PORTLAND – Maine State Ballet will usher in the holiday season with performances of “The Nutcracker” at Merrill Auditorium this Thanksgiving weekend.

Maine State Ballet’s classic production of “The Nutcracker” has delighted audiences for more than 25 years.

This traditional holiday story tells of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they enter into battle, dance through a forest of dazzling snowflakes and enter the magical land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. This family show has a large cast and spectacular staging, plus the Maine State Ballet Orchestra.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26; at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27; and at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28.

Tickets are on sale at Porttix 842-0800 or www.porttix.com. Tickets range from $10 to $40.

For more information, call 781-7672 or visit www.mainestateballet.org

‘Victorian Nutcracker’ slated at Bates, Merrill

PORTLAND – The Portland Ballet Company will present “The Victorian Nutcracker,” the company’s unique version of the traditional Christmas tale of sugarplums and fantasy, this weekend and in early December. Performances are scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at the Schaeffer Theatre, Bates College in Lewiston; at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, in Portland’s Merrill Auditorium; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, in Portland’s Merrill Auditorium.

“The Victorian Nutcracker” features young dancers from Fryeburg to Turner, as well as from central New Hampshire. All told, a cast of more than 70 dancers will bring Victorian era Portland to life on the stage.

RAAPA will present ‘Joys of Christmas’ musical

RUMFORD – The Rumford Association for the Advancement of Performing Arts will present “The Joys of Christmas,” a musical written by Bob Bohren and Dwayne Glover, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 4 and 5, in the Muskie Auditorium.

The 40-member chorus is featured throughout the program as the story of a stressed businesswoman who has lost her Christmas spirit unfolds. She is whisked off to the North Pole. Along the way she encounters singing elves and dancing reindeer and learns some lessons in giving, receiving and faith. Performing as elves and reindeer will be dancers from Miss Stephany’s Dance Studio.

Cast members are Peter Theriault as Steven, Lisa Picard as Jane Lording, Kelli Olson as Wanda and Dawyne Glover as Simon.

The family Christmas musical will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 and at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 5.

Scrooge and others sing in this ‘Christmas Carol’

SEBAGO LAKE – The Schoolhouse Arts Center at Sebago Lake will present “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” from Dec. 3 to Dec. 19.

This adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale features songs from Tony winner Lynn Ahrens and Alan Menken, the Oscar-winning composer of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin.”

Directed by Linda Sturdivant with music direction by Sara Sturdivant, the play features 40 area performers. Keith Halliburton plays the miserly old Scrooge who learns the value of love after three ghosts: Ed Baldridge (Christmas past), Kelsey Franklin (Christmas present) and Shannon Mosey (Christmas future) lead him on a journey.

“A Christmas Carol: The Musical” had a 10-year run at the theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The School House Arts Center is the first theater in Maine to present this musical adaptation.

School House Arts Center is located on Route 114 just north of Route 35.

Friday and Saturday shows will begin at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday performances will begin at 2 p.m. There will also be a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, Dec. 18. Tickets are available by calling 642-3743.

Concert will benefit high-school junior

LEWISTON – Mission Community will host a benefit Christmas concert Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Franco-American Heritage Center, formerly St. Mary’s Church. The program will benefit Nicole Woodward, a 16-year-old junior at Leavitt Area High School who was recently diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

The concert will feature seasonal favorites, carols and a few new holiday songs. Frosty, Santa and the Grinch will make guest appearances. There will be door prizes, a 50/50 raffle and concessions during the intermission. Concessions have been donated by local businesses and restaurants. All proceeds will go directly to Nicole and her family.

For more information, advance tickets or to make a donation, call Mission Community, 786-0056, or send e-mail to [email protected]

Visit with Santa will help Rangeley museum

RANGELEY – Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and the elves will visit with children at “Breakfast with Santa” from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, in the conference center at the Wilhelm Reich Museum on Dodge Pond Road. Children will help Santa’s elves make some crafts and ornaments, and decorate cookies.

Admission is $3 per person. Proceeds will benefit Friends of the Wilhelm Reich Museum. FMI: Call 864-3443.

‘Magic of Christmas’ marks 25th anniversary

PORTLAND – Following a series of auditions held in Portland, Boston and New York, the Portland Symphony Orchestra selected three singers to perform a new role for the silver jubilee celebration of PSO’s “Magic of Christmas.”

Leigh Barrett, Fred Inkley and Laura Darrell will appear as a family celebrating the Christmas season during the PSO’s 15 performances of “Magic of Christmas,” opening at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, and running through Monday, Dec. 20 at Merrill Auditorium.

Barrett, soprano, is a well-known actress and singer from the Boston area. Originally from Cape Cod, Inkley’s credits include the role of Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables” on Broadway and on the Third National Tour. A North Yarmouth Academy senior, Darrell will sing with the PSO Magic of Christmas for her second time.

The program includes annual favorites such as “Winter Wonderland/Let it Snow,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Silent Night,” and “O Tannenbaum.” The “family” ensemble will be heard in “Silver Bells” and “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.”

Tickets for “Magic of Christmas” are available through PortTix, 842-0800, or at the PortTix box office on Myrtle Street between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Prices range from $15 to $53 for adults, $13 to $48 for seniors, $11 to $40 for students and children. FMI: visit www.portlandsymphony.com or call 773-6128.

Radio show parodies ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’

PORTLAND – “It’s A Wicked Good Life,” a parody of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” will be performed as a live radio show Dec. 10, 11 and 12 at the University of New England’s Westbrook College Campus.

Presented by Rocky Coast Radio Theater, “It’s A Wicked Good Life” was written and is directed by Clay T. Graybeal. “It parallels the story from ‘It’s A Wonderful Life,’ but takes off in some very unpredictable directions, with a very decided Maine tilt to it all,” he said.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, and Saturday, Dec. 11; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, in Ludcke Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and children. Tickets will be sold at the door only. For more information, contact William Dufris at 829-6497.

Children will present seasonal music

YARMOUTH – Training choir members of the Southern Maine Children’s Chorus will perform Sunday, Dec. 5. Director Lise Dunn and assistant director Monica Kantor-Churchill will lead the young singers in a program of seasonal music. The choir will be accompanied by pianist Katy Stetson.

This annual holiday concert will begin at 3 p.m. in Sacred Heart Church.

Admission is free. For more information, call 780-5555.

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