Your Holiday Cultural Events Guide

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Why This Matters: Charlotte’s Holiday experiences are as diverse as the city itself. From musicals and concerts to plays and festivals, the offerings this year are as varied as ever.
By Giovanna Torres
Marketing and Communications Coordinator

One of Charlotte’s newest holiday traditions celebrates its 5th anniversary this year. “A Soulful Noel,” created and directed by 2017 ASC Creative Renewal Fellowship recipient Quentin Talley, has quickly become a Queen City favorite.

“We had never done a Christmas show before,” said Talley, who describes “A Soulful Noel” as “a holiday musical revue” – in other words, Christmas songs that everybody knows and loves, but performed in different genres like R&B, funk, gospel and soul.

“[The holidays] are one of the most crucial times for arts organizations. People come out to celebrate accomplishments, and its also family time, so we wanted to celebrate our accomplishments with our family,” Talley explained when asked how he conceived this project.

What started as a mix of theater, monologue and dance, today is a full musical that has been seen worldwide via the internet.

In 2016, Talley’s On Q Productions performed for The New York Times’ Facebook Live feed. Believe it or not, the opportunity arose in less than three emails. After Talley sent the “A Soulful Noel” album and press release to his friend over at The Times, the album was passed on to the newspaper’s social media manager, who loved it. The invitation didn’t take long.

“They asked us to go perform live,” Talley remembers. Thanks to that exposure (and the quarter million views that came with it), “folks now know more about the company and Charlotte artists in general.”

 

Live Concert: OnQ

OnQ, a nonprofit theater company based in Charlotte, is with us to perform some songs from its new album, “A Soulful Noel.” Comment with questions for the group, and NYT reporter Madison Mills NYT will ask some.

Posted by The New York Times on Sunday, December 18, 2016

On Q Productions focuses on the black experience year-round, and according to Talley, “A Soulful Noel” is “one of the few holiday shows that looks at Christmas from the black perspective. The show has a lot of songs and references to black American music. It is important for us to have that tradition carry on.”

Don’t miss out on this take of the reason for the season. You can catch “A Soulful Noel” on Friday, Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. or Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2 or 8 p.m.


Here’s a look at other holiday-themed events for the whole family:

 

THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER: THE MUSICAL

When:Through Dec. 23
Where: McColl Family Theatre at ImaginOn
Cost: $12 – $28
Presented by: Children’s Theatre of Charlotte

The Herdmans are ready to wreak havoc! What happens when the “worst kids in the history of the world” find out about free food at Sunday school? Worse yet, what happens when they decide to audition for the annual Christmas pageant? This could be the worst pageant ever… if it even happens!

 

WINTERFEST

When: Through Dec. 30
Where: Carowinds Paladium Amphitheatre
Cost: Prices begin at $25
Presented by: Carowinds

Carowinds will be magically transformed into a winter wonderland full of enchantment and holiday cheer! Become immersed in the season’s spirit with spectacular holiday lights and décor, world-class live entertainment, luscious treats and fanciful experiences throughout the park.

 

PJs IN NORTH POLE CITY

When: Dec. 8 – 10
Where: Discovery Place Science
Cost: Members: $14.00; Non-Members: $17.00
Presented by: Discovery Place Science

All aboard! Bundle up in your coziest pajamas and let the train conductor lead the way to a special screening of The Polar Express in the IMAX Dome Theatre. Before the movie, make your own Christmas ornaments and reindeer food in Santa’s Workshop, write your holiday wish list and pose for a photo with the big man himself, Santa Claus.

 

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

When: Dec. 8 – 17
Where: The Eloise MacDonald Playhouse
Cost: $28
Presented by: Theatre Charlotte

Theatre Charlotte’s holiday tradition is back for its 11th season. It is the classic tale of hard-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by the ghost of his late partner, Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. The spirits gradually warm old Scrooge’s heart, as well as ours.

 

TOSCO MUSIC HOLIDAY PARTY

When: Dec. 9
Where: McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square
Cost: $14 – $24
Presented by: Tosco Music Party

Come celebrate the season with a Saturday night of great music and song! As with all Tosco music parties, the evening will feature more than a dozen performers and plenty of singalongs. Enjoy your favorite holiday classics, traditional Christmas carols as well as songs of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Don’t miss this new Tosco Music tradition!

 

63 ANNNUAL SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE (AND SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE FOR KIDS)

When: Dec. 9 -10
Where: Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts
Cost: $15 – $40
Presented by: Carolina Voices

Do You Hear What I Hear? There’s a tree that sings! Come Celebrate Christmas with Carolina Voices and they will make your Jingle Bell Rock! The magic of Christmas also comes alive for children at the kid-friendly version of The Singing Christmas Tree (Recommended for children ages 3 to 10).

 

CHARLOTTE BALLET’S NUTCRACKER 

When: Dec. 9 -23
Where: Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts
Cost: Prices begin at $25
Presented by: Charlotte Ballet

Gather your family and friends and enjoy Charlotte’s favorite holiday tradition – Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s Nutcracker. This holiday spectacular is complete with extravagant sets and costumes and the treasured music of Tchaikovsky performed live.

 

TIS THE SEASON: HOLIDAYS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

When: Dec. 16
Where: Dana Auditorium ​at Queens University of Charlotte
Cost: Free
Presented by: Charlotte Concert Band

Join the Charlotte Concert Band as they celebrate the holidays with carols and traditional seasonal selections from around the world, as well as more contemporary works that have been inspired by the holiday season.

 

PARRANDA NAVIDEÑA (4th ANNUAL VENEZUELAN CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION

When: Dec. 16
Where: Midwood International & Cultural Center
Cost: $35 in advance
Presented by: Carlotan Talents

The largest Venezuelan celebration in the Carolinas! Filled with fun traditions, delicious food, colorful folklore dance performance and we are thrilled to have live music performance by Neguito Borjas, considered the most prolific performer of the Gaita Zuliana. Also, live performances by Miami Guaracha band Proyecto Pentagrama, North Carolina finest Salsa band Orquesta Mayor and much more.

 

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER

When: Dec. 20
Where: Ovens Auditorium
Cost: Prices begin at $60
Presented by: Charlotte Theater

Based on the beloved 1964 animated special, this adaptation brings everyone’s favorite reindeer to the stage. Rudolph was first tuned into a live action musical last year by Jeff Frank and Chicago’s First Stage in 2013 and looks set to become as much a festive tradition as the TV original.

 

HIP HOP NUTCRACKER

When: Dec. 27 – 30
Where: Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts
Cost: Prices begin at $19.99
Presented by: Blumenthal Performing Arts

A holiday mash-up for the entire family with emcee Kurtis Blow, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a contemporary re-imagination of Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, sets out on a third national tour following the success of two previous sold-out tours. Performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, DJ and violinist.

 

To stay up-to-date on all arts and culture events throughout the year in the Charlotte area, visit CharlotteCultureGuide.com or sign up for our weekly CulturePicks! email.

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