Arts Shuffle: December 6 - 13
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The Pennsylvania Ballet performs the annual spectacular, "George Balanchine's The Nutcracker," December 7-29, featuring the Philadelphia Boys Choir and dozens of local dance students along with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra at the Academy of Music, Broad Street, Philadelphia. New this year is the first-ever Nutcracker Market gift fair, featuring 50 select exhibitors offering a variety of hand-crafted works like ornaments and jewelry, along with activities including origami lessons, a candy shop, performances, workshops and more at the Kimmel Center, December 6-8. Bring coats, mittens, gloves and scarves to donate at performances December 6-8 at the Academy or to the Market at the Kimmel. Special programming includes Tea with the Sugarplum Fairy, Sunday, December 8, 2:30pm and Saturday, December 21, noon and Nutcracker Magic Children's Party, Saturday, December 14, noon.
For more about this holiday tradition, see "Behind the Scenes of the Nutcracker," on view through January at the Philadelphia History Museum. Designed by Drexel University students, the exhibit offers a behind the curtain look at the production's history in Philadelphia through artifacts from past Pennsylvania Ballet performances, archival programs, and a video by Alexander Iziliaev at 15 South 7th Street, Philadelphia.
Pig Iron Theatre Company offers an alternative to the usual holiday fare with a return of their 2011 Fringe hit "Twelfth Night, or What You Will," onstage through December 22 at FringeArts new waterfront headquarters, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia. The new take on the Shakespeare comedy features dueling musicians, debauchery, misunderstandings, practical jokes, gender confusion and mistaken identity and features original cast members Dito van Reigersberg, Alex Torra, James Sugg and Birgit Huppuch, accompanied by live music from members of the West Philadelphia Orchestra. The original sold out world premiere performance won four Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre. Directed by Dan Rothenberg, with music by Rosie Langabeer and set design by Maiko Matsushima.
A world premiere adaptation of the Dylan Thomas poem "A Child's Christmas in Wales" takes to the stage at Lantern Theater Company. Co-created by Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon and Philadelphia interdisciplinary artist Sebastienne Mundheim, well-known for her puppet sculpture work, the family-friendly production is geared for children 8 years and older and is a nostalgic reflection on simpler Christmases past. The ensemble cast of four artists includes Charlie DelMarcelle, Doug Hara, Genevieve Perrier, and Amy Smith. Special events include A Sip Down Memory Lane with Wine School of Philadelphia Founder and President Keith Wallace, December 20, and Puppet Workshops for Kids with Charlie DelMarcelle, following the 2pm performances on December 27, 28, 31, and January 4, St. Stephen's Theater, 10th and Ludlow Streets, Philadelphia. Want more? The Princeton Singers perform their popular holiday concert "A Child's Christmas in Wales," Friday, December 13, 6pm and 8pm, at Trinity Church in Princeton, NJ, with musical accompaniment to the story narrated by actor Christopher Coucill.
Journey to the darker side of the holiday season with "Santaland Diaries," the autobiographical, comical account of David Sedaris' time working as a Christmas elf in "Santaland" at Macy's department store. Cape May Stage presents the quick-witted, quirky one-man show starring Brady Adair, through December 29, directed by Roy Steinberg, at Congress Hal, downtown Cape May, NJ.
Spotlight Theatre hosts a performance of "Santaland Diaries," performed by Associate Artistic Director Thomas Robert-Irvin and directed by Cindy N. Walton, Saturday, December 7, 7pm, at Swarthmore United Methodist Church, 129 Park Avenue, Swarthmore, PA.
Flashpoint Theatre Company celebrates 10 years of performing "Santaland Diaries," December 11-22, starring Keith Conallen as the lovable, curmudgeonly elf at Off-Broad Street Theatre, 1636 Sansom Street, Philadelphia.
The Kimmel Center hosts holiday events including PHILADANCO performing their annual winter show with four performances, Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 8, celebrating the artistry of famed African-American choreographer Christopher Huggins, Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater; "Nutcracker 1776 – Not Just Another Nutcracker," performed by The Rock School, Saturday, December 7, 1pm and 4pm, Merriam Theater; "Holiday POPS!" returns December 6-21, with conductor David Charles Abell, soprano Angela Brown, The Philadelphia Boys Choir, The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, and Wanamaker organist Peter Conte, Verizon Hall; Broad Street, Philadelphia.
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