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See How LVPAC Amplifies the Arts!

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Take a look inside a digital copy of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center 2016 Annual Report and find out how LVPAC is working to amplify the arts in our community by supporting artists in a variety of ways. From presenting world renowned artists and curated art exhibits, to supporting talented young jazz all stars and offering visual art classes for all ages, LVPAC helps channel creativity in every direction, serving as a true heart of the arts in downtown Livermore.

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!

Rhythmic Circus “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now”

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Mixing hard-hitting percussive dance and a live rock band, “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!” premiered in 2008 and has gone on to rave reviews, numerous awards, and sold-out venues across the country. The dancers of Rhythmic Circus joined forces with the seven-piece band’s big, brass sound and together they integrate an inventive style of rapid-fire tap with a variety of musical genres. Their exhilarating and dynamic show presents a wildly creative view into the indomitable power of the human spirit.

Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is proud to host Rhythmic Circus for an evening of a cappella singing, a percussive chair routine, tap number, and so many other lively performances. As you can see on the show’s website, “Heatbox” the human beatbox joins the swingin’ seven-piece funk band to accompany each tap, shuffle and stomp.

History of the Show

“Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!” debuted in the summer of 2008 in Minneapolis when the group’s dancers and founders teamed with a number of well-known musicians in the Twin Cities. What resulted was an inventive, unique style of tap with a variety of musical genres to create a wildly engaging show. For years since its debut, the show has garnered rave reviews and packed venues. “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!” took home a pair of SAGE Awards for Outstanding Ensemble and Performance, a Spirit of the Fringe Award, two Upper Midwest Emmys and was named “Best Dance Performance” by City Pages.

If you’ve never been to your local performing arts center or just want to enjoy an evening of live music and dancing, then “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!” is for you! We’re certain that you’ll be jumping out of your seat and dancing to the beat of this genre-hopping music and hard-hitting percussive dance.

“An exuberant, toe-tapping, hand-clapping hour of music and dance that adults will enjoy as much as kids.” – Theater Mania

On Tap at Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center

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

Monday, April 3 – The Naked Magicians

Friday, April 7 – The Wonder of Elvis: Tribute

Saturday, April 8 – Transfigurations

Thursday, April 13 – Arlo Guthrie

Saturday, April 15 – Come Together: The Beatles Concert Experience

Wednesday, April 19 – Abby Mann’s Judgment at Nuremberg

Friday, April 21 – Cherry Poppin’ Daddies

Sunday, April 23 – Breathtaking Brahms

Thursday, April 27 – Robert L. Gallucci

Friday, April 28 – Riders in the Sky

Saturday, April 29 – Lucie Arnaz

Sunday, April 30 – The San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers

The Performance

Rhythmic Circus “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” will take place Friday, March 31 at 8 p.m. in the Bankhead Theater of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center. Regular tickets range from $30 – $50. Tickets for students or active military are available for $16 (call to confirm.)Purchase now!

For the best theater experience in the area, choose LVPAC. Book your theater and concert tickets today so that you ensure your spot at some of the most highly anticipated musical shows, entertainment shows, and operas of the year.

Intergalactic Nemesis — Twin Infinity

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Intergalactic Nemesis lands with a new and thrilling graphic novel adventure, merging retro radio show with comic book magic to create unforgettable, one-of-a-kind live theater. Three actors voice dozens of characters, a Foley artist creates sound effects, and a pianist plays a cinematic score, while over 1,250 hand-drawn, full-color comic book images fill the stage. This unique multimedia experience guaranteed to bring out the 12-year-old in everyone will leave behind a space-age aura of wonder that lasts for days.

“Great fun! A happily retro multimedia extravaganza!” —New York Post

Friday, March 17 @8pm

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.

Keep up on social media

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