HOLIDAY HAPPINESS ABOUNDS IN AREA THEATERS – Bonnie Goldberg

“Tis the season to celebrate the holidays and area theatres are busy with jolly, entertaining and heartwarming productions.

Start off visiting that energetic and enthusiastic elf Buddy who is in residence at Waterbury’s Seven Angels Theatre until Sunday, December 22. Jimmy Donohue plays the boy who crawls into Santa’s bag and ends up at the North Pole believing he is one of Santa’s helpers. Growing big and afraid he is a failure as a toy maker leads him to discover he is human. Buddy sets off for New York City to find his father. This musical adventure “Elf” is a great family affair presented by Stage II Community Players. For tickets (kids $15, adults $28, 4 pack $99), call Seven Angels, 1 Plank Road, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online at SevenAngelsTheatre.org.

Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Watch for Rob Bartlett Holiday Extravaganza on Saturday, December 28 and Stand Up Count Down New Year’s Eve Comedy Night on December 31 at 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.


To enter the world of an actor who no longer enjoys playing Scrooge in Charles Evered’s comedy “An Actor’s Carol,” come meet Michael Iannucci as Hugh Pendleton at Ivoryton Playhouse until Sunday, December 22. Just like with the original Dickens’ tale, this actor meets a trio of ghosts on Christmas Eve and learns some valuable lessons on kindness. For tickets ($35, senior $32, students $20, child $15), call Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-757-7318 or online at www,ivorytonplayhouse.org. Performances are Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. Come early to enjoy the 500,000 Christmas lights that illuminate the village in sparkling splendor.


For the 22nd year, the Hartford Stage is presenting “A Christmas Carol-A Ghost Story of Christmas” until Saturday, December 28. The cantankerous and mean spirited Scrooge makes a mighty redemption after he is visited by his old business partner Jacob Marley (Noble Shropshire) and three ghosts. Michael Preston is the Bah Humbug disbeliever in Christmas. Just in time for the holiday feast, he learns to mend his ways and open his heart to goodness. For tickets ($25-99), call the Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford at 860-527-5151 or online at hartfordstage.org. Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. as well as Monday, December 22 at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, December 23 at 2 p.m., Thursday, and December 26 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.


For a twist of lemon with the holidays and an olive, adults should plan to visit Hartford TheaterWorks for a hearty cocktail of “Christmas on the Rocks” until Monday, December 23. With Ted Lange from “The Love Boat” as your genial bartender, a parade of your favorite childhood characters like Clara from “The Nutcracker” and Tiny Tim from “A Christmas Carol” wander into a bar on Christmas Eve for a shot of courage and a place to shed their inhibitions. Jenn Harris and Randy Harrison play a plethora of holiday favorites. For tickets ($15 and up), call HTW, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford at 860-526-7838 or online at www.theaterworkshartford.org. Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and Monday, December 23 at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.


The Terris Theatre in Chester is primed and ready to showcase our state in “A Connecticut Christmas Carol” until Saturday, December 28. Come see Mark Twain, P. T. Barnum and Benedict Arnold, all brought to life by Michael Thomas Holmes, as they spin Dickens’ tale in a totally new geographic direction with Robert Cuccioli as William Gillette who needs a reawakening before Christmas. For tickets ($25-55), call Goodspeed Musicals at 860-873-8668 or online at goodspeed.com. The Terris is located at 33 North Main Street, Chester. Performances are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and Monday, December 28 at 2 p.m. Please bring a warm coat for their clothing drive.


From Friday, December 20 to Sunday, December 22, the Goodspeed in East Haddam will entertain a Nat King Cole Christmas with Evan Tyrone Martin telling Cole’s personal journey with holiday musical favorites along the way. Tickets are $40-60.


For a change of pace, without any mention of Scrooge, plan to attend an evening with the song stylings of Simon and Garfunkel courtesy of Swearingen and Kelli who are famous for bringing the “music, memories and magic” of this iconic duo to spirited life. On Saturday, December 21 at 8 p.m. the Katherine Hepburn Center for the Cultural Arts will transform itself into 1960’s Greenwich Village. For tickets ($35), call the Kate, 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook at 860-510-0473. “The Sound of Silence” NOT!

Let the holidays ring with joy as area theaters show all their festive finery for your enjoyment.

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