By Cameron O’Brien
As cold weather approaches and leaves begin falling from the trees that line Chico’s streets, days become shorter, and time spent with family and friends becomes more abundant. These changes mark the start of the holiday season, wherein the company of those you love and care for becomes more frequent, and a sense of community more pronounced.
The holidays are a time for the local community to gather and find joy in each other’s company, highlighted by such events as the Christmas Preview and the Community Christmas tree lighting held every year in downtown Chico since 1978. Along with these tried and true traditions, this season also brings Chico Performances’ annual holiday shows. From ballet to bossa nova, there is something for everyone in the family on this year’s lineup.
Chico Community Ballet (CCB) is bringing its talented troupe back to the stage of Laxson Auditorium for A Very Chico Nutcracker December 5-8. Celebrating more than three decades of seasonal performances, CCB adds their unique flair to the classic fairytale, bringing in a whopping 60 dancers to include their top dancers, guest artists, and some special community guests. Artistic Director, Deborah Jorritsma, will helm the production. “This very enchanting Nutcracker promises to bring all the magic and beauty of the season to the stage,” says Jorritsma.
This reimagining of the holiday staple was inspired by the Stansbury family of Chico and their daughter Angeline. The story, which chronicles adventures through the radiant Land of Enchantment, features fantastic music and breathtaking choreography, making it a can’t-miss event for the entire family to experience.
For those searching for the sights and sounds of a holiday cocktail party displayed on the big stage, look no further than Pink Martini’s Joy to the World extravaganza. The Portland ensemble brings heavy-hitting musicians from all genres together, along with award-winning vocalist China Forbes, for an evening concoction of jazz, Latin, cabaret, and swing that will have everyone in the audience out of their seats. This show is a perfect start to a night on the town with a special someone.
The Latin flair and pageantry, mixed in with the Christmas spirit of Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar’s Nochebuena is not to be missed. In a tribute to the Hispanic traditions of Christmas Eve, Artistic Directors Kareli Montoya and Jaime Cuéllar bring beautiful dance, colorful costumes, soaring instrumentals, and classic songs combined with a full mariachi band and dancers, to the stage for a lively and unforgettable performance of traditional ballads.
It is never too early to start looking for the perfect gift for a loved one. With more than 30 performances this season, ranging from theatre to dance, music to comedy, and lectures to family shows, a Chico Performances gift card is the perfect pick.
This holiday season, get into the spirit with family, friends, good times, and great performances on the stage of Laxson Auditorium. Tickets for all of the holiday performances, and every show this season, can be purchased one of three ways: by phone at (530) 898-6333, online at www.chicoperformances.com, or in person at the University Box Office located on the first floor of Shasta Hall on the corner of West Third and Chestnut Streets.