Black Diamond Ballet Theatre returns

PITTSBURG -- With renovations completed at the historic Creative Arts Building, Black Diamond Ballet Theatre returns to the stage after a three-year absence, with director and choreographer Sharon Idul s full-length "Nutcracker. More than 50 local student performers join the cast of professionals for the traditional holiday show.

Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8 and 2 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Creative Arts Building, 250 School St.

Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors (62 and older) and $15 for 17 and younger.

Tickets are available online at www.blackdiamondballet.org or can be purchased at Railroad Book Depot, 650 Railroad Blvd., Pittsburg (925-427-2334), or at the Delta Ballet Academy, 300 G St., Antioch (925-754-9833).

Black Diamond Ballet Theatre is affiliated with the nonprofit Delta Children s Ballet Theatre and is the first professional ballet company in East Contra Costa County.

'Nutcracker set at El Campanil Theater

ANTIOCH -- Brentwood Children s Ballet Theater presents its eighth annual production of the "The Nutcracker at the El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St.

The timeless holiday tradition brings a young girl s Christmas dream to life. This beautiful production is geared toward children s enjoyment but will also entertain the young at heart.

Performances are noon and 4 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16. Reserved seating is $20 for orchestra, $18 for loge and $16 for opera.

A special reduced price is offered at the 4 p.m. performance on Dec. 15. Doors will open at 3 p.m. with an opportunity for guests to have their photo taken with the dancers. Admission is $18 for orchestra, $16 for loge and $14.

To reserve a seat, call 925-757-9500, or go to www.elcampaniltheatre.com. For information about the Brentwood Children s Theater, go to www.brentwoodballet.org.

Brentwood Writes hosts poetry open mic

BRENTWOOD -- Brentwood Writes will bring all forms of the written word at Open Mic at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Gallery on Second.

All short work -- poetry, short story, nonfiction, or any other creative work -- is welcome. Participants are allowed five minutes each to perform. The group encourages participants to bring work on any subject, their own or that of another writer, as long as it is neither insulting nor abusive. Everyone is invited whether performing or listening and enjoying.

This event is free and open to the public. Brentwood Writes is an adjunct of the Brentwood Art Society and the Brentwood Community Library. Kati Short, poet laureate, is the host.

The Gallery on Second is directly across from the city hall fountain. For more information, contact shortkati@yahoo.com or call 925-634-6655.

The 'Nutcracker opens Nov. 23 in Antioch

ANTIOCH -- The Pied Piper Player s present the "The Nutcracker at the Virginia J. Calisesi Studio Theatre, 512 W. Second St., Antioch.

The performance is a musical based on E.T.A. Hoffmann s "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King with music from Tchaikovsky s "Nutcracker Suite. Frank Ballesteros directs.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23, 24, 29 and Dec. 1 and 2 p.m. Nov. 24, 25, and Dec. 1 and 2.

Admission is $10 for everyone. For information and tickets, call 925-234-1465.

'Messiah set for performance at El Campanil

ANTIOCH -- George Frederich Handel s most successful and best known oratorio "Messiah comes to the El Campanil Theatre with orchestra members from cities throughout the Bay Area, including many from East County. The chorus consists of East County residents who meet once a week in Brentwood.

The performance is 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8, 602 W. Second St.

Guest soloists include: alto, Jennifer Champeaux-Alto, director of choirs at Johansen High School in Modesto; bass, Richard J. Colla, music educator and concert choir and chamber singers director at Modesto Junior College; tenor, Ricardo Campero, a dedicated music educator teaching choir and band at Ceres schools; and Tina-Maria Garcia, who lives in Oakley, attended Liberty High School where she was

part of the choral program.

Conductor Susan Stuart "graduated from Liberty High School after 35 years as the choral director. She continues to be involved in many musical endeavors.

Tickets are $12 for everyone and can be reserved by call 925-757-9500 or online at ww.elcampaniltheatre.com.

Local artists show set at Lynn House

ANTIOCH -- The eighth annual Local Artists Collection runs Dec. 1-22 at the Lynn House Gallery, 809 W. First St.

The exhibit, a local favorite, features more than 35 local artists and is a diverse, non-themed, mixed-media exhibit of artworks featuring paintings and photographs. The show is a local favorite and provides the community an opportunity to view and purchase art during the holiday season.

A reception will be held 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 1 at the gallery. The reception and exhibit are free. The Lynn House Gallery is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, during exhibits from 1 to 4 p.m.

For more information, visit www.art4antioch.org or contact Diane Gibson-Gray at the Arts & Cultural Foundation at 925-325-9897 or email Diane@art4antioch.org.

Mariachi Divas to play at El Campanil Theatre

ANTIOCH -- The ever-popular Mariachi Divas will perform at 8 p.m. Dec. 1 at El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St.

The Southern California group is a unique multicultural, all-female ensemble. Winners of the 2009 Grammy award for best regional Mexican album of the year, they often can be found strolling the streets as official mariachis of Disney s California Adventure.

Adults: $27; seniors (62 and over) $24; children (under 18) $15.

For tickets and information, call 925-757-9500 or go to www.elcampaniltheatre.com.

Freedom High Jazz Band to perform with Gillette

OAKLEY -- The Freedom High School Jazz Band and The Band Boosters present a concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Freedom High School multipurpose room, 1050 Neroly Road, Oakley. The show features the Jazz Band with Mic Gillette, formerly of Tower of Power, and a few of his friends.

General admission is $10 and $12 at the door. Children are $5. (free for children under 4).

For tickets and information call 925-625-5900.

Film series to show 'Three Quarter Noon

ANTIOCH -- The International Film Showcase presents "Three Quarter Noon playing at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday, El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St.

The world of grumpy taxi-driver Hartmut Mackowiak comes crashing down when he finds out his wife is leaving him after 30 years. Suddenly, he has to rethink his whole life -- making him even more of a cranky loner. That is, until the day he gets 6-year-old Hayat and her mother as a fare in his taxi. While her mother has to go back to Istanbul for a few weeks, Hayat is supposed to stay in Germany with her grandma. But then Hayat s grandma falls into a coma. Although Hartmut initially doesn t want to have anything to do with the precocious little Turkish girl, he gradually succumbs to Hayat s stubborn charm and decides to help her. Little does he suspect it may also be a case of the little girl helping the big grouch to learn to enjoy life again.

The German film has English subtitles.

The film is part of a collaborative effort with the International Film Showcase, which has a successful foreign film series in Orinda.

General admission is $8, seniors (62 and older) and children are $7.

For tickets, call 925-757-9500 or reserve them online at www.elcampaniltheatre.com.

LUHSD foundation plans festive, holiday tour

BRENTWOOD -- Embrace the spirit of the season in the heart of far East County where you will tour festively decorated homes and businesses for the holidays noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 1.

The tour is presented by the Liberty Union High School District Education Foundation with proceeds benefiting the foundation. Admission is $35 in advance and $40 at the door (incudes a glass of wine). Tickets can be purchased at www.educationwins.org or at Hannah Nicole Vineyards, 6700 Balfour Road, Brentwood. For information, call 925-634-2166, or go to www.educationwins.org.