Tell a Tale of Cock & Bull

Honoring John Vlahos

Longtime performer and former Board President, John Vlahos, was honored this year at our annual Gala with a Lamplighter Legacy Award on Sunday, November 13 at the Herbst Theatre.

During intermission, from the stage, he was presented with a judge’s gavel and block inscribed with the sentiment: “Honoring John Vlahos for over 53 years of continuing leadership and artistry to Lamplighters Music Theatre.  All Hail, All Hail.” Around the band of the gavel was inscribed: "Performer. Leader. Friend." (One of John’s signature roles was that of the Learned Judge in Trial By Jury. Others include Sir Joseph Porter in H.M.S. Pinafore and The Duke of Plaza Toro in The Gondoliers)

Longtime company member and Artistic Director Emeritus Barbara Heroux penned new lyrics set to the music of the Judge’s song from Trial By Jury to honor John. Cast members sang to him from the stage just before the start of the second act. 

Current Board President Jim MacIlvaine said of John, “He has quite literally saved the company with his leadership and fundraising abilities, garnering well over three-quarters of a million dollars in revenue for the company.” 

John joined the Lamplighters as a performer in 1963, performing principal patter baritone roles for 20 years; he joined the Company’s Board of Trustees in 1968, and served as President for 33 years until 2008. Vlahos is a partner with the San Francisco law firm of Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos & Rudy.

John remains on the Lamplighters Board of Trustees and its Executive Committee.

Ode to John Vlahos
Original song: "When I, good friends, was called to the bar" - Trial by Jury

We're here tonight to celebrate our fav'rite son of Hellas.
If we don't know what "bifurcate" means, he's just the man who'll tell us.
His humor's corny, not too rad— He's George to Martha's Gracie,
But all in all, he's not so bad for a Greek kid who comes from Tracy!

He loves to golf, loves baseball, too (the stuff on the Bears comes later),
His puns will make you groan and boo, he's a hell of a litigator.
He's a father and Papou (that's "Granddad") — See that smile upon his face?
He would tell you his life is not so bad for a Greek kid who comes from Tracy.

For those Cal Bears he rightly claims devotion long and great.
He's missed exactly seven games since Nineteen Forty-Eight!
He's eighty now, and we're all so glad he's lived his life this way—
See, we really think he's not so bad for a Greek kid who comes from Tracy.

Now, long ago he met a lass, a pretty, winsome mezzo,
And Martha hooked him on G & S, And thus we are in her debt so.
He joined the Lamps, and I should add, a legendary patter bass, he!
(He's really a tenor, but that's not bad for a Greek kid who comes from Tracy.)

Then many, many years ago he became a Lamplighter trustee.
From crisis control to raising dough, he plunged in with passion lusty.
Then alas, one day he went quite mad (that's the only reason prima facie),
He became our President— Not bad for a Greek kid who comes from Tracy.

And so tonight among his peers, his Lamplighter friends and neighbors,
We've gathered here from far and near to hail him for his labors.
Now, whether you've known him since he was a lad or met him yesterday at Macy's,
We can all agree, he's not so bad for a Greek kid who comes from Tracy.

So let's give a cheer (and a good one, too!).
Yes, let's give a cheer (and a good one, too!)
For it's very evident that our former president Is an honorable gent (and a good one, too!).
So, thanks for all the years (they were good years, too!)
Yes, thanks for all the years (they were good years, too!)
It's ridiculously clear to ev'rybody here That John Vla-hos is a dear (and a good man, too!)

Gala Auction Results

We had a lot of fun at our recent Gala and raised $57,561 between both the Mountain View and San Francisco auctions. All funds raised go directly towards producing our performances while keeping our ticket costs low, to providing performance opportunities to local artists, and to promoting appreciation for the arts through our education programs. Thanks to everyone who volunteered, donated, or otherwise participated in the auction!

Theatre Bay Area Awards Nominations

The Theatre Bay Area Awards honor excellence in professional theatre through a peer-based, Bay Area-wide adjudication process. The awards ceremony was held at the Geary theatre on December 5th. This year we were honored to be nominated for 9 awards:

• Outstanding Production of a Musical - Ruddygore
• Outstanding Production of a Musical - The (new) Mikado
• Outstanding Direction of a Musical - Jane Erwin Hammett for Ruddygore
• Outstanding Direction of a Musical - Ellen Brooks for The (new) Mikado
• Outstanding Musical Director - Baker Peeples for Ruddygore
• Outstanding Musical Director - Baker Peeples for The (new) Mikado
• Outstanding Costume Design - Miriam Lewis for The (new) Mikado
• Outstanding Male Actor in a Principal Role in a Musical - F. Lawrence Ewing for The (new) Mikado
• Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical - cast of The (new) Mikado

Although we ultimately didn't take home any prizes it was a privilege to be nominated alongside such talent, and we were also honored to perform There is beauty in the bellow of the blast for our peers.

Rounding out our 2016/2017 Season

We have 2 productions left in our current season: Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience – an uproarious satire that pits the straight-laced morality of Victorian ideals against the sashaying artful drama of the controversial aesthetic movement that occurred towards the end of the Victorian era; and A Song to Sing, O! - The Story of Gilbert & Sullivan – the fascinating tale of the dynamic duo's collaborative lives told through their own correspondence and songs. We hope you'll join us!

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
Tickets: 415-978-2787 or

Friday February 3, 8pm
Saturday February 4, 2pm & 8pm
Sunday February 5, 2pm

Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
Tickets: 925-943-7469 or

Friday February 10, 8pm
Saturday February 11, 2pm
Sunday February 12, 2pm

Mountain View Performing Arts Center, Mountain View
Tickets: 650-903-6000 or

Saturday February 18, 8pm
Sunday February 19, 2pm

A Song to Sing, O!
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco

Tickets: 415-392-4400 or

Saturday April 22, 8pm
Sunday April 23, 2pm

Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
Tickets: 925-943-7469 or

Thursday May 4, 8pm

Menlo-Atherton Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets: 415-227-4797 or

Sunday May 14, 3pm