The Hippo


Feb 27, 2020








The cast of It’s a Wonderful Life by the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. From left to right, Jason Bowen, Celeste Olivia, Nael Nacer, Veronika Duerr, Joel Colodner. Meghan Moore photo.

Holidays Onstage
Theater to celebrate the season

By Kelly Sennott

If you’re tired of A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker, there are still many local theaters producing holiday plays and musicals you haven’t seen onstage before.
The Merrimack Repertory Theatre mounts It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, a 90-minute production that runs Nov. 25 through Dec. 20, with performances Wednesdays through Sundays (except Thanksgiving) at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre, 50 E. Merrimack St., Lowell, Mass. Tickets range in price from $23 to $60 and are on sale at or by calling 978-654-4678. The show is MRT’s first holiday-themed production since 2011.
Trinity Church of Hampton and Christ Church of Portsmouth host professional actor and director Stephanie Voss Nugent, who will read A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote on Saturday, Nov. 28, at 6:30 p.m. at Hobbs House, 200 High St., Hampton. There will be refreshments, and admission is $10. Proceeds benefit ongoing community outreach programs at both churches. Call 926-5688.
• The great-great grandson of Charles Dickens, Gerald Charles Dickens, returns to New Hampshire to present a look at the life of the great writer as seen through the lens of his colorful characters, diary extracts and observations by the people who knew him. His first event is at the Nashua Senior Activity Center, 70 Temple St., Nashua, on Monday, Nov. 30, at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $15; call 816-2649. He’ll be back later that night at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 2 Somerset Parkway, Nashua, for a 7 p.m. performance. Tickets are $25. Email
The Immaculate Heart of Mary presents An Epic Christmas, Naughty or Nice on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m., at the Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord, 225-1111, In the show, a cast of characters struggle to find a way off the naughty list and into the spirit of Christmas magic, with holiday favorite songs that culminate into a live musical Nativity. Tickets are $15 to $25.
The Concord Dance Academy presents its Annual Holiday Spectacular at the Concord City Auditorium, 2 Prince St., Concord, on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 1 and 6 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 6, at 1 p.m. Tickets are $15 each. In addition to the dance performances to holiday songs, there’s a family baked goods sale, 50/50 raffle and free Santa photo. Visit, call 226-0200.
The Ogunquit Playhouse brings Irving Berlin’s White Christmas: The Musical to The Music Hall, 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, with showtimes Wednesday, Dec. 9, through Sunday, Dec. 20. The production features well-known songs like “Sisters” and “White Christmas.” Tickets are $42 to $64. Visit or call 436-2400.
The Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord (225-1111,, hosts The Twelve Days of Christmas on Friday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m. The show features more than 100 performers from across New Hampshire, including students from the Eastern Ballet Institute and  the Concord Community Music School’s Purple Finches Children’s Chorus. There will be musicians, aerial dance artists and an 18-foot light-up pear tree with a dancing partridge in her nest. Tickets are $12.50 to $16.50.
Pontine Theatre presents A New England Christmas at Pontine’s West End Studio Theatre, 959 Islington St., Portsmouth, on Friday, Dec. 11, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 12, at 4 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 13, at 2 p.m. Pontine Artistic Directors Marguerite Mathews and Greg Gathers perform Christmas 1910 by Gladys Hasty Carroll, The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t by Ogden Nash and The Christmas Monks by Mary Wilkins Freeman. The show combines storytelling and Victorian-style toy theater figures. Tickets are $24. Visit or call 436-6660. 
• The students at Portsmouth Academy of Performing Arts (PAPA) premiere their new show, Saving Santa, at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre, 125 Bow St., Portsmouth, from Dec. 12 through Dec. 20. The show, written by Rep artistic director Miles Burns, tells the story of what happens when Santa Claus goes missing after delivering toys on Christmas Eve, and his elves must figure out how to rescue and bring him “ho, ho, home.” Tickets are $10. Visit or call 433-4472.
George Hosker-Bouley performs his self-written play, A Dickens’ of a Christmas, at Old Salt Restaurant, 490 Lafayette Road, Hampton, on Monday, Dec. 14, at 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 5:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 5:30 p.m.; and Thursday, Dec. 17, at 5:30 p.m. The event includes a three-course dinner, live music, holiday carols and the show, which is about a writer who wants to give his children a great story for Christmas, but who is befuddled by writer’s block. Tickets are $39.99 per person.
• Think you’ve heard them all? The Majestic Theatre presents Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!), a comedy dinner theater show, at the Executive Court Banquet Facility, 1199 S. Mammoth Road, Manchester, on Friday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 20, at 1:30 p.m. Three actors attempt to perform every holiday tale, present Christmas traditions from around the world, show seasonal icons from ancient times and sing every carol ever sung. Tickets are $42 Friday and Saturday and $38 Sunday. Dinner is included with tickets, but 24-hour advance reservations are required, with limited tickets available. Call 669-7469. 

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