Love and Laughs

Fredonia native comedian Nick Siracuse had an audience laughing so hard during a Valentine’s Day dinner celebration that a man actually had to wipe his tears away with a tablecloth.

Siracuse, who has written for Jay Leno and Arsenio Hall, performed an evening of comedy in the Tropicana Room of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center on Saturday evening. Siracuse’s material touched on a variety of subjects that ranged from family life to commentaries on current events. He also had some fun with a member of the audience, “Bob,” who served as an ongoing conversation piece throughout the routine.

For the most part Siracuse’s punchlines were clean and easy to digest. But, there were a few that walked a fine line, which is a good thing because the embellishment that clouds the honesty of comedy is something I find endearing. One of my favorite jokes from the evening went a little something like this: “My New Year’s resolution was to mess with people,” said Siracuse. “So, I was driving the other day and noticed that there was a family in the car behind me and they were all drinking hot chocolate. So, I slammed on my brakes to see what would happen and it was fun to watch.”

Whether that’s a true story or not, and I hope it’s not because it sounds dangerous, it is still quite funny to imagine a car full of people getting tossed about with mugs of hot chocolate splashing everywhere.

Siracuse’s routine, which came during the second half of the evening, was preceded by a cocktail hour in the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center museum. Guests enjoyed an audio tour narrated by Lucie Arnaz, daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, “I Love Lucy” set reconstruction, memorabilia and even some of Ball’s Emmys. After the cocktail hour, guests proceeded to the Tropicana Room to enjoy a Caribbean chicken or vegetable lasagna dinner, catered by the Marvin House. Siracuse took the stage about halfway through dinner.

After dinner guests were invited to the museum’s screening room to watch the “I Love Lucy” episode “The Marriage License.” The episode, which told the story of Lucy and Ricky re-creating the day in which they got engaged, was the perfect fit for the evening.

I don’t know if I would have attended the event if it was held on Valentine’s Day, so I’m glad that it was held over the weekend. It was the perfect post-Valentine’s Day dinner date that allowed my lovely lady and I to continue the celebration of love and laughter even though the annually designated day for it had already passed.

The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center is located at 2 W. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information, call 484-0800 or visit www.Lucy-Desi.com.

As per usual, here are the highlights and happenings going on in the area.

HIGHLIGHTS

Beats At The Brix With Sam Hyman Is Saturday: 21 Brix Winery will feature musician Sam Hyman for the February edition of “Beats at the Brix.” The event will be held from 7-9 p.m. in the 21 Brix Winery tasting room, which is located at 6654 W. Main Road in Portland.

A seasoned singer, songwriter and entertainer, Hyman performs original music as well as classic covers in which he puts his own interpretation into each song. Hyman’s music has been distributed worldwide, including in the United Kingdom, Australia and England. He is currently working on his third and fourth CD releases. Hyman also continues to write songs for other artists and produces original music for radio and television.

Admission is free, but a wine purchase is required. For more information, call 792-2749 or visit www.21brix.com.

Infinity Visual and Performing Arts Brings Acclaimed Guitarist To Jamestown: Richard Gilewitz, a contemporary acoustic guitarist, will perform in Jamestown on Thursday, Feb. 28, and Friday, March 1.

Gilewitz will host two workshops at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts from 4-5 p.m. on both days. The lecture-style workshops are designed for all levels of player and explore a variety of elements, including: Gilewitz’s unique right-hand position, which is a compilation of the classical-style guitar teachings, syncopated and percussive influences.

Not only will Gilewitz be in Jamestown for the workshops, but he’ll also provide an Infinity Cafe performance on Friday, March 1, from 7-9 p.m. Infinity students are welcome to attend each of the workshops for free. There will be a $5 fee for non-Infinity attendees who attend each workshop. The concert at the Infinity Cafe on Friday night is a free event and is open to the public.

Infinity is located at 115 E. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information, call 664-0991 or visit www.infinityperformingarts.org.

Fredonia Opera House Continues “Family Night At the Movies: The 1891 Fredonia Opera House will screen the animated family comedy “The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie” on Friday at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Lily Dale Assembly as part of “Family Night at the Movies.” Admission to the film is free.

The “Family Night at the Movies” series often features films based on or that inspire books for children. The series was originally developed as a way for adults to share the excitement of reading and great family entertainment with the children in their lives. The Book Nook has donated several books, which will be given away in a drawing before the film.

“The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie” is hosted by Bugs Bunny, who lives in retirement in a carrot-filled mansion in Beverly Hills. Bugs introduces a compilation of dozens of classic cartoon adventures created during the Chuck Jones tenure from 1939-62 at Warner Brothers’ animation department. The film features Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig. The compilation includes the classic cartoon shorts, “Duck Amuck” and “What’s Opera, Doc?”

“The Family Night at the Movies” series continues with “Hop” on Friday, March 22, and “Rise of the Guardians” on Friday, April 26.

Free admission tickets are available only at the door on the night of the show, and seating is limited to 400. There is no food or drink allowed in the Opera House and all children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 679-1891 or visit www.fredopera.org.

HAPPENINGS

To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email drader@post-journal.com or call 487-1111 ext. 253 by Monday.

Tonight

Pete Pepke with Andrea and The Giants: 6-8 p.m., The Corner Coffeehouse, 54 W. Main St. in Frewsburg. Pepke was named Jazz Man of the Year 2006 by the Musicians’ Union.

Blue Grass Jam: 7-10 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron. Area bluegrass musicians are welcome to sit in and play.

Friday

Bill Ward And Amanda Barton: 7 p.m., The Pad, 1064 Route 394 between Falconer and Kennedy.

Stan Barton Jazz Mandolin And Violin: 6-8 p.m., The Corner Coffeehouse, 54 W. Main St. in Frewsburg.

Movies At The Reg: 8 p.m., “Anna Karenina,” 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown.

WHUG Dance With Gina “V” And The Barn Cats: 8 p.m. to midnight, Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.

Guitar Students Of Spencer Drake Recitals: 6-9 p.m., Miraglia Gallery, 108 E. Second St. in Jamestown.

Steel Rail: 9:30 p.m., Murdock’s, 104 E. Main St. in Sherman.

Saturday

Davis And Eng Jazz N’ Blues: 6-8 p.m. The Corner Coffeehouse, 54 W. Main St. in Frewsburg.

Movies At The Reg: 8 p.m., “Anna Karenina,” 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown.

Willow Creek: 8 p.m. to midnight, Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.

Cindy Haight: 9 p.m. to midnight, Steener’s Pub, 322 Route 430 in Greenhurst.

Ken Hardley And Captain Jones: 2-6 p.m., The Southside Tavern, 312 Canisteo St. in Hornell.