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Weekend fun: check out holiday theater and dance that finds comedy in Christmas

[fa icon="calendar"] Dec 14, 2017 10:00:31 AM / by Mary Lhowe

Mary Lhowe

 Yes, Christmas is joyful and fun, but sometimes it seems awfully … serious. With exceptions! Dance and theater companies, a circus school, and a dinner theater are having fun putting a bit of a twist or a tweak on our beloved Christmas stories and traditions. Here are some shows this weekend that poke a bit of fun at the “most wonderful time of the year.” Relax and goof it up a bit!


 Christmas on the Rocks at TheaterWorks at City Arts in Hartford, CT. It's Christmas Eve in a rundown local bar. Expecting a silent night, the bartender finds himself mixing drinks for a parade of surprising guests - children from your favorite Christmas specials and movies - now all grown up. In this wacky parody, unexpected Christmas tales surface, welcome or not. Showing through December 23.


Vivid Motion's Nutcracker Burlesque at St. Lawrence Arts in Portland, Maine.

Lots of dance companies feel the pull to re-invent “The Nutcracker.” In Portland,  Vivid Motion  adds some spice to the classic Nutcracker story with some stripteases, some lingerie, some sexy dance moves, and a whole lot of fun. This season, the theme returns to the 1980s. Showing December 15-17 and 19-23.



 Charles Dickens Christmas Dinner Train with the Marley Bridges Theater Company in Portsmouth, RI.

Take a ride back in time with Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" by the Marley Bridges Theater Company. You will embark on an evening of music, laughter, a four-course meal and holiday drinks. Join Ebenezer, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and the Christmas Spirits on a dinner journey along the Newport and Narragansett Bay Railroad. Offered Fridays and Saturdays through December 23.


 400-tavern-games.jpgTavern Games at Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, MA.

Everyone loves Historic Deerfield. For a great way to chill out, gather up some friends and sit down and enjoy a game of checkers, fox and geese or merelles. Try your hand at table top nine pins, Jacob's ladder, and ball and cup. Held on Saturdays and Sundays through December 17.


"The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy" with CONNetic Dance in Hartford, CT

A contemporary twist on the holiday classic, featuring a fusion of athletic dance forms including tap, jazz, and hip hop. This event takes place at Wadsworth Atheneum. Friday and Saturday, through December 17.


 400-RI-Newport-dashing-through-the-snow.jpg“Dashing Through the Snow” with Newport Playhouse in Newport, RI

Don’t race through dinner to get to the theater – enjoy a relaxed dinner at the theater, in Newport. The story: It's four days before Christmas in the tiny town of Tinsel, Texas, and a colorful parade of eccentric guests arrive at the Snowflake Inn and deck the halls with holiday hilarity. Trina, the harried yet upbeat innkeeper of this B&B, has more than she can handle coping with these nuttier-than-a-fruitcake lodgers. Showing through December 31.


 400-bog-1214-MA-boston-improv-boston.jpgImprovBoston Comedy Club in Cambridge, MA.

New England's premier comedy theater has been voted "Best of Boston" by The Phoenix, The Improper Bostonian, and The Weekly Dig. The Improvised Holiday Spectacular gives you the best gift of the season: gut-busting comedy! Improvisers take the stage for a seasonal showcase featuring improvised games, songs and scenes, all based on the most wonderful time of the year. The only gifts you need provide are your suggestions and then watch as the best improvisers in the country unwrap the funny.



Flying Nut Express with New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro, VT.

This re-imagining of the classic Nutcracker story becomes circus of mix ups and misunderstandings as characters fly and flip head over heels in a performance for the whole family. A holiday sleepover turns into a trip to the North Pole on the Circus Express, as the Grinch steals stockings and the entire community comes together to share in the gift of giving. Showing through December 17






Mary Lhowe

Written by Mary Lhowe