The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight arts grantee Akron Civic Theatre has a musical program to suit your tastes this holiday season.
The diverse lineup includes rock-and-roll carols, country Noels from the Oak Ridge Boys, classic holiday music from a choir produced and sponsored by the Akron Civic Theatre, even some cool jazz.
On Saturday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m., the fifth annual Ryan Humbert Holiday Extravaganza will take the stage for one night with a fundraiser. Humbert and his eight-piece rock-and-roll, Americana/pop band are slated to perform holiday staples, including “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “(Christmas) Baby, Please Come Home,” “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “Run, Run Rudolph” and many more. The Akron Civic Theatre’s orchestra pit will be open for dancing.
“Over the last four years, Ryan Humbert has worked tirelessly to bring a quality holiday show to our stage,” said Howard Parr, executive director of the Akron Civic Theatre. “On top of being a fun and professional show [the program] helps feed those in need through the hard-working folks at Mobile Meals. This show is always a highlight of our holiday season.” Tickets are $20 ($25 for reserved seating).
The following day, on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m., the Akron Civic Theatre will host its first Holiday Choir Classic.
The theater is combining the singing voices of area youths from three musical arts groups: the Falcon Academy of Creative Arts (6th/7th grade choir under musical director Laura Goldman); the Summit Children’s Choir Touring Ensemble (under direction of Arlene Jacobs); and Robert Heid's ETC School of Musical Arts, which is composed of young voices from 4th-12th grades. Tickets are $10 ($5 for children).
Described as a local favorite, Helen Welch will bring her holiday cabaret, “Jingle Bell Swing,” to the theater’s main stage on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. Welch, organizers say, will treat the audience to a mix of classic and pop holiday favorites in the styles of swing, jazz, and theatrical and popular song, along with a good bit of cheeky British humor. Tickets are $25.
Lastly, on Friday, Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m., the Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Show will be on the stage, delivering the quartet's signature style of country music.
The group will start off the performance with selected hits from their 40 years in the music business, including “Elvira” and “Bobbie Sue.” After a short intermission, the program goes Christmas. Tickets range from $31.50-$48.50.
Performances of Ryan Humbert on Dec. 14 (8 p.m.), Holiday Choir Classic on Dec. 15 (6 p.m.), Helen Welch on Dec. 18 (8 p.m.), and the Oak Ridge Boys on Dec. 20 (7:30 p.m.) will be at the Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St., 330-253-2488. www.akroncivic.com. Tickets range in price from $10-$48.50. ETC All Americans. Photo courtesy of Akron Civic Theatre