British actor Julian Sands looks very familiar, but you just can't quite place where you've seen him.

He could be the guy you nodded to when you passed his table in a restaurant, or maybe you saw him in the American version of "The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo."

Possibly you saw him on TV -- he's done plenty of that, probably most familiar is his role in "24" or a recurring role in "Dexter." But the point is he's one of those chameleon-like performers who does very well what actors are supposed to do -- lose themselves as they assume the guises of other people.

Where you will see him locally is Livermore's Bankhead Theater at 8 p.m. Friday, where he will perform in his solo show "A Celebration of Harold Pinter." A New York Times review of the piece noted, "This modest, affecting show embodies the notion of the actor as a transparent vessel through which we see the thoughts and feelings of others."

The show, directed by John Malkovich (yep, that one), represents reflections on an intense amount of time the actor spent with Pinter, the Nobel Prize winning poet and playwright. Sands was approached by Pinter to assemble a collection of his poems for a 2005 presentation in London.

During their work together, Sands received a wide-ranging and often unguarded look at Pinter, which allowed him considerable insight into the poet's personality, life and work.

The show debuted at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011 and made its American bow at New York's Irish Repertory Theater, followed by a tour of the United States, Mexico and Europe.

"Celebration" includes parts of some of Pinter's work, but Sands also tried to look at the soul of the man examining his roles as a poet, playwright, husband, political activist and Nobel laureate.

This look at Pinter, author, poet and playwright, whose dramatic works include "The Room," "The Birthday Party," "No Man's Land" and "Betrayal," plays in the Bankhead Theatre, 2400 First St. in Livermore. Tickets, at $36 to $55, can be reserved at 925-373-6800 or www.livermoreperformingarts.org.

Swinging in the season: "Lady K and The Kings Of Swing Winter Wonderland: A Big Band Holiday Show" kicks the season off with a performance Nov. 30 in the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center.

The Bay Area-based swing band, which normally plays an array of big band and jazz shows, will do its best to salute the holiday season at the performing arts center show. The band, featuring vocalist Dale Head, will present an evening of classic holiday favorites with a jazzy flair. Songs include "Jingle Bells" and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" along with "Silver Bells," "Feliz Navidad" and "I'll Be Home For Christmas." The performance has a wide array of numbers designed with something to appeal to the entire family.

The show plays in the theater beside the Dougherty Valley High School, 10550 Albion Road in San Ramon. Tickets, at $15 for adults and $5 for youth, may be reserved at 925-973-3343 or http://www.ci.san-ramon.ca.us/parks/theater/directions.htm.

Contact Pat Craig at pjcraig495@yahoo.com.