FresnoBeehive.com

Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Donald’s weekend picks

1. FRESNO GRAND OPERA’S ‘LA RONDINE’
Tonight’s opening night performance is a big deal. It marks the first time Fresno Grand Opera will attempt a fully staged performance (with lights, set and costumes) at the Shaghoian Hall. With only about 750 seats, this venue is about a third smaller than the Saroyan Theatre, where the company has staged operas for more than a decade. Fresno Grand Opera picked an intimate opera for this more intimate venue, and I’m curious to see the results. I wrote about the venue change — and checked in with lead singers Rebecca Davis and Chad A. Johnson — in my Sunday Spotlight column. And I focus on the Italian conductor Valerio Galli, pictured below, who is making his American debut, in Friday’s 7 section. [Details]

2. MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL
I’m planning to attend the first performance of this touring musical 3 p.m. Saturday. Do you think I’ll be outnumbered by the women? One reason I’m going is because of the stellar credentials of the four-woman cast, two of whom have impressive Broadway experience. I have a rundown on the show in Friday’s 7 section. It continues 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. [Details]

 

3. ALESSIO BAX AT KEYBOARD CONCERTS
This is quite the Fresno weekend for Italian-born musicians. The Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts series welcomes pianist Alessio Bax. The recipient of the prestigious 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Bax has performed in major venues in Rome, Milan, Madrid, Paris, London, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Seoul and New York. His program includes works by Rachmaninoff and Mussorgsky. He performs 3 p.m. Sunday at Fresno State. [Details]

 

4. A TRIBUTE TO LALO GUERRERO
Who better to give a tribute to the famous Mexican-American guitarist and singer Lalo Guerrero than his son? Mark Guerrero, widely recognized as an expert on Chicano music and an accomplished musician in his own right, will give a lecture-performance 7 p.m. Friday honoring his late father as part of the “American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music” traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution at Arte Américas.  He’ll be joined by Carmencristina Moreno, the Fresno singer and National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow. Admission is free but limited to 100 people. [Details]

 

5. LAST CHANCE FOR ‘BEEHIVE’
It’s closing weekend for the upbeat musical revue “Beehive” at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater. I thoroughly recommend this tribute to the “girl groups” of the ’60s and ’70s. [Details]

 

PLUS: SUPPORT FRESNO FILMWORKS
This month’s offering is “A Late Quartet,” which stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir:

Filmworks presents the American independent drama that the Seattle Times calls “a lovely and engrossing film that beautifully illustrates how music can transport the listener to another world.” The film stars Christopher Walken as the beloved cellist in a world-renowned string quartet. He receives a life-changing diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, throwing the group’s future into uncertainty. His three colleagues find themselves at a crossroads, as suppressed emotions and competing egos threaten to derail years of friendship and collaboration. On the eve of their 25th anniversary concert – quite possibly their last – only their intimate bonds and the power of music can preserve their legacy. The film is inspired by and structured around Beethoven’s Opus 131 String Quartet in C-sharp minor.

It screens 5:30 and 8 p.m. Friday. [Details]

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