We are deep into the holiday season and there is much to do — shopping, wrapping, list-making, cookie-baking and trying to squeeze in a visit or two with friends and relatives.
It all seems like too much to do with too little time but there are a couple of events that are worth juggling the schedule for that will remind you why this season is so special.
Two not-to-be-missed holiday classics “The Nutcracker” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” are being brought to life by two talented local groups right here in town.
The Santa Clarita Ballet has been performing The Nutcracker for 24 years now. Don’t be deterred by thinking, “But it’s a ballet.” You might be surprised how much you like it, and how fun it is to have a night on the town with someone special or take in a matinee with your grandkids.
In case you don’t remember the story, it revolves around a little girl who is given a wooden nutcracker for Christmas. On Christmas Eve, the nutcracker comes to life and has a battle with gingerbread soldiers and a Rat King. The life-size nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince and soon everyone finds themselves in a pine forest ruled by a Sugar Plum fairy.
There’s a lot of dancing by adorable tiny mice, flowers perform a waltz, children appear under their mother’s hoop skirt and dancers from around the world perform around the tree.
“We have a lovely production planned,” said Corinne Glover, director of the Santa Clarita Ballet. “Our two senior dancers will be performing in the role of the Sugar Plum fairy and they are partnered with Raydel Caceres, a professional dancer who is celebrating his 10th year with us.”
The Nutcracker has become a tradition for fourth-graders in the Newhall School District, who attend a special outreach performance.
The Nutcracker will be performed at the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center on December 15 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and December 16 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are sold solely through the Santa Clarita Ballet Company box office which can be found at their website: www.santaclaritaballet.net or by calling( 661) 251-6844. Prices are $32 to $38.
Another Christmas classic for people of all ages is “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a story made popular by Frank Capra’s 1946 movie. The beloved film starred Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, an honest and hardworking man who gives up on life when he loses some money from his bank. It takes his guardian angel, Clarence, to show him that the true value of his life has nothing to do with money and everything to do with family and friends.
Stars in this production include Wade Bradford as George Bailey, Tim McGowan as Clarence, John Morris as Mr. Potter and returning to the role of Mary Hatch is Nicole Kowalski. Come watch these performers as the bring the fictional town of Bedford Falls to life.
Directed by Cheri Bradford, “It’s a Wonderful Life” will be presented on the stage of the Canyon Theatre Guild until December 22.
For more information go on line at www.canyontheatre.org or call the box office at (661) 799-2702. Canyon Theatre Guild is located at 24242 Main Street, in the heart of Old Town Newhall.
And if you’re ready for a slightly nontraditional encore performance: You might want to attend the annual “Jam for Jesus” held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.
In its 27th year, Jam for Jesus brings together about 30 professional musicians for a concert lead by Robby Robinson. Robinson has been Frankie Valli’s musical director for more than 40 years.
This is a free, three-hour experience with amazing music and beautiful solos.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church is located at 27265 Luther Drive, Canyon Country. For more information, visit www.bethlehemSCV.com or call 661 252-0622.