McCarter Theater’s annual “A Christmas Carol” is just one of the many holiday cultural offerings for regional audience and more theater, dance, music, and connections with the rich history of the region are also waiting.
#b#Take the Stage#/b#
Holiday Jubilee, Crossroads Theater, 7 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. Thursday to Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. through Sunday, December 15. $20 to $40. www.CrossroadsTheaterCompany.org or 732-545-8100.
Crossroads Theater Company’s “Holiday Jubilee 2013” lights up the stage on Thursday, December 5. The theater’s fourth annual multicultural celebration, the production features the music of Motown and traditional favorites from holidays and festivals around the world.
Broadway fight choreographer Rich Sordelet shapes the cast of seasoned professionals, young talented newcomers, and even the audience.
Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play, Bucks County Playhouse, 70 South Main Street. New Hope, PA. Wednesday, December 4, to Sunday, December 29, with matinees and evening performances at various times. $29 to $57.50. www.bcptheater.org or 215-862-2121.
The Bucks County Playhouse follows last December’s successful evocation of days-gone-by with “Meet Me In St. Louis: A Live Radio Play.” Based principally on the film of the same name directed by famed film musical innovator Vincent Minnelli as a vehicle for his wife, the film introduced the holiday song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” as well as such familiar tunes as “The Trolley Song” and “Meet Me in St. Louis.”
The script was adapted by Joe Landry, who created the radio version of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” performed last year at BCP. A cast of Broadway and professional performers are on hand to enliven the script and song.
’Twas the Night Before Christmas, Kelsey Theater, Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor. Friday, December 6, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, December 7, at 11 a.m., 2, and 4 p.m.; and Sunday, December 8 at 2 and 4 p.m. $10 to $12. www.kelseyatmccc.org or 609-570-3333.
The Kelsey Players of Mercer County Community College present its annual “Twas the Night before Christmas,” based on Clement Moore’s poem that brings to life a visit by Santa Claus.
White Christmas, Actors’ NET, 635 North Delmorr Avenue, Morrisville, PA. Friday, December 6, 8 p.m. Musical. $20. Through December 22. 215-295-3694 or www.actorsnetbucks.org.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Off-Broadstreet Theater, 5 South Greenwood Avenue, Hopewell. Wednesday to Saturday, December 11 to 14, 10 a.m. Classic fairy tale for ages 3 to 7. $4. 609-466-2766 or www.off-broadstreet.com.
The Nutcracker, Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive, Saturday, December 7, 1 p.m. (with post-show discussion) and 4:30 p.m. $20 to $45. www.nj.gov/state/memorial or 877-987-6487.
State Theater, 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. $32 to $67. www.statetheatrenj.org/nutcracker or 732-246-7469.
American Repertory Ballet’s 50th Annual “The Nutcracker” production — featuring some of the original choreography by the company founder, Audree Estey — continues with visits to Trenton and New Brunswick. First stop is Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton on Saturday, December 7, at 1 and 4:30 p.m. After the 1 p.m. show audience members will meet costumed characters as Princeton Ballet School director Mary Pat Robertson moderates a discussion with dancers.
The company concludes its season with its stop at the State Theater in New Brunswick on Saturday, December 21, and Sunday, December 22, where the company performs with a live orchestra.
For more details about “The Nutcracker” and related events — including Saturday and Sunday, December 14 and 15, presentation in Manasquan — visit www.americanrepertoryballet.org/ARB/Nutcracker.
El Sueno, Kelsey Theater, Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor. Sunday, December 15, 2 and 7 p.m. $12 to $16. www.kelseyatmccc.org, www.AlboradaDance.org or 609-570-3333.
Alborada Spanish Dance Theater’s “El Sueno” (The Dream) mixes the “The Nutcracker” with the traditional Spanish Three Kings Day celebration and casts its spell through flamenco and Spanish dances performed to live music. Alborada principal dancers Lisa Botalico (as Queen Maja) and Eva Lucena (the Spanish version of Drosselmeyer) lead the company’s professional and young performers.
Kendall Main Stage Theater, the College of New Jersey, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing. 609-771-2775.
Two shows come to the Kendall Theater at the College of New Jersey. Roxey Ballet, based in Lambertville, presents its 19th annual presentation of its updated version of “The Nutcracker,” featuring magical mice, giant rats, marching soldiers, swirling snowflakes, waltzing flowers, and a visit by Santa. Sunday, December 1, 3 to 5 p.m., Monday, December 2, 10 a.m. to noon, Sunday, December 8, 3 to 5 p.m. $15 to $50. 609-397-7616 or www.roxeyballet.org.
DanceVision’s “The Snow Queen,” founder and choreographer Risa Kaplowitz’s dance retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s winter tale, returns Saturday, December 14, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 15, at 2 p.m. 609-520-1020 or www.dancevisionnj.org.
Scrooge, Bordentown Ballet Theater, Burlington Performing Arts Center, 610 Fountain Avenue, Burlington. Saturday, December 14, 3 and 7 p.m. A ballet for children, featuring children. Register online. 609-291-9767 or bordentownballettheatre.bpt.me.
The Nutcracker, Kelsey Theater, Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor. Friday and Saturday, December 20 and 21. New Jersey Youth Ballet transports the audience to the Land of the Sweets. Fully narrated version of the classic ballet. $16. Also Saturday and Sunday, December 21 and 22. 609-570-3333 or www.kelseytheatre.net.
A Jazzy Nutcracker, Lustig Dance Theater, Monroe High School, 200 Schoolhouse Road, Monroe. Saturday, December 14, 1 and 4:30 p.m. Premiere of a new holiday work featuring an original score by Paul Undreiner, a professor at Rutgers University, inspired by familiar melodies. Performed by professional dancers and select students with a live jazz band and colorful sets and costumes. Set in the 1960s, the show includes a Christmas celebration, Santa Claus, a space-age battle scene, a winter wonderland skating rink, and a magical night in Drosselmeyers Department Store. 732-246-7300 or www.lustigdancetheatre.org.
Princeton University Chapel has several free programs that promise to get visitors into the spirit of the season. The Advent Concert, scheduled for Sunday, December, 8, at 2:30 p.m., includes selections from Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio.” Penna Rose conducts the Chapel Choir and orchestra, free.
The Annual Messiah Community Sing returns on Monday, December 9, at 7:30 p.m., with Penna Rose conducting the organ, chamber orchestra, and audience. $5.
The Candlelight Service of Lesson and Carols on Wednesday, December 11, 7:30 p.m., features the Chapel Choir, Glee Club, and a cappella groups. Free. 609-258-3654 or www.princetonchapelchoir.com.
Princeton Pro Musica brings Handel’s 1741 masterpiece “Messiah” to Patriot’s Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton on Sunday, December 22, 2 p.m. Artistic Director Ryan James Brandau conducts the 100 member group now in its 35th season. Tickets are $25 to $55. 609-683-5122 or www.princetonpromusica.org.
The American Boychoir presents two holiday concerts with the internationally acclaimed Canadian Brass: the Boychoir’s annual “Voices of Angels” concert at the Princeton University Chapel, Saturday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m., and “Home for the Holidays” at Richardson Auditorium on Sunday, December 15 at 4 p.m. $20 to $45. For more information please visit the American Boychoir’s website at www.americanboychoir.org. www.princeton.edu/utickets/ or 609-258-9220.
Rider University and Westminster Choir College have several holiday events scheduled. The Rider University Choir’s annual Holiday Concert is set for Friday, December 6, at 7:30 p.m., Gill Memorial Chapel on the Lawrence campus, free.
The Westminster Concert Bell Choir performances of “Tidings of Comfort and Joy” are set for Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8, at 4 p.m. in Bristol Chapel on the Princeton campus, $20 to $25.
Westminster Conservatory Community Chorus and Chamber Chorus present contemporary Christmas classics such as “White Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” and “The Christmas Song” as well as traditional carols “Silent Night,” “Here We Come a-Caroling,” and “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” and others arranged in a popular/jazz style. Jazz pianist Philip Orr joins the ensembles for this delightful holiday program Friday and Saturday, December 20 and 21, at 8 p.m., Bristol Chapel in Princeton, $20 to $25.
Westminster Choir College comes to Princeton Chapel on the Princeton University campus to present “An Evening of Readings and Carols,” Friday, December 13, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, December 15, at 4 p.m. $40 to $70.
For information, call 609-896-7775 for Lawrence campus events or 609-921-2663 for Princeton campus events. www.rider.edu/wcc.
Princeton Brass Band’s concert features traditional British music, as well as holiday favorites, under conductor Stephen Arthur Allen. The presentation takes place in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton University, Sunday, December 22, 2 p.m. $5 to $10. 609-258-9220 or www.princeton.edu/utickets.
Concert, Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra, Princeton Alliance Church, 20 Schalks Crossing Road, Plainsboro. Sunday, December 8, 7 p.m. “Holiday Joy from Near and Far” features a community chorus led by John Leonard along with musicians ranging from professionals to gifted pre-college students. Bruch Scottish Fantasty performed by Nagoung Yang on violin. Chiu-Tze Lin conducts. Selections includes Handel’s “Messiah” led by Leonard, director of choral activities at the College of New Jersey. World premiere of “A Christmas for Everyone” by Matthew Liu. Kevin Tsai of West Windsor is the concermaster. $15 to $25. 609-790-9559 or www.bravuraphil.org.
Boheme Opera in Concert, Grounds For Sculpture, 126 Sculptors Way, Hamilton. Friday, December 13, 7 p.m. Annual holiday concert. Free with park admission. 609-586-0616 or www.groundsforsculpture.org.
Winter Musicale, Bristol Riverside Theater, 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol. Keith Baker, the BRT Concert Band, and entertainers present classic songs. $35 and up. 215-785-0100. www.brtstage.org.
Decembersongs 2013: An East Nashville Holiday Concert, Concerts at the Crossing, Unitarian Church, 268 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville. Saturday, December 7, 7:30 p.m. Amy Speace, Rod Pictto, and Doug and Telisha Williams perform. Each performer presents a set of non-holiday music as well as sharing holiday favorites. $20. 609-406-1424 or www.concertsatthecrossing.com.
A Celebration of Benjamin Britten: Princeton Girlchoir, Pesbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, 2688 Main Street, Lawrenceville. Sunday, December 8, 3 p.m. The Princeton Girlchoir performs Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, Missa Brevis in D, Op. 63, Psalm 67, and others. Suggested donation $15 at the door. 609-688-1888 or www.princetongirlchoir.org.
Noel Sing We Clear, Princeton Folk Music Society, Christ Congregation Church, 50 Walnut Lane, Princeton. Friday, December 20, 8:15 p.m. Sing songs of Christmas based on folk traditions in Britain and North America. Songsheets will enable the audience to participate. $20. 609-799-0944 or www.princetonfolk.org.
Holiday Classic Music Concert, Princeton Nassau Christian Center, 26 Nassau Street, Princeton. Saturday, December 7, 7 p.m. Handel’s Messiah presented by VoxAmaDeus featuring a Baroque period instrument orchestra and tenor Timothy Bentch, soprano Andrea Lauren Brown, alto Jody Kidwell, and bass Ed Bara. $25. 609-921-0981 or www.voxamadeus.org.
Trenton Brass Quintet Plus One, Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street. Sunday, December 22, 3 p.m. Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanzaa selections. 609-924-8822 or www.princetonlibrary.org.
Holiday POPS!, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University. Saturday, December 14, 4 p.m. The Princeton High School Choir performs with the orchestra under conductor Rossen Milanov. A program of marches, dances, and a sing a long. $25 to $45. 609-497-0020 or www.princetonsymphony.org.
Holiday Handbell Concert, Princeton Theological Seminary, Miller Chapel. Saturday, December 7, 3 p.m. “Christmas Celebrations” features sacred and secular music for the season. Free. 609-497-7890 or www.ptsem.edu.
Carols of Many Nations, Princeton Theological Seminary, Miller Chapel. Monday, December 9, 3:30 and 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Readings, choral anthems, and congregational carols. Carol by candlelight after the service. 609-497-7890 or www.ptsem.edu.
An Evening of Christmas, Princeton Theological Seminary, Library. Wednesday, December 11, 7 p.m. “That Holy Night: Christmas Stories in Song” presented by a quartet with sacred and secular Christmas carols. Refreshments. Free. 609-497-7963 or www.ptsem.edu.
Princeton University Glee Club, Princeton University, Richardson Auditorium. Sunday, December 8, 3 p.m. Holiday concert with the chamber choir features Bach’s Magnificat, BWV 243. Conducted by Gabriel Crouch. Register. $15. 609-258-9220. princeton.edu/glee club.
The Beach Boys Christmas, State Theater, 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. Tuesday, December 17, 8 and 9:30 p.m. The band plays a selection of holiday songs and some of its biggest hits. $35 to $85. 732-246-7469 or www.StateTheatreNJ.org.
24-Hour Christmas Show, WPRB Radio, 103.3 FM. Tuesday, December 24, 6 to 6 p.m. December 25. Annual edition of Jon Solomon’s 24-hour show featuring rare, strange, and confounding records directly or vaguely holiday-related including songs about snowy winter months, Chanukah, Kwaanza, and New Year. Solomon began the show in 1988, when he was 15 years old. www.wprb.com.
Christmas Concert, Hopewell Presbyterian Church, 80 West Broad Street, Hopewell. Saturday, December 14, 7 p.m. “Tidings of Comfort and Joy,” a performance of Christmas hymns and songs. Guest instrumentalists, carol singing, refreshments, and a sing along of “Hallelujah Chorus.” 609-466-0758. www.hopewellpres.org.
Drumthwacket, 354 Stockton Street, Princeton. Wednesday, December 4, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Sunday, December 8, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, December 11, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. $5 suggested donation. 609-683-0057 or www.drumthwacket.org.
The Drumthwacket Foundation, in partnership with the New Jersey Theater Alliance and the Garden Clubs of New Jersey, presents “Drumthwacket on Stage,” seasonal decorations created by several theaters of the New Jersey Theater Alliance and the Garden Clubs of New Jersey.
Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, Wednesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. $5 to $6. www.morven.org or 609-924-8144.
Morven Museum & Garden’s annual Festival of Trees — featuring “thirteen galleries decorated for the holidays and adorned with trees artfully decorated by local businesses, garden clubs, and non-profit organizations” — continues to Sunday, January 5. Participating decorators include the Arts Council of Princeton, Stony Brook Garden Club of Princeton, Dogwood Garden Club, Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton Doll & Toy Museum, Vicki Trainer, Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County, McCarter Theater, Keris Tree Farm & Christmas Shop, Barbara L. Mulea, Landau’s, Hulit’s Shoes Inc., and One Simple Wish.
Pennsbury Manor, 400 Pennsbury Memorial Road, Morrisville. Thursday and Friday, December 5 and 6, 6 to 9 p.m., $6 to $12. 215-946-0400 or www.pennsburymanor.org/event/holly-nights-2/.
Pennsbury Manor continues its annual Holly Nights on the grounds of the recreation of William Penn’s 1683 summer mansion, illuminate by candles, luminaries, and bonfires.
Kuser Farm Mansion, 390 Newkirk Avenue, Hamilton. 609-890-3630 or PKrzywulak@hamiltonnj.com.
Kuser Farm Mansion’s “Christmas at the Mansion” winter wonderland, including walks through the holiday-decorated Victorian mansion, is set for Thursday, Friday & Saturday, December 5, 6 and 7, from 6 to 9 p.m.; Sunday, December 8, from 5 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, December 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday through Friday, December 11 to 13, from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, December 14, from 5 to 9 p.m., Sunday, December 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Santa will be visiting the Mansion, Friday, December 13, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, December 14, from 5 to 8:30 p.m., Sunday, December 15, from 12 noon to 3 p.m.
The Jersey Valley Model Railroad will also be open Thursday, to Saturday, December 5 to 7, from 6 to 9 p.m.; Wednesday, December 11, from 6 to 9 p.m., and Sunday, December 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free.
Mill Hill Holiday House Tour, Artworks, 19 Everett Alley, Treton. Advance tickets $15 or $20 day of tour. firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-815-1359.
Mill Hill Holiday House Tour (the 47th) takes place Saturday, December 7, from noon to 5 p.m. With the theme “Fa-la-la Fabulous!” nearly 20 homes in the historic Trenton neighborhood will open their doors for holiday visitors.
William Trent House, 15 Market Street, Trenton. 609-989-0087 or www.williamtrenthouse.org.
Trent House — built in 1719 and the oldest building in the New Jersey’s capital city — kicks off its holiday programs with its annual open house and green sales, Saturday, December 7, 12:30 to 5 p.m. Other December events include the annual Hogmanay — the Scottish celebration of the New Year (with bagpipers and hot cider and cookies) — on Friday, December 27, 12:30 p.m. (no reservations necessary and donations welcome). And Tea in the Trent House, with Susan McLellan Plaisted, proprietress of Heart to Hearth Cookery, providing a program that explores the etiquette and meaning of taking tea in colonial times, Sunday, December 29, 2 p.m. $10 to $15. Reservations required.
Howell Farm, 101 Hunter Road, Titusville. Free admission and parking. 609-737-3299 or www.howellfarm.org.
Howell Farm’s annual “Christmas on the Farm” is set for Saturday, December 7. Events at the historic living museum include horse drawn wagon rides and Christmas Tree cutting, craft workshops, old-fashioned decorating tips, hot apple cider, cookies, and a visit by Santa. Events usually start at around 10 a.m.
Rockingham, 84 Laurel Avenue, Franklin Township. 609-683-7136 or www.rockingham.net.
Rockingham Historic Site’s Annual Candlelight Christmas Tours are set for Sunday, December 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The activities highlight 18th-century Christmas traditions and special themes related to the era. Period music will be provided by Practitioners of Musik. Advanced tour reservations are required for admission. Tours will be offered at least every half-hour with 3:30 being the last tour. Free.
Washington Crossing State Park, Titusville. Friday, December 20, 7 and 7:30 p.m. Reservations required. $5 to $10. 609-737-2515 or www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/washcros.html.
The Johnson Ferry House at New Jersey’s Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville present its annual Lantern Walking Tour. The one of a kind event leads visitors by fire light from that point on the river where Washington and his army landed to the 18th century home of the farmers and ferry operators who welcomed them. Rain or shine.
Multimedia Light Show, Cranbury Christmas Lights, 128 North Main Street, Cranbury. Thursday, December 5, 6 to 9 p.m. Kickoff event features Judy Pancoast’s annual “The House on Christmas Street International” Tour in support of her new CD, “Christmas with Mrs. Claus.” cranburyChristmasLights.com.
Downtown Bordentown Association, Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown. Saturday, December 14, 3 to 7 p.m. Several private homes and historic sites include Friends Meeting House and the Clara Barton school house. 609-298-9181. www.downtownbordentown.com.
Christmas Candlelight House Tour, Hightstown Woman’s Club, 164 North Main Street, Hightstown. Sunday, December 15, 3 to 6 p.m. Tour seven private homes in Hightstown and East Windsor. Holiday boutique at the Hightstown East Windsor Historical Society. Tour tickets, $10 to $15. 609-448-8388. www.hewhs.com.
West Windsor History Museum, Historical Society of West Windsor, Schenck Farmstead, 50 Southfield Road, West Windsor. Sunday, December 8, 1 p.m. The new history museum features a self-guided tour of the one room school house, Dutch English barn, wagon house, and more. The farm and school houses are fully furnished and the barns have several agricultural displays. The farmhouse will be decorated for the holidays. Free-will donation. 609-799-1278.
Washington Crossing Historic Park, Routes 32 and 532, Washington Crossing, PA. 215-493-4076 or www.ushistory.org/washingtoncrossing/index.htm.
The Annual Christmas Day Crossing marks its 61st year with the reenactment of Washington’s historic crossing of the Delaware River commences at 1 p.m. on Christmas Day, early arriving visitors can tour the historical buildings and watch the “troops” assemble. The annual dress rehearsal is set for Sunday, December 8, at 1 p.m. Admission $8, $4 for children five to 11, and free for youngsters under age five.
Patriots Week returns to downtown Trenton for its ninth year, with events set from Thursday, December 25, through Wednesday, January 1.
The main features of the week that celebrates Trenton’s important role in the Revolutionary War are the Battle of Trenton Re-enactments on Saturday, December 28, and the Colonial Ball at the Masonic Temple on Friday, December 27. New attraction have been added and include Martha Washington’s Kitchen Garden, Phyllis Wheatley: Voices of Freedom, “Reporting the Revolutionary War” book signing, as well as presentations on The Trenton Area Militia of 1776, The Affair at Egg Harbor and The Lore of Liquor.
The week also features contemporary programs and hands-on activities such as “Dad’s Hat Rye Tasting,” card making and letter writing to soldiers overseas, the new citizen’s swearing-In ceremony, a young patriot’s panel of students who have created battlefield projects, the launching of newly developed app of the Capitol Complex and the Princeton Battlefield, and cell phone audio tours of the Trenton Battlefield. Patriots Week is sponsored by the Trenton Downtown Association. patriotsweektrenton.com.