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The Gift of Live Performance

by on December 21, 2016

Ballet BC: 16+ a room (performing February 24, 2017)

The holiday season is always a particular magical time at the Fredericton Playhouse, and 2016 has been no exception. The last few weeks have been full of heartwarming holiday performances, and it’s been wonderful to see friends and family come together to take in festive shows.

I hope you’ve had the opportunity to take in a performance or two this November and December. From comedians like Sharron Matthews, Nikki Payne and James Mullinger, to music from Celtic group Còig, Symphony New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Country Showcase; from Dance Fredericton’s annual performance of The Nutcracker, to Theatre New Brunswick’s The Snow Queen, we’ve had offerings for every taste this holiday season.

We’re also looking forward to our upcoming annual show by DuffleBag Theatre. On Dec. 28, this beloved group will perform ’Twas the Night Before Christmas as part of our Kidstage Series. This post-Christmas show is always a favourite, full of spontaneous fun and audience involvement that is sure to delight children and their family members.

Of course, the magic of the performing arts isn’t confined to the holidays – it continues all year long. We could all stand to take a few hours away from our busy lives, and spend time with our loved ones, enjoying a shared experience.

Gifts of experience provide a great alternative to more materialistic presents, and the arts and culture sector in particular offers a number of potential suggestions. From gallery memberships, to a registration in a class or workshop, to tickets to a festival or performance, there are lots of ways to provide your friends and family with an interesting new experience that will appeal to their particular interests.

The Playhouse has dozens of shows already scheduled for 2017, offering a wide range of performances to choose from if you’re searching for a last minute Christmas gift.

If you have a dance lover on your list, they may be interested in performances by Le Patin Libre, described as contemporary dance on ice; internationally acclaimed Ballet BC; or Carmen, the latest collaboration from Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada and Symphony New Brunswick.

Families can look forward to a fun outing with the kids, with tickets to shows like the Fredericton Symphony Orchestra’s Welcome to the Orchestra, or “ambassador of the blues” Guy Davis, who performs as part of our Kidstage Series this spring.

Comedy fans will appreciate the opportunity to see the always popular Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers, Newfoundland’s longest touring entertainers. Alternatively, there’s This is That LIVE, a live stage performance of the satirical CBC radio show that will feature a mix of character interviews and mockumentary stories.

If you’re shopping for a music buff, I have suggestions to cover a number of different genres. There’s The Who’s Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry, a reimagining of the classic rock opera by the HillBenders; Juno-winning folk musician Stephen Fearing; and Swingin’ with Oscar, a tribute to jazz pianist Oscar Peterson by the Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble.

Looking for something to please a theatre lover? Take a look into Roller Derby Saved My Soul, a delightful comedy from New Brunswick’s own Nancy Kenny, or BOOM, an explosive new performance by Rick Miller that documents the music, culture and politics that shaped the Baby Boom generation.

Classical music aficionados will welcome the chance to see the Vienna Boys Choir when they return to the Playhouse this March. There are also a number of Symphony New Brunswick performances coming up in 2017, including Canada Comes of Age, featuring a special performance by New Brunswick-born contralto Heather Flemming.

I’m also looking forward to a couple of crowd-pleasing shows that are sure to impress fans of spectacle, including young, contemporary circus company Machine de Cirque, and Immortal Chi, a spectacular fusion of Chinese martial arts and jaw-dropping acrobatics.

Of course, for those who are especially difficult to shop for, we always have gift certificates available through the box office. You can also purchase drink vouchers from the box office this year, as an extra way to treat your gift recipient when they use their tickets or gift certificate.

The holiday magic doesn’t need to end with December – with the gift of performance you can keep it alive throughout the year ahead.

Tim Yerxa is the Executive Director of the Fredericton Playhouse.



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