Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 6, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 11



 Mountain Views News Saturday, August 6, 2011 


Eight Sundays of Free Summer Concerts



The Disheartening 

Endless Summer 

Pasadena, CA (July 2011) – The Pasadena Playhouse 
District Association sizzles this summer 
with its 8th Annual Free Jazz Summer Concert 

 The concert series takes place every Sunday evening, 
July 10 through August 28, 2011 from 5 pm 
until 7 pm at the Vroman’s outdoor courtyard, 695 
E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. The 8th Annual Free 
Jazz Summer Concert Series is free and open to 
the public.The eight week series features an eclectic 
roster of up-and-coming and notable jazz performers 
such as the Jacques Lesure Group, Jamila 
Ford, Faro, and Latin Jazz Syndicate among other 
groups. From blues to Latin and smooth jazz, the 
free summer jazz concert series has something for 
all jazz lovers. 

 The full concert schedule listed below. In its 
eighth year the summer jazz concert series has 
provided the community with all-star jazz entertainment 
at no cost. 

 For additional information on the Seventh Annual 
Free Summer Jazz Concert series, contact the 
Playhouse District Association, 626.744.0340. 

 About the Playhouse District Association The 
Playhouse District Association (PDA) is a California 
non-profit formed in 1995, which serves 
to enhance and promote The Playhouse District 
as the historic, cultural, and thriving commercial 
heart of Pasadena. 2011 Summer Concert 

Schedule * 

July 31 – Joseph Pernicano 

August 7 – Latin Jazz Syndicate 

August 14 – Michael Haggins 

August 21 – Jacques Lesure Trio 

August 28 – Scott Martin Latin Jazz Soul 

* Performers are subject to change without notice. 

What do 
the movies 
Dark Side of the 
Moon”, “Green 
Lantern”, “Cars 
2”, “The Hangover 2”, “Bad Teacher”, “Pirates of 
the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”, “Cowboys & 
Aliens” and “The Smurfs” all have in common? 

Well, besides performing gangbusters at the 
box office, the aforementioned films were all 
panned by critics. “Cowboys and Aliens” and 
“Bad Teacher” currently hold scores of 44% on, making them the best 
reviewed of the bunch. Sad, isn’t it? Even ones 
that received generally favorable reviews such as 
“Thor”, “Super 8”, and “Horrible Bosses”, in my 
humble opinion, were flawed and offered very 
little emotionally. More or less, they were run of 
the mill and middle of the road affairs. Maybe 
I’ve become jaded at my age, but I’ve grown 
immensely tiresome of superhero movies (unless 
Chris Nolan is at the helm), comic book flicks 
and just simple dumb action films. Without a 
doubt, this has to be easily the most disappointing 
summer movie season in quite awhile. As far as 
I’m concerned, I’m not sure if any mainstream 
movie has really stood out. Of the eleven movies 
I mentioned, eight of them were either a sequel, 
based on a toy (and a sequel), based on Disney 
theme park ride (and a sequel), based on a comic 
book or based on a television show. “Super 8” 
was original, but borrowed heavily from earlier 
Spielberg films. I felt that it didn’t achieve the 
greatness it promised. “Horrible Bosses” and “Bad 
Teacher” were at the very least original comedies. 
However, “Horrible Bosses” was funny in parts, 
but the laughs were inconsistent and the story at 
times felt too formulaic. Personally, I can’t speak 
negative about “Bad Teacher” since I haven’t seen 
it. Nonetheless, it’s from the same guys who wrote 
the movie “Year One” a few years ago. That alone 
scared me off. At any rate, without the recent 
success of R-rated comedies, who knows if these 
two movies would have even seen the light of the 
day at all? 

 It shouldn’t go without mentioning that there 
have been a few movies this summer successful 
both critically and financially. I did not see 
“Kung Fu Panda 2”, but with a score of 82% on 
RT, it must be all right. Then again, was it just 
another unnecessary sequel? “Harry Potter 
and The Deathly Hallows Part 2” finished at an 
unprecedented 96% on RT. Not only was it the 
best-reviewed movie of the year, but the most 
successful financially too. The box office figures 
come at no surprise since this is the most successful 
film franchise ever. “Bridesmaids”, the female 
version of the “Hangover”, did way better than 
expected. It was surprisingly humorous at times 
despite dragging on just a bit toward the finish line. 
Now personally, my favorite mainstream summer 
movie was “X-Men: First Class”. The chemistry 
between James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender 
was unequivocally rock solid. Director Matthew 
Vaughn easily reinvigorated and brought new 
life to an arguably worn out franchise. After the 
let downs of “X-Men: Last Stand” and “X-Men 
Origins: Wolverine”, the X-Men series seems to be 
yet again looking promising. 

On the indie side of the spectrum, the true 
breakout movie is without doubt “Midnight in 
Paris”. It’s been deemed Woody Allen’s best film 
in years while both critics and audiences are fully 
embracing it. Sadly, I still haven’t seen it, but plan 
to. Besides “Midnight in Paris”, no other indie 
movie this summer has had the same magic. 
“Everything Must Go” (Will Ferrell), “Hesher” 
(with Joseph Gordon Levitt, Natalie Portman and 
Rainn Wilson) and “The Beaver” (Mel Gibson’s 
audacious return on screen) failed to make much 
of a dent at the box office. Reviews for all three 
were mixed to positive. However, “The Beaver” 
was overwhelmingly underrated. I wouldn’t be 
surprised if it caught some heat when it’s released 
on DVD/Blu-ray this month. Unfortunately, the 
little guys (the indies) received no love during a 
crowded, bloated, and oversaturated summer 
movie season.

So, what’s there to look forward to until the end 
of summer? Is there truly anything to anticipate? 
I remain cautiously optimistic, but I feel that the 
best days do lie ahead. These days just so happen 
to fall under the autumn movie season though. 
Anyway, as for the independent side of things, 
we’ve got “The Myth of The American Sleepover”, 
“Another Earth”, “Bellflower”, and the much 
buzzed about “Attack The Block”. Moving over 
to the mainstream side, will “The Change-Up” 
(writers of “The Hangover”) and “30 Minutes Or 
Less” (director of “Zombieland”) be able to stand 
out from the other recently successful R-rated 
comedies? Can “The Rise of the Planet of the 
Apes” turn out to be a worthy origins story? Will 
writer/producer/visionary Guillermo del Toro 
deliver the goods on the remake of “Don’t Be 
Afraid of the Dark”? We’ll also find out if “Fright 
Night” was a necessary remake too. Lastly, can 
“Our Idiot Brother”, another R-rated comedy with 
a little more drama than the other comedies be 
able to find love with critics and audiences? I hope 
the end of summer movie season will refurbish us 
with some refreshing sounds because the season 
thus far has been abundantly frustrating. 


Join the City of Sierra Madre this summer for 
the FREE Concerts in the Park Series which begin 
Sunday, July 10, 2011 and occurs every Sunday 
through August 28, 2011. 

The eight concerts are held from 6:00 pm and 
run through 8:00pm. All concerts will be held 
at the Memorial Park Bandshell, 222 W. Sierra 
Madre Blvd. next to City Hall. Seating is on the 
green so remember to bring blankets and lawn 
chairs. Alcohol is prohibited. 

Spectators are encouraged to support local organizations 
that may provide refreshments. For 
additional information please contact the Community 
& Personnel Services Department (626) 


July 10 – Yvonne Perea (folk and blues fusion), 
sponsored by the Spero Foundation selling dollar 
street tacos, cookies, drinks and homemade ice 
cream by Pepper Marie’s Ice Cream.

July 31 – Fairytales and Fantasy VI (musical), 
hosted by Southern California Lyric Theatre

August 7 – Ghost in the Machine (The Police 
and Sting Tribute Band), hosted by L.A. County 
Arts Commission

August 14 – Ray Bailey - Blues and Jazz sponsored 
by Kiwanis and Friends of the Library

August 21 – Danny Dean and the Rockabilly 
Lovers (50’s Rock) sponsored by the Senior Community 
Commission selling desserts

August 28 – The Silver Beatles (Beatles Tribute 
Band) hosted by the Community and Personnel 
Services Department.

Friday Night Live Returns to Sierra Madre

Beginning Friday, July 29th, downtown 
Sierra Madre will again be the site of live 
music in Kersting Court, as well as shoppers’ 
incentives for those in the neighborhood. And 
there’s a new twist this year: theme nights.
Opening week features the music of Ron 
Ellington Shy and Son, sponsored by Bean 
Town Coffee House. An outstanding singer, 
keyboardist, sax player, trombonist, drummer 
and dancer, Ron puts it all together in a 
dynamic style of non-stop music that fits all 
generations with variety, class, and energy.
The theme for the evening is “Outrageous Ties” 
and shoppers are encouraged to wear their most 
outrageous neckwear. During the course of the 
evening, one lucky tie wearer will be selected as 
the winner, and will receive a $25 gift certificate 
to Butterfly Effect Day Spa and a Sierra Madre 
t-shirt. Other themes will include Mad Hatter 
night, Hawaiian night, Groucho night and more.
In addition, anyone who spends $35 in a retail 
store or $50 in a restaurant during Friday Night 
Live hours (6:30 to 9pm) is invited to bring 
their receipt to the Chamber booth in Kersting 
Court. They will be entered in a drawing to 
take place the final week of Friday Night Live. 
Shoppers are eligible every time that they spend 
$35/retail or $50/restaurant – the more times 
they spend $35/$50 the greater their chances of 
winning. On the final Friday, August 26th, two 
lucky shoppers will have their names drawn to 
win a shopping/dining spree at Sierra Madre 
businesses that has an estimated value of $500!
Friday Night Live will take place in Kersting 
Court in Sierra Madre from 6:30 to 9pm on 
Fridays from July 29th to Aug. 26th. 

For more information, including an 
entertainment lineup, list of themes, and a list 
of businesses participating in the shopping spree 
giveaway, visit or 
call the Chamber at (626) 355-5111.

The Book Report

By Jeff Brown

CLEOPATRA: A LIFE by Stacy Schiff 

The Pulitzer Prize winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in 
the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. Her palace shimmered 
with onyx, garnets, and gold, but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. 
Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator. 
Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the 
ancient world. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal 
civil war against the first when both were teenagers. She poisoned the second. . 
Cleopatra appears to have had sex with only two men. They happen, however, to 
have been Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, among the most prominent Romans 
of the day. Both were married to other women. Cleopatra had a child with Caesar 
and, after his murder, three more with his protégé. Already she was the wealthiest 
ruler in the Mediterranean; the relationship with Antony confirmed her status as 
the most influential woman of the age. The two would together attempt to forge a 
new empire, in an alliance that spelled their ends. Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff 
‘s is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life.

AND WHY WE MUST by Robert Zubrin 

Since the beginning of human history, Mars has been an alluring dream, the 
stuff of legends, gods, and mystery. The planet most like ours, it has still been 
thought impossible to reach, let alone explore and inhabit. That changed when 
space authority Zubrin crafted a daring new blueprint. When published in 1996, 
The Case for Mars became an instant classic, lauded widely for its game changing 
perspective by those who would see the American space program rise to the 
challenge of Mars. Now, Zubrin brings readers up to date in this revised and 
updated edition filled with spectacular illustrations, extraordinary photographs, 
and one of a kind anecdotes. Unlike the dead world of the Moon, the Martian 
landscape is filled with possibility, but humans must be able to survive there. 
Zubrin calls for a ‘travel light and live off the land’ approach to Martian settlement. 
He explains how scientists can use present day technology to send humans to Mars; produce fuel and 
oxygen on the planet’s surface with its own natural resources; build bases and settlements; and one day 
terraform the atmosphere to pave the way for sustainable life. Zubrin lays out a comprehensive plan to 
build life on a new world. 

Upcoming Community Events 

at Santa Anita Park ~

Foothill Unity Center “Back to School Fair”

Thursday, August 13, 2011

Santa Anita Park

(626) 358-3486

Greek Festival

September 16, 17, and 18

Paddock Gardens at Santa Anita Park

(626) 449-6943


International Special Events Society

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Paddock Gardens at Santa Anita Park

(626) 574-7223

Multi Chamber Social Media Seminar 
presented by HUTdogs

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chandelier Room at Santa Anita Park

(310) 821-1936

Arcadia High School Reunions

Class of 61, 66, 71, 81, 91

October, 2011

Chandelier Room at Santa Anita Park

(909) 374-4835

Monrovia High School Alumni All Class “Day at 
the Races”

Sunday, October 30, 2011 

Infield at Santa Anita

For more information call (626) 574-6474

Due to the high demand for her tutoring and education services, bookstore 
owner, Sally Morrison, is opening a new learning center here in Sierra Madre. 
Mindspring Education Center will cater to students (children and adults) 
interested in furthering their reading, writing, math, spelling, and 
comprehension skills. In addition, Sally offers assistance in study skills, 
homework, and test preparation. She also specializes in helping students 
with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. Those interested in summer 
sessions should contact Mindspring soon because space is limited.
As a result of this business expansion, Sally Morrison and Jeffrey Ingwalson, 
owners of Sierra Madre Books, will be closing the bookstore in June 2011. 
“We appreciate all the support we’ve received from our customers over the 
past few years, but are excited about our new venture. We look forward to 
continuing to be part of this community.”
For questions about Mindspring Education Center, please call (626) 355-1972.
For questions about Sierra Madre Books, please call (626) 836-3200.
The Opening of...
Mindspring Education CenterOne-to-One Instruction for All Ages37 Auburn Ave., Suite 7ASierra Madre, CA 91024(626)
YoGamaDreNew students only.
Limited time offer.
Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: