November 11, 2014

CATS Uses New, Old to Mark 20 Years

Past and present come together to help Community Arts Theater Society (CATS) celebrate two decades of Broadway-quality entertainment in Big Bear during 11 shows at the Performing Arts Center November 14-30.

Kim Boda sings in CATS 20th Anniversary CelebrationFrom a special return to the Big Bear stage of longtime favorite Robin Field to spectacular video montage of past shows, lots of surprises await audiences during the CATS 20th Year Celebration and Gala at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 14-15, 19, 21-22 and 28-29, plus 1:30 p.m. Sunday matinees on Nov. 16, 23 and 30. The retrospective variety show features selections from many of the award-winning company’s over 60 major musicals and plays plus another 30 special events during the past 20 years.

Relive special moments from past shows and be treated to some new ones. Like a several-song tribute to Les Miserables and Moonridge Dance Company performance of "One" from A Chorus Line. two shows CATS hasn’t presented. Santa Claus at intermission, complimentary glass of champagne and mini-treats all help add to the celebration.

Some of the more poignant moments come when past highlights are revisited with both video retrospective and live. Nancy Walker for instance sings from Senior Class while video of the show plays. Kim Boda reprises "As Long as He Needs Me" from Oliver! Michael McConnell and Jennifer Gail sing to My Fair Lady.

It’s a musical trip down memory lane as CATS performers like Brett Smith, Elena Peavy, Michael Reno and Suzy Carpenter recreate special moments on stage. CATS also reflects on its past with a video production as it pays homage to shows from the first (Amahl and The Night Visitors) to the most recent (Wizard of Oz) and many in between.

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November 7, 2014

Big Bear Snow Play Opens for Inner Tubing Nov. 8

        The warm weather in the cities has brought cool snowmaking temperatures to the mountains, where Big Bear Snow Play is set to open for family inner tubing fun on Saturday, November 8.

Big Bear Snow Play becomes the first Southern California winter recreation area to open for the season in time for families to make some holiday magic together. Two full-length runs will be open for inner tubing with a base of one to up to three feet of beautiful white snow as the area’s powerful Lenko fan guns have taken advantage of cool, dry conditions. As winter continues Big Bear Snow Play will eventually have over 20 feet of snow piled high on up to eight runs, enough for tubing till Easter.

Big Bear Snow Play, once a ski area known as Rebel Ridge, offers the longest inner tubing runs in Southern California. Continued snowmaking will allow Big Bear Snow Play to build special features like whoop-di-doos and berms in addition to traditional downhill sliding.

Guests never walk uphill to enjoy their exhilarating downhill rides. Big Bear Snow Play has two Magic Carpet uphill lifts running on busy days that families merely step on and off of. No uphill climb to tire parents and kids out means they save all their energy for downhill fun and get in as many runs as they want. One of the Carpets is enclosed in Plexiglass for those snowy, chilly days.

Snow gets groomed nightly to ensure the best possible conditions for guests, who enjoy evenly-spread corduroy for their fast-paced downhill adventure. There’s also a separate kiddie area for the youngest riders. When it’s time for a winter warm-up, head inside the heated base lodge for family-priced snack bar and video games.

Big Bear Snow Play is open daily for inner tubing from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. All-day passes include tube rental and Magic Carpet lift for $30. Guests are free to come and go as they want or bring their own lunch and there’s plenty of paved parking. To read more about Big Bear Snow Play click here.

Big Bear Snow Play is on Big Bear Blvd. next to Motel 6. Call (909) 585-0075.

November 6, 2014

Winter Kickoff at Cave with Warren Miller Movie, Swag

Get psyched for ski and snowboard season with an evening of giveaways and a showing of Warren Miller’s latest film "No turning Back" at Big Bear’s hot state-of-the-art concert venue The Cave Big Bear on Friday, November 14, presented by Stone Entertainment Group.

Doors open at 6 p.m. as guests enjoy food and drink specials including Big Bear’s own Stone Summit wine, beers from Big Bear Lake Brewing Co. and giveaways galore. At 7 p.m. Level’s One’s "Less," a look at modern skiing, will be shown before Miller’s latest offering.

Admission is just $10 and after the movies stick around for the debut of The Cave Club with Vegas-style party featuring DJ. The party is sponsored by The Cave, Getboards, Line skies, Saga Clothing, Orange and others.

The Cave Big Bear is at  40789 Village Dr. (877) 825-4388 or www.thecavebigbear.com.

October 28, 2014

Colt Ford, Abba tribute, Dick Dale Reopen Cave

Some 180 yards of concrete later, new-look The Cave Big Bear  reopens with a month-full of headline entertainment starting with country star Colt Ford on November 1 followed by Marshall Tucker Band, Dick Dale, Abba tribute and more.

Surf Legend Dick Dale at home in the desertBig Bear’s hot intimate entertainment venue is less than a year-and-a-half old but already it has received its first major makeover. The former movie theater now sports three levels of stadium seating with every seat still front and center, still with state-of-the-art sound system, laser lights, fog machines, room to dance and gourmet concessions including local beers from Big Bear Lake Brewing Co. and local Stone Summit wines.

"Now there is a House of Blues-feel with the different levels," said The Cave’s David Stone. "Now there’s a ramp making it very handicap friendly. And the next phase features a new indoor bar plus portable bars near the dance floor."

The Cave features major performers as it reopens, starting with Colt Ford. Six of Ford’s tunes have made the Hot Country Songs charts including "Back" from the Declaration of Independence album he’s now touring which broke into the Top 40. "Dirt Road Anthem" is another hit along with "Answer to No One." In his career Ford has already sold nearly a million albums and three million downloads. Tickets are $30, VIP $50.

Tickets are moving fast for Nov. 8 featuring Marshall Tucker Band. Led by founding member and lead singer Doug Gray the band continues with the timeless essence of its music, songs like "Heard it in a Love Song," "Can’t You See," "If You Want to Get to Heaven" and many others. Tickets are $45, VIP $60.

Singer/Songwriter Adrian Belew takes The Cave stage on Nov. 15. The former front man of progressive rock group King Crimson has released nearly 20 solo albums blending Beatles-inspired pop-rock with more experimental fare. His 2005 single "Beat Box Guitar" was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category.

Below has worked extensively as a session and touring musician, with David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Talking Heads and Nine Inch Nails. He’s also helped design the Parker Fly signature guitar which features advanced electronics and Line 6 Variaz guitar modelling system. Tickets for the show are $20, VIP $40.

The music of Abba comes to life on stage via the stunning tribute presented on Nov. 21 by Abbafab. Sensational Anne Davies, Chelsea Faulds, Scotty Pearson, Nick Davies and lineup of stellar musicians along combine with a multimedia production of some of the greatest music produced in the 1970’s and 80’s. Experience hits like "Waterloo," "Fernando," "Honey Honey,’ "Dancing Queen" and many others.

From early hits like "Mama Mia" Abbafab takes audiences on an Abba journey. The show’s vocalists and musicians have toured the world as solo artists and consistently play to standing room only audiences while presenting the most entertaining Abba tribute. $15, VIP $30.

One night later on Nov. 22 Los Angeles’ premier arena rock tribute band Wayward Sons is on tap Get ready for a nostalgia-fueled, power-chord packed rock show with the great music of the 1980’s including hits from Journey, Queen, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, Boston, Night Ranger and Bon Jovi. The band regularly headlines Southland rock venues like the House of Blues, Key Club, The Belly Up, Brixton South Bay, Saint Rocke and many others. Don’t drive to Hollywood; visit The Cave instead where free shuttles are waiting to take guests home instead of a three-hour drive. Tickets are just $12 for a great night of rock and roll!

Catch one of surf rock’s true icons when Dick Dale is at The Cave Nov. 28. During his 50-plus year career he has been nominated for a Grammy for the music in "Back to the Beach" and inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame in San Diego. Along with Hollywood Rock of Fame, White House Congressional Hall of Records and First Presidential Historical Society as a Lifetime Member.

Dale’s music is heard from video consoles and the movie "Space Jam" to Colorado Avalanche hockey games where "Scalped" is used as the theme song. Over 100,000 of his peers voted him into Nashville’s Musicians Rock `n Roll Hall of Fame Museum and Dale has been seen in countless movies, commercials and print publications. Tickets are just $25, VIP $40.

Rock band Ambrosia, with five Top 40 hits in the 1970’s and 80’s, is at The Cave Nov. 29. Hits "Biggest Part of Me," "How Much I Feel" and "You’re the Only Woman" catapulted the band to the top of the charts and the band still features three of four original members who recently rocked the Jimmy Fallon show. Tickets are just $25.

The Cave; 40789 Village Dr. (877) 825-4388 or www.thecavebigbear.com.

October 2, 2014

Moonshine Bandits, 1980's Pop Favorites ABC at Cave

Big names—1980’s pop icons ABC and the Moonshine Bandits—highlight the October marquee at The Cave Big Bear.

Then the near-new facility, which opened its doors less than a year-and-a-half ago, closes its doors for 20 days or so to get its first major renovation. By the time country star Colt Ford takes the stage November 1, the state-of-the-art facility will offer three-tier seating instead of its current stadium design, another full bar and even more of a nightclub feel.

First up though are two great shows, starting with MOONSHINE BANDITS on Saturday, Oct. 4. The band’s music reflects its Central California hard-driving roots, ranging from country rap on songs like "For the Outlawz" to the hit song "Get Loose." It’s a unique sound to be sure, a blend of West Coast beat and country twang, West Coast hip/hop and rap.

The band’s live show features originals like "My Kind of Country," "Whiskey River" and "We All Country" plus unique versions of other songs. Like Garth Brooks’ "Friends in Low Places" backed by a hip-hop driven beat. "Calicountry," the debut disc for Moonshine Bandits on Average Joes Entertainment/Suburban Noize Records released earlier this year, features more of the band’s driving, good-time music sound, on songs like "California Country" and the party anthem "Throwdown."

"A lot of our music is hell-raising music," band member Tex said. "Our guitars are very loud and our bass is pretty heavy. It’s very much in-you-face kind of music that you can party down to."

It’s no coincidence that moonshine and whiskey are themes; Tex’s great-grandfather was a bootlegger in the Bay area who used his barbershop as a front. "My great-aunt was actually pedaling it in baby carriages to politicians during prohibition," Tex said. He is continuing the family tradition, albeit legally, by endorsing moonshine distilled in Modesto by Valley Spirits Distillery, 99 proof, un-aged whiskey available in original, apple pie and peach.

Yet Moonshine Bandits are all about the music and their live shows have created legions of loyal fans. The band has over 15 million YouTube views, with a fan favorite video on CMT.com that hit #1 and on CMT’s High Five countdown that reached #2.

The concert is a prelim to Moonshine Bandits’ "Rebels on the Run" 26-city tour visiting top western venues, kicking off in San Diego in December. Tickets are just $13 for the 7:30 p.m. show or $25 VIP.

1980s pop favorites at The Cave Big Bear October 10, 2014Friday, Oct. 10 sees pop favorites ABC take the Cave stage. Formed in 1980 the band is known for songs like Top 10 U.S. hit "Be Near Me," plus "Tears are Not Enough," "Poison Arrow," "Look of Love" and many more. Lead vocalist and original member Martin Fry helped ABC take new wave and new romantic music to a new level with moving lyrics.

"When Smokey Sings," a tribute to Smokey Robinson, was another huge hit for the band along with "How to Be a Millionaire." ABC is more than just an iconic pop band though; in 2009 ABC performed its 1982 debut album Lexicon of Love live at the Royal Albert Hall, accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra, to magnificent reviews. ABC traveled the country in 2008 and 2009 during Regeneration Tours joined by acts like Cutting Crew, A Flock of Seagulls and others to rave reviews and continues to perform around the world. ABC has five U.S. Top 40 hit singles, ten in the United Kingdom and Fry remains one of music’s premier showmen.. Tickets $30, VIP $50.

Mostly headliners are on the marquee once The Cave reopens, starting with Ford on Nov. 1. Six of Ford’s tunes have made the Hot Country Songs charts including "Back" from the Declaration of Independence album which broke into the Top 40. "Dirt Road Anthem" is another hit.

Marshall Tucker Band on Nov. 8, legendary performer Edgar Winter on Nov. 22 and surf guitar master Dick Dale on Nov 28 are other upcoming headliners at The Cave. Every seat is front and center at The Cave, which has the feel of an intimate nightclub with full cocktail service, including local wine from Stone Summit Winery and beers from Big Bear Lake Brewing Co., yet offers concert-quality state-of-the-art sound, lighting and special effects like laser lights and fog machines.

The Cave; 40789 Village Dr. (877) 825-4388 or www.thecavebigbear.com.

October 2, 2014

Big Bear Oktoberfest on `Express' Track till Oct. 25

The nationally-renowned Doo Wah Riders are playing a show and they’re not even on the main stage. There’s not one but two "Express" bands, an unplugged session and Halloween Spooktacular.

Express Band members on the dance floor at Big Bear Oktoberfest44th annual Big Bear Oktoberfest’s prime season is October and a full slate of activities comes with it. Oktoberfest queen competition heats up before building to a crescendo with the Oct. 11 finals, Cripple Creek Cloggers perform two weekends and there’s nonstop music and contests on stages inside and out. No wonder AOL, Ski Magazine, LowerFares.com and AskMen.com have all listed Big Bear Oktoberfest #1 in Southern California and in the Top 10 best festivals in the country. (Click Here to read the official souvenir magazine online)

Aalbachtal-Express, second of two direct-from-Germany bands, gets the month off to a roaring start for three shows Oct. 3-5. Beginning with the only Friday Local’s Night from 6 p.m.-midnight—though you don’t have to be a Big Bear resident to get in. Admission is $5 or $3 with two nonperishable food items and the popular Big Bear Polka Tots also perform.

From Southern Germany. the 11-member Aalbachtal-Express is the largest band to ever play at Big Bear Oktoberfest, producing every note live and is famous for authenticity and upbeat performances. For over 35 years Aalbachtal-Express has entertained audiences during hundreds of performances through Europe.

From brass band music to contemporary chart favorites, the band has played at festivals and Oktoberfests not just in Germany but throughout Europe, even for soldiers at NATO base in Naples. The band was a hit at Oktoberfest Brasov, largest such festival in Romania, and has also played in Poland and France.

The following weekend Oct. 11-12 the "other" Express Band takes the stage Saturdays and Sundays through the Oct. 25 closing finale. For some 25 now The Express has entertained listeners under the pine trees with polkas and waltzes, Top 40 tunes and country western, always reaching deep into its never-end song book to provide just the right music no matter what the audience’s mood is. During the afternoon the sound is polka, but by 7 p.m. it’s Top 40 and old-time rock and roll.

The Express livens things up even more when members take their wireless instruments out into the crowd. "I’ll go out with my horn or vocals for yodels to get the crowd going," says Juergen Schwarz of The Express. "People seem to eat up, like it’s bigger than life. It can cause problems though, because the further away from the stage I get there’s a millisecond time delay from when people hear the music."

The two signature songs are "Rookie Zookie" and naturally the Chicken Dance. The former is a band favorite and a Big Bear original, with a flair of the Hokey Pokey thrown in, and on a hopping Saturday night the crowd gets into it with nary an inch of space on the floor. There’s even a special version just for the ladies.

"The exciting thing about Oktoberfest in Big Bear is that instead of being just a dance band, we get to be more of a show band," Schwarz says. "It’s my favorite place to do a show, great fun to interact with the people and see them engaged." The Express also gets to play its fair share of Oktoberfest’s total of 456 chicken dances.

Big Bear Oktoberfest is on Saturdays from noon-midnight (admission $18, $12 seniors, $8 children). Sundays are family days from noon-5:30 p.m. with children 12 and under admitted for free and adults $9, $5 seniors. Clip the coupon for FREE Sunday adult admission on page 9. Purchase Saturday admission online and get Sunday admission for free! Prepurchase tickets include priority entry.

Prepurchase tickets online at www.bigbearevents.com or call the Convention Center at (909) 585-3000.

September 23, 2014

Sounds, Swag, Summer Snow at HD&HR

Sounds, swag and snow—tons and tons of it!—combine to create the industry’s largest winter kickoff party during the 11th annual Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails at Bear Mountain on Saturday, September 27.

Top pro riders on summer snow at Hot Dawgz and Hand RailsThe first big winter party comes during summer and is back bigger than ever to mark a decade of preseason fun. Watch 40 top professional snowboarders compete on an expanded event course that includes a sprawling urban-style layout that puts spectators in the middle of all the action. Judges include Bear Mountain team riders Joe Sexton, Chris Bradshaw, Scott Stevens and special guest judge Dave Downing.

Bear Mountain’s jib factory has been hard at work all summer to create new park features for HD&HR that in turn the public gets to enjoy on the slopes in the Red Bull Plaza during winter. With sponsor booth city featuring dozens of brands, tons of swag from generous sponsors, season pass sale, DJs on The Deck, variety of games and Beach Bar in full operation, a nonstop party is on tap from morning till dusk with snowboard competition beginning at 2 p.m. Sponsors include Red Bull, GoPro, Electric, Neff, ThirtyTwo and many other snowboard brands.

Making it all possible is over 140 tons of summer snow made by Union Ice Co., which feeds 300 lb. blocks of ice into chipping machines that turn it into beautiful snow, with nothing added—100% the real deal. Usually the company makes snow for Hollywood film and commercial makers as special effects, but it has also provided white stuff for the X Games and the snow is competition-quality.

Enjoy the party on the famous 13,000 sq. ft. deck at Beach and Tiki Bars or Rail View BBQ and Aloha Chill and Grill, where there’s DJs including Power 106 Flava Unit DJ Slip Matt and DJ Matty-MO. Plus Snowboarder Magazine will do a live webcast.

As an added incentive for skiers and snowboarders to show up, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit resorts are rolling season pass prices back to early "Screamin’ Deal" levels. With discounts of a hundred dollars or more, pass prices are essentially what they were in the 1990’s, starting at just $189 and up. But you have to be there to get in on the deals so arrive early—pass sale is 9 a.m.-6 p.m.—hook up with a season pass, then enjoy.

New this year, purchase a season pass and automatically be entered to win some $5,000 in prizes like free lodging packages, resort gift cards and more. There’s also a big sale at Ice Box Sports Shop including up to 50% off selected outerwear from last season. Admission is free. (909) 866-5766 or www.bearmtn.com.

September 11, 2014

Save a buck at Oktoberfest opening weekend

Beat the October rush by visiting Big Bear Oktoberfest during September weekends for off-peak pricing and fewer crowds.

Not only is September admission cheaper, there’s two direct from Germany bands playing during the month. The famous Big Bear Polka Tots, who have charmed generations with their waltzes perform two weekends in September as well with Joyful Noise Cloggers dancing on Sept. 20-21 and D’Oberlander Dancers performing Sept. 27-28.

Opening weekend September 13-14 is again a tribute to America’s Heroes, with free admission for badge-carrying past and present military, law enforcement, and firefighters. Ceremonies at 4 p.m. pay special tribute to America’s troops. Bear Valley Marine Corp color guard presents the flag, the first keg is officially tapped, and the Big Bear Polka Tots and high school choir perform.

The Express Band opens Big Bear Oktoberfest, voted number one in California by AOL, playing Saturday from noon-midnight and Sunday from noon-5:30. Prepurchase tickets for opening weekend and save two bucks off September mission prices of $14, $10 senior, $8 children those Saturdays.

The best way to save a buck when you cluck is with the coupon for free Sunday adult admission in Big Bear Today Magazine, available free at fine locations in Big Bear—a savings of up to $9 for adults, $5 for seniors. Or download the coupon in PDF format and print right from your computer at ww.. bigbeartodaymag.com..