Our Night Out with Elle Woods

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Lauren Zakrin as Elle Woods and Chico as Bruiser in Legally Blonde. Photo by Charr Crail.

In honor of the start of the Music Circus 2016 season, Sacramento365.com is giving you two perspectives of Legally Blonde the Musical. Read up on how two-thirds of our team — Karlee Cemo and Jamila Khan — rate the musical that proves staying true to one’s self never goes out of style.

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15 years ago a little film called Legally Blonde debuted on the big screen and left a big impact on our teenage selves. After watching the hilarious Reese Witherspoon-led comedy, we both became a little obsessed. Karlee wanted to be blonde, a lawyer, and Reese Witherspoon’s carbon copy, while Jamila wore a lot of pink accessories and would respond to her friend’s butchering legal jargon like Ms. Elle Woods. The film was Jamila’s first ever DVD and Karlee’s favorite film on VHS (Jamila’s note: Kickin’ it old school, Karlee!). To this day, it’s each of our favorite movies and we can pretty much recite the script from beginning to end.

When hearing that a musical rendition of the film would kickoff of the 2016 Music Circus season, we were stoked. Music Circus has been a summer tradition for both of our families, so seeing this non-conventional opener piqued our interest. Given that the film wasn’t originally a musical, we both wondered how exactly song and dance would be incorporated into the storyline.

Our excitement and expectations were high, and the luckily, the production did not disappoint. Elle Woods, played by Lauren Zakrin, sensationally channeled her inner Reese Witherspoon with a spunky performance that fantastically captured the perky essence of Elle Woods. We both coveted her chic pink wardrobe and well-trained Bruiser, Elle’s beloved chihuahua, played by two very cute dogs. Bruiser’s few appearances definitely provided for some hearty laughs from the audience; but then again…who doesn’t love a tiny dog “acting” on a live stage?

Karlee’s highlights:
– The clever and upbeat song lyrics lyrics incorporated a mixture of lines from the film, modern day references, and a pinch of adult humor. A few of my favorite numbers were “There! Right There!”, “Bend and Snap” (obviously), and “Whipped Into Shape,” which had fitness phenom and defendant Brooke Wyndham (Grace Stockdale) singing while jumping rope. Very impressive.
– The exaggerated mannerisms of hairdresser Paulette Bonafante’s (Ryah Nixon) love interest Kyle the UPS guy (Seth Danner) make him an unexpectedly entertaining and hilarious addition to the show.

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Seth Danner as Kyle in Legally Blonde. Photo by Kevin Graft.

Jamila’s highlights:
-Female empowerment and sisterhood is even more front-and-center in the stage production than in the film. Without spoiling the revised plot, let’s just say that mousy Vivienne Kensington (Shannon O’Boyle) is a little less witchy…
-Added to the story is a hilarious subplot related to Paulette’s Bonafante’s obsession with Ireland. I now will use the line “give my love to the leprechauns” whenever I can.

Were you a fan of the original Legally Blonde, too? Then make sure you grab a ticket to the pop-culture musical before it’s too late. Production runs through Sunday, June 19. Tickets start at $45. For times and ticket information, visit Legally Blonde’s Sacramento365.com event page.

***This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content and Marketing Manager Karlee Cemo and Content and Social Media Coordinator Jamila B. Khan.

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Join Forces with the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera!

SPO-StarWars-WebSliderDarth Vader, Hans Solo, and Princess Leia invade the classical musical institution this Saturday!


This season the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera has had a true rebirth. They have been pushing the envelope of a typical philharmonic through pop-up concerts throughout the city, music invasions at libraries, concerts for over 4000 children, live tweeting (yes, people can join a crew to tweet throughout an entire concert), and innovative programming.

About that innovative programming…when was the last time you saw a Queen cover band perform front and center with a full orchestra playing as back-up…well, if you are like most Sacramentans, the answer is probably never. What about acrobats flying up, down, and around the Sacramento Community Center Theater to the classical hits? Maybe if you’ve been to Vegas, but did they have a full orchestra on stage or was it a recording?

Now to end Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera’s Pop Series for the year, they are bringing the music of John Williams, a.k.a. the music genius behind some of Hollywood’s most famous movies: Indiana Jones, Superman, Harry Potter, and of course…Star Wars. With the excitement of the new Star Wars film that came out last year, the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera decided to bring its great cinematic music to life!

On Saturday, April 23, come hear all of your favorites themes, songs, and catchy tunes from these blockbuster films performed by an entire live orchestra!

But let’s get back to Darth Vader, Han Solo, and Princess Leia joining the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera…in keeping with their envelope-pushing season, Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera wants you to come dressed up as your favorite Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and Superman characters — capes and all.  Yes, rep your fandom with pride this weekend! 107.9 The End will be joining the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera to have a live costume contest. The best Princess Leia buns may just help you snag the top prize!

You will not want to miss this epic concert event. A limited number of tickets are still available by phone; may the force be with you! For more event details, visit the concert’s Sacramento365.com event listing.

*This blog post was written by Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera’s Marketing and Communications Director Raymond James Irwin.

3 Reasons Families Love the Sacramento Food Film Festival

Sacramento Food Film Festival

Photo by Erin Alderson

Looking for a fun and educational event for the whole family? Look no further than the Sacramento Food Film Festival, taking place April 7-16. The festival pairs films with the best chefs in town resulting in delicious food and fun for all!

For those of you still unconvinced, here are three reasons to bring your family to this year’s festival:

1. It’s fun!

Enjoy a kid-friendly event fit for all of the spaghetti lovers in your family. Kids and adults alike will dine on a spaghetti dinner prepared by chefs Randall Selland and Ravin Patel of Selland Family Restaurants. You and your family can join Flint Lockwood as he develops new technologies to save humankind from oversized fruits and vegetables in the film, Cloudy with a Chances of Meatballs 2. For more event information, click here.

2. It’s educational!

On Tuesday, April 12th, join the Food Literacy Center for Open Sesame, a free event where your whole family can learn about the importance of seeds! In partnership with America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, Slow Food Sacramento, Valley Vision, UC Davis, and the Sacramento Public Library, the Center will screen Open Sesame, a thought-provoking film about the importance and impact of saving heirloom and open-pollination seeds on our health, environment, and economy. Following the documentary, local experts will discuss what we can do to save seeds locally.

3. It’s for a great cause!

You can have fun while supporting a watercress wonderful cause! Food Literacy Center’s mission is to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. They teach low-income elementary children cooking and nutrition to improve our health, environment and economy.

Funds from these events will help the Food Literacy Center teach low-income children cooking, nutrition, and healthy food habits that will last a lifetime. So come help make the 2016 Sacramento Food Film Festival a celery success!

For the full festival schedule and ticket information, visit its Sacramento365.com event page.


This blog post was written by Food Literacy Center Community Relations Officer Melissa A. Granville.

Let the Doorbells Ring!

The Book of Mormon makes its first appearance in Sacramento with an overwhelming sold out welcome!

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Billy Harrigan Tighe in the Broadway Sacramento presentation of The Book of Mormon at the Sacramento Community Center Theater March 9 – 20, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson.

It was years in the making, but my mom and I finally got to see The Book of Mormon, and it did not disappoint. The hype of this nine-time Tony Award-winning Best Musical is the real deal.

My abs got a workout from the continuous laughter and there were many moments where my hands were on the side of my face in an “OMG — did they just go there? Yes, yes, they did” manner.

This politically incorrect production, written by South Park co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Avenue Q songwriter Robert Lopez, pokes fun at the institution of the Mormon Church. Throughout the production, the religion’s origin story is continuously skewered in enactments, which include Jesus in a light-up costume, Joseph Smith with a heavy spray tan and platinum blonde wig, and Brigham Young depicted as a stern and silent character.

The missionaries themselves are portrayed as good-natured, family-oriented young men that are faithful to their religion.

The remarkable 32-member cast is led by Billy Harrigan Tighe as Elder Kevin Price and A.J. Holmes as Elder Arnold Cunningham. Tighe’s character is the handsome and popular young man who experiences a spiritual crisis when he’s sent for missionary work to the violent and AIDS-plagued Uganda rather than his dream city of Orlando, Florida. His missionary partner, masterfully played by Holmes, is a socially awkward and truth-challenged individual, whose flawed personality makes him weirdly lovable.

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Company of the Broadway Sacramento presentation of The Book of Mormon at the Sacramento Community Center Theater March 9 – 20, 2016. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Another standout with a powerful voice is Alexandra Ncube, who plays Nabulungi, the sweet and genuine Ugandan girl who falls in love with both Mormonism and Arnold. Make sure to pay extra attention to their interactions, Arnold is always calling her by a different name (“Nancy Pelosi”, “Neutrogena,” etc.) because he can’t pronounce her actual name.

One of the most entertaining musical numbers is “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream.” I mean, where else are you going to see Adolf Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer, Johnnie Cochran, and a pair of life-size “Starbucks-looking” coffee cups kick-stepping in Hell?

From the opening number, “Hello” to “Turn it Off” and “Hasa Diga Eebowai,” the lyrics of all the songs are provocative, sometimes unrefined, but always hilariously brilliant.

This production is not for everyone and not suitable for children. It contains explicit language throughout its entirety.

The Book of Mormon runs from now through Sunday, March 20 at the Community Center Theater. While the production is sold out, there’s still a chance to get your hands on tickets through the pre-show lottery, which takes place 2.5 hours prior to each performance at the Community Center Box Office. For more lottery information, click here.

**This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content and Marketing Manager, Karlee Cemo.

Sacramento Fashion Week: 10 Years of Talent

To help celebrate a decade’s worth of fashion, Sacramento Fashion Week‘s Blog Manager Bridgett Rex highlights some of the brightest stars to come out of the annual fashion affair.


As we at Sacramento Fashion Week (SACFW) celebrate our 10 year anniversary this week, we’re feeling a bit nostalgic. Throughout the years, our volunteer effort has achieved innumerable successes, but what we are most proud of seeing is the professional growth of those who have dedicated their time to make SACFW the dazzling event that it is today.

Below we recognize current and former SACFW contributors who have made a name for themselves in the fashion and entertainment worlds.

Duane Ram1. Duane Mykha Ram, who started off his career as a model, is now the Executive Director of SACFW.

2. Formalwear designer Mimi Tran showcased in New York Fashion Week for the second time this year. She first premiered her stunning gowns during Sacramento Fashion Week.

Richard Hallmarq3. SACFW designers Richard Hallmarq and Cindy Vo went on to showcase their collections at San Francisco Week. Fun Fact: Hallmarq, a Sacramento-based designer and panelist in this year’s Fashion Forum, also competed in the 11th season of Project Runway.

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4. Designer Sacha Laurin took her unique Kombucha Couture creations to Paris Fashion Week last year. Laurin’s clothing is not just extraordinary, it’s alive! The former professional cheesemaker has gone from fermenting milk to fermenting green tea with SCOBYs (Symbiotic Colony of Yeast and Bacteria) to create “living” clothing and fashion accessories.

UFC5. Ryan Douglas’s menswear has ended up on a variety of interesting people. The local designer has dressed a red carpet winner, UFC Champion TJ Dillashaw, and the Grammy-nominated American Christian rock band, Royal Tailor.

6. After gracing our local runway, Andy Allo became a recording artist and even toured with Prince.

Teen Vogue7. SACFW 2007 model Elaine Welteroth is now the Beauty and Health Director at Teen Vogue.  “I always tell young people who want to work in this industry to work tirelessly with a smile, be kind to everyone you encounter, and seek out opportunities to add value beyond the call of duty. It’s what has laid the groundwork for every job I’ve had in the industry.” (via Bullseyeview)

8. Designer Saul Latvanen took his larger-than-life couture to New York Fashion Week this year.

GQ UK9. SACFW model Andrey Ivanov went on to become a top male model, walking the runways of New York and Paris fashion weeks. Ivanov’s chiseled good looks helped him land an editorial in GQ Style UK.


What memories will be made this year? Learn more about SACFW events on Sacramento365.com. And catch all of the SACFW fun on social media by following the hashtags #SACFW and #atTENtion.

***This blog post was written by contributor Bridgett Rex.

A Good Feeling to Know

You can get that old-time feelin’ this Friday, August 21, and hear one of the greatest voices of rock and roll/country rock, singer-songwriter Richie Furay at Harlow’s! The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, inducted in 1997, is known for his groundbreaking work with Buffalo Springfield, a group he formed in 1966 with Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Bruce Palmer, and Dewey Martin; and Poco, formed with Jim Messina, Rusty Young, George Grantham and Randy Meisner. Each band has left an indelible mark on the rock and roll landscape: Short-lived Buffalo Springfield is best known for ushering in the folksy California Rock sound and Poco was part of the first wave of West Coast country rock.

Over his career, Furay has had success with his songs “Kind Woman” for Buffalo Springfield, and “Pickin’ Up The Pieces” and “Good Feelin’ To Know” with Poco. With two books under his belt, For What It’s Worth, which chronicles the life and times of Buffalo Springfield, and Pickin’ Up The Pieces, his own life journey — Richie will hit the road in support of his upcoming CD titled Hand In Hand, his first solo album in eight years. The first single, “We Are The Dreamers,” was written about the formation of Poco.

The quirky The Empty Pockets will open the show.

Don’t miss your chance to get nostalgic with one of rock’s greatest storytellers. Concert begins Friday, August 21 at 6:30pm. Tickets start at $37.50 ($40 at the door). For more information, visit the concert’s Sacramento365.com event page here.

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This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content and Social Media Coordinator Jamila B. Khan.

Music Circus Ends on a High Note with Hair

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Oliver Thornton as Claude (center) and the company of Hair. Photo by Charr Crail.

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself! But to be fair, my silly pun works. This week Music Circus closes out its 65th season with Hair, and the iconic anti-war musical soars higher than the simulated pot smoke that wafts through the Wells Fargo Pavilion.

Like the hippie generation it depicts, the production is less than conventional: filled with social commentary, paisley prints, and hair, the show breaks musical standards and skips the dialogue. Instead, it takes the audience on the melodic trip, complete with 38 songs. The back-to-back musical numbers weaves the story of Claude (Oliver Thorton), a flower child from Flushing, New York (or Manchester, England, as he wants the audience to believe) as he is drafted into the Vietnam war. You’ll rediscover ‘60s pop culture through hits like “Aquarius,” “Good Morning Starshine,” “Let the Sun Shine In,” and of course, “Hair.”

Complementing the psychedelic score is the beautiful set design. The pavilion transforms into a hippie den with a beautiful array of hanging lanterns, (you will undoubtedly be snapping pictures of them before the show like I did), graphic projections, and oscillating floor. These staging elements combined will have you believing that you too are “tripping out” with the tribe.

Other show highlights include the Claude’s deliriously wacky hallucination in the second act, and one lucky audience member’s chance to disrobe Berger, the “psychedelic teddy bear.”

If you’re feeling a little rebellious, put on your flower crown on and end your summer with Hair. Performances run through Sunday, August 23, with evening performances at 7:30pm. Matinee performances at Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets start at $40. For more information, visit the show’s Sacramento365.com event page.

Disclaimer: The musical’s depiction of free love, pot smoking, and its infamous nude scene makes the production inappropriate for younger audiences.

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This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content and Social Media Coordinator Jamila B. Khan.