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December Theatre Highlights


Boscobel House

Fr/Sa 12/10, 11- HOLIDAY PARTY WITH THE FEZZIWIGS, at Boscobel House & Gardens, Garrison—Fans of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival—featured every summer at Boscobel House & Gardens—know one thing for certain: those actors are some of the very best in the biz. Festival Players Richard Ercole, Eleanor Handley, Katie Hartke, and Stephen Paul Johnson will be on hand to perform a staged reading of excerpts from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol amongst the garlands and candles, with festive fare and drinks following. Proceeds benefit HVSF and Boscobel. Boscobel House & Gardens, 1601 Rte. 9D, Garrison,, 845.265.7858. Fr 12/10 6-8 PM, Sa 12/11 5-7 PM

12/10-12, 17-19- A CHRISTMAS CAROL (stage and puppets) and SUGAR PLUMS AND NUTCRACKERS at The CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, Rhinebeck—Let’s be honest here: everybody enjoys that moment when Scrooge wakes up on Christmas and gets all giddy with it; it’s one of those favorite feelgood moments, like Jimmy Stewart with Zuzu’s petals in It’s a Wonderful Life. The CENTER features two ways to Dickens’ classic: one is an all-new staged rendition (Fr-Su 12/17-19)—with carols! The other is a special puppet version for the kids performed by The Puppet People (Sa 12/18, 11 AM). Loosely based on The Nutcracker, Sugar Plums and Nutcrackers (Fr 12/10-12) tell its story of a young girl who follows her dreams—with the audience—using the disciplines of classical ballet, jazz, rhythm tap, hip-hop and magic. The CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, 661 Rte. 308, Rhinebeck,, 845.876.3080. Fr/Sa 8 PM, Su 3 PM

12/10-12- THE NUTCRACKER, performed by Catskill Ballet Theatre at Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC), Kingston; and by New Paltz Ballet Theatre at The Bardavon, Poughkeepsie—It’s time again for fun and games with winsome young Clara, a dashing young walnut-crushing Prince, a Fairy of the Sugar Plum variety, mice versus toy soldiers, and those nutty Von Stahlbaums. The Bardavon folks have both sides of the Hudson covered this particular weekend with the holiday favorite, with Catskill Ballet Theatre at UPAC (Fr 12/10 9:30 AM, 12 PM; Fr/Sa 12/10, 11 8 PM, Su 12/12 2 PM) and New Paltz Ballet Theatre at The Bardavon (Sa 12/11 2 & 7:30 PM, Su 12/12 3 PM) UPAC, 601 Broadway, Kingston, 845.339.6088; The Bardavon, 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie, 845.473.2072,

Mo 1/3- Dancer/Choreographer BILL EVANS in concert, at Cocoon Theatre, Rhinebeck—It’s not every day that a world-class dancer/choreographer/instructor—one who along with Savion Glover and Brenda Bufalino was voted one of the top three tap dancers in the US by Dance Magazine in 2004—comes to town for several days of workshops, and closes with a special concert. But that's exactly what's happening at downtown Rhinebeck’s Cocoon Theatre, which seems to be making something of a comeback recently, featuring its holiday show Five Children and It, adapted from the book by E. Nesbit (12/10 through 19, Fr/Sa 7 PM, Su 3 PM). World-renowned dance expert Bill Evans will be hosting “unique movement” and master classes (1/2, 3, 4, see website for details), and will give a performance—with Don Halquist and Andrés & Marguerite San Millán—which will feature a brand new dance choreographed and performed by Cocoon, as well as a tap piece by the master. Cocoon Theatre, 6384 Mill St. (Rte. 9), Rhinebeck,, 845.876.6470. 8 PM

Sa/Su 1/8 & 9- Antonia Arts presents ANNIE, by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin, and Thomas Meehan, at Paramount Center for the Arts, Peekskill—Though Harold Gray’s long-running comic strip “Annie” certainly has racked up its share of funny-page fans over the years, it can be reasonably argued that the Broadway musical version of Annie

Paramount Center for the Arts

which set a record for its six-year run at the Alvin, now Neil Simon Theatre, while winning the coveted Tony Award—has taken the plucky orphan (and her little dog too) to a whole ‘nother level of cultural significance. What female kid under 16 hasn’t had a belt at “Tomorrow?” And show me a hip-hop fan who doesn’t know Jay-Z’s version of “It’s A Hard Knock Life.” Annie has appeal for all ages at all times, with ample comedy and drama, great tunes, and memorable characters: crusty but tender Daddy Warbucks, mean ol’ boozer Miss Hannigan, smart and sweet Miss Farrell, and that cute lil’ doggie. We all could use some Depression-era type entertainment right about now, eh? Paramount Center for the Arts, 1008 Brown St., Peekskill,, 914.739.2333. Sa 1/8 7 PM, Su 1/9 3 PM

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