Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Donald’s Top 20 cultural events of 2010

In my Sunday Spotlight column I present one of my annual traditions: my Top 20 list of Fresno cultural events. (Basically, I’m using “cultural” as shorthand for “theater-classical-music-opera-visual-arts.” Or, to be more specific: Stuff That Donald Munro Covers.) It was hard to narrow down my list this year, and I’m sure there will be some readers who feel I left something important off it. The hard part becomes figuring what you’d take off the list to include an omitted item. Here it is in abbreviated form in alphabetical order:

1. “13,” Children’s Musical Theaterworks.
2. “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Good Company Players.
3. Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, international tour.
4. Alexandra Billings’ cabaret show, Summer Arts.
5. “Centralism 2″ show, Gallery 25.
6. “The Color Purple,” Broadway in Fresno series.
7. Dance Theatre of Harlem, Lively Arts Foundation.
8. Iris Duarte, Fig Tree Gallery.
9. Gala Centennial Concert, Fresno State.
10. Chad Hoopes, Fresno Philharmonic.
11. “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Fresno State.
12. Terry Lewis in “Lend Me a Tenor,” Good Company Players.
13. “Macbeth,” Fresno Grand Opera.
14. “Merchant of Venice,” Woodward Shakespeare Festival.
15. “Portraits of Life,” Mullins Studio Gallery.
16. “Rancho Tesoro,” Tulare County Office of Education Theatre Company.
17. “[title of show],” StageWorks Fresno.
18. Trashique fashion show, Fresno Art Museum.
19. “The Turn of the Screw,” Madwoman’s Attic Ensemble.
20. Christian Vargas, Iron Bird Cafe.

What do you think? What would you add?

Here’s my 2009 list.

Responses to "Donald’s Top 20 cultural events of 2010"

Airplanejayne says:

I love your list–but I’d have to add
The Rogue Festival.

Eileen Dorfmeier says:

How about the “New Wrinkles” show?

Dominic says:

Although I was in the cast, I do think it’s a shame that Mystique Steward’s performance in Dreamgirls didn’t make the cut. Great list though :)

Kate McKnight says:

I second Jayne! Your omission is surprising considering your positive commentary during the festival…and the fact that thousands of people attended.

Heather P. says:

I think the focus is on individual pieces and not collective events, otherwise Summer Arts may also qualify as a whole. Just the impression I get.

Lisi says:

You know I am still in awe of Bill Bowers show.

Fun Fun Fun says:

I’m also surprised nothing from Rogue is mentioned (and no, I do not mean “Rogue” collectively).

I can think of a couple of Rogue shows that were more impressive and well done than some of the shows on this list.

Also, Donald, I’m surprised Bill Bowers Summer Arts performance isn’t on this list as he received rave reviews all around.

Kudos to Terry Lewis for his solo nod! Outasight!

Catherine Campbell says:

I was tickled by the number I went to! And almost tearful at the number I missed…

Hart says:

Hard to believe you could leave the Rogue Festival and the FUSE Festival off your list.
Those are both highly significant and awesome
cultural events presenting numerous unmatched performances.

Donald Munro says:

Donald responds:

My Top 20 list is always tough to compile each year — which I’d say is a good thing for Fresno, because there are so many possibilities from which to choose. I knew this year I’d get zapped by some readers for neglecting the Rogue Festival. Part of that omission was because of timing, and part of it was the nature of the list itself. As Heather P. has already pointed out in the comments section, the focus of the list is on individual pieces and not collective events. And this year I just didn’t see anything at the Rogue that really leaped out at me when I sat down to compile the list. Also, the personal intervened: I was on vacation the first week of the festival, and I didn’t get to see as many events this year as usual, even though I tried to fit in as many as I could the second weekend.

As for Bill Bowers: Yes, yes, he was phenomenal. I was torn between putting him and Alexandra Billings (another Summer Arts show) on the list. On a different day, I might have picked Bowers.

Donald Munro says:

My colleague Mike Oz has written frequently and glowingly about the FUSE Festival. As I wrote in the original post, my list is limited to the stuff I cover, or “theater-classical-music-opera-visual-arts.”

bryan medina says:

I think it’s a cop out, your
limiting your top 20 picks to individal performances and excluding group performances such as summer arts, rogue, the fuse fest, and the inner ear/beat down slam (to name a few regular ongoing shows). it does a diservice to successful and hard working local artists and their events. I loved some of the pics you chose, but to not acknowledge some of the “No’s” home born and bread events only because they are events and not individal performances, i find a little dry.

Donald Munro says:

Really, Bryan? Cop-out and disservice are pretty strong words. And how many times do I have to explain that I don’t cover the FUSE Festival? As far as group events go, I guess I could just publish a list each year acknowledging Fresno’s annual festivals and events — but I don’t think that would be very interesting.

Mike Oz says:

For anybody who is mad about Donald not picking Fuse Fest … umm, I cover music and I named it my event of the year, so be happy: