Donald’s list: Weekend choices (Dec. 15)

Weekend options include GCP holiday cheer, Playhouse Merced, an exciting look at Latinx Theatre at Arte Americas, “A Bob Hope Christmas” and “Another Night Before Christmas” at Sierra Repertory Theatre

Five picks for the weekend:

Good Company cheer

You couldn’t ask for more talented Christmas entertainers. A group of veterans from Good Company Players will perform favorite songs Saturday at Sequoia Brewing Co. in the Tower District. Join Teddy Maldonado, Shawn Williams, Tim Smith, Emily Pessano, Sara Price and Paddy Myers for a lineup of Yuletide vocals.

From left, Paddy Myers, Teddy Maldonado, Shawn Williams, Tim Smith, Emily Pessano and Sara Price.

By the way, I love the above photo. Emily and Paddy look like they’re naughty, Tim and Sara are being so nice, Teddy looks ecstatic that it’s December, and Shawn has a smile as big and white as the North Pole. The whole tableaux just seems warm and jolly.

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Donald’s list: Weekend choices (Dec. 1)

Options on a busy weekend include “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” “Just a Book Club” and the Fresno Community Concert Band

Soft rock radio stations in dental offices might call this “the most wonderful time of the year,” but there’s another truism when it comes the local cultural scene: It feels like the busiest time of the year. Especially the next two weekends, in which nearly every arts organization seems to schedule a concert or opening.

I’ve already told you about Fresno State’s production of “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” Children’s Musical Theaterworks’ production of “Annie,” CenterStage Clovis Community Theatre’s production of “Plaid Tidings,” River City Theatre Company’s production of “Miracle on 34th Street” and the Fresno Philharmonic’s big holiday concert. (And don’t forget the final weekend for Selma Arts Center’s fine “Hunchback of Notre Dame.”) Now here are some more options for the weekend to consider:

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All the men in Merced keep getting killed by Candarian demons

Well, perhaps not every man. But the ones in Playhouse Merced’s jaunty “Evil Dead: The Musical” are possessed by supernatural fun. (The women, too)


If you’re a musical-theater fan, you understand when I say that sometimes a particular song from a show simply makes you happy. Often there’s no rhyme nor reason as to why this is so: It could be the lyrics, the tempo, even just the way the harmonies arrange themselves into a pleasing chordal resolution. When the mood strikes, I can listen to it on repeat for longer than I’d like to admit.

Confession time: One of those songs for me is “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons” from “Evil Dead: The Musical.”

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Chainsaw massacre: Aaron Kohlhoff and Bridget Mitchell in “Evil Dead: The Musical.” Photo / Playhouse Merced

As a guilty pleasure, it makes me smile every single time.

When I found out that Playhouse Merced was presenting “Evil Dead” — which I’ve never seen live — I knew one thing: I’d be there opening night.

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Donald’s list: Weekend choices (Oct. 12)

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.)

Remembering Hypatia

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.

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Donald’s list: Weekend choices (Sept. 1)

Hanford’s Kings Players and Playhouse Merced open new shows

Here’s a rundown on promising arts/culture picks for the weekend:

‘Swim Club’

You’ve got to hand it to the folks at the Kings Players in Hanford: They know how to counter program. On a very quiet weekend because of the Labor Day holiday, the company opens a new show: “The Dixie Swim Club,” directed by Debbie Walker.

Old friends: Mary-Catherine Paden, left, as Dinah, Nicole Devol as Vernadett, Samantha Highfill as Jeri Neal, Bethany Reynolds as Sheree and Danielle Bellman as Lexie in “The Dixie Swim Club.” Photo / Kings Players

I wrote a few months ago about the experience of visiting the Kings Players. You can read my “theater road trip” story here.

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