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New Village Theatre Art Gallery opens with 'Peanuts at Bat'

Baseball season may be over for some folks but it's just beginning in Danville. "Peanuts at Bat" from the Charles M. Schultz Museum is the opening exhibit in the new Village Theatre Art Gallery that is having its grand opening from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., this Saturday, Nov. 14.

"The Town's Village Theatre Art Gallery creates an exciting new destination where both the visual and performing arts can be enjoyed," said Marcia Somers, assistant town manager. "When attending ... performances, you can now also view the lobby gallery exhibits before the show starts or during intermission."

Grand opening festivities begin with a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. and will include a special guest appearance by Snoopy, live music, giveaways and food.

The Monte Vista Beautyshop Double Quartet will perform as well as the East Bay Banjo Club, United We Sing, and the San Ramon Valley Jazz Vocal Ensemble and Kylie Rothfield.

The party is also a chance to see the newly renovated lobby of the historic building. The entry was reconfigured to include an art gallery, larger restrooms and a new ticket area.

Peanuts at Bat showcases some of Charles M. Schulz's most memorable baseball-themed comic strips. Forty-three digital prints from the original Schulz drawings are on display, taking the visitor through five decades of the Peanuts Gang engaged in America's pastime.

Included in the exhibition are vintage Peanuts baseball memorabilia and ephemera: bobble head dolls, banners, and a board game. Also on display are a Louisville Slugger Joe Shlabotnik bat (Shlabnotnik is Charlie Brown's favorite - underperforming - player, who's never actually seen in the strip) and an over-sized Snoopy doll decked out in his favorite team uniform.

Peanuts at Bat is organized and toured by the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa. It is sponsored locally by the Town of Danville Recreation Services Department.

"With the opening of the Village Theatre Art Gallery this is a unique time for the town," said Michelle Lacy, Recreation Services Manager.

The Peanuts exhibit runs through Dec. 20. The second exhibit will be "Light Fantastic," a contemporary Irish stained glass art show organized by the Crafts Council of Ireland, Kilkenny, from January to March. It will be followed in April and May by a show organized by the Mt. Diablo Museum curator featuring original work.

A Curatorial Committee with Recreation Services will choose future exhibits. Also docents are being trained to lead the public through the current display. To learn more about docent opportunities, contact Jane Laris at jlaris@ci.danville.ca.us or call 314-3465.

The Village Theatre Art Gallery is located at 233 Front St. in Danville. Gallery hours are 2-8 Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

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