A full slate of Christmas concerts, plays and events is coming your way

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.
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.
An original adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol will be staged at the Hatbox Theatre from Dec. 6 to 15.
An original adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol will be staged at the Hatbox Theatre from Dec. 6 to 15.
Concord Dance Academy's annual Holiday Spectacular will take over the Audi stage on Saturday and Sunday. Courtesy
Concord Dance Academy's annual Holiday Spectacular will take over the Audi stage on Saturday and Sunday. Courtesy

The holiday season is already upon us, with Thanksgiving this week and Christmas only a month away. As the holidays get closer and closer, the seasonal entertainment schedule really picks up, with plays, concerts and assorted events popping up all over Concord over the next few weeks.

We checked out all of the performance venues in the city and rounded up all of the holiday-themed shows and events we could find. The listings are organized by venue, and although we’ve provided some brief descriptions of each event, more information regarding the details of the show, as well as pricing and purchasing options, is available on the venues’ websites.

Hatbox Theatre

Saturday, Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m.: Holidays at Hatbox: Diwali

A night of Nepali and Indian classical music in celebration of Diwali, featuring Gyanu Radha Gorkhali, sitar; Raj Kapoor, Dholak; Harimaya Adhikari, harmonium and vocals; and Sagar Prem Khatiwada, Tabla, Madal.

Tickets are $12-$18 at hatboxnh.com.

Dec. 6-15: Dickens’s A Christmas Carol

Adapted by Jill Pinard. 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.

Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Special Saturday 2 p.m. matinee performance on Dec. 7 and evening Thursday performance on Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12-$18 at hatboxnh.com.

Dec. 19-22: Santaland Diaries

Santaland Diaries is a brilliant evocation of what a slacker’s Christmas must feel like. Out of work, our slacker decides to become a Macy’s elf during the holiday crunch. At first the job is simply humiliating, but once the thousands of visitors start pouring through Santa’s workshop, he becomes battle-weary and bitter. Finding consolation in the fact that some of the other elves were television extras on One Life to Live, he grins and bears it, occasionally taking out his frustrations on the children and parents alike. The piece ends with yet another Santa being ushered into the workshop, but this one is different from the lecherous or drunken ones with whom he has had to work. This Santa actually seems to care about and love the children who come to see him, startling our hero into an uncharacteristic moment of goodwill, just before his employment runs out.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12-$18 at hatboxnh.com.

Dec. 28, 7:30 p.m.: Holidays at Hatbox: Christmas

A “Naughty & Nice” (and a little late) evening of original songs and holiday classics with just a little twist of fun featuring Peg Chaffee (guitar, vocals) and Cheryl Sager (upright bass, guitar, vocals) of Nice & Naughty.

Tickets are $12-$18 at hatboxnh.com.

Concord City Auditorium

Dec. 7-8: Cindy Flanagan’s Concord Dance Academy “A Holiday Spectacular”

Kickstarting the season, this show opens with a kickline and includes Santa, sweets and raffles, all to benefit local causes.

Tickets are $20 and available at TTuTuTix.com. For information, call 226-0200.

Saturday at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m.

Dec. 14, 2 p.m.: Turning Pointe Center of Dance’s The Nutcracker Ballet

The 37th annual family-friendly holiday treat directed by Lisa Drouin Goff retains the classical, magical experience for audiences of all ages.

Tickets are $18 at the dance studio and $20 at the door.

Dec. 15, 6 p.m.: The Friends of the Audi Holiday Party

The Audi’s annual holiday gathering starts with the “Audi Punch” and a true pot luck supper and ends with special entertainment.

Everyone is welcome for this holiday treat. For information, call 344-4747.

Dec. 20, 7 p.m.: New Hampshire School of Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Come enjoy this traditional performance with your family. Join Clara with her dream of falling snow, a growing Christmas tree and a cast of over 50.

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

Capitol Center for the Arts

Dec. 7-8: The Nutcracker

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!

Dec. 7 at 2 and 7 p.m., Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18-$23 plus fees at ccanh.com (+$3 day of show).

Dec. 12, 7 p.m.: The Buzz Christmas Ball

Join Greg and the Morning Buzz for the ultimate holiday rock and roll variety show, featuring special guest musicians, comedians and actors.

The 9th Annual Buzz Christmas Ball will be hitting the stage 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!

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

Dec. 14, 11 a.m.: Laurie Berkner Band Holiday Concert

Laurie Berkner and her band celebrate the season with such traditional, secular songs as “Jingle Bells” and “Frosty the Snowman,” plus originals from Laurie’s well-loved album A Laurie Berkner Christmas such as “Santa’s Coming to My House Tonight.” They also pay tribute to Hanukkah with “Candle Chase” and “The Dreidel Song” and will perform an array of Laurie’s greatest hits, such as “We Are the Dinosaurs,” “Victor Vito” and “Pig on Her Head.”

Tickets are $35 regular, $75 VIP plus fees at ccanh.com.

Dec. 21, 8 p.m.: Ted Vigil Rocky Mountain Christmas: A John Denver Tribute

Seattle-born singer, songwriter and tribute artist Ted Vigil has played twice for John Denver’s own Windstar Foundation in Aspen, Colo. In 2012, he was awarded the Rising Legend Award by the National Traditional Country Music Association. Vigil also performed with the late Steve Wiesberg, John Denver’s lead guitar player, from 2010 to 2014. In 2016, Vigil was part of the Kings of Country Tour in Australia starring Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and John Denver tribute artists touring 20 cities. He now performs internationally for all kinds of venues and events.

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

Dec. 22, 4 p.m.: Capital Jazz Orchestra Holiday Pops

Ring in the holiday season with a special yuletide program featuring the Capital Jazz Orchestra and 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. The stockings will be brimming with holiday musical chestnuts, an audience sing-along and additional special surprises that are sure to leave everybody in the holiday spirit!

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

Bank of NH Stage

Dec. 19, 8 p.m.: Winter Solstice Mini-Fest

Multi-award-winning bluegrass mandolinist Matt Flinner teams up with American Roots band Low Lily to mark the Winter Solstice! This high-energy show will feature instrumentals alongside impeccably arranged songs to celebrate the season. Between them, the musicians play mandolins, guitars, fiddle, banjo, double bass, and sing in three- and four-part vocal harmonies.

Tickets are $20 for tables, $15 for seats plus fees at ccanh.com (+$2 at door).

Tandy’s

Dec. 7, 2:30 p.m.: Tandy’s Holiday of Song

Add some early joy to your holiday season as Tandy’s Idols entertain you with Christmas classics in the Eagle Square Atrium.

This two-hour show is sure to make you smile and warm your heart! While you listen, enjoy cakes, pies, cookies and chocolates from our Sweets Buffet. Plus, all children under 10 will receive a gift!

Tickets are $7.25-$12.75 at eventbrite.com.

Red River Theatres

Dec. 14 and Dec. 21, 10 a.m.: The Polar Express

Join us for this Red River holiday favorite! Tickets include your very own “believer’s bell!” Hot cocoa will be available to purchase.

A young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole during which he learns about friendship, bravery and the spirit of Christmas. A holiday favorite, The Polar Express was the first animated film to use performance capture technology. It is based on the 1985 children’s book by Chris Van Allsberg and features Tom Hanks in six distinct roles (Hero Boy, Father, Conductor, Hobo, Scrooge, Santa Claus).

Tickets are $5 at redrivertheatres.org.

Dec. 15, 1 p.m.: Elf

After discovering he is a human, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole decides to travel to New York City to locate his real father.

Tickets are $12-$14 at redrivertheatres.org.

Dec. 19, 7 p.m.: It’s a Wonderful Life

The holiday classic to define all holiday classics, It’s a Wonderful Life is one of a handful of films worth an annual viewing, especially when you can catch it in a movie theater. This is director Frank Capra’s bittersweet comedy about George Bailey (James Stewart), the eternally in-debt guiding force of a bank in the typical small town of Bedford Falls who learns (with the help of an angel) what life would have been like if he wasn’t in it.

Tickets are $12-$14 at redrivertheatres.org.

Dec. 22, 1 p.m.: White Christmas

Two WWII buddies (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) join forces after the war and become a popular song-and-dance team. Linking up with an equally talented sister act (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen), they trek to Vermont for the year-end holidays and manage to help their old Army general (Dean Jagger) out of financial distress.

A warm-hearted, perennial favorite at Christmas time, this offers the “Let’s put on a show” plot performed by seasoned entertainers in splendid form and a marvelous musical score by Irving Berlin!

This event will feature an appearance by the Concord Chorale, who will be leading a sing-along of “White Christmas.”

Tickets are $12-$14 at redrivertheatres.org.

Author: Jon Bodell

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