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Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio.php?a=1 Copyright Inland Empire News Radio - For Personal Use Only en-us Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment. More podcasts at http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio.php. Inland Empire News Radio Inland Empire,News,Newscast,Summary,Riverside,San Bernardino,California http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/images/podcast/s1.jpg Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio.php?a=1 no info@inlandnewstoday.com Inland Empire News Radio Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment There was another recent awards ceremony although many probably never realized it even though it took place in Riverside.

This was the annual Inland Theatre League awards ceremony that salutes excellence on regional community theater stages

And, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, it received little local media attention. Sokolsky calls that an understandable but unfortunate situation because it leaves theater-goers unaware of what is available to them.

“That,” he says, “doesn’t mean that all these productions are great. But their ratio of hits to misses is about the same as they are in professional venues.” And he adds, that is no small achievement for some dedicated people who take vast amounts of time away from family and work lives to see that the show goes on.
Thu, 10 May 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e321.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:54
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment She spent nine seasons portraying a ditz who could always be counted upon to do most of the right things at most of the wrong times. And she followed that gig as a divorced loser badly coping with home, jobs and whatever else crossed her path.

And now Julia Louis-Dreyfus is at it again. This time as nothing less than the vice president of the United States in the new HBO series “Veep.”

But, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky points out, her Selina Meyer character is a definite stretch from her earlier roles.

Because, he says, this lady is no ditz. Not always, anyway. And, while he believes this is a series that may stumble quickly, it could also reach a few unexpected levels with its manic pace and wild spoof on government and politics.
Fri, 4 May 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e320.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:59
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Conductor and music director Carlo Ponti makes his final appearance with the San Bernardino Symphony on May 19.

And although several rumors have been circulating about his departure, orchestra president Mary Schnepp tells Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky that the parting with Ponti is an amicable one.

His career, she says is on the rise and is “taking him in other directions.”

Ponti, Sokolsky notes, has been with the Symphony for 11 years and, while overshadowed by the late Patrick Flynn, the colorful conductor of the Riverside County Philharmonic, was still able to establish the orchestra as a major cultural force in the Inland Empire.
Thu, 26 Apr 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e319.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:04
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The lady is a frustrated mom expressing her disappointment with her son’s latest video that shows him jumping over an obstacle in a shopping cart.

“That’s so 2005,” she tells him. “Do something funny!”

That advice comes from an AT&T commercial. However, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it could just as well be aimed at most of the current sitcom producers.

It’s not that they are failing to do funny things, Sokolsky says. But they are just the same funny things everyone has been doing for years.

The real shame, he adds, is that performances in these sitcoms may be better than ever. And he wonders “what might happen if the scripts ever catch up with them.”
Fri, 20 Apr 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e318.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:07
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The president has become a leading TV actor again. Well, sort of.

This time it is President Grant and he’s being played by Tony Goldwyn in “Scandal,” the series that has premiered on ABC. But this is not Ulysses S. Grant. And, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, he more closely resembles another former president, a more recent one.

However. the principal figure on “Scandal” is not a president. She is played by Kerry Washington and she heads a management firm that is hired to protect the image of ranking public figures.

Sokolsky wonders how long a series like this can hold up. For now, though, he says it is so well handled that its producers can already clear space on their shelves for the Emmys that are certain to be awarded.
Thu, 12 Apr 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e317.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:43
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So is this any way to start a new season? That’s the question asked by Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky as he turns his attention toward the AMC series “Mad Men."

It has entered its fifth year minus any 3-D or parallel universe stories. Nobody is trying to become the world’s best singer, dancer or whatever. It even lacks efforts to throw people off islands or show detectives moving back and forth in time.

Instead it settles on a 1960s advertising agency with characters and plots anyone associated with the media of that era will be able to identify,

Sokolsky praises the smooth tone of the presentation, noting it is not particularly exciting, but it doesn’t have to be. And, while it is unlikely to maintain its current level for more than another season, “It could be fun” to watch its journey.
Thu, 5 Apr 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e316.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:14
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, have you seen any monsters today?

If not you may tomorrow, or any time within the next month or two. That’s according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky.

It’s always been that way, he says, noting that these creatures seldom go away. They just hide for a while and then begin popping up on film and TV screens to see how many more people they can scare.

Sokolsky says that trend t probably began with the ancient Golem and has continued with the recent run of vampires.

Now, he adds, plans are under way to search for more Sasquatch sightings to see what kind of a mood Bigfoot is in these days. And he even has a nominee to host that venture – a certain cyborg who has left his mark in a number of fields.
Thu, 29 Mar 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e315.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:02
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Was anybody really thinking?

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says we have to wonder about that when we see what HBO and Disney have done with recent releases.

HBO’s entry was “Luck,” originally conceived as the story of a former convict planning revenge on colleagues who betrayed him. But it ended up as a story of race track horses and when three of them died during the filming pressure was placed on HBO to eliminate the series and a new move began to drop all shows featuring animals.

“John Carter” was adapted from a set of Edgar Rice Burroughs novels that never seemed to fit film or TV concepts. It still doesn’t and appears to be a multi-million dollar dud.

All of which brings Sokolsky back to his original question – “Was anybody really thinking?”
Fri, 23 Mar 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e314.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:07
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it’s been Ladies Day lately, all over the big and small screens. And he cites the recent attention given favorably to ladies ranging from Oprah to Meryl.

But, he adds, things haven’t been as much fun for Nicollete Sheridan and Sarah Palin.

Sheridan has been seething ever since her Edie Britt character was killed off on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and the whole affair has been taken to court.

Palin has not been happy with “Game Change,” the HBO movie dealing with her vice presidential campaign, claiming it contains a large number of inaccuracies. And, Sokolsky says, this debate is hardly likely to die, especially since a “Game Change sequel is not far off.
Mon, 19 Mar 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e313.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:16
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it’s been Ladies Day lately, all over the big and small screens. And he cites the recent attention given favorably to ladies ranging from Oprah to Meryl.

But, he adds, things haven’t been as much fun for Nicollete Sheridan and Sarah Palin.

Sheridan has been seething ever since her Edie Britt character was killed off on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and the whole affair has been taken to court.

Palin has not been happy with “Game Change,” the HBO movie dealing with her vice presidential campaign, claiming it contains a large number of inaccuracies. And, Sokolsky says, this debate is hardly likely to die, especially since a “Game Change sequel is not far off.
Fri, 16 Mar 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e309.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:57
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it’s been Ladies Day lately, all over the big and small screens. And he cites the recent attention given favorably to ladies ranging from Oprah to Meryl.

But, he adds, things haven’t been as much fun for Nicollete Sheridan and Sarah Palin.

Sheridan has been seething ever since her Edie Britt character was killed off on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and the whole affair has been taken to court.

Palin has not been happy with “Game Change,” the HBO movie dealing with her vice presidential campaign, claiming it contains a large number of inaccuracies. And, Sokolsky says, this debate is hardly likely to die, especially since a “Game Change sequel is not far off.
Fri, 16 Mar 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e310.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:16
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it’s been Ladies Day lately, all over the big and small screens. And he cites the recent attention given favorably to ladies ranging from Oprah to Meryl.

But, he adds, things haven’t been as much fun for Nicollete Sheridan and Sarah Palin.

Sheridan has been seething ever since her Edie Britt character was killed off on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and the whole affair has been taken to court.

Palin has not been happy with “Game Change,” the HBO movie dealing with her vice presidential campaign, claiming it contains a large number of inaccuracies. And, Sokolsky says, this debate is hardly likely to die, especially since a “Game Change sequel is not far off.
Fri, 16 Mar 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e311.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:16
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it’s been Ladies Day lately, all over the big and small screens. And he cites the recent attention given favorably to ladies ranging from Oprah to Meryl.

But, he adds, things haven’t been as much fun for Nicollete Sheridan and Sarah Palin.

Sheridan has been seething ever since her Edie Britt character was killed off on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and the whole affair has been taken to court.

Palin has not been happy with “Game Change,” the HBO movie dealing with her vice presidential campaign, claiming it contains a large number of inaccuracies. And, Sokolsky says, this debate is hardly likely to die, especially since a “Game Change sequel is not far off.
Fri, 16 Mar 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e312.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:16
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says the credit – or maybe the blame – should go to the producers of “Lost”. Because once they showed the possibilities of a series set in a parallel realty dimension. Everyone seems to want to get into the act.

Among the latest is NBC’s “Awake,” centering upon a police detective moving back and forth between two dimensions and solving cases in both. Sokolsky says this is hardy a new gimmick, noting that it can be traced back to a number of notable writers.

However, he points out, there is no longer a need to bring new characters into the mix. TV has now created so many people it would seem wasteful not to make more use of them.

For instance, he says, the “Two and a Half Men” could leave Malibu for a while to try to date the ladies of “Petticoat Junction.” Or one of Ray Romano’s kids could have a turn at falling into a well and being rescued by Lassie. And the season could end with a true special – a commercial-free debate featuring Rush Limbaugh and Annie Oakley.
Fri, 9 Mar 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e308.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:57
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says we can’t be too sure. Because even though the Oscars – supposedly the biggest prizes of all – have been presented --there may yet be a few more awards to hand out.

As for the latest Oscar show, Sokolsky says Billy Crystal and his colleagues came across adequately, especially in view of the late changes that had to be made.

But he wonders why so many critics and other observers placed themselves on the defensive in their admiration of Meryl Streep.

And, he asks, how many people now even remember the names of this year’s winners ? And how many have them confused with the Golden Globe etc., champions?
Thu, 1 Mar 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e307.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:09
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment TV viewers are hearing more music this season, and Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it could be the start of something new.

Or maybe something old, because as Sokolsky points out, the movies have always placed all kinds of music in some of the strangest places.

Now, he adds, TV is doing something similar with series like “Glee” and “Smash” frequently stopping all dramatic action to make room for musical numbers.

But Sokolsky wonders what this will come to. And could it mean Dr. House may eventually sign off his show with his cast marching to “76 Trombones”?
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e306.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:24
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it’s happening again. This time to ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.”

The series is scheduled to wind up in May, ending an eight-season run. But Sokolsky says it’s really been six. At least, they ran out of material after six.

The result has been a recycling of scripts with Susan doing Bree’s role, Bree doing Gaby, etc.

Sokolsky calls that an old gimmick that probably started during the radio soap opera era. Or, he adds, it may have even been pioneered by the old comic strips that found heroes like Li’l Abner having the same adventure every year.
Fri, 17 Feb 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e305.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:47
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it has been going on for years. There may be a break in the routine, but eventually there will be another film built around horse racing.

The current entry is the new HBO series “Luck” and it stars Dustin Hoffman as a powder keg of a monster released from a three year prison term.

He blames former associates, insisting they double-crossed him, and sets up an elaborate plan for revenge.

Sokolsky says it may take a while for viewers to get through a maze of excessive material. But once they do they could find an intriguing story hidden beneath the series’ surface.
Thu, 2 Feb 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e304.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:57
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky admits that he had “a little help” writing his review of the Fox series “Alcatraz.”

A tall gentleman wearing a white face mask sat him in a trembling chair and told him he had seen a few episodes of the series and “suggested” Sokolsky write about it. Favorably!

Sokolsky says such advice is hard to ignore, especially when they are backed by dental instruments. However, he adds, it is not too hard to say some nice things about “Alcatraz.”

The series, he points out, follows some familiar trails as it sends several of its principals back in time to pursue some murky events involving some grim characters – who could be as menacing as that tall man and his white face mask.
Thu, 26 Jan 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e303.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:09
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The name was Billy – Billy the Kid – and he was the subject of another television biography earlier this month.

He was also a valuable gimmick for the producers of just about all those adult westerns” that appeared on TV in the ‘50s and 60’s.

But Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says he became more than just that, establishing the value of a few standby episodes that could be tossed in whenever the creative juices stopped flowing.
Sitcoms, dramas and just about every other format have leaped into that act, often not too successfully.

But Sokolsky says it is a process that is likely to continue for a long time to come and even wonders how many movie producers have looked in on the success of “The Artist,” hoping to follow up with silent films of their own – “and maybe we should think of drafting Billy the Kid for at least one of them.”
Thu, 19 Jan 2012 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e302.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:05
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Where is Dinah Shore when we really need her?

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says Dinah may have been a pleasant relief from the barrage of automobile commercials tossed at viewers during the recent pre-holiday activity.

Most of them, he declares, were silly and unreal What was really needed was Dinah throwing her famous right hook at some of those dealers while urging viewers to “see the U.S.A. today” as they drove across the country in their new automobiles.

Their sensible automobiles. He stresses...
Thu, 29 Dec 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e301.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The films are "Mission: Impossible," "Alvin" and "Sherlock Holmes" and they have been three of the four top grossing movies throughout the month.

And, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, they are all descendants of earlier movies or TV projects. that call for remakes, sequels and prequels of successful projects.

Sometimes. Sokolsky says, the idea even works…but not always. And he cites such examples as "High Noon," a huge success when it starred Gary Cooper, almost forgotten when it tried to repeat itself with Tom Skerritt.

Then there was "Enterprise," billed as a prequel to "Star Trek" And, possibly the most notorious of them all, "Scarlett," a miniseries that was supposed to pick up where "Gone With the Wind" left off. And, he wonders, how many viewers can even
Fri, 23 Dec 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e300.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:52
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment There were some potentially tense moments when it was revealed that some musicians had not been paid for October’s opening concert.

But every thing seems settled now and the Riverside County Philharmonic says it’s ready for its Jan 7 appearance at the Fox Performing Arts Center.

Philharmonic executive director Barbara Lohman and Gary Lasley, secretary/treasurer of Local 47, AFM, tell Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky they have been able to work well together and seem able to handle most potential problems.

Meanwhile, the San Bernardino Symphony is preparing for its Jan. 15 concert at the California Theater and Mary Schnepp, executive board president, praises its volunteers for helping to raise needed funding.

But she and Lasley warn that ability to insure workable budgets will be tested for several upcoming seasons.
Thu, 15 Dec 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e299.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:56
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The show was called “Cartoon Factory.” Its creator was Jim Gilbert whose imagination and originality made it a small gem on both TV and stage.

But he never gained the full recognition he deserved. And Arts Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls that one more example of a talent that was “never seen by the right people at the right time.”

He fondly recalls Gilbert’s clever concept of converting letters and numbers into appealing animated figures with just a few strokes of a pencil. That led to his television series on small stations as well as books, lectures and performances around the country.

Gilbert’s work earned several Congressional citations. But Sokolsky wonders what other fame might have resulted had those who profited from his skills had been willing to commit just a little more in the way of “time, money or promotion.”
Fri, 9 Dec 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e298.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:04
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls it “an event that had some viewers shaking with laughter, others wondering what could possibly happen next.”

It involved the recent NFL clash between the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos. And especially involved San Diego kicker Nick Novak.

Most especially since everyone in the stadium as well as fans watching on TV knew Novak was to come into the game to attempt a tie-breaking field goal. But before that could happen the kicker had some urgent unfinished business to deal with. Teammates tried to conceal what was happening by placing a huge towel between him and the fans. Bur a TV camera was there to show the world what was taking place.

Sokolsky says Novak is not the first player to be caught in such a situation. But he may be the only one to have his big moment captured on network TV.
Thu, 1 Dec 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e297.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:48
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Things were looking rather rocky for the Riverside Community Players this year.

Well, at the start of the year anyway. The Fox Performing Arts Center was getting ready to announce a wide-raging schedule, lining up name stars, impressive shows and big concerts. And Performance Riverside was set to go with another series of popular musicals.

That left the Players in third place as far as the city theaters were concerned. But, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, both the Fox and Performance Riverside have been encountering several offstage problems. And meanwhile, the Community Players are off to an excellent season with quality performances playing to near full capacity audiences.

Sokolsky lists the just concluded “Same Time, Next Year,” as a key example. He raises director Jeff Richards for his staging of he work. And he offers a special salute to performers Kelly Kelly and Kadn Fox, insisting they should be brought back before local audiences as quickly as possible.
Wed, 23 Nov 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e296.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:56
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Lets face it, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky declares. These guys have been the funniest people on TV this season.

And no, he is not referring to the sitcom and TV stars. These are the politicians, he says. And they, have been fantastic, especially once they start blowing lines and confusing everyone, especially themselves when they try to explain what they will do if elected.

Sokolsky says their timing is especially good sine it’s been a bad season for television comedians, hampered by bad scripts an old material.

So much so, that he wonders if John P. Wintergreen may be contemplating another comeback in “Of Thee I Sing.”
Thu, 17 Nov 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e295.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:04
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Most of the obits and features dealing with the death of Andy Rooney gave only a brief mention of Arthur Godfrey.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that is not too surprising. Yet for many years, he points out, Godfrey’s personality dominated the broadcast industry.

And, while it may not be accurate to say that without Arthur Godfrey there would have been no Andy Rooney, that is a subject that could produce some debate, especially since Godfrey was impressed with Rooney’s talents and hired him to write foir some of his shows..

Sokolsky also credits Godfrey with paving the way for a number of shows that followed him.

However, there was a major change in personality that cost him most of his friends in the media, eventually leading to the end of a career that became controversial, wiping out many of the near brilliant things he accomplished.
Mon, 14 Nov 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e294.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:58
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The movie “Anonymous” has been causing little stir with its emphasis on William Shakespeare, insisting that he did not write all those plays in silence.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that’s not too surprising since this is a question that has been raised too often to be effective.

Besides, he adds, there are plenty of other notable heroes to draw attention. And, he cites such wide-ranging examples as Abraham Lincoln, Babe Ruth and the mythical Little Drummer Boy Johnny Shiloh.

However, Sokolsky says there may be a way to salvage such tales. Simply get a good writer to rearrange them a little.

And, what do you think, he asks? If somebody went through the belongings of a certain long-dead author, might they be able to come up with just such a story?
Fri, 4 Nov 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e292.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:54
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The movie “Anonymous” has been causing little stir with its emphasis on William Shakespeare, insisting that he did not write all those plays in silence.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that’s not too surprising since this is a question that has been raised too often to be effective.

Besides, he adds, there are plenty of other notable heroes to draw attention. And, he cites such wide-ranging examples as Abraham Lincoln, Babe Ruth and the mythical Little Drummer Boy Johnny Shiloh.

However, Sokolsky says there may be a way to salvage such tales. Simply get a good writer to rearrange them a little.

And, what do you think, he asks? If somebody went through the belongings of a certain long-dead author, might they be able to come up with just such a story?
Fri, 4 Nov 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e293.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:54
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment He's been a good old drinking buddy at a popular bar in Boston. Also a shrink with a radio talk show in Seattle.

Then there are the stage appearances that never earned much notice. He's even played George Washington in a TV biography. That didn't get much notice either. And
there was his role as a TV news anchor on a sitcom that failed quickly.

But now Kelsey Grammer has become mayor of Chicago in the Starz cable network series “Boss.” And. Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says this one
just may succeed.

Its concept is familiar. Grammer plays the mayor Chicago, a gritty politician with a fatal disease. He hopes to hold on until he can settle all matters, and neither his
backers nor his evil enemies are aware of his goal.
Fri, 28 Oct 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e291.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:01
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Should symphony orchestra audiences hold themselves in check during concert Interludes?

Absolutely, Inland music critic Sherli Leonard declares. Audiences. She insists. should honor tradition and not applaud during those brief pauses that help musicians convey the emotion of the music.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky agrees. But he sees no harm being done and calls it a big fuss about nothing.

Silent interludes are traditional, he says. But most newcomers to this music are not aware of it. The important thing is that they are coming to he concerts and enjoying the music.

And if they want to clap their hands – well, let them.
Thu, 20 Oct 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e290.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:48
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Watch for the sea turtle.

It may or may not show up again on HBO’s new ”Enlightened” series. But Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says viewers might have a good time looking for it.

Actually, he adds, they might also have a good time looking for a lot of things in “Enlightened,” a production whose serious and comic elements set off various levels of intrigue.

Laura Dern comes across as a business executive trying to cope with some foul play in her company’s board room, and she receives fine support from Diane Ladd, her mother in real life as well as in the series.

Meanwhile, Sokolsky advises, keep looking for that sea turtle who just seems to have been enjoying himself too much to go away too quickly.
Thu, 13 Oct 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e289.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:05
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Charlie Sheen may have left that Malibu beach apartment, but his influence is still there.

That's according to at least one “Two and a Half Men” viewer who tells Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky that he tuned into the CBS sitcom and was upset to discover that the show is still holding to a format that had been fading for more than a season.

More than that, he complained, the series' off screen difficulties caught his attention so firmly he tuned away from an exciting football game “to watch that thing.”

Sokolsky says there is one obvious way to avoid that problem in the future. However, he points out, the series is starting to exhibit several of the same woes that attach themselves to most shows and personalities who overstay their times. And in this case they would have come up with or without the show's personnel troubles.

But, Sokolsky points out, there are antidotes for such situations –in this case like a few slant patterns or maybe a field goal.
Thu, 6 Oct 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e288.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:09
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The hype has ended. The promos – some of them, anyway – are being tucked away and “Terra Nova,” the series that might become Fox's signature show this season, has finally arrived.

And with it comes the intriguing story of a select group of people sent back to a distant past in the hope of correcting some major flaws, thereby creating solutions to current and future problems.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls that plot fascinating. But. he asks, why shouldn't it be? After all, it was fascinating when Ray Bradbury wrote it. Also Rod Serling, H.G. Wells and Mark Twain., to drop just a few names.

And the series, Sokolsky adds, seems to be setting the theme for the entire TV season with old and new shows concentrating on the old and familiar. That, he observes, won't make these ideas better, but they are definitely cheaper to produce.

Sokolsky says these matters are always a problem although he sees a potential bright side if some of the “Terra Nova” adventurers see where things went wrong and return to us with solutions.
Thu, 29 Sep 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e287.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:16
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Anybody looking for a good laugh? Something that doesn’t involve Charlie Sheen?

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says two area community theaters may have just the shows for you. In Riverside, it’s Ken Ludwig’s ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ and it deals with a faded theater company trying to milk some laughs from an equally faded show. But, Sokolsky says you will have to catch this one because it closes September 25th.

Meanwhile, Rialto is looking skyward with the musical comedy ‘Flight of the Lawnchair Man’. It stars Andrew Doyle as---you guessed it---a lawnchairman who wants to fly. And, he does. Not like Peter Pan, yet he does get to the roof of the Players theater. Nobody, however, is telling how he does it.

There’s also music at the Landis Performing Arts Theater on the Riverside City College campus.. But, it’s hitting some sour notes because an off-stage drama became public when Rey Oday resigned as artistic director, ended her 5-year association with the company. Oday claimed RCC budget cuts were making quality theater impossible. She has been replaced by Matthew Neves, assistant professor of theater arts at Southern Utah University.

Sokolsky says we may get a chance to watch some intriguing second and third acts before this one is all over.
Thu, 22 Sep 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e286.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:59
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It's memory time coming up for CBS.

Sort of anyway for a new series that's about to arrive.

Titled "Unforgettable," its deals with a former police detective who seems able to remember everything she has ever seen or heard.

Arfs and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that could have been material for some humorous episodes. But he cites a study that says this is an affliction that can be real and far from funny.

However, Sokolsky adds, this is a series with some promise. But it still needs a lot of work and he wonders how long it will last.
Fri, 16 Sep 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e285.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:18
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It didn't begin with "Thelma and Louise" but Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that movie got a lot of producers thinking about new "buddy films."

Only they wanted to do them with women in the principal roles.

That's led to CBS and its upcoming series "2 Broke Girls." It stars Kat Dennoger and Beth Bears as two young woman coping with a multitude of problems. And, Sokolsky wonders, if those problems will become large enough to knock this show off the air within a very short time.

However, he notes, it may be adding a pony to its cast. And cupcakes will be featured in upcoming scripts. And a good publicist may be able to do something with elements like that.
Fri, 9 Sep 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e284.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:09
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, what will the comedy series of the 2011-2012 TV season be like?

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says we can’t be certain who all of them are, but some new faces will be appearing prominently on the TV screen. Particularly with old favorites like ‘Two and a Half Men’ and ‘Desperate Housewives’.

‘Men’ producers have already decided to replace Charlie Sheen and ‘Desperate Housewives’ will be dropped at the end of the season. Sokolsky calls those changes inevitable.

Sheen, he says, was acting like the bad boy he was always trying to be. And, both series went overboard with such familiar material, viewers were becoming able to tell what was going to happen long before the punch lines were delivered.
Fri, 2 Sep 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e283.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:01
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It was once known as the Mission Inn dinner Theater and it was based, logically enough, at the Mission Inn. That, however, proved to be a bad marriage so the group move to Landis Auditorium on the RCC campus, becoming Performance Riverside. And, it still had troubles.

Too large and structured to be classified a community theater and minus the budget and glitz of the Fox Entertainment Center, Performance Riverside was considered to out of the loop to compete with these rivals.

But as Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky points out, it is doing well with a program consisting largely of vintage shows like ‘Carousel’ and ‘Annie’.

Performance Riverside managing directort Ray O’Day says the company’s policy of asking audiences to help choose its productions is obviously working well. Sokolsky agrees, but adds that it may also be a matter of nobody liking the shows but the people.
Thu, 25 Aug 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e282.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:53
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The show must go on. The Rialto Players are seeing to that with their Sept. 10 opening of “The Flight of the Lawnchair Man.”

But since this is a Rialto production, there are complications. Such as,, do the Players have a male led? And who will it be?

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says this is just part of the regular game plan for a theater company that usually does a good job, but always faces special challenges.

And he recalls a conversation with a Rialto director who says she wonders if they ever could do a show without problems.
Thu, 18 Aug 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e281.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:11
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment And now, it's apes.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says we had to expect it.

After all, he notes, we've already filled our screens with monsters, police and cowboys. So, what's left?

Apres, of course. We are seeing them now in another 'Planet of the Apes' film and Sokolsky says more will be coming.

Now, he asks, how much will that doggie in the window be worth?
Thu, 11 Aug 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e280.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:05
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So is our enthusiasm for heroes and heroic deeds really running down?

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky wonders if it is. He cites as an example the nation’s somewhat subdued reaction to the government finally solving a way through a potential disaster that would have found us running out of money.

That solution, Sokolsky says, was a noble achievement, not a perfect one, but worthy of some applause. And in days past Tin Pan Alley composers would have already churned out a variety of ballads and patriotic songs.

This time, he points out, the response was good. But wasn’t there a songwriter out there who might have wanted to create a drum roll or two on the White Hous lawn as a tribute to those victors valiant?
Thu, 4 Aug 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e279.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:58
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So. where’s “Charlie”?

Well,, one thing is certain. Charlie Sheen will no be on the set of CBS’ “Two and a Half Men,” leaving the series after some angry showdowns with its producers.

He says he will be back on TV, however, with a new show that is already drawing network and cable interest.

But, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky asks, where does all this leave “Two and a Half Men”? Can it survive without Charlie? Will
Ashton Kutcher be able to replace him?

And how will a series that has already been exhibiting some frayed edges adapt to its changes?
Thu, 28 Jul 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e277.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:03
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it doesn’t occur very often, but it always does happen. Eventually, he notes, a film producer comes to the conclusion that audiences grow tired of the same old same old.

So a turn is made to other categories and inevitably, someone comes up with a western.

But, Sokolsky points out, these westerns come with a few different twists. Like the one displayed in “Cowboys and Aliens,” scheduled to open next week in area theaters, displaying a wild new musical theme.

It also has something of a traditional hero, a mysterious stranger who wanders into a remote frontier town, not knowing his name or how he got there. But he is the one who has to take control when outer space aliens suddenly attack.

Sokolsky says the film is certain to pave the way for some similar features, pointing out that a new “Lone Ranger” is already in preliminary phases. No word yet as to whether it will dare stray from that hero’s musical theme.
Thu, 21 Jul 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e276.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:03
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It’s about to happen again. The curtain going up and the lights are being lit as another theater season is about to get underway.

In Riverside that means the venerable Fox Theater where early problems appear solved and a busy schedule has been set up. And in San Bernardino there is another veteran, his one the 83 year-old California Theater where a wide ranging schedule has been set up.

It will include a slice of everything, Cheryl Evenson, the California’s associate producer, says during a visit with Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky and radio producer Jim Ness.

Her star list ranges from Cheryl Burke to Tommy Chong and she talks of reaching a wide-ranging audience with “something for everyone.”
Fri, 15 Jul 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e275.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:13
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, what could Annie and the ‘Green Lantern’ have in common?

Very little, says Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky. Except for one thing, Both went from comic strips to the movie or TV screen.

That’s not a totally rare occurrence, Sokolsky declares. But some have done it successfully. So have Blondie and Batman.

Some, he notes have even succeeded on several fronts – movies, radio, TV and stage. And Spiderman – well, Sokolsky says, he might be close to joining that select group – if he can avoid any more theatrical mishaps.

Others were not as fortunate although Sokolsky says the Phantom did score well in a special Riverside venue -- a popular downtown bar where a movie buff brought in chapters from a vintage matinee serial.
Thu, 7 Jul 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e274.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:09
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls it the country’s most discussed stage production. And its newsprint and video coverage could likely stretch around the world. Twice.

Yet, hardly any theater-goers have seen “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark” and few are ever likely to see it..

Loaded with production problems, “Spider Man,” in present form, is just too dependent upon gimmicks to fit any normal-sized stage. And its ticket costs can reach huge proportions. So have injuries to actors trying to navigate between all the special effects that could all but eliminate most theaters planning to book the show on a national tour.

However, Sokolsky says, it’s been fun to read about “Spidey.” And to contemplate his future in the inevitable multi-dimension gloriously animated movies that are sure to follow his Broadway run.
Thu, 23 Jun 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e273.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:02
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, what’s funny? And what’s infuriating?

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell. At one time, he says, many comics attracted critical anger with their use of certain words. Now, however, it is not so much those words as the way they are used.

Sokolsky points to Tracy Morgan as a latest example. Appearing at a standup club in Nashville, he launched into a comic monologue many considered explosively anti-gay.

Morgan has apologized for his remarks, but the criticism of his act has not disappeared.

Sokolsky sees a lesson for all entertainers in the situation, noting that times and attitudes are ever changing and that current technology can make any performance available to a world-wide audience on an instant basis. In other words, he advises, know your audience. And thinking before opening one’s mouth might also be a good idea.
Fri, 17 Jun 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e272.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:07
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky pays tribute to Jim Arness who starred in the “Gunsmoke” series that ran for more than 20 years on CBS.

Arness, Sokolsky notes, never won the prestige and fame attached to such other western stars as John Wayne and Randolph Scott. But he more than held his own as Marshall Matt Dillon. And as far as viewers were concerned, he WAS Matt Dillon and Dillon WAS Arness and that was good enough.

In the process, Sokolsky says, they established a tightly written “adult western” that found no reason to explore secondary themes and motives. Good guys were simply good guys and bad guys were just villains to be disposed of in any possible way.

Sokolsky says a few other series and stars tried to duplicate the formula. But none succeeded as well as “Gunsmoke” because there was only one Jim Arness. Or was it only one Matt Dillon?
Thu, 9 Jun 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e271.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:10
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment And here they come again! More unfriendly creatures from outer space have invaded our poor planet once more, doing terrible things to people and landmarks.

This time they are being guided by Steven Spielberg and his Dream Works associates and they will appear in “Falling Skies,” opening June 19 on TNT.

But, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky points out, things are really different now. Because, instead of going after those impressive targets in places like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, these creatures have zeroed in on he Boston area.

That’s right, Boston, known for he bean, the cod and the only chefs who can make good clam chowder.

Sokolsky says that isn’t enough to offset the production’s trite dialogue or familiar story line. But at times it almost works.
Thu, 2 Jun 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e270.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:11
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The announcement came earlier this month. The Nederlander Organization was stepping back and turning its marketing and subscriber operations at the Fox Performing Arts Center over to its West Coast affiliate headed by gymnast Cathy Rigby and her husband Tom McCoy.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that could eliminate a source of concern for the Fox where a $32 million renovation was launched to help establish Riverside as the areas cultural center.

But a number of things seemed to be going wrong. Play selection was questionable. Show schedules were often confusing and impractical and the damages created by an ugly recession and an inability to communicate with the public and the media added to the difficulties.

However, Sokolsky says, things now seem to be moving in a positive direction, especially since Rigby and McCoy are arriving with a good track record and a knowledge of the territory.
Thu, 26 May 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e269.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:01
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Playwright Josh Tobiessen calls it a basic formula. Comedians are funny. Politicians are funny. So he mixed them together in “Election Day,” the Tobiessen comedy now playing at the Riverside Community Players theater.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls the show the “artistic surprise” of the area’s season, noting that it opened quietly with no advance word.

However, he says, this is “one funny production” with its story of a group of misfits tossed together by a local election.

Sokolsky has special praise for lead performers Allana Matheis and Robert S. Ciresi Jr. and adds additional applause for Lance Todd Christiansen’s crisp direction.
Thu, 19 May 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e268.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:11
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The lawyers are coming! Again!

But Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says, these are not the stuffy attorneys of past TV eras. They are "Franklin & Bash," set to arrive June 1 on TNT and they are more in the mold of the eccentric characters on "Boston Legal" and maybe even "Rumpole of the Bailey.

The big difference, Sokolsky points out, is that they have more glitz and electronic aids.

And, he adds. they are off to a good start with some clever opening episodes.

They are set, he says, for a 10-episode run. But a food summer outing could lead to a place on a fall schedule.
Thu, 12 May 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e267.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:14
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment And the race is on.

And Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it is only s matter of time until producers begin telling us about upcoming films and miniseries dealing with the life of Osama Bin Laden.

That’s always been the way he says, and this will be no exception.

This doesn’t mean that such subject are always successful, and he cites several that failed., especially because their accuracy has been questioned.

But, Sokolsky says, a Bin Laden project could be successful, because of its “dramatic preview.”
Thu, 5 May 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e266.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:15
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Suppose they did a show and nobody watched? Jerry Seinfeld has he answer to that. NBC gave him a new series and a quick hook.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that was definitely a far cry from the old days when his sitcom ruled the ratings.

However, Sokolsky adds, this new Seinfeld seemed to be in trouble from the very beginning.

That was evident when critics given preview tapes were warned that several people in those episodes were being replaced and would not appear in the show.

Sokolsky says Seinfeld does not seem overly depressed by the situation. After all, he notes Sid Caesar, Lucille Ball and Milton Berle, among many others, had shows that failed when they attempted comebacks.
Thu, 28 Apr 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e265.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:12
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It’s finally going to happen.

The era of the soap opera is coming to an end.

And more fuel was dropped upon that fire this month when ABC dropped two more of its shows.

But Arts and Entertainment Editor Bon Sokolsky notes that the soaps are not the only ones to fall. Prime time shows are also feeling the axe.

The networks are saying they will fill those soon to be vacated time slots with talk shows, game show and reality shows.

Sokolsky ponders the fate of the performers displaced by these moves and wonders what may be coming next.
Thu, 21 Apr 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e264.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:13
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky is looking ahead to next season and is wondering what will happen to a popular sitcom that is about to lose one of its stars.

But no, he explains, not THAT star. This one is Steve Carell, the key figure on “The Office,” one of the major shows on the NBC schedule.

Sokolsky wonders how the series will do without him, also how Carell will do with the series.

And he cites numerous examples to fit the positive and negative sides of that question.

For the moment, though, the only thing that remains firm is the fact that a popular series is going to have to cope with a new look.
Thu, 14 Apr 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e263.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:58
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The film is titled ‘Beyond the Blackboard” and Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls it a relief.

The CBS offering, he says, fits a current mold of remaking just about anything that’s ever been filmed. In this case, however, there is a rewarding difference with attention paid to a subject too often overlooked.

The film, he notes, deals with a young teacher assigned to a dusty tool shed used as a classroom for homeless children. Disturbed by that setting and upset by adults who do nothing to correct the situation, the teacher finds her own ways of attacking the problem.

Sokolsky says that leads to a rather trite story line with familiar setting and solutions.

But, he adds, many of its flaws disappear before Emily Van Camp’s portrayal of the teacher and she gets good support from a fine supporting cast.
Wed, 6 Apr 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e262.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment You have a choice. You could call it “And Then There Were None” or you could go with “Ten Little Indians.” Either way it is fun.

At least it is at the Riverside Community Players theater where director Phil Homer has turned his cast loose on the venerable Agatha Christie tale.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it takes a little while for this production to get its balance. But after that, he notes, it is an enjoyable ride.

The show follows a time-honored formula. Ten people are stranded in a remote house on an even more remote island.. One by one, they are being killed off and the murderer is someone in their ranks.

That’s definitely creaky stuff, Sokolsky says. But it is more than enough to set the pace for a brisk production that stumbles a bit but seldom falters.”
Fri, 1 Apr 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e261.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:08
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment You could call it part of the Rialto Players tradition. The company has never met a comedy it didn’t like and it generally rises to any challenge that genre has put forth.

This time, however, the test is really severe. And troublesome, according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky.

That’s because its latest offering is Frederick Knott’s “Write Me a Murder,” an offbeat comedy/drama with a number of built in problems that include some deliberately lengthy scene changes.

And at times, Sokolsky says that burden becomes a little too much. But director Barry Wallace and his cast have managed to retain enough control to be effective most of the time.

In the process, he adds, the Players have come up with and attractive and highly capable new actress in Soo Kim who is particularly effective when she joins Sean Green in a story arc that carries a special Hitchcock touch.
Thu, 24 Mar 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e260.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:05
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It looks like those plans to star Barbra Streisand in a rename of the film “Gypsy” are going on hold. Warner Bros. no longer wants to undertake the project.

However, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, a different sort of lavish production could be on Broadway within a month when the lavish staging on the newly streamlined “Spiderman” finally opens.

It’s been a hard job getting this show ready. However, Sokolsky says, that always seems to be the case of remakes. And, he adds, it can be extremely tough on the actors.

He cites as example Tom Skerritt and Steve Weber. They starred in TV remakes of “High Noon” and “The Shining.” But they’ve been quickly forgotten and are still in the shadows of Gary Cooper and Jack Nicholson.
Thu, 17 Mar 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e259.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:06
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Well, we can’t say we weren’t warned.

As Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky points out, invaders from other planets have been planning for a long time to take over our world. Buck Rogers began finding them years ago. So did Rod Serling.

And now their cries of alarm are taking on new meaning with invaders not only arriving, but possibly succeeding in establishing strong beachheads by demonstrating their superiority in “The Element,” “V” and “The Adjustment Bureau.”

Sokolsky says that doesn’t mean they are now succeeding. But he looks at the strange events featured on some current series and wonders what will come next.
Thu, 10 Mar 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e258.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:08
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, is the party finally over? Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that is possible now that the film industry’s Academy Awards have finally been handed out. The ceremonies, he notes, were hardly lavish, but that may be a good thing.

After the intended glitz and glamour of the Golden Globes, the Grammies and all the other specials, Sokolsky says it was almost a relief to see the Oscars steer away from the spectacular and just hand out its prizes.

He does toss a compliment to hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco pointing out that they could not match the comic antics of Bob Hope, Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal. And, to their credit, they never tried.

He offers some special “small applause” for Franco who apparently did not stay for the post-Oscar parties. Instead he hurried home to return to his school classes.

Sokolsky says at least a few parents might have picked up some useful ammunition from that, especially when they next try to argue their kids into doing their homework
Fri, 4 Mar 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e257.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:18
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The series is titled ”My Dad Says.” Well. almost “My Dad Says.” There was one more word to put on the show’s label, but CBS hesitated because it didn’t seem suitable for a prime time slot.

Besides, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky observes, there are other things that call attention to this series that has just ended a brief run. Primarily, Sokolsky points out, it marks another cliff hangar, a device designed to draw viewers back to the show when it returns to the airwaves.

That’s what it did for series like “Dallas” and “Cheers.” But it didn’t do very well for shows like “Nowhere Man” and “Dream On.” Both urged viewers to watch for upcoming episodes that would answer major questions.

Only, it didn’t happen because both series were cancelled before its people had a chance to explain what had happened.

Sokolsky says the boom was really lowered on “Nowhere Man.” The show was not only cancelled, UPN, the network that carried it, went out of business.
Thu, 24 Feb 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e256.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:12
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Well, nobody ever said it would be easy. And it certainly has been anything but that for poor Spiderman whose Broadway debut keeps getting delayed.

So far the only reports on the show are coming from previews that have not always been flattering.

But then, according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky, previews have often caused a fuss or two. And he recalls the controversy that arose several years ago when the New York Times began sending its new theater critic to previews because he was having trouble making opening night deadlines.

A later quarrel arose when producers declared previews off limits to theater critics but began charging full price for tickets to what Sokolsky called “glorified dress rehearsals.”

That, he says, led to some backstage discussions that were often more dramatic than the actual shows.
Fri, 18 Feb 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e254.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:14
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment And here they come again, more sitcoms to fill the network schedules.

Among the very new comers, “Mad Love,” a CBS outing Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky credits with filling the full formula with a dense hero and his manipulating girl friend.-all of course under the age of 35.

The happy thought Sokolsky says, is that once in a while a good series can emerge from all this.

But will it happen this time? Sokolsky says that isn’t too likely. However, he adds, there could be some relief if we turn elsewhere.

Like CNN or MSNBC. Because, he notes, they have some funny people over there. Well, don’t they?
Fri, 11 Feb 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e252.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:51
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Two old newspaper buddies get together when Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky plays host to Bill Linehan, an editor Bob says saved him from making “a full package of mistakes,”

Now Bill is an author with his first book titled “Just Kid Me, Old Highway, Old Wildway, O Pecos Bill,”

He calls it a return to childhood days where flights of imagination can take over.

Bill admits hat it took quite a bit of patience to get all this in order but eventually everything fell into place.

But were any of the characters in the book based on real people? Bill says he prefers tot side step on that question.
Fri, 4 Feb 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e251.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:11
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So are the Riverside Community Players really the Inland Empire’s best kept artistic secret? Possibly.

That’s according to Arts an Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky as he notes the little attention this 86 year-old group has received in comparison to so many other area cultural organizations.

Yet, he points out, the players have done some fine work this season, especially with its current production of Horton Foote’s “The Young Man From Atlanta.”

The drama focuses upon a middle-aged man suddenly fired after 40 years on the job with a company he helped develop.

Sokolsky calls it a drama that poses a problem many can relate to and he singles out lead performer Andrew Hagan and director Patricia McQuillan for outstanding handling of a difficult project.
Fri, 28 Jan 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e250.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:10
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So is it simply coincidence? That’s what CBS and Betty White spokespersons are insisting.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says he won’t argue with them, but he does note a few things.

Like Betty White announcing she will be taking a year off and if you see her on a screen it will only be in things she has done before she announced her upcoming vacation. And on the heels of that announcement comes word that Betty’s latest film, “The Lost Valentine,” is scheduled for Jan. 30 on CBS.

Sokolsky says it is not a bad film and it projects a decent story line of an elderly woman who has waited 60 years to learn the fate of her husband, declared missing in action during World War II”

But, he adds, it is long, often ponderous and could have easily been done in half the time it now occupies.
Fri, 21 Jan 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e249.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:04
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It’s hard to be a super hero these days. That’s according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky.

But what can be done about that? Almost nothing, he declares, noting that almost all the good guy gimmicks have been taken, leaving nothing inviting for anyone else “to adapt.”

Latest case in point, “The Cape,” the crime fighter who recently arrived on NBC. He’s out to nail bad boy like the villain who is trying to take over a city’s entire police force.

His once super weapon is a remarkable cape and a similarity to “Batman.” But Sokolsky says you would probably be just as correct if you thought “Robo-Cop” or “Spiderman.”

A saving point, he concedes, might be some touches of humor that have been trying to sneak into scripts, but it will take a while to establish them and he wonders whether “The Cape” will “have a while” to go that far.
Fri, 14 Jan 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e248.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:59
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, here we go again. “V” is back.

That’s “V” as in the series about outer space visitors who want to make us part of their food chain.

That’s an intriguing story. But, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky, notes it has roots that stretch back to a large number of TV ventures.

And it has led to numerous television and movie counterparts.

However, Sokolsky says, its current outgoing is well cast with performers able to steer away from most of the sci-fi stereotypes.
Fri, 7 Jan 2011 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e247.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says there is no doubt about it. Oprah Winfrey is definitely back.

But things are different now and there was a good lead into that on CBS last week when she was saluted during the “Kennedy Center Honors” special. But now certain things are different.

She has her own network for her show. It’s called OWN – for Oprah Winfrey Network. And that means she will be calling all the shots.

Sokolsky calls this one more example of how people in the arts have been bypassing conventional organizations to get into things like vanity publishing. Also by using hand held units to form their own distribution companies.

What’s more, many of them are proving “Anything You Do I Can Do Better.”
Thu, 30 Dec 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e246.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:52
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The series is called “Southland” and Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it is possible you may have seen it before.

A few seasons ago it had a brief run on NBC. Then it came to TNT where it was also dropped, recovered and almost dropped again. Sokolsky says it may last a while this time. Maybe.

That’s because it is a police series, once a mainstay of TV schedules now it’s a decent show that seems designed to fill in until another reality show arrives with its spotlight on non-entertainers who hope to become real entertainers.

Sokolsky says he wonders whether this is why “Southland,” while a well done show, seems to be doing so many familiar stories.

But, he adds, Gilbert and Sullivan seemed to be warning us about this many years ago when they wrote about “A Policeman’s Lot.”
Thu, 23 Dec 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e245.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:48
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Talk about upgrades.

It was only a few years ago that much of the talk surrounding Riverside’s Fox Theater involved tearing it down and using its site for a parking .lot.

Now, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, the theater has been renamed the Fox Performing Arts Center and it is being saluted as a nucleus of the upturn that is turning downtown Riverside into a polished cultural headquarters.

There is still much to be done, Sokolsky says. But the approach toward that goal is being made and is a large improvement over previous efforts.

Truly, he adds, “That’s Entertainment.” And a lot more.
Thu, 16 Dec 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e244.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It was probably not a surprising move for “Castle.” It just seems early for the ABC series to be bringing its two principal characters to a higher romantic level.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says producers usually wait for their series to slump. Then they talk of the “sexual tension ” they have established for the stars, noting that viewers “have waited all season” for the love scenes.

But Sokolsky sees one flaw in the formula: It seldom works.

And he points to the problems series like “Moonlighting” and “Rhoda” experienced when they took that route.

But now, he says, viewers’ attention will be on “Castle” and he wonders whether this will also result in “an old story that has become too familiar.”
Fri, 10 Dec 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e243.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:03
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Poor Spiderman. He’s in trouble. Again.

But, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, this is not his usual trouble. And instead of coping with bad guys, poor Spidey has to fight an old show biz problem. Lack of money.

This involves plans to showcase him in a wild special embracing all sorts of fancy techniques. So far, production costs are immense. The previews are bad. And little seems to be working.

But, Sokolsky says, that often seems the problem when efforts are made to turn comic strip heroes like Spiderman into screen or stage icons. And he cites examples ranging from Superman to Joe Palooka and Little Orphan Annie.

So what can we expect from the current situation? Sokolsky has no immediate answer. Except for one thing: Don’t expect to see Spidey at the Fox or any other large local theater in any near future.
Fri, 3 Dec 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e242.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:09
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Did you know that the Riverside County Philharmonic almost played a colorful and unprecedented performance of the “1812” overture?

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky remembers the near miss and why it never came to be because somebody made “a small mistake.”

But, he adds, such things are known to happen with some frequency in the worlds of culture, entertainment and sports.

For instance, Sokolsky says, there was that major college football game recently played in Chicago -- with only one goal post. And he recalls monumental errors in the construction of New York’s Lincoln Center and Houston’s Astrodome.

Then there was that movie sound system installed in a Buffalo movie theater, a system sensitive enough to pick up telephone conversations throughout the city – like the one in which Dora told Lucy and several hundred film goers why she dumped Bruno.
Wed, 24 Nov 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e241.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:06
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts an Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky points to the obvious. Christmas is fast approaching.

We can see that now in the type of shows TV viewer are getting, especially from the folks at Hallmark where Programmers at the Hallmark Channel have just given viewers “The Night Before the Night Before Christmas.” Now there is its CBS drama “November Christmas, ” coming up Nov 28. Sokolsky advises getting two or three boxes of tissue paper before one sits down to watch it.

The drama, he says, features an excellent cast to relate the story of a sick young girl who is unlikely to live before the start of the holiday season.

A grumpy neighbor inspires the townspeople to join in to help create this special day and a group of small town citizens move up their calendars to present the girl with an intended last but beautiful Christmas.

And yes, Sokolsky says, all this is quite overdone, but let’s face it. Isn’t this a welcome antidote to the vampires and other ghouls who have overwhelmed the prime time slots most of the season?
Fri, 19 Nov 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e240.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:01
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It’s finally happened. That long awaited debut of Conan O’Brien’s late night show has arrived on the TBS cable network.

And, according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky, its first week “wasn’t too bad.” It did not create huge waves of viewer laughter. “But neither did it suggest we turn off our sets and go to bed.”

The best news about it, Sokolsky says is that the current Conan O’Brien is getting closer to his earlier mischievous self and, happily, is no longer behaving like “a kid forced by his mom and dad to ‘entertain’ their guests by reciting an insufferable monologue.”

Sokolsky says O’Brien was at “his best and worst” in his several sketches that spoofed NBC, scoring with some, falling flat with others.

But he now wonders whether NBC and CBS still have long range plans for O’Brien—like thoughts of grabbing him to replace Jay Leno or David Letterman whose ratings while respectable, have been slipping.
Fri, 12 Nov 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e239.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:59
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Don’t bring he kids.

That is the advice Eric Barr gives when he talks about “Spring Awakening,” the unusual show he is directing.

The play opens Nov. 11 at UCR’s Studio Theater and, Barr tells Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky, it may be the most censored theatrical piece ever written.

But, Barr adds, this is far from porno. It deals with teenage angst, he tells Sokolsky.

And while it was written in 1891 it shows us that some things never change and must be faced in the same way.
Fri, 5 Nov 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e238.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:10
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky pays tribute to Alexander Anderson, creator of such favorite characters as Dudley Do Right. The most inept Mountie of them all.

Working together with Jay Ward, Anderson who died earlier this month, brought us such other memorable cartoon stars as Rocky, Bullwinkle and Rags the Tiger.

In the process, Sokolsky says, they also proved that there could be more to cartoons than -- well, just cartoons.

In fact, he adds, long before words like "animation" and "3-D" became part of the film language, there were cartoon characters whose antics paved the way for later innovations. Like spinoff series that took supporting characters and made them stars, often times brighter than the shows that originated them.

For example, not many film fans can recall the old "Thimble Theater?" Yet, who will forget Popeye the sailor man who won over millions of audience members. And in the process, did pretty well for the spinach industry too.
Fri, 29 Oct 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e237.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:52
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The new TV season has hardly begun but Arts and Entertainment editor Bob Sokolsky says it's already started to happen. Network deep thinkers are beginning to fix what is not broke.

He cites such examples as the CBS sitcoms :"Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory."

Both shows, he says, are still funny but are showing signs of too much strategy when it comes to the romances of principal characters.

But it's always been this way, Sokolsky adds, pointing to such past examples as "L.A.Law" and "Almost Perfect."

And, he asks, "When will they ever learn?"
Fri, 22 Oct 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e236.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:03
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment If KCET (Channel 28) follows through with its plan to leave PBS what will happen to PBS programming?

And how will this affect the Inland Empire?

It won’t, some TV officials tell Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky.

Sokolsky says KVCR (Channel 24), San Bernardino, would continue to pick up PBS programming.

And, he is told, it might even help create a smaller PBS network.
Fri, 15 Oct 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e235.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment They’ve got a little list of shows that may never be missed. And it's growing as network executives study the results of the new season's first ratings surveys and begin to decide who will remain and who will become candidates for departure…

And somewhat surprisingly, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky observes, Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer are among those in jeopardy. CNN had high hopes for this duo but their ratings have been disappointing.

Sokolsky calls this a far cry from earlier eras when news programming was only called upon to present news. These days network news and news magazines find themselves forced to compete with entertainment. That's led to some colorful debates and quarrels and one has to wonder where it will all end?

On the other hand, Sokolsky asks, doesn't much of this resemble some of those old Carol Bunett shows and the1976 movie "Network"?

And maybe, he wonders, some enterprising producer may solve all his problems by resurrecting their scripts.
Fri, 8 Oct 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e234.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:52
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Only a few weeks have gone by and Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it's been a rough season for Tom Selleck.

Especially, he notes, in this area. Cable problems knocked the pilot episode of his new "Blue Bloods" off the screen. Then the same thing happened the following week.

The third show, however, did arrive as scheduled and Sokolsky wonders whether that was an advantage or another obstacle. Built around a New York police family, "Blue Bloods" seems tp be focusing upon the same story lines seen on just about every other police series.

And when not doing that, it appears to be little more than another version of ABC's "Brothers and Sisters."

All this is a far cry from Selleck's popular "Magnum, P.I." and Sokolsky wonders what can be done to turn it in a new direction.
Fri, 1 Oct 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e233.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:52
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The new TV season has hardly begun but Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky is starting to wonder about the confusion raining down on viewers.

For example, he asks, is that Jimmy Smits rushing to the aid of the wrongly convicted on "Outlaw"? Or is it Perry Mason picking up another script?

And are those lost episodes from "Lost" or are they really a part of the new "Event"?

Then there are those female detectives, outsmarting and out muscling the bad guys. Miss Marple? Xena?

Sokolsky suggests musical themes to distinguish bad guys from good. After all, he notes, that worked in those black and white movies.
Fri, 24 Sep 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e232.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:57
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It's still Noel Coward, and his plays, while hilarious are still tough to stage because they require so much from actors and directors.

But Phillip Gabriel is taking a shot at it anyway with his current staging of "Blithe Spirit" at the Riverside County Players theater.

And, like most who have gone this route, Gabriel has encountered several problems. However, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says, he has found ways to handle most of them.

They include reshaping the theater's arena stage, turning it into a oval setting. They also include Beatrice Casagran's madcap second act appearance that turns this comedy from a dull aging piece into a sparkling treat.

There are still many things about it that don't quite work, Sokolsky says. But those that do are definitely worth watching.
Fri, 17 Sep 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e231.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:53
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment And now for something completely different.

Well, all right, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky hedges. Not completely different, but sort of different.

That’s because it is the Lifetime network movie “The 19th Wife” and it ventures into places man has seldom gone before. Neither, Sokolsky says, has woman.

In this case it is a Mormon community where one of its more despicable residents is killed. And when the murderer is not caught the victim’s wife claims to have killed him.

Sokolsky says the reasons behind that involve everything from crime and punishment to issue of deep religious faith and haw thoroughly they should be explored.
Fri, 10 Sep 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e230.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:58
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The new TV season is really not underway yet. But Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it is already making one thing clear. Fat is in.

That, he explains, will be obvious later this month when CBS throws political correctness to the winds with a pair of rookie sitcoms.

"Mike and Molly" and "Bleep! My Dad Says" will both display lead characters who are not just pleasantly plump; they are simply fat and there is no attempt to hide that fact.

"Mike and Molly" stars Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy as a policeman and a teacher who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous session.

"Bleep!" spotlights one time "Star Trek" star Bill Shatner as a retired Navy doctor with an Archie Bunker complex, and Sokolsky says he wonders what would happen today if he tried to make the good ship Enterprise airborne.
Fri, 3 Sep 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e229.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:06
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Another Inland theater season is about to open and Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says things should look different this time.

A year ago, he explains, all eyes were on the renovated Riverside Fox while area community and regional theaters moved back to secondary positions. This year, Sokolsky suggests, more attention may go to the local companies, leaving the Fox to prove itself to Inland audiences.

That, he says, doesn't mean the Fox had a bad year. It just didn't have a very good one and now its officials will be trying to improve that situation.
Fri, 27 Aug 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e228.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:52
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It's a favorite old formula. You know. The one that says we should repeat ourselves over and over again if we do succeed.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says we shall be seeing it early in the 2010-11 campaign when CBS opens its new season with the premiere of "Hawaii Five-0."

It won't be the original, of course. But Sokolsky says it stays close to its original purpose with good guys seeking and destroying villains foolish enough to threaten the "Five-0" territory.

There will also be revised theme music. Sokolsky says it may be somewhat glamorized, but viewers will certainly recognize it.
Fri, 20 Aug 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e227.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:54
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The Fox Performing Arts Center has completed its first season and the results are good and bad.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky points to some good shows, performed well in an attractive venue. However, he also finds some severe blemishes.

Sokolsky, who has been critical of Fox operator William Malone, says he is not joining the ranks of those who have been flinging mud at him. "There seems little need to kick him again," he declares.

Instead Sokolsky applauds the naming of Linda Jenkins as house manager and believes she can plug many of the holes that have hindered the Fox operation.

On the other hand, he says, things are going to have to improve in the coming season because if they don't, the Fox could suffer a quick painful demise.
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e226.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:03
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says those self-styled experts may have been right after all.

They were just a bit early when they predicted the end of public television.

But it's not that PBS and its stations are folding, he declares.. They are just feeling some contemporary heat from the current recession.

This, Sokolsky explains, may not have to signal the end of public TV. However, it has led to fewer donations, leading to lower budgets and fewer people to do the work

Among other things, that has caused KCET (Channel 28) in Los Angelis to place an indefinite hold on plans to do a set of specials in association with such other stations as KVCR (Channel 24) in the Inland Empire.
Fri, 6 Aug 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e225.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The name was Milton Berle. We called him Uncle Miltie and NBC claimed he ruled the airwaves every Tuesday with his madcap comedy. But did he?

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky declines to debate that topic.

However, he notes, there was a pretty formidable rival on CBS where another veteran comic, Phil Silvers, more than held his own.

Silvers did it with his hilarious Ernie Bilko character, a wily Army sergeant always thinking of outrageous ways to make money and annoy military top brass.

But, as a newly released DVD set from CBS Video shows, it was always in the spirit of fun and it often remained so close to some real things that World War II and Korean War veterans could laughingly identify with the situations Bilko created.
Sun, 1 Aug 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e224.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky say we've read or seen the story dozens of times. You know, the one about the good girl who went bad because she had no other options.

And now it is coming up again, this time on the Lifetime network where it is titled "The Client List."

The film stars Jennifer Love Hewitt as a former beauty queen suddenly facing the cruelties of life. Her husband, once a star football player. was injured and can no longer play the game or bring home the big paycheck. Bills are piling up and a very unfriendly banker is threatening to take away their house.

Hewitt finally meets these challenges by taking a job at a local establishment that is well known to her town's males, but not to most of their wives. Viewers are certain to know what happens after that.

However, Sokolsky credits Hewett for a performance that keeps matters under some sensible control. That doesn't save the story, he says. But it does make it better than its usual versions.
Fri, 23 Jul 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e223.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The songs are good. The actors and actresses are good. And the director is good.

So, that should translate into another hit for the Riverside Community Players. Right?

Well, almost right as far as this production of "Strike Up the Band" is concerned. The Gershwin musical has been around for more than 80 years and, while never considered a stellar production, it has held up well.

And Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it is still holding up. That's in spite of a small theater that brings the cast members so close to the musicians that much of the dialogue is drowned out.

However, he adds director Jennifer Young Lawson's people do rise to the challenges placed before them and the result is a glow that is fun to observe.
Fri, 16 Jul 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e222.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:57
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Add Steve Carell to that list of performers who succeeded as TV stars and are now seeking new media to conquer. The lead actor in “The Office” has announced he will do one more season with the NBC sitcom and then move on to something else.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that move could place him on some shaky ground, noting the number of performers who left successful roles and shows, expecting applause to follow them.

Sometimes, he says, it does. Frequently it doesn’t and the performers often wind up back in TV.

And that, he adds, can pose a perplexing question. Does the performer make the role a success or is it the role that makes the actor or actress successful?

Think about it, he declares. Would viewers have accepted Archie Bunker played by Lorne Green? And would we have still loved Lucy had the role gone to Goldie Hawn?
Fri, 9 Jul 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e221.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:10
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment As is usually the case, the choices are few and far between for actresses once they outgrow the teen roles. So they generally seem to wind up playing cops or vampires.

Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander have decided to be cops, taking the lead roles in the TNT network's new prime time drama "Rizzoli and Isles." And, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says, that is probably the better move.

After all, he asks, how many people can you bite in the neck?

Besides, Sokolsky adds, "Rizzoli and Isles" seems to be one of the better series of this genre with its story of two dedicated officers and the bad guy who vows to get them.

And, he declares, it probably makes no difference once he zeroes in on his victim because, like most series of this type, the principals are composed of interchangeable parts.
Fri, 2 Jul 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e220.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:56
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So what kind of a first season has it been for Riverside's Fox Theater? Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says the answer would seem to depend upon how you wish to read between the lines of the press releases.

Sokolsky notes that most of the shows booked received a favorable critical response. But many of them had to trim back on performance dates because of poor ticket sales. And now city officials are planning to install a new management team to handle the Fox and Municipal Auditorium.

Meanwhile, there is talk of building a downtown arena for sporting events and large concerts.

Sokolsky says the idea has merit. But is this the right time to undertake another expensive project that could lead to more competition than could be handled at this time?

And more to the point, where is the money for such projects coming from?
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e219.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:20
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The idea seems to have merit. After all, Betty White seems to be appearing on just about every TV channel. So why not give her another series?

And that's exactly what's happened on TV Land. The cable network has signed her for one of the lead roles in "Hot in Cleveland," its first original prime time sitcom.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that was an excellent decision. So was selecting Valerie Bertineli, Jane Leaves and Wendy Malick to appear with White. The problem now, he asks, is what to do with them?

Sokolsky points to some early episodes and sees too many resemblances to several series.

That, he adds, gives the ladies a heavy load to carry. But if they do, they could supply enough potential to keep things going for a while.
Fri, 18 Jun 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e218.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:03
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment No question about it. We're in the month of June. And you know what this means.

That's right. Weddings. And movies about weddings. And Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky turns his attention to one of them, "Double Wedding," opening June 20 on Lifetime.

The film stars real twins Tia and Tamera Mowry. They portray twins interested in the same, guy, a likable character who doesn't realize he is dating twins.

Things get difficult when the girls' grandparents decide to repeat their wedding vows and both twins invite their confused date to the ceremony.

Sokolsky calls this understandably silly but says it comes across surprisingly well and is almost fun to watch.
Fri, 11 Jun 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e217.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:02
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment There is a new home, albeit just a temporary one. Also a new conductor and a budget that will have to be treated carefully.

But Riverside County Philharmonic officials say they are optimistic about the coming season.

And, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says, it does promise to be an eventful season, especially with the naming of Tomasz Golka to succeed the late Patrick Flynn as conductor and music director. That's in addition to the Philharmonic's move to the Fox Performing Arts Center while the Municipal Auditorium is being renovated.

However, Sokolsky points out, a drop in donations is causing a number of changes. The Sunday afternoon youth concerts have been dropped. The outreach program has been trimmed and staff office hours are being reduced.

The results of all this could be tense, Sokolsky says. But the orchestra's highly recommended new conductor and its history of overcoming past problems indicates a justified reason for confidence.
Fri, 4 Jun 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e216.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:55
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The National Football League has shaken the sports world with its announcement that the 2014 Super Bowl would be played in New York -- in February!

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that should help create a colorful event, but it really won't be football. The game, he fears, will be squeezed in between a media gone wild to showcase every new gimmick imaginable.

Sokolsky claims it is just one more instance of the game being overshadowed by other events and he cites the notorious "costume malfunction" game. Quick, he asks, what teams played and who won?

And now, he wonders, what could the 2015 host offer to match this?
Fri, 28 May 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e215.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:56
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, how would you classify this TV season? Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls it the Year of the Copycat.

It may not have been intended to be that way, he says. But that's how it seems to have turned out.

Sokolsky turns to a key segment in the season finale of "Two and a Half Men' and note its similarity to a similar scene in "Northern Exposure."

He then looks to such series as "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers and Sisters." They not only resemble clones, he says. They resemble clones of the old radio soaps, pointing to such examples as "Myrt and Marge" and "Helen Trent.

However, he adds, if their devices worked for our Gal Sunday why wouldn't they do just as well for Lynette and Gabby?
Fri, 21 May 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e214.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:48
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It will happen during the season finale of: How I Met Your Mother." Two of the lead characters will announce plans to have a baby.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that can build a foundation for some funny material. But, he asks, would this really be such a good idea?

The series, he notes, has existed for five seasons with some pretty outrageous stuff. But a baby? Dropped in with five misfits who wouldn't recognize a responsibility if it dropped on their toes?

Sokolsky says other series have done well with baby episodes, but they always had a responsible figure to step in when the principal characters fouled up. But who could take over when these zanies go astray?

Or are plans already being made for a grandma like Betty White? Or maybe Lassie could become available.
Fri, 14 May 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e213.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:49
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The good news is that there is a new series that doesn't involve vampires and werewolves. That's according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky.

The bad news is that the series is "Happy Town." That's also according to Sokolsky who describes the new Wednesday evening ABC series as a lesson in familiarity, even without certain spooky characters.

He calls the series a tired blending of "Twin Peaks" and some of those Rod Serling dramas periodically tossed into "The Twilight Zone.' Set in a quirky Midwest town, it has all the familiar settings. A rooming house with a floor that is "off limits," a town that seems idyllic but is definitely not and a mysterious set of characters.

That's in addition to a least one killer showing up at periodic intervals.

Sokolsky says the most intriguing thing now is wondering whether the series will be able to answer most of its questions before the network pulls it off the air.
Fri, 7 May 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e212.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:58
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The announcement received little attention when it was made.

But Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says the report that the Riverside County Philharmonic will present its entire new season at the Fox Performing Arts Center marks a key move.

Sokolsky calls the move largely symbolic. But it officially establishes the Fox as a major member of a local arts family that had been overshadowed by the rehabilitated theater all year…

The announcement follows the end of the Fox's first season of major musicals. Not everything went well for that season, Sokolsky says. But its musicals were favorably received and they displayed a promise for 2010-2011…

And, Sokolsky adds, the addition of Riverside's principal cultural property, shines a spotlight that could glow brightly.
Fri, 30 Apr 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e211.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:16
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Audiences can look for a new cycle of films in the months to come. However, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky advises things are likely to look familiar.

That's because much of the new product will consist of remakes of past movies. Some, such as "Robin Hood," are already on screen. Others, like "Private Benjamin will come around later.

But this is not new industry venture and Sokolsky points to a number of past venues, some successful, some not.

Industry leaders say they want to give audiences a chance to see past favorites remade with today's new technology..

But Sokolsky, among many other critics, wonders whether it is more of a budget cutting measure because so much of the advance work has already been done.
Fri, 23 Apr 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e210.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:12
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Well, it looks like they finally straited everything out for the late hours.

Jay Leno remains at NBC and Conan O'Brien returns to TV this fall. On TBS.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls that an interesting situation in view of the conflict and bitterness that surrounded it. But now it is going to take Leno and O'Brien to set everything in order.

However, Sokolsky believes, it will be up to O'Brien to make it all work.

It depends on which Conan shows up this fall, he says. "If it is the talented young man whose show followed Leno's, viewers may find him well worth watching for and waiting. If it is the self conscious adolescent who never found his groove as Leno's replacement, TBS programmers may exhibit one of the quickest hooks in TV history.
Sun, 18 Apr 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e209.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:01
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The film is titled "When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story." It is a Hallmark production premiering April 25 on CBS.

And no, you have not seen this one before. But then again, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says, you might have. At least you would have come close if you've seen "The Last Musketeer" while attending the movies the Riverside International Film Festival is currently presenting at the University Village's Ultrastar Cinema.

Both films deal with the long lasting problems alcoholics can create for their families. And they would appear to come close on the quality scale.

Sokolsky gives top praise to Winona Ryder and Barry Pepper for their handling of the title roles in "The Wilson story". But he reserves top praise for the screenplay created for "Last Musketeer."

However, he does lean a bit on the screenwriters of both movies, wishing they had paid closer attention to that venerable of all script directions -- Say what you have to say. And then stop.
Fri, 9 Apr 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e208.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:10
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Lifetime network executives say they are not thinking of the two stories as a series. Yet.

But they would give some consideration to "At Risk" and "The Front," two Patricia Cornwell murder mysteries that have been adapted for mid-April presentation.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says they are both fine stories but doubts much TV success for them in their current form.

Both dramas, he points out, involve cold case plots because -- well, doesn't everybody choose cold case plots these days?

Sokolsky says the stories might have had some potential once. But how many times can we say we've been there and done that?
Thu, 1 Apr 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e207.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:04
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The movie was called "Power of Love." It came out in 1922 and soon disappeared.

But Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it left an intriguing trail because it is believed to be the first to employ the 3-D process.

Its possibilities remained dormant for a long time but we are now hearing about them on a near daily basis.

Sokolsky cites several examples of what they have led to -- not all of them successful -- as well as what they might lead to.

Possibilities, he says, range from production techniques to new forms of distribution.
Fri, 26 Mar 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e206.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:15
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment If you're of THAT generation --or if you just like old movies -- you'll remember those films.

They would be set in or just after World War II and they would feature American servicemen, always of course, as good guys.

Those productions faded from sight several years ago, but Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says they now seem on the verge of a comeback. He cites HBO's new 10-part miniseries, "The Pacific," as an example.

Set in the South Pacific in World War II, it tells of three Marines who participated in some of the war's bloodiest battles.

Sokolsky calls the miniseries admirable. It is, he says, a solid production, hampered by a few flaws, yet good enough to hold its own against anything competing networks put up against it.
Fri, 19 Mar 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e205.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:13
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Don't laugh, but we may really need two more Academy Award categories.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that is the conclusion he reached after viewing he ceremonies earlier this month.

Definitely need now, he claims would be something like a Kanye West Oscar For the Interruption of another Lame Acceptance Speech. Or a Naughty Manners interruption for the star who will introduce the presenter of that award.

And a clear winner this year would have been Elinor Burkett who jumped in to grab the spotlight from Roger Ross Williams who had just begun thank everyone for his success..

Sokolsky says it was the most memorable part of Oscar's long evening. And if you don't believe him he challenges you try to recall the name of Williams' category or the title of his film.
Fri, 12 Mar 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e204.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment All right. They've covered the Winter Olympics. So what does NBC do now? And where does it go from here?

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that question particularly applies to the week nigh 10 p.m. hour where that comic held on for a few months -- and what ever happened to him?

For the moment three repeat series are filling the time slot. So are two comedies. One of them, "Parenthood," marks yet another attempt to adapt a decent 1980s film. For now, though, Sokolsky says, it seems to be influenced by ABC's "Brothers and Sisters."

The other series is "The Marriage Ref" featuring celebrities advising married couples on such problems as dealing with a dead pet the wife never liked.

But Sokolsky says there may be more here than is currently meeting the camera. For example, did that shadow on the set belong to Dr. Phil? And is he actually scouting the minor leagues to obtain future call-ups to his show?
Fri, 5 Mar 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e203.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:10
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment They are following a tough act. And sometimes things go well and sometimes they fall apart.

That is the nucleus of the message Tom Brokaw is delivering in "Tom Brokaw Reports: Boomers," his CNBC special that premieres March 4 on CNBC. Its focus is on the "boomers" generation that followed "The Greatest Generation" into a post World War II era.

Brokaw calls it a time of great promise and possibly even greater disappointment.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky describes the overall program as a heavy subject that is handled in a fair and balanced manner.

He praises Brokaw for showing the best and the worst of the era, drawing no final conclusions while pointing to opportunities that may yet arise.
Fri, 26 Feb 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e202.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment "Annie" doesn't live here any more. But she was around for one eventful week this month, a week that marked the reopening of the long-shuttered Fox Theatre.

But was it a successful beginning or was it flawed? Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says yes and no to that question.

"Annie" cancelled its Feb. 2 opening but it did debut 24 hours later. The musical was supposed to be around for eight performances. Low advance ticket sales trimmed that count to five. But the Fox -- now the Fox Performing Arts Center -- played to near capacity during- the remaining five nights.

Sokolsky says it might have been more successful if it had been scheduled for another time of year, preferably one that did not include Super Bowl Sunday. On the other hand, he notes, the performances were well received and there were no obvious problems.

In short, Sokolsky states, the best may be yet to come for the revived theater, but the better could be on its way.
Fri, 19 Feb 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e201.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:06
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, how many ways can you say goodbye?

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls that a key question these days with Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien finally saying final farewells, leaving even their most loyal sympathizers wishing they would get on with it.

However, Sokolsky wonders, will this eventually lead to a new category for the Emmy awards?

Might be interesting, he says, especially since so many shows appear to have saved some of their best work for their last outings.

Sokolsky says the clear winner would have to be the Bob Newhart finale that blended his two sitcoms…

Also named as contenders -- the Mary Tyler Moore group hug and Johnny Carson's 1950s variety show, ending with his giving his studio audience everything from cue cards to a producer.
Fri, 12 Feb 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e200.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:07
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment You must have noticed. "Lost" is back on ABC. And, that of course means that all the questions it has raised over the past five years will be answered.. Right?

Well, no. Or as Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky points out, the seventh season of "Lost" is magnifying old questions and raising new ones.

For example, the Smoke Monster has returned. And is he really John Locke? Or is Locke upposed to remain dead this time? And will any of the current romances last beyond a fourth episode?

Sokolsky notes that these, and other segments are not plot angles that originated with "Lost."

But that is no flaw, he says. "Because it has never mattered with 'Lost' has done. It is
simply the way it went about doing things.",
Fri, 5 Feb 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e199.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:12
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls it a matter of the Super Bowl giveth and the Super Bowl taketh.

On the giveth end is "Undercover Boss," a new reality series CBS will present once the Super Bowl game ends. Taketh, Sokolsky says, is the planned evening performance of "Annie" at the refurbished Fox Performing Arts Center on Super Sunday. It's been cancelled because of a weak advance ticket sale.

Sokolsky calls that one more example of what happens when somebody tries to program against an American tradition like this game.

However, he adds, things look better for "Undercover Boss." a series dealing with CEOs disguising themselves as laborers going to work for their own companies to see what can be done to improve productivity.

Sokolsky sees flaws in the idea but praises the concept and its pilot episode.
Fri, 29 Jan 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e198.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:13
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Lest we forget. Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky reminds us that Riverside has more than one theater.

And among them is the cozy Riverside Community Players playhouse on Mission Inn Avenue. It's quite a difference when compared with the glamorously renovated Fox on Mission Inn Avenue, but it remains up and functioning for more than 80 years.

The current attraction is Arthur Miller's "The Price," described by Sokolsky as a competent theatrical work although far from the best of Miller's plays.

Well directed by Patricia McQuillian, it is highlighted by the performances of Chris Marler and Tom Shelton portraying two middle-aged brothers disposing of their late father's possessions.

That leads to a drama that is often overpowered by its dialogue. However, Sokolsky says, its cast rises to enough occasions to provide a solid presentation.
Fri, 22 Jan 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e197.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:11
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, what went wrong with Jay Leno's venture into prime time TV? Several things, according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky.

Sokolsky points primarily to NBC affiliate complaints. They claim that Leno did not have enough of an audience to funnel a sufficient number of viewers to the affiliates' 11 p.m. newscast.

But, he asks, if viewers flip channels to get to desired entertainment programs, why can't they do it for the newscasts?

Primarily, he says, it's because all 11 p.m. news shows are so much the same it's not worth the move.

It's all a matter of money, Sokolsky declares. NBC gave Leno the 10 p.m. slot because it was cheaper to do that than schedule a drama. And it's also cheaper not to upgrade the news shows.
Fri, 15 Jan 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e196.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:11
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment A disagreement involving Fox and several cable systems almost led to a pulling of network programming earlier this month and could have resulted in the Sugar Bowl game not being televised.

Cooler heads prevailed and things went on as scheduled. However, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says this issue could come up again, and with different results.

But, he adds, such disputes are simply among a whole list of other things viewers may be noticing the rest of this year.

Reality shows will remain in abundance with the major figures being the judges rather than the contestants. Police shows will focus more on the officers' problems and its "tough guys" are most likely to be women.

And we can look for more ghost and vampires. And yes, Sokolsky says, that does seem creepy. But what can we expect of a year that opens with networks threatening to pull the plug on post-season football games?
Sun, 10 Jan 2010 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e195.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:07
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Riverside's Fox Theatre. It's been the site for major Hollywood previews, a weekend home for World War II servicemen, a venue for the Festival of Animation and a movie house for Spanish language films.

But now, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, it has a new role, one that makes it a major player in Riverside's renaissance.

In January it will have Cheryl Crow heading a list of entertainers being booked for concert engagements. And on Feb. 2 the Nederlander Organization brings in "Annie," the first of three musicals booked for 2010.

Sokolsky lists a number of pros and cons attached to the situation, pointing out that a successful Fox could do much to make Riverside "more than a stopover on the ride from Los Angeles to the desert.

And if nothing else, he says, Riverside has some intriguing months coming up.

Wed, 30 Dec 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e194.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:15
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Paul V. Idekar, newly named general manager of the Redlands Symphony, visits Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky to discuss future plans for the orchestra.

Idekar says that he and conductor Jon Robertson have no major changes in mind for the symphony, but adds that there is a constant watch for new areas of fund raising.

He acknowledges that most of the Inland spotlights are currently aimed at the Riverside County Philharmonic and the Fox Theatre.

However, he adds, that is not a problem because attention on one orchestra means attention for all. “The more the merrier,” he declares.

Idekar says the Inland region should be able to support three symphonies – in Redlands, Riverside and San Bernardino – and that audience response will ultimately determine what is being played and who will play it.
Wed, 23 Dec 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e193.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:07
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The magic word is prequel although Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky doubts that it is really that mystical.

Instead, he declares, it is merely a way of resurrecting something that was once successful but has now run its course. So enterprising producers turn to new ways to revive old charm.

One of their ways is a prequel, a story old heroes in younger days and what they went through to become heroic. Sokolsky cites such examples as "Smallville," a series dealing with Superman and how he adapted to being super and "Enterprise," the tales of a star ship that blazed the trail for Kirk, Picard and their friends.

And coming later this year is SyFi's "Caprica.." It deals with "Battlestar Galactic," a series that wouldn’t die and kept coming back until it was successful. It is set 50 years before the "Galactica" events.

Sokolsky says "many eyes will be focused on this one" with many producers already "wondering what hero could be next to spring forward with a potentially exciting past."

Fri, 18 Dec 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e192.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:11
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says he is not being a holiday Scrooge. He is just concerned about the way the poor old guy is being treated these days.

Especially in Disney's 3-D version of "A Christmas Carol."

Sokolsky says he has not fault to find with the film. However, he notes, Dickens created this story for his own time and place, 1843 London. And now it is getting a full huge screen treatment with all the accompanying bells and whistles that are not needed for this classic..

And he begins to wonder where all this updating will end and worries about computer nerds hacking into Santa to change his naughty and nice list.

However, Sokolsky advises ignoring all this and to just try to remember a "White Christmas" just like ones we used to know.
Fri, 11 Dec 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e191.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:10
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The play is “The Good Doctor,” Neil Simon’s most unusual comedy. And It opens Dec. 10 at he Rialto Playhouse, home of the Rialto Community Players

But Players president Sandy Courtney says this is not one of their productions. It is being staged by the Cycrobox Theater Group, a company of young performers who have had the theater handed over to them

And Cycrobox director Cameron Harris tells Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky he selected this work because it can be done with an almost bare set and five actors.

Danielle Erbe says she is playing an over eager young dentist in the production. She later returns to portray an older woman seeking love with a younger man.

Such a blend, she adds, makes this work “very comedic and very tragic.”
Fri, 4 Dec 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e190.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:02
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Ray Barone, the erstwhile sports columnist of "Everybody Loves Raymond, is gone. But he was not a victim of the current newspaper industry's staff-cutting practice.

Raymond simply ran his course and retired. But Ray Romano, who played him, is coming back. He is co-starring with Scott Bakula and Andre Brauer in the new TNT dramedy "Men of a Certain Age."

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky describes the series as another tale of male buddies trying to cope with the social mores of the 21st century.

Naturally, he adds, they have no idea of how to accomplish that.

Fortunately, Sokolsky says, "Men of a Certain Age" has three capable stars. Unfortunately, "nobody to date has figured out a way to take advantage of that fact."
Wed, 25 Nov 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e189.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:05
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Does it seem like old times to you?

It does to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky as he looks at the current TV season and wonders where all the ingenuity went.

That, he notes, doesn't mean everything is bad. Some of it, he points out, is ranging from fair to pretty good. But can anyone jump from that to excellence?

At this point he doubts it in spite of a few bits of quality from standbys like "House" and the erratic remake of "The Prisoner."

And, Sokolsky adds, that is the core of the matter. Because even the new shows are not new.
Fri, 20 Nov 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e188.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:11
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Everybody loves a baby. Right?

Of course they do. So says Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky, citing several shows that have brought infants into their acts.

Among the latest, he claims, is Ken Ludwig's "Be My Baby," currently appearing at the Riverside Community Players Theater. Written in 2005, it was originally considered a vehicle for Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook. Now, Sokolsky says, it has become a vehicle for Rory Dyer and San Nisbett, and that is not a bad thing.

But it does have a problem or two. Like a first act Sokolsky says doesn't run all that long; it just seems to.

However, he applauds Dyer and Nisbett for the way they overcome that deficit with a pair of often hilarious performances.
Fri, 13 Nov 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e187.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:14
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says the Lifetime Movie Network has finally done it right.

They have taken an Ann Rule story and put it together properly.

This one is the adaptation of Rule's "Everything She Ever Wanted." It is coming up Nov. 14 and 15 and handles a whole package of challenging elements with dramatic skill.

Sokolsky credits Gina Gershon for most of its success, praising her ability to take on a complex role in a highly competent manner.

He also credits director Peter Svatek with keeping the show's diverse elements under near complete control.
Fri, 6 Nov 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e186.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:07
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment TV viewers may have figured it out by now. Or, as Arts and Entertainment editor Bob Sokolsky puts it, "things just haven't been going very well for Rob Lowe."

Sokolsky notes that his "Brothers and Sisters" series is falling into soap opera and Lowe may be on the verge of leaving.

Meanwhile, he is appearing in the TV movie "Too Late to Say Goodbye." And Sokolsky says, that hasn't been a bed of roses for him either. Especially since he is cast as a dentist with anger management issues and is accused of murdering his wife.

Adapted from an Ann Rule novel. Sokolsky says the film runs an erratic course, hampered by an overuse of flashback sequences.

It's one saving factor, he notes is Michelle Hunt's fine portrayal of an investigating detective. But while that might suggest her returning in a similar role, Sokolsky says that is not enough to salvage this production.
Fri, 30 Oct 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e185.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:09
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Jimmy Webb didn't have young Falcon Heeme in mind, when he wrote "Up, Up and Away."

But it might have been fitting, except for one or two things. Like the fact that Falcon didn't have a "beautiful balloon." And he didn't go up, up and away.

In many respects, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky declares, he was a pawn in the latest example of how far some people would go to make an ever more bizarre reality series.

Sokolsky places the blame on producers, would be producers and the television industry for attempting to cross the line in ever more spectacular ways.

He traces this trend back to TV's earliest days and wonders what will be coming next and who will be hurt by it.
Thu, 22 Oct 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e184.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:15
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment A lot of people are talking baseball this week, especially people at Turner Broadcasting as well as several cable systems around the country. And for more than just the obvious reasons.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says these folks are upset because they were watching that classic New York-Minnesota duel when their TV sets went out. And stayed out for the rest of the game.

But these are things that just occasionally happen, Sokolsky says, recalling the classic 1958 NFL title clash between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants. TV reception suddenly disappeared, came back and disappeared again, returning just in time to pick up the Colts' winning touchdown.

And then there was Notre Dame kicking a game-winning field goal on a game's final play, while TV was showing a commercial.

Sokolsky facetiously wonders if something like that was what Jack Norworth had in mind when he wrote his immortal "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," noting that Jack was probably referring to a game that was meant to be watched without technical or commercial problems.
Fri, 16 Oct 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e183.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:09
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, what's funny these days? Not much, according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky.

At least, not too much when we look at some of the new comedy shows TV has been presenting. Because, Sokolsky says, even though many of the new sitcoms have some veteran talent, they have been found wanting.

That may be the core of their problems, he adds. "They are seasoned and time-honored with story patterns that reach back to 'Dobie Gillis' and possibly a few rock and dust sketches Cro-Magnon authors carved into their cave walls."

Sokolsky says that may leave Jay Leno's week night show the best of the new lot.

But all that proves, he declares, is that "a leader in a week league is still just a leader in a week league."
Fri, 9 Oct 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e182.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:04
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Is it finally going to occur again for Julianna Margulies? Has she really been given a series that will give her the same opportunities she had on "ER"?

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says that is unlikely. But there is some promise to be found in "The Good Wife," her new CBS series.

It stars Marguliese as a loyal wife whose husband, a leading public figure, has been cheating on her and his supporters. He is sent to prison and she goes back to work as a lawyer to support herself and her family.

That isn't easy, especially since the atmosphere about her is hostile. However, Sokolsky credits Marguliese with rising above her series material, coming up with an excellent performance.

But will that be enough in this case. Well, he notes, "this is television. Anything can happen."
Fri, 2 Oct 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e181.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:04
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It’s been a busy week for Robin Hood.

There was the classic Errol Flynn movie that appeared earlier this month on cable TV. And the BBC is currently presenting reruns of its Robin Hood series that starred Jonas Armstrong.

Now there’s the LifeHouse Theater in Redlands where Sam Bell joins the list of actors who have portrayed the colorful outlaw of Sherwood Forest.

Bell says his Robin Hood will incorporate segments of some of the earlier versions of the story, presenting its tale of a hero “tortured in his mind,” but trying to do his best for those who have placed their faith in him.

That, he adds, will be punctuated by the excitement of the battles between Robin and the forces of evil.

And yes, he assures, there will be sword fighting and flying arrows (into bales of hay offstage) and even a re-creation of Robin’s quarterstaff duel with Little John.
Fri, 25 Sep 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e180.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:10
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Are you already tired of the new TV season with its dedication to nothing more than the same old, same old?

Well, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky has a suggestion that should pep things up. It's a proposed news series tentatively titled "Who Is America's Next Great Apologist?" And if you don't like that name, try "The Sorriest American."

Sokolsky says the idea is to gather a group of contestants and challenge them to see who can best apologize for recent actions.

Among the leading competitors would be Kanye West, Joe Wilson, Serena Williams and Mike Duvall.

A program host is yet to be selected, but Sokolsky says he is leaning toward Billy Crystal or Larry David. Other nominations, he adds, would be welcomed.
Fri, 18 Sep 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e179.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:08
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It’s the start of the 85th season for the Riverside Community Players. And. Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, we might have expected it to open with a blockbuster.

Instead, it is with the Ron Clark comedy “4 Beekman.”

That wasn’t a bad choice, Sokolsky says. But it is neither a Shakespeare nor a Neil Simon with its story of two newlyweds moving into an apartment that once housed the young bride and her former husband. And he happens to live next door.

Sokolsky calls that an ingredient for a truly funny comedy when it is ‘handled properly.” In this case, he observes, it is a show “setting for some truly funny moments.”

And he suggest that there is a potential for more and that it might be a good idea to bring this show back again in a few seasons to further develop that potential.
Fri, 11 Sep 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e178.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:54
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The series are the now retired "Dharma and Greg" and the upcoming "Accidentally on Purpose." And Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it is easy to be confused by them.

That's because Jenna Elfman stared in "Dharma." She played a yoga instructor and the character was a ditz. She also stars in "Accidentally," playing a movie critic. And the character is also a ditz.

However, Sokolsky notes, she is a ditz with a problem. It comes after a casual date with a young chef, played by Jon Foster, leads to a pregnancy. All the usual complications follow and all the usual sitcom characters show up.

Sokolsky says much of this is handled in "a better than expected fashion," thanks primarily to cast members who rise above the material they have to work with.

Besides, he adds, there may be some extra diversions to entertain viewers. Like the Meg Ryan jokes. And he suggests seeing how many of them can be found in the series' first episode.
Fri, 4 Sep 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e177.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:07
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says we should look at it this way:

It took our founding fathers a while to write the Declaration of Independence and form a new nation. So why shouldn't a dramatization of their efforts some time to get stage momentum?

Sokolsky says it's always been that way with the 40-year old musical, "1776," and it is still that way in this engagement at the Rialto Playhouse. He calls it a show with a first act that seems to run forever, but is actually not that long. And once it gets past that obstacle it becomes a stirring production.

Jason Livesay’s Thomas Jefferson and Stephen Van Dorn's Edward Routledge are singled out for special praise. However, Sokolsky says, there are a good share of other solid performances.

He also applauds director Diana Combs and choreographer Michael Milligan for the movement of their cast through a small theater, making good use of their entire space.
Fri, 28 Aug 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e176.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:16
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The series is called "The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes." It was first seen in this country over 30 years ago and now it is returning in a four-disc set that will go on sale Sept. 1.

As the title implies, it deals with detectives who tried to imitate Holmes and sometimes did a good job of it.

Its current package includes 13 of their stories and Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokosky says they have arrived at the right time, especially now that TV and movie screens seem to be offering anything that will fill space until the new season arrives.

Sokolsky singles out the adaptation of R. Austin Freeman's "Message from the Deep Sea" for special praise. It's lead character is true Holmes clone, he says. But he is so well played by John Neville that he brings the role across.

Sokolsky also points to such other highlights as the versions of William Hope Hodgson's "The Horse of the Invisible" and Arthur Morrison's "The Case of the Dixon Torpedo."
Fri, 21 Aug 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e175.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it has finally happened. Someone has finally made a movie that doesn't show teenagers as druggies, delinquents or budding geniuses.

The film is the Lifetime network's "Acceptance," premiering Aug. 22, and Sokolsky calls it a work that varies between an old "Our Gang" two-reeler and the more contemporary "Breakfast Club."

The movie focuses upon a group of high school seniors pressured by their parents to be accepted by a prestigious Ivy League university.

Sokolsky praises the film's potential but finds it a shame that the basic story and some fine acting is buried beneath mounds of clichés.

The good thing, he concludes, is that the movie might lead to a sequel. The bad thing, he adds, is that the movie might lead to a sequel.
Fri, 14 Aug 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e174.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:06
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It's getting to be that time of year again with statues and plaques being polished for that seemingly endless stream of award presentations.

The first of the major ones will be TV's Emmys, with ceremonies set to be presented Sept. 20 on CBS.

And, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky observes, this will mean another round of endless thank you speeches from people appearing in presentations many of their audiences never see.

And he wonders whether this year's new twist will make things more entertaining. It calls for expanding the lists of nominees, in some cases doubling them.

Will this, he asks, make things brighter or just longer?
Fri, 7 Aug 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e173.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:16
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Disregard those rumors you may have heard. Riverside’s Metropolitan Museum is not about to close.

That is the word from museum director Ennette Morton when she visits Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky to discuss the downtown facility in the heart of Riverside’s “Culture Corridor.”

Morton also talks about plans and exhibits for the museum, focusing attention on such subjects as “Reading the Walls,” the story of Riverside’s Hirada family.

Other projects include a national history display and a nature lab that will give children a hands on introduction to small animals.

Morton also speaks of the Heritage House where visitors can visit an 18th century home.
Fri, 31 Jul 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e172.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:18
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So did you think you had seen that TV show before? Chances are you had. Or maybe it was a reasonable facsimile thereof. But according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky, it really doesn't matter. It's simply a way of showing us that we are now in TV's Age of the Cliché.

He cites NBC's recent screening of "Meteor" as a latest example. That's the one that shows our planet narrowly escaping a renegade meteor that would have wiped out the entire world. And, Sokolsky says, if that seemed familiar, well, it was.

However, he points out, it was merely one more reworking of a series of clichés that have entrenched themselves in network programming.

And he offers a list that includes rampaging dinosaurs invading our century, mentalists and mind readers bringing criminals to justice, bad guys almost getting away because they find ways to slip out of handcuffs and romances involving silly young men and clever young women.

Sokolsky says he now fears that these clichés appear so often they might be mistaken for a state of normalcy. And if so, he asks, "What will those stodgy Vulcans think if they ever do pay us a visit?"
Fri, 24 Jul 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e170.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:10
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It's another opening of another show.

And this time it is the venerable "Kiss Me Kate," now appearing at the Riverside Community Players theater.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes that this one is a musical that is beginning to show its age.
But most of its problems are minimized by director Patrick Brien's careful staging.

The result, Sokolsky says, is an energetic production that brings back most of the fun Cole Porter and Samuel and Bella Spewack inserted into their story of a threadbare theater company preparing to stage Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew."

A strong cast, led by Peter Romero and Kaley L. Smith, does the rest with a particular highlight coming from some well coordinated fight scene that is a highlight for both its humor and precision.
Fri, 17 Jul 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e169.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:02
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Camelot. It really was more than a fleeting wisp of glory. At least to those who learned the value of the printed word by reading about the adventures of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round table.

But, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky claims, something happened along the way. Producers and writers tried to adapt their tales into movies and TV. And there went the neighborhood, especially when those bold heroes were morphed into self-conscious actors moving clumsily about in their tin suits.

Sokolsky cites the NBC pickup of the British series "Merlin" as the latest example of that. However, he adds, this one comes across a little better than most of its predecessors.

That's despite the fact that it has changed Merlin from a mystically wise adviser into a noble king. He is now a companion to the prince who will some day be a king. And the difference is almost painful.

Or to put things another way, Sokolsky suggests picturing a new version of "Star Trek: Next Generation" spotlighting a young Geordi La Forge teaching an even younger Jean-Luc Picard ways to set off firecrackers in a nasty rival's clubhouse.
Fri, 10 Jul 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e168.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:15
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment No, it's not the theme song for TNT's new "Dark Blue" series. But Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says "Seem to Me I've Heard That Song Before" could be.

That's because this is definitely a case where you must have seen this one before. It's a police series, a good one, actually. But Sokolsky says it should be since it seems so closely connected to the likes of "Hill Street Blues," "NYPD Blue" and so many other police shows.

Set in Los Angeles, "Dark Blue" focuses upon an undercover unit and several of its colorful members. Sokolsky says they are well played by a good cast headed by Dylan McDermott.

However, he adds, not much can be done to "brush away the cobwebs of familiarity that are making this venture quaint rather than exciting."
Thu, 2 Jul 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e167.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:05
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says one doesn't always have to be good. Being lucky is often sufficient.

He cites Conan O'Brien as an example, noting that the new "Tonight" show host dodged a bullet when he became fascinated by the way a dummy of actor Henry Winkler was displayed. So fascinated that he took the dummy into a rest room, posing it by an obvious fixture

However, Sokolsky says, Winkler did not create too much of a fuss because he had already been overshadowed by rival host David Letterman, still taking heat for a bad joke that used Sarah Palin's 14-year old daughter as a punch line.

Sokolsky note that such situations have always existed, especially on live TV, and he names similar situations involving Jack Paar and even Kate Smith.

But he wonders whether O'Brien and Letterman learned anything from all this and if they realize they may not be able to sidestep so easily if another barrage is fired their way.
Fri, 26 Jun 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e166.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:08
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it is pretty evident now. This is the season of the neck, Human necks, that is, and most of them seem to be targets for vampires.

He cites the HBO series, "True Blood," as an example, noting that the show has overcame a weak start to become a surprising success and is now entering its second season on the cable network.

Sokolsky says, the series has come back in some fascinating ways with its story of a vampire invasion of a small Louisiana town.

The result, he adds, has given HBO its most successful series since "The Sopranos." Sokolsky credits producer/creator Alan Ball and performers Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin for that situation.

He also praises a talented cast for its ability to make the vampire characters so real they could resemble anyone, even a few people he has known over the years.
Fri, 19 Jun 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e165.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:14
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The first dates have been set for Riverside's Fox Theatre, now known as the Fox Performing Arts Center, and the Nederlander Organization musicals "Annie," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Hairspray" will be on the 2010 schedule.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls them logical selections, noting that all three shows have good track records and the potential to bring in large audiences.

But how many people, he asks, have noticed the resemblance to the Performance Riverside schedule? And, he wonders, are local theater companies going to find themselves competing with Nederlander for audiences and shows?

To date, Sokolsky says, regional companies claim they are not too worried and Inland Theatre League President Mike Charles and Riverside Arts Council director Patrick Brien believe the situation will be more of a challenge than a threat.

The Fox, they say, will only help call attention to all local theater companies and kindle an adventuresome spirit regional arts groups have always possessed.
Fri, 12 Jun 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e163.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:07
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It looks like it is finally going to happen. The Fox Theatre, now being called the Fox Performing Arts Center, is finally going to open.

The debut date is being set for January with a still to be determined presentation and it will be followed on Feb. 2 with the Nederlander Organization production of "Annie."

Scheduled for later in the year are "Jesus Christ Superstar," starring Ted Neely, and the musical "Hairspray."

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes that all three shows "have quite a bit of mileage attached to them" but adds that "they can be fun to watch when done properly and bring the potential to draw audiences."

However, he adds, there are still a number of questions attached to the Fox involving other productions, potential parking problems and relations with Inland area arts groups. On the other hand, he says, it is good to see something finally happening with the venerable Riverside theater.
Fri, 5 Jun 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e161.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:04
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says there is still hope for the devil. At least, there is for the CW series "Reaper" which is likely to be dropped but may get another season if enough viewers ask for one.

Sokolsky expresses hope that this could happen because "Reaper", though hardly a classic TV venture, could rate as a "good bad show."

Meanwhile, he calls attention to other ventures with the devil. There was even an earlier similar series to "Reaper" titled "Brimstone."

Sokolsky also recalls such other shows as "God, the Devil and Bob," an animated outing with Jim Garner providing the voice of God. And there is a wide range of dramas from "The Devil and Daniel Webster" to the "Omen" movies.

That was in addition to "Damn Yankees," the classic musical comedy story of a baseball fan who sells his soul to the devil for a championship season. On the other hand, Sokolsky says that show might not count because many "baseball widows" consider it a documentary.
Fri, 29 May 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e159.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:13
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The play is David Lindsay-Abaire's "Rabbit Hole" and it is scheduled to be adapted into a feature film later this year with Nicole Kidman in one of its lead roles. But meanwhile it can be currently seen on the stage of the Riverside Community Players.

The engagement marks the Inland Empire debut of the work and Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls it a special triumph.

Sokolsky praises director Joe Musil for the way he has assembled the production. And he extends equal praise to cast members Sharon Kuhn, Ali Rafter, Adam Demerath, Pat McQuillan and Justin Eaton.

The play deals with a major tragedy that has fallen upon five basically good people and examines the way each of them responds to that situation.

The result, Sokolsky says, is "a vibrant work whose equal will be difficult to match or even approach."
Fri, 22 May 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e157.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:07
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky pays tribute to Jane Margison, Marian Carter, Richard Stover,and Gary Scultz, four notable members of the Inland Empire's arts community who died this month within a few days of each other.

The quartet joins a list that includes Joan Wing, T.E. Foreman and Patrick Flynn, notable individuals who did so much for the regional arts.

It's difficult, he declares, to avoid using standard clichés when we think of them and their many contributions to the area cultural scene. "But in this case, those clichés fit."

Sokolsky says Jane Margison was in a class by herself with her work for the Riverside Community Players, the USO and the Mission Inn. Marian Carter made her portrayal of the ill-tempered Señora Moreno in “Ramona” her signature role.

Dick Stover left his stamp on Performance Riverside, the Big Band All Stars and just about everything associated with RCC. And Gary Schults possessed a treasure chest of theatrical knowledge he willingly shared with everyone.

All four, Sokolsky adds, were amazing, talented people, who will be missed.
Fri, 15 May 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e156.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:13
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The song, of course, is “Make ‘Em Laugh” from the movie “Singing in the Rain.” The singer was Donald O’Connor and he really wasn’t referring to this fall’s television season.

But, then again, he could have had that in mind. O’Connor, after all, was a pretty savvy entertainer and always had a good read on trends and when they would arrive. And, while it is still too soon to start predicting such things, signs are already emerging. It may well be a comeback season for comedy.

Let’s put that another way. It COULD be a comeback season for comedy and basically, it is all going to depend on Jay Leno and his shift from late night to prime time this fall.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says NBC is gambling that this will be a good idea.
Fri, 8 May 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e153.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:07
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it would have been a major news story. Once upon a time.

This month, however, the report that veteran news anchor Paul Moyer was leaving KNBC (Channel 4) caused little more than a ripple.

Sokolsky describes that as one more example of how the times have changed, noting that Moyer has really been the last of regional TV's anchor news personalities.

But television, he notes, is facing the same situation the print media encountered several years ago when new media cropped up to become a major source of information.

These days, Sokolsky says, the Internet and cable are taking over, proving yet again that Bob Dylan was right. The times really are a-changin'.
Fri, 1 May 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e152.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:11
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment They’re back! Pseudolus and his band of zany ancient Romans have taken to the stage again to establish the fact “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”

And it really does. That’s according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky. But, he notes, it’s taking a while for it to reach the stage, or at least the audience, at the Rialto Playhouse.

Like a whole first act and part of a second. But once it finally gets itself going this Rialto Community Players production is proving that there is still life in the show that has been around for 40 years.

Sokolsky credits much of that to Brad Rosenborough’s portrayal of a Roman slave who comes up with a set of zany schemes to win his freedom. He also singles out Thomik Deverien as his totally confused owner.

Sokolsky says the rest of the cast members take a while to get into the mood and spirit of the show. But once they do they show why this musical comedy has held up so well for so long.
Fri, 24 Apr 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e150.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:11
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky recalls the 1950 film "Broken Arrow," a film he says changed forever the face of the movie and TV westerns.

Starring James Stewart, it was among the first productions to present Native Americans in a favorable light. And it's led to numerous productions to show how this country's western movement victimized Indian nations.

The latest on that list comes from PBS with a five-part "American Experience" miniseries depicting events that range from the Pilgrim landings in the 1620s to the Indian invasion of Wounded Knee in 1973.

Sokolsky calls the miniseries reminiscent of some of the Native American specials Ted Turner presented on his TV networks and stations during the 1980s and '90s.

And he expresses the hope that this will not be the last study of such a rich and important heritage.
Fri, 17 Apr 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e147.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:02
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says the message was not surprising, but the messenger was. It turned out to Vin Skully, the broadcast voice of the Dodgers for the last 59 years.

Skully was in the booth covering the Dodgers' exhibition game with the Milwaukee Brewers when he was handed a bulletin announcing North Korea's launching of a ballistic missile. He quickly set aside his scorebook to deliver the report with a brief clear explanation of what it could mean.

Sokolsky says a scan along the TV dial indicated Skully was the first to get that report to viewers. CNN, he declares was up with a special newscast three minutes later, complete with logos and expert commentators. However, he points out, they were basically providing the same information Skully had already supplied, minus all the bells and whistles.

Surprisingly, Sokolsky notes, there has been very little comment about Skully's news beat. Perhaps, he adds, that's because Skully has been so reliable for so long that he is just taken for granted.

In this case, he adds, that was probably a good thing because who else could have given us such important information in such a short time and then seamlessly brought us back to the then needed comfort of "the old ball game"?
Fri, 10 Apr 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e145.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:57
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The series is called "Harper's Island" and Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says viewers will easily notice its parallels to two familiar story lines: 1. A fantasy element. 2. The time-honored tale of people confined to an isolated area where one of them will be killed off every week.

Sokolsky calls that a matter of perfect timing, an ideal fit for a season that has seen the deaths of so many TV characters.

He cites "ER," noting it had to end this year because so many of its people passed away there seemed a danger of nobody being left to go before the cameras.

Sokolsky also points to John Locke of "Lost" and Edie Britt of "Desperate Housewives," both of whom seemed to die several times only to return a week or so later.

So, what could be next? Sokolsky says there is no answer to that. Yet. However, he adds, the "Harper's Island" executive producers are speaking of a "Twin Peaks" vibe before their series ends.
Fri, 3 Apr 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e142.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:04
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Ransom Wilson calls it an unforgettable experience.

He had been conducting the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra in a concert at Municipal Auditorium and was impressed by both the building and the neighboring area. So much so, he tells Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky, that he felt a strong desire to return.

And now he has, this time as guest conductor for the Riverside Philharmonic, concluding its 49th season with a special program Saturday and Sunday that will include music from composers ranging from Berlioz to Mozart and Dvorak.

Wilson is among the conductors being considered as successor to the late Patrick Flynn and admits that he is an enthusiastic candidate.

He also speaks of plans for a special recording of unknown 19th century Italian composers.
Fri, 27 Mar 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e140.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:09
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Little David now plays a piano instead of a harp. And Goliath has morphed into a menacing tank. But it’s still the story of Kings David and Saul, now placed in a futuristic setting on a planet something like Earth.

All this can be found in "Kings," the new Sunday night NBC series, At one time the network had major plans for the production, But most of them have been set aside, converting the series into a mid-season replacement.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky finds little reason to question that decision.

He praises veteran actor Ian McShane for his portrayal of Saul and calls Chris Egan a decent David but finds little else that is notable.

A key flaw, he notes, is the suspicion that some members of the "Kings" writing staff have seen too many "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" productions and have been overly influenced by them. On the other hand, Sokolsky points to some potential in the series, suggesting it could develop more fully if greater care could be employed in future episodes.
Fri, 20 Mar 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e138.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:02
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment And now there's another one.

His name is Richard Castle. He's played by Nathan Fillion and the last time most of us saw him he was making things difficult for Dana Delany on ABC' "Desperate Housewives." But now he is the central figure in another ABC series, "Castle," and he is a writer of mystery stories recruited to help a reluctant police department.

And, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, that makes him the latest in a line of mentalists, ghost watchers and heroes from other planets aiding detectives in their war n crime.

Sokolsky calls this a far cry from a past era when a Joe Friday, for instance, would be pretty much on his own, aside from one assistant and a dramatic musical theme. But he always got his man and it only took him 30 minutes to accomplish that task. Now it takes a full hour, and sometimes two or three episodes.

Sokolsky points to a few strong points in the series but advises viewers not to expect much originality.
Fri, 13 Mar 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e136.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:11
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The movie is called "The Watchmen" and it has arrived on the heels of some enthusiastic promotion citing, among other things, it has been adapted from a set of comic books.

However, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, the super heroes of this film are hardly the first to make the leap from printed page to movie and TV screens because comic strip stars have been around longer than movies and TV.

Sokolsky cites "Barney Google" as among the first to go that route. And, he adds, Barney has been followed by a wide group of characters.

Some, like Flash Gordon, Blondie, Buck Rogers, Joe Palooka. have been quite successful. Others like the Flash, Phantom and Brenda Starr, have not.

Sokolsky says it is too soon to guess where "Watchmen" will wind up on that list, but believes it would be fun to have it succeed, just to see how something like this would be handled at the next Academy Awards ceremonies.
Fri, 6 Mar 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e134.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:11
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment No, you haven't had the last of those award shows. Coming up soon: the TV industry's Emmys. And then there are the, well, what do you call the Inland Theatre League awards?

Actually, you don't call them anything but Inland Theatre League awards. But they will be presented Sunday, March 8 and are designed to reward the best in area theater.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky discusses the awards and offers a brief history of their 34 years existence.

He also tells how the award nominees and winners are selected and, in the interest of total disclosure, admits he is one of the selecting judges.

But he tells those who may not have won, "Don't blame me. Of course, I voted for you!"
Fri, 27 Feb 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e132.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:01
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It's been a tough season for idols. And Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky illustrates that fact by pointing to recent events involving Michael Phelps, Chris Brown and A-Rod.

But it's always been open season on such folks, he adds, citing such once admired past and present figures as Shoeless Joe Jackson, Fatty Arbuckle and Michael Richards, all of whom fell out of public favor for allegedly doing wrong.

However, Sokolsky says, other idols have managed to escape some of their more vivid moments. Errol Flynn even became the punch line to a number of jokes, good and bad. And Richard Burton was excused by claiming his criticism of Winston Churchill was nothing more than a drunken rant.

In Burton's case, Sokolsky notes, some of the media were as much at fault as the actor. And he wonders why Burton's remarks were even considered worthy of publishing.

But then, he notes, "if an idol can make an occasional mistake why can't a journalist?"
Fri, 20 Feb 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e129.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:06
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The name is Rosie O’Donnell and as Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, she has been “a singer, an actress, a talk show host and whatever that was she did for ‘The View’.”

But now she has a different project, a movie titled “America” and scheduled for Feb. 28 on the Lifetime cable network. O’Donnell is the film’s executive producer and shares screenplay writing credit with Joyce Eliason.

Based on the E.R. Frank novel, “America” attempts to call attention to the badly managed care of foster children in this country. It wraps that attempt into a story of a 17-year old boy who has been shunted from one inappropriate foster home to another. He eventually gains the attention of a concerned counselor, played by O’Donnell who tries to help him.

Sokolsky calls the film a well in intentioned work and praises the performances of O’Donnell and such other principals as Philip Johnson and Ruby Dee. However, he adds, the film itself is awkwardly edited and suffers from awkward dialogue.

On the other hand, he notes, “there is some comfort to be drawn from the fact that it has something important to say” and at least brings its message into the foreground.
Fri, 13 Feb 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e128.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:50
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Many consider the Riverside County Philharmonic to be the area’s foremost cultural institution. But it’s never faced a season like it’s current one.

The orchestra’s colorful conductor and music director, Patrick Flynn, died suddenly before the season’s first concert. And there are the fund raising problems created by the present recession.

But Connie Bailey, chairwoman of the Philharmonic’s planning and search committees, tells Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky that things are moving along smoothly.

Bailey says guest conductors will lead the orchestra for this season and in 2010. And, she adds, “We’re looking for somebody who can take us to the next (musical) level.”

The Philharmonic concludes its current season April 4 at Municipal Auditorium with a program that includes selections from Mozart and Vivaldi.
Fri, 6 Feb 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e126.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:06
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The word is now out. You really did not see and hear Itzhak Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, Anthony McGill and Gabriella Montero perform during the televised ceremonies that highlighted President Obama's inauguration. Well, you did. Sort of. But it was actually a concert that was pre-recorded two days earlier.

However, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky explains, this was not another capital coverup. It was merely a way to save the musicians from Washington's unseasonably cold weather. And it drew no cries of indignation.

Sokolsky says things were not always that way. And he cites as an example the fuss made when it was discovered that Mario Lanza pre-recorded his singing on a major TV special. Also the repercussions created when the Milli Vanilli duo had to surrender a Grammy because other singers subbed for them on their prize-winning recording.

On the other hand, Sokolsky points out that pre-recordings and dubbed voices are hardly new gimmicks. They have been around for a long time. Marni Nixon, he notes, made a career out of substituting her voice for a number of famous movie actresses. Then there was the case of the 1981 film version of the Lone Ranger. Klinton Spilsbury played the famous masked man but the voice audiences heard belonged to actor James Keach.

Truly, Sokolsky concludes, there's no business like show business.
Fri, 30 Jan 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e124.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:09
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says we should not be fooled by the play's title.

"Anna in the Tropics" is not an adaptation of one oft those old South Sea islands movies featuring exotic young women in sarongs. This is the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Nilo Cruz. It is set in the 1920s and is currently appearing at the Riverside Community' Players theater under the direction of Kathryn Gage.

Gage says she wanted to do this play because it provided a way to reach the Latin-American audience and also offered an opportunity to spotlight Latino performers.

She also says that the drama is based on historical fact. It takes place in a cigar rolling factory in Florida and spotlights a lector who reads to the workers, providing both entertainment and education.

It's an opportunity, she says, to show how education can enhance the lives of everybody. And by the way, she adds, audiences won't have to worry about cigar smoke. Her cast members do not smoke; they only roll.
Fri, 23 Jan 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e122.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:04
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The series is titled "Trust Me" and it premieres Jan. 26 on the TNT cable network with Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanaugh in the leading roles.

They are the whiz kids at a glamorous advertising agency where creativity occasionally emerges.

And yes, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says, that could conjure up comparisons with the AMC hit "Mad Men. It my also be mindful of NBC's "30 Rock."

However, Sokolsky advises viewers to tune in quickly because "Trust Me" may have some funny early moments, but there are already hints that this will be all there is.

Sokolsky praises the efforts of the series' cast and says that may be enough to salvage a few things.
Fri, 16 Jan 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e120.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Things seem to be moving a bit slowly but effectively in downtown Riverside with work progressing on the Fox Theater and Municipal Auditorium.

But now, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, there is another Riverside County icon that deserves some attention.

It is the Ramona Bowl, home of the famous Ramona Outdoor Play, and it is in definite financial trouble. A 2009 production is likely to take place as scheduled, but after that some large problems will have to be faced.

Sokolsky asks what might happen if the county does not purchase the bowl and says there could be a large cultural loss if “Ramona” is forced to shut down.

The bowl, he admits, has had its problems, several of its own making. But, he asks, is it not worth saving “as much as and aged movie house famous for the first screenings of “Gone With the Wind”?
Fri, 9 Jan 2009 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e118.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:08
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The key date is May 29. That is the scheduled evening for Jay Leno's final appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show," ending his seven-year run as the monarch of late night TV.

But his television days are not yet over because Leno will be returning to NBC this fall in a 10 p.m. show that will repeat and/or modify many of his routines.

In short, it promises to be a variety show and NBC claims it will be unique for TV. But Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky questions that.

The format, Sokolsky says, sounds like a rebuilding of past shows fronted by such notable television names as Ed Sullivan, Kate Smith, Steve Allen and Johnny Carson.

But then, has asks, hasn't TV always found ways to recycle old material into revised formats? Besides, he adds, variety shows are cheaper to mount than scripted series.
Wed, 31 Dec 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e116.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Good old Mom. Or Mother. Or Mommie. Where would producers and writers ever be without them?

This time, though, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky wonders where they are going with them. Especially after viewing an episode or two of NBC's new "Momma's Boys."

The premise, he says, is far out, even for a TV reality show. Thirty-two beautiful young women are brought to a Santa Barbara estate. So are three good looking guys. They will look the girls over and select wives from their ranks. And while they are doing that the boys' mothers will be looking over their shoulders to make sure each makes a proper choice.

The mothers seem to be ranging from control freaks to racists and Sokolsky wonders why the guys would agree to a setup like this. He also asks why any young woman would enter such an arrangement knowing that her mother-in-law is likely to make life miserable for her.

Sokolsky says the one comfort to arise from all this is that TV may have finally come to the bottom of the barrel when it comes to presenting reality series.
Wed, 24 Dec 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e114.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:13
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It's that time of year again. Almost anyway because the annual Academy Awards ceremonies are fast approaching.

It will be Oscar's 81st presentation and will, of course, be televised, this time with actor Hugh Jackman serving as host. His selection for that job is a bit unusual, maybe even daring. But Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says we should not look for too great a show.

Sokolsky doesn't blame Jackman for this pessimism. It's just that the Oscar telecasts seem designed for failure. It's a live television show, he points out. And it features people who have seldom, if ever, worked in live television and don't know how to react when things deviate from form, as usually happens.

Sokolsky joins other TV critics in suggesting a much revised format. "But just try to get that idea past conservative movie officials and fans."
Fri, 19 Dec 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e112.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:10
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Frank Langella has gone from Sherlock Holmes to outer space and was once considered the scariest Count Dracula of all time. However, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says, some may find his current role even more frightening.

That's because Langella is playing Richard Nixon in Ron Graham's semi-documentary "Frost/Nixon." And that, Sokolsky declares, could be his scariest role of all, at least to some Democrats.

But meanwhile, Langella is joining a list of actors who have played American presidents with varying degrees of success.

That list includes Raymond Massey (Abraham Lincoln), Barry Bostwick and Kelsey Grammer (George Washington), Paul Giamamatti and Hugh O'Brian (John Adams) and Charlton Heston (Andrew Jackson).

Sokolsky now wonders who will play President-Elect Barak Obama in a film biography that is certain to be already under way. But he says he has a clear choice for Mrs. Obama, nominating Angela Bassett for the role.
Fri, 12 Dec 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e110.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:10
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Craig Taubman, dubbed by one reviewer as “The Hip Hebrew,” visits Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky to discuss his Dec. 13 appearance at Temple Beth El in Riverside.

Taubman is calling his performance “a voice of the spirit” but says he may not be certain about what he will do until his program begins, adding “some of my band members tell me I never do anything once.”

But his specialty involves taking favorite songs and hymns like “Shalom Rav” and placing them in new settings. That provoked some opposition in the past, but not as much these days.

Taubman calls that part of the challenge he delights in facing.

His performance begins at 7 p.m. at Beth El. More information at (951) 684-4511.
Fri, 5 Dec 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e107.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:16
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment No, the series is not called "Mission Impossible" or "Ocean's 11." On the other hand, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says, it could be.

This one, however, is "Leverage," premiering Dec. 7 on TNT. And it spotlights Timothy Hutton as a good guy going over to the dark side when his employer does him wrong.

Hutton leads a team of five accomplices who rob the very rich (and very bad) and give to the middle class and the poor. During the course of this, they prove themselves to be weapons experts and cyber and computer geniuses.

Those activities will carry over for 13 weeks, Sokolsky says that may not be enough to guarantee a second season for a series whose story lines seem there just to fill the spaces between the show's colorful action scenes.

On the other hand, he adds, "there is something to be said for characters who can overcome devious computers and despicable bad folks in a single scene."
Wed, 26 Nov 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e105.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:58
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says there is little doubt about that. All we have to do is look at some of the upcoming TV schedules.

Especially when they start presenting shows like "Moonlight and Mistletoe," an upcoming feature on the Hallmark Channel. You may think it's a repeat of an old program. But Sokolsky says it isn't; it just seems that way.

The film tells a time-honored tale of a small town holiday operation about to go out of business because a new generation of folks no longer respects the good old ways to celebrate Christmas.

However, Sokolsky calls the work better than the sum of its parts and offers some applause for Tom Arnold and his supporting cast. Besides, he adds, this type of show has little need for subtlety and substance. So it's best to just settle down and go along with its suggestion to "deck the halls and simply enjoy what is going on around us."
Fri, 21 Nov 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e103.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:02
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Add Phil Holmer to that ever-growing list of directors willing to present their own interpretations of Ernest Thompson's "On Golden Pond." He now has his version of the 1979 drama on stage at the Riverside Community Players Theater and Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it is definitely a worthwhile work.

Sokolsky calls veteran performers Don Hudson and Deborah W. McFatter the principal reasons for that with their carefully etched portrayals of an elderly married couple visiting their vacation home for what may be the last time.

He is a classic Archie Bunker type, snarling, racist and uncomfortably funny. She is the perfect balance for him and both handle their roles in a near ideal manner.

Holmer has backed them with a solid cast whose members have their own good moments.

The play has gone through a number of twists and subtle changes over the years and this production is no exception. But Sokolsky credits the presentation with keeping the essence of Thompson's theme.
Fri, 14 Nov 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e100.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:58
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it may have been a fun time for everybody, but what will broadcasters do now that the election is finally over?

And, he wonders, how will standup comics like Jay Leno and David Letterman adapt their routines when they will no longer have Barack Obama and Jay Leno as their principal targets?

Precedent suggests they might have a bad time adjusting to new conditions. And Sokolsky points to the difficulties comedians had once the likes of John Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Gerry Ford moved away from the national spotlight.

However, he notes, such folks are a resilient breed and can usually bounce back with a new roster of victims.

In fact, Sokolsky adds, nominees for the next harpoon list are probably already being screened, "perhaps in our very own neighborhoods. You know, someone with enough eccentricities to provide a supply of fresh raw material."
Fri, 7 Nov 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e98.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:51
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Well. no, the new TV season has not been a complete dud. That's according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky who insists there is at least one bright star.

That, he says, would be vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin who has come across as a quick and personable funny lady. But wait a minute, he adds. That's really Tina Fey and she's not a politician. She just plays one on TV. Or is it the other way around?

At any rate, Sokolsky observes, he wonders whether Sarah might be better off losing the election because a number of producers seem ready to sign her to a long term TV contract.

There is precedent for that, and he cites such names as Ronald Reagan, Shirley Temple and Arnold Schwazenegger all of whom parlayed screen fame into political success. And then there was former vice president Alben Barkley who had his own talk show after leaving office.

Meanwhile, Sokolsky notes, some critics are already claiming Barack Obama and John McCain were showing up better as standup comics than presidential contenders. But, he observes, Sarah might have the edge of them because isn't she the one supporters handed a $150,000 wardrobe. Or was that Tina Fey?
Fri, 31 Oct 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e95.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:47
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It’s another film festival. But this one is different, aimed specifically at Halloween. It’s “The Supernatural in Southeast Asian Studies” festival set for Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 and it will deal with Asian horror films.

Lan Duong, one of the event’s organizers visits Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky to discuss the unusual productions that will make up the event.

Duong says the films differ from American horror movies in that they are dealing with broader and more historical themes.

She says her hope is to attract a broader audience and to display an art form that differs from the usual product.

What’s more, she adds, is that the films will be in their native languages but will have English subtitles. And the ticket price can’t be beaten because this program is free.
Fri, 24 Oct 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e93.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:09
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The film is the Hallmark Channel production of "Generation Gap" and Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says we should be grateful for that, noting that it's striking a note of comfortable familiarity in an ever-changing world.

Scheduled for Oct. 25, "Generation Gap" tells a time-honored story of a teenager in constant trouble. By today's standards, Sokolsky notes, the kid is not that bad. But his single mom can take no more so she sends him off to spend the summer with a grumpy grandpa, played by Ed Asner.

Grandpa, a World War II veteran, goes to work on him and the young man changes into a decent person. He, in turn, helps Grandpa find some romance.

Sokolsky says everything plays out in suspected fashion after that with the stockpiling of the usual clichés.

However, he adds, viewers may find some comfort in a TV planet "where everything will always be all right, for at least two hours, minus commercials and promos."
Fri, 17 Oct 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e90.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:57
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it's easy to tell both new shows are sitcom.

All the materials are there, including boy crazy teens, a guy who does absolutely nothing and an argument over tattoos.

In this case they are series with female leads. Elizabeth Presser stars in CBS' "The Ex List," portraying a 30-something woman led to believe she will have only one year left to find a husband. Nicolle Sullivan has the title role in Lifetime's "Rita Rocks." She's a mom who sees herself as a possible Paris Hilton while the world looks upon her as another June Cleaver.

Sokolsky says both shows follow some familiar courses and wonders how long either one will survive.

He also wonders whether today's field is so narrow nobody will ever be able to catch up to such front-runners as "The Office" or "30 Rock."
Fri, 10 Oct 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e88.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:06
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it’s happened again. More proof that nobody loves a critic.

The latest example, he declares, comes from Ohio where veteran music reviewer Donald Rosenberg has become the latest person to realize that nobody loves a critic. And the ranks include his employer, the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Sokolsky says the paper has downgraded Rosenberg and replaced him as its principal music critic. The reason? He has been "too negative" when it comes to reviewing the Cleveland Orchestra.

Sokolsky calls the move the latest example of the constant battle between reviewers and the arts. And he cites such examples as actor Tommy Sands once slugging a movie reviewer, and an unhappy Philadelphia producer handing out stamped addressed post cards to audience members, urging them to tell a local critic why they disliked him.

Sokolsky notes that critics of critics have ranged from President Harry Truman to a letter writer who once sent a scathing message but signed it "Love, Mom."

He advises reviewers to be especially kind to their dogs because "they may be the only ones who love them."
Fri, 3 Oct 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e85.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:53
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The late Frank Plash will be honored when the San Bernardino Symphony opens its 80th season Oct. 4.

Plash, a noted authority on the works of Anton Bruckner will be saluted with a presentation of the composer’s Symphony No. 1.

Carlotta Mellon, executive director of the Symphony, visits Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky to discuss Plash’s contribution to the Inland arts scene.

Mellon then turns her attention to the Symphony and how it is attempting to get by in a current volatile economy.

She also discusses a special extravaganza that will be presented Oct. 3, an event that will feature conductor Carlo Ponti moving over to the piano to perform with other members of his talented family.
Fri, 26 Sep 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e83.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:10
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, is it going to be a wild and zany theater season? Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says he is not sure yet, but things are definitely pointing in that direction.

He cites "Leading Ladies," the Ken Ludwig comedy that just ended its Riverside Community Players engagement. The show, directed by Patricia Scarborough, was a frenzied comedy involving two actors disguised as women in an effort to collect a huge inheritance.

It has been followed by Michael Frayne's "Noises Off," now playing at the Rialto Playhouse. Directed by Candy Kane, the comedy tells of an inept theater company trying to stage an inept play and whatever can go wrong on or offstage manages to go wrong.

The result is a maze of people running on and off the set, slamming doors and dashing up and down stairs.

Sokolsky applauds Thomik Deverien for his skill in keeping things moving, and funny, throughout the staging, stressing that the actor has been the lone cast member able to handle the British accents all the players use.

His co-workers, he says, have dialogue problems throughout the play. Under other circumstances, Sokolsky declares, that could have been a real problem. In this case, though, it's merely a matter of "no harm, no foul."
Fri, 19 Sep 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e81.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:50
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The year was 1988 and the Riverside County Philharmonic, then known as the Riverside Symphony, was facing a major decision. Conductor Lawrence Christianson had left to accept a position in West Virginia and a replacement had to be found.

A series of auditions were set and Patrick Flynn was selected. Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls that a near perfect choice.

Flynn’s energy and enthusiasm became contagious and, Sokolsky, says they set a good orchestra on the path to becoming a very good orchestra.

Flynn, who died last week of a reported pulmonary embolism, charted a determined course that angered some. He was also the target of some vivid stories that so blended fact and fiction it was impossible to separate them.

However, Sokolsky says, there was no question about the results he produced, results that made him the key figure on the area’s cultural scene.
Fri, 12 Sep 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e78.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:09
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and entertainment editor Bob Sokolsky says he promised he would not reveal any secrets about the Sept. 22 season premiere of "CSI: Miami."

However, he hints series fans need not worry. In spite of the way things looked last May, Horatio Caine is still alive and it looks as if CBS may hang him from a few more cliffs over the next several months.

Sokolsky looks back on the career of David Caruso who portrays Horatio, noting that the series has provided a strong comeback for the actor. Seemingly out of the spotlight after leaving "NYPD Blue," Caruso has turned things around after struggling through some bad movies and a TV series that faded away quickly.

"CSI," on the other hand, has held up although Sokolsky says there are some warning signs. Basically, he believes, it is displaying a problem that has faced many a detective (and medical) series: its writers have gone so overboard in creating personal problems for the principal characters that they would seem to have little time to catch the bad guys and cure the sick.

But at this point, he adds, "the series overall quality has been able to offset these growing weaknesses."
Fri, 5 Sep 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e76.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:09
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It could be quite a year coming up for those who remember the late Coco Chanel." There are at least three films being planned that deal with the life of the famed French designer. And a stage play is also in the discussion phase.

But first there is "Coco Chanel," the Lifetime cable network special coming up Sept. 13. It stars Shirley MacLaine.

However, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says the real lead player is actress Barbara Bobulova. She plays the young Coco Chanel with MacLaine appearing in a few later scenes as the older version of the designer.

Sokolsky credits the Lifetime production with a few good moments, but only a few. He blames that situation on some questionable film editing and a trite script that might seem so familiar viewers could be reciting many of the lines before the actors speak them.

And, he adds, considering that Chanel was noted for a tongue as sharp as her scissors, he wonders what she would have said about this production.
Fri, 29 Aug 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e75.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:45
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, what's a poor viewer to do now that the Olympic Games are over and the political conventions have yet to start?

Well, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, Steven Bochco is coming back to weekly TV with something that might win a bit of attention. The producer who has given us the likes of "L.A. Law," "NYPD Blue" and "Over There" has a new series coming up on Sept. 1. It's called "Raising the Bar" and it will appear on TNT.

The show deals with lawyers and Sokolsky says it is going to seem quite familiar at times.

On the other hand, he points out, it is well acted and an advance look indicates it seems to improve each week.

And, Sokolsky adds, viewers should look closely at the way it fills and empties its courtrooms, employing a method that seems to be more "Star Trek" than "Perry Mason."
Fri, 22 Aug 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e72.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:43
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It’s time for jazz.

Especially in Idyllwild where the 15th annual “Jazz in the Pines” weekend will be coming up Aug. 23 and 24 with headliners Dave Koz and Lee Ritenour.

Executive producer Jeff Hocker visits Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky to speak about the festival.

Hocker discusses the different styles of jazz that will be available, noting that more than 30 artists will be appearing on three different Idyllwild stages.

He also speaks about what makes these people particularly special and adds that over 18 Idyllwild alumni will be returning for the event.
Fri, 15 Aug 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e71.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:16
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, how bad has summer TV become? Well, look at it this way. Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it's become so trite some TV critics have wondered what could be next -- possibly a small soap opera about a mother looking for a lost child in something with an agitated title like "Little Girl Lost"?

And guess what? The Lifetime network has come up with a story of a mother searching for a lost infant in a movie actually called "Little Girl Lost."

But this time, Sokolsky says, somebody may have made a mistake because "this film is actually good."

Based on actual events, it tells the story of a Philadelphia mother who refuses to believe her daughter was killed in a row house
fire. She believes the child was kidnapped and spends six years trying to convince authorities to investigate.

Sokolsky offers special praise to Judy Reyes, who portrays the mother, and to director Paul A. Kaufman for holding the production together while carefully avoiding the pitfalls that so often trap movies of this type.

Sat, 9 Aug 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e67.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:58
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment "Latest Inland Empire and California News" Fri, 8 Aug 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e63.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:58 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, how bad has summer TV become? Well, look at it this way. Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it's become so trite some TV critics have wondered what could be next -- possibly a small soap opera about a mother looking for a lost child in something with an agitated title like "Little Girl Lost"?

And guess what? The Lifetime network has come up with a story of a mother searching for a lost infant in a movie actually called "Little Girl Lost."

But this time, Sokolsky says, somebody may have made a mistake because "this film is actually good."

Based on actual events, it tells the story of a Philadelphia mother who refuses to believe her daughter was killed in a row house fire. She believes the child was kidnapped and spends six years trying to convince authorities to investigate.

Sokolsky offers special praise to Judy Reyes, who portrays the mother, and to director Paul A. Kaufman for holding the production together while carefully avoiding the pitfalls that so often trap movies of this type.

Fri, 8 Aug 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e64.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:58
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, how bad has summer TV become? Well, look at it this way. Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it's become so trite some TV critics have wondered what could be next -- possibly a small soap opera about a mother looking for a lost child in something with an agitated title like "Little Girl Lost"?

And guess what? The Lifetime network has come up with a story of a mother searching for a lost infant in a movie actually called "Little Girl Lost."

But this time, Sokolsky says, somebody may have made a mistake because "this film is actually good."

Based on actual events, it tells the story of a Philadelphia mother who refuses to believe her daughter was killed in a row house
fire. She believes the child was kidnapped and spends six years trying to convince authorities to investigate.

Sokolsky offers special praise to Judy Reyes, who portrays the mother, and to director Paul A. Kaufman for holding the production together while carefully avoiding the pitfalls that so often trap movies of this type.

Fri, 8 Aug 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e65.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:58
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment So, how bad has summer TV become? Well, look at it this way. Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says it's become so trite some TV critics have wondered what could be next -- possibly a small soap opera about a mother looking for a lost child in something with an agitated title like "Little Girl Lost"?

And guess what? The Lifetime network has come up with a story of a mother searching for a lost infant in a movie actually called "Little Girl Lost."

But this time, Sokolsky says, somebody may have made a mistake because "this film is actually good."

Based on actual events, it tells the story of a Philadelphia mother who refuses to believe her daughter was killed in a row house
fire. She believes the child was kidnapped and spends six years trying to convince authorities to investigate.

Sokolsky offers special praise to Judy Reyes, who portrays the mother, and to director Paul A. Kaufman for holding the production together while carefully avoiding the pitfalls that so often trap movies of this type.

Fri, 8 Aug 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e66.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:02:58
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The next step in the new birth of Riverside’s Fox Theater has been taken with the appointment of a management team to operate the veteran venue.

That task will go to Bob Stein and Bill Malone, heads of the Stein/Malone Group, the same organization that runs the Riverside Municipal Auditorium.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls the choice a logical one, but notes that none of the Inland Empire theater companies seem to be appearing in any plans for the Fox.

He asks Inland Theater League president Mike Charles what this will mean to the 50 regional and community theaters that comprise the organization.

Charles also discusses the Fox rebirth, how it will effect area theaters and where all this will fit into Riverside Renaissance plans.
Fri, 1 Aug 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e61.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:34
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The era is expected to end next May 29. That's when Jay Leno says he will end his association with the NBC "Tonight Show" and look for new TV worlds to conquer.

But what and where will those worlds be? Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky looks at some of the possibilities, a sitcom, a late night talk show on another network, or possibly something completely different.

Whatever it is, however, Sokolsky says we can look for it to be traditionally flamboyant And he recalls NBC's 1992 announcement when the network named Leno to replace the retiring Johnny Carson. It was expected, but Leno riding into the network press conference on one of his motorcycles was not.

Meanwhile, Sokolsky notes, speculation will be growing as the time draws nearer to name a Leno successor. Will it be an established star or a newcomer already preparing for the job?

And, he adds, what is David Letterman going to be doing to take advantage of this situation?
Fri, 25 Jul 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e57.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:33
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment They're sending in the clowns, among other things, at the Riverside Community Players theater and the results are not bad at all. That's according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky.

They're not great either, also according to Sokolsky. But, he adds, the overall balance is on the plus side and that is no small accomplishment for a show that checks in with a number of challenges for its cast. Adapted from the 1955 Ingmar Bergman movie "Smiles of a Summer Night," the musical deals with a group of frivolous people dropping into a glamorous weekend home for a set of disastrously planned romantic escapades.

It takes a while, Sokolsky says, for director Merrilee Drake's cast members to bring all that together, but when they do everything moves along in entertaining fashion.

Mel Chadwick and Beverly Baird are singled out for particular praise for their portrayals of two middle-aged lovers suddenly realizing their feelings for each other. Sokolsky also gives special applause to Peter Romero and Susan Bray.

They don't erase all the flaws in this production, he says, but they head a competent company that does "most of the right things' most of the time.
Fri, 18 Jul 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e55.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:31
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The shows were called anthology series. They consisted of collections of unrelated TV dramas. And, as Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky recalls, some were good and most were not.

But now there is at least one version of them being revived for a summer season that has already given us reruns, clones of the old talent hunt programs and a game show for dogs.

This outing is from NBC and it's called "Fear Itself." Sokolsky describes it as a collection of horror stories that borrow heavily from the likes of Stephen King, some of those old Universal feature films and possibly a nod back to radio and the venerable "Inner Sanctum" series.

He says several of the dramas have worthwhile elements, but most seem to be limiting themselves to two dimensions, shrill and very shrill.

However, Sokolsky adds, there may be a star or two emerging from all this. After all, he notes, it did happen at least once with one anthology series that presented an actor host who went on to a few memorable things. Some viewers may even remember him, "a young guy named Ronald Reagan."
Fri, 11 Jul 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e53.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:30
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The series is titled "Flashpoint." It comes from Canada and CBS contracted 13 episodes of it earlier this year as a hedge against the writers' strike. The show is scheduled to debut July 11 on both CBS and CTV and is slated for a 13-week run.

"Flashpoint" deals with the emergency Task Force Unit of a large city police force (presumably Toronto). And Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky gives it a "maybe" for the fall schedule.

The show, he says, will have to be compared with such current standbys as "CSI" and "Law and Order" and those comparisons are not always too favorable.

However, he adds, its pilot episode shows some dramatic promise in spite of a fairly familiar plot and it is highlighted by actor Hugh Dillon's portrayal of a police sniper.

Sokolsky is also intrigued by the casting of Amy Jo Johnson as another officer. noting that she is a former Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, the pink one. And, he notes, "not even Andy Sipowicz ever had a partner like that."
Thu, 3 Jul 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e48.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:31
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The film is titled "A Gunfighter's Pledge." It's a western and, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, you don't see many of them any more.

And, he reminds, it's a type of story in which people traveled by horseback instead of space ships and they couldn't use computers to solve their problems.

But they did have problems, Sokolsky says. At least they sure do in "Gunfighter's Pledge." Most of them focus upon a retired lawman, played by Luke Perry, determined to catch a nasty outlaw who has done nasty things.

They eventually wind up in a small town ruled by a greedy villain. True to the tradition of the Old West, however, the good guys win out in the end.

Such a tale really doesn't give Perry a chance to use skills he honed on such past series as "OZ." But then, Sokolsky points out, this format was seldom designed to send ambitious thespians to new dramatic heights.
Fri, 27 Jun 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e46.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:37
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The production is a family film, in a manner of speaking. It has two attractive parents and a bright teenage daughter and they're all living happily in a cozy little town.

Or so it seems. But as Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky points out, this is the 21st century and the Donna Reed/Robert Young families have left the building. They have been replaced by folks like the Stones of "The 10th Circle," the Lifetime network drama coming up on June 28. And these folks are involved in heavier matters than prom dates and dented fenders.

Their woes involve family solidarity, a possible rape, the death of a young man and frantic efforts to discover who did what and when. Sokolsky says the usual elements fall into place after that, making the entire story reminiscent of "any detective movie or series of your choice."

The result, he adds, is melodrama replacing subtlety and an overall weakening of the story created by Jodi Pilcoult in the novel from which this movie was adapted.

Sokolsky praises the drama's cast, but notes that the overall presentation has unhappily rejected most of its opportunities to excel.
Fri, 20 Jun 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e44.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:31
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It looks like we can relax for a while. The stranded boys and girls of ABC's "Lost" are getting the next few months off, and from the looks of things, they will need the vacation.

So will their viewers, according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky.

After all, Sokolsky says, it is going to take us time to digest what the "Lost" season finale told us. And then it will take even more time to figure out how much of what we've seen is really true.

Sokolsky, however, praises the series' creators for erecting this confusion. He says it helped turn things around for a show that had been doing well but had started to slip noticeably.

But now, he adds, the intrigue has returned, leaving show fans ample time to ponder and debate what they have seen.
Fri, 13 Jun 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e43.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:32
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It’s that time of year again with the “Huck Finn Jubilee” returning to Victorville June 13 to 15.

That will mean everything from the Nitty Ditty Dirt Band to jumping frogs and hot air balloons. It will also mean Mike Randall returning with his one-man performance as Mark Twain.

Randall tells Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky that he began playing Twain when he was 17. “I’m 54 now,” he says. “So you do the math.”

Randall says he is still putting things together for his “Jubilee” appearance. But he will definitely pay attention to Twain’s commentary when he humorously suggested he would run for president.

Meanwhile, he adds, there is no shortage of material when it comes to Mark Twain whom he salutes as a master writer and “standup comedian.”
Fri, 6 Jun 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e40.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:34
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment You probably knew that Wyatt Earp once lived in Colton. But now there will be a second Southern California residence for the famous lawman and gun fighter. He is about to move into the glitzy Wisteria Lane neighborhood.

That was indicated in the "Desperate Housewives" season finale that found Wyatt suddenly appearing as the husband of Teri Hatcher. Well, it's really actor Gale Harold who played Wyatt on the "Deadwood" series.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls that a perplexing situation. But even more perplexing, he asks, is what has happened to James Denton whose Mike Delfino character was supposed to be her husband. The finale didn't say. It just projected viewers five years into the future to show what will be going on.

Sokolsky calls that an intriguing gimmick that just might guarantee another full season for a once solid series that has been running on fumes for the past year.

But meanwhile, he adds, the "Housewives" have insured interest that may have fans debating and blogging all summer.
Fri, 30 May 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e37.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:30
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The production is the Richard Dresser comedy "Something in the Air." And Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls it the wrong show for the wrong theater.

First of all, he notes, the play was never intended for an arena stage, at least it should never have been intended for an arena stage. Then, Sokolsky adds, there is the matter of scene changes, 16 of them. They are handled well, he states, but they definitely slow things down.

Yet, in spite of that, Sokolsky says director Adam Demerath has come up with a remarkably good comedy at the Riverside Community Players theater. What is more, he has recruited an excellent cast.

The performers are Lance Todd Christiansen, Mike Truelock, Mike Ivie, Janet McClellan and Kacey Griffin. And they are involved in a bizarre story that involves a mad scam, a get-rich-quick scheme and further evidence that there is little honor among thieves.

Sokolsky says he would still prefer to see the show in a more conventional setting. "But thanks to Demereth and his performers, this one will do nicely."
Fri, 23 May 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e35.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:38
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The last time most of us looked in on Oceanic Flight 815 things were pretty grim. Jack had to have an emergency appendectomy. Claire may have gone over to the Dark Side and Sawyer was appropriately bewildered. And that doesn't even begin to describe all the problems the characters on "Lost" are facing.

But now there is a new complexity, competition from another airline. This one is Flight 732 and it involves a plane loaded with passengers being hijacked by terrorists who seem ready to blow up anything within reach.

That situation is rolled into "Final Approach," the Hallmark Movie Channel production coming up May 24. And yes, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says, that does sound like a theme that has found its way into countless movies and TV shows.

However, he points out, this one has something movies like "Nowhere to Land" and "Executive Decision" lacked. Its good guys are led by Dean Cain and once upon a not too distant time he appeared as Superman. And Sokolsky suggests, it might have been more interesting, and certainly more fun, had he stripped down to his spandex and cape to handle this situation.

That may not have been enough to rescue this film. On the other hand, Sokolsky says, it might have been a relief from three hours of strained dialogue that does nothing to help save a production in dire need of saving.
Fri, 16 May 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e33.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:33
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Theatergoers who wish to brush up on their Shakespeare will have a dual opportunity to do just that over the next several weeks. There is a traditional production of “Hamlet” opening May 16 at the Barnes Theater on the Cal State San Bernardino campus. And it will be followed on May 17 with the musical parody “Hamlet (The Artist Formerly Known as Prince of Denmark.”) Both shows run in repertory through June 8.

Katherine Irwin, director of the “Prince” production, visits Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky to discuss this unusual presentation.

However, she says, the production does not differ that much from the original Hamlet.

Shakespeare, she points out, wrote his plays for the pretty rowdy audience of his era and the styling of Prince parallels what the Bard was doing.

Irwin admits her show strays a bit from Shakespeare, but only a bit, stating that “it’s still a story of a poor guy trying to do what is right in a world conspiring against him.”
Fri, 9 May 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e31.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:34
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky takes a look at three presidential candidates and finds them ideal. Each reflects experience, knowledge and integrity.

However, he adds. Each has a special weakness as well. None of them are real.

All have been played by such fine performers as Jimmy Smits, Rob Lowe and Mary McDowell and they display excellent presidential credentials their writers have created.

Sokolsky sadly reflects on that situation but concedes that good actors with good scripts have the edge over reality.

He also wonders whether some past presidents history has treated kindly could have held forth against the likes of Jimmy Stewart, Charlton Heston and the award-winning screenplays they were given.
Fri, 2 May 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e29.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:31
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Well, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, they’ve given away just about everything else on those TV game and reality shows.

So why not try something different? Like offering contestants husbands and wives?

That’s what will begin happening April 30 on the CW network. It checks in that date with a show called “The Farmer Wants a Wife” and its central figure is a Missouri farmer who, that’s right, wants a wife.

So 10 pretty young women are transported to his farm to pitch hay, drive tractors and compete for his affections. Two will be eliminated each week until a Mrs. Right emerges.

Sokolsky points to the fact that things might get a bit rocky if the selection doesn’t turnout properly. On the other hand, he notes, it would be worth the aggravation if the show “produces a big enough share of that 18-49 audience.”
Fri, 25 Apr 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e26.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:35
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says the big news coming from television this month was the Big News.

It came in the KCBS announcement that the veteran anchor team of Ann Martin and Harold Greene would be no more. At least it would be no more on Channel 2 because the Martin and Greene contracts were ending and would not be renewed.

Sokolsky points out that this move is part of a budget cutting project at parent company CBS. He also notes that it is a common practice throughout the news media but is particularly noticeable in the TV industry whose principal news people are on such prominent display.

But now, he points out, TV is challenged by blogs, Web sites and a huge number of other news sources that are available to people.

And, he wonders, will this mean that once prominent anchors will go the way of famous vaudeville performers who gradually disappeared because there was no longer any need for vaudeville?
Fri, 18 Apr 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e23.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:33
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The movie is titled "Sweet Nothing in My Ear." It's a Hallmark production CBS will premiere April 20 and chances are you haven't heard much about it. Yet.

But Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says you will soon because this is an intense drama that is likely to arouse controversy. It focuses upon a married couple. The wife, played by Marlee Matlin, is deaf. Her husband (Jeff Daniels) is not. Their young son, portrayed by Riverside actor Noah Valencia, is also deaf but the family has no trouble communicating.

Things change, however, when the husband learns that a cochlear implant procedure might give the youngster at least a partial sense of hearing. His wife opposes the move, insisting that the procedure has too many risks. The resulting controversy threatens to tear the family apart and, Sokolsky, says. creates an intense drama that plays out exceptionally well.

"Sweet Nothing" was adapted by Stephen Sachs from his stage play and he has kept its controversial ending.

Sokolsky says it would be unfair to reveal that ending. But he drops a hint. Think "Sopranos."
Fri, 11 Apr 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e21.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:31
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The plot is going to seem familiar, a group of travelers sailing along the Nile River for exotic reasons. Only they turn out to be too exotic when members of their group are murdered and they know the killer is one of them.

That's the basic plot of Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Nile," the Riverside Community Players current production. And Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says this could be one more way of showing why she has been one of the world's top mystery story writers. But, he adds, it isn't because of its built-in slow pace.

And he wonders why a gun had to be used to commit the murders because it seems to be an unnecessary prop since "these unfortunate people could just as easily been talked to death."

Sokolsky calls the first act the play's main flaw with its top-heavy dialogue. He says things pick up a bit after that and salutes cast members Kevin Bray and Ann DeWolfe for their efforts in bringing that about.

And he credits director Patricia McQuillan for a solid effort in overcoming many of the obstacles placed in her path.
Fri, 4 Apr 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e19.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:33
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment John Adams was the first vice president of the United States and the nation's second president. Those facts are made clear in the HBO miniseries dealing with his life.

However, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, little else about Adams has ever been made clear. And he points to different studies of the man and the equally different ways he and many of his contemporaries have been portrayed on TV, in movies and in books.

Because, Sokolsky says, Adams is far from the only figure to receive such treatment. Others have been too and they run a wide range from George Washington to Wyatt Earp.

Washington, for example, is unlikely to have chopped down his daddy's cherry tree. And Babe Ruth was not serenaded in his final days by street urchins gathering beneath his hospital window to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

Sokolsky calls it one more example of printing the legend when it becomes bigger than the fact.

That has led to some strange tails that were absolutely false stories like Washington admitting he chopped down his father's cherry tree to Babe Ruth spending his final days being serenaded by street urchins standing beneath his hospital window to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game, in two-part harmony.

As to why such things occur, Sokolsky cites the answer given by the newspaper editor in one of the final scenes of "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." When the legend becomes bigger than the fact, print the legend.
Fri, 28 Mar 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e17.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:37
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky calls it a big month for the Rialto Players. It opened, he says, with the company winning 31 Inland Theater League awards and is closing with "a lightweight comedy that has stood the test of time."

The play, being staged at the Rialto Playhouse, is the Andrew Bergman comedy "Social Security." It's been around since the 1960s and Sokolsky says it still has enough theatrical shtick to wring out laughs in most of the right places.

Its story centers on six characters he describes as refugees from "innumerable Neil Simon works now taking off on their own." And each, he adds have been given plenty of material to work with.

That seems especially true of Candy Kane in the role of a dowdy 80-something mother who rises to the occasion when she meets a celebrity her daughter and son-in-law desire to impress.

Sokolsky also has praise for the show's five other cast members as well as director Thomik Deverien, applauding each for enabling even the show's most ridiculous moments "to go with a happy flow."
Fri, 21 Mar 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e13.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:32
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment There's a very simple formula for actresses seeking major stardom. That's according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky who claims the ladies must concentrate upon the screen world's Big 3, lawyers and/or law enforcement, high adventure and medicine. And, he adds, Julianna Margulies has touched all the bases, a nurse in "ER." an adventuress in "Snakes on a Plane." and a lawyer in Fox's new series "Canterbury's Law." But, he notes, there is one problem. "Canterbury's Law" has poor Julianna playing an imaginative but no-nonsense defense attorney, something of a cross between a James Patterson heroine and a male counterpart of CBS' Sebastian Stark. Her pilot episode seems to have set the pace for the series, showing her defending a killer who has already confessed to a murder and getting slugged by a witness. Sokolsky suggests only one way out for her now, a final episode that has her defending a truly far out defendant, possibly even a Klingon. It could work, he claims. Noting that after all, our old buddy Worf hasn't been doing much of anything since his "Star Trek" went off the air. Wed, 19 Mar 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e11.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:34 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The film is the British production "Housewife, 49." And Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky believes it may remind audiences of "Mrs. Miniver," the 1942 production that won an Academy Award for Greer Garson. Like "Mrs. Miniver," the movie deals with a British mother facing the horrifying days of World War II. But its heroine is no Greer Garson. She is played by Victoria Wood and is depicted as a dowdy housewife enduring a dull existence with her insensitive husband in a drab communty. Written by Wood, the film shows the woman seeking a retreat in a journal where she records her deepest thoughts. But she also joins a volunteer organization that provides valuable service aiding military personnel and their families. Sokolsky credits Wood, better known for her comic portrayals in Great Britain, with an excellent performance that sets the tone for the entire production. He says the film is hampered by such flaws as incomplete scene transitions and insufficient character development. But he credits it with capturing a dramatic mood that will hold interest from beginning to end. Wed, 12 Mar 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e9.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:36 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The film is the British production "Housewife, 49." And Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky believes it may remind audiences of "Mrs. Miniver," the 1942 production that won an Academy Award for Greer Garson. Like "Mrs. Miniver," the movie deals with a British mother facing the horrifying days of World War II. But its heroine is no Greer Garson. She is played by Victoria Wood and is depicted as a dowdy housewife enduring a dull existence with her insensitive husband in a drab communty. Written by Wood, the film shows the woman seeking a retreat in a journal where she records her deepest thoughts. But she also joins a volunteer organization that provides valuable service aiding military personnel and their families. Sokolsky credits Wood, better known for her comic portrayals in Great Britain, with an excellent performance that sets the tone for the entire production. He says the film is hampered by such flaws as incomplete scene transitions and insufficient character development. But he credits it with capturing a dramatic mood that will hold interest from beginning to end. Fri, 7 Mar 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e7.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:36 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The lack of a Golden Globe Awards ceremony was not the only letdown for viewers this month. That's according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky. He also cites the debut of the new and much hyped "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," the Fox series that can trace its lineage back to those movies that starred a future governor of California. But he didn't make it into this TV venture and Sokolsky says that's just as well because the good governor has other problems to deal with. But then, so do the "Chronicles" with their saga of battling robots. On the other hand, Sokolsky says, the show has become the latest in a long line of productions placing robots, androids, cyborgs and whatever else in prominent positions. He traces the lineage back to some of its earliest roots with plays like Karel Capek's "R.U.R. Rossman's Universal Robots," noting that 1921 production may have provided ancestors for such later non-human personalities as Data, Robbie and R2D2. Its New York production was also noted for the appearance of a young actor in a small role. A kid named Tracy. Spencer Tracy. Sokolsky says he doesn't see any counterpart of him in "The Chronicles." Fri, 18 Jan 2008 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e3.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:00:00 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The play is James Goldman's "The Lion in Winter" and it is currently being presented at the Rialto Playhouse. And, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky notes, this can be a particularly challenging drama, one that can soar mightily when done well, shatter if handled in less than expert fashion. Sokolsky says the production reaches neither of those extremes, but does come across notably on the favorable side. He gives special credit for that to Kerry Jones, calling her portrayal of Eleanor of Aquataine the possible outstanding performance of the season. The rest of the cast members seem to stumble a bit in the early going but come across nicely once momentum is established. So does the intriguing story of an aging King Henry's efforts to find a successor to his throne. All that, Sokolsky says, adds up to a Rialto Community Players presentation that "manages to do most of the right things at most of the right times." Tue, 6 Mar 2007 00:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e1.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:00:17 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The shows were called anthology series. They consisted of collections of unrelated TV dramas. And, as Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky recalls, some were good and most were not.

But now there is at least one version of them being revived for a summer season that has already given us reruns, clones of the old talent hunt programs and a game show for dogs.

This outing is from NBC and it's called "Fear Itself." Sokolsky describes it as a collection of horror stories that borrow heavily from the likes of Stephen King, some of those old Universal feature films and possibly a nod back to radio and the venerable "Inner Sanctum" series.

He says several of the dramas have worthwhile elements, but most seem to be limiting themselves to two dimensions, shrill and very shrill.

However, Sokolsky adds, there may be a star or two emerging from all this. After all, he notes, it did happen at least once with one anthology series that presented an actor host who went on to a few memorable things. Some viewers may even remember him, "a young guy named Ronald Reagan."
Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e51.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:00:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The shows were called anthology series. They consisted of collections of unrelated TV dramas. And, as Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky recalls, some were good and most were not.

But now there is at least one version of them being revived for a summer season that has already given us reruns, clones of the old talent hunt programs and a game show for dogs.

This outing is from NBC and it's called "Fear Itself." Sokolsky describes it as a collection of horror stories that borrow heavily from the likes of Stephen King, some of those old Universal feature films and possibly a nod back to radio and the venerable "Inner Sanctum" series.

He says several of the dramas have worthwhile elements, but most seem to be limiting themselves to two dimensions, shrill and very shrill.

However, Sokolsky adds, there may be a star or two emerging from all this. After all, he notes, it did happen at least once with one anthology series that presented an actor host who went on to a few memorable things. Some viewers may even remember him, "a young guy named Ronald Reagan."
Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e52.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:00:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky says there is little doubt about that. All we have to do is look at some of the upcoming TV schedules.

Especially when they start presenting shows like "Moonlight and Mistletoe," an upcoming feature on the Hallmark Channel. You may think it's a repeat of an old program. But Sokolsky says it isn't; it just seems that way.

The film tells a time-honored tale of a small town holiday operation about to go out of business because a new generation of folks no longer respects the good old ways to celebrate Christmas.

However, Sokolsky calls the work better than the sum of its parts and offers some applause for Tom Arnold and his supporting cast. Besides, he adds, this type of show has little need for subtlety and substance. So it's best to just settle down and go along with its suggestion to "deck the halls and simply enjoy what is going on around us."
Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e102.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:00:00
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment Well, nobody ever said it would be easy. And it certainly has been anything but that for poor Spiderman whose Broadway debut keeps getting delayed.

So far the only reports on the show are coming from previews that have not always been flattering.

But then, according to Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky, previews have often caused a fuss or two. And he recalls the controversy that arose several years ago when the New York Times began sending its new theater critic to previews because he was having trouble making opening night deadlines.

A later quarrel arose when producers declared previews off limits to theater critics but began charging full price for tickets to what Sokolsky called “glorified dress rehearsals.”

That, he says, led to some backstage discussions that were often more dramatic than the actual shows.
Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e253.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:14
Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment The series is titled ”My Dad Says.” Well. almost “My Dad Says.” There was one more word to put on the show’s label, but CBS hesitated because it didn’t seem suitable for a prime time slot.

Besides, Arts and Entertainment Editor Bob Sokolsky observes, there are other things that call attention to this series that has just ended a brief run. Primarily, Sokolsky points out, it marks another cliff hangar, a device designed to draw viewers back to the show when it returns to the airwaves.

That’s what it did for series like “Dallas” and “Cheers.” But it didn’t do very well for shows like “Nowhere Man” and “Dream On.” Both urged viewers to watch for upcoming episodes that would answer major questions.

Only, it didn’t happen because both series were cancelled before its people had a chance to explain what had happened.

Sokolsky says the boom was really lowered on “Nowhere Man.” The show was not only cancelled, UPN, the network that carried it, went out of business.
Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 MST http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/ http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/audio/e255.mp3 Sokolsky on the Arts and Entertainment 0:03:12