This week

• For First Friday Art Walk in Portland, the Victoria Mansion, 109 Danforth St., will extend its hours until 8:30 p.m., and admission after 5 p.m. is $5. There will be holiday refreshments in the Carriage House Museum Shop, which will also host an art exhibition featuring contemporary art by Jackie Reis and Gibrian Foltz based on media that were common when Victoria Mansion was built in the 19th century. Visit or call 772-4841.

Next week

• Freeport Factory Stage will host a holiday production of the Charles Dickens favorite “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 8-11. Veteran Broadway actor and Bridgton resident Will Rhys utilizes Dickens’ third-person narrative and plenty of authentic dialogue from the story to present the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey from the darkness of hurt and anger into the light of redemption and joy.

A pay-what-you-can performance will begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 8, with additional performances at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10 and 2 p.m. Dec. 11. Call 865-5505 or visit

Coming up

• Portland Ballet Company brings its unique version of “The Nutcracker” to Portland’s Merrill Auditorium. “The Victorian Nutcracker” takes the classic story and sets it in historical Portland with characters inspired by actual people. It will be performed at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23.

The Portland Ballet Orch-estra will accompany the cast of professional dancers. The story unfolds as young Olivia follows her Nutcracker Prince to the enchanted Kingdom of the Sweets, where she is dazzled by dancers from around the world. This year’s conductor is Sean Newhouse, assistant conductor at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Newhouse made a last-minute debut with the Boston Symphony in February, conducting Mahler’s Ninth Symphony in place of James Levine.

Tickets cost $17 to $47 and are available through PortTix, the Merrill box office, via and by calling 842-0800.

— Bob Keyes, Staff Writer