Member presale tickets are available for the Bankhead Theater's 2021-22 season, which launches Sept. 11 with its annual fundraising gala, "Brilliance at the Bankhead," starring Grammy Award-winner Vanessa Williams. After June 23, tickets will go on sale to the public.
The season has scheduled almost 60 performances -- the largest lineup since the Bankhead opened in 2007 -- including live entertainment, films and free family concerts.
"It is always our goal to share and celebrate the arts with our community, and this year it feels more important than ever," said Chris Carter, executive director of Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center. "After all the challenges of 2020, we're really looking forward to the joy of experiencing live music and entertainment together with others in the theater again."
The events in the upcoming season are especially diverse, spanning a range of musical genres, plus comedy, dance, theater and family shows. Returning favorites include bluegrass trio the Wailin' Jennys, jazz leader Branford Marsalis, singer/songwriter Joan Osborne, the "little orchestra" Pink Martini, and Disney legend Lea Salonga.
Appearing for the first time will be blues legends John Mayall with Walter Trout, former Minnesota senator Al Franken, and the sibling group, the 5 Browns, who will fill the venue with the music of five Steinway pianos.
"Some shows really have to be seen in person, on stage, to be fully appreciated," Carter said. "No virtual or online offering can possibly replicate the visual sensation of shows such as Cirque Mechanics, who bring their 'Birdhouse Factory' show in 2021, or the dynamic Japanese Taiko of Drum Tao."
Three shows this season will incorporate large screen projections and/or stage action with live music: Anne Carrere as the famed Parisian chanteuse in "Piaf! The Show"; the Queen's Cartoonists performing music to synchronized projections of classic cartoons and contemporary animation; and "Stroll Down Penny Lane," which uses illustrations and photographs in a tribute to the decades-long musical career of Paul McCartney.
In addition to these Bankhead Presents shows, the resident companies of the theater -- Cantabella Children's Chorus, Del Valle Fine Arts, Livermore-Amador Symphony, Livermore Valley Opera, Pacific Chamber Orchestra, Rae Dorough Speaker Series, Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre and Valley Dance Theatre -- will offer nearly 50 events of their own during the season.
Since business opening restrictions are being lifted June 15 in California, every seat in the Bankhead will be for sale for upcoming live performances. The film series, which was set up earlier and runs through August, continues to limit seating to fewer than 200 of the theater's 507 seats.
Members of Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center are eligible for priority ticket purchase and receive a discount on Bankhead Presents shows year-round, as well as other benefits. To become a member or to see the complete listings, visit the website at LivermoreArts.org.