Season of festive music, theatre upon us

David Adams continues Gateway Theatre’s holiday musical tradition by playing the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.  - David Cooper photo
David Adams continues Gateway Theatre’s holiday musical tradition by playing the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.
— image credit: David Cooper photo

Actors are tuning up with Tevye, singers are practising their postcards and opera voices are hurriedly honing their Handel.

The Christmas season is upon us, and a variety of local performances will roll out the red carpet for reindeer over the next three weeks. Here are a few shows that will be happening around town.

•Nov. 30 to Dec. 2: De Danaan Feis at the Richmond Olympic Oval. This Christmas event unites the community to celebrate Gaelic culture through song, dance, music and theatre. Performers include Irish band Beoga (Dec, 1). Tickets, $20 each or $35 for a weekend pass, at richmondoval.ca.

•Dec. 1 and 2: Richmond Singers, a 55-voice women’s choir under the direction of Natasha Neufeld, is presenting a holiday concert, “Christmas Postcards.” Audiences will be taken on a musical journey around the world on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 to $15, and available at the door (if available). Contact Lorna at lclare@telus.net or 604-278-0926 for ticket information.

•Dec. 1, 8, 15: Winter Wonderland at Richmond City Hall’s galleria features 28 decorated Christmas trees that come alive with music of the season. Dec. 1 features a lighting ceremony and singalong at noon. A series of Saturday matinee performances follow: on Dec. 1 Long & McQuade Richmond Lesson Centre perform at 1 p.m., Richmond Music School at 2:30 p.m.; on Dec. 8 Richmond Youth Concert Band at 1 p.m., B.C. Registered Music Teachers’ Association (Richmond Branch) at 2:30 p.m.; on Dec. 15 band and choir students from Hugh Boyd and seniors’ high tea at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Admission is free, donations of non-perishable food or cash for food bank are encouraged.

•Dec. 5: Opera Pro Cantanti is presenting a program of seasonal music by some of the great opera composers at Minoru Chapel. Expect to hear music from Handel’s Messiah, Puccini’s La Bohème and Massenet’s Werther, as well as an excerpt from Die Fledermaus by Strauss, Jr. The opera company is a volunteer-run organization that presents regular performances of major operas. Tickets to the 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. show, $18 to $20, at 604-276-4300. Information at richmond.ca/minoruchapel.

•Dec. 7: Richmond Academy of Dance is joining with the New Westminster Symphony Orchestra to present a holiday concert at Massey Theatre in New Westminster. The evening will feature excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet, festive holiday songs, specially choreographed works performed with a live orchestra, and special guest artists from Pacific Northwest Ballet: Laura Gilbreath and Josh Grant. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Admission is by donation at the door.

•Dec. 8, 15 and 16: Lansdowne Centre will host a variety of Christmas-themed concerts starting with the Richmond Orchestra and Chorus at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8. The Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra will next present a concert on Dec. 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The following day, Dec. 16, the Delta Youth Orchestra will perform from 2 to 4 p.m.

•Dec. 12 to 31: Gateway Theatre is making good on its 28-year tradition by presenting another musical in December. This year’s show is the Broadway classic Fiddler on the Roof, by Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick and Joseph Stein. Set in 1905 Russia, Tevye faces a choice between allowing his daughters to marry for love or following a matchmaking custom based on more practical factors. David Adams leads a cast of 30 directed by Christopher McGregor. Tickets, $30 to $48, at gatewaytheatre.com or 604-270-1812.

•Dec. 14 to Jan. 5: The 50-year-old Metro Theatre, just a short hop over the North Arm of the Fraser River in Vancouver, is keeping a Christmas tradition alive this season by presenting another pantomime. This year’s offering from Johnny Duncan is the classic Mother Goose starring Cathy Wilmot, Trent Glukler and Leah Ringwald. Vashti Fairbairn will be attending to the musical direction and Dawn Ewen—communications co-ordinator at Gateway Theatre—is handling all the choreography. Tickets, $15 to $25, at 604-266-7191.

•Dec. 15: East Richmond Community Hall is hosting Carnival Sensations Caribbean Society, which is presenting its second annual Caribbean Christmas event. Expect parang music, dancing, arts and crafts and games for kids, face-painting and food. The Friday event runs from 1 to 5 p.m.; admission is free.

•Dec. 16: Richmond Youth Honour Choir is back on stage with its annual holiday concert, “Holiday Harmonies.” Peace Mennonite Church will host the concert, which features holiday music of both secular and sacred traditions. This is a family friendly concert that promises to tickle holiday funny bones and even have the audience singing along. Tickets to the 7 p.m. concert are $5 to $10.

•Dec. 20: Steveston Folk Guild will host the Westwynds at Britannia Heritage Shipyard for a special Christmas show. Enjoy an evening of festive music, presented in the best tradition of yuletide carols, with a few lively gospel numbers to add to the holiday atmosphere. The WestWynd’s lineup features Nancy Hundal, Kirk Holland and Karen Holland. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show are $8 at the door.

•Dec. 23: Richmond pianist Boris Konovalov is presenting a piano recital at Tom Lee Music’s concert hall in Vancouver, featuring the romantic music of Russia. Konovalov, who trained at the Moscow Conservatory, will play music from Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. The Sunday concert is at 3 p.m. Tickets, $15 to $25, at the door.

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