The Willows Theatre's artistic director Eric Inman certainly keeps a busy, highly diversified schedule. He directed the nostalgic ode to a time gone by with the company's current production of "Vaudeville," playing at the Campbell Cabaret in Martinez through July 21, and is in rehearsal for the next mainstage production at the Willows Concord.
This time instead of hoofers, singers and specialty acts tugging at our hearts, Inman will present Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House." The Norwegian playwright wrote the controversial play in 1879 and was criticized for taking 19th century marriage norms to task.
Directed by Inman, the play runs at the Willows Concord from July 17—Aug. 25, and features Lena Hart as Nora Helmer and Mark Farrell as her condescending husband.
For tickets to either show, call 925-798-1300 or go to www.willowstheatre.org. And, if that isn't enough to keep anyone busy, Inman has also just cast his original play "Bound By Blood," which will premiere in October at the Box Car Theatre in San Francisco.
Soon Walnut Creek's Lesher Center for the Arts will be filled inside and out with musicians, actors, puppeteers and more as the annual Chevron Family Theatre Festival comes to town. The extravaganza of entertainment for the entire family takes place July 21.
The ribbon cutting, complete with confetti cannons, takes place at 10 a.m.
The day continues with performances by Fantasy Forum and Emmy-nominated puppeteer Leslie Carrara of Sesame Street. Carrara learned her acting chops right here in Contra Costa County where she performed on many local stages honing her craft to perfection. While her career keeps her in Los Angeles most of the time, she always returns to entertain local youngsters during this festival.
There will also be lots of music to enjoy throughout the day, including the Grammy-nominated Papa Hugs and the San Jose Taiko Drummers. Peter Gros of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom returns with his live, exotic animals.
For a complete schedule of events, go to www.lesherartscenter.org or call 925-943-SHOW (925-943-7469).
Another local, who has gone on to a professional career, is guitarist Amy Miller.
Originally from Walnut Creek, the now Philadelphia-based performer will be in town on July 18 to perform with her band, Panic Years, at the El Rio, 3158 Mission St., in San Francisco.
The band's debut LP, "The Month's Mind," took its inspiration from Herman Hesse's "Steppenwolf."
Comical mayhem takes over the Lesher Center as the Lamplighters present Gilbert and Sullivan's classical favorite "The Mikado."
Set in an imaginary Japan where flirting is a capital offense, the light opera is silliness at its best. The playful tale is actually a satire on Victorian British society, but you don't need to know anything about that era to enjoy the fun.
Chaos, desperation and total silliness prevail. Four performances only -- 8 p.m. July 27, 28; and 2 p.m. July 28, 29.
Call 925-943-SHOW (925-943-7469) or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.
Billy Joel fans can catch a tribute to the performer at 7:30 p.m. July 22, as the Firehouse Arts Center Cabaret Series presents "JOEL: A Tribute to the Songs of Billy Joel."
Considered the premier rock 'n' roll tribute band, JOEL features piano man Kyle Martin in renditions of such Joel classics as "Only the Good Die Young," and "New York State of Mind."
For tickets, call 925-931-4848 or go to www.firehousearts.org.
Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre continues its production of "Hairspray" through July 29, at the Castro Valley Center for the Arts, 19501 Redwood Road, in Castro Valley.
Joy Sherratt directs and is the choreographer with Pat Parr the music director.
The outrageous show features Brandy Collazo as Tracy Turnbaltt. Collazo has been seen at many local theaters, including The Willows and Diablo Actors Ensemble. For tickets, call 510-889-8961 or go to www.pcrtproductions.org.
Contact Sally Hogarty at firstname.lastname@example.org.