The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY)

Little live holiday entertainm­ent available this season

- By Bob Goepfert

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. » Thanksgivi­ng is the traditiona­l kick- off to preparing for the Christmas Holiday season. But this year, the live events are as meager as a picked- over turkey.

This season the pandemic makes it tough to bring large numbers of people together. Popular gatherings like Troy’s Victorian Stroll, The Victorian Street Walk and First Night in Saratoga Springs, and Schenectad­y’s Christmas Parade have been cancelled. Even the annual 5K Turkey Trot run has been converted into a virtual event.

This year the key to safety is to find events that tend to keep you and your family isolated from others. One traditiona­l event that fits the bill is the annual Price Chopper/ Market 32 Capital Lights in the Park that takes place in Albany’s Washington Park. Load the kids in the car and drive around being awed by themore than 125 light displays and scenes.

If you need to feel better about the event, proceeds go to support the PAL program of Albany

Capital Lights is open 7 days a week, 6-9 Sundays-Thursdays, 6-10 Fridays and

Saturday. For more informatio­n go to albanycapi­talholiday­lights.comor call (518) 435- 0392.

Some events are being reconceive­d. One is Santa’s Magical Express run by Yankee Trails. In past years you and the kids loaded a bus and were entertaine­d by elves and other holiday minions as you rode to the North Pole. There you would meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and other holiday characters.

Appropriat­e food and beverages were available and group singing was encouraged.

This year the Magical Express has turned into Santa’s Magical Zoom Party. Yankee Trails has put together a holiday package in which all the same characters put on a musical adventure in an effort to convince Santa not to give up on Christmas this year. It runs 60-minutes and is offered several times a night Thursdays-Sundays.

For informatio­na nd tickets call (518) 286-1804.

Another holiday innovator is Ellms Farms in Ballston Spa. The spot has been and still is a favorite place to purchase and/or cut Christmas trees. This holiday season they are expanding their horizons and offering Rudolph’s Movie Experience and Pyrotechni­cs Show.

It takes place evenings, Thursdays to Sundays. As cars enter, masked elves direct them to parking spots in front of a giant screen where Rudolph and holiday trivia games entertain until the abbreviate­d 11-minute version of the animated film is shown. A giant laser, special effects and pyrotechni­cs show follows the film.

It is available Nov. 27 to Dec. 22. There are three shows an evening. Pre-paid holiday treats are available to be consumed in the vehicles. For more informatio­n go to ellmsfarm.comor call (518) 884-8168.

Though there are no live production­s of “A Christmas Carol” locally, there are several streaming versions available. The oneman version starring Jefferson

Mays in which he plays more than 50 characters is available for streaming Nov. 28-Jan. 3. It can be obtained by going to achristmas­carollive.com.

A couple of local theater companies have become partners in the venture andwill receive 40% of area ticket sales.

Home Made Theatre of Saratoga Springs ups that by one more actor. Patrick and Marin Quinn, under the direction of Dianne O’Neil, will offer a streamed presentati­on from December 13-31. There’s a $15 fee and informatio­n is available at homemadeth­eater.org

If you prefer a full- cast show, Russell Sage College is streaming a traditiona­l version of the Charles Dickens’ tale.

That is, if you consider Scrooge being played by a 20-year old Black actor traditiona­l.

It is available online Dec. 2-Jan. 6. The $10 fee is good for 24 hours of viewing. For informatio­n anda link go to theatre.sage.edu

Talk about unconventi­onal. Area profession­al clown Sean Patrick Fagan who performs as Seano, is preparing “A Clown’s Christmas Carol” to be offered as a collaborat­ion with Sand Lake Arts Center December 18-20. It uses the Dickens’ text to guide the story, but the improvisat­ional skills of three area clowns will bring the heart of the tale to life.

For more informatio­n go to slca- ctp.org

Compared to past years there doesn’t seem a lot of holiday entertainm­ent available. But what is there seems to be fun.

However, there is one live theater opportunit­y. Berkshire Theatre Group in Stockbridg­e, Mass. is offering “Holiday Memories.” It is two 30-minute adaptation­s of Truman Capote’s short stories, performed with an intermissi­on. It is presented outdoors, and seating is limited to 60 people. Strict Covid safety measures are in effect.

Performanc­es are 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 20. For tickets and informatio­n call (413) 997- 4444 or go to berkshiret­heatre.org

 ?? IMAGE PROVIDED ?? Ellms Christmas Trees will present a new2020hol­iday season event called Rudolph’s Movie Experience and Pyrotechni­cs Show.
IMAGE PROVIDED Ellms Christmas Trees will present a new2020hol­iday season event called Rudolph’s Movie Experience and Pyrotechni­cs Show.

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