The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts will present a full schedule of Holiday Shows from November 30 through December 21. All shows take place at the Grunin Center, Ocean County College Main Campus, College Drive, Toms River, NJ. Please use Parking Lot #2.
OCC Repertory Theatre Company presents THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGAENT EVER, Thurs, Nov 30, and Fri, Dec 1 and Dec 8, 7:30pm; Sat, Dec 2 and Dec 9, 8pm; and Sun, Dec 3 and Dec 10, 2pm, Black Box Theatre, $15. A unique and entertaining spin on an age-old tale. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever has an edge – but the edge is funny, irreverent, and irresistible. Author Barbara Robinson’s prose is fast, clever, and very funny. Though it’s all in fun, it offers a subtle but important lesson: Just because you’re bad doesn’t mean you’re hopeless.
Yates Musical Theatre presents A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Family Friendly), Sat, Dec 2, 1pm, Main Stage, $12-$10. An Ocean County College tradition, this musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol is the timeless tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge who hates Christmas. Shocked into action by visits from three ghosts that take him on a journey to the past, present, and future; Scrooge discovers the true meaning of Christmas. The music and dancing of A Christmas Carol will help put everyone in the holiday spirit!
OCC Concert Band presents THE MAGIC OF THE SEASON (Family Friendly), Sat, Dec 2, 7pm, Main Stage, $20-$18. Join the OCC Concert Band for a magical holiday concert you won’t soon forget! The Band has nothing up its sleeves and it isn’t pulling anything out of a hat, but expect a magic-filled evening nonetheless! Audience members will find that a magical holiday mood appears by hearing favorite holiday tunes with a fresh twist.
Tim McLoone & the Holiday Express Band presents: HOLIDAY EXPRESS FAMILY MATINEE (Family Friendly), Sun, Dec 3, 12noon, Main Stage, $12-$10. The nonprofit Holiday Express Band, made up of more than 100 of the best musicians on the Jersey Shore, will perform a mix of traditional, gospel, and rock ‘n’ soul holiday music featuring Santa, The Grinch, and other favorites! These volunteer musicians will play 100 shows in Nov and Dec, delivering music, clothing, food, and fun to adults and children in need, including veterans, the mentally and physically challenged, individuals in addiction/recovery programs, the isolated and the homeless.
Baller for Young Audiences presents THE NUTCRACKER (Family Friendly), Sun, Dec 9, 1pm, Main Stage, $12-$10. This delightful ballet is a dream story brought to life through music and dance. The Nutcracker tells the story of Clara, a young girl who’s magical journey begins with a Nutcracker doll and ends with the Land of Sweets. Along the way, you’ll meet the Mouse King, Flowers, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and a cast of enchanting characters. This ballet is narrated for your added enjoyment.
VIENNA BOYS CHOIR (Family Friendly), Thurs, Dec 14, 7:30pm, Main Stage, $49-$40 (Add On: $25 includes dinner in the Grunin Center Gallery from Prime 13). Renowned as one of the finest vocal ensembles in the world for over five centuries, the Vienna Boys Choir performs throughout the world. This illustrious group of child musicians delights music lovers with its purity of tone, distinctive charm, and popular repertoire. Under the direction of conductor Manolo Cagnin, these gifted young singers display voices of unforgettable beauty in a “Christmas in Vienna,” an extraordinary program featuring Austrian folk songs, classical masterpieces, popular songs, and, of course, holiday favorites.
WESTMINSTER CONCERT BELL CHOIR (Family Friendly), Fri, Dec 15, 7:30pm, Main Stage, $20. A new Grunin Center tradition, the Westminster Concert Bell Choir returns to the Main Stage! The group is composed of undergraduate and graduate students of Westminster Choir College of Rider University, was the first institution in the world to develop such a program. The Choir has performed twice at Carnegie Hall during the Christmas season and was featured on New Jersey Network’s “State of the Arts.” Recently, the Choir joined singer Josh Groban on NBC’s nationally televised “Lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.”
A GARFIELD CHRISTMAS (Family Friendly), Thurs, Dec 21, 7:30pm, Main Stage, $20-$18. It’s the most wonderful time of the year – especially if you’re the world’s best-loved and funniest cat: Garfield! Coming to you with arms wide open in anticipation of all the Christmas presents he’s expecting, Garfield will light up your holiday with his wit, wise cracks, and wisdom. Everyone’s favorite feline is a few gifts short of true Christmas spirit. However, with the help of Jon, Odie, the audience, and his new holiday friends, Garfield gets an “enlightening” lesson. This lively holiday musical features timeless Christmas favorites such as “Jingle Bells,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Deck the Halls,” and many more.
CAROL OF THE KING, THE IRISH DANCE CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR, Sat, Dec 23, 8pm, Main Stage, $35. Irish dance and Christmas come together for an exciting holiday spectacular the entire family will enjoy! Winter has fallen. King Solomon and his kingdom prepare for the Christmas celebration but the dark sorceress Circe and her ghostly legion, The Frost, are upon the land. She has trapped the king in an attempt to steal the throne and expel Christmas once-and-for-all. However, in a brave effort to rescue their king and preserve the spirit of the season, Brighid, Aidan, and the Guardians battle the frigid forces in an attempt to restore harmony to the land.
For information or to purchase tickets (ask about “subscriber” rates), call the Grunin Center Box Office at Ocean County College, 732-255-0500. Purchase tickets online at tickets.ocean.edu. Visit our website at www.grunincenter.org.