If you’re all set to have a holly jolly Christmas, this one’s for you. And come to think of it, if you’re nowhere near ready to start rockin’ around the Christmas tree, it’s still for you.
Because, either way, December is beckoning, and it’s time to round up those must-see holiday shows in New Westminster. Whether your taste runs to classical music or comedy, there’s bound to be something in this list to help put the sparkle in your season.
ONCE UPON A FAIRYTALE
The Vagabond Players are offering up some fairytale fun for the holiday season, running from Friday, Nov. 29 to Sunday, Dec. 15 at the Bernie Legge Theatre. Four young heroes set out to find love, belonging, self-worth and adventure in this musical comedy for the whole family. Shows run Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m., plus a special Saturday matinee on Dec. 7. Info and tickets: www.vagabondplayers.ca or 604-521-0412.
It would take a cold soul indeed to resist the magic of Winter Harp, as the ensemble brings its harps, flutes and rare medieval instruments to the Massey Theatre stage with the Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir on Sunday, Dec. 1 for a 2:30 p.m. concert. See www.masseytheatre.com or buy tickets through www.ticketstonight.ca. Then, Winter Harp returns to the city for its own Christmas concert on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at Holy Trinity Cathedral. See www.winterharp.com.
NWSS WINTER BAND CONCERT
The New Westminster Secondary School music department is offering up a night of music featuring its concert bands, jazz bands, string ensemble and special guest, the Royal City Concert Band, on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10, or free for children 12 and under. Buy online at www.ticketsnw.ca. For children’s tickets, call 604-521-5050 to reserve a seat.
DANCE INTO CHRISTMAS
Join the New Westminster Symphony Orchestra and the Richmond Academy of Dance for their 20th annual Christmas collaboration. They’re taking to the Massey Theatre stage on Friday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in a program that will include Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Festival and a whole lot more. Mezzo-soprano Ingrid Mapson and host Russell Roberts join maestro Jin Zhang for the occasion. Tickets are $20, available through www.ticketsnw.ca or 604-521-5050.
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Tiny Tots concert series returns to the Anvil Centre Theatre (777 Columbia St.) on Saturday, Dec. 7, with shows at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The concert features Let Your Music Shine! with Lisa and Linda, a duo who will lead toddlers and preschoolers in 45 minutes of sing-along, move-along fun featuring holiday classics and a brass trio. Tickets are $15 for adults, $7 for children 12 and under, or $2 for babies. Buy through www.ticketsnw.ca or call 604-521-5050.
CAROLS AND BELLS
You can join in for the 22nd annual Carols and Bells concert at Queens Avenue United Church on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. Sing along with familiar carols and listen to handbell choirs of varying ages present traditional English handbell music. Tickets are $20 regular, $15 for students and seniors, or $10 for children (kindergarten to Grade 7). Info: www.queensavenue.org/musicqueens.
CHRISTMAS WITH SINATRA
Fans of Ol’ Blue Eyes will enjoy this night out at the Massey Theatre on Friday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. The show stars Dane Warren, backed by the 20-piece Bruce James Orchestra, in an elegant evening of music featuring classic Frank Sinatra hits and holiday storytelling. Tickets range from $67.25 to $118 and are available through www.ticketstonight.ca.
Fans of choral music have a trio of delectable offerings for the holiday season, starting with New West’s own Amabilis Singers presenting Night of Wonder. The concert will be on Friday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. at New Westminster Christian Reformed Church, 8255 13th Ave., Burnaby. Tickets are $25 for adults and seniors, $15 for high school students and free for children 12 and under. Tickets are available online through www.eventbrite.ca or by calling 604-897-7258. See www.amabilissingers.org for information.
Then, on Tuesday, Dec. 17, you can catch acclaimed vocal ensemble musica intima presenting their Sing Lullaby concert at Knox Presbyterian Church, 403 East Columbia St. It’s at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 adults, $30 seniors and $15 for students. Info and tickets: www.musicaintima.org.
On Saturday, Dec. 21, the Vancouver Cantata Singers return to New Westminster for Christmas Reprise XVII, 7:30 p.m. at Queens Avenue United Church. Tickets are $35 adults, $15 for students (with ID) and $10 for youth under 18, available through reprisenewwest.eventbrite.com. Info: www.vancouvercantatasingers.com.
O CHRISTMAS TEA: A BRITISH COMEDY
Fans of Monty Python, Mr. Bean and Dr. Seuss, get ready for another fun evening featuring comedians James & Jamesy, who return to the Massey Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. “When catastrophe strikes at James and Jamesy’s Christmas tea party, flooding the world with tea, the friends leap into action, finding innovative and hilarious solutions to keep them afloat,” says a write-up about the show. Tickets range from $19 to $44 and are available through www.ticketstonight.ca.
SIPS N’ SCRIPTS
City Stage New West returns to the Anvil Centre with its Sips n’ Scripts holiday edition: A Christmas Carol. You can join in the fun for an audience-participation reading of Charles Dickens’ classic story, featuring veteran actor-musician Dave Clothier as Scrooge. It’s on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. in the first-floor lobby at the Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St. It’s free, but register online at www.anvilcentre.com. For info, see www.citystagenewwest.org.
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
Patrick Street Productions returns to the Anvil Centre stage with its musical adaptation of the classic screenplay by Frank Capra, onstage from Thursday, Dec. 19 to Sunday, Jan. 5. Starring Nick Fontaine, Erin Palm, Jim Hibbard and Greg Armstrong-Morris, the play will tell the familiar story of George Bailey against a backdrop of classic songs from the era. Tickets start at $29, available through www.ticketstonight.ca. Info: www.patrickstreetproductions.com.
A WONDERHEADS CHRISTMAS CAROL
Renowned theatrical imagineers the WONDERHEADS reinvent the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge with giant masks, whimsical puppets and more in a night described as “Pixar meets Jim Henson.” It’s on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Massey Theatre, and the show is recommended for ages five and up. Tickets range from $24 to $46 and are available through www.ticketstonight.ca.
It’s not officially Christmas in New Westminster until the Royal City Youth Ballet has returned from its annual holiday tour to present The Nutcracker at Massey Theatre. This year, you can catch the local extravaganza on Sunday, Dec. 22, with shows at 1 and 4 p.m. Tickets range from $34 to $49, available through www.ticketsnw.ca or 604-521-5050. For all the details, see www.royalcityyouthballet.org.
This one’s after Christmas Day, but it still falls within the 12 days of Christmas, so we’ll count it. Enjoy Snow White, a traditional British panto by Ellie King, featuring all the music, magic and hilarity you’ve come to expect in an all-ages treat from Royal Canadian Theatre Company. It’s on Friday, Jan. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 4 at 3:30 p.m., with Friday’s performance designated as a “relaxed” performance to accommodate those who benefit from a more relaxed sensory experience and casual environment. Buy tickets through www.ticketsnw.ca or check out more info at www.rctheatreco.com.