Monthly Archives

April 2018

Read About Our Stars!

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You won’t want to miss the fun at Dancing with the Tri-Valley Stars on May 12! After one week of prep and practice, six local luminaries will join professional dancers from the Utah Ballroom Dance Company to strut their stuff in pursuit of winning the mirrorball trophy.  Read about the stars in Carol Graham’s excellent overview in The Independent Magazine.  You’ll find out why NBC Sports Anchor Dave Lewis won’t be doing any break dancing but jumped at the chance to compete with the others in the event:

“This event is the perfect balance between fun and a true competition,”
Lewis adds. “The experience represents
living a more adventurous life —
to try new things and take a chance. Let’s dance!”

Of course, it could be because he’s just up for the challenge of besting friend and fellow middle school basketball coach, realtor Mony Nop. You’ll also find out why Juliette Lewis agreed to join in (hint … her kids are behind her all the way!), as well as what motivates radio personality, Faith Alpher, and our two city council members Bob Carling (Livermore) and Karla Brown (Pleasanton.) Whether they’re planning to rely on physical skills in other arenas, dance lessons, or sheer confidence, they’re all enthusiastic if a little nervous too.

VOTE FOR THE WINNER. You’ll play a part too! Choose your favorite and while the votes are tallied and the judges consult, enjoy a performance of spectacular ballroom dance by the Utah Ballroom Dance Company. Proceeds from the event will benefit discounted student tickets all year round at the Bankhead. So, as executive director Scott Kenison told Carol.

“Come out to enjoy a fun evening and support our stars. There are no losers;
everyone who puts on their dancing shoes is a winner!”


Download and read the whole article Dancing with Tri-Valley Stars_May 2018
Check out the Stars bios HERE.
And be sure to BUY TICKETS for the show!



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(Shown: Better Than Ezra, Lee Greenwood, and Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel)


Now there’s twice as much to enjoy at the Bankhead this summer!
See the full list HERE


Six new shows including a community concert have been added to the Bankhead Presents line-up from June through August.  As a red, white and blue close to Independence Week, country music legend Lee Greenwood will take the stage on July 6 with songs such as his patriotic hit “God Bless the U.S.A.” as well as “I.O.U.,” “Dixie Road” and “Going, Going, Gone.”

The American music theme runs through the rest of the summer with the folk music of New Christy Minstrels on July 27 when they return to celebrate the 85th birthday of founder Randy Sparks.  The irresistible Western swing sound of Asleep at the Wheel comes back to the Bankhead on August 20.  We know both bands have a loyal local following here in Livermore! Joining the line up will be Montreal-based artistic collective Cirquantique with their dazzling cabaret burlesque show “Bang! Bang!” and popular 1980s alt-rock band Better Than Ezra making their first appearance at the Bankhead.

This August, the Bankhead will also host a community concert with all seats $20: “Psychedelic Summer” will feature local favorite rock band LunaFish, joined on stage by guest artists and friends, they’ll entertain audiences with everyone’s favorite tunes from the sixties and seventies — Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and more!

SEE the full summer line up and buy previously announced shows, which include pop icon Rita Coolidge, singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin, Rockapella touring with The Company Men, blues-rock band Indigenous with Chris Duarte, and more.

For the first time, every show in the Bankhead Presents series has a limited quantity of seats priced at just $20 each. Students and active military personnel are eligible for discounted tickets all year long. Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center strives to make the arts accessible for all ages. In addition to live music and comedy this summer, the new Family Fun Film Series will include “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (June 20), The Princess Bride” (July 25), and “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” (August 15). Screened on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm, admission for the family films is just $5 each!


Become a member now and you’ll hear about new shows first,
receive a 10% discount all year long, and other member benefits. 

Interview: Rita Coolidge

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In a wide ranging interview with writer Lou Fancher at the East Bay Times, pop icon Rita Coolidge talks about her early days in the music industry when men held all the power and the impact that had on women, how she see things changing now, and why it matters. She also discusses the many people who have had an influence on her life and her music — from her grandmother and her Cherokee heritage, to fellow musicians and leaders of the modern day blues era.

Coolidge has put her whole heart into her recently released album “Safe in the Arms of Love” She co-wrote three of the 12 songs on the album and the entire album reflects the pain, uplifting recovery and strength she has found in her life.

“It’s about the wonderful possibilities we have to experience love, embrace the tragedies, to keep going. The record is about that joy.
I want for women and men to realize love is always around, you just have to open your eyes and heart.”

Read the whole article HERE and then buy tickets to see Rita Coolidge in the intimate 500 seat Bankhead Theater. For more about Rita, visit the event page.


Saturday, July 7 at 8pm


Event Preview: Classic Albums Live: Led Zeppelin II

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Get ready for one of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” to come to life on the Bankhead Theater stage when Classic Albums Live arrives later this month. A Canadian-based group familiar to rock music aficionados, Classic Albums Live brings together world-class musicians to perform some of the most famous albums. The group will perform Led Zeppelin’s iconic second album in its entirety, including iconic hits such as “Whole Lotta Love,” “Heartbreaker,” “Moby Dick,” and “Bring It On Home.”

About Led Zeppelin

It wasn’t much longer after their first album that Led Zeppelin got to work on No. 2. The quartet of Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones pulled the album together over six months in 1969 while on tour throughout North America and London. Not surprisingly, “Led Zeppelin II” was one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of the time. It’s safe to say that the result lived up to expectations and more. In fact, Led Zeppelin II” topped U.S. charts by the end of the year, bumping the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” Rolling Stone called the work “one of the greatest, heaviest, and raunchiest albums ever, steeped in both Delta and Chicago blues, Sixties psychedelia and gentle-to-bone-crushing dynamics.” In November of 1999, “Led Zeppelin II” was certified 12x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales passing 12 million copies.

What’s interesting about this album is that each song was separately recorded, mixed, and produced at various studious in the UK and North America. The album was basically written on tour during periods of few hours in between concerts. As you might have guessed, the result was a sound featuring spontaneity and urgency through necessity.

An Inside Look at Classic Albums Live

Craig Martin, the group’s producer, said that he founded Classic Albums Live in 2003 after hearing too many poor tribute bands. Ultimately, he wanted to provide the audience with a more musically authentic experience. Martin started with a small venue in Phoenix and gradually grew in popularity from there. Soon, Classic Albums Live was filling some of the most prestigious venues across North America. Of course, it took more than just the effort of Martin to take the group to uncharted territory. It’s why he makes it a point to select exceptional musicians who focus on playing the world’s most well-known and familiar rock albums with absolute detail and precision. Martin compares the group to a symphony orchestra performing the works of great composers. It won’t take long for diehard Led Zeppelin fans to realize that every note of the album, including vocals and sound effects, is faithfully recreated. This is what Classic Albums Live refers to as a “rock immersion experience.” As Martin says, this is music the band members grew up with. The group knows the songs inside and out and, in the preparation process, spends hours listening to each note carefully, finding ways to perform it live without any recorded elements. Classic Albums Live brings in as many musicians and instrumentalists as are needed to accurately recreate each album.

The Performance

Classic Albums Live: Led Zeppelin II is set to take place Saturday, April 21st at 8 p.m. Ticket prices start at just $40 with $17 tickets available for students or active military personnel.

The Bankhead Theater

For more than a decade, the Bankhead Theater has been bringing artists and audiences together to share the rich experience of live performance. Here at LVPAC, it’s apparent that exposure to the arts has the potential to transform lives. For example, seeing, hearing, and taking part in a performance can be exhilarating for young people as they grow and develop, fueling a new level of creativity.

Let’s talk about the Bankhead briefly. This 507-seat facility makes the perfect environment for live music, theater, dance, and other performances. Artists at all levels agree that performing in such an intimate venue provides a number of benefits. In fact, the Grammy Award-winning vocal group Chanticleer praised the Bankhead for its incredible acoustics. Not surprisingly, artists looking to make a transformation of their own have chosen to make it a stop on their tour.

We hope to see you for what should be a fun evening with Classic Albums Live. Check out our events calendar today!

Bay Area Children’s Theatre Musical Camp Added to Summer Enrichment Programs

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Each year, the Bothwell Arts Center and Bankhead Theater are home to summer arts and music programs for students from elementary school to high school and above. These interactive, hands-on classes provide opportunities for discovery and exploration in art, acting, music, writing, TV production, and more. Things will be a bit different in 2018 as a two-week intensive musical theatre camp is brought to the Bothwell Arts Center by Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT). This program is guided by professional instructors and concludes with a student production of “Madagascar, A Musical Adventure, JR” on the Bankhead stage. A new Television Production camp through Giraffe Space has also been added to a summer lineup that includes the following:

  • The return of Livermore Shakespeare Festival’s acting camp
  • Derik Nelson & Family’s music workshop for teens
  • Creative writing
  • Art Camp at the Bothwell

More About the Program

What exactly can your child expect? Well, students will learn vocal technique, basic dance vocabulary, and storytelling skills as they prepare and rehearse for the fully produced student musical production August 9th and 10th. These aren’t the only areas of focus, though. For example, students learn how to support one another on and off the stage. Your son or daughter will also further develop their creative thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as increase self-confidence. Believe it or not, BACT has already reached more than 110,000 children and adults throughout the Bay Area. It’s our hope that the program will have a similarly positive impact on those in Livermore in 2018.

Let’s dive into what’s new for this year’s program. The weeklong production camp at Giraffe Space teaches media skills such as writing and camera techniques, live-cam production and on-air performance and will end in a 30-minute television talk show. The LVPAC is excited to welcome back the trio of Derik, Riana, and Dalten Nelson to put on a music workshop for teens geared toward singing, songwriting, and performance skills. After the educational showcase on Friday, July 13th, the group will perform at the Bankhead Theater with their folk-pop music in a show that highlights their unique sibling harmonies.

Led by artists from Livermore Shakespeare Festival, “Some Have Greatness Thrust Upon Them” is designed to help students find their inner actor through theater games, improvisation, costume creation and rehearsals, ending in a student performance. The Bothwell, meanwhile, is home to a weeklong camp intended to enrich creative writing skills, as well as the popular summer art sessions which offer students the chance to explore media from watercolor and clay to fabrics and acrylic. Whether students are enrolled in a full or half-day camp, they will undoubtedly enjoy creating different projects each session. An artist’s exhibit showcases completed works at the close of each week.

Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center – 2018 Summer Enrichment Programs

Event: TV Production Camp
Location: Giraffe Space

Dates: June 11-15, June 18-22

Ages: Grades 6-12

Event: Summer Art Camps

Location: Bothwell Art Center

Dates: June 18-22, June 25-29, July 30-Aug 3

Ages: 4-6 (half day), 7-10, and 8-17

Event: Creative Writing Camp

Location: Bothwell Arts Center

Dates: July 9-13

Ages: Grade 3-12

Event: Music Workshop with Derik Nelson and Family

Location:  Bankhead Theater

Dates:  July 9-13

Ages: Grade 6 – College

Event: Shakespeare “Some Have Greatness Thrust Upon Them”

Location: Bothwell Arts Center

Dates: July 16-27

Ages: 8-10 and 11-14

Event: Bay Area Children’s Theatre Musical Theater Camp

Location: Bothwell Arts Center/Bankhead Theater

Dates: July 30 – August 10

Ages: Grades 2-8

Education Outreach at Our Center for Performing Arts

Here at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, we want every student in the Tri-Valley area to have the chance to experience the arts. Whether it’s the Bay Area Children’s Theatre or a free family event, it’s our hope that your son or daughter is able to tap into their creativity. For years, we have made it a priority to subsidize $17 student tickets for all LVPAC Presents performances. It’s important to know that portions of these activities are underwritten by generous contributions and matching gifts to our education fund.

Is your child interested in attending BACT this summer? Click here for information regarding specific fees, registration, and other program information. There are a limited number of scholarships available through the LVPAC Education Fund.

Contact us today.   

Speakers Announced for Livermore Innovation Fair 2018

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The Annual Livermore Innovation Fair will expand the list of speakers in 2018 to include three leading science and technology pioneers, NASA Ames Research scientist Peter Graube, Jack McCauley of Oculus Rift, as well as fifth-generation winemaker Karl Wente. This completely free family-friendly event is set to take place Saturday, April 14th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bankhead Theater. For those who aren’t familiar with the event, the Innovation Fair fosters a unique connection between the five STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) disciplines. Not only that, but the Innovation Fair combines a science fair with a high-tech exhibition, art show, and community celebration. Keep reading to learn more about this one-of-a-kind event.

About the Speakers

This year, three local science and technology leaders will share their insights on creativity and innovation. Peter Graube, a trained engineer with a fascination for machine automation, brings more than three decades of experience at NASA working on wind tunnels, jets, centrifuges, and rockets among his many projects. Karl Wente, vice president of winemaking at the Wente Family Estates, holds degrees in chemical engineering, viticulture, and enology. Wente is an expert when it comes to combining current technologies with the hands-on traditions of his winemaking family. Last, but certainly not least, is Jack McCauley. The co-founder and chief engineer was instrumental in taking the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset from prototype to build but is equally well-known for designing the guitar and drums in the popular video game Guitar Hero.

Why Attend the Event?

There are countless ways art and technology intersect in the world around us. It’s our hope that this event sparks the imagination in your entire family. Those who attend can enjoy everything from scientific displays and visual art to technology experiments and so much more. On top of all that, there will be live music performances on the plaza as well. In 2017, more than a thousand students from Livermore communities took part in the Innovation Fair. They took advantage of the opportunity to explore new innovations in robotics, 3D printing, rocketry, telepresence, remotely operated, vehicles, and more.

Educational Outreach

Kelly Bowers, superintendent of Livermore schools, recently mentioned that the Innovation Fair is enthusiastically embraced and appreciated by the entire district. Said Bowers: “At all grade levels, students are excited by hands-on activities that challenge and inspire them to solve problems or to create new products. The Innovation Fair is a welcome community opportunity for all of our families to explore arts and technology.”

Even though the event is free, the LVPAC staff encourages online registration. All registered attendees will automatically be entered into a drawing to win special prizes. Keep in mind that admission to the theater for the speaker sessions is first-come, first-served and limited to space available. The Second Annual Livermore Innovation Fair “Art in Technology” is made possible through the generosity of major sponsors such as Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Topcon Positioning Systems, Lam Research, Black Lab, and a number of other companies who have provided invaluable resources and support.

More than Just a Center for Performing Arts

As aforementioned, we want everyone to have the opportunity to experience the arts. It’s why LVPAC presents performances at schools and at the Bankhead Theater while also providing free monthly family events. All year long, LVPAC funds plenty of cultural arts programs, master classes, and the East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars program. Our staff also helps subsidize $17 student tickets for all LVPAC Presents performances. It’s important to know that portions of these activities are underwritten by generous contributions and matching gifts to our education fund.

We are more than just another local arts center that puts on occasional performances. LVPAC plays an integral role in the community, helping share the performing arts with children. If you’re interested in learning more about these programs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.The Second Annual Innovation Fair is shaping up to be our largest educational outreach effort for 2018! Those who register now will be automatically entered for prize drawings. What are you waiting for? The Innovation Fair is the perfect opportunity to get out with the whole family and do something different that’s completely free.  

Get Your Tickets to the 2018 LVPAC Summer Series

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The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center just announced the Summer Series at the Bankhead, which opens June 21st and runs through the beginning of September. The seven-show series includes the return of favorites such as legendary pop icon Rita Coolidge, the pure a cappella magic of Rockapella touring with The Company Men, the folk harmonies of Derik Nelson & Family, as well as Keiko Matsui’s smooth jazz. A number of artists will make their first visit to the Bankhead Theater, including singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin and the American blues-rock band Indigenous featuring Mato Nanji with Chris Duarte. The Summer Series comes to a close September 1st with the Southern Fried Chicks’ hilarious take on life and love in their Cage Free Comedy Tour!”

Performing Arts Center Tickets

Tickets for all shows in the Bankhead Presents went on sale to the public about two weeks ago. We are proud to announce that, for the first time ever, every show will have a limited quantity of seats priced at just $20 each. Of course, our center for performing arts will continue to offer the discounted tickets available for students and active military personnel.

Live Music and Much More

We use the Summer Series as a way to welcome returning artists who are popular with local audiences. In 2012, the two-time Grammy Award-winner Coolidge filled the Bankhead with her timeless, chart-topping hits such as “Higher and Higher” and “We’re All Alone.” Those in attendance were also treated to Rita’s take on classic jazz tunes and music that pays tribute to her Native American heritage. This summer’s appearance will be a third visit for the powerful full-band vocal sound of Rockapella, on tour this year with The Company Men, whose voices blend in incredible mash-ups of hit songs, both classic and modern.

How would you like to hear the perfectly blended folk and jazz harmonies only a family can deliver? If so, then be sure to make plans to check out Derik, Riana and Dalten Nelson for what is expected to be an unbelievable Friday evening at the Bankhead. As they did in 2017, the group will lead a weeklong interactive music workshop tailored to teens that focuses on musicianship, songwriting, and performing techniques prior to their concert.

These performances aren’t the only highlights of the summer, though. Make your next visit to the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center a family night as everyone takes in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” For your convenience, there are seven performances from July 21st through August 5th.

Livermore’s Premier Arts Center

For more than a decade, the Bankhead Theater has welcomed a wide range of artists and audiences, bringing them together for exceptional performances. In addition to the shows in the Summer Series, we are planning to present a showcase of local bands on the Bankhead stage in mid-summer. Executive Director Scott Kenison explains that the family-friendly, low-cost concert would partially replace the free ‘Evenings on the Green’ community concerts that were previously offered on the Shea Homes Stage in front of the theater.

Said Kenison: “As an independent non-profit arts center, our goal is to share a love for the arts and enhance the cultural life and economic vitality of Livermore, while remaining fiscally balanced. For shows we present inside the theater, ticket sales typically cover just the cost of putting the artist on stage, not opening the theater on keeping the light on. We’re actively seeking a sponsor the ‘Evenings on the Green’ and exploring other options but, unlike Pleasanton which can offer city-sponsored concerts each Friday evening in the summer, we must work to seek opportunities where we can cover our costs.”

Educational Outreach

Education is a big piece of our performing arts center. It’s no secret that the arts can have a significant impact on our lives, especially young people’s. It’s why we work to keep ticket prices affordable for everyone.

“We are always looking to make live entertainment more accessible,” said Kenison. “We want everyone to be able to enjoy seeing a performance at the Bankhead.”

In addition, LVAC underwrites $20 student tickets year-round through the Education Fund. Both the Bankhead Theater and Bothwell Arts Center offer free events as well as other performances, visual arts, and cultural events all year long.

We look forward to seeing you and your entire family at the Bankhead this summer. Check out our events calendar today!  

Upcoming Events

Fri 18

Melissa Manchester

Fri, January 18 @ 8:00 pm
Sat 19

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Sat, January 19 @ 8:00 pm
Organizer: Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre
Sat 19

Django Shredders

Sat, January 19 @ 8:00 pm
Mon 21

Branford Marsalis Quartet

Mon, January 21 @ 7:30 pm

Call 925.373.6800 or email for tickets and information