Young Talents Spread Holiday Wonder
Barriskill Dance Theatre’s cast features dancers between the ages of 7-18.
Photo courtesy of Christine Prisk
Though North Carolina’s outdoors may not always provide us with the snowy winter wonderland of classic holiday stories, the sights and sounds of the season fill our halls, auditoriums and theaters this time of year. In the Triangle, we are blessed with an abundance of talented and hardworking kids who are thrilled to share glad tidings.
Whether your ears crave carols sung by choirs, or your eyes want to feast on the majesty of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, “The Nutcracker,” you’ll have no problem finding a youth holiday performance, no matter what your budget is or where you live in the Triangle.
Dec. 15-17 at Reynolds Industries Theater at Duke University, Durham
The cast of this spectacular event consists of 130 performers, ages 7-18. Executive and Artistic Director Mari O’Donnell says the choreography changes every year to fit the dancers and that this year is especially significant. “This is the first year our Clara has ever been on pointe,” O’Donnell says.
This production serves as a wonderful introduction to the holiday classic as the dancers are younger and children in the audience can envision themselves on stage. “We always know that there is someone out there who is seeing it for the first time and it’s magic for them,” O’Donnell says, adding that audiences should enjoy the battle scenes this year, to which they’ve added more “mischief.”
Purchase tickets for $15-$30 through the Reynolds Industries Theater box office at tickets.duke.edu. Group rates are available.
Dec. 2-3 at Hanes Theater at Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill
Dec. 9 at Carolina Theatre, Durham
This is the 23rd annual production of “The Nutcracker” for Triangle Youth Ballet. Family-friendly ticket prices range $10-$27. Enjoy live Tchaikovsky music conducted by Andrew McAfee.
Dec. 8-9 at North Carolina State University’s Stewart Theatre, Raleigh
City Ballet is celebrating its 25th annual performance of “The Nutcracker.” Tickets for this full-length production, which promises rich staging and costuming, are priced at $15, $25 and $30 and can be purchased at city-ballet.com/tickets.
Dec. 15 at Meredith College, Raleigh
Celebrate the Capital City Girls Choir’s 30th anniversary season at this year’s winter concert, titled, “Do You Hear What I Hear.” The audience will be treated to a wide range of music written by composers from all over the world.
“All three choirs, from the training choir to the internationally known Cantabile Singers, will be singing at our December concert,” says Fran Page, founder and conductor. “We will be singing a variety of music to celebrate the holiday season, and the audience will have an opportunity to sing favorite Christmas carols.”
Page adds that alumnae will also perform. “Each year, we invite alumnae to return to the concert to sing Rutter’s arrangement of “Personent Hodie,” she says. “This is often the highlight of the concert for me.”
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dec. 15-17 at Cary Arts Center, Cary
Not sure your little one can sit through a full-length production? Cary Ballet Company offers a solution with a family-oriented, one-hour performance of “The Nutcracker Suite” for $8. A Ballerina Tea follows the morning shows. Tickets for the Ballerina Tea are $10 and sold separately. The full ballet will be presented at the evening performances, and tickets for those performances range $21-$25 and can be purchased online at etix.com.
Dec. 22 at Edenton Street United Methodist Church, Raleigh
It’s the golden jubilee year for Raleigh Boychoir, as this Raleigh institution celebrates 50 years of creating beautiful harmonies. Join the singers for a night of yuletide favorites during “Carols of Christmas” to hear all of the choirs perform.
Katie Gillespie, mother of singers Logan and Joe Gillespie, says she appreciates the timing of this event.
“It’s one of the last major events right before Christmas, so when you are there it’s a perfect time to be able to truly relax and appreciate the music and what these timeless songs are really saying.”
Tickets are $8-$18 and can be purchased online at rbc2017carols.brownpapertickets.com.
Dec. 8 at Greenwood Forest Baptist Church, Cary
This evening concert features the talented voices of all three Cary Youth Voices choirs accompanied by piano, trumpet, violin and percussive instruments. Admission is free.
Dec. 8 at Edenton Street Methodist Church, Raleigh
Get your vocal cords warmed up for this annual singalong of Handel’s “The Messiah” — free to the public. Food bank donations are appreciated.
Dec. 17 at Athens Drive High School, Raleigh
The concert will take place in the auditorium and tickets are available at the door for $5-$15.
“A Fairytale Christmas Carol” and “The Great Big Holiday Bake Off: A Confectionary Christmas Musical”
Dec. 8-10 at Halle Cultural Arts Center, Apex
This unique two-for-one opportunity includes a one-act play and a one-act musical. Director Kathleen Rudolph says she formats the show this way every year so she can “Get the actors who like to sing, and the ones who prefer not to!”
Kids of all ages will enjoy the upbeat, fast-paced and original holiday performance, which mingles the story of “A Christmas Carol” with classic fairy tales. When Scrooge is the Big Bad Wolf and his nephew is Jack, who may or may not be involved with a beanstalk, anything can happen! “The Great Big Holiday Bake Off: A Confectionary Christmas Musical” spotlights contestants as they complete one final task in a confectionary cooking competition.
Arrive early so little ones can get a seat near the front. Tickets are $6-$10 and can be purchased at etix.com.
Mandy Howard is a freelance writer and mother of three in Raleigh.