March 31, 2015

Diamond Rio, Ultimate Doors Tribute Rock The Cave

Six-time Vocal Group of the Year Diamond Rio, smoking hot tributes and a faceoff between Beatles and Stones music have The Cave Big Bear hopping in April.

The Cave offers a one-of-a-kind concert experience with tiered seating ensuring a clear stage view from every seat and there’s a real club feel to The Cave with new bar in the back and cocktail tables along with gourmet concessions including full cocktail service and beers from Big Bear Lake Brewing Co. and local Stone Summit wines.. The state-of-the-art sound system is pure concert venue quality with laser lights and fog machines. In recent weeks guests have been treated to up close and personal concerts by Don McLean and Edgar Winter among other top artists performing just a few feet away.

Starting with a terrific tribute to NO DOUBT and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS Saturday, April 4. No Duh returns to The Cave with the music of No Doubt and Gwen Stefani, courtesy of a complete, high energy, audiovisual show, right down to the props and costume changes. The band has had numerous television credits including full length features on “Good Morning America” and CNN Headline News. Also performing are the Red NOT Chili Peppers, the nation’s #1 band paying tribute to the ultimate funk rock quartet. The band stays true to three decades of hits and hundreds of song with a high energy performance that has earned it international acclaim. Tickets for two great acts are just $16-$26.

Diamond Rio headlines The Cave Big Bear Friday, April 17, 2015April 11 sees the epic clash Beatles vs. Stones (story this page) before Grammy winning DIAMOND RIO headlines Friday, April 17. Country stars Diamond Rio has recorded seven studio albums, three of which have gone platinum.

The band’s debut single “Meet in the Middle” reached the top spot in the charts, making Diamond Rio the first country group to ever debut with a #1 song. More than 30 chart toppers have followed since,  including four more number one: ?How Your Love Makes Me Feel,” “One More Day,”  “Beautiful Mess” and “I Believe.”

Diamond Rio is also known for its Christian music and has 13 Grammy nominations. Tickets start at $39.

CRAZY TOWN plays the next night April 18. Formed in 1995 the alternative rock band is best known for the single “Butterfly” which reached #1 on the Hot 100 chart. Crazy Town released the single “Megatron” in December 2014 from the upcoming album The Brimstone Sluggers. Tickets start at $16.

Robby Krieger, John Densmore and Ray Manzarek agree: WILD CHILD with Dave Brock’s Doors Experience is the closest thing to reliving an actual Doors concert that there is. The remaining Doors members have all lavished praise on Wild Child, which for 20 years has painstakingly striven to reproduce an actual Doors concert from the late 1960’s. As has renowned radio host Jim Ladd along with major newspapers, Doors collector magazines and many more.

Lead singer Brock brings the voice, look and essence of the late Jim Morrison to life. He has been singing the late star’s music since grabbing the lead in the “Jim Morrison Rock Opera” produced by the late legend’s sister before starting Wild Child, which uses the same instruments the Doors were playing over 40 years ago.

Two years ago the band produced  a 22 song live concert double CD of songs The Doors made popular along with songs from the band’s last album that were never done live with Morrison before his untimely death. The band tours internationally playing to packed venues around the globe, but at The Cave audiences will be up close and personal for the April 25 show with tickets starting at just $21.

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

March 18, 2015

CATS Gals Stage `Broadway Broads of Big Bear'

For 20 years Community Arts Theater Society (CATS) has presented a variety of musicals. For its spring 2015 production the company presents a variety show with the ones it hasn’t done.

The ladies star when CATS stages Broadway Broads of Big Bear at its Warehouse TheaterThe original musical revue “Broadway Broads of Big Bear” takes a very different look at stage classics during 7:30 p.m. shows on March 20-21 and 27-28 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinees on March 22 and 29 at the CATS Warehouse Theater. A talented all-female cast performs selections from  shows like Chicago, Wicked, Sunset Boulevard, Gypsy, Ragtime, Songs for a New World, Evita and others—all musicals CATS has never staged and for a variety of reasons likely never will.

It’s a unique opportunity for eight ladies, all of whom list starring roles in previous CATS productions in their credits,  to put their own stamp on material they’ll likely never touch otherwise. Plus there’s a terrific original opening song “Broads of Broadway” written for the show by longtime CATS favorite Robin Field.

“So much Broadway material features women and we have so many wonderful talented women in CATS, who rarely get a chance to really branch out and perform when we do our major productions,” said director Karen “Sarge” Rachels who also performs in the show. “There are serious songs and comedy songs about women and their goals, life changes, and about men.”

CATS already had a bevy of leading ladies to work with and added another when Carolyn Freeman Champ joined the company for its 20th anniversary show last fall. A voice over artist represented by Synergy Talent, Champ is involved with the Academy for New Musical Theatre in North Hollywood for which she has performed several original works along with a one-person cabaret in Hollywood.

Training from The Broadway Co. with one-on-one workshops from veteran Broadway performers has prepared her well for this show, along with a variety of stage credits and two national tours of the popular USO musical In the Mood. She performs two songs from Evita, “I’d be Surprisingly Good for You” and the signature song “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.”

Nancy Celeste Walker also brings her ample abilities to the show. Along with appearing in numerous CATS shows she’s performed at the White House for President Clinton and three times at the Redlands Bowl. Her “Concerts on the Green” at Inn at Fawnskin have been summer favorites and she attracted a large following as a South Bay cabaret singer.

Kim Boda and Elena Peavy also star. The pair combine with Walker to form Big Bear’s “Divas,” a talented trio that entertains at local functions and all are CATS veterans. Boda, who got her stage start with the world renowned Young Americans, has been with CATS for 20 years, starring in productions of The Sound of Music, Man of La Mancha, Oliver!, Picnic at the PAC and Bearly Broadway. Peavy’s credits meanwhile include Cinderella, The Odd Couple, Senior Class and twice as the Wicked Witch in two CATS productions of The Wizard of Oz.

Serena Saunders stars in summer’s Annie Get Your Gun and sings “Popular” from Wicked in this show. She grew up in Big Bear and charmed audiences as Ado Annie in Oklahoma! and also starred in The King and I. Likewise Amber Parle is another local girl who has spent the past few years teaching and traveling the world, but in between she has found time to appear in three CATS shows.

Rounding out the cast is the powerful voice of Diana Hintergardt, who has had leading roles in The King and I as Mrs. Anna and Oklahoma! as Laurey. Entertaining has been in her DNA since childhood, from the award winning swing choir The Emeraldaires to studying acting at Expressions Unlimited and Image Development.

Then of course there’s Rachels, whose background includes a lengthy career with Ralph Edwards Productions on shows like “Name That Tune” and “Truth or Consequences.” It was Kenny Rogers who gave her the nickname “Sarge” and her performing career includes roles on Broadway, in National Tours and Summer Stocks shows like Carousel, All American, Babes in Arms, Showboat and more.

As an added treat, accompanying is Michael Reno, no stranger to playing for Divas; during the heyday of cabaret in the 1970’s and 80’s he was one of the most sought-after accompanists on the West Coast. All tickets $20. CATS Warehouse Theater is at 1117 W. Big Bear Blvd. in Big Bear City. www.bigbeartheater.org or (909) 585-4757.

March 16, 2015

Neff Beach Bash at Bear with cash purse, prizes

A huge $3,000 cash purse—winner takes all—is on the line during the Neff Beach Bash on March 21 in The Scene at Bear Mountain.

The beach-theme rail jam also has prizes for Best Outfit plus the Grom Award for under age 16 riders is a one-year Neff sponsorship. Neff team riders will be on hand to judge the competition and the first 50 to sign up get a free Neff beanie. Or design and make your own Neff hat.

Tons of product giveaways and DJs Matty MO and Slipmatt make for a great late season party with Red Bull, Wahoo’s and Snowboarder Magazine on site. Registration at 10 a.m. is free for those with a lift ticket or season pass and the event gets underway at noon with awards party at 3.

The event is a great opportunity to score a $99 pass valid at both Bear and also Snow Summit for the rest of the season. Best part is that the $99 can also be applied to next year's season pass too including the Cali4nia Pass which provides unlimited access to both Big Bear resorts along with Mammoth Mountain and June.

Call the Big Bear resorts at (909) 866-5766.

March 5, 2015

Cave Sweet as `American Pie' with McLean, Winter

The legendary Don McLean of “American Pie” fame, ultimate rock tribute to Kiss, fabulous Edgar Winter...March truly sees madness at The Cave Big Bear.

Big Bear’s hot entertainment venue will be hopping with a great lineup. Tiered seating ensures a clear stage view and there’s a real club feel to The Cave after the new facility got its first major remodel last fall. Enjoy state-of-the-art sound system, laser lights and fog machines along with gourmet concessions including full cocktail service and beers from Big Bear Lake Brewing Co. and local Stone Summit wines. Think “House of Blues in the mountains” with 7:30 p.m. shows.

The Southland’s hottest tribute band takes The Cave stage Saturday, March 7 as KISSED ALIVE returns by popular demand. Rock and roll all night with the top KISS tribute band, which captures the look and sound of the iconic band, recent inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their spot-on versions of hits like “Calling Dr. Love,” “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” “I Love it Loud” and of course “Rock and Roll All Night” have led to gigs at the House of Blues, Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, even the Long Beach Grand Prix. Tickets are just $15.

Tommy Castro and The Painkillers get the next weekend off to a hard rocking start on March 13. His signature driving blues, R&B and rock sound is a Castro staple, displayed for three years as the house band on NBC’s Comedy Showcase which aired immediately after Saturday Night Live. Castro and the Painkillers also opened for B.B.King for two years with Tommy called back to the stage for the band’s finale.

His most recent CD, 2013’s “The Devil You Know,” has received positive reviews with powerful guitar work. Tickets for this top shelf act are just $18!

Next night on March 14 sees Don McLean take the stage. Chart-topping “American Pie,” which stayed in the top spot on the U.S. charts in 1972 and has been listed the #5 Song of the Century, is obviously McLean’s most famous work but his list of accomplishments goes far beyond the catchy tune. “Vincent (Starry Starry Night)” is another chartbuster along with “And I Love You So,” “Castles in the Air” and “Wonderful Baby.”

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March 4, 2014

Dick Kun's 50 Years at Summit Truly Golden

Publisher's Note: This story originally ran in December 2014 edition of Big Bear Today when expected close date of the sale of Snow Summit and Bear Mountain was imminent; now that the deal has concluded three months later it's fitting to finally post this story.

Whether Dick Kun makes it to 50 years of service at Snow Summit is debatable. Escrow on the biggest deal in Big Bear history is expected to close in mid-December which would leave the resort president just shy of his December 27 golden anniversary date.

Then Kun will just be another of the resort’s skiers when he visits the area he helped build into a powerhouse. And for the first time in Snow Summit’s 60-plus year history, someone other than a member of the Tyndall-Kun family will call the shots at Southern California’s top resort.

Of course, new owner Mammoth Mountain has seen this play out before. Founder Dave McCoy stepped aside a few years ago when he sold the resort and now Kun is doing the same. “Dave gradually disassociated himself from the resort,” Kun, 74, noted. “My departure  is more abrupt. I accelerated the process.”

Nothing new there. Kun dove feet-first into Snow Summit that fateful December 1964 day when he pulled into the parking lot for winter vacation after leaving the National Guard and was told that his stepfather and resort founder Tommi Tyndall had just been killed in a tractor accident on the mountain. His devastated mother Jo was sedated, snow was starting to fall, and decisions had to be made if the resort was to open the next day as planned.

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March 2, 2015

`Freezin' for a Reason' at Big Bear Polar Plunge

All around the lake in winter, there are signs posted warning folks to stay off it. So why are people suddenly being encouraged to go jump in on Saturday, March 7?

It’s “Freezin’ for a Reason,’ the fourth annual Polar Plunge into Big Bear Lake. Brazen swimmers have a “License to Chill” as they brave water temperatures dipping into the 30’s at Meadow Park to raise money for Inland Empire Region’s Special Olympics of Southern California. Big Bear’s event has become one of the region’s largest and most popular.

Plungers decide how deep into the water to go and how long to stay in; last year some got only their ankles wet while others swam around till lifeguards make them get out of the water. Participants pay for the privilege, with those raising at least $50 in pledges from family, friends and co-workers receiving an official Polar Plunge longsleeve T-shirt, 2 for 1 lift ticket from Big Bear Mountain Resorts valid at Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, goody bag and lunch courtesy of Knights of Columbus.

Raise more than $50 and there’s additional cool prizes like towels, hoodies, duffle bags with tumbler and solar backpack. Special Olympics supporters who prefer to stay out of the water can stay in the “chicken coop” for $50 in pledges and receive an “I’m Too Chicken to Plunge” T-shirt along with the other goodies.

Be sure to bring cameras along for photos and video to prove you really jumped in the lake during winter months. Costumes are a staple at Polar Plunge events and awards are given for the best, judged by creativity and how wacky they are.

“All it takes is a few seconds in the chilly water for plungers to discover why we refer to it as `Freezin’ for a Reason,’ ” said Special Olympics Southern California regional director Abbey Leffler. “They will immediately feel their hearts warm up with joy because they know they are giving to a great cause. Eighty six cents of every dollar raised goes directly to Special Olympics program costs.”

KTLA Channel 5’s Glen Walker emcees the 11:45 a.m. opening ceremony, which includes a special torch arrival by the San Bernardino Co. Sheriff’s Department. Other Polar Plunge activities include family fun area with games, rock wall (weather permitting), arts and crafts, entertainment, displays from law enforcement and Big Bear Discovery Center, and more.

Wolf Creek Resort, Fireside Lodge and Bear Creek Resort and Spa are offering 15% off room rates for Polar Plungers--click on our lodging page and get a great deal on a cozy cabin or motel room with fireplace, spa and other great amenities. To warm up after the year’s coolest event, Timberline Spas has hot tubs waiting.

Don’t miss the preregistration Plunge Party the night before at The Cave (40789 Village Dr.) from 6-10 p.m. on March 6. Admission is free and there’s live music by the Loose Cannons plus hors d’oeuvres, raffle and the chance to meet local Special Olympics athletes. Beer, wine and soft drinks available for purchase.

Register at Meadow Park (41220 Park Ave., Big Bear Lake) at 10 a.m. with coffee and pastries with plungers jumping in at noon. Admission for spectators is free and they can purchase lunch for $5.

Last year hundreds of plungers participated and the 2015 event looks to be event bigger with a fundraising goal of $100,000. Proceeds provide year-round training and sports programs for those with intellectual disabilities in the Inland Empire. This is a big year for the Special Olympics with the World Summer Games in Los Angeles in July and Big Bear is a host city. Over 7,000 athletes from 177 countries are expected to compete in 28 events, drawing a half-million spectators.

Register as a plunger by calling (951) 703-6502 or www.sosc.org/bigbearplunge.

February 27, 2015

Offspring Headlines KROQ `Storm the Mountain' at Bear

Legendary Southern California band The Offspring highlights the best concert lineup yet for the annual “KROQ Storms the Mountain” on Sunday, March 8.

The Offspring are one of the biggest names to ever play the radio station’s annual takeover of the slopes on the Bear Mountain 13,000 sq. ft. deck’s stage and the show is free. Chart topping songs like “Hit That,” “Why Don’t You Get a Job,” “The Kids Aren’t Alright” and “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” helped the band sell more than 50 million records worldwide. Its album “Smash” sold 20 million copies itself, featuring hits like “Come Out and Play,” “Self Esteem” and “Gotta Get Away.”

Earlier this year The Offspring released the single “Coming for You” and is touring in 2015 in support of the song, appearing in Dallas in April for Edgefest 2015, Canada’s Amnesia Rockfest, and in Germany. The band’s 10th album is expected to be released as well later this year or next.

Joining The Offspring is another heavyweight band, The Orwells. In April the group is part of the Coachella lineup but fans can see them for free at Bear, playing songs like “Who Needs You” and “Dirty Sheets.” The song “Change is in the Air” is featured in the latest Apple commercial.

During a 2014 performance on The Late Show with David Letterman The Orwells were so well received the host called for an encore. Popular DJ Jeremiah Red hosts the show..

Call the Big Bear resorts at (909) 866-5766.

February 24, 2015

Stringfever turns violin, cello hot at The Cave

Forty songs in five minutes, played at a frenetic pace by four guys on string instruments.

Four guys play one instrument at the same time with Stringfever“The History of Music in 5 Minutes” makes a fitting finale for Stringfever, four worldclass musicians playing the finest custom made electric string instruments who put on the most intense show imaginable during last year’s visit to www.thecavebigbear.com. Stringfever returns February 28 at 7:30 p.m. with a high-energy journey of, classics, rock, movie and show tunes and more, every note played on strings.

All four musicians are related. Brothers Giles, Ralph and Neal Broadbent are joined by cousin Graham as they play five and six-string electric violins, viola and cello in a very unique show. Music runs in the family; Graham’s father was principal viola in the Welsh national Opera while the brothers’ dad was a Music Master at Rugby School. An uncle has been a violinist in the London Symphony Orchestra for nearly 30 years. This is a family tied together not with blood, but strings.

The Broadbents have continued the tradition. Giles led the orchestra of the German production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard” with Ralph playing along. Graham joined them in the orchestra for My Fair Lady at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, a time they were also session musicians for Paul McCartney, Groove Armada, Travis and Dido.

Their string skills make for a blazing show. Stringfever kills it during a helter-skelter James Bond medley and the group’s unique, internationally acclaimed version of Ravel’s “Bolero” has all four Broadbents bent on playing one cello simultaneously. And in the ultimate Name That Tune, Stringfever plays a 20 song medley of the most memorable show and movie tunes.

Especially blistering is “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” Charlie Daniels’ frantic string classic with a touch of fire thrown in for good visuals. Cirque du Soleil music, classical from Vivaldi to Brahms, Stringfever presents the music with energy, humor and charisma while interacting with the audience.

Don't drive down the hill after the concert; use the links on the Big Bear Today lodging page to find overnight accomodations. There's even a free shuttle from The Cave to take you back to your lodging.

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