“Cirque Dreams Holidaze” will be at the Fox Theatre in Detroit Dec. 13-15.

“Cirque Dreams Holidaze” will be at the Fox Theatre in Detroit Dec. 13-15.

Photo provided by 313 Presents


Enjoy the gift of stage ‘presents’ with holiday shows

By: K. Michelle Moran | C&G Newspapers | Published November 20, 2019

 The new holiday classic “Too Hot to Handel” — a jazz- and gospel-infused version of Handel’s “Messiah” — will be performed Dec. 14 at the Detroit Opera House.

The new holiday classic “Too Hot to Handel” — a jazz- and gospel-infused version of Handel’s “Messiah” — will be performed Dec. 14 at the Detroit Opera House.

Photo provided by the Michigan Opera Theatre

 The Swingles will perform jazz- and folk-inflected originals  and classic carols Nov. 30 at Orchestra Hall in Detroit.

The Swingles will perform jazz- and folk-inflected originals and classic carols Nov. 30 at Orchestra Hall in Detroit.

Photo provided by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

 Mark Rademacher is one of the stars of Meadow Brook Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol.”

Mark Rademacher is one of the stars of Meadow Brook Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol.”

Photo by Sean Carter Photography, provided by Meadow Brook Theatre

 See “Lightwire Theater’s A Very Electric Christmas” Dec. 15 at Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Detroit.

See “Lightwire Theater’s A Very Electric Christmas” Dec. 15 at Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Detroit.

Photo provided by Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts

 “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” will be staged Dec. 1 at the Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” will be staged Dec. 1 at the Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit.

Photo provided by 313 Presents

 The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s popular “Home for the Holidays” concerts — which feature a visit from Santa — will be staged Dec. 20 to 22 at Orchestra Hall.

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s popular “Home for the Holidays” concerts — which feature a visit from Santa — will be staged Dec. 20 to 22 at Orchestra Hall.

Photo provided by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

 BalletMet brings its production of “The Nutcracker” to the Detroit Opera House Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

BalletMet brings its production of “The Nutcracker” to the Detroit Opera House Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

Photo provided by the Michigan Opera Theatre

METRO DETROIT — The weather outside might be frightful, but inside metro Detroit venues, the sights and sounds will be delightful, as concerts and other productions bring the holiday season to life.

 

Meadow Brook Theatre
One of the region’s most time-honored traditions is Meadow Brook Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol,” and it returns for its 38th year with performances through Dec. 22 on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester Hills. Playing Tiny Tim are Chris Bertini, of St. Clair Shores, and Seth Silver, of Oakland Township. For tickets or more information: (248) 377-3300, www.ticketmaster.com or www.mbtheatre.com.

“It’s the perfect way to ring in the holidays,” MBT Managing Director Cheryl Marshall said in a press release. “We have patrons who wouldn’t consider it Christmas if they didn’t come see this. It really puts everyone in the holiday spirit.”

 

Orchestra Hall
Holiday concerts inside Orchestra Hall at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center in Detroit — home of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra — include The Swingles performing jazz- and folk-inflected originals and classic carols Nov. 30, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra Dec. 6. The DSO, under the direction of Kelly Corcoran, performs the holiday show “Winter Wonderland” — part of the Young People’s Family Concert series — Dec. 7. Conductor Ruth Reinhardt leads the DSO in a production of Handel’s “Messiah” Dec. 13 and 14; conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos directs the DSO playing the John Williams score for “‘Home Alone’ in Concert” Dec. 18, and the DSO will be led by Stuart Chafetz and feature vocalist Dee Donasco — and a special visit from Santa — in the “Home for the Holidays” concerts Dec. 20-22. Tickets: (313) 576-5111 or www.dso.org.

“The holiday season is one of our favorite times of year at the DSO, because there’s such variety in the events,” DSO Director of Audience Development Michael Frisco said via email. “We feel honored that so many people have made it a tradition to visit Orchestra Hall during the holidays, and unique programming like ‘The Swingles: Winter Tales’ or ‘Home Alone’ makes what we do here even more exciting.”

 

Detroit Opera House
BalletMet brings its production of “The Nutcracker” to the Detroit Opera House Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

“BalletMet’s classic production is ballet in its traditional form and one loved and cherished by metro Detroit audiences,” Michigan Opera Theatre President and CEO Wayne S. Brown said via email. “Paired with our own live orchestra and festive holiday activities, we look forward to creating a magical event for our patrons.”

Jazz, classical and gospel merge for the stirring “Too Hot to Handel,” a modern version of Handel’s “Messiah” featuring the Rackham Symphony Choir; the Too Hot Orchestra; legendary Detroit musicians Marion Hayden, Alvin Waddles and Dave Taylor; and acclaimed soloists Rodrick Dixon, Alfreda Burke and Karen Marie Richardson. “Too Hot” will be performed Dec. 14 at the Detroit Opera House.

“‘Too Hot to Handel’ is a truly unique Detroit experience bringing together the music and soul the city is known for,” Rackham Choir Artistic Director Suzanne Mallare Acton said in an email. “We invite people to join us for this joyous celebration of what the holiday season is all about.”

Hear some of metro Detroit’s most promising young vocalists when the Michigan Opera Theatre Children’s Chorus presents the 13th annual holiday concert and fundraiser “A Winter Fantasy” Dec. 15 at the Detroit Opera House.

“The children and teens in our children’s chorus are incredibly talented,” Mallare Acton said by email.

Tickets for these three shows at the Detroit Opera House: www.MichiganOpera.org or (313) 237-SING.

 

Music Hall for the Performing Arts
Music Hall for the Performing Arts in downtown Detroit is known for its unique programming, and that’s true during the holidays as well. “A Drag Queen Christmas: The Naughty Tour” — which Music Hall President and Artistic Director Vince Paul called “a festive and bawdy holiday treat” — will be staged Nov. 29. A new family tradition, “Lightwire Theater’s A Very Electric Christmas” — about a young bird who gets separated from his parents while heading south for the winter and goes on a quest to find them by Christmas — will be staged Dec. 15. Tickets: www.musichall.org or (313) 887-8501.

“One of our most popular annual shows, ‘A Very Electric Christmas’ is a seamless combination of light, dance and timeless storytelling with state-of-the-art electroluminescent costumes,” Paul said by email. “It’s a beautiful visual and emotional holiday experience for the entire family.”

 

313 Presents
313 Presents features “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” Nov. 20-23, “Disney Junior Holiday Party! On Tour” Nov. 27, “The Illusionists — Magic of the Holidays” Nov. 29-30, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” Dec. 1, Straight No Chaser Dec. 6, “Cirque Dreams Holidaze” Dec. 13-15, Michael W. Smith Dec. 18, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis Dec. 21, Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker” Dec. 22, Nickelodeon’s “The SpongeBob Musical” Dec. 26-Jan. 5, all at the Fox Theatre; and WWE Special Friday Night Edition of “SmackDown Live” Dec. 27 and Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” Dec. 28 at Little Caesars Arena. Tickets: (800) 745-3000 or www.313presents.com.

 

Macomb Center for the Performing Arts
The Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, located on the Center Campus of Macomb Community College in Clinton Township, brings Irish tradition to its holiday programing with “Danú — An Emerald Isle Christmas” Dec. 1, “A Christmas Carol” Nov. 23 and “Christmas Wonderland and Holiday Spectacular” Dec. 7. Tickets: (586) 286-2222 or www.macombcenter.com.

“This season’s holiday shows really do have a little something to get everyone in the spirit,” Macomb Center Marketing Assistant Casey O’Connor said by email. “‘Danú’ is the kind of music my stepmom would play while we decorated the tree. My mom and I watched some version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ together every year. ‘Christmas Wonderland’ is that kind of show that even your grouchy uncle will sing along to. It all comes together like a holiday tradition movie montage. For me, it’s the perfect combination of music that makes the holiday spirit inescapable.”

 

Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings
Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings will present their “Holiday Brass” concert Dec. 8 at St. John’s Episcopal Church in downtown Detroit. Tickets: detroitchamberwinds.org or (248) 559-2095.

“There is something incredibly symbiotic about wonderful brass playing, holiday classics and magnificent cathedrals,” Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings President Maury Okun said via email. “Our holiday brass concerts have become seasonal classics because they combine the comfort of the holidays with some of the best music one can ever hear.”

 

Go Comedy! Improv Theater
Need some laughs? The Go Comedy! Improv Theater in Ferndale has two original shows that fit the bill: “Maybe It’s Cold Outside” Nov. 21-Dec. 21 and “Naughty and Nice: Best of Go Comedy! Holiday Sketch Show” Dec. 4-22. Tickets or more info: (248) 327-0575 or www.gocomedy.net.

 

Detroit Concert Choir
The award-winning Detroit Concert Choir will present a Christmas concert Dec. 7 at St. Hugo of the Hills Parish in Bloomfield Hills, Dec. 8 at Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greektown and Dec. 15 at Grosse Pointe Woods Presbyterian Church. Tickets: www.detroitconcertchoir.org or (313) 882-0118.