Lafayette

Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers coming to the Town Hall

Lafayette-born native and alt-folk performer Nicki Bluhm, along with her band The Gramblers, are beginning a winter tour starting with back-to-back shows at Lafayette's Town Hall Theater Dec. 20 and 23.

The band has won hundreds of thousands of fans with its viral sensation "Van Sessions," selling out venues in cities like New York, Boston and Philadelphia during their first time through.

The Dec. 20 show begins at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7); the Dec. 23 show starts at 5 p.m. (door open at 4 p.m.) Tickets are $22.50 for both nights' performances; go to www.townhalltheatre.com or call 925-283-1557.

Lafayette Studio makes move to Saranap

The Lafayette Studio has moved from its Mount Diablo Boulevard location downtown to new digs at 1136 Ste. F Saranap Avenue, Walnut Creek.

This is in the unincorporated area between Walnut Creek and Lafayette, off Boulevard Way.

All classes and workshops are now being held at the new location, and a studio opening party will be announced soon.

'It's a Wonderful Life' performs at Town Hall

The stage production of "It's a Wonderful Life," adapted for the stage by James W. Rodgers from the holiday classic film by Frank Capra, will be performed by the Town Hall Theatre Nov. 29-Dec. 16.


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Lisa Anne Porter ("Proof," "Picasso at the Lapin Agile") returns to direct the stage adaptation of this beloved Christmastime classic that tells the story of George Bailey who, his life and finances in ruin, decides the world will be better off without him -- until he is paid an unexpected visit.

Tickets range from $12 to $29. For showtimes and other information, call 925-283-1557 or go to http://www.townhalltheatre.com/

Lafayette Gallery "trunk show" Dec. 8, 9

The Lafayette Gallery's holiday "trunk show" featuring one-of-a-kind gifts and craft items made by the gallery's member-artists takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the gallery, 50 Lafayette Circle.

Selected guest artists and artisans from the community who aren't gallery members also will be part of the trunk show.

Ceramics and glassware, holiday cards, scented beeswax and decorator candles, handmade soaps, knitted scarves and hats for that upcoming ski trip, jewelry and fashion accessories, great stocking stuffers like coasters and fun magnets, designer accent pillows, handcrafted journals, and paintings and prints will all be available for purchase.

It's free and everyone is welcome. For more information call 925-284-2788 or go to www.lafayettegallery.net

'Dr. Elmo brings his Christmas classic to town Dec. 8

"Dr. Elmo" Shropshire's allotted 15 minutes of fame should have run out when his song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" received its first radio play in 1979. But 11 million copies later, it has long since replaced Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" as America's most requested Christmas carol.

And now, Dr. Elmo himself is bringing his Supersonic Reindeer Band to Lafayette for a Dec. 8 holiday concert at Mighty Fine Guitars, 85 Lafayette Circle in Lafayette.

Reservations are needed; email reindeershow@gmail.com to reserve a seat. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $25 per adult, and $12 for kids under 12.

Moraga

'Flora and Faunae' now at Moraga Art Gallery

The work of painter Leslie Swartz and jeweler Laura Paige is featured in the Moraga Art Gallery's current show, "Flora and Faunae," on exhibit through Jan. 11 at the gallery, 522 Center St.

The subjects are Swartz's expressionist paintings of trees from around the world, and Paige's fine beadwork created with stone beads named after various flora and fauna, such as rose quartz, flower agate and zebra stripe jasper.

The show opened Oct. 24.

Three new Saint Mary's exhibits now open

The Saint Mary's College Museum of Art has three new exhibitions, all on view through Dec. 16. They are:

  • "The Art of the Cross" -- Two thousand years of art history, representing a central tenet of the Christian faith -- Christ's death and resurrection -- are on view with this exhibit featuring works by Marc Chagall, Georges Rouault, Bernard Buffet, Jacques Villon, Otto Dix and Sadeo Watanabe on loan from Christians in the Visual Arts, along with rarely seen works from the Saint Mary's College collection by Èmile Bernard, Jean Charlot, Lovis Corinth, Salvador Dali, and Eric Gill.

  • "Nyame Brown: John Henry's Adventures in a Post-Black World" -- Inspired by bedtime stories told by the artist's father, Brown weaves the folklore hero, John Henry, into a series of fantastic paintings and drawings. A railroad spike driver, Henry beat a steel-driving machine then collapsed with the hammer clutched in his hand. Brown is a member of the art faculty at Saint Mary's College.

  • "Missions of Will Sparks" -- The paintings of Will Sparks are known for their rich color and air of mystery. This rare complete series of the 37 Alta and Baja California missions once belonged to Alma de Bretteville Spreckels. From the collection of Trotter Galleries, Carmel and Monterey.

    The gallery, on the college campus, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 925 631-4379 or visit http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/saint-marys-college-museum-of-art

    WALNUT CREEK

    As 'Captured' exits, 'Broadway' will follow

    As one Bedford Gallery exhibit, "Captured," is set to end its run Nov. 18, a new exhibit will follow on its heels.

    "Broadway Revealed: Behind the Theater Curtain," scheduled to run Dec. 6-Feb. 17, promises to bring the breadth, ambition, and showmanship of New York's iconic theater district to the gallery with a behind-the-scenes look at world-class theater production via artist Stephen Joseph's photographs of some of Broadway's most critically acclaimed productions.

    The performance images will be bolstered by photos of theatrical props, costumes, and other artifacts.

    The exhibit is designed to showcase the complex support network of design, lighting, directing, and staging that come together to create the magic world of the theater.

    The artists of "Captured" have been committed to exploring the unfamiliar and unknown creatures and environments that share our world. That exhibit demonstrates the complex dialogue between the arts, scientific exploration and organic, found materials is being expressed in a contemporary context.

    The gallery, in the Lesher Center for the Arts, is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and from 6 to 8 p.m. on dates of evening performances at the Lesher.

    Walnut Creek author releases Western novel nationwide

    Robert C. Nuzum of Walnut Creek recently released his first novel, "Old Spanish Trail Treasure," a tale of revenge centered on the killings of a man's father and business partners, with Death Valley and the Mojave Desert as backdrops.

    Nuzum has a strong love for the desert and Death Valley, the setting of "Old Spanish Trail Treasure." He has authored or co-authored 20 technical publications on various aspects of natural resource management, including two nonfiction books on fishing and reservoir ecology, before undertaking this, his first novel.

    "Old Spanish Trail Treasure" is his first novel.

    Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore, or by visiting barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com.

    Civic Arts Youth Theatre to present 'Sleeping Beauty'

    Walnut Creek Civic Arts Theatre will present "Sleeping Beauty" Dec. 6, 7 and 10 at 7 p.m. each evening at the Shadelands Auditorium, 111 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek.

    This classic fairy tale told Disney-style features a large chorus, from King Stefan and Queen Stefanie's Loyal Subjects to Maleficent's slimy goons, giving members of Kids Theatre plenty of fun characters to portray.

    Songs from the beloved film, including "Once Upon a Dream," accompany fun new songs like "Maleficent!" and "A Little Magic Now" to bring a fresh telling of the story to a new generation of kids and families.

    Tickets are $10 and are available at the door. For tickets or information, caIl 925-943-5846.

    Winter concert to feature Jazz Band, Flock of Flutes

    Walnut Creek Civic Arts Education combines its very own Flock of Flutes choir with its jazz band for a Dec. 9 holiday concert at the Shadelands Auditorium, 111 N. Wiget Lane.

    Musicians in the jazz band range in age from teenagers to players in their 70s. Some of the music planned includes Bernie Miller's "Bernie's Tune;" Duke Ellington's "In a Mellow Tone;" Charlie Parker's "My Little Suede Shoes;" Cole Porter's "Night and Day;" Paul Desmond's "Take Five;" and Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love for You." There also will be some seasonal tunes mixed in, such as "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne.

    Tickets are $10, and can be bought at the door or in advance. For more information, call 925-943-5846.