The List: From a fundraiser for wildfire victims to soprano Hanna York, some promising picks for the weekend

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

1. Joyful cabaret

Mark this down as one of the Must Attend Benefit Events of the Season: The Fools Collaborative presents “A Joyful Noise” cabaret to raise money for victims of the recent California wildfires. All proceeds from the “Joyful Noise” event will be donated to California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund, an organization that supports intermediate and long- term recovery efforts for major California wildfires, as well as preparedness efforts.

Pictured above: Members of The Fools Collaborative stopped in to tape The Munro Review’s December CMAC show with guest host Terry Lewis.

If you don’t know about the Fools Collaborative — a spry and cutting-edge theater collective — this is the perfect opportunity to become acquainted. The performance lineup includes lots of familiar Fresno-area theater names, including Terry Lewis, Camille Gaston, Amalie Larsen, Jennifer Appleby, Kindle Cowger, Karen Burley, Damen Pardo, Emma DenBesten, Adam Meredith, Kyle Lowe, Rodolfo Robles Cruz, Jessica Meredith, Joel C. Abels, Amy Ryan, Haley White, and Miguel Gastelum.

That’s a heck of a lot of talent on one stage.

If you go: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 2101 N. Fruit Ave., Fresno. Suggested donation is $10.

2. Celebrate Swede Fest 18

What, you ask, is Swede Fest? It’s one of the things that makes Fresno the place it is. The 2018 version of this showcase for homemade films inspired by Hollywood flicks (both good and bad) will be a chance to see some of your neighbors on the big screen.

The only requirement for filmmakers was to pick your favorite movie and remake it in a fun, creative, low-budget way using their friends, family, and whatever they had laying around the house. (In other words, there’s no money in the budget for the catering table.)


The event is family friendly and free, thanks to the sponsorship of FresYes Realty, Fresno Filmworks, Haro Entertainment, Tower Theatre and CMAC.

If you go: 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, Tower Theatre, 809 E. Olive Ave., Fresno. 

3. ‘Lessons & Carols’ from Fresno Pacific

Here’s a great way to get into the spirit of the season: Fresno Pacific University’s musical ensembles will celebrate Christmas with “A Festival of Lessons & Carols.”

The university’s Chamber Choir, Women’s Chorale, Men’s Chorus, Crosswind vocal/instrumental troupe, San Joaquin Chorale community choir and Pacific Bronze handbell choir. The congregation will also sing selections. A description of the program:

“Lessons & Carols” tells of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah and the birth of Jesus in nine lessons beginning in the Garden of Eden—with “O Come O Come Emmanuel”—and ending with the birth of Christ—with “O Holy Night.” Readings come from Genesis, the prophetic books of the Bible and the Gospels and the order is based on a Church of England service first performed in 1918 at King’s College, Cambridge University.

If you go: 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, First Presbyterian Church, 1540 M Street, Fresno. Tickets are $10 general, $5 students.

4. Fresno Community Concert Band

If it’s early December, it must be time for holiday music from the Fresno Community Concert Band. This year’s concert is titled “Winter Magic.” A description:

From carols like Patapan, Do You Hear What I Hear and It Came upon a Midnight Clear to original compositions – A John Rutter Christmas II and The Eighth Candle, there will be music for the entire family. Begin your holiday season with us!

Soprano Hanna York is guest soloist.

If you go: 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, Shaghoian Hall, 2770 E. International Ave., Fresno. Tickets are $14 general, $7 children 12 and younger.

5. And don’t forget …

“The Lion King” continues at the Saroyan Theatre. Here’s my non-rave review.

This week I also posted my review of “Footloose” at Good Company Players.

Keyboard Concerts performs tonight with Shai Wosner.

If you have other weekend suggestions, post them in the comments.

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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