Throughout the month of  December, Great Lakes Center for the Arts will host a series of performances and events celebrating cherished holiday traditions. The lineup will include performances presented and produced by the Center, The Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, and the Crooked Tree Arts Center School of Ballet. “There are many beloved holiday traditions in the arts, but none more iconic than ‘A Christmas Carol,’ ‘The Nutcracker,’ and ‘Messiah.’ This year, we are thrilled to offer all three right here in Northern Michigan,” shares Matthew Kacergis, GLCFA Executive Director. “In addition to featuring the work of our wonderful partners, we’re proud to offer our very own production of ‘A Christmas Carol.’ This ‘Carol’ is a one-man tour-de-force starring Broadway veteran Allen Fitzpatrick, enhanced by scenic projections and theatrical effects you won’t want to miss.” The Center’s holiday lineup features a wide range of live performances and opportunities to gather with loved ones and our Norhern Michigan community: Saturday, December 2, at 2PM & 7PM: “A Christmas Carol” A solo adaptation of Dickens’ celebrated tale by renowned stage actor Allen Fitzpatrick, this one-man re-enactment of “A Christmas Carol” allows audiences to engage with their imaginations as Fitzpatrick creates 26 different characters to shape the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his enlightening Christmas Eve experience. A tale of greed and generosity, Dickens’ work also highlights significant traditions of the season: family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games, and honoring the holiday’s meaning. Thursday & Friday, December 7 & 8, at 7PM: Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra Presents Handel’s “Messiah” A celebrated annual tradition in the community, Handel’s “Messiah” will be performed twice by the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra Choir. Believed to have been performed every year since its creation in 1741, Handel’s masterpiece continues to captivate audiences year after year with its beauty and timeless qualities. Accompanying “Messiah,” the Choir will also perform Gerald Finzi’s “In Terra Pax,” creating a spiritually uplifting and artistically enriching experience. Saturday, December 16, at 3PM & 7PM, and Sunday, December 17, at 3PM: Crooked Tree Arts Center School of Ballet Presents: “The Nutcracker” Attending a performance of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” has become a tradition of families worldwide. This beautiful tale of holiday magic and delightful wonder is a time-honored Crooked Tree Arts Center School of Ballet tradition. “This is the School of Ballet’s 14th consecutive year sharing ‘The Nutcracker’ with our special community,” shares Heather Raue, CTAC School of Ballet Artistic Director. “Each year, we delight in making changes to our choreography, costumes, and sets for our dancers and community members to experience this holiday tradition a little differently each season. This year is a prime example! We have reimagined this year’s Nutcracker in exciting ways, including many new costumes and choreography and incorporating seven choreographers. An exciting addition to this year’s choreographic lineup includes guest choreographer and celebrated U of M dance professor emeritus Peter Sparling’s world premiere of Waltz of the Flowers.” “Crooked Tree Arts Center’s School of Ballet is a cherished holiday tradition. It is often the first and only ballet our patrons may ever see and provides an opportunity for them to engage with the artform while ringing in the season,” says Megan DeWindt, CTAC President. “‘The Nutcracker’ is also the entry point for many of our youngest dancers who not only delight in the beautiful tutus and choreography but aspire to become the strong, graceful dancers they see on stage.” This production of “The Nutcracker” is made possible by a generous donation made in loving memory of Lawrence F. Kaine and the Otto Putzer Family. Saturday, December 23, at 2PM & 7PM: Home for the Holidays Double-Feature To celebrate the beginning of winter break, the Center is screening two holiday favorites on its 45-foot cinema screen – “The Grinch” at 2PM and “Home Alone” at 7PM – and hosting a craft and selfie station for kids and families. Holiday attire, including ugly sweaters, pajamas, and Grinch merch, is highly encouraged! Get into the holiday spirit with fun films, snacks, and good old-fashioned family time. Friday, December 29, at 7:30PM: Michigan Rattlers Michigan Rattlers, a Northern Michigan four-piece folk-rock favorite whose performances are becoming an end-of-the-year tradition at the Center, are ready to send off 2023 with old favorites and maybe a few new numbers. With a strong following within their hometown of Petoskey, the Rattlers’ show is already sold out, but you can add your name to the waitlist online! Spotlight Sponsor: The Cobb Family. We hope you join us as our community celebrates traditions at the Center this holiday season! The 2023 Holiday Season is made possible in part by a grant from The Kroeger-Mainland Family Fund of the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, with special thanks to Mackenzie, Corbin, Kurtis, Megan and Ken Mainland.