It's time for local performers and audience members to bring out those gowns and tuxedos as the annual Shellie Awards approach. The gala event recognizes performers, designers, directors and volunteers who have made a substantial contribution to the vitality of our local theater scene.

This year's gala event takes place at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 11, at the Lesher Center for the Arts. The various awards, which include recognition for acting, directing, set design, choreography, costumes and more, are interspersed with scenes from the nominated plays and numbers from the musical productions. The evening concludes with a bevy of delicious desserts.

Shows nominated for Outstanding Musical include: "Sweet Charity," Center REPertory Company; "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," Contra Costa Musical Theatre; "Singin' in the Rain," Diablo Theatre Company; "Shakespeare Comes to Calamity Creek," Pittsburg Community Theatre; and "Fabulous Follies 2012," Vagabond Players.

Shows nominated for Outstanding Play include: "Salome," Butterfield 8 Theatre Company; "The 39 Steps," Center REPertory Company; "Grace & Glorie," Diablo Actors' Ensemble; "Spots of a Leopard," Onstage Theatre; "A Case of Libel," Pittsburg Community Theatre; "The Farnsworth Invention," Town Hall Theatre Company; and "Last of the Red Hot Lovers," Vagabond Players.

For tickets to the Shellie Awards, call 925-943-SHOW (925-943-7469) or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.

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    Ushering in the new year or ending the last one with a bang is the incomparable comedian Will Durst with his outrageously funny "Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show XXI" at the Lesher Center at 8 p.m. Dec. 28.

    Subtitled the "Worst of Durst," the political satirist takes on the past year's political ups and downs as only this Bay Area favorite can. For tickets, call 925-943SHOW (925-943-7469) or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.

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    Thanks to Daren A.C. Carollo, the holidays linger a bit after Christmas with Broadway By the Bay's "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" Dec. 26—29 at the historic Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway St., in Redwood City.

    Carollo, former artistic director for Diablo Theatre Company, is now the executive director of Broadway By the Bay.

    "This show is a wonderful holiday gift that we hope our patrons will fully enjoy," says artistic director Amanda Folena. "The artistic team for this production has really embraced the true meaning of Christmas."

    Inspired by the classic American film, the story is performed as a 1940s live radio broadcast in front of a studio audience. Five actors perform the dozens of characters as well as produce the sound effects as the story of George Bailey unfolds.

    Shows are at 8 p.m. Dec. 26-28, and at 2 p.m. Dec. 29. Call 650-579-5565 or go to www.broadwaybythebay.org.

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    Contra Costa Children's Chorus announces auditions from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 8, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 1035 Carol Lane, in Lafayette. This is for the spring semester and encompasses boys and girls ages 6-16.

    Dr. Martin Benvenuto, who also directs WomenSing, leads the internationally known chorus. The group performs locally in addition to touring opportunities for the advanced choirs. In fact, the honors level choir will travel to Argentina this summer.

    You have a chance to hear the group at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 28, at Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church, 1801 Lacassie Ave., at its Alumni Reunion Concert.

    Current members of the choir as well as featured alumni soloists will perform. Tickets are available through www.brownpapertickets.com.

    For an audition appointment, call 925-945-7101 ext. 1 or email frontdesk@childrenschorus.org.

    Contact Sally Hogarty at sallyhogarty@gmail.com.