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>> ACADEMY OF BALLET PRESENTS THIS CHRISTMAS STANDARD PLUS A TWIST ON DICKENS TALE
Academy of Ballet performs 'The Nutcracker' and Stage Door performs and humorous take on 'A Christmas Carol'

 Stage Door brings a comedic touch to 'A Christmas Carol.'
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Date published: 12/6/2012

BY BRIDGET BALCH

Whether you're craving a Christmas classic or you need some comic relief this holiday season, local performing groups have just the shows to get you into the Christmas spirit.

'THE NUTCRACKER'

Nothing says "Christmas" like dancing toys and Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy."

This quintessential Christmas ballet is coming to James Monroe High School for full-length performances this weekend.

The Academy of Ballet has been performing this classic for more than 20 years, making it a Christmas tradition for many Fredericksburg area families.

"It really is a ballet for a family to go to," said Eveline Erard, owner of the Academy of Ballet.

"[The audience] enjoys it tremendously."

According Erard, the group strives to improve and make the production a little different and better each year, while still staying true to the original ballet.

"It comes close to any performance in Washington or Richmond," Erard said.

'A CHRISTMAS CAROL'

You've probably seen so many productions of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" that you could easily recite Ebenezer Scrooge's lines backwards.

The members of the Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society, a fictional, small British theater company, unfortunately, cannot boast the same ability.

You'll watch as the lovable players stumble through their production full of missed cues, forgotten lines, faulty props and all sorts of interruptions.

This Stage Door production essentially has two layers of acting. With actors playing actors playing multiple roles in the play, the confusion is sure to result in hilarity.

The Monty Python-style wittiness together with the clumsy tomfoolery portray the difficulties that a small, less-than-professional theater company often faces.

"It is a fun play," said Roy Jarnecke, the director. "[The audience] can expect to be entertained and get some laughs."

Bridget Balch: 540/374-5444
Email: bbalch@freelancestar.com


What: "The Nutcracker" When: 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday Where: James Monroe High School, 2300 Washington Ave. Cost: $16 in advance; $18 at the door. Available at Roberson's Music Store, the Fredericksburg Visitor Center and the Academy of Ballet. Info: 540/371-6781, AcadOfBallet.com What: "The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's Production of 'A Christmas Carol'" When: Dec. 7-8, Dec. 13-15 at 8 p.m. Where: Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline St. Cost: $15 Info: 540/903-3808; stagedoorproductions.org