What’s Goin On in December

by Eileen Sondak December 4, 2017


hershey-felder-as-irving-berlin-credit-to-hershey-felder-presents-sd-repBroadway-San Diego

Broadway-San Diego will present the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, “Cinderella,” based on the beloved fairytale. The show will enjoy a brief run at the Civic Theater Dec. 1 – 3. The organization will deliver “Motown the Musical” Dec. 25 – 31 at the Civic.

California Ballet

California Ballet will present its “Nutcracker” at the Civic Theater Dec. 9 – 23. As usual, this incarnation of the holiday bonbon features a large cast and live musical accompaniment.

City Ballet

 `Tis the season of “The Nutcracker” and City Ballet will unveil its version of the Yuletide classic on Dec. 8 at the Spreckels Theater. The company will dance 12 performances of “Nutcracker” through Dec. 24, accompanied by a live orchestra. Elizabeth Wistrich choreographed the full-length dance piece along the musical lines of Tchaikovsky’s delightful score.

Coronado Playhouse

Coronado Playhouse is performing the San Diego premiere of “Fly by Night,” a show described as a “metaphysical musical,” through Dec. 10.

Cygnet Theatre 

Cygnet Theatre is featuring “A Christmas Carol” through Dec. 24. This music-laden Victorian staging of Dickens’ holiday classic was adapted and directed by Sean Murray, and is propelled by Billy Thompson’s original music. The creative production includes puppetry and live sound effects.

La Jolla Music Society

La Jolla Music Society will present “Some of a Thousand Words: Wendy Whelan/ Brian Brooks/Brooklyn Rider” Dec. 2 at the Balboa Theater as part of its Dance Series. Also on tap this month is “Dianne Reeves: Christmas Time is Here” – a special event coming to the Balboa on Dec. 17.

La Jolla Playhouse

 The La Jolla Playhouse’s world premiere production of “The Donna Summer Musical,” directed by former artistic director Des McAnuff, will continue through Dec. 17.  This moving tribute chronicles the life of the Queen of Disco, from her Boston roots to international stardom.

Lamb’s Players Theatre

The Lamb’s Players are offering two holiday shows this season. “An American Christmas” – featuring a four-course feast and entertainment – will be held at the US Grant Hotel Dec. 14 – 24. The Lamb’s Coronado home will be the scene of a new “Festival of Christmas” Dec. 1 – 30. The play is about three different people vying for the same property for their dream house – and it promises a lot of laughs as they struggle with misunderstandings. The Yuletide show abounds with music of the season.

North Coast Repertory Theatre

North Coast Repertory Theatre will feature Elijah Rock “Gershwin for My Soul” on Dec. 4. NCR is also hosting Impro Theater’s “Dickens Unscripted” Dec. 8 – 10, followed by “Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold” Dec. 20 – 24.

The Old Globe

The Globe’s Main Stage continues to welcome the Grinch and his Who friends through Dec. 24.  “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas” has been a family favorite for 20 years, and this production upholds that wonderful holiday tradition – providing perfect family entertainment. The enchanting experience includes music by Mel Marvin and a snow-covered setting that brings Whoville to life with gusto.

San Diego Ballet

 San Diego Ballet has a “Nutcracker” of its own to entice holiday entertainment seekers. This production will be performed at UCSD’s Mandeville Auditorium Dec. 21 – 23.

San Diego Musical Theatre

 San Diego Musical Theatre is staging “Miracle on 34th Street,” a live musical play, through Dec. 24 at the Horton Grand Theater. This holiday tale (based on the classic movie) is about a department store Santa and the little girl who believes in him.

San Diego Repertory Theatre

San Diego Repertory Theatre’s Lyceum Space continues to showcase “Black Pearl Sings,” a soulful play with music. It boasts a collection of rare folk songs and a storyline about two women linked by their personal search for love and respect. This little gem will stay on through Dec. 17. Opening on Dec. 20 on the Lyceum Stage is “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin.” Felder has been a local favorite on San Diego stages for years, performing unforgettable one-man shows about famous composers.  This time, Felder sets his sights on the iconic American songwriter of “God Bless America,” White Christmas,” and a litany of other enduring hits. This limited holiday engagement will end on Jan. 7.

San Diego Symphony

 The San Diego Symphony will play on this month, starting on Dec. 1 – 2, when conductor David Danzmayr leads the orchestra in a performance that includes works by Bacewicz, Chopin, and Dvorak. Pianist George Li will handle the keyboard for Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1. On Dec. 3, the musicians will accompany the classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” “Winter Daydreams,” a concert featuring works by Mozart and Tchaikovsky, will be performed Dec. 9 – 10. Johannes Debus will be on the podium.

Copley Symphony Hall

“Noel Noel” – a program of holiday music — is slated for Dec. 16 at Symphony Hall. On Dec. 17, you can take the small fry set to see a short family concert that features pre-concert activities and holiday music. The musicians will return on Dec. 20 with another holiday concert, titled “Fanfares and Celebrations,” On Dec. 22 – 23, the symphony will reprise the “Noel Noel” concert.

Scripps Ranch Theatre

Scripps Ranch Theatre continues with “The Season of Love,” a series of four stories about love and its power to transform. The show will run through Dec. 10.

Welk Theatre

Welk Theatre is staging its version of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” through Dec. 31. The musical adaptation of the popular holiday tale features music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Lunn Ahrens, so it should be something special – and who can resist mean old Scrooge?

Birch Aquarium

Birch Aquarium is featuring “Hall of Fishes,” which is unlike any other exhibition in the history of the aquarium. It also serves as a working laboratory. Birch also has an installation on light by scientist Michael Latz, and an exhibition that helps you understand Scripps’ expeditions to discover and protect the planet. “Expedition at Sea” immerses you in the experience of life and work aboard the Sally Ride research vessel. It includes a 33-foot long projected triptych and hands-on learning opportunities. The newest exhibition at the Birch is “Research in Action: 100 Island Challenge,” an exhibit that explores the way reefs are adapting to our rapidly changing planet.

Mingei International Museum

Mingei International Museum is showcasing “Kantha – Recycled and Embroidered Textiles of Bengal,” through March 25, 2018.  “Arline Fisch: One of a Kind,” a retrospective view of jewelry and other artforms designed by this San Diego resident, will be on display through Jan. 7. Also on exhibit is “Art of the Americas – Meso-American, Pre-Columbian Art from Mingei’s Permanent Collection.” That show will stick around through Feb. 18, 2018. “Weaving a Path – Navajo Women and the Feminine Ethos” will open on Dec. 9 and be on view through May 28 of next year. The exhibition includes rugs and blankets.

Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla is closed for renovation and expansion, but the downtown facility is featuring “Dimensions of Black: A Collaboration with the San Diego African American Museum of Art.” The show is ensconced through January.

Natural History Museum

 The Natural History Museum is featuring “Extraordinary Ideas from Ordinary people: A History of Citizen Science.” Among the items on view in this exhibition are rare books, art, and historical documents. Also on view is “Coast to Cactus in California,” (a permanent exhibition.) The newest exhibit is “Unshelved: Cool Stuff from Storage” – a display of specimens from around the world. It will be on display for the next two years. Check out the Nat’s films: “Ocean Oasis” and the 3-D films “Incredible Predators” and “Galapagos.” The Nat also offers “Fossil Mysteries,” “Water: A California Story” and “Skulls.”  


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