Finding the spirit of the season at the Lesher Center

Finding the spirit of the season at the Lesher Center

Finding the spirit of the season at the Lesher Center
Full of song, dance and colorful costumes, Center Rep’s “A Christmas Carol” is a holiday tradition for many families.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Nov. 10, 2023) — The wonderful Laurie Roldan has put together another holiday cabaret with “Laurie Sings a Song for You Christmas,” performing 7:15 p.m. Nov. 30 and 2:15 and 7:15 p.m. Dec. 1 at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr.

It’s a nostalgic evening inspired by the music of Karen Carpenter as well as Andy Williams’ favorites, with featured guest Johnny Orenberg. If you’ve never seen Roldan perform, get ready for a feel-good event with poignant, funny stories and beautiful singing that will jumpstart your holidays.

Laurie Roldan.

Joining Roldan and Orenberg onstage are singers Julia Ludwig, Jordan Smith, Katherine Stein and Ali Xavior Travis, accompanied by Dan Levitan on harp and Joyce Lee on violin. Evan Crone is the musical director and Ashley Cowl the choreographer.

To keep that holiday feeling going, don’t miss Center Repertory’s “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 7-21 at the Lesher. This has become a holiday tradition for many families with its special effects, wonderful music, dance and, of course, the well-known story of Scrooge and Tiny Tim.


Smuin artists Nicole Haskins and Peter Kurta, center, and the company let it snow during the beloved “Christmas Ballet” Nov. 18-19 in Walnut Creek. ( Chris Hardy photo)

If dance is your passion, the Lesher Center has it in spades beginning with Smuin’s holiday extravaganza “The Christmas Ballet” Nov. 18-19. Contra Costa Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” follows Nov. 24-26.

December begins with the Ballet School’s “Once Upon a Christmas” Dec. 1-2. The fully narrated ballet is based on a Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble story about a clumsy elf who learns self-confidence thanks to the dolls and other toys in Santa’s workshop.

For tickets to the above shows, call 925-943-7469 or go to

You Can’t Take It With You

You can still catch the final performances of Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble’s “You Can’t Take It With You.” The Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman comedy runs through Nov. 12 at the Theatre at Edna Hill, 140 Birch St., Brentwood.

Join the eccentric but lovable Sycamore family as they go about their carefree lifestyle. Chaos reigns, however, when Alice Sycamore’s love interest shows up for dinner with his very conservative parents. Michael Wilson directs the large cast of local performers.
Call 925-852-3612 or go to

It’s “Improv Partners in Crime” at the Martinez Campbell Theater at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 12, with special guest Tim Orr. For more improvisation, return to the Campbell at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 for “Improv for Good.” The theater is at 363 Ward St. For more information, go to

Pittsburg Community theatre

Pittsburg Theatre Company will present Disney’s popular “Frozen Jr” 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and 2 and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at the California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg.

It features all the memorable tunes from the animated film plus five new songs written for the Broadway production. Latonya Watts directs and choreographs the show, with Sue Stuart as musical director.

The company also presents “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at 8 p.m. Dec. 9 and 2 p.m. Dec. 10 at the California Theatre. Additional performances will be at the Campbell Theater 8 p.m. Dec. 15 and 2:30 and 7 p.m. Dec. 16.

More information on both shows is available at

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Sally Hogarty
Sally Hogarty

Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to