‘Kids Get In Free!’ at Hipp holiday shows


Published: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 2:23 p.m.

Introduce your children to professional theater while also instilling in them the spirit of giving at Kids Get In Free!, a special promotion at the Hippodrome State Theatre.

Facts

HIPPODROME PROMOTION

What: Kids Get In Free!, a special holiday promotion at the Hippdrome State Theatre.

When: Various times Thursday-Tuesday.

Where: Hippodrome, 25 SE 2nd Place.

Cost: $27-$32 for adults, free for up to two children 12 and under with food items or a toy.

Information: Call 352-375-4477 or visit www.thehipp.org.

Up to two children ages 12 and under can get in free to see "This Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Carol" with a paying adult and a donation each of two or more canned goods or a new toy with a value of at least $5.

"A Christmas Carol" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and "This Wonderful Life" at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Hippodrome at 25 SE 2nd Place in downtown Gainesville.

Adult tickets are $27 Sunday through Thursday and $32 Friday and Saturday, and can be reserved by calling the box office at 352-375-4477 or in person at the box office window. No other discounts will be available with this promotion.

"A Christmas Carol" centers around miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and his family, the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, as well as the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, all trying to change Scrooge into a better person.

"This Wonderful Life" is a one-man show consisting of 32 characters and centers around George Bailey, who plans to commit suicide on Christmas eve, and his guardian angel, who tries to convince Bailey his life is worth living.

Tim Walsh, box office supervisor, said the food will be donated to the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank and the toys will be given to the Junior League of Gainesville for their Miracle on Main Street and bicycle collection.

"We recommend you reserve your ticket," Walsh said. "Holiday shows sell pretty fast."

Jessica Hurov, director of marketing at the Hippodrome, said "A Christmas Carol" has been a Hippodrome tradition for 34 years.

And in those early years, Hurov said, people remember the price of admission was a toy only.

"Four years ago, we brought it back," Hurov said. "We're trying to make it a win-win for the community. It's an affordable way for families to bring their children to live professional theater and at the same time help the theater give back to the community."

Hurov said families can make it a fun event for children by taking them to the store and letting them choose a toy or canned food item.

"So children can understand it's not just about the free ticket," Hurov said. "It's introducing them to the concept of giving back."

"That's the massage we're telling in the stories on stage," said Hurov, adding that being introduced to professional theater is an outing children will not forget.

"I loved it," said Hurov, referring to seeing professional theater as a child.

Acrosstown

The Acrosstown Repertory Theatre will present the world premiere of "A Christmas From Heck" by Rob Nash.

Show times will be 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 18 at the Acrosstown at 619 S. Main St. Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 for students, seniors, educators and veterans. They can be purchased in advance at Book Gallery West in the Millhopper area or at the door 30 minutes before each show.

The Heck family of Austin gathers on a Christmas eve for an annual family reunion where invited and uninvited guests contribute to a comic romp of sibling rivalry, marital infidelity and youngster misconduct to produce a madcap gathering that has a happy and inspiring seasonal ending.

Because of language, threats of violence and sexually explicit action, the show is not intended for anyone under 18.

For more information, call 352-234-6278 or visit www.acrosstown.org.

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