Once the Thanksgiving season kicks off here in Boston, we all know it’s that time of year to get into the holiday spirit. There are many ways to do just that this weekend. Here’s a look at some of the hautest events not to miss.
Photo Credit: Jose Mateo Ballet
The José Mateo Ballet Theatre celebrates the 30th anniversary of its Nutcracker production at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre and Strand Theatre. The holiday performance returns to The Cutler Majestic Theater tonight through December 6 and for the fifth consecutive season returns to The Strand Theatre in Dorchester from December 11-20 with a new extended run. This year, the annual production of this timeless classic features new sets and costumes by scenic designer Laura C. McPherson. The production tells the story of bringing Clara’s dream world to life with festive sets, sumptuous costumes, and spectacular dancing.
Photo Credit: Boston Ballet
Also being held tonight is the opening of Boston Ballet’s beloved Nutcracker performance being held now through New Year’s Eve at the Opera House. The story tells the tale of Christmas Eve in Germany during the 1820s through artistic director Mikko Nissinen’s production. It follows the journey of Clara, who is given a beautiful nutcracker as a Christmas gift on Christmas Eve. The magical production includes Clara’s meeting toy soldiers, princesses and the Sugar Plum Fairy when she falls asleep under the family Christmas tree with her new nutcracker doll. When she awakens, the tree has grown to more than 40 feet high and she encounters fairytale characters, including fighting life-sized mice. The dance sequences includes Chocolate, Tea, Coffee, Mirlitons, The Waltz of the Flowers and the captivating Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, set to the music of Tchaikovsky.
Photo Credit: Handel + Haydn Society
Also opening tonight is Handel + Haydn Society’s Messiah at Symphony Hall running tonight through Sunday. This year’s performance celebrates its Bicentennial this year, as Artistic Director Harry Christophers leads the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus along with British and American soloists, including soprano Sophie Bevan, tenor James Gilchrist, baritone Christopher Purves and Boston’s own Emily Marvosh. Following the performance at Symphony Hall, the holiday celebration features a family friendly fun for all ages Holiday Sing at the Great Hall in Faneuil Hall on December 12 (performances at 1 and 3 p.m.). On December 17 at 7:30 p.m. and December 20 at 3 p.m., Handel + Haydn will present Bach Christmas at Jordan Hall featuring three of Bach’s greatest cantatas, including Cantata 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Sleepers Awake).