Nebraska XmasThe forecast calls for indoor snow, timely spirits and much music, as A CHRISTMAS CAROL heralds a week of holiday entertainments on the Count Basie stage.

frozen-sing-alongThe dizzyingly jam-packed days of December continue apace at the Count Basie Theatre, where the stage of the area’s most Christmassy performing arts center receives visitations by holiday-themed entertainments hailing from points near and far.

Here are three, one each for the next trio of nights.

Rolling those wagons into Red Bank for the sixth consecutive year tonight are the troupers of Nebraska Theater Caravan, back by popular demand with another go at a show that’s become a staple of the seasonal schedule at the Basie: their original staging of the Charles Dickens’ chestnut “A Christmas Carol

Adapted by playwright Charles Jones — and incorporating instantly familiar hymns and carols like “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Away in a Manger” — the big touring production boasts a cast of over 20 players, a full orchestra, detailed costumes and some celebrated ghostly special effects designed by professional stage illusionists.

Take it here for eleventh-hour tickets ($35.50 to $49.50) to the show that remains a timeless fable of redemption and the power of community.


Coming to you from the ever-green hills and hamlets of the Emerald Isle —  and presented by Tourism Ireland, the official government-sanctioned promoters of Celtic culture and Erin’s charms — An Irish Christmas offers a celebration of “the great traditions of irish mythology,” through carols of Christmas, traditional folktunes and storytelling, as delivered by a cast of performers that includes an all-star troupe of Irish step dancers from across the pond beyond.

Take it here for tickets ($25 – $45) to the show, going up on the Basie stage this Tuesday, December 15 at 8 pm.


A tad more secular in its frosty fashion — but well attuned to the season of gifting, thanks to its record-breaking avalanche of merchandising and box office receipts — the 2013 Disney block-icebuster Frozen returns to the big screen on Wednesday December 16, in a special FROZEN Sing Along Winter Spectacular during which the audience is encouraged to make a joyful noise and accompany the animated sction on hit tunes like “Let It Go” and “For the First Time in Forever.”

Also promised for the 6 pm event are live appearances by Anna and her snowman pal — along with a forecast of snow inside the famous auditorium of the Monmouth Street landmark. Tickets are $10 for all (or free for members of the Count Basie Theatre Cinema Society), and can be reserved here.


—There’s much more merriment to come at the Basie — including the returns of Holiday Express, Darlene Love, and the Monmouth Civic Chorus; big-beat benefits hosted by Bobby Bandiera and Brian Kirk; plus the post-Christmas presentation of Dunbar Rep’s Black Nativity — so keep it tuned to redbankgreen for the details.