Shows for families highlight the weekend

Ring out

The Music on the Hill Jubilate Ringers and Festival Chorus Sounds of the Season concert will be on Friday, Dec. 11, at 7:30 at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, at 48 New Canaan Road, Wilton. For tickets visit or call 203-529-3133.

Shows for families

Students at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury have holiday opera and theater productions this weekend, both suitable for families.

The WCSU Opera will perform Amahl and the Night Visitors on Friday, Dec. 11, at 7 and Saturday, Dec. 12, at 1 at Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the Midtown Campus, 181 White Street. For tickets, $10 general admission, visit

The Department of Theatre Arts will present the Hans Christian Andersen  fairy tale, The Snow Queen, in a stage adaptation by Michael Oosterom with music by Shinji Eschima. Performances will be at 3 and 7 on Saturday, Dec. 12, and Sunday, Dec. 13, at the Performing Arts Center on the Westside Campus, 43 Lake Avenue Extension. For tickets, call 203-837-8671.

A Christmas Carol

Valley Shakespeare Festival will present a script-in-hand dramatic reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on Friday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 12, at 1 p.m. at Shelton’s Plumb Memorial Library, 65 Wooster Street. There’s a $10 suggested donation.

The play, adapted by executive/artistic director Tom Simonetti, will be performed with minimal props and costuming. For more information and to make reservations, visit or call 203-513-9446.

Christmas Cookies!

Pantochino Productions, the not-for-profit professional theater company, will stage Christmas Cookies! The Musical! at the Center for the Arts in Downtown Milford, 40 Railroad Avenue South, Dec. 11-27. Performances are on Fridays at 7:30, and Saturdays and Sundays, 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 online and $20 at the door for the family show; visit

Sounds of the Season

Music on the Hill Jubilate Ringers and Festival Chorus will perform a Sounds of the Season Christmas concert on Friday, Dec. 11, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 48 New Canaan Road, New Canaan.

The concert will feature lesser-known carols arranged for chorus and handbells as well as familiar carols to be sung by all. Admission is free; for tickets, visit or call 203-529-3133.

A Country Carol

Theatre Artists Workshop will stage a new musical, A Country Carol, this weekend: Friday, Dec. 11, and Saturday, Dec. 12, at 8 and Sunday, Dec. 13, at 3 at the workshop, 5 Gregory Boulevard, Norwalk.

The musical, written by Granville Wyche Burgess of Greenwich, sets A Christmas Carol in backwoods West Virginia starting in 1898. The score is filled with country, vaudeville and holiday songs. Suggested donation is $10 per person; for more information, visit

Santaland Diaries

Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage will present David Sedaris’s dark, yet very funny, work The Santaland Diaries, Dec. 11-20. Performances will take place Fridays at 8, Saturdays at 4 and 8 and Sundays at 2, at the MTC theater, 509 Westport Avenue (behind Nine West), Norwalk.

Matt Densky, a native of Monroe, stars as the uphappy elf based on Sedaris’s experiences at Macy’s “Santaland.”

Tickets are $35-$55 and are available at or call 203-454-3883.

Celebration of song

The New Haven Oratorio Choir will present I Have Had Singing, a concert that celebrates the importance of song in all life events, on Friday, Dec. 11, at 8 p.m. at the Church of the Redeemer, Whitney Avenue at Cold Spring Street, New Haven. A reception and carol sing will follow.

The concert will include the world premiere of Matthew Fields’ Three Humanist Hymns. For more information, visit

Drop & Shop

For parents who’d like a little alone time for shopping, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk will offer a morning full of activities for children ages 5-7 and 8-10 on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 9 to noon. Both groups will have themed activities and a guided Aquarium tour and see the IMAX movie Humpback Whales. Cost is $50 per child; call 203-852-0700 x2206 or visit

A Visit to Santa’s House

For the 30th year, Santa will make a weekend stop at Fairfield’s historic Burr Homestead to spread holiday cheer, hosted by the Junior Women’s Club of Fairfield. Young visitors may make a holiday craft to take home, enjoy music, dance and martial arts demonstrations, visit Santa’s Salon for face and nail painting and temporary tattoos, have a cookie with Mrs. Claus and buy a treat from the bake shop, visit a model train display, and more. Each child will have a few minutes with Santa himself, with time for parents to take a picture.

Hours are Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 to 4 and Sunday, Dec. 13, from 10 to 2 at the Burr Homestead, 739 Old Post Road, Fairfield. Tickets are $6 in advance (information at or $8 at the door.

Winter birding

The Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Fairfield will present a Winter Backyard Birding program on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 to 11 a.m. Naturalists will offer tips on seed types and feeders; weather permitting, there will be a walk on the Laren sanctuary trails.

The program is free, for all ages. Advance registration is requested; call 203-259-6305 x109. For a complete list of programs, visit

Holiday crafts

The Katonah Village Library’s Holiday Crafts & Collectibles Fair on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 11 to 3 will offer local artisans’ and crafters’ handmade jewelry, natural soaps, fabric dolls, oil paintings, photography, hand-knit accessories, decorative pillows, note cards and holiday ornaments.

The event is free; the library is at 26 Beford Road, Katonah, N.Y. For more information, call 914-232-1233.

Symphonic Winds

The Connecticut Symphonic Winds will present a free holiday concert for families on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 1 at Roger Ludlowe Middle School, 689 Unquowa Road, Fairfield. The one-hour concert, led by Charles DePaul, will include favorites like Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride as well as TV and movie tunes.

For more information, visit or call 203-386-1625.

Silk ’n Sounds

The four-part harmonies of the Silk ’n Sounds women’s chorus will be turned to holiday music in the group’s 10th annual holiday show on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 830 Whitney Avenue, New Haven.

General admission is $12, $10 for seniors and students, and free for children 12 and younger. For reservations, call 203-248-7348 or visit

The Whiffenpoofs

Trinity Episcopal Church at the corner of Center Street and Pequot Avenue in Southport will present the Yale Whiffenpoofs  on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 3 p.m. The 14-member male a cappella group from the Yale senior class will perform traditional folk tunes, selections from the Great American Songbook, recent pop tunes and college songs, both old an new.

Tickets may be reserved online at or will be available at the door. Cost is $35 for preferred seating, $30 for adults general seating, $20 for students and seniors and $80 for familiy seating (two adults, 2-3 children).

Bush biographer

Author Jon Meacham will talk about his new biography, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 4 at Westport Town Hall auditorium. Tickets are required for the program; copies of the book are available at the pre-event price of $30, which includes two priority seating tickets.

The program is presented by the Westport Library, Westport Historical Society and the Yale Club of Eastern Fairfield County. For information and tickets, visit or call 203-291-4800.


The SymphoNYChorus, choir and orchestra, will perform its annual Christmas concert at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, 207 Main Street, Ridgefield, on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. The theme is Light of the World and the selections will include favorite Christmas carols as well as new works.

There is no admission fee for the concert, but an offering will be taken. For more information, visit or call 203-438-8791.

Holiday Collage

The Greater New Haven Community Chorus will present its annual holiday concert on Saturday evening, Dec. 12, at 8 at Battell Chapel, Elm Street at College Street in New Haven. Holiday Collage will include Vivaldi’s Gloria, The King Shall Rejoice from Coronation Anthem No. 2 by Handel, Anderson’s Sleigh Ride and more.

Tickets are available at at $15 in advance or at the door for $20.

Sinatra’s centennial

On the 100th anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s birth, Steve Kazlauskas will perform Echoes of Sinatra on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 8 at the Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge. Sinatra’s favorite cocktails — Martinis, Dry Manhattans and Rob Roys — will be available at the bar. The show will blend insider stories and classic songs, which Kazlauskas has performed throughout the country.

Tickets are $35; for reservations, visit or call 203-438-5795.

Handel’s Messiah

The Stamford Symphony Orchestra and the Pro Arte Singers will perform the seasonal favorite, Handel’s Messiah in an abbreviated version including Part I and the Hallelujah Chorus at the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist, 279 Atlantic Street, Stamford, on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 8.

Tickets are $55, $45 and $25; for reservations, call 203-325-4466.

Mansion holiday

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will have its holiday open house on Sunday, Dec. 13, from noon to 4, at 295 West Avenue, Norwalk. The museum will have special guests from the New Canaan Dance Academy and expects to host Santa Claus as well.

Along with performers, there will be a Doll & Teddy Bear Victorian Tea at 3:15, by reservation.

General admission to the open house is $5, which includes the exhibit, Holiday Grandeur: The Mansion’s Toys and Trains Story.  The mansion will be decorated with trees and other holiday trimmings. For more information, visit or call 203-838-9799.

Holiday Bluegrass

The Stratford Library will present a special holiday bluegrass concert by Five in the Chamber from New Haven on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 2 p.m. The library is at 2203 Main Street; for more information, call 203-385-4162 or visit

Holiday Sing

The Wilton Singers invite the community to join in a Holiday Sing, capped off by a visit from Santa Claus on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 3 at WEPCO — the Wilton Episcopal and Presbyterian Complex, 48 New Canaan Road. Tickets for the one-hour concert are $5 per child, $10 per adult, or a maximum of $20 per family, cash or check at the door.

For more information, visit

Canticum Novum

The Spring Street Arts Center of South Salem, N.Y., in collaboration with Canticorum Virtuosi, will present the Canticum Novum Singers in a Christmas performance on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 3 p.m. at South Salem Presbyterian Church, 111 Spring Street, South Salem.

Dr. Harold Rosenbaum will lead the choral group, which he founded in 1973.

Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for students; for tickets, visit For more information, call 914-763-8273.

Fairfield County Chorale

The Fairfield County Chorale will present a holiday concert featuring music of Christmas and for Hanukah on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 3 p.m. at the Norwalk Concert Hall, 125 East Avenue. David Rosenmeyer will conduct the Fairfield County Chorale and Orchestra, with soprano Liane Cobel, mezzo-soprano Kate Maroney, countertenor Gon Halevi, tenor Nils Neubert and baritone Philip Kalmanovitch.

Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door; $5 for students. For reservations, visit or call 203-254-1333.

The Relic Master

Christopher Buckley will talk about his new novel, The Relic Master, on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 5 at Barrett Bookstore, 314 Heights Road, Darien. Reservations are required; call 203-655-2712.

Greenfield Hill Concert

Soprano Jodi Keogan and baritone Mark Watson, accompanied by pianist David Harris, will perform a concert of holiday music on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 4, featuring popular sacred and secular solos and duets at Greenfield Hill Congregational Church, 1045 Old Academy Road, Fairfield.

The concert is free; a reception will follow. For more information, visit or call 203-259-5596.

Candlelight tour

The Greenwich Historical Society will host its once-a-year candlelight tour of the Bush-Holley House, decked out for the holidays, on Sunday, Dec. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be live music,  hot chocolate and seasonal goodies, winter-themed crafts and a special visit with Santa Claus from 5:30 to 6:30. Admission is free and no reservations are required.

Bush-Holley House and the Vanderbilt Education Center are at 39 Strickland Road in Cos Cob. For more information, visit or call 203-869-6899 x10.

Christmas Joy!

Grace Farms in New Canaan will present Christmas Joy at the River, a live concert from Michael McElroy and the Broadway Inspirational Voices on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m. The group will sing gospel choir versions of Christmas classics and will premiere songs from their upcoming record, Great Joy II: Around the World.

At entry, Grace Farms will be collecting unwrapped toys in partnership with the nondenominational Grace Community Church to serve the local communities during the holidays. Seasonal soups, pastries and beverages will be available for purchase in the commons starting at 6. Also in the Commons will be a giving tree to support refugee re-settlement in Connecticut through the International Institute of Connecticut.

Tickets are $40 for adults and $25 for youth, available at Carpooling is encouraged; on-site parking is $10 online. Those without a parking pass may take a free shuttle from Oak Ridge Commons lot (South Salem, N.Y.). Grace Farms is at 365 Lukes Wood Road in New Canaan.

The Connecticut Ceramics Study Circle will present Nordic Light as Mid-Century Modern Comfort: the Art of Bing & Grondah, Rorstrand, Gustavsberg and Arabia, a lecture by Ezra Shales, Ph.D., professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston on Monday, Dec. 14, at 1:15. Admission to the talk at the Bruce Museum, One Museum Drive, Greenwich, is $25; reservations are required. For information, email

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The Jacksons’ 50th Anniversary and Holiday Show will take the stage at the Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge, on Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 8, playing the group’s top hits. The Las Vegas-style show will feature original members Tito, Jackie and Marlon Jackson. Tickets are $225 VIP Meet and Greet, $125 Gold Circl, and $110; for reservations, visit or call 203-438-5795.

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Uilleann piper Jerry O’Sullivan will join the P.V. O’Donnell COmhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann session on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 7:45 p.m. at St. Gabriel Parish Hall, 26 Broadway, Milford. Admission is free and guests may BYOB. For more information, call Tim Quinn at 203-257-8737.