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Jessica Brown

Event Preview: Riders in the Sky

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Since the passing of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, Riders in the Sky have kept the musical flame of Western music alive. Riders in the Sky not only retain the integrity of the genre, but they also brand it with their own wacky humor and unique Western wit. Their hit, “Woody’s Round-Up” from Disney’s Toy Story 2, made Riders in the Sky the lone western band to win a Grammy Award.

The two-time Grammy Award winners are set to make their highly anticipated appearance in the Bankhead Theater at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center. See below to learn more about Riders in the Sky and their illustrious career.

Riders in the Sky

It’s incredible to think that a wildlife manager – galvanizer – Life Scout, an English major – shot putter – Bluegrass Boy, and a Polka Hall of Famer would come together to eventually become “America’s Favorite Cowboys.” The Riders in the Sky first performed nearly 40 years ago in Nashville’s “Phranks & Steins.” Since then, they’ve gone on to make over 6,000 concert appearances in all 50 states, as well as 10 countries. In 1982, Riders in the Sky became the first exclusively Western music group to join the Grand Ole Opry, the longest running radio show in history.

They’ve been mainstays on television, including TNN and a Saturday morning series on CBS. The Riders in the Sky have even shared the screen with the like of Daffy Duck on Cartoon Network and Stanley on Disney Channel. As previously mentioned, though, the Riders in the Sky continue to be most recognized for their work in Toy Story 2. That set the stage for following year, in which they notched a second Grammy for “Monsters Inc. – Scream Factory Favorites.”

So what exactly has made Riders in the Sky a hit across multiple generations? The group has an uncanny way to appeal to a diverse and broad-based cross section of the public. They can amuse a theatre full of children, as well as an audience full of servicemen. Riders have routinely performed at the White House for both Democratic and Republican administrations and at Major League Baseball’s winter meetings.

The Riders in the Sky are in the Western Music Association’s Hall of Fame, the Country Music Foundation’s Walkway of Stars, and of course, the Walk of Western Stars. They’ve been named “Entertainer of the Year” seven times and won “Traditional Group of the Year” and “Traditional Album of the Year” multiple times.

What others are saying

“In just a few seconds of sweet Western harmony, the Riders can take you back to a time and place where you’ve never spent a moment.” – The Detroit News

“Riders in the Sky are carrying the torch, keeping alive the nearly forgotten campfire songs of the cowboys and the wonderful old songs that celebrated the spirit of the old Wild West.” – Times-Union, Albany

“A mix of both classic and original western songs, smooth harmony, hot locks, and slapstick comedy.” – Grand Rapids Herald

 The Performance

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is set to welcome the Riders in the Sky for a performance Friday, April 28 at 8 p.m in the Bankhead Theater. Ticket prices range from $50 to $80 and are expected to go fast, so be sure to books yours today. For ticket booking, please call or visit the box office and ensure your spot for what’s expected to be a fun, memorable evening.

Don’t forget that LVPAC is your home for upcoming concerts, symphony, ballet performances, opera shows, and so much more. Contact us now for ticket information or other general information regarding our venues.

Event Preview: Lucie Arnaz

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For 25 years, Lucie Arnaz has appeared on stage, in films, and as a solo artist in theaters and nightclubs worldwide. Lucie, the daughter of television royalty Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, has since created her own fiery, explosive, and heartfelt musical tribute to the rhythm of her roots. Audience members simply love her show, which mixes sophistication with sassy spice as she sets songs from Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and Johnny Mercer alongside tunes by Agustin Lara, Rafael Hernandez, and Margarita Lecuona.

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is ecstatic to welcome such an icon to the Bankhead Theater. Keep reading to learn more about Lucie, as well as additional show information.

Get to Know Lucie Arnaz

Lucie began her career in a recurring role on TV’s The Lucy Show opposite her mother. At age 15, she became a regular on Here’s Lucy, while later starring in The Lucie Arnaz Show and Sons & Daughters on CBS.

Soon after, Lucie took to the big screen as she received a Golden Globe nomination for her role alongside Neil Diamond in The Jazz Singer. She also starred in roles opposite Tom Laughlin, Ken Howard, Freddie Prinze, Jr., and Henry Winkler. Lucie even co-starred with the likes of Richard Roundtree, Robert Loggia, and bob Forster in Wild Seven.

The incredibly talented Lucie played a handful of the best women’s roles in theatre, including Sally Bowles in Cabaret and Daisy Mae in L’il Abner. During one summer, Lucie earned the coveted role of Sonia Wolsk in the popular musical They’re Playing Our Song, for which she received The Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Circle, Theatre World, and outer Critic’s Circle Awards. It was there in 1979 where Lucie met her husband, Laurence Luckinbill.

The two married in 1990 and appeared together in Educating Rita, I Do, I Do, and They’re Playing Our Song. Lucie  Lucie soon returned to Broadway where she continued to receive rave reviews, particularly for her role of Bella in Lost in Yonkers by Neil Simon. In 2001, Lucie and her brother produced the I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary Special, which aired on CBS and received an Emmy nomination. Five years later, Lucie opened in Sonia Flew, where she co-starred with her youngest child.

Over the years, Lucie has brought down the house just about everywhere you can imagine across the U.S. and Europe. From Las Vegas to Atlantic City, she has sold out a wide variety of venues, such as the world famous Birdland Jazz Club.

In 2010, Lucie served as the Artistic Director for Babalu! – a celebration of the Latin music craze of the ‘40s and ‘50s as seen through the music of the Desi Arnaz Orchestra. The group opened the 40th season of the Lyric and Lyricist Series in New York City. As recently as two years ago, Lucie played Berthe in the national touring company of “Pippin,” where she performed upside down nightly in a trapeze act alongside original cast member John Rubenstein.

What others are saying

“She sings like a dream. Her voice, with its muted trumpet tones and charming trill, is a remarkable instrument.” – New York Post

The Venue

The 507-seat Bankhead Theater continues to bring artists and audiences together for incredible performances. Once you step into the venue and take in a show at the Bankhead, it doesn’t take long to enjoy the perfect acoustics. Our team at LVPAC knows that exposure to the performing arts has the potential to transform lives. That’s why we do whatever possible to ensure that everyone can enjoy our performances. Not to mention, we offer plenty of family-friendly shows, while nearly all LVPAC Presents events are priced at just $16. From live music and entertainment shows to musical shows and theater, see what makes the Bankhead a true one-of-a-kind experience.

The Performance

Lucie Arnaz makes her appearance at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 29 at 8 p.m. Ticket prices for the event range from $80 to $100 at the Bankhead Theater. Be sure to call or visit the box office to book your tickets. As with all of our events, LVPAC is proud to offer student and active military prices.

 

Event Preview: Judgment at Nuremberg

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Judgment at Nuremberg, based on one of the most popular courtroom dramas of the last century, became an Academy Award-winning film and stage play. The piece has an uncanny ability to leave an audience both unsettled and wanting to know more. In Judgment at Nuremberg, the characters play out a high-stakes game against the backdrop of a looming Cold War, shifting political alliances, as well as fresh memories from World War II.

L.A. Theatre Works returns to the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center and Bankhead Theater with the production of Judgment at Nuremberg. The Nuremberg Trials continue to be remembered as a major turning point in our global narrative. These particular events forever impacted our notions of judgment, retribution, and vengeance.

See below for a snippet of the Q&A segment that can be found in our theater program the night of the event. It features producing director Susan Albert Loewenberg and some of her insights into the historical backdrop of the story.

Q:  The play is based on the war tribunals after WWII. It was a multi-country effort (led by the United States) to hold Nazi war criminals accountable for their crimes against humanity. Does the play demonstrate, and at what cost, that justice was served?

SL: The play does not take a stance on history, nor does it come to a conclusion on whether justice was served. Rather, it presents a moral argument—what is “justice” for something as horrific as the Holocaust? The play demonstrates what it takes to have that conversation, and how important it is to have it. The play asks, “What is justice in today’s global narrative?” It also explores whether an independent judiciary can be truly independent in a politically-charged environment. 

Q: The play explores the aftermath of one of the darkest times in world history. What makes this piece, set more than half a century ago, relevant today? What lessons were learned or ignored? 

SL: The Nuremberg trials forever impacted our notions of jurisprudence, retribution, and vengeance, and there seems to be no more timely moment for them to be discussed than right now. In today’s world, how can we possibly talk about what is “fair” or “right” when grappling with genocide, police brutality, and acts of terrorism? In order to maintain stability, rules must be upheld, and retributions inflicted—the trials taught us this. In the face of unspeakable horror, what is good and what is bad becomes blurred. The play defines the role of judgment and personal responsibility in a world where “right” and “wrong” have lost definite meaning.

The Performance

Judgment at Nuremberg will take place Wednesday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Bankhead Theater. Ticket prices for the event range from $35 to $60. Remember that our performing arts center offers student and active military prices. Please give us a call or visit the box office to book your tickets.

From stage plays and live music to musical shows and theater, see why LVPAC is the premier spot for performing arts enthusiasts. Hurry and book your tickets to Judgment at Nuremberg, as they’re selling fast!

Event Preview: IN THE MOOD

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Are you ready to celebrate the greatest generation of music from the 1940s? The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center will be welcoming IN THE MOOD, America’s favorite big band musical. Take a step back time in time with the music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, The Andrews Sisters, and others of the time period.

As explained on their website, IN THE MOOD is a celebration of the music from 1930s and 40s, what music lovers often refer to as the Big Band era. There hasn’t really been a time since that all Americans have listened and danced to the same kind of music. IN THE MOOD features a one-of-a-kind 13-piece String of Pearls Big Band Orchestra, as well as fabulous singers and dancers. This musical is certain to create some nostalgia for the audience, as the great melodies and lyrics from decades ago are presented in a way that is jazzy, sentimental, rhythmic, and patriotic. When it comes to performances that give a nod to the Big Band era, nobody does it better than IN THE MOOD. From the live music arrangements to the costumes and choreography, this performance is as authentic as it gets.

History buffs tend to look back at the Big Band decades and think of a prosperous, happy America. At this point in time, thousands of young people were leaving home to defend our country, which meant plenty of anxiousness for when the war would end and loved ones would reunite. IN THE MOOD portrays these types of emotions in American life perfectly. Remember that swing music inspired America with a vision for a future filled with hope, promise, and even more prosperity. Overall, this kind of music helped sustain the nation’s morale during World War II.

For decades, IN THE MOOD has captivated audiences to the point where crowds lined up for hours prior to curtain time. Take one of their 1993 performances, for example, when thousands of patrons attended an outside performance on Constitution Avenue and stayed hours after to dance the night away. The next two years, IN THE MOOD went on a series of tours that played to audiences across the nation. The band and singers became so popular that they were selected to be part of the entertainment for one of President Clinton’s inauguration balls.

IN THE MOOD has been touring for nearly 25 years and remains a must-see. The group has even expanded out of the U.S. and into international locales across Canada, New Zealand, and The Netherlands. Today, the performance features a unique mix of permanent Swing Era songs and selections from the huge body of music from these decades.

IN THE MOOD Reviews

Here are just a few of the recent reviews from the tour:

“What a great show. My sisters and I absolutely enjoyed every single moment. It was so moving when they had the active and veterans from each branch of the military stand. As well as the sailor and nurse kiss in Times Square at war’s end. The music was wonderful and the singing and dancing on stage had us wanting get up and dance too. Would definitely recommend this show to any age. I am the youngest of the three and I just LOVED it!”

“I loved it. My 14 year old son loved it. My 76 year old father loved it. The music was great. My son plays saxophone, flute and trumpet and thoroughly enjoyed the music. My dad had a memorable time. Favorite moment: When the band, cast, and audience acknowledged the Veterans and Active Duty Servicemen and women for their service to our country.”

The Performance

IN THE MOOD will have two performances Tuesday, March 21. The first will be a 2 p.m., with a second show at 7 p.m.

A Busy March at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center

Come join us for a variety of performances in March! Here’s what we currently have on our events calendar.

Friday, March 3 – An Evening with Betty Buckley

Saturday, March 4 – It’s Magic: A Thrilling New Show of Magic and Mystery

Saturday, March 11 – The Marriage of Figaro by Amadeus Mozart, East Bay Jazz High School All Stars Band

Thursday, March 16 – Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers

Friday, March 17 – Intergalactic Nemesis III

Tuesday, March 21 – IN THE MOOD

Thursday, March 23 – Dr. Alan Ashworth

Friday, March 24 – Kahulanui

Saturday, March 25 – Escher Quartet

Friday, March 31 – Rhythmic Circus “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now”

Event Preview: Last of the Red Hot Lovers

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In 1969, the play Last of the Red Hot Lovers opened on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. The comedy by Neil Simon finally closed nearly two years later, but not after 706 performances. Several members of the original cast were nominated for Tony Awards. Just a few weeks from now, those in Livermore and the Bay Area will be treated to a live performance of this newly conceived production of Simon’s classic play.

The play gets started as the audience is introduced to the middle-aged Barney Cashman. The happily married father and restaurant owner is essentially going through a midlife crisis. Comedy quickly ensues as Barney looks for something new and different. That change comes when Barney realizes that he wants to experience his secret fantasies and dreams, leading him to have an affair. The 47-year-old tries three different times with different women, but each time, something comes up that prevents the affair from happening.

Over the span of nine months, Barry invites three different women to his mother’s Manhattan apartment. The first two women are pegged as sexually liberated women from the 1960s. Barry’s first is a married woman named Elaine Navazio, who frequently engages in affairs simply because she enjoys the rush. Barry, on the other hand, is nervous and wants their time together to be meaningful. A frustrated Elaine storms out, leaving Barry by himself. Though he promises himself to never be attempted again, he repeats the awkward experience with Bobbi Michele, a younger actress friend and Jeannette Fisher, his wife’s best friend and a staunch moralist.

Last of the Red Hot Lovers takes a variety of themes into consideration, including mortality, the generation gap, an era of drastic changes in accepted standards of mortality, and others. Even more so, Simon’s work examines what it means to grow older and ponder whether or not one has lived life to the fullest.

The comedic plot comes to a close when Barney rediscovers love in the last place he thought to look. In 1972, the play was made into a hit film starring Alan Arkin and Sally Kellerman. Now it’s time to fall in love with it all over again.

Last of the Red Hot Lovers will be performed Thursday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bankhead Theater. Tickets range from $35-60.

Things to Know About Our Performing Arts Center

After you purchase your tickets to any of our events, we recommend that you plan your visit accordingly so that your time with us is enjoyable.

Here are several tips when planning your visit:

  • Parking is free! Keep in mind that there’s a drop-off/pickup area located on Railroad Avenue, on the right side of the street, before you reach the stoplight to enter the parking garage. Click here for more information regarding directions and parking.
  • Please be aware the wheelchair accessible seats can’t be purchased online. You must call our Ticket Office for seating arrangements. Our center for performing arts offers handicapped-reserved spaces in the parking garage, an elevator on the main lobby, free assistive listening devices, as well as fully accessible restrooms in the main and upper lobbies.
  • In terms of house rules, the theater lobby opens one hour prior to performance time. Every performance will begin promptly at the advertised time on the event calendar. Please note that no food or beverages are permitted in the auditorium and that we don’t allow photography, video, or sound recording. As a service to others, we will ask that patrons silence all electronics and wireless devices.
  • LVPC requires a paid ticket for every person entering the theater, including infants and children. Though we have a number of family shows, please keep in mind that silence is necessary to fully enjoy the performance and that it may not be best for small children to attend certain events.
  • We offer a full-service concessions area located in the Garden Courtyard Foyer on the east side of the theater lobby to enhance your experience. Choose from a variety of desserts, coffee, tea, juices, soft drinks, as well as award-winning wine and beer. The courtyard includes plenty of tables and chairs, in addition to soothing water and colorful garden paintings.

Event Preview: The Marriage of Figaro

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As the calendar flips to March, we are excited to have another event-filled month at Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center. Headlining the next few weeks will be several performances of The Marriage of Figaro by Amadeus Mozart, the comic opera composed by Amadeus Mozart.

The play takes place in the castle of Aguas Frescas outside of Seville in the late eighteenth century. The opening act begins as the engaged Figaro and Susanna are preparing for their wedding day. Figaro is happy with what will be their new room, however, Susanna is perturbed by the room’s proximity to where the Count sleeps. Susanna explains that the Count has been making advances toward her and plans on reinstating the right of a lord to bed a servant girl on her wedding night before her husband can sleep with her. Naturally, Figaro becomes irate and begins his plot to outwit the Count. The Count, meanwhile, plans to do whatever he needs to in order to avoid Figaro’s traps and sleep with Susanna.

Those aren’t the only characters that the audience is introduced to, though. Along with the Countess, we also learn about Dr. Bartolo and Marcellina. It doesn’t take long to realize that Dr. Bartolo holds a grudge against Figaro. Marcellina, who used to work for Dr. Bartolo, is awaiting for money from Figaro. If the Count’s servant fails to pay on his debt to Marcellina, the two are to be married. The final two major characters are Cherubino and Barbarina. Cherubino, who also works for the Count, is constantly having trouble while dealing with puberty. Barbarina, a teenage peasant girl, has a crush on Cherubino.

There are a number of other plots and sub-plots involved in The Marriage of Figaro. While much of the attention is on the Count, Figaro, and Susanna, the other characters find themselves in predicaments throughout the play as well. For example, Marcellina plots with Dr. Bartolo to prevent Figaro’s wedding. Susanna’s goal is to not only avoid the Count, but also restore his love for the Countess. At the same time, Susanna and Figaro go through a power struggle as their wedding day looms.

As you can imagine, there’s no shortage of madness and comedy in the play. Toward the end, the characters wind up in the garden at midnight in an attempt to keep all their secrets. The Count, ironically, winds up wooing his own wife by mistake. A baffled Count then tries to shame his Countess when he thinks he’s caught her with Figaro. However, it backfires and he turns out to be the one who’s embarrassed in front of everyone. The always patient Countess forgives her partner after he falls to his knees and begs forgiveness. After a wild and wacky day for everyone, the characters are finally happy that things ended in love, and that fidelity has been restored.

Even today, The Marriage of Figaro remains one of the greatest masterpieces of comedy in music. We will get started Saturday, March 11 at 4:30 p.m. with an Opening Night Gala Dinner at Uncle Yu’s. The first showing will follow at 7:30 p.m.

Additional Showings   

  • Sunday, March 12 at 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 19 at 2 p.m.

More About the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center

For years, the Bankhead Theater has hosted one incredible performance after the next. In its first season, it hosted more than 200 performances and civic events, captivating more than 76,000 individuals. The Bankhead also reached more than 14,000 school children across Livermore and the Bay Area. Our mission continues to be to provide access to performances and events that stir the imagination, creativity, and emotion while serving as the heart of a vibrant cultural arts community.

Our LVPAC Presents series features more than 40 performances each year. We feature a wide variety of live music genres, from authentic western swing and the Great American Songbook to classic rock, smooth jazz, and world music. Of course, we’re also the go-to choice for dance, acrobatics, theater, opera shows and comedy. The Bankhead provides a truly extraordinary atmosphere when it comes to experiencing the arts.

Event Preview: The Chieftains

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In a matter of weeks, the Livermore Performing Arts Center in will be hosting The Chieftains, a six-time Grammy Award-winning Irish band. The Chieftains have earned global acclaim for reinventing the traditional Irish sound.

The group formed in Dublin in November of 1962 by Paddy Moloney, Sean Potts, and Michael Tubridy. Their sound is largely built almost entirely around instrumental and uilleann pipes. The Chieftains are widely regarded as having helped take Irish music across the world to the next level.

At a young age, Moloney had a sense of the sound he wanted to create – a new and unique combination of instruments. The band’s first followers were pure folk music fans, however, the range and variation of their music quickly captured a much broader audience.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that the group achieved success in Ireland and the United Kingdom. They started to gain traction in the United States the following year. Then, in 1975, The Chieftains enjoyed more mainstream attention when they worked on the Academy Award-winning soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick’s film Barry Lyndon.

Over the next several decades, The Chieftains continued to release successful records, while their work with Van Morrison in 1988 resulted in the album Irish Heartbeat. They would go on to collaborate with many other well-known musicians and singers, such as Luciano Pavarotti, the Rolling Stones, Roger Daltrey, Mick Jagger, Tom Jones, Ziggy Marley, Elvis Costello, Sting, and Madonna. In addition to their Grammys, The Chieftains were also given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2002. Eight years later, The Chieftains’ music soared out of this world when NASA astronaut Cady Coleman brought their music to the International Space Station. They celebrated their 50th anniversary with the release of their record Voice of Ages.

The Chieftains, who will celebrate 55 years in November, remain loyal to their roots. That being said, they aren’t afraid to shock the purists and stretch boundaries. Not to mention, the group has a unique ability to play in a variety of environments, from spontaneous Irish sessions to headlining a concert at Carnegie Hall.

Notable Performances

The Chieftains played in a concert for Pope John Paul II, before an audience of more than one million people in 1979 in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Four years later, they became the first western musical group to perform with the Chinese Broadcasting Art Group in a concert on the Great Wall of China.

Most recently in 2011, they performed at another concert in Dublin, this one attended by President Mary McAleese and Queen Elizabeth II of Britain during her first official trip to Ireland.  

Their original sound is instantly recognizable and remains as fresh and relevant today as when they had their first rehearsals at Moloney’s house.

The Chieftains will be making their appearance at LVPAC Friday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. It can be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for you and your sweetheart.

For the best live music, buy concert tickets at LVPAC.   

Event Preview: International Guitar Night

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For nearly two decades, guitarist Brian Gore has united some of the world’s foremost acoustic guitarists. The 2017 International Guitar Night will feature legendary gypsy jazz master Lulo Reinhardt, the innovative Italian contemporary guitarist Luca Stricagnoli, the brilliant young Brazilian performer Chrystian Dozza, as well as India’s groundbreaking slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya. Each of them will present their latest works individually prior to performing as a group. International Guitar Night is all about sharing musical ideas and exploring the diversity of the acoustic guitar world.

Lulo Reinhardt

The grand nephew of Django Reinhardt, Lulo was first taught by his father at the age of five. It didn’t take long for Lulo to co-found the group “Django Reinhardt and the Heartbreakers.” He then founded “I Gitanos” with his father and cousin, touring Europe and establishing a national reputation.

By 2002, Lulo founded the Lulo Reinhardt Project, which allowed him to express his passion for Latin music. Lulo would tap into that Latin music even more so just five years later when he was inspired to compose more Swing material. Now known as the Lulo Reinhardt Latin Swing Project, the group thrives on its international presence, playing in America, China, France, Switzerland, Belgium, England, the Czech Republic, and other spots worldwide. Lulo also performed as a soloist with International Guitar Night troupe in 2009 and 2011.

Luca Stricagnoli

A young, dynamic guitar player from Italy, Stricagnoli taught himself new and original playing styles with the ability to use different instruments. Over the years, he’s developed non-conventional ways to play the guitar that has helped him increase his popularity. Fast forward to today, where Stricagnoli performs all over the world. He will be making his North American debut with this year’s International Guitar Night.

Chrystian Dozza

Dozza highlights a new generation of Brazilian instrumental musicians. Since 2006, he has recorded three CDs made up of his original compositions and creative arrangements of Brazilian classics. Not only is Dozza a solo artist, but he also plays with a chamber music group, as well as a guitar trio. Dozza teaches guitar as well. Similar to Stricagnoli, Dozza will be making his North American debut with International Guitar Night.

Debashish Bhattacharya

Bhattacharya gave his first guitar recital at the age of four. He would soon begin to create his own style of plaything guitar, synthesizing selected features of other instruments such as the Veena, Sitar, Sarod and Kannur. At 21, Bhattacharya was awarded the President of India award. Today, he is arguably the greatest slide guitarist in India. His work offers incredible musical range, physical dexterity, and emotional depth.

International Guitar Night will be held Sunday, Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. at the Bankhead Theater. LVPAC offers student and active military prices for all performances. General admission seating for this event is $30.

If you’ve never been to the Bankhead Theater, you’re in for a treat. Audience members and artists alike appreciate the intimate feel and the unrivaled acoustics. LVPAC is Livermore’s home to incredible live music and performances.

Come Enjoy an Evening with Betty Buckley

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Few on Broadway are more respected than Betty Buckley, who has won fans worldwide for her performances on stage, film, and television.

Buckley fell in love with musical theater as a child and chose to leave for New York once receiving her journalism degree from Texas Christian. The next year, she made her Broadway debut creating the role of Martha Jefferson in the musical 1776. Buckley’s career took off from there. You may remember her from her role as the gym teacher Ms. Collins in the 1976 film Carrie. Buckley received a Tony Award nomination for the 1997 musical Triumph of Love, as well as Grammy Award nominations for The Diaries of Adam and Eve in 1999 and Stars and the Moon: Live at the Donmar in 2001.

Possibly best known for playing the original glamor cat Grizabella in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Cats on Broadway, Buckley is also familiar to audiences as the beloved stepmom Abby on television’s Eight is Enough. Most recently, she completed M. Night Shyamalan’s new film Split.

Over the years, the 69-year-old Buckley has released more than a dozen albums, with the most recent being Ghostlight. This one, which will be the focal point of her appearance at the Bankhead Theater, was titled after the old theatrical tradition of leaving one light bulb in the theater to “keep the ghosts company.” Buckley’s producer and longstanding friend T Bone Burnett described this album’s sound and style as “haunting” and “timeless.” Listeners can tune into Buckley’s take on popular songs such as “Body and Soul” and “Blue Skies,” as well as tunes “This Nearly Was Mine” and “Come to Me, Bend to Me.”

Buckley has received recognition throughout her career. For example, she was named the recipient of the Legend of Cabaret Award in 2004. Buckley was also inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in 2007 and the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2012.

Even today, many still refer to Buckley as the “Voice of Broadway” because of the luminous nature of her voice. It can be heard in Grizabella’s iconic ballad “Memory.” All of us at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center are excited to welcome Buckley, along with jazz pianist Christian Jacob. Attendees can look forward to a special night of Broadway music and more to the Bankhead stage.

Playbill calls the performance “Moving, funny, thrilling and all-around entertaining …. Each song is treated as if it were a play unto itself, and everything she touched was as powerful vocally as it was emotionally.”

Variety, meanwhile, describes Buckley as “A consummate storyteller, drawing from the landscape of life a broad and captivating perspective of celestial imagery….Buckley sang with persuasive crystalline textures…caressed melody and lyrics with phrasing that was both descriptively telling and braced by subtle allure.

An Evening with Betty Buckley will be held Friday, March 3 at 8 p.m. Seating prices range from $80-$100.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy live music or an incredible play, be sure to check out LVPAC.

Tap Into the Healing Powers of Art

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When we experience grief, it’s incredibly difficult to try to make sense of our lives. It’s why using the gifts of art, music, and all creative expression can help open up opportunities for growth. Here are five things you can do to heal your grief through creative expression.

Give Yourself Permission to Float

There’s no question that getting quality nutrition, sleep, and support top the list when it comes to getting through a difficult time. But keep in mind that a grieving period is also a good time to be forgiving of yourself when you just want to do nothing. Maybe it’s sleeping more than normal, having ice cream for dinner one night, or even just saying to outside help so that you can be alone. Believe it or not, there’s power in floating in terms of cultivating creativity.

Push Some Color Around

It’s ok to feel like you’re checked out when grieving. But you might want to consider something as simple as coloring just because of how soothing and helpful it can be as you unplug from the intensity of your feelings. Since coloring isn’t goal-oriented, it makes for a relaxing activity during a time of grief. There’s no need to worry either if you happen to cry right in the middle of it. When you look back on those pages, you’ll probably realize that they were essential to your healing.

Make a Sound

Music can be an amazing vehicle to help you work through the great sweeps of emotional shifts you might experience following the passing of a loved one. Whether it’s playing music or coming up with your own song lyrics, this type of art may enable you to believe that we can remain connected to our departed loved ones. It won’t take long for you to realize the healing power in music. Songwriting and music may be your most successful therapy for shifting despair, anger, and other grief out of your body.

Make a Move

Grief can leave us feeling locked in such a deep sadness that it seems like all we want to do is sleep, rest, or sit still. Everyone’s grieving process is different, but consider that dancing can help you feel different and lighter in spirit. Not a dancer? By just getting outside for a while, you will see the beauty and creativity of nature. A deeper appreciation of nature can also help you feel more connected to your loved one.

Make Some Notes

Writing is yet another way to let the power of creativity come into your life. The challenge in this is just writing and nothing else. Don’t worry about editing, grammar, or other things that you may think of when putting pen to paper. Writing for just ten minutes a day can help you make noticeable strides in your grieving process. With a journal, you can even look back and see how far you came. Try to start with one of these beginnings:

  • Today I feel…
  • I remember…
  • I’m so grateful for…

For more on “Art Heals the Heart,” check out this Liv On blog by Beth Nielsen Chapman.

If you are interested in attending one of our upcoming events, click here to see the event calendar for the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.  

Events Calendar

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Sun 30

The San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers

Sun, April 30 @ 3:00 pm

Call 925.373.6800 or email websales@livermoreperformingarts.org for tickets and information