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Shows, concerts and an art tour dish up holiday fun
There’s no shortage of festive holiday events on tap this weekend, with everything from art shows to heartfelt children’s performances to concerts by seasoned professionals.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Vashon Island Youth Chorus’ family-friendly production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” opens at the Blue Heron this week.
Under the direction of Marita Ericksen, a cast of 30 kids, ages 7 to 15, will perform the holiday classic based on the beloved Peanuts gang.
The show will also include a holiday concert by the chorus, plus an audience singalong.
Ericksen double cast the show this year and added an extra performance to give the cast more performance opportunities.
Opening night, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9, will be a benefit for Vashon Maury Community Food Bank. Admission is $5 plus a canned food donation. Other performances will take place at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9 and 10, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12. Tickets for those shows are $6 and $9, and are on sale at Island book shops, Blue Heron and Heron’s Nest.
It’s time for a host of dancers from Vashon Junior Civic Ballet to present their annual version of Tchaikovsky’s ballet, “The Nutcracker.”
This year’s production will feature a cast of Island dancers ages 3 to 25, taking on the timeless roles of mice, queens, princes, snowflakes and other plum parts in this year’s show.
The dance company, led by Betsy Frazee, is a program of Vashon Park District.
“The thing I like best about the company is that everyone gets a chance to have their moment to shine,” said Lily Syfers, 15, who is dancing the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Snow Queen this year.
Last weekend, the ballet company warmed up for “The Nutcacker” by performing excerpts from the ballet at a fundraiser for Tacoma’s Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.
The company frequently treks to Tacoma to perform for patients at the hospital.
“The Nutcracker” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Satudays, Dec. 10, 11, 17 and 18, and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 12 and 19, at Vashon High School theater.
Tickets, on sale at Vashon Park District’s office and at the door, are $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and free for anyone younger than 5. Family rates are also available.
`An Intimate Christmas’
“An Intimate Christmas Renaissance and Baroque,” with soprano Linda Tsatsanis, baroque and renaissance flutist Jeffrey Cohan and lutenist John Lenti will take place at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Vashon Methodist Church.
The program will feature Christmas music from past centuries, performed on period instruments, and include selections by Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel.
Admission to the concert will be a suggested donation of $15, with free admission to students 18 and under. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com.
`A Celebration of Compassion’
The Church of Great Rain will present a holiday installment of its show at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Open Space for Arts and Community. The show will feature a musical guest, Tacoma native Vicci Martinez, who is a singer and songwriter with a growing grassroots following. Music will also be provided, as usual, by the Church of Great Rain House Band.
And although there will be plenty of irreverent comedy served up the Holy Roller Radio Players, the show will also have a serious side — a segment devoted to celebrating the 15th anniversary of the formation of Vashon Community Care as a non-profit organization.
The non-profit’s story dates back to December 1995, when a group of concerned Islanders joined forces to save Vashon’s nursing home, which was about to close and displace 34 elderly residents just before Christmas.
Within one month, the group raised $250,000 to lease the building from its owners. Over the next five years, many of these same people helped transform the old nursing home into Vashon Community Care, an assisted living and nursing facility that can house 79 residents.
In a tie-in with Great Rain’s show, five Island restaurants will donate part of the dinner proceeds on Dec. 12 to Vashon Communty Care. Participanting eateries include La Playa, Red Bicycle Bistro, Spice Route, The Hardware Store Restaurant and Quatermaster Inn.
Tickets for the show, $8 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and younger, are on sale at Island book stores and www.brownpapertickets.com. Parental guidance is suggested.
Vashon Island Ukulele Society concert
The Vashon Island Ukulele Society will perform its holiday concert and host a singalong at Vashon Community Care at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12. The concert is free and open to all ages.
Vashon Island Holiday Art Studio Tour
More than 75 local artists will show their work during the second weekend of Vashon’s holiday art studio tour, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11 and 12.
Complete tour listings, a map and an interactive slide show of Island artists at work can be found at www.vashonislandartstudiotour.com.