Comedian Bill Maher coming live to Marin, Napa
By MICHAEL SHAPIRO
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Published: Friday, December 31, 2010 at 3:00 a.m.
Millions of people hate Bill Maher. During the past decade he’s scathingly criticized religion, said the 9/11 terrorists “were not cowardly” and even taken on Oprah Winfrey.
Here’s an excerpt from his Christmas message in a video on BillMaher.com, which shows Oprah’s audience members leaping and hollering over gifts:
“Oprah’s show purports to be a lot about spirituality. If it was then wouldn’t she tell her worshipping flock to sit down and stop losing it over material stuff?
“I don’t know what spirituality means,” Maher says in the video, “but I know that if you’re weeping over a sweater, then you don’t either.”
So Maher’s not always the most popular guy in the room. But he’s often the most insightful. There’s a common thread to his myriad targets: hypocrisy. He can’t stand BS.
In Maher’s 2008 anti-religion film “Religulous,” he sits down with Dr. Jeremiah Cummings, an Orlando, Florida evangelist and former Muslim who sang with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes during the 1970s.
Maher remarks on the preacher’s expensive suit. Cummings counters that Jesus wore “fine linen” and that he gets his suits at a discount.
“So you’re a Christian,” Maher says to Cummings in the film, “who used to be a Muslim and when you get your clothes, you buy them like a Jew.”
But Maher himself isn’t always entirely revealing. In a 2008 interview with The Los Angeles Times, Maher was asked how he got people to agree to on-camera interviews for “Religulous.”
“It was simple,” he said. “We never, ever used my name. We never told anybody it was me who was going to do the interviews. We even had a fake title for the film. We called it ‘A Spiritual Journey.’ ”
Maher performs on New Year’s Eve at the Marin Center and Saturday at Yountville’s Lincoln Theater. Both shows, which are expected to be about 90 minutes long, are sold out.
A talk-show host and comedian, Maher built a small but avid following with his TV show “Politically Incorrect” during the 1990s, first on Comedy Central and then on ABC.
Maher became Talk Show Enemy No. 1 when, just after the 9/11 attacks, he said Americans should think about why people would want to harm this country and agreed with a conservative pundit who said the terrorists weren’t cowardly.
“We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That’s cowardly,” Maher said. “Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it’s not cowardly.”
Advertisers, including Sears and FedEx, pulled their ads from the show and many outraged people called for “Politically Incorrect” to be yanked off the air. It wasn’t, but when it came up for renewal the following year, ABC passed.
In 2003 Maher found a home on HBO, where his “Real Time with Bill Maher” has flourished. He also appears in comedy specials for the network, such as this year’s “But I’m Not Wrong.”
The title neatly captures what some might call his arrogance. In “But I’m Not Wrong,” taped in front of an audience in Raleigh, N.C., Maher aims his laser wit at everyone from the rich to politicians.
Speaking to those wondering where President Obama’s birth certificate is, Maher quips: “I’ll show you Barack Obama’s birth certificate when you show me Sarah Palin’s high school diploma.”
Next he takes on the “Support Our Troops” crowd, a highwire act in Raleigh.
“We love the troops like Michael Vick loves dogs,” he barks. “You know how I’d feel supported if I were the troops? If Americans were clamoring to get me home from these pointless wars.”
An avowed bachelor, Maher says on BillMaher.com, “I’m the last of my guy friends to have never gotten married, and their wives — they don’t want them playing with me. I’m like the escaped slave; I bring news of freedom.”
Maher has earned 22 Emmy nominations but has yet to win one. In “Not Wrong” he saves some of his fiercest jabs for the Republicans: “It’s OK to have ideological differences, but the Republicans have become the anti-intellectual party.”
Noting that Obama filled stadiums during the 2008 presidential campaign, Maher says Republicans can fill stadiums, too: “They filled the Superdome after (Hurricane) Katrina.”
Michael Shapiro writes about entertainment for The Press Democrat. Contact him at email@example.com
Bill Maher is no believer, but he loves Christmas
Monday, December 27, 2010
Bill Maher is one of the most notorious non-believers on the planet, but that doesn’t mean he despises the holidays. The host of the documentary “Religulous” says you can pull his Robert Goulet Christmas album out of his cold, dead hand.
“I’m an atheist, but you know what? I have too many good Christmas memories,” Maher says, during a phone interview last week. “It has nothing to do with Jesus and the myth. It has to do with my family, who I don’t have much of anymore. They’re not going to take that away from me.”
Maher, a regular at Cobb’s Comedy Club and other local spots in the 1980s and early 1990s, returns to the Bay Area this week for two sold-out shows – on New Year’s Eve at the Marin Center and on New Year’s Day at the Lincoln Theater in Napa Valley.
Maher hosts the HBO talk show “Real Time With Bill Maher” and has continued to tour as a stand-up. He’s also enjoying continued buzz from “Religulous,” Maher’s deconstruction of organized religion and defense of atheism. The 2008 documentary made a respectable $13 million in theaters, and has enjoyed an unusually long second life on DVD.
“Larry Charles, the director, and I always talk about the fact that it doesn’t seem to go away like most movies do,” Maher says. “I think it’s one of those movies that gets talked about after people see it. And then they pass it on or recommend it. Both of us get as many people saying things to us now as when it first came out.”
Maher says the success of “Religulous” doesn’t make him want to do another movie.
“It makes me want to do another less. I never really wanted to be a filmmaker. I just thought this was the one subject that I should do, and nobody else was going to do,” he says. “What topic could possibly follow that? Health care? It would seem so trivial. And I really don’t want to get up in the morning every day and put on makeup and be in movies. It’s just not my thing.”
“Real Time With Bill Maher” returns for its ninth season on Jan 14. Maher will have a hard time topping the eighth season. It was one of Maher’s most high-profile years as a TV personality, after he aired a sound bite – controversial Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell’s comments on Maher’s old show “Politically Incorrect,” suggesting that she once “dabbled in witchcraft” – that turned into a talking point and running joke during the 2010 election season.
Maher says the “witchcraft” controversy started out as a lark, after O’Donnell repeatedly declined to come on “Real Time.”
“So I just went out there and said, as a joke, “Christine, you better come on the show, or I’m going to start showing tapes. It’s going to be like a hostage crisis – I’m going to throw out a body every week,'” Maher remembers. “I was just kind of bull-. And then we did it.”
Pretty soon he was looking through all of his “Politically Incorrect” videos where O’Donnell appeared. Miraculously, he appeared to be the only one who consistently recorded the show.
Maher admits he didn’t mind the attention. But he’s never been tempted to give up joke-telling in favor of some kind of political pundit role. After talking about election coverage for five minutes, he seems to perk up when the questions become more frivolous.
Here’s Maher on the strangest residual check he’s received lately: ” ‘DC Cab’ sometimes plays in Japan, and you get $2 for that. ‘Murder She Wrote’ is a handsome $5 or $10 stipend. The ‘Roseanne’ episode I did in 1991. Yep, that’s rolling in …”
As for the Christmas album, Maher says his mother was “crazy for Robert Goulet, as I think all suburban housewives were in the 1960s.”
“He did have a heroic voice that was perfect for Christmas records. That was basically the record we wore out,” Maher says. “I’m not giving up my Robert Goulet Christmas album. … I have great memories.”
Bill Maher plays at the Marin Center at 8 p.m. Friday and the Lincoln Theater in Napa Valley at 8 p.m. Saturday. Both shows are sold out. Maher’s shows are the first from veteran concert promoter Rick Bartalini’s new firm, Rick Bartalini Presents.
E-mail Peter Hartlaub at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Hartlaub, Chronicle Pop Culture Critic
San Francisco Chronicle December 27, 2010 04:00 AM Copyright San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2010
ROCK ICONS THE MOODY BLUES TO EMBARK ON 2011 U.S. NATIONAL TOUR
“NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN” RE-ENTERS THE UK CHARTS AT #2 ON THE UK ROCK CHART; AND #27 ON THE BBC RADIO 1; MARKING HISTORICAL FOURTH TIME “NIGHTS” LANDS ON THE U.K./U.S. CHARTS – SPARKED BY RECENT PERFORMANCE BY “THE X FACTOR” WINNER MATT CARDLE
ON 2011 TOUR – MOODIES OFFER FANS SPECIAL VIP TREATMENT WITH EXCLUSIVE “STORYTELLERS EXPERIENCES” AND “BACKSTAGE TOURS”
Los Angeles, CA –The Moody Blues will launch their 2011 U.S. tour nationwide kicking off on April 27, 2011 at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre in New Orleans and will continue through June 11. The band, whose legacy spans four decades of hit-making and sell-out tours, will continue to entertain audiences with their timeless music. Says the New York Post of their live show: ”The rockers played a set that reminded the sold-out Music Hall why (The Moody Blues are) one of the most important rock acts to ever come out of the U.K…the trio looked remarkably sound and sounded untouched by time…” Echoes USA Weekend: “Fans were on their feet applauding great music from a great rock n’ roll band with staying power beyond anybody’s ‘wildest dreams.’” Says the St. Louis Post Dispatch: “The Moodies depend on nostalgic memories of their fans’ youth, but they also know that in the present, these songs can still move the listener.”
The Moodies’ legendary hit “Nights In White Satin” originally released in 1967 from their landmark “Days Of Future Passed” album, just landed at #2 on the UK Rock Chart, and at #27 on the BBC Radio 1 chart, making it the fourth time that “Nights” has charted in its 40-plus year history. The song’s resurgence ignited from a recent smash cover performance by Matt Cardle, current winner of Simon Cowell’s hit UK show “The X Factor” (check out Cardle’s performance of the song at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUTGJN9qCnc
The Moody Blues have sold in excess of 70 million albums worldwide and have been awarded an astonishing 14 platinum and gold discs. Their incredible roster of hits includes: “Nights In White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Ride My See Saw,” “The Story In Your Eyes,” “Isn’t Life Strange,” “Question,” “I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band),” “Your Wildest Dreams,” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” to name a few. The Moody Blues’ No. 1, Top 5, Top 10, Top 20, Top 40, Multi-Platinum, Platinum and Gold albums and singles, have generated sold-out tours on a consistent basis over the course of several decades, making them one of the top-grossing album and touring bands in existence.
Guitarist/vocalist Justin Hayward, bassist/vocalist John Lodge and drummer Graeme Edge, on this tour, will also offer their fans a special opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with them on their exclusive “Storytellers Experiences” and “Backstage Tours” exclusives, which will be available on select tour dates.
The ultimate Moody Blues VIP experiences now available to fans, will give them the rare opportunity to join the rock legends pre-show, telling some of their wildest personal stories and recounting decades of international performances to an intimate group of fans. The exclusive “Storytellers Experiences” will be available to purchase online at a first-come-first serve basis, and will take place before three select performances: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Houston, Texas on April 29; The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino / The Joint in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 13; and at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon on June 3.
At many of the 2011 selected concerts (dates to be announced), fans can also experience the Moody Blues’ “Backstage Tour” which includes a tour of the stage in which fans can meet some of the crew, see the band’s instruments and perhaps catch a glimpse of the band members themselves.
Both the “Storytellers” and “Backstage Tour” experiences include a front of the venue concert ticket, early access to the merchandise booth to get first choice of the tour items, and a specially prepared, limited edition merchandise package. Additional VIP packages are also available that include VIP seating and/or Merchandise packages. VIP experience details and on sale information are available through the Moody Blues’ official fan club, managed by PAID, Inc. at http://www.moodybluestoday.com/index.cfm//content/pid/401891
The U.S. tour is as follows:
4/27/11 Mahalia Jackson Theatre New Orleans, LA
4/28/11 Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theater Austin, TX
4/29/11 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Houston, TX
4/30/11 Winstar Casino Thackerville, OK
5/03/11 Brady Theater Tulsa, OK
5/04/11 Lucky Star Casino Oklahoma City, OK
5/05/11 Midland Theatre Kansas City, MO
5/07/11 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Denver, CO
5/08/11 Pikes Peak Center Colorado Springs, CO
5/11/11 AVA Amphitheatre Tucson, AZ
5/12/11 Comerica Theatre Phoenix, AZ
5/13/11 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino / The Joint Las Vegas, NV
5/14/11 Agua Caliente Casino Rancho Mirage, CA
5/17/11 Granada Theatre Santa Barbara, CA
5/18/11 Performing Arts Center San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA
5/20 & 5/21 Pechanga Resort & Casino Temecula, CA
5/22/11 Humprey’s San Diego, CA
5/24/11 Marin Center San Rafael, CA
5/25/11 Visalia Fox Theater Visalia, CA
5/28/11 Silver Legacy Resort & Casino Reno, NV
5/31/11 Idaho Botanical Gardens Boise, ID
6/01/11 Cuthbert Amphitheater Eugene, OR
6/03/11 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Portland, OR
6/04/11 Chateau Ste. Michelle Seattle, WA
6/05/11 Northern Quest Casino Theater Spokane, WA
6/08/11 Bluestem Center for the Arts Amphitheatre Moorhead, MN
6/09/11 Orpheum Theatre Minneapolis, MN
6/10/11 Pabst Theater Milwaukee, WI
6/11/11 TBA TBA
*Additional dates are TBA.
About PAID, Inc.:
PAID, Inc., publicly traded under the ticker PAYD, is a one-stop brand management and marketing resource for music, entertainment and sports personalities and organizations, and offers AuctionInc™
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:
Statements in this news release looking forward in time involve risks and uncertainties, including the risks associated with the effect of changing economic conditions, trends in the markets, variations in the company’s cash flow, competition, celebrity programs, business development efforts, prospective growth, technology availability and cost of materials and other risk factors. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are discussed in the Company’s most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2010
Contact: Lisa Adams Walter, Adams Walter Communications
(707) 696-5006 ~ email address email@example.com
Veteran Concert Promoter Founds New Company,
Invigorates Bay Area Entertainment Scene
Appearances by Bill Maher and The Moody Blues
Lead Inaugural Star-Studded “Rick Bartalini Presents” Line-Up
(Santa Rosa, CALIF.) — Rick Bartalini, a veteran Bay Area concert promoter has opened the new independent presenting firm “Rick Bartalini Presents.” The company’s first shows include two appearances by HBO star Bill Maher (New Year’s Eve at the Marin Center and New Year’s Day at Lincoln Theater Napa Valley); both shows sold out in 30 days.
This Saturday, Dec. 11 at 11a.m., tickets go on sale for the first-ever Marin County appearance of the ground-breaking English rock band The Moody Blues which will appear on Tuesday, May 24 at the Marin Center in San Rafael, California. Having sold some 70 million albums since their 1964 inception, the “Moodies” are best loved for such indelible hits as “Knights in White Satin” from their ambitious song cycle concept album “Days of Future Passed.”
Because of Bartalini’s long relationship with the band and their agency, Creative Artists Agency, booking The Moody Blues was naturally the next step following the success of the sell-outs of his first independently-promoted shows featuring the star of HBO’s Real Time, Bill Maher. Prior to founding his own presenting company, Bartalini was the talent-buyer for a large performing arts venue located in Sonoma’s Wine Country for more than a decade. Later in 2011, Bartalini will produce comedian Lewis Black’s Comedy Cruise to the Caribbean and will continue to present world-class entertainment beginning in Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties and then expand geographically. Bartalini has contracted with the Sonoma County Fairgrounds and will soon announce shows at that site which has the capacity for 3000 to 11,000 attendees.
“We are thrilled that Rick Bartalini is bringing his expertise as a presenter to Lincoln Theater Napa Valley,” said Richard Aldag, Lincoln Theater Napa Valley Executive Director, “We hope that the already successful Bill Maher show is just the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration.”
Jim Farley, Marin Center Director of Cultural and Visitor Services said, “Rick Bartalini’s reputation as one of the Bay Area’s top bookers and event masterminds preceded his promotion of Bill Maher at the Marin Center. I could see his years of experience and expertise rolled into the fast, hard-hitting campaign that sold-out Bill Maher’s debut in weeks. Rick knows show business. We, in the North Bay, are fortunate to have a leader of his talent bringing great artists to our backyard!”
“I look forward to bringing the thrilling experience of live entertainment to vast audiences at varied venues,” added Bartalini, “I am inspired by this opportunity and grateful for so many people throughout my career who have encouraged me to pursue my own business which has fulfilled a childhood dream.”
Throughout Bartalini’s career he has built relationships with the highest-level professionals in show business, brought HBO to the Bay Area for a series of hit comedy specials and presented artists such as Steely Dan, Dolly Parton, Juan Gabriel, Johnny Mathis, Bill Cosby, Crosby, Stills & Nash, George Lopez, Brian Setzer, Ringo Starr, Lyle Lovett, Marco Antonio Solis, Ellen DeGeneres, Diana Ross, Diana Krall, Carole King, Sheryl Crow, Heart, Bonnie Raitt, Melissa Etheridge, Earth, Wind & Fire, Keith Urban, Dave Koz, Olivia Newton-John and hundreds of others. Audiences and entertainers can expect that Bartalini’s tradition of delivering the finest artists, aggressive marketing and warm hospitality will continue with Rick Bartalini Presents.
Tickets for The Moody Blues on May 24, 2011 at the Marin Center in San Rafael, California, which range in price from $49.75 to $89.75, go on sale at 11a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010. To purchase go to www.rbpconcerts.com.
Rick Bartalini Presents will donate a portion of proceeds from the sale of every ticket to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.
Journalists: High-resolution artwork or media interviews are available by request.
Tune in to KRON Channel 4 this Saturday at 9:30am when RBP joins Emmy winning producer, entertainment reporter and film critic, Jan Wahl to discuss Rick Bartalini Presents and upcoming Bay Area New Year’s performances by comedian and political satirist Bill Maher
Listen to the interviews here:
[gplayer href=”http://rbpconcerts.com/wp-content/audio/kgo-bill-maher.mp3″ ] KGO Radio – San Francisco, CA – 10-25-10 [/gplayer]
[gplayer href=”http://rbpconcerts.com/wp-content/audio/ksro-bill-maher.mp3″ ] KSRO Radio – Santa Rosa, CA – 10-25-10 [/gplayer]
BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN AND HOST OF HBO’S REAL TIME TO PERFORM
NEW YEAR’S CONCERTS IN THE BAY AREA
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (October 20, 2010) – Bill Maher, comedian and host of “Real Time” on HBO will perform two special Bay Area concerts on New Year’s Eve at the Marin Center in San Rafael and on New Year’s Day at the Lincoln Theater in Napa, announced Rick Bartalini Presents. The concerts will mark Maher’s first appearance in Marin County and the Napa Valley. Tickets for both performances go on sale this Saturday, October 23 at 10am.
For the last fifteen years, Bill Maher has set the boundaries of where funny, political talk can go on American television. First on “Politically Incorrect” (Comedy Central, ABC, 1993-2002), and for the last seven years on HBO’s “Real Time,” Maher’s combination of unflinching honesty and big laughs have garnered him 21 Emmy nominations. In October 2008, this same combination was on display in Maher’s uproarious and unprecedented swipe at organized religion, “Religulous,” directed by Larry Charles (“Borat”). The documentary has gone on to become the seventh highest grossing documentary ever. Maher will appear Oct. 26 on TBS’s The George Lopez Show, Nov. 9 on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann and Dec. 16 on CNN’s Larry King Live. Tickets for the concerts Dec. 31 in Marin and Jan. 1 in Napa go on sale Saturday, October 23 at 10:00am.
Tickets and information are available at the Box Office and online at www.rbpconcerts.com
Marin Center Box Office Information:
Tickets available in person at 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael, CA Open Monday through Friday, 11 am to 5 pm and Saturday, 11 am to 3 pm Charge tickets by phone 415.499.6800 Online at www.rbpconcerts.com Ticket prices are $99.50, $79.50, $59.50, $39.50
Lincoln Theater Napa Valley Box Office Information:
Tickets available in person at 100 California Drive, Yountville, CA Open Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm and Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm Charge tickets by phone 707.944.9900 On-line at www.rbpconcerts.com Ticket Prices are $69.50, $89.50
About Rick Bartalini Presents:
Rick Bartalini Presents, LLC, was founded in 2010 by Northern California-based Talent Buyer Rick Bartalini. Over the last decade, Bartalini booked over 350 concerts in Sonoma County, selling over 450,000 tickets with gross sales exceeding 25 million dollars.
Bill Maher press materials:
Please contact us for sponsorship opportunities with our events.