The Beat offers a list of the area's holiday shows.

With Thanksgiving here The Beat's thoughts turn to rhyme
It just seems to happen each year 'round this time
And so, once again, for this special edition
We've co-opted Seuss without asking permission


Sprinkled in some Clark Moore, just a bit, for good measure
And now that we're done The Beat offers this treasure
It's a list of the area's holiday shows
And it opens with verse before turning to prose


We've collected them all as we've done oft' before
For The Beat is the place to find out what's in store
On the stages of central Ohio this season
So that you, our dear reader, when you need a reason


To escape from the fuss, when you're this close to dropping
When the traffic and shopping show no signs of stopping
You can order some tickets and take in a show
We promise that your heart three sizes will grow


Now it's time to get out there; go see it, go hear it
We expect it can lift e'en the Grinch-iest spirit
Oh the music and dance, all the holiday sights!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Music

Country music legend Kenny Rogers brings his "Christmas & Hits" tour to Veterans Memorial Auditorium Friday, Nov. 25. Singer Billy Dean and special guest local choirs complete the package.
Tickets are $50-$30. Visit www.fcvm.com.


When jazz siren Helen Welch joins the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, it's always a great hit. We know this because music director Byron Stripling told us, "When we have Helen Welch in, it's always a great hit."

Welch comes to town for the CJO's annual "Home for the Holidays" shows, Nov. 30-Dec. 4 at the Southern Theatre. Tickets are $49-$41. Visit www.jazzartsgroup.org.


Smooth-pop pianist Jim Brickman has contributed to the modern canon of holiday favorites - The Gift, Hope Is Born Again, Peace.

Brickman and friends will present a holiday show of these favorites and standards Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the McCoy center for the Arts in New Albany. Tickets are $55/$45. Visit www.mccoycenter.org.


Ah, it's one of our favorite holiday traditions.

That is, getting to use the joke that Holiday Pops is not just another term for a certain bearded guy in a red suit, but is the Columbus Symphony Orchestra's annual holiday program, featuring the orchestra and CSO Chorus as well as a host of helpers.

The concerts will be held Dec. 2-4 at the Ohio Theatre. Tickets are $68-$23. Visit www.columbussymphony.com.


The King Arts Complex brings back last year's popular "Holiday Jazz Celebration," featuring Mary McClendon, Jeanette Williams and Dolly King, Saturday, Dec. 3, in Nicholson Auditorium.
Tickets are $20/$17. Visit www. kingartscomplex.org.


The "friends" in this year's Dave Koz & Friends Christmas tour are singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler and trumpeter Rick Braun and Candy Dulfer, like Koz a saxophonist.

The tour stops at the Palace Theatre Saturday, Dec. 3. Tickets are$62.50-$27.50. Visit www.capa. com.


Seriously? Judy Collins? The classically trained pianist and all-time singer/song interpreter? Is coming to town for an evening of songs devoted to seasonal favorites amidst her classic hits?

Yep. Monday, Dec. 5, at the Lincoln Theatre. Tickets are $40. Visit www.capa.com.


First-generation contemporary Christian singer Sandi Patty was fortunate to find a patron in gospel legend Bill Gaither (see below) but it was her sterling silver voice that sealed the deal with audiences.

Patty brings her "Yuletide Celebration" tour to Newark's Midland Theatre Thursday, Dec. 8. Tickets are $58.50-$28.50. Visit www.midlandtheatre.org.


A cool and too-often-overlooked holiday season tradition is the "sing-along" Messiah.

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra does it up right, inviting the community to sing along to great Handel choruses like For Unto Us a Child is Born and joined on stage by orchestra students from its partner high schools.

Bring your own score or purchase one at the door. The concert is Friday, Dec. 9, at the Southern Theatre. Tickets are $20.
Visit www.promusicacolumbus.org.


Celtic music fixtures Cherish the Ladies present A Celtic Christmas Friday, Dec. 9, at the Capitol Theatre.

For a primer, check out the group's 2009 CD titled A Star in the East. Tickets are $30/$25. Visit www.capa.com.


Former European singing star Tajci (Tatiana Cameron) lay low in the U.S. for a few years after immigrating but her muse called again, leading her back to making orchestrated piano pop.

Her "Emmanuel - The Story of Christmas" show will come to St. Francis De Sales Church in Newark Saturday, Dec. 10. The concert is free. Visit www.stfrancisparish.net.


Gospel legend Bill Gaither brings his friends along - Gaither Vocal Band, The Isaacs, Charlotte Ritchie and more - for a Gaither Christmas Homecoming.

Gaither always offers up a down-home, old-time Gospel celebration, and the Friday, Dec. 16, show at the Schottenstein Center should be no exception. Tickets are $29.50. Visit www.schottensteincenter.com.


On Dec. 25 is the shredding of wrapping paper. On Jan. 1 is the shredding of credit card statements.

But the shredding season officially starts the previous Sunday, Dec. 18, when Trans-Siberian Orchestra presents Christmas Eve and Other Stories in two shows at Nationwide Arena.

Tickets are $59.50-$30. Visit www.livenation.com.


More:

Ohio State University School of Music Celebration Concert, Friday, Dec. 8, Mershon Auditorium, $15/$8, (614) 292-2295; Columbus Gay Men's Chorus "Joy! Home is Where the Hearth Is," Dec. 9-10, King Avenue United Methodist Church and Dec. 11, Lord of Life Lutheran Church, www.cgmc.com; Singing Buckeyes Christmas Show, Saturday, Dec. 10, Pickerington Central High School, $10, www.singingbuckeyes.org; Columbus Children's Choir holiday concert, Sunday, Dec. 11, Mees Hall at Capital University, $10/$8, www.columbuschildrenschoir.org.


Dance & Theatre

Don't miss the hoopla regarding Shadowbox Live's annual holiday-season fare! Check out our feature from last week.


Columbus Children's Theatre celebrates the season with the regional premiere of Junie B. in Jingle Bells Batman Smells Nov. 25-Dec. 21 at CCT's 512 Park St. theater. Visit www.colschildrenstheatre.org.


Columbus native Jeff Horst returns home only to be haunted by ghosts as he plays Ebenezer Scrooge in the annual touring production of A Christmas Carol, which plays the Ohio Theatre for five shows Nov. 26-28.

Tickets are $32-$22. Visit www.capa.com.


Jonathan Putnam reprises his popular role as the less-than-jolly department store elf in CATCO's The Santaland Diaries Dec. 1-23 at the Riffe Center Studio Three Theatre.

Tickets are $35. Visit www. catco.org.


Like a Christmas tree freshly cut from the farm, so is BalletMet Columbus' annual holiday-season production of The Nutcracker.

Sure, from year to year you end up with the same general characteristics, but each proves to have its own singular personality.

The production runs Dec. 9-23 at the Ohio Theatre. Tickets are $75-$20. Visit www.balletmet.org.


If that's not enough to keep the Sugar Plum Fairy from dancing in your head, check out these other Nutcrackers:

Central Ohio Youth Ballet, Nov. 25-27, Midland Theatre, $20-$10, www.midlandtheatre.org; Columbus Youth Ballet, Dec. 4-5, Thurber Theatre at Ohio State University's Drake Hall, (614) 433-7090; New Albany Children's Ballet, Dec. 9-11, McCoy Center, $25-$25, www.mccoycenter.org.


Nia Performing Arts Theatre Company presents Black Nativity 2011 Dec. 16-18 at the King Arts Complex. The gospel musical production is a portrayal of the birth of Jesus set in an African village and modern-day church.

Tickets are $15/$10. Call (614) 848-3550.