Do you need to add a little cheer to your calendar? We guarantee that this lineup of concerts, plays, ballets and other performances will have you in the holiday spirit. With a great variety of productions out there, you’re sure to find something that will please every member of the family.
-Ballet Theatre Of Maryland
What better way can there be to enjoy this holiday favorite than when it’s performed by our state’s premier professional ballet company? Ballet Theatre of Maryland takes on Tchaikovsky’s most famous work about a little girl named Clara whose beloved Christmas nutcracker comes to life, rescues her from the Rat Queen, and whisks her away to a magical world of snow and sweets. This year’s production runs Saturdays, December 8 and 15, at 7:00pm and Sundays, December 9 and 16, at 1:00pm and 4:30pm. Sunday matinee performances include free sugarplum parties an hour before the performance, when guests can enjoy holiday treats and crafts, songs, Santa visits, and photos with Clara and the sugarplum fairies.
For information, visit www.balletmaryland.org.
-Chesapeake Ballet Company
You can never have enough “Nutcracker” magic in your holiday season, and Chesapeake Ballet Company’s production is performed by a 70-member cast of young people from all across the area. Performances are held at Children’s Theatre of Annapolis on December 8, 9 and 15 at 1:00pm and 4:00pm, and on December 16 at 1:00pm only. Cocoa with Clara will be held between shows on December 8 and 15. There will also be special performances for schools on December 10 at 9:30am and noon and for Girl Scouts on December 14 at 7:00pm.
For information, visit www.chesapeakeballetcompany.com.
“The Gift of the Mad Guy”
and “Blue Grass Christmas”
-Chesapeake Arts Center
Chesapeake Arts Center has a few yuletide productions that offer a refreshing break from tradition. “The Gift of the Mad Guy,” geared toward grades pre-K through eighth, takes the stage in the Studio 194 Theatre on December 5 at 10:00am, telling the story of Jack, a gift-crazed child who believes that Christmas is all about giving – especially to him – until he is promised a really big gift if he gives three of his gifts to others. The 50-minute performance is followed by fun and interactive activities with the cast.
Later in the month, the Front Porch Orchestra will visit Chesapeake Arts Center to present its “Bluegrass Nutcracker” on Friday, December 14, at 7:00pm in Studio 194 Theatre. For those dreading another season of canned Christmas music, this group will get you in the spirit with a sizzling bluegrass-steeped take on Tchaikovsky’s ballet with a comical retelling of E.T.A. Hoffman’s story.
For tickets, visit www.chesapeakearts.org.
“A Christmas Carol”
This adaptation of Charles Dickens’ holiday tale has been a Colonial Players tradition since 1981. Written by local playwright/lyricist Richard Wade and composer Richard Gessner, this musical follows the curmudgeonly Ebenezer Scrooge on his time-traveling adventures with three spirits who help him open his heart to the meaning of the Christmas season. “A Christmas Carol” runs December 6-16 with performances at 8:00pm on Thursdays; 7:00pm and 9:00pm on Fridays; 2:00pm, 4:00pm and 8:00pm on Saturdays; and 2:00pm and 4:00pm on Sundays.
For information, visit www.thecolonialplayers.org.
“A Celebration Of Christmas”
And Handel’s “Messiah”
-Live Arts Maryland
This one-night-only event brings new meaning to the idea of “yuletide carols being sung by a choir.” In this case, it’s a very big choir – the Annapolis Chorale. Together with the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra, the choir takes the stage on December 7 at 8:00pm at Maryland Hall for the Performing Arts to perform such favorites as “White Christmas” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Did we mention there’s also a holiday sing-along? This concert sells out fast, so don’t wait to get your tickets!
This will be followed by Live Arts Maryland’s performance of Handel’s “Messiah” on December 22 at 8:00pm at St. Anne’s Church. The amazing acoustics and historic beauty of St. Anne’s make it the perfect location to experience Part 1 with selections from Parts 2 and 3 of this much-loved oratorio, along with carols and music for the season.
Visit www.liveartsmaryland.org for tickets.
“A Christmas Carol”
-Annapolis Shakespeare Company
This original adaptation by Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s own Sally Boyett and Donald Hicken runs November 24 through December 30 with matinee and evening performances. This Helen Hayes-recommended production of a classic holiday story is a special way to share the magic of the season with family and friends.
Also presented by Annapolis Shakespeare Company this season is “A Broadway Holiday,” an all-singing, all-dancing musical revue on December 13, 15, 20 and 23. A holiday confection of Broadway showstoppers will have live orchestration and a slate of the company’s regular performers with special guests.
For information, visit www.annapolisshakespeare.org.
“An Annapolis Christmas Celebration” 20th Anniversary
-Rams Head On Stage
If you’re an Annapolis music fan, you’ve probably heard of this tradition. A great lineup of talented local artists will perform a mix of original and classic holiday songs. Inspired by the release of the popular holiday album “An Annapolis Christmas” 20 years ago, the concert has grown into an annual tradition for many music lovers. This milestone year proves just how popular the concert has become, and as in years past, all proceeds from the show will support Annapolis Musicians Fund for Musicians Inc. (AMFM). Order tickets for either Monday, December 10, or Tuesday, December 11, or even both – each night will feature a different lineup of artists. Doors open at 6:00pm and the show starts at 7:00pm.
For tickets to any Rams Head show, visit www.ramsheadgroup.com.
“A Christmas Story”
-Pasadena Theatre Company
The popular film gets the stage treatment in this production mounted by Pasadena Theatre Company at Stage & Screen Studios in Millersville, opening November 30 and running through December 9. Audiences will delight in the exploits of 9-year-old Ralphie as he attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and even Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun is an appropriate Christmas gift. Of course, hilarity is bound to ensue.
For more information, call or text 410-440-8488.
“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”
-Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church
Equal parts humorous and heartwarming, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” has touched generations of readers, and this holiday season, the story comes to life at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church from December 6 through 9 at 7:00pm. Everyone is bound to learn a little something about the true meaning of the season as they watch a small community grapple with the stress of the six delinquent Herdman siblings, who come to Sunday school only to indulge in the snacks and end up being cast as leads in the annual Nativity play.
For more information, visit www.woodschurch.org.
“Holiday Cheer 2018”
-Talent Machine Company
Join the Talent Machine Company as it presents “Holiday Cheer 2018.” This high-energy production celebrates the season by featuring the Talent Machine kids alongside Rudolph, the elves, Frosty and many more of Santa’s North Pole friends in a spectacular show of singing and dancing. Sixty young performers between the ages of 6 and 18 from all over the region will appear in the production, which runs December 14-16 and 20-23 at St. John’s College Key Auditorium.
For tickets, visit www.talentmachine.com.