Tommy Castro and the Painkillers
Tommy Castro and the Painkillers return to the State Theatre with a show tonight in what's become a bit of a December tradition at the historical downtown venue.
Lauded by both B.B. King and Carlos Santana for his vocals, sound and guitar licks, Castro fuses rock, blues and Memphis soul. As in past years, audience members who take a canned good to the Modesto show for donation to The Salvation Army get a chance to win Castro's guitar.
Doors open at 7 with the show beginning at 8 p.m. at the State, 1307 J St., Modesto. Tickets are $30. Call (209) or go to www.thestate.org.
'Santaland Diaries' at Prospect Theater
Modesto's Prospect Theater Project brings back author David Sedaris' "Santaland Diaries/Season's Greetings" in a special four-day engagement.
The play is a humorous commentary about working as an elf in Macy's Santaland and a holiday letter from a family who had a bad year. This is the third year that Prospect has produced the show, this time with an all-new cast.
Show times are 8 p.m. Dec. 13-15, 2 p.m Dec. 16 at Prospect Theater Project, 520 Scenic Drive, Modesto. Tickets are $20-$40. Call (209) 549-9341.
'Songs of the Season' at Sierra Repertory
Sierra Repertory Theatre will present its annual holiday program "Songs of the Season" Dec. 11. The show begins at 7 p.m. at the company's East Sonora theater, 13891 Mono Way, Sonora.
Performers will sing holiday songs plus selections from the 2013 season, including songs from the musicals "The Buddy Holly Story," "Oklahoma!" and "Respect: A Musical Journey of Women." Tickets are $30, including refreshments. Reservations are requested at (209) 532-3120.
Center Stage offers up 'The Giving Tree'
Shel Silverstein's beloved children's book "The Giving Tree" has been adapted for the stage and will be presented the next two Saturdays at Center Stage Conservatory's Lower Level Studio in Modesto.
The book follows the story of a boy and the tree that continues to give of itself to him as he grows into an old man. The show will be presented Saturday and Dec. 15 at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The 1 p.m. Dec. 15 show will be interpreted for the deaf. The studio is at 948 11th St., Modesto. Tickets are a $2 suggested donation. Call(209) 846-0179.
More at Center Stage Conservatory
Modesto's Acoustic Rock Society and Center Stage Conservatory present a show of live music on Saturday from 6-10 p.m. Playing will be The Dustbowl Children, Patty Davis, The Josh Rosenblum Band and LoveCore Singing Telegrams. Tickets are $5 at the door, free for age 12 and under, at 948 11th St., Modesto.
On Dec. 14, the conservatory will present its Underground Bunker Cocktail Party, an original variety Show. Local improvisational actors will put on a sketch show featuring long-form improv. The audience can offer suggestions for scenes and characters, as well as sketches developed by the troupe. This show is for mature audiences. Doors open Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. with the show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door; seating limited. See www.centerstagemodesto.com.
Twain Harte fest founder nominated
Actor Zack Gold, founder and executive director of Film Fest Twain Harte, has been nominated for best male actor in a comedy from the 2012 International Academy of Web Television Awards, which will be announced Jan. 8. He got the nomination for his role as Danny "The Heartbreak Strangler" in the web series "Stockholm," seen on www.watchstockholm.com.
Big Band Christmas
The Columbia Jazz Artist series will present "It's a Big Band Christmas" on Sunday at the college's Dogwood Theater. The program begins at 3 p.m. The show will feature the 25-piece Columbia Big Band, jazz singers and guest pianist Bob Secor. Musical selections will include "Winter Wonderland," "Jingle Bells" and "Jingle Bell Rock." Tickets are $15 reserved. RSVP at (209) 577-5126.
Sierra Railroad Christmas train
Children age 2-12 and their families are invited to ride Sierra Railroad's Christmas train through Dec. 29. The 90-minute ride covers 10-15 miles and includes music, hot cocoa and cookies. There will be a reading of the children's book "Morgan and the Magical Christmas Train" with costumed actors playing the characters, including Morgan, the conductor, a teddy bear, an elf and Santa Claus. Train boards at 330 S. Sierra Ave. in Oakdale. Tickets are $36 adults and $29 kids; (209) 848-2100.
Another LA Music Award for Marirose
Riverbank singer Marirose, who performs with her band the Gypsies, has won a third LA Music Award. She was named 2012 best Americana, blues and roots artist last month. She won the 2011 awards for best female vocalist and best Americana blues/roots single. Marirose and the Gypsies perform alternative country, rock, pop and blues. For more information, visit www.marirose.net.