4 performances you should see this week

Here are live and streaming shows Bay Area arts fans should know about.

Mountain of an opera

History makes compelling viewing in Opera Parallèle’s latest project.

“Everest — A Graphic Novel Opera,” by composer Joby Talbot and librettist Gene Scheer, tells the story of the harrowing 1996 Mount Everest trek that claimed the lives of eight climbers.

The work was commissioned and premiered onstage at Dallas Opera in 2015, with Nicole Paiement, Parallèle’s general and artistic director, conducting; now “Everest” is available for streaming with new, graphic novel-inspired visuals specifically created for a virtual audience by Parallèle creative director Brian Staufenbiel, illustrator Mark Simmons and director of photography David Murakami.

This one-of-a-kind production runs just over an hour and features an excellent cast starring mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, tenor Nathan Granner, baritone Hadleigh Adams, and bass Kevin Burdette. Details: Available for six months beginning July 16; $19.99; TheDallasOpera.TV.

— Georgia Rowe, Correspondent

Drum Corps excitement in theaters

Fans of Drum Corps International can rejoice now that the group’s annual events and competitions featuring America’s best youth drum and bugle corps ensembles are back after a year lost to the pandemic. And Fathom Events, the company that distributes specialized film fare to theaters across the world, is back in the game, too.

One again, Fathom Events is streaming the DCI’s annual “Celebration Countdown,” which features past highlights from the country’s top corps — two of which are based in the Bay Area — as well as live updates on upcoming events and news from various corps’ training camps.

The “Countdown” will screen 8 p.m. July 15 at several Bay Area theaters, including AMC Eastridge Mall 15 in San Jose, the San Jose Oakridge 20, the Milpitas Great Mall 20, the Pleasant Hill Downtown 16, Century 16 Bayfair Mall, the Regal Berkeley 7, the Regal Hacienda Crossings 20 in Livermore, the Century at Pacific Commons in Fremont, and more.

Among the highlights of the 2-hour movie are scenes from five corps’ performances at previous World Championships, including the Santa Clara Vanguard (from 2018) and the Concord Blue Devils (from 2017), as well as the Rosemont, Illinois, Cavaliers; the Fort Mill, South Carolina Carolina Crown; and the Canton, Ohio, Bluecoats.

Details: Tickets are $22; www.fathomevents.com.

Music & Market series is back

As COVID vaccinations mount and the shelter-at-home landscape recedes, some of the things we love about the Bay Area are returning. No, we’re not talking about the traffic. In this case we’re talking about the free municipal concerts that sprout up during the summer and fall at parks, public squares and the like.

One of our favorites, Concord’s Music & Market series, returns today after being cancelled last year. The weekly concerts at Todos Santos Plaza are timed to serve up some tasty tunes by Bay Area bands while visitors shop and nosh on farm-fresh produce and other goods at the adjacent farmers’ market.

“As of today, more than 70 percent of Contra Costa residents are fully vaccinated, which has enabled us to bring back the events that our community has come to know and love,” said Concord Mayor Tim McGallian.

The weekly series kicks off July 15 with the rollicking Cajun band Zydeco Flames. Other performers in the series include the popular Beatles tribute band Sun Kings (July 22); Journey tribute band Journey Revisited (July 29); the Carlos Xavier Salsa Band (Aug. 12); blues icon Roy Rogers with acclaimed harpist and violinist Carlos Reyes (Aug. 29); and the all-women Led Zeppelin tribute band Zepparella (Sept. 16).

Details: Series runs through Sept. 30; music starts 6:30 p.m. Thursdays (farmer’s market starts at 4 p.m.); Willow Pass Road and Grant Street, Concord; free; more information and full schedule at www.cityofconcord.org/downtownevents.

The play festival’s the thing

The esteemed Bay Area Playwrights Festival has gone virtual again this year, but that doesn’t mean that organizers haven’t come up with some compelling works to unveil for theater fans in the event’s 44th year.

Considered one of the West Coast’s key launching pads for new plays, the festival this year will present virtual readings of several new plays representing vastly different characters and stories. They include:

“Real Time Remix”: Playwright/spoken word artist Jaisey Bates’ collection of four short works finds storytellers connecting across dimensions.

“The Problem With Magic, Is”: Johnny G. Lloyd’s play follows two siblings struggling against several issues to keep a family magic shop alive.

“Tiger Beat”: Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin’s coming-of-age drama follows a girls pop group approaching stardom.

Details: July 16-25; individual readings $5-$20; festival passes, $25-$175; schedule, tickets and more information at playwrightsfoundation.org.

Correspondent Georgia Rowe contributed to this report.

Robert G. Mull

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