Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Scott Adsit sounds off on ‘Big Hero 6′

Generally, it’s easy to recognize the celebrity hired to provide a voice for an animated movie. Was there any question as soon as you heard Buzz Lightyear that Tim Allen was the guy talking for the space toy?

That’s why producers spend the extra money to get a known actor rather than turning to the people who do voice work for a living. They bank on those who are fans of the famous actors to show up to hear their work.

No matter how good your ear is when it comes to picking out actors doing voices, there’s no way you could have guessed who does the talking for Baymax in “Big Hero 6” unless you stayed to read the closing credits.

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ROGUE REVIEW: The Road to High Street

Rogue Festival Poster 2014by Tiffany Hurtado

The Road to High Street” is a one-man show detailing the career of street performer, juggler, comedian and musician Andrew Potter.

The son of a decorated WW II Naval Officer and successful businessman, young Andrew Potter has just graduated from college in Rhode Island and has shared with his father the dream of becoming a street performer. You can almost guess how his father might have responded. For the moment we are left wondering as Potter and his college buddy, Wheeler Cole hit the road for the mecca of street performance art: San Francisco.

Potter is indeed an accomplished juggler, narrating and strumming a few rifts on his guitar while also operating his laptop’s projected animations, layered images and video clips. He is the ultimate multi-tasker.

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Make plans to see Hockney exhibition


How enthusiastic am I about this show? If I could stand on my hands and do a little dance for you right now, I would — if it would get you to consider catching the exhilarating “David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition” at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. It’s big in so many ways, from the sheer size of some of the pieces (how about a 12-foot iPad painting?) to the innovative technologies used (you actually get to see in some cases the brush strokes that Hockney made in those iPad works). Then there’s just the sheer number of works: more than 300 displayed in 18,000 square feet of gallery space, making it the biggest in the history of the museum.

I get all evangelistic about the show in my most recent Spotlight column, which ran on Sunday. I don’t often urge people to drive six hours roundtrip to do anything, but in this case I really do feel it’s an art exhibition you don’t want to miss. It runs through Jan. 20. Sounds like plenty of time, yes, but you know how busy things can get in the holidays and beyond. Make your plans now.

Tonight: Inferno of Joy + Blake Jones and the Trike Shop

941726_538898939481883_1183944484_nI’ve already mentioned a couple of happenings tonight.

Let me add to the list, San Francisco’s Inferno of Joy. The band will be playing tonight at Tokyo Garden with Blake Jones and the Trike Shop. It’s one of those after-Arthop parties that happen at Tokyo and can be quite fun.

The real reason you’ll want to be there though, is to pick up a just-arrived-via-UPS-copy of Blake Jone’s new EP,”Teasers from the Whispermaphone.” Heard told it’s a good one.

Also: Inferno of Joy seems like a band I’d like. So, if you’re taste run akin to mine … Here’s a video so you can decide.

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The world champion San Francisco Giants … when they were Fresno Grizzlies

Hey, did you hear that the San Francisco Giants won the World Series? Oh yeah, totally happened. I’m sure you didn’t hear ANYTHING about it on Facebook or Twitter. Here’s one fun Fresno fact that you and your sarcasm detector might not know, though: 17 of the 25 players on the Giants’ World Series roster played for the AAA affiliate Fresno Grizzlies at some point.

Some players we saw a lot of — catcher and clutch home-run-hitter Buster Posey,  Game 2 winning pitcher Madison Bumgarner and Game 4 tripler Brandon Belt, for instance. Others, like MVP Pablo Sandoval and unlikely Game 1 winner Barry Zito, we only saw briefly.

It’s hard to argue with the Grizzlies current “Farmgrown” marketing campaign. Just look at the pics below. In some cases these Grizzlies look quite different than the guys you saw soaked in champagne last night.

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A trip to Off the Grid — S.F.’s food truck convergence

Since food trucks were a hot topic here not too long ago, I was very interested to check out “Off the Grid,” the popular San Francisco gathering of food trucks. Last week, I went to its weekly Friday night “market” at Fort Mason.

As you can see, this no small event. If you think the Thursday night line for our very own Dusty Buns Bistro is too long, you wouldn’t want to see the line for the Chairman Bao truck. The crowd at “Off the Grid” was as diverse as it was large — parents with the kids, young professionals, folks with their dogs, etc. The day before, the SF Chronicle had written a piece about the best food truck eats, so I’m sure that helped bring the people.


More than the food, I was curious to see how a food truck gathering worked logistically. This had a number of other booths, live entertainment and seating. It sure would be neat to have something like this in Fresno to complement our great farmers markets and fruit stands. Ya know, if we end up with more gourmet food trucks.

Here are more pics from my journey. If you’re hankering for some food truck grub afterward, you can catch Dusty Buns at 6 p.m. today outside Cafe Corazon on Wishon Row.

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The Beehive Asks: What’s your best fine-dining experience?

danko.jpgI spent last weekend in San Francisco and thanks to our friends my husband and I ended up dining at the much raved about Gary Danko restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf.

I can see why it’s so highly rated. Hands down, it was the best meal and dining experience i have ever had. The menu is unbelievable (I chose four courses: lobster salad, risotto with lobster and rock shrimp, salmon and soufflé). The service was amazing. The atmosphere is perfect. We spend more than two hours there enjoying every moment with our friends.

Of course, this experience got me thinking about restaurants around here. What is the best meal I have ever had in the Valley and what restaurants would I tell an out-of-towner are musts? My most memorable, and enjoyable, local fine-dining experience was at Parma Restaurant on Marks Avenue. The food is great and the owners are really sweet. I also had brunch at Oakhurst’s Erna’s Elderberry House. It was a lovely birthday gift from my parents that I won’t forget.

I haven’t been to either restaurant in a long time and I really want to go back. But I’m also interested in finding a few others gems to try out. So what about you? Where have you had the best overall dining experience? Do share.