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The List: From Keyboard Concerts to ‘The Jungle Book’ ballet, some promising picks for the weekend

Welcome to The List, a curated offering of promising events for the weekend. Why stay home with “Russian Doll” on Netflix when there’s a whole world of local stuff to enjoy and support? (You can always binge on Natasha Lyonne during the week):

1. Hear a celebrated French pianist

The Philip Lorenz International Keyboard Concerts series welcomes Cedric Tiberghien, a French pianist of great renown, for a Sunday concert. He will perform works by Beethoven, Brahms and Debussy.

Pictured above: Cedric Tiberghien performs March 3 in Fresno.

One of the concert highlights, says Keyboard artistic director Andreas Werz, is that Tiberghien will offer a rare performance of Debussy’s Etudes.

“It is a rare event because they are devilishly difficult in every way,” Werz says.

The pianist is known for his innovative concert formats, and his dynamic chamber music partnerships. At Fresno State, you’ll get the chance to hear him in an intimate venue.

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How big of a deal is Tiberghien?

After Fresno he will travel to San Francisco to give his San Francisco Symphony debut performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No.1 as a soloist on three consecutive nights.

If you go: 3 p.m. Sunday, March 3, Fresno State Concert Hall. Tickets are $25 general, $18 seniors, $5 students.

Good Company Players

The cast of ‘A Shot in the Dark.’

2. Take a ‘Shot’ at 2nd Space opening weekend

Do you like your murder mysteries as light and tasty as a souffle? That’s what the New York Times called this “bubbling, saucy comedy” when it opened in New York in 1961. “A Shot in the Dark” is about a parlor maid found nude and unconscious, clutching a gun, with her dead lover beside her. But is she really the killer?

Fun theater fact: When the play, which was adapted from an original French version titled “L’Idiote,” ran on Broadway, the cast included Julie Harris, Walter Matthau, and William Shatner (who played the investigating magistrate). Matthau’s performance earned him a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

Fun movie fact: When the English-language play was made into a 1964 movie, it was rewritten to replace Shatner’s character with that of Inspector Clouseau, played by Peter Sellers.

If you go: Runs through April 20, 2nd Space Theatre, 928 E. Olive Ave., Fresno. Tickets are $20 general, $18 students and seniors.

State Street Ballet

3. Travel to the ‘Jungle’ with the State Street Ballet

The longtime relationship between the Valley Performing Arts Council and the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara pays off once again Saturday with a star-studded annual collaboration. Professional dancers in the State Street company join with local dancers from Fresno Ballet Theatre in a production of “The Jungle Book.” The ballet uses an original score by Czech composer Milan Svoboda and was created by State Street Ballet Artistic Director Rodney Gustafson.

The audience will be transported to the jungles and forests of India, “a mystical land of wolves, snakes, monkeys and panthers where the adventures of young jungle boy Mowgli unfold.”

Dancing the role of Mowgli will be Francois Llorente, a 2017 World Ballet Competition gold medalist. Born in Havana, Llorente trained at Cuba’s National Ballet School and danced with the National Ballet of Cuba before joining State Street Ballet in 2017.

If you go: 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2, Saroyan Theatre.  Fresno State Concert Hall. Tickets are $35.50-$75.50 adults, $33.50 for children throughout the theater. 

Stage

4. Page to stage

The StageWorks Fresno “Page to Stage” reading series is a great way to keep on top of contemporary plays without traveling to New York. (And the series is free!)

The latest offering is “A Doll’s House Part 2” on Sunday. According to StageWorks:

The action picks up 15 years after famous Ibsenite heroine Nora Helmer has shut the door on her marriage and family. Come see what happens when Nora (played by Brooke Aiello ) re-enters the lives of ex-husband Torvald (Terry Lewis), daughter Emmy (Alyssa Benitez), and nurse Anne Marie (Amy Esten Ryan). Hnath’s Tony Award-nominated Broadway hit is a smart new comedy that raises fascinating questions about marriage and the ways the roles of women have – and haven’t – changed. J Daniel Herring directs.

The next “Page to Stage” will be “The Realistic Joneses” on April 7.

If you go: 2 p.m. Sunday, March 3, Fresno Art Museum. Tickets are free.

5. Superhero concert

The Sequoia Symphony in Visalia on Saturday features well-known themes from such films as “Superman,” “The Incredibles,” “Batman,” “The Avengers” and many others.

Before the concert, those attending a red-carpet reception can have their pictures taken with Spiderman, Captain America and characters from “Star Wars” from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Bruce Kiesling conducts.

If you go: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2, Visalia Fox Theatre. .  Fresno State Concert Hall. Tickets are $35 for red-carpet reception.

6. And don’t forget …

The Rogue Festival officially opens Friday, March 1, and continues through March 9. I previewed last night’s “Rogue Teaser Show” and will be adding to my coverage throughout the weekend.

Fresno City College opens “The Little Prince” on Friday, March 1. The production runs through March 9. I’ll be posting an interview with the Prince himself later today.


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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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