The List: From ‘Footloose’ to Nare and Contreras, 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. You gotta cut loose

A few weeks ago I interviewed members of the cast of “Footloose” on my CMAC TV arts talk show, and — you’ll never believe it — one of them, Audrey Portela, told a story about how her mom once ran into a ban on dancing!

Pictured above: The women of “Footloose.” Photo: Good Company Players.

“My mother grew up in a pretty small Christian town and went to a really small Christian college,” Portela said. “And when she got there she found out they actually had a rule against dancing. It’s too rowdy for them, I guess. She and some friends saw ‘Footloose’ and said, ‘Hey, let’s try this.” They did the whole thing. They made flyers, they tried to get people involved. But no one was interested. So it didn’t work out.

Yes, the whole dancing-is-Satan-based mindset might be more common than you might think. (I sometimes ponder questions such as these when I’m driving along the corner of Nees and Maple avenues toward Highway 41; could there be any higher concentration of churches per intersection anywhere?) When the movie version of “Footloose” came out oh so many years ago (it was, gulp, in 1984, and how time does fly), my friends and I found it perfectly believable that an entire town would ban dancing. Now that the story is a Broadway musical, it’s entertaining a new generation. The new Good Company Players production is in its opening weekend at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theatre.

You can watch my interview with Aubree Facio, Mallory Parker, Audrey Portela and Alli Stemple here (at about the 18:00 mark). Plus, be sure to stay tuned after the interview (and my televised “List” of upcoming events) to hear the four sing “Holding Out for a Hero.” It’s well worth a listen. They sound great.

If you go: Runs through Jan. 13 at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater, 1226 N. Wishon Ave. Tickets are $32-$60.

2. Naré + Contreras + Bitwise

If you’ve heard noted Fresno-area musicians Omar Naré and Patrick Contreras perform together, you know it’s a treat.


The pair comes together once again for a concert at Bitwise. From the organizers:

A Fresno native, Contreras learned to play violin in school and has used his music to create a completely unique mix of hip hop, mariachi, rock, jazz, electronic, and classical … Naré mixes his upbringing in Sanger with a pop sensibility for an unparalleled take on the mariachi genre.  

Pre-show cocktails at Bitwise begin at 7 p.m.

If you go: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, Bitwise South Stadium, 700 Van Ness Ave., Fresno. Tickets are $25. 

3. And don’t forget …

It’s closing weekend for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Selma Arts Center and “Falling” at Fresno Pacific University.



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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