Ballet Des Moines. Photographer: Jami Milne
Last year, Ballet Des Moines performed a refreshed second act to “The Nutcracker” to make it more inclusive, shifting away from traditional stereotypes but retaining the classic story and Tchaikovsky’s iconic score. We were excited to hear the company will perform the reinvigorated version again this year. A dozen professional dancers and some 100 students from Central Iowa dance studios will bring the enchanting story of Clara and her magical adventures to life Dec. 8-11 at Hoyt Sherman Place. (balletdesmoines.org; hoytsherman.org)
Kelly Moeller Rabe performed the new character of Doe in last year’s Ballet Des Moines production of “The Nutcracker.” Photographer: Ryan Morrison.
Award-winning vocalists Capathia Jenkins and Tony DeSare promise to deliver a fresh take on the music of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and other legends when they star with the Des Moines Symphony on New Year’s Eve. Jenkins, an actress and singer best known for her work on Broadway, and DeSare, a jazz singer, pianist and songwriter, will perform tunes from the Great American Songbook, such as “Come Fly With Me” and “The Lady Is a Tramp,” among many others. The Dec. 31 performance will be at the Des Moines Civic Center. (dsmsymphony.org)
As fans of a capella, we’re looking forward to the concert by Cantus Dec. 2 at Sheslow Auditorium on the Drake campus. The widely acclaimed ensemble will sing carols and other seasonal favorites that showcase their exquisite vocal harmonies. The show is presented by Civic Music Association. (civicmusic.org)
Scrooge, Marley, Bob Cratchit and company always inspire us to remember what the holiday spirit really means, and for the first time in three years, Iowa Stage Theatre Company will revive its annual tradition of staging Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Iowa Stage will present a refreshed production of the timeless tale Dec. 9-18 at Stoner Theater in the Des Moines Civic Center. (dmpa.org; iowastage.org)
Hoyt Sherman Place is giving you no excuse to skip out on the sounds of the season. Four acts, lined up like so many lights on a string, are stopping by the theater in December, including Shaun Johnson and the Big Band Experience Dec. 16 and the popular a capella quartet Tonic Sol-fa Dec. 17. The other two seasonal shows are pianist Lorie Line Dec. 15 and Christian singer Michael W. Smith Dec. 22. (hoytsherman.org)