Entertainment

Your ultimate guide to Nutcrackers, holiday concerts and plays and one impish ‘Elf’

As if we weren’t busy enough, with holiday parties, holiday shopping, work parties and more, an array of holiday events tempt us to leave our obligations behind and just enjoy the season.

Here is our holiday guide to all kinds of events in the Triangle. It will continue to be updated throughout the month.

Look at dates carefully. A star (*) indicates ongoing events or multiple performances.

Did we leave something out? Email featureseds@newsobserver.com and put “Holiday Guide” in the subject line.

Ongoing

*The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival runs through Jan. 13, at Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary. Open daily from 6 to 10 p.m. Closed Mondays except for Dec. 24 and 31. For night-specific tickets, advance tickets are $15 for adults or $18 at the gate; $10 for youth 3 to 12 or $12 at the gate; and free for children 2 and younger. Discounts for seniors (55 and older), college students with ID and military on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Any-night tickets are $20. 800-514-3849 or boothamphitheatre.com

* ”Cinderella” will be presented by Raleigh Little Theatre, through Dec. 16 at 301 Pogue St., Raleigh. Lauren Knott returns in the role of Cinderella along with Tim Cherry and Dennis Poole as The Ugly Stepsisters. The audio described performance is on Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. Tickets can be bought by calling the box office 919-821-3111 or at raleighlittletheatre.org.

*The Carolina Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” through Dec. 30 with 20 performances in Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh. The production is performed by the entire Carolina Ballet company and more than 100 local children. The show is at UNC Memorial Hall, Dec. 1-2; Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh, Dec. 14-23; and Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, Dec. 29-30. Tickets start at $40. On Dec. 21, get $15 off tickets by donating five canned goods or other non-perishable food items. All proceeds will be delivered to Helping Hand Mission. carolinaballet.com or 919-719-0900.

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*“Polar Express 3D” matinees will be screened at Marbles IMAX, 201 E. Hargett St., Raleigh, most days through Dec. 24. $11 adults, $9 ages 12 and under. MarblesIMAX.org, 919-882-IMAX.

*“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” is presented through Dec. 24, at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. Tickets start at $15. Dukeenergycenterraleigh.com or rudolphthemusical.com

*“A Christmas Carol” starring Ira David Wood III or Ira David Wood IV will be presented Dec. 5-9 at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and Dec. 12-16 at Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham. For Raleigh tickets, call 800-745-3000. For Durham tickets, go to DPACnc.com or call 919-680-2787. Theatreinthepark.com

*Sonorous Road Theatre & Film Studio presents “The Gift of the Magi” at Sonorous Road, 3801 Hillsborough St, Suite 113, Raleigh, NC, Dec. 6-17. The production will feature interactive elements and live music. Tickets are $25. Only 20 seats per performance time are available. sonorousroad.com/magi.

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There are many performances of the Carolina Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” in December. Armes Photography

Dec. 3

*WakeMed presents Love Light and Trim the Tree with Twinkle at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 3-6, in the outdoor courtyard of WakeMed Raleigh Campus, 3000 New Bern Ave., Raleigh. Lights and stars on the Love Light Tree represent donations in honor or in memory of loved ones. There will be ornament making and holiday snacks. Free.

Dec. 4

*”Elf the Musical” is at Durham Performing Peforming Arts Center Dec. 4-9. An autism-friendly performance is Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. Tickets start at $28.50. Note: There will be an autism-friendly performance on Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. designed for individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as anyone who might benefit from a more relaxed environment. UNC Health Care donated to more than 2,000 sensory friendly kits for audience members of all ages with sensory needs. Any kits not used will be kept for future guests at other shows.

The Raleigh Boychoir’s Resident Choir will perform selections from their 51st Carols of Christmas concert at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. The concert is Dec. 21.

The Really Terrible Orchestra of the Triangle (RTOOT) presents 10 Years of Terrible Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave. Tickets are $9. rtoot.org

Dec. 5

Chabad at UNC/Duke hosts the annual menorah lighting at the Pit, the brick courtyard next to the UNC Student Stores on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5. There will be an LED light show, doughnuts and music.

The General Assembly Chorus presents Songs of the Season, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary. Featuring guests Technically Sound, the concert will present traditional Christmas songs and other holiday favorites sung a cappella. $15 for adults, $10 for students. Tickets available at the Cary Arts Center Box office, online at etix.com or call (800) 514-3849. generalassemblychorus.org or 321) 345-SING (7464).

Dec. 6

▪ The State Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony festivities start at 5 p.m. with the lighting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at 1 E. Edenton St., Raleigh. There will be cookies and hot chocolate and a visit from Santa Claus. The holiday open house in the Capitol follows at 6:30 p.m. The North Carolina Executive Mansion will be open from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free. nchistoricsites.org/capitol

▪ There will be holiday music in the rotunda at the Capitol Dec. 6 and 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The North Carolina Symphony’s Holiday Pops program will be presented in Chapel Hill, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m.; and Louisburg, Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. as well as other locations around the state. For tickets and info, go to ncsymphony.org.

The NC State Department of Music presents the Wind Ensemble/Jazz Ensemble I Holiday Concert Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at Stewart Theatre, 2610 Cates Ave., Raleigh. $10 (free for children 12 and under). 919-515-1100 or go.ncsu.edu/artstix. Info at music.arts.ncsu.edu

Dec. 7

Carrboro celebrates its annual holiday tree lighting with performance by the Children’s Chorus at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St.

▪ Main Street Christmas is Friday, Dec. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. in downtown Holly Springs with visits from Santa (until 7:15 p.m.) at Town Hall, storytelling with Mrs. Claus, hayrides, the town tree lighting and refreshments. It ends with the tree lighting at 9 p.m. at the Holly Springs Cultural Center lawn. hollyspringsnc.us/359/Main-Street-Christmas

▪ The Executive Mansion will be open Dec. 7 and 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m .and on Dec. 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. 919-733-4994 or nchistoricsites.org/capitol.

*Moonlight Stage Company will present “The Best Time of Year,” an original Christmas Musical Dec. 7-9 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. 1304 Paddock Drive, Suite F-103, Raleigh. Moonlightstageco.com

An Evening with Elves is at Marbles Kids Museum, 201 E. Hargett St., Raleigh, Dec. 7 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. There will be snacks, holiday activities and beer and wine for grown-ups. $30 members, $35 non-members. marbleskidsmuseum.org/

*Apex Christmas Nativity Celebration is Dec. 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. and Dec. 8, from noon to 8:30 p.m. at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 590 Bryan Drive, Apex. The free event features nativity displays from around the world in the midst of Christmas lights, trees and art. Performances from local Triangle choirs and orchestras will run throughout the event, including two live sing-in performances of Handel’s Messiah on Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. There is a children’s room with crafts and nativity costumes. ApexNativity.org

The NC State Department of Music presents a Choral Holiday Concert Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at Stewart Theatre, 2610 Cates Ave., Raleigh. $10 (free for children 12 and under). 919-515-1100 or go.ncsu.edu/artstix. Info at music.arts.ncsu.edu.

*The plays “Last Minute Wishes” and “Karaoke Christmas” will be presented at the Halle Cultural Arts Center, 237 N. Salem St., Apex, on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults; $6 for students. apexnc.org/454/Halle-Cultural-Arts-Center

*“Christmas by Candlelight” tours at Duke Homestead, feature costumed interpreters Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 in the house with 19th century decorations. The tours run 6:45 to 9:15 p.m. and include music, barn dance, caroling, storytelling, cookies and cider. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 10 and under, plus tax. They may be purchased in advance at dukehomestead.org. Unsold tickets will be made available at the door the night of the event starting at 6:30 p.m. 2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham. 919-627-6990, email duke@ncdcr.gov, or dukehomestead.org.

*The Fuquay-Varina Chorale Holiday Concert is 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 3 p.m. Dec. 8 at Fuquay-Varina Baptist Church, 301 Woodrow St., Fuquay-Varina. Free.

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Elijah Rodgers sits and smiles with Santa Claus at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, NC, on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017. Bernard Thomas bthomas@heraldsun.com

Dec. 8

▪ The Durham Holiday Parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. The parade will start at the Health Department (Main and Dillard streets) and end near Duke University East Campus (Main Street and Buchanan Boulevard).

Parade marshals this year are Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Branford Marsalis and Mayor Steve Schewel. There will be about 100 units in the parade, including 10 floats and six marching bands. Meteorologist Wes Hohenstein and reporter Derrick Lewis from CBS 17 News will announce the parade. There will be performance areas at the intersections of Mangum and Main, Chapel Hill and Main and Duke and Main streets.

*“Miracle on 34th Street – A Live Radio Play” will be presented by OdysseyStage. The Lux Radio Theatre version of the classic holiday movie will be done as a 1948 live broadcast. One show is Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. at The Seymour Center, 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill, $7 suggested donation. Reservations, 919-968-2070. Another show is Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. at The ArtsCenter, 300-G East Main St. Carrboro, $10 adults/$7 students/seniors. Tickets: 919-929-2787 or www.artscenterlive.org

▪ Holiday Fun Fest follows the parade from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 on Blackwell Street between Morehead Avenue and West Lakewood Avenue. The free event includes the Peppermint Plunge, which is snow sledding for children and adults, with sleds provided, along with two snow play areas. Children can also meet Santa Claus and decorate holiday cards for home bound people in the community. dprplaymore.org

▪ The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade through both town’s downtowns starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. The route proceeds from the old post office on East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill and ends on Main Street at Carrboro Town Hall. The parade is organized by the Raleigh Jaycees and town of Chapel Hill. chapelhillholidayparade.com

The Cary Jaycees Christmas Parade in downtown Cary is at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, along East Chatham Street and South Academy Street. The event is rain or shine. caryjaycees.org

▪ Clayton’s annual Christmas parade is at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, on Main Street downtown. The event is held rain or shine. claytonrotarync.org

▪ The Holly Days Christmas Parade is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, starting at Holly Springs Road, going along Main Street and ending at Ballentine Street. The event is rain or shine. hollyspringsnc.us

▪ The Wake Forest Christmas Parade is at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in downtown Wake Forest. The route begins at the intersection of Elm Avenue and South White Street and continues north along South White Street before turning east onto Wait Avenue. It then turns south onto South Brooks Street and turns left at the Elm Avenue intersection. The parade ends at the Taylor Street intersection. wakeforestnc.gov

Wake Forest holds a Snowball Dance for those with special needs, Dec. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Wake Forest Community House, 133 W. Owen Ave. There will be a DJ, refreshments and dancing. The dance is for ages 10 and older. There is a $15 registration fee required in adfance. 919-556-7093

*Two concerts for the Christmas season are Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 4 p.m. at Duke Chapel, 401 Chapel Drive, Durham. La Fiesta de la Posada by Dave Brubeck featuring Choral Society of Durham and the Durham Children’s Choir with Orchestra. Tickets at Choral-society.org or at the door.

A holiday-themed Race 13.1 Half-Marathon, 10k, and 5k is Dec. 8 at Northgate mall in Durham, beginning at 8 a.m., 8:10 a.m. and 8;20 a.m., respectively. The event begins at the Sears lot on 1620 Guess Road. Following the run, there will be a holiday sweater contest, free beer, Santa hats and photos. A kids fun run is at 7:30 a.m. A donation of $5 is suggested, or bring an unused toy to donate to Duke Children’s Hospital patients. race131.com/races/race-13-1-durham-nc/register

*The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre for the Arts will host a Christmas Jubilee Concert featuring the “Celtic Angels Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 9, at 3 p.m. The concert will feature the Sheeva Quintet, Celtic Knights and Angel Dancers with Trinity Band Ensemble of Dublin. Tickets are $25 at wakeforestrencen.org/event/christmas-jubilee-concert. Advance tickets may also be bought at the Renaissance Centre Box Office, 405 S. Brooks St. 919-435-9458.

“The Nutcracker,” presented by the Triangle Youth Ballet is Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St., Durham. The full-length production is child-friendly. Tickets are $27 reserved seating or $15 for general admission in the balcony. carolinatheatre.org/events/nutcracker-10

The Concert Singers of Cary present a Holiday Pops concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8, at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary. The concert features holiday tunes with a band, featuring the Belltower Brass Quintet, and Master of Ceremonies Bill Adams. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniores, at the town of Cary box office (122 E. Chatham St), eTix and at the door. concertsingers.org/tickets/

The Haywood Hall Christmas Open House is noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 8 at 211 New Bern Place, Raleigh, with decorations, tours, hot apple cider and cookies. Free admission, donations welcome. Haywoodhall.org

*The International Ballet Company presents “The Nutcracker” Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Cary Academy, 1500 North Harrison Ave., Cary. Tickets are $15 to $20 for reserved seating. A free sensory-friendly performance with an abbreviated program is Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. for children with special needs. tututix.com/iba or ibacary.com

*Saint Andrews United Methodist Church, 1201 Maxwell Drive, Raleigh, presents a Live Nativity Dec. 8 and 9 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. 919-772-4410, churchoffice@saintandrewsumc.org; saintandrewsumc.org

The 100 Men in Black Scholarship Christmas Concert with guest harpist Winifred Garrett is Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. at King’s Park International Church, 1305 Odyssey Drive, Durham. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. 100meninblack.org or 919-225-2460

The Christmas at Stagville holiday open house is Dec. 8, from noon to 4 p.m. with lantern tours from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be a West Jonkonnu performance with drum and dance during the lantern tours starting at 5:15 p.m. Tickets are $5 and free to children under age 3. They are available at Historic Stagville, 2821 Old Oxford Road, Durham. 919-620-0120 or ncdcr.gov.

Photos with Santa are at Historic Yates Mill County Park, 4620 Lake Wheeler Road, Raleigh, Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. There also will be reindeer games, old-timey toys and refreshments. Photos start at $15. Proceeds go to the Yates Mill Associates.

The Artspace Holiday Market is Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring works from Artspace artists. Free. 201 E. Davie St., Raleigh. artspacenc.org or 919-821-2787

*“A Charlie Brown Christmas” will be presented at Theatre in the Park, 107 Pullen Road, Raleigh, Dec. 8, 7 and 9. A sensory-friendly show is Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. Tickets are $12. theatreinthepark.com

The Triangle Brass Band will play Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at Wake Forest Baptist Church. Tickets are $12. trianglebrass.org/concerts

*Homeowners in the Historic Oakwood neighborhood open up their homes to visitors Dec. 8 and 9 from 1 to 7 p.m. during the 47th annual Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour. Homes are staffed with docents to talk about the only intact 19th-century neighborhood in Raleigh. Tickets are $30 at historicoakwood.org. Day-of tickets can be bought at the Tucker House, 418 N. Person St., Raleigh. Group rates available. Tour held rain or shine. historicoakwood.org

Oakwood Waits Porch
The Oakwood Waits, an a capella caroling ensemble dressed in authentic 1840s costume, will present a concert of medieval to modern carols Dec. 10. Katy Warner Contributed by The Oakwood Waits

Dec. 9

The Oakwood Waits, an a cappella caroling ensemble dressed in authentic 1840’s costume, will present a concert of medieval to modern carols Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in sanctuary of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 1520 Canterbury Road, Raleigh. Proceeds will benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Camden Street Garden. $10.00 minimum donation suggested. oakwoodwaits.org. 919-576-9799

The Pittsboro Christmas Parade is at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. The route starts on MLK Drive, continues down East Street and ends at Farrell Street. pittsboronc.gov

The 32nd annual Candlelight Tour in Hillsborough is Dec. 9 from 1 to 7 p.m., featuring pop-up reading from local authors. The tour is self-guided, and 10 homes will be open with holiday decor, musicians and reading. Authors include Lee Smith, Jill McCorkle, Barbara Younger, Beverly Scarlett, Bob Burtman, Barry Jacobs and Brooks Graebner. A miniature train will circle the historic district. There will be photos with Santa at the Visitors Center and carolina hayrides. Advance tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children ages 10 to 17. Children 9 and younger are free. Hillsboroughchamber.com or 919-732-8156.

Saint Mary’s School’s holds the 38th annual holiday Lighting O’ the Grove Dec. 9 at 7:15 p.m., in front of Smedes Hall on the school’s front campus at 900 Hillsborough St., Raleigh. There will be caroling, Christmas music, a Christmas tree lighting and 600 luminaries. Admission is free. Bring a canned good to be donated to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

The Hillyer Community Chorus Holiday Concert is Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at Hillyer Memorial Christian Church, 718 Hillsborough St. (at St. Mary’s St.), Raleigh. Admission is free. Donations accepted. hillyercommunitychorus.org

“Peace Has Come,” a Christmas Cantata, will be presented by the Adult Choir of Longview Baptist Church, 2308 North New Hope Road, Raleigh, at 10:55 a.m. Dec. 9. Free. 919-231-3747 or longviewbaptist.org

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“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” is presented through Dec. 24, at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Contributed

Dec. 11

Joy of the Season concert: Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Meymandi Concert Hall, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. The North Carolina Master Chorale, NCMC Chamber Choir and chamber orchestra perform familiar carols, classical gems and new favorites. Tickets: $27-$38, reserved seating.

The Wake Forest Children’s Choir Holiday Concert is Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St. The concert is free.

*“Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker” is at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 to 13 at the Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St., Durham. The 25th anniversary tour features puppets, nesting dolls and Russian artists. Tickets are $28 to $175. Carolinatheatre.org

*Saint Francis United Methodist Church, 2965 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary, hosts a free live nativity Dec. 11-12. There will be a free dinner from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with the Live Nativity to 8 p.m. on Dec. 11 and from 6 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 12. The Saint Francis Brass Band and Silver Fantasy Flute Choir will perform 7 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 12. There will be crafts for children. saintfrancisumc.org

Dec. 12

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will bring its “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” tour to Raleigh’s PNC Arena Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $43.

A Chorale Family Christmas: The North Carolina Master Chorale’s holiday concert is Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Meymandi Concert Hall, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. It will feature the Chorale, NCMC Chamber Choir, and chamber orchestra performing a family-friendly program with familiar selections and a sing-along. Tickets: $25, general admission

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The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will bring its “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” tour to Raleigh’s PNC Arena Dec. 12. Jason Douglas McEachern

Dec. 13

The Clayton Piano Festival’s third annual Holiday Gala is Dec. 13 at The Barn at Broadslab, near Benson, featuring Josh and Lindsey Wright’s classical take on traditional holiday favorites. Tickets start at $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for children. The Barn at Broadslab is at 4682 NC Hwy 50 South, Benson. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. with light refreshments. claytonpianofestival.org/holidaygala2018.

The Triangle Brass Band’s Holiday Blast is Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at Meymandi Concert Hall, with Chandra Branch presenting popular songs. The Brassmas ensemble will play carols in front of Duke Energy Center before the show. Tickets are $10. trianglebrass.org/concerts

Dec. 14

*City Ballet presents the full-length version of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Ballet” with guest artists from Carolina Ballet dancing with 100 City Ballet student dancers. The 26th annual production features falling snow and a tree that grows 20 feet tall. Shows are Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 15 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Stewart Theatre, 2610 Cates Ave., Raleigh. Tickets are at $15 to $30 at city-ballet.com/tickets.

▪ A holiday ArtWalk with luminaries will be in downtown Chapel Hill Dec. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. Caroling and hot beverages at 140 West Plaza.

*Moonlight Stage Company will present sketch comedy holiday one acts Dec. 14 and 15 at 8 p.m. Audiences 16 and older. Tickets are $13. 1304 Paddock Drive, Suite F-103, Raleigh. Moonlightstageco.com

The play “Santa’s Enchanted Workshop” is Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. at Wake Forest Reniassance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. wakeforestnc.gov/christmas-in-wake-forest.aspx

*The Cary theater presents a “Home Alone” Quote-A-Long Dec. 14-15 at 7 p.m., a screening of the 1990 classic with subtitles for karaoke-style audience participation. Everyone receives an interactive loot bag with instructions to shout out their favorite lines. Donate a toy for free entry. Toys collected will be donated to Eastern North Carolina Toys for Tots, where the Marines and Sailors of Reserve Training Center Stone Bay at Camp Lejeune will distribute them to children affected by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.

*The Justice Theater Project presents “Black Nativity” by Langston Hughes Dec. 14-18 at two locations. Shows are at Umstead Park United Church of Christ, 8208 Brownleigh Drive, Raleigh, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. All seats are $21 at this location only. Additional shows are at Stewart Theater, NC State University Talley Student Union, 2610 Cates Ave., Raleigh on Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. (Audio Described) and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $27, adults, $23 Seniors/Students/Military, $21 groups. 919-264-7089 or thejusticetheaterproject.org

*“The Gift,” a live drive-through drama depicting the life of Jesus Christ, will be presented at Longview Baptist Church, 2308 North New Hope Road, Raleigh, Dec. 14-16 from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is free. Longviewbaptist.org

The Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham presents “O Holy Night” Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. at Duke Chapel, 401 Chapel Drive, Durhan. Admission free, donations accepted. 919-660-3302 or vocalartsensemble.org.

*”The Gift,” a live outdoor drama depicting the life of Jesus Christ from birth to resurrection, will be presented by Longview Baptist Church, 2308 North New Hope Road, Raleigh, from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 14-16. Free. 919-231-3747 or longviewbaptist.org

*Cary Ballet Company presents “The Nutcracker” at Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave., Cary, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. (one-hour Suite) and 7 p.m.; Dec. 15 at 11 a.m. (one-hour Suite), 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Dec. 16, 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tickets are $21 to $25 for the full show or $12 for the Suite performances. 919-481-6509 or caryballetcompany.org

*“The Santaland Diaries,” by David Sedaris, will be presented at Theatre in the Park, 107 Pullen Road, Raleigh, on Dec. 14-15, 21-22 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 16 and 23 at 3 p.m. The one-man play starring Jesse Gephart is for mature audiences. $25 for adults, $19 for seniors, students and military. theatreinthepark.com

*“Oh What a *holy* Night” will be presented by Theatre Raleigh in the Kennedy Theatre Dec. 14-15 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. The show features Theatre Raleigh alums. theatreraleigh.com/oh-what-a-holy-night/ or 919-832-9997

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Raleigh Little Theatre presents its 34th annual production of “Cinderella” from Dec. 1-17. The stars of the local production are the Ugly Stepsisters, played by two men. This the 20th anniversary of Tim Cherry and Dennis Poole playing those roles. Courtesy of Allie Mullin

Dec. 15

▪ In northern Durham County, the Bahama Ruritan Club sponsors an annual Bahama Christmas Parade. It will start at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the intersection of Country Knoll and Bahama roads and end at The Ruritan Club, 8202 Stagville Road, where there will be free hot chocolate and doughnuts.

*The Wake Forest Civic Ballet presents the “The Nutcracker,” a one-act performance, 7 p.m. Dec. 15 and 3 p.m. Dec. 16, at Heritage High School. The performance will also include a selection of holiday-inspired dances by the Destiny Dance Institute’s Jazz, Tap and Hip-Hop companies. Tickets are $15 to $20. wakeforestcivicballet.org

The Gingerbread Jamboree is at Marbles Kids Museum, 201 E. Hargett St., Raleigh, Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to noon or 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Make a gingerbread house. $12 members, $15 non-members. 919-834-4040

The Concert Singers of Cary present “Handel’s Messiah, Part I” with members of the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m., at the Halle Cultural Arts Center, 237 N. Salem St., Apex. The musicians will use Baroque period instruments. Tickets are $25. theHalle.org or 919-249-1120

The Chapel Hill high School chapter of the Tri M music honor society will have their holiday performance at University Place on Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. The performance will feature the band, orchestra and chorus members performing a selection of music for the season.

The ArtsCenter presents the Holiday Circle Show Dec. 15 at 8 p.m., celebrating the best in classic American Folk and Bluegrass. Lee Smith and Hal Crowther will emcee. Tickets are $15. Artscenterlive.org.

The Christmas Homes Tour sponsored by the Fuquay-Varina Woman’s Club is Dec. 15 from noon to 6 p.m. Take a self-guided walking tour of 13 homes decorated for the holidays. They’re primarily located in the historic district. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance at Garden Hut and Shoppes on Main. The day of the event, tickets can be purchased at the Fuquay Mineral Spring Inn. Proceeds from the tour will be used to fund the Woman’s Club work with the elderly and to provide scholarships to local students.

*The Raleigh Ringers Holiday Concert is at 2 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at Meymandi Concert Hall. Tickets are $13 to $22 through Ticketmaster. dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/event-calendar

Voices, the Chapel Hill Chorus, will perform a holiday program called “Hodie!” at Moeser Auditorium in UNC Hill Hall. Performances are Saturday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. The program features a variety of secular and sacred works in a variety of classical, gospel and popular styles. There will be special guests from Spelman College. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for students 13 and up. They are available online at voiceschapelhill.org.

Dec. 16

The N.C. Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, has a holiday concert Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. featuring the Raleigh Flute Choir with holiday favorites and original compositions. $10, or $8 Museum members and $6 for youth and college students. ncartmuseum.org

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“A John Waters Christmas” will be presented at Duke Energy Center in Raleigh Dec. 18. Greg Gorman

Dec. 17

Jewel will bring her Handmade Holiday Tour to the Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St., Durham, 8 p.m. Dec. 17. She will joined by Atz, Atz Lee and Nikos Kilcher. She will peform her greatest hits and holiday songs. Tickets are $49.50 to $99.50. carolinatheatre.org

The Triangle Youth Philharmonic will be joined by dancers from the International Ballet Company Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. at Meymandi Concert Hall to present selections from “The Nutcracker” as well as “Blue Danube” and “Chanukkah Celebration Suite.” Tickets are general admission at the door; $15 for adults or $20 for first balcony; $10 for seniors and $5 for children. philharmonic-association.org/

The Beach Boys present the Reason for the Season Christmas Tour Dec. 17 at Durham Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $34. Dpacnc.com

The North Carolina Boys Choir, Chamber Ensemble, the North Carolina Girls Choir and the Training Choir will hold the annual Holiday Choir Concert on Monday, Dec. 17 at McMannen United Methodist Church, 4102 Neal Road, Durham. The concert is free and open to the public. Click here for more info.

Dec. 18

“A John Waters Christmas” starring the filmmaker/actor is Dec. 18 at Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh at 8 p.m. The one-man show is for adult audiences. Tickets start at $47. dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/event-calendar

*Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis is at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19 at Durham Performing Arts Center. Tickets start at $45. Dpacnc.com

“Christmas Presence,” a cantata composed by Pepper Choplin with 230 voices from eight area churches, a full orchestra and Triangle Brass, is Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Meymandi Concert Hall. It previously was scheduled Dec. 9. Tickets are $10. Pepperchoplin.com [Note: A previous version incorrectly said it is Dec. 7]

Dec. 20

“The Hip Hop Nutcracker” is Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Durham Performing Arts Center featuring contemporary dance set to Tchaikovsky’s score. Tickets start at $35. dpacnc.com

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“Hip Hop Nutcracker” sets the story in New York City, with a DJ. Timothy Norris Timothy Norris

Dec. 21

The North Carolina Symphony presents “Cirque de Noel” Dec. 21 and 22 with aerial tricks, juggling, acrobatics and music. Performances are 8 p.m. Dec. 21 and 22 and 3 p.m. Dec. 22 at Meymandi Concert Hall, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. For tickets and info, go to ncsymphony.org.

The Raleigh Boychoir’s 51st Carols of Christmas concert is Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. at Edenston Street United Methodist Church., 228 W. Edenton St., Raleigh. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. raleighboychoir.org

Dec. 22

*The man known as Black Santa will be at the Hayti Heritage Center, 804 Fayetteville St., Durham, on the following dates: Dec. 20, 1:30 to 6 p.m.; Dec. 21, 1 to 6 p.m.; Dec. 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Dec. 23, 1:30 to 6 p.m. and Dec. 24 by appointment only. The cost is $30 for a visit and includes photos. facebook.com/BlackSantaNC

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The Cary theater presents an “Elf” Snowball Sock Throw Dec. 22 at 2 and 7 p.m. Bring pairs of new socks to fling during the snowball fight scene. Last year, more than 700. in response to their biggest request from area shelters.

Dec. 23

The North Carolina Symphony presents the Candlelight Christmas program Dec. 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Meymandi Concert Hall, 2 E. South St., Raleigh.The program features classical music and carols. For tickets and info, go to ncsymphony.org.

Saint Andrews United Methodist Church, 1201 Maxwell Drive, Raleigh, presents Chancel Choir Cantata Dec. 23 at 11 a.m. 919-772-4410, churchoffice@saintandrewsumc.org; saintandrewsumc.org

Dec. 30

A Kwanzaa Celebration is Dec. 30 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Holton Career & Resource Center, 401 N. Driver St., Durham. The celebration is on the fifth day of Kwanzaa and focuses on the principles of purpose. Free. 919-560-4355 or dprplaymore.org

Dec. 31

First Night Raleigh 2018 takes over downtown Raleigh and features arts, activities, live music and entertainment and more. There is an early countdown for the acorn drop in the evening, followed by one at midnight. The performance lineup includes Boulevards. Details and schedule at firstnightraleigh.com.

The North Carolina Symphony presents “New Year’s Eve: Vienna with a Twist” Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. at Memorial Auditorium, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. The North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra will perform as well. For tickets and info, go to ncsymphony.org.

Ellis Dyson and the Shambles and Katharine Whalen perform Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. at The ArtsCenter for a New Year’s Eve party. They’ll play original music and Squirrel Nut Zippers songs. Tickets are $25. artscenterlive.org.

Jan. 1

Kwanzaa Fest is Jan. 1 at the Durham Armory at 212 Foster St., Durham, with dancing, food, face painting, crafts and more. Doors open at noon. Performances begin at 2 p.m. The event is dedicated to the late Chuck Davis, and donated items will go to Urban Ministries. aadekwanzaafest.wixsite.com/kwanzaafest

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Features Editor Jessica Banov oversees coverage of entertainment, the arts, food and dining for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun.
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