A special CMAC episode: comedy with Brunch, and stellar acting with Jimmy and Arium

When you’re sheltering in place, Friday might seem like any other day in the blur of never-ending Netflix, depressing New York Times updates and looking forward to the next dog walk. But, we should always remember that Friday is a cause for celebration. It’s time for the weekend! To mark the occasion, I’m excited to bring you an exclusive sneak viewing of the April episode of “The Munro Review on CMAC.”

Yes, dear readers, you get the opportunity to see the episode four days before the official CMAC premiere at 7 p.m. Monday, April 6. Here it is:

And what an episode it is! Instead of my regular anchor desk in the CMAC studio, I do the social-distancing thing by filming my intros next to my condo’s swimming pool. Plus, producer Kyle Lowe and I catch up with two very special groups using Skype and Zoom:

• Jimmy Haynie and Arium Andrews, representing the Fresno State theater program, were all set over spring break to go to Washington, D.C., to perform at the Kennedy Center as part of the finals of the American College Theatre Festival. That competition has been postponed but not canceled. Haynie and Andrews are among eight pairs of regional finalists in the national Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition. They beat 400 other nominees from the five-state Western region.

In a memorable interview, they (remotely) perform one of the scenes they prepared for the festival. It’s amazing how moving the performance is even with them in separate houses.


• The members of Brunch, the improv comedy group made up of members of Good Company Players, put on a show! Again, these comedy veterans perform from separate locations, but thanks to Zoom, it all comes together for lots of laughs.

I’m so proud to welcome Emma DenBesten, Teddy Maldonado, Laurie Pessano, Emily Pessano, Brian Rhea and Shawn Williams to the show. Plus: I get dragged into the fun!

The episode is nearly an hour in length, twice the normal run time of my show — but, many of us have more time on our hands these days, right? I hope you enjoy.

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.

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