Livermore, California (EastBayDaily) — Now in its seventh season, the Bankhead Theater will welcome seven holiday-themed events with music, dance, and comedy providing a range of entertainment designed for audiences of all ages. Dance in its many forms provides a vivid and spectacular backdrop for the season with three very different programs. First, the sizzling new “XXMAS Ballet,” a 20th anniversary celebration of classical dance and lively character numbers, will be presented by the acclaimed San Francisco-based Smuin Ballet, who return to the Bankhead for three performances beginning Nov. 29. They will be followed by Ballet Folklórico Costa de Oro’s colorful south-of-the-border showcase of Mexican holiday music and dance traditions, “Fiestas Navideñas,” on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Valley Dance Theatre, a Bankhead Theater resident company, returns with eight performances of their charming, fully-staged production of the world famous classical ballet, “The Nutcracker,” accompanied by the Livermore-Amador Symphony.
New this year at the Bankhead will be a Doo Wop Holiday Celebration on Dec. 8, featuring Hit Parade Hall of Famer Johnny Tillotson, The Vibrations, “Remember When: A Tribute to The Platters,” and comedy host Steve Bruner in a Sunday afternoon of seasonal songs delivered in finger-snapping, toe-tapping style. Reaching back to an earlier era, Andrea Marcovicci sings sentimental favorites of the 1940s and beloved holiday classics on Dec. 10. With her alluring voice and charming stage presence, “Home for the Holidays: a WWII Christmas” is an enchanting evening that evokes bittersweet memories of wartime love and romance.
Bringing the year to a close will be “The Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show,” an evening of live stand-up comedy helmed by political comedian Will Durst on Wednesday, Dec. 27, and the annual LVPAC Presents New Year’s Eve Celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 31 with the rocking contemporary blues of Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings, which includes a festive champagne and dessert reception in the lobby following the performance.
The seven holiday-themed events scheduled at the Bankhead Theater for 2013 are:
Smuin’s “XXMAS Ballet”: A dazzling combination of classical ballet and rollicking character numbers that offers something for everyone, from traditional Bach and sacred carols, to gospel songs, holiday favorites and a touch of Elvis. Three performances, Friday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 30 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
“Fiestas Navideñas”: Ballet Folklórico Costa de Oro’s traditional holiday fiesta features a Christmas processional (posada), Mexican holiday songs (villancicos), a visit from the Three Wise Men, a festive piñata scene, and a vibrant, colorful finale. Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
A Doo Wop Holiday Celebration: Best of Doo Wop delivers an afternoon of classic songs of the season with Hit Parade Hall of Famer Johnny Tillotson, pop band The Vibrations, A Tribute to The Platters, music by the Flashback Band, and comedy host Steve Bruner. Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.
The Nutcracker: The complete classical ballet by Tchaikovsky is staged in an enchantingly elegant production by Valley Dance Theatre with full orchestral accompaniment by the Livermore-Amador Symphony. Eight matinee and evening performances from Dec. 14-22.
“Home for the Holidays: A WWII Christmas”: Gifted interpreter of the classic American pop song Andrea Marcovicci brings an elegant and sophisticated style to stories, poetry and the timeless songs of the WWII era together with holiday favorites in an enchanting evening of unforgettable music. Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m.
“The Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show”: Celebrating its 21st year of holiday shows, this is a PG-13 night of hilarious stand-up comedy, improvisation and loosely-written sketches looking back at the news of the past year helmed by premier political comedian Will Durst. Friday, Dec. 27 at 8 p.m.
LVPAC New Year’s Eve Celebration: The annual event at the Bankhead starts with the contemporary blues, Americana and roots music of top slide guitarist Roy Rogers and The Delta Rhythm Kings and continues after the performance with a festive champagne and dessert reception in the lobby. Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 8 p.m.
About the Company: The Bankhead Theater, located at 2400 First Street in Downtown Livermore, is home to the LVPAC Presents series as well as performances by resident companies and touring performing arts groups. Rotating art exhibitions are also presented in the lobby and Founder’s Room throughout the year. The ticket office is open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 3to 6p.m. On performance days the ticket office is open from two hours before to 30 minutes after the scheduled start of each show. To purchase tickets, call 925-373-6800 or visit http://www.bankheadtheater.org.