Donald’s list: Weekend choices (Dec. 15)

Five picks for the weekend:

Good Company cheer

You couldn’t ask for more talented Christmas entertainers. A group of veterans from Good Company Players will perform favorite songs Saturday at Sequoia Brewing Co. in the Tower District. Join Teddy Maldonado, Shawn Williams, Tim Smith, Emily Pessano, Sara Price and Paddy Myers for a lineup of Yuletide vocals.


From left, Paddy Myers, Teddy Maldonado, Shawn Williams, Tim Smith, Emily Pessano and Sara Price.

By the way, I love the above photo. Emily and Paddy look like they’re naughty, Tim and Sara are being so nice, Teddy looks ecstatic that it’s December, and Shawn has a smile as big and white as the North Pole. The whole tableaux just seems warm and jolly.

Details: 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 Sequoia Brewing Company, 777 E Olive Ave., Fresno.


‘Wonderful Life’

Playhouse Merced and The Merced Theatre present “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” for three performances. The play is adapted from the famed Frank Capra film about George Bailey, a downcast man who has become tired of life, and the angel who shows him a world in which George was never born. From the folks at Playhouse Merced:

The play is presented as a 1940’s radio broadcast with an audience eagerly listening at home. With live sound effects and actors performing multiple roles, this adds an extra layer of entertainment and allows the audience to not only see how George’s story affects the characters around him, but also how that story affects the actors who are portraying it.

I’ve seen this radio-play version of “Wonderful Life” several times through the years and especially love watching and listening to the radio-show sound effects.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec 16; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17; The Merced Theatre, 301 W. Main St., Merced. Tickets are $16-$22.

latinx at arte

Latinx theater showcase

Fresno State’s newest theater professor, Gina Sandí Díaz, is directing a free performance of scenes from Latinx Theatre plays. The production features Fresno State students. This sounds like a great way to get a preview of some of the exciting things happening in the university’s theater department.

Details: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, Arte Americas, 1630 Van Ness Ave., Fresno.

A Bob Hope Christmas

Bob Hope 1

Lynn Roberts plays Bob Hope in “On the Air.” Photo / Chuck Carson

For years, Chuck Carson has been producing the live stage show “On the Air: A Tribute to Bob Hope and Radio Stars of the 1940’s.” Now’s your chance to catch the holiday version of the two-man production, which includes “Bob” (played by Phoenix resident Lynn Roberts) singing “Silver Bells,” “The Christmas Song” and “White Christmas.” This version offers holiday flavored, seasonal comedy material from Bob and guest stars, Red Skelton, Jack Benny and Jimmy Durante.

The event is presented by a new non-profit organization called Honoring Our Military Veterans. It benefits the Legion of Valor Museum (for new carpeting ) and The Allied Residents Council of the Veterans Home of California.

Details: 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, Fresno Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 2425 Fresno St., Fresno. Tickets are $40 general, $15 general. Doors at the Legion of Valor Museum will open at 1 p.m. for an open house and guided tours.


Amy Bodnar, left, and Michael Vodde star in “Another Night Before Christmas.” Photo / Sierra Repertory Theatre

Christmas musical

Sonora’s Sierra Repertory Theatre is in the closing weeks of “Another Night Before Christmas,” described as “a contemporary musical about cynicism, belief, and the real meaning of Christmas.” A description:

Karol, a disillusioned social worker, is trudging home one cold December night when she encounters an old man sitting on a park bench. Mistaking him for homeless, Karol offers the stranger some food — a seemingly innocent gesture, until he turns up in her apartment claiming to be Santa Claus. Thanks to a malfunctioning security system, Karol finds herself trapped with “Mr. Claus” and forced to confront her feelings about Christmas once and for all.

If you’ve never made the trip to Sonora for professional theater at SRT, it’s well worth the drive.

Details: Through Dec. 23 at the company’s East Sonora Theatre, 13891 Mono Way, Sonora. Tickets range from $20 for children 17 and under to $37 for general admission, with adult and senior prices varying depending on day and time of performance.

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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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