ARTS & CULTURE
Celebrate the Holidays with a Night Out at Walton Arts Center
By Katherine Ganoung
Photos courtesy of Walton Arts Center
This holiday season the place to be for festive entertainment is Walton Arts Center, where audiences will find a month full of amazing performances, seasonal classics, holiday films and joyous music.
Here are a few of the month’s highlights:
For more than half a century, The Swingles have pushed the boundaries of vocal music. The seven performers who make up the London-based group are driven by the same innovative spirit that has defined the five-time Grammy-winning group since they first made waves in the 1960s. At a time when a cappella music is more popular than ever, The Swingles are recognized as masters of their craft. They have appeared on numerous film and TV soundtracks, including Sex and the City, Wedding Crashers, Grey’s Anatomyand Glee. In 2017, they co-wrote and performed a song for the end credits of Alexander Payne’s film Downsizing. Their prolific output of music videos has also earned them millions of views online and new audiences around the world.
Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was a legendary pianist, bandleader, arranger, composer and Louis Armstrong’s long-time collaborator and musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, was a pioneering bassist, guitarist, vocalist and a graduate of The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. Not surprisingly, considering her pedigree, Catherine Russell is a one-of-a-kind musician and vocalist who has toured the world performing and recording with David Bowie, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Rosanne Cash and many others. Her voice is full-blown femininity incarnate – a dusky, stalwart and soulful instrument that radiates interpretive power yet remains touchingly vulnerable.
For 31 years, Boston Brass has set out to create a one-of-a-kind musical experience. Performing exciting classical arrangements to burning jazz standards, Boston Brass treats audiences to a unique brand of entertainment that is captivating for all ages. The ensemble’s lively repartee, touched with humor and personality, attempts to bridge the ocean of classical formality to delight audiences in an evening of great music and boisterous fun.
Holiday Classics & Family Favorites
Robert Earl Keen
Robert Earl Keen is bringing his eighth annual Christmas tour to Walton Arts Center. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Keen’s theme for this year’s tour is Countdown to Christmas: Lunar Tunes & Looney Times. “This show will turn on the psychedelactic jukebox and light up the tree of tranquility,” Keen said. Concertgoers will blast off with Keen’s classic “Merry Christmas from the Family,” fan favorites and unearthly covers from his band members on this lunar expedition.
The Polar Express
From the songwriting team behind the smash-hit Tony Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen and the Academy Award-winning film La La Land, A Christmas Story, The Musical brings the classic 1983 movie to hilarious life on stage.The New York Times writes, “I was dazzled. You’d have to have a Grinch-sized heart not to feel a smile spreading across your face.” A Christmas Story, The Musical is a triple-dog-dare of a good time and it is sure to warm your heart this holiday season!
A Christmas Story: The Musical
Looking for the perfect family night? Then put your family in PJs, pour a cup of hot chocolate and hop aboard The Polar Express. This classic children’s Christmas story will be larger than life when it plays on the Baum Walker Hall big screen.
With so many great options, it’s hard to choose just one show. With the Create Your Own subscription package, guests save money by purchasing tickets to three or more shows at the same time.
Visit waltonartscenter.orgfor a full season listing and to purchase single tickets or subscriptions.