December 9, 2017

Worcester Weekly: Gingerbread, ‘Christmas Carol,’ St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble, ‘Star Wars’ benefit + more, Dec. 10-16

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Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts

The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too.

Saturday, Dec. 9 — “A Christmas Journey,” 10:30 a.m. to noon, EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way Primed by a reading of the holiday tale “Polar Express,” young ones will happily follow this “journey” at the EcoTarium. Participants hear a classic tale, are whisked away to the North Pole via the museum’s excellent Planetarium, and experience the sugar spike of hot cocoa and cookies.

Santa will be there for the kiddies, and every child will receive a bell ornament to take home and savor until the family cat claims ownership. Times are 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The popular program is also held Sunday, Dec. 10, which marks its final session this year. Tickets are $25 (includes museum admission), $10 for museum members, and must be purchased in advance.

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Thursday, Dec. 14 — Gingerbread Houses, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Worcester Public Library Goddard Branch, 14 Richards St. Satisfy your inner Frank Lloyd Wright by constructing one of the season’s sweetest staples. All ages are welcome to this (sticky) hands-on activity, and all of the building materials will be provided.
When you’ve completed your gingerbread masterpiece, simply imagine that edible edifice as the endangered Worcester church of your choice — ready to be devoured. Yummy! Free for everyone.

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Friday, Dec. 15 — “A Christmas Carol” 10th anniversary, 7 p.m., Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St. New England’s largest annual production of the holiday stage classic debuts this evening. Marking its 10th birthday at the venue, the Hanover show is no Scrooge about keeping things fresh: Theater CEO Troy Siebels refines and revises the spirit-restoring tale each year. Just as Dickens intended, this “Carol” is infused with flying stunts, and smoke and fog effects. There’s nothing tiny here, except Tim.

Performance dates are 7 p.m. Dec. 16, 20, 22 and 23; and 2 p.m. Dec. 16 and 23. Dec. 17 brings sensory-friendly (11 a.m.) and enhanced-audio (4 p.m.) performances. Tickets range from $28 to $55, with half-off discounts for kids and students.

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Road Trip!

Saturday, Dec. 16 — St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble, 5 p.m., Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton Looking for that perfect gift for your Trump-collusion-denying uncle? Da! After a three-year absence, the famed Russian a cappella male quartet of Kirill Sokolov, Sergey Shapinsky, Vadim Smanster and Andrei Volikov returns with a new program for a one-night-only performance.

Unlike our president’s pal Putin, the ensemble has shared warmth and humor with worldwide audiences since 2003. Its four previous concerts at the museum have sold out, so act now. Tickets are $30, $25 for members. Call 978-598-5000, ext. 121, for reservations.

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Saturday, Dec. 16 — “Star Wars” Night to Benefit Shine Initiative, Worcester Railers vs. Adirondack Thunder, 7:05 p.m., DCU Center, 50 Foster St. With the home team sporting “Star Wars”-themed jerseys and the film franchise’s galaxy (get it?) of characters roaming the stands, the DCU surface is sure to resemble the Ice Planet Hoth. (Last pun, we promise.)

Proceeds from this special outing will help the Fidelity Bank-backed Shine Initiative in its mission to foster understanding of mental illness. Tickets start at $15; visit the Railers ticket page here.

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