Peoples Bank Theatre’s December calendar is busy

The historic Peoples Bank Theatre is getting ready to tie the ribbon on its first year of operation this holiday season. To celebrate, the Theatre’s December lineup includes performances by talented Marietta area youth, classic Christmas movies, renowned Celtic singer Cathie Ryan and friends, and Schrader Youth Ballet Company’s dazzling performance of The Nutcracker (Clara’s Dream).

On Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m., Peoples Bank Theatre kicks of the month with a Hometown Holiday Spectacular, featuring heartwarming music and dance performances by Marietta area youth ensembles including PACE, Stacey’s Dance Studio, the Marietta High School Marquettes, the Marietta Middle School Handbell Ensemble, Marietta Middle School Choir, High Schools that Rock, as well as the Marietta High School Wall of Sound Marching Band, Cantabile and Vocal Point. Tickets are $12-$20.

The following Sunday, Dec. 11 at 3 p.m., the audience will travel to the North Pole with a screening of animated feature “The Polar Express,” starring Tom Hanks. The young and young-at-heart are encouraged to come dressed in their Christmas pajamas and enjoy the show. Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves will be on hand before the show, 2-3 p.m., to hear Christmas wishes. True to the Polar Express experience, hot chocolate and cookies will be available, too.

On Dec. 15 at 7 p.m., Peoples Bank Theatre will screen the 1954 holiday classic, “White Christmas,” starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. Singers Bob Wallace (Crosby) and Phil Davis (Kaye) join sister act Betty (Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont. There, they run into Gen. Waverly, the boys’ commander in World War II, who, they learn, is having financial difficulties; his quaint country inn is failing. So the foursome plans a yuletide miracle: a fun-filled musical extravaganza that will put Waverly and his business back on track.

Tickets for each of the movies are $8 for adults and $5 for students and children.

The next night, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. acclaimed Irish singer Cathie Ryan and her award -winning band celebrate a traditional Irish American Christmas with The Winter’s Heart. The evening will feature Ryan’s heart-stirring vocals, virtuoso musicianship on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, harmony vocals, and percussion, championship Irish step dancing and more. From ethereal hymns to exuberant jigs and reels, The Winter’s Heart revels in the wealth of Irish Christmas traditions including leaving a candle in the window to light loved ones home, hunting for the wren on St Stephen’s Day, Nollaig na mBan (Women’s Christmas), and more.

The rituals of the Winter Solstice, for centuries considered a sacred time in Ireland, will also be honored in this beautiful program. The Winter’s Heart: An Irish American Christmas is a holiday event that will kindle the warmth and joy of the season. Tickets are $20-$30.

The holiday season concludes at Peoples Bank Theatre with the Schrader Youth Ballet Company performance of The Nutcracker (Clara’s Dream) on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 3 p.m. This perennial holiday classic is choreographed by Duncan Noble and restaged by SYBC Artistic Director Velma Schrader. This condensed version of the ballet takes place in the dreams of young Clara, in which she receives dolls who take life as the dancers. Set to the classical music of Tchaikovsky, Clara’s Christmas Eve dream begins with a visit from the angels and the Sugar Plum Fairy, and continues with the magical surprises from Herr Drosselmeyer. The ballet was set after the original Ivanov choreography specifically for the youth dancers of SYBC by the late Duncan Noble, world-renowned dancer, teacher, choreographer, and former Dean of Dance at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors.

Full event details and ticket information for these events and more are available online at peoplesbanktheatre.com or by calling the box office at 740-371-5152. Walk-up hours at the box office are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and two hours prior to most performances.

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