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Jessica Brown

Event Preview: Sense and Sensibility

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Jane Austen remains one of the most popular and beloved authors of all time. She wrote with insight and wit about her own 18th century English upper middle class. In “Sense and Sensibility,” Austen describes the economic uncertainty created by the rules of male inheritance and the limited choices for women of the time. Based on one of her best novels, Aquila Theatre brings to life the story of the sisters’ complex circumstances and their pursuit of eventual happiness. This one-of-a-kind production takes place March 22nd at the Bankhead Theater. Keep reading to learn more about the event and the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center as a whole.

Let’s take a closer look at the plot of “Sense and Sensibility.” Basically, it revolves around the uncertainty brought about by the traditional practice of the first-born male inheriting the entire family fortune. As you might have guessed, this often left the rest of the family to fend for themselves. Women of the era didn’t have much say about their future. Their choices were limited and dictated by circumstances beyond their control. Frankly, the best hope for a secure future was a profitable marriage. Austen’s classic romantic comedy takes an inside look at the levelheaded, sensible Elinor and the hopelessly romantic Marianne. Along with their mother, the sisters are forced to leave their home and comfortable way of life soon after their father unexpectedly dies. The story is filled with hope, heartbreak, and unexpected twists as the characters struggle to find a new, successful future for themselves.

Now that you know a bit more about “Sense and Sensibility,” it’s important to understand Aquila Theatre. Based in New York, Aquila Theatre is critically acclaimed worldwide for skillful reinterpretations of classic plays in productions designed to captivate audiences. This particular version of “Sense and Sensibility” is directed by Desiree Sanchez and incorporates her unique use of space, movement, design, and sound. Take it from New York Theater Review, who describes the work of Sanchez as “polished and laser sharp. She gets the maximum amount of potential out of every stage moment and has exceptional attention to detail.”

For nearly three decades, Aquila has made the live theater experience more accessible for all audiences. When artistic director Peter Meineck founded Aquila, he wanted to share a deeper understanding of the plays we all know and love. It was Meineck’s hope that everyone could enjoy the ancient Greek dramas, the works of Shakespeare, and of course, new American classics. Members of Aquila Theatre tour on a regular basis and have been awarded for their creative, multidisciplinary, educational programs, and their outreach to underserved audiences in all sorts of communities. LVPAC is excited to partner with Aquila Theatre for what is expected to be an incredible performance.

The Performance

“Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility” takes place Thursday, March 22nd at the Bankhead Theater. Ticket prices range from $40 to $80. Please note that the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center offers discounted tickets for both students and active military personnel. We ask that you call or visit the box office to book these tickets.

The Bankhead Theater

The Bankhead Theater isn’t your average performing arts center. Since 2007, the Bankhead has welcomed countless artists and audiences, bringing them together to share the rich experience of a live performance. Our center for performing arts is proud to put on more than 40 events throughout the year. We present just about every genre you can think of, from authentic western swing and the Great American Songbook to smooth jazz and classic rock. That said, the Bankhead is more than just a concert venue. We encourage you to bring the entire family for dance, acrobatics, theater, opera shows, and comedy performances.

We continuously strive to make the arts accessible and affordable for everyone. When you bring a group of 10 or more people, you can save 10 percent on select LVPAC shows. So the next time you think about going to the arts, be sure to invite your family, friends, business associates, or club members to a performance.

If you’ve never been to the Bankhead Theater in Livermore, now is the time. The venue provides a truly intimate experience for artists and audiences alike.

See our events calendar for upcoming performances.

Event Preview: Danú

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St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. Do you have plans yet? If not, the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center invites you to our St. Patrick’s Eve Celebration at the Bankhead Theater. We are proud to welcome Danú, one of the most popular traditional Irish ensembles in 2018. Those in attendance will be treated to an enthralling mix of ancient Irish music and new repertoire on the night before the most Irish of holidays. If you’re familiar with Danú, you might know that the band members hail from Waterford, Cork, Dublin, and Donegal. As a group, Danú offers the music of their heritage in a performance that’s been called “impressive, immersive, and uniquely and unmistakably Irish.” Keep reading as we take a closer look at the group.

About Danú

Danú was formed in 1995 as part of Ireland’s delegation to the annual Lorient Interceltic Festival in France, the largest gathering of Celtic nations in the world. Just two years later, the group’s self-titled debut album was released to critical acclaim. Frankly, it didn’t take long for others to see how special Danú could be. In 1999, the group signed a multi-album record deal with the Record Label Shanachie Entertainment with whom they would release five albums and a DVD internationally between 2000 and 2006.

Let’s get to the sound of Danú now. For more than two decades, the group has been known for virtuosi players on flute, tin whistle, fiddle, button, accordion, bouzouki, and vocals (Irish and English). The group is no stranger to awards either. Danú has won numerous awards from the BBC and Irish Music magazine and toured Europe, the Middle East, and North America, performing at prestigious venues such as the Hollywood Bowl and Symphony Space in New York City. Thousands of listeners also tune in to hear Danú’s music in live broadcasts on National Public Radio, the CBC, and the BBC. Part of what makes the group’s sound so powerful is that they take audiences on a musical journey to their native Ireland, offering a moving and memorable concert experience.

Danú’s star vocalist, Nell Ní Chróinín, brought her own history of awards to the group when she joined in 2016. Her multiple awards include TG4 Traditional Singer of the Year 2012 and the recipient of the prestigious Oireactas ‘Corn Uí Riada award in 2014.

The Irish Times describes Danú as “a spirit-raising concoction.” Danú regularly sweeps audiences away on a musical journey to their native country in an experience that’s truly moving, authentic, and unforgettable. It’s safe to say there’s no better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Livermore.

The Performance

Danú is set to appear at the Bankhead Theater Thursday, March 16th at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $40 to $80 and are going quickly. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center also has discounted tickets available for students and active military personnel.

The Bankhead Theater

For years, our performing arts center has been the heart of a vibrant cultural arts community. The Bankhead is at the forefront of our efforts. This 507-seat venue regularly welcomes artists and audiences, bringing them together to share the rich experience of live performances. We are fortunate to put on more than 40 exceptional performances throughout the year. They aren’t limited to live music, either. Audience members also come to the Bankhead for dance, acrobatics, theater, opera shows, comedy, and much more.

There’s no question that exposure to the arts has the potential to transform lives. It’s why we’re dedicated to making performances affordable and accessible to everyone. Nothing quite compares to the intimate environment of the Bankhead. What exactly do we mean by this? Well, the Grammy Award-winning vocal group Chanticleer praised the venue for its perfect acoustics. For artists looking to make a transformation, a stop at the Bankhead is an absolute must.

Our Livermore arts center is an independent non-profit organization that operates the Bankhead, as well as the Bothwell and Downtown Art Studios. We invite you and your loved ones to share in the power of live performances. Interested in donating? LVPAC is an independent 501(c)3 organization offering wide-ranging programs that provide access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond.

See our events calendar for upcoming performances.

Our Role in the East Bay Jazz High School All Stars Band

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We want every student in the Tri-Valley area to have the chance to experience the arts each year. Whether it’s performances at schools put on by the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center or the free monthly events at the Bankhead Theater, we certainly try to do our part. Of course, there are also the fun workshops and master classes with visiting artists. In this post, though, we want to talk mainly about our part in the East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars Band.

LVPAC was instrumental in helping director Spencer Sussman get the program going. Basically, the East Bay Jazz High School All Stars program offers students a priceless opportunity for real-world performance experience. Here’s how it works: Each fall, members are selected by audition. Once the group is finalized, they perform both in a big band format as well as a smaller jazz combo. These all-stars are made up of students selected specifically for their ability to improvise. Our center for performing arts is proud to support the East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars by identifying opportunities and providing financial support through the Educational Fund.

More About the East Bay Jazz Music Program

If your high schooler is interested in a program dedicated to high-caliber musical performance and education, then tell them about the East Bay Jazz. The program’s big band and combo ensembles rehearse weekly and perform frequently between January to June. What can you expect your son or daughter to learn? For one thing, East Bay Jazz members fine-tune their skills within the jazz idiom. But it’s the real world performance experience that is simply second to none. There’s nothing better than East Bay Jazz students sharing our love of music with the community and beyond.

Let’s talk more about Spencer for a bit. The director is a tenor and bass trombonist, composer, arranger, and educator from San Francisco. Spencer holds a masters in jazz studies from San Jose State University, studying under the guidance of Scott Whitfield, Thomas Hornig, and Aaron Lington. Through the years, Spencer has performed with the likes of Jon Faddis, Jamie Davis, Clairdee, Fred Berry, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Spencer is no stranger to the international stage, performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Jazz a Vienne, and at venues across New Zealand. Without a doubt, Spencer has taken the East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars program to new heights.

How You Can Help Amplify the Performing Arts

It’s no secret that across the U.S., performing arts programs are suffering. Each year, LVPAC presents and produces over 250 arts events and activities. Then there’s the number of students we impact. We’re happy to say that we engage with more than 10,000 students and adult learners through the Arts in Education programs.    

So how exactly can you help us with our education outreach programs? There are five options to choose from:

  1. Membership – A gift of $125 or more automatically qualifies you for membership to the LVPAC. Membership gives you access to discounted tickets, pre-sale opportunities, and invitations to members-only events.
  2. Bricks and seats – The naming of a seat in the Bankhead Theater or a commemorative brick at the theater’s entrance or in the Madden Family Courtyard is tax-deductible. These specific donations provide underwriting for the many programs we have to offer. Think of bricks and seats as an investment in the future of LVPAC.
  3. Matching gifts – Matching Gift Programs are an easy way to increase the impact of your donation. Who knows? Maybe your employer will decide to double or even triple their tax-deductible contribution. We suggest that you see your human resource department for more information.
  4. Event sponsorship – Are you hoping to increase brand exposure while also supporting the arts? Event sponsorship is the perfect way to do that. Series sponsors reach an educated and affluent audience that supports our performing arts center. It’s a no-brainer!
  5. Legacy gifts – A legacy gift allows your charitable intention to be realized while also achieving the most favorable income tax benefits available.

Here at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, we do so much more than put on memorable events that involve live music or theatre. We also continually put educational outreach at the top of our priority list. Feel free to learn more about the East Bay Jazz High School All Stars music program.

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.  

Event Preview – Vicki Lawrence and Mama

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One of the most beloved television personalities of her generation, Vicki Lawrence is best known for her endearing character “Mama” from the legendary “Carol Burnett Show” and the top-rated, long-running spin-off “Mama’s Family.” On stage, the multi-talented entertainer easily demonstrates her versatility, as we will detail below. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is thrilled to welcome “A Two-Woman Show” to the Bankhead Theater in late-January.

About Vicki Lawrence


Born in Inglewood, California, Lawrence had originally planned on being a dental hygienist. But things changed in high school when she auditioned for and got into the musical group “The Young Americans.” Lawrence gained much experience from touring, performing at the Oscars, coming into contact with the likes of Johnny Mathis and Louis Armstrong, as well as performing on the Andy Williams Show. Soon after completing high school, Lawrence entered the Miss Fireball of Inglewood contest for the local firefighter’s ball. Interestingly, a newspaper reporter wrote a story about the contest and stated that Lawrence resembled a young Carol Burnett. Lawrence’s mother urged her to write a letter to Burnett, which she did. As it turns out, Lawrence won the contest with Burnett in attendance to crown her. Ironically, Burnett was looking for an actress at the time to play her younger sister Chrissy in the “Carol and Sis” sketches. Both Burnett and Harvey Korman would take Lawrence under their wings, which Lawrence refers to today as the “Harvard school of comedy.”

Lawrence and Burnett were the only cast members to stay on the show from 1967 to 1978. Her portrayal of the Mama character on The Carol Burnett Show’s “The Family” sketches was so popular that NBC created the sitcom Mama’s Family to elaborate on the character. The series ran from 1983 to 1985 and then again from 1986 to 1990.

Lawrence has made appearances on other programs such as Laverne & Shirley, Major Dad, Roseanne, Hannah Montana, and Yes, Dear. In 1985, Lawrence starred in the comedy pilot Anything for Love, which co-starred Lauren Tewes and Rebecca Arthur. Not only that, but Lawrence has appeared with Burnett, Korman, and Tim Conway in the Burnett show retrospectives that were broadcast in 1993, 2001, and 2004.  


In terms of music, Lawrence is most known for her number-one hit, “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” a song first written by her first husband Bobby Russell. The song sold over two million copies after being released in November 1972 and was awarded a gold disc by the Recording Industry Association of America the following April. Lawrence received her gold record by surprise from Burnett during the last episode of the sixth season of The Carol Burnett Show. Lawrence’s “He Did With Me” reached as high as number 75 in the U.S. and number one in Australia. She followed it up the next two years with “Ships in the Night (1974) and “The Other Woman” (1975). In 1979, Lawrence released a disco album called Newborn Woman in 1979.

The Performance

On Friday, January 26th, you have the chance to see Vicki Lawrence & Mama at the Bankhead Theater. Ticket prices range from $50 to $100. Keep in mind that the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center offers student and active military prices for all performances. If you’re interested in booking these tickets, please call or visit the box office. We are happy to help.

The Bankhead Theater

There’s no other venue in the area quite like the Bankhead. For more than a decade, it’s welcomed a wide range of artists and audiences. Whether it’s live music, comedy, or theatre, the Bankhead provides a truly intimate experience for everyone. Our team at LVPAC understands that exposure to the arts has the potential to transform lives. It’s why our center for performing arts is dedicated to making the arts affordable and accessible.

The LVPAC Presents series includes more than 40 incredible performances throughout the year. Whether you’re interested in authentic western swing, classic rock, smooth jazz, world music, dance, acrobatics, or comedy, our performing arts center definitely has an event for you in 2018! Now is the perfect time to start taking in the arts.

Check out our events calendar for more upcoming performances.

Event Preview: Marc Cohn

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In a singularly intimate concert experience, Marc Cohn will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his Grammy Award-winning debut album by performing it in its entirety, from the iconic opening track “Walking in Memphis,” to “True Companion,” accompanied by photos and video from his personal archives. Cohn, one of this generation’s most compelling singer/songwriters, is a natural storyteller with the precision of a brilliant tunesmith and the passion of a great soul man. He has the ability to balance the exuberant with the poignant and distill universal truths from real-life tales. Together with his special guests, legendary gospel group Blind Boys of Alabama, Cohn will share songs that have stood the test of time and have remained audience favorites for decades. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is excited to welcome Cohn to the Bankhead Theater in mid-January.

About Marc Cohn

Cohn learned to play guitar and started writing songs when he was in junior high school. He later taught himself to play the piano while attending Oberlin College. After transferring to UCLA and performing in Los Angeles-area coffeehouses, Cohn moved to New York City. He got started demoing songs for writers such as Jimmy Webb, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller. In 1987, Cohn performed two songs on the Phil Ramone-produced concept album of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, Music and Songs from Starlight Express.

Cohn served as a backing pianist for Tracy Chapman on her second album, which led him to his debut solo album two years later. Hit song “Walking in Memphis,” which was nominated for Song of the Year and Best Pop Vocal at the Grammy Award, put Cohn on the map. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1992 and certified Platinum in 1996. “True Companion,” a popular lovers song, even became the soundtrack to a marriage proposal aired on US television’s The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. That year, Cohn won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

In 1993, Cohn released his second studio album, The Rainy Season. It included notables such as David Crosby, Graham Nash, and Bonnie Raitt. The album reached as high as number 63 on the charts. Two years later, Cohn wrote the song “My Great Escape” for the 1995 Peter Horton film The Cure. The song can be heard during the film’s opening sequence. Cohn released his third solo, Burning the Daze, in 1998. He was joined by several popular artists, including country music’s Rosanne Cash.   

Cohn had quite the year in 2005. For one thing, he compiled and self-released a live album called Live 04-05. In August, he was shot in the head during an attempted carjacking in Denver while on tour with Suzanne Vega. Cohn had to be hospitalized for observation but was released after eight hours. Doctors told Cohn he was “the luckiest unlucky guy they had met in a long, long time.” Such adversity, along with the events of Hurricane Katrina, contributed to the emotion that he introduced in the track “Dance Back from the Grave,” in Join the Parade.

From 2006 to 2016, Cohn released three compilations:

    • The Very Best of Marc Cohn (June 2006)
    • Listening Booth: 1970 (2010) – This was a collection of cover songs that were originally released during the titular year. The album peaked at number 28 on the Billboard 200 chart. Cohn crosses genres from rock to soul to folk and pop in this album.
    • Careful What You Dream: Lost Songs and Rarities (2016) – This was a collection of demos written and recorded more than 25 years before.

The Performance

Together with special guests Blind Boys of Alabama, Cohn will be appearing at the Bankhead Theater Friday, January 19th at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $60 to $110. Our center for performing arts is proud to offer student and active military prices for all performances. Please call or visit the box office to book these tickets.

From theatre performances to live music, the Bankhead provides a truly intimate experience for audiences and artists alike. Get your tickets today for Marc Cohn & Blind Boys of Alabama, as they’re expected to sell out quickly.

Don’t forget to check out our events calendar for other must-see performances in 2018!

Become a Member Today!

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Whether this is your first time here or you’re a regular attendee, you’ll find that the Bankhead Theater is more than just a performance venue. This is the place to gather with friends, enjoy curated art exhibits, discover entertainment from around the globe, and share a love for the arts with others. Our goal is to provide a wealth of varied arts experiences for everyone in the Tri-Valley community and beyond.

The Benefits of Membership

As a member, your donations directly support our efforts in every way. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit. We are not owned or operated by the city, so we do not receive ongoing local government support. Many people don’t realize that our ticket sales at the Bankhead cover only a portion of artist fees and production costs.  As a non-profit, we are dependent on the generosity of our members. Your membership not only helps bring quality entertainment to the Bankhead, it also supports arts education outreach to local schools and across our diverse community. Just last year, nearly 11,000 students benefited from more than 30 master classes, concerts, and assemblies provided by our artists and resident companies. Membership also helps provide local artists with affordable classroom and studio space at the Bothwell Arts Center.

With a variety of incredible performances scheduled for the fall and winter, there’s no better time to discover all that we have to offer than right now. In addition to knowing that they have made a difference in the arts, members also receive benefits such as a 10 percent ticket discount to LVPAC Presents shows all year long. Members will enjoy early notification of new shows, priority ticket purchase, as well as exclusive member events and access to the VIP room at higher levels.

Matching Gifts

Please help us bridge the financial gap not covered by ticket sales with an investment in LVPAC. Thanks to the combination of tax-deductible gifts from foundations, corporations, and individuals like you, we can continue to bring high-quality products and education programs to the entire community. One way to increase the impact of your donation is to have your employer match it. There are plenty of companies out there that will double or triple individual tax-deductible contributions made by their employees. These Matching Gifts programs may also be available to retired employees and to the spouse/widow/widower of employees. Some companies also match volunteer hours with a cash equivalent donation. Click HERE for a partial list of companies that match donations. For additional information about Matching Gifts and how they work, talk with your human resources department.

Legacy Giving

Some donors choose to leave a legacy gift to the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center in support of our efforts to share the arts in the community. If you would be interested in making such a gift to benefit future generations, please contact our development office at (925) 583-2305

Our development staff is dedicated to providing members with personal customer service and to help fulfill your charitable goals. Give our development team a call at (925) 583-2305 or join online by clicking HERE.


About the Bankhead Theater

The intimate 507-seat venue is an acoustic jewel, located in the center of our downtown arts community. For more than a decade, the Bankhead Theater has welcomed a wide range of artists and audiences, bringing them together to share the rich experience of live performance. What makes the Bankhead such a jewel? It offers a rich environment for growth on both sides of the footlights, artists of all genres have commented on its unmatched acoustics and the pleasure of performing within its intimate walls. As a member, enjoy the wonder of the Bankhead on a regular basis.

Upcoming Events

As mentioned above, there isn’t a better time than now to become a LVPAC member. Here are just a few of the upcoming theater and live music performances to look forward to at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center:


  • Late Night Catechism “Sister’s Christmas Catechism” – Friday, December 1
  • The Hot Sardines – Monday, December 11
  • An Irish Christmas – Thursday, December 21
  • Olate Dogs – Saturday, December 23
  • New Year’s Eve at the Bankhead – Sunday, January 31


  • Dave Coulier – Friday, January 5
  • Richard Glazier “He’s Playing Our Song” with Karen Marguth – Saturday, January 6
  • Marc Cohn & Blind Boys of Alabama – Friday, January 19
  • Five for Fighting with String Quartet – Wednesday, January 24
  • Vicki Lawrence and Mama – Friday, January 26


  • Moscow Festival Ballet: Cinderella – Tuesday, February 6
  • Reduced Shakespeare “William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play” – Friday, February 9
  • DLux Puppets: Alice in Wonderland – Sunday February 11
  • Second City – Friday, February 16
  • Lee Ann Womack – Monday, February 19
  • International Guitar Night – Friday, February 23
  • Jake Shimabukuro – Sunday February 25

See the entire list of upcoming events here and start enjoying the arts the way you’ve always wanted! Become a member today.

Celebrate Chinese New Year with LVPAC

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While some popular U.S. holidays are just around the corner, so too is the Chinese New Year. Also known as the “Spring Festival” in modern China, the day is celebrated at the beginning of Chinese calendar. Maybe you remember that 2017 was the year of the Rooster. In 2018, however, the year of the Dog will be initiated Friday, February 16th. Keep reading to learn more about the Chinese New Year and how you can celebrate with the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.

Chinese New Year History

Long ago, the New Year festival served as a time to honor deities and ancestors. Legend has it that things all started with a mythical beast called the Nian. This beast was known for eating villagers, especially children. Then one year, all the villagers except one decided to hide from Nian. It turned out that one was an old man wanting to seek revenge on the beast. So he went out and put red papers out and set off firecrackers. The following day, the villagers came back to see their town had not been destroyed like was usually the case. They came to realize that Nian was afraid of the color red and loud noises. Thanks to the old man, a tradition began. Whenever the New Year was about to come, the villagers would wear red clothes, hang red lanterns, and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. Not to mention, everyone used firecrackers to frighten away Nian. Never again did the beast wreak havoc in the village. In fact, he was eventually captured by an ancient Taoist monk named Hongjun Laozu.

Preceding Days

Each day of the Chinese New Year brings something different. That said, Chinese families place great importance on the days immediately before the celebration. For example, they usually give their homes a thorough cleaning. It’s believed the cleaning literally sweeps away the bad luck of the previous year and makes their homes ready to receive good luck. Brooms and dustpans are then put away on the first day of the New Year so that newly arrived good luck can’t be swept away by mistake. The days before aren’t just intended for cleaning, though. Purchasing new shoes and clothing symbolize a fresh start. Interestingly, haircuts must be completed beforehand, as cutting hair on New Year is thought to bring bad luck. Lastly, businesses are expected to pay off outstanding debt from the previous year.

Let’s look at the rest of the festivities:

  1. New Year’s Eve – The annual Reunion dinner is the biggest part of any Chinese New Year’s Eve. The meal is comparable to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
  2. First day – Those celebrating use the first day to honor one’s elders, while families visit the oldest and most senior members.
  3. Second day – Traditionally, the second day was reserved for married daughters being given a chance to visit their birth parents, relatives, and close friends.
  4. Third day – Day three is considered an unlucky day to host guests or go visiting for that matter. Those celebrating use the third day as a chance to visit the temple of the God of Wealth and have one’s future told.
  5. Fourth day – For those who celebrate Chinese New Year, this is when spring dinners begin and businesses return to normal.

LVPAC’s Chinese New Year Celebration

The Chinese New Year may still be a few months away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be excited about it! As with our other cultural arts programs, you can expect the event we hold to include plenty of music, dancing, food, crafts, clothing, and other traditions. Be sure to come back to the website for additional details as we get closer to February 16th.

Performing Arts Education Outreach

Arts education is a big part of what we do at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center. Our ultimate goal is for every student in the area to experience the arts on a regular basis. It’s why we offer many fun educational activities and free monthly family events. We even put on workshops and master classes with visiting artists. Keep in mind that portions of our activities and cultural arts programs, in particular, are underwritten through generous contributions and matching gifts to our education fund.

Now is the perfect time to become a member of our performing arts center. From theatre performances to live music, we have something the whole family will love.

The Benefits of Arts Education

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Now that school is back in session, it’s a good idea to think about how to help your child get a leg up in the classroom. One way is through a strong arts education. The performing arts not only enrich our lives, culture, and communities, but they are also vital to a young person’s education. Research shows that exposure to art education promotes self-directed learning, improves school attendance, and sharpens critical and creative skills. Those with an interest in the arts also have an easier time in classes such as reading, math, and social studies. In this blog post, we will dive more into the benefits of arts education and the educational outreach programs of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.

Why Should Children Take in the Performing Arts?

Some parents believe that since their children are doing well in the classroom, they don’t need to do anything more to stimulate academic development. But that just isn’t the case. The knowledge that stems from the arts can’t be replicated in a normal classroom setting. With that in mind, here are some key benefits of an arts education:

  • Higher scores on achievement tests – Students with high arts involvement tend to perform better on standardized achievement tests in comparison to students with low arts involvement, according to research. Keep in mind that those who branch out to the arts watch fewer hours of television, participate in more community service, and report less boredom in school.
  • Improved cognition skills and attention for learning – Young students who are motivated in the arts develop attention skills and memory retrieval that also apply to other subject areas.
  • Development of skills highly valued by employers – More than ever before, employers are looking for traits of innovation and creativity in job candidates. Organizations value those who can think critically, solve a problem, work as a team, and come up with an out-of-the-box solution when necessary. It’s not surprising that arts education can help build each of these skills.

How the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is Helping

The goal at LVPAC is to ensure that every student in the Tri-Valley is given the chance to experience the arts each year through a variety of educational activities. LVPAC presents performances at schools, as well as the Bankhead Theater. We also provide free monthly family events as well as workshops and master classes with visiting artists. You can feel comfortable knowing that portions of these activities are underwritten through generous contributions and matching gifts to our education fund.   

How to Contribute

We put a great deal of energy into our educational outreach programs. To learn more about these programs that support school/family performances and students tickets or to donate, please contact our development staff at 925-583-2305.      

Looking for a unique way to contribute to our arts education? We are fortunate to be able to offer a gift box featuring three Gold Medal -winning Livermore Valley wines in the recent San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The wines are perfectly packed in a natural pine wooden box with the Livermore Arts Bankhead Theater logo. The box includes one bottle each of Cuda Ridge Wines 2013 Malbec, 1846 by Nottingham Cellars 2014 Chardonnay, and Mia Nipote 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. The proceeds of this one-of-a-kind gift box support the LVPAC Education Fund. Please note that your purchase must be picked up at the Bankhead lobby between noon and 6 p.m.

Theater Etiquette

We love seeing young patrons enjoying our theater and live music performances, especially for the first time! If your child has never been to the arts, here are few rules of etiquette that they must follow:

  • Outside food and beverages are not allowed (including gum).
  • Take care of personal needs in advance so you don’t have to leave your seat until either intermission or the end of the performance.
  • Photography of any kind is prohibited. Please silence any electronic devices prior to the beginning of the show.
  • Please refrain from talking or singing along, except when encouraged to do so by the artist.
  • Please do not put your feet up on the chairs or railing in front of you and do not kick the chair in front of you.
  • Please sit in your assigned seat so you do not cause confusion for other audience members. Should you need further assistance, please consult the nearest usher.

For more information on how you can get your child involved with the arts, feel free to contact LVPAC.

Upcoming Events

Sat 24

Austin Huntington

Sat, March 24 @ 8:00 pm
Organizer: Del Valle Fine Arts
Sun 25


Sun, March 25 @ 3:00 pm
Thu 29

Dr. Ben Santer

Thu, March 29 @ 7:30 pm
Apr 01

Susara Gee Dehena

Sun, April 1 @ 4:00 pm

Call 925.373.6800 or email for tickets and information