How are you dealing with month number two?
Comfortable writing 2012 yet? I think I finally am. Since I spoke to
you last there were a number of comedy shows, a concert and a play.
A couple of the comedy shows were at San
Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in Highland California (as was the
concert for that matter).
Cedric the Entertainer has long been making a
name for himself on both the large and small screen. With a regular
role in Steve Harvey's television show and appearances on HBO and
BET, he is no stranger to the small screen. On the big screen are
both "Barbershop" movies, "Big Momma's House," "The Original Kings
Of Comedy," "Madagascar" and "Be Cool" so his big screen credentials
are pretty good too. In addition he is a best-selling author. What
initially brought him all this attention are his skills as a standup
comedian. Cedric recently demonstrated those skills at a return
visit to San Manuel.
Cedric opened his show by asking, "Where is
this place?" Talked about how Highland seemed to be in the middle of
nowhere, although he did acknowledge the commercial spot he filmed
for San Manuel.
did not shy away from politics. He said he tried to go as Herman
Cain for Halloween, but 14 girls said he tried to touch them. Last
year he claimed he went as a foreclosure sign. He also talked about
the Occupy Movement claiming that it was catching on: "One guy still
hasn't left my house."
Cedric also discussed how addicting gambling
was. While claiming that he was not much of a gambler himself he
noted: "I was at one casino and saw a guy at the craps table in a
hospital bed." He then mimed how that would look like to the
Cedric told the crowd that he had no problems
with same sex marriages, just same sex weddings: "I am not going to
be a bridesmaid." He also discussed how some men try to stay in the
closet but have a hard time when Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put A
Ring On It)" comes on. He then actually did Beyonce's moves from the
Cedric feels that people from the South tend
to talk too fast. He gave one example where he thought someone had
given his name as "tombiicous" when he had actually said "Try my
He discussed Arnold Schwarzenegger's child
with the maid and how they should have recognized the kid was
Arnold's by how strong he was: "Don't worry mom, I'll carry the car
seat into the house."
There were also a bit on Waka Flocka and how
you can never understand his raps and another bit on Kanye West and
how it is difficult to follow his train of thought as well.
Opening the show and acting as master of
ceremony was comedian Malik. The first thing he said that he had
never heard of Highland, California until the day of the show.
As he looked at some of the couples in the
audience he noted, "Looks like some of you lied on the (dating
site). In further discussing relationships he said, "I don't like
independent women, they talk back. I don't need that." He also told
the crowd that he planned on talking to his daughter about men: "I
don't want my daughter to get tricked like her mother did!"
The other comedian on the bill was JJ. One of
the first things he did was to ask for the spotlight to be turned
down some: "I feel like I got pulled over."
He discussed relationships and family: "I
have been married for five years. We've been dating since 1988. I
wasn't in any hurry!" He did a bit on having children and that he
was "done," on his daughter and being a grandfather and how much he
enjoys being a grandfather.
Cedric the Entertainer and company did a fine
job of keeping the crowd at San Manuel very entertained.
Mike Epps has been part of Def Comedy Jam and
in such movies as "Next Friday" and "All About The Benjamins" He has
been performing professionally as a comedian since about 1989. He
currently is on a stand-up comedy tour entitled "I'm Still
Standing." He recently brought that tour to San Manuel.
Like most comedy shows, there were a number
of supporting comedians. The show was advertised as having Nick
Cannon hosting, but evidently due to Cannon's recent medical issues
that job was handed over to Chris Spencer.
Spencer discussed the differences between
black, Asian and Latino women. He mentioned that he was married to
a Latina and that she did not get African American culture. He also
noted that she wanted an expensive purse. "You need to get a purse
equal to the amount of money in the purse." He later had married
people clap. "Don't act like you're happy!"
The first act Spencer introduced was Uncle
Bubba, who did a bit about being a gangster, that his mother was a
gangster and on dating.
Gary "G Thang" Johnson followed Uncle Bubba.
Johnson portrayed Jermaine Dye in the movie "Money Ball." He told
the crowd that he does not like to bundle his services: "I ain't
having everything turned off at once."
He encouraged people to get out and vote. He
noted that President Obama is laughing because he feels like he is
running against the Kardashians.
Scruncho was next. He really liked his own
jokes as he would often run around the stage laughing hitting
himself in the leg with the microphone. He acknowledged that his
celebrity status was not that high as he knew he was not an A list
celebrity: "I know I'm a J or a K." He talked about being proud of
how smart his daughter is and described how she won a spelling bee.
However, when he showed up to the awards ceremony wearing a new suit
she started crying. When he asked her what's wrong she asked, "Are
you going to court daddy?"
Now it was time for Mike Epps. He discussed
what he thought phony women were like: "You got a lot of Charley
Pride but no Johnny Cash" and "This lady's been under construction
longer than the 405."
On tennis star Serena Williams he noted,
"Serena looks like Lebron James with a wig on."
near capacity crowd appeared to enjoy all the comedians.
The concert was by a reunited New Edition.
Back in the early '80s, New Edition hit the charts as young teens.
They wanted to be the next Temptations and backed that up with
smooth harmonies and choreography. After a few years the anonymity
of being part of a group became too much and the group split up as
members started down different paths. Bobby Brown had a successful
solo career and a well-publicized marriage to Whitney Houston, while
Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie Devoe formed the Rap trio
Bell, Biv, Devoe. The other two members also had solo careers.
Since 2005 talk of their reuniting has been
floating around. In 2011, they actually went on tour with all six of
the members together. On December 29th the group started to help San
Manuel bring in the New Year by performing one of their concerts
from their 30th Anniversary Tour in the Yuhaviatam room in the
Before the group came out there were six
stools placed in front of the curtain. Suddenly the stools started
to disappear behind the curtain, the lights dimmed and New Edition
took the stage in shiny gold suits. The crowd was immediately on
their feet and cheering.
When the group came out they went into the
choreography that they had been doing since they were young teens.
Some of the songs they performed included "Kinda Girls We Like,"
"Drive Me Crazy," "N.E. Heartbreak," "Jealous Girl," "Is This The
End," "Pop Corn Love," "Candy Girl," "Cool It Girl," "Count Me Out"
and "My,My,My" just to name a few.
They did some rap, as well as the smooth soul
they are known for. They also encouraged the crowd to scream and put
their hands in the air, which got an immediate response every time.
There were so many people dancing to the music the floor was
At one point each member of the group stepped
forward to introduce themselves. When Johnny Gill stepped forward,
he told the crowd that they were going to perform "every song we
know!" They also joked around with each other and the audience. For
example, when trying to get the audience to scream louder Brown
said, "You know I'm deaf in my left eye!" There was also an
interchange between one of the group members and Brown about when he
left the group. He said he was thrown out and they said he quit.
Brown also made sure to point out that he was the youngest member of
the group: "They're all 43, I won't be 43 until February."
New Edition was a big hit all over again!
Upcoming shows include King of the Cage
February 2nd, San Manuel Comedy Jam the 16th, and Alejandra Guzmān
the 23rd. Call the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino box office at
888-777-7401 Ext. 2832 or go to the web site at www.sanmanuel.com
for more information.
The other comedy show we saw was at the
Ontario Improv. Kelly Mauricio is a vice principal with an
interesting sideline. She puts together comedy shows to raise money
for breast cancer treatment and awareness. She has been doing so for
the last four years and brings together a number of female comedians
to share their experiences as women in a humorous way.
We caught the show on December 14th at the
Ontario Improv and found much to laugh at.
the show was a band called Cougrzz Rock. This quartet of female
musicians ran through a set of classic rock that included songs by
Melissa Etheridge, Pat Benetar and Blondie, but did not leave out
the boys, as Bob Seger and other male artists were also represented.
They were an excellent group to warm up the
crowd. One table of women (some of whom turned out to be breast
cancer survivors) kept getting up and dancing and giving each other
lap dances, much to the surprise and delight of the audience around
Kelly then took the stage and explained that
she originally was going to have this show be the last in the series
but has decided to do at least one more. While on stage Mauricio had
her Zumba teacher come onstage and give a demonstration with her
attempting to follow along.
Kelly then introduced the host of the show
Cher (no not that one). Cher would provide her own funny comments as
she brought one comic after another up on stage. After one comic in
her 30s talked about feeling old and what happens to her when she
expels gas Cher, who is past her thirties guessing from her response
to the routine noted, "When I (expel gas) I pee, that's why I wear a
dress on stage."
There were seven comics that night who,
except for one comic from Connecticut, were quite entertaining.
One of our favorites was septuagenarian Edna
Tagnani. Tagnani told of an incident where she was at the beach and
got knocked over by a big wave: "My (swimsuit) top was down at my
navel, two more inches and you would have seen my tits!" She also
discussed her marriage and some of the demands her husband made:
"When we got married he told me that he wanted sex every night! I
said fine, I'll take Friday!"
Gayla Johnson also talked about her marriage
and claimed that the reason it worked is that they live in a duplex
with she and her husband having separate residences with and an
adjoining door. The door has a doggy door which confuses their dog.
When he has to go out he goes through the door and finds himself in
The show was very entertaining and has us
looking forward to her next show.
The current production at the Candlelight
Pavilion Dinner Theater in Claremont, CA is "Fiddler On The Roof."
This is the third time this show has been presented at Candlelight
Pavilion and the first time in over ten years it has been produced
in this area.
"Fiddler On The Roof" is based on "Tevye and
his Daughters" (or "Tevye the Milkman and Other Tales") by Sholem
Aleichem. The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters,
and his attempts to maintain his family and Jewish religious
traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives. He
must cope with both the strong-willed actions of his three older
daughters-- each one's choice of husband moves further away from the
customs of his faith-and with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the
Jews from their village.
The musical's title stems from the painting
"The Fiddler" by Marc Chagall, one of many surreal paintings he
created of Eastern European Jewish life, often including a fiddler.
The fiddler is a metaphor for survival, through tradition and
joyfulness, in a life of uncertainty and imbalance.
The original Broadway production of the show,
which opened in 1964, had the first musical theatre run in history
to surpass 3,000 performances. "Fiddler" held the record for the
longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years. It was
nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning nine, including Best Musical,
score, book, direction and choreography. It spawned four Broadway
revivals and a successful 1971 film adaptation.
Even though "Fiddler On The Roof" is based on
Russia at the turn of the 20th century, some of the life lessons
portrayed resonate with 21st century life as well. As Tevye deals
with changes in his world we are reminded how quickly our world
as Tevye is Randy Hilton. We were not always sure of his Yiddish
accent but otherwise his acting and singing was very impressive.
Jenny Wentworth is Golde, Tevye's long
suffering wife. One truly felt the weary resignation of being
married in that time period thanks to her performance.
The ensemble cast performs extremely well
together and the presentation of the bottle dance is very well done.
This was one of the best productions of "Fiddler On The Roof" we
"Fiddler On The Roof" runs through February
26th. The price of admission includes salad, warm rolls, entrée, the
show and sales tax. Appetizers, beverages, desserts and gratuities
are extra. Ticket prices range from $48-$68 while admission for
children runs between $25-$30. Call 909-626-1254 for ticket
information or go to the web site at www.candlelightpavilion.com.
Now it is time for the big announcement I
mentioned last month. This will be the last B Notes, as I am
retiring from the entertainment writing field.
Back in 1979 in Chicago I was reviewing
records for a monthly paper called the Metro Entertainment Calendar.
Staff meetings were held on Monday nights.
One Monday, (February 12, 1979) there was a
lady there with curly black hair and the most amazing eyes I had
ever seen. Readers of B Notes would come to know her as Rose
Botkin-Beuck. We became partners in entertainment writing and in
life until her untimely death in 2010.
When we moved to Southern California we
started writing for a magazine called Night Moves. This is where B
Notes was born and where we met Michelle Mills, now editor of
I have found that without her by my side
entertainment writing is not near as rewarding and is a lot more
Consequently, after 33 years I am hanging up
my word processor and putting Rose's camera away.
We both appreciated the audience we had and
appreciate the venues that were so gracious to us.
Life is very short my friends and sometimes
we do not have as much time as we think or deserve. So make sure to
tell the people you care about how much you care. Take no one or
nothing for granted.
Rose and I both wish good health and
happiness to all our readers. Take care.