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1853 - Sarah Gifford, community leader and wife of Newhall's first railroad station agent, born in England [story]


Commentary by Gloria Locke
| Friday, Aug 30, 2013

glorialockeSanta Clarita welcomed a “houseguest” who was on hand Saturday to launch the comedy series at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons.

“It’s been such a tough week and I just want to laugh,” said Gloria Mercado-Fortine. The Hart School Board member and 2014 City Council candidate was joined by more than 800 laugh-out-loud hopefuls.

Visitors and patrons, clad in everything from upscale evening attire to summer board shorts and flip-flops, were greeted by PAC Executive Director Evy Warshawski, who collected ticket stubs with a warm smile and a bright red chili-pepper necklace. Wolf Creek Restaurant provided light beverages and desserts in the foyer, including beer and petite lemon bars.

As the house lights dimmed, Warshawski entered center stage as host of an evening that promised to present “one of the top 100 stand-up comedians of all time.”

Atlanta native Chase Anthony warmed up the crowd, giving a shout-out to single parents with tales from his childhood. He relived awkward moments, from wearing hand-me-downs from four sisters to stepdad fights and a grandmother who was out to “find a man on that Facebook machine.”

Sinbad

Sinbad

“Just ‘cause there’s snow on the roof, don’t mean there’s no fire in the furnace,” he said, recalling his grandmother’s Facebook motives.

Addressing the cheering crowd, Sinbad joined Anthony on stage, needing only a stool, microphone and a leopard-print hand towel. Both Sinbad and Anthony tried to get a handle on the SCV.

“OK, what is it? Santa Clarita or Valencia? You can’t have two names. Newhall, Valencia, Santa Clarita – it’s all the same. Everything takes you to MAC-Bean – just get back to MAC-Bean Parkway. MAC-Bean, MAC-Bean. That’s your Ventura Boulevard, your 101,” Sinbad insisted.

His one-and-a-half hour “therapy improv session” entertained by fielding family problems: “What drives you crazy? Tell me, I’ll fix it.”

The “calls” kept coming in for the 57-year-old doctor of comedy who, donned in charcoal gray dress shirt with satin purple sides, dark gray dress pants and dress shoes, prescribed anecdotes for everything from prostrate exams to teenage rebellion, sharing that he can “no longer eat blue jello,” and advising parents to “jack up their kids by using reverse psychology on them to get a right response.”

“It’s wrong, but it’s right,” he said, defending his approach to problems in life.

Sinbad had the house in stitches by bringing up serious subjects, from pulling the plug on life-support to why anyone would ever consider online dating.

“That’s where ‘Dexter’ hangs out,” he discloses, warning that social media makes it too easy for serial killers. His advice: “If they grin too long, they’re a serial killer.”

Roars of laughter continued when the SCV houseguest examined “Honey Boo-Boo.”

“Honey Boo-Boo. What is that? We watch these shows because it makes us feel better about our family.”

Probing deeper, Sinbad asked wives what bothered them most about their husbands. Replies of leaving dirty clothes on the floor, raised toilet seats, and calling Mom, allowed Sinbad to turn the tables skillfully and hilariously by blaming the wives.

“Women suck the life out of men,” he said. “That’s where sleep apnea comes from. No single man has sleep apnea.”

He concluded that comedians are crazy, admitting to A.D.D. as a child, but there were no medications forcing him to “centralize his powers.”

“Does your child have ADD/ADHD? Don’t give him meds. Is he crazy? Look at me. You paid for ticket, didn’t you? Work with what you have.”

Ending the comedy counseling session at precisely 10 p.m., Sinbad acknowledged he needed to go to sleep in order to wake up in time to for a 1:30 p.m. church service.

One of the most notable highlights came from the SCV crowd – a wonderfully diverse audience, with a variety of ages and personalities – enjoying a laugh-out-loud night to remember. It was a family night of entertainment, without any profanity or off-color remarks – a rare and priceless gem in the world of comedy.

Perhaps it was a tough week – yet Sinbad succeeded in bringing laughter to the everyday trials, tribulations and trivia of the SCV.

As for the first night of the PAC 2013-14 season: a resounding bravo, brilliant, and big, BIG smiles.

Continue the laugh-out-loud experience with the PAC comedy series featuring actor-comedian Paul Reiser, the official Blues Brothers Revue and Kathleen Madigan. For details visit www.CanyonsPAC.com.

 

Gloria Locke is host and producer of “SCV-Arts & Entertainment,” which airs Fridays and Sundays on SCVTV.

 

 

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