In a joke we hope never gets old ... “Holiday Pops” is more than just a nickname for that fellow in the red suit, but also the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s annual tradition, featuring classical and popular holiday favorites.
Ronald J. Jenkins leads the CSO and Chorus, as well as a bevy of special guests including the aforementioned fellow. Programs are Friday through Sunday, Nov. 30-Dec. 2. Tickets are $25-$65. Visit columbussymphony.com.
Nobody, as far as we know, calls siren Marva Hicks “Marvelous” Marva Hicks.
Whether they should or not is open to debate. That Hicks is actually marvelous isn’t. She wowed Columbus Jazz Orchestra audiences in the “A Night at the Apollo” concerts, and returns for the
CJO’s annual “Home for the Holidays” shows Nov. 29-Dec. 2 at the Southern Theatre.
Nobody says that the CJO strives to make these gigs not just any old holiday concert. Oh wait. Actually, music director Byron Stripling does, and The Beat figures he would know.
Tickets are $30-$52. Visit jazzartsgroup.org.
Gospel legend Bill Gaither has reunited with longtime Gaither Vocal Band singers in time for a Gaither Homecoming Christmas Tour.
Gaither and his special guests always offer up a down-home, old-time Gospel celebration, and the Friday, Nov. 30, show at the Schottenstein should be no exception.
Tickets are $$20.50-$72.50. Visit schottensteincenter.com.
The King Arts Complex brings back the popular “Holiday Jazz Celebration,” featuring local singers Mary McClendon, Jeanette Williams and Dolly King, Saturday, Dec. 1, in Nicholson Auditorium.
Tickets are $25/$30. Visit king-artscomplex.com.
He’s no Marley apparition, but Broad-way vocalist Franc D’Ambrosio is the world’s longest-running lead in The Phantom of the Opera.
D’Ambrosio brings his holiday show, “Christmas in New York,” to New Albany’s McCoy Center for the Arts Sunday, Dec. 2.
Tickets are $25-$45. Visit mccoycenter.org.
Wynonna Judd’s striking red mane is ready-made for the holidays, and her country-rock attitude is perfect for a party, so we figure “Wynonna’s Rockin’ Christmas” to be one big holiday party.
Musician, author, reality TV star – Wynonna’s outsized persona should make for massive holiday fun on holiday classics like White Christmas and Winter Wonderland.
The tour stops at Newark’s Midland Theatre Thursday, Dec. 6. Tickets are $54.50-$78.50. Visit midlandtheatre.org.
As long as you don’t mind a few Hanukkah songs mixed in with Christmas favorites old and new, you’re good to go with sax-man Dave Koz and his annual Smooth Jazz Christmas show Friday, Dec. 7, at the Palace Theatre.
Koz, who once referr-ed to himself as “a nice Jewish boy” in an interview with The Beat, always brings out the best in the business to help him out, and this year is no different. Koz will be joined by pianist David Benoit, inaugural winner of TV’s The Voice Javier Colon and percussionist/singer extraordinaire Sheila E.
Tickets are $28-$65.50. Visit capa.com.
The Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus’ annual “Joy!” concerts will be held Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8, at King Avenue United Methodist Church; and Saturday, Dec. 9 at Lord of Life Lutheran Church. Visit cgmc.com.
Few things stir the soul during the holiday season like lifting your voice in a good, solid “Haaa-lelujah.”
And, courtesy ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, you can join singers from around central Ohio in an audience participation version of Handel’s classic Messiah Friday, Dec. 14, at the Southern Theatre. Tickets for “Sing-Along Messiah” are $20.
ProMusica’s two-pronged approach to holiday programming includes “Merry Mozart” Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Pontifical College Josephinum. Tickets are $35. Visit promusicacolumbus.org.
Don’t think we have ever been disappointed in a holiday show from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Rockers in tuxes shredding more than just gift receipts and wrapping paper, and a chamber orchestra headbanging always makes for a fantastic addition to the season.
TSO hits Nationwide Arena for two shows Sunday, Dec. 30. Tickets are $30-$69.50. Visit nationwidearena.com.
Westerville Symphony, Sunday, Dec. 2, Riley Auditorium in Battelle Fine Arts Center, Otterbein University, westervillesymphony.org; Columbus Maennerchor and Damenchor, Sunday, Dec. 2, St. Mary’s Church; Clintonville Community Band and Community Choir Holiday Concert, Sunday, Dec. 2, Whetstone High School, clintonvillecommunitychoir.org; Capriccio Vocal Ensemble’s “A Capriccio Christmas” featuring Rutter’s Gloria, Sunday, Dec. 2, Broad Street Presbyterian Church; Alliance Chorus, two shows Saturday, Dec. 8, Fawcett Center, alliancechorus.org; Central Ohio Symphony, two concerts Sunday, Dec. 9, Ohio Wesleyan University’s Gray Chapel, centralohiosymphony.org.
Dance & theater
If you missed The Beat’s interview with Westerville native Darien Crago, who is back home as a member of the touring cast of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, check it out on the BEAT page.
You can still check out the show, as it continues at the Ohio Theatre through Sunday, Nov. 25. Tickets are $30-$80. Visit columbus.broadway. com.
Relationships, dating and the Salvation Army. All these team up for a comic tour de force in Ginna Hoben’s one-woman show The Twelve Dates of Christmas, hosted by CATCO Nov. 23-Dec. 23 in the Vern Riffe Center’s Studio Three Theatre.
Tickets are $35. Visit catcoistheatre.org.
Two holiday traditions: Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and the touring production courtesy the Nebraska Theater Caravan at the Palace Theatre on Thanksgiving weekend.
See the classic adaptation in one of five shows Friday through Sunday, Nov. 23-25. Tickets are $22-$32. Visit capa.com.
Columbus Children’s Theatre revives the comic The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Nov. 29-Dec. 23 at is Park Street theater.
Tickets are $13-$21. Visit colschildrenstheatre.org.
The Cake Boss Buddy Valastro has put together a food-and-holiday-themed show and taken it on the road. Because, really, isn’t that everyone’s favorite part of the holidays?
The tour stops at the Palace Theatre Tuesday, Dec. 4. Tickets are $35.75-$45.75. Visit capa.com.
You’d have to be nuts to miss out on the tradition that is BalletMet Columbus’ production of The Nutcracker, Dec. 7-23 at the Ohio Theatre.
What could be more “holidays?”
Tickets are $20-$78. Visit ballet-met.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. 23-25, Midland Theatre, midlandtheatre.org; Columbus Youth Ballet, Dec. 1-2, Thurber Theatre in OSU’s Drake Union, 614-433-0146; New Albany Children’s Ballet Theatre, Dec. 7-9, McCoy Center for the Arts, mccoycenter.org.
Sister’s Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold is a holiday program from the creator of Late Nite Catechism. The show is a comic telling of the Nativity as only the Sister can.
Tickets are $35 for the Friday, Dec. 14, production at the Capitol Theatre. Visit capa.com.
And don’t forget to celebrate a demented holiday with Shadowbox Live’s “Holiday Hoopla” now through Dec. 29. The show boasts a ton of new materials as well as some returning Shadowbox fun.
Shadowbox also presents the musical Scrooge on select Saturdays and Sundays in December. Visit shadowboxlive.org.