Theater

A Christmas Carol Krampus, or It’s A Pretty OK Life, an irreverent mash-up of such familiar holiday characters as Frosty, Hermey, the Grinch and Dickens’ ghosts, will be performed from December 9-17 by Classics Lost ’n’ Found Theater. The new holiday production for adults is written and directed by Lisa M. W. Phelps. Show times are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church, 1620 E. 46th St. in Minneapolis. Tickets are $15, $12 for students and seniors.

A young Jewish woman takes a job as the “second girl” in the home of a strict Christian widower. Afraid of losing the job, Rachel Leibovich changes her name to Monica Leary to keep her faith a secret in A Servants’ Christmas. This look at life on Saint Paul’s Summit Avenue at the turn of the 20th century is being staged through December 18 at History Theatre, 30 E. 10th St. Ron Peluso directs a cast that features Gary Briggle, Serena Brook, Jennifer Burleigh-Bentz, Erin Capello Kopp, Sullivan Cooper, Cathleen Fuller, Norah Long, Eric Morris and Nicola Wahl. Tickets are $15-$70. For reservations, visit historytheatre.com or call 651-292-4323.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles, a new play based on an Agatha Christie mystery, is being performed through December 18 at Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Ave. S. in Minneapolis. Published in 1920, The Mysterious Affair at Styles introduced readers to detective Hercules Poirot as he inves­ti­gates the midnight poisoning of a family matriarch. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $25. Call 612-333-3010 or visit theatreintheround.org.

Nicolas, the story of the real Father Christmas, is being staged through De­cember 29 at Open Window Theatre, 5300 S. Robert Trail in Inver Grove Heights. Written and directed by Open Window artistic director Jeremy Stanbary, the drama tells of the 4th-century Saint Nicholas of Myra whose faith, heroic generosity and humble service to the less fortunate inspired the modern-day Santa Claus. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays with additional shows on December 13, 20, 21, 27 and 28. Tickets are $18-$28.Call 612-615-1515 or visit openwindowtheatre.org.

Nutcracker
Flannery Page, 14, of Macalester-Groveland (above) stars as Clara, and Zhong-Jing Fang and Jose Sebastian of the American Ballet Theatre play the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier, in Ballet Minnesota’s production of "The Classic Nutcracker." The ballet about a young girl who is given a marvelous nutcracker by her mysterious godfather and then dreams of the nutcracker becoming a prince and leading an army of toy soldiers in battle against the Rat King will be staged on December 16-18 in the O’Shaughnessy at Saint Catherine University. Helping to tell the tale will be 100-plus Ballet Minnesota company members, apprentices and students. The curtain rises at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $5-$45. Visit oshag.stkate.edu or call 651-690-6700. For live streaming and student group ticket information, email balletmngrouptickets@gmail.com.

A long-running holiday tradition, Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity is being performed through December 24 at Penumbra Theatre, 270 N. Kent St. Lou Bellamy directs. Musical direction is by Sanford Moore and the Kingdom Life Church Choir. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $20-$45. Call 651-224-3180 or visit penumbratheatre.org.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, a musical adaptation of the classic folk tale, is being performed through December 31 at the Ordway Music Theater. Rajané Katurah, Nathaniel Hackmann and Jamecia Bennett star. For reservations, call 651-292-3268 or visit ordway.org.

Music

Katie McMahon, who has graced stages around the world as the original voice of Riverdance, returns to the O’Shaughnessy at Saint Catherine University on Friday, December 9, with “A Celtic Christmas.” McMahon will be joined on stage by her band, other singers and the Rince na Chroí Irish Dancers in this family-friendly program of Yuletide carols and stories. The music begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5-$28. Visit oshag.stkate.edu or call 651-690-6700.

 

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Canadian classical guitarist Emma Rush will make her Minnesota debut in a Minnesota Guitar Society concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 10, in Sundin Hall, 1531 Hewitt Ave. Rush will play 19th-century compositions by Julia Piston, Catharina Pratten and Susan Domett along with music by Annette Kruisbrink, Darragh O’Neill, William Beauvais and Amy Brandon. Tickets are $10-$25. Visit mnguitar.org.

Multi-platinum recording artist Steven C. Anderson will return to the Cathedral of Saint Paul on Thursday, December 15, with his 9-foot, 92-key Grand Bosendorfer piano in tow. In his sixth Christmas Together concert, he will be accompanied by organist Chris Ganza, violinist Nate Wilson, singers Jack Cassidy and Jillian Gubash & Friends and a surprise guest who will read the Christmas story to musical accompaniment. The music begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, though a $10 donation is suggested. Seats will be assigned. For reservations, visit tinyurl.com/msxzrm46.

“What Sweeter Music.” The Singers will present their annual Christmas concert on December 10 and 11. Along with beloved carols and seasonal favorites, the program will feature compositions by Reena Esmail and B.E. Boykin and new works by Timothy Takach and conductor Matthew Culloton. The music begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Lutheran Church of Good Shepherd, 4801 France Ave. S. in Minneapolis, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, at Nativity Catholic Church, 1938 Stanford Ave. Tickets are $35. Visit singersmca.org.

The Star of the North concert band will present a free holiday concert from 7:30-9 p.m. Wednesday, December 14, in the cortile of Landmark Center.

The Seward Concert Band will present a Holiday Block Party at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 16, in the auditorium of Sanford Middle School, 3424 42nd Ave. S. in Min­neapolis. The tentative program includes seasonal favorites by José Feliciano, John Williams, Leroy Anderson, Chris Bernotas, David Shaffer, Franz Gruber, Irving Berlin and John Philip Sousa. Admission is by donation with $6 suggested for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for students.

The Barley Jacks will perform their mix of bluegrass, blues, Celtic and R&B music in concert on Friday, December 16, in Weyerhaeuser Auditorium at Landmark Center. The 8 p.m. show will be preceded at 7 p.m. by a cocktail hour. Tickets are $25 at the door, $20 in advance at landmarkcenter.ticketleap.com.

The folk duo Storyhill wraps up its holiday tour with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 17, at the Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange St. The acoustic program will include songs off their album “Bethlehem” along with reimagined Christmas classics, seasonal favorites and other originals from their 30-plus years performing together. Maine songwriter Connor Garvey opens the show. Tickets are $29.50-$50. Visit first-avenue.com.

Lex-Ham Community Band director Austin Virasy-Ertelt will present his final concert with the local ensemble on Saturday, December 17, in Buetow Auditorium at Concordia University-Saint Paul, 310 N. Hamline Ave. The free holiday program will begin at 7 p.m.

“Into the Light” will be presented by the eight-man choral ensemble Cantus in 10 concerts from December 9-20 across the region. The Christmas program is a contemporary take on the lessons and carols tradition elevated by the Choir of King’s College at the University of Cambridge. It centers on nine themes with modern poetry and a wide-ranging repertoire. The local concerts will begin at 11 a.m. December 9 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis; 7:30 p.m. December 10 at the Capri Theater in Minneapolis; 3 p.m. December 11 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater; 7:30 p.m. December 12 in the auditorium of Fridley High School; 11 a.m. December 15, at Meet­ing­house Church in Edina; 7:30 p.m. December 16, at the Ordway Concert Hall; 3 p.m. December 18 at Hamline Church United Methodist, 1514 Englewood Ave.; and 7:30 p.m. December 20 in the Chapel of Saint Thomas Aquinas at the University of Saint Thomas. For tickets, visit cantussings.org.

Jazz and finger-style guitar will be show­cased in a Minnesota Guitar Society concert on Wednesday, December 21, in Fingal’s Cave at MetroNOME Brewery, 289 E. Fifth St. Briand Morrison from Grand Portage will open the show from 6-7:30 p.m. followed by Daniel Volovets of the Twin Cities from 7:30-9 p.m.

Family

Discover what it means to be a hero when Disney on Ice skates into Xcel Energy Center on December 8-11. Mickey and Minnie and the gang will lead this magical adventure through a medley of classic and modern tales. Show times are 7 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at the box office or by visiting ticketmaster.com.

The Snowy Day, a drama about the joys of the season through the eyes of a child, is being presented through December 23 by SteppingStone Theatre for Youth. Written by Jerome Hairston with music by Victor Zupanc, the play is based on the books by Ezra Jack Keats. The curtain rises at 7 p.m. Fridays, 3 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, and 7 p.m. on December 22 at Park Square Theatre, 20 W. Seventh Place. Tickets are $16 and $20. Visit steppingstonetheatre.org.

Come for a free photo with Santa and stick around for games, gift making and a reading of classic Christmas stories on Sunday, December 11, at Landmark Center. The Santa’s Workshop program will run from 1-3 p.m. Admission is free. Call 651-292-3225.

The Twin City Model Railroad Museum, 668 Transfer Road, has brought back Night Trains. From 3-7 p.m. on Saturdays (except Christmas Eve), now through February 25, the lights are turned down and the model trains and miniature villages through which they pass will be aglow in holiday decor. Admission is $15 for Night Trains, $10 at other times, free for children age 4 and under. Visit tcmrm.org or call 651-647-9628.

Circus Juventas
Circus Juventas flips, tumbles and soars through the seasons in "Solstice." The youth circus school’s third annual holiday production is running from December 9-18 under the big top at 1270 Montreal Ave. From the candlelit opening procession to the snow-showered finale, the Nordic-inspired adventure is filled with dazzling aerial feats. It was written and directed by the mother-daughter duo of Betty Butler and Rachel Butler Norris. Show times are 7 p.m. Fridays, 1 and 7 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $35, or $25 for children ages 3-12, seniors and active military personnel. For reservations, call 651-309-8106 or visit circusjuventas.showare.com. Photo by Dan Norman

Books

Northern Wisconsin author Carol Dunbar will discuss her debut novel, The Net Beneath Us, with author Peter Geye in a free program at 6 p.m. Monday, December 12, at Next Chapter Booksellers, 38 S. Snelling Ave. Call 651-225-8989 or visit nexthapterbooksellers.com.

Exhibits

“Threads of Freedom,” the art of veteran Jeffrey Stenbom, is on view through Jan­uary 8, 2023, in the North Gallery at Landmark Center. Using primarily glass, Stenbom has created works shaped by his experiences in the Armed Services. Stenbom will discuss his art in the gallery at noon on Thursday, December 8. Admission is free and open to all.

Christmas in Saint Paul circa 1910 is relived in guided tours of the James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Ave. The 60-minute tours of the Gilded Age mansion step out between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily, now through December 31. They feature holiday memories of both the Hill family and their domestic staff. The cost is $18, free for children age 4 and under.

“Defending Democracy,” art about democracy, fighting oppression and promoting justice, will be exhibited by the Jewish War Veterans from noon-2 p.m. Sunday, December 11, at the JCC’s Capp Center, 1375 Saint Paul Ave. Explore the artwork, listen to talks by Jewish veterans, and watch a video of veterans telling their stories. Admission is free.

Tiny Art Expo, a show and sale by 40-plus artists from across the region, continues through January 8 at the Argyle Zebra Gallery, 308 Prince St. The exhibit includes 490 works measuring no more than 12-by-12 inches and selling for $100 or less. The gallery is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. A Books & Beer Pop-Up event will be held from 2-6 p.m. December 10. A Last-Minute Shopping event with live music and light refreshments will be held from 2-6 p.m. December 17. Call 651-224-3757 or visit theazgallery.org.

Et cetera

Celtic Holiday Hooley, a two-hour Irish variety show with live music, stories and sketches, carolling, step dancing and more, will be presented from December 9-17 at Celtic Junction, 836 N. Prior Ave. Emceed by comedians Joshua Will and Natalie O’Shea, the all-ages show will feature performances by singer Norah Rendell, Todd Menton of the band Boiled in Lead, multi-instrumentalist Dennis Curley, fiddler Kelsey Gunn, guitarist Dean Magraw and choreographer Cormac O Sé and the O’Shea Irish Dancers. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sunday. For ticket information, visit celticjunction.org.

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