Area stages show off their holiday finest


November 18, 1999|By J. Wynn Rousuck

There are certain things you can count on at the holidays -- eggnog, mistletoe, popular toys even Santa can't find. And oh yes, "The Nutcracker," "A Christmas Carol" and the "Messiah."

This season will be no exception, with more area productions of Tchaikovsky, Dickens and Handel than Santa has reindeer. Just as no two snowflakes are alike, however, each of these holiday favorites has its distinguishing features.

There will even be two separate opportunities to see "The Nutcracker" on ice. On Nov. 26, the Chesapeake Skating School's Ensemble Troupe will perform at the Inner Harbor, and the St. Petersburg State Ice Ballet glides onto the Opera House stage at Washington's Kennedy Center Dec. 8-12.

Purists who prefer "The Nutcracker" on dry land can attend the return engagement of the Moscow Ballet at the Mechanic Theatre Dec.10-12 or drop in on the promising young dancers at the Baltimore School for the Arts Dec. 3-12.

The various local versions of "A Christmas Carol" range from to Israel Horovitz's "A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley," told from Marley's point of view, at Dundalk Community Theatre Nov. 19-28, to Leslie Bricusse's musical adaptation, "Scrooge," at the Spotlighters Theatre Dec. 3-19.

As to the "Messiah," Edward Polochick will conduct the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, with soloists Nicole Heaston and Norine Burgess, on Dec. 17 and 18, and the Handel Choir will reprise its namesake's most famous work, performing the Christmas sections in several locations and the full oratorio at Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium Dec. 19.

Finally, if all this culture makes you hungry, the Bach Society of Baltimore is presenting its ninth annual Holiday Madrigal Feast, complete with 16th century period entertainment and a six-course meal, at Zion Lutheran Church Dec. 4-12.

Here are some of the area's holiday productions:

"The Nutcracker"

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. Dec. 17, 7 p.m., Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis. $25-$30; $10 students. Call 410-263-0907.

Baltimore School for the Arts. Dec. 3 and 10, 7 p.m., Dec. 4 and 11, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Dec. 5 and 12, 2 p.m., the Schaefer Ballroom, The Baltimore School for the Arts, 712 Cathedral St. $10; $8 seniors; $6 students and children. Call 410-396-1185.

Columbia Chamber Ballet. Nov. 26, 2 p.m., City Place Mall, Silver Spring. Dec. 3, 7: 30 p.m., Main Street, Ellicott City Fire Hall. Dec. 4, 2 p.m., East Columbia Library Senior Center. Dec. 7, 7 p.m., Hickory Ridge Senior Center. Dec. 10, 6: 30 p.m., Howard County Tree Lighting, Centennial Park. Dec. 11, 2 p.m., Columbia Mall, Lord and Taylor Court. Dec. 12, 3 p.m., B&O Train Museum. Dec. 18, 3 p.m., White Marsh Mall, Entertainment Court. All performances are free. Call 410-465-7674.

Harford Dance Theatre. Nov. 26, Dec. 2 and 3, 5: 30 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m. (abbreviated performances) and Nov. 27 and 28, Dec. 4 and 5, 3: 30 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m., Harford Community College, 401 Thomas Run Road. $5-$10, must be at least age 3 to attend. Call 410-836-4211.

Howard County Ballet. Dec. 10, 7: 30 p.m.; Dec. 11 and 12, 2: 30 p.m., the Smith Theater at Howard County Community College, Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $15; $10 children and students. Call 410-465-8233.

Inner Harbor Ice Rink. Nov. 26, noon, the Inner Harbor Ice Rink, Rash Field. Chesapeake Skating School's Ensemble Troupe. $5, plus skate rental. Call 410-385-0675.

Moscow Ballet. Dec. 10, 7: 30 p.m., Dec. 11, 2 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m., Dec. 12, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Morris A. Mechanic Theatre. Tickets start at $20.50. Call 410-481-SEAT. St. Petersburg State Ice Ballet. Dec. 8, 8 p.m. and Dec. 9-12, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., the Kennedy Center, off Virginia and New Hampshire avenues, Northwest, Washington. $29-$67. Call 800-444-1324.

Towson University and Dance Company. The second act will be performed, Dec. 5, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Stephens Hall Theater, Towson University, 8000 York Road. $12; $8 seniors, children 12 and under. Call 410-830-2787.

The Washington Ballet. Nov. 26, 2 p.m. and Nov. 27, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., George Mason University Center for the Arts, Fairfax, Va. $20-$34. Call 703-218-6500.

The Washington Ballet. Dec. 10, 7 p.m.; Dec. 11, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Dec. 12, 1 p.m.; Dec. 17, 7 p.m.; Dec. 18, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Dec. 19, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Dec. 21-23, 7 p.m.; Dec. 24, 2 p.m. and Dec. 26, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Warner Theatre, 13th Street, Northwest, Washington. $25-$38. Call 202-432-SEAT.


Holiday theatrical performances in the area.

"Babes in Toyland." The holiday musical will be performed Dec. 4, 2 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m. and Dec. 5, 2 p.m., Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College, Dulaney Valley Road. $23; $15 children 12 and under. Call 410-337-8519.

"A Christmas Carol." Dickens' Christmas classic, Dec. 10 through 19 at Fell's Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St. 8 p.m. Fridays, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays. $5-$12. Call 410-276-7837.

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