Arts & Culture

Enjoy the holidays with dance, music and more

Ballet Idaho’s “The Nutcracker” will delight audiences at the Morrison Center on Dec. 18-20.
Ballet Idaho’s “The Nutcracker” will delight audiences at the Morrison Center on Dec. 18-20. Idaho Statesman file

From funny to heartwarming, classical to popular, the Treasure Valley’s performing arts community offers a buffet of holiday entertainment this season.


The magical tale of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince delights children and adults alike. You have four opportunities to see it this season:

▪  Caldwell Fine Arts presents Eugene Ballet’s touring production of Artistic Direct Toni Pimble’s “The Nutcracker,” with its fire-breathing mouse head and magical hot-air balloon. It’s at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, Jewett Auditorium, College of Idaho, Caldwell. Or check out Eugene’s “Nutcracker Jr.,” a one-hour version of the ballet at 1 and 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, also at Jewett.

▪  Ballet Idaho Artistic Director Peter Anastos’ fairy-tale version of the E.T.A Hoffmann story features breathtaking sets, a magical, growing Christmas tree, dancing mice and the Boise Philharmonic performing Tchaikovsky’s score under the direction of Youth Orchestra conductor Deanna Tham. It’s at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19; and noon and 4 p.m. Sunday Dec. 20, Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, Boise.

▪  Idaho Regional Ballet, a classical youth company produced by Eagle Performing Arts Center, will perform Lisa Moon’s “Nutcracker,” featuring Pacific Northwest Ballet soloists Leta Biasucci and Benjamin Griffiths. It’s at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, Special Events Center, Boise State University.

▪  Celebrate “Christmas in Killarney” with the Treasure Valley’s Irish dance community. The Killarney Irish Dance Company will thrill you with brisk Irish step dance and music. It’s 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at Timberline High School, 701 E. Boise Ave.

Classical Christmas

This season offers many chances to listen, sing and celebrate through music.

▪  Robert Franz and the Boise Philharmonic and Master Chorale will ring in the season with the annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 4-5, at St. John’s Cathedral, 775 N. 8th St., Boise.

▪  James Ogle and the Meridian Symphony Orchestra and the BSU choirs will celebrate a “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” with holiday favorites from a “Frozen” medley to excerpts from Handel’s “Messiah.” It’s at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at Centennial High School Performing Arts Center, 12400 W. McMillan Road, Boise.

▪  Join the Millennial Choir & Orchestra of Idaho with “Rejoice,” a mix of classical and sacred music. This volunteer community orchestra has 200 singers (from age 4 to their 60s) and 55 musicians, conducted by Brent Wells of the College of Idaho. It’s at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Morrison Center.

▪  Join the BSU Music Department for its Holiday Concert, a mix of classical and jazz renditions of holiday favorites, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, Morrison Center.

▪  The Boise Philharmonic, chorale and soloists will get you ready for Santa with “Holiday Pops,” a collection of classical and popular carols, at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at Brandt Center, Northwest Nazarene University, 707 Fern St., Nampa and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Morrison Center.

▪  Get a few more hallelujahs in this season with Serenata Community Orchestra’s “Sing-along, Play-along Messiah,” led by Music Director Jennifer Drake. Bring your voice and your instrument and join the fun. It’s at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at Summit Church, 10375 W. Overland Road in Boise. Free to listen and play. Register at

▪  Opera Idaho brings back its endearing production of “Amahl & the Night Visitors” this season. It’s at 2:30 p.m. Sunday-Tuesday, Dec. 27-29, at the Egyptian Theatre.

A chorus of cheer

▪  Hear the Boise Women’s Chorus’ “On a Cold Winter’s Night” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 11 and 12, at the First Presbyterian Church, 950 W. State St., Boise.

▪  The folks in Kuna will offer a holiday celebration with the “Come Together Kuna Community Christmas Concert” featuring a 100-voice choir and an orchestra. It’s 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Kuna Performing Arts Center, 637 E. Deer Flat Road. It’s free but you need to reserve a seat at 850-5784 or

▪  Go “Home for the Holidays” with the Capital City Sound Chorus at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Center for Spiritual Living, 10464 Garverdale Court, Boise.

▪  Boise Gay Men’s Chorus “Let Heaven and Nature Swing” with special guests: Essential Jazz. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18-19, Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy, 516 S. 9th St., Boise.

Christmas show time

▪  For nearly 30 years, the The Oak Ridge Boys have spent the season on the road with their Christmas Night Out tour. This year, they will perform a winter wonderland of holiday tunes at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at the Morrison Center.

▪  Knock ’em Dead Theatre is back on the boards for the holiday with a Christmas variety show “Just Believe.” See it at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 11-12, at the Cathedral of the Rockies, 717 N. 11th St. in Boise, and 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18-19, at River Valley Church, 1115 N. Garden St., Boise. No dinner is served.

▪  Seattle-based Grammy-winning folk artist Mark O’Connor brings his holiday tour — based on his hit album “An Appalachian Christmas” — at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, at the Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St., Boise.

▪  Go extreme with the 10th annual “Xtreme Holiday Xtravaganza” benefit concert for Interfaith Sanctuary. Many, many local musicians will rock, croon and make you laugh along with host Curtis Stigers. It’s at 7:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Dec. 20-21. Tickets go on sale Dec. 1 at


▪  Three actors ditch the script of “A Christmas Carol” and spoof their way through it and all the others in “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)” at Boise Little Theater. It’s at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 27- Dec. 12; 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Dec. 3 and 10; 2 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 29, Dec. 6 and 12, 100 E. Fort St. Tickets:

▪  Stage Coach Theatre does double duty this holiday season with a show for the whole family and one for adults. Ken Ludwig’s mystery farce “The Game’s Afoot (or Holmes for the Holidays).” It’s at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 27 to Dec. 19; 7:30 p.m. Thursdays Dec. 3, 10 and 17, and 2 p.m. Sundays Dec. 6 and 13 at 4802 W. Emerald St., Boise.

▪  Stage Coach also will play in the darker side of comedy with “The Eight: Reindeer Monologues 3,” an updated version of Jeff Goode’s sardonic look at the holidays through the eyes of Santa’s elite flying team. It’s at 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 27 to Dec. 12 at 4802 W. Emerald St., Boise.

▪  Two theaters will pay tribute to Maureen O’Hara this holiday season with productions of “Miracle on 34th Street”:

Music Theatre of Idaho will perform its musical version of the story about a little girl who discovers Santa Claus is working at Macy’s, with book and music by Meredith Willson of “The Music Man” fame. It’s at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 17 and 18, and 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at Jewett Auditorium at the College of Idaho., $22 at the door.

Encore Theatre in Nampa will perform the stage play of the 1934 film at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 11 to 18, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, at Northwest Nazarene University’s Little Theater, 512 Holly St.