LIVERMORE– Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center’s 2019-2020 Bankhead Presents season begins on Sept. 7 with the annual Brilliance at the Bankhead Gala featuring Broadway and television star Matthew Morrison.
The nearly four dozen events include live performances, classic film musicals, free family concerts, and a new co-presented healthcare speaker series. Among the diverse performers in the Bankhead Presents series will be country hit makers Lonestar and Phil Vassar, Texican rock group Los Lonely Boys, folk legend Arlo Guthrie, comedian Rita Rudner, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, BoDeans, Joan Osborne and The Weepies, A Charlie Brown Christmas Live! on Stage, and mesmerizing dance group MOMIX. Member presale is now underway with tickets for all shows going on sale to the public beginning June 12.
To become a member, contact the development department at 925-373-2305 or visit the website at lvpac.org.
Perhaps best known for his endearing role as Mr. Schuester in the Emmy Award-winning television show “Glee,” Matthew Morrison is widely seen as a “triple threat” for his exceptional singing, dancing and acting talent. He has appeared in leading roles on Broadway in the original cast of “Hairspray,” “The Light in the Piazza,” “South Pacific,” and most recently in “Finding Neverland.” Another renowned Broadway star closes the season, Lea Salonga. Known for taking the starring role in “Miss Saigon” at the age of 18, Salonga’s voice is also familiar to fans of Disney’s animated films as Princess Jasmine and Mulan.
“We strive to create a season that showcases musicians, shows and events across the spectrum of styles and genres, so everyone will find something to enjoy,” said Executive Director Scott Kenison. “As always, we have both exciting new entertainers, as well as returning favorites. Many artists who have performed at the Bankhead want to come back. Some tell us they appreciate the welcoming audiences every bit as much as the great acoustics of the house.”
Country stars known for such blockbuster hits as “Amazed” and “Just Another Day in Paradise,” Lonestar and Phil Vassar team up to bring their rollicking “Not So Silent Night” tour to Livermore for Christmas. They start off a holiday season that includes the traditional Irish music of Danú, klezmer gypsy-rock band Mostly Kosher on the first night of Chanukah, and A Charlie Brown Christmas Live! on Stage for three performances during the holiday school break.
The Bankhead will also bask in the music of legendary greats with The Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Tap Pack an elegant tribute to the smooth vocals of the Rat Pack era, Georgia on my Mind: The Music of Ray Charles, Harlem 100 a tribute created in collaboration with the National Jazz Museum, and Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall, which recaptures the magic of the famous 1938 concert. More contemporary vocal magic is also represented during the season with A Cappella Live featuring rising star ensembles such as Filharmonic from the film Pitch Perfect 2 and Four Italian Tenors singing both opera arias and pop hits.
Dance is well represented in the 2019-2020 Season with the imaginative, athletic dance illusionists MOMIX, the renowned Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, as well as Oakland Ballet’s “Luna Mexicana” to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in the fall, and premier Mexican folk dance company Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles with Jarabe Mexicano in the spring.
“Cultivating collaborative relationships with local groups is also a priority for us,” Kenison added. “Luna Mexicana will be the second time this year Oakland Ballet will perform both for local students during the day and for the public in the evening. San Francisco-based Philharmonia Baroque will offer a concert of music inspired by Shakespeare, and we’re proud to co-present a new speaker series with the Valleycare Foundation supporting Stanford Health Care-Valleycare. Research professors and practitioners from Stanford will speak on important and timely topics including concussion and stroke.”
This season builds on last year’s success with shows that combine music with dance or live theatrical action. The Choir of Man will return with their engaging onstage pub show following their sold out event last spring, Cirque Mechanics will bring their breath-taking circus-themed show “42FT a Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels” and Drum TAO will showcase their modern take on the ancient Japanese art of Taiko drumming.
The Bankhead continues to be a popular venue for comedy shows and this season comic hybrids will deliver laughs as well. Colin Mochrie, star of “Whose Line is it Anyway?,” arrives in October with HYPROV a hilarious blend of hypnotism and improv, and Livermore native Jason Lyle Black will impress audiences with his virtuoso backwards piano playing. The annual visit of Capitol Steps will land in what is sure to be an election year primed for their satiric wit.