Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, which I learned when I walked by a Boston Duck Tour and overheard that fact. I also had to memorize Poe’s famous poem “The Raven” in middle school. (The only line that I still remember is, “Quoth the Raven ‘Nevermore.’”) Poe has been reemerging for me in my memories because of the upcoming performance by the Teen Performance Ensemble of “Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe.” If you’re feeling more festive, you can check out a touring production of “A Christmas Carol” by the Skylark Vocal Ensemble or “The Coziest Night of the Year” at the Children’s Museum. Check out the rest of my selections for the weekend below.
Saturday, Dec. 18- Sunday, Dec. 19
The National Center of Afro-American Artists presents “Langston Hughes' Black Nativity,” a gospel telling of the Christmas story. The production includes “pas de deux” (a dance for two people) that is performed to the rhythm of African drums while Mary delivers her son. The cast is comprised of over 50 people ranging in age who will take the stage at the Emerson Paramount Center performing the Nativity story through gospel music, dance and Black vernacular. “Black Nativity” has been performed since 1970 in Boston.
Skylark Vocal Ensemble's 'A Christmas Carol'
Thursday, Dec. 16-Monday, Dec. 20
‘Tis the season for weaving Christmas Carols into as many weekends as possible! This storytelling concert incorporates modern carols into Charles Dickens’ famous tale, “A Christmas Carol.” Grammy-nominated vocal group, Skylark Vocal Ensemble, performs while Sarah Walker narrates the tale. The tour travels from Falmouth to Weston, to Brookline and makes its grand finale in Newburyport.
Friday, Dec. 17-Saturday, Dec. 18
Wheelock Family Theatre’s Teen Performance Ensemble, a 10-week program that trains teens in theatrical production, presents “Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe.” Directed by Nick Vargas, the theatrical interpretation of four tales by Poe includes “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Tickets are pay-what-you-can.
Friday, Dec. 17
After a year-long hiatus, “Gumdrops and the Funny Uncle” is making its way back to Club Café for a cabaret-style show. The original production debuted in 2002 and fused performance monologues with dance. The production brands itself as the “alternative-family, un-Nutcracker collection of holiday stories and dances.” It’ll include a blending of Peter DiMuro’s experience with playing the uncle in the Boston Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” along with the stories that erupted from trying to adopt a daughter. Ticket sales and donations for the show will benefit Public Displays of Motion’s performance project Stones to Rainbows/Gay to Queer Lives Project.
'The Coziest Night of the Year' at the Boston Children’s Museum
Saturday, Dec. 18
The museum welcomes guests into their newly created winter wonderland this weekend — after hours. On Saturday, museum-goers will have the opportunity to experience the winter-themed museum, meet and greet with characters, have a chance to make a fleece blanket to take home, and after all this fun, there’s a moment to wind down with hot cocoa and a toppings bar. Comfy and cozy wear is encouraged.