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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Christmas Curtain Call: The Nutcracker & A Christmas Carol Performances in the Carolinas

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There are many ways to get in the holiday spirit—some listen to Christmas music, some get to decorating the house, some bake mountains of cookies and for some, Christmas is not complete without tickets to a classic Christmas show. Two shows consistently rise to the top of everyone’s list: The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol.
The iconic Nutcracker ballet has, for many, become an integral part of their holiday traditions, and with good reason. Based on the story "The Nutcracker and the King of Mice," written by E.T.A. Hoffman, the ballet features Clara, a young girl whose wild Christmas dreams come alive on the stage. The two acts with score by Tchaikovsky are full of Christmas imagery—a beautiful tree, nutcrackers, sugarplums, and all.
No matter where you live in the Carolinas, chances are there’s a Nutcracker performance nearby. Here are a few:
Piedmont Dance Theatre: Opening for the 13th year, the show runs for two weekends in December.
Charlotte Ballet: This must-see production features choreography by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, live music from the Charlotte Symphony, and more than 100 dancers.
Moscow Ballet: The Moscow Ballet’s company performs in more than 75 North American cities annually with rave reviews. Catch it December 8th in Asheville or December 24th at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Columbia City Ballet: With seven Nutcracker performances, the Koger Center in South Carolina helps to accommodate everyone’s holiday schedule.
Peace Concert Hall: The Greenville Symphony Orchestra brings the score to life in this performance, the perfect accompaniment to the talented dancers.
If ballet isn’t your thing but you like the idea of a holiday theater tradition, A Christmas Carol is just as iconic and full of Christmas spirit—minus the tutus and toe shoes. Based on the classic novel by Charles Dickens, the play features Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly man who thinks Christmas is all “humbug.” He is visited by three spirits who take him on a journey through his past, present, and future in the hopes of transforming his outlook. 
Many theater companies have made A Christmas Carol part of their annual repertoire, including:
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts: This show has been performed annually since 1974, toured in France and England, and named one of the "Top 20 Events in the Southeast."
Theatre Charlotte: Opening for its seventh consecutive year, this performance is always top-notch.
Charleston Stage at the Dock: An all-new production, this show features a cast of 29 and lots of fun special effects.

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