Catch “Spontaneous Charles Dickens” at Lesher of Walnut Creek
You might think the holidays are almost over, but Synergy Theater has extended them with its production of “Spontaneous Charles Dickens”. The company will present a fully improvised two-act comedy Jan. 13-23 in the writer’s Victorian style at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek.
“Charles Dickens created some amazing characters,” said Synergy Theater artistic director Kenn Adams. “They are vastly larger than life, sometimes down to the level of caricature. … However, he fills them with so much heart and truth that you completely believe in it. It’s a wonderful challenge, as an improviser, to create this kind of character.
Shows are Thursday through Saturday at 8:15 p.m. and Sunday at 3:15 p.m. at the Lesher Center at 1601 Civic Drive. Tickets cost $ 25 and can be purchased by calling 925-943-7469 or going online at lesherartscenter.org.
Also in Walnut Creek: The Lesher Center will launch its headlining series in early January with internationally acclaimed singer LeAnn Rimes. The multi-platinum singer and winner of two Grammy Awards and 12 Billboard Music Awards, to name a few, will perform hit songs and fan favorites recorded during her 25-year career. The accomplished performer was also honored by the Human Rights Campaign for her more than 20 years of supporting equal rights. She will perform at 7:30 p.m. on January 7 at the Lesher Center.
The headlining series will continue with Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell (February 25), Dance Theater of Harlem (April 29-30), Jazz Sounds of the Joey Alexander Trio (May 6), veteran Laura Benanti Tony Award winning Broadway (June 25) and comedian Ryan Hamilton (July 9). To get tickets for any of the shows, see Lesher’s contact details above.
Lafayette: It’s time to boost your ability to spell tricky words, let alone exercise your funny bone January 7-16 as STARS 2000 presents “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Contest” at Lafayette’s Town Hall Theater, 3535 School St.
It’s hard to resist the six eccentric teens who face off in a spelling contest run by three equally eccentric adults in this must-see musical. But beware! Audience participation is encouraged and you might find yourself on stage to test your own spelling skills. Diane Kamrin directs with Greg Zema as musical director. For tickets call 925-283-1557 or go online at City Hall Theater.com Where stars2000.org.
Stormy season ahead: The Oakland Theater Project season 2022, given our recent wet weather, is aptly named “Eye of the Storm”. The company begins with Shakespeare’s “The Storm” (February 11 to March 6) in which a sea storm wrecks a group of travelers to a remote island where a powerful wizard and his daughter live.
Shakespeare’s Enchanted Tale is followed by the west coast premiere of Celine Song’s “Endlings” (April 8 to May 1). Also located on a remote island, this time in Korea, it tells the story of three elderly women who spend their last days diving in the ocean to harvest seafood.
Summer presents the Bay Area premiere of “The Mojo and the Sayso” by Aishah Rahman (June 3-26). A prolific playwright in the black arts movement of the 1960s, Rahman experiments with magical realism and sharp comedy to reveal the human cost of racial injustice.
The Oakland Company uses dance and digital technology to reinvent Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” (September 2-25), then ends its season from October 28 to November 20 with a new work inspired by the short story by Jorge Luis Borges from 1975, “Book of Sand (a fairy tale)” by Lisa Ramirez. “Book of Sand” follows a protagonist who is sold a mysterious book written in an unknown language. For more information and to register, visit Oaklandtheaterproject.org/2022-season in line.
“In choosing our 2022 season, we looked for pieces that offer a transformation from a power-driven experience to a meaningful experience,” said Michael Socrates Moran. “In each of these pieces where meaning and power come together, the motif of the storm manifests itself literally, figuratively or as a form of the piece itself. As we continue to go through a tumultuous time, we increasingly feel like we are in the eye of the storm. “
Concorde: Solo Opera, which presented the wonderful opera “Scalia / Ginsburg” in September, will be back in 2022 with “The Four-Note Opera” by minimalist composer Tom Johnson. Four opera singers all attempt to “go on stage” at a time in the hour-long chamber work, but are only allowed to sing the notes A, BD and E. The place and exact date of the opera remain to be determined.
The Concord Company is also producing “The Three Feathers,” a magical chamber opera for families and children with music by award-winning composer Lori Laitman and a libretto by award-winning local poet Dana Gioia in 2023. soloopera.org for more information.