3 cool things

Posted on June 26, 2011 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Best event bets for this weekend and beyond

The bottom line

Essiet Okon Essiet, coming to Sonoma on Friday night, August 26, is one of the premiere bass players on the New York jazz scene. Born in Nebraska to Nigerian parents, he traveled widely with his family. That early exposure to many cultures informed his wide-open approach: some musicians are purists, says Essiet, “but I like to mix styles.” His all-star resume include stints with Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Cedar Walton and the Blue Note All-Stars. Essiet also leads IBO, a Nigerian jazz project. For the 7 p.m. show at the Plaza Bistro, presented by the Sonoma Valley Jazz Society, he will be joined by Sylvia Cuenca on drums and Grant Levin on piano. No cover. 996.4466.

A mismatch made in heaven

Producer Jaime Love, of Sonoma Stage Works, says the production of “The Odd Couple,” opening this weekend in Andrews Hall, “will knock your socks off.” For super-slob Oscar Madison (Chris Wall, at left), the socks will likely land under his bed and stay there for three months. For neat freak Felix Unger (Andrew Shapiro), the socks will be ironed and hung in the closet. The simple genius of Neil Simon’s play (also a hit movie and TV show) has the unlikely roommates tossing out one-liners faster than Felix can take out the garbage. The play, directed by Roy Jimenez, runs August 25 through September 11 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and a 3 p.m. Sunday matinees. $22. 938.4626 x1 or

Above the fold

Comedian, impersonator, human origami… Ennio Marchetto virtually invented a new performance art form by using paper costumes that unfold into 3-D parodies of over 50 superstars and pop culture personalities. Growing up in Venice, Italy, Ennio was inspired by Disney cartoons and the opulence of the Venetian Carnivale to develop a one-man, multi-character cabaret show. The amazing result is a series of lightening-quick transformations, silly gags and spot-on imitations. And yes, he recycles. Ennio returns to the Napa Valley Opera House in evening shows and matinees August 30 through September 4. $25-$40. 226.7372.

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