By Julian Guilarte
Tis the season at the Shea Center for Performing Arts.
A trio of Christmas shows are coming to William Paterson University this month, highlighted by a touring production of “The Great Russian Nutcracker” by the famed Moscow Ballet on Dec. 8.
“The Great Russian Nutcracker” has been a Christmas Tradition in North America since 1993. The annual tour has increased to include about 100 performances in cities like San Juan, Calgary and New York.
There is no lack of entertainment either. The performance is comprised of two touring companies of 40 dancers each.
Orchestra music sets the whimsical mood as the curtain opens to reveal the Moscow city skyline and guests arrive for a Christmas Eve party.
The Moscow Ballet’s beautiful stage design is complimented by colorful costumes and comes together to produce a show everyone can enjoy. Tickets are available and range from $40 to $65.
On Dec. 17, the Lightwire Theater will turn the Shea Center dark and have its performers light up like Christmas lights for “A Very Electric Christmas,”a tale of family, friendship and hope set to timeless holiday hits.
This story begins with elves putting thee finishing touches on presents when a young bird named Max gets blown off course and gets stuck at the North Pole. Max encounters friends and villains as he tries to find his way home.
The music of Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey and Tchaikovsky act as a backdrop for this performance. Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for children.
The next night, Dec. 18, Padraig Allen’s McLean Avenue Band comes to the Shea Center along with Joanna Barry Connolly’s Irish dancing group to perform “Christmas from the Emerald Isle.”
The groups have mastered the art of blending old and new music resulting in their own signature sound in the process. Irish culture is mixed with the holiday spirit for this performance as the audience is entertained by singing and dancing.
“This will be a great event for our university and will give our Irish community a real sense of excitement and pride,” said Craig Woelpper, the marketing coordinator for the university’s performing arts program.
The performance begins at 3 p.m. and admission is $37 for the orchestra/front loge and $30 for the rear loge.