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The List: From ‘Midsummer’ in Selma to a stroll in Shinzen, some promising picks for the weekend

Welcome to The List, a curated offering of promising events for the weekend. Why stay home with Amazon Prime when there’s a whole world of local stuff to enjoy and support?

1. Hang out with the fairies

Pictured above: Claudio Laso in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ Photo: Selma Arts Center.

Casey Ballard is solid with Shakespeare, and with her at the helm of Selma Arts Center’s new “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” now in its opening weekend, I’m thinking the production has a lot of potential. Ballard’s take:

I chose ‘Midsummer’ specifically because the themes and characters are able to span centuries, cultures, and political climates. I also chose ‘Midsummer’ because the play is all about love, relationships, and power and it is the most approachable and humorous of all his comedies.

Tickets for the Nov. 10 and 17 matinees are both Buy One, Get One free.

And to get you in the right mood, you can drink wine with the fairies at the Friday, Nov. 16, performance.

It’ll be fun to see “Midsummer” in, well, not the summer. Puts a different spin on it, wouldn’t you say?

If you go: Runs through Nov. 17 at the Selma Arts Center, 1935 High St., Selma. Tickets are $19 adults, $17 students and seniors, $15 children.

2. Charlie Brown as a teenager

I’ve seen Bert V. Royal’s “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” a couple of times on stage and found it a quirky, clever and amusing play. Though names have been (slightly) changed, these are obviously the comic-strip “Peanuts” characters post-puberty. CB, whose early crush on the Little Red Haired Girl is not a definitive indication of his emerging sexual orientation, is despondent when his dog die. His sister has turned Goth. The boy we knew and loved as Pig-Pen has turned into a germophobe and a homophobe. And the gal most famed for snatching away the football has been institutionalized. Drug use, bullying, teen violence, childhood sexual abuse and existential ennui are all prominent themes. This ain’t your grandparents’ “Peanuts.”

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Rodolfo Robles Cruz directs the Experimental Theatre Company production at Fresno State. It’s a student-run affair from top to bottom. And a great deal!

If you go: 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, Lab School 101 Theatre at Fresno State. Tickets are $5 (cash only).

A work by Steve Norton at Gallery 25.

3. Steve Norton at Gallery 25

His new show “Primoridial” at Gallery 25 is inspired by the artist’s graduate school work in the 1980s. Norton describes his digital works as “intuitive explorations into the multifaceted, multidimensional layers of reality.” He’s fascinated with “raw, swirling types of energy, matter in flux, and his interest in the cosmological, scientific origins of the universe.” Maybe this is the show to attend after you see “Dog Sees God.” Just sayin’.

A Second Saturday artist’s reception is noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. The show continues through Dec. 2.

If you go: Through Dec. 2, Gallery 25 at the M Street Arts Complex, 1419 M St., Fresno. Free.

4. Fresno meets noir

You might think of Fresno in terms of its bountiful, harsh sunlight, which often seems to bleach the city of color. But how about using a different lens? In “Fresnoir: Found Photos from a Missing Private Eye,” a new photography exhibition at Parabolic gallery, the aesthetic is inspired by Film Noir. So is the opening reception:

Inky black and white images of Fresno after dark reveal some sinister goings on about town, and now the private eye who’s been snooping into the underbelly of this town has gone missing! Period cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Curated music inspired by film noir soundtracks. Dress to impress the dolls or the guys, as the case may be.

Sounds like a memorable evening.

If you go: 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, Parabolic, 431 E. Olive Ave., Fresno. Free.

5. Champagne and bonsai

The annual Shinzen Stroll, a joint fundraiser by the Fresno Cultural Arts Rotary Club and the Shinzen Friendship Garden at Woodward Park, features music, arts, a silent auction, cultural performances and brunch offerings from local restaurants. It’ll be the place to be on Sunday morning.

If you go: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, Shinzen Garden. $30 advance, $40 day of event.

6. Fresno State Opera Theatre 10th anniversary

Fresno State student Emma DenBesten, who I know has a great voice, writes to remind me about the Fresno State Opera Theatre’s production of “Our Favorite Scenes”:

We are performing scenes from “Cosí fan tutti” and “Die Zauberflöte” by Mozart, “The State of Jefferson” by Kenneth Froelich (a Fresno State music composition professor), “Summer and Smoke” by Lee Hobby, “Edges” by Pasek and Paul, “Candide” by Bernstein, and “Susannah” by Carlisle Floyd. We are covering a wide range of opera repertoire and world premiering the scene from Dr. Froelich’s opera. We have an exceptionally strong group of singers this semester.

Congrats on the 10th birthday, by the way.

If you go: 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, Fresno State Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 general, $8 students.

7. And don’t forget …

I’ve already told you about the Fresno Philharmonic’s big Veterans Day concert (3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11). The play “Falling” continues at Fresno Pacific University. There are only two more chances to see Fresno City College’s “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,” which closes Saturday, Nov. 10. (Here’s my review.) And the very fine Good Company Players production of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” finishes its run at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater on Sunday, Nov. 10. (Here’s my review.)


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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.

donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com

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