Holiday concerts and shows.

With Thanksgiving here The Beat's thoughts turn to rhyme

It just seems to happen each year 'round this time

Then we make out a list and go over it twice

And then share it with you, so now take our advice

Get on out there and take in a holiday show

We promise that your heart three sizes will grow


Two sweet treats for the holidays this year, courtesy the Columbus Jazz Orchestra.

First, singer Carmen Bradford returns to help Byron Stripling and crew celebrate "Home for the Holidays" Dec. 1-5 at the Southern Theatre.

Then, singer Nia Allen, the daughter of Milton and Merlyn Ruffin, joins the CJO for "The Gospel According to Swing" Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Lincoln Theatre. Allen will also be featured in a holiday season sing-along the afternoon of the 18th, with help from her dad and some surprise guests.

For ticket information, call (614) 294-5200.

Crunk-rockers Family Force 5 headline the Alternative Press Christmas Pageant, also featuring Forever the Sickest Kids, Secondhand Serenade and Shorelines End, which stops at the Newport Music Hall Thursday, Dec. 2.

Tickets are $20/$22. Call 1-800-745-3000.

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 gift to the community in music.

Classical selections and pop-jazz orchestral favorites, all in the holiday spirit, will be presented by the orchestra and CSO Chorus, as well as a host of helpers.

The concerts will be held Dec. 3-5 at the Ohio Theatre. Tickets are $66.50-$20.50 for adults, $33.50-$11.50 for children. Call (614) 228-8600.

Dave Koz acknowledged in an interview with The Beat a few years back that he happily throws a couple Hanukkah songs in his Christmas concerts. This, he said, was out of respect to his mother, who he said raised him as a "nice Jewish boy."

Koz's annual Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour brings with it returning favorites singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler and keyboardist Brian Culbertson and first-timer Candy Dulfer, like Koz a saxophonist.

The tour stops at the Palace Theatre Sunday, Dec. 5. Tickets are $62.50-$27.50. Call (614) 469-0939.

The 2010 installation of WNCI 97.9's annual Jingle Ball features Train (The Polar Express, perhaps - perhaps not) Mike Posner, Charise and New Hollow, Tuesday, Dec. 7, at Lifestyle Communities Pavilion.

Tickets are $30. Call 1-800-745-3000.

You're not going to find a bigger star in CCM than Chris Tomlin.

Tomlin's Glory in the Highest Tour marks the presence of a certain other star, celebrating the season with contemporary tunes and updates on familiar carols.

Tomlin will play Grove City Church of the Nazarene Wednesday, Dec. 8. Tickets are $30. Call 1-800-965-9324.

Guitarist Peter White and trumpeter Rick Braun are veterans of Dave Koz's aforementioned Smooth Jazz Christmas, so they know how it's done.

Braun and saxophonist Mindi Abair join "A Peter White Christmas" Thursday, Dec. 9, at Newark's Midland Theatre.

Tickets are $52-$28.50. Call (740) 345-LIVE.

Start with the annual "Sing-Along Messiah" concert Friday, Dec. 10, at the Southern Theatre, and add a double helping of "Sounds of the Season" concerts featuring Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Greensleeves, Schubert's Ave Maria and guest soprano Stacey Stofferahn, first at the Pontifical College Josephinum Saturday, Dec. 11, and then at the Southern on the 12th, and you've got the recipe for ProMusica Chamber Orchestra's holiday-season weekend.

For ticket information, call (614) 3464-0066.

Mannheim Steamroller redefined Christmas music a quarter-century ago.

Actually, 25 years ago marked the collective's first holiday tour - the first record, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, was released in 1984. At the time, the Steamroller was already the biggest thing in modern instrumental music (often called New Age, although that term didn't exist when MS was making its mark).

Chip Davis and crew are still at it today, and have taken to the road for a 25th Christmas Anniversary Tour, which stops at the Palace Theatre for one show only Sunday, Dec. 19.

Call (614) 469-0939.

On Dec. 25, the kids can shred the wrapping paper on their gifts. On Dec. 26 and 27, you can shred the credit card receipts.

And on Dec. 28, you can watch Trans-Siberian Orchestra shred its way through Christmas classics old and original, in two shows at Nationwide Arena.

Tickets are $57-$25. Call 1-800-745-3000.


Koleinu Choir Hanukkah Concert, Thursday, Dec. 2, at Wexner Heritage House, (614) 235-8111; Columbus Gay Men's Chorus presents its annual "Joy!" concerts Dec. 3-4 at King Avenue United Methodist Church and on Dec. 11, at both Lord of Life Lutheran Church and Powell United Methodist Church,; Holiday Jazz Cabaret at the King Arts Complex with Mary McClendon, Jeanette Williams and Dwight Lennox, Dec. 4 in Nicholson Auditorium,; Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra " A Joyful Noise," Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Midland Theatre,; Magpie Consort will offer three concerts at three different area locations, Dec. 5 in Newark, Dec. 11 in Worthington and Dec. 12 in Victorian Village, visit; Columbus Children's Choir will offer two concerts Sunday, Dec. 12, in Capital University's Mees Hall, call (614) 220-5555.

Theatre & Dance

Don't forget to celebrate a demented holiday with Shadowbox Live's Holiday Hoopla XIX now through Dec. 30. The show boasts a ton of new material as well as some returning Shadowbox fun.

Tickets are $30/$20. Call (614) 416-7625.

A new family tradition in the making, CATCO presents It's a Wonderful Life in the style of a 1940s radio broadcast, through Dec. 12 at the Riffe Center Studio One Theatre.

Five actors will handle all the voicings, and you'll see special effects and all the other behind-the-scenes fun.

Tickets are $40-$11.50.

CATCO also returns its traditional twisted holiday offering of The Santaland Diaries, a one-man play featuring Jon Putnam as a decidedly un-jolly department store elf, Dec. 2-26 in the Studio Three Theatre. Tickets are $35.

Call (614) 469-0939.

Nip your early-season humbuggery in the bud with a trip to CAPA's annual presentation of A Christmas Carol, courtesy the Nebraska Theatre Caravan.

Fives shows in three days, Nov. 26-28, at the Ohio Theatre. Tickets are $32/$22. Call (614) 469-0939.

If the holiday season to you is nothing without visions of the Sugar Plum Fairy dancing in your head (and on stage), make sure to read The Beat's look at the numerous productions of The Nutcracker that will grace central Ohio stages this season in ThisWeek's "Holiday Happenings" section. Columbus Children's Theatre offers up Babes in Toyland this holiday season, running Nov. 26 though Dec. 19 at its Park Street theater.

The story's a hoot and the kids are absolutely marvelous.

Call (614) 224-6672 for ticket information.


Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Carol, at Axis Nightclub Nov. 26-28 and Dec. 3-5, $15, call 1-866-250-4832; Ujima Theatre Company's annual One Mo' Christmas, Dec. 3-4,