Local scenery makes 'Clara's Dream' a unique Santa Cruz Nutcracker experience.
(Screengrab from ‘Clara’s Dream’ trailer)
The Here & Now

Christmas traditions like The Nutcracker adapt to 2020 by going virtual

THE HERE & NOW: Productions of The Nutcracker, sing-along Messiah, and El Teatro Campesino’s La Virgen Del Tepeyac are all pushing ahead with virtual events this holiday season.

The pandemic is putting a serious damper on holiday tradition for Santa Cruzans, most notably the postponement of this year’s Light Boat Parade at the Santa Cruz Harbor until 2021. But tradition dies hard, and some of the annual Christmas-season events in the region have found a way to live on-line.

Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre, for example, has been thrilling holiday audiences for two decades with a live rendering of The Nutcracker at the Santa Cruz Civic. As with countless other traditions, 2020 has put a halt to that. But SCBT is not giving up.

More local scenery.
(Screengrab from ‘Clara’s Dream’ trailer)

The ballet academy is presenting The Santa Cruz Nutcracker: Clara’s Dream, a 40-minute film version of one of the ballet’s most well-known scenes, on location at several recognizable spots around Santa Cruz.

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Two live screenings of Clara’s Dream will take place at the drive-in at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on Saturday, Dec. 12 (6:30 and 8 p.m.). The film will then be streamed beginning Dec. 13. DVDs of the performance will also be available.

Virtual pilgrimage . . .

Every December, many in Santa Cruz County make the half-hour pilgrimage to San Juan Bautista for the annual Spanish-language holiday show presented by El Teatro Campesino.
This year, the trek won’t be necessary, given that ETC will present La Virgen Del Tepeyac as a radio play, to be streamed onine beginning Dec. 12. The theater company will also present a filmed version of its 2008 production of La Virgen, also beginning Dec. 12.

You sing it . . .

On Monday night (that’s tonight), the San Jose Symphonic Choir is offering up an online version of its annual You-Sing-It Messiah event, featuring an archival recording of the choir. It’s a free registration, and doesn’t require dealing with Highway 17.