A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

Pianist Rudolf Budginas to perform at Santa Rosa Junior College

Lithuanian classical pianist Rudolf Budginas, currently a member of the Santa Rosa Junior College faculty, has attracted a following with his novel and eclectic musical style. His blend of music and comedy has sparked comparisons with famed pianist and humorist Victor Borge. Budginas’ popular YouTube video shows him dragging a conga drum and cymbal stand over to his grand piano before beginning Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The pianist will play rock, jazz and fusion music Saturday, Oct. 19, with guitarist Kenny… Read More »

There’s something funny on the air

If you’re spinning the tuner dial on your car radio and happen to stop on 95.5 FM, you might notice that something sounds funny. Don’t worry. There’s nothing wrong with your signal.  You’ve found Funny 95.5 comedy radio. The Santa Rosa station, which made its debut a year ago, is part of the Wine Country Radio group that also includes The Krush 95.9 and Bob 96.7 FM. The station gets most of its programming from 24/7 Comedy Radio,  a satellite-driven… Read More »

Santa Rosa comedian in new San Francisco film

Santa Rosa comedian Juan Carlos, a familiar face at Northern California nightclubs, is excited about the debut of his first feature film. “The name of the movie is ‘Trattoria’ and it will premiere in San Francisco on Friday, Nov. 9,” he said. Set in a fictional start-up restaurant in San Francisco, the movie includes the comedian in a small speaking role as a cook. The film will screen at 7 and 9 p.m. Nov. 9 at the New People Cinema,… Read More »

Tickets on sale for Prairie Home Companion in SF

Tickets went on sale today (Tuesday, Oct. 23) for two live broadcasts of Garrison Keillor’s ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ radio show from San Francisco in January. The shows are scheduled at 2:45 p.m. two Saturdays in a row — Jan. 5 and 12 — at the War Memorial Opera House. You can buy tickets by phone at (415) 392-4400 or online at www.cityboxoffice.com. Ticket prices range from $35 to $65. Special guests will be guitarist and singer Elvin Bishop on… Read More »

Toad in the Hole hosts Mostly Python 4

It’s time to start practicing your silly walk. The Toad in the Hole Pub in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square district will stage its free “Mostly Python 4” outdoor block party from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5. This popular little grassroots festival includes wine, ales, cider, food and — of course — live Monty Python skits. This year, Paul Stokeld of the Toad in the Hole has new partner in wackiness: The 6th Street Playhouse. “The fact that we… Read More »

‘Shirley Valentine’ opens May 27 at Cinnabar

Director John Shillington is known locally for staging big, flashy productions like his recent run of “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the Santa Rosa Junior College. But “Shirley Valentine” is something different. It’s a one-woman show starring longtime local favorite Mary Gannon Graham as a British middle-aged, working-class housewife who dreams of freedom. Shillington and Graham previously collaborated on a sold-out run of “Shirley Valentine” in 2008 at the Sonoma County Repertory Theater in Sebastopol. The show was scheduled to return… Read More »

Eddie Izzard plays Shoreline in July

So, do want you cake or death? How about an Eddie Izzard show instead? It’s nether fattening nor fatal, and it’s a lot more fun. The Emmy Award-winning comedian will perform July 16 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, as part of his current “Stripped on the Shore” tour. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, May 16, at livenation.com and Ticketmaster outlets. To order by phone, call 1-800-745-3000. Prices range from $25.50 to $131.

‘Theatresports’ improv comedy competition

The 6th Street Improv comedy troupe competes against four other bands of zanies in its Theatresports Invitational competition, running the next two weekends in the Studio at 6th Street Playhouse, 52 W. Sixth St., Santa Rosa. All sessions start at 8 p.m. Admission: $14. Information: www.6thstreetplayhouse.com,  (707) 523-4185. The line-up: Friday, April 15 — 6th Street Improv vs. World’s Biggest Comedy Duo. Judges: Sue Bonzell, KZST Radio; John Moran, Arts Council of Sonoma County; Clark Lewis, artistic director of Roustabout… Read More »

Star cartoonists at Schulz Museum

The Schulz Museum will host appearances by three prominent women cartoonists this month. Hilary Price, creator of “Rhymes with Orange” will teach a master class for adults interested in cartooning, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, March 20. Cost: $32 for museum members; $40 for non-members. Advance reservations required: (707) 284-1263. Price, a Reuben Award winner for best newspaper panel cartoon, also will meet with the public at the museum, at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 20. And at 1 p.m… Read More »

The Accordion Babes calendar

Operating on the theory that there’s nothing more potentially appealing than a really nice accordion, some Bay Area women musicians, three of them from Sonoma County, have put out CD. And a 2011 pin-up calendar, now on sale at Copperfield’s Books. They call themselves The Accordion Babes. Studio E will present four of the acts –  Roxanne Oliva’s Bellows of Bedlam,  Maggie Martin’s Mad Maggies, Vagabondage and Tara Linda — at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at Aubergine, 755 Petaluma Ave.,… Read More »