Stage notes: Holiday shows around the area

By Kerry Clawson
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Jeff Bixby and Katie Markey from last year's production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Illusion Factory will perform the show, featuring Markey and actor Mark Seven this year, at Spaghetti Warehouse in Akron Dec. 8, 15 and 22. (Illusion Factory photo)

The Nutcracker season continues with performances by the Ohio Conservatory of Ballet on Dec. 15-16 at Northwest High School’s Puffenberger Hall in Canal Fulton. The shows will feature students from the Green studio as well as guest artists from Pointe Park University.

Studio co-founder Dmitriy Tuboltsev of St. Petersburg, Russia, will play magical Uncle Drosselmeyer. Tuboltsev, formerly a principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, founded Ohio Conservatory of Ballet with Inna Stabrova in 2000.

“This story is one of the most popular and well recognized ballets across the world, so it’s great to be able to perform it locally,” said Tuboltsev, who will integrate the style of the Bolshoi Ballet in his performance.

Performances will be at 4 p.m. Dec. 15 and 3 p.m. Dec. 16. Cost is $12. Call 330-497-3288 or see

• For yet another holiday favorite, the Illusion Factory will offer performances of How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Spaghetti Warehouse at noon and 2 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 15 and 22. The two-person show stars Katie Markey and Mark Seven. Cost for the performance only is $10; lunch afterward is extra. Call 330-374-0025 for reservations.

• Check out some “CSI: Bethlehem” entertainment as the no-nonsense Sister attempts to solve a holiday mystery in Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Akron Civic Theatre. In this retelling of the Nativity story, ever-practical Sister wants to know what happened to that gold, although she’s convinced Mary used the frankincense and myrrh as a sort of potpourri in the smelly barn where Jesus was born. In this audience-interactive show, she ends up creating a living nativity and a lot of laughs. Cost is $27.50 to $37.50. Call 330-253-2488 or see

• Magical Theatre Company has sold out yet another added date for Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, just 24 hours after announcing the Dec. 13 performance. That’s great news for the theater, which had also earlier added a Dec. 15 performance that sold out, but not so great news for those still hoping to get their Junie B. Jones fix. Maybe next year?

• Finally, the Stow Players decided to offer in the holiday slot a show that’s set on a hot summer day — Twain’s Tales. Four short stories by master American storyteller Mark Twain will include The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, the fence-painting episode from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Joke that Made Ed’s Fortune and The Belated Russian Passport.

The play takes place outside a general store in Hannibal, Mo., in the late 1800s, where the storekeeper, his wife, a riverboat pilot, newspaper reporter and newspaper printer compete to see who can spin the tallest tale. As the narratives unfold, the storytellers become the characters.

The show opens Friday and runs through Dec. 15 at Heritage Barn Theater, Silver Springs Park. Shows will run 7:30 p.m. Fridays and this Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. this Sunday and Dec. 15.

Call 330-655-6051 for reservations.

Arts writer Kerry Clawson may be reached at 330-996-3527 or

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