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Event Preview: “Steel Magnolias” By Robert Harling

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We are excited to welcome back L.A. Theatre Works for a new production of Robert Harling’s “Steel Magnolias,” a powerful story of resilience and friendship. Arguably better known for the 1989 film version, the play illuminates the enduring bonds created between six extraordinary women who help each other absorb and accept life’s challenges and changes. A single performance of “Steel Magnolias” on Friday, October 12 opens a month of theatrical drama at the Bankhead Theater.

About “Steel Magnolias”

The play by Harling made its New York City debut in 1987 and has been staged in numerous productions around the globe, as well as memorialized in the iconic film version starring Sally Fields, Dolly Parton, and Julia Roberts. Filled with memorable characters, humor, and touching moments, “Steel Magnolias” reveals both the strength of the human condition and our shared need for companionship.

Anna Lyse Erikson, Associate Artistic Director for L.A. Theatre Works, highlights the play’s focus on friendship.

Says Erikson, “These special people could be siblings, childhood pals, a college roommate, a mentor – they are the ones we’d go to any lengths to support, with whom we can disagree strongly while loving deeply. They change our lives just by being in them. Our connections with them defy the limitations of distance and time.”

For the women who meet at Truvy’s beauty shop, their lives increasingly hinge on each other and together they find they can face and survive more than any one of them could manage alone.

L.A. Theatre Works has been the foremost radio theatre company in the United States for more than 20 years. LATW plays are regularly broadcast internationally and their unique, live radio-style performances are known for first-rate casts and sound effects. LATW has the rare ability for fostering an immediate audience connection in all venue sizes.

They make a welcome return to the Bankhead following prior productions of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and Abby Mann’s “Judgement at Nuremberg” here

The performance

This can’t-miss performance of “Steel Magnolias” takes place Friday, October 12 at 8 p.m. in the Bankhead Theater. Tickets start at just $20 but are selling quickly, so be sure to get yours before it’s too late.

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center offers student and military tickets to nearly every performance. We ask that you contact the box office directly if you need student, military, or ADA tickets.

LVPAC is expecting a large audience for this performance, so we thought it would be good to remind attendees of the following Bankhead policies:

  • Everyone, including children, must have their own ticket to enter the theater.
  • ADA seats or spaces are designated for wheelchairs only.
  • Our military discount is offered only to active military personnel.

When it comes to performing arts centers in the Tri-Valley area, the Bankhead stands alone. This one-of-a-kind venue provides an intimate setting for both performers and audience members alike. So if you’ve never been to the Bankhead, we encourage you to purchase tickets to “Steel Magnolias.”

Contact us today with any questions.

Filipino Barrio Fiesta to Be Held During Filipino American History Month

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October officially marks Filipino American History Month in the United States. The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center and Livermore Fil-Am Organization will celebrate with the third annual Filipino Barrio Fiesta. This year’s event focuses on the Trinity of Past, Present, and Future of Filipino culture.

Before we talk more about this celebration, let’s first discuss October’s significance as Filipino American History Month. The first known presence of Filipinos in the continental United States dates back to October 18, 1587. The Filipinos, known as “Luzones Indios,” came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza and landed in present-day Morro Bay, California.

Laws were passed in November of 2009 to officially recognize October as Filipino American History Month in the U.S.

About the Filipino Barrio Fiesta

The three-hour celebration includes a speech at noon by the Department Chair of Asian American Studies at UC Davis, Robyn Rodriguez. Those attending can look forward to various performances by the Livermore Fil-Am Dance Troupe, Fil-Am Veterans Rondalla, Joseph Galang, Kali Association of America, Pallen’s Martial Arts, Nita Nowakowski’s Dance Troupe, K Fresh, DJ Bitesize, Arthur Barinque and Denise Bridges, and Granada Hip Hop Club.

During the event, there will be Filipino food for sale, an awards presentation, Mahjong games, and historical exhibits showcasing Filipino-American arts and culture. We encourage attendees to bring roses, fruits, photos of loved ones, coins, and other objects to display on an altar that will be made as a place to respect to those Fil-Am who came before us. There will also be a community mapping project that helps trace the history of the Filipino people in the U.S.

Please note that all activities will take place on the plaza in front of the Bankhead Theater at 2400 First Street in downtown Livermore.

The Filipino Barrio Fiesta is one of many free family-oriented cultural events the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center sponsors throughout the year. Our team also serves as co-sponsor of Taste of Africa with the Cheza Nami Foundation on October 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Other events include Native American Day in September, Diwali Mela: Festival of the Lights in November, a Chinese New Year celebration in February, and Hispanic Heritage Day in May.

Get to know our performing arts center

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is an independent non-profit offering a diverse range of programs that provide access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. Together with the Bothwell Arts Center, we are proud to offer numerous events each year, from classes and workshops to concerts and performances. LVAC understands the power of the arts for young people, which is why our staff works tirelessly when it comes to educational outreach.

The performance

The third annual Filipino Barrio Fiesta takes place Sunday, October 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the plaza in front of the Bankhead Theater. We look forward to seeing you and your loved ones for this free event!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.  

“A Taste of Africa” to Celebrate Culture, Diversity

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Cheza Nami Foundation will present the seventh annual “A Taste of Africa,” an adventure into African culture at the Bankhead Theater Plaza in downtown Livermore on Sunday, October 6. This free family-friendly event, co-sponsored by the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, is a celebration of culture and diversity offering food, music, and various activities for kids.

About “A Taste of Africa”

The vibrant music and movement that are central to African cultures will be at the center of the celebration as performances by local artists are showcased on the outdoor stage throughout the day. Opening the celebration will be Tô Aí, a group focused on diaspora arts and culture. Their performance will offer excerpts from their current folkloric arts production which incorporates dance, song, visual arts, percussion, spoken words, and capoeira.

Followed by Tô Aí is Djidé Koffa from Cameroon and Mabanza from Congo-Brazzaville, whose engaging music tells the story of Africa in the post-modern era. Those in attendance can look forward to a story of longing, hope and love shared around the world. A performance by Bitezo Bia Kongo concludes the morning, as director Loubayi Arnaud and others share their goal to spread awareness of Congolese culture and fostering peace and understanding through drumming and dance.

In the afternoon, the lively percussion and dance of Afrique Sogue feature the culture of the Manding and the Mandinka people. We also look forward to the Malima Kone Trio offering the beautiful sounds of Mali and Burkina Faso, before Namorados Da Lua presents a blend of diverse styles from reggae to Brazilian samba and Axe carnival music. Closing the day will be the unique contemporary Afro-World fusion music of Rahan Boxley and his band.

To enjoy more African music, visitors can also enter a drawing at the Cheza Nami booth to win free tickets to see Zimbabwe’s all-female a capella group Nobuntu when they perform at the Bankhead in early November. The quintet, recently nominated for Best Musician of the Year at the Zimbabwe International Women Awards, represents a new generation of young African women who celebrate and preserve their culture through art. Their inventive pure vocal harmonies and minimal percussion infuse music from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro jazz and gospel.

Other activities at “A Taste of Africa” include an African Gojo hut exhibit, a reading library at the Maktabas booth, face painting at the Mami Afrika booth sponsored by Waw Amasha, and Cheza Nami’s photo booth. The Kids Zone offers hands-on experiences in African arts and crafts as well as other activities. A true taste of Africa will be available throughout the day at the food and marketplace, featuring booths by Golden Safari Restaurant, Kitenge 365, VaziSafi and Urembo Asili, African Wood Carving and Handicrafts, and many more.  

“A Taste of Africa” is made possible through a generous supporting grant from the City of Livermore’s Commission for the Arts, as well as support from the Clorox Company and SambaDá.

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center staff looks forward to seeing you and your family at “A Taste of Africa!”

Danville Native Returns to Co-Star in John Logan Play “Red”

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Rehearsals are underway for an intimate new production of “Red” by John Logan at the Bankhead Theater. The two-man play features Harvey T. Jordan as the abstract expressionist artist Mark Rothko and Michael McDonald as Rothko’s assistant Ken. The production is directed by Misty Megia and produced by the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.

“Red” is the first show in a stage-on-stage setting at the Bankhead and opens for a five-performance run starting October 18.

About “Red”

Winner of the 2010 Tony Award, “Red” captures a pivotal period in Rothko’s tumultuous career. The play provides a compelling view into the artist’s mind as he ponders his artistic legacy, even as he works on a notable new commission. Set in the late 1950s, “Red” is based on a true event.

Rothko was asked to create a set of large murals for the new Four Seasons restaurant in New York. He hires a new assistant to help him, an aspiring artist eager to learn from a master but who also represents the emergence of a new generation in modern art. While they work side by side, the duo challenges each other over divergent styles, musical taste, attitude, and philosophies.

The play debuted in London before transferring to Broadway and has been seen in multiple productions, including an acclaimed recent revival in London’s West End with Alfred Molina (Rothko) returning to the role he created in 2009. At the Bankhead, Henry Jordan will also be stepping back into Rothko’s shoes. Jordan, who appeared in the role at Stage 3 in Sonora in 2012, has appeared in various roles at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and American Blues Theatre Company, among others.

The return of a Danville native

Michael McDonald returns to his East Bay roots to make his first appearance in the role of Ken. McDonald spent his early years in Danville and attended high school in San Francisco before heading to the University of Minnesota, where he participated in the actor training program as part of obtaining his BFA. Since then, McDonald has appeared off-Broadway in productions with The Acting Company, as well as Drury Lane Oakbrook and other regional theater companies.

McDonald is excited to star in a theater close to where he grew up, in a role he has looked for an opportunity to play ever since he first became aware of the play, not long it made its U.S. debut.

About Misty Megia

For more than two decades, Megia has worked as a director, choreographer, set designer, and performer throughout the Bay Area. Among her many directing and choreography credits are the 2015 Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre production of “The Pirates of Penzance” at the Bankhead, as well as “Evita,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Cinderella,” “Oklahoma,” and ‘Into the Woods.” Megia has appeared on stage in such roles as Val in “A Chorus Line,” Gloria Thorpe in “Damn Yankees,” Lorraine in “42nd Street,” and Virtue in “Anything Goes.”

The performance

“Red” by John Logan runs each day from October 18-21, with two performances October 20. Sets for the production will be designed by Carol Edwards with lighting by Eric Johnson. Both actors and audiences will be positioned on stage for the performance, so seating is limited.

Tickets are just $33, with $13 tickets available for students and active military personnel, plus an additional $7 facility and handling fee.

Book yours today!

Blues Greats Among Five Big Name Shows Added to Bankhead Season

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The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center announced that five shows will be added to the 2018-2019 Bankhead Presents season. Several blues greats return, including Robert Cray for the fourth time in February 2019 and Keb’ Mo’ for his first appearance in May. Country music stars Larry Gatlin and Gatlin Brothers arrive this November, while the incredibly popular Jake Shimabukuro returns to the Bankhead Theater in late January.

Let’s take a closer look at these shows.

Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers

The first of the five additions is Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers on Friday, November 16. Since their debut album in the mid-1970s, the brothers have sent their country harmonies up the charts with such songs as the Grammy Award-winning “Broken Lady” and “All the Gold in California,” which won an American Country Music Award. Larry, Steve, and Rudy will swings through Livermore with an “Unplugged Show,” their natural family harmonies and genuine stage charm filing the theater with family country and gospel hits, as well as stories of how the songs developed.

Jake Shimabukuro

Considered one of the most innovative players in the history of the ukulele, Jake was relatively unknown when he appeared as part of the Bankhead’s inaugural season in 2007. His rich and varied albums have always captured the many moods of the ukulele. Released just a few weeks ago, “The Greatest Day” features some of his most adventurous work with half the album featuring original songs and the other half featuring imaginative covers of such iconic hits as The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” and “If 6 was 9” by Jimi Hendrix.

Robert Cray

Blues Hall of Fame guitarist Robert Cray has been credited with attracting a new generation of fans to the world of blues with a distinctive razor-sharp guitar sound that ably bridges the lines between blues, soul, and R&B. With more than 20 acclaimed albums over the past four decades, including his latest “Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm,” Cray has received five Grammy Awards and built a dedicated following worldwide. We look forward to his return to the Bankhead Theater on February 10.

The Choir of Man

Set in a real working pub on stage, these nine male band members sing, dance, and foot-stomp through a range of music, from pub tunes, folk, and classic rock, all while pulling pints and welcoming audience members to interact with the show. The show truly is a party and concert rolled into one, featuring the music of Paul Simon, Adele, Queen, and others. Get ready for a brand new way to experience music on stage at the Bankhead this February.

Keb’ Mo’

Four-time Grammy Award-winner and roots storyteller Keb’ Mo’ is considered a modern-day standard bearer of the Delta blues tradition. His modern take on the country blues will now close the 2018-2018 season with a single performance on May 14. In addition to eleven Blues Foundation Awards and an American Album of the Year for his music, Keb’ Mo’ has also brought his broad talents into television and film for which he has won six BMI awards.

Ticket information

The performance date for Jake Shimabukuro has not been finalized but tickets for Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, Robert Cray, The Choir of Man, and Keb’ Mo’ are available now for Member Presale. Tickets for these performances will be available to the public beginning September 26.

DLUX Puppets to Return to the Bankhead Twice in 2018-19 Season

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DLUX Puppets will return to the Bankhead Theater this season with two visually stunning and entertaining family shows. The multimedia retellings of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan” use state-of-the-art digitally projected scenery, high-quality life-sized puppetry, and actors, weaving in popular songs from past decades.

Keep reading to learn more about the group and these must-see performances.

About DLUX Puppets

Now a nationally recognized company, DLUX Puppets debuted their production of Alice in Wonderland in 2017, although the project was many years in the making. A multi-talented performer and former star in San Francisco’s long-running show “Beach Blanket Babylon,” DLUX Puppets’ founder Derek Lux has always been interested in puppets and has been actively designing and creating innovative puppets for nearly a decade.

“Alice in Wonderland” brings to life the classic tale of Alice’s journey through the marvelous world of the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts. In the productions, all of the characters Alice encounters are intricately engineered life-size puppets, hand-built and voiced by Derek. The show’s seven puppets, ranging in size from just two feet in height to over seven feet tall, each took between 100 and 200 hours to construct.

Each puppet is different from the others, both in the way they are built and in terms of style and scale. Some require Lux to step into a full harness to perform the puppet’s head and arms, or to fly the Cheshire Cat’s body through the air. The digitally projected scenery, created by Steve Axtell, helps tell the story with interactive images.

Alice is played by Lux’s wife, second-grade teacher Lauren Lux, who developed a performance activity kit to connect the “Alice Wonderland” production with Common Core literature standards and provide a STEAM focus through the art and engineering elements in the puppets. The show also incorporates a social-emotional aspect as Alice learns from the characters in Wonderland that her words, thoughts, and feelings are powerful and that she can change them to change her world in a positive way. A similar activity kit for “Peter Pan” is also in development.

The performances

“Alice in Wonderland” returns Sunday, December 30 for two performances, including one adapted for audiences with sensory-friendly needs. DLUX Puppets’ new production of “Peter Pan” will be presented at the Bankhead Theater on June 2, 2019. Tickets for both shows are priced at just $10 for students and $20 for adults.

After all performances, both Derek and Lauren Lux will be available in the lobby so members of the audience can take photos and see one of the puppets close up. In addition to the three public performances, DLUX Puppets will present additional shows for students from local elementary schools through a special arts education outreach effort, sponsored in part by the LVPAC Education Fund. For more information on school performances, please contact Kiran Guleria at education@lvpac.org.

Don’t forget that we have a number of incredible performances on tap at the Bankhead Theater. Check out our events calendar and book your tickets today.

Event Preview: Southern Fried Chicks’ “Cage-Free Comedy Tour”

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Three funny ladies known as the Southern Fried Chicks bust out of the hen house next month, arriving in Livermore for a night of fun with their new show called the “Cage-Free Comedy Tour!” This multimedia show consists of free-range comedy, stories, music, singing, and dancing. Keep reading if you’re at all interested in “blue-collar comedy hour with better hair and bigger attitude.”

Since they made their debut on Country Music Television, the Southern Fried Chicks have packed venues across the country, poking fun at life and love in the USA. Let’s take a closer look at each of the chicks.

Etta May

Etta, once named the American Comedy Award’s “Comic of the Year,” has been described as “Minnie Pearl with a migraine.” Not only is Etta a regular on CMT, but she’s also been seen on “Oprah,” “Comic Strip Live,” and “Comedy Stage.” Etta is even an audience favorite on XM/Sirius Radio Comedy Channels and the syndicated radio show “The Bob and Tom Show.”

Karen Mills

Karen finds the funny in everyday life in a style that’s clean, clever, and relatable. The Tennessee native is a regular on Sirius/XM Blue Collar Radio and Laugh USA. Known for her “Menopause Rap,” a top download on iTunes and her “Hot Flash Mob” video on YouTube, she has toured with Joan Rivers, Ron White, and Jon Stewart.

Sonya White

Originally from Virginia and now a resident of Chicago, Sonya combines southern charm with big city street smarts to deliver dead-on impersonations and cartoon voices from the Cartoon Network. Sonya played a major role in “Girls Behaving Badly,” “Comedy Spotlight,” and “The U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.” She has also appeared on “Nightshift” and “Big Brother Jake.”

Comedy Shows in Livermore

The Southern Fried Chicks’ “Cage-Free Comedy Tour” is just the start of a season filled with great opportunities to enjoy comedy at the Bankhead. The famed San Francisco Comedy Competition, known for helping launch the careers of such legends as Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, and Ellen DeGeneres, makes its annual semifinal circuit stop on September 21.

One of the top comedic voices in the country, Tom Papa makes a welcome return to Livermore on October 25. Then laugh through the holidays with Reduced Shakespeare Company’s “Ultimate Christmas Show,” the tongue-in-cheek post-Valentine’s Day show “It’s Not Your, It’s Me” with Chicago’s The Second City, and Late Night Catechism’s Easter show, “Will My Bunny Go to Heaven?” The annual return of The Capitol Steps with their timely, razor-sharp political satire closes the season in May.

Stand-up comedy also lights up the Bothwell Arts Center with the return of last year’s sold-out show “One Night, Three Women, Too Funny,” starring local comedians Regina Stoops, Stacey Gustafson, and Margaret Zhao on September 29, 2018.

The performance

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is excited to welcome the Southern Fried Chicks for one night only on Saturday, September 1 at 8 p.m. All tickets for this relaxed night of fun are just $40 with $20 tickets available for students and active military personnel.

Event Preview: Rockapella and The Company Men

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The Bankhead Theater is excited to welcome two male vocal groups whose sleek harmonies and full band sound create pure music ranging from doo-wop and classic jazz to modern rock and hip hop. Making their third visit to Livermore, Rockapella is known for creating an astonishing full-band sound with a capella grace. The Company Men bring a contemporary spin and vocal style to inventive compilations of music, seamlessly mixing vintage songs with today’s chart-topping hits.

Keep reading to learn more about these groups, as well as the event itself.

About Rockapella

Awarded the Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, Rockapella members are masters of the vocal art form. Although current interest in a cappella largely dates back to the success of the television show “Glee” and the film “Pitch Perfect,” Rockapella’s sleek vocals have been drawing fans old and new for nearly three decades. The group got their start as an enthusiastic a cappella quartet of Brown University graduates singing on street corners in 1986.

It wasn’t long before the group became regulars on “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” They also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and on stage with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Rockapella’s rich, resonant sound comes from just five guys with no microphones, no instruments, no tracks, and no mirrors.

Says Scott Leonard, the group’s chief songwriter and arranger, “People have a hard time believing it’s just us making all of that music: percussion, bass, melody, and harmonies.”

About The Company Men

The Company Men features seasoned performers who have appeared on The Voice, the Emmy-Award winning NBC mini series The Temptations and in numerous Broadway and national touring productions. In addition to shows in venues from performing arts centers, to casinos and festivals, they have been artists-in-residence on Norwegian Cruise Line’s flagship The Escape in the Caribbean and will soon set sail for Hawaii. They have shared the stage with various artists, including Mariah Carey, Colbie Caillat, Natalie Bole, Sheena Easton, and Billy Idol.

The Company Men are known for their uniquely interwoven blend of popular songs covering six decades of music, ranging from The Four Tops, The Temptations, Sam Cooke, The Eagles, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, and Prince, to Sam Smith, Katy Perry, Adele, The Weekend, Meghan Trainor, Bruno Mars, Michael Buble, Nick Jonas, and others.

The performance

Rockapella and The Company Men are set to take the stage for what should be an incredible afternoon. The performance takes place Sunday, August 12 at 3 p.m. in the Bankhead Theater. Ticket prices range from $20 to $70.

Please note the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center offers both student and military tickets for this performance. If you need student, military, or ADA tickets, please contact the box office. Keep in mind that every audience member, regardless of age, must have their own ticket to enter the Bankhead Theater.

The Bankhead Presents series

Vocal magic fills the 2018-19 Bankhead Presents season as two other groups also make a welcome return with their smooth harmony singing. In December, The Doo Wop Project returns with a special holiday-themed show lending their voices, fresh from Broadway’s hit shows, to the music of an earlier era. Just a few months later, Masters of Soul brings back the look, choreography, style, and sound that defined the legendary music of Motown in a night of familiar fun.

The Bankhead Theater

Never been to the Bankhead Theater. Now is a great time to check it out. For more than a decade, the Bankhead has welcomed various artists and audiences, bringing them together to share the rich experience of live performance. The aforementioned LVPAC Presents series includes more than 40 exceptional performances throughout the year.

Exposure to the arts has the potential to transform lives. Believe it or not, a single performance can ignite a child’s imagination and fuel creativity for the rest of their lives. Not to mention, LVPAC strives to make each performance affordable and accessible to everyone.

We hope to see you for Rockapella and The Company Men, as well as other upcoming performances. We are proud to be the premier performing arts center in the Tri-Valley area. Book your tickets today or contact us with questions.

“Psychedelic Summer” Concert to Feature Local Band LunaFish

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A local favorite, Livermore-based LunaFish will bring the authentic psychedelic rock music of the late 1960s and early 1970s to a special community concert in the Bankhead Theater. LunaFish will treat those in attendance to a hot summer night of music, filled with timeless hits. Keep reading to learn more about the group, as well as the event.

About LunaFish

LunaFish fans know all about their classic rock style and vocal harmonies. The group reimagines music from what’s been called the most innovative period of rock and roll, feature top hits from artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, and Jefferson Airplane.

So how did LunaFish get started? Well, it all goes back to founders Jeff Fish and Chris Gattuso-Fish. Interestingly, the two musicians were playing in completely separate projects before joining together.

The duo made their debut 10 years ago at Livermore’s “Tuesday Tunes” outdoor concerts in the center of downtown. They were joined in their passion for classic rock by fellow musicians Bill Ziegler on drums, Michael Fine on bass, and Don Bott on the keyboard. Greg Sutton joined the group two years later.

Part of what makes LunaFish unique is that, unlike other bands, the group sees one another as a family. They strive to be inclusive of everyone, wrapping their audiences up in a sense of togetherness and encouraging them to feel part of the group. Whether it’s singing, dancing, or just tapping their toes, audiences feel as if they’re on stage with LunaFish.

Says Gattuso-Fish, “Music is one of the few things that bring all sorts of people together for a unique experience of commonality and reminds us of our humanity and community.”

It hasn’t all been easy for this local favorite. Seven years ago, Jeff Fish suffered a brain injury from a medical accident. Although one of the group’s founders continues to improve and is learning to walk again, the injury significantly affected his timing, balance, and coordination.

Unfortunately, he has not been able to play the guitar since the accident. Despite such a major obstacle, LunaFish continues to persevere. New additions Kurt Stahl and Tom Rose have become a formidable guitar duo.

Fish continues to be the heartbeat of LunaFish. He serves as the band’s leader, inspiration, and principal motivator. Group members continue to rely on Fish for setlists, arrangement suggestions, and expert feedback.

Says Gattuso-Fish, “Music has helped Jeff heal and persevere through the tough times of recovery, and we hope to help lift others with the music we play and the good times we provide.”

The performance

LunaFish captures your imagination and your memories, interpreting music from what’s been called the most innovative period of rock and roll. The group is set to appear at the Bankhead Theater this coming Friday (August 3) at 8 p.m. General admission seating is $20.

As a reminder, the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center offers both student and active military prices for all performances. Wheelchair spaces and companion seats are also available upon request. Please visit or call the box office to book any of these tickets.

Our performing arts center

Livermore is home to a wealth of talent from the prize-winning student musicians featured each spring by the Livermore-Amador Symphony, to world-renowned jazz vocalist Karen Marguth and more. Resident companies of the Bankhead regularly showcase local musicians, singers, dancers, and actors.

“As the leading performing arts venue in the Tri-Valley, Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is committed to supporting local groups and artists by putting them on stage and sharing their talents with the community,” says Executive Director Scott Kenison. “‘Psychedelic Summer’ is just the first of what we hope will become a series of community concerts celebrating all our local artists we have to offer.”

LVPAC is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit offering program that provides access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. We strive to ensure that everyone can enjoy the arts, whether it’s a marquee performance or any of our family-friendly events.

The Bankhead Theater, together with the Bothwell Arts Center, is home to eight resident performing arts companies and over 40 studio artists and cultural arts instructors.      

We hope to see you for “Psychedelic Summer” with LunaFish & Friends!    

Derik Nelson & Family Return for Concert and Songwriting Workshop

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The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is excited to welcome back Derik Nelson & Family to the Bankhead Theater. Those in attendance will be treated to the group’s jazz- and folk-infused interpretations of original and cover songs, showcasing the perfectly blended harmonies that only siblings can deliver. Keep reading to learn more about this iconic group.

About Derik Nelson & Family

Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Derik, Riana, and Dalten grew up singing. Derik, the oldest, began performing at age 7. By age 18, he had appeared in over 60 productions.

He didn’t just limit himself to acting and singing, though. Starting at age 10, Derik learned to play the saxophone, the guitar, and the piano. Not long after, he began composing songs.

Derik was awarded the Brian Wilson Music Scholarship for songwriting and obtained his bachelor’s degree in Music Industry from the University of Southern California. While earning his degree, he engineered and produced five full-length original albums. Derik also worked closely with music faculty and was instrumental in shaping the curriculum for what became the school’s Popular Music program, the first of its kinds in the country.

In addition to his role on “Glee,” Derik has written songs and sung for television shows such as “Raising Hope,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “The Voice.”

Let’s move on to Riana, who co-directed the popular coed a cappella group “Amazin’ Blue.” Through the years, Riana has appeared on screen in “Cinnamon Girl” and “Glee,” and has even been a lead vocalist for Princess Cruises.

Last, but certainly not least, is Dalten. The youngest of the sibling trio began appearing in theater productions and plays at age 4. In addition to performing, Dalten has extensive experience in the concept, design, filming, and editing of videos which, synchronized with music, help create the visually immersive experience at their performances.

Back for another year

Last year’s workshop with the Nelsons at the Bankhead Theater was very well-received, inspiring the student participants to stay in touch as they further their musical skills. This summer’s session is tailored for students in grades six through college and includes demonstration, small group work, and one-on-one coaching in various others. Cost for the weeklong program is $300.

The performance

Imagine three incredibly talented siblings combining their signature sound with stunning video displays in a musical journey that appeals to audiences of all ages. The three-part harmony arrangements of Derik Nelson & Family are as well suited to popular jazz standards from the ‘40s and ‘50s and pop hits of the ‘60s and ‘70s as they are to the chart-topping hits of today. As aforementioned, in the week leading up to the concert, the Nelsons will offer a songwriting workshop.

This camp takes place July 9 through July 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Scholarships are available, so please contact Kiran Guleria at 925-373-6100 ext. 112 for more information.

The Derik Nelson & Family concert is set for Friday, July 13 at 8 p.m. Feel free to purchase tickets online or directly through the LVPAC website.  

Upcoming Events

Thu 18

“Red” by John Logan

Thu, October 18 @ 7:30 pm
Fri 19

“Red” by John Logan

Fri, October 19 @ 8:00 pm
Sat 20

Art & Wine Intertwined

Sat, October 20 @ 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Sat 20

“Red” by John Logan

Sat, October 20 @ 8:00 pm

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