Our thoughts at the Beehive are with the family, friends and colleagues of local filmmaker Eric Catlapp, 32, who died early this morning. The attack on him in the Tower District is one of those senseless acts of violence that has you reaching for something to steady yourself as you contemplate the randomness and brevity of life.
We’re also thinking about the close-knit Tower District. Though not all the city’s cultural events take place there, there’s something special about the neighborhood — a vitality and creative spark — that makes it seem the cultural heart of Fresno. (I’ve always told people from all over Fresno they should treasure the Tower even if they don’t go there very often. Every vibrant bigger city needs the idea of a place like this. Without it, we’re just living in a big strip mall.) We have no doubt the Tower District will band together and overcome this brutal blow.
Tributes to Catlapp are being swapped all over local social media. Here’s an inspiring one posted on the Facebook page of the CMAC (Community Media Access Collaborative):
From the CMAC:
Today we learned that one of our kindest, most productive and helpful members, Eric Catlapp, passed away. Eric was so excited about video production that he recently purchased his own camera equipment and was seldom seen without at least one camera and often more. He was a fixture here at CMAC and could often be found hanging around talking with members about projects and new ideas.
Eric was always willing to help anyone who needed it and worked for hundreds of hours on his own and other members’ projects. He loved CMAC and was devoted to our mission and our members. We will miss him greatly.
Did you see the hilarious paparazzi photo of Vince Vaughn at Disneyland being recognized by two shocked fans? Turns out the girls in the pic are from Clovis. They stopped by Channel 47 to chat with Zara Arboleda, who seized the opportunity to put a new spin on the photo.
Jordan and Amy were walking through the park on Monday when they spotted the celebrity walking with his pregnant wife, and were so excited that they stopped and pointed at him. At that moment, a picture was snapped by a paparazzi and later posted on the Internet.
Update 3:23 p.m.: The victim has been identified, The Bee reports:
The victim was identified by the Fresno County coroner as Eric Catlapp, 32.
Police say Catlapp was a member of The Hashtag, a 24-hour work center for local professionals in the 1200 block of North Wishon Avenue.
Original post 9:54 a.m.:
Photo by Jim Guy/The Fresno Bee
Sad news to report this morning: Police are investigating a fatal stabbing in the Tower District, which apparently happened on Wishon Row near the Hashtag. Here is a link to The Bee story, which doesn’t have many details at this point but should be updated today with more information.
I’ve seen a lot of longtime Beehive readers express concern, dismay and anger about the events in social media this morning. I too am saddened by this news. There’s no reason for such needless violence and my thoughts are with those affected by this crime. I really hope this doesn’t deter the business owners on this row who have really tried to make something nice for the people of Fresno, or keep people from visiting these businesses.
Chatting with a co-worker just now, I realized that the last day of school is right around the corner. Clearly, on one level, I was aware the end was near. But that was a level that I had shut down, stuffed deep into my psyche so I could deal with all the other tons of stuff that happen just before the year ends.
But what really stuck in my craw was when my co-worker mentioned having to get a gift for her elementary-aged kid’s teacher. The torrent of thoughts that followed:
- I should get my kid’s teacher something;
- This teacher is going to get a ton of gifts from kids;
- Most of these gifts are probably going to be that bulk-style, plasticky crap with lead paint,
- I have to do something different.
DAMN IT. Effort was going to be involved — likely mine.
Luckily for me, I know of a VERY easy DIY that is both inexpensive YET has classiness potential. It’s the kind of thing you (and your kid) can make, and the teacher won’t do the dead-eyed, tooth-gritting ehhhhhhhh smile.
It’s perfect for teacher’s gifts, graduation gifts and self-adoration gifts (the best kind, obviously): The glass-tile pendant.
I’d like to introduce you to three remarkable people: Cynthia Dallas, Lucy Del Real and Geno Ventura. They’ve been performing in “New Wrinkles,” the senior musical revue show at Fresno City College, for all 25 years of the show’s existence.
Dallas is 86. Ventura is 88. And Del Real is 89. And they’re opening tonight for a whopping 16-show run, many days with matinee AND evening performances.
We highlight these three original cast members in today’s cover story in 7. But the entire cast — there are 74 total — is to be admired. And emulated. While many people 40 and 50 years younger are spending nights rearranging themselves on their couches, this group of in-shape seniors are dancing, singing and cracking one-liners.
UPDATE No. 2: And now we have a story from George Hostetter. You can and should read it, but suffice it to say: None of council member Brandau’s arguments hold water with me. This post from the people at Sunnyside Bicycles quickly explains why. Do you want to know why no one bikes on Fruit Avenue, council member? BECAUSE THERE ARE NO BIKE LANES.
(That’s twice today I’ve used all caps).
It’s naive to think everyone is going to (or should) care about bicycles and bike lanes as much as I do. It’s equally naive (and a bit elitist and annoying) to think cars are the only means of viable transportation.
UPDATE: (12:15 p.m. May 23) It looks like the city council ignored the Bicycle Master Plan and voted down the Fruit Avenue road diet. It should be noted that it was a 3-4 vote. Council members Xiong, Quintero, and Baines voted for the bike lanes. Brandau, Brand, Caprioglio, and Olivier voted against them.
Are these guys goldfish? The Bicycle Master Plan was approved two years ago. Is that too far back for them to remember? I feel guilty for waiting until hours before the vote to raise a fuss, but we shouldn’t have to have this discussion EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. a road diet comes up to vote. I suggest Brandau, Brand, Caprioglio and Olivier read the Bicycle Master Plan. AND THEN STICK TO IT. Of course they won’t, because they don’t have to apparently. Ugh.
On Thursday May 23rd, city staff will be asking City Council to approve a cooperative agreement with the County of Fresno to convert Fruit Avenue from four lanes to three lanes between Shaw and Herndon (Council District 2). This will add bicycle lanes on both sides of the street! Staff first asked Council’s approval on May the 2nd, but Council continued the item for two weeks to gather more information.
This Memorial Day weekend, I’ll be in Reno competing in the National Bowling Tournament. But the world doesn’t revolve around me and local venues, band and promoters are continuing on with their plans, which I present to you now as another installment of BANDGEEEEEEK!!
The production: the play “Dear Harvey,” written by Patricia Loughrey, about Harvey Milk, the gay civil rights activist and San Francisco politician assassinated in 1978.
The format: Each of the seven veteran actors, under the astute direction of Miguel Gastelum, crafted a portrait of Milk, alternating his own words with those of family, friends, colleagues and letters from the public.
My take on the play: I felt mixed about some aspects of the writing of the play, which at times feels more like a hagiography than a full-fledged portrait. It veers into occasional over-the-top veneration that I suspect Milk himself would have had a great time deflating, and the play’s narrative structure didn’t always flow. But the direction and acting more than compensate, truly elevating the experience.
The standout moment: There were many, actually, but one that sticks with me was from Hayley Galbraith depicting a lesbian struggling to come out to a friend. Within the framework of her character’s stammering, she created what seemed an intensely vivid sliver of a life.
If you are a fan of old-school country, trucker music, rockabilly, surf rock or just great guitar playing, this might be the best news you hear all week. Only 200 tickets will be made available and they will no doubt sell out. If you are at all interested, don’t be last minute about it. Tickets should be up and available online by Friday (check here to keep updated).
Brown last played town in 2011 at the Crossroads.
For what it’s worth, I’ve long been Brown fan. “Venom Wearing Denim,” is a killer of a song and probably my favorite, but I couldn’t find a video of it I liked. Here’s one of him doing “Highway Patrol” instead.
The Fresno State Bulldog Pride Fund is staging an intriguing fundraiser with its production of “Dear Harvey,” a play by Patricia Loughrey about Harvey Milk, the gay civil rights activist and San Francisco politician assassinated in 1978. (Today is Harvey Milk Day.) The play will be presented tonight and Thursday night at The Painted Table in the Tower District.
A stellar local cast directed by Miguel A. Gastelum tackles this nearly fully staged production that includes lighting, sound and multimedia. (Because of the short rehearsal schedule, the actors are still on book.) It features seven ensemble cast members: Joel C. Abels, Matthew Freitas, Hayley Galbraith, Jennifer Lewis, Terry Lewis, Chris Mangels, and Leslie Martin.
There are a number of price points for tonight’s 7:30 p.m. opening, including options for a two-course dinner, wine-and-cheese pre-reception and dessert post-reception. On Thursday, which features general seating, pre-performance beverages and menu items will be available for purchase starting at 5:30 p.m., with the show starting at 7:30 p.m.
It’s always interesting to see just how candid some actors will be.
Alyssa Milano, who grew up on TV in the comedy “Who’s the Boss?,” is starring in the new ABC drama “Mistresses” that starts June. 3. The series, based on the British series of the same name, follows the love lives of four very good friends. Milano plays a lawyer whose efforts to start a family gets interrupted by another man.
Milano’s no stranger to this kind of sexy material having starred in the TV series “Melrose Place,” the feature film “Poison Ivy II” and the made-for-TV production, “Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story” as Amy Fisher.
Maybe it’s the fact I watched her grow up on TV, but I didn’t expect Milano to be so willing to reveal so many details when the conversation turns to the sexy nature of the show.
UPDATE: Congratulations to winners Ben Sondheim, Evelyn Westling and Jim Henderson.
ORIGINAL POST: For 25 years, a stalwart group of older performers has anchored Fresno’s beloved “New Wrinkles.” This annual musical revue featuring performers ages 55 and older runs May 24-June 9. The show has been at Fresno City College since its inception in 1989. We’re preparing a 7 cover story for Friday on the show’s 25th anniversary. I took the pic at right of The Bee’s photo shoot with Geno Ventura, Lucy Del Real and Cynthia Dallas, the three cast members who have been in the show all 25 years.
We’re giving away tickets to Beehive readers. I have three pairs of tickets to give away:
One pair for opening night, 7:30 p.m. Friday.
One pair for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30.
One pair for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6.
To enter, leave a comment on this post. If you’d like, share with us in your post your favorite “New Wrinkles’ memory from the past 24 years. In your comment, indicate which of the three performances you’d prefer to attend (or no preference). The deadline for entry is 5 p.m. Wednesday. One entry per person. I’ll be informing winners by email Wednesday evening, please check at that time. If you win, you’ll be able to pick your tickets at Will Call. Rules are on the jump.
This season, the organization is upping the ante, culinarily speaking, with the Bacon vs. Tofu night, June 27. They even have this cool graphic.
The idea is simple: Fans show up at the game and choose sides. You’re either for #teambacon or #teamtofu. Fans can vote and the results will be tallied and announced at the end of the night. There will be themed-games between innings and bacon and tofu-oriented businesses will be on hand to showcase their products.
Here’s the great part (and where The Beehive readers come in): The Grizzlies are looking for team captains, a couple of local chefs or foodie types who can whip up some culinary creations and help sway the vote. And they need your help. So, we’re throwing it to you. Who would be your choice to lead #teambacon? How about #teamtofu?
There are many reasons I like Audra McDonald. She’s an award-winning performer, has an angelic voice and, despite her star status, has always been willing to do an interview. It’s what she does during those interviews that may be one of the most impressive things about McDonald.
The majority of the time, when I talk to a celebrity, they don’t mention their hometown. Sometimes, where a person grew up, can say a lot about the kind of person they become.
What I’ve noticed with McDonald is that even when she talking to press that isn’t from Fresno, she has no problem mentioning her roots. Her willingness to talk about Fresno is really important for the city because it shows the kind of talent that has come out of this area.
UPDATE: I just got another email from Jeffrey Fetters on the passing of Ray Manzarek. Fetters plays guitar in a local Doors tribute band.
One thing about Ray and that is he was a real down to earth and very thankful man in my few run ins with him. It seemed he truly appreciated getting out and when he ran into fans, he embraced them. I have been listening to interviews they are playing up here with him from the last few years and I have to say that my impression seems to be the same as everyone else’s. He was a real nice guy who is so appreciative of what he has experienced. I emailed Doug Lubahn (bass player on “Waiting for the Sun,” “Soft Parade” and “Strange Days”) last night and he said the same thing. A great guy and a truly sad day.
Just listening to him talk and watching his mannerisms makes you want to be his friend. Yesterday I was shocked at the news, today I am just sad.
Original post from May 21:
News came yesterday that Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek died of cancer at the age of 74. I’m probably a bigger Doors than I realize, but I don’t have any sort of deep connection to that band or any real insight here that hasn’t been written better already. So, I reached out to Jeffrey Fetters, who lives in Napa, but plays guitar in the local Door’s tribute band The Double Doors. He sent me this quick story about meeting Manzarek.
So, Father’s Day. Still on my mind. I’m always last minute with these things, mostly because I’m a naturally last-minute kind of person. I start about12-weeks out, scouring the Internet in times of boredom, swearing that this time — this time for sure — I’ll do it all differently and plan something really swell. I’ll get thoughtful gifts! I’ll get the kids involved! I’ll plan it ALL! …aaaaaaand I then proceed to completely blow everything off until about 9:45 the night before Father’s Day when, in the middle of my regularly-scheduled wine-induced, TV-slouching malaise, a jolt of fear alerts me that I still need to do something deeply thoughtful, loving, kind and possibly elaborate for the man who helps me raise our children.
Let it be known that a 200 oz. jug of Tide laundry detergent is neither deeply thoughtful, loving, kind nor elaborate. It is, however, available at 9:45 the night before Father’s Day at most 24-hour drugstores. Most.
For your planning purposes and out of the goodness of my heart, I’ve come up with a list good vs bad Tide laundry detergent alternatives Father’s Day gift ideas. To wit:
The New York Times gives us a video sneak peek of Audra McDonald’s new album, “Go Back Home,” which comes out Tuesday. (It’s her first solo album in seven years!) McDonald invited the Times to her New York State country home, where she played Adam Guettel’s “Migratory V.” She accompanied herself on a piano that was given to her by her parents as a high school graduation present.
If you went to McDonald’s last Fresno concert, in 2011, you’ll remember she sang the same song in what became the most emotional moment in the show. I wrote at the time:
Without announcing her next song, McDonald took a seat at the piano to play and sing Adam Guettel’s “Migratory V,’ an introspective piece about the wide open sky. Afterward, she explained that she’s always wanted to overcome the fear of playing the piano in public. Her father, the noted Fresno educator Stan McDonald, used to encourage her to do that, telling her she needed to overcome that fear. He died four years ago in one of the solo experimental planes he loved to fly. “So that was for my dad,” she said.
According to her label, Nonesuch Records, many of the selections on “Go Back Home” are by composers with whom McDonald has long been associated (Adam Guettel, Michael John LaChiusa, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Stephen Sondheim, among others) And McDonald continues her tradition of championing works by an emerging generation of composers, represented on this recording by Adam Gwon, Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich, and Will Reynolds.
The end of an era. The last McGee and Oliver siblings to graduate from the Theatre Arts Department at Fresno State. I feel honored to have directed and taught five of them — Carly Oliver, Kelsey Oliver, Dane Oliver, Matthew McGee and Aaron McGee. — with Aaron McGee and Dane Oliver.
OK, maybe part of my choking-up factor is realizing how much I’ve enjoyed the performances of all these siblings over the years. Here’s a salute to two tremendously talented families.
When I met up last week with Daisy Addicott, the Fresno art collector I profiled in Sunday’s Spotlight section, my first thought upon entering the gallery featuring her impressive collection at the Fresno Art Museum was: Wouldn’t it be cool to see the artwork that usually hangs on my walls featured in a museum?
That thought certainly has occurred to Addicott, 83, who was beaming as I walked through the exhibition with her.
Art collectors occupy a prime position in the food chain of the art world, and I found Addicott’s confidence about what she likes (minimalist and conceptual art) and assurance in her acquisition philosophy (collect local artists, especially up-and-coming ones) to be transfixing. Most of the works in the museum show are usually found on the walls of her Fresno home. I write:
The result in the new exhibition is a unifying aesthetic you notice the moment you enter the gallery. Though from different artists, it’s as if these works seem to make up a cohesive unit — not in a matchy-matchy sort of way, but more with an energized calmness, a domestic tranquility. You can tell that each one was lovingly selected, and, in their own way, adored.
It was also fun with this story getting to know the two men responsible for the show: New York artist Rodney Harder (pictured above, right) and Fresno artist Mark Rodriguez (left), both good friends of Addicott’s. They’re clearly both devoted to her. After getting to meet her, I can see why.
VIDEO: To watch a video interview with Daisy Addicott, click here. PHOTO by The Fresno Bee’s Mark Crosse.
UPDATE: The concert announcements just keep coming. Here are two more that just came in.
Martina McBride will be playing Visalia Fox Theatre, June 25. McBride was last in town in February playing a sold-out show at the Save Mart Center with country legend George Straight. This show should be a bit more up close and personal. Tickets are $45-$125 and on sale now.
Religious Appeal has announced July 20 as the date for a second Catacomb Party. You’ll remember the first Catacomb party was a album release for the band Fierce Creatures and wildly successful, drawing a huge crowd of young hipster types to the Fulton Mall. No word is they ever left. This year’s festival has no direct ties to the band that we can see, other than being co-produced by it one-time frontman Mathr de Leon. No word of the lineup yet, but the festival will be on the Fulton Mall and is sure to have many people really excited.
Most people seemed to get a kick out of the recent Fresno Grizzles Kiss-Cam video, which 1) racked up millions of hits on YouTube and 2) was as fake as Velveeta. (In case you missed it, the Grizzles came back a few days later and fessed up that the couple depicted in the video — she wanted a kiss, he didn’t, and she rewarded him with a face full of cold drink — actually works for the Grizzlies.)
In my Sunday column, I take a bigger-picture view of the incident. Sure, it was funny and harmless. But on a deeper level, I think there are larger ramifications for our culture overall. I write:
Every time something fake gets passed off as real in the media — whether it’s a fabricated video, manipulated photograph or just-plain-wrong Tweet — it erodes just a little our confidence in how we take in and process information. I think of it as a cumulative process. Watch one staged video and you might fall for it hard. Watch 100 and your first thought when watching something new could be: Is it fake? We run the risk of becoming blase, whether it’s real or not.
I talked for my column with Fresno State professor Jes Therkelsen, who teaches media culture, and he had some interesting insights to add.
In the meantime, the Grizzlies have used up their “Post Fake Video, Get Millions of Hits” card for the season.
Though it’s called Swede Fest, Fresno’s semi-annual (that mean’s twice a year, right?) celebration of sweded films isn’t judged like many festivals (It’s not judged at all). But being the arbiters of art that we are, we here at The Beehive have taken to handing out awards for what we see as the best of the fest. Swede Fest XI happened last night at a packed Tower Theatre. You can see all the entries at Swede Fest site. Winners receive their names in this post, which they can feel free to link on IMDB.
Painting your dad’s hammer handle: Why would anybody want this? WHY?
Father’s Day is coming, which is the stupidest of all holidays. First off, my dad is dead (so thanks for bringing THAT up); and second, given my penchant toward craftiness, you’d think that I’d do something super creative for my hubs (being that he is, after all, the father-like person for our massive herd of kids). With these two facts in mind, Father’s Day should be a breeze.
I’m sorry to inform you that you’re disgustingly wrong. Planning, making, doing, surprising ANYONE in my family is fun and I go nuts. Holidays are of the greatest inventions ever; I love them so much, I create my own (and seriously cannot WAIT to tell you how to plan your Ugly Sweater Day feast). But Father’s Day? Shoot me.