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REEL LIFE / FILM & VIDEO FILE : Singer’s Fan Club on Hand for Local Show : Enge’s Entourage shows up for private taping of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Civic Arts performance, but the red hankie stays out of reach.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

After a stirring rendition of “Unchained Melody,” singer-sex symbol Engelbert Humperdinck closed his show last week in Thousand Oaks with a ritual his fans cherish.

The English singer typically uses a red handkerchief to mop his brow during the show and at the end of the performance he awards the soggy souvenir to a member of the audience. He dispensed several such trophies at a private concert taped at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza for later rebroadcast in syndication.

Patricia Brown of Santa Paula was at the show. She didn’t get one, but at a show two years ago in Las Vegas, one of the red hankies landed in her outstretched hand.

“It was definitely wet. Very wet,” said Brown of Santa Paula. “Of course I haven’t washed it.”

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Brown, 56, is president of Enge’s Entourage, a Humperdinck fan club. Brown said “Enge” is an affectionate nickname for Engelbert, who was actually given the name Arnold Dorsey when he was born in Leicester, England, 58 years ago. Engelbert Humperdinck is his stage name. The original owner of the whimsical and vaguely naughty sounding name was an obscure German composer, who died in 1921.

Brown’s club is one of 10 Southern California fan clubs devoted to the crooner who ruled pop during the ‘60s along with names such as Petula Clark and Tom Jones.

“He usually puts on a new show every year in January. This show was to promote his new album, “Love Unchained.” It goes back to some of the old romantic songs that he loves best,” Brown said.

Tonight, Enge is playing Las Vegas and it’s at that show where Brown will be. Maybe.

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“Tom Jones is in town at the same time,” she said. “It’s going to be a tossup.”

While federal representatives debate the merits of midnight basketball as a method to prevent youthful crime, a local youth program that relies on a video camera instead of a ball made it over the funding hurdle.

Barrio Productions, a project of the Oxnard Public Housing Authority, got approval to produce a series titled “Youth Forum” on Jones Intercable.

“We produced an anti-drug video last summer and got a really good response from people in the community,” said Luis Guereca, a radio, television and film major at Cal State Northridge who directs the project.

“So they’re funding us for this year. The parents liked it too because the kids were here eight hours a day during the summer learning how to take responsibility, learning to write and learning a skill,” he said.

The new group of participants, low-income, high-school age youths, will start work on the third installment of the half-hour “Youth Forum” show. It will feature an interview with Susan Carrasco from the Fox comedy show “Culture Clash” and Christina Solis from the feature film “Mi Vida Loca.” Both are from Oxnard.

“Youth Forum” airs biweekly on Channel 19. The time slot is yet to be determined.

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Pack your bags. The Oxnard Civic Auditorium’s adventure travel film series is headed for the East Indies.

“East Indies: Gift of the Sea” will be narrated by filmmaker Grant Foster, who visited the less frequented places among the 13,000 islands that comprise Indonesia. Foster uncovers the art, culture and rituals as well as the scenery of the world’s largest archipelago.

The show is Saturday at 2 p.m.


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