Thursday, August 8, 2019

North Bay Bands & Artists Honored at 2019 NorBays Party

Posted By on Thu, Aug 8, 2019 at 2:34 PM

Train Wreck Junction at the 2019 NorBays Party - ROB MARTEL
  • Rob Martel
  • Train Wreck Junction at the 2019 NorBays Party
This week, more than twenty North Bay musicians, promoters, venue owners and other musical luminaries came together for the Bohemian's 2019 NorBay Music Awards Winners Party at Bear Republic Lakeside in Rohnert Park. The party included an awards ceremony, live music by the Dylan Black Project and a live haircut by Top Shelf Barbers. Check out a slideshow to see the fun. All photos were taken by Rob Martel. Thanks to all the bands for coming out, and thanks to the readers for voting.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Questlove Pops Up in Napa This Week

Posted By on Tue, Feb 26, 2019 at 9:49 AM

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With a singular name and an eclectic resume, Questlove knows how to get around. He's a drummer, DJ, producer, best-selling author and musical director for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where his longtime outfit The Roots serves as house band. He even showed up on the red carpet at the Oscars last Sunday.

Now, Questlove is making his way to the North Bay for a rare appearance, performing a DJ set in Napa on Friday, March 1.

A dedicated DJ, Questlove puts a love of love and creativity into his sets, but not every gig goes perfectly. Watch this clip below about his DJ horror story that made him quit the turntables for six months.


Thankfully, Questlove is back to spinnin records, and his recently announced Napa show is sure to sell-out, so grab tickets now.

Questlove hits the stage and spins tunes on the first of March at JaM Cellars Ballroom at Margrit Mondavi Theatre, 1030 Main St, Napa. Doors at 8pm; show at 9pm. $35 and up. Get more info and purchase tickets here.
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Friday, February 1, 2019

Sonoma State University Shares 'Art from the Heart'

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2019 at 1:18 PM

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Having just marked four decades of engaging the community with exhibits and educational opportunities, Sonoma State University’s University Art Gallery continues to act as a vital resource and cultural center in the North Bay.

This weekend, the gallery hosts another exciting evening of art, food, wine and music at it's 35th annual Art from the Heart benefit auction. 

One of the oldest continually-held fundraising events in the area and an essential evening for novice and seasoned art collectors alike, Art from the Heart is highlighted by a silent auction featuring modestly-priced original works by more than 160 artists, as well as a performance by Dave Getz and delectable bites and beverages on hand.

Fall in love at Art from the Heart 2019 on Saturday, Feb. 2, at the University Art Gallery, Sonoma State, 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 6pm to 9pm. $25 suggested donation. 707.664.2295.
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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Double Exposure

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2019 at 12:30 PM

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There they are, waiting for you. Super-models and Instagram vixens splashing in the Caribbean with the famous swimming hogs of Big Major Cay. Maybe they should have called it the Circe Festival instead of the Fyre Festival. The swindled victims weren’t literally turned to swine. But they weren’t treated much better than pigs.

Most of the world knows what happened, and moreover has had a real good laugh at it. The dueling documentaries Fyre Fraud (Hulu) by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, and Chris Smith’s Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (Netflix) take slightly different stances on the dreadful fest.

Both tell of how Jersey go-getter Billy McFarland made his name by selling the Magnises credit card to millenials, with a $250 annual fee. There were certain club benefits, disputed by the two docs; Netflix's doc admires the Magnises lounge and club nights. The Hulu version snipes that the Magnises bennies were getting to rub shoulders with guys from Murray Hill, one of NYC’s most boring neighborhoods.

These Magnises (was it meant to be short for “Magnificent Penis”?) got McFarland got enough fame in the right places to fund the development of a band-booking ap called Fyre. It was to be promoted with an awesome music festival on a private Caribbean island in spring 2017. Rapper Ja Rule endorsed it to give it street cred. McFarland hired PR, which in turn used “Influencers”—professional inducers of online FOMO.

Everything went wrong. There was inadequate prep time, several changes of location, a surprise rainstorm and the especially bad idea to have the fest during a regatta weekend when there was no rental properties available. The elite arrived to find used disaster relief tents waiting for them, with windows that didn’t keep out the mosquitoes. They rushed back to the states, complaining into their iPhones every step of the way.

There’s more than a little overlap between these documentaries—both featuring the same viral video showing Ja Rule chased by the schoolboys from Lord of the Flies. The Netflix account, in which Vice media participated, has the most scandalous material: event planner Andy King tells of how McFarland begged him to fellate a certain Bahamian minister to get a planeload of Evian water released from customs’ duties.

Hulu’s Fyre Fraud has personal access to McFarland—in fact, the producers paid him to talk—when the grifter was on bail and secretly cooking yet more scams. Here we get childhood legends of McFarland’s hustling youth from his mom, in communications hilariously read out loud by text-to-speech software.

If Netflix’s Fyre:TGFTNH is more fair, it’s less fun. The title says it all—it doesn’t question the necessity of the fest. The Fyre Festival didn’t work, but wouldn’t it have been insanely cool if it had? Marc Weinstein, one of McFarland’s assistants who is still on hook for some of the unpaid wages, still argues “there was definitely a chance to pull it all together.” Thus Netflix’s Fyre:TGFTNH may be a stepping stone to the inevitable exculpatory whitewashing feature film with Jonah Hill or Leonardo Dicaprio playing McFarland. It’s inevitable, an on-screen pity party for a showman who dreamed too big.

By contrast, Hulu’s Fyre Fraud suggests a larger picture, in it’s account of how McFarland’s scams were hot air sucked up and made forceful by the Venturi effect of the internet envy-machine. One prefer Fyre Fraud’s sense in exploring the sleaziness of McFarland’s dream, with supermodels jiggling in slow-mo, posing and grinning—images that are, to borrow critic David Thomson’s phrase, “an advertisement for advertisement.”

It’s not going out into the weeds to suggest that this mirage called the Fyre Festival mirrored the way America fell for a charismatic figure, who cared less for truth than what his guts tell him. Was the Fyre Festival a merry distraction from the Trumpster Fyre, or do they parallel each other?

Fyre Fraud
convincingly identifies the fraud-fest as just one more chimera of modern times, a 24 hour game of ‘let’s pretend,’ in which one cannot tell if someone is a delusional liar or the smartest person in the room.
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Monday, January 21, 2019

Port Call in Petaluma

Posted By on Mon, Jan 21, 2019 at 10:33 AM

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Like to do a little weekend wine tasting but feeling the shutdown pinch? Or just cutting back on little luxuries in solidarity with our furloughed friends in federal service? Every Saturday and Sunday in January, Sonoma Portworks offers a suitable indulgence: port and blue cheese tasting. Free.

When I was reviewing the archives for the Bohemian’s anniversary issue last month, I was astonished by the number of Swirl wine columns, just 10 years or so back, that ended with the note: “No tasting fee.” Since then, free wine tasting has pretty much gone the way of penny candy and liberal democracy. But not at Sonoma Portworks, which only suggests a donation to Jack London State Historic Park or a charitable organization for the shelterless.

The January cheese program is themed to the “post-holiday blues,” now more relevant than ever. Three blues, including a Stilton, owner Bill Reading’s favorite, and Point Reyes Bay Blue, a creamy local darling from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., are paired with small pours of toothsome Petit Verdot port, Petite Sirah port, and rare Norton port made from a very American grape.

Sonoma Portworks, 613 Second Street, Petaluma, CA 94952. Weekend hours noon-5pm. 707.769.5203.
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Monday, December 10, 2018

Boisset Launches Windsor Brewery

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 12:49 PM

Jean-Charles Boisset (left) breaks down his new brewery in Windsor.
  • Jean-Charles Boisset (left) breaks down his new brewery in Windsor.

The invitation to a media preview of Windsor’s newest brewery did mention something about sledgehammers, come to think of it, and joining them to “help break the walls of the past to prepare for our new brewery,” but my eyes skipped straight to “food and beer pairings,” and I wasn’t expecting much more than refreshments followed by a ceremonial swing of a hammer when I walked in the door of Windsor Brewing Company on Wednesday, November 28 to find a wild-eyed Jean-Charles Boisset gleefully wielding a hickory-handled sledgehammer backed by a hooting crowd. The demolition was already in full tilt.

“You’ve helped us save on our contractor’s bill,” Boisset later joked as he explained the brewery’s future. Boisset heads up the Boisset Collection of wineries and tasting salons, including Buena Vista Winery and DeLoach Vineyards in Sonoma County, and he tied in the move to craft brew with the traditions of the Medieval monks of his native Burgundy, who also brewed beer when they weren’t tending to their walled vineyards.

Serving as master of the raucous ceremony, Boisset offered a hard hat and hammer to each new arrival and volunteer from the crowd, urging them to strike the wall that until that night separated the former Old Redwood Brewing Co. from a space that’s housed several wine tasting rooms, none of them for very long, and then posing for pictures with every one of them. With whimsical graffiti sprayed on the walls, insulation hanging in tatters from a hole in the wrecked wall, and drywall dust sparkling in the lights, the scene was more reminiscent of some punk rock move-out party of decades past than an international wine mogul’s wine country event—not likely in upscale Yountville, anyway, where Boisset originally filed plans for a brewery.

“Why should we be in Napa when we can be in Sonoma?” Boisset said cheerfully, explaining that a conversation on a dance floor in Oklahoma City between him and Dominic Foppoli, who owns Christopher Creek Winery and is the new mayor of Windsor, and Clay Fritz of Fritz Winery, led to the trio’s partnership in Windsor Brewing. Foppoli was a co-founder of Old Redwood, a one-and-a-half barrel business that opened in 2012.

With Boisset’s energy and style, the brewery, slated for actual renovations later in 2019, promises to be an compelling downtown anchor to this town’s beer scene, which now includes Russian River Brewing Company’s big new HQ off Shiloh Road, and craft outfits St. Florian’s and Barrel Brothers tucked away in nearby business parks. Stay tuned.
A Bohemian reporter (center) gets more than he bargains for at Windsor Brewing Company's media preview.
  • A Bohemian reporter (center) gets more than he bargains for at Windsor Brewing Company's media preview.
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Monday, October 29, 2018

Sonoma County Theater Honored at Marquee Theater Journalists Association Awards

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 10:17 AM

Cast members and director Carl Jordan of Spreckels Theatre Company took home Outstanding Drama Production Award for "By the Water"
  • Cast members and director Carl Jordan of Spreckels Theatre Company took home Outstanding Drama Production Award for "By the Water"
Sonoma County theater artists gathered Monday night at the Juncture Taproom and Lounge in Santa Rosa for the Third Annual Marquee Theater Journalists Association Awards. Seventeen awards were given to local theatre artists and productions whose nominations were culled from the sixty-six Sonoma County productions attended by members from September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018.
The MTJA was founded in 2015 by Sonoma County-based theater journalists with the intent of developing a critically-based awards program to acknowledge outstanding work done by the local theater community. Current members include the North Bay Bohemian's Harry Duke, Sonoma County Gazette's Alexa Chipman, Talkin' Broadway's Jeanie K. Smith, and Aisle Seat Review's Barry Willis and Nicole Singley. All are members of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle (SFBATCC) and/or the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA).
The MTJA Awards have the distinction of being the first theatre awards program to eliminate gender distinction in the performance categories, simply recognizing outstanding lead and supporting performances by genre.
Harry Duke (center) presents the cast and director Michael Ross of Sonoma Arts Live the Outstanding Musical Award for "Always... Patsy Cline"
  • Harry Duke (center) presents the cast and director Michael Ross of Sonoma Arts Live the Outstanding Musical Award for "Always... Patsy Cline"
The Sonoma Arts Live production of Always… Patsy Cline was the single most awarded production of the evening, taking home awards for Lead and Supporting Performances in a Musical as well as Costume Design, Musical Direction and Outstanding Musical Production. Rohnert Park’s Spreckels Theatre Company production of By the Water was recognized with three awards; Outstanding Lighting Design, Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Drama, and Outstanding Drama Production. The choreography in their production of Peter Pan was also recognized. Santa Rosa’s Left Edge Theatre took home awards for three different shows including Lead Performance in a Comedy, Supporting Performance in a Comedy, and Outstanding Comedy Production. Sebastopol’s Main Stage West had two shows recognized with three awards including Outstanding Sound Design, Outstanding Set Design, and Outstanding Lead Performance in a Drama. Healdsburg’s Raven Players and Santa Rosa’s 6th Street Playhouse each took home one award.

Here is the complete list of nominees with winners designated by a (W):

Outstanding Poster/Program Design
Elizabeth Craven – Blackbird – Main Stage West
Marla Goodman – Constellations – 6th Street Playhouse
Elizabeth Craven – Eurydice – Main Stage West
Richard Sheppard – I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change – Raven Players
Richard Sheppard – Water by the Spoonful – Raven Players (W)

Outstanding Costume Design
Michael Ross – Always… Patsy Cline – Sonoma Arts Live (W)
Tracy Hinman – Death of a Salesman – 6th Street Playhouse
Maryanne Scozzari – Into the Woods – Santa Rosa Junior College
Pamela Johnson – Peter Pan – Spreckels Theatre Company
Jeanine Gray, Michael Mingoia – Shrek, the Musical – Raven Players

Outstanding Lighting Design
Missy Weaver – Blackbird – Main Stage West
Missy Weaver – Buried Child – Main Stage West
Eddy Hansen – By the Water – Spreckels Theatre Company (W)
April George – Disgraced – Left Edge Theatre
April George – The Realistic Joneses – Left Edge Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design
Jessica Johnson – By the Water – Spreckels Theatre Company
Doug Faxon – Eurydice – Main Stage West
Doug Faxon – Grace – Main Stage West (W)
Argo Thompson – Honky – Left Edge Theatre
Carla Spindt, Argo Thompson – Women in Jeopardy! – Left Edge Theatre

Outstanding Set Design
David Lear – Blackbird – Main Stage West (W)
Eddy Hansen, Elizabeth Bazzano – By the Water – Spreckels Theatre Company
Peter Crompton – Into the Woods – Santa Rosa Junior College
Michael Ross, Theo Bridant – Always… Patsy Cline – Sonoma Arts Live
Elizabeth Bazzano, Eddy Hansen – Peter Pan – Spreckels Theatre Company

Outstanding Choreography
Katie Watts-Whitaker – I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change – Raven Players
Craig Miller and Amanda Morando – Illyria – 6th Street Playhouse
Joseph Favalora – La Cage aux Folles – 6th Street Playhouse
Michella Snider – Peter Pan – Spreckels Theatre Company (W)
Katie Watts-Whitaker – Shrek, the Musical – Raven Players

Outstanding Musical Direction
Ellen Patterson – Always… Patsy Cline – Sonoma Arts Live (W)
Dave MacNab – Daddy Long Legs – Main Stage West
Lucas Sherman – Illyria – 6th Street Playhouse
Ginger Beavers – La Cage aux Folles – 6th Street Playhouse
Timothy Eisman – Peter Pan – Spreckels Theatre Company

Outstanding Ensemble
By the Water – Spreckels Theatre Company
Equus – 6th Street Playhouse (W)
Good People – Cinnabar Arts
Grace – Main Stage West
The Realistic Joneses – Left Edge Theatre

Outstanding Musical Production
Always… Patsy Cline – Directed by Michael Ross – Sonoma Arts Live (W)
Daddy Long Legs – Directed by Elly Lichenstein – Main Stage West
Illyria – Directed by Craig Miller – 6th Street Playhouse
Peter Pan – Directed by Sheri Lee Miller – Spreckels Theatre Company
Shrek, the Musical – Directed by Kerry Duvall – Raven Players

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical
Danielle DeBow – Always… Patsy Cline – Sonoma Arts Live (W)
Madison Genovese – Daddy Long Legs – Main Stage West
Carmen Mitchell – Illyria – 6th Street Playhouse
Michael Conte – La Cage aux Folles – 6th Street Playhouse
Sarah Wintermeyer – Peter Pan – Spreckels Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical
Karen Pinomaki – Always… Patsy Cline – Sonoma Arts Live (W)
Gillian Eichenberger – Illyria – 6th Street Playhouse
Bill Garcia – Shrek, the Musical – Raven Players
Tim Setzer – Illyria – 6th Street Playhouse
Joseph Favalora – La Cage aux Folles – 6th Street Playhouse

Outstanding Comedy Production
Good People – Directed by Michael Fontaine – Cinnabar Arts
Quartet – Directed by Jereme Anglin – Cinnabar Arts
The Realistic Joneses – Directed by Argo Thompson – Left Edge Theatre (W)
Sideways – Directed by Argo Thompson – Left Edge Theatre
Women in Jeopardy! – Directed by Carla Spindt – Left Edge Theatre

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Comedy
Trey G. Riley – Honky – Left Edge Theatre (W)
Chris Ginesi – The Realistic Joneses – Left Edge Theatre
Chris Schloemp – The Realistic Joneses – Left Edge Theatre
Shannon Rider – Women in Jeopardy! – Left Edge Theatre
Laura Jorgensen – Quartet – Cinnabar Arts

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Comedy
Liz Rogers Beckley – Honky – Left Edge Theatre
Dorian Lockett – Inspecting Carol – Sonoma Arts Live
Richard Pallaziol – Women in Jeopardy! – Left Edge Theatre
Jazmine Pierce – Sideways – Left Edge Theatre
Zane Walters – Women in Jeopardy! – Left Edge Theatre (W)

Outstanding Drama Production
Blackbird – Directed by David Lear – Main Stage West
By the Water – Directed by Carl Jordan – Spreckels Theatre Company (W)
Death of a Salesman – Directed by Craig Miller – 6th Street Playhouse
Disgraced – Directed by Phoebe Moyer – Left Edge Theatre
Grace – Directed by John Craven – Main Stage West

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Drama
Mark Bradbury – By the Water – Spreckels Theatre Company
Mary Gannon Graham – By the Water – Spreckels Theatre Company (W)
Mike Schaeffer – Disgraced – Left Edge Theatre
Jill K. Wagoner – Steel Magnolias – 6th Street Playhouse
Ariel Zuckerman – Death of a Salesman – 6th Street Playhouse

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Drama
Illana Niernberger – Grace – Main Stage West
Mike Pavone – By the Water – Spreckels Theatre Company
Sharia Pierce – Blackbird – Main Stage West (W)
James Rowan – The Elephant Man – Curtain Call Theatre
Jared Wright – Disgraced – Left Edge Theatre
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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Scenes from the 2018 NorBay Music Award Winners Party

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 11:21 AM

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A couple weeks ago, over twenty North Bay musicians, promoters, venue owners and other musical luminaries came together for the Bohemian's 2018 NorBay Music Award Winners Party at Beer Baron in downtown Santa Rosa. Scroll through the slideshow to see the fun. All photos were taken by Candace Simmons and Tony Perrot of FourReels Studios LLC.
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Friday, July 20, 2018

New Documentary on Tubbs Fire Premieres in Santa Rosa

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 10:09 AM

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Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano and Santa Rosa Fire Chief Tony Gossner were among those in attendance last night, Thursday, Jul 19, for the world premiere of the new documentary “Urban Inferno: The Night Santa Rosa Burned” at the Roxy Stadium 14 in downtown Santa Rosa.
Now screening daily at the nearby Third Street Cinemas, the 40-minute, locally-produced documentary recounts last October's devastating Tubbs Fire, the most destructive wildfire in California history, and focuses on the initial impact of the fire on Santa Rosa.
Speaking alongside director Dr Stephen Seager, a longtime Santa Rosa resident, and co-producers Metta Seager, KSRO president Michael O’Shea and KSRO news director Pat Kerrigan and others, the sheriff and fire chief took questions from the local crowd who attended the sold-out premiere and heard from others who shared their experiences.
(From left to right) KSRO president Michael O’Shea, news director Pat Kerrigan, Berkeley firefighter Mike Shuken, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano and Santa Rosa Fire Chief Tony Gossner attend the premiere of "Urban Inferno."
  • (From left to right) KSRO president Michael O’Shea, news director Pat Kerrigan, Berkeley firefighter Mike Shuken, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano and Santa Rosa Fire Chief Tony Gossner attend the premiere of "Urban Inferno."
Told through on-camera interviews and raw video compiled from cell phone footage, police body cameras and other sources which captured the firestorm that swept through parts of Santa Rosa in the late night and early morning of Oct 8-9, 2017, "Urban Inferno" is at times harrowing and heartbreaking, though it deftly tells the complex story of the unprecedented event and highlights the heroism that rose up to meet the chaos. In particular, the film explains how Gossner's decision to focus on evacuation over firefighting likely saved hundreds of lives.
"Urban Inferno" also shines light on the work of the news staff at KSRO 1350 AM, who broadcasted commercial-free for 24 hours a day as the fire unfolded and who largely became the only line of communication for thousands of Santa Rosans forced to flee their homes.
For some in the audience, the screening was a raw reminder of last October's events, and footage of destruction was met with gasps at times, though the film takes a respectful and hopeful tone. "Urban Inferno" opens today, Jul 20, with regular screenings, and all proceeds from the premiere and the subsequent screenings will go to the Sonoma County Resilience Fund. Click here for times and tickets.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Silver Scream Festival Scares Up Good Times in Santa Rosa

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 9:51 AM

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Monster lovers from around Northern California and beyond gathered in Sonoma County last weekend for the third annual Silver Scream Festival, which took place at the Roxy Stadium 14 Cinemas in downtown Santa Rosa and boasted a lineup of both classic and new horror and sci-fi films, with celebrity guests, panel discussions, special effects makeup demonstrations and more.

Hosted by Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine and the Santa Rosa Entertainment Group, which owns and operates the Roxy Stadium 14, the festival welcomed horror and film fanatics from Friday, Feb 16, to Sunday, Feb 18. Overall, the event was a blast for fans of the genre with dozens of feature-length and short films to see in an intimate setting and many of the genres brightest stars in attendance.
Writer/Director John Russo (right) and the Heroines of Horror chop the ribbon to open Silver Scream Fest.
  • Writer/Director John Russo (right) and the Heroines of Horror chop the ribbon to open Silver Scream Fest.
Opening night kicked-off with a ribbon cutting in the Roxy’s upstairs lobby featuring actresses Barbara Crampton, Kelli Maroney and Suzanne Snyder–collectively appearing in the festival’s “Heroines of Horror” panel and each screening one of their films – as well as writer and filmmaker John Russo, best known as the co-creator of 1968’s Night of the Living Dead.

From there, attendees had several options for film screenings and events, starting with 1988’s Killer Klowns from Outer Space, starring Suzanne Snyder, who spoke with affection for the film’s outlandish practical effects and who also revealed that she scares easily in horror films.

A handful of brand-new indie films opened at the festival, including the vampire thriller Living Among Us, with director Brian Metcalf and several members of the cast on hand for a Q&A.

Friday night also held a reception nearby at Third Street Aleworks to celebrate the birthday of Silver Scream’s special guest Ricou Browning, best known as the Gill-Man in The Creature from the Black Lagoon films. Browning is the only living actor to portray one of the classic Universal monsters, and at 88 years old, he still revels in the chance to meet fans and talk films.
From left to right: Barbara Crampton, Kelli Maroney and Suzanne Snyder are the heroines of horror.
  • From left to right: Barbara Crampton, Kelli Maroney and Suzanne Snyder are the heroines of horror.
Saturday, Feb 17, started with a screening of Barbara Crampton’s not-yet-released film, Replace. Crampton also received Silver Scream’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday, accepting a large butcher knife trophy with graciousness and thanking the fans for embracing her in the horror genre. Crampton’s 30-year career in horror films includes classic ‘80s fare like Re-Animator and From Beyond, and modern day films like We Are Still Here and Sun Choke.
Barbara Crampton thanks the fans during her Silver Scream  Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech.
  • Barbara Crampton thanks the fans during her Silver Scream Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech.
Kelli Maroney was on hand for the screening of her 1984 cult classic, Night of the Comet, and she spoke of her friendship with co-star Catherine Mary Stewart and recounted how the film depicted an abandoned Los Angeles after a comet turns everybody to dust.

Maroney then joined Crampton and Snyder for the Heroines of Horror panel, moderated by director Jackie Kong. Unfortunately, this was the festival’s only real let down, as Kong seemingly never got the message that this panel was a celebration of these women’s strength rather than their screams, and as a moderator she failed to really let the panelists speak fully on the breadth of their experiences.

Classic horror lovers soaked up Saturday’s lineup of all three Creature from the Black Lagoon films, which mostly hold up to today’s standards with excellent costume design and stunning underwater sequences. Saturday also including the brand-new Criterion Collection edition of Night of the Living Dead on the big screen, and co-writer John Russo appeared for a Q&A in which he spoke about creating the modern zombie movement almost by mistake, and how the film’s legacy has impacted his career in horror.
'Night of the Living Dead' co-creator John Russo shows off his zombie swag at Silver Scream Fest
  • 'Night of the Living Dead' co-creator John Russo shows off his zombie swag at Silver Scream Fest
Saturday concluded with a special VIP dinner across town at the Flamingo Resort, and attendees at that dinner rubbed elbows with the stars and enjoyed live entertainment, all while raising money for North Bay fire relief efforts.

Sunday was a short day, opening with screenings of classic horror/comedy Blood Diner, with director Jackie Kong on hand, and Maniac, with director Bill Lustig in attendance. This reporter was honored to moderate the Q&A with Lustig, who is a natural storyteller. Lustig offered insight into going to grindhouse theaters as a kid in 1970s New York City, and how he made Maniac on a shoestring budget.

Throughout the weekend, dozens of short films also screened in blocks, and selections included films by several local filmmakers like Sean Pettis, who premiered his stop-motion short film Baba Yaga Origins, and Miranda Limonczenko, who directed the Black Mirror-esque short film Sleepo. Many of the shorts were impressive exercises in horror, comedy, science fiction and drama.
EllieMacs SFX applies makeup to a zombie at the Silver Scream Fest.
  • EllieMacs SFX applies makeup to a zombie at the Silver Scream Fest.
During the weekend, the lobby was also filled with the ghastly goodness of horror makeup demonstrations by experts Walter Welsh, seen on the television series Face Off, and Ellinor Rosander, who’s YouTube makeup tutorial channel EllieMacs SFX garners millions of views.

At the end of Sunday, the awards ceremony celebrated the best of the fest, and winners included Horror feature Butterfly Kisses, comedy feature Killing Diaz, documentary Monster Kids, horror short Lunch Ladies and comedy short Late.
Famous Monsters of Filmland and Santa Rosa Entertainment group present awards at the Silver Scream Fest.
  • Famous Monsters of Filmland and Santa Rosa Entertainment group present awards at the Silver Scream Fest.
All weekend, Silver Scream Festival offered a strong weekend of entertainment, and the fans who made it out were treated to a stellar lineup of cult classics, never-before-seen features, and a supportive horror film community that hopefully keeps the event coming back for years to come.

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