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Places to Bookmark, Places to Go!

Visalia Direct: Virtual Valley
September 12, 2006

Places to Bookmark, Places to Go!

I love the arts, which means I’m always wondering what’s new to see or do. If you want to know what’s happening in the Visalia area, one thing you should do is “bookmark” the Web sites of several local performing arts organizations. These organizations post announcements of events, season schedules, and other useful information. It wasn’t easy to locate some sites, but now I have a good list of entertainment options.

When looking for entertainment, my first stops on the Web are local theatrical organizations. The Visalia Community Players are on the Web at www.visaliaplayers.org. I love the Ice House Theatre, with its comfortable lobby and great main stage. The Players post their entire season online, including all performance dates and times. Sponsors are also credited, so I remind myself to support the businesses that care about Visalia’s artistic heritage.

The Enchanted Playhouse can be found at www.enchantedplayhouse.org. My parents don’t have any grandchildren to take, but that doesn’t stop them from enjoying several Enchanted Playhouse productions each season. You can find information on the current season and any special events being hosted at the Main Street Theater.

If you happen to be particularly outgoing, and much braver than I am, the Visalia Players and the Enchanted Playhouse post audition announcements on their Web sites. These organizations are always looking for volunteers, too. You can send e-mail via links on these sites if you want to help with any aspect of their productions, from ticket sales to painting sets.

Classical music in the fabulous Fox Theatre is another wonderful way to spend a night on the town. The Tulare County Symphony is on the Web at www.tcsymphony.org. The symphony presents six major concerts each season. The schedule for the season lists the works and any special guest appearances. I happen to like Bach and Mozart, but there’s something for every classical fan in each season.

Not only does Fox Theatre host the Tulare County Symphony, it might be the best place in Tulare County for any live entertainment. Visiting foxvisalia.org reveals a variety of live music and special events. I haven’t had to opportunity to see anything at the Fox except the symphony, but it definitely looks like I’ll need to correct that oversight.

What impresses me most about the Fox Theatre site is that you can purchase tickets online for many events. I admit that I am lousy at planning ahead, but with some of the excellent shows at the Fox you don’t want to wait until the last minute to buy tickets.

The Fox Theatre site is also important because it features a history of the Fox and the restoration of this grand building. For those of us who remember the transition from one screen to three and the injustices inflicted upon detailed woodwork by generations of teenage movie fans, the Fox is an old friend we know we should visit more often. I’d love to see a photo album online so I could take a “before and after” tour of the Fox.

Unfortunately, the Web sites with lists of arts organizations do not always provide links to calendars or ticket information. I’m hoping a local Web site will be created featuring every arts organization’s calendar and even public comments. Thankfully, I’m a persistent Web surfer. Locating a calendar of COS theatrical productions took some time, though.

If you want to support the College of the Sequoias performing arts, search for “COS Visalia fine arts calendar” using Google or another search engine. There is no easy Web address to use if you want to support the college’s student performances. The COS calendar includes not only plays and musicals, but all the performing arts and gallery events.  I like to attend musicals, but I’ve also seen some great dancing at COS. It’s definitely worth the effort to find and print the events calendar. This was a great Web site to finally discover.

Oddly enough, it is easy to locate a calendar of events at COS that feature outside artists. The COS “Arts & Lectures” series is a good way to see performers from outside our area. The calendar for the season is at http://www.cos.edu/artsandlectures/ (be sure to include the last backslash). From experimental dance to flamenco, COS offers an eclectic mix for those who say there’s nothing “new” to see in Visalia. Some things have to be seen and heard to be appreciated.

It seems there is always something happening in Visalia — if you know where to look. Once you locate useful Web pages, be sure to bookmark them and check them at least once a month for any special announcements. My theory is that the more Visalians use these Web resources, the more attention organizations will give to their online presences. Someday, every local performing arts organization will have an easy-to-find, well-designed Web site.

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