By Heidi Masek email@example.com
• Until next year: There’s still time to catch the Palace Theatre’s ninth annual production of A Christmas Carol.
New Hampshire actor George F. Piehl, who founded Stage One Productions in 1981, plays Ebenezer Scrooge. “Sometimes we forget that as a young man Scrooge was a very nice guy. He had a lonely childhood and had to deal with the loss of his sister,” Piehl said in a Palace release.
Palace Artistic Director Carl Rajotte directed and choreographed the cast of more than 50.
Almost 6,000 children from more than 40 schools watched school productions during the four-week run. The Palace gave more than 300 tickets for free to Beech Street Elementary, Wilson and Gossler Park schools in the Manchester School District.
Closing public performances are Saturday, Dec. 27, at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 28, at 2 p.m., at the Palace, 80 Hanover St. in Manchester. Ticket costs range from $25 to $40. Call 668-5588 or see www.palacetheatre.org.
“Sometimes we forget all the good that has happened to us in the past. Sometimes it takes a show like this to remind us of all the good times,” Piehl said.
• Festival of lights: Hanukkah runs from Dec. 21 through Dec. 29 this year, and Chabad Lubavitch of New Hampshire (www.lubavitchnh.com) is celebrating by hosting Avner the Eccentric at the Palace to perform his current show, Exceptions to Gravity. The entertainer has performed both in film and on Broadway. Singer Yehuda will also be on stage for “Chanukah at the Palace,” Sunday, Dec. 28, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $12 and $18. VIP tickets cost $50.
• Avner inspired: Get the kids out of the house to catch a Phyzgig Festival show. The series of family-friendly physical comedy runs in Portland, Maine, from Dec. 26 through Dec. 31 (it started in 1997 with a run of Avner the Eccentric shows — what a coincidence) and now it’s branching out. Pontine Theatre at West End Studio Theatre, 959 Islington St. in Portsmouth, hosts Leland Faulkner and Michael Lane Trautman, who perform with shadow puppets, magic, juggling and other feats, Saturday, Dec. 27, at 2 and 7 p.m. They are joined by clowns Amanda Crockett and Sarah Jane Moody, plus the YoYo People, Sunday, Dec. 28, at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets cost $18; call 436-6660.
• Countdown: Start your New Year’s Eve evening at a Funeral for a Gangster. The Majestic Theatre produces the musical-mystery, dinner show with audience participation Wednesday, Dec. 31. Set in a 1928 speakeasy at “services” for deceased Don, Vito “The Gut” Marzetti, the bereaved are on the lookout for Vito’s cash, according to a Majestic release. Doors open at 7 p.m., and dinner is at 7:30 p.m., at 281 Cartier St., Manchester. The show ends at about 10:30 p.m., leaving time for party hopping. Tickets (including dinner) cost $37.50 and must be reserved in advance. Proceeds benefit the Majestic community programming. Call 669-7469 or see www.majestictheatre.net.