Weekend spotlight

July 14, 2011


It’s mid-July with barbecues, bonfires and beach party season in full swing. But instead of firing up the grill for a block party this weekend, take advantage of a weekend packed with fabulous outdoor concerts and festivals.

The Central Coat will be host to several music icons this weekend — hello, Bob Dylan — as well as a time traveling experience that will take participants back to the 14th century.

As Bob Dylan famously sang, “the times they are a-changin,” a short day-trip down the coast to Santa Barbara to see this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer perform will take concert-goers back to the nostalgia of the 60s. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

If traveling to the “swinging 60s” isn’t far enough back in time, travel up the coast to El Chorro Regional Park for the 27th annual Central Coast Renaissance Festival.

Upon entering the park, one will go back to a time when Queen Elizabeth was monarch, William Shakespeare was still getting writer’s block and dukes and duchesses were royalty among commoners.

So don your best bodice and gown or become a “knight in shining armor” at this faire that encourages bringing out your inner youth as you waltz around speaking a Elizabethan dialect laced with, possibly, a refined accent.

The Renaissance Festival will feature festivities such as royal jousts, magic shows and dancing. Venders will offer traditional food items and various crafts for sale — along with drinks at its first ever beer garden. The festival begins July 16 at 10 a.m. and goes until 5 p.m. the following day.

If Santa Barbara is too far south and dressing up isn’t your forte, Chumash Casino is offering an evening on Thursday, July 14 with Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork. That’s right, The Monkees.

You better be a believer, because The Monkees will make you one as they make a local stop on their 45th Anniversary Tour. The band, which got its big break back in 1966 on their TV series “The Monkees,” can be expected to woo the crowd with their signature good looks. And if that’s not enough, one can expect to hear classics such as “I’m a Believer,” “Daydream Believer” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday.” The show starts at 8 p.m.

Be sure to check out the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande for “Viva La Diva,” the latest musical tribute in the popular “Legends” series from director Mary Meserve-Miller. This year’s salute spotlights live performances from local singers covering everyone from Ethel Merman to Lady Ga Ga. There are shows Friday night and Saturday night at 8 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. A special “rush” discount 15 minutes before curtain offers tickets for only $20.

Music lovers are coming from all over to attend this year’s Festival Moziac, which kicked off another successful season Thursday night and features performances throughout the weekend and all next week. Artistic director Scott Yoo has rounded up an impressive array of classical musicians. Check it out.

The last musical adventure of the weekend is one for all ages with Dread Zeppelin and Nada Rasta performing a free show at the Avila Beach Resort on Sunday, July 17.

Nada Rasta is a local six-member group from San Luis Obispo that formed in early 2009. The band will open the show with its rock/reggae music that will be sure to please all ages.

Dread Zeppelin will take the stage later in the afternoon as the featured act. The lead singer, an Elvis impersonator, and the five other members are known for singing the Led Zeppelin classics in a reggae style.

The outdoor venue overlooking Avila Bay will also feature volleyball, lawn games and other activities throughout the “Sunday on the Sand” event. Doors open at 1 p.m.

Finally, this weekend is absolutely your last chance to catch the hilarious “Complt Wrks of Wm. Shakespeare,” courtesy of San Luis Obispo Little Theatre. The reviews have been outstanding for this three-character send up of all things Shakespeare.