Weekend openings also include “And Then There Were None” at Fresno State; and “Twelfth Night” at Fresno Pacific
Before there was “Hamilton,” there was “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.” (Or, as it could have been alternatively titled, “Old Hickory: The Musical.”) President Jackson might not have been one of the Founding Fathers, but the creators of “Bloody” knew back in 2008, long before “Hamilton” conquered the world, that mashing together American history and rock music could mean a big creative payoff. That’s why I’m leading off my roundup of a very busy theater weekend with a much-awaited new production at Visalia’s College of the Sequoias.
College of the Sequoias
First Fresno City College and director Charles Erven broke new ground this season with a premiere production of the Broadway musical “Green Day’s American Idiot.” Now it’s time for Chris Mangels and the top-notch theater department at COS to offer another local hard-edged musical premiere.
Options include a Fresno State lecture-recital about a memorable woman scientist, theater openings in Merced, Visalia and Reedley, and a photo exhibition about Afghanistan
Here’s a rundown on promising arts/culture picks for the weekend. (Note: I’m posting this a day earlier than usual because of a Thursday night option.)
Earlier this year I got to wander the streets of Alexandria, Egypt, and there I learned about a remarkable woman: Hypatia, who is said to be the first woman philosopher, mathematician and astronomer. She was renowned for her intelligence and scientific insights. But she got caught up in the religious battles of the times. Hypatia was a pagan, and she was (horribly) murdered by an angry Christian mob in the year 415 A.D.
Hypatia’s life story is the focus of a fascinating sounding interdisciplinary lecture-recital on Friday at Fresno State. The event is an exploration of the ways in which women use their voices and are silenced in male-dominated societies.
Chris Mangels and Diane Fidalgo, married in real life, play a couple caught up in an affair in the College of the Sequoias production of “Betrayal”
It’s been barely a blink since we last saw husband-and-wife actors Chris Mangels and Diane Fidalgo in the same cast in StageWorks Fresno’s raucous production of “The Full Monty.” (And in that show, we got to see a lot of Mangels.) Now the pair is reuniting for a very different theatrical experience that is a lot more revealing in an emotional sense: Harold Pinter’s classic play “Betrayal.”
The play opens in 1977 when longtime lovers Jerry and Emma meet after her marriage to her husband, Robert, dissolves, and then backtracks all the way to 1968 when their affair first began.
The production at Visalia’s College of the Sequoias is a fundraiser to kick off the theater season. I caught up with Mangels via Facebook Messenger to chat a little about the event.
The company announces its 2018 season, which includes “The Fantasticks.” Plus: recaps from CURTAIN 5 TheatreGROUP, Shine! Theatre, the Selma Arts Center, College of the Sequoias, Children’s Musical Theaterworks, Good Company Players, Fresno City College, Fresno State and Reedley’s River City Theatre Company.
UPDATE 6 (Sept. 27): The CURTAIN 5 TheatreGROUP cancelled its production of “Frida” at the Fresno Art Museum.
UPDATE 4 (Sept. 11): I’ve added the remainder of the 2017 season for CURTAIN 5 TheatreGROUP.
UPDATE 3 (Sept. 4): I’ve added the 2017-18 season for Shine! Theatre.
UPDATE 2 (Aug. 28): I’ve added the 2018 season for the Selma Arts Center.
UPDATE 1 (Aug. 13): I’ve added the seasons for Children’s Musical Theaterworks and Visalia’s College of the Sequoias.
ORIGINAL POST: Stop the digital presses: StageWorks Fresno has snagged the rights to perform “Fun Home: The Musical.” The show was nominated for an impressive 12 Tony Awards in 2015 and won five, including best musical.
In “Fun Home,” composer Jeanine Tesori and writer-lyricist Lisa Kron transform the cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s popular graphic-novel memoir, subtitled “A Family Tragicomic,” into a spare and beautiful musical.
Bechdel’s adult self is narrator, looking back at herself as a 9-year-old navigating through childhood and as a 19-year-old college freshman embracing the fact she’s lesbian.