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December Theatre Highlights

Through December- A CHRISTMAS CAROL, SUGAR PLUMS AND NUTCRACKERS, and SOUNDS OF BELLS: A WINTER CONCERT, at The Center For Performing Arts, Rhinebeck—We’re not sure when or where it happened, but clearly at some point some legislation must have been passed that A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker MUST be performed within fifty miles of every American, every December. So if you don’t want to run afoul of the law this year you’re in luck: Rhinebeck’s The Center For Performing Arts has unique versions of both holiday favorites…plus an annual winter concert. First, CENTERstage Productions presents their original musical adaptation of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol (Dec. 10, 16-20) featuring some unusual ghosts, favorite carols, and family ticket specials. Then it’s Sugar Plums and Nutcrackers (Dec. 11-13), the premiere performance of a fairy tale ballet based on Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, choreographed by Michele Ribble.Then celebrate Boxing Day (and the day after) with Sounds of Bells: A Winter Concert (Dec. 26,27), featuring classical guitarist David Temple performing seasonal compositions, weaving in music from Latin America, Spain, and France. The Center For Performing Arts, Rte. 308, Rhinebeck,, 845.876.3080. We/Th 10 AM (students), Fr/Sa 8 PM, Su 3 PM

Weekends through 1/1/10- Frederick Wiseman’s LA DANSE: THE PARIS OPERA BALLET (cinema), at Time and Space Limited, Hudson—Lovers of the dance won’t want to miss seeing this on the big screen at Time and Space. From the blurb “Documentary master Frederick Wiseman’s 38th film in a career that has spanned more than that number of years, turns his attention to one of the world’s greatest ballet companies, the Paris Opera Ballet. John Davey’s camera roams the vast Palais Garnier, an opulent 19th century pile of a building: from its crystal chandelier-laden corridors to its labyrinthine underground chambers, from its light-filled rehearsal studios to its luxurious theater replete with 2,200 scarlet velvet seats and Marc Chagall ceiling. La Danse devotes most of its time to watching impossibly beautiful young men and women—among them Nicolas Le Riche, Marie-Agnès Gillot, and Agnès Letestu—rehearsing the choreography of Mats Ek, Wayne McGregor, Rudolf Nureyev and Pina Bausch. For balletomanes and the curious alike, La Danse serves up a scrumptious meal of delectable moments, one more glorious than the next, made even more precious by their ephemeral nature.” Time and Space Limited, 434 Columbia St., Hudson,, 518.822.8448. Screenings: Sa/Su 12/12-13 2:30 PM, Sa 12/19 5:30 PM, Su 12/20 2:30 PM, Su 12/27 2:30 PM, 1/1/10 4:30 PM

12/11 through 12/20- 4th Wall Productions presents EVERY CHRISTMAS STORY EVER TOLD (AND THEN SOME), by Michael Carleton, Jim FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez, at Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center, Poughkeepsie—Fans of farcical audience-participation comedies like The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)—seen most recently at this summer’s Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival—should enjoy this romp at Cunneen-Hackett. The show begins with a man clearly beginning a performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. He is quickly interrupted by his two actor buddies, who refuse to perform A Christmas Carol for the hundredth time in their careers. Claiming that they only do it “for the insurance,” the actors lead a mutiny and instead decide to present every Christmas story ever told. Over the course of the next 90 minutes the audience is called upon to help these three comedic actors as they portray as many holiday stories and characters as they can remember. Using crazy costumes, special effects and, of course, their wits, they visit such stories as The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, The Gift of the Magi, Frosty the Snowman, and everything in between. Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center, 12 Vassar St., Poughkeepsie,, 845.486.4571. Shows Fr-Su, Fr/Sa 8 PM, Su 3 PM

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