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Stage

THIS WEEK: DEC. 4 to 10, 2009

An O. Henry Christmas, a musical based on the classic Christmas stories “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Last Leaf.” Shawnee Playhouse, 1 River Road, Shawnee on Delaware. Through Dec. 20 with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. $25, $23 seniors, $14 children. 421-5093.

The Trouble with Christmas Presents, a holiday family musical in which presents come to life to sing and dance. Phoenix Performing Arts Centre, 411 Main St., Duryea. Through Dec. 13 with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. $10, $8, $5. 457-3589.

Merry Christmas, George Bailey! A 1940s radio-show version of “It’s a Wonderful Life” with singing, sound effects, commercials and audience participation. Performed by the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble at the Alvina Krause Theatre, 226 Center St., Bloomsburg. Through Dec. 27 with performances Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 3 p.m. Additional performances Dec. 19 and 26 at 2 p.m.; Dec. 22-23 at 7:30 p.m. $24, $19 seniors, $11 children. No performances on Dec. 24-25. 800-282-0283 or bte.org.

A Christmas Carol, an original musical by Kevin Costley and Ted Anderson based on the Charles Dickens classic. Music Box Dinner Playhouse, 196 Hughes St., Swoyersville. Through Dec. 20 with performances Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 3 p.m. Dinner served 90 minutes before showtime. $18; $35 with dinner. 283-2195.

The Underpants, Carl Steinham’s hilarious and bawdy comedy adapted by Steve Martin about seduction and shenanigans among the German bourgeoisie. Performed by the University of Scranton Players at the McDade Center for Literary and Performing Arts, University of Scranton. Tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m. 941-4318.

Sweeney Todd, the Broadway musical about “The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” who forms a “cut-throat” partnership with the infamous and enterprising pie-maker Mrs. Lovett. Performed by DGM Productions at the Providence Playhouse, 1256 Providence Road, Scranton. Tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m. Continues Dec. 10-13 at 8 p.m. $16, $14 students, $12 seniors. 903-5062.

Sights and Sounds of Christmas, the annual presentation by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Academy of Dancing. With excerpts from “The Nutcracker” ballet, a children’s chorus, a live nativity, Santa’s Dancing Dolls, a “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” the Christmas Bear and a candy giveaway for audience members. Wyoming Area High School, 20 Memorial St., Exeter. Saturday at 7 p.m. 287-7312.

Downtown Dances! A festive evening of seasonal performances by Dance Theatre of Wilkes-Barre, Misericordia University and Without Walls. Included: “The Polar Express Musical,” excerpts from “The Nutcracker” and readings from Verve Vertu. Downtown Arts, 47 N. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre. Saturday at 7 p.m. Followed by refreshments. $5. 332-7817.

Annie, the Tony-sweeping Broadway musical about Little Orphan Annie who clings to the hope that her lost parents will come to reclaim her. Mitrani Hall, Haas Center for the Arts, Bloomsburg University, 400 E. Second St., Bloomsburg. Saturday at 8 p.m. $34. 389-4409.

The Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky’s holiday tradition performed by the Northeast Ballet Ensemble. Shawnee Playhouse, 1 River Road, Shawnee on Delaware. Sunday at 7 p.m. Future performances: Dec. 13, 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. $15, $13 seniors, $8 children. 421-5093.

Brown Bag Theater, lunchtime presentations of one-act plays by the King’s Players. King’s College Theater, Administration Building, 133 N. River St., Wilkes-Barre. Tuesday and Thursday at 12:40 p.m.; Wednesday at 12:10 p.m. Free. 208-5825.

An Evening of One-Act Plays, directed, produced and performed by King’s College students. King’s College Theater, Administration Building, 133 N. River St., Wilkes-Barre. Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m. $1. 208-5825.

Dietrich Theater Radio Players, a performance of live radio plays with sound effects and old-time commercials. Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock. Tuesday at 7 p.m. 996-1500.

FUTURE

The Nutcracker, the traditional holiday dance performed by the Scranton Civic Ballet Company. Scranton Cultural Center, 420 N. Washington Ave., Scranton. Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. 344-1111.

A Christmas Carol, a word-for-word rendition of the classic Charles Dickens tale in an “orchestration for voices,” adapted and directed by David Zarko. Electric Theatre, 326 Spruce St., Scranton. Dec. 11-12 at 8 p.m.; Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. $25, $20 seniors, $10 students. With hot punch and pastries following each performance. 558-1515.

The Nutcracker, the classic holiday ballet, presented by Ballet Northeast, starring soloist Julie Degnan and guest professional artist Nikolai Morschakov. Dorothy Dickson Darte Center, West South Street at South River Street, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre. Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 19 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; De.c 20 at 2 p.m. $20, $15 seniors and students. 287-5802 or balletnortheast.org.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! The annual Christmas show is overrun by six poor and extremely misbehaved members of the Herdman family which threatens to turn the play into a disaster. Performed by the Pennsylvania Theatre of the Performing Arts at the J.J. Ferrara Center, 212 W. Broad St., Hazleton. Dec. 17-18 at 7 p.m.; Dec. 19 at 8 p.m.; Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. $15, $12 seniors and students; $8 children. Pre-show buffet available. Reservations: 454-5451 or ptpashows.org.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas, a cabaret-style revue with songs and dances performed by students at Hanover Area High School, 1600 Sans Souci Parkway, Hanover Township. Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. $5, $3 students. 825-5723.

Moments, comedy, irony, wit and reality in a series of original short plays by Rob Howell, the winner of the Shawnee Original Playwrights Contest. Shawnee Playhouse, 1 River Road, Shawnee on Delaware. Jan. 9 to 17 with performances Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. $18, $10 children. 421-5093.

Disney on Ice in ‘Finding Nemo.’ Dive down under and experience a thrilling adventure with curious clownfish Nemo, his overprotective father Marlin and their relentlessly optimistic pal Dory. Wachovia Arena, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Township. Jan. 13-15 at 7 p.m.; Jan. 16 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Jan. 17 at 1 and 5 p.m.; Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. $53.50 (rinkside), $36.50 (VIP), $23.50, $15.50. 800-745-3000 or 970-7600.

The Housekeeper, James Prideaux’s delightfully offbeat comedy about amorous faux pas between a middle-aged bachelor and the eccentric bag lady he hires as a housekeeper. Shawnee Playhouse, 1 River Road, Shawnee on Delaware. Jan. 23 to 31 with performances Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. $18, $10 children. 421-5093.

Hairspray, the musical comedy phenomenon about Baltimore’s Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and a big passion to dance. Presented by the Broadway Theatre League and performed by a national touring company at the Scranton Cultural Center, 420 North Washington Ave., Scranton. Jan. 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. 344-1111.

River North Chicago Dance Company, the jazz-based company performs a contemporary program with its trademark bold choreography. Mitrani Hall, Haas Center for the Arts, Bloomsburg University, 400 E. Second St., Bloomsburg. Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. $25. 389-4409.

Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway, re-creating the greatest moments from Broadway including selections from “Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Miserables,” “Cats,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Jekyll and Hyde.” F.M. Kirby Center, Public Square, Wilkes-Barre. Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. $39.50, $29.50, $20. 826-1100.

Love in a Time of War, a unique romance based on real-life letters sent across the world during World War II. Shawnee Playhouse, 1 River Road, Shawnee on Delaware. Feb. 6 to 14 with performances Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. $18, $10 children. 421-5093.

Church Basement Ladies, a musical comedy about four distinct characters and their relationships as they organize the dinners and solve the problems of a rural Minnesota church about to undergo changes in 1964. Scranton Cultural Center, 420 N. Washington Ave., Scranton. Feb. 18 at 2 and 7 p.m. $28, $23. 344-1111.

Hamlet, Shakespeare’s timeless tale of assassination and revenge, co-produced with the Bloomsburg University Players and the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. Alvina Krause Theatre, 226 Center St., Bloomsburg. Begins with reduced-price previews Feb. 18-19 at 7:30 p.m. Regular run: Feb. 20 to March 14 with performances Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 3 p.m. $24, $19 seniors, $11 children. 800-282-0283 or bte.org.

The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart’s comic opera involving romantic relationships and mistaken identity. Performed by the Mozart Festival Opera with full orchestra and an international cast of singers. F.M. Kirby Center, Public Square, Wilkes-Barre. March 4 at 7:30 p.m. $57.50, $40, $25. 826-1100.

Bill Blagg III – A Night of Magic, with mind-blowing illusions, interaction and audience participation. Sherman Theater, 524 Main St., Stroudsburg. March 5 at 8 p.m. $16. 420-2808.

A Wee Bit o’ the Irish, a St. Patrick’s Day treat with singing, dancing, music and comedy comprising a high-energy revue. Shawnee Playhouse, 1 River Road, Shawnee on Delaware. March 5 to 14 with performances Fridays at 2 and 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. $18, $10 children. 421-5093.

Sleeping Beauty, performed by Russia’s distinguished Tchaikovsky Ballet Theatre. Mitrani Hall, Haas Center for the Arts, Bloomsburg University, 400 E. Second St., Bloomsburg. March 6 at 7 p.m. $25. 389-4409.

Sleeping Beauty, performed by the award-winning Tchaikovsky Ballet Theatre, a 70-member troupe from Russia. Scranton Cultural Center, 420 N. Washington Ave., Scranton. March 10 at 7 p.m. $48, $38, $28. 344-1111.

Jesus Christ Superstar, the groundbreaking theatrical masterpiece by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice about the final seven days of Christ. Presented by the Broadway Theatre League and performed by a national touring company at the Scranton Cultural Center, 420 North Washington Ave., Scranton. March 14 at 3 and 7:30 p.m. 344-1111.

Theatre of Illusion, a high-tech stage show combining drama, comedy, suspense and illusions with dazzling special effects and set design. Performed by “Modern Day Houdinis” Kevin and Cindy Spencer. F.M. Kirby Center, Public Square, Wilkes-Barre. March 19 at 7:30 p.m. $27.50, $25, $15. 826-1100.

Riverdance, the thunderous celebration of Irish music, song and dance in their farewell tour. Presented by the Broadway Theatre League and performed by a national touring company at the Scranton Cultural Center, 420 North Washington Ave., Scranton. March 26 at 8 p.m.; March 27 at 2 and 8 p.m.; March 28 at 1 and 6 p.m. 344-1111.

The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde’s all-time classic comedy of manners, full of fun, games, mistaken identities and dubious ethics among the British upper crust. Shawnee Playhouse, 1 River Road, Shawnee on Delaware. March 27 to April 11 with performances Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. $18, $10 children. 421-5093.

Route 66, a musical revue beginning in Chicago and traveling along the famed “Main Street of America” to the California coast. Mellow Theater, Lackawanna College, 501 Vine St., Scranton. April 18 at 2 p.m. $28, $20; $15 students. 955-1455.

Philadanco, a performance by the Philadelphia Dance Company celebrating 40 years of performances around the world. F.M. Kirby Center, Public Square, Wilkes-Barre. April 30 at 7:30 p.m. $35, $27.50, $15. 826-1100.

Mamma Mia! The smash hit musical based on the hits of Swedish pop-rock group ABBA telling the story of an independent single mother who gathers friends and lovers from her past for her daughter’s wedding. Presented by the Broadway Theatre League and performed by a national touring company at the Scranton Cultural Center, 420 North Washington Ave., Scranton. April 23 at 8 p.m.; April 24 at 2 and 8 p.m.; April 25 at 1 and 6 p.m. 344-1111.

Daddy Tightwad, an updated re-imagining of Moliere’s comic classic “The Miser” set in 1920s Florida during the real-estate boom. Performed by the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble at the Alvina Krause Theatre, 226 Center St., Bloomsburg. Begins with reduced-price previews April 29-30 at 7:30 p.m. Regular run: May 1 to 23 with performances Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 3 p.m. $24, $19 seniors, $11 children. 800-282-0283 or bte.org.

The Pirates of Penzance, the Gilbert & Sullivan comic operetta presented by The Wand’ring Minstrels. Mellow Theater, Lackawanna College, 501 Vine St., Scranton. May 7 at 8 p.m. $30, $20; $15 students. 955-1455.

Manhattan Casanova, a zany screwball comedy about contemporary sexual politics. Shawnee Playhouse, 1 River Road, Shawnee on Delaware. May 21 to 30 with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. $18, $10 children. 421-5093.

Beauty and the Beast, the lush, romantic Broadway musical about the fairy tale romance between young Belle and the Beast who is really a young prince trapped by a spell. Presented by the Broadway Theatre League and performed by a national touring company at the Scranton Cultural Center, 420 North Washington Ave., Scranton. June 1 to 3 at 7 p.m.; June 4 at 8 p.m.; June 5 at 2 and 8 p.m.; June 6 at 1 and 6 p.m. 344-1111.

I Do, I Do, the nostalgic musical about the trials and tribulations of a 50-year marriage. Shawnee Playhouse, 1 River Road, Shawnee on Delaware. June 4 to Sept. 3 with performances Wednesdays and Fridays at 2 and 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Thursdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. $28, $15 children. 421-5093.

The Music Man, the Broadway smash about a con man posing as a band leader and trying to swindle a small town – until a brainy librarian and a surprising romance foil the plot. Shawnee Playhouse, 1 River Road, Shawnee on Delaware. June 18 to Aug. 28 with evening performances June 18, 19, 23, 25, 30; July 10, 21 and 30; Aug. 7, 18, 27 and 28; matinees on June 18, 20, 23, 24, 25, 30; July 1, 11, 21, 30; Aug. 8, 12, 18, 27. $28, $15 children. 421-5093.

The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, the Neil Simon comedy about a basically decent man who wants to join the sexual revolution but just can’t succeed in sinning. Shawnee Playhouse, 1 River Road, Shawnee on Delaware. July 2 to Sept. 5 with evening performances July 2, 3, 7, 23, 31; Aug. 4, 14, 20; Sept. 4 and matinees on July 2, 7, 15, 23; Aug. 4, 15, 20; Sept. 1, 2, 5. $28, $15 children. 421-5093.

The Secret Garden, a forbidden romance, a haunted house, a magical garden and the healing power of love bring new life to a shattered family in this Broadway musical. Shawnee Playhouse, 1 River Road, Shawnee on Delaware. July 16 to Aug. 29 with evening performances July 16, 17, 28; Aug. 13, 21, 25; matinees on July 16, 18, 22, 28; Aug. 5, 13, 22, 25, 29. $28, $15 children. 421-5093.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Auditions for the Dietrich Theater’s March production of “The Grapes of Wrath.” Needed: actors and musicians ages 12 to 80 who play guitar, banjo, fiddle and other instruments. Produced in conjunction with the 2010 Wyoming County Reads program. Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock. Dec. 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 996-1500. Copies of scenes are available at dietrichtheater.com.

Auditions for the Music Box Playhouse’s January production of “American Stars of Tomorrow,” an original musical revue for ages 7 to 20. Bring sheet music of your choice. Music Box Playhouse, 196 Hughes St., Swoyersville. Dec. 28-29 at 7 p.m. 283-2195.

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