For those who love the Golden Age of film musicals … or who just want to enjoy an affordable, entertaining evening with a happy ending … the opening of the Bankhead’s Classic Film Musical Series on January 31st is not to be missed! Starting with An American in Paris — a 1950’s gem featuring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron — the four-film series is a showcase of some of the most beloved musicals of the era. With retro pricing — just $5 a ticket — the evening will be a journey into the past with music from the era on the player piano in the lobby, popcorn and movie theater treats for sale, and a newsreel and cartoon from the era before the film begins.
Considered one of the highlights of his career, Gene Kelly both produced and starred in this story of an ex-GI, Jerry Mulligan, who stayed in Paris after WWII to pursue his art. When Mulligan (Kelly) falls in love with the lovely Parisian shop girl Lise Bouvier (Leslie Caron), they discover their personal obligations to others complicate their budding romance. The movie captures a carefree Paris and portrays an infectious camraderie between friends that supercedes the complexities of the inevitable love triangle. An American in Paris, contains some of the most famous and treasured songs by George and Ira Gershwin such as “S’Wonderful,” “Embraceable You,” and “I’ve Got Rhythm.” The brilliant ballet sequence set to the title work, one of Gershwin’s greatest orchestral scores, helped earn the film six Academy Awards including Best Picture.
An American in Paris is so beloved that a stage musical based on the film opened on Broadway in 2015, won two Tony Awards, and has since toured the country to great acclaim. If you enjoyed the classic film, love Broadway musicals, the music of Gershwin, or are just a sucker for a happy ending, you won’t want to miss An American in Paris or any of the others in the Classic Film Musical Series at the Bankhead!
An American in Paris on January 31 — Easter Parade on March 14 — Singin’ in the Rain on May 2 — Shall We Dance on June 6
More Information and Tickets HERE
On a personal note: This project has been a joy for me to work on. I grew up watching classic films at a small local movie theater and these are four of my all-time favorites. My father has always shared his wonderful memories of going with his big sister to see Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. He told me how they laughed at the cartoons and watched the newsreels before the show … a whole afternoon of fun for just 15 cents! In these turbulent times, I hope these evenings can recapture and share some of that sheer pleasure from times past … with lovely music, sensational dancing, and a happy ending… what’s not to love? — Roberta Emerson, Marketing Manager
Are you ready for the chance to see the stars of Broadway’s smash hits Jersey Boys and Motown: The Musical live? You will have the opportunity when The Doo Wop Project comes to town for an appearance at the Livermore Valley Performing Center. Tracing the evolution of the doo wop sound from classic street corner harmonies to the top of the radio charts, The Doo Wop Project continues to be a favorite across all ages. Their authenticity of sound and vocal excellence recreate and reimagine favorite melodies of the era, as well as doo wop-inspired renditions of contemporary songs. The power and charisma of these gifted young performers of The Doo Wop Project bring the energy and magic of doo wop to a whole generation of fans.
Throughout the show, DWP takes audiences on a breathtaking journey from foundational tunes of the Crests, Belmonts, and Flamingos through influences on the sounds of Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, and the Four Seasons on through the likes of Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, and Jason Mraz. Without a doubt, DWP uses their one-of-a-kind sound and vocal excellence to recreate and reimagine some of the greatest music in American rock and pop history.
- Dominic Nolfi – Dominic is a founding member of DWP and currently performs on Broadway in A Bronx Tale – The Musical. He’s also performed in both of the World Premiere productions of A Bronx Tale and Jersey Boys at the Paper Mill Playhouse and La Jolla Playhouse.
- Charl – He was recently nominated for a 2013 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical on Broadway. Charl is also featured on the Grammy Nominated Original Broadway Cast recording. You may have recognized Charl in Madam Secretary, Britain’s Got Talent, America’s Got Talent and recent Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades.
- Fischer – At 5-foot-6, he boasts a tenor voice and falsetto range. He made his Broadway debut on his 22nd birthday in the role of Joe Pesci in Jersey Boys. Similar to Charl, Fischer is no stranger to TV appearance, as he’s been a part of the 2009 Tony Awards, several sports for 60 Second Sitcoms, and more.
- Dominic Scaglione Jr. – He was most recently seen in the role of Frankie Valli on Broadway. He holds the distinct honor of being personally asked by Valli to sing at his NJ Hall of Fame induction. In his earlier performing days, Dominic toured with acts including Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, and Boyz 2 Men.
- Dwayne Cooper – The South Carolina native began his singing days with a Christian a cappella group called “The Cunningham Singers.” Dwayne is often referred to as a “triple threat” in that he’s reminiscent of the great Sammy Davis Jr. and Barry White. Dwayne has performed in the Broadways casts of Motown, Hairspray, and several national tours of Smokey Joe’s Cafe and Showboat.
DWP is set to make its appearance at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center Sunday, June 11 at 3 p.m. The production will be held at the Bankhead Theater, with ticket prices ranging from $35 to $60.
You won’t want to miss this performance, so be sure to get your tickets early.
Take a trip down memory lane as Grammy-nominated pianist David Benoit, accompanied by his quartet and Mendenhall Middle School Chorus, brings to life the magical music from the Charlie Brown television specials. Benoit describes this music as “happy jazz” – sophisticated but still filled with fun. His lifelong passion for the work of original Peanuts composer Vince Guaraldi is reflected in his own compositions for later specials and both are featured in this delightful return to a happy holiday tradition.
Joining Benoit will be special guest artist Sara Gazarek whose impeccable jazz vocals seamlessly combine the intimacy of singer/songwriter stylings with the musical and improvisational elements of jazz. With three highly acclaimed CD’s before she was 30, Gazarek has been hailed by The Los Angeles Times as “the next important jazz singer.”
Monday, December 19 @7:30pm
Aquila Theatre applies its signature style to Agatha Christie’s staging of her famous novel, Death on the Nile. Set on a paddle steamer cruising the legendary Nile River in the 1940s, this masterful whodunit is filled with colorful and mysterious characters. Class, money and reputation are all at stake in one way or another for the passengers and, before they know it, deceit, theft and murder quickly make waves on the river. A classic comes to life under Aquila’s brilliant direction and superb acting.
“Classics made relevant with superb acting and clever staging!” — The New Yorkern
Tuesday, November 15 @7:30pm
While Run Boy Run’s bluegrass sound is rooted in the traditional style of the Appalachian South, they are part of a trend to revive innovation in American roots music. Their voices weave a spectacular tapestry around the fiddle’s tight rhythmic front, leading listeners on a musical journey that is dynamic, orchestral, and overflowing with beauty. The whole exceeds the sum of the parts as touches of classical, jazz, and folk express themselves through the old-time core of Run Boy Run’s unique sound.
“Hot instruments and beautiful, sweet harmony!” — Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion
Friday, November 4 @8pm