Aurora Theatre Company Presents A DOWN HOME CHRISTMAS WITH NELL & JIM, 12/13-21

Berkeley's acclaimed Aurora Theatre Company presents a "house" concert for the holidays with Nell Robinson and Jim Nunally in A DOWN HOME CHRISTMAS WITH NELL & JIM. This intimate show inaugurates Aurora Theatre Company's Second Stage cabaret performance space, Harry's UpStage, located in the Nell and Jules Dashow Wing. A DOWN HOME CHRISTMAS WITH NELL & JIM plays for eight performances only, December 13-21 at the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley. Tickets ($25 and $28) may be purchased directly from the Aurora Theatre Company box office by calling (510) 843-4822 or online at

Featured performers at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, the Strawberry Music Festival, and the Kennedy Center, Nell Robinson and Jim Nunally write and record roots music reminiscent of classic country duos such as Tammy Wynette and George Jones. Filled with country ("Christmas Time's a Comin," "If We Make It Through December," "Daddy Looked a Lot Like Santa") and Christmas ("Greensleeves," "Winter Wonderland") classics, as well as original numbers from Nell and Jim's new album House & Garden, A DOWN HOME CHRISTMAS re-creates that home for the holidays feeling with a joyous, intimate concert full of harmony and heart.

Nell Robinson has been called one of the most "utterly charming" and "freshest voices" in roots music today. Over the past four years she has appeared on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, the Strawberry Music Festival, the Kate Wolf Music Festival, and has enjoyed sold out performances at Berkeley's Freight and Salvage. This past fall, Nell, duet partner Jim Nunally, and friends were featured performers at Washington DC's Kennedy Center. Additional musical projects include Soldier Stories, a tribute to veterans and their families, and the whimsical 1930s-inspired yodeling duo, The Henriettas.

A third-generation traditional music roots performer, Jim Nunally is a world-class guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. He has toured extensively with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience and The Jaybirds, and is the recipient of two Grammy Award certificates and two IBMA awards. Nunally is also a two-time Western Open Masterpicking Champion and Guitar Champion.

Located in the Dashow Wing at Aurora Theatre Company, Harry's UpStage is the company's Second Stage cabaret space. Long-time Aurora subscriber and supporter Harry Weininger passed away in May 2010; his family, who knew of his dedication to Aurora, wanted to honor him and made a $25,000 donation to Aurora to outfit the Dashow with a new lighting package, curtains, a stage, and furniture. Harry's UpStage will be used for live cabaret and Second Stage performance events at Aurora.

Following A DOWN HOME CHRISTMAS, Aurora presents the third main stage production to originate from the company's Global Age Project, the World Premiere of Anthony Clarvoe's OUR PRACTICAL HEAVEN, directed by Allen McKelvey in January. Award-winning Bay Area auteur Mark Jackson returns to Aurora Theatre Company in April to put his spin on Alistair Beaton's new translation of Max Frisch's West End hit THE ARSONISTS. The season concludes in June with the Bay Area Premiere of Neil LaBute's searing dark comedy THIS IS HOW IT GOES, directed by Aurora Theatre Company Artistic Director Tom Ross.

Nominated for 33 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for 2011, Aurora Theatre Company continues to offer challenging, literate, intelligent stage works to the Bay Area, each year increasing its reputation for top-notch theater.