Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 6:17 p.m.
Nov. 29-Dec. 23:
Holiday plays at the Hipp: The Hippodrome Theatre kicks off the Christmas season with two plays. “A Tuna Christmas,” which portrays the comical competition for the best Yuletide lawn display in Tuna, Texas, alternates with Mary Hausch's adaptation of Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol,” a Gainesville tradition with Rusty Salling in his 23rd year as Ebenezer Scrooge. Performances run through Dec. 23 for “A Tuna Christmas” and through Dec. 22 for “A Christmas Carol.” For showtimes and tickets, call 375-4477.
Nov. 29-Dec. 23:
Dreaming of a Christmas classic: Onstage at the Gainesville Community Playhouse is “White Christmas,” a stage adaptation of the 1954 classic film featuring such Irving Berlin songs as “I Love a Piano,” “Snow” and the title track. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 23. For tickets, call 376-4949.
Christmas the cowboy way: The Western-swing ensemble Riders in the Sky returns for a performance of its holiday show, “Christmas the Cowboy Way,” on Nov. 30 at University Auditorium. The performance offers a blend of Western wit, whimsy and musical classics along with Christmas standards and their own yuletide originals. Tickets are $20-$30, $10 for UF students.
Celestial scene: The Florida Museum of Natural History presents its sixth annual Starry Night event featuring an evening of astronomy and engaging information. Members of the UF Astronomy Department and the Alachua Astronomy Club will be on hand with instruction and telescopes while a portable planetarium show will give attendees the chance to view the universe in 3-D. Guests will receive a “Passport to the Universe” to be filled out as they complete activities. The first 25 to complete the passport will receive free tickets to the Kiki Silva Pla Planetarium, with other prizes given to all who complete the passport. Hours for “Starry Night” are 6 to 10 p.m. Admission is free.
Dec. 3-Jan. 13:
Skating on the plaza: Ice skating at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza returns starting Monday with the opening of the Plaza Ice Palace. For the first time in five years, skaters can enjoy the ice rink from 4 to 10 p.m. weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. There's no cost for skating Monday through Wednesday. Starting Dec. 6, the cost is $10 per person including skates, $7 for those who furnish their own skates.
Children's Holiday at Santa Fe:
Santa Fe College's kickoff to seasonal festivities, "A Children's Holiday at Santa Fe," offers performances from Santa Fe departments including Dance Theatre Santa Fe, the SF Singers and Theatre Santa Fe, performing respectively excerpts from "The Nutcracker," multicultural music from the season and a visit from Santa Claus for children and their families. After the show, children also can make crafts including gift bags and magic-color scratch dreidels. The performance starts at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Fine Arts Hall on the Santa Fe campus, 3000 NW 83rd St. Tickets are $10 for adults, free for children 12 and younger with a limit of three children per adults. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 395-4181 or online at vendini.com.
Santa Jam: To raise Christmas toys for children, Santa Jam 2012 features 30 bands in five events in three counties and begins Saturday at Tropical Smoothie Café, at 34th Street and Archer Road, where six acts – Crash Pad, Lawless Heart, Sound Grenade, Sticky Biscuit, In Spades and the Rick Ryan Band – perform from 3:30 to 10:30 p.m. Admission is one new toy per person.
Piercing songs: Venerable singer/songwriter Pierce Pettis returns to Gainesville for a performance Sunday at Prairie Creek Lodge's Sandhill Stage. Pettis' music has been lauded by such publications as The San Francisco Chronicle, which described his work as a “musical language that speaks to the head and the heart.” Admission to the 6:30 p.m. performance is $20. For reservations call 317-7307 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Augustine with Peter Rowan: Renowned bluegrass performer Peter Rowan joins Gatorbone, Todd Schaeffer of Railroad Earth and a bevy of St. Augustine musicians in a benefit concert in St. Augustine produced by the Shakerag Culture Center in Melrose. The performance, which will benefit St. Augustine luthier Paul Berger, runs from 3 to 8 p.m. Admission is a suggested donation of $30. For tickets, call 373-5514 or see Shakeragculturecenter.org.
Campus caroling: At the Phillips Center on Sunday, UF President Bernie Machen hosts “Sounds of the Season,” an annual concert featuring a number of vocal ensembles with more than 300 total performers. Titled “A Caroler's Gift,” this year's concert features the UF Concert Choir, UF Women's Chorale, UF Men's Glee Club and a performance of the ”Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel's “Messiah” by the Gainesville Civic Chorus and the UF Choral Union. Tickets for the 7 p.m. performance are free and will be distributed at the door starting at 6 p.m.
Boise ballet: Renowned choreographer Trey McIntyre and his Idaho-based troupe, the Trey McIntyre Project, come to the Phillips Center to perform a cycle of pieces set to popular music of the stage and silver screen with choreography drawing on a diverse collection of dance traditions. McIntyre has been praised by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post as a master of the modern ballet. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20-$35, with $10 tickets available to UF students.
20th Cinderella: Danscompany of Gainesville presents its annual production of “Cinderella” on Dec. 8 at the Phillips Center. The full-length ballet, a Gainesville tradition since 1993, features a performance by the internationally renowned dancer Jose Acevedo as the prince. Performances begin at 1:30 and 7 p.m. Admission is $12, free for children under 10.
Gainesville 'Messiah': The Gainesville Civic Chorus and the UF Choral Union will perform Handel's “Messiah” at University Auditorium. The performance, conducted by UF professor Will Kesling, begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors, students and children; available by calling 392-2787.
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