Catch the final outdoor Steinbeck Under the Stars productions this weekend at California State University, Stanislaus, running evenings through May 7
The free production of the classic tale “Of Mice and Men,” sponsored by Turlock’s Emanuel Medical Center, also features bluegrass duo Faux Renwah, which performs a preshow concert and provides transitional music and underscoring throughout the play. The epic drama is the story of the friendship between George and Lennie, two itinerant workers in California during the Great Depression.
Gates open 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. today, May 5, through Sunday, May 7, at the campus amphitheater, 1 University Circle, Turlock. Admission is free. For more, see www.csustan.edu/under-the-stars.
Author, poet Ragan in gold country
The public is invited to hear award-winning author and poet James Ragan during the 12th annual Gold Rush Writers’ Conference this weekend in the Mother Lode community of Mokelumne Hill.
Ragan is the author of eight books that have been translated into 15 languages. He is the recipient of several awards, including three Fulbright professorships, two honorary doctorates and the Emerson Poetry Prize.
The conference is limited to 80 participants, but organizers are opening the featured speaker portion to the public. Ragan will speak Saturday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Hotel Leger, 8304 Main St., Mokelumne Hill. Tickets are $5. For information, see www.goldrushwriters.com or call at 310-927-6929.
Central West Ballet
Central West Ballet takes its “Creations, Choreography in American” program down the road to the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts in Tracy next weekend. The program is a triple bill of dance works to be performed at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, where the Gallo Center for the Arts-based company also has appeared since 2015.
The evening starts with “Purple Tribute,” honoring the memory of late musician Prince. The second work, “Love Duets,” is a lyrical ballet to music and choreography by CWB Artistic Director René Daveluy. The show closes with “House of Folk,” danced to country, fiddle and folk music.
The program begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the Grand Theatre Center, 715 N Central Ave., Tracy. Tickets are $18-$30. See atthegrand.org.
Musicmania in Modesto
Brothers Russ and Mike Allsup bring a music marketplace to Modesto on Sunday, May 7, with music-related items, collectibles and more. A portion of the proceeds of Musicmania will go to Hope Haven West, a nonprofit in Modesto that provides wheelchairs to developing countries.
The event begins at 10 a.m. at The Portal, 1324 Coldwell Ave. Food and refreshments will be available. Admission is $3, or a $10 early entry at 8 a.m.
H.O.S.T. House Comedy Night
Comedian Rocky LaPorte will perform a benefit for H.O.S.T. House (Helping Others Sleep Tonight) on May 19 in Patterson.
LaPorte, who competed on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” will be joined by Emily Epstein White in the 8 p.m. show at Federated Church Fellowship Hall, 45 S. El Circulo Ave., Patterson.