Let the Holiday Show Go On!

Gregg Christiansen leading the brass players at the winter concert at Keuka College's Norton Chapel.
12/05/2018
Story and photo by Gabrielle L. Wheeler

Last weekend, the kids and I attended three holiday shows in three days. Phew! What started out as an inkling idea to attend the Rochester City Ballet’s presentation of the Nutcracker at  Canandaigua High School ended up also being our local elementary musical on Friday night, and Keuka College’s winter concert on Saturday evening. Holiday shows tend to begin right after Thanksgiving, but if you haven’t gone to one yet, there are still lots of options available.  

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – Located on Taughannock Boulevard in Ithaca, the Hangar Theater Company is presenting Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol now through December 23. Options to see this classic are available most nights of the week, with a special “Tuesday Talk-Back” every week in which visitors can stay for a post-show conversation with the cast or crew. Visit https://hangartheatre.org/ for more information.

Live Holiday Celebration Game Show – Looking for some laughs? The Kitchen Theater Company in Ithaca is hosting their annual Holiday Celebration game show on December 16 and 17.  Game show contestants include local celebrities such as Svante Myrick and Rordan Hart, mayors of Ithaca and Trumansburg, respectively, and Tracy Mitrano, 2018 Congressional candidate. Ticket holders are encouraged to wear their ugliest holiday sweater for a chance to participate in an onstage contest. For more information, visit https://kitchentheatre.org/.

Holiday Music – The Clemens Center in Elmira is presenting two separate holiday music concerts for the 2018 season. December 9, the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes will perform, directed and conducted by Toskiyuki Shimada. As an added bonus, the Chorus of the Southern Finger Lakes and the Rafael Grigorian Ballet will accompany the orchestra. On December 16, the internationally performing duo, Keith and Kristyn Getty, will be singing holiday carols they have reworked to the rhythms of Celtic, classical, bluegrass and more. For information visit http://clemenscenter.org/.

The Nutcracker – The Nutcracker will also be coming to the Clemens Center on two separate occasions. On December 15, the New Heights Dance Theater will be presenting the Nutcracker in Motion, suitable for all ages. Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece will also be presented in dance by the Rafael Grigorian Ballet Theater on December 21.

If none of the above shows sounds like your cup of (peppermint) tea, another option is to inquire at your local school to see if the students have an upcoming holiday show. The holiday season can be exceptionally busy yet getting out to see a seasonal production is definitely one way to get into the spirit.


Gabrielle Wheeler is a freelance writer from the heart of the Finger Lakes Region. On her parenting blog, aplaceforlittlesproutstogrow.com, she writes about tending to the whole child and parent. She also works in a local health center as an interpreter/patient navigator.