While those unfamiliar with the Tri-Valley area may assume that you need to travel to neighboring cities to patronize the arts, those in the know recognize that the region offers performances that rival even the most culturally oriented metropolis. Whether you're looking for a venue where you can enjoy music, drama, dance, or any other type of entertainment, it's all right here in the Tri-Valley. In fact, a large number of the groups represented here encourage interested parties to participate and become part of the show.
The largest local performing arts program is operated by the City of Pleasanton, through its Civic Arts Program. Civic Arts offers everything from public art to community and school performances, and also sponsors Pleasanton's poet laureate program. Here's a sampling of Civic Arts programs the City of Pleasanton plans to present in 2003. For updates and scheduling changes, watch for the Civic Arts 2003-2004 Season Brochure later this summer or visit www.acteva.com/go/cityofpleasanton. All shows are presented at the Amador Theater, 1155 Santa Rita Rd., Pleasanton.
NPR's Terry Gross will appear September 25, 2003, 8:00 pm
Musical group Lovin' Spoonful performs October 3, 2003, 8:00 pm
Bill Harley appears October 17, 2003, 8:00 pm
A Christmas Carol will be performed by the Civic Arts Stage Company December 5, 6, 12, 13, 8:00 pm; matinees will take place December 7, 13, 14, 2:00 pm
Will Durst and Friends' Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show XI will arrive December 26, 2003, 8:00 pm
Haunted House, Saturday, October 25, 2003 5:30, 10:00 pm
Youth Music Festival, Friday, November 14, 2003, 8:00 pm
The Civic Arts School Concert Series, in its eleventh season, presents professional performing arts experiences for students in the company of their classmates and teachers at the Amador Theater. Advance reservations are required. To receive a Civic Arts School Concert Series brochure, call Charlene Villella at (925) 931-5350.
Bill Harley, October 15 & 16, 2003, 9:30 & 11:00 am daily
Jim Gamble Puppet Productions presents Myths of the Aztecs, November 3 & 4, 2003, 9:30 & 11:00 am daily
City of Pleasanton Civic Arts Stage Company presents A Christmas Carol, December 9, 10 & 11, 2003, 9:30 & 11:00 am daily
Civic Arts provides many opportunities for youth to explore whichever artistic expressions interest them and to share their talent with others. They can participate in fine arts classes or Music Makers classes after school, perform at the Youth Music Festival or Children's Arts Festival, attend a drama camp and perform in a play during summer vacation, or experience community theater with the Civic Arts Stage Company. For information about Civic Arts activities for Youth, call Hiram Berhel at (925) 931-5354.
Local performing arts groups in the Tri-Valley are abundant, and many even encourage those interested to follow their muse - if they have the inclination and talent - and participate in their organizations.
The Pot O' Gold Chorus is the performing body of the Bay Area Metro Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. BAM was founded in 1989 to bring together men in the Tri-Valley area who love to sing. Since then, the chorus has won the Far Western District championship in 1994, 1999, and 2000 and has been selected five times to perform at the annual international competition against the top 25 choruses in the world, finishing as high as seventh. Highlighting the Chorus' several performances throughout the year are annual Spring, Fall, and Christmas shows. The Pot O' Gold Chorus is under the direction of Dr. Rob Campbell. For more information, call (925) 443-7464 or visit the Chorus' web site at www.potogoldchorus.org .
Cantabella Children's Chorus, under the guidance of Artistic Director Bee Chow, is committed to developing within children and young people the love and experience of artistic, beautiful singing. Currently, Cantabella Children's Chorus is composed of young people from the 4th through 10th grade (graduates in the 11th and 12 grades may return to sing as alumni), placed in various choir levels according to age, maturity and musical ability. Singers in the training program are placed in different classes of no more than 13 children each, to allow for more individual attention. Cantabella Children's Chorus provides members with the opportunity to participate in choral festivals and workshops that introduce them to other choral groups and clinicians. Qualified singers are often selected to participate in operas requiring children's roles produced by the Livermore Valley Opera. For more information call (925) 292-2663 or visit the Chorus' web site at www.cantabella.org .
This group sponsors five performances each year, focusing on chamber music and piano but also including pop and pocket opera. Performances take place at the Presbyterian Church at 4th and L streets in Livermore. A particular objective of Dell Valle Fine Arts is to introduce young people to fine music. Children are admitted free to Dell Valle Fine Arts concerts, and full-time students above high school can procure tickets at a special reduced price. Call (925) 443-0318 for tickets and information or visit the Del Valle Fine Arts web site at www.delvallefinearts.org .
The Dublin Theatre Company is a locally based theatre company dedicated to giving both aspiring and seasoned professionals in the performing arts industry an opportunity to create and learn about their craft through the medium of live theatre workshops and professional productions. Dublin Theatre Company's emphasis is on the youth of the Tri-Valley Region, but the Company strives to meet the needs of adult artists and audience members as well through a MainStage Series, which produces original, bold and exciting plays for mature audiences. Dublin Theatre Company also offers a wide array of on-site classes in acting, singing, technical theatre, directing & producing, and dance for preschoolers through adults. Call (925) 551-5382 for tickets and information or visit the Dublin Theatre Company web site at www.dublintheatre.com .
Harmony Crossroads Chorus is an award-winning Pleasanton-based chapter of Sweet Adelines International, offering a warm, supportive environment for women in the Tri-Valley area who want to develop their musical skills. Based in the Pleasanton community, this a cappella chorus performs in numerous local events in the valley, including Art in the Parks and the Alameda County Fair. They are available for performances and can provide full chorus productions or quartets singing jazz, Broadway tunes, rock 'n' roll, big band, and blues, all arranged in four-part barbershop harmony. Established in 1993, the chorus has been Regional Small Chorus Champion four times in the past eight years. Visitors and potential members are always welcome at rehearsals. Call (510) 582-0933 or (925) 846-1857 for more information or visit the Harmony Crossroads Chorus web site at www.harmonycrossroads.org .
Now in its 40th year under the direction of Dr. Arthur Barnes, the symphony is a volunteer community orchestra. The orchestra meets September through May and plays four main programs plus a "Pops" concert. Rehearsals are Tuesday evenings at 7:15 p.m. at East Avenue Middle School in Livermore. Call (925) 447-3672 for information or visit the Livermore-Amador Symphony's web site at www.livamsymph.org .
Founded in 1992, Livermore Valley Opera combines the talents and expertise of professional music, stage, and chorus directors, principal singers, musicians, and designers with the dedication and practical abilities of a volunteer board, adult chorus, stage crew, props master, stitchers, and set builders. Each fall and spring, LVO presents a locally produced, fully staged opera with orchestra in the renovated and acoustically sound Livermore Performing Arts Theatre. In addition, LVO presents special concerts, events and fund-raisers such as "Dinner and ..." in the winter and "Opera in the Vineyard" in the summer. For more information, call (925) 960-9210 or visit the Opera's web site at www.livermorevalleyopera.com .
Founded in 1989 by a group including director Lawrence Kohl, the Pacific Chamber Symphony performs at Valley Community Church in Pleasanton, the Herbst Theater in San Francisco, and at Chabot College in Hayward. The only chamber symphony orchestra in the Bay Area, the group's season begins in November and continues until May. Call (925) 484-9783 for tickets or information or visit the Pacific Chamber Symphony web site at www.pacificchambersymphony.org .
The band was founded in 1975 as part of Pleasanton's celebration of the U.S. bicentennial and has been performing ever since. A true community band, members range in age from the teens to the 80s, most of whom are local residents. The Community Concert Band sponsors three performances each year: a holiday concert, a children's concert, and a spring concert. It's also possible to see them perform at the Farmer's Market, the county fair, and other events. Call (925) 846-5897 for further information or visit the Band's web site at www.pleasantonband.org .
Pleasanton Playhouse is probably best known for its four main stage musical productions each year. However, the Playhouse also has a black box studio theatre that seats just 84, allowing for productions of several comedies and dramas each year in an intimate setting. Upcoming performances include The Sound of Music (July 18-August 3, 2003) and West Side Story (October 24, 25, 26, 31; and November 1, 2, 7, 8, 9). Call (925) 462-2121 for tickets and information or visit the Playhouse's web site at www.pleasantonplayhouse.com .
The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival is an organization that seeks to preserve the works of William Shakespeare by continuing to perform them and to expose as many people as possible to the plays to cultivate an appreciation for both Shakespeare and dramatic performance. Programs offered by the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival include Shakespeare On Tour, which brings a live hour-long Shakespeare performance to students statewide; Bay Area Shakespeare Camps, which allow students age 8 to 18 to study Shakespeare and learn the necessary skills to perform his work; and a program called Midnight Shakespeare, which offers at-risk youth the opportunity to learn communication skills, performance skills, discipline, and teamwork through Shakespeare. The most recognizable program presented by the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival is Free Shakespeare in the Park. Produced every year in San Francisco, Oakland, Pleasanton, and Cupertino from July to October, Free Shakespeare in the Park provides an opportunity for everyone to see high quality, professional theater free of charge. For more information about the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, visit the organization's web site at www.sfshakes.org or call (415) 422-2222.
The Valley Choral Society is entering its 39th year, and its fourth year with John Bush as director and Daniel Glover as accompanist. The chorus consists of about 45 singers, many of whom live in the Tri-Valley area. The chorus sings four programs during the year and holds concerts at many locations including Livermore, Pleasanton, Hayward, Oakland, Walnut Creek, Fremont, and San Francisco. Through the years the Society has offered a variety of musical performances to serve the diverse musical tastes of its audiences. These have included well-known classical works such as Handel's Messiah and Mendelssohn's Elijah, contemporary pieces including Randall Thompson's The Peaceable Kingdom and Mollicone's Flight Through the Stars, and concerts of jazz and pop music. Call (925) 866-4003 for information or visit the Society's web site at www.valleychoral.org .
The Valley Dance Theatre, a non-profit ballet company, was founded in 1980. It is currently located in Livermore's historical railroad depot and directed by Betsy Hausburg and Margaret Kenrick. The Company was formed to provide talented dancers with performance opportunities and to bring affordable, quality dance performances to the Valley. Performances are held twice a year. Each December, the Company presents a full-length production of The Nutcracker. Classical and contemporary repertoires and various collaborations are presented in the Spring. Productions are accompanied by the Livermore-Amador Symphony. Call (925) 243-0925 for tickets and information or visit the Theater's web site at www.valleydancetheatre.com .
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