BY JOHN FLEMING
Times Performing Arts Critic
A Christmas Carol, the Sugarplum Fairy and carols being sung by a choir — they're a big part of the holidays. Here's a roundup of selected music, theater and dance performances for the season.
Dance: Clara runs away to join the circus
Dec. 21-22: Sarasota Ballet's new circus-themed Nutcracker, with the Sarasota Orchestra playing the Tchaikovsky score, has three performances at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater ($35-$75; rutheckerdhall.com). There are also three performances Dec. 14-15 at Sarasota's Van Wezel Hall ($10-$90; sarasotaballet.org).
Dec. 22-23: Next Generation Ballet brings in some fine soloists (including St. Petersburg native Daniel Ulbricht of New York City Ballet) for its Nutcracker, which has three performances at the Straz Center in Tampa ($20.50-$65.50; strazcenter.org).
Dec. 28-29: Moscow Ballet, featuring Ukraine prima ballerina Olga Kifyak, brings the Great Russian Nutcracker to St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater for a pair of performances ($32.50-$97; mahaffey.com). Mahaffey also presents The Chocolate Nutcracker in two performances Dec. 15 ($17-$37).
Theater: Scrooge sings
Friday: Cool Yule at the City features 25 singers in performances through Dec. 16 at St. Petersburg City Theatre ($10, $18; spcitytheatre.org).
Friday: Every Christmas Story Ever Told ... and Then Some has three performances this weekend at Venue Theatre, Pinellas Park ($15; (727) 822-6194).
Dec. 13: Steven Patterson stars as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol: A New Musical at Freefall Theatre, where it plays through Dec. 30 ($39, $46; freefalltheatre.com).
Dec. 13: Holiday Inc., a musical by Jonathan Van Dyke, runs through Dec. 22 at the Jaeb Theater of the Straz Center, Tampa ($34.50; strazcenter.org).
Dec. 19-20: A Christmas Carol has two shows at Ruth Eckerd Hall ($25-$50; rutheckerdhall.com).
Dec. 22-23: Florida Lyric Opera stages Amahl and the Night Visitors at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center ($18, $22; tarponarts.org).
Ongoing: A Doll's House, continuing through Dec. 23 at American Stage in St. Petersburg, has a seasonal connection: Nora's liberation takes place from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day ($29-$49; americanstage.org). Alison Burns' cabaret show, Holiday Party of One, runs through Dec. 16 at Stageworks, Tampa ($26; stageworkstheatre.org).
Music: From Gregorian chant to 'Sleigh Ride'
Saturday-Sunday: The Tampa Bay Children's Chorus gives holiday concerts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, St. Petersburg, and 4 p.m. Sunday at Hyde Park Methodist Church, Tampa (free, donations accepted; tbcchorus.org).
Sunday: Florida Pro Musica gives its 10th annual Advent concert of Gregorian chant at 4 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Tampa ($10; floridapromusica.com). On Dec. 16, the group performs a candlelight concert of Renaissance Christmas music at 7 p.m. at Tampa's St. Andrews Episcopal Church ($20; limited seating, with advance purchase advised).
Sunday: The Florida Orchestra Brass Quintet performs a seasonal program at 2:30 p.m. at Peace Memorial Church, Clearwater (offering taken, $5 minimum suggested; peacememorial.org). The brass quintet also plays at 2 p.m. Dec. 16 at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center ($18, $22; tarponarts.org).
Sunday: The Tampa Bay Flute Choir, led by Deanna Kilbourne, plays holiday and winter-themed music at 3 p.m. at Allendale United Methodist Church, St. Petersburg (freewill offering; allendaleumc.org).
Dec. 15-16: A Very Swell Noel features singer Sara DelBeato and Michael Raabe at the piano in a cabaret show at Freefall Theatre, St. Petersburg ($15; freefalltheatre.com).
Dec. 18-19: St. Petersburg Opera performs an excerpt from Bach's Christmas Oratorio, a wintry scene from La Boheme, carols and other works in its second "Seasonal Sparkle" at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg ($21.50-$64.50; stpeteopera.org).
Dec. 21-23: The Florida Orchestra, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay and vocalist Hilary Kole, with Stuart Malina conducting, range from The Christmas Song to Sleigh Ride to the Hallelujah Chorus in concerts at the Straz Center, Mahaffey Theater and Ruth Eckerd Hall ($15-$45; floridaorchestra.org). The orchestra also plays a holiday program for its Coffee Concert at 11 a.m. Dec. 20 at Mahaffey.
John Fleming can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8716.