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Excited about July’s big theater openings? I’m giving away tickets to all of them

Are you ready for the summer theater season? It’s starting this week, and I’m excited to be drowning in titles.

Pictured above: Ethel Birrell, Amalie Larsen and Valerie Rachelle star in StageWorks Fresno’s ‘Mamma Mia,’ which opens Friday, July 12. Photo: The Munro Review

The good news is that I’m here to keep you informed with previews, features and reviews. The even better news is that I am giving tickets away for every production listed. And I’m putting all these giveaways into one post to make it easier for busy theatergoers to enter.

Here are the ground rules:

Ticket giveaways are open only to members, donors and individual sponsors of The Munro Review. A free basic membership is available, and paid memberships start at $5 a month. (You can always opt for a one-time donation of as little as $3.) I love signing up new free members, but even better is adding members who are willing to financially support local arts journalism. It’s the only way this site can continue to stay alive. Details on becoming a member are below. Memberships and donations are tax-deductible; this is a non-profit site under the fiscal sponsorship of the Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC).

To enter, follow the directions below (and be sure to tell me which production you’re hoping for). You’re welcome to enter for multiple events, but be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry.

SPONSORED CONTENT


OK, let’s dive in to what’s available. Productions are listed by opening date:

‘Friends: The Musical Parody’

Company: national tour of off-Broadway production.

Venue: Tower Theatre.

Opening: 8 p.m. Thursday, July 11.

Runs through: one performance only.

What to expect: A song list that includes “495 Grove Street: How Can We Afford This Place?,” “Will They or Won’t They?” (sung by Ross and Rachel), and “The One Where We Make a Million Dollars an Episode.” Producers promise “our favorite moments from all 10 years of Friends through an uncensored, fast-paced, music-filled romp.”

Here’s a video:

The giveaway: A pair of tickets to opening night.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post answering this question: Who is your favorite character on “Friends”? (Or, if you’re too shy to share, just tell me you want to see the show.)

Deadline to enter: 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 9.


‘Mamma Mia!’

Company: StageWorks Fresno.

Venue: Shaghoian Hall.

Opening: 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 12.

Runs through: Sunday, July 14 (four performances).

What to expect: A robust production of the ABBA jukebox musical with a big set, large cast, live band and lots of raucous energy. Joel C. Abels directs.

Here’s a sneak peek from my CMAC show (interview begins at 27:50 mark):

The giveaway: A pair of tickets for opening night and a pair of tickets for Saturday night.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post answering this question: Have you ever worn a Spandex jumpsuit? (Or, if you’re too shy to share, just tell me that you want to see the show.)

Deadline to enter: 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 9.


‘Disney’s Freaky Friday’

Company: Children’s Musical Theaterworks.

Opening: 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 12.

Runs through: Sunday, July 21 (eight performances).

Venue: Fresno Memorial Auditorium.

What to expect: Mother and daughter switch souls, just like in the original movie, but now they sing about it, too. Fun fact: Fresno theater favorite and Broadway star Heidi Blickenstaff originated the role of the mother in both the original professional production and the new Disney movie movie musical that was released last year.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post answering this question: If you were given a chance to go back to high school for a week as your younger self, would you take it? (Or, if you’re too shy to share, just tell me that you want to see the show.)

Deadline to enter: 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 10.


‘The Comedy of Errors’

Company: Woodward Shakespeare Festival.

Opening: 8 p.m. Friday, July 12.

Runs through: July 21 (six performances).

Venue: California Arts Academy Severance Theatre.

What to expect: Producers are calling this the “rain check run” because it’s a restaging of the festival’s late-spring production at Woodward Park that was rained out several times. Some of the same cast returns for this version. The good news is that this version can’t be called for weather (unless there’s a blackout and no air conditioning).

The giveaway: a pair of free tickets with special reserved seating to any production opening weekend. (Technically the play is free, though a $10 donation per ticket is suggested.)

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post answering this question: Which do you prefer, Shakespeare indoors or outdoors? (Or, if you’re too shy to share, just tell me that you want to see the show.)

Deadline to enter: 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 10.


The Munro Review has no paywall but is financially supported by readers who believe in its non-profit mission of bringing professional arts journalism to the central San Joaquin Valley. You can help by signing up for a monthly recurring paid membership or make a one-time donation of as little as $3. All memberships and donations are tax-deductible.

‘Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical’

Company: Reedley’s River City Theatre.

Venue: Reedley Opera House.

Opening: Friday, July 12.

Runs through: Sunday, July 28 (11 performances).

What to expect: The classic “you take the bad with the good” musical based on the tale by Robert Louis Stevenson. Steve Jones directs.

The giveaway: a pair of free tickets to the 8 p.m. Saturday, July 27, performance. (prize date updated)

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post answering this question: Is it a Dr. Jekyll day for you today? Or a Mr. Hyde day? (Or, if you’re too shy to share your inner psychological secrets, just tell me that you want to see the show.)

Deadline to enter: 10 a.m. Thursday, July 18.


‘Calamity Jane’

Company: Good Company Players.

Opening: Thursday, July 18.

Runs through: Sunday, Sept. 15 (39 performances).

Venue: Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater.

What to expect: Country singer and Fresno fan Louise Mandrell returns after a seven-year absence to reprise her role in the Western musical based on the life of the famed frontierswoman. Mandrell promises new fun this time around, including some featured moments on the harmonica and banjo. Laurie Pessano directs.

Here’s an interview I did with Mandrell for my CMAC show:

The giveaway: Win a pair of show-only tickets to the evening performance on Sunday, July 28. (prize date updated)

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post answering this question: Which would you rather know how to play: the harmonica, banjo or fiddle? (Or, if you’re too shy to share, just tell me that you want to see the show.)

Deadline to enter: 10 a.m. Thursday July 18.


‘Be More Chill’

Company: Selma Arts Center.

Opening: 7 p.m. Friday, July 19.

Runs through: Saturday, July 27.

What to expect: Wildly popular on social media, this off-Broadway musical about the ultimate high school geek — and the high-tech solution to make him cool — made it this year all the way to Broadway. Selma Arts Center nabbed the rights. Miguel Gastelum directs.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the “Be More Chill” photo shoot at CMAC:

The giveaway: Win two tickets to any opening weekend performance.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post answering this question: Take the “Who’s Your Squip Spin the Roulette” quiz (link here) by taking a screenshot, then tell us which celebrity you got. (Or, if you’re too shy to share or don’t do screenshots, just tell me that you want to see the show.)

Deadline to enter: 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 16.


‘Big River’

Company: Shine! Theatre.

Venue: Tower Theatre.

Opening: 8 p.m. Friday, July 19.

Runs through: Saturday, July 20 (four performances only).

What to expect: In this youth production, director tony sanders (who does not capitalize his name) is offering a sensitive interpretation of the Mark Twain classic tale with a nod toward the Black Lives Matter movement. “Theater at its best acts as a mirror for society to view itself,” he says.

The giveaway: Win a pair of tickets to any performance.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post answering this question: Have you ever sailed the Mississippi River? (Or, if you’re too shy to share, just tell me you want to see the show.)

Deadline to enter: 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 16.


‘Legally Blonde’

Company: CenterStage Clovis Community Theatre.

Opening: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25.

Runs through: Saturday, Aug. 3 (eight performances).

What to expect: Sarah Rosenthal plays Elle and Dakota Simpson plays Emmett in this cheery musical adaptation of the popular movie.

The giveaway: Win a pair of tickets to any opening-weekend performance.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post answering this question: Have you ever said the expression “Omigod you guys?” (Or, if you’re too shy to share, just tell me you want to see the show.)

Deadline to enter: 5 p.m. Saturday, July 20.


‘La Cage Aux Folles’

Company: StageWorks Fresno.

Venue: Dan Pessano Theatre

Opening: Friday, July 26.

Runs through: Sunday, Aug. 11 (10 performances).

What to expect: If you saw the movie “The Birdcage,” you’ll know the outline of this classic musical about Georges, a Parisian club owner, and Albin, the head drag performer, who face a test when their son announces his engagement to the daughter of ultra-conservative political parents. This Fresno premiere features so many wigs you’ll lose count.

The giveaway: Win a pair of tickets to any opening-weekend performance. I’ll be giving away two pairs.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post answering this question: What’s your favorite shade of mascara? (Or, if you’re too shy to share, just tell me you want to see the show.)

Deadline to enter: 10 a.m. Monday, July 22.


A REMINDER

Tax-deductible memberships for The Munro Review start at $5 a month, and you can make a one-time donation of as little as $3. (Paid memberships help keep the site running, and paid members get special members-only benefits. Please consider a paid membership in support of independent, local arts journalism.) A free membership option is available. For details on how to join, go to the Membership and Sponsorship page. No purchase, donation or membership is necessary to enter the ticket giveaway.


 

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

Comments (64)

  • Jennifer

    My favorite FRIENDS character is definitely Monica!

    reply
  • Gloria Burrola

    I would love to see Big River, Adventures of Huck Finn as I love Twain. But the Black Lives Matter take makes it even more compelling.

    reply
    • Emma5299

      I’ve never worn a spandex jumpsuit, but if I saw the show, that just might change.

      reply
  • Silvia Fisher

    Favorite mascara black ☺️ LA CAGE AUX FOLLES
    Would be super excited if I was chosen

    Silvia Fisher

    reply
  • Gloria Burrola

    I prefer Shakespeare indoors as mosquitoes seem to love me. Would to see A Comedy of Errors.

    reply
  • Chris Simmons

    I have indeed worn a jumpsuit, bring a child of the 70’s, but sadly it was polyester. I’d love to see Mama Mia!
    And Omigod, you guys, I’d, like, totally love to see Legally Blonde!

    reply
  • Gloria Burrola

    Friends—The Musical Parody sounds like a good idea. I’ve only seen a few episodes of the tv series and think this approach would be fun.

    reply
  • Javier Cabrera

    I’ve never worn mascara but black would totally be my color. Here’s hoping I win tickets to LA CAGE AUX FOLLIES!

    reply
  • Javier Cabrera

    Singing MAMMA MIA songs wearing a spandex suit sounds like a great ol time to me! A pair of tickets to the show would be incredible!

    reply
  • Javier Cabrera

    I got Robert Downey Jr on the spin quiz. BE MORE CHILL tickets I will totally look forward too!! Crossing fingers

    reply
  • Linda Ramirez

    Friends would be my first choice.

    reply
  • Lisa Ovalle

    I would love to play the fiddle. There gets to be some mighty fine toe-tapping when someone really knows how to play it. Hoping to win tickets to CALAMITY JANE. Thank you.

    reply
    • Kaila

      I have never worn spandex! I’d love to see Mamma Mia!!

      reply
  • Steph

    Every day is a Mr Hyde day of late. Or maybe it’s just always Monday.

    reply
  • Steph

    And if I wore mascara, it’d be cerulean blue and I’d pretend I was in a production of ‘Hair.’ For a chance to see Joel in La Cage I’d wear mascara any day.

    reply
  • Kaila

    I would totally go back to high school for a week!! I’d love to see Freaky Friday!

    reply
    • Kaila

      I got Arina Grande on my spin! Be More Chill sounds amazing!

      reply
  • Kaila

    Today feels like a Dr. Jekyll day for me! I’d love to see the musical!!

    reply
  • Sue

    Favorite Friend; Phoebe

    reply
  • Caty Perez

    I would love to see Mama Mia!

    reply
  • Caty Perez

    I would love to see Calamity Jane!

    reply
  • Caty Perez

    I would love to see Legally Blonde!

    reply
  • Caty Perez

    I would love to see LA CAGE AUX FOLLES!

    reply
  • Airheaderin

    I’m sure I’ve said Omigod a time or two in my valley girl days. And my teenager is starting to watch Friends now so I’d love to take her to that show as well!

    reply
  • Hi Donald,
    I would really love to have tickets to Calamity Jane. It would be awesome if I could play the fiddle.
    Thanks
    Susan

    reply
  • I would totally enjoy seeing Friends. Thanks

    reply
  • Sandi Moore

    Be More Chill – I got Ruth Bader Ginsburg!
    /Users/me/Desktop/IMG_5998.jpeg

    reply
    • Sandi Moore

      Tried to post the screenshot, but it didn’t work…

      reply
  • Jeanne Behnke

    Because of your CMAC preview I would love to see Mamma Mia. I have never worn a spandex jumpsuit – that I remember. Also a jumpsuit is a bad idea when you need to use the facilities!!

    reply
  • Jeanne Behnke

    I do play more than one instrument & so I know how difficult it is to learn to play it. So I’d really like to just KNOW how to play the BANJO.

    reply
  • Kcono

    Favorite Friend?-Chandler Bing

    reply
  • Kcono

    Would love to see Jekyll and Hyde

    reply
  • Kcono

    Would love to see La Cage a Faux

    reply
  • Kcono

    Would love to see Legally Blonde

    reply
  • Kcono

    Would love to see Big River. Waiting for the Light to Shine

    reply
  • Jennifer

    I WOULD LOVE TO SEE LA CAGE! I’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE

    reply
  • Jennifer

    BE MORE CHILL I GOT RUTH BADER GINSBURG

    reply
  • Jennifer

    MAMMA MIA! IVE NEVER WORN A SPANDEX JUMPSUIT

    reply
  • Brad Kendzora

    I’d like to learn to play the Banjo and would like to see Calamity Jane since I’ve never seen it live!

    reply
  • Sílvia Fisher

    Would be lovely to be chosen to see Be More Chill. Too shy to do the screenshot 😐

    reply
  • Barbara Mecca

    Mama Mia! I’ve worn clothing with 2% spandex but never a jumpsuit. Would love to win free tickets to this wonderful play. Can’t beat the positive music, energy and storyline.

    reply
  • Holly

    I would love to see La Cage Aux Folles. My fave mascara is blue.

    reply
  • Cleo Bauer

    Joel and Terry and La Cage Aux Folles sounds pretty amazing and wonderful.

    reply
  • Linda Ramirz

    Calimity Jane would be a hoot.

    reply
  • Emily A

    Favorite Friends character has to be neurotic Monica!

    reply
  • Emily A

    MamaMia (Saturday tickets only) – no jumpsuits.

    reply
  • Emily A

    Jekyll and Hyde – college roommate loved that show and I’d love to see it staged.

    reply
  • Cassie Souza

    I haven’t worn a spandex jumpsuit but I’ve worn a lot of spanx in my life 😂

    reply
  • Julie

    I would love to see Comedy of Errors – my favorite Shakespeare play.

    reply
  • Julie

    Jekyll & Hyde – I live with both & would love to go the the Reedley Opera house for the 1st time!

    reply
  • Julie

    Calamity Jane – would love to take my niece to see her first show for her 14th birthday.

    reply
  • John Beynon

    Oh, let’s go with Green UV Glow Blacklight Mascara. La Cage aux Folles, s’il vous plaît.

    reply
  • Summer Session

    All of these shows sound amazing and I am hoping to find the time and funds to see them all but I would absolutely love to see Be More Chill.

    I took the quiz and got Ruth Bader Ginsburg!

    https://share.icloud.com/photos/0OUZ1pen5huz30jxBtgydYjpw#Fresno_City_College

    reply
  • Julie

    Be More Chill! I got the notorious RBG

    reply
  • Julie

    I would love to see La Cage – and blackest black is my mascara

    reply
  • John Hayes

    With 105 temp. Hitting us this weekend would love to get More Chill! Also remember this play was also up for A Tony this year. Thanks John and Maureen Hayes

    reply
  • Heather Schuhlein

    “Omigod you guys?” is used everytime I see dirty dishes in the sink. Legally Blonde would be fun to see.

    reply
  • Heather Schuhlein

    I would love to be able to learn to play the banjo.

    reply
  • Michelle

    Jon M. Chu! Would love to see “Be More Chill”!

    reply
  • Michelle

    Never sailed the Mississippi, but crossed it over the bridge from Memphis. Does that count? Big River!

    reply
  • Michelle

    I’m the mother of two boys. OF COURSE I’ve said, “Omigod you guys!” Would love to see our friends in Legally Blonde!

    reply
  • Michelle

    I wear only black mascara, but I’d gladly “put a little more mascara on” for La Cage!

    reply
  • Phyllis

    I’d love to win tickets for “Calamity Jane.”

    reply
  • Sandi Moore

    LA CAGE AUX FOLLES! Midnight Blue mascara!

    reply

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