If you see him walking down the street, he’s just Ron McNeil. But
when he steps onto the stage, McNeil becomes one of The Fab Four --
He and his three fellow musicians will be playing the music of the
Beatles, everything from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to songs from the
legendary group’s self-titled “white album,” Sunday at the Starlight
Unlike other Beatles tribute groups, they strive for authenticity.
They really play their instruments and recreate the songs as they
were originally arranged, without tapes or backing tracks, McNeil
said. Taking it to the extreme, Ardy Sarraf, who plays Paul
McCartney, relearned to play the bass guitar left-handed for his
The group will expand its repertoire when it performs with a
65-piece orchestra in a gala concert marking the 40th anniversary of
when the Beatles first came to the United States to appear on “The Ed
Sullivan Show” on Feb. 9, 1964. The concert will be in February at
the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
“We’re the only four-piece [Beatles tribute band] that does it all
live,” he said. “Songs like ‘Eleanor Rigby’ has cellos, violins and
So, having the orchestra will allow the group to play selections
they can’t do with just four members.
Of all the music, McNeil’s favorite song to perform is “Imagine.”
Even though Lennon did the song after he went on to a solo career,
McNeil said the four members sing it together.
“You can go and see Paul but you don’t get John and George songs,
and people miss the Beatles. They miss the four guys,” he said.
This is The Fab Four’s third Starlight Bowl appearance. Each year,
McNeil is amazed at the number of youngsters at the show.
“People who grew up with the Beatles come to the show and bring
their kids and sometimes their kids,” he said.
The audience ranges in age from 8 to 80.
“It’s a family-oriented show,” he added. “You can bring your
grandmother and she is still going to enjoy it.”
McNeil and Sarraf, along with Rolo Sandoval (Ringo) and Michael
Amador (George), have been a group for six years. But McNeil was
performing as Lennon four years before he joined The Fab Four.
Growing up in Southern California, he was a big fan of the Beatles,
and he likes to imitate people.
“I do resemble John a lot,” he said. “The stage makeup and acting
helps in our ability to portray the guys we’re playing on stage.”
While they are celebrities on stage, he said, off stage they can
go about their lives without being disturbed by fans.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” he said, “We look at it as a role,
and when not, we’re us.”
Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking, and the concert begins at
6:30. Tickets at the gate are $7, $4 for seniors 60 and older, $4 for
children 3 to 12 and free for children 2 and under. Parking is $5.
The Starlight Bowl is at 1249 Lockheed View Drive in Burbank. For
more information, call 525-3721 or check the Web site
PORTRAIT ARTIST SHOWING AT LIBRARY
Like the collages she creates, Mary Heussenstamm is piecing her
life back together as she struggles with Parkinson’s disease.
What keeps the La Crescenta artist going is her very attentive
husband, George, and her art of collage.
“After I was diagnosed, the onset of the disease was very fast,”
she said. “I was really devastated.”
Creating collages has been her salvation, she said, because the
Parkinson’s has caused an interior tremor in her body, which prevents
her from painting, a pastime she had longed to do her whole life.
Even eating is a challenge.
She had been painting almost every day for 12 years. At 59, she
said, she quit her job as a registered nurse for the terminally ill
so she could paint full time.
A retrospective exhibit of all her work is on display at the La
Canada Library. The exhibit includes her papier-mache masks and
watercolor still-lifes and portraits.
She painted people on the streets of the local community as well
as in Los Angeles, paying them $10 per 25-minute sitting. She painted
all ages, starting at age 4 or 5, and ethnicities. She liked the
challenge of capturing people’s expressions.
“The face doesn’t communicate, but the expression on the face
does,” she said. “The slightest raise of an eyebrow will communicate
an attitude to the viewer.”
She found it interesting how her models would react while they
were being painted, she said.
“People who are not used to the limelight, once others were
watching them being painted, it would heighten their personality.
They are not slouching and there is ego involved. Those are real neat
things. They have more adrenaline running through their body, and
it’s stimulating for the model and comes across in the portrait.”
And that invigorates the artist, she added, seeing the change in
In her collages, she strives to create good color, shape and form.
She said she sees things differently than most people do. Even a
simple flashlight sitting on a table has a rhythm and movement in its
“I find a lot of appreciation and happiness looking at different
forms of common objects and interpreting it,” she said.
Her exhibit continues through Thursday at the La Canada Library,
4545 Oakwood Ave., La Canada Flintridge. For more information, call
FILM SOCIETY SHOWS “WEST SIDE STORY’
The Alex Film Society completes its season at 2 and 8 p.m. today
with screenings of the Academy Award-winning musical “West Side
Story” (1961) at The Alex Theatre in Glendale. Actors from the film,
George Chakiris and Robert Banas, will attend the 8 p.m. screening.
This is a new 35mm restoration print with DTS digital sound,
The film stars Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, Chakiris and Russ
Tamblyn in the retelling of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” set in
postwar New York City. The film’s success is the result of the
combined talent of Jerome Robbins’ choreography and Robert Wise’s
Each screening will include the animation classic “Music Land”
(1935), from Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies series.
Tickets are $8.50 and $7 for the matinee. They can be purchased by
phone at 243-2539, online at www.alexfilmsociety.org, or at The Alex
Theatre Box Office, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale.
DESCANSO FEATURES ZYDECO MUSIC
Cajun music will be performed by Bonne Musique Zydeco at Descanso
Gardens at 2 p.m. Sunday. This is the last of six “Music of America”
summer concerts at the gardens and is free with gardens admission.
Descanso Gardens is at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge.
The gardens are open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Parking is free.
Admission fees are $6; $4 for seniors and students; $1.50 for
children 5 to 12, and free for members and children 5 and younger.
For information, call 949-4200.
BIG BAND MUSIC CONTINUES AT MOOSE LODGE
The Bobby Perino Orchestra is continuing its series “Big Band
Dancing at the Moose” from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Moose Lodge,
357 Arden Ave.
Guests can exhibit their ballroom- and swing-dancing skills to an
orchestra playing the standards from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.
Dance styles are East and West Coast swing, waltzes, foxtrots and
mixers. Latin dance styles include cha-cha, rumbas, mambos and
Admission is $6. For information, call 240-1505.
ACTION/REACTION THEATER RETURNS TO BRAND PARK
As part of its third annual summer season, the Action/Reaction
Theater Company presents Paul Osborn’s romantic comedy “The Vinegar
Tree” at 7:30 tonight in Brand Park in Glendale.
The show continues at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 1 and 2.
Admission is free; however, due to budgetary constraints, a $10
donation would be gratefully received.
Michael Holmes directs the Equity production, with musical
direction by Ghadi Shayban, choreography by Alex Pevic and costumes
by Don Nelson. The show features Diana Angelina, Walter Beery, Kelly
Franett, Joseph M. Hoffman, Ashling Pearson, Kathy Pearson and Thomas
Sullivan."The Vinegar Tree” is a comedy for all ages, focusing on
love in all its incarnations: young love, old love, new love and true
love. Osborn is perhaps best known for his play “Mornings at Seven.”
Brand Park is at 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale. Productions are
staged in front of the historic Doctors’ House Museum. Guests are
welcome to bring picnics and refreshments. For preferred seating and
more information, call 786-1045.
OPEN HOUSE AT CASA ADOBE DE SAN RAFAEL
Members of Glendale Beautiful are sponsoring an open house with
free tours from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Casa Adobe de San Rafael, 1330
Dorothy Drive, Glendale.
Glendale Beautiful members maintain the state historic landmark,
which was built in 1870 for Tomas Sanchez, the first sheriff of L.A.
County. The adobe contains period furnishings and historic artifacts
For more information, call 246-3634.
‘TONS OF MONEY’ AT CENTRE THEATRE
Alan Ayckbourn’s “Tons of Money” continues at Glendale Centre
Theatre. It is directed by Burbank resident George Strattan.
Tickets range from $14 to $17. For reservations, call 244-8481.
Glendale Centre Theatre is at 324 N. Orange St., Glendale.
AGA-BOOM PROMOTING LAUGHS AT FALCON
The Falcon Theatre kicks off its new annual Falcon Family Summer
Theatre series with the comedy “AGA-BOOM.”
From the veteran clowns of Cirque du Soleil’s record-breaking
shows, “O” and “Alegria,” “AGA-BOOM” is a unique theatrical event for
the family. Rooted in the universal style and language of clowning,
“AGA-BOOM” cuts through the barriers of language and culture with the
art of slapstick, the humor of physical comedy and the excitement of
Performances are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 4 to 7
p.m. Sundays through Aug. 24. Tickets are from $15 to $25. The Falcon
is at 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. For reservations, call 955-8101.
‘HOSTAGE’ ENDS RUN AT ALLIANCE THEATRE
The Alliance Repertory Company ends its run of “The Hostage” at
the Alliance Theatre in Burbank.
It is written by Brendan Behan, directed by Stephanie Shroyer and
stars Morlan Higgins.
A handsome British soldier is captured by the IRA in exchange for
the release of another IRA soldier condemned to be hanged the next
morning. He is taken to a rowdy house of ill repute and is introduced
to song, drink, dance and love by this hilarious group of bawdy
boarders. But it’s only a matter of time before the world outside
catches up with the life inside.
Performances are at 8 p.m. tonight and 7 p.m. Sunday. Ticket
prices are $20. For reservations, call (800) 595-4849. The Alliance
Theatre is at 3204 W. Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank.
‘RAPUNZEL’ CONTINUES AT THE FALCON THEATRE
“Rapunzel,” written by Lori Marshall and directed by Joseph Leo
Bwarie, is continuing at The Falcon Theatre in Burbank.
Based on the classic fairy tale of love and deception by the
Brothers Grimm, Rapunzel and friends look high and low for happiness
in a magical forest, only to find that it was right in front of them
Performances are 1 and 3 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays through
Sept. 7. Tickets are $10. The Falcon is at 4252 Riverside Drive,
Burbank. For reservations, call 955-8101.
PENELOPE’S CAFE DISPLAYS ART
Penelope’s Cafe Books and Gallery is showing Jim Jordan’s
landscape photography and George Cook’s nature photography until
Penelope’s Cafe is at 1029 Foothill Blvd. La Canada Flintridge.
For information, call 790-4386.
SETSU DISPLAYS ‘PORTRAITS AND PANORAMAS’
The Art of Japanese-American artist Setsu is featured at The
Forest Lawn Museum in Forest Lawn, Glendale through Aug. 3.
“The Art of Setsu Portraits and Panoramas” represents the journey
one has on the path of life as well as experiences that touch the
lives of Angelenos each in a unique and personal way. Setsu
specializes in portraits capturing the story her subjects have to
tell and reflecting on her experiences as a Japanese-American
citizen. All of her paintings bring together the influence she has
felt, from her background to the painting styles of Van Gogh and
The exhibit hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Aug. 3.
Forest Lawn Museum is at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, 1712 S.
Glendale Ave. Admission is free. For more information, call (800)
204-3131, ext. 4545.
ARTISTS SHOW AT DESCANSO
Nature, seen through the eyes and in the works of four artists,
will adorn the walls of the Boddy House Gallery at Descanso Gardens
in La Canada Flintridge through Thursday.
John Drake exhibits a collection of one-of-a-kind ceramics and
Chris Hogan shows gourds decorated with all-natural materials and
designs reflective of pre-pottery vessels used for centuries for
utility and ceremony.
Kendra Page, named 2002 Artist of the Year by the Verdugo Hills
Art Assn., will exhibit oil paintings of the California landscape.
Patricia A. Wiley displays still life and florals in vibrant hues
The Boddy House Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and
accessible by foot path or, in the afternoons, by tram. Admission is
free with admission to the Gardens.
Descanso Gardens is at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Parking is free. Admission fees
are $5 for adults; $3 for seniors and students; $1 for children 5 to
12, and free for members and children 5 and younger. For more
information, call 949-4200.
POTTERY ARTIST SHOWS AT ARTS CENTER
“Then & Now,” an exhibit of works by award-winning ceramicist
Ricky Maldonado, are on display until Thursday at the Creative Arts
Center Gallery in Burbank.
Maldonaldo, a master coil builder and multiple award winner, is
known for his geometrically detailed pottery. His work is included in
many public and private collections and has been shown in numerous
publications, including “Ceramics Monthly.” He is also this year’s
recipient of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts,
Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday
through Thursday. The Creative Arts Center is at 1100 W. Clark Ave.,
Burbank. For more information, call 238-5397.
WOMEN’S FIGURES SUBJECT OF SHOW
Local painters Julie Snyder and Eddie Goral depict the uniqueness
of women’s bodies in the show “Figuratively Speaking” at Whites
Gallery in Montrose.
Snyder’s women are soft and often full-figured, and the images are
intimate yet discreet. All her work is done from live models.
Goral, a Montrose resident who teaches at McGroarty Art Center in
Tujunga, also shows his figure paintings.
The exhibit continues through Monday. Whites Gallery is at 2414
Honolulu Ave., Montrose.
ABSTRACT PAINTINGS SUBJECT OF ART DISPLAY
Abstract paintings by Armenian artist Alexander Sadoyan are being
shown at Patrick’s Cafe in Glendale.
The exhibit continues through Thursday. Patrick’s Cafe is at 6320
San Fernando Road in Glendale. For information, call 246-8170.
A LITTLE JAZZ WITH DINNER
RESTAURANT OFFERS MUSIC FROM ‘20s, ‘30s, ‘40s
The Oceanview Bar and Grill offers live entertainment six nights a
week for diners.
Entertainers perform a combination of piano and jazz guitar
pieces, and some accompany with vocals. Musical selections include a
mix of music from the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s to opera to Celine Dion.
Some entertainers also perform their original pieces and invite
diners to sing along with them.
Jennifer Russell and Michael Gayle sing jazz while playing piano
and guitar from 7 to 10 tonight. Singing behind the piano the rest of
the week are Bill Howe on Monday; Travis Warren, Tuesday; Mary Ekler,
Wednesday; Alexandra Caselli, Thursday; and Bob Fetherolf, Friday.
The Oceanview Bar and Grill is at 3826 Ocean View Blvd., Montrose.
For more information, call 248-2722.
JAX OFFERS SUPPER, JAZZ EVERY NIGHT
Jax Bar and Grill is a supper club offering live jazz every night
of the week.
Show times are 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 p.m. to
1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Sunday.
Happy Hour Jazz is 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Tonight, the spotlight shines on the Gashouse Dave and The
Hardtails. Preston Smith and the Crocodiles perform Sunday. The
schedule for the week is Marty Harris Trio on Monday; George
Brittenham with Karen Hernandez on Tuesday; Med Flory Quintet on
Wednesday; Jack Sheldon on Thursday; and the Elliott Caine Quintet on
Jax is at 339 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. For more information, call
BURBANK HISTORICAL SOCIETY OFFERS EXHIBITS OF BURBANK
The Burbank Historical Society’s Gordon R. Howard Museum Complex
features exhibits of early Burbank. There are extensive collections
of vintage vehicles, costumes, dolls, cameras and special sections on
the history of Lockheed, Disney and Warner Bros. studios.
Hours are from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Admission is free, but donations are accepted. The complex is at
1015 W. Olive Ave., Burbank. Parking is available at George Izay Park
lot off Clark Avenue.
For more information, call 841-6333.
BURBANK MUSEUM DEDICATED TO AVIATION
Burbank Aviation Museum is dedicated to the memory of the men and
women who made aviation history in the San Fernando Valley.
Located at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Cemetery, artifacts are
displayed in the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation, an
ornate domed building that is listed on the National Register of
Historic Places. Visitors can enter on Valhalla Boulevard behind
Fry’s Electronics, off Hollywood Way, or use the main entrance at
10621 Victory Blvd.
The Portal building is accessible from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily for
viewing the cenotaphs and burial stones.
The aviation displays can be viewed from noon to 4 p.m. on
Sundays. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. For more
information, call 845-3300.
THE DOCTORS’ HOUSE FEATURES GLENDALE HISTORY
The Doctors’ House, tucked inside Brand Park in Glendale, is a
Victorian home in Queen Anne Eastlake-style open to the public from 2
to 4 p.m. Sundays. Built in the 1880s by real-estate entrepreneur
E.T. Byram, the house has been restored. Brand Park is at 1601 W.
Mountain St., Glendale.
BOLTON HALL FEATURES EARLY SUNLAND, TUJUNGA
Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, run by the Little Landers
Historical Society, features historical displays relating to the
Sunland and Tujunga areas. It is open to the public at 1 p.m.
Tuesdays and Sundays. Admission is free. The museum is at 10110
Commerce Ave., Tujunga.
For information, call 352-3420.
LOOKING BACK AT THE LANTERMAN HOUSE
The Lanterman House, owned by the city of La Canada Flintridge, is
operated by the Lanterman Historical Museum Foundation and is open to
the public from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and the first and
third Sundays of the month.
The house was built in 1914 by the founding family of La Canada
Flintridge. The city took ownership in 1987, and public tours have
been offered since 1995.
For information, call 790-1421.
SWING DANCING, KARAOKE COMBINE AT THE MIX
The Mix, at 2612 Honolulu Ave. in Montrose, offers Top 40 music
played by a disc jockey on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On
Wednesday, there is swing-dancing instruction from 8 to 9 p.m.
followed by swing dancing from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Karaoke is offered
at 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Cover is $3 on the weekend, $2 on Tuesdays
and $5 on Wednesdays. Call 248-3040.
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