Weekend picks: Mahler at the Saroyan, hair stories at the museum, love at the 2nd Space, and soup cans from Warhol

Good Company Players

Patrick Tromborg stars in ‘Living on Love’ at the 2nd Space Theatre.

On a busy arts weekend (June 24-26, 2022), here are four cultural events not to miss:


The Fresno Summer Orchestra Academy (FOOSA), a stellar annual event under the artistic direction of Fresno State’s Thomas Loewenheim, offers two free public concerts. The talented students – both locals and accomplished players from some of the nation’s top music schools — are mentored by prominent music professors, who then join their pupils in performance. You have the chance of two concerts:

• At 8 p.m. Friday, June 24, the FOOSA Philharmonic performs Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 at the Saroyan Theatre. Tickets are free. Also on the program is Ravel’s “La Valse.”

•  At 7 p.m. Saturday, June 25, the orchestra concludes the festival at the Fresno State Concert Hall with performances from the FOOSA Philharmonic, the FOOSA Half-Day String Orchestra, and other ensembles and student artists, including the winner of the FOOSA Concerto Competition.


Near/Far Theatre presents a one-weekend production of an original work titled “Hair/Shair, A Musical Memoir.” Creator Laura Beth Ramirez interviewed 100 women – friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, even a few strangers – and asked them to talk about past or present hair experiences. How did hair impact their mood and identity? Did culture have an influence on their hairstyle choices? The results are captured in a temporary art/photo exhibition designed to go along with Ramirez’s live “Musical Memoir,” which focuses on her own hair story and those of four friends (featured storytellers Sheila Wiebe, Lauren Nikkel, Lana Mae Lopez, and Kit Macdonald).


Ramirez wrote the songs for the show in 2020; they are related to the stories she shares.

“This journey has been an amazing, creative collaboration that I’m so grateful to have been a part of,” she says.

Performances are 7 p.m. Friday, June 24, and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at the Fresno Art Museum Bonner Auditorium. Tickets are $20 general (recommended for 13+), $15 seniors. Advance tickets are available at Eventbrite. The exhibition is open before and after the show.

‘Living on Love’

Good Company Players opens the comic farce “Living on Love” at the 2nd Space Theatre. J. Daniel Herring directs Joe DiPietro’s 2015 play, which starred Renee Fleming on Broadway, about a famous opera singer married to a noted conductor. Things get crowded when they both opt to pen their respective autobiographies – with the help of young, attractive ghostwriters. Renee Newlove and Patrick Tromborg play the leading couple.

Performances kick off 8 p.m. Friday, June 24, and run through Aug. 14. Tickets are $25 general, $22 students and seniors.

Last chance at FAM

Also at the Fresno Art Museum, there’s one final weekend to view the winter/spring round of exhibitions, including “Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop, Works from the Bank of America Collection,” and a first-time retrospective of the work of Northern California painter Chester Arnold.

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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.

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