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{Play Local} Seasonal Entertainment off the Beaten Path

Tis the season for perennial theater favorites like The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, opening soon in larger venues around the Triangle. Sell outs of those performances almost always are guaranteed. This year, I’m thinking about seeing some holiday-themed theater that might be a bit off familiar paths, or a little off-beat like…

The Longest Night: A Winter’s Tale (now showing at the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill) is an animation collaboration between Paperhand Puppet Intervention and the planetarium, telling the story of a nomadic family’s quest, as shown on the fulldome (the planetarium’s website includes a promo video if you’re interested in a visual preview). Show times are 11:30 am on Saturdays and 2:30 pm Sundays, through February 24, 2013 (run time is approximately 45 minutes). Tickets are $7.25 for adults and $6.00 for students and children (recommended for ages 7 and older) and can be purchased at the door.

Chapel Hill’s PlayMakers Repertory Company presents “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” beginning November 28th and continuing through December 16th (show times are 7:30 pm through the week, with 2:00 pm matinees on weekends). The play brings the film to life through a 1940s era radio show, set on Christmas eve. It seems some shows are already selling out so your best bet may be to call the box office (hours 12-6 pm, Monday – Friday) at 919-962-7529 for tickets.

Another classic Christmas film comes to life thanks to Cary Players production of A Christmas Story, Nov. 30th through Dec. 3rd. All the iconic imagery from the film can be found in the live performance, including five of the cutest Bumpas hounds you’ll ever see. 😉 Find details on show dates/times and ticket prices here.

North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theater has cast an Artful Dodger, Fagin and Oliver himself for their production of the Dickens classic Oliver Twist, starting Nov. 30th and on various dates through Dec. 16th. Prior to the December 8th show, the North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theater celebrates that evening’s family-friendly production with a special pre-show Winter Gala and Silent Auction to benefit the theater. Find more information about show times/dates and ticket pricing on their website here.

All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 begins Dec. 7th at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. The Cantari Men’s Ensemble perform a capella while the play tells the story of a Christmas eve during World War One when German and English soldiers met in No Man’s Land, reaching beyond the trenches to sing together, exchange gifts, even play a game of soccer. I suspect I will need to pack extra tissues to dab away tears during this show. Find date/show time information and purchase advance tickets at The ArtsCenter website.

A Trailer Park Christmas has become an annual tradition for Common Ground Theater, though there’s not much traditional about this tale set in West Durham, especially not the holiday tornado. Take a look for yourself, then get your tickets to any of the shows between Dec. 13th and 23rd available online now.

If you’re up for exploring the uh… less jovial/more sassy-side of Christmas, perhaps the return of Santaland Diaries to Raleigh’s Theatre in the Park will fit that bill. Based on the essays of former Raleigh resident, David Sedaris, the (often hilarious) play portrays the experience of an actor’s gig as one of Santa’s elves at a major department store. Be warned – some of the subject matter is not suitable for young children. Tickets are available now for the Dec. 12th – 16th shows here.

By the way, tickets to any of the above shows might make a lovely gift for the theater fan on your holiday gift list… in case you needed another gift suggestion. 😀




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