Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

It’s Valentine’s Day … You may or may not have plans.

1. Tower District Mardi Gras Parade
If the parade is anything like this flier … Holy crud, watch out.

2. Love, Comedy and Poetry
It’s not love if you can’t laugh together.

3. “50 Shades of Grey
Who cares if the movie is terrible? Am I right?

4. “A Streetcar Named Desire
For background.

5. Blimprov Presents
Be warned: One couple’s story will become the basis for the night’s show.

Plus a bonus five concert picks.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend


Fresno State football is in Vegas this weekend. Catch the rundown on Twitter while you’re doing any of these …

1. The Big Fresno Fair
It’s your last chance. Until next year.

2. “The Judge”
Robert Downey Jr. proves he can do more than the eccentric billionaire bit.

3. Vintage pop-up shop
And book swap. You know how I feel about books.

4. Blimprov LIVE!
Zen and the art of funny.

5. “Avenue Q”
Did someone say “puppet sex?”

For a music specific list, check out this week’s BANDGEEK!

Tonight: Say goodbye to Anthony Taylor with Blimprov improv

GOODBYEANTHONYAnthony Taylor is one of those wears-a-lot-of-hats guys. He’s known in the cultural/theater arts creative community for his work with the Organic Theater Company, as a member of the Blimprov comedy team, for his video work at Windsong Productions, as the host of Creative Fresno’s Pechkucha Night and/or his keen fashion sense (see: Warby Parker).

Some of you may remember back in August, Taylor announced he would be leaving for Fresno for New York City (where his wife got a new job). Well, he’ll be leaving (officially) at the end of October and his buddies in Blimprov are doing a Bon Voyage performance/party, 7 p.m. tonight at Frank’s Place. Tickets are $10.

I took my iPhone down to the Windsong offices, asked Taylor some questions about Fresno (and what it means to be leaving) and put together this video. In the final tally, Taylor understands a simple truth: We are all replaceable. That said, those who knew (or worked with) him know he will be missed. Video on the jump.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

After you read my “farewell” column from today’s Bee.

Latin R & B group Tierra, 40-year vets of the music biz, are a perfect fit for this oldies-leaning town. Fresno music lovers should gobble up their Saturday night show at Fulton 55. Also: My favorite show poster of the week. [More]

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Tonight: Blimprov will make you laugh

If you haven’t seen Blimprov, you should. And you probably should do it tonight.

The improv comedy troupe — who you might remember from its sold-out run at this year’s Rogue Festival — is doing one of its biggest local shows to date at Fulton 55.

Why go tonight? Well, two Blimprov members are planning to move to L.A. soon, to give the fame thing a chance. So this might be their last Blimprov show. The departing Blimprovers are the ever-charming Marcos Hammer and the hilarious Magnus Chhan, who — apologies to the rest of Blimprov — has a knack for stealing the show.

If you miss this and everybody is talking tomorrow about how great it was, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Comedy news: Lewis Black, Jeff Dunham add Fresno dates

Two new comedy announcements of note:

  • Lewis Black plays Saroyan Theatre on Feb. 7 as part of his “The Rant is Due” tour. Black is a Grammy winner, who used to be a regular on “The Daily Show” and now performs more than 200 dates a year, selling-out shows in places such as Las Vegas, Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and Broadway. Tickets are on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, costing $39.50 and $49.50. Get ‘em at the Fresno Convention Center box office or through Ticketmaster. If you’re wondering: Black last appeared in the area in 2009, for a Table Mountain Casino show.
  • Jeff Dunham, a popular ventriloquist and stand-up comedian, is back at Save Mart Center, which is a regular stop for him. He’s starting his new “Disorderly Conduct” tour this month and it stops in Fresno on March 24. Tickets cost $46.50. They go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. They’ll be available at the Save Mart Center box office or through Ticketmaster. Dunham played Table Mountain in May and was at Save Mart Center last in January of 2011.

ALSO COMING UP: This weekend brings a few comedy options you might care about: Katt Williams is at Save Mart Center on Saturday night. The Tower Theatre hosts the Bob & Tom Comedy Show for two gigs Friday night. After that: Adam Carolla is back at the Tower on Dec. 8. On a local level: Fulton 55 hosts the Bo DeLapp comedy showcase on Nov. 20 and Blimprov plays there Nov. 29.

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than watching that stripper movie or the talking-bear movie.

I’m hyped for tonight’s show at Fulton 55, which features two of the best bands on our local scene — Strange Vine and Poor Man’s Poison — and SoCal funky folksters He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, who have won over crowds here before. They’re playing the Austin City Limits festival in September too. Anyhow, it’s gonna be a great show and if you don’t go that blue creature on the flier will eat you. [Tickets]


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Beehive Birthday 7: Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

beehivebdaynewdate copy copy.jpg

OK, guys. We’re a day away from Beehive Birthday 7 at Rotary Playland. I know it’s a soggy day today, but the forecast is clear for the party. Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed.

A few of the key details: The party runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults. Kids 12 and under are free. Rides are unlimited for everybody once you’re in. Keep reading for all the fun and Fresnocentric things we have planned and the long list of prizes you could win. We hope to see you there!

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than watching Drake videos on YouTube.

Believe it or not, the Drake concert probably won’t even be the biggest concert at Save Mart Center this week. The popular Rock and Worship Roadshow, a Christian rock festival-style concert, arrives on Sunday. It was the top-drawing concert in Fresno last year. Tickets cost only $10 and are only available at the door. For more about Rock & Worship’s success, read this feature story from today’s Bee.


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ROGUE REVIEW: ‘Blimprov’


OK, I’ll admit it. I wasn’t ready for Blimprov. I remember seeing a improv comedy group when I was in college, because it was performing free in the dorms. It was OK, but nothing that made me a fan of improv. I saw another improv group here in Fresno many years back. Same story.

So when I walked into Saturday night’s sold-out Blimprov show at Tower Lounge, I was prepared for more mediocrity. Instead, I got the best show I’ve seen so far at this year’s Rogue Festival.

Blimprov is made up of three young actor/comedians — Magnus Chhan, Nick Haas and Marcos Hammer — who made me laugh more than I have in the past year. Their comedy is smart, somewhat ridiculous and insanely quick-witted. It helps that they’re not just jokers, but actors who really bring to life the various scenarios they’ve created for themselves.

No two Blimprov shows will be the same, so I can’t really tell you much about the material. The guys ask for one suggestion from the audience to get started — then they don’t stop for the next hour. Nor does the laughter.

SHOW INFO: 5:30 p.m. today (3/4), 7 p.m. Wednesday (3/7) and 8:30 p.m. Saturday (3/10) at Tower Lounge, 1211 N. Wishon Ave.. Tickets: $5. Rating: PG-13.