In Brief: Arts events in and around Modesto

June 12, 2013 

Discussion on theater in region

Stage directors from across the region will gather Saturday for an open discussion about the current and future state of theater arts in the Modesto area — the first of what's intended to be an ongoing series of such forums.

Open to the public, the panel discussion will be hosted by Prospect Theater Project artistic director Jack Souza and will include Jim Johnson, who is involved in theater productions at the Gallo Center for the Arts, Sankofa Theatre Company, Prospect and Modesto Junior College; Paul Tischer, Modesto Performing Arts; Michael Lynch, MJC and Stage 3 Theatre Company in Sonora; Lynette Borrelli-Glidewell, MJC; Carin J. Heidelbach, Merced College; and David Barbaree, Prospect.

The discussion is scheduled to last 90 minutes and promises to include "informal conversation, informative and anecdotal, about the processes involved in directing for the theater," according to a news release. There also will be question and answer opportunities.

The event is intended for fledgling and experienced directors, designers, technicians, actors and arts patrons interested in theater and its contributions to the community.

The forum is set for Saturday, noon to 1:30 p.m., at the Prospect Theater Project, 520 Scenic Drive, Modesto.

Admission is a $50 donation at the door.

'Nickel and Dimed' at Center Stage

Based on the best-selling novel by author and activist Barbara Ehrenreich, "Nickel and Dimed" is an examination of the effects of bottom-line and welfare reform on working-class America.

Ehrenreich traveled across the United States to document the struggles of low-wage workers, taking on jobs as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide and store clerk.

The play, running through June 23, is recommended for mature audiences.

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. Center Stage Conservatory performs at Lower Level Studios, 948 11th St., Suite 1. Tickets are $10. For more, call (209) 846-0179.

Mistlin Gallery debuts new exhibits

"Building Blocks and Childhood Structures" and "Summer Splash" will be on exhibit at the Mistlin Gallery in downtown Modesto beginning Tuesday and running though July 25.

"Building Blocks" is made up of prints by J. Shiloh Gastello that feature abstract shapes inspired by a collection of visual cues that have affected the artist and evoked memories of his childhood.

Gastello also will present interactive art work during the Third Thursday Art Walks on June 18 and July 25, both from 5-9 p.m.

Also on display will be "Summer Splash," the Central California Art Association member show with photography, painting, ceramics and fine art gifts made by local artists.

Mistlin Gallery hours are Tuesdays-Fridays 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays noon to 4 p.m. and it is located at1015 J St., Modesto. For more, call (209) 529-3369.

Added Piano Guys show also a sellout

An added matinee show Saturday by The Piano Guys at the Gallo Center for the Arts has sold out, after a sellout of the originally scheduled show that night.

The Piano Guys are an Internet sensation known for classical and pop music mash-ups.

The group has tens of millions of views on YouTube, with 500,000 new views each day.

'Les Misérables' to open season at Sierra Repertory

"Les Misérables," Broadway's musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's epic tale of love, loss, honor and redemption, will open Sierra Repertory Theatre's 35th anniversary season in March.

Set against the backdrop of pre-revolutionary France, "Les Misérables" has been a hit on stage and screen, and is the world's longest-running musical.

"We couldn't be more thrilled," SRT artistic director Scott Viets said in a news release. " 'Les Misérables' has been a worldwide smash for more than 25 years, but only just now became available to regional theaters. We jumped at the chance to finally bring it to our stage."

Viets said the show will be a challenge for SRT, with its huge cast, complex characters, elaborate period costumes and sets, powerful musical score and high audience expectations.

SRT season subscribers will have the first chance to reserve seats for the show when season tickets go on sale Sept. 1. General tickets will go on sale Oct. 1. The rest of the Sierra Rep 2014 season will be announced this summer.

For more information, call (209) 532-3120 or visit

Matt & Rosie release EP

Matt & Rosie, a duo made up of Modesto natives Matthew Sai and Rose Droll, have released a self-titled EP from Off The Air Recordings that will available to the public June 25.

The two songwriters combined by accident but found their harmonies worked. Although the duo no longer perform regularly together, they decided to record the EP.

The release will be available at

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