Scene Stealers

Rowland: Resolve to enjoy region’s diverse entertainment scene

mrowland@modbee.comJanuary 2, 2014 

So, do you have your ticket to 2014 yet?

Sure, the new year has come, and the champagne has been drunk, but the wealth of entertainment options in the valley and foothills this year requires one more step – your participation.

In 2014, you can see world-class violinist Itzhak Perlman perform, “Sex and the City” hunk John Corbett sing, artist Pablo Picasso’s ceramics, and Emmy-nominated actor Timothy Olyphant return to TV (more on that on Page E10). And that’s just in the month of January. All it takes to be a part of it is your willingness to get up, go out and tune in.

This year, the region again will see a diverse and impressive array of talent on stage, on screen and in concert. Some will be national acts traveling through, others will be local talent spreading the wealth. All of it is well worth your time.

So this year, amid your New Year’s resolutions to exercise more and eat less, how about adding one that actually will be fun to keep? Namely, enjoy more local entertainment.

In the first half of 2014, the Gallo Center for the Arts will host – among many more – Perlman, B.B. King, The Piano Guys and Carlos Mencia. Turlock Community Theatre welcomes Jim Breuer. The State Theatre brings back actor-singer Corbett.

And those are just the acts passing through. Homegrown talent continues to make its mark. There are shows almost every weekend (and often through the week) at venues like The Brewhouse at Hero’s, The Queen Bean, The Boardroom, Barkin’ Dog and so many more.

Looking for art? We’ve got that, too. Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock closes out its Picasso ceramics exhibit Jan. 15 and continues on into the new year with excellent local and regional exhibits. Modesto’s Mistlin Gallery reopens after renovations in downtown Jan. 20 with the multigenerational “Art in the Family Show.”

How about theater? After 13 successful seasons, Prospect Theater Project is moving from its Scenic Drive location to a new space downtown. It hopes to begin its spring season in the new theater. Sierra Repertory Theater in Sonora has launched a new youth program. The foothills have added another theater group with Footlight Theatre Company. Modesto Performing Arts’ 2014 summer season includes the musicals “Man of La Mancha” and “South Pacific.” And the YES Company and its offshoots continue to give local students from all backgrounds the opportunity to shine in professionally run productions year after year.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that Turlock will make its big-screen debut this year in the Corbin Bernsen written-and-directed rom-com “Christian Mingle”? Because it will, as will hundreds of locals who took part as extras or behind-the-scenes volunteers.

Yep, 2014 already has plenty going for it that promises to make it another incredibly entertaining year. I have my ticket – how about you?

Bee staff writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at or (209) 578-2284. Follow her on Twitter @marijkerowland.

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