Donald’s list: Weekend choices (April 27)

Whether it’s cutting-edge chamber music or the classic play “The Crucible,” there are lots of options for the weekend. I’ve already filled you in on Good Company’s “The Heiress,” Jeremy Denk performing with Keyboard Concerts and the Fresno State Symphony Orchestra in separate concerts, and the Fresno Community Chorus spring celebration of Leonard Bernstein. Here are even more choices:

‘The Crucible’

Don’t you love the poster for the new College of the Sequoias production? (Kudos to the designer.)

crucible poster

“The Crucible,” of course, is Arthur Miller’s 1953 classic play about the Salem witchcraft trials, but it can also be read as a searing allegory about McCarthyism or more generally mass hysteria in times of political unrest. The new production is set in a post-World War II small town that “feels eerily close to our own.”

Chris Mangels directs what promises to be a powerful and visceral production.


Details: Opens 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 27, COS Theatre. Continues through May 4. Tickets are $14 general, $12 seniors, $10 students. Info:

Orpheus at 40

The Orpheus chamber ensemble has spent the season celebrating its 40th anniversary, and now it’s time for the final concert of that celebratory season.

One of the highlights will be a piece by Fresno State music composition professor Kenneth Froelich. Here’s a description of his piece “Through Cloudy and Cracked Lenses”:

The first movement, “Distant and Blurry Points of Light,” began as a simple exercise in tonal experimentation utilizing a progression of perfect fifths. The movement aurally portrays blurry and unfocused ideas that, as they come into focus, become representations of striking and troubling visual imagery. The first movement becomes an abstract representation of a long-coming traumatic event, one that could be completely avoidable and yet, through either circumstance or design, is arrived at with blistering speed.

The second movement, “Blind, In Pieces, and At Peace,” begins with simple repeating fragments in the vibraphone, harp, piano, and crotales. These fragments repeat without change — shards of music derived from the previous movement’s progression. The second movement is distant, haunting, and incredibly static – an unchanging, yet strangely peaceful reality that stands in direct contrast to the trauma of the previous movement.

Other pieces on the program include Alexis Aldrich’s “Muse of Fire” and Alfredo Casella’s “Tre Canzoni Trecentesche.”

Details: 8 p.m. Sunday, April 29, Fresno State Concert Hall.

BOVN flier 2

‘Broadway on Van Ness’

The Fresno Grand Opera may be no more, but there’s one vestige of that wonderful company that remains: the “Van Ness” series held at 1st Congregational Church. These concerts featured members of the opera chorus, and many of those performers are returning to keep the tradition alive.

“Broadway on Van Ness” features solos, duets and ensemble numbers from a variety of Broadway musicals, from “Porgy & Bess” to “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” (which recently finished up its New York run).

This is a “grand” opportunity to hear some of the most talented singers in the local music community.

Details: “Broadway on Van Ness,” 5 p.m. Sunday, April 29, 1st Congregational Church, 2131 N. Van Ness Ave. Tickets are $45 general, $60 reserved. Info: 559-227-8489.


be music

‘Be the Music’

Fresno State’s University Dance Theatre offers three more performances of “Be the Music,” its student-choreographed dance performance. The university’s Lisa Boyles has the info:

“Be the Music” features numerous dances created by Fresno State students. Dances range from island to contemporary and cultural pieces to reflect the diversity of Fresno State students. The performances are student-driven — from the dancers to the production of the concert, with the help of Kenneth Balint, professor of dance at Fresno State and instructor of University Dance Theatre.

“This performing group never fails in its ability to captivate audiences,” Balint said. “Every semester has brought new and different ideas of what is dance and how it relates to the world around us. It is a course that engages a high level of collaboration, dialogue and discovery. Year after year the group continues to bring a rich dance tradition of creativity and community to Fresno State.”

Details: 8 p.m. Friday, April 27; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 28; Fresno State Lab School 101 Theatre. Tickets are $5.

‘Art in the Afternoon’

The Fresno Art Museum is restarting its popular “Art in the Afternoon” series, this time on Saturdays instead of a weekday. Fresno figure artist Marcos Dorado will speak at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28, in the museum’s Bonner Auditorium. His current exhibition at the museum is titled “Immigrant Me,” a collection of 20 new works. For years, Dorado has pushed himself to fine-tune his Old World skills of classical drawing, spending chunks of time in New York at the Art Students League of New York and Grand Central Academy.

He’s passionate about art and a great speaker about his work. I’m sure it will be a dynamic afternoon.

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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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