The Fam Five: Arts & Entertainment Picks for December and Beyond

Jim Fischer

New Take on “The Nutcracker”

Sadly, there will be no live presentation of BalletMet’s “The Nutcracker,” which the company has presented annually since 1974. But BalletMet has been hard at work creating “A Nutcracker Holiday,” a free online celebration offering, in the company’s words, “a hub of all things ‘Nutcracker.’”

“A Nutcracker Holiday” will feature two new videos: “Clara’s Nutcracker Prince” and “Dancing With the Nutcracker,” as well as the rerelease of the original “Finding Clara” film, created with Justice Studios. It also will feature a scavenger hunt through Downtown, activities, holiday music and more, bringing elements of this holiday favorite to families in Central Ohio and beyond. Find it online Dec. 5-27.

“Quarantine with the Clauses”

In recent years, the charming and sometimes-campy Short North Stage has produced new, original holiday shows, offering fresh alternatives that are great for the whole family.

This year, that effort goes virtual, courtesy of “Quarantine with the Clauses,” a delightfully droll take on traditional holiday variety shows, hosted by Santa and Mrs. Claus and featuring a cast of mostly familiar characters—some in ways you might not have expected to see. It’s a zany bit of fun for the 2020 holidays. Suggested donation is $15 to $25. The production is available to stream Dec. 10-20.

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Black Violin

CAPA’s Passport to Learning educational series for students is virtual this season, providing a unique opportunity not only for teachers working online, but also for families who are attending school virtually, to access quality arts programming with an educational focus.

From Jan. 11-29, CAPA presents the duo Black Violin, as Wil Baptiste and Kev Marcus perform a 40-minute, multicamera program of their sizzling combination of classical, jazz and funk for students in grades 4-12, plus a previously recorded, student-moderated Q&A session. The program is free, but registration is required.

CATCO Forges Ahead

CATCO’s plans for a virtual season are emerging after the company welcomed new executive and artistic directors in 2020. It has already offered a series of plays online and will have a slate of family/children’s productions as well, beginning with an original holiday show, “A Columbus Christmas Carol,” a modern and localized adaptation of the Dickens classic. Dates are Dec. 16-27.

The season also will include a festival of new works early in 2021, with some for children, as well as a young-audience-specific production in spring. CATCO is offering passes for its virtual season for $55, with $20 tickets sold separately for the spring children’s production.

Virtual Zoom

The Wexner Center for the Arts will host the annual Zoom: Family Film Festival this year, albeit virtually. Among the highlights is “Ernest & Celestine,” the charming French-produced film based on children’s books by Gabrielle Vincent. An all-star voice cast brings to life the adventures of an orphan mouse and destitute bear. The film was nominated for an Academy Award but lost to “Frozen.”

As always, Zoom also will incorporate activities with artists and highlight book pairings, learning resources and more. Organizers were still finalizing the lineup in mid-November.

The festival will be viewable online Dec. 4-5, including via a partnership with the Columbus Metropolitan Library to any family with a CML library card.

This story is from the Winter 2020 issue of Columbus Parent.

Black Violin, the duo of Wil Baptiste and Kev Marcus, will be featured in CAPA's Passport to Learning program in January.


BalletMet will offer "A Nutcracker Holiday," a free online celebration with new videos, children's activities and more, in lieu of its annual stage production.