With a career spanning 50-plus years and 70 acting credits, Charlotte Stewart may best be known to television audiences as Miss Beadle, the schoolteacher on Little House on the Prairie. Still working today, Stewart has shared credits with everyone from Jimmy Stewart to Elvis Presley, and she recounts her many adventures in her new memoir, Little House in the Hollywood Hills. Not shying away from the dark periods in her career, including bouts with drugs and cancer, Stewart’s story is one of strength and resolve, and the actress shares her humor and humanity when she reads from the memoir on Friday, Aug. 26, at Napa Bookmine, 964 Pearl St., Napa. 6pm. 707.733.3199.
Songwriter, playwright and activist Si Kahn is making a special trip out to Sebastopol to support Main Stage West—where he’s been the official artist-in-residence for the last five years—with a solo benefit concert of bluegrass hits and theatrical works. Kahn has long been a strong proponent of Main Stage West, contributing to their musical performances. His next play there, the upcoming musical Hope, premieres in November and Kahn is dedicated to seeing that the theater has a permanent place in Sebastopol’s arts scene. For Kahn’s performance, the recently closed French Garden
reopens for one night only on Saturday, Aug. 27, 8050 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. $30 and up. 707.823.0177.
There’s a lot you can do with a zucchini besides eat it and this weekend, the 15th annual Zucchini Festival shows off some fun and creative ways to celebrate summer’s favorite veggie. The famous zuke car races has contestants retooling squash into a custom-made derby cars. The veggie art contest lets you dig through baskets of the ubiquitous and abundant crop to assemble a unique piece of art. All the while, the Kidz Dig It Club and the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition will be cranking out pedal-powered veggie smoothies; live music comes courtesy of the New Skye Band—and there’s lots more, on Sunday, Aug. 28, at Windsor Town Green, Market Street and McClelland Drive, Windsor. 10am. Free. windsorfarmersmarket.com.
Formed by Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody in 1995, Southern rockers Gov’t Mule are celebrating 20 years of jamming out with a special summer tour that draws from their extensive catalogue of music for one-of-a-kind shows. While prepping for a new album, the band recently released The Tel-Star Sessions, archival recordings from their first years in the studio, and fans of the Mule will be able to hear songs from their entire repertoire when they perform with special guests Blackberry Smoke on Wednesday Aug. 31, at SOMO Village, 1100 Valley House Drive, Rohnert Park. 6:30pm. $45–$50. somoconcerts.com.
In the world of filmmaking, no one can touch director David Lynch for sheer surreal insanity. This week, the CULT Film Series shows a double feature of Lynch’s two best films, screening 1986’s Blue Velvet and 1977’s Eraserhead in the series’ most daring offer to date. Blue Velvet was called the most controversial film of the ’80s, a noir thriller with Dennis Hopper in the scariest role of his lifetime. Eraserhead, Lynch’s debut, black-and-white art film, is a stark and unsettling exploration of fatherhood and isolation that was reportedly Stanley Kubrick’s favorite film at one time. CULT fans can see both films on Thursday, Aug. 18, at Roxy Stadium 14 Cinemas, 85 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa. 7pm. $10. 707.525.8909.
Don’t be fooled by the subject matter, the dolls on display in the art exhibition ‘Journeys Through Light & Dark’ aren’t mere playthings; they’re storytellers. The group show, co-curated by sculptor Sherri Morgan and Sonoma State University psychology professor Geri Olson, features over a hundred dolls, sacred or fanciful, from ancient and modern times. Running through Sept. 25, the show offers a curator tour with Morgan and Olson talking about various pieces, the artists behind them and techniques used to create them on Friday, Aug. 19, at the Petaluma Arts Center, 230 Lakeville St., Petaluma. 7pm. $10. Advance tickets required. 707.762.5600. petalumaartscenter.org.
You don’t have to be a polka fanatic to love the Cotati Accordion Festival. The musical extravaganza turns 26 this year and presents a weekend’s worth of musicians from all walks of life sharing in the joy of the accordion. This year’s honorary director is Lou Jacklich, who's spent a lifetime squeezing and strutting around the Bay Area. Artists lined up for the fest include Chinese sensation Jianan Tian, Finnish wonder Viivi Maria Saarenkylä and local favorites like the Vivants, Haute Flash Quartet and many others. Last year, the festival raised over $23,000 for local nonprofit groups, and this year they’re aiming even higher. Get your polka on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20–21, at La Plaza Park, Old Redwood Highway, Cotati. 9:30am–8pm both days. $19–$29. 707.664.0444.
Known as the “First Lady of Song,” jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald took the world by storm in the 1930s with an impeccably pure voice that earned her several chart-topping hits, more than a dozen Grammy awards and countless lifetime achievement recognitions. This weekend, Napa Valley performers Kellie Fuller and the Mike Greensill Quartet pay tribute to the queen of jazz with two performances titled ‘Ella I Sing’ that delve deep into Fitzgerald’s timeless songbook. Fuller’s engaging alto voice and Greensill’s masterful piano playfully celebrate Ella, with dinner and cocktails available at both shows, happening on Saturday, Aug. 20, at Silo’s Club, 530 Main St., Napa. 5:30pm and 8pm. $20–$23. Reservations recommended. 707.251.5833. silosnapa.com.
Since photography was invented in the 1800s, one of the most popular subjects has been the female figure. This month, a broad range of provocative, humorous and surreal images are displayed in the new art show, ‘Exposure: The Female Nude in Photography.’ Pulled from a private collection, the images span the late 19th century to today, and many have never been seen publicly. The exhibit also features some of the most prominent names in photography, including the pioneering Imogen Cunningham and the controversial Robert Mapplethorpe. Live music and refreshments accompany the photos when “Exposure” opens with a reception on Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Art Museum of Sonoma County, 425 Seventh St., Santa Rosa. 6pm. $15. 707.579.1500.
Formed by two Bay Area–based comedians Samson Koletkar and Abhay Nadkarni, the Desi Comedy Festival returns for another round of shows performed by dozens of comics who trace their ethnicities back to the diverse communities of South Asia, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India. Desi (pronounced “they see”) refers to the culture of South Asia and India’s subcontinent, and the shows boast comedians who can hilariously talk about their personal experiences and the ever-changing Zeitgeist of the region. This week, Crushers of Comedy host the Desi Festival on Saturday, Aug. 13, at Muscardini Cellars, 9380 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood. 7pm. $20–$40. The comedy also happens on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. $20–$40. desicomedyfest.com.