Arts & Culture

Holiday shows in SLO County: ‘Grinch,’ ‘Nutcracker,’ ‘A Christmas Story’ and more

“Ready! Set! RAD!” showcases some of the area’s best and brightest dancers in a dazzling display of all types of styles including hip hop, ballet, tap, modern and more.
“Ready! Set! RAD!” showcases some of the area’s best and brightest dancers in a dazzling display of all types of styles including hip hop, ballet, tap, modern and more.

It’s not too late to attend holiday theater, dance and music performances this season. The stage is set for a cornucopia of offerings designed to keep your mood merry.

Stage

▪  The “Grinch” is making an appearance Saturday, Dec. 12, at Forbes Hall at the Clark Center for the Performing Arts. The grouchy Grinch’s heart is sure to grow three sizes during The Studio of Performing Arts fun, family-friendly musical adaptation of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The Clark Center for the Performing Arts is at 487 Fair Oaks Ave. in Arroyo Grande. Tickets are $20. 489-9444, http://clarkcenter.org.

▪ Venture to Cambria on Saturday, Dec. 12, or Sunday, Dec. 13, to be reminded that “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Cambria Center for the Arts continues its tradition of gifting theatergoers with free live radio broadcast performances of the story of George Bailey, brought to life by local performers dressed in 1940s-style garb acting as readers on a radio show. Don’t forget to listen for a bell ringing. Cambria Center for the Arts is at 1350 Main St. in Cambria. 927-8190, http://cambriacenterforthearts.org.

▪ A talented pack of 22 dogs — 10 of them rescues — their master Richard Olate and his son Nicholas will converge on stage Dec. 18 at the Clark Center for the Performing Arts in the “Olate Dogs — Holiday Rescue Tour!” The furry, four-footed performers, winners of “America’s Got Talent” in 2012, offer comedy routines, stunts and antics in a show fit for the family. The Clark Center for the Performing Arts is at 487 Fair Oaks Ave. in Arroyo Grande. Tickets are $25 to $75. 489-9444, http://clarkcenter.org.

▪  Kevin Harris reprises his role as Crumpet the Elf for the third time in “Santaland Diaries,” a holiday cult classic written by David Sedaris. Part of San Luis Obispo Little Theatre’s After Hours series of late-night comedies, the show centers around an out-of-work slacker who decides to become a Macy’s elf during the holiday season. The show is recommended for mature audiences and continues through Dec. 19. The San Luis Obispo Little Theatre is at 888 Morro St. in San Luis Obispo. Tickets are $10 to $20. 786-2440, www.slolittletheatre.org.

▪ Travel back to 1940s Indiana and join Ralphie Parker in his quest for a Red Ryder BB gun in San Luis Obispo Little Theatre’s second annual production of “A Christmas Story.” The theater production, based on the film of the same name, is directed by Kevin Harris with assistance by Danielle McNamara and includes a talented cast of local actors. The family friendly event runs through Dec. 20 at the San Luis Obispo Little Theatre at 888 Morro St. in San Luis Obispo. Tickets are $15 to $33. 786-2440, www.slolittletheatre.org.

▪  A cast of nine, including a schoolgirl, vintage-song chanteuse, Pewter Plough Playhouse acting veterans and newcomers, and one male bring “Broadway Belles and a Beau” to the North Coast. The musical revue, directed by Janice Peters, features 30 songs that were performed on Broadway between 1922 and the present. The show runs through Dec. 20 at the Pewter Plough Playhouse at 824 Main St. in Cambria. Tickets are $22 general admission, $17 for students. 927-3877, www.pewterploughplayhouse.org.

▪ Waltz into the Marian Theatre where a new Broadway adaptation of the classic “Cinderella” tale takes the stage. The adaptation expands on the classic musical with new music and a few new characters, but retains its timeless sparkle. The magic continues through Dec. 23 at the Marian Theatre at 800 S. College Drive in Santa Maria. Tickets are $15.50 to $39.50. 922-8313, www.pcpa.org.

▪  The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville presents its annual “Holiday Extravaganza,” featuring a triple bill theatrical experience. The bill features Scrooge finding the Christmas spirit in a heartwarming holiday tale, zany characters offering laughs in a fractured fairy tale opera and a holiday vaudeville revue. The extravagant tradition continues through Dec. 31 at The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville at 1863 Front St., in Oceano. Tickets are $19 to $25. 489-2499, www.americanmelodrama.com.

Dance

▪  Enchantment and live music abound as the Civic Ballet of San Luis Obispo brings the “Nutcracker” to stage. The ballet, directed by Drew Silvaggio, will be accompanied by the Opera San Luis Obispo Orchestra. Performances are Friday, Dec. 11, through Sunday, Dec. 13, at the Chistopher Cohan Performing Arts Center at 1 Grand Ave. in San Luis Obispo. Tickets are $18 to $55. 756-4849, www.pacslo.org.

▪ Under the direction of Cheryle Armstrong and Amy Wescom, “Nutcracker Ballet” magic continues in the North County. Presented by the North County Dance and Performing Arts Foundation, the production features Paso Robles Chamber Ballet dancers in leading roles. Backed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s musical score, the ballet takes place Saturday, Dec. 12, and Sunday, Dec. 13, at the Templeton Performing Arts Center at 1200 S. Main St. in Templeton. Tickets are $22 to $25. 610-7570, http://ncdpaf.org.

▪ “Ready! Set! RAD!” showcases some of the area’s best and brightest dancers in a dazzling display of all types of styles including hip hop, ballet, tap, modern and more. The show, fit for all ages, includes dancers of various ages and stunning light effects. Presented by Studio @, home of Ryan’s American Dance, show performances are Saturday, Dec. 12, and Sunday, Dec. 13, at the Performing Arts Center Spanos Theater at 1 Grand Ave. in San Luis Obispo. Tickets are $20 to $30. 756-4849, www.pacslo.org.

▪ Ballet Theatre San Luis Obispo’s holiday program offers a double helping of ballet fit for all ages. The company first whisks audiences into “The Magic Toy Shop” where a toymaker’s heart is transformed by his enchanted dolls and true love. Then, it’s onto a frozen pond on Christmas Eve with “The Skaters.” Performances are Dec. 19 and 20 at Ballet Theatre San Luis Obispo BlackBox Theatre at 3566 S. Higuera St., Suite 207, in San Luis Obispo. Tickets are $21 and $13 for children younger than 12. 440-1439, www.bt-slo.org.

Music

▪ Join friends Saturday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m. for an afternoon of festive music, desserts, wine and more to benefit the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. Ron Perry and Mary Schwalbe will provide vocals, dulcimer, keyboard and acoustic guitar in Songs for the Season at Fog’s End Barn at 2735 Main St. in Cambria. Tickets are $15. 927-2650, www.ffrpcambria.org.

▪ Grab some silver bells and get ready to Ring in the New with the Central Coast Children’s Choir this holiday season. Five levels of choirs with singers ranging from first- through 12th-graders will present traditional seasonal songs in a new way. The choir performs Saturday, Dec. 12, and Sunday, Dec. 13, at 3 p.m. Performances are at United Methodist Church at 1515 Fredericks St. in San Luis Obispo. Tickets $10 to $18. 464-0443, www.centralcoastchildrenschoir.org.

▪ Randy Schwalbe and Carlos Gama lead the Atascadero Community Band in a free holiday concert and singalong Sunday, Dec. 13, at 2:30 p.m. at the Lake Park Pavilion. The event features both traditional and some nontraditional tunes and includes refreshments. Donations of unwrapped toys are welcome and benefit the Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles. The Lake Park Pavilion is at 9315 Pismo Ave., Atasacadero. 239-4644, www.atascaderoband.org.

▪ The San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony fills Forbes Hall at the Clark Center for the Performing Arts with sounds of the season Sunday, Dec. 13, at 4 p.m. The symphony’s Winter Concert features students from the Concert Orchestra, Academy String Orchestra, Symphony Winds, Preparatory Strings and Morro Bay High School, performing holiday favorites and selections from Handel’s “Messiah.” The Clark Center for the Performing Arts is at 487 Fair Oaks Ave. in Arroyo Grande. Tickets are $15 and $5 for ages 14 and younger. 489-9444, http://clarkcenter.org.

▪ The Cuesta Master Chorale brings the audience back to the 16th century with Handel’s Messiah: A Sing-along Holiday Treat on Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. The program features the famous composition and holiday carols among other treats. Thomas Davies conducts. Tickets are $5. The performance takes place at the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center at 1 Grand Ave. in San Luis Obispo. 756-4849, www.pacslo.org.

▪ The Cambria Community Chorale presents “It was a Starry Night,” a concert filled with Christmas and holiday favorites. The concert, an annual tradition for the chorale, benefits the Cambria Youth Music Fund. The performance is Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. and is at Cambria Presbyterian Church at 2250 Yorkshire Drive. Tickets are $16. 927-2304.

▪ Warm up your vocal pipes and join the Forbes Pipe Organ Holiday Concert & Sing-Along at 3 p.m. Dec. 20. The annual concert, backed by Paul Woodring on the pipe organ, allows the audience to sing along to holiday carols. In addition, the concert features performances by the Vocal Arts Ensemble and Central Coast Children’s Choir. The performance is at the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center at 1 Grand Ave. in San Luis Obispo. Tickets are $12 to $18. 756-4849, www.pacslo.org.

▪ The days might be short, but nonetheless, a Season of Light is coming to the Cultural and Performing Arts Center at Cuesta College via the San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra. On Dec. 20, the orchestra presents a concert featuring “Russian Christmas Music” among its traditional and fanciful holiday offerings. The performance begins at 3 p.m. Cuesta College’s Cultural and Performing Arts Center is off Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo. Tickets are $10 to $20. 464-9434, www.slowinds.org.

▪ Holiday treats, hot drinks, Santa Claus, local music and dance groups galore, oh my! The Arroyo Grande Rotary Club brings its eighth annual Chritmas and Holiday Concert and Sing-Along to the Clark Center on Dec. 20 at 4 p.m. “Twelve Days of Christmas!” as the show is dubbed, includes elements of the song with an abundance of special performances. Judith Dunlove, the sow’s creator and musical director, emcees the show and leads the singalong. The Clark Center for the Performing Arts is at 487 Fair Oaks Ave. in Arroyo Grande. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for students children. Special discount pricing (available in advance only) of $30 allows admission of three to five family members. 489-9444, http://clarkcenter.org.

▪ Before the balls drops, New Year’s Eve POPs in San Luis Obispo County. Lawrence Loh conducts the San Luis Obispo Symphony on Dec. 31 in a concert featuring guest performers Orion Weiss and Café Musique. The concert offers a dazzling and diverse musical mix to close out 2015. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at 1 Grand Ave. in San Luis Obispo. Tickets are $20 to $80. 756-4849, www.pacslo.org.

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