Things to do June 20-26: Miss California, drum corps, banned books, comedy

FresnoJune 18, 2014 

Miss Silicon Valley Crystal Lee, 21, left, is named 2013 Miss California with help from 2012 Miss California Leah Cecil, right, at the 2013 Miss California Pageant held Saturday, June 29, 2013 in Fresno.


Miss California Pageant

7 p.m. Tuesday, through June 28 / William Saroyan Theatre, 600 M St. / (880) 745-3000, / $28.50-$34.50

The 2014 Miss California Pageant opens Tuesday night at the Saroyan Theatre and all we can think of is "The Chaperone" episode of "Seinfeld."

This is the state final for the Miss America Pageant and more than two dozen contestants will compete for the title over the week. There are several locals vying for the spot.

The pageant is a legacy competition, no doubt. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the state pageant and the 22nd year the finals have been held in Fresno.

Laugh at and/or with Jill-Michele Meleán

8 p.m. Thursday / Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave. / (559) 485-9050, / $23.50

You'll likely recognize Jill-Michele Meleán's face from television. She was a cast member on FOX's "MadTV" in the 1990s and later on the sitcom "'Til Death." She was featured on Comedy Central's "Reno 911" and Disney Channel's "Big Time Rush."

She also is an accomplished, touring comic who had a stand-up special, "Hot Tamales," on Showtime. The comedienne plays Thursday at the Tower Theatre with Edwin San Juan, plus Johnny Osborne and Butch Escobar.

Fresno State dancers in San Francisco

2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday / Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., San Francisco /, (415) 978-2787 / $9-$58

It's a big weekend for Fresno State's Los Danzantes de Aztlán. The dance troupe is one of only two Mexican folkloric dance groups selected to perform at the 36th annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. The Fresno State students will perform high-kicking, boot-stomping Mexican dances known as calabaceados that originate from the northern part of Baja California.

Marching madness at Edwards

6:30 p.m. Monday / Edwards Fresno Stadium 22 and IMAX, 250 Paseo del Centro / / $15

You don't need to travel to Akron, Ohio, to watch seven of the nation's best marching ensembles compete. The Drum Corps International season opener features seven fierce rivals, including the Bluecoats, Boston Crusaders and The Cadets on the big screen. The competition, recorded two days earlier, kicks off DCI's 53-day summer tour.

With the banned

6 p.m. Saturday / Arte Américas, 1630 Van Ness Ave. / Search We're With the Banned on Facebook / Free, limited seating

In translation, the Spanish word librotraficante means "book smuggler."

Tony Diaz's Librotraficante Underground is a grass-roots movement to help students (mainly in Texas and Arizona) get access to books that have allegedly been removed from school libraries and curriculum.

Diaz is a writer/activist and the director of Intercultural Initiatives at Lone Star College-North Harris in Houston. He will talk about the importance of the movement and give a brief reading from notable banned and challenged books — from Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" to Manuel Muñoz's "Zigzagger."

Celebrate the solstice with art

4 p.m. Saturday / 1821 Gallery & Studios, 1821 Calaveras St. /, (559) 233-9992 / Free

Having the summer solstice fall on a Saturday this year adds even more of a celebratory feel — you don't want to miss out marking the longest day of the year. The artists of the California Contemporary Art Collective will gather at a reception honoring their show "Summer Solstice: The Longest Light." Donnalee Dunne, Juliana Harris, Linda Koch, Trude McDermott, Anne Scheid, Joan Sharma and Robert Weibel will each get an opportunity to talk about their work.

Star power

2 p.m. Saturday / Wild Water Adventures, 11413 E. Shaw Ave., Clovis / / free with park admission

Austin North, who plays Logan Watson on the Disney Channel series "I Didn't Do It," makes an appearance at the local water park. The meet-and-greet with fans is the second in a series of guest appearances by actors from Disney TV shows slated for this summer.

On "I Didn't Do It," North plays one of the ultra-competitive fraternal twins who, together with their best friends, try to make it through their freshman year of high school.

North, a 17-year-old Cincinnati native, was also in "Kickin' It" and "A.N.T. Farm."

Morgan Heritage

9 p.m. Friday / Audie's Olympic, 1426 Van Ness / $20 / (559) 233-3733,

Morgan Heritage is either the royal family of reggae or the genre's Rolling Stones or both, depending on who you ask. The band, formed in 1994 by five children of reggae legend Denroy Morgan, is a go-to act on the reggae circuit. The band plays the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival on Sunday and the Mid West Reggae Fest in August. Tonight you can see the band up close and personal at Audie's Olympic Tavern.

AC Myles CD release

7 p.m. Friday / Engelmann Cellars, 3275 N. Rolinda Ave. / Free / (559) 274-9463,

AC Myles spent time playing sideman to guys like Fillmore Slim and the harmonica player John Nemeth. This was after he spent his late teens and 20s touring California fronting his own band. Point is, he's learned a thing or two about being a musician and an entertainer.

Myles is releasing his latest studio album "Reconsider Me" tonight with a show at Engelmann Cellars. The album was recorded and produced by Kid Andersen at Greaseland Studios.

Songs of Kristofferson

5 p.m. Sunday / Fulton 55, 875 Divisadero St. / $5-$6 / 559) 412-7400,

Kris Kristofferson may be the closest thing current music has to a renaissance man. The 77-year-old Country Music Hall of Famer is also an accomplished actor and a Rhodes scholar, who graduated from Pomona College summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in literature. He also was a captain in the Army.

Local musicians Vince Warner and Roger Perry celebrate Kristofferson's legacy (which includes penning songs like "Me & Bobby McGee," and "For the Good Times") with a tribute show Sunday at Fulton 55.

The pair have put together a lineup of 20 or so local musicians who have an affinity for Kristofferson. The show coincides with the musician's 78th birthday.

From grandparents' house he goes

7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 17 / 2nd Space Theatre, 928 E. Olive Ave. /, (559) 266-0660 / $18, $15 students and seniors

Alex Vaux, left, plays Nick, a single Italian-American young man from a tight-knit family, in the new Good Company Players production of "Over the River and Through the Woods" at the 2nd Space Theatre. When Nick gets a job offer far from home, it throws his four grandparents — including Frank (Gordon Moore, pictured at right) — into a tizzy. How can they convince their beloved grandchild to remain in their New Jersey town? Dan Pessano directs this 1987 comedy by Joe DiPietro.


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