We’re still weeks away from Christmas, but it’s never too early to get into the holiday spirit.
Check out these upcoming music, dance and theater performances and make your season just a little more “merry and gay”:
“Clara,” DanceNOW Miami
DanceNOW Miami debuts “Clara,” a reimagining of “The Nutcracker” that charts the journey of a young woman, exploring and experiencing the exotic, the unknown and the forbidden, on Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. at Miami Theatre Center in Miami Shores. Featuring a score from Berlin-based composer Davidson Jaconello and drawn from the original Tchaikovsky music, “Clara” is choreographed by Dance NOW! Miami Artistic Directors Hannah Baumgarten and Diego Salterini.
"This is definitely not your abuela's ‘Nutcracker’," said Baumgarten. "It is sexy, modern and a whole new way to experience this holiday favorite."
Tickets are $40 at DanceNowMiami.org/events/program1.
“Peace on Earth,” Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus
The Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, the first LGBT performing arts ensemble in Florida, will present its last concert, “Peace on Earth,” on Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. at the United Church of Christ Fort Lauderdale.
The chorus recently announced it would merge with the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida (GMCSF) on Jan. 1. Dr. Gary Keating, who founded the chorus in 1986 to sing at the funerals of local men who died during the AIDS epidemic, will lead the final performance, joined by special guests from GMCSF. The program will include traditional holiday songs, along with popular selections from the ensemble’s previous performances.
Tickets start at $35 at FTLGMC.org.
“Celebrate the Holidays,” Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida
The Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida returns to Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. for its sixth annual holiday performance. This year, the 150-member chorus welcomes guest artist Shoshana Bean, Broadway headliner and a Tony and Grammy nominee.
Bean was most recently seen starring in Broadway’s “Mr. Saturday Night.” Tony-nominated for her role as Susan Young, she previously starred on Broadway as Elphaba in “Wicked” and Jenna in “Waitress.”
The program will include classics, as well as new arrangements of holiday favorites like “Do You Hear What I Hear” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
Tickets start at $41 at GMCSF.org.
“Home for the Holidays,” Levi Kreis at Pompano Beach Cultural Center
Tony Award-winning singer-songwriter Levi Kreis, who brings his popular holiday concert to the Pompano Beach Cultural Center on Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. Kreis, who is openly gay, will display stunning piano and vocal talents infused with gospel, country, rockabilly and jazz idioms into a fresh interpretation of Christmas classics and holiday favorites.
“Levi Kreis is one of his generation’s brightest stars on Broadway “said Ty Tabing, director of the Pompano Beach Cultural Affairs Department. “He is well-known for his electrifying live performances, and this show is guaranteed to leave our audiences feeling full of the joyous spirit of the season.”
Tickets are $45 at PompanoBeachArts.org.
“George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” Miami City Ballet
“The Nutcracker” is a holiday tradition and South Florida audiences are fortunate to be able to enjoy George Balanchine’s iconic choreography, accompanied by a distinctively “Miami” color palette designed by Isabel and Ruben Toledo.
The cast of more than 100 professional and student dancers performs at the Arsht Center in Miami, Dec. 16 – 24, and at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Dec. 28 – 30. All performances are accompanied by a live orchestra.
For tickets and more information, go to MiamiCityBallet.org.
Handel’s “Messiah,” South Florida Symphony
To kick off the South Florida Symphony’s 25th anniversary season, Maestra Sebrina María Alfonso will conduct Handel’s oratorio “Messiah,” Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. at The Parker in Fort Lauderdale and on Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. at Barry University in Miami. In addition to the symphony and chorus, the performance will showcase bass baritone Neil Nelson, tenor Gerardo Ortega, soprano Brittany Graham and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Newman.
And, to further elevate the holiday spirit, the program will also include Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” Pietro Yon’s Italian Christmas carol, “Gesù Bambino” and Mendelssohn’s “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”
For tickets and more information, go to SouthFloridaSymphony.org.
“Holidays with the Symphony,” Symphony of the Americas
Join Maestro Pablo Mielgo and the Symphony of the Americas for a musical world tour, celebrating the sounds of the season from faraway lands. Soprano Kyaunnee Richardson will be featured in a memorable musical journey, Dec. 6 at 7:45 p.m. at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale.
Richardson made her professional debut in “The Magic Flute” with Festival of the Arts Boca in 2016. Recently, she starred as Calpurnia in the world premiere of “The Secret River” with Opera Orlando and as Adele in “Die Fledermaus” last season.
Tickets start at $55 at SymphonyOfTheAmericas.org.
“Million Dollar Quartet Christmas,” Actors Playhouse
The Broadway hit “Million Dollar Quartet” gets a yuletide makeover in this new production at Actors Playhouse in Coral Gables through Jan. 1. Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Johnnie Cash and Carl Perkins gather for an imagined one-night-only recording session in Memphis recording studio.
Dominique Scott, a South Florida native, who has starred as Jerry Lee Lewis on Broadway and national tours and the recent Actors Playhouse production, is excited to come home, noting, “It’s fun to be back with the same group of actors, in the same set, but doing a different show. It’s the same show everybody loved, but with an entirely new playlist of songs.”
Tickets start at $75 at ActorsPlayhouse.org.
Vladimir Isaaev’s “The Nutcracker,” Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida
Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida celebrates the silver anniversary of its unique production of “The Nutcracker” with snowflakes, sugarplums, naughty little boys and magical dolls. The local company presents the classic ballet based on the tale of Hoffman and set to Tchaikovsky's popular score, Dec. 8 – 11 at the Aventura Center in Aventura. The critically acclaimed ballet is choreographed and directed by renowned ballet master Vladimir Issaev.
For tickets and more information, go to ArtsBalletTheatre.org.