@Body.8 Days Head: CONCERTS
Musikfest Café, ArtsQuest Center, SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. 610-297-7100
Swearingen and Keli, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15
Start Making Sense, 9 p.m. Dec. 31: Talking Heads tribute; Great White Caps; HmfO: Hall and Oates tribute
Leon Russell, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 3
Stanley Clarke, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10
The Aardvarks, 8 p.m. Jan. 18
The Front Bottoms, 8 p.m. Jan. 31
Angélique Kidjo, 8 p.m. Feb. 19
Blood, Sweat & Tears, 7:30 p.m. March 5
The Irish Comedy Tour, 7:30 p.m. March 7
If you don't feel the Christmas spirit after seeing "A Christmas Carol," through Dec. 21 at Civic Theatre of Allentown, you might get a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking.
This terrifically well-done production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" is directed and choreographed by William Sanders. The play was adapted by Sanders and Sharon Lee Glassman for the Civic production. It couldn't be better.
Visitors to the Christmas City, as well as theater-goers from the Lehigh Valley and beyond, should include Touchstone Theatre's "Christmas City Follies IV" on their itinerary. The show, continuing through Dec. 22, is bright and will make your season merry.
When the big quilted curtain goes up on the stage of the south side Bethlehem theater, audiences are in for an evening of sketch comedy better than, for example, much of this season's "Saturday Night Live" in originality, writing and acting.
The rule of law prevails in "The Trail Of Ebenezer Scrooge," through Dec. 15, Main Stage, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, Center Valley.
DeSales' Act 1 Performing Arts mounts an impressive, satisfying and entertaining production of the clever play by Mark Brown ("Around the World in 80 Days").The show was reviewed opening night, Dec. 4.
About the only thing traditional about the Crowded Kitchen Players' (CKP) "A Christmas Carol," was the snow falling during the matinee, Dec. 8, outside McCoole's Arts and Events Place, Quakertown, where the show continues through Dec. 22.
The "Bah, Humbugs!" are intact, but there's little that's hum-drum about CKP's "Carol."
This is, after all, the CKP's version of "A Christmas Carol": quips, chains and pratfalls all.
If you're looking for a holiday season stage show alternative, travel to "Almost, Maine," at Pennsylvania Playhouse, Bethlehem, through Dec. 21.
Clair M. Freeman, Pennsylvania Playhouse production chair, has gotten outstanding performances from the six-person ensemble in the two-hour, two-act drama-comedy written by John Cariani.
The play, which premiered in 2004 at Portland Stage Company, Portland, Me., opened for a one-month run in 2006 off-Broadway in New York City.
"A Childs Christmas in Wales," 3 p.m. Dec. 15, staged reading, Selkie Theatre, Anam Cara Farm, 2317 Minnich Road, South Whitehall Township. selkietheatre.org, 484-241-9591
"A Christmas Carol," 7 p.m. Dec. 12, 13, 14, 19, 20; 2 p.m. Dec. 14, 15, Civic Theatre of Allentown, 527 N. 19th St., Allentown. CivicTheatre.com, 610-432-8943
"A Christmas Carol," 8 p.m. Dec. 13, 14, 15, 20, 21; 2 p.m. Dec. 15, 22, Crowded Kitchen Players, McCoole's Arts & Events Place, 10 S. Main St., Quakertown. email email@example.com, ckplayers.com, 610-395-7176
This holiday season, the Lehigh Valley again has not one, but three "Nutcracker" ballets: one for each of its three cities.
The Moscow Ballet is at the State Theatre, Easton.
The Pennsylvania Youth Ballet-Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley is at Zoellner Arts Center, Bethlehem.
Repertory Dance Theatre is at Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.
Each version has its own merits, with guest soloists in starring roles and from 40 to 100 area participants, from elementary-age students to senior citizens in supporting roles.
Repertory Dance Theatre (RDT) graces the stage of Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown, for its 27th annual presentation of "Nutcracker," 2 p.m. Dec. 14, 15, with the return of Carolina Ballet Theatre's dance alum Matthew Harvey as the Cavalier and partner Madeline Jazz, also of the Carolina Ballet Theatre, portraying the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Also appearing is former American Ballet Theatre and North Carolina Dance Theatre's Sarah James, an alumna of RDT, now dancing for ABT star Craig Salstein's new company Intermezzo.
"The Great Russian Nutcracker," 2, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14, State Theater Center for the Arts, 453 Northampton St., Easton, is the Moscow Ballet's version of "Nutcracker and the King of Mice," the original tale by E.T.A. Hoffman, with elements of legendary Russian folk characters Father Christmas and the Snow Maiden.
"It's a very energetic and fun and beautiful show for all ages," says Sally Michael Keyes, public relations director, North America, for the Moscow Ballet.