Marijke Rowland

Central Valley raises bumper crop of female entertainers

Marcella Arguello
Marcella Arguello Courtesy Marcella Arguello

While Jeremy Renner and Timothy Olyphant may be Modesto’s most famous sons making it on screens large and small, Central Valley ladies are making their own mark on Hollywood.

Several female actors and comics have projects on air or coming soon. This talented crop of Central Valley-raised talent are all rising stars to watch.

Among them is Modesto-raised comic Marcella Arguello, who made her national TV debut on “Last Call With Carson Daly” last May. Earlier this month the 2002 Johansen High graduate appeared on the show “@midnight” on Comedy Central. The late-night show hosted by Chris Hardwick looks at online culture, among other news topics. Arguello appeared along with guests Wil Wheaton and Ross Marquand. The entire episode is available online at

You can also catch Arguello on the new cable channel Viceland in the comedy series “Flophouse.” She appears in the premiere and again in the finale. “Flophouse” airs at 10:30 p.m. Thursdays on Viceland. The first three episodes are online at But if you’re looking to catch Arguello in person, you’re in luck.

The stand-up will make her hometown return later this month. She will headline a “Marcella & Friends” show at 8 p.m. Friday, March 18, at downtown Modesto’s Prospect Theater. Tickets are $20 and available via

Another funny lady who can be seen on the small screen right now is Modesto native Ginger Gonzaga. The actress was last seen as one of the stars of the short-lived ABC series “Mixology” in 2014. The Beyer High graduate returned to TV in a recurring role on the HBO series “Togetherness” this year. The relationship comedy is now in its second season on the premium cable channel. Gonzaga plays Christy, the girlfriend of main character and aspiring actor Alex (played by Steve Zissis). “Togetherness” airs at 10:30 p.m. Sundays.

Gonzaga also had a recurring role on the new CBS series “Angel From Hell” this year, starring Jane Lynch. But the sitcom was canceled last month and pulled from the air.

Arguello and Gonzaga are joined on the small screen by Modestan Lindsay Pearce, who continues her recurring character run on the freshman Freeform (formerly ABC Family) series “Recovery Road.” Pearce, who attended Modesto Christian and Valley Charter schools, plays Rebecca, a former friend of the lead character who lives with her in her substance abuse rehabilitation program. The series debuted in January, and Pearce appears in seven of the show’s 10 first-season episodes, including one coming next week. “Recovery Road” airs at 9 p.m. Mondays on Freeform.

And, finally, the region’s youngest female star, 14-year-old Talitha Bateman, is set to return to the big screen later this summer. The Turlock-raised actress, who now lives in Los Angeles with her also talented eight siblings and parents, will appear in the Kevin Spacey family comedy “Nine Lives” opening Aug. 5. The teen also recently signed on to be a series regular in the new CBS comedy pilot for “Furst Born.” The show stars Katey Sagal and Swoosie Kurtz and follows a woman who discovers as an adult that she was adopted.

Bateman was just on the big screen earlier this year in the sci-fi action film “The 5th Wave” with Chloë Grace Moretz.

Let’s hear it for our prolific female performers working hard to make us proud back home. Can’t wait to see what they all do next.

Elsewhere around the Scene:

Gallo Center for the Arts has added a show by Heart frontwoman Ann Wilson.

The singer will bring her new solo project, The Ann Wilson Thing, to downtown Modesto on Wednesday, April 20. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show go on sale to the public Friday, March 11, for $29-$69. For more information, call 209-338-2100 or visit