Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Aside from morning the loss of “Downton Abbey” …

1. “Dos Mundos
Omare Nare, bringing Mariachi back from the dead.

2. “Varekai
What the heck are the Russian Swings?

3. “Allegorical Portraiture
New work from Ronald Dzerigian and his first Fresno show since 2010.

4. Christopher Titus
Some of you no doubt watched his sitcom on FOX.

5. Old Town Clovis Antiques & Collectibles Fair
Hipsters love antiquing, I guess.

And a bonus five concerts.

1. Yonatan Gat
2. Pete Rock
3. La Barranca
4. Night School
5. Planet Booty

For all of the music-related event this weekend, check out the weekley BANDGEEEK! post.

Win tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Varekai’

I know there are a lot of Cirque du Soleil fans out there who would love to get their hands on a pair of tickets to “Varekai,” which opens Wednesday, March 25 and continues through Sunday, March 29 at Save Mart Center. I can make that happen. In fact, I can make that happen for two lucky winners. We have two pairs of tickets to give away for the 1:30 p.m. show on Sunday, March 29. I wrote a package of stories in Friday’s 7 section about the show, which picks up the story of the Greek myth of Icarus after that chap’s, um, aviation calamity. (He’s the guy who used feathers and wax to make wings, but he flew too close to the sun and made an emergency water landing.) 

To enter, leave a comment on this post answering the following question: Tell us where you’d fly if you had Icarus’ wings for an afternoon. (We’re assuming you won’t pick the sun.) One entry per person, please. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 25. When you enter, please include a valid email address so we can contact you if you’re a winner. I’ll be informing our winners by email on Thursday, so keep a watch on your inbox.

Read more

Cirque du Soleil returns to Fresno in March

Cirque du Soleil fans, this should make your day:

“Varekai” will play the Save Mart Center for seven performances March 25-29. Here’s a description of the show:

Deep within a forest, at the summit of a volcano, exists an extraordinary world – a world where something else is possible. A world called Varekai. The story of Varekai begins as Icarus, a solitary young man, falls from the sky and lands in a lush, wondrous world called Varekai. Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest – a kaleidoscopic world imbued with fantastical creatures – Icarus takes flight in an adventure both absurd and extraordinary.

At the edge of time, in a place of pure and undiluted possibility, begins an inspired incantation to a life rediscovered and to a newly found wonder in the mysteries of the world and the mind. The word Varekai (pronounced ver•ay•’kie) means “wherever” in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. Directed by Dominic Champagne, this production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to those who quest with infinite passion along the path that leads toVarekai.

Ah, that lush Cirque prose.

The franchise last played in Fresno in 2012 with the show “Dralion.” (I hope this new show has fewer clowns.)

Tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 12 at or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Until then, the only way to get tickets is to join the free online Cirque Club.

Donald’s weekend picks

Besides tonight’s must-see concert starring that little lady with the giant voice, Kristin Chenoweth

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]

Read more

Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Dralion’ tour is coming in November


Cirque du Soleil fans (and there are a lot of you out there) will get excited about this one: The franchise’s “Dralion” tour will stop at the Save Mart Center for seven performances Nov. 7-11. Here’s a description of the show:

Thrilling more than 8 million people worldwide since the show premiered in 1999, Dralion is the fusion of ancient Chinese circus traditions and the avant-garde style of Cirque du Soleil. The name Dralion (pronounced “Drah-lee-on”) is drawn from its two main symbols: the dragon, representing the East, and the lion, representing the West. Dralion derives much of its inspiration from Eastern philosophy with its perpetual quest for harmony between humankind and nature. The international cast features 52 world-class acrobats, gymnasts, musicians, singers and comedic characters.

Fresno got its first arena Cirque show in 2006 with “Delirium,” and “Alegria” came through in 2010.

Tickets are $35-$75 for adults, $31.50-$63 for students and seniors, and $28-$61 for children. They go on sale 10 a.m. Friday. Through Thursday, special discounts are available for Cirque Club members.

Win tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Alegria’


UPDATE: We’ve got our winners. Congrats to JQ and Yvette, who have both notified by e-mail. Thanks for playing, everybody.

ORIGINAL POST: Cirque du Soleil brings its “Alegria” show to Fresno for a seven-show, four-day run at Save Mart Center. It starts on Thursday night and runs through Sunday.

Donald wrote a big preview story that appeared in last week’s 7, so read that and get up to speed on the Cirque folks have planned.

Then you can enter to win a pair of free tickets to Thursday night’s debut show. We have a pair of tickets for two lucky Beehive readers. Just leave a comment below to get in the contest. Winners will be selected at random.

Deadline to enter is 10 a.m. Wednesday. Winners will be notified by e-mail, so leave a real one and check it. No repeat comments please. You’re ineligible if you’ve won something in the past 30 days. Rules are on the jump.

Read more

Cirque du Soleil is coming back to Fresno

Cirque du Soleil is bring “Alegria” to Fresno for a four-day, seven-show run, May 27-30 at Save Mart Center. You can get all the times and ticketing details at Here’s the official trailer for the show:

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Feb. 22, but you can buy now by becoming a member of the Cirque Club. It’s free to join.

THEATER REVIEW: ‘eurydice’


Fresno City College’s production of “eurydice,” which continues through Saturday, is a stunning work of theater: handsomely mounted, decisively directed, gorgeously costumed, gracefully acted. It’s one of the must-see local theatrical events of the year.

From the production’s first moments as the house lights dim and a plaintive voice sings the lyrics “Don’t Let Me Go,” to the very last moment of the show, when a major character makes a heart-breaking last gesture before everything slides to black, the show casts an almost hypnotic spell on the audience. Director Chuck Erven has described the play as a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Cirque du Soleil. That’s an apt way to capture the mood he crafts: part fairy tale, part dream, in a brisk, intermissionless, 90-minute run time. It’s the kind of stage experience that resonates on more than just visual and auditory levels. It’s as if you can taste the crispness of this show, stroke its rich textures, smell its musty-yet-modern aromas.

I loved it.

Read more