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Now streaming: the November episode of ‘The Munro Review on CMAC’

It’s time for Episode 27 of “The Munro Review on CMAC.” This month’s show focuses on the busy cultural month of November and includes a special field story:

It features three major segments:

• You’ve seen him as a drunken Santa in “A Christmas Story.” Now, Shawn Williams of Good Company Players is ready to play another dysfunctional Christmas character: Buddy in “Elf: The Musical.” Williams talks about what it’s like to crash Macys at Christmas, maple syrup on spaghetti and more. The production opens Nov. 14 at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater.

Pictured above: Devynn Braswell of the Fresno Master Chorale performs in the CMAC studio. Photo: The Munro Review

• Producer Kyle Lowe and I took a road trip to UC Merced a couple of weeks ago to get a look at the new arts building on campus. Professor Jayson Beaster-Jones gives us a tour of the impressive facilities and talks about the university’s unique Global Arts Studies Program, which combines the study of visual arts and music, as well as the interactions of sight and sound in film, television, dance, theater, video games, and other multimedia.

• How to have fun on a TV set? Invite a bunch of singers from the Fresno Master Chorale. I talk with music director Anna Hamre, Celeste DeMonte and Chris Simmons about the ensemble’s upcoming Nov. 17 concert featuring two joyful works: Gjeilo’s “Sunrise Mass” and Forrest’s “Jubilate Deo.” Then we get to hear singer Devynn Braswell, accompanied by Edgar Contreras on guitar, sing a selection from the concert. I really appreciate all these singers taking the time to share their talents with my viewers.

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Plus: This month’s show includes a recap of stories and reviews I covered on the website in October, and I offer a preview of upcoming events in November.

Web extra: Merced Multicultural Arts Center

While Kyle and I were reporting in Merced, we visited the Merced Multicultural Arts Center, which has long been closely connected to UC Merced. There’s a great Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos exhibition on view through Nov. 9 (a free reception will be held 4-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2), and the center boasts classes, activities, an art gallery, theatrical performances and more. I talk to Colton Dennis, executive director of the Merced Arts Council; and to UC Merced art professor Richard Gomez, whose students contributed an altar to the Dia de los Muertos exhibition.


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.


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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