RED WING, Minn. -- Celebrating the holidays can mean many different things, from preparing traditional foods to caroling, decorating, shopping and taking the kids to see Santa.
In Red Wing, there may be no better place to get in the holiday spirit than the Sheldon Theatre. And several of the shows are Kids Play Free, which means a child under 14 will be admitted free with a paid adult admission.
During the Christmas season, the historic theater will be the place to go for instrumental and choral music, rock ‘n’ roll, vocal acrobatics, piano music and even the classic sounds of Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker.
Sheldon Theatre Brass Band
The season officially begins tonight with the annual holiday concert by the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band.
The local ensemble, which draws talent from throughout the region, will present its Christmas program at 7:30 p.m. and again Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $18, students $13.
Cherish the Ladies
Cherish the Ladies, an Irish-American singing group, will present “Celtic Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6. The show features classic carols with Celtic instrumentation and step dancing.
Tickets are $35-39, plus Kids Play Free. In addition, there’ll be a pre-show studio dining option for $45, featuring food by Bleu Dog Café.
M-Pact, an a cappella group which has been hailed as “one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world,” comes to the Sheldon at 7 p.m. Dec. 8. The group is known worldwide as a cutting edge trailblazer in the realm of vocal music.
The Los Angeles-based group relies on the fresh, raw power of nature’s “first instrument” – the human voice. The group was formed in 1995 in Seattle and won the Harmony Sweepstakes competition the following year.
Sophisticated yet accessible, M-Pact has continued to win awards, including Vocal Group of the Year at the L.A. Music Awards and Artist of the Year at the Seattle Music Awards. The group has released more than a dozen albums, and toured fine arts halls and jazz festivals across four continents.
“Imagine,” Sheldon officials suggested, “the smooth soul of Sam Smith, the percussive power of Stomp, the funk and groove of Bruno Mars, the sophisticated harmonies of Take 6, and the brass bite of the Michael Buble Big Band … all created by the human voice alone.”
Performing with such diverse luminaries as Sheryl Crow, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole and the Woody Herman Orchestra, M-Pact mesmerizes audiences with vocal acrobatics, innovative orchestrations and commanding stage presence.
The group’s holiday showcase will feature favorites such as “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “Away in a Manger” and “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”
Tickets are $26 to $31, plus Kids Play Free.
One of the most successful rock ‘n’ roll groups of all times, The Platters, will perform two shows at the Sheldon, at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13.
Legends of the genre, The Platters have been named to the Rock, Vocal and Grammy Halls of Fame. They had 40 hits on the charts between 1955 and 1967, including four Number One hits on U.S. charts “The Great Pretender,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” “My Prayer” and “Twilight Time.”
The group will apply its well-known harmonies to traditional Christmas music in addition to performing classic hits from multiple decades.
The Platters started in 1953 with bass singer Herb Reed. It was one of the first African-American groups to become a major charted group.
After more than six decades, they continue to perform across the world. Over the years there have been many personnel changes. “The faces may have changed,” Sheldon officials said, “but the legacy of the music lives on.”
Tickets are $35 to $39, plus Kids Play Free.
Line, who does a special Christmas show every year, said, “It’s the most special year in my career as I am celebrating 30 years of touring. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true (it feels like 15 years to me.) Where did the time go? I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
The celebrated pianist, who thanked fans for following her all those years, will be joined on stage by her Pop Chamber Orchestra and a featured vocalist.
“We will be performing both new music and the ‘best of the best’ from years past,” she said. “It will be all about fashion, beautiful music, laughter and fun, sentimental stories, and of course celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior … with all of you.”
Tickets are $60.
Closing out the Christmas season schedule will be the annual visit from Continental Ballet’s “The Nut
Considered by many fans as the crown jewel of the holiday season, the classic ballet is especially designed for families.
“This seasoned production develops themes of generosity, non-violence and responsibility through the timeless tale of Clara’s fantastic voyage to the Land of the Sugarplum Fairy with her magical godfather, Drosselmeyer.
The Minnesota-based company has toured “Nutcracker” throughout the state, making it a beloved tradition in communities including Red Wing.
Tickets are $26 to $31; Kids Play Free, and additional youth tickets are $17.
For information or tickets to any Sheldon performance, visit the box office, call 651-388-8700 or go online to www.sheldontheatre.org
Nov. 30-Dec. 1 – Sheldon Brass Band, 7:30 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Dec. 6 – Cherish the Ladies “Celtic Christmas,” 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 8 – M-Pact pop-jazz vocals, 7 p.m.
Dec. 13 – The Platters rock ‘n’ roll, 1:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 17 – Lorie Line 30th anniversary, 7 p.m.
Dec. 20 – Continental Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” 7:30 p.m.