Take the family to a holiday show – or 22 – in Concord this season

Lily Nowe in the role of Clara is lifted in the air in the final scene of the first act of the dress rehearsal of Turning Pointe Center of Dance's performance of "The Nutcracker" at the Concord City Auditorium on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. (SUSAN DOUCET / Monitor staff) SUSAN DOUCET
John D. Conlon (bottom), as Ebenezer Scrooge, and Ray Dudley, as the ghost of Jacob Marley, rehearse a scene from "A Christmas Carol: The Musical Ghost Story" last week, Nov. 14, 2017, before the cast moved into The Concord City Auditorium where performances will take place November 24-26. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz
Capital Jazz Orchestra will bring its Holiday Pops to the Capitol Center on Sunday featuring guest vocalists CJ Poole and Laura Daigle and the Nashua Catholic Junior High School.
Capital Jazz Orchestra will bring its Holiday Pops to the Capitol Center on Sunday featuring guest vocalists CJ Poole and Laura Daigle and the Nashua Catholic Junior High School.
A Christmas Carol will run Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. through Dec. 17 at the Hatbox Theatre.
A Christmas Carol will run Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. through Dec. 17 at the Hatbox Theatre.

Welcome to maybe the biggest roundup of theatrical and/or musical performances taking place in the city of Concord of all time. As Christmas gets closer and closer, most of the performance venues around here are getting ready to stage their big holiday shows, so we found as many as we could and put them all in one place for you.

As is usually the case, there might be one or two shows out there we missed, but this is still a pretty deep list of holiday-themed performances you can see here in Concord. The shows are grouped by venue, then sorted chronologically within each venue. The name of the show is followed by the date and time of the performance(s), and in cases where a show will be performed many times, the date and time details will instead be listed within the description of the show. Descriptions of shows appear as they were written by either the venues or the performers.

Enjoy the performances, and good luck trying to work them all in to your busy pre-Christmas schedules.

Goodlife Programs & Activities

Winter Wonderland Concert with Jaime Feinberg (Nov. 28, 1 p.m.)

Come and join a celebration of holiday songs that you can sing along with or simply get into the spirit of the season. Feinberg is a musician as well as a musical theater aficionado. She has a bachelor’s degree in music from Smith Collage and a master’s in community economic development from SNHU.

Tickets are $5 at goodlifenh.org.

South Church

WildVine Jazz Christmas Performance to Support Justice and Nonviolence (Nov. 28, 6:30 p.m.)

WildVine Jazz will present a free concert of Christmas carols with a jazz twist on Nov. 28 at South Congregational Church in Concord. Their CD, Christmas with WildVine Jazz, was recorded to raise money for the Frank L. Irvine Fund for Justice and Nonviolence and will be on sale at the performance. There will also be Zentangle meditation stones for sale at the concert. The funds from these will also go to support the Frank L. Irvine Fund for Justice and Nonviolence, which seeks to honor the legacy of the late Rev. Dr. Frank L. Irvine of Concord, who devoted his life and ministry to this cause. The fund will be used to bring speakers and preachers who are recognized advocates for justice and nonviolence to statewide gatherings of the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Tim Wildman and Jock Irvine (The “Wild” and “Vine” in WildVine Jazz) have put together a group of five instrumental musicians who perform traditional Christmas songs in unexpected and novel ways. “Basically,” Irvine said, “we play most of the songs in a style that’s opposite of the way they’re usually heard.” With a nod to Dave Brubeck’s classic “Take Five,” for example, they’ve turned “What Child is This” into a song featuring seven beats per measure. “Silent Night,” which is usually sung softly and quietly, is performed in a danceable swing style.

Hatbox Theatre

Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (Nov. 29-Dec. 16)

In this original adaptation of the holiday classic, Hatbox Theatre focuses on how the dream-like qualities of the ghost story aspect of Dickens’s work can bring about redemption. Is it “an undigested bit of beef” – a line in the original story – that leads Scrooge to have bad dreams, or is he really being visited by ghosts intent on helping him redeem himself? Audience members, too, will wonder if they are dreaming when they are immersed in sound, lights and projections that bring out these eerier aspects of Scrooge’s fateful night.

Performances will be Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 to $17 at hatboxnh.com.

Fruitcake! (Nov. 30-Dec. 16)

Fruitcake! is a deliciously nutty Christmas mash-up. Fruitcake! showcases three high-caliber actors in their quest to portray every aspect of the Christmas season in one hilarious, sugar rush of a show. Enjoy renditions of seasonal favorites such as A Christmas Carol, The Nutcracker, Frosty the Snowman and many more like you’ve never seen them before, featuring sword fighting, reggae, rap, ballet, improvisation, poetry and dozens upon dozens of props and costumes. Fruitcake! is so fulfilling, you just might come back for a second helping!

Performances will be Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m.

Amahl and the Night Visitors (Dec. 21-23)

Amahl and the Night Visitors is a unique opportunity to revisit a classic Christmas story as presented on NBC’s Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951 – 1963). It is an opera in one act (55 minutes) by Gian Carlo Menotti sung in English. The “Night Visitors” are the Three Wise Men following the Christmas star toward Bethlehem. They stop to rest for the night encountering Amahl, an impoverished and crippled shepherd boy who lives with his widowed mother. Villagers bring food and dance for the kings. Sleep is interrupted by an attempted theft, but a miracle provides a joyous resolution.

Performances will be Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Capitol Center for the Arts

The Nutcracker (Dec. 1-2)

The magic and tradition of The Nutcracker returns this holiday season to the Capitol Center for the Arts.

Follow young Clara and her Nutcracker on their journey through the snow as Tchaikovsky’s cherished score is played by a live orchestra and choreography beautifully danced by students and alumni of Eastern Ballet Institute of Concord. Join us in the Land of Sweets – a true family treat!

The Southern New Hampshire Symphony is a community orchestra made up of local music teachers, community members and music students at Southern New Hampshire University. Founded in 2008, this 80-piece ensemble is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2018. Proceeds from this program will support a scholarship for SNHU first-year student violinist Sarah Cronin.

Tickets are $18 to $26 plus fees at ccanh.com. Show times are 2 and 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 2 p.m. Dec. 2.

Tea with Clara add-on: Treat your family to a very special pre-matinee performance, Tea and Treats – a magical opportunity to enjoy a selection of refreshments and take photos with Clara and her Nutcracker friends in the beautifully decorated Kimball House before the show begins. This extra will be available before both matinee performances from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. for an additional $25.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical (Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m.)

The beloved TV classic Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Come see all of your favorite characters, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: The Musical. It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special.

Tickets are $35 to $85 plus fees at ccanh.com.

Manheim Steamroller Christmas (Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m.)

This show will feature the favorite Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller along with state-of-the-art multimedia effects in an intimate setting.

In 1984, Mannheim Steamroller released Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, an album that changed the sounds of Christmas. Already a multi-platinum recording artist through its Fresh Aire series, founder Chip Davis decided to record an album of Christmas music combining the group’s signature mix of Renaissance instruments with rock and roll beats.

The resulting album was a runaway hit, and Mannheim Steamroller went on to become the biggest-selling Christmas music artist in history.

Tickets are $49 to $88 plus fees at ccanh.com.

Buzz Ball 2018 (Dec. 13, 7 p.m.)

This holiday tradition returns to The Capitol Center for the Arts for a night you won’t soon forget. Join Greg and the Morning Buzz, your hosts for the evening, and their crazy friends for this wonderful holiday treat.

The show features New England’s best entertainment with some very special guest musicians, comedians and actors. This is the ultimate holiday rock and roll variety show!

This year’s lineup will be announced soon, so check the Cap Center’s website.

Tickets are $35 to $45 plus fees at ccanh.com.

Capital Jazz Orchestra Holiday Pops (Dec. 23, 4 p.m.)

Ring in the holiday season with the annual yuletide program featuring the Capital Jazz Orchestra and guest vocalists CJ Poole and Laura Daigle, along with narrator Laura Knoy of NHPR, who will be reciting her traditional version of The Night Before Christmas. Bring the entire family and join the CJO for some classic renditions of seasonal favorites. The stockings will be brimming with musical chestnuts, an audience sing-along and additional special surprises that are sure to leave everybody in the holiday spirit.

Tickets are $27.50 to $47.50 plus fees at ccanh.com.

Concord City Auditorium

Granite State Ringers perform Once Upon a Christmas Time (Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m.)

This New Hampshire-based handbell choir will get you in the holiday spirit presenting music and tales of the season including the classic story, “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” You may find yourself singing along with music from Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and many more.

The sound of bells ringing is deeply rooted in British culture. Almost everyone in Britain lives within hearing range of bells. They provide the grand soundtrack to our historic moments, call out for our celebrations and toll sadly in empathy with our grief.

This is a free show, part of Walker Lecture Series.

Concord Dance Academy’s Holiday Spectacular (Dec 1 at 1 and 6 p.m., Dec. 2 at 10 a.m.)

The show consists of many styles of dance and a variety of holiday songs. To make it affordable for all the children, students rent the costumes used in the show. Our ticket sales allow us each year to upgrade our costumes so that all of our students have the opportunity to perform. We encourage people of all ages to enjoy our affordable one-hour performance. Each year the faculty adds new and exciting holiday pieces from the very traditional to the newest artists. This show will inspire all to get in the holiday spirit.

The family baked goods sale, the holiday 50/50 raffle and free Santa photo enable the school to make many donations to the community, such as The Friendly Kitchen, Toys for Tots and various food pantries. Over the past eight years, Concord Dance Academy has donated more than $10,000 to the Friends of the City Auditorium as well as the Friendly Kitchen. We believe performing artists need to support the facilities in which they perform.

Tickets are $18 at tututix.com/client/concorddanceacademynh.

Friends of the Audi’s Audi Holiday Party (Dec. 2, 6 p.m.)

Punch, pot luck supper and entertainment will be included. All are invited!

Jean’s Playhouse presents A Christmas Carol: The Musical Ghost Story (Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 8 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.)

A “ghostly” musical adaptation of the famous Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol: The Musical Ghost Story features all of your favorite characters, original music, spooky ghosts and some unexpected twists and turns.

As Ebenezer Scrooge wakes up the morning before Christmas, he has no idea an old friend is about to give him the scare of his life with the help of three ghostly companions. Scrooge must examine his haunted past, lonely present and frightening future in order to rejoin his fellow man and discover the true meaning of Christmas. This original adaptation by artistic director Joel Mercier includes captivating songs, bright costumes, stunning special effects, riveting choreography and a cast of more than 30 actors, singers and dancers from all over the Granite State.

Tickets are $17 to $20 at achristmascarolthemusical.com.

Symphony N.H. presents “An Irish Christmas” (Dec. 9, 3 p.m.)

Join Symphony NH for an Irish Christmas featuring the songs, stories and dance music of Ireland and its Celtic influences around the world, all in celebration of the holiday season.

Featuring Ciarán Crilly, guest conductor; Ciarán Nagle, Irish tenor; Tara Novak, violin and vocals; with backing band ISHNA, composed of Dan Myers, Uilleann pipes and Irish whistles; Bjorn Wennas, guitar; and Brian O’Neil, Bodhrán and percussion.

Tickets are $10 to $52 at symphonynh.org.

Turning Pointe Center of Dance presents The Nutcracker Ballet (Dec. 15, 2 p.m.)

The 36th annual family-friendly holiday treat is directed by Lisa Drouin Goff. Tickets are $18 in advance at the UPS store and the dance studio, $20 at the door. For more info, call 485-8710.

New Hampshire School of Ballet presents The Nutcracker (Dec. 21, 7 p.m.)

A full production of the holiday classic with 50 dancers, falling snow and a growing tree.

Tickets are $18 at Gibson’s Bookstore, the studio and at the door. For more info, call 668-5330.

Piccola Opera presents Dickens Carolers in Concert (Dec. 22, 7 p.m.)

A Victorian Christmas party filled with carols, cocoa, cookies and holiday cheer. Free! For more info, go to piccolaopera.net.

St. Paul’s Church

Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 2, 7 p.m.)

Handel’s Messiah was met with eager ears at its debut on April 13, 1742, and has been captivating audiences ever since. Handel had staged a public rehearsal the day before its premiere, creating quite a buzz. It is said that hundreds of people were turned away due to lack of space. We continue that tradition by offering entrance to a full dress rehearsal the day before the concert. We’ve not had to turn anyone away from this rehearsal in many years – that can’t be said for the Sunday show.

For the Dec. 2 performance, you will want to arrive early to assure seating. Doors to the venue on Park Street will open at 6:30 p.m.

Benjamin Greene conducts the 75-member Concord Community Chorus, professional orchestra and soloists in Concord’s 86th annual performance of this traditional offering. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis with no tickets.

St. Paul’s School

The Nutcracker: Act II (Dec. 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 9 at 2 p.m.)

In the spirit of the holiday season, the St. Paul’s School Ballet Company will present The Nutcracker: Act II. Performances will be held in Memorial Hall on the school’s Concord campus.

This abridged version of The Nutcracker is free of charge and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Each show will last approximately one hour and all ages are welcome.

Although not required for admission, the SPSBC invites guests to bring toy donations for holiday distribution to local children through Concord charitable organizations. Donated toys should not exceed $25 in value and should be new and unwrapped.

The Nutcracker: Act II, with music by Tchaikovsky, will include “Snow,” “Arabian,” “Waltz of the Flowers” and “Marzipan,” among other well-known favorites.

All members of the SPSBC will perform. SPS Director of Dance Kate Lydon calls the performance a “wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season” and “invites all to join the SPSBC on this enchanted journey.”

Wesley United Methodist Church

New Hampshire Gay Men’s Chorus presents Don We Now Our Gay Apparel (Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.)

Let the chorus’s talented men and guest soloist Sarah Chadwick get you into the spirit of the season with a festive musical program featuring many of your Christmas, Hanukkah and holiday favorites. Bring the whole family to enjoy a fun audience sing-along and other delightful surprises.

Tickets are $17 (veterans, seniors) to $22 at nhgmc.com.

Concord Community Music School

Miss Julieann’s Holiday Sing-Along and Album Release Party (Dec. 8, 3:15 p.m.)

Julieann Hartley, music therapy program director at Concord Community Music School, will be releasing her first album, Miss Julieann: Therapeutic Songs for Kids. This album-release party will include a free concert with songs from the album, as well as a sing-along with popular and traditional holiday tunes. Mr. Joey (Joseph Pierog, recording engineer and music teacher), will also be featured during this event.

As a bonus, there will be a variety of sensory crafts available for young children as well as visit from Santa after the concert.

If you are interested in purchasing a CD, Miss Julieann and Mr. Joey will be available to sign CDs and take pictures.

This album has been designed specifically to support the varied needs of children up to age 10, and is focused on inclusivity, engagement and enrichment. We want all families to feel welcome, especially those with children with special needs. There will be quiet rooms and spaces available for those children who need a sensory break.

Doors open at 3 p.m., with the concert starting at 3:15. CD signings and Santa’s visit will be from 4 to 4:30.

Optional CDs will cost $10, cash or check preferred.

Author: Insider Staff

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