It’s the first weekend of the last month of the year and, in Iowa City style, there’s still work to be done.
The Sugar Plum Fairy, the Snow Queen and the Nutcracker Prince have arrived at the Englert Theater for another year of the popular holiday classic “The Nutcracker”.
While audiences are mesmerized by the fantasy world, a murder takes place elsewhere in Iowa City.
Fictional of course.
Willow Creek Theater Company hosts Murder at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party for an evening that transports guests to a less than fantastic world.
Here are five things to do in Johnson County this weekend.
“The Nutcracker” in the Englert Theater
December’s arrival in Iowa City means a lot, including a performance of The Nutcracker at the Englert Theater.
The annual tradition returns when dancers from Nolte Academy, Coralville’s performing arts school, grace the stage with this classic tale.
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The Nutcracker follows young Clara, who is friends with the Nutcracker Prince as he defeats the Mouse King and journeys through the Land of Snow.
The performance includes a live orchestra conducted by Carey Bostian.
Here are the performances for “The Nutcracker” this weekend:
- December 2 at 7:30 p.m
- 3 December at 1pm and 7:30pm
- 4 December at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m
Visit the Englert Theater website to purchase tickets for The Nutcracker.
Bijou Open Screen Fall 2022 at FilmScene
FilmScene invites you to a free film festival on Friday.
The Open Screen Film Festival will showcase the work of University of Iowa students and local filmmakers on the big screen.
The festival originated with the Bijou Film Board, a non-profit, student-run organization “dedicated to the exhibition of independent, foreign and classic cinema,” according to the University of Iowa’s website.
Finalists from the submission process will show their work at the festival. Expect everything from documentaries, music videos, feature film clips and more.
The audience is invited to vote for the best films of the evening.
So get your popcorn, pop, and catch what the folks in the Iowa City community are up to.
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The festival takes place at 7pm at the FilmScene in Chauncey.
Visit the FilmScene website for more information.
Holiday Open House in downtown Iowa City
Take advantage of the Saturday Downtown Holiday Open House presented by the Iowa City Downtown District for a fun shopping experience.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., more than two dozen participating companies invite you to a Christmas party with snacks, drinks or a small gift just for you.
It’s a great way to not only do some Christmas shopping, but also treat yourself.
Here is the full list of participating stores:
- 223 baby co
- Prairie Kitchen Shop
- sweets and treats
- Textiles Inc.
- Beno’s flowers and gifts
- MC Ginsberg
- ten thousand villages
- field & finch
- Ewers men’s shop
- demanding eye
- Bread Garden Market
- Basic Goods
- The store Iowa City
- Iowa Artisans Gallery
- Om gifts for body & soul
- Herteen and Stocker Jewelers
- velvet coat
- Poindexter Coffee (Candle & Co Pop Up from 4pm to 5:30pm)
Visit the Iowa City Downtown District website for more information on this event and other December holiday events.
The Willow Creek Theater Company Murder at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
It’s a curious Saturday holiday night at the Willow Creek Theater.
Here’s the premise.
Snowflake Lodge hosts an ugly Christmas sweater party that brings together the cream of the town of Snow Falls.
But some of the guests are surrounded by rumors of blackmail, greed and revenge.
“Everyone has high hopes that the holiday cheer will be enough to erase the scandals — at least long enough for everyone to have a good time at the party,” according to the Willow Creek Theater.
For $35 you can have a seat at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party and take on a role in this tense Christmas celebration. Don your ugliest vacation sweater and enjoy complimentary hor d’oeuvres and soft drinks, although you’re welcome to bring your own alcohol.
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Festive board games, karaoke, prizes and entertainment from local artists complete this special experience at the Willow Creek Theater Company.
Visit the theater’s Facebook page for more information about the event and to purchase tickets.
Birdchild at Elray’s Live and Dive
Iowa cover band Birdchild performs at Elray’s Live and Dive Saturday night.
Drew Birdsall, Justin Goodchild, Ian Draves, Ryan Plotz and Lukas Jack make up the five-piece band who, according to their website, play the top 40 hits of the last 40 years with a special “synth/pop spin on their covers.”
Songs from Prince, Fleetwood Mac, Foo Fighters, The 1975, Harry Styles and dozens of other artists can perform during any of their shows.
Birdchild performs at 7 p.m
Visit the Elray’s Live and Dive website for more information.
Paris Barraza covers entertainment, lifestyle and arts in the Iowa City Press-Citizen. You can reach her at [email protected] or (319) 519-9731. Follow her on Twitter @ParisBarraza.