Kimmel Center Kicks Off 2013-14 Winter Holiday Highlights

The holidays are upon us with plenty to celebrate at the KimMel Center's campus of events and performances.

Holidays are all about creating traditions and keeping them alive. Families and friends come together for experiences that become lifetime memories. The performing arts "live" experience does exactly that-transporting audiences to stage settings of dancing sugar plum fairies, of soulful choir concerts and Messiah performances, of theater shows that bring princesses and beasts alive, of sparkly New Year's Eve celebrations lighting up 2014 at the stroke of midnight. Let the KimMel Center's campus of activities be your guide to a jolly fest of family-friendly performances with tickets making great stocking stuffers.

The Philly Pops kick off a flurry of holiday activity on the Kimmel's campus with their treasured musical tradition, Holiday Pops! Christmas Spectacular and nine festive performances in Verizon Hall (Dec. 6 - 21). Led by Britain's celebrated American-born conductor David Charles Abell with three choirs, dramatic soprano Angela Brown makes her debut for a performance of beloved seasonal tunes. George Balanchine's The Nutcracker returns to the Academy of Music (Dec. 7-29). Part of Pennsylvania Ballet's 50th Anniversary season, this reprised classic continues to enchant families with its glittery costumes and youthful cast of talent masterfully bringing Marie's enchanting, magical gift and Tchaikovsky score to life. The Philadelphia Orchestra makes the holidays even brighter with its Christmas Kids Spectacular! Family Concert led by conductor Christian M?celaru and actors Michael Boudwyns and Sara Valentine performing a vaudeville-inspired rendition of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and other holiday favorites (Dec. 14).

Then on Dec. 17, KimMel Center Presents' A Soulful Christmas Shout for Joy! features Broadway star Melba Moore and artistic and music director J. Donald Dumpson leading over 150 local choir members for a program of spirituals, gospel and inspirational music. American Theater Arts for Youth recreates the timeless tale of Cinderella, whisking children away to Prince Charming's Ball in Perelman Theater (Dec. 18-19). On Dec. 19-21, The Philadelphia Orchestra's Glorious Sounds of Christmas celebrates the Orchestra's best-selling Christmas album, full of their lush, Philadelphia sound, followed by their annual performance of Messiah, a sure sell-out, featuring The Philadelphia Singers Chorale (Dec. 22), and their annual New Year's Eve concert.

Broadway Philadelphia heats up theater offerings with Beauty and the Beast welcoming a family friendly Thanksgiving retreat at the Academy of Music (Nov. 26-Dec. 1); Jersey Boys makes a big splash for multi-generations interested in the inspiring tale of how Rock and Roll Hall of Famers got their start as The Four Seasons (Dec.11-Jan. 5), and the magic of Lucille Ball and Ricky Ricardo's hilarious antics come alive with I Love Lucy Live On Stage (Dec. 26-Dec. 29).

Philadanco energizes the mix with a tribute dance performance to young African American choreographer Christopher Huggins (Dec. 6-8). And for classical aficionados looking to step out of that tinsel and bows, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society features Academy of Vocal Arts alumna soprano Ailyn Pérez making her recital debut with Ken Noda on piano (Dec. 17).

Looking into the New Year, The Philadelphia Orchestra pairs conductor Christian M?celaru with breathtaking acrobatics featuring Cirque de la Symphonie, as well as contortionists, dancers and special surprises taking the stage, and performing over the stage, by leaps and bounds (Jan 3-4). Organ enthusiasts can rejoice looking into the new year when Music Director Dirk Brossé leads The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia through a special program on the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ featuring organists Matt Glandorf, Alan Morrison and Jeffrey Brillhart, and Miho Saegusa on violin (Jan. 19). And, Opera Philadelphia performs Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov's Grammy Award-winning flamenco- and rumba- infused score, Ainadamar, the story of Spanish famed poet and playwright Federico García Lorca's struggle for love and free expression during the Spanish Civil War (Feb. 7-16).




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