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Holiday Checklist: Live Events That Leave You Merry & Bright

posted by Laura White December 7, 2016
The Magic of Christmas with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Photo by The Charlotte Symphony.

A wise elf named Buddy once said, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.” Even if you can’t sing (or don’t want to), there’s plenty of performances around the Queen City that truly make this the most wonderful time of year to get out and explore. From ballet to comedic relief to timeless melodies, find the show that suits you and then, sit back, relax and soak in the magic of the season. Happy Holidays!

Christmas Classics

A Christmas Carol
When: Dec. 2 – 11; various times
Where: Theatre Charlotte
Why You Should Go: Bob Cratchit, Fezziwig, Tiny Tim and Ebenezer Scrooge are back again to warm your heart and make you grateful for the season. This year also marks the 10th anniversary run of the play for Theatre Charlotte.
Tickets: http://theatrecharlotte.org/1617christmascarol.shtml

Charlotte Symphony Pops: Magic of Christmas
When: Dec. 9 – 11; various times
Where: Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Why You Should Go: All of your favorite holiday tunes ranging from “We Need a Little Christmas” to “Jingle Bells” are performed in true symphonic harmony. The Charlotte Symphony Chorus, Charlotte Children’s Choir, handbell ringers and more accompany to ensure you leave humming Christmas music through the New Year.
Tickets: http://www.blumenthalarts.org/events-performances/coming-performances/detail/charlotte-symphony-pops-magic-of-christmas-1

The Real Christmas Story
When: Through Dec. 21; various times
Where: NarroWay Theatre
Why You Should Go: You get a turkey dinner with all the trimmings AND a show. Remind yourself of the reason for the season with a live nativity in addition to enjoying Christmas carols and real snow during every performance. Come early for the camel rides.
Tickets: https://narroway.net/dinner-shows/real-christmas-story

Charlotte Symphony: Messiah
When: Dec. 16 – 17
Where: Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts
Why You Should Go: Amazing soloists join the Charlotte Symphony to perform Handel’s Messiah. You’ll be awed, comforted, cheered and leave incredibly thankful after listening to this iconic masterpiece. Hallelujah!
Tickets: http://www.blumenthalarts.org/events/detail/charlotte-symphony-messiah-3

Jim Brickman: Comfort and Joy Holiday Tour
When: Dec. 14; 7:30 p.m.
Where: McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square
Why You Should Go: Brickman’s Comfort & Joy Holiday Tour includes new music mixed with his holiday classics. His piano skills, warmth and humor will make you feel like you’re enjoying a holiday evening at an old friend’s house.
Tickets: http://www.blumenthalarts.org/events-performances/coming-performances/detail/jim-brickman-1

Tosco Music Holiday Party
When: Dec. 10; 7:30 p.m.
Where: McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square
Why You Should Go: You’re actually encouraged to sing along to all of your holiday favorites at this annual tradition. Expect more than a dozen performers and songs that not only celebrate Christmas, but Kwanzaa and Hanukkah too.
Tickets: http://www.blumenthalarts.org/events-performances/coming-performances/detail/tosco-music-holiday-party

Hip Hop Nutcracker. Photo by Blumenthal Arts.

Hip Hop Nutcracker. Photo by Blumenthal Arts.

The Nutcracker…Four Ways

Charlotte Ballet: Nutcracker
When: Dec. 3 – 23; various times
Where: Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Why You Should Go: This timeless tale pairs live music from the Charlotte Symphony with a freshly reimagined production by choreographer Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux that includes new sets and costumes.
Tickets: http://charlotteballet.org/tickets/nutcracker/#performancedetails

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
When: Dec. 11; 3 p.m.
Where: Ovens Auditorium
Why You Should Go: Direct from Russia, it’s a one-day only matinee event in Charlotte for this touring troupe that’s making its way to 75 cities this holiday season. While the story and Tchaikovsky’s score are largely the same, look for subtle international infusions to the classic. Instead of Clara, it’s Masha’s dream, while a riveting visit from the Dove of Peace arrives in the second act.
Tickets: http://www.ovensauditorium.com/events/moscow-ballets-great-russian-

Clara’s Trip: A Cirque & Dance Nutcracker
When: Dec. 9 – 11; various times
Where: Booth Playhouse at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Why You Should Go: This revival goes airborne incorporating aerial segments on silks and on the trapeze. Presented by Charlotte’s Caroline Calouche & Co., dance and gymnastic prowess make this take on “The Nutcracker” a fun and refreshing escape from the time-tested story.
Tickets: http://www.blumenthalarts.org/events-performances/coming-performances/detail/claras-trip-a-cirque-dance-nutcracker

The Hip Hop Nutcracker
When: Dec. 27 – 30; various times
Where: Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts
Why You Should Go: The name says it all. Hip hop choreography and DJ stylings take “The Nutcracker” to present-day New York City. Performances take place after Christmas too so it’s a festive activity to entertain friends and family still in town.
Tickets: http://www.blumenthalarts.org/events-performances/coming-performances/detail/the-hip-hop-nutcracker-1

Singing Christmas Tree. Photo by Charlotte Voices, Lorayn DeLuca

Singing Christmas Tree. Photo by Charlotte Voices, Lorayn DeLuca 

For the Little Kids

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical
When: Through Dec. 23
Where: McColl Family Theatre
Why You Should Go: Based on the children’s book by Barbara Robinson, this is the world premiere of the book’s adaptation set for the stage. It provides fresh perspective on the traditional story of the birth of Christ and shows that anyone can be touched by the true meaning of Christmas.
Tickets: https://www.ctcharlotte.org/Online/default.asp?BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::permalink=shows-best-christmas-pageant-ever-the-musical&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::context_id=

The 62nd Annual Singing Christmas Tree & The Singing Christmas Tree for Kids
When: Dec. 10 – 11; various times
Where: Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts
Why You Should Go: It’s been around for 62 years, folks. The show’s incredible longevity is because there’s something for everyone. The variety show-style includes puppets, a 32-foot tree with a choir built in it, dancers and more. The kid’s version of the show is especially family-friendly at just an hour in length.
Tickets: http://www.blumenthalarts.org/events-performances/coming-performances/detail/the-62nd-annual-singing-christmas-tree-singing-christmas-tree-for-kids

Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra
When: Through Dec. 26
Where: Founders Hall
Why You Should Go: It’s free and easy to catch a performance. Every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., this animatronic group of musical bears play holiday tunes for passersby.
Tickets: http://www.foundershall.com/calendar.html

Trailer Park Musical. Photo by Actor's Theatre of Charlotte.

Trailer Park Musical. Photo by Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte.

For the Big Kids

Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte: The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical
When: Dec. 7 – 23; various times
Where: Charlotte Ballet’s Center for Dance
Why You Should Go: Follow the residents of Armadillo Acres as they prepare to decorate their trailer park. Definitely for adults, the disclaimer on their site says it all; “Get ready for a cat-fightin’, sun-worshippin’, chair-throwin’ good time that’ll make grandma blush.”
Tickets: http://www.atcharlotte.org/

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Presents The Ghosts of Christmas Past
When: Dec. 8; 7:30 p.m.
Where: Spectrum Center
Why You Should Go: It’s a rock opera with a holiday theme. Plus, this band never fails to deliver elaborate performances complete with light shows, pyrotechnics, and special effects. If you buy your ticket online, you’ll get a digital audio copy of The Ghosts of Christmas Eve.
Tickets: http://www.timewarnercablearena.com/timewarner/trans-siberian_120816/

Soulful Noel
When: Dec. 9; 8 p.m.
Where: McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square
Why You Should Go: Think holiday classics with a soulful twist. Add some jazz and funk to your Christmas mix during this three-act performance. Last year was a sell-out so get your tickets early.
Tickets: http://www.blumenthalarts.org/events-performances/coming-performances/detail/soulful-noel-1

Kissmas Party 2016
When: Dec. 13; 7 p.m.
Where: Spectrum Center
Why You Should Go: This rockin’ Christmas bash from the creators of the Gravediggers Ball features Shawn Mendes, DNCE, Alessia Cara, Hailee Steinfeld, Charli XCX, and JOJO.
Tickets: http://www.timewarnercablearena.com/timewarner/kissmas_2016/

The Birth
When: Dec. 14 – 17; 7 p.m.
Where: Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square
Why You Should Go: The show has been around for 11 seasons and features original music you won’t hear anywhere else. Called a “Christmas production like you’ve never seen before,” the dramatic performance, dance and live music elements of the show certainly make it one of Charlotte’s best-kept holiday secrets.
Tickets: http://www.blumenthalarts.org/events/detail/the-birth-3

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