Merced Shakespearefest presents the tragedy "Hamlet" from Feb. 22 through March 3 at the Merced Multicultural Center and March 8-9 at the Mariposa Playhouse.
The show will be presented in modern dress with a minimal set, using a cast of 20. Colton Dennis, who founded Patterson Repertory Theatre and has acted with nearly every theater company in the region, stars in the title role. Dennis played Horatio in Stage 3 Theatre's production of "Hamlet" last year.
Dennis said "Hamlet" is the biggest role he's ever had, with the most dialogue he's ever had to memorize, including many famous lines. He said it's a little intimidating to take on such an iconic part, but he has prepared a lot for the role with research, including watching John Barton's DVD series "Playing Shakespeare" and doing other research.
Other cast members include Modesto Junior College theater instructor Michael Lynch as Claudius (repeating the role he played at Stage 3), Charlene West as Gertrude, Emily Wilson as Ophelia and Jon Cates as Laertes (another veteran from the Stage 3 production).
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays in Merced and 7:30 p.m. each night in Mariposa. Tickets are $10 general and $5 students; call (209) 723-3265.
John Barnett art retrospective
The Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock is presenting a retrospective of works by former California State University, Stanislaus, art professor John Barnett through April 14.
Titled "Then and Again," the show features bronze and aluminum sculptures, drawings, paintings and more. Barnett, who was selected as the Carnegie's distinguished artist of 2013, is inspired by nature's smallest details from tree bark to fragments of branches long fallen.
He was art professor at CSU Stanislaus from 1987 to 2007 and previously taught at CSU Chico from 1984 to 1986. He earned a master of fine arts degree in sculpture from the University of Washington in 1971 and a bachelor of arts degree from Western Washington University in 1967.
He will give a talk about his work at 2 p.m. Sunday, titled "Encouraging The Fortunate Accident." Carnegie Arts Center is at 250 N. Broadway. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $7 general and $6 members and seniors.
Call (209) 632-5761 or visit www.carnegieartsturlock.org.
The Divisa Ensemble, made up of flute, violin, viola, oboe and cello, performs the season finale concert of the Manteca Kindred Arts concert series Feb. 24.
The program is at 3 p.m. at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 910 E. North St.
Founded in 2009, the Divisa Ensemble performs all over the San Francisco Bay Area. The group plays music from the Baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary periods at each concert.
Tickets are $15 adults and $5 for students under 18. Call (209) 823-2570 or(209) 239-2194 or visit www. mantecakindredarts.org.
'All Hands on Deck'
"All Hands on Deck," a musical revue based on Bob Hope's 1942 USO tour, will be performed Feb. 23 at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto.
The program begins at 2 p.m. in the Rogers Theater. The show will be presented by four performers accompanied by a nine-piece orchestra. The first act is songs, dances and laughs; the second act is a live radio show, complete with classic commercials, music and skits. The Gallo Center is at 1000 I St. Tickets are $15-$45; (209) 338-2100 or www.galloarts.org.
Patterson Repertory Theatre presents David Mamet's "American Buffalo" Feb. 22 through March 2 in the Patterson High School auditorium. The play centers on three small-time Chicago crooks who plot to rob a man of his coin collection, the showpiece of which is a Buffalo nickel. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28. Patterson High School is at 200 N. Seventh St. Call (209) 499-9363 or www.facebook.com/pattersonrep.
Air Force Band
The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West performs Sunday at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto. The concert is at 3 p.m. in the Rogers Theater.
The band plays standard concert band repertoire, jazz, military marches and pop. Tickets are free, but all tickets have already been distributed. Those who want to attend should arrive 15 to 20 minutes early and will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Gallo Center is at 1000 I St. Call (209) 338-2100 or visit www.galloarts.org.
Cuarteto Latinoamericano performs Feb. 22 at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in the Foster Theater. The award-winning string quartet from Mexico won the 2012 Latin Grammy Award for best classical album. The group is a leading proponent of Latin American music for string quartets. The Gallo Center is at 1000 I St. Tickets are $15-$35; call (209) 338-2100 or visit www.galloarts.org.
Free folk dance class
The Turlock International Folk Dancers will present a beginners dance festival tonight at the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock. The free program begins at 7:30 p.m. Experienced folk dancers will teach easy folk dances from around the world to beginners. Refreshments will be served. Participants should wear comfortable, soft-sole shoes. The Carnegie Arts Center is at 250 N. Broadway. Call Judy Kropp at (209) 480-0387.
"Lick 'em Stick'em: The Golden Age of Stickers 1840-1939" will be presented Thursday through April 20 at the Building Imagination Center in Modesto. The art show features dozens of stickers, including the first one from 1840. The show is free and is presented by the Modesto Art Museum. The Building Imagination Center is at 1009 J St. Call (209) 524-7451 or visit www. buildingimagination.com.