Published: Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 2:35 p.m.
ROCKIN’ FOR A CAUSE: The annual Santa Jam, billed as the largest toy drive and musician showcase in the state, continues with shows at Bunkers Sports Den in Jasper on Friday, Gainesville’s Backstage Lounge on Saturday and the grand finale — an event at Hampton’s Thunder Music Park headlined by David Ball — on Sunday. Admission to each multi-band concert is free with one new unwrapped toy. For more information, see www.flarocks.com.
CHRISTMAS CLASSICS: The Hippodrome Theatre reprises two of its most popular Christmas productions. “A Tuna Christmas” tells the stories of residents of the small town of Tuna, Texas, all played by two actors, in a tizzy over the annual Christmas contest. The Hipp’s production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” starring Rusty Stalling, is a Gainesville institution. Tickets are $30-$35 for adults, $25 for seniors, and $15 for children and students. Showtimes for “A Tuna Christmas” are Fridays, Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 and 7:30 p.m. through Dec. 22. Showtimes for “A Christmas Carol” are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 and 4 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 21. For tickets, call 375-4477 or see Thehipp.org.
rhyme Time: The Gainesville Community Playhouse stages the Broadway musical “Seussical” featuring beloved Dr. Seuss characters for the holiday season. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 22. Tickets are $16, $10 for students and seniors.
CHRIST CAROL RE-MAGINED: The Acrosstown Repertory Theatre’s holiday production is “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” by Tom Mula. The play offers a new spin on the Dickens’ classic by imagining the ghost of Jacob Marley, Scrooge’s former business partner of the original, mounting a behind-the-scenes campaign to save Ebenezer’s soul. Performances begin Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Admission is $10.
GOSPEL SONG PLAY: Gainesville’s Actors’ Warehouse theater is presenting a production of “Black Nativity,” a retelling of the nativity story from an African-American perspective and tradition, as written by Langston Hughes. Described by Hughes as “a gospel song play,” Nativity features standbys like “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” “We Three Kings,” “Mary Did You Know” and others. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 22. Admission is $15.
HOLIDAY HOMECOMING IN HIGH SPRINGS: The High Springs Community Theater is staging the holiday play, “The Homecoming.” Based on the novel “Spencer’s Mountain” (which inspired the TV show “The Waltons”), the play tells the story of the Spencer children who lived in the Virginia mountains during the Great Depression, and of eldest daughter Mary’s quest to find her father, who is forced to work away. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays.
DEC. 12-JAN. 20:
TUBULAR TOUR STOP: The Florida Museum of Natural History hosts two new exhibits through the first of the year: “Surf Science — Waves and Wildlife,” which examines ecosystems on beaches and in the surf, and “Surfing Florida — A Photographic History,” which celebrates the history of surfing in Florida and around the world with interactive exhibits. Admission to both exhibits is $4 for adults, $3.50 for Florida residents and college students, $3 for children and free for UF students and museum members. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays (closed today for Thanksgiving) and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. The exhibits continue through Jan. 20, 2014.
THREE WEEKS GIVE OR TAKE: To celebrate the release of his new album, and to benefit Alachua Conservation Trust and Conservation Burial, Inc., folk singer-songwriter John McCutcheon will perform at the Sandhill Stage at the Prairie Creek Lodge this Sunday. The album, ”22 Days,” was written and performed over the course of the titular duration and covers a number of topics. The show will begin at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $20.
CHRISTMAS CANCER BENEFIT: The Phillips Center hosts the 17th Annual Holiday Traditions Concert, a special performance benefiting Stop Children’s Cancer, Inc. and raising cancer awareness. The event will feature performances from musical ensembles from various local schools. Admission is $6-$12, with VIP tickets available for $30 or two for $50. The performance starts at 4 p.m.
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS: The Gainesville Community Band presents its annual holiday concert, “Bright Christmas,” showcasing seasonal standards from “Sleigh Ride” to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on Sunday. Going on three decades, “Bright Christmas” has become a Gainesville holiday tradition by the local pops group. The performance is planned at the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall at 2 p.m. Admission is $6.
LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: As part of an ongoing December tradition, Gainesville’s Civic Media Center screens Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” on Monday. The irreverent take on the Christian gospels follows Brian, another would-be prophet in first-century Judea. Admission is a suggested $3-$5 donation. The screening begins at 7 p.m.
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