.Luther Burbank Center for the Arts Reopens at Full Capacity This Summer

While the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts never technically closed during this past year of lockdowns by hosting drive-in movies, presenting virtual programs, and transforming into a vaccination site­­; the center’s Ruth Finely Person Theater and other stages have been dark for nearly 16 months while social gatherings were halted in the face of Covid-19.

This summer, as the state reopens the economy, the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts prepares to bring back live events and entertainment in a safe and responsible manner, following state and local guidelines.

Beginning in August, the LBC engages live audiences by launching 25 new performances by acclaimed artists in various genres including music, dance, comedy and more.

“For the past year, we have been postponing or cancelling shows. We are beyond excited to bring back the music, bring back the arts, and the energy of that shared experience that only live performance can create,” says LBC Director of Programming Anita Wiglesworth, in a statement.

The first live concert at the LBC is the rescheduled performance of Carlton Senior Living Symphony Pops’ “Remember When Rock was Young: the Elton John Tribute” on August 29.

Additional programs include the return of the popular San Francisco Comedy Competition and humorous appearances by Randy Rainbow, Lewis Black, Bianca del Rio, John Cleese and Tape Face; conversations with Fran Lebowitz, award-winning chef Yotam Ottolenghi and Poet Laureate Billy Collins; concerts from Black Violin, Pink Martini, Buddy Guy, Chicago, Vintage Trouble, John Hiatt and Jerry Douglas Band, Amy Grant and Postmodern Jukebox; and dance performances by Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Calidanza Dance Company and Ailey II. Get the full schedule of shows on the venue’s website.

“We want to ensure that we reopen safely, as the health of our patrons, performers, staff, and volunteers is our top priority,” says LBC President and CEO, Rick Nowlin in a statement. “However, we’ll need the support and patience of our community as we navigate and adapt to the evolving state and county guidelines.”

When the theater reopens, the LBC will be implementing additional safety measures including increased ventilation and air filtration, enhanced cleaning and sanitization, options for a touchless experience, and limited concessions until guidelines change.

Due to the rapidly changing guidelines from the state, the venue is unable to guarantee what the exact protocols may be by the end of August at the time of this announcement. Patrons should expect changes in health and safety protocols, the most restrictive may be the requirement to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination or negative Covid-19 test result, and when not eating or drinking, wearing a mask. The LBC requests that patrons check its website or contact the venue for the most up-to-date information.

Tickets for all performances are available by calling the LBC’s ticket office Tuesday through Sunday, 10am – 6pm, at 707.546.3600; or by visiting the venue online at lutherburbankcenter.org.

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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