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Media Life: CBS comedy series could be in actor Perry King’s cards

Colom bluesfest brings in Kenny Wayne Shepherd; State Theater's new space off to promising start
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Cool-area cattleman Perry King’s “other” job as an actor is getting a whole lot more interesting – just as his local effort with “Experience El Dorado” is set for liftoff. King, who is perhaps best known for his starring role on the 1980s private-eye TV series “Riptide,” has been part of the making of a pilot in Los Angeles that could be on the air as early as next fall on CBS. King said he’s looking at playing a recurring role on the series and is impressed with the actors who have signed on to star. The pilot is called “Happiness Isn’t Everything” and the key player will be Richard Dreyfuss. Mary Steenburgen has been tabbed to play his wife and Jason Biggs, of “American Pie” movie fame, will play the son. Meanwhile, “Experience El Dorado” is tentatively set to debut at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 5 on Sacramento’s News10. King is working with Lotus resident Todd Stanley, a cameraman who won an Emmy last September for his work on “Deadliest Catch.” “Experience El Dorado” shines the spotlight on the best of the county and neighboring counties are already eyeing the possibility of similar series for their choice locales. King serves as host of the series and if the pilot gets the go-ahead, could be showing up on area TV screens quite a lot during the coming few months. BLUES KINGPIN VISITS Speaking of El Dorado County, one of its premiere events of the spring is just a hoot and a holler – and a bended blues note – away from Auburn. Across the canyon and over the hills, scenic Henningsen Lotus Park in Lotus plays host June 6 to headliner Kenny Wayne Shepherd at Coloma Blues Live. No longer the teenage blues wunderkind of the 1990s, Shepherd continues to bring it at the ripe old age of 31. He’s a four-time Grammy winner who has sold millions of records worldwide. His last project – “10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads” was the No. 1 selling blues album of 2007. The warm-up acts are no slouches either. Former San Francisco based blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker has carved out a 40-year career that has seen him on stage with greats as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, Thelonius Monk and John Lee Hooker. Rounding out the bill for the fun outdoor fest is Rick Estring & The Nightcats from Sacramento, Mighty Mike Schermer from the Bay Area, jazz-blues axman Chris Cain and the Laurie Morvan Band. More information is at www.colomablueslive.com. It’s an El Dorado Arts Council event. STATE SHINES IN DEBUT Sunday’s first live show in more than 50 years at the State Theater in Downtown Auburn gave audience members a taste of what could be. The setting was sparse. The stage was crying out for a potted plant or two to give it that “Austin City Limits” feel. The stage was temporary. Stage lighting has yet to be installed and that meant a couple of temporary lights for the stage. There was no area for a sound tech. And when acoustic duo The Mitguards returned for their second set, they didn’t make any grand entrance because there is no backstage yet. But the acoustics were surprisingly good and the audience, filling all of the venues just-installed 109 seats, warmly responsive to the stream of jokes, stories and songs emanating from the folksy husband-and-wife duo. It was a good start for the theater and a real credit to the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center committee to have the gumption to basically set a date and work like mad to put on a show. Paul Ogden, president of the organization, made a call for volunteers to help APPAC move forward. That’s going to be an important part of the success of the theater as it positions itself as the “go-to venue” in the community for local performers as well as visiting acts. Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com.