Saturday, 02 March 2024

Arts & Life

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. — Redwood Parks Conservancy, California State Parks and the National Park Service announced that Lauren Godla of Gasquet, California, and Jenny Hersh of Princeton, Massachusetts, have been selected as Redwood National & State Parks’ Spring 2024 artists-in-residence.

Beginning in April, Godla and Hersh will spend one month creating artworks surrounded and inspired by the incredible landscapes of Redwood National & State Parks.

Stay tuned for updates on public presentations from the artists over the course of their residency.

Lauren Godla. Courtesy photo.

Lauren Godla is a dance artist, director and educator based out of Gasquet. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in exercise biology and a minor in dance from UC Davis in 2012 and spent the better part of the following decade living and working in the Bay Area.

She co-directed and performed for FloorPlay Dance Comedy, choreographed for Theater Bay Area award-winning productions, and toured and performed nationally with BANDALOOP during her time in the Bay.

In 2020 she moved home to Del Norte County and in 2021 she founded DiRT & Glitter, an environmental art organization that produces site-specific productions. Her dance film “Drop” was included in the 2021 San Francisco Exhibition Showcase “Three Turns” and her dance film “Two Suns” debuted in the 2022 San Francisco Dance Film Festival.

She is currently serving as the artistic director for DiRT & Glitter and working on a collaborative dance film project to celebrate the Klamath Dam removal process through funding awarded by the Upstate California Creative Corps.

Her work aims to inspire connections, honor the body as part of our living planet, and explore our inner and outer wilderness. Learn more about Lauren Godla and her work on Instagram @laurengodla @dirtandglitterco or visit

Jenny Hersh. Courtesy photo.

Jenny Hersh is an artist and educator with roots in the East Coast but always on the move to wherever art, community and teaching take her. While she has a background in sculpture and printmaking, she is currently deepening her practice of hand cut paper works.

She is excited to explore parallels between the delicate and striking medium of cut paper and the fragile and awe inspiring ecosystems in the Redwoods National and State Parks. Hersh is looking forward to connecting with the land and learning from the communities that protect, revere and intertwine their lives with the natural world.

Learn more about Jenny Hersh and her work on Instagram @hershjenny or visit

To learn more about Redwood National & State Parks’s artist-in-residence program, visit

Redwood Parks Conservancy supports events and programs, coordinates volunteers, raises funds, and helps to welcome over one million visitors annually to Redwood National and State Parks. Learn more at

LAKEPORT, Calif, — The Soper Reese Theatre will host the popular Pianists Benefit Concert on Sunday, March 3.

The performance will feature six professional pianists combining their diverse musical styles to raise funds for the theater’s Renovation Fund and scholarship programs of the Lake County Friends of Mendocino College.

The event begins at 2 p.m. with a no-host reception followed by the concert at 3 p.m.

Premium reserved seat tickets may be purchased for $30; general assigned seats are $25 and youth 18 and under are admitted free of charge.

Tickets are available online at or by calling the box office at 707-263-0577.

Performers from Lake and Mendocino counties include Spencer Brewer, Elena Casanova, Tom Ganoung, Elizabeth MacDougall, Barney McClure and Ed Reinhart.

The concert will feature all the pianists on stage throughout the performance as they converse about their life experiences and play a variety of musical selections, ranging from classical to jazz, boogie woogie to Cuban, original compositions to popular favorites.

Jennifer Strong of Strong Financial Network, a financial planning firm based in Lakeport, will be the host and Mistress of Ceremonies.

Sponsors of this eleventh benefit concert include the Law Office of Mary Heare Amodio, the Law Office of Judy Conard, Lakeport Furniture, Strong Financial Network, Steve and Carol Schepper, Brock Falkenberg, Wilda Shock, Pat and Lori McGuire, Susie LaPointe, Peggy Campbell and Educational Leadership Solutions.

Jennifer Strong of Strong Financial Network, a financial planning firm based in Lakeport, will be the host and mistress of ceremonies.

Major sponsors of this 11th benefit concert include the Law Office of Mary Heare Amodio, the Law Office of Judy Conard, Peggy Campbell, Community First Credit Union, Lakeport Furniture, Strong Financial Network, Steve and Carol Schepper, Tallman Hotel/Blue Wing Saloon and Tomkins Tax Consultants.

Contributing sponsors are Educational Leadership Solutions, Brock Falkenberg, Jon and Annette Hopkins, Tim Karas, Susie LaPointe, Harry and Roberta Lyons, Natalie Marino, Pat and Lori McGuire, and Wilda Shock.

Proceeds from the event will be dedicated to the Renovation Fund of the Soper Reese Theatre for continuing efforts to modernize and expand its facilities, and to the annual scholarship fund of the Lake County Friends of Mendocino College which also supports the summer production of Shakespeare at the Lake in Clearlake and Lakeport.

The Soper Reese Theatre is located at 275 S. Main Street in Lakeport. Autographed CDs and other materials by the artists will be available for sale during the reception and intermission.

In the world of streaming services, Apple TV+ may be considered a relative newcomer that had to survive in its formative years the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.

Of course, last year’s strike by actors and writers in the entertainment industry posed even more challenges for production of new movies and television programs, affecting all facts of the business for streaming services.

A sign of recovery and good health is that Apple TV+ recently highlighted new programs at the winter press tour of the Television Critics Association, where critics from around the nation gathered to learn about new series.

Kicking off a full day of panels, Rita Lee Cooper, Head of Communications and Publicity for Apple Worldwide Video and Apple TV+, noted that limited series “Masters of the Air” from Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, was just one of their “high-quality, culture-moving Apple Originals.”

A sure mark of continuing quality programming arrives with the historical drama “The New Look,” a 10-episode drama that tells the fascinating story of how fashion icon Christian Dior and his contemporaries in Paris navigated the horrors of World War II during the Nazi occupation and then the- post-war years.

Inspired by true events and filmed exclusively in Paris, the first episodes focus on the tyranny of the Nazi subjugation of life in the French capital where the Vichy government collaborated with the German enemy.

Emmy Award winner Ben Mendelsohn’s Christian Dior weaves a narrow path of having to reluctantly accommodate the occupiers with fashionable clothes for the spouses of German officers headquartered at the Ritz Hotel.

Meanwhile, Dior’s younger sister Catherine (Maisie Williams) was active in the French Resistance, and as the days of the Nazi occupation of Paris near an end, she’s captured by the Gestapo and shipped off to a concentration camp until being liberated by Allied forces.

A parallel story involves Juliette Binoche’s Coco Chanel, who ends up living at the same hotel with the high-ranking Nazi officers and having an affair with German diplomat Baron Hans von Dincklage (Claes Bang).

Due to collaboration with the Nazis, Chanel’s reign as the world’s most fashion designer is put into jeopardy, and she goes into exile in Switzerland after the war for nearly a decade before returning to Paris.

During the war, Dior is connected to the fashion house of Lucien Lelong, working with the eponymous owner (John Malkovich), before rising to prominence on his own with groundbreaking, iconic designs.

Besides the wartime drama, “The New Look” centers on the saga of Dior’s equals and rivals from Chanel to Balmain, Givenchy, Balenciaga, Pierre Cardin, and others reviving Paris as the fashion capital after the war.

During the press conference, John Malkovich observed that Lelong’s “principal importance in the series is that he was someone very involved with keeping the French fashion industry in France, in Paris, and not in Berlin.”

Another historical drama is the eight-episode “Franklin,” the thrilling story of one of the greatest gambles of Benjamin Franklin’s (Michael Douglas) career.

At age 70, without any diplomatic training, Franklin convinced France, an absolute monarchy, to underwrite America’s experiment in democracy. A persuasive character with an extraordinary career and life, Franklin was a decisive figure on the world stage.

As Michael Douglas observed at the press tour, Franklin’s undercover trip to France to get support was driven by the fact that “we desperately needed them to supply us with weapons and cash and everything.”

By virtue of his fame, charisma, and ingenuity, Franklin outmaneuvered British spies, French informers, and hostile colleagues, all while engineering the Franco-American alliance of 1778 and the final peace with England of 1783.

Douglas remarked that Franklin was “a little bit of a philanderer, liked to imbibe, big flirt, and yet, had a wonderful ability in terms of his idea of negotiating which was sort of a seduction.”

The essence of “Franklin” was not so much a history lesson, according to Douglas, but more a story of “the intrigue and the gamesmanship” that was part of the gamble without which Franklin’s eight-year French mission would not have resulted in America winning the Revolution.

The Apple TV+ schedule is not all about historical dramas, but the upcoming “Manhunt” that premieres on the Ides of March (that would be the 15th) has nothing to do with the assassination of Julius Caesar, but sadly it’s about the killing of one of our greatest presidents.

Based on the bestselling non-fiction book by James L. Swanson, “Manhunt” is a conspiracy thriller about one of the best known but least understood crimes in history, the astonishing story of the hunt for John Wilkes Booth in the aftermath of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

In the role of John Wilkes Booth, star Anthony Boyle noted that since he grew up in Ireland, his introduction to the character was “through an episode of the ‘Simpsons’ where Bart plays” Booth and says “Hasta la vista, baby.” Fortunately, he and others did a lot of serious research.

Apparently, Apple TV+ offers a free seven-day trial.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

‘MADAME WEB’ Rated PG-13

A reasonable judgment about a film’s possible appeal may be discerned from watching a trailer. After all, the studio releasing the movie has invested heavily in the production and hopes for a box office win.

In the case of “Madame Web,” the trailer offers little incentive to rush to a theater. A singer wails “What do you want from me?” The thought comes to mind that the recurring tone of the lyrics couldn’t be more irritating.

The idea of Dakota Johnson in the role of Cassie Webb to become a superhero is not off-putting on its own. If anything, Johnson’s Cassie is failed by a script that too often makes little sense.

The story begins with a flashback to the Amazon jungle in 1973 when Cassie’s pregnant mother Constance (Kerry Bishe) is a scientist doing research into rare spiders. Her guide, Ezekial Sims (Tahar Rahim), has his own agenda.

Tragedy strikes when Cassandra’s death occurs just about when she gives birth to Cassie. With her mother bitten by a mystical spider, Cassie develops paranormal powers as an adult.

Thirty years later, Cassie is a New York paramedic, working alongside her best friend Ben Parker (Adam Scott). If Ben’s last name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the future uncle to Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man.

A work-related accident causes Cassie to realize her hidden superpower of being able to see into the near future. Falling into the East River is a near-death experience that triggers clairvoyant powers.

Meanwhile, Ezekiel is on a hunt for three teenage girls in New York. It has something to do with Cassie having visions that Julia (Sydney Sweeney), Mattie (Celeste O’Connor), and Anya (Isebela Merced) are marked for death.

A feasible bet to make is that “Madame Web,” for all its spider-related wish fulfillment, does not seem destined for another superhero franchise. Lacking any psychic powers, I am unwilling to place a wager because anything can happen in show business.

You may get the idea that Dakota Johnson didn’t want to be in this movie, and if so, a sequel would be nothing more than another payday. Sadly, studios have no aversion to turning out an inferior product to cash in with a sequel.

If there is going to be another arachnid-themed installment, the genre would be best served by another Tom Holland turn as the web-slinging Spider-Man, and the next chapter is reportedly in the works.

Depending on how far the appetite for more Spider-Man films exist, it wouldn’t take much effort to make a connection between Madame Web and Peter Parker/Spider-Man. A strong bond exists between Cassie and Ben Parker, but then Ben gets killed during a robbery, as we already know.

One can only speculate on the future of Sony Pictures so-called “Spider-Verse,” and this reviewer has neither the bandwidth nor desire to figure out anything more than “Madame Web” lacks merit for a sequel.


“Land of Bad” is a high-octane action picture of a daring military operation that is almost certain to have far more public appeal than it does with many critics tired of the genre.

The awkward title reflects the title card introduction of a Southeast Asia island in the Sulu Sea that is home to “violent extremist groups” that are at war with us but we just don’t know it.

A rescue mission by a quartet of Special Forces to extract a CIA asset being held hostage by terrorists will undoubtedly discover that the war will come at them hard and fast.

Liam Hemsworth’s Sergeant J.J. “Playboy” Kinney is not battle-tested when he joins the team at the last-minute to handle communications with Sergeant Eddie “Reaper” Grimm (Russell Crowe), who is the drone pilot tracking the squad’s moves and launching missiles when needed.

Playboy’s teammates consist of tough, hardened veteran comrades, including Milo Ventimiglia’s Captain John “Sugar” Sweet, Luke Hemsworth’s Sergeant Abel, and Ricky Whittle’s Bishop.

The bad guys are personified by Islamic terrorist Hashimi (Robert Rabiah), the sadistic leader of Abu Sayyaf radical group who decapitates a woman in front of her husband, in a move designed to terrorize other innocent victims.

Getting caught up in the effort to save the village people, the team ends up in a merciless firefight where it appears that Playboy is the only survivor who then flees into the jungle while being chased by heavily armed thugs.

On the run, Playboy relies on Reaper to guide him to a spot for a helicopter rescue, but things are hardly that simple. At the Air Force base in Nevada, Reaper is so committed to the mission that he risks insubordination by arguing with an arrogant superior officer.

“Land of Bad” belongs to Hemsworth for his battlefield heroics and to Crowe for his cocky, amusing self-confidence and unwavering commitment to his job, spending his time mainly confined to a chair staring at a screen.

Easily dismissed as formulaic, “Land of Bad” is nevertheless replete with thrilling, tense action sequences for action fans to enjoy.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

From left, Taran Dutra and Kia Richardson perform a number from “Annie” at a past lip sync event. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — The stage is set, the music is queued, and Lake County Theatre Co., or LCTC, is thrilled to announce a community interest meeting for the upcoming lip sync, “Lip Sync — Music That Moves” show.

This event promises to be a celebration of music, creativity, and community spirit.

The lip sync interest meeting will take place on Saturday, Feb. 24, at Drinx, located at 370 S. Main Street, Lakeport.

The doors will be open from 2 to 5 p.m., providing aspiring performers with a flexible time frame to drop by and learn more about this exciting opportunity.

Attendees will have the chance to mingle with the enthusiastic LCTC team, gain insights into the music selection process, and discover how they can become a part of this entertaining showcase.

Whether you're a seasoned performer or someone looking to try something new, the Lip Sync — Music That Moves is open to all.

Can't make it to the meeting? No problem. LCTC encourages interested individuals to visit their website at, navigate to the "shows" section, and complete the online interest form.

This ensures that even those with scheduling conflicts can express their interest and be part of the upcoming extravaganza.

“We are thrilled to bring the community together for this unique and entertaining event,” said Larry Richardson, director of lip sync at Lake County Theatre Co. “The Lip Sync — Music that Moves is not just a show; it's an opportunity for individuals to showcase their creativity, connect with fellow community members, and be a part of something truly special.”

Don't miss the chance to be a star on the lip sync extravaganza stage.

Work by artist Mona Cliff. Courtesy photo.

UKIAH, Calif. — Press Release: Mendocino College Gallery is excited to present “Creative Streak: Works in Series.”

The exhibition features a wide range of practices, from assemblage to cyanotype, ceramic sculpture, intricate pen + ink drawing and oil painting. The common thread is that these artists all work in series. ‘Working in series’ means that the artist creates a number of different pieces that all look similar, or have the same thematic content, but are not identical.

Working in series allows an artist to think deeply about a certain subject and potentially make better art through the process. In order to tell a larger story, or to refine content, artists will explore a theme in depth across a number of pieces through variations in design elements.

Many commercial artists work in series in order to have more pieces to sell, or alternates, if a collector wanted a certain work that had already been sold. Journalists and bloggers can craft a story from a series more easily and effectively than from an exhibition of unrelated works.

Working in series is often a more natural studio practice for the artist as well. While patiently waiting for one painting to dry, or ceramic piece to cure, the artist can move on to a similar piece without losing creative flow.

There is less pressure to create a single ‘great’ work of art when working on multiple pieces at once. Artists naturally move around the studio, allowing the
creative mind to rest and pivot without losing momentum, naturally building a cohesive ‘body of

Creative Streak: Works in Series features the following five artists:

Mona Cliff (Aniiih) is a multidisciplinary visual artist. She explores the subject of contemporary Native American identity and culture through her use of traditional Native crafting methods such as seed bead embroidery and fabric applique. Based in Kansas City, Cliff is an enrolled member of the Gros Ventre tribe (A'aninin/Nakota Nations) she is Frozen Clan (Aniiih) and of the Medicine Bear Clan (Nakota) of Ft. Belknap, Montana. Her works have been exhibited widely and will be featured in New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC.

Linda MacDonald makes intricate and detailed portraits of the interiors of redwood trees, coast and sequoia, in pen + ink drawing as well as watercolor and oil painting. The history of aging is there in the wood—marred, burned and charred, graffiti-laden, smooth, textured or curly. MacDonald has shown extensively in the US and Japan and has work in the collection of The White House, the City of San Francisco, the Museum of Art & Design (MAD) in NYC.

Shannon Sullivan creates sculptures, wall pieces and installations using a core visual vocabulary rooted in the prevailing ways of nature. Sullivan's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums nationally and internationally. She is currently head of Ceramics at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California.

Spencer Brewer and Esther Siegel create assemblage works both collaboratively and independently. The husband and wife duo have lived on their Redwood Valley ranch for the last 39 years, where they maintain a robust studio practice. It’s hard to identify where art ends and life begins there. In fact, the entire property feels like walking into a massive art installation. What appears to be an outdoor seating area becomes an Alice in Wonderland themed water fountain with the flick of a switch, water gushing out of teapots, across cups and saucers and cascading onto the ground. Brewer and Siegel recently published a book of assemblage art: Lost and Found, which won the First Place Ben Franklin award for 'Interior Design' at the 2023 Independent Book Publishers Association.

The opening reception will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22. Light refreshments will be served.

Mendocino College Gallery will also be open for ticket holders of The New World String Project on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2 p.m. at the Mendocino College Center Theatre.

Tickets are available online at and at Mendocino Book Co. in Ukiah and Mazahar in Willits. For more information, please contact the UCCA at 707-463-2738 or email
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Work by artist Mona Cliff. Courtesy photo.
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03.03.2024 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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