Texture Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker Onstage at August Wilson Center; ‘The Games Afoot, or Holmes for the Holidays’ at Lincoln Park (Sun., 12/3/23)

THE NUTCRACKER (ballet) by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Texture Contemporary Ballet. December 2, 3 (August Wilson Center), and 9 with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra (Palace Theatre). 

Avery Walz and Alan Obuzor perform in Texture Contemporary Ballet's 'The Nutcracker.' (Photo: Gary Stone)

Avery Walz and Alan Obuzor perform in Texture Contemporary Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker.’ (Photo: Gary Stone)

1) For kids and older adults who love Tchaikovsky’s immortal Christmas ballet but who have early bedtimes (all the better for dreaming of sugarplums,) Pittsburgh’s Texture Contemporary Ballet offers four daytime performances for anyone to enjoy. At the August Wilson Center, Texture’s School and Company will present one morning and one matinee performance on December 2 and 3, respectively. The following Saturday, the production teams up with the Westmoreland Symphony at Greensburg’s Palace Theatre for two more performances, the first at 11 a.m. and a second at 3 p.m. But don’t think that Texture’s Nutcracker is just for kids. With more than 100 performers led by Artistic Director Alan Obozur in choreography he created along with his former associate, Kelsey Bartman, Texture Contemporary Ballet also features Company dancers Baylee Sullivan and Elaina Sutula, along with faculty and guest artists Christopher Brandy, Erin Leach, and Katherine Rotz. Of course, students of Texture Ballet School will dance, too. 2 p.m. The August Wilson Center is at  980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District, and the Palace Theatre is at 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. (C.P.O.)

THE GAME’S AFOOT, OR HOLMES FOR THE HOLIDAYS (comedy/mystery) by Ken Ludwig. Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center. December 1 to 17. 

2) Winning the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best play in 2012, The Game’s Afoot is a Sherlock Holmes mystery without Sherlock Holmes. Rather, the central character is William Gillette, a famous actor of the early 1900s who played the deerstalker-ed detective 1,300 times to American and English audiences. Gillette was something of an inventor, too, creating real stage illusions, and famously incorporating other contraptions into his getaway castle in East Haddam, Connecticut. That’s all historically true, but The Game’s Afoot, or Holmes for the Holidays is something of a comic farce. When Gillette invites his cast mates to spend the holidays with him in his castle, a fellow thespian, quite suddenly, quite tragically, and everso mysteriously, dies. To catch the killer and solve the case, Gillette dons his famous character’s smoking jacket, picks up his meerschaum, and proves that Sherlock Holmes can be quite the comic, especially during the holidays. Beware, tickets for this Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center production might vanish soon. 2 p.m. 1 Lincoln Park, Midland, PA. (C.P.O.)

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Prentiss Orr

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