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This article was prepared for the December 4, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

Every December we at U.S. 1 face the same dilemma that

a lot of you do: Our show (or newspaper or business meeting) must

go on, but business-as-usual seems somewhat inappropriate in the middle

of the festive holiday spirits.

Planners of business meetings schedule appearances by choral groups;

networking organizations have socials instead of seminars and ask

participants to bring Toys for Tots instead of business cards. And

here at U.S. 1 we put out a cover that highlights the holiday listings

that dominate our daily entertainment calendar.

Among the highlights of this season:

Before the boys from the American Boychoir leave for their

holidays they give concerts on the last weekend before Christmas,

on Saturday, December 21 at the Princeton University Chapel and on

Sunday, December 22, at Richardson Auditorium. If you can’t wait for

the homegrown treble voices, the Vienna Boys Choir is at the State

Theater on Wednesday, December 11.

Those committed to the English cathedral tradition simply cannot

let the Christmas season go by without hearing the hymn "Once

in Royal David’s City" which opens the traditional Ceremony of

Lessons and Carols. It is scheduled in Yardley on Saturday, December

7, in Trenton on Saturday, December 14, in New Brunswick on Sunday,

December 15. Cathedral song will also be presented by the world-class

Princeton Singers at their Christmas concert in Princeton on

Friday, December 13.

No less that five renditions of Handel’s "Messiah" are

scheduled in December, including "sing-alongs" on December

8, 9, and 21, plus a performance by the Princeton Pro Musica

on Saturday, December 14, and by the Masterwork Chorus on Sunday,

December 15.

Every high school and college presents its own holiday concert.

Rutgers’ and Princeton’s concerts are on Friday and Saturday, December

6 and 7, College of New Jersey is Saturday, December 7, and Rider

University is December 8. Princeton High School’s annual candlelight

concert at the University chapel is Thursday, December 19,

Westminster Choir College may be a college, but its performances

are in a class by themselves. The banquet of Christmas programs is

its most popular. Saturday, December 7, features the bell choir. Both

the faculty and the brass quintet perform Sunday, December 8. The

major concerts at Princeton University Chapel are Friday and Saturday,

December 13 and 14, and other opportunities are December 21, 22, and


Gospel music gets its holiday due on Friday, December 6 (at

Westminster Choir College), Saturday, December 14 (with the New

Jersey Symphony at the War Memorial), and Sunday, December 29 at

the Sovereign Bank Arena.

The anonymous philanthropist the Chocolate Cat sponsors the

annual family concert by the Princeton Symphony Orchestra on

Sunday, December 15, and the Boston Pops plays at the Sovereign Bank


And the Greater Trenton Symphony has a family concert on Sunday,

December 22. Check this week’s listings for the Hopewell Valley Chorus

(December 6), the New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus (December 7),

and the Community Christian Choir (December 8). Judy Collins

makes her fifth appearance at the State Theater with a holiday concert

on December 5, joined by the Princeton Pro Musica Chorus.

That’s just the music. When it comes to dance, well can you

guess there are abundant Nutcrackers. The American Repertory Ballet

performs with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in Newark on Friday

and Saturday, December 6 and 7, then returns to New Brunswick on Saturday

and Sunday, December 21 and 22, followed by two performances at the

Patriots Theater of the War Memorial in Trenton on Saturday, December


Other renditions are offered by the Belle Mead Ballet on December

7 and 8, and by Suburban Dance Force on December 8; both companies

repeat on December 21 and 22. Both Hamilton Ballet Theater and

the West Windsor Plainsboro Dance Theater offer their versions

on December 14 and 15. The Moscow Ballet comes to Raritan Valley

Community College on December 21. And New Jersey Ballet’s glittering

production with the Paper Mill Orchestra plays in Millburn from December

20 to 30.

A different kind of Nutcracker, the Laser Nutcracker Spectacular plays

daily at the New Jersey State Museum Planetarium through Sunday, January

5. Lights, sounds, and colors in 3-D are the stars here.

If the strains of Tchaikovsky and Handel permeate the air this

season, so do the memorable words of Charles Dickens. You may find

your office chilly on a winter morning — as ours is as the paper

goes to press — and you are sure to hear jokes about Bob Cratchit

and how many pieces of coal the Scrooge boss will allow on the fire.

For the toast at a holiday dinner, someone is sure to say "To

the Founder of the Feast" or "God bless us everyone."

McCarter Theater presents the annual community favorite with

12 children from the area from December 9 to 29. The familiar story

is told from the ghost’s point of view in "Jacob Marley’s Christmas

Carol" at Bristol Riverside Theater to December 22. The

Villagers Theater in Somerset has an adaptation of the play

to December 22, and the musical "Scrooge" plays the Ritz to

December 29.

Find details on these holiday dates in this week’s Preview. For dates

later in December go to the event database at

You can search for the events by date or just plug in your request

for "music," "dance," or "drama," and print

out the latest information we have received from each of the performing

groups, updated as of December 3.

As Tiny Tim keeps on saying, "God bless us, everyone."

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