Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I have to give thanks to Noozhawk for giving me the space and to Bill Macfadyen for believing in my work. BTW, no relation as you see by the spelling of the names — we both use the same excuse when people ask if we’re related — they really bungled the other’s name at Ellis Island. Hey, it works for us. [Editor’s Note: Macfadyen actually is the correct spelling. 🙂 ]
Tell Me Mo’ will be looking at what I know best, entertainment. Able to give you a little behind-the-scenes at events of note I believe should not be missed. My columns could also take you on a trip to my colorful past, or introduce you to some really special people in my life, past and present.
I moved to Santa Babs on Dec. 22, 1989, and although there’s still a love/hate thing that comes up due to economic limitations here, it was, in the big picture, a very good choice. Interestingly, when I moved here, I had “done my time” in L.A. (nine years) in entertainment — writing for the Hollywood Reporter, and doing PR for a couple of well-known PR firms — I had pitched the papers here about doing just this kind of column … so, 17 years later my quest is answered. You’ve heard the phrase, “Good things come to those who wait” — well, here I am living proof. So, let’s get this started.
Presently I’m working on the show, It’s Christmas, Snoopy! On Ice Dec. 1 and 2 at the Arlington Theatre — call 805.963.4408 for tickets. When Jill Schulz, producer of the show and youngest daughter of Charles M. Schulz, called me last year to do the PR, I was so excited. I love the Peanuts comic strip, especially Snoopy and Woodstock. And here’s the small world part of the story. My nephew, Kevin McCool, has been working at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa for more than 10 years and it’s the ice rink Charles (a.k.a. Sparky) Schulz built and gifted the community with an ice show at Christmas for 30+ years. I had taken my son up to see the show in the 1990s, and to visit with Uncle Kevin. Who else in Santa Barbara could say they’d seen the show in Santa Rosa and knew exactly the high caliber of the skaters they used and of course, who had seen Snoopy skate? Not many.
And now, Jill lives here and is continuing the tradition begun by her dad, lo those many years ago. I was told people from San Francisco would come up to Santa Rosa for the ice show and it was the holiday tradition for Santa Rosa. I’d love to see this become an annual holiday tradition here.
This year’s show will have the addition of a couple of wild and crazy guys from Russia — the “extreme trampoline team” — who will be jumping, tossing and tumbling themselves across the skirt of the stage throughout the show. But there is a “specialty act” I saw in Santa Rosa and it’s a trick done only by this one guy — Vladi Tevlovski, a member of the extreme tramp team, doing his unique routine of “hand skating.” It’s a total kick!
Local kids from The Adderely School are reprising their roles as the Peanuts Gang: Jonathan Bommerez, Olivia Fanaro, Sam Kulchin and Emma Steinkellner. So come on out and start a new tradition with me. I’ll be at every show — there are five this year — because those skaters make it look so effortless and, good grief, it’s a wonderful way to start your holidays. You’ll spot me; I’ll be the one under 5 feet tall and wearing my Joe Cool jean jacket.
I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. And don’t miss the “The Gobble Song” by Spencer the Gardner, a short film shot by Russ Spencer and playing on YouTube. It’s my last word before a food coma sets in.
Mo McFadden’s Tell Me Mo’ column is published every other week on Noozhawk.