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Entertainment

Riverside Shows What its Got at Fashion Night Out

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By Rory O’Sullivan –

Fashionista’s from all over the Inland Empire recently converged on Downtown Riverside to celebrate Fashion’s Night Out.

The event drew a crowd of about a thousand people according to coordinator Natasha Ferguson. Fashionista Aileen Prince of Moreno Valley said she was big into fashion having been a former model. Prince enjoyed being able to come to Riverside to enjoy an evening of fashion instead of driving to Los Angeles.

Fashion’s Night Out was a worldwide event with fashion shows being held all over the world from “Manhattan, to Milan, Atlanta to Australia,” according to their website.

The day was “intended to restore consumer confidence, boost the industry’s economy and put the ‘fun’ back in shopping,” according to their website.

Forgotten Treasures owner Maria Pineda said, “It helps us because we can bring our merchandise out and they can buy our products.” Her collection of vintage shoes, hats, jewelry, and lamps, did make a strong fashion statement.

The event also included handmade jewelry, artisan items, apparel, shoes and more for sale, as Main St. between University and Mission Inn became “Fashion Alley.”

The fashion show was the main event of the night and was put on by The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire, included everyday wear like jeans, blouses and shirts to evening wear which included gowns, suits, and ties. “I think it would be great if they could keep it here,” said model Amber Schmeltz. “Everyone was really nice and the clothes were fantastic to wear.”

Local retailers including Toni Moore Clothing and Boyd’s on Main provided clothes for the fashion show.

Students from AIS who volunteered for the event also benefited by gaining experience in their field. “It helps to connect with people,” said fashion design student Jaza Piper “it helps us throughout our careers.”

Ferguson was thrilled with the turnout of the event. She was also pleased with the enthusiasm of the crowd.

Ferguson hopes that this event will show that locals can have a great time without having to drive to far.

“We do events like this to show you can have a great time right here in Downtown Riverside.”

WICKED Celebrates L.A. Return

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Broadway's biggest blockbuster, WICKED, is returning to Hollywood's Pantages Theatre for a limited holiday engagement November 30 - January 29, and will be celebrating with a two-hour party in the Pantages Grand Lobby on Saturday, September 17th from 12 noon to 2 pm.

Patrons in attendance at this special event will get the first opportunity to purchase the best possible seating directly from the Pantages Box Office and will not incur any additional Ticketmaster service charges.  Tickets will be available for purchase online, by phone or at Ticketmaster outlets on Sunday morning, September 18th at 10am.

Fans are invited to participate in a WICKED KARAOKE CONTEST, where one grand prize winner will be selected to receive four free tickets to the first performance.  Those who participate in the karaoke contest will receive a free WICKED merchandise pack. Those interested in competing should arrive early, as only a limited number of contest spaces are available.  Free food & beverage will be catered by The Perfect Bite.

Morning radio host Valentine will be the master of ceremonies at the event, sponsored by 104.3 MYfm.

Valentine, host of 104.3 MYfm's popular morning show, "Valentine in the Morning," started in the radio industry when he was just 15 and has since become a household name.  Every Monday through Friday, Southern Californians tune in to hear him play a wide variety of music - "more variety from the 90's til now." Valentine's most important on-air attribute is his desire to be open with his listeners and to share his real life, thereby allowing the listener to share theirs as well.

Based on the best-selling 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, WICKED, winner of 35 major awards, including a Grammy® and three Tony® Awards, is the untold story of the witches of Oz.  It is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone.

Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz.  One - born with emerald-green skin - is smart, fiery and misunderstood.  The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular.  WICKED tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, and how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.

Orchestra level tickets for WICKED start at just $30.  Beginning Sunday, September 18th at 10am, tickets will be made available for purchase online at www.BroadwayLA.org or www.Ticketmaster.com/Wicked, by phone at 1-800-982-ARTS(2787), and in person at all Ticketmaster outlets.  The Pantages Theatre Box Office will reopen for regular business on Monday, October 3rd.

Bill Bellamy's Ladies Night Out Star in Laugh Out Loud Comedy Festival

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Comedians Bill Bellamy, J.Reid, D’Lai and Ali Siddiq star in the Aug. 28 headlining show “Ladies Night Out,” at the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Festival at the California Theatre of the Performing Arts.

The 9:30 p.m. show is the finale in the four-day comedy festival, Aug. 25-28, in the historic downtown venue. Showtime Networks will film all 11 shows, featuring more than top name 20 comedians.

Bellamy first gained fame on HBO’s “Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam.” He was a VJ on MTV and was the host of several MVT shows, including “MTV Jamz,” and “MTV Beach House.” He appeared in the films Fled Love Jones,” “The Brothers,” “How to be a Player, “and “Any Given Sunday.”

He also appeared in the TV show “Kenan and Kel,” Nickelodeon’s “ Cousin Skeeter,” and co- starred in Fox’s “Fastline.” He also starred in the Showtime’ comedy special “Booty Call,” one of the network’s top-rated specials.

The comedy festival features such shows as Snoop Dogg Presents The Bad Girls of Comedy, Tommy Chong’s Comedy at 420, and Rita Rudner’s Four Potential Ex-Husbands show.

Other stand up stars include Jay Mohr, Willie Barcena, Anthony Clark, Steve Trevino, Melanie Comarcho, Ian Bagg, Monique Marvez, David Gee, Allan Stephan, Ottto & George, and many others.

This is the fourth LOL Comedy Festival and the 
second consecutive summer that the event has been filmed in San Bernardino’s California Theatre.

The 2011 LOL Comedy Festival is being filmed and produced by LOL Comedy Inc., and Payaso Productions in association with the California Theatre Of The Performing Arts and the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency.

Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com or the theater box office at (909) 885-5152. Admission is $25 for single shows, with VIP Gold Circle admission of $40. Single day admission is $63. The LOL Comedy Festival Package for all four days of performances is $140.

Food Truck Festival Rolls Into Downtown San Bernardino

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Bring your appetite for tasty and unique taste treats when the Food Truck Festival rolls into downtown, Aug. 26-27, at the corner of Fourth and E streets.

The 4:30 to 10 p.m. outdoor festival will feature popular Southland food trucks and beverage vendors, as well as free entertainment, including stand up comedy and music acts.

Four food businesses will be serving up a wide variety of specialty menu items for everyone to enjoy. Vendors include Stella Pierre’s Gourmet Grub, Jogasaki Sushi Burrito, Lobsta Truck, and The Mighty Boba Truck.

Stella Pierre’s, which appeared at the St. Patrick’s Festival in March, serves up foot-long specialty hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, homemade side dishes and desserts, including chocolate covered bacon.

Never had a sushi burrito before? Well, here’s your chance when Jogasaki Sushi Burrito puts together delicious sushi roll ingredients all wrapped up in a flour tortilla or soy paper for a jumbo size sushi roll.

Delicious Taiwanese cuisine is the specialty of The Mighty Boba Truck, including mouth-watering meat and vegetarian entrees, and made to order, shaken not stirred tapioca teas, made with or without boba.

The Lobsta Truck, which also was at the St. Patrick’s Day Festival, returns with its fresh lobster and crab rolls, New England style clam chowder, Cape Cod chips, desserts and specialty drinks.

The Food Truck Festival is part of the four-day Laugh Out Loud Comedy Festival, Aug. 25-28, at the California Theatre of the Performing Arts, which features more than 20 internationally known comedians.

Eleven star-studded shows, including Snoop Dogg Presents The Bad Girls of Comedy, Tommy Chong’s Comedy at 420, Rita Rudner’s Four Potential Ex-Husbands show, are scheduled.

Other stand up stars include Jay Mohr, Willie Barcena, Anthony Clark, Steve Trevino, Melanie Comarcho, Ian Bagg, Monique Marvez, David Gee, Allan Stephan, and many others. The Showtime Networks will film all 11 programs. This is the fourth LOL Comedy Festival and the 
second consecutive summer that the event has been filmed in San Bernardino’s California Theatre.

The 2011 LOL Comedy Festival is being filmed and produced by LOL Comedy Inc., and Payaso Productions in association with the California Theatre Of The Performing Arts and the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency.

Tickets are available at 
www.ticketmaster.com or the theater box office at (909) 885-5152. Admission is $25 for single shows, with VIP Gold Circle admission of $40. Single day admission is $63. The LOL Comedy Festival Package for all four days of performances is $140.

The Ultimate Jazz Festival Green, Smooth Jazz and Old School

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By Ricky Richardson –

The 3rd Annual Ultimate Jazz Festival was held on Saturday, August 6th and Sunday, August 7th, in a new venue, Guasti Regional Park in Ontario, California. This was a very relaxing setting, with lots of trees for shade. A large energetic crowd was on hand to get their groove on. Festival organizers considered this to be the jazz event of the summer. The reason is that The Ultimate Jazz Festival is known for its flare of uniqueness in bringing together musicians from different genres of music to one stage including Latin, R&B, Funk and Smooth Jazz.

Saturday, Leonard Robinson, Program Host, KDEE 97.5 FM, Sacramento returned as Master of Ceremonies. Shilts kicked off the festival with material from his current CD’s. The crowd and I were swaying and bopping as Shilts sweetened up his set with “Sugar” by the late great saxophonist Stanley Turrentine and concluded his hot set with some cool “Short Island Ice Tea.” DJ Wynn spun tracks in between bands. He kept up the momentum of the party. No party would be complete without "Stepping Dance" and "Cupid Shuffle."

Urban Jazz Coalition plays a unique blend of smooth R&B jazz. The emcee described the band as being a blend of The Jazz Crusaders and Spyra Gyra. Their repertoire included original composition “Saguaro Sunset” and a rousing version of “Birdland” which is a tune that has been recorded by many well known artists.

Nick Collionne is considered The Ultimate Jazz Festival Green, Smooth Jazz and Old School the best dressed smooth jazz guitarist on the scene. He is always dressed sharp from head to toe. He charmed his way into the hearts of the crowd with his humorous conversation. The highlight of his set featured a crowd pleasing version “A Rainy Night in Georgia.” Nick and his band got down with the blues on “Whose Making Dirty Dishes with You.” Pieces of a Dream is an American R&B/jazz group from Philadelphia. The group was formed in 1976 by bassist Cedric Napoleon, drummer Curtis Harmon, and keyboardist James Lloyd. They performed a solid set of original tunes from their extensive catalog. Their set consisted of “Wake Up Call,” “Anywhere You Are,” “Mount Airy Groove” — everyone was able to stretch out on this tune.

Tony! Toni! Tone crashed out their Oakland neighborhood in 1988 with Gold debut album “Who?” which spawned the hit “Little Walter.” In 1990, to both critical and popular acclaim, their second album The Revival garnered four #1 hits. The band continues to tour the United States performing more than 600 sold out concerts. Cameo concluded day one of the festival on a high note. Sunday, day two of The Ultimate Jazz continued on a beautiful day. The line-up featured saxophonist Jessy J, flutist Althea Rose, Jeff Golub, Euge Groove, and closed out with Keith Sweat.

The Ultimate Jazz Festival is produced by Jazz to be Green, a non-profit organization whose goal is to raise awareness about energy efficiency, green environment, and green jobs through the art of jazz. Their goal is to develop partnerships with local utility companies to create forums for sharing information on how our community can save money by using less energy during their daily activities and in their homes. They are a proud supporter of the Lupus Foundation. A portion of The 3rd Annual Ultimate Jazz Festival will be donated to this worthy cause.

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