Welcome to Summer Arts 2019: Intro interview, 5 picks and more

CSU Summer Arts returns tonight! This prestigious and innovative festival is a cultural gift for Fresno. For the month of July, the lineup of public performances and lectures includes dance, classical music, theater, literary readings and more. It’s great, too, just to know that hundreds of students and world-class guest artists are scurrying around the Fresno State campus during these four weeks. You can feel the creative vibe.

Regular tickets are $15-$25. And don’t forget the free student showcases (July 12-13 and July 26-27) that culminate each of the festival’s two-week sessions. They’re a great (and economical) way to experience budding creativity at its most promising.

I welcomed director Jim Spalding and assistant director Joanne Sharp to my CMAC show to talk about this year’s festival. The July episode of “The Munro Review” debuts on broadcast TV tonight (7:30 p.m. Monday, July 1) on CMAC 1 (Comcast 93, AT&T 99), but here’s a sneak peek of the interview:

Meanwhile, more than 30 live events await you at Summer Arts. Here are five picks to help get you started:

The Bossy Flyer

Performance: 7 p.m. Monday, July 1, John Wright Theatre. Tickets are $25.


The draw: This acrobatic comedy won the 2018 San Diego Fringe Outstanding Physical Arts Comedy award. The show “I Hate My Roommate” is Bossy Flyer’s take on “The Odd Couple.”

Richie Carter and Daniel Keys

Lecture: 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 2, John Wright Theatre. Tickets are $15.

The draw: Carter creates impactful, striking, yet simplistic images in his large-scale still life and landscape paintings. And Keys is a huge local draw. (I wrote about him in March because of his show at A Sense of Place gallery.) I know that Keys travels around the world teaching art classes and is in high demand, so this local lecture is a steal.

An Evening of French Piano

Performance: 7 p.m. Saturday, July 6, at the Fresno State Concert Hall. Tickets are $25.

The draw: Virtuosos Jeffrey LaDeur, Gwendolyn Mok, Joel Schoenhals, Omir Shimron, Richard Shuster and William Wellborn performing music by French composers including Ravel, Debussy and Alkan, along with Chopin, who was Polish but died in Paris.

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Diavolo Dance Company

Performance: 7 p.m. Friday, July 19, John Wright Theatre. Tickets are $25.

The draw: This is a Summer Arts heavy-hitter. Based out of Los Angeles, the Diavolo Dance Company rose to fame after appearing on “America’s Got Talent.” Its work incorporates the elements of dance, the strength of gymnastics and the technology of large-scale architectural pieces.

Afro-Caribbean Jazz Concert

Performance: 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, Fresno State Concert Hall. Tickets are $25.

The draw: This evening of foot-tapping and hip-shaking features Grammy winner Doug Beavers and seven-time Grammy nominee John Santos, a two-time Indie Award winner.


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.

Comments (2)

  • Jim Wilson

    Chopin was a French composer????


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