While area theater and dance groups are busy all year long, they take a different approach at the holiday season and often bring a familiar story back.
“The tradition of The Nutcracker reminds us of all that is good about the holiday season. It wouldn’t be Christmas in Augusta without our beloved Nutcracker,” said Tammy Westafer with the Colton Ballet Company, which kicks off the holidays with its production of The Nutcracker on Thanksgiving weekend at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, and 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, and Sunday, Nov. 26, at the Imperial Theatre. Tickets range from $17 to $40.
With Tchaikovsky’s iconic music, the story of Clara traveling into the Land of the Sweets is a favorite at the holiday season. In the area, there are four different opportunities to see one rendition of the classic.
The week after Thanksgiving, the Columbia County Ballet brings its version of the tale to the Imperial at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, and Friday, Dec. 1. Tickets range from $15 to $35.
Cutno Dance Center’s performance is the following weekend. Nutcracker in the South features Tchaikovsky’s score played by Duke Ellington and intermingles a few newer songs as well. It will be Saturday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m. at Augusta University’s Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre. Tickets range from $10 to $35.
The Aiken Civic Ballet brings Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy full circle with its production at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, at the USC Aiken Etherredge Center.
For those who are more interested in theatrical performances, there are quite a few of those planned over the next couple of weeks.
Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre will be bringing a super kid-friendly show to its stage; complete with kid-friendly discounted prices and a menu just for the children.
“We are incredibly excited to bring a family production to the Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre stage,” said Karen Brotherton, who is directing ’Twas The Night Before Christmas, which will open Dec. 1 and run for two weekends.
Shows will be at 8 p.m. Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9. Also new for this production will be a matinee performance at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. Tickets range from $15-$30 for children and $35-$53 for adults. Tickets for the matinee performance are $15 for ages 17 and younger and $28 for adults.
“ ’Twas The Night Before Christmas is a great way to kick off the holidays. I think it is a show that will entertain children of all ages,” Brotherton said.
The Aiken Community Playhouse is bringing the story of the Herdman children to the stage in the popular show, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 and at 3 p.m. Dec. 10. Tickets range from $7-$20.
Audrey Ateca, who plays Mrs. Clark, and her son, Daniel, who plays one of the Herdman children, Ralph, said it’s a “heartwarming show that will leave you smiling.”
And for a production with a more spiritual message, the Enopion Theatre Company will present its original show, Eli’s Bethlehem Inn: A Musical Dining Experience at 7 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec, 1, 4, 7-8 and at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 and 9 at the Kroc Center.
The production is a dinner theater and reservations are required. Tickets are $18.
The season wouldn’t be complete without The Augusta Players production of A Christmas Carol: The Musical.
Catch Scrooge in the act of finding holiday spirit at 8 p.m. Dec. 8-9 and 3 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Imperial Theatre. Tickets start at $20.