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Top January Events in the East Bay

Attend an awards show in Walnut Creek; see an acclaimed jazz ensemble perform in the Tri-Valley; and more.


Branford Marsalis Quartet

Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson


Conservation Icons: Dr. Wade Davis
Lindsay Wildlife Experience’s stirring speaker series returns for its second year with Dr. Wade Davis, an anthropologist, ethnobotanist, filmmaker, photographer, and National Geographic explorer-​in-residence. Davis will focus on the diversity of life in this appearance at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. lindsaywildlife.org.




Collision of Rhythm
Tap dancing meets percussion meets juggling in this unique dance extravaganza performed at Pleasanton’s Firehouse Arts Center. The high-​energy show thrives on audience interaction as well as unexpected musical feats. firehousearts.org.



Katya Cengel: Exiled
Washington Post writer and Cal Poly journalism professor Katya Cengel presents her compelling—and timely—work, Exiled: From the Killing Fields of Cambodia to California and Back, which chronicles the plight of refugees, at Orinda Books. orinda​books.com.



Free Movie Night
The second Thursday of each month, Diablo hosts a free movie night at the Orinda Theatre. In January, enjoy a special screening of the 1952 classic Singin’ in the Rain. lamorindatheatres.com.



The Shellie Awards
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Walnut Creek’s annual theater-awards ceremony—held at the Lesher Center for the Arts—which celebrates Contra Costa County’s achievements in the performing arts. After the winners are announced, the evening concludes with a champagne gala. lesherartscenter.org.



The Great God Brown
 The Eugene O’Neill Foundation stages the playwright’s innovative drama, which features performers wearing theatrical masks, at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley in Danville. eugeneoneill.org.



Altered States
The Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek shows its California pride in this exhibition spotlighting multi­generational artists who utilize natural elements from the state’s coastline in their intriguing artworks. bedfordgallery.org.



Branford Marsalis Quartet
Led by saxophonist and composer Branford Marsalis—known for his turns on Broadway and The Tonight Show, as well as his work with Sting—this acclaimed jazz ensemble draws from a wealth of stimulating and emotional original music at Livermore’s Bankhead Theater. lvpac.org.



 After nearly 20 years, Berkeley Rep re-creates one of its beloved signature productions: director Mary Zimmerman’s arresting take on Ovid’s classical myths—which won her a Tony Award in 2002—performed from a wading pool inside the intimate Peet’s Theatre. berkeleyrep.org.



Stars to the Rescue
 Singer and pianist Bruce Hornsby and jazz bassist Christian McBride headline the annual fundraiser for baseball legend Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. The proceeds from this star- and fur-studded event at the Lesher Center for the Arts help to save cats and dogs that have run out of time at public shelters. arflife.org.


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