July 20--We're nearly a month into summer and I've decided not to watch any more television re-runs or horrendous reality shows.
It's almost a crime to miss all our area's wonderful summer concerts and plays -- most of them free or at least low-cost.
Free is my favorite price.
Almost all of the concerts and plays are outside, under the stars.
Let's take a sneak peek at some of the choices, beginning Saturday night:
DSB (Don't Stop Believin'), the world's greatest Journey tribute band, takes the stage at the Big Bear Discovery Center.
The concert is part of the 2013 Music in the Mountains series. Proceeds go to the San Bernardino National Forest. Show time is 6 p.m.; gates open at 5 p.m. and general admission tickets are $27; $10 teens and are available at MountainsFoundation.org. You can even bring a picnic, but no beverages. The amphitheater is at the Discovery Center, 40971 North Shore Drive (Highway 38), east of Fawnskin. Call 909-866-3437.
Cal State Wednesdays: There are two shows left in the free Summer Wednesday Concert Series at Cal State San Bernardino.
On Wednesday, Desperado, a tribute to the Eagles, performs at 7 p.m. in the campus Lower Commons.
On July 31, "Howlin' Yote Award Winners," in conjunction with Coyote Radio, concludes the summer series with a performance by the winner and runner-up
of the "Greatest Inland Empire Artist" contest. Show is at 7 p.m., broadcast live on Coyote Radio. Info is at coyoteradio.csusb.edu.
Junior University Summer Musical: Also in San Bernardino, don't miss the entertaining and imaginative Junior University production of "Pinocchio," running nightly (except Mondays) through Aug. 3 at the Roosevelt Bowl in Perris Hill Park, 1001 E. Highland Ave. The musical production starts at 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $8 adults; $4 children younger than 12; $25 family. Info: 909-889-0833.
The Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival is lighting up Tuesdays and Fridays again (and an occasional Saturday) at 8:15 p.m. with amazing, professional world-class music. This is the festival's 90th anniversary. The 2013 musical production is "The Sound of Music" on July 30 and Aug. 1-3. Admission is free, but a freewill offering is taken at intermission. Call 909-793-7316, or visit redlandsbowl.org.
And over in Redlands' Prospect Park is the wonderful Redlands Theatre Festival celebrating its 41st anniversary with five plays in repertory.
Tonight, Thursday and July 31, and Aug. 6, 16, 21: "Love, Loss and What I Wore."
Sunday and July 30, Aug. 8, 11, 17, 21: "Dividing the Estate"
Tuesday and Friday, and Aug. 2, 7, 15, 18, 23, "The Andrews Brothers"
Wednesday and July 28, Aug. 3, 9, 13, 24: "Hairspray"
Friday, and Aug. 1, 4, 10, 14, 20: "The Importance of Being Earnest"
Performances are presented at 8:30 p.m. in the Prospect Park Amphitheater, Highland Avenue and Cajon Street. Season tickets (five shows) are $80; single ticket prices are $20. For info, 909-792-0562.
Summer Jazz in Blue Jay starts Aug. 1 with Poncho Sanchez; Aug. 8 with the SmoothJazzAllStars; and concludes Aug. 15 with Next Generation Jazz. Concerts are at 6:30 p.m.; gates open at 5:30. Food, wine, beer and margaritas available at concerts. Blue Jay Jazz Foundation Concerts are in Blue Jay Village, above Rite-Aid. Information is at 909-337-7253; bluejayjazz.com.
Lake Arrowhead Village is presenting its series of free Summer Concerts in the village weekends through Sept. 2. Concerts are free and begin at 6:30 p.m. For more info, TheLakeArrowheadVillage.com, or 909-337-2533.
Jazz on the Lakeshore:
Aug. 3, the Blues for the Zoo Music Festival makes the hills come alive with the sound of music from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Big Bear Lake Swim Beach Outdoor Amphitheater, 41220 Park Ave. Headlining is Windy City Harmonica Breakdown, along with a line-up of world-class musicians. Tickets are $30 advance; $35 day of show. Parking is $4. No coolers or pets but kids are welcome. In addition to music and use of the swim beach, there are savory food and beverages and an artisan show of handmade treasures. The event is a fundraiser for the Big Bear Alpine Zoo, which cares for rescued animals. Info is at bluesforthezoo.com.
Friends of Fawnskin present the 12th annual Concert on the Green at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at the beautiful Inn at Fawnskin, 880 Canyon Road at Highway 38.
The outdoor concert stars the sultry-voiced Nancy Celeste Walker in a tribute to "The Great Ladies of Jazz." Nancy will be accompanied by local musicians in this memorable concert. I've been to these concerts and recommend them wholeheartedly. Beautiful evening under the stars includes live and silent auctions. Wine is available. Tickets are $30 and include one raffle ticket. For info, call 909-866-3200.
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