The 21st annual International Heritage Festival is Oct. 6 at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto. The free event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features music and dance performances plus informational displays on more than 30 countries.
At the displays, children can collect stamps and stickers and learn about the geography and history of different countries. Countries represented include the Philippines, China, Portugal, Mexico, Wales, Ireland, Cambodia and more.
The performances begin with an Americana opening featuring a parade of colorful flags and representatives of the participating countries in traditional outfits. The festival also will honor elementary school winners of the Choose Civility Art Contest sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education and The Bee. See www.internationalfestivalmodesto.org or call (209) 521-3852.
Five dramas on stage
Fall is the time when theaters unveil their serious, artistic dramas. Check out these five thought-provoking plays opening over the next week in the valley and foothills:
Richard Greenberg's "Three Days of Rain" Tonight through Oct. 21, Prospect Theater Project, 520 Scenic Drive, Modesto. A newly discovered journal, filled with enigmatic entries, recalls two young architects, unaware they're on the brink of fame, struggle with plans for an important commission. But it's left for their children, 30 years later, to sort out the mystery behind their lives and loves. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. $20; (209) 549-9341 or www.prospecttheaterproject.org.
Harold Pinter's "Betrayal" Tonight through Oct. 7, Center Stage Conservatory Lower Level Studio, 948 11th St., Modesto. Pinter probes the corrosive nature of betrayal by using reverse chronology to chart a seven-year affair between married lovers. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. $10; (209) 846-0179 or www.centerstagemodesto.com.
Aaron Sorkin's "A Few Good Men" Tonight through Oct. 7, Merced County Arts Council, 645 W. Main St. Presented by Playhouse Merced. Military lawyers uncover a high-level conspiracy involving the Marine Corps. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. $20 adults, $19 seniors, $10 students. (209) 725-8587 or www.playhousemerced.com.
Neil Labute's "The Shape of Things" Oct. 4-14, California State University, Stanislaus, Studio Theatre, One University Circle, Turlock. The play follows an unlikely relationship between a free-spirited artist and a conservative man. 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. $10 general, $9 seniors, faculty and staff, and $7 students; (209) 667-3166 or www.csustan.edu.
Donald Margulies' "Time Stands Still" Oct. 5-28, Sierra Repertory Theatre, 13891 Mono Way, Sonora. Pulitzer Prize-winning writer's drama about a journalist and photographer coping with changes in their life and their relationship following the traumas of covering a war. Darkly comic drama with a twist about romance, art and morality. $18-$30;(209) 532-3120 or www.sierrarep.org
Core Ensemble, based in Florida, performs "Los Valientes" tonight at California State University, Stanislaus, in Turlock. The performance begins at 8 p.m. at the Mainstage Theatre, One University Circle.
Featuring a chamber music trio and a solo actor, the show explores the passions of artist Diego Rivera, the unwavering commitment to human rights of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero and the pursuit of social justice by Mexican-American desperado Joaquin Murrieta, also known as Zorro.
Tickets are $20 general and $15 students, faculty and seniors; (209) 667-3166 or www.csustan.edu.
Hicks, Hot Licks
Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks perform Oct. 6 at the State Theatre in Modesto. The show begins at 8 p.m.
Hicks is a songwriter known for his quirky tunes and lyrical gems. He has collaborated with Bette Midler, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Brian Setzer, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffet. The State Theatre is at 1307 J St., Modesto. Tickets are $20-$30;(209) 527-4697 or www.thestate.org.
At Peer Recovery
Peer Recovery Art Project in downtown Modesto is hosting two events in the next few weeks:
Saturday Yvette La Force art show. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. preview, 6-8 p.m. art sale.
Oct. 10 Dellanora Green CD release party: "Woman of the Ghetto." Green is best known for singing outside the Gallo Center for the Arts. She will perform here with Gloria Scott. 6-9 p.m.
Peer Recovery Art Project is at 1222 J St. Call (209) 581-1695.
Some of the best karaoke singers in the west will compete in the Western U.S. finals for the 2012 Karaoke World Championships Wednesday and Thursday at Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne City. The competition starts at 6 p.m. each night in the Willow Creek Lounge. Black Oak Casino is at 19400 Tuolumne Road Nort. Call (877) 747-8777.
Free at museums
Museums across the country are opening their doors for free Saturday in honor of Museum Day. Participants include the Tuolumne County Museum and History Research Center in Sonora, the Haggin Museum in Stockton, and the De Young and Legion of Honor museums in San Francisco. Download free tickets for up to two people at www.smithsonian.com/museumdaylive.
Local plays in Paris
Modesto jazz musician Lynn Sampson is headed to France to play during the annual La Nuit Blanche, an all-night party Oct. 6 in and around Paris. Sampson, 63, has played in the valley for more than two decades. The event draws more than two million people each year.
Trumpeter Sampson will pair with a French guitarist to play at Le Nazir, in the Montemartre section of Paris, and then at the Musee de Vieux, a Paris art museum that showcases van Gogh and Renoir.