Weekend Arts Events (Dec. 23-25)
THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER: THE MUSICAL
This staging at the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is a world premiere. This comedy-musical is adapted by Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner, from the classic book of the same name by Barbara Robinson.
Comedian Greg Morton offers holiday shows this week at the Comedy Zone. The comic has appeared on Premium Blend, Comics Unleashed, Comedy T.V., and other stand-up shows, and is a veteran of the legendary Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal.
BILL NOONAN BAND + THE LOOSE LUGNUTS
Bill Noonan is a performer who's been part of the Double Door family through its varying stages. He returns for one more show, with his band joined by The Loose Lugnuts.
CHARLOTTE BALLET: NUTCRACKER
Choreographer and ballet legend Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux re-imagines his staple production with new sets, costumes, and surprises. The Charlotte Symphony performs the score for this classic.
THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK CHRISTMAS MUSICAL
The Great American Trailer Park Musical was the original tale of Armadillo Acres, where trailer park tenants squabble and break out in song. The Christmas sequel, you can imagine, adds a holiday flair to the setting. This Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte production is held at Charlotte Ballet in uptown.
Drive on the track and check out the Speedway's Christmas village, with more than 3 million lights used in the 800 displays. The Christmas Village has wagon rides, photo opportunities with Santa Claus, and even a petting zoo.
BECHTLER MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
The Bechtler’s building, designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, is a modern work of art itself. Niki de Saint Phalle’s iconic outdoor sculpture “The Firebird” welcomes visitors. Inside, you’ll find fine art exhibitions, films, jazz, classical concerts, and talks. All That Sparkles: 20th Century Artists’ Jewelry, THROUGH JAN. 8, pairs traditional artwork with jewelry crafted by Saint Phalle, Alberto Giacometti, Harry Bertoia, and others. Bechtler Collection: Relaunched and Rediscovered, THROUGH APRIL 23, is an exhibition put together by curator Jennifer Edwards, who pulls pieces from the museum’s extensive permanent collection and presents them in a new light.
HARVEY B. GANTT CENTER FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN ARTS + CULTURE
Named for Harvey Gantt, the first African-American mayor of Charlotte and the first African-American student at Clemson University, this 46,000-square-foot museum reflects both history and current art. It's part of the Levine Center for the Arts, a group of arts institutions in uptown. Shaping the Vessel: Mascoll + Samuel, THROUGH JAN. 16, displays 20 wood works created by John Mascoll and Avelino Samuel. Nellie Ashford: Through My Eyes, THROUGH JAN. 16, focuses on the folk art of the Charlotte native, who explores cultural identity and community. See 30 newly created mixed-media works by Ashford. The museum’s permanent exhibition, the John & Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art, showcases the work of 20 artists, including Charlotte native Romare Bearden.
This self-guided tour is free. Stroll through uptown to the 18 points that comprise the Liberty Walk, touring the early history of the region through markers and text. Pick up a brochure at the Visitor Info Center at 501 S. College St. (in the Charlotte Convention Center) or at the Levine Museum of the New South. Or, just start in front of the Wells Fargo Plaza at 301 S. Tryon St., and follow the markers for a trip through the city’s Revolutionary War days. A “Charlotte Liberty Walk” app is available at handheldhistory.com to help you along.