Monthly Archives

January 2018

Film Series Opens January 31!

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For those who love the Golden Age of film musicals … or who just want to enjoy an affordable, entertaining evening with a happy ending … the opening of the Bankhead’s Classic Film Musical Series on January 31st is not to be missed!  Starting with An American in Paris — a 1950’s gem featuring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron — the four-film series is a showcase of some of the most beloved musicals of the era.  With retro pricing — just $5 a ticket — the evening will be a journey into the past with music from the era on the player piano in the lobby, popcorn and movie theater treats for sale, and a newsreel and cartoon from the era before the film begins.

Considered one of the highlights of his career, Gene Kelly both produced and starred in this story of an ex-GI, Jerry Mulligan, who stayed in Paris after WWII to pursue his art. When Mulligan (Kelly) falls in love with the lovely Parisian shop girl Lise Bouvier (Leslie Caron), they discover their personal obligations to others complicate their budding romance. The movie captures a carefree Paris and portrays an infectious camraderie between friends that supercedes the complexities of the inevitable love triangle. An American in Paris, contains some of the most famous and treasured songs by George and Ira Gershwin such as “S’Wonderful,” “Embraceable You,” and “I’ve Got Rhythm.”  The brilliant ballet sequence set to the title work, one of Gershwin’s greatest orchestral scores, helped earn the film six Academy Awards including Best Picture.

An American in Paris is so beloved that a stage musical based on the film opened on Broadway in 2015, won two Tony Awards, and has since toured the country to great acclaim. If you enjoyed the classic film, love Broadway musicals, the music of Gershwin, or are just a sucker for a happy ending,  you won’t want to miss An American in Paris or any of the others in the Classic Film Musical Series at the Bankhead!

An American in Paris on January 31 — Easter Parade on March 14 — Singin’ in the Rain on May 2 — Shall We Dance on June 6

More Information and Tickets HERE


On a personal note: This project has been a joy for me to work on.  I grew up watching classic films at a small local movie theater and these are four of my all-time favorites. My father has always shared his wonderful memories of going with his big sister to see Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. He told me how they laughed at the cartoons and watched the newsreels before the show … a whole afternoon of fun for just 15 cents!  In these turbulent times, I hope these evenings can recapture and share some of that sheer pleasure from times past … with lovely music, sensational dancing, and a happy ending… what’s not to love?  — Roberta Emerson, Marketing Manager


Event Preview: Lisa Loeb

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Lisa Loeb is a unique talent. She’s a singer-songwriter, producer, touring artist, author, and philanthropist. Lisa started her career with a bang thanks to the platinum-selling Number 1 hit song “Stay (I Missed You)” from the film Reality Bites. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is absolutely thrilled to have Lisa at the Bankhead Theater in early April.

About Lisa Loeb

As you can see on her website, Lisa was the first pop musician to have a No. 1 single while not signed to a recording contract. Soon after her first single, Lisa recorded the likes of “Do You Sleep,” “I Do,” and “Let’s Forget About It.” Her albums during this time were “Cake and Pie” and “No Fairy Tale.”

Today, Lisa continues to come up with memorable pop songs while also designing Lisa Loeb Eyewear, writing children’s books, and supporting non-profit causes. Lisa is especially popular with parents and kids for her albums “Catch the Moon” and Amazon Music exclusives, “Nursery Rhyme Parade!” and “Feel What U Feel.” In addition to the children’s albums, Lisa also recently published two picture book-CDs called “Lisa Loeb’s Songs for Movin’ and Shakin’ and “Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along.”

Lisa’s Philanthropy Efforts

Camp Lisa was created to make it possible for kids, who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity, to go to summer camp. Campers are able to sing songs, play sports, make snacks, make friends, and do arts and crafts all while learning about community, sharing, empathy, and having fun. Simply put, the Camp Lisa Foundation is all about enriching the lives of children through summer camp.

The camp works with Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education (SCOPE), an organization who shares their mission and helps continue to make it a reality. SCOPE allocates funds raised by Camp Lisa and other supporters to participating summer camps nationwide to provide camp scholarships to those who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance for a fun summer camp experience. Funds are raised for SCOPE by accepting donations as well as donating proceeds from a kids record of camp-themed songs called “Camp Lisa CD.”

What Lisa is Doing Today

Lisa has stayed busy with recent film and television appearances such as Netflix’s Sandy Wexler, TV Land’s Teachers, Amazon’s Creative Galaxy, @Midnight with Chris Hardwick, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, About a Boy, and Hot Tub Time Machine 2. She is currently touring the U.S. and Canada, releasing new styles of her signature eyewear through Lisa Loeb Eyewear. Lisa’s “Lullaby Girl” features a combination of dreamy, intimate, sometimes whimsical, and sometimes melancholic arrangements of classic songs, as well as two original songs.

The Performance

Lisa Loeb is set to appear at the Bankhead Theater Friday, April 6th at 8 p.m. Please note that while she may be best known for her children’s music, this performance will be her adult music show. If you’ve never listened to Lisa’s music, it’s a mix of rock, pop, and folk.

Event tickets range from $40 to $80. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is proud to offer student and active military prices for all performances. Please be sure to call or visit the box office to book these tickets.

The Bankhead Theater

If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the Bankhead Theater, then this is your opportunity. At our center for performing arts, we continually bring in a wide range of artists and audiences. Our LVPAC Presents series includes more than 40 incredible performances throughout the year, from live music and opera to comedy and theatre. Plus, we love being able to present all genres of music. Whether you enjoy classic rock, smooth jazz, or world music, we definitely have something for you.

What sets the Bankhead apart from other venues is how intimate it feels. For example, the Grammy Award-winning vocal group Chanticleer praised the Bankhead for the perfect acoustics. There’s nothing quite like the power of live performances at our center for performing arts. Along with performances by the Resident Companies, touring shows, and local community groups, events at the Bankhead engage, entertain, and inspire audiences of all ages.

Are you wanting to enjoy the performance with a large group? Save 10 percent on select LVPAC Presents shows when you bring a group of 10 or more people.

See our events calendar for upcoming performances.

Event Preview: Catapult

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When was the last time you saw a silhouette-style dance performance? We’re guessing the answer is never. Catapult uses an incredible combination of shadow dance, storytelling, and sculpture to engage the eye and spark the imagination. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is proud to announce that Catapult will be coming to the Bankhead Theater in late March.

About Catapult

Catapult is all about the human body and its ability to transform. Here’s how they do it: the dancers work behind a screen, moving together and separately to create what appear to be impossible shadow silhouettes of the world around us. The illusion could be anything from an enormous mountain to a moving helicopter. With Catapult, you never know what’s going to happen next or how it will be done. When the transformations emerge, the unbelievable becomes believable for audience members.

Artistic director Adam Battlestein founded Catapult. Their “Magic Shadows” performance is packed with hundreds of shape transformations. Be mindful of eight stores told through shadows and music, in addition to six shorter videos and brief moments of poetry and humor. “Magic Shadows” is somewhat difficult to explain because there’s simply nothing else like it. Think of the performance as a mesmerizing few hours of entertainment that guarantees audiences will never look at their own shadow the same way again!

Says Battlestein on the group’s website, “Catapult prides itself on thinking creatively as a group. When ideas explode, there is great elation; we all run around like kids jumping up and down and laughing and then we go to work happily in our new expanded landscape.”

Catapult and “America’s Got Talent”

It was during the eighth season of “America’s Got Talent” that Catapult began to open eyes across the country. One of 12 finalists, the group put together a touching routine dedicated to the children killed in the Newtown school massacre just several months before.

Howard Stern, notorious for being the show’s most discerning judge, said this to the New York Daily News: “It’s very hard to get me emotional – you did. Your story came through crisp and clear. You are just phenomenal talents. You stole the show tonight.”

The News got an inside look at a Catapult rehearsal. A typical session consists of dancing for 12 hours in the dark in a cluttered third-floor studio. Part of what makes Catapult unique is that it doesn’t matter whether the group is doing backends or arm extensions. The reality is that each dancer depends on everyone else to create memorable images such as a towering dragon or a human seesaw.

Shadow Dancers on a Budget

Catapult relies heavily on body movement from the start of the performance to the finish. But there’s more to it than that. Catapult also requires the use of makeshift props for unsuspecting objects such as helicopter blades, city skylines, and others. At the time Battlestein founded Catapult in 2008, he did so on an extremely limited budget. There were no investors or other business capital to work with. It’s why Battlestein made a habit of dumpster-diving for materials. What’s even more telling of his ambition is that Battlestein racked up around $100,000 in debt chasing the dream to win “America’s Got Talent.”

At the end of the New York Daily News article, Battlestein said, “The goal is to get our own show where we could really produce some fantastical things that come out of our imagination and play.”

Battlestein and the rest of the Catapult performers have certainly achieved that goal. If you’re looking for a great family matinee show that’s different, Catapult is a must-see.  

The Performance

Catapult is set to perform at the Bankhead Theater Sunday, March 25th at 3 p.m. Ticket prices range from $40 to $80. We’re expecting another packed house, so be sure to book your tickets ahead of time. Our center for performing arts offers both student and active military prices for all performances. We ask that you please call or visit the box office to purchase these tickets.

This is also a great opportunity to check out the Bankhead Theater if you haven’t been there in a while.

Be sure to check out our events calendar for other upcoming performances.  

Dazzling Displays!

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Walked by the Bankhead Theater lately?

If you come up the walkway from the street or parking garage on Railroad Avenue you can’t miss the three new digital displays running along the side of the building. Hundreds of performances and events are now held at the Bankhead each year — music of all kinds, dance, theater, comedy, and more — we welcome a diverse range of artists that appeal to different audiences. More opportunities were needed to let people know about upcoming shows at the theater.

Having digital screens replace the static print posters inside the glass cases on the side of the building had been on the wish list for some time, but we were only just recently able to complete the project. The bright, colorful displays went up on January 4th and are computer controlled from inside the building so they can be changed easily to reflect new information. More than a dozen upcoming events can be on display at any given time with each of three panels rotating 3-5 different images.

Take a stroll by the Bankhead and see the Displays …
then just walk around the corner to buy your tickets! 

And if you won’t be downtown in the near future, check out upcoming events here



Don’t Wait to Buy Tickets!

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Bankhead Shows Are Selling Fast!

Everyone has done it … seen an announcement for an interesting concert, show or program but waited to buy tickets.  In the past, many people have assumed they could wait until a few days before the show or even walk up to the window that day and buy a ticket. But this past year they just might have been wrong!

Since the beginning of summer 2017, more than a dozen shows presented by Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center have sold out completely. And three more this January and February are already at capacity. From comedian Paula Poundstone’s sold out show on July 7th, through the New Year’s Eve celebration with Crawdad Republic last month, plus performances by resident companies, audiences have been flocking to the Bankhead to enjoy all types of entertainment.

In November, concerts by both viral video pop sensation OK GO and the legendary smooth vocals of Manhattan Transfer completely filled the house.  It was particularly satisfying having those two sell out without 10 days of each other, said Executive Director Scott Kenison. “The two reflect our ability to interest very different audiences, reaching people who attend regularly as well as welcoming new faces.” OK GO attracted audience across a board age range as well as pulled people from Sacramento and even further to see their show.

The shows have also been selling more quickly. OK GO, which went on sale to the public in June, was completely sold out by the end of August, and the single performance by ukulele master, Jake Shimabukuro, sold even faster. A late addition to the 2017-2018 season, Shimabukuro’s February show went on sale in early October and reached capacity in just three weeks. One of the benefits of LVPAC membership is advance ticket purchase and a portion of the tickets were sold to members prior to the public-on-sale date. Nonetheless, according to Kenison, the day tickets were first available to the public marked one of the largest single sales days in the Bankhead’s decade-long history.

“We know not every show will be a sell out,” says Kenison. “Some artists are less well known and some types of shows have more limited appeal, but we’re committed to offering a wide range of musical genres and reaching out to everyone with shows they’ll enjoy.”

So if you hear about a show you think you might want to see, buy your tickets as soon as possible! Five for Fighting with String Quartet (Jan 25) and Vicki Lawrence & Mama (Jan 26) are already sold out. Upcoming shows such as Marc Cohn (Jan 19), Lee Ann Womack (Feb 19), Richard Marx (May 3), and Capitol Steps (May 6) are expected to be fully sold as well.  We’ll be announcing our Summer Series at the Bankhead in just a few weeks. Get on the mailing list at the bottom right side of our homepage and you’ll hear about it in your email.  Better yet, become a member now and you’ll be eligible to buy your tickets before everyone else. You won’t want to miss out!

Check out the list of remaining shows in the 2017-2018 Season here!







Why the Bankhead is Unique

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We know. Sometimes people have questions about the business of running a theater. Why do some tickets cost more than others? Why don’t you book my favorite big name artists? Why is fundraising so important? The answers are both simple and complex.

Classified as an independent non-profit, the Bankhead Theater is, and always has been, a community-funded venue. Unlike some venues, such as the Gallo in Modesto, it was not financed by a single founder’s wealth, or launched by a significant land grant such as Montalvo in the Saratoga foothills. It is not city-owned like the Firehouse in Pleasanton and the Lesher in Walnut Creek, nor city-funded like the Sunset in Carmel.

In fact, the Bankhead was built brick by brick by dedicated members of the community and continues to be funded by donors and ticket buyers like you. This is why our vision is to be the heart of a vibrant and diverse arts community and why we work so hard to deliver on that promise.

For nearly every show we present at the Bankhead, the money from your ticket barely covers the cost of putting the artists on stage. It does not cover the backstage crew, the costs of keeping the building open and temperature-controlled, the cost of promoting the show, or printing the program. For those things and many more, donations are essential to our efforts.

Our vision is to be the heart
of a vibrant and diverse arts community


In addition to welcoming artists from all over the world, the Bankhead is dedicated to supporting artistic talents within the community. Resident companies such as Valley Dance Theatre, Livermore-Amador Symphony, Livermore Valley Opera, Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre, Del Valle Fine Arts, Pacific Chamber Orchestra, and the Rae Dorough Speaker Series, all receive discounts on rental, production and marketing fees.

Sharing the excitement of the arts with our young people is a key priority and, in addition to arts outreach in the schools and free cultural arts events, we offer subsidized student ticket prices for nearly every show.

Programs at the Bothwell Arts Center for children, as well as adults, keeps the visual arts alive in our community. The Bothwell also serves as an arts incubator, offering affordable studio, rehearsal and small performance space for local artists.

Maintaining all this is a complex task and requires not only a dedicated staff and hardworking volunteers, but a constant stream of generosity on the part of individuals, businesses and foundations. And every gift counts. In 2015, we met our fundraising target by just under $100. If even one donor had chosen not to give, we’d have missed our goal.

Whatever we have to do behind the scenes, it’s all worthwhile when the curtain rises, the lights come up, and you have a chance to sit back and be thrilled, enchanted and energized by what you see on stage.

Want to help? If you enjoy the arts and appreciate the role we play in the community,
please consider making a donation,
gifting securities,
or leaving a legacy gift to the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.
Donate online here or contact the development office at 925-583-2305 for more information.


photo by Jennie McGregor

Free Concert – Sold Out

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February 27 at 7:30pm

Throughout the year, Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center offers a range of arts experience to the community through free concerts, art exhibits and cultural events. For the past two years, the Livermore-Amador Symphony and dancers from Valley Dance Theatre have participated in a free holiday concert in early December.  This year, the Bankhead Theater will host the US Navy Sea Chanters in a free concert on Tuesday evening, February 27 at 7:30 pm.  The Navy Band Sea Chanters is the United States Navy’s official chorus. The ensemble performs a variety of music ranging from traditional choral music, including sea chanteys and patriotic fare, to opera, Broadway, and contemporary music.  Watch the US Navy Sea Chanters in Concert here and don’t miss this opportunity to see them live in Livermore!

Please arrive early. Open seats will be released to the wait list at 7:15 pm
Event is sold out — to be added to the wait list click here



Under the leadership of Senior Chief Musician Adam Tyler, the Sea Chanters perform for the public throughout the United States. At home in Washington, they perform for the president, vice president and numerous congressional, military and foreign dignitaries. In 1956, Lt. Harold Fultz, then the band’s assistant leader, organized a group from the Navy School of Music to sing chanteys and patriotic songs for the State of the Nation dinner. An immediate success, Adm. Arleigh Burke, then chief of naval operations, transferred them to the Navy Band, named them the Sea Chanters and tasked this all-male chorus with perpetuating the songs of the sea. In 1980, the group added women to their ranks and expanded their repertoire to include everything from Brahms to Broadway.

The Sea Chanters are frequently found at the center of our most important national events, including inauguration day in 2009. They have played a vital role in comforting the nation in times of mourning, including appearances at memorials for the astronauts of the space shuttle Columbia and the presidential wreath laying ceremony at the United Airlines flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pa. Their performance of “Amazing Grace” for the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance at the National Cathedral in Washington after the events of 9/11 inspired all in attendance as well as a national television audience. In 2004, the chorus participated in former President Reagan’s funeral at the National Cathedral, and in 2007 performed in the U.S. Capitol’s rotunda as former President Ford was lying in state. The chorus was instrumental in the dedication ceremonies of the World War II memorials in Bedford, Va., and in Washington. In 1994, they provided music at the funeral of former President Nixon in Yorba Linda, Calif., and the interment of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at Arlington National Cemetery.

They have appeared at the Kennedy Center Honors and with the National Symphony Orchestra for the nationally telecast “National Memorial Day Concerts” at the U.S. Capitol. In addition the group has appeared on “Larry King Live” and “CBS This Morning” as well as at the premier of the movie “Pearl Harbor.” In 2008, the Sea Chanters performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir under the direction of Mack Wilburg. Noted choral directors Dale Warland, and Donald Neuen have guest conducted the ensemble, and renowned composers Michael McCarthy, Roger Bourland, William MacDuff and Lloyd Pfautsch have written works especially for them. Other notable orchestral appearances include the Kansas City Symphony, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. The Sea Chanters have enjoyed a great reputation performing with such stars as Perry Como, Marian Anderson, Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie.

Throughout their history, the Sea Chanters have remained true to the Navy’s watchwords of pride and professionalism, and they continue to flourish as a vibrant ensemble.

Upcoming Events

Fri 14

The Nutcracker

Fri, December 14 @ 7:00 pm
Organizer: Valley Dance Theatre
Thu 20

The Doo Wop Project Christmas

Thu, December 20 @ 7:30 pm
Fri 21

Irish Christmas in America

Fri, December 21 @ 8:00 pm
Sat 22
Sat 22

Love Actually

Sat, December 22 @ 7:00 pm

Call 925.373.6800 or email for tickets and information