Archive for the ‘Fundraiser’ Category

Free fundraising show in memory of Ryan Viri

Ryan Viri worked at Johnny V’s downtown, where he protected patrons and tried to keep everyone safe while they spent time downtown listening to music.  On the morning of February 12, 2014, he was fatally stabbed after work by someone he had previously thrown out of the bar and on whom he had called the San Jose Police.  Crye Wulf BPM is putting on a free show at Johnny V’s to help raise money for Ryan’s funeral and medical expenses.  The show is February 20, at Johnny V’s, and it’s for ages 21 and over.  Funds will come from the bar profits, and a donation jar will also be available.

If you can’t make that show, or the music isn’t your type of thing, you can still donate to the cause at GoFundMe.

Metblogs sends its condolences to the family of Ryan Viri.  My son was friends with Ryan, and he and many others have been crushed by the loss of a good person with a big heart.  Let’s hope the mayor can get this type of crime under control, as the loss of life in San Jose recently has been far too tremendous.

February 20, 2014
Johnny V’s
31 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose
Doors open at 9pm



Always something to do on weekends in San Jose

Besides Hillbarn Theatre’s production of Social Security (review below) there are three other worthy events we recommend this weekend.

at The Retro Dome




Becoming Britney starts tonight at the Retro Dome, and what could possibly be more fun than “a snarky musical adventure” about Britney Spears??  I’ve been hoping to see one of the Retro Dome’s live shows for awhile now.  Metblogs will be there tonight and hopefully have a review up in the morning.  You can see pictures from previous shows here.

Becoming Britney
The Retro Dome
February 10 thru March 11





La Traviata

And for slightly more high-brow entertainment (I’m happy to enjoy the gamut!) Opera San Jose is presenting La Traviata starting Saturday night!

She’s a beauty: A famed courtesan, glamorous, yet fragile. It is 1889 Paris and the celebrated Violetta Valéry has thrown a lavish party where she meets the young admirer Alfredo Germont. He has long loved her, and she is so taken with his sincerity that she abandons her life of luxury and retreats to the country to be with him. But when met with the disapproving eye of Alfredo’s father, Violetta regrettably agrees to end the affair and go back to Paris. A jealous Alfredo denounces her, but when he learns of her sacrifice he returns to beg her forgiveness, only to discover she has but moments to live.

Verdi’s romantic tragedy La traviata is overflowing with some of the most unforgettable music in all of opera. His melodies, rich in passion and drama, made him the master of his time and this legendary tale of love and sacrifice has touched the hearts of both the opera novice and long-time opera lover for generations.

Even for an “opera novice”?  Methinks the opera is talking to me, and this Opera Novice cannot wait to dress up and enjoy the show Saturday night.  Come along!

La Traviata
Opera San Jose
February 11 – February 26


Miss Representation

Miss Representationa very important film about how the media portrays women, had its broadcast premiere on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in October of 2011.  But if you missed it then, you can see it Saturday night at 7pm at Presentation High School.  This event is being sponsored by the American Association of University Women. Suggested donations for tickets is just $20 for adults and $10 for students (you can even write a check payable to AAUW/LAF). Proceeds go to the AAUW Legal Advocacy fund.

Click here for more information about the film and a trailer.   One quick look at the trailer immediately shows how important this film is (and how ridiculous our media can be without us even noticing).  Take your daughters.

We love events where you can see a great film AND have the price of admission go to a worthy cause.

Good Eats for a Good Cause at San Pedro Square Market

Silicon Valley Eats

I don’t know about you, but at our house we are really excited about what’s going on at the San Pedro Market. Talk about something that can revitalize downtown and make it a destination. Last week we were at Vino Vino, soon to be our favorite wine bar and hangout. The owners are friendly, the small plates are great and fun and the wine selection (from the tap!) is quite good. While we were there the owner of nearby Morocco’s Restaurant dropped in for a glass of wine and a chat too, and we talked about how great it is to see dropping in for a bite to eat and talking about what’s going to be going on in the market.

If you haven’t been down to see the Market yet, tonight’s your chance. This afternoon and evening the market will be host to their first annual “Eats and Treats” with live music, nosh on food from some great Silicon Valley chefs and sample some tasty beverages too.

It’s all for a good cause, the Housing Trust of Santa Clara County, whose mission is to make Silicon Valley a more affordable place to live by providing loans and grants to make housing more affordable.

Date: 10.5.2011
San Pedro Square Market, 87 N. San Pedro St., San Jose, 95110
$45 includes food and drink tickets ($50 at the door)
*Vegetarian and gluten-free options available.

Learn more about the San Pedro Square Market on their blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Nothing Bundt Cakes now in Willow Glen

When this cake store opened I threw caution to the wind (the diet) and bought a lovely little red velvet Bundtlet. After dinner my husband and I enjoyed it with fresh strawberries and cream.

Grand Opening is Wednesday, Aug. 24 ~ SJ Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting 11:30AM-12:30PM

Friday, Aug. 26 ~ 20% of proceeds goes to Child Advocates of Silicon Valley. (fundraiser)

Saturday, Aug. 27 ~ 10AM Free cake for a year for first 50 customers with purchase. Please only one per family. Do I camp out?

Nothing Bundt Cakes

Willow Glen:

1702 Meridian Ave Suite B (next to Starbucks)
San Jose
Monday-Froday: 10AM-7P
Saturday: 10AM-6PM

Other Bay Area locations:

Los Gatos
421 N. Santa Cruz Avenue
Monday-Saturday: 9AM-7PM
Sunday: 10AM-5PM

939 W. El Camino Real
Monday-Saturday: 9AM-7PM
Sunday: 11AM-4PM

6601 Dublin Blvd. Suite N
Monday-Friday: 9AM-6PM
Saturday: 10AM-5PM
Sunday: 11AM-4PM

like them on facebook

Viva Varieté to raise money for SJSU Alumni Association Scholarship fund

Fundraising nights are always fun. Fundraising for SJSU scholarships is always a great cause. But an evening fundraising for SJSU scholarships that also includes entertainment with a Viva Varieté show?  Priceless!

Viva Varieté

San Jose State University recently celebrated its 150th year of educating our children, but with rising tuition costs and a difficult economy, more students than ever need our help to gain access to that education.  You can help make a difference in a young student’s life by marking your calendars for June 28, pulling out your checkbooks for a great cause, and getting ready for an evening of themed characters, silent auction, whimsical confections and wine tasting by Artesa Winery.  Graciously held at the San Jose Repertory Theatre, you’ll be entertained with Bounce Juggling by Bronkar Circus of Sound, Aerial Silks by Naomi & Andrew, Acrobatic Light Spinning by Fire Pixie and Dancing by Orchid Belly Dance.  Also included: hula hoop dancing, contortion, comedy magic, stilt Walkers, Accordion Players, Balloon Artists and more!

This is sure to be an amazing evening filled with fun, food, drink and breathtaking acts of beauty, and certainly worth the ticket price.  PLUS you’ll be helping to educate our valley’s youth.  Don’t miss this rare chance to be thoroughly entertained while also doing quite a bit of good in this world.

When: Tuesday, June 28
Where: San Jose Repertory Theatre101 Paseo De San Antonio, San José
Time: 6:30 p.m. Reception and silent auction, 7:30 p.m. Show

Tickets: Buy online
Phone: 408-367-7255
Orchestra: $125
Parterre: $100
Balcony: $80
View seating chart
A portion of every ticket is a tax-deductible contribution to the SJSU Alumni Association Scholarship fund. For each ticket, $70 is tax-deductible in Orchestra seating, $45 on Parterre seating and $25 on Balcony seating.

A Contagious Cacophony at STOMP! Excites, Entertains, and Energizes

Photo credit: Junichi Takahashi


Broadway San Jose brings one of the best deals in town to the Center for Performing Arts this week with STOMP. This amazingly energetic ode to the love of rhythm, music and dance will be in town only until Sunday, but it’s a show that no one in the family should miss.

It’s a fully complete entertainment extravaganza.  Eight muscled percussionists wordlessly dance and pound away on any conceivable item that might make a sound.   Each performer has their own character and personality that comes across even without words, and these characters continue storylines throughout the show as they joyously entertain with their music.

If you have never seen this show, throw away any preconceived notions you might have about it.  It’s not just the banging and clanging of metal garbage cans, although there is certainly that.  There are also incredibly choreographed syncopated dances with push brooms and giant tractor tires, and soothing music from lighters and match books.  Music is made with plastic bags, paper bags, soda cups, just about anything you can think of INCLUDING the kitchen sink.

It’s visual eye candy as well, from the colorful set to the constant lighting shifts to the very charismatic and handsome troupe of performers.  Six men and two women give everything they have to entertain the audience, and you will be quite amazed at the energy involved.  There were only a few short breaks for each performer, but they gave 100% every moment they are on stage – and then somehow manage to double their energy for the final number.

Photo credit: Steve McNicholas

But most of all these eight performers bring their love of music (and I’ve never met a percussionist who wasn’t drumming on everything in sight, every minute of the day) to every member of the audience, and hopefully, most especially, to the young people with their imaginations.  They quite explicitly show that music can be made from anything; from anything that makes the slightest, softest sound to anything that makes a head throbbing crash, and everything in between.  The creation and love and enjoyment of music, the medicine for the soul… this is what STOMP brings to its audience.

STOMP is not about banging trash cans.  It is amazing, genius choreography, it is extremely talented and attractive performers, it is imagination and beauty AND the love of music which is a quality from which everyone can benefit.  It also brings community service: Read to the end to find out how you can help “STOMP OUT HUNGER” when you see the show.

STOMP your way into the theater, and clap and snap your way out of it with a smile on your face and a rhythm in your step.  And by all means, bring your kids.

Broadway San Jose
WHEN:    April 12-17, 2011
WHERE: San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
255 Almaden Blvd, San Jose
TICKETS: Single tickets ($20-$69) can be purchased by calling (408) 792-4111 or visiting

Audiences can help to “STOMP OUT HUNGER” by entering the code word HUNGER when ordering tickets and a $5 donation will be automatically made to Second Harvest Food Bank–enough to provide 10 complete, nutritious meals. Bins will also be available at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, while the show is in residence, to collect canned and packaged foods. Foods most needed include: peanut butter, canned meat such as tuna, and meals in a can with pop-top lids (soup, stew, chili).  Collection cans will also be available in the lobby for monetary donations.

Tonight – Pizza My Heart Fundraiser for Bryan Stow.

Today, April 5th, Pizza My Heart is having a fundraiser for Bryan Stow. Bryan is a regular customer of Pizza My Heart in San Jose and he is a local EMT. Bryan was attacked at Dodger stadium last Thursday and remains in a coma. Mention him any time today, while placing your order, at any location and they will donate 30% to his family.
Bryan Stow on facebook

Bakesale and Kanikapila for Japan

This Saturday, Japantown’s Roy’s Station Coffee and Teas will host a fundraiser to benefit victims of the Japanese earthquake and Tsunami. First, they are joining a national Bakesale for Japan effort. Volunteers will bake their favorite treats and snacks to sell, with proceeds going to Peace Winds Japan. 100% of donations are promised to go to “ground relief efforts” in Japan. The same organization putting on the bakesale previously arranged a Bakesale for Haiti that raised over $23,000 for relief efforts there. With 20 locations signed up, Bakesale for Japan promises to be an even bigger success than the Bakesale for Haiti.

Second, in the afternoon, Japantown ukuleleists will present a kanikapila or ukulele jam session from 3 to 6 pm. A ukulele from Ukulele Source will be raffled as part of the event. Kanikapila proceeds will benefit the Japanese Red Cross. The last ukulele event I went to in J-town was a great informal event and a fantastic way to get to know a musical style you don’t hear every day.

  • What: Bakesale and Kanikapila for Japan relief
  • When: Saturday, April 2, Bakesale 10 am – 2 pm, Kanikapila 3 pm – 6 pm
  • Where: Roy’s Station, 197 Jackson Street, San Jose

SECRET ORDER is worthy of research at the SJ Rep

James Wagner and Robert Krakovski. Photo: Kevin Berne

Thursday evening I saw Secret Order at the San Jose Repertory.  My guest and I were really interested to see just exactly how a “biomedical thriller” would play out on stage.  After finding out that playwright Bob Clyman is also a clinical psychologist, we’ve been looking forward to this show for a few months now.

When Dr. Shumway, a relatively obscure and naïve cancer researcher, is thrust into the high-stakes world of science, the notion of noble “truth-seeking” is dissected with a scalpel’s precision.  Shumway is in over his head when he and a young student researcher get swept up in the dangerous world of political maneuvering, corporate loyalty and scientific ethics…

I am not sure I would really use the word “thriller” or even “dangerous” to describe this show, but it definitely delves into the politics of scientific research and fundraising, and the moral implications that follow when research depends on funding, and funding requires results.  The play shows that the relationship between funding and research is a symbiotic one, yet also quite dysfunctional when the elements of time and results are thrown in.

There are no real “bad guys” in this play, just characters who make wrong choices, sometimes for the right reasons and sometimes with questionable motives.  “Altruism vs. Capitalism,” state the dramaturgy notes in the program, but this does not mean that Capitalism is the bad guy either – these days the altruism of research does not exist without capitalism.  And this is what makes for a great morality tale.

Kathryn Tkel, James Wagner and Robert Krakovski. Photo: Kevin Berne

There are a few depressing points made in this show, one being that an actual cure for cancer is considered somewhat of a fairytale by “Old Science”.  Old Science vs. New Science is another theme of the show, and in this play Old Science wins that argument.  Old Science also wins the entire game in the end, and if we go back to Altruism vs. Capitalism, Altruism also comes out the loser.

When the play ends there is a feeling of helplessness.  The show makes clear the vicious circle of research needing funding needing results, and no results equals no funding equals no research.  And Time is the enemy of all.

The play is excellently acted, with my favorite being Julian López-Morillas as Saul Roth.  I last saw López-Morillas in the Spring production of Sonia Flew; he left quite an impression on me and is fantastic in this somewhat understated role as well.  But is Saul Roth a villain? Or just the voice of Reality?  Watch and you can decide for yourself.

James Wagner as William Shumway. Photo: Kevin Berne

The real star of this show (for me) is the set design and background projections.  Varying between art deco, 60s modern and ultra scientific, the constantly changing projections did a great job of quickly changing scenes from a scientific lab, to an office with a view, to an auditorium, and finally to a beautiful outdoor park.  Techno music sometimes accompanied the moving projections and your attention was always captured, wondering what formation of color blocks and pictures would show up next.  The complicated multi-level stage set up was also quite beautiful, and sitting near the front I wondered what kind of experience the audience in the balcony was having – I would bet their view of the entire set was even more amazing than mine.  The set sponsor was Billy Berk’s, and I’m going to make a point of eating dinner there soon to thank them for their generosity in making this possible.

(l to r) Robert Krakovski, James Wagner and Julian Lopez-Morillas. Photo: Kevin Berne

But there is another reason to see this show.  The San Jose Repertory is working with the Valley Medical Center Foundation to help provide free breast health screenings for underserved women at the Sobrato Cancer Center.  A portion of the proceeds from the October 14th performance were given to the foundation, and after every performance the actors accept donations at the doors to support this cause.  So bring some cash or your checkbook with you to help support this worthy cause.  Also, patrons who visit the Box Office wearing pink in support of breast cancer awareness will save $6 off the regular ticket price (one discount per person) to any Tuesday – Thursday evening performance.

Secret Order
October 14 – November 7, 2010

by Robert Clyman
directed by Chris Smith

San Jose Repertory Theatre
101 Paseo de San Antonio
Phone 408.367.7255
Tickets Online

Zombie-O-Rama II Infects San Jose

Feeling sluggish from this incredible heat? Maybe school just started or the work week is killing you. Have friends been saying you just don’t look like yourself lately? Come join the rest of us tomorrow night in downtown San Jose for an all-out Zombie-fest.

Zombie walks have been occurring for at least a decade in cities across the world, but come join San Jose in it’s second annual Zombie-O-Rama this Wednesday, August 25th. Bring the whole family out to SLG Art Boutiki in the SoFA district of downtown as early as noon and get decked out in almost-too-creepy-that-kinda-looks-real makeup (artists charging $5 with prices increasing with oozy-gooziness) or get your pre-Halloween juices flowing and arrive already infected from head to toe. I hear you will also be able to purchase awesome Zombie-O-Rama ’10 tshirts at SLG, so make sure you check the place out regardless!

The crawl will make it’s way across the street to Gore Park and officially begins at 5pm. This is when the fun really starts. Hundreds (to thousands – the Facebook event currently has 785 attending with tons more unanswered, and apparently some zombies still don’t use Facebook) of ‘zombies’ will hit the streets. The undead will make a giant loop around downtown (see the super informative map), which to unsuspecting, will be some sight to see. There is also said to be various events set up around the route designed just for the most zealous zombie.

I know a lot of people are excited about this night as a Zombie-Bar-Crawl. Many local bars and businesses will be offering deals such as happy hour prices or special creepy drinks to Zombies; and it’s a lot of fun to see/be a zombie moan and groan into a bar, make it onto their seat and throw back a drink before returning to the masses.

The terrible tour of downtown will meet up again at Gore Park at First/William for a frightful fashion show and then a free outdoor showing of Zombieland thanks to Starlight Cinemas. The film is rated R so parents should use discretion with the kiddies, but it is a creepy-comedy that shouldn’t be missed for the adults.

But wait, there’s more! Zombie-O-Rama has once again teamed up with Second Harvest Food Bank to promote the undead donating their canned foods to the living. Last year nearly 2,000 pounds of food was donated so let’s try to out-donate and out-zombie the past making San Jose’s Zombie Crawl a positive sign of the times. Cans will be accepted at both Gore Park and SLG, which by the way is located at 577 S. Market Street.

I recommend getting together; carpooling, making a little ‘bike party’ of your own into town, or crawl onto VTA and zombify the rest of San Jose!

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