April 20, 2005
The Grand Dame of the nation’s historic theaters, Piper’s Opera House, Union and B Streets, in the Virginia City National Landmark District, will celebrate the 120th birthday of her 1885 auditorium from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free and the public is welcome.
Part of the festivities will include an unveiling of the recently restored Piper’s Opera House Uncle Tom’s Cabin painted advertising oleo, “The Slave Auction in New Orleans”; a lecture by historian Scott Casper who teaches and studies the Civil War; the issuance of commemorative 1885 Carson City fresh-minted Piper’s Opera House coin; and in true John Piper tradition, a rocking celebratory New Orleans-style jazz party with the 19-piece Reno Jazz Orchestra.
Piper’s Opera House Programs Inc., the nonprofit foundation that manages the venue, purchased the 1863 brick building from the John Piper family in 1998. Since then, the building has undergone a 3.5-million seismic retrofit while remaining a producing house with sparkling seasons of music, theater and dance.
During its 132-year history, the Virginia City opera house afforded the nation a place to confront the human condition in word, song and dance. Scott Casper, a historian of 19th-century America and chair of the department of history at the University of Nevada, Reno, will lecture on how popular culture and books such as Harriet Beecher “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” later adapted into a play, altered the course of a nation.
Free jazz vocal concert offered
Tahoe Arts Project will present the Long Beach City College Studio Singers at a free concert April 29. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. at the South Tahoe Middle School multipurpose room. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Under the direction of Tom Dustman, the Studio Singers perform jazz style vocal arrangements. In past years, they have performed for the Music Association of California Community Colleges, The American Choral Directors Association and the International Association of Jazz Educators. Don’t miss this musical evening as more than 30 members of the Studio Singers perform such songs as “This Masquerade,” “On Broadway” and “Come Fly With Me.”
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For more information call (530) 542-3632.
Mountain film fest on Saturday
The Tahoe Adventure Club will present the Telluride Mountain Film Festival, North America’s premier Festival of Mountain, Adventure, Environmental and Cultural Films, at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Lake Tahoe Community College theater. Tickets are $12 at Sports LTD and $15 at the door.
The Telluride Mountain Film Festival, as presented by TAC, is a collection of amazing short films selected from the three days of offerings from the main festival in Telluride, Colo. The club has been working with the festival’s organizers and have selected some exciting films with topics ranging from climbing and skiing to the environment and extreme trampoline. This promises to be a great evening of films from all over the globe and covering topics near and dear to Tahoe residents as well as delightfully far flung.
Former treasurer to sign book
The Book Den will host an author signing with former state treasurer Patty Cafferata in conjunction with Red Hat Celebration. The event is slated from noon to 2 p.m. April 23 at The Book Den, 1328 Highway 395, Suite 305, Gardnerville, Nev.
Nevada history fan and lifelong Reno resident, Cafferata is a former district attorney of Esmeralda County, Nev., where she became intrigued with the Goldfield Hotel. She has written articles about Nevada legal history for the Nevada State and Washoe County Bar journals. After interviewing her mother, Barbara Vucanovich, Cafferata has completed her mother’s memoirs, which will be published by the University of Nevada Press. She also is working on a manuscript on the history of the Nevada state treasurers.
Also, on Saturday the Red Hatters will meet at The Book Den at 11 a.m. for fun, food and prizes. Included is autographed copies of Sue Ellen Cooper’s new book, “The Red Hat Society’s Laugh Lines: Stories of Inspiration and Hattitude.” There are stories in the book from local Red Hatters as well. Other raffle prizes will be available.
For more information call The Book Den at (775) 783-1100.