Arts and entertainment briefs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Salisbury Symphony Orchestra and Piedmont Dance Theatre have teamed up again to present the family classic “The Nutcracker,” featuring new sets, new costumes and new dancers.
Performances are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17-18, at Keppel Auditorium at Catawba College. Reserved seating is $25 and $20 for adults (ages 19 and older) and $12 and $10 for children (ages 18 and younger).
Choreographed by Piedmont Dance Theatre Artistic Director Rebecca Massey Wiley, this year’s production boasts an experienced cast and includes two guest artists: Erica Wesselman and Samuel Alan Chester of Carolina Ballet Theater. The cast of 73 features dancers ages 6 to 18.
The role of the Nutcracker is being revisited by Taylor Bailey; Clara will be danced by Arzu Salman from Mooresville. Other student leads include Rebecca Paul of Charlotte, Grace Puckett of Harrisburg, Sarah Ensley of Kannapolis and Meredith Richardson of Concord.
The Salisbury Symphony Orchestra will be led by Maestro David Hagy.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the Symphony office at 704-637-4314 or at
‘Christmas Traditions’ with Dr. Karl Hales
On Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 12 and 13, Karl Hales once again hosts “Christmas Traditions: The Stories and Music of Christmas” at the Meroney Theater.
Along with vocalists Leslie Dunkin, McClain Miles and Neal Wilkinson and pianist Susan Trivette, Hales presents this Salisbury tradition beginning at 7 p.m. at the Meroney, 213 S Main St.
Admission cost is one canned item for Rowan Helping Ministries.
Drama at Salisbury High
The drama classes at Salisbury High School are presenting “Driving with Drama” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at the school’s auditorium.
The Theatre I class will perform “Skid Marks: A Play About Driving” by Lindsey Price.
The Advanced Theatre class will perform “The Scottish Play” by Mike Willis, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”
The performances are free and open to the public.
Big Band All-Stars
The Rowan Big Band All-Stars will perform a Big Band Christmas Swing program at Christ United Methodist Church on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Family Life Center. The Big Band All-Stars, directed by Dr. Ron Turbyfill, is made up of 19 area musicians who donate their time and talent to perform benefit concerts to raise funds for local charities.
Sunday’s concert includes traditional Christmas carols set to swing time as well as well-loved standards. Valerie Lloyd is the female vocalist and special guest vocalist for the evening will be Alexis Cowan, principal at North Rowan Middle School.
A love offering will be accepted to benefit Communities in Schools of Rowan.
Christ United Methodist Church is located at 3401 Mooresville Road, Hwy 150.
Salisbury Swing Band
On Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., the Salisbury Swing Band in conjunction with radio station Memories 1280 will present a “Christmas Gift To The Community” concert and dance at the Crystal Lounge at Catawba College.
This will be a benefit for the Rowan Helping Ministries, and the only price of admission will be a container of non- perishable food for the Rowan Helping Ministries.
Buddy Poole from Memories 1280 will have a remote broadcast from the concert.
Christmas at Hall House
The Dr. Josephus Hall House will open for weekend holiday tours beginning Saturday, Dec. 10.Regular tours are held Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10, 11, 17, 18 and 24 from 1-4 p.m. A special candlelight tour is held on Christmas Eve from 6-8 p.m. Although an earlier news brief indicated otherwise, admission for the weekend tours is free. The Candlelight Tour is by donation.
Operation Bluegrass Christmas
GOLD HILL — On Friday Dec. 9 at E.H. Montgomery General Store, there will be Bluegrass music from 6-10 p.m. as always, but admission this night is a donation at the door or a wrapped gift for the project Christmas Families. The children’s ages are: Boys 7, 4, 2 months, girls 18 months, 2 years. For details visit,, or call 704-267-9439.
Gael Warning sings
The Celtic/Folk/Fusion Band Gael Warning performs at the Blue Vine from 9 to midnight on Friday, Dec. 9. The group, with their blend of Scottish, Appalachian, and World harmonies, regularly plays highland games and music festivals all over the southeast. There is a $5 cover. The Blue Vine is located at 209 S. Main St., 704-797-0093,, Facebook, Myspace and YouTube.
Cyrano auditions
Piedmont Players Theatre (PPT) announces auditions for the Mainstage production of Cyrano de Bergerac on Dec. 12 and 13 at 7 p.m.
Cyrano de Bergerac is Edmond Rostand’s immortal play in which chivalry and wit, bravery and love are forever captured in the timeless spirit of romance.
Performances dates are Feb. 9-18. The Meroney Theater is located at 213 S Main St., 704-633-5471.
‘Polar Express’ on largest HDTV
CONCORD — Friday, Dec. 9, Carolina Christmas visitors will be treated to the holiday blockbuster “Polar Express” on the world’s largest HDTV.
The drive-in movie begins at 8 p.m. and is included with regular admission to Carolina Christmas Friday night. The holiday light show is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Carolina Christmas visitors may arrive early to see millions of lights in 600 different displays and visit the Christmas Village in the Charlotte Motor Speedway infield.
The entrance is at exit 49 off I-85. Tickets are available online or at the gate nightly at $20 per car, truck or SUV for up to eight passengers. For more information, call 1-800-455-FANS or visit
New Year’s Eve murder mystery dinner theater
CONCORD — Eat, Drink, and Be Murdered! Old Courthouse Theatre unveils a murder mystery dinner show on Dec. 31 from 8 p.m. to midnight in the fifth floor ballroom of the Smith Tower at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Tickets purchased on or before Dec. 15 are $75 per person, $150 per couple. After Dec. 15 tickets are $85 per person, $170 per couple. Final deadline is Dec. 28. To make reservations call Old Courthouse Theater at 704-788-2405 or email