“We’ve got a lot of quality entertainment coming in 2010,” said Executive Director Rick Carraher. “Right out of the gate, we’ve got a performance by the New Shanghai Circus, and there’s plenty more to come throughout the year.”
The New Shanghai Circus, which is scheduled to perform on Saturday, Jan. 2, features a 20-member acrobatic troop from China that performs a variety of stunts, including body contortions, balancing tricks, gymnastics, aerial ballet, jar juggling and high-flying action on the trapeze. The group is the only Chinese acrobatic team to perform on Broadway and has been stunning audiences since 1998.
Beginning in February, El Campanil will host a new series by the San Francisco Opera. The Grand Opera Cinema Series will air monthly at the theater, featuring recorded live performances from the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. Each performance is accompanied by subtitles so that the audience can follow along.
“We’re really excited about this series,” Carraher said. “It’s a chance to introduce people to opera without having to spend $85 to see it in the city. Through this series, the audience also gets to go behind the scenes to see how the show is made and watch interviews with the cast and crew. You get all of that for $10, so it’s quite a bargain.”
The series premieres Sunday, Feb. 7 with a showing of “Madame Butterfly” and continues with “Don Giovanni” in March, “Samson and Delilah” in April, and concludes in May with “La Rondine.”
El Campanil will also be the place to catch top-notch comedy next year. The best of the San Francisco Standup Comedy Competition will return to the theater on Jan. 15, featuring comedians Steve Pearl, Tom Simmons and David Van Avermaete, and comedienne Paula Poundstone is stopping by in March as part of her nationwide tour.
Poundstone, who will be making her El Campanil debut on March 27 with her two-hour show, appears regularly on late-night talk shows and became a household name as a panelist on the remakes of game shows “To Tell The Truth” and “Hollywood Squares.” She is also known for her charity work through Comic Relief.
The comedy shows contain adult content and are not suitable for young children.
Another newcomer to the El Campanil stage is the Ballet Folklorico Costa de Oro. The Bay Area-based dance group will perform a series of traditional Mexican dances on April 17. Carraher said he’s looking forward to the variety that Costa de Oro will add to the theater’s lineup.
The popular Last Sunday of the Month Film Series will also continue next year. “The King and I,” starring Deborah Kerr, Yul Brenner and Rita Moreno, is slated for Jan. 31.
“We will offer a variety of films in 2010, including musicals, comedies and dramas,” Carraher said. “We’ve upgraded our equipment so that we can play DVDs, but we still stick to the classics for our film series.”
The El Campanil Children’s Theatre group will present “Charlotte’s Web” in March, and the local Vagabond Players will return to El Campanil in May with a performance of “The Fabulous Follies.”
“We’re very excited to offer a wide range of entertainment next year,” said Carraher. “We’ve got something for everyone, and we’ve done our best to keep tickets affordable, so we hope everyone will join us in the new year for some quality performances.”
For a complete list of upcoming events and ticket information, visit www.elcampaniltheatre.com. Previews for upcoming shows are also available at the Web site. El Campanil Theatre is located at 602 W. Second St. in Antioch. For more information, call 925-757-9500.