WEEKEND BEST BETS
1 “A Christmas Carol,” Charles Dickens’ classic tale, returns to Geva Theatre’s Wilson Mainstage for another holiday season. Geva’s version features a script adapted by Mark Cuddy from Dickens’ novella, with music and lyrics by Gregg Coffin. Cuddy also directs. Guy Paul reprises his role as Ebenezer Scrooge. It runs through Dec. 24. gevatheatre.org
2 Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker” is a holiday tradition featuring 40 Russian dancers and set to Tchaikovsky’s famous music. It’s onstage at 3 p.m. Nov. 27 at the Auditorium Theatre. The production features lavish costumes and handpainted backdrops with 3-D effects. ticketmaster.com
3 Genesee Country Village & Museum presents “Breakfast with St. Nick” Nov. 26. The Meeting Center will be decorated for the season and a kid-pleasing breakfast will be served in addition to an encounter with a 19th-century-style Santa. Each child will receive a 19th-century treat. Reservations are required. gcv.org
4 Geva Comedy Improv again presents “Thanksgridiron Faceoff.” Turkeys and Pilgrims—two legendary teams—clash in a throwdown of hilarious improv. Shows are at Nov. 25 and 26 in the NextStage at Geva. gevacomedyimprov.org
5 The RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium’s “Holiday Laser” show, a seasonal tradition, kicked off this week and runs through Jan. 2. Appropriate for all ages, the show is 100 percent music, presenting favorite holiday songs back-to-back without a break, choreographed with dancing laser light against the starry background of the planetarium sky. rmsc.org
ARTS and CULTURE
Aracelis Girmay writes of racial identity at a critical juncture in U.S. history. Her new book of poems, “The Black Maria,” released by BOA Editions Ltd. this year, recently was named a Best Book of 2016 by Publisher’s Weekly.
On Dec. 3, Girmay will bring her book for a 6 p.m. reading and discussion at Three Heads Brewery. It’s part of Read Local, a public book club and event series hatched by Writers & Books that spotlights BOA and Open Letter Books, both literary gems based in Rochester.
Girmay’s book explores African history and racism in U.S. culture. It won a 2015 Whiting Award for Poetry, a $50,000 annual prize given by the Whiting Foundation. Girmay teaches poetry at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. wab.org
Prism concerts place performers in and around the audience, each performer picking up where the last left off.
Nazareth College musicians will present a holiday prism concert Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. in Linehan Chapel. Nine ensembles will perform a range of pieces, including Sleigh Ride, Ukrainian Carol, Czech Suite, African Noel and Leroy Anderson’s A Christmas Festival, consisting of nine Christmas melodies. naz.rochester.edu
Photographer Diana Markosian will discuss the relationship between memory and place in “Documenting the Personal” at George Eastman Museum Dec. 1.
Markosian has traveled the world taking photos for National Geographic and other leading publications. Her talk will be held in the Dryden Theatre at 6 p.m. eastman.org
Home of the popular 6 X 6 exhibition, Rochester Contemporary Art Center is accustomed to making a buzz. The compact gallery in the East End has a big presence in Rochester’s art world. Members of the gallery will reveal just how big during the 26th annual Members Exhibition, opening Dec. 2 for First Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and running through Jan. 15. The exhibition—RoCo’s biggest members’ show yet—will feature 360 artworks in all kinds of media. Some of the artists have signed up to give 10-minute talks about their work on the Days the Artists Spoke, Dec. 3 and 10 from 1 to 5 p.m. rochestercontemporary.org
Fagan treats hometown fans to two premieres
Rochester audiences will get a first look at two premieres by Garth Fagan Dance during the company’s home season Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 at Nazareth College Arts Center.
The first, “In Conflict,” was choreographed by Fagan and set to music by sacred music composer Arvo Part. It is a four-part work exploring the harmony and struggle of relationships, featuring veteran Natalie Rogers-Cropper and principal dancer Vitolio Jeune, with Wynton Rice and Sarah Herbert.
Norwood Pennewell, rehearsal director and Fagan’s assistant, choreographed the second premiere, “A Moderate Cease.” He set it to classical chamber music, Steven Isserlis’ Cello Concerto in E Minor-Opus 85, and added jazz rhythms. The dance features Jeune and principal dancer Guy Thorne.
Also on the program is “Mudan 175/39.” Nazareth College commissioned the work for the opening of its arts center in 2009, the last time Rochester audiences saw a Fagan premiere. Fagan’s signature is seen in the other reprises on the program as well: “Prelude: Discipline Is Freedom,” “Geoffrey Holder Life Fete…Bacchanal,” “Conjurman” (from “DanceCollageForRomie”) and “No Evidence of Failure.”
Widely considered one of the top choreographers in modern history, Fagan has created more than 70 works over a half-century. His dancers are known for their athleticism, high energy, precision and expression. Fagan sells out shows in cities where dance has legions of loyal followers, such as Los Angeles and New York City. He has won a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Astaire Award and Laurence Olivier Award.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in the 2016-17 season, Garth Fagan Dance School Ensemble will perform during the Dec. 3 and 4 matinees. Ensemble director William Ferguson choreographed the original work. garthfagandance.org
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