Christmas is in the spotlight at these 7 holiday performances

Santaland Diaries590
Photo by Charr Crail
Aaron Wilton stars in The SantaLand Diaries, the adaptation of David Sedaris' famous tale, through Dec. 28 at Capital Stage.

Christmas is coming in the River City, with performing arts groups offering special seasonal productions across the region—from a symphonic concert in Folsom to a yuletide comedy in midtown to a historically inspired holiday program in Davis. Here are seven upcoming events to help make spirits bright this season.

Cantus (Dec. 5)
The all-male vocal ensemble Cantus stops in Davis with its yearly touring holiday concert program “All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914,” which recounts a fabled event on the Western Front during the first World War when soldiers on both sides decided to temporarily put down their weapons and exchanged gifts, sang Christmas carols and even played soccer. The story of that historic moment will be told through performances of classics like “O Holy Night,” “O Tannenbaum” and “Silent Night,” and with such elements as readings from war journals and snippets of period radio broadcasts. Tickets start at $27. 8 p.m. Mondavi Center’s Jackson Hall. Mrak Hall Dr. and Old Davis Rd. Davis. 530-754-2787.

The Folsom Symphony (Dec. 6 & 7)
This packed holiday program from the Folsom Symphony, which is made up entirely of volunteer musicians, brings together a wide range of traditional compositions, including the famous pas de deux sequence from The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, Victor Herbert’s “March of the Toys” from Babes in Toyland, and excerpts from works like Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Soloist Jessica Siena, who has toured with the New York City Opera, will lend her soaring soprano voice to other selections such as the classic carol “O Holy Night.” $25-$55. Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. Harris Center for the Arts. 10 College Pkwy. Folsom. 608-6888.

A Victorian Christmas Concert (Dec. 11)
This special Christmas concert features Capella Antiqua, the chamber choir in residence at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, and the women’s chorus Vox Musica, which will begin the evening with a variety of classic holiday tunes. Afterwards, Capella Antiqua will take the stage to present A Christmas Carol: Lessons and Carols for the 21st Century, which incorporates dramatic readings from Charles Dickens’ beloved A Christmas Carol and renditions of period yuletide songs. Audience members can raise their voices during sing-alongs throughout the night. $10-$15. 7:30 p.m. Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. 1017 11th St. 444-3071.

Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra (Dec. 13)
The Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra’s 200-plus members will present their annual holiday program “Home for the Holidays.” The event will feature elements like audience sing-alongs, a candlelight processional, and special accompaniment courtesy of the pint-sized performers of the talented Sacramento Children’s Chorus, as well as the Christ Community Church bell choir and soloist Julie Miller, a mezzo-soprano who performs with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. $30-$45. 8 p.m. Memorial Auditorium. 1515 J St. 808-5181.

American Bach Soloists (Dec. 14)
Led by musical director Jeffrey Thomas, this Bay Area-based classical ensemble—whose historically informed performances and recordings have been widely praised by the likes of The Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle—returns for its 13th consecutive Christmas concert at the Mondavi Center, where it will present George Frideric Handel’s majestic 18th-century magnum opus Messiah. Tickets start at $27. 8 p.m. Mondavi Center’s Jackson Hall. Mrak Hall Dr. and Old Davis Rd. Davis. 530-754-2787.

It’s a Wonderful Life (Through Dec. 28)
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Sacramento Theatre Company, which will stage its second annual presentation of this musical adaptation—featuring numbers like “If You Want the Moon,” “You Are Now in Bedford Falls” and the title song—of Frank Capra’s 1946 classic It’s a Wonderful Life about despondent small-town banker George Bailey, whose angel-in-training, Clarence, helps him see the value of his life. $20-$40. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. Sacramento Theatre Company’s Mainstage. 1419 H St. 443-6722.

The SantaLand Diaries (Through Dec. 28)
For the second year in a row, Capital Stage presents this humorous one-man play based on a 1992 piece by New Yorker essayist David Sedaris. The comedy, directed by the company’s co-founder Peter Mohrmann, recounts the humorist’s stint playing a Christmas elf at the Macy’s department store in New York City. $20-$40. Wednesday at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m. Capital Stage. 2215 J St. 995-5464.

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