story_1___the_nutcracker‘Tis the season of giving and this year, Denton is giving us a lot to do! Kicking off with the Holiday Lighting Festival on December 2, the whole month will be filled with excitement, holiday cheer, and hopefully more than a few laughs. Here are some great shows and events happening across the city, so make sure you get your tickets before they’re all sold out!

TWU Gymnastics Holiday Spectacular (Dec. 4) Will somersaults and handsprings bring you Christmas cheer?  Each year the Kitty Magee Arena is decked out for the holidays as the TWU gymnastics team hosts its Intrasquad Holiday Spectacular.  And since the squad’s focus is the giving spirit, admission to the festivities is FREE along with FREE TWU Gymnastics “Pioneer Proud” t-shirts for the first 150 fans to enter the arena.

On Sunday, Dec. 4, the arena will feature holiday décor, Christmas music, and free holiday cookies and drinks (while supplies last).  Since the Jolly Old fellow will be in attendance, don’t miss on an opportunity to get on the “good” list.  Bring a canned good or cash donation for the TWU Food Pantry and the kiddos can get their picture taken with Santa Claus in the arena lobby.

Christmas Belles at the Campus Theatre (Dec. 9-18) Featuring an all-star Denton cast, “Christmas Belles” is a wild and wacky ride through one Texas town’s preparations for the Christmas pageant.

The play is centered around the three Futrelle sisters: Frankie (played by Michelle Rose), an expecting mother of her second set of twins, Honey Raye (played by Amber Bryant), the new director of the annual Christmas program at the Tabernacle of the Lamb Church, and Twink (played by Leigh Ann Stadt), who has just been released from jail after setting her ex-boyfriend’s NASCAR collection on fire, leading to the destruction of half a trailer park.

With a jealous rival, a plotting former director, an ailing husband, and a bout of food poisoning threatening the show, Honey Raye must find a way to make the show go on and give Fayro, Texas a Christmas production the little town will never forget!

The Nutcracker: The 23rd annual performance of this Denton tradition at TWU (Dec. 10 & 11) The Festival Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, first performed in 1988, has become a holiday tradition in Denton and the surrounding areas. Known for its creativity and clarity of story line, this retelling adheres to the long established classical ballet tradition. Mr. Nini’s version of the story - of a little girl, her favorite Christmas gift, toys brought to life, and faraway places - also weaves a thread of magic from the opening musical notes to the final curtain.

The production utilizes a cast of about 200 area dancers, providing them with a professional performance experience that serves as preparation for dance careers.  Even the youngest, at the age of five, benefit from the training their participation brings. On occasion, these young dancers have stolen the show from their fellow, more seasoned cast members and role models.

The Nutcracker will be  December 10th at 2:30 and 7:30 and December 11th at 2:30 at the Margo Jones Auditorium on the Texas Woman’s University campus.