Christmas fun for children and grownups
Christmas brings out the child in everyone with the twinkly lights, colorful presents and cast of characters from myths and movies. But it takes going with a child to recall the wonder of seeing Santa or hearing “Silent Night” for the first time. (I would include snowmen here, but the last time it really snowed at Christmas in Charleston was 1989.)
So here are some selections that will delight the child in us and make us want to watch the delight of the little ones as they discover the magic of Christmas.
‘A Christmas Carol’
Christmas would not be complete without a look at Charles Dickens’ holiday classic, and this year, you also can get a sneak peek at the new Woolfe Street Playhouse, the home of the Village Playhouse.
This version of “A Christmas Carol,” directed by Robbie Thomas, promises to be a “bold, theatrical reimagining” of the classic story. Since there have been a lot of people who have tackled this, it will be interesting to see what Thomas comes up with, although he vows to use only the words and his talented actors to enchant and delight.
The play is running Dec. 6-22, and tickets are $25.
This play merely sets the stage for what is to come the following week with the grand opening celebration of the Woolfe Street Playhouse along with the premiere presentation of “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” At 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12, you can join the cast for cocktails, music and food by area restaurants.
It promises to be a great party, and one that Keely Enright and the company have been working toward all summer. The Woolfe Street Playhouse is an old meat-packing warehouse in downtown Charleston that is thankfully being used again. The Village Playhouse was formerly in Mount Pleasant.
A wonderful holiday children’s theater performance is scheduled Friday in North Charleston featuring “Hans Brinker and the Quick-Silver Rocket Skates” performed by Atlantic Coast Theatre for Youth.
The musical is based on the classic story of speed skating in the Netherlands. Hans tries to skate to a new world record and bring a happy holiday to his mother in this show with endearing characters and cheerful songs. Adapted for children in grades K-8, this production is a winter adventure and a chance to get close to snow.
Performances are 10-11 a.m. in the Sterett Hall Auditorium on the former Charleston Naval Base, 1530 7th St., North Charleston. Tickets are $2 per child; accompanying adults are admitted at no charge. Groups of 10-plus are required to reserve space. Seats fill up fast, so reserve early by calling the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department office at 740-5854.
‘A Merry Medieval Holiday’
South of Broadway Theatre is performing “A Merry Medieval Holiday Show” at 4 p.m. today at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center.
This show should be fun for kids because it is performed by young folks ages 10-18.
It is a humorous journey through the early miracle plays of the Middle Ages. But it doesn’t stay there. The elegant Olde English verse often veers into funny contemporary language that can blindside the traditional characters into highly amusing and just plain laugh-out-loud situations. This is entertaining and unusual holiday fare where you can cheer the heroes and boo the villains.
Tickets to “A Merry Medieval Holiday Show” are $23 for grand tier seating and $33 for orchestra. They can be purchased at the coliseum advance ticket office or www.ticketmaster.com.
Call South of Broadway Theatre Company at 745-0317.
For lovers of the “Madeline” books, Charleston Stage is producing a musical adaptation. Madeline and her friends are off on adventures beyond their wildest dreams. Celebrate Christmas with a French accent this year, and give little ones their first experience at the theater.
Here’s the story: It’s the night before Christmas and everyone is sick in bed, all except brave little Madeline, who is awake and feeling just fine. Miss Clavel is hard at work, but Madeline finds help from a magical merchant peddling flying carpets door-to-door. Now the girls are going on a Christmas journey that surely will help them forget their sneezes and sniffles.
French phrases will delight everyone in this family-friendly production. Performances are Dec. 8-16 at the Dock Street Theatre. Check the Charleston Stage website at charlestonstage.com for show times, as they vary. Tickets are $22.50 for adults and less for seniors and students.
The Charleston Men’s Chorus will present “Christmas at the Sottile,” a concert filled with joyful and sacred holiday music. This is a wonderful celebration of yuletide music, and you may even recognize your doctor or lawyer among the group.
The chorus will perform at 3 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St.
Tickets are available at www.cmchorus.com, Monster Music & Movies (West Ashley) and Royall Hardware (Mount Pleasant). Admission is $15 plus $1 surcharge at applicable locations; free to ages 6 and under.
For information, call 720-8505 or visit the website.
The Charleston Men’s Chorus is a nonprofit group of about 70 experienced and talented male singers who are devoted to giving a portion of their proceeds back to the community through music scholarships and various donations.
This year marks the 20th anniversary since the chorus began performing for the Lowcountry.
A gift of reading
If you are looking for a special local children’s book to give, here’s a new one that is gaining attention.
“My Secret Angel and Me: How the Gift of Christmas Came to Be” helps teach gift-loving children the true meaning of the holiday. Ashley Adorno of Daniel Island and her sister, Rachel Hernandez, created the book, and it comes with an angel to help children understand that good behavior is not about getting more gifts.
Look for it at Barnes & Noble locations.
Reach Stephanie Harvin at 937-5557 or firstname.lastname@example.org.