Donald’s list: Weekend choices (Aug. 11)

I’ve already told you about two of this weekend’s big theater events (“Hedda Gabler” and “R&J”). Here are a few more promising (and, for this blog, a little off-the-beaten path) cultural picks for the weekend.

Metalachi performs at Vinyl nightclub at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, NV

Different kind of mariachi: METALACHI performs Saturday at Arte Américas.

Mariachi meets metal

This concert has such an interesting premise that I can’t resist: METALACHI is the first heavy-metal mariachi band in the world. (I’m not sure if it’s the only heavy-metal mariachi band in the world — that would be a pretty small group, right?) And it’s returning to Arte Américas for a concert on Saturday, Aug. 12, in the outdoor Plaza Paz.

The ensemble uses traditional mariachi instruments to re-interpret songs by Metallica, Guns N Roses, Led Zepplin, Bon Jovi, and more. Add in painted faces, over-the-top costumes, raunchy humor, and raucous theatrics, and this isn’t exactly your grandfather’s mariachi concert.

A bit of trivia: “El Cucuy,” the band’s trumpet player, is a graduate of Roosevelt High School of the Arts.


Details: 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, Arte Américas, 1630 Van Ness Ave. Early arrival is encouraged, as is bringing your own chairs. Front-row tickets are $30 in advance, $40 at the door. General admission is $20 in advance, $25 at the door.


Eva Scow at Bitwise

Bitwise Industries on Friday kicks off a new musical arts series in the John W. Dodson Theatre. The first concert features Eva Scow & Le Petit Strings playing gypsy jazz. Musicians are Scow on violin and mandolin, Andrew Dixon on clarinet and saxophone, Mike Taylor on guitar and Kevin Hill on upright bass.

From the Facebook description of the event:

Scow is a member of the contemporary jazz quartet Espacio and the progressive funk group The Experience. She teaches string orchestra and jazz education for Central Unified School District and the Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop. This lady is filthy talented.

Le Petit Strings is Scow’s newest group that explores the world of Gypsy Jazz. Originating in 1930’s France, Gypsy Jazz, also called gypsy swing or hot club jazz, is a style of jazz made popular by artists such as guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli.

Details: 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, Bitwise Industries, 700 Van Ness Ave. Tickets $12 advance, $15 at the door.

dancing with stars

‘Dancing with the Stars’

You’ve seen them on TV. Now they’re back at Fresno’s Saroyan Theatre with “Dancing with the Stars: Live! — Hot Summer Nights.” The national tour performs 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13. Tickets are $42.50-$89.50. I know there are plenty of classical dance fans addicted to the long-running ABC show, so I wanted to give this a plug.

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

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