The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY)
Little live holiday entertainment available this season
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