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Lesher Center Announces 22/23 Season Featuring IN THE HEIGHTS & More

The season will also feature Lyle Lovett, SWEAT, Always... Patsy Cline and more.

Lesher Center Announces 22/23 Season Featuring IN THE HEIGHTS & More

From breathtaking contemporary dance to internationally acclaimed musicians, a rollicking celebration of Patsy Cline to a hit musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, theLesher Center for the Arts will present a remarkable year of arts and cultural offerings for Bay Area arts lovers. The 2022-23 lineup at the arts center, a cultural hub of the East Bay encompassing three theaters and an art gallery, will include show-stopping musicals, unique art exhibits, and world-class ballets and orchestras as part of its thrilling Headliners series. Acclaimed artists and performing arts organizations that will be presented at the Lesher Center include Lyle Lovett, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Canadian Brass, The Peking Acrobats, and Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra in addition to brilliant productions of award-winning plays and musicals from its resident professional theatre company, Center Repertory Company (Center REP). Audiences will also explore sensational exhibits and thought-provoking talks at the Bedford Gallery, a contemporary arts space inside the Lesher Center. For tickets and more information, the public may visit www.lesherartscenter.org or call the box office at (925) 943-7469 (open Wed-Sun, 12-6pm).

The Lesher Center Presents "Headliners" Series

Tickets for all performances will be available to the public 10:00am PT, Thursday, May 26.

Ticket bundles are also available, with a 10% discount off three shows, 15% off 4-5 shows, 20% off 6-7 shows, and 25% off 8+ shows. For tickets and more information, the public may visit www.lesherartscenter.org or call the box office at (925) 943-7469 (open Wed-Sun, 12-6pm).

Lyle Lovett & John Hiatt

November 4, 2022

7:30pm Friday

Tickets: $69-$138

Singer, composer, and actor Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel, and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers. One of music's most vibrant and iconic performers, Lovett has earned four Grammy Awards as well as the Americana Music Association's inaugural Trailblazer Award and was named Texas State Musician. His live performances show not only the breadth of this Texas legend's deep talents, but also the diversity of his influences, making him one of the most compelling and captivating musicians in popular music. Joining Lovett for this special performance is John Hiatt, a master lyricist and satirical storyteller who delivers songs filled with tales of redemption, relationships, and surrendering on his own terms. His lyrics and melodies have graced more than 20 studio albums and have been recorded by Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, and scores of others-earning him a place in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, a BMI Troubadour award, and a lifetime achievement in songwriting designation from the Americana Music Association.

Canadian Brass

November 25, 2022

8:00pm Friday

Tickets: $39-$75

Known today as "the world's most famous brass group," Canadian Brass has long been touted for its fresh approach to concert performances, uniquely engaging stage presence, and audience rapport. Founded by Chuck Daellenbach and Gene Watts in 1970 to bring the sound and the excitement of brass music to new audiences, the group remains "the 'gold standard' among brass quintets." (NPR) For more than 40 years, various iterations of the group have performed to great acclaim, from concerts in Moscow to Tokyo, Boston, and Beijing-where they became the first brass ensemble from the West to perform in China. The group has also performed on "Sesame Street," "The Tonight Show," movie soundtracks, and in guest appearances with symphony orchestras. Each Canadian Brass concert offers a full range from trademark Baroque and Dixieland tunes, to marches, ragtime, Latin, jazz, big band, Broadway, and new compositions and arrangements. From formal classical presentation to music served up with lively dialogue and theatrical effects, the hallmark of any Canadian Brass performance is entertainment, spontaneity, virtuosity and, most of all, fun-but never at the expense of the music. Whatever the style, the music is central and performed with utmost dedication, skill, and excellence.

Bush/Marshall/Meyer/Meyer

January 22, 2023

7:30pm Sunday

Tickets: $39-$75

American music masters Sam Bush (mandolin/violin), Mike Marshall (mandolin), and Edgar Meyer (bass) join with George Meyer (violin) for a special collaboration typically only found on the summer bluegrass festival circuit. The all-star quartet is made up of Bush, a father of the American "Newgrass" scene; Marshall, who broke onto the scene as a member of David Grisman's quintet; the elder Meyer, who has earned endless praise and awards for his work in the worlds of bluegrass and classical music; and Meyer's son, who is shaping the next generation of the genre. Audiences will hear works from the genre-bending Short Trip Home album originally performed by Bush, Marshall, and the elder Meyer with violinist Joshua Bell, as well as new music written specifically for the tour.

The Peking Acrobats

January 27, 2023

7:30pm Friday

Tickets: $39-$75

For the last 32 years, The Peking Acrobats have redefined audience perceptions of Chinese acrobatics. From performing daring maneuvers atop a precarious pagoda of chairs, to trick-cycling, precision tumbling, juggling, somersaulting and gymnastics, the troupe displays its remarkable technical prowess. The performers push the limits of human ability, defying gravity with amazing displays of contortion, flexibility, and control, accompanied by live musicians skillfully performing on traditional Chinese instruments. The time-honored music meets awe-inspiring acrobatic feats for a festive celebration of Chinese culture.

College Notes A Cappella

Presented by Kaiser Permanente

March 10 - 11, 2023

7:30pm Friday & Saturday

Tickets: $35-$63 ($25 Students)

Award-winning a cappella groups from top colleges across the nation will converge for the sixth annual Kaiser Permanente College Notes, a competition-free performance showcasing a wide array of music styles and extraordinary talent. Fans of Pitch Perfect, Glee, or The Sing Off will rejoice at this high-powered display of vocal pyrotechnics. Ticket proceeds will go towards the Diablo Regional Arts Association's Education & Outreach program.

Dance Theatre of Harlem

March 16 - 17, 2023

7:30pm Thursday & Friday

Tickets: $62-$115

World-renowned Dance Theatre of Harlem is known for its empowering performances of classical and contemporary works in the demonstration of co-founder Arthur Mitchell's premise that ballet belongs to everyone. Founded 53 years ago by the legendary dancer, and master teacher Karel Shook, Dance Theatre of Harlem aimed to challenge perceptions and create new opportunities. The company has since developed into one of the world's foremost ballet companies. The 18-member, multi-ethnic ensemble performs a forward-thinking repertoire that offers a powerful vision for ballet in the 21st century, blending neoclassical works as well as innovative contemporary works that use the language of ballet to celebrate Black culture. Its performances have been hailed by critics around the world, including the Los Angeles Times, which lauded the company's "aching lyricism," declaring its work "A pulsing celebration of love and life." The company will present a vibrant program of treasured classics and innovative contemporary works.

Paul Taylor Dance Company

April 7, 2023

7:30pm Friday

Tickets: $59-$115

One of the most iconic and dynamic modern dance ensembles of today, the Paul Taylor Dance Company has been innovating and transforming the artform of modern dance since 1954. "A bright, refreshing tonic," raved The New York Times. "One of the most exciting, innovative, and delightful dance companies in the entire world." With a history of multidisciplinary collaborations, passionate expression, and thrilling athleticism, the company is known worldwide for its vast Repertory-performing work from the founder's canon, new works created by some of today's most engaging and established choreographers, and important historical dance from the 20th and 21st centuries. The Washington Post called the late founder "a masterful creator of taut, piercing short stories in dance," praising the storyteller's "ability to look deeply into the human heart at the residues of tragedy and triumph and uncover compassion and optimism...Taylor's theatrical sense, with its deceptive simplicity, is cunning and complicated."

Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra

June 2, 2023

7:30pm Friday

Tickets: $39-$75

When acclaimed trombonist/composer Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra hit the stage, audiences can expect a jubilant jazz party. Marsalis is a merchant of joy!" says Downbeat Magazine of the New Orleans born musician, who hails from the prolific Marsalis family of jazz performers. Marsalis, his father (pianist Ellis Marsalis) and brothers (trumpeter Wynton, saxophonist Branford, and drummer Jason) are group recipients of the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters Award. Rooted in Marsalis' experiences performing with music legends such as Ray Charles, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, and Fats Domino, Uptown Jazz Orchestra offers a repertoire that spans more than 100 years of American music, served up with contemporary flare. Showcasing influences from Louis Armstrong to Count Basie, James Brown to J. Cole, Marsalis and UJO performances aim to free the mind, warm the heart, and heal the soul.

Fiesta Cultural

June 21 - 25, 2023

A celebration of Latinx/a/o art and culture, featuring headlining jazz artist Arturo Sandoval, Center REP's production of In the Heights, and special events throughout the entire facility.

Center Repertory Company

Subscriptions ($162-181 for 4 shows) are available starting June 15, 2022. Buyers can also add on Always...Patsy Cline or A Christmas Carol for $40. Single tickets go on sale July 29. For tickets and more information, the public may visit www.lesherartscenter.org or call the box office at (925) 943-7469 (open Wed-Sun, 12-6pm).

Always...Patsy Cline

September 9 - 25, 2022

Created and originally directed by Ted Swindley

Directed by Karen Lund

More than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30, this rollicking show is based on the true story of Cline's friendship with a fan from Houston, who first met the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961. Created and originally directed by Ted Swindley, the musical play called "a song filled valentine" by the Los Angeles Times is complete with down home country humor, touching emotion, and audience participation. A touching tribute, the show also offers audiences 27 songs from Cline's repertoire including unforgettable hits such as "Crazy," "I Fall to Pieces," "Sweet Dreams," and "Walking After Midnight," giving fans of both Cline and country music a chance to kick up their boots.

Clue

October 28 - November 20, 2022

Based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn

Written by Sandy Rustin

Additional material by Hunter Foster and Eric Price

Directed by Nancy Carlin

Murder and blackmail are on the menu when six mysterious guests assemble for a dinner party at Boddy Manor-and become suspects when their host turns up dead. Led by Wadsworth the butler, the guests race to find the killer as the body count stacks up. Was it Mrs. Peacock in the study with the knife? Or Colonel Mustard in the library with the wrench? Based on the cult 1985 Paramount movie and inspired by the classic Hasbro game, Sandy Rustin's adaptation of the farce-meets-murder-mystery was called "a welcome throwback to an era of physical comedy" by The New York Times. Says Theatermania, "Sandy Rustin adapts Jonathan Lynn's infinitely quotable screenplay, borrowing its most sparkling gems but fashioning her own piece in the spirit of classic ensemble farce." Whether audience members are cult-fans or newcomers to Clue, this comedy whodunit should offer a bloody good time.

A Christmas Carol

December 8 - 22, 2022

By Charles Dickens

Directed by Scott Denison

Directed by Scott Denise, thousands have made Center REP's production of the holiday classic a part of their annual holiday traditions. Broadway World praised the joyous production's "exceptional staging," adding, "it's no wonder [it] sells out." Brimming with music and dance, love and laughter, and spectacular special effects, the Contra Costa Times called this production "The Christmas Carol To see in the Bay Area."

Red Bike

February 3 - 25, 2023

By Caridad Syich

Directed by Markus Potter

Obie Award winning Cuban American author Caridad Svich's compelling play looks at the economic-social-cultural divide through the eyes of an 11-year-old growing up in small-town America. Trying to determine how to belong in a divided country, a child fixes on a red bike that encompasses all the possibilities the world might have to offer. Directed by Markus Potter, Red Bike presents a wildly imaginative, physical and poetic performance of highly choreographed theatrical storytelling.

SWEAT

March 24 - April 16, 2023

By Lynn Nottage

Directed by Elizabeth Carter

Filled with tremendous heart and warm humor, Lynn Nottage's 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning SWEAT is "a raw, prescient portrait of the American working class" (Entertainment Weekly) that tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets, and laughs while working together on the factory floor. When layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat. Race, class, and friendship collide in this explosive drama, which The New York Times called "extraordinarily moving" and "a superb, vital contribution to contemporary drama that could not be more timely." SWEAT is "passionate and necessary...a masterful depiction of the forces that divide and conquer us" (Time Out New York)

In the Heights

May 26 - June 24, 2023

Music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes

Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Winner of the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes's Broadway hit In the Heights tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood. "When this musical erupts in one of its expressions of collective joy, the energy it gives off could light up the George Washington Bridge for a year or two," said The New York Times. A place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music, Washington Heights is a community on the brink of change. Bursting with hopes, dreams, and pressures, a cast of diverse characters struggle with deciding which traditions they should take with them, and which ones they should leave behind. An ebullient score and zesty choreography highlight this joyous musical, which won critics over with its "good old-fashioned Broadway heart [and] the invigorating pulse of modern Latin rhythms, mixed with the percussive dynamism of hip-hop." (Time Out New York)

Bedford Gallery

Bedford Gallery members enjoy free gallery admission (plus one guest) to all exhibitions for a year. For more information or to become a member, the public may call or (925) 295-1417 or visit www.bedfordgallery.com. Tickets to exhibitions for nonmembers are $5, and free for children 12 and under.

Cultural Currency: Contemporary Art from the Riemer Collection

June 30 - September 18, 2022

12pm-5pm, Wednesday through Sunday

Cultural Currency: Contemporary Art from the Riemer Collection explores the innovative ways artists use money as a medium to expand its worth beyond a given denomination. Each of the artists featured in this exhibition investigates preconceived definitions of monetary value, meticulously repurposing bills and coins into exquisite, precise artworks. Universally relevant, humorous and, at times, critical, Cultural Currency asks viewers to consider how the definition of currency can be reshaped into a multifaceted object steeped in meaning and intrigue.

The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art: Works on Paper

September 29 - December 18, 2022

12pm-5pm, Wednesday through Sunday

Curated from the extensive collection of Harmon and Harriet Kelley, this exhibition highlights nearly seventy works on paper by African American artists spanning the 20th century and beyond. From the first documented professional graphic artist on the west coast, Grafton Tyler Brown, to contemporary printmakers such as Margo Humphrey, the exhibition celebrates African American artists and their tremendous contribution to American art and culture. Drawings, etchings, watercolors, pastels, and color screen prints chronicle the lives of Black Americans through scenes of family and community, urban and rural workers, poverty and success, cultural pride, and political turmoil. This exhibition was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions based in Los Angeles, California.

Craft Fest

November 12, 2022

10am-5pm Saturday

Bedford Gallery's annual tradition returns-just in time for holiday gift giving. Visitors are invited to shop from local, independent makers and designers producing the finest handmade crafts, jewelry, ceramics, textiles, home goods, artisanal foods, clothing, and more. Admission is free to members and non-members.

Erin Fong | The Sensation of Color

January 14 - April 2, 2023

12pm-5pm, Wednesday through Sunday

The world is saturated with colors that inform our day-to-day experiences in subtle, unconscious ways. Through dedicated experimentation, Bay Area artist and letterpress printer Erin Fong explores this concept and how color affects emotional responses. Erin Fong | The Sensation of Color will transform the gallery into a vibrant lab with the artist's prints, paintings, and installations. The exhibition invites visitors to tap into their experience-both individually and collectively-as they are immersed in hues across the spectrum, asking "How do colors make us feel?" and "How do colors foster human connection?"

About Face

April 15 - June 25, 2023

12pm-5pm, Wednesday through Sunday

The practice of creating portraits dates back nearly 12,000 years to the Neolithic era. What began as plastered human skulls has evolved into paintings, photographs, and sculpture that not only capture the likeness of an individual, but also provide clues about the cultural and societal context in which the person lived. About Face, a juried and invitational exhibition, continues this fascinating tradition using a contemporary lens to speculate how future generations might perceive the way beauty and power are valued, and ultimately what is held culturally significant.

About the Lesher Center for the Arts

The Lesher Center for the Arts is the premier arts venue in Central Contra Costa County. Located in the heart of downtown Walnut Creek, the center offers three separate theatres and an art gallery presenting the best of theater, ballet, comedy, and visual art events.

About Center Repertory Company

Center REP is the resident professional theatre company of the Lesher Center for the Arts. Its season consists of six productions-a variety of classic and contemporary musicals, dramas and comedies, presented with artistic excellence and high professional standards. Center REP's mission is to celebrate the power of the human imagination by producing emotionally engaging, intellectually involving, and visually astonishing live theatre, and through Outreach and Education programs, to enrich and advance the cultural life of the communities it serves. As a producing theatre, its presentations are conceived and developed at the Lesher Center. Whether the production is a Bay Area premiere or a Shakespearean classic, each is devised to be a one-of-a-kind, artistic creation offering a unique theatre experience for audiences.

About Bedford Gallery

Bedford Gallery is a contemporary art space housed in the City of Walnut Creek's Lesher Center for the Arts exhibiting the work of historic, modern, and contemporary artists. In conjunction with each exhibition, Bedford Gallery offers engaging workshops for the public, varying from arts and crafts with featured artists, to dance performances and gastronomical experiences, and more. The Gallery provides the public with opportunities to learn about visual arts through public programs that are varied, accessible, challenging, and educational, and its mission is to provide exhibitions and other programs that both reflect and engage the diverse audiences of the entire Contra Costa region. In addition to organizing and presenting several exhibitions each year, The Gallery offers lectures, workshops, panel discussions, and other public programs. With 3,500 square feet of exhibition space, Bedford Gallery is the largest community-based visual arts facility between the Bay Area and Sacramento.

About the Diablo Regional Arts Association

The Diablo Regional Arts Association (DRAA) is the non-profit partner of the Lesher Center for the Arts, and acts as the designated curator for its programming and audience outreach. The organization aims to achieve artistic excellence by providing exceptional arts programming through quality live theatre, visual arts, and youth education at the Lesher Center for the Arts, while providing avenues of accessibility for everyone to enjoy the arts.


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