Critics' Picks: A Christmas Carol; Handel's Messiah; The Further Adventures of Rudolph

THEATRE

What: A Christmas Carol
Where: Craigdarroch Castle, 1050 Joan Cres.
When: Dec. 14 through Dec. 23
Tickets: $23 (members) or $25 (non-members) from thecastle.ca or 250-592-5323
Why: The first of seven performances by actor Jason Stevens take place at Craigdarroch Castle on Friday, with the veteran actor taking the helm of the beloved Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. The one-man show within the historic walls of the castle brings the world of Victorian-era England to life over the next two weeks. Don’t miss this seasonal fare for the whole family.

MUSIC

What: Handel’s Messiah
Where: Farquhar Auditorium, University of Victoria (3800 Finnerty Rd.)
When: Dec. 14 at 8 p.m., Dec. 16 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets: $35 from the Farquhar Auditorium box office (250-721-8480) or online at tickets.uvic.ca
Why: A local symphonic chorus formed in 1934 specifically to perform Handel’s Messiah will do so once more this weekend, with two performances at the University of Victoria’s Farquhar Auditorium. The Victoria Choral Society joins forces with the Victoria Symphony and associate conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia for the popular event, which includes an auditioned 120-voice choir and guest soloists from the U.S. and Canada, including baritone John Brancy from New Jersey and the Toronto trio of Jennifer Taverner (soprano), Owen McCausland (tenor) and Lauren Segal (mezzo-soprano).

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THEATRE

What: The Further Adventures of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: Eat, Pray, Glow
Where: Roxy Theatre
When: Dec. 13 through Dec. 23
Tickets: $30 (adult), $22 (students) or $15 (kids 15 and under) from bluebridgetheatre.com
Why: From the (celebrated) Victoria theatre company that brought Ride the Cyclone to Off-Broadway audiences comes The Further Adventures of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: Eat, Pray, Glow, an original Christmas pantomime that could become something of annual tradition (having Pagliacci’s owner Howie Siegel, Atomic Vaudeville’s Britt Small and a full children’s chorus in the cast doesn’t hurt those chances, either). In the spirit of giving, the company will offer a “pay what you can” performance Dec. 18.

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