As we enter the first full weekend of holiday events, take your pick from classic, brand new, or traditional with a twist. Dive in and enjoy!
“Holiday Pops” | John Morris Russell, conductor, Dec. 2-4, Taft Theatre
Headlined by TV’s “American Idol” favorite Melinda Doolittle, this is a family-oriented variety show featuring plenty of pop holiday favorites, visual spectacles, costumed characters and much more.
Dec. 3-4, 2 & 5 p.m., Corbett Auditorium, University of Cincinnati
This longtime tradition features CCM choirs and orchestra, the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, and guest choirs from Mason, St. Xavier and Taylor high schools. CCM’s annual holiday gift to the Tri-state. Always lots of fun.
“Noël, Noël: A French Candlelight Christmas,” | Dec. 3, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Terrace Park
Annalisa Pappano has single-handedly kindled Cincinnati’s interest in music created before 1650. This concert is a perspective on Christmas unlike any other in the area, with lush, intimate instrumental and vocal music from the French Baroque, performed in candlelight. If you crave a calm, reflective experience this season, this performance is for you.
“Classics with a Twist” | Jiang Qi and André Megerdichian, co-directors, Dec 1-4, Patricia Corbett Theater, University of Cincinnati
CCM alumnus James Cunningham of Cincinnati Ballet has choreographed a new work, “La Nymphe Brisée,” with music by Youngwon French and Bradley Harris. Also, a performance of Schubert’s “Winterreise” with choreography by dance chair Jiang Qi, a staging of Glazunov’s “Scénes de Ballet,” and a collage of dance scenes spanning diverse genres, entitled “Warm Hearts and Hot Feet.”
“Nutcracker All Jazzed Up” | Dec. 2-3, Jarson-Kaplan Theater, Aronoff Center
Love “The Nutcracker,” but ready for something new? The first act of this hybrid production is choreographed to Duke Ellington’s 1960 earthy, jazz band adaptation, while Act II returns to the more familiar Tchaikovsky score and formal ballet. A great way to experience a classic and its modern reimagining all in one sitting.
“Cinderella: After Ever After” | Nov. 30-Dec. 30
This is the sequel to last year’s take on the traditional story, imagining what happens following “happily ever after” when Prince Freddy and Cinderella move into the palace with her stepmother and self-absorbed stepsisters. What could possibly go wrong…right? Directed by producing artistic director D. Lynn Meyers. Fun for all ages.
“The Nights Before Christmas” | Dec. 1-23
Here’s your chance to experience a new holiday musical, with book and lyrics by artistic director Tim Perrino and music by CCM’s Steve Goers. This “love story, a literary mystery, an ode to Christmases gone by,” is based on the dramatic life of Clement C. Moore, author of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” – what we know as “ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Thursdays-Sundays.
Several exhibits open this week, always a fun way to see and be seen…
- The brand new Gallery 708 opens Thursday at 708 Walnut St., featuring the work of 28 varied artists and artisans.
- The always fascinating Marta Hewett Gallery offers new glass works by Stephen Powell, opening Friday, 6-9 p.m.
- Essex Studios in Walnut Hills, home to more than 100 artists, hosts its Studio Walks, Friday and Saturday, 6-10 p.m.