Here are two holiday productions theater fans should know about. They are among the dozens of holiday shows and concerts Bay Area arts companies are streaming these days.
Bring a ‘Tin Soldier’ home for holidays
We all love a little magic over the holidays and it’s hard to think of anyone who creates magic on stage as reliably as Chicago-based theater-maker Mary Zimmerman.
The writer and director is known for such wildly creative and evocative productions as “The Odyssey,” “Arabian Nights,” “Argonautika” and “Metamorphoses,” all of which have been presented at Berkeley Repertory Theater.
Now Berkeley Rep is offering a streaming version of Zimmerman’s take on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Steadfast Tin Soldier.”
The story follows the exploits of a courageous toy tin soldier who falls in love with a paper ballerina and must overcome perilous predicaments to follow his heart. As always, Zimmerman uses a dazzling mix of actors, eye-popping sets and props and puppetry to weave her version of the story.
The show is produced and performed by Lookingglass Theater Company; of which Zimmerman is a member.
Details: Streaming through Dec. 27; $ 20- $ 25; www.berkeleyrep.org.
Even Scrooge is going online
San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater has been presenting a stage adaptation of Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” for 44 years, so there was no reason to doubt the production would continue during the pandemic.
Sure enough, ACT’s “Carol” has been re-invented as a radio play with audio direction by Peter J. Kuo, following the same stage adaption by Paul Walsh and Carey Perloff and much the same cast, including acclaimed Bay Area stage actor James Carpenter as Ebenezer Scrooge.
The production is available to stream Friday through Dec. 31. There will be live “listening parties” Friday and Dec. 23, and certain ticket packages include a book full of activities and games for the family.
Oh, and in case that deal isn’t sweet enough for you, ice cream maker Henry Slocombe has once again created a “Christmas Carol” special flavor that will be on sale through December. It’s said to be a frozen crème fraiche with chunks of Victorian sponge cake and a swirl of raspberry jam.
Details: Ticket packages are $ 40- $ 60 per family; act-sf.org.