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Tonight at 7:30 p.m., the seventh grade from Yuba River Charter School presents “Galileo Galilei,” a play that follows the life of one of the most famous astronomers ever to live, think, and question, despite the pernicious Inquisition. $5 adult, $3 children.


Joni Mitchell’s unforgettable music spills forth this weekend in “Women of Heart & Mind: The Songs of Joni Mitchell,” played by 10 Nevada County’s female performing artists.

Playing will be Lorriane Gervais, Gracie Mackenzie, Kate Fingerson, Elena Powell, Eleanore MacDonald, Beth Moore Haines, Dayna Jones, Lea Hume, Simone Julian, and Heather Grove, all of whom Rayo calls “heavy hitters” talent-wise.

Backing them up will be the six-person jazz fusion band, Objects in the Mirror, with bass player Paul Jacobsen acting as music director. Tom MacDonald, Jay Ladner and Saul Rayo will accompany the singers.

“At first I was nervous about this,” says Rayo, who is producing the show. “Then we ran through the show, and I was blown away.”

The 22 songs will progress, says Rayo, in a chronological way, from solo acoustic (the warm, intimate folk music) to electric guitar with full band, and the audience will be encouraged to join in at the end of the show.

The idea for the show was born in 1998, when, Rayo says, “I was laid up in bed with a bad back. I heard Joni on the stereo and started taking apart her guitar tunings. When I got back on my feet, Lorraine Gervais and I did an evening at (the then) Kirby’s Creekside in Nevada City. That night was magic, and the idea of making a concert of it has been lingering ever since.”

Known for his atmospheric stage sets, Rayo promises this one will have lots of feminine energy “to honor the wonderful ladies who are doing this and Joni.” They are expecting a sell-out crowd.

The three shows are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. All shows are $18.


This is the last weekend of the Pleasant Valley Pheasant Pluckers’ improv comedy. Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m. $10. Call 470-0700.


Stories to come next week about one of the last great bluesmen, Pinetop Perkins, who is playing March 24, and the hot Tango No. 9, playing March 26.


Unless otherwise mentioned, tickets for performances at The Center for the Arts can be purchased at Music Today, (800) 594-8499; (all following numbers are in the 530 area code) Yabobo, Nevada City, 478-9114; BriarPatch Community Market, Grass Valley, 272-5333; The Book Seller, Grass Valley, 272-2131; Cherry Records, Auburn, 823-2147. Tickets usually go on sale at outlets two weeks before the show. Call 271-7000 for ticket information in current week. Tickets are sometimes available online at http://www.thecenterforthearts.musictoday.com/.

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