.

Kahl and Vienna Girardi (“The Bachelor”) will appear on the new VH1 series “Couples Therapy” when it launches March 21. Dr. Jenn Berman’s will talk with the couples to help them decided whether their relationship is worth saving or they should end it.

They will be joined by: DMX (Rapper) and Tashera Simmons; Linda Hogan (“Hogan Knows Best”) and Charlie Hill; Chris Nirschel (“The Next Food Network Star”) and Angelina Pivarnick (“Jersey Shore”); and Reichen Lehmkuhl and Rodiney Santiago (“The A-List: New York”).

For more info, go to couplestherapy.vh1.com

Moments later, NBC sent word Fedotowsky will be the new host of “1st Look,” a lifestyle program that looks at the most savory restaurants, hottest nightlife, trendiest travel destinations and much more. It will debut April 14 and air after “Saturday Night Live.”

THEATER REVIEW: ‘Almost, Maine’

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There’s a lot of theater going on right now in the Fresno area, and it’d be a shame if the offbeat and atmospheric “Almost, Maine,” which continues through Saturday at Fresno City College, was overlooked because of the rush. This whimsical and light-hearted play is directed with a sure hand by Janine Christl and imbued with a handsome sense of place by a team of talented designers.

The play is a series of nine self-contained vignettes all set on the same winter night in a far northern town in Maine. Ranging in setting from the laundry room of a rooming house to the wide-open expanse of a frozen lake, we’re presented with tales that run the gamut of love, from the first blush of infatuation to the gritty residue of long-term relationships gone awry. All take place under a big Maine sky that offers as its reward the shimmering beauty of the Northern Lights.

Take note! Canada is taking over Fresno

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Brace yourselves, Fresno. We’re being invaded. By our neighbors from the Great White North. Canada! Canada is taking over our music venues this week.

 

We need to gather our Mounties and protect ourselves … wait? Mounties? The Canadians have already begun to take over my mind. Aye! While I figure out an elixir, here’s what this week’s Canada takeover is all aboot:

Tonight: Rome Nightclub goes country

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When you think of Rome Nightclub at Granite Park, you probably think of DJs playing dance music, appearances from rappers and, well, ownership drama. Tonight, though, Rome offers something we haven’t seen from it before — country music!

It’s tapped local band Whisky Row for an every-Wednesday-night gig. While definitely a band with local roots, Whisky Row has been emerging on the national country scene the last couple years. A quality group, no doubt. More details on the flier.

ELSEWHERE: Another solid choice for country fans is Due West, another on-the-rise country act. It’s playing a free show at Old Town Saloon in Clovis, which is organized by 93.7 Kiss Country.

THEATER REVIEW: ‘Yo, Vikings!’

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I’ve followed the Children’s Musical Theaterworks production of “Yo, Vikings!” for several months now, from a first workshop reading in November through to auditions, the production design process, rehearsals and finally to tech week, when the new musical’s creative team visited from New York. So I’m a lot closer to the material than someone seeing the show cold.

All of which made it a delight on opening night to watch the first-ever extended version of this brisk, tuneful and endearing musical make its “world premiere” at the Fresno Memorial Auditorium. (It continues through Sunday; tix here.)

From the opening moments when we meet Emma (a plucky and endearing Genevieve Becker, who alternates the role with Catriona Fray), a headstrong 5th grader with a huge imagination who has a penchant for dressing up as everything from a fox to an amoeba), this theatrical adaptation of Judith Schachner’s children’s story exudes warmth and cleverness.

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