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Live entertainment adds to fun of season in Pleasanton

Also: TV30 showing holiday parades and tree lightings

Pleasanton's own trumpeter Jeff Bordes returns to the Firehouse Arts Center for his annual holiday show at 8 p.m. Saturday. (Contributed photo)

The holiday continues with stage offerings at Pleasanton's Firehouse Arts Center and Amador Theater.

* "Mary Poppins Jr.," presented by Pleasanton's Civic Arts Stage Company, continues through this weekend at Amador Theater, 1155 Santa Rita Road, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday night; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. The ensemble members range in age from 10 through high school.

The production promises "an uplifting show that's perfect for the holidays," director Amber Dyson said, with "an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs, and breathtaking dance numbers."

Tickets are $12, $15 and $18, with discounts for children and seniors.

* Pleasanton's own trumpeter Jeff Bordes returns to the Firehouse Arts Center for his annual holiday show at 8 p.m. Saturday. This year it is a "Jazzy New Orleans Christmas," including the holiday original "The Santa Claus Second Line" along with other original tunes and holiday favorites.

Tickets are $18-$28.

* The 26th annual Big Fat Year-End Kiss-Off Comedy Show is returning to the Firehouse Arts Center with Will Durst & Friends performing stand-up, improvisation and loosely written sketches guaranteed to mock, scoff and taunt with taste. The show begins at 8 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 27) and is rated PG-13. Price ranges from $17-$30.

For tickets to these three productions, go to www.firehousearts.org, call 931-4848, or purchase at the theater box office, 4444 Railroad Ave.

* If you missed the Pleasanton Hometown Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting, it is being aired on TV30 as are the celebrations from Dublin and Livermore. They may be viewed on Comcast TV Channel 30 and AT&T U-verse via Channel 99 as well as online.

"The holiday celebrations that we record and broadcast represent hours of planning by those in charge of organizing them and the participants," TV30 executive director Melissa Tench-Stevens said. "We consider these events one of the main things we cover all year that highlight community spirit."

Dublin's 35th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony was Nov. 29, with entertainment and Santa Claus. The annual Downtown Livermore Holiday Sights & Sounds Parade was Dec. 1, the same date as Pleasanton's parade and tree lighting. They can be viewed anytime at www.tri-valleytv.org.

Broadcast times are as follows:

Pleasanton: 11 a.m. Tuesday; 9 p.m. Friday; 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday.

Dublin celebration: noon Monday; 1 p.m. Thursday; 9:30 a.m. Saturday; 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Livermore: 9 p.m. Monday; 9 p.m. Wednesday; 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 p.m. Sunday.

Also, TV30 will play holiday music from 5 p.m. to midnight on Christmas Eve, and all Christmas Day it will air a marathon of holiday programming to include all the parades plus local choirs.

Greet 2019 with Johnny

Fans of Pleasanton's own Johnny Orenberg might consider a drive to Castro Valley on New Year's Eve where he is hosting "Duettos," an evening of Broadway favorites and Billboard hits at the Center for the Arts.

The party starts at 6 p.m. with small bites and a no-host bar, and the show goes on at 7:30 p.m. with tenors Matthew Liebowitz and Nikita Burshteyn, four other singers and a band.

Orenberg went to Pleasanton Middle School and Foothill High, and he always wanted to be onstage.

"We knew something special was up when our 5-year-old memorized every line of the popular movie 'Ghostbusters' and would perform it for anyone," mom Laura Orenberg said.

That was in 1988. Johnny went on to attend Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio, graduating in musical theater, then headed to New York City. He said his most memorable NYC experience was working with Tony Award winners Sutton Foster and Kathleen Marshall on a workshop on "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" at Juilliard.

Orenberg next entertained on Disney Cruise Lines cruises to the Caribbean Islands as well as at Florida's Disney World, where he performed in "High School Musical" and acted as host at corporate events in the Magic Kingdom. But now he is back in California.

Local audiences might know Orenberg for playing Nicely in Tri-Valley Rep's production of "Guys and Dolls" last month. He has also performed at Woodminster in Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland and 42nd Street Moon in San Francisco.

He said his favorite roles are "the second bananas -- the character roles with all the personality."

His day job is at Fremont Bank in Castro Valley.

"Really, the skills set is transferable -- you must be engaging and well rounded," Orenberg noted.

Tickets for the New Year's Eve cabaret are $49-$55. Go to www.cvartsfoundation.org or call 510-889-8961. The Castro Valley Center for the Arts is located at 19501 Redwood Road.

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