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TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Livermore's Bankhead Theater to Re-Open in Mid-May to Show Films

Apr 11, 2021
Livermore's Bankhead Theater is planning to re-open this May to show films with a restricted audience size. The first screening will be the classic 1971 film musical, "Fiddler on the Roof" (1971), which was originally scheduled to be shown the week the Bankhead closed last March. It will be shown on May 19. It will be followed by nine exceptional dramas and musical theater productions recorded in London's West End and a "Travel Without Leaving Town" series showcasing great art and artists. The Family Film Series will return in the summer.

In keeping with COVID restrictions, ticket sales will initially be limited to 100 seats, spaced across the 507-seat venue. Tickets are on sale now.

“After what has been a very long year, we are really looking forward to welcoming our patrons back into the theater,” said Chris Carter, Executive Director of Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center. “Until we are able to host live performances again, showing high-quality films on our full-stage big screen can bring at least some of the joy of the arts back inside the theater,” he said. “We hope to host outdoor concerts soon but as our first priority remains keeping patrons safe, we continue to wait for county or state guidelines on how to do so.”

National Theatre Live offers the best of British theater with state-of-the-art filming techniques specifically tailored for each play, providing an experience described as “the next best thing to actually being there.” On June 10, the Bankhead will screen an inventive new adaptation of the powerful love story “Cyrano de Bergerac” starring James McAvoy (X-Men, Atonement) in the title role. The legendary Ian McKellen delivers an “extraordinarily moving portrayal” of Shakespeare’s tragic and tormented “King Lear” in a Chichester Festival Theatre production to be shown on July 8.

The “Travel Without Leaving Town” series is made up of five Great Art on Screen films which offer an in-depth look at some of the most extraordinary and groundbreaking artists of their time. From Venice and Florence in Italy, to Spain, Russia and Mexico, the films feature the works of great Renaissance masters, Tintoretto and Botticelli, the fascinating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, as well as in-depth tours of the treasures within famous museums, The Prado and The Hermitage. Narrated by well-known actors, interspersed with insights from expert art historians, the culture and stories of these artists and art collections come to life. The films will be screened on Sundays from May 30 through July 25 and align with a new Bankhead Gallery art exhibit, “Take Me There: Travel the World Through Art and Photography,” which opens June 29. For more information on the exhibit’s Call for Art, visit LivermoreArts.org/visual-arts.

“Live from London’s West End” will showcase two acclaimed musical theatre productions on July 16 and 30. Directed by the show’s original author Mark Bramble, “42nd Street” is filled with such familiar hits as the show-stopping title number, “Lullaby of Broadway,” “We’re in the Money,” and more. “Kinky Boots” won six Tony Awards in 2013, including Best Musical and the Best Score award for Cyndi Lauper, the first woman to win alone in that category. The two film musicals from the West End will be co-presented by Bankhead resident company, Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre, which was originally to have mounted their own production during the month of July. TVRT is making plans for their return to the Bankhead stage this November.

Tickets purchased for “Fiddler on the Roof” in 2020 will be honored in May and patrons will be contacted to choose whether they want tickets reissued using the new COVID-safe seating map, or to exchange, donate or receive a refund instead. Any remaining tickets will then be made available at the standard Classic Film Musical price of $5 each.

Tickets for “National Theatre Live,” “Travel Without Leaving Town,” and “Live from London’s West End” are $15 each, with $10 tickets for students up to age 21. Only 100 seats spaced six feet apart will be sold initially per show. Ticket availability may increase if county or state guidelines change, but audience size will not exceed 200 for film screenings at the Bankhead through August 2021. It should be noted that most art and theater films are unrated. Parents know their children best and should make their own decision regarding appropriate content.

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Photo caption: "Cyrano de Bergerac" – James McAvoy (Photo by Marc Brenner)


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