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Christmas Thrills and Chills for Every Theatregoer

Jordan Wright
December 8, 2014
Special to The Alexandria Times

The Nutcracker performed by The Washington Ballet

One of the best ways I know of to get excited about the Christmas season is to get thyself (and thy family) to the theatre where you can watch dancers soar in Septime Webre’s The Nutcracker performed by The Washington Ballet, sing your heart out to the National Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Kennedy Center, or be transported by the age-old charms of A Christmas Carol.  Whether you’re a traditionalist or modernist, there’s something for every taste, and plenty of holiday spirit for the kids too and plus a whole lot of ICE! to pretend we’re at the North Pole.

Signature Theatre

At Signature Theatre it’s zany adult fare with a new spin on the beloved seasonal revue, Holiday Follies.  Directed by Walter Ware III with musical direction by the inimitable Howard Breitbart, it’s an audience song choice evening featuring four fabulous singers, Gannon O’Brien, Stephen Gregory Smith, Delores King Williams and Bayla Whitten in a cabaret set list that changes with each performance.  For tickets and information visit www.Signature-Theatre.org or call the box office at 703 820-9771.

Peter Boyer (Scrooge)-Tracey Stephens (Charity Collector)  Tracey Stephens as Bob Marley (in the body of Mae West)

North Pole enthusiasts will enjoy thrills and chills at this year’s ICE! – now at the Gaylord National Resort.  The fun starts at the door of this glamorous resort when you lay eyes on the 60-foot tall glass tree glowing with over 2 million lights and gaze at the nightly indoor snowfall and musical “dancing” fountains.  There’s fun for the whole family at the “Christmas on the Potomac” celebration where Frosty the Snowman is the star attraction. For info visit www.ChristmasOnThePotomac.com.

60-foot tall glass tree with 2 million lights

Carved from more than 2 million pounds of brightly colored ice sculptures and kept at a crisp nine degrees, you’ll stroll through life-size scenes of Frosty coming to life, marching through the Town Square, taking a train to the North Pole and Santa coming to the rescue to make “melted Frosty” whole again.  Kids and grownups will want a turn on the two-story ice slide before checking out the interactive “Frostbite Factory”, where the Chinese artisans show off their master ice carving skills.

Two-story ice slide

Afterwards head to the Atrium where little ones can hop aboard the miniature Peeps & Company Potomac Express Train or join DreamWorks’ Gingy from Shrek to decorate a gingerbread house to take home.  Along the way play The Great Reindeer Roundup scavenger hunt throughout the hotel’s indoor gardens.

Potomac Express Train

To learn about the many other holiday plans at the resort and to make reservations for the Brunch with Santa at Old Hickory Steakhouse, a DreamWorks’ Madagascar Crack’ A Lackin’ Cook-in Character Breakfast or buffet Dinner, a Yule log pastry making class, or a wine and cheese pairing class with the Old Hickory’s Maitre d’Fromage visit www.GaylordNationalTickets.com or call 301 965-4000.

At MetroStage the Great White Way is celebrated in A Broadway Christmas Carol, a spoof of the classic tale featuring the usual suspects – – Marley, Scrooge, Mrs. Fezziwig, The Cratchits and Tiny Tim.  Set to familiar Broadway blockbusters this madcap Christmas special is performed by three phenomenal singer actors, Peter Boyer, Michael Sharp and Tracey Stephens plus alternating pianists, Howard Breitbart and William Knowles.

Peter Boyer (Scrooge)-Tracey Stephens (Want)-Michael Sharp (Ignorance) – Photo: Colin Hovde

Lyricist Kathy Feininger has concocted all the belly laughs you can handle in this riotous revue that draws its musical chops from all your fave shows like Oklahoma, Guys and Dolls, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, The Wiz and many, many more.  More than five-dozen tunes and a whirlwind of wacky costume changes jam-pack this hilarious parody directed and choreographed by Michael Sharp.  For tickets and information visit www.MetroStage.org or call the box office at 703 548-9044.

The Little Theatre of Alexandria  Scrooge (Mike Baker, Jr.)-Photos by Veronica Brunoo

For the traditionalist The Little Theatre of Alexandria presents its annual heartwarming classic, A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens’ classic tale of transformation and redemption.  Set against the backdrop of Victorian England, the show has gorgeous costumes, ghastly ghosts and charming children.  Rachael Hubbard adapts and directs this picture perfect Christmas postcard for a family friendly show that reminds us all of the true meaning of the season.  If it’s a Currier & Ives Christmas you hunger for, this is the show for you.  For tickets and information visit www.TheLittleTheatre.com or call the box office at 703 683-5778.

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