2012 Connecticut Holiday Theater Preview

October 15, 2012 6:00 AM

Snow on the ground, a chill in the air and stages filled with the sights, sounds and voices of Christmas bring holiday cheer to all. The holiday favorites are all back once again, and while there are plenty of Nutcrackers and dancing candy canes to choose from, here are five other offerings sure to brighten an already wonderful season.

“How I Became a Pirate”
Hartford Children’s Theater
Carriage House Theater
360 Farmington Ave.
Hartford, CT 06105
(860) 249-7970

Dates: October 26 through November 11

Holiday time is all about children and no one knows that better than Hartford’s storied Children’s Theater. This autumn, the organization is offering a musical based on the popular children’s book “How I Became a Pirate.” The musical, like the book, has buried treasure, sea shanties, sword duels and even food fights. It features such silly and charming songs as “Green Teeth” and “Pirates Dot Aaargh!” Hartford Children’s Theater is more than just a playhouse; for over 20 years, as its director boasts, it has been “Connecticut’s leading provider of theatrical training” for young artists.

Related: Top Spots To See Ballet In Connecticut

“The Sound of Christmas: The Empire Brass with Elisabeth von Trapp”
The Warner Theatre
68 Main St.
Torrington, CT 06790
(860) 489-7180

Date: December 20

There are many sounds of Christmas but few as brash, full and clear as those given off by The Empire Brass. Each member has held a key position with a major international orchestra, but it is when they come together that they shine even brighter than their brilliant instruments. The world-renowned quintet will be joined on stage for this holiday concert by singer Elisabeth von Trapp, granddaughter of the Maria whose story inspired “The Sound of Music.” The Warner hosts many other holiday programs this December to choose from including The Vienna Boys Choir (December 7), “The Nutcracker” (December 15 & 16) and a Christmas concert with Melissa Manchester (December 21).

“Sounds of the Season”
The Palace Theater
Stamford Center for the Arts
61 Atlantic St.
Stamford, CT 06901
(203) 325-4466

Dates: December 1-2

Connecticut has a number of symphonies but Stamford Symphony Orchestra is one of its best. This December, it will show off talents on its home stage with a program of classical holiday and Broadway favorites. Vocalists Anne Runolfsson and Doug LaBrecque will join the orchestra for the holiday concerts. True music lovers should consider coming an hour early to attend the “Behind the Baton” discussion with conductor Eckart Preu. The Palace has many fine shows for the holiday season including a one-man show by William Shatner and the perennial favorite ballet, “The Nutcracker.”

“Miracle on 34th Street”
Seven Angels Theater
1 Plank Road
Waterbury, CT 06705
(203) 757-4676

Dates: November 29 through December 23

Now in its 22nd season, Waterbury’s professional Seven Angels Theater is kicking off the holidays with a stage version of the book and film classic “Miracle on 34th Street.” With music, book and lyrics by Broadway legend Meredith Wilson (“The Music Man”), including such favorites as “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” this is bound to be a big hit with anyone who has ever believed in Santa Claus.

“A Christmas Carol”
The Hartford Stage
50 Church St.
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 527-5151

Dates: November 23 through December 29

What would the Yuletide be without Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the three ghosts of Christmas past, present and future? The Hartford Stage once again will present the Charles Dickens’ classic, staged in true Victorian splendor by director Maxwell Williams. The snow will fall, the ghosts will fly and the carolers will sing. Woe to he who at show’s end can still cry “Bah! Humbug!”

Related: Top Spots For Cabaret In Connecticut

Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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