Published: Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 4:27 p.m.
Christmas classics: The Hippodrome Theatre’s most popular Christmas productions wrap up performances today through Sunday. “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 Salling, 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 Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Showtimes for “A Christmas Carol” are 7:30 p.m. today, and 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday. For tickets, call 375-4477 or see Thehipp.org.
Rhyme time: The Gainesville Community Playhouse stages the Broadway show “Seussical the Musical” featuring beloved Dr. Seuss characters for the holiday season through Sunday. Performances begin at 8 p.m. today and Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $16, $10 for students and seniors.
Christ carol re-imagined: The Acrosstown Repertory Theatre’s holiday production of “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” has final performances Friday through Sunday. Tom Mula’s 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 Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission is $10.
Gospel song play: The Actors’ Warehouse theater continues its production of “Black Nativity,” a retelling of the nativity story from an African-American perspective and tradition, through Sunday. Written by Langston Hughes, who described it as a “a gospel song play,” the musical features standbys like “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” “We Three Kings,” “Mary Did You Know” and others. Performances begin at 8 p.m. today through Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $15.
Holiday homecoming in High Springs: The High Springs Community Theater stages final performances of its holiday play, “The Homecoming,” Friday through Sunday. 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. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.
Dec. 19-Jan. 2:
Wintry wonderland: The Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs hosts its annual Festival of Lights with more than 5 million lights adorning the historic museum, tower and grounds in addition to other holiday activities and attractions. Park hours are extended to 9 p.m. every day except Christmas Day, when the park will be closed, and Christmas Eve, when the park will be drive-through only. Admission is $3.
Dec. 19-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.
Chestnuts crunching on a well-lit stage: Dance Alive National Ballet presents its annual production of “The Nutcracker,” the beloved fantastical Christmas ballet scored by Tchaikovsky, with performances planned Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $40. A Chocolate & Champagne Holiday Gala is planned Saturday at 8 p.m., featuring a “Dancing With the Stars” competition pairing DanceAlive performers with local celebrities. Admission is $100.
Solstice Celebration: Gainesville’s Veterans for Peace organization hosts the annual Winter Solstice Celebration to ring in the onset of winter and promote non-violence. The event will feature musical performances from The Relics, The Erasables, Other Voices, Quartermoon, Lauren Robison and Marissa Vario, John Chambers, A Choir of Heavenly Semi-Angels , Drums of Peace and Cherokee Peace Chant. The event will conclude with a sing-along of John Lennon’s “Imagine. The event begins at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 8 p.m. Admission is a suggested $10-$30 donation.
Kwanzaa in the library: The main branch of the Alachua County Library in downtown Gainesville hosts a special Kwanzaa celebration on Dec. 27 from 2 to 5 p.m. on the fourth floor atrium featuring speakers Sherry Dupree, Gladys Perkins, Philoron Wright and Naana Banyiwa Horne along with food, music and dance performances. Admission is free.