Children’s music group Imagination Movers return to the Gallo Center for the Arts. The popular group sold out two shows at the center in 2011 thanks to its throngs of young fans, called Gearheads. The band has a popular show on the Disney Junior Channel by the same name. Its live shows include dancing, games, audience interaction and more.
Hard-touring bluesman Tommy Castro returns to Modesto with a new group, the Painkillers. The Bay Area blues guitarist brings a smaller band, but still promises big sound. The new group forgoes horns to focus more on Castro’s guitar work. The new band has a lean, looser feel with bassist Randy McDonald, keyboardist James Page and drummer David Tucker.
The “Queen of Clean” comedy, Chonda Pierce, comes to the Gallo Center for the Arts. A pastor’s daughter raised in South Carolina, the Christian comedian brings a Southern twang and quick wit to her shows. Pierce got her big break working at a theme park in Nashville, where she performed as Grand Ole Opry star Minnie Pearl. Pierce has eight DVDs that have gone gold and four that have gone platinum. She also has five Daytime Emmy nominations for her work co-hosting “Aspiring Women,” a talk show on the Total Living Network and her first television special, “This Ain’t Prettyville!” on CMT.
Grammy-nominated vocalist, composer and arranger Perla Batalla returns to the Sunday Afternoons at CBS series. The singer first gained international attention as a backup singer for Leonard Cohen. The world music singer last appeared in the concert series in 2008. This appearance will emphasize the work of Cohen.
Shrek: The Musical
Everyone’s favorite green ogre gets his moment in the footlights in Playhouse Merced’s production of “Shrek The Musical.” Based on the popular 2001 animated movie, the musical first came to Broadway in 2008. The story follows Shrek as he tries to regain the deed to his swampland. He is joined on his adventure by a wise-cracking donkey and feisty princess. The production premiered last week and continues through March 16.
Slide blues slinger Dennis Johnson & The Mississippi Ramblers bring New Orleans-style sounds to Newman’s West Side Theatre. Johnson’s sound has been compared to that of fellow guitarists Robert Johnson and Roy Rogers. Real Blues Magazine has called his music “highly recommended.”