Logo

On The Town With Jason Downs

| Community, Entertainment | April 2, 2020

Or perhaps we should call this column On the Down Low for the foreseeable future, friends, since we’re all keeping a low profile these days. There’s not much going on around town as we embark on the unknown together during these historic times. Still, fellow Santa Claritans, we are extremely fortunate to live in this town, in this county and this great state. We can be proud of our leadership and proud of each other for meeting these unusual circumstances with speed, an open mind, and love.

As everything has closed around town, we all find ourselves in the same boat, asking the same questions, and adjusting to this new reality.

What? We have time on our hands?

What? I don’t have to drive the kids all over town and be at this meeting by when and across town by then?

What? I don’t have to sit in traffic for three hours a day? I can work from home, school from home, and sleep a little more?

This is perhaps the magic ‘pause button’ we’ve all wished we could press from time to time, yes?

It’s unfortunate it takes something like a global pandemic to force the world to slow down and take stock of itself, but let’s take this opportunity, folks. While the wellbeing of our families and friends is top priority (and the very reason we’ve all taken such drastic measures to protect each other), this unprecedented moment in history could also be a once in a lifetime chance to regroup, rethink, refresh, revitalize, reorganize, and reimagine ourselves and our lives.

Again, taking the spread of this virus as seriously as possible is paramount, but it gives me real joy to go on my daily run and pass multiple families along the way. It used to be that only a couple a weeks ago I would pass a total of three people on a three mile run. Now, I’m passing three and four full and complete families along the way…and I don’t just mean core family units, I’m talking multi-generational families out for a stroll in the sunshine. This is a beautiful thing. Grandparents walking hand in hand with grandkids while mom and dad push the stroller. Talking, laughing, meandering. No one’s in a hurry. This is a silver lining if I’ve ever seen one.

As my wife and I ran past the park (something we don’t usually get to do together either), there were kids proudly doing cartwheels for their mom, dogs catching frisbees, and a family playing a baseball game. I don’t wish for anyone to suffer during this pandemic, or ever, but the nuclear family has been suffering at the hands of our nonstop, hustling-bustling society for years now and this global emergency could go far toward healing the issue. That would be my wish, anyhow.

As far as things to do with each other, the kids and I helped completely redecorate the dining room in anticipation of my wife working from home beginning this week. Her request was Hogwarts and Harry Potter themed. We had a lot of fun and the result was better than any of us expected.

Over the past week or so the family ratatouille recipe was perfected, oh yes, cookies were baked, and french toast was elevated to new heights with the use of croissant bread. (I believe I stumbled upon the greatest thing to happen to french toast since sliced bread: FRENCH French Toast, I call it!)

In addition to his ‘distance learning’ school work, I gave my son an assignment which has turned out to be a lot of fun as well. His orders were to play with every single toy in his room at least once, and decide whether to keep it or donate it. He has since pulled out tons of untouched toys from under his bed and chest of drawers. We’ve laughed at some of the amazing discoveries and old favorites he’s uncovered from the dark recesses. Who knew cleaning and reorganizing his room could be so fun! (Wink, wink.)

The wife and kids took an impromptu trip to the beach today, which allowed me some quiet time to sit and write this column…the screen door open, birds chirping, and the fresh green leaves we’ve gotten from all this amazing rain up against a robin’s egg sky and billowy white clouds…it doesn’t get much better, folks. For now, at this very moment, no one I know has been harmed by COVID-19 and it’s hard not to feel exceedingly lucky during this strangely stolen, yet solemn, more silent than usual spring season.

Love, safety and health to you and yours. Never since the dawn of man has the entire race found itself bound together for one cause the way we do today. Let’s be our best selves and arise from this collectively better than when it started.

So, there it is for this week, friends. Always feel free to let me know what you’re up to, especially during this unusual time; or if you simply want my wife’s ratatouille recipe.
(reachjasondowns@santaclaritagazette.com)

Until next time, bon voyage, break a leg, and bon appetit!

Wine of the Week

| Entertainment | March 26, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

This past weekend, we bottled our latest vintages of wine. Now I’m back in isolation at home, deciding what new wine we’re going to have for dinner tonight. There are so many delicious choices.

I must say, we have a brand new rosé that I would love to share with everyone. It is our new 2017 Grenache Syrah rosé. The grapes were locally sourced from the Vineyard about 45 minutes from here. This is wine that is fermented in French oak barrels for 14 months. This is a delicate, yet vivacious wine with aromas of raspberries and flavors of freshly picked strawberries and blueberries with a hint of Mandarin.

Enjoy this with a citrus side salad for brunch, with a tomato and goat cheese quiche or with mixed berry crêpes. I also feel that a little bit of spiciness will pair just perfect. So, tonight I am making Indian food. Going shopping in my pantry is always fun. The other day we re-organized the freezer to make sure I knew what we had. As I was re-organizing I realized we had a package of naan. So that’s where my dinner plans began. Since vegetables seem to be the easiest to purchase at the market lately, I’ve decided to use a bunch of vegetables with some chicken that we froze. We are pairing this with braised eggplant, sautéed spinach and chicken biryani.

Just a reminder to everyone, the tasting room is not open for tastings until further notice. We are open for pick up only. If you prefer we can ship your wine. Please check out my shop page with all the new wines that we just bottled. https://reyes-winery.square.site/ Then click on the tab SHOP NOW!

Wine of the Week

| Entertainment | March 19, 2020

Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

Due to the hoarding of a few people in town, certain types of staples are non-existent. While I am looking in my pantry to figure out what I am going to make, I’ve decided to make eggs Benedict. I am making English muffins which I haven’t made in a while from scratch. When you have a bread machine, there are endless possibilities to create. I don’t have ham, but I do have lox. So, tonight’s dinner will be a yummy twist to the classic. Since, we have just released our 2017 Viognier, this is a perfect match. On the side, again since potatoes seemed to be extinct, I am making a sweet potato hash and a spinach salad with heirloom tomatoes with a citrus vinaigrette.

This wine exhibits aromas of ripe peaches, which blend with pineapple and soft whispers of honeysuckle. On the palate you get silky peach, nectarine, vanilla and tangerine combining to create a delightful crisp lingering finish. Enjoy chilled with a kale citrus salad, tangerine glazed ham or a nectarine goat cheese crostini.

In response to state and federal government recommendations regarding reducing the spread of coronavirus, several events have begun to be postponed across the Santa Clarita Valley. Because we share your concerns about safeguarding the health and wellness of our community, we have decided to postpone our annual Bottling Event.

The health and safety of our staff and guests is our top priority. For now, the Reyes Winery Tasting Room will be open on weekends from 11 am – 5 pm for pick up only. We will not be offering tastings temporarily. As soon as we can reopen full time, we will announce our next set of events. I hope everyone understands that in this time of need, this is the best option.

On behalf of Reyes Winery, I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Live Music

| Entertainment | March 13, 2020

Mar 13, Fri
6:30–9p Wolf Creek Brewery Dan Kirkpatrick Classic rock
7–9pm Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt Valencia lounge Dole – Humphries Pop, bl, ctry
7–10pm Alchemy Valencia Dennis Atlas Piano rock
7:30–10p Vincenzo’s Newhall Guilty As Charged Live music
8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn R+B, pop, rk

8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock

8–11:30 Vincent Hill Station Wildside on the patio Rock covers
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Galo Pacheco Acoustic CR

9–1am Doc’s Inn Frankly Speaking Rock classics
Mar 14, Sat
12n–10p Pocock Brewing Co Darryls & Monkey Bump St Pat event
5–11pm Amer Legion Newhall John Davis Travelin’ Band Fundraiser
6–8pm Telco Brewery Los Carnies Live music
6–10pm Vincent Hill Station John & Terri Live music
6:30–9p Backyard Grub & Brews G – 3 Band Classic rock
7–10pm Sweetwater Cafe Robert Heft Band Blues-CR mix
7–10pm Hyatt/Greater Pacific Lance Allyn Classic covers
7–11pm Chuy’s in Stev.Ranch The Black Canyon band Classic rock
7:30–10p Vincenzo’s Newhall Right Side Up Classic rock
8–10pm Double Trouble Wines Sidney & the Detours Classic rock
8–11pm Wine 661 Ron Suffredini Classic covers
8–12m VFW 6885 Lee Harper band Country
9–12m Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Alan Wright band Blues mix
9–12m Mabel’s Road House Tongues of Fire Rock classics

9–12m Eighth and Rail Snareheads Dance rock

9–12m Salt Creek Grille Galo Pacheco Acoustic CR
Mar 15, Sun
10a–2p Saugus Swapmeet Emerald City Classic rock
1–4pm Backyard Grub & Brews Mojo Filter Blues Blues
3–5:30p Double Trouble Wines Doc Ventura Jazz & bl
3–7pm Vincent Hill Station Moldy Marvin’s open mic Various
5–9pm VFW 6885 Robert Heft band Bl-ctry mix
5–9pm Amer Legion Newhall Thom Teresi’s Jazz Jam Jazz Jam
5:30–8p Vincenzo’s Newhall Nikki Hahn & Jet Juurgensmeyer
Mar 17, Tues
7–9pm Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Just One Guy Acoustic
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse SRBQ Band Blues – CR
7–11pm Chuy’s in Stev.Ranch T.Peacock & the Feathers Funk rock
Mar 18, Wed
6–8pm Alchemy Valencia Monaco’s happy hour Piano
6–9pm Tomato Joes in CC Guitar James (Hackett) Classic rock
5–9pm VFW 6885 Magnolia Drawl duo Country jazz
Mar 19, Thur
6–9pm Tomato Joes in CC Daphne Winters Live music
6:30–9p Brewery Draconum Sean Wiggins duo Rock, bl, ctry
7–10pm Old Town Newhall Senses – Luck of the Irish Block party
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse T.Peacock & the Feathers Funk rock
Mar 20, Fri
7–9pm Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Nathan on piano Piano
7–9pm Alchemy Valencia Dennis Atlas Piano rock
7–10pm Hyatt Valencia lounge Various artists Live music

8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn R+B, pop, rk 8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock

8–11:30 Vincent Hill Station Mudfish on patio Classic rock
8–12m Amer Legion Newhall Heavy Metal night Hard rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Lance Allyn Acoustic CR
9–1am Doc’s Inn Route 69 band Rock classics

Wine of the Week

| Entertainment | March 12, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

The cold weather is making me not want to go out at all; so, I decided to make some chicken soup. And yes, like all my other dishes my soup contains wine! Since our newest release is our 2017 Viognier, I thought my dinner should focus on this tasty delight. If you’re familiar with our 2013, it is slightly different; just like every vintage of the same wine; it does vary slightly based upon the weather. This year we seem to have a lot of rain again, which means that if our summer is moderate, we will most likely have softer wines.

This wine exhibits aromas of ripe peaches, which blend with pineapple and soft whispers of honeysuckle. On the palate you get silky peach, nectarine, vanilla and tangerine combining to create a delightful crisp lingering finish. Enjoy this wine chilled with a kale citrus salad, tangerine glazed ham or a nectarine goat cheese crostini.

I must mention that this weekend we are bottling another Viognier. Most likely from the whole run we will see it being bottled on Sunday. So, if you’re a fan I would love to see you on Sunday!
Our 2019 Viognier is locally grown: our winemaker, Robert Reyes, hand-picked these grapes which are exceptionally aromatic with notes of Bartlett pears, apricots and honeysuckle. This full-bodied dry white wine has medium acidity. Enjoy slightly chilled with a pear and Gruyère tart, cream of cauliflower soup topped with hazelnuts or lobster tails with wildflower honey garlic butter. This wine pairs well with St. Patrick’s Day goodies like corned beef and cabbage, colcannon and soda bread!

For more information, visit www.reyeswinery.com

Last Year Marked Highest Film Numbers On Record For Santa Clarita

| Entertainment | March 12, 2020

Santa Clarita reached its best year of location filming ever in 2019, with the Film Office recording 576 film permits and 1,490 location film days generating an estimated economic impact of $35.9 million to the local community – a significant increase of 9 percent from 2018.

This is the sixth consecutive calendar year the Santa Clarita Film Office has recorded more than 500 permits, over 1,300 film days and $30 million or more in estimated economic impact generated from location filming alone. Not included in the reported numbers are the film days and economic benefit from filming that takes place on certified sound stages, which do not require a film permit.

“Our City continues to raise the bar, welcoming dozens of film productions to our versatile City,” said Mayor Cameron Smyth. “Productions continue to choose Santa Clarita for our diverse locations, including picturesque neighborhoods and rugged landscapes. These productions result in high paying, local opportunities for our 6,000 plus residents who work in the entertainment industry – plus more customers for local businesses.”

More than half of the filming days in 2019 were attributed to television production alone, many of which were from shows based in Santa Clarita including “Bless This Mess,” “68 Whiskey,” “Good Trouble,” “Mayans MC,” “NCIS,” “Party of Five,” “Picard,” “S.W.A.T.” and “Holey Moley.”

TV shows weren’t the only productions taking advantage of Santa Clarita locations in 2019. Numerous feature films were also shot in the area last year including “SpongeBob Movie: It’s a Wonderful Sponge,” “Yes Day,” “Call of the Wild,” “Ad Astra,” “Palm Springs,” “Badlands” and more in addition to many commercials, music videos, still photo shoots and online content.

Santa Clarita is consistently one of the most filmed places in California because it offers thousands of film-friendly locations that can double for almost anywhere in the world, more than 30 sound stages, over 10 movie ranches, a one-stop shop Film Office, low-cost permit fees and expedited permit processing in addition to being located within the industry’s coveted “30-Mile Zone.”

Several other factors have contributed to the continued success and appeal of filming in Santa Clarita, including the City’s own Film Incentive Program and Movie Ranch Overlay Zone. The Santa Clarita Valley has also benefitted tremendously from the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program as numerous approved projects have filmed and continue to do so on location in the area.

For more information about filming in Santa Clarita, visit FilmSantaClarita.com or contact the Film Office at (661) 284-1425. For an insider’s view of filming in Santa Clarita, follow the Santa Clarita Film Office on Instagram (@FilmSantaClarita).

Senses Block Parties Return As Part Of Revamped Events Lineup

| Entertainment | March 12, 2020

Mark your calendars and start digging through your closet to find the perfect outfit to wear to SENSES, the monthly themed block party in Old Town Newhall. SENSES is a free series that runs on the third Thursday of every month, from March through October.

Those familiar with the City of Santa Clarita’s Thursdays@Newhall events have much to look forward to as the weather warms up in 2020. With a new schedule of fun, free and entertaining events taking place each month, residents will have opportunities to enjoy music, theatre, comedy and more without being limited to one night of the week. As such, the Thursdays@Newhall brand will become City of Santa Clarita Events, and its online presence will be a hub for city-run events taking place throughout Santa Clarita.

In addition to SENSES on the third Thursday of the month, the 10 by 10 Variety Show will continue to offer storytelling, short films, comedy and more on the first Thursday at The MAIN (24266 Main Street). The newest events to debut at The MAIN, You’re The Best and SCENES will be offered on the fourth Thursday and fourth Friday, respectively. More information about entertainment happenings in Santa Clarita will be announced at the start of each month.

Residents and their friends are invited to stimulate their senses and experience something new at the SENSES Block Party. SENSES gives you the chance to enjoy live music, gourmet food trucks, drinks, activities and more, and is intended for adults. The 2020 SENSES season kicks off on March 19, at 7:00 p.m. and will feature a new theme each month. The themes for this year are:
Luck O’ the Irish – March 19
Cowboy Kickoff – April 16
Nintendo Party – May 21
Roaring ‘20s – June 18
Hawaiian Luau – July 16
Sports of All Sorts – August 20
Chocolate Factory – September 17
Chills and Thrills – October 15

For more information about the City of Santa Clarita’s SENSES Block Parties, visit OldTownNewhall.com/events or connect on Facebook by “liking” city of Santa Clarita Events.

On the Town with Jason Downs

| Entertainment | March 12, 2020

It was raining on Tuesday, which only added to the feeling of authenticity as I struggled to keep up with my nephew on his morning run. “Just a quick three miles,” he said, “some simple PT while I’m on leave…wanna come?”

No problem, I thought, I run five days a week, this’ll be easy.

I was wrong. All I saw of my nephew was his back as he left me behind and got smaller and smaller in the distance, but you know what? I only felt pride. You see, he’s eighteen years old and just returned from basic training four days ago… and emblazoned on the back of his wind breaker as he flew off ahead of me was single word that said it all: MARINES. That’s right, folks, my nephew, Brandon, not only made it through the toughest boot camp on the planet but came out smiling on the other end. And an expert marksman to boot!

Private Brandon Althoff, US Marine Corps

Having known Brandon his entire life, none of this surprises me. He’s incredibly smart, sensible, good-natured, and good-hearted. I’ve always believed in him. But I could tell he surprised himself a bit, which is all the more satisfying. Especially surprising to him was his success on the rifle range. Qualifying as an expert with a rifle is the highest rank one can achieve and is a step above sharpshooter, which I didn’t know. Brandon had never fired a weapon in his life before, which they said actually gave him an advantage. It’s harder to break bad habits than start fresh and learn correctly. But then again, from the stories he told, it sounded like his training was a long series of first time experiences coupled with breaking old habits and making new ones. This goes on until your body and mind adapt. Listening to him and seeing the glint in his eye made me wish I could’ve experienced the training right alongside him. But alas, I’ve aged out. No one over twenty-nine. I’ll have to settle for panting along behind him in the rain until he heads back for more training next week.

“How long was this first series of training?” I asked.

“Thirteen weeks,” he answered.

“And do you miss it now that you’re suddenly back in the world?”

“Not at all,” came his answer without hesitation. “But I’m looking forward to getting back in there for my MCT the next twenty-eight days. That’s Military Combat Training.”

“Is that supposed to be just as hard as Basic?”

“Harder.”

When I asked him what the most difficult part of his thirteen-week stint had been, he told me, “The first two weeks.” He went on to explain what a great shock it was to suddenly be in a completely different, unknown, and strenuous environment. No family. No contact. No calls. No control. Everything was harder than he thought it would be. “During those times I had to remind myself why I was there and that there was no way I wasn’t going home a Marine.” Not all of the boys in his unit stuck with it. Out of eighty that began only fifty-three graduated. There were about three hundred and forty in his entire class.

“Aside from medical reasons that guys had to drop out for, I’d say to anyone attempting this kind of training you just have to remember what you came for and stick it out. That’s what got me through.”

The moment Brandon actually became a Marine was not on the field in front of his friends and family last Friday, but on top of a mountain called “The Reaper” a couple weeks prior after a fifty-four hour obstacle course termed “The Crucible.” Brandon and his fellow would-be Marines had to climb a vertical incline with their seventy pound packs after the days long exercise. Even though his calves were burning and his body was exhausted, Brandon focused on everything he’d been through to get to that point. “It really wasn’t that difficult after everything I’d done to get to that moment.” Once he reached the top, according to tradition, he was officially a Marine in the eyes of his commanding officers and his fellow trainees.

Brandon’s father gives his son
a proud embrace.

On graduation day, knowing his family was in the crowd cheering him on was “the best feeling ever,” Brandon said. I’d say the feeling was mutual on this end too. The overwhelming love and pride for this young man was apparent on everyone’s face as his grandparents stood for photos and his brothers flexed for the camera beside him.

And while Brandon still has a ways to go in his training, another seven or eight months before he gets assigned to the field, he says joining the Marines was the best decision he could’ve made for himself thus far.

“If you’re asking if I’d go back and do it all again…yes, yes I would.”

Well, to you, Brandon, I say thank you for your service and the light you bring to our lives. Oorah! And just as your fellow Marines live by Semper Fi, your family will always be loyal and faithful to you wherever this adventure takes you.

So, there it is for this week, friends.
(reachjasondowns@santaclaritagazette.com)

Until next time, bon voyage, break a leg, and bon appetit!

Frequently Asked Questions about the Latest Pandemic All of Your Misconceptions are Correct

| Entertainment | March 12, 2020

We’ve been fantasizing about an apocalypse for a long time – but have all of the movies and young adult novels capitalizing on our fears thoroughly prepared us with the knowledge to survive a novel virus? So far, everything we are seeing now did not make the final cut of “28 Days Later” and “The Walking Dead.” But does that mean we are overreacting, or are these not the proper steps to take? Finally, some answers.

  1. Do I need to stock up on toilet paper? Yes and yes. An item as multipurpose as toilet paper is a sheer necessity. Quilted Northern is the only part of the stock market not taking a plunge – but your toilet should if you are hoarding enough. Much like prison, this commodity will eventually replace the U.S. dollar as currency. With coronavirus spreading through the handling of cash, toilet paper is sure to be the only proper way to handle our business (in more ways than one).
  2. Does hand sanitizer work? Should I buy 14 gallons of it? Of course, just like any other alcohol. If you drink enough, the virus won’t stand a chance. In fact, neither will you; but when it comes down to it, would you rather die of Coronavirus or by chugging scented Purell with all of your old frat buddies cheering you on? There are two ways to die: with dignity, or without dignity, and the choice is yours.
  3. Can I get Coronavirus from ordering Chinese food? Only if it comes with the entrée. Honestly, ordering sides tends to add up, and it’s just not worth it in the end. By the time you finish the main course, you will probably be full anyway.
  4. If I am young and healthy, can I die from it? First of all, stop bragging, because you are making everyone else feel bad. You know what? Just because you asked, sure. Yes you can die from it. That will teach you to stop gloating.
  5. Can I still fly Delta? I have a lot of points saved up and flight prices are dropping. This question is extremely common. Flying at this time is very risky, unless it’s convenient. A risk is only a risk if you have skin in the game, and it sounds to me like occupying public spaces is fine as long as it’s a good deal. While you are at it, go on a cruise and buy a ticket to Coachella. With this attitude, the virus will be gone in no time

And, hopefully you’ve chuckled and realize this is satire…

Color Concepts Art Exhibit at Old Town Newhall Library

| Entertainment | March 12, 2020

The new group show, “Color Concepts” features colorful artwork by four talented artists. Featured artists include Cyndi Baker, Dale Voelker, Ksenia Sadavodava and Ma Geraldine Suguitan-Ignacio. This exhibit is on display for one month from March 2 to April 2, at the Old Town Newhall Library.

The community is invited to celebrate the opening of this new exhibit with a free art reception on Wednesday, March 18, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Old Town Newhall Library. Attendees will enjoy free food, drinks, music and a chance to discuss the pieces with the artists and community.

The Old Town Newhall Library is located at 24500 Main St. Business hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

For more information regarding the “Color Concepts” art exhibit, contact Katherine Nestved at knestved@santa-clarita.com or call (661) 250-3777. For details regarding other city art exhibits, visit SantaClaritaArts.com.

Wine of the Week – Rose

| Entertainment | March 5, 2020

by Beth Heiserman

This past weekend, 2015 Rosa’s Choice Rose ended up with under a case left in our inventory. It has been a consistent favorite of so many people since we debuted it. I will share a little secret, yesterday I made the blend of our 2018 Rosa’s Choice Rose. It’s a blend of Chardonnay, Muscat, Viognier, symphony and a hint of Syrah. It has aromas of watermelon, strawberries and peaches for a fruity and scrumptious rosé wine. This is such a delicious summer or even a brunch wine. It’s such easy drinking that you can enjoy it by itself, but you can enjoy it chilled with strawberry cheesecake trifle, grilled chicken with a strawberry red wine balsamic sauce or a watermelon granita topped with mint.

Yesterday when I was at the farmers market, I bought the most amazing fresh strawberries. When I approached the fruit stand, the aroma was so delightful I couldn’t resist bringing some home. Last night for dinner, I made turkey burgers topped with a crab au gratin. A little play on surf and turf. Plus, we enjoyed pickled green beans from Completely Pickled. He makes the best pickles. Just a hint, his pickled pineapple is to die for when pairing it with our 2015 Amber Chardonnay. And then for dessert we enjoyed the fresh strawberries on top of vanilla bean ice cream. All I could think of was how perfect this would be together.

Don’t forget our Annual Bottling party is next Saturday March 14th at noon. Its $55 per person which includes lunch and a bottle to take home. We will have live music from Sierra Highway performing. You can purchase your tickets in the tasting room or online at http://reyeswinery.com/events.

Live Music

| Entertainment | March 5, 2020

Mar 6, Fri
6–8pm Telco Brewery Max Esparaza Live music
6:30–9p Wolf Creek Brewery Dan Kirkpatrick Classic rock

7–9pm Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt Valencia lounge Tewks & JP Classic rock

7–10pm Vincenzo’s Newhall Improv night Variety
7–11pm Chuy’s in Stev.Ranch Route 69 band Rock covers
8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn R+B, pop, rk

8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock

8–11:30 Vincent Hill Station Seventh Switch Classic rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Jay Bolan Acoustic CR

9–1am Alchemy Valencia The Fulco Experience Rk, CR, ctyr

Mar 7, Sat
6–8pm Telco Brewery 4 Shades of Gray Classic rock
7–10pm Sweetwater Cafe Big Coyote Country
7–10pm Hyatt/Greater Pacific Tewks & JP Classic rock

7:30–10p Vincenzo’s Newhall The Grateful Dudes Bluegrass
8–10pm Double Trouble Wines All Access band Rock covers
8–11pm Wine 661 Sean Wiggins & Colin Pop, CR, ctry
8–12m VFW 6885 Emerald City Classic rock

9–12m Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Right Side Up Classic rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Jay Bolan Acoustic CR

Mar 8, Sun
10a–2p Saugus Swapmeet Lee & the Real Deal Live music
3–7pm Vincent Hill Moldy Marvin’s open mic Various

5–9pm VFW 6885 Magnolia Drawl Country
5–9pm Amer Legion Newhall SCV Blues Soc – Kyle Taylor Blues Jam
5:30–8p Vincenzo’s Newhall Scambooty Swing

Mar 10, Tues
7–9pm Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Roby Duron Acoustic
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse Eric Garcia, guest artist Blues mix

Mar 11, Wed
6–8pm Alchemy Valencia Monaco’s happy hour Piano
6–9pm Tomato Joes in CC Guitar James (Hackett) Classic rock

Mar 12, Thur
6–9pm Tomato Joes in CC Daphne Winters Live music
6:30–9p Brewery Draconum Dole – Humphries duo Pop, bl, ctry
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse Alan Wright band Blues mix

Mar 13, Fri
7–9pm Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt Valencia lounge Dole – Humphries duo Pop, bl, ctry

7:30–10p Vincenzo’s Newhall Guilty as Charged Live music
8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn R+B, pop,

8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock

8–11:30 Vincent Hill Station Wild Side on patio Rock covers
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Various artists Acoustic CR
9–1am Doc’s Inn Frankly Speaking Rock classics

March at The Main

| Entertainment | February 27, 2020

Mark your calendars for events in March at The MAIN! The 81-seat theatre in the Old Town Newhall Arts and Entertainment District (24266 Main Street) offers a variety of film, theatrical, comedic and musical entertainment. Tickets for upcoming events are currently available online at AtTheMAIN.org.

The MAIN welcomes Crowsnest Productions with its production of “Nancy Who? The Girl Detective Without A Clue” by Mary Main. Set in the 1930s, Nancy is not your typical teenager. She is an amazing crime-solving sleuth with advanced skills in deduction, a keen eye for observation and an almost superhuman ability to act on a hunch. With her intrepid gang of friends and a loyal beau, she tries to uncover clues to a crime, but without much success…at least at first. This is a play you won’t want to miss! Performances are scheduled for March 13, 14, 20, and 21 at 8:00 p.m., and March 15 and 22, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for seniors/students.

On March 19, from 7 to 10 p.m., enjoy a free art reception featuring the brand new exhibit, “Spray It,” by Iris Peretz. This show features unique street art made with spray paint. This indoor mural and graffiti art show celebrate community, togetherness and life in Los Angeles. According to the artist, the colors and brightness of the pieces resound and glow on the walls as if in a dance, which celebrates this shared moment in time with a focus on the positive outlook we all crave. The show enlightens and delivers a message of peace, love and inclusion. Attendees at this reception will enjoy complimentary small bites and light refreshments and have a chance to meet the artist.

Wacky local celebrity Even Steven is back on the MAIN stage with “You’re The Best!” This is not your average community talent show. This free event is outrageous, entertaining and full of mayhem sure to delight audiences of all ages! Expect the unexpected with acts including comedians, dance groups, magicians, animal acts, singers and more! Monthly winners will receive a $50 gift card and will have an opportunity to win $500 in the grand finale show at the end of the year. The competition is open to all levels of experience and ages. Come share your talent every fourth Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.! The next show is on March 26 and is free to attend.

Round out the month with SCENES, as the music series presents “Como el Aire An Evening of Flamenco” on Friday, March 27, at 8 p.m. Flamenco is a genre of Spanish music, song and dance from Andalusia, which is in southern Spain. Immerse yourself in Spanish culture by visiting an array of booths featuring Spanish arts, crafts, clothing and more. Thematic beverages will also be for sale at the bar. Enjoy a pre-show experience with the VIP Package! VIP tickets include Spanish tapas, a themed beverage, reserved seating and a chance to meet the performers.

The show will feature dancer Savannah Fuentes, Flamenco guitarist Carlos de Jacoba and musical artist Diego Amador Jr. on The MAIN stage. SCENES recognizes, celebrates and explores many diverse musical traditions that represent various cultures and music genres through the ages, as well as unique regions around the world. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $30 for the VIP Package. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Learn more about these events and purchase tickets to shows by visiting AtTheMain.org/tickets.

Wine of the Week – Rose All Day!

| Entertainment | February 27, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery
There is always something happening at the vineyard all year long. We just finished pruning the vines and now we are preparing to bottle our 2017 and 2018 vintages. Every year we have an event at the vineyard for guests to see the bottling process. This year it will take place on March 14 from 12pm-4pm. The price is $55 per person and will include lunch, a glass of wine, a tour of the bottling line and you get to take home wine that just was bottled. Plus, we will have live music from the band Sierra Highway.

We will be bottling several different wines this year – just to name a few of our estate wines, which are all from the 2017 harvest; Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Amber Chardonnay.

We have sourced our Grenache from a local vineyard from the High Desert in the Antelope Valley just 90 miles shy of downtown Los Angeles. We will be bottling a 2018 Grenache this year. It captures the essence of this unique varietal. Beginning with intense aromas of strawberries, raspberries and rose petals, these notes continue on the palate and are layered with sweet flavors of plums and strawberries. Rich tannins complement the lushness of the fruit, and the subtle oak notes add to the length of the finish. Enjoy this wine with roasted pork enchiladas with a guava garlic salsa, aged Gouda cheese or a dark chocolate bark with candied rose petals and raspberries.

Plus, we will have a 2018 Grenache Syrah blend for a delightful Rosé. Again, we sourced the Grenache from the same local vineyard for our 2017. The Grenache Syrah Rosé was fermented in French out for 14 months. This is a delicate, yet vivacious wine with aromas of raspberries and flavors of freshly picked strawberries and blueberries with a hint of mandarin. Its balanced acidity provides a delightful finish.

Enjoy this with a citrus side salad for brunch, with a tomato and goat cheese quiche or with mixed berry crepes. This fabulous Rosé is the perfect brunch wine. There are numerous things to pair with the spectacular blend — but then again, Rosé can be all day!

Visit www.reyeswinery.com for more information.

Live Music

| Entertainment | February 27, 2020

Live Music this week in SCV!

Feb 28, Fri

6:30–9p                Wolf Creek Brewery              Jackie Beckwith                        R&B, pop

7–9pm                       Rock Inn – Lake Hughes                       Nathan on piano                       Piano
7–10pm                Alchemy Valencia                   Wardencliff Jazz Quartet       Jazz
7–10pm                Hyatt Valencia lounge           Drew & Ket                                  Live music
8–10pm                Double Trouble Wines          Mike Fitzgerald trio                 Country-pop
8–10pm                Vincenzo’s Newhall               Open Mic Night                         Variety
8–11pm                The Local Pub & Grill              Nick Horn                                     R+B, pop, rk

8–11pm     Wine 661                                    Bill Cinque & friends                Classic rock

8–11:30                Vincent Hill Station         Fulcos Exp on the patio          Classic rock
9–12m                  Salt Creek Grille                       Galo Pacheco                             Acoustic CR
9–1am                  Doc’s Inn                                    Emerald City                                Rock classics

Feb 29, Sat
6–8pm                  Telco Brewery                         Fahr West Session                   Country, CR
6–10pm                Vincent Hill Station                 Al Bermudez                               Live music
7 – 9:30p              Pocock Brewing                                       Ian Ormiston                               Live music

7–10pm                Hyatt/Greater Pacific            Drew & Ket                                 Live music

7:30–10p                Vincenzo’s Newhall               Colt 45 band                                Country, CR
8–10pm                Double Trouble Wines          Sweetwater Gentlemen        Bluegrass
8–11pm                Wine 661                                    Eliot Walkhorn                            Flamenco
8–11pm                Marci’s Bar & Grill                   Barfly band                                  Rock
8–12m                  VFW 6885                                   Reverend G-Z                             Live music

9–12m                      Mabel’s Roadhouse               Cheap Thrills                               Rock
9–12m                  Rock Inn – Lake Hughes                       Boys Night Out                           CR blues ctry
9–12m                  Eighth and Rail                         Vinyl Gypsies                              Classic rock
9–12m                  Salt Creek Grille                                      Sean Wiggins duo                     Pop, CR, ctry
9–12m                  Alchemy Valencia                   Snareheads                                 Dance rock

Mar 1, Sun
10a-2p                  Saugus Swapmeet                  Old Dawgs, New Tricks           Live music
1–5pm                  Rock Inn – Lake Hughes                       Roby Duron + Walker Gibson CR, pop, bl
3–5pm                  Double Trouble Wines          David Marchant                        Acoustic
3–7pm                  Vincent Hill                                Moldy Marvin’s open mic      Various
5–9pm                  VFW 6885                                  Sue Rey & Runarounds           60’s rock

Mar 3, Tues
7–9pm                  Rock Inn – Lake Hughes                       Ginger’s love songs                  Acoustic
7–10pm                Bergie’s steakhouse              Deep Fried Daddys                   Blues, CR

Mar 4, Wed
6–8pm                  Alchemy Valencia                   Monaco’s happy hour             Piano
6–9pm                  Tomato Joes in CC                  Guitar James (Hackett)           Classic rock

Mar 5, Thur
6–9pm                  Tomato Joes in CC                  Daphne Winters                        Live music
6:30–9p                Brewery Draconum                Blue Motel Rm band                Classic rock
7–10pm                Bergie’s steakhouse              Dallas Hodge                               Blues mix

Mar 6, Fri
7–9pm                  Rock Inn – Lake Hughes                       Nathan on piano                       Piano
7–10pm                Hyatt Valencia lounge           Various artists                            Live music

8–11pm     The Local Pub & Grill              Nick Horn                                     R+B, pop, rk

8–11pm                Wine 661                                        Bill Cinque & friends                Classic rock

8–11:30                Vincent Hill Station                 Seventh Switch on patio               Classic rock
9–12m                  Salt Creek Grille                       Jay Bolan                                     Acoustic CR

Join Reyes Winery for Their Monthly Hike this Sunday

| Entertainment | February 20, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

For the first time, Reyes Winery will be hosting our monthly hike and brunch on a Sunday. This coming Sunday, February 23, we would love for you to join us on this wonderful excursion of the Sierra Pelona Vintners Mountains above Agua Dulce in Santa Clarita! Our guide will take you on a two-hour hike, and upon return you will enjoy a delightful brunch with our award-winning wines. Afterwards, you will be taken on a tour of the vineyard and barrel room before returning to the tasting room for a special tasting.

As I put together this week’s menu, knowing what amazing vegetables are in season, two things I have chosen are blood oranges and carrots. I’ve decided to put together a purple carrot and blood orange marmalade. Normally when I do anything with blood oranges I always incorporate our 2013 Quinn’s Zin, but this time I have chosen our 2017 Muscat. My recipe calls for a dash of orange blossom water and this wine pairs perfectly with that.

Carrot marmalade has been around since the 12th century in the Middle East. Most people would never think about putting carrots in marmalade; but they’re wonderful in cakes, quick breads and many other tasty treats. Purple carrots are known to have originated in the Middle East in the 14th century. Yes, carrots have been known to exist since 300 BCE. Purple is one of the exotic colors that we have not seen at the market until recently. I must say when I need to slice, grate or use these colorful carrots in any way, if I don’t wear gloves my hands turn purple. Originally, this was considered a natural dye for fabrics for the “royal” purple in clothing. In the 17th century, the Dutch created the orange carrot from the purple strain. An old-wives tale is that in one century, the Dutch made all other colors non-existent.

In the tasting room, Syrah will be featured this weekend to celebrate International Syrah Day which was February 16. For the hike, the second wine I am featuring is the 2015 Syrah. This is a great brunch wine, since our estate Syrah has delightful aromas of coffee, smoke and blackberries. It’s been aged in French oak for 18 months, which gives this wine a light toasty note. It is well-balanced with notes of black apricots for a velvety finish. It pairs well with short ribs braised in coffee, Ancho chile sauce, aged Gouda or tiramisu.

Tickets for the hike are available on our website at ReyesWinery.com/events. See you Sunday!

On the Town with Jason Downs

| Entertainment | February 20, 2020

By Jason Downs

Greetings fellow Santa Claritans and welcome to a column that’s all about having fun around town! We’re fortunate enough to live in one of the great entertainment meccas of the world. Join me as we celebrate all the area has to offer!

Here’s what I got up to this week: The Newhallywood Silent Film Fest at Hart Park and an afternoon with Douglas Fairbanks!

As you know, friends, I’m a sucker for history and nostalgia, especially as it pertains to my favorite of the arts — performance and filmmaking. These two crafts have collided right here in Newhall for a hundred years and to celebrate that fact the City of Santa Clarita, the William S. Hart Museum, and the SCV Historical Society put together a wonderful tribute this weekend.

Not only were silent films shown throughout (with live accompaniment), including Mary Pickford’s “Little Annie Rooney” and Douglas Fairbanks’ “The Mask of Zorro,” but costumes and artifacts from Pickford and Fairbanks films were on display, slapstick acting workshops were given, bus tours were offered, and even a special romantic Valentine’s Dinner with a screening of Fairbanks in “The Black Pirate.” (Incidentally, “The Black Pirate” one of the first films ever to appear in Technicolor, a company which Fairbanks is credited for saving by championing its technology.)

This was a wonderful event and I was thrilled to see so many folks enjoying the Newhallywood festival as much as I did. Attending a jam packed presentation about the life of Douglas Fairbanks led by Tracey Goessel, who recently released a highly researched and lovingly told biography on Fairbanks, was both enlightening and entertaining. It was a privilege to hear the author speak about ‘Doug’ and all she had learned writing her amazing account of the inimitable man’s life. By the end of her presentation the audience couldn’t help but join the Fairbanks fan club, myself included.

Her book is entitled “The First King of Hollywood” and I highly recommend it. I bought a copy and have been reading it all week. Mrs. Goessel’s prowess with a pen, engaging style and infectious admiration for her subject is perfectly suited for the spirit of Douglas Fairbanks who veritably leaps from her prolific pages with the boundless swashbuckling joy the man is so well known for.

This guy was amazing. He not only made some 200 films, but he also co-founded United Artists with wife, Mary Pickford (the biggest star on planet earth at the time), Charlie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith, but also co-founded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and served as its first president, which still brings us the Oscars every year to celebrate achievement in the film industry. Fairbanks served as the ceremony’s first host.

Interestingly, Fairbanks was the first celebrity to move to the wilds of Beverly Hills, at the time a barren wasteland. Soon, he and Mary Pickford’s home, affectionately known as Pickfair, became the hot spot for all of Hollywood royalty…and actual royalty from all over the world. And this was the magic of the silent film era; it truly was a universal language, and Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were the first king and queen to reign supreme the world over; internationally loved by everyone.

Understandable, watching Fairbanks bound about, doing incredible stunts with an infectious smile on his face. He was the original Superman, Spiderman, Robin Hood, Zorro, and Romeo all rolled into one, literally paving the way for all the action stars and superheroes to follow.

For anyone who hasn’t walked through William S. Hart’s incredible home, which has been maintained exactly as he left it when he died, you must make the trip. I see something new every time I go. At one point, I was standing in William S. Hart’s bedroom speaking with Mr. John Smith, docent and sage historian at the Hart Museum, and Tracey Goessel, the biographer I mentioned earlier, about the shared history of these two giants, Fairbanks and Hart, in the early industry. (William S. Hart was asked to be the fifth founder of United Artists but was given an offer by Paramount he couldn’t refuse.) The two were lamenting how a proper biography of Hart was yet to be written. My attempts to give birth to a partnership between Mr. Smith and Mrs. Goessel right then and there by saying, “Hey, you should team up and write it,” may or may not come to fruition but I do believe a proper biography on the original cowboy star will be the result of that meeting someday…from at least one of us!

Such a rich history in film here it makes me proud to live in Santa Clarita. And the Newhallywood Silent Film Festival only made me want to learn more. There’s still so much to explore. Case and point, I mentioned Charlie Chaplin earlier who was one of Douglas Fairbanks closest friends, well, both legendary artists saw the end of an era when Warner came out with “The Jazz Singer” and the advent of ‘talking pictures’ changed the industry (and the stars) forever. Santa Clarita was a part of that too. The last shot of the last successful silent film, “Modern Times,” which was produced, directed, written and starring Mr. Chaplin was filmed on Sierra Highway just outside of Newhall. Symbolic of all this area offered to the silent era and all it continues to offer in ‘modern times.’ I, for one, with the help of these great pioneers in film, will honor the passage of time and revel in the gift they’ve given us.

So, there it is for this week, friends. Always feel free to let me know what you like doing around town so I can check it out and write it up. (reachjasondowns@santaclaritagazette.com)

Until next time, bon voyage, break a leg, and bon appetit!

Live Music

| Entertainment | February 20, 2020

Feb 21, Fri

6–8pm Telco Brewery Wardencliff Jazz Quartet Jazz
7–9pm Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt/Greater Pacific Sean Wiggins & Colin Rk, ctry, bl
7–10pm Alchemy Valencia Monaco Live piano
8–10pm Double Trouble Wines Honeypig band Country-pop
8–10pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock
8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn Folk, alt, pop
8–12m Amer Legion Newhall Heavy Metal Night Hard rock
8–11:30 Vincent Hill Station Runaway Train on the patio Ctry rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Lance Allyn Acoustic CR

Feb 22, Sat
6–8pm Telco Brewery Max Esparza Live music
6–10pm Vincent Hill Station Siren Valley Acoustic
7 – 9:30p Pocock Brewing Kevin Brown Live music

7–10pm Hyatt/Greater Pacific John Pinto & Tewk Classic covers

7:30–10p Vincenzo’s Newhall Scout Live music
8–10pm Double Trouble Wines Blue Wails Classic rock
8–11pm Wine 661 Tommy Peacock Rock, funk
8–12m VFW 6885 No Chasers band Classic rock

9–12m Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Saloonatics Classic rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Lance Allyn Acoustic CR

Feb 23, Sun
3–5pm Double Trouble Wines Harry Orlove Jazz
3–7pm Vincent Hill Moldy Marvin’s open mic Various

5–9pm VFW 6885 L.A. Fender Benders Classic rock

5–9pm Amer Legion Newhall Steve Brittain’s CR Jam Classic rock
5:30–8p Vincenzo’s Newhall The Junk Show Variety

Feb 25, Tues
6:30–8:30 Alchemy Valencia Monaco Live piano
7–9pm Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Just One Guy Acoustic
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse Gary Swan, guest artist Blues mix

Feb 26, Wed
6–8pm Alchemy Valencia Monaco’s happy hour Piano
6–9pm Tomato Joes in CC Guitar Jack Classic rock

Feb 27, Thur
6–9pm Tomato Joes in CC Daphne Winters Live music
6:30–9p Brewery Draconum The Gamblers duo Acoustic
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse Gary Coppola & Time Mach Classic rock

Feb 28, Fri
7–9pm Alchemy Valencia Wardencliff Jazz Quartet Jazz
7–9pm Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt Valencia lounge Drew & Ket Live music
8–10pm Double Trouble Wines Mike Fitzgerald trio Country-pop
8–10pm Vincenzo’s Newhall Open Mic Night Variety
8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn R&B, pop, rk

8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock

8–11:30 Vincent Hill Station Fulcos Exp on the patio Classic rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Galo Pacheco Acoustic CR

Artist Suzi Kades is Blending Art with the Environment in Her New Solo Exhibit

| Entertainment | February 13, 2020

Be inspired by the unique creations of Suzi Kades in her solo show “pArts,” on display from February 12 to April 6, 2020, in the Town Center Art Space at the Westfield Valencia Town Center. With a passion for the environment and a creative mind, Kades upcycles random and odd materials to create little figures and scenes. Her belief that anything can be created from something is evident in her works. By showcasing her creative talents, she hopes to inspire all ages to recycle and repurpose old materials into a creative outlet.

The community is invited and welcome to attend the reception on Wednesday, February 12, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Westfield Valencia Town Center. Food, drinks, music and art will be provided. The Town Center Art Space is located at 24201 Valencia Boulevard. The business hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

For more information regarding the art exhibit, contact Katherine Nestved at knestved@santa-clarita.com or call (661) 250-3777. For details regarding other city art exhibits, visit SantaClaritaArts.com.

Celebrate Love at Reyes Winery

| Entertainment | February 13, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

February, to me, always means love and romance. This year is no different. I love watching all the romance movies on TV, and enjoying fabulous, decadent foods this time of year. I went to the farmer’s market yesterday and spoke to the farms that I always get my produce from for Valentine’s Day. I saw fabulous purple cauliflower and carrots, and so many other vegetables that inspired me. I placed my order and am eady to pick everything up fresh Friday morning! It is absolutely fabulous to be able to do that.

This Friday and Saturday, I am preparing my annual Valentine’s Day dinner. Either night you are welcome to join us at Reyes Winery. Come check into the tasting room between 5 and 6 PM and have a glass of wine with some assorted appetizers. At 6 o’clock everybody is invited into the barrel room for dinner. I plan to start everyone off with a mixed green salad that will have fresh strawberries, candied almonds slices and edible flowers. Then all the guests are welcome to a buffet dinner featuring award-winning wines and a wine infused dinner.

I am offering Atlantic salmon with a blood orange Zinfandel sauce, rainbow quinoa and rainbow carrots. It will be paired with our 2013 Quinn’s Zin. My second offering is leg of lamb raised with a rosemary blackberry Syrah sauce. It’s paired with truffle potatoes and purple cauliflower. This is to pair with our 2012 “double gold” Syrah. Then for dessert, I have two offerings depending on if you prefer vanilla or chocolate. I have a white chocolate cake with raspberry frosting and a white chocolate raspberry treat on top. For the chocolate, a dark chocolate cake with a caramel drizzle. Each of the desserts will pair with our Agua Dulce Delight and White Delight.

I hope to see you this weekend. You can make reservations on our website at reyeswinery.com/events. Since it is a holiday there are no walk-ins for dinner, but the tasting room doesn’t require reservations to come in and taste. Bring your someone special to the tasting room or for dinner!

On the Town with Jason Downs

| Entertainment | February 13, 2020

Greetings fellow Santa Claritans and welcome to a column that’s all about having fun around town! We’re fortunate enough to live in one of the great entertainment meccas of the world. Join me as we celebrate all the area has to offer!

Here’s what I got up to this week: An indie film fest at an old special effects shop in North Hollywood, and a musical version of Matilda (starring a remarkable young lady) at the Canyon Theatre Guild.

Ever wonder where movie magic happens? Visit the Makeup & Effects Lab in North Hollywood sometime. These are the guys that make prosthetic alien masks, intergalactic weapons for superheroes, and other essential props and makeup for films like Iron Man, Captain America, Star Trek and Batman. Well, an acquaintance of ours, AJ Apone (raised in Santa Clarita); his father owns and operates Makeup & Effects Lab, which was an amazing place to host a little film fest this past weekend. The work comprised of work AJ and his friends produced themselves…including another local filmmaker, Eric L. Thompson. Now, Eric we know very well. He’s part of our new extended family here on the west coast. My wife’s sister is married to his brother. Seems like a roundabout connection, but when we moved out to Valencia from New York six years ago Eric and his family welcomed us with open arms and that has made all the difference in our lives here. Anyway, his short film Stevie was the feature of the evening.

After sipping a few beverages under the gaping mouth of Jaws overhead, while life size versions of Clint Eastwood and Samuel L. Jackson looked on, we traveled deeper into the shop where a large screen was set up among the many familiar artifacts filling every available space. Most notably, a Bat Mobile. That’s right, a fully functioning Bat Mobile from the infamous 1960’s TV version starring Adam West. One word: Awesome.

After a brief intro the lights went out and the shorts began. Let me say without any bias, Eric’s movie was really good! The writing was tight, the directing was spot on, the actors were compelling, the editing was perfection, and it was beautifully shot. The action centered around two wannabe gangsters waiting for a mysterious man to show up so they can hand off a mysterious package. But what made this thing bubble to life was the full blown characters, uneasy banter, and rising tension. Stevie just couldn’t sit still or keep his mouth shut, driving his uneasy partner to the brink. The look and feel were very Tarantino-esque, right up to the satisfying and surprising climax.

We were so proud and happy for him. He did an excellent job! Not sure if it’s available to view online as of yet, but keep an ear out for this guy and his movie: Eric L. Thompson, hometown writer and director from Valencia, and his extremely well made movie, Stevie.

AJ Apone introducing Eric L. Thompson (center) at the premiere of Stevie.

Since moving to the Santa Clarita Valley, and being a lover of the stage, I’ve caught a few shows at the Canyon Theatre Guild… Matilda: The Musical (beautifully directed by John Lucewich and Jennifer Teague) is the best yet, due in large part to the young lady playing the lead role, Ms. Birdie West. After the first number in which the title character is introduced, my eleven year old son leaned over with wide eyes and said, “She’s good.”

He’s a man of few words, my boy, but he was right. For a ten year old, Ms. Birdie had a command of the stage, a simple and innate acting ability, and a natural presence one doesn’t often see at that age (and all with a spot on London accent, to boot). And that’s to say nothing of her beautiful singing voice. I spoke with TimBen Boydston, who’s been the Executive/Artistic Director of the theater for the past twenty years (the theater’s been a local treasure for 50 years!) and he agreed that a talent like Birdie West only walks through the door every once in a while.

The entire cast should be commended for giving a wonderful performance, especially Matilda’s counterpart, Miss Honey, played by Chelsea Henderson-Jones. The story, originally told by the inimitable Roald Dahl, is about a brilliant young girl, Matilda, who is unloved and unappreciated by her family until she goes to school at age five and meets Miss Honey who immediately recognizes her gifts. Together, the two look for their place in this crazy, unforgiving world. These ladies give a beautiful and heartfelt performance that will leave you teary-eyed. There are many laugh out loud moments, especially whenever Matilda’s mother’s dance instructor is on stage, Rudolpho (played with button bursting gusto by Cole Carter), and Matilda’s arch nemesis and school principal, Mrs. Trunchbull, who is played with delicious hilarity by Chris Loprete. The show goes on for another three weekends so get your tickets now…this one’s not to be missed!

Let me just take a moment to say what a wonderful and important thing is happening at the Canyon Theatre Guild. Whether you’re a fan of theater or not (and you should be), this organization is a beacon of light in our community. Their mission is to make the world a better place by entertaining, educating, and enriching the people of Santa Clarita through live theater and they are doing just that…and have been for 50 years. Establishments like this lift the spirit of the community whether you realize it or not, but again, I encourage you to get over there and see for yourself. They put up nine full-scale productions every year, plus one over at College of the Canyons…usually their headliner for the year…a big title like Frozen or Les Miserable. Over 30,000 folks in this area attend their performances each season and thousands of individuals and businesses support the non-profit with their donations (our local government among them). Not to mention the hundreds of artists and volunteers who show up year after year to create the wonderful shows we enjoy. And for good reason!

All of this is a testament to the quality and value the Canyon Theatre Guild brings to our town, and our lives, on a regular basis. What a gift. And so I urge you, friends, be a part of it. Whether it’s to enjoy Matilda or the upcoming Pride & Prejudice, or donate your talents for painting sets, auditioning for the next performance, or becoming a sponsor yourself, be a part of this very special family; something pure and tangible and invaluable is happening right here in our own backyard. I, for one, will start by saying a hearty ‘thank you’ to TimBen Boydston and everyone at the CTG, for doing your part to make this crazy, unforgiving world a better place.

Chelsea Henderson-Jones as Miss Honey (left) and Birdie West as Matilda (right).
photo by Jeff Barlow

So, there it is for this week, friends. Always feel free to let me know what you like doing around town so I can check it out and write it up. (reachjasondowns@santaclaritagazette.com)

Until next time, bon voyage, break a leg, and bon appetit!

Live Music This Week!

| Entertainment | February 13, 2020

Feb 14, Fri
6–8pm Double Trouble Wines Harry Orlove Jazzy
7–9pm Rock Inn Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt/Greater Pacific Dole – Humphries Rk, R&B, ctry
7–10pm Alchemy Valencia Dennis Atlas Rockin’ piano
8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock
8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn Folk, alt, pop
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Galo Pacheco Acoustic CR
9–1am Doc’s Inn Frankly Speaking Rock classics

Feb 15, Sat
6–10pm Vincent Hill Station Herbie Kao trio Jazz
6:30-9p Pocock Brewing Some Other Loco Bl, ctry, folk
7–10pm Hyatt/Greater Pacific Connor Cherland Indie-folk, soul

7:30–10p Vincenzo’s Newhall The Grateful Dudes Bluegrass
8–10pm Double Trouble Wines Gary Coppola & Time Mach Classic rock
8–11pm Wine 661 Sean Hughes Rock, pop
8–12m VFW 6885 Lee Harper band Country
9–12m Alchemy Valencia Barfly Rock
9–12m Doc’s Inn Peacock & the Feathers Rock, pop
9–12m Rock Inn Country Roads band Country
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Galo Pacheco Acoustic CR
9–12m Eighth and Rail Snareheads Dance rock

Feb 16, Sun
3–7pm Vincent Hill Moldy Marvin’s open mic Various

5–9pm VFW 6885 Pam Loe & Chad Watson Country
5–9pm Amer Legion Newhall Thom Teresi’s Jazz Jam Jazz Jam
6:30–8p Vincenzo’s Newhall Jet Jurgensmeyer & Nikki Hahn Live music

Feb 18, Tues
6–8pm Alchemy Valencia Monaco’s happy hour Piano
7–9pm Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Roby Duron Acoustic
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse Celso Salim & Danny Diaz Blues mix
Feb 19, Wed
6–9pm Tomato Joes in CC Guitar Jack Classic rock
7–9pm VFW 6885 Magnolia Drawl duo Country

Feb 20, Thur
6–9pm Tomato Joes in CC Daphne Winters Live music
6:30–9p Brewery Draconum Drop 3 band Jazz, funk
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse Bob Carilllo band Blues mix

Feb 21, Fri
7–9pm Alchemy Valencia Monaco’s happy hour Piano
7–9pm Rock Inn Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt Valencia lounge Sean Wiggins & Colin Rk, ctry, pop
8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn Folk, alt, pop

8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock

8–11:30 Vincent Hill Station Runaway Train on the patioClassic rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Lance Allyn Acoustic CR

Celebrate a Night of Rock and Roll Bring the Family to see Tommy C and the Black Widow Grease Band!

| Entertainment | February 13, 2020

Tommy C and the Black Widow Grease Band are set to rock Santa Clarita with their unique Detroit sound for a night of family-friendly music. On February 21st, the band will perform at the Newhall Family Theatre with special guest The School of Rock All Stars. Tickets are selling for only $10 with 10% of the proceeds benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project.

Frontman Tommy C is a Detroit native, where his decades of musical success were born. He has been influenced by various types of musical styles, from Motown to rock ‘n’ roll. During his extensive career, he served as the musical director for Chubby Checker and played on stage with a number of musical legends such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Conway Twitty, The Temptations and the Four Tops, just to name a few.
Having the pleasure of working with these legends has taught him how real rock ‘n’ roll should be performed and he now proudly calls his personal sound “a tribute to the greatest era of rock ‘n’ roll.”
Ready to start a new chapter in his life, and one which will allow him to be closer to his family, Tommy has decided to leave Detroit for Santa Clarita. With a new group of local talented Los Angeles musicians, who he describes as “highly adrenalized, high-octane rockers,” they are ready to take California by storm.
This all started with a new single, Believe What You Say, released on January 1st, a set of Southern California shows and an overall passionate enthusiasm to share their sound.

The band understands the importance of giving back, so they ultimately teamed up with the Newhall Family Theatre for an intimate night of music which they’ve dubbed as a “family affair.” Introducing his music to the town which he will now call home was very important to Tommy, as was helping out the Wounded Warrior Project, a foundation he holds near and dear to his heart.

The show starts at 7pm, and tickets can be purchased at EventBrite.com or by calling 310-579-9903. Kids under 12 and adults over 65 are invited to attend the show for free. The Newhall Family Theatre is located at 24607 Walnut Street.

Everyone is invited to experience the music of Tommy C and the Black Widow Grease Band, young and old!

For more information on Tommy C and the Black Widow Grease Band visit www.tommycbwgb.com.

Page 1 of 261 2 3 26

Doug’s Rant – Video Edition

  • WatchDoug’s Rant June 22
  • WatchDoug’s Rant June 15