In Brief: Arts events in the Modesto Region

08/29/2013 7:18 PM

08/29/2013 7:19 PM

Central West Ballet is again offering its free Ballet in the Park performance Saturday night at Graceada Park in Modesto. The program begins at 7 p.m. at Mancini Bowl. The family event will include “fun, show-stopping dances and exciting works” by the dancers. Featured choreographers include Erikka Reenstierna-Cates, Nicole Firpo, Grant Landon, Marte Madera and Alyssa Milano. Call Central West Ballet at (209) 576-8957.

Opera singers wanted

Townsend Opera in Modesto is seeking singers for its community-based chorus. Rehearsals are Wednesdays from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. beginning Sept. 18 at the Modesto Academy of Music and Design, 5428 Pirrone Road, Salida. The chorus performs in two operas each season at the Gallo Center for the Arts. The group is directed by Liisa Davila, a Modesto soprano who most recently performed as Violetta in Townsend Opera’s “La Traviata” in January. Singers age 15 and up are encouraged to participate. Call Townsend Opera at (209) 523-6426.

‘Our Seasons’ art show

at Mistlin Gallery

The Central California Art Association presents Memorial Medical Center’s Complementary Therapy Art Exhibit “Our Seasons” on Tuesday through Oct. 3 at the Mistlin Gallery in downtown Modesto. The show features works by cancer survivors and their caregivers who participated in an art group taught by Galen Martin. The goal of the group was to teach participants to “unlock their emotions and ideas and bring clarity and definition to life experiences by expressing themselves through art.” The reception is from 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 19 during downtown Modesto’s Third Thursday Art Walk. The Mistlin Gallery is at 1015 J St. Admission is free. Call (209) 529-3369.

Epic ‘Les Mis’ plays

at Playhouse Merced

Playhouse Merced opens its 20th season with the epic musical “Les Misérables,” based on Victor Hugo’s novel about ex-convict Jean Valjean’s attempt to start a new life in 19th-century France. The show runs today through Sept. 15. Songs include “I Dreamed a Dream,” “One Day More,” “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” “A Little Fall of Rain,” “Master of the House,” “On My Own” and “Do You Hear the People Sing?” Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays at 452 W. Main St. Tickets are $22 adults, $20 seniors, $12 students and $10 kids. Call (209) 725-8587 or visit

‘Streetcar Named Desire’

presented at Stage 3

Stage 3 Theatre in Sonora presents Tennessee Williams’ drama “A Streetcar Named Desire” from Sept. 6 through Oct. 13. The play is about a faded Southern belle who arrives at the home of her working-class sister in New Orleans and quickly clashes with her brutish brother-in-law. Performances are at 7 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Stage 3, 208 S. Green St. Tickets are $22 general and $12 students; (209) 536-1778.

‘References to Dali Make Me Hot’ at Center Stage

Center Stage Conservatory presents Jose Rivera’s abstract play “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot” on Sept. 6-22 in downtown Modesto. Set in the imagination of a lonely housewife, the play features talking animals and a man on the moon. It deals with such topics as the Middle East war over oil, domesticity, obligation, the definition of marriage, poverty and change. The show is recommended for mature audiences because of sexual content. The play will be presented in the Lower Level Studio, 948 11th St. (enter on J Street). Tickets are $10 general and $5 students; (209) 846-0179.

Sierra Rep presents

French ‘Dinner’ farce

Sierra Repertory Theatre is presenting the French farce “Don’t Dress for Dinner” at the Fallon House in Columbia State Historic Park on Sept. 6-29. Marc Camoletti’s show, which was a long-running smash in Paris and London in the early 1990s, involves a philandering husband, his gorgeous mistress, a Cordon Bleu chef hired for a romantic weekend getaway, the husband’s wife and the couple’s best friend. It is directed by Peter DeBono, the newly retired theater department chair of Monterey Peninsula College. General admission tickets are $26-$32. Performances are at 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, and 2 p.m. Wednesdays. The show is rated PG (suitable for ages 12 and up). Call (209) 532-3120 or visit

Sierra Rep announces

packed-full 2014 season

Sierra Repertory Theatre has announced the lineup for its 35th anniversary season, which features eight plays and musicals:

• March 1 through May 4, Sonora – “Les Misérables,” the epic musical based on Victor Hugo’s classic tale of passion and destruction in France. Songs include “One Day More” and “I Dreamed a Dream.”
• April 25 through June 8, Fallon House, Columbia State Historic Park – “A Second Helping: The Church Basement Ladies Sequel.” Follow-up to last year’s favorite about Lutheran ladies from rural Minnesota. This installment is set in 1969 amid Vietnam War protests and demonstrations for women’s rights.
• June 13 through July 27, Sonora – “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” Country-western musical revue returns by popular demand. Diner employees perform on guitar, piano, bass and kitchen utensils.
• July 11 through Aug. 31, Fallon House – “The Sound of Music.” Rodgers and Hammerstein favorite about the Von Trapp family from Austria. Songs include “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” and “Edelweiss.”
• Aug. 29 through Sept. 21, Sonora – “All My Sons.” Arthur Miller drama about two families and a wartime catastrophe.
• Sept. 26 through Oct. 26, Fallon House – “A Murder, a Mystery and a Marriage.” Regional premiére of new musical inspired by recently published Mark Twain short story.
• Oct. 24 through Nov. 23, Sonora – “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Tony Award-winning musical comedy about overachievers’ angst. Six adolescents compete for the spelling championship of a lifetime.
• Nov. 14 through Dec. 21, Fallon House – “A Sanders Family Christmas.” Set on Christmas Eve 1941, just 18 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Sanctified Sanders Family Singers perform a Christmas celebration at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church while saying a bittersweet goodbye to their only son before he ships out to the Marines.

Season tickets go on sale Sept. 1 and cost $140-$210; call ( 209) 532-3120 for prices. Single tickets go on sale Oct. 1. For more information, visit

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