Besides tonight’s must-see concert starring that little lady with the giant voice, Kristin Chenoweth …
1. A REBORN DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM
Fresno will only be the fourth city so far to get to see the newly reborn main company of the Dance Theatre Harlem, which had to shut down in 2004 for economic reasons. The performance is 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Saroyan Theatre. I give you the whole story in Friday’s 7 cover story. [Details]
2. A PRIVILEGE TO PEE
What do you get when you combine Chris Mangels, Visalia’s theater director extraordinaire, and the subversive musical “Urinetown”? Coveted roles for actors. The College of the Sequoias production, which opens tonight, includes some of the biggest names in the Fresno-area theater community in the cast. I give you the rundown in my theater roundup story in Friday’s 7. [Details]
3. A JOYOUS ‘ELIJAH’
Mendelssohn’s epic oratorio comes to life with a Sunday performance at the Shaghoian Concert Hall by the 100-plus-voice Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale and a full professional orchestra. Guest soloist singing the role of Elijah is David Grogan, a last-minute replacement. Here’s his bio:
David Grogan is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. He has performed extensively throughout the southwest, getting positive reviews from critics. The Dallas Morning News hailed Dr. Grogan as the “perfect Christus” after a performance of the St. Matthew Passion with the Dallas Bach Society. The Albuquerque Tribune, in reference to a performance of Messiah with the New Mexico Symphony, said, “David Grogan had all the range and power required of the part, sounding like the voice of doom in “The people that walked in darkness” and the light of revelation in “The trumpet shall sound.” A recent performance of Elijah had critics praising his ability to “move easily from stentorian declamation to lyrical aria.” Another critic said that he “….brought an impressive vocal power to the lead role of Elijah, and his rich emotive gift set the level for the other chief performers.” The Dallas Morning News said that “His meaty bass shook the heavens and the earth and sounded the trumpet with imposing conviction.” He has performed as a soloist with Dallas-Fort Worth area arts groups such as the Fort Worth Symphony, Dallas Bach Society, Plano Civic Chorus, Texas Baroque Ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Singers, Texas Camerata, Fort Worth Baroque Society, and several Texas universities. Recent performances include the Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte at the Basically Beethoven Series in Dallas, Bach’s Amore Traditore at the Big Moose Bach Fest in Gorham, New Hampshire, and as a featured soloist with the Texas Camerata. Upcoming performances include the world premiere of David Evan Thomas’ The First Apostle in Houston with Grace Song, inc., and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Midland-Odessa Symphony.
Anna Hamre conducts. [Details]
4. ARTISTS’ RECEPTION AT GALLERY 25
A reception will be held 1-4 p.m. Sunday for the gallery’s joint exhibitions: “Artist Field Notes” by Clary Creager (photography); and “Sky With Clouds” by Cynthia Cameron (paintings). Creager, whose work is pictured below, will talk at 2:30. Here she explains her work:
I have had the good fortune to live in the San Joaquin River bottom for the last thirty years and to observe the forces of nature, their cycles, poetic beauty, and power. I make art that illuminates events observed in the natural world. The play of light, seasonal cycles, and practical wisdom of animals and plants a I have had the good fortune to live in the San Joaquin River bottom for the last thirty years and to observe the forces of nature, their cycles, poetic beauty, and power. I make art that illuminates events observed in the natural world. The play of light, seasonal cycles, and practical wisdom of animals and plants are sources for my art …
The photographs and observations are the result of weekly visits for a year to a site along the San Joaquin River called Owl Hollow. When the photographs and journal notes are laid out together, the result is a glimpse at some of interactions of plants, animals, and seasonal changes along the river.
Cameron’s series was inspired by amazing cloud formations that she experienced while traveling through the Southern San Joaquin Valley. [Details]
5. DEATH-DEFYING ACTS
Cirque du Soleil’s touring show “Dralion,” which continues through Sunday at the Save Mart Center, delivers a reliable mix of spectacular feats of physical skill and top-notch production design. Plus, of course, the clowns. (I rail a little against the clowns in this show in my upcoming Sunday Spotlight column. [Details]