In Brief: Arts events in and around Modesto

April 24, 2013 

Saturday night's all right for Castle benefit

An Elton John tribute artist takes his show to Turlock Community Theatre on Saturday, a benefit concert for the Castle Air Museum.

"Elton — The Early Years" is billed as a Las Vegas-style production featuring the music of the classic rock artist Elton John from his 1970-79 catalog.

Kenny Metcalf transforms himself in voice and appearance into a young John, according to a press release. From rhinestones to sequins, details are re-created, including some of the rocker's iconic costumes, including the famousLos Angeles Dodgers uniform designed by Bob Mackie and glasses created for John by Ray Winston.

Musicians work to recapture the original album sounds in a live concert setting, with an audiovisual experience.

Proceeds from the event will fund Castle Air Museum's maintenance of its fleet of more than 50 aircraft from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at Turlock Community Theatre,1574 E. Canal Drive. Tickets are $20-$25. For information, call (209) 668-1169 or go to

Central West Ballet jazz fund-raiser

Central West Ballet presents a fund-raising performance next weekend, Hot Jazz Cool Nights, to the music of the recently deceased jazz musical legend Dave Brubeck.

Food and martinis will be part of the evening, in the gardens of a private Modesto residence, along with an auction.

The event begins at5:30 p.m. May 4. To reserve seats, call Central West Ballet at (209) 576-8957

Spring Art Showat Mistlin Gallery

The 60th annual Spring Art Show returns next weekend to Mistlin Gallery in downtown Modesto, kicked of by a gala evening event.

The Central California Art Association show will feature 143 works by 62 artists from around the region. A $500 best-of-show prize will be awarded, along with place awards in four categories: acrylic and oil; watercolor; mixed media, graphics and pastel; and 3-D.

A gala preview will be held May 4 from 6 to 9 p.m., with the awards ceremony at 8. The evening will include swing, Latin and pop music by Jazzoni with Tim and John, a prize drawing, hors d'oeuvres and a wine tasting by E. & J. Gallo Winery.

The show will run from May 7 through July 13 at Mistlin Gallery, 1015 J St., Modesto. Tickets for the gala are $20, on sale now at the gallery; the show will be free to the public. For more, call (209) 529-3369.

MJC Choral and Vocal Extravaganza

Modesto Junior College presents its Choral and Vocal Extravaganza tonight in the Performing and Media Arts Center main auditorium.

The concert will feature the college's concert choir, chamber singers and vocal singers, along with featured soloists and small ensembles performing a variety of choral music, from Renaissance to present day.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, sold at the door only, are $5 general, $4 for students and seniors. For more information, call(209) 575-6081.

'Gatsby' speakeasy, film at State Theatre

The State Theatre transforms into a speakeasy on May 3 for a Gatsby-era party.

The evening will feature champagne, light hors d'oeuvres and the glitz and glamour of the roaring '20s, along with a screening of the 1974 film "The Great Gatsby," starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.

Partygoers are encouraged to dress in 1920s attire. The speakeasy will be open only from 6 to 7 p.m., when the film starts. Admission is $10. The State Theatre is at 1307 J St., Modesto. Call (209) 527-4697 for more, or see

Kelly McDonald at West Side Theatre

Country music singer/songwriter Kelly McDonald plays a show next weekend at the West Side Theatre in Newman.

McDonald started his music career at age 15 playing in a bar house band. He grew tired of playing the same songs and put together a new band, performing his own songs, along with covers. Now, 16 years later, he continues to tour the country with his mixture of originals and covers, including past appearances at the Stanislaus County Fair and Patterson Apricot Fiesta.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show on May 4. Tickets are $15 general, $18 reserved. West Side Theatre is at 1331 Main St., Newman. Call (209) 862-4490 or see

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