The holidays bring with them more than Christmas trees and menorahs. In the arts and culture world, the holiday season inevitably means multiple presentations of The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, The Messiah and more. South Florida shares in that bounty, of course, and these are just some of the eclectic options for seasonal entertainment.
Miami City Ballet is taking its exquisite production of George Balanchine‘s The Nutcracker to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale (Dec 12-14), Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (Dec. 18-24) and the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach (Dec. 27-30). Visit www.miamicityballet.org for details. Another Nutcracker, this one by the Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, kicks off a three-venue tour at the Fillmore Miami Beach on Sunday , then performs at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center from Friday through Dec. 14 and Fort Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse Dec. 17 and Dec. 20-21. Visit www.artsballettheatre.org for information. Ashanti Cultural Arts will dance The Chocolate Nutcrakcer Dec. 15 at the Parker Playhouse, and Ballet Etudes of South Florida will perform Dec. 15-16 at the Miramar Cultural Center/Arts Park; visit www.parkerplayhouse.com or www.miramarculturalcenter.org.
Singer-songwriter Jim Camacho provides the music for Noel MacNeal’s The Mouse King, which revisits the story of The Nutcracker from the mouse point of view. The show features actors and puppets, and it runs from Fridaythrough Dec. 14 at the Mandelstam Theater, 8530 SW 57th Ave., Miami. Call 800-838-3006 or visit mousekingtickets.com.
A Christmas Carol is just one of two holiday shows Actors’ Playhouse is doing at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables. Based on the beloved Charles Dickens novel, the Musical Theatre for Young Audiences production is presented Saturdays through Dec. 21, with two additional performances Dec 20-21. For grownups, the company is presenting Miracle on South Division Street by Tom Dudzick through Dec. 28. For information, call 305-444-9293 or visit www.actorsplayhouse.org.
Another production of A Christmas Carol is running through Dec. 5 at the Sol Children Theatre, 3333 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Call 561-447-8829 or visit www.solchildren.org.
One of the most anticipated holiday musical experiences is Seraphic Fire’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. James K. Bass will guest conduct the concert Dec. 19 at the Broward Center, Dec. 20 at Miami’s Trinity Cathedral and Dec. 21 at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center. For information, call 305-285-9060 or visit www.seraphicfire.org.
On Dec. 21, the Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation will present duo pianists Susan and Sarah Wang in a holiday concert Joy Around the World at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center. Call 305-572-9900 or visit www.dranoff2piano.org for details.
Stars of David, a musical revue featuring Avi Hoffman, Patti Gardner, Cassie Levine and Mike Westrich, launches a regional tour Dec. 23-Jan. 4 in the Broward Center’s Amaturo Theater. Call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or visit www.browardcenter.org.
Finally, if you need a little Christmas, consider taking in Mame starring Leslie Uggams at the Wick Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Running through Dec. 28, the musical features the peppy Jerry Herman song We Need a Little Christmas. For information, call 561-995-2333 or visit www.thewick.org.
NEW THEATRE NEWS
Opposites attract in New Theatre’s production of The Gospel According to Jerry, a play by Richard Krevolin and Irwin Kula that’s now onstage at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211th St., Cutler Bay. Running through Dec. 14, the play features John Manzelli as a rabbi who finds common ground with Christina Alexander as a gospel singer. And after the 5:30 p.m. show this Sunday, Kula — a rabbi who has worked with people of many faiths worldwide — will have a conversation about the play with David Lawrence Jr., president of the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation and director emeritus of the Miami Coalition for Christians & Jews. Tickets to the play are $26 in advance, $31 at the door (student rush tickets $15). Remaining performances are 8:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 1 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Call 786-573-5300 or visit www.smdcac.org or www.new-theatre.org.
After Gospel closes, New Theatre will present the winter edition of its Miami 1-Acts Festival, funded in part by a Knight Arts Challenge Grant. Sixteen short plays by Raquel Almazan, Philip Middleton Williams, Will Cabrera, Marj O’Neill-Butler, Vanessa Garcia, Brian Cohen, David Victor, Ron Alaya, Todd Caster, Frank Quintana, Gwydion Suilebhan, David Jay Bernstein, Thomas Daniel Valls, Sonia Cordoves, Ruben R. Diaz and Alexis Roblan will be presented in two separate programs at two different locations. Program A is at 4:30 p.m., Program B at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Main Street Playhouse, 6766 Main St., Miami Lakes. On Dec. 21, Program B is at 1 p.m., Program A at 5:30 p.m. at Artistic Vibes, 12986 SW 89th Ave., Miami. Tickets are $12 for one program, $20 for two. For New Theatre info, call 305-443-5909.
▪ Love the music of Frédéric Chopin? Through Feb. 1, WKCP 89.7 FM is airing The Chopin Showcase at 1p.m. Tuesdays and 10 a.m. Sundays. Blanka Rosenstiel and the Chopin Foundation of the United States, which will host the National Chopin Piano Competition in Miami Feb. 21-March1, are supporting the public radio program, which is hosted by Melissa Ousley. Visit www.classicalsouthflorida.org for information.
▪ Those who love play readings have two choices on Monday evening. Lost Girls Theatre will read Stephen Spotswood’s In the Forest, She Grew Fangs, a play about teens described as “a bloody deconstruction of Little Red Riding Hood.” It takes place at 8 p.m. at the Visitor Center Theatre on the Deering Estate, 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Miami. Michelle Antello, Meredith Bartmon, Patrick Rodriguez and Patricia Wolf are the actors. Admission is free (donations accepted); visit www.lostgirlstheatre.com for details. Also on Monday, Thinking Cap Theatre presents a reading of Radio T.B.S. at ArtServe, 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Elena Maria Garcia, Sally Bondi, Niki Fridh, Sabrina Gore, Casey Dressler, Margery Lowe, Jessica Farr, Merry Jo Cortada Pitasi, Carey Brianna Hart and Rene Elizabeth Turner are featured. Admission is $12. Visit radiotbs.brownpapertickets.com.
▪ The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood received a $15,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support a two-week residency and exhibition of puppets, paintings and illustrations by Los Angeles-based artist Wayne White and organized by the center’s curator, Jane Hart. Wayne White: Art is Supposed to Hypnotize You or Something will be on view June 12 to Aug. 23 in conjunction with Broward 100, the county’s centennial celebration. The center is at 1650 Harrison St., Hollywood. Call 954-921-3274 or visit www.artandculturecenter.org.
▪ Forré & Co. Fine Art Gallery presents Soirée at Forré, a collectors’ preview and artist reception with Moroccan author and educator Mahi Binebine, whose work is in the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the new modern art museum in Qatar. The event is from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at 1007 E Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-463-0011 or visit www.forrefineart.com. Guests must RSVP by Tuesday.
Christine Dolen and Galena Mosovich contributed to this report. Send news to cdolen@MiamiHerald.com (theater), jlevin@MiamiHerald.com (dance, pop and Latin music), jwooldridge@MiamiHerald.com (visual arts) or khamersly@MiamiHerald.com (jazz, classical music).