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Top January Events in the East Bay

Enjoy a lantern festival; see Mamma Mia!; catch a LeAnn Rimes concert in San Ramon; and more.


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Courtney Mattison’s ceramic sculpture Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI).

Photo by Courtney Mattison

Festival

LumiNight Lantern Festival

Through 2/2 Journey through eight acres of light-based creations and lantern sculptures at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Crafted by artisans from China, the installations depict Earth’s natural wonders, myths, and eras—from the age of dinosaurs to Noah’s Ark. alameda​countyfair.com.

 

Movie

Free Movie Night

1/9 The second Thursday of each month, Diablo hosts a free movie night at the Orinda Theatre. This month, Robert Redford and Meryl Streep shine in the Oscar-winning epic Out of Africa. orindamovies.com.

 

Comedy

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Roadshow

1/10 Twenty-five years after their debut in Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob are back in a new movie. To celebrate their resurgence, filmmaker and comedian Kevin Smith is taking the stage at Oakland’s Fox Theater as part of the SF Sketchfest comedy festival. thefoxoakland.com.

 

Cinema

Next Door to Darkness: The Films of David Lynch

1/10–2/29 In its latest film series, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive examines the work of iconic filmmaker David Lynch. Author Barry Gifford—who cowrote Lost Highway and wrote the Wild at Heart novel—will provide introductions for a few of the screenings. bampfa.org.

 

Art

The Great Wave: Contemporary Art About the Ocean

1/12–3/22 The ocean has long represented both stunning beauty and awesome terror. Walnut Creek’s Bedford Gallery explores this dichotomy in a new exhibition, showcasing works by artists who live near the sea, inspired by the famous woodblock print The Great Wave by Katsushika Hokusai. bedfordgallery.org.

 

Art

Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change

1/12–3/29 Danville’s Museum of the San Ramon Valley presents an exhi-bition highlighting the wildflowers of the Golden State—and the havoc climate change is wreaking upon the land—via the photographs of Bay Area residents Rob Badger and Nita Winter. museumsrv.org.

 

Theater

Mamma Mia!

1/18–2/2 Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre sings and dances to the hits of ABBA at Livermore’s Bankhead Theater. The fun musical follows a woman on a Greek island who’s seeking the truth about her birth father—and chaos ensues. lvpac.org.

 

Theater

The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith

1/24–2/22 In Memphis, Tennessee, in 1937, the Empress of the Blues tells audiences the tale of her incredible musical career. This Center Repertory Company production, performed at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, also weaves in Smith’s biggest hits. lesherartscenter.org.

 

Music

LeAnn Rimes

1/25 Country-pop songstress LeAnn Rimes won her first Grammy Award at age 14, making her the youngest artist ever to claim the prize. Two decades later, she brings her vocal stylings to San Ramon’s Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center. sanramon.ca.gov.

 

Theater

West Side Story

1/25–2/9 Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s Romeo and Juliet–inspired love story is one of the most beloved musical-theater shows of all time. Witness the Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre’s face-off between the Jets and Sharks at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton. firehouse​arts.org.

 


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