Central Contra Costa

'Homage' nudes exhibit opens Jan. 2-26

With "Homage to the Nude in Art," at the aRt Cottage in downtown Concord from Jan. 2-26, several Contra Costa County artists (including representatives from Walnut Creek and Lafayette) aim to show that capturing the essence of the human form is akin to artistically recording the beauty of nature.

The exhibition will feature drawings and paintings -- from realistic to abstract -- representing the beauty of the human form. Artwork includes quick gestural drawings and long studies, some in pencil and pastel, others in watercolor, oils and acrylics.

There will be an artists' reception Saturday, Dec. 5 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the aRt Cottage, 2238 Mt. Diablo St., Concord. Gallery hours 9-5 weekdays; 1-5, weekends. Jan. 5. Call 925-381-9584, or go to aRtCottage.com.

WALNUT CREEK

'Shellies' performing arts award dinner Jan. 12

The 34th annual Shellie Awards dinner, where outstanding achievement in the performing arts in Central Contra Costa and the Diablo Valley will be recognized, will be held Jan. 12 at the Lesher Center for the Arts in downtown Walnut Creek.

Patterned after the Tony Awards on Broadway, the work of 11 regional theater companies and their individual actors, writers, musicians and support personnel will be featured. Nominees are selected by each participating organization, and winners are chosen by members of the Shellie Committee who attend every local production. The time period for consideration is Sept. 1, 2011 through Aug. 31, 2012.

Tickets for the Jan. 12 event are $30. For more information, go to http://www.lesherartscenter.org

ARF's 'Stars' benefit to feature Robin Williams

Stars to the Rescue XXII, as of this week including appearances by actor/comedian Robin Williams, singer Tony Orlando and singer/actor Rich Hebert, is set for Saturday, Jan. 5 as a benefit for Tony La Russa's Animal rescue Foundation.

Proceeds from Stars to the Rescue provide support for ARF's programs for animals and their people. There also will be a silent auction, also to raise money for ARF.

Williams, based in San Francisco, is famous for his standup comedy and for appearances in films including "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Good Morning Vietnam" and "Night at the Museum."

In addition to five hit singles in the 1970s, with the backup singers Dawn, Orlando has been on variety TV shows, in movies and on Broadway.

Hebert's past performances include Broadway and National tours such as Sunset Boulevard, Les Miserables, Cats and Saturday Night Fever.

Tickets range from $45 per person to $250 for VIP tickets. For more information, call 925-943-SHOW; for details on VIP tickets, contact Judy Bentley at 925-296-3154 or jbentley@arf.net.

'Broadway Revealed' reveals itself at the Bedford

"Broadway Revealed: Behind the Theater Curtain" is scheduled to run through Feb. 17 at the Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts.

It reflects 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 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.

Lafayette

A night of 'Petty Theft' at Town Hall Jan. 26

Petty Theft, a Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers tribute band, makes its return to Town Hall Theatre for one night only, Jan. 26, for a show of Petty music ranging from his revered classics to his most current hits.

Tickets range from $10 to $30. Doors open at 7, music begins at 8. To buy tickets, go to Thttp://www.townhalltheatre.com; to learn more about the band, go to http://www.pettytheftrocks.com