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ITHACA, NY -- As the holidays approach, we thought we’d do a quick round-up of some of the festive events going on in the Ithaca arts scene. Though COVID restrictions have prevented the normally robust agenda of shows, there are still some events to get you in the holiday spirit.

Holiday Spirits with the Hangar (Dec. 5):

On the evening of Saturday, Dec. 5, the Hangar Theatre Company will host a virtual FUNdraiser, Holiday Spirits with the Hangar. This event will feature a live streaming mixology class to make your own at-home cocktails, artistic entertainment, and an online silent auction. Proceeds from this event support the Hangar's year-round artistic and educational programming.

At 7:30 p.m. the Cabaret portion of the evening will begin, featuring two rising performers, both favorites of Hangar audiences. Robert Denzel Edwards, a member of the 2019 Lab Company and Binghamton University graduate, has performed in six Hangar productions including “Kinky Boots,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” and as Fred in Charles Dickens's “A Christmas Carol.” Sandrinne Edström, a member of the 2018 and 2019 Young Professional Company, has performed in eight Hangar productions including “Chicago,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Kinky Boots,” “Into the Woods” as Little Red Riding Hood, “Little Women” as Amy, and the last two Charles' Dickens' “A Christmas Carol” as the ethereal Spirit of Christmas Past.

The Cabaret portion will also include a presentation of virtual plays written and performed by sixteen young Next Generation School of Theatre artists and directed by Hangar teaching artists Elizabeth Seldin and Carley Robinson. These plays were written by student artists during the Hangar's virtual Next Generation School of Theatre playwriting class last summer.

Cabaret only tickets are $25 and can be purchased through 5 p.m. the evening of the event.

Hangar Theatre Silent Auction (Through Dec. 6 at midnight):

A component of the virtual fundraiser Holiday Spirits with the Hangar. Anyone can register and bid on the Silent Auction; no tickets are required. All auction proceeds benefit Hangar Theatre educational and artistic programming.The link to the auction is available on the Hangar Theatre’s website (HangarTheatre.org)

The silent auction includes prizes from independent artists as well as local businesses including Argos Inn, Black Button Distilling, Buffalo Street Books, Discover Cayuga, Edible Arrangements, F. Olivers, Fever Tree Tonics, Gola Osteria, Greek Peak, Monks on the Commons, Myer Farm Distillers, Sparks + Embers, the living room, William Henry Miller Inn, and more.

Jam & Hootenanny (Dec. 18-27):

The Seasonal Story Jam & Hootenanny (December 18-27) will feature live streaming music from The Burns Sisters interspersed with a mix of traditional and contemporary short stories, many by Ithaca-area writers, performed by Hangar artists. Tickets cost $25. Learn more at HangarTheatre.org.

Cyber Nuts (Dec. 18-20)

The time-honored tradition of the Ithaca Ballet Nutcracker will happen in a creative new form — live streamed to your living room with your favorite characters dancing in innovative, Ithaca-friendly landscapes. With new scenery and adaptations, you’ll follow Clara’s magical adventure through the battles of the Mouse King and Nutcracker into the land of the Snow and Sweets.

The show will feature Maria Sun in the role of Clara, Samantha Sprague Iddings and Kevin Olmstead as the Snow Queen and King, Maddie Lynch as the Dewdrop Fairy, Kevin Olmstead as Drosselmeyer and Maria Valencia as the Sugar Plum Fairy. The choreography is by Lavinia Reid, and was adapted to this format by Cindy Reid with Park Production film and editing crew. “Cyber Nuts” will be available Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 19 at 3 p.m. and two shows Sunday, Dec. 20 at3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. For tickets go to StateofIthaca.org

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