Singer Laura Darrell, a Maine native, performs with the Portland Symphony Orchestra in “Magic of Christmas” last year. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

In the run-up to the holiday season, fans of classical music and performing arts in Greater Portland have a variety of options at the ready – if they can find time to take them all in. Here’s a sampling of some local events happening between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“12th Night: A Holiday Celebration of Shakespeare and Song” – Fenix Theatre Company, Portland

Fenix Theatre, a professional theater company in Portland devoted to Shakespeare and other classics, returns with a production of “12th Night,”  with nearly all of the cast members from last year, under the direction of Peter Brown.

The company, which typically brings free outdoor shows to Deering Oaks park, moves to the Stevens Square Community Center for a series of performances.

The story is interspersed with a range of holiday songs, performed by a live band.

The show runs from Dec. 7-11 and Dec. 14-18. All shows are 6:30 p.m., except Sundays, which are at 2 p.m. For tickets, go to


“Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” – Theater at Monmouth

A reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale told through the eyes of Ebenezer Scrooge’s equally ornery business partner, Jacob Marley.

Marley is condemned to hell and tormented by a malicious sprite. Given a change to free himself, he must first help Scrooge find redemption.

The play was written by Tom Mula. This year’s production by the Theater at Monmouth company is helmed by producing artistic director Dawn McAndrews.

The show at historic Cumston Hall runs Thursdays through Sundays, Nov. 24 through Dec. 4. Evening shows are at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday matinees begin at 1 p.m.

For tickets, go to


“It (was) A Wonderful Life” – Footlights Theatre, Falmouth

This original play by Footlights Theater artistic director Michael Tobin was inspired by the 1946 Frank Capra film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Instead of George Bailey being shown the impact of his death on his loved ones as he contemplates suicide, Bailey instead sees what the world what have been like if he’d never been born.

The show runs on Thursdays (7 p.m.), Fridays (7:30 p.m.) and Saturdays (2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) from Dec. 8-22. An additional performance is offered at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20. For tickets, go to

“Christmas My Way: A Sinatra Holiday Bash” – City Theater, Biddeford

A Christmas-themed musical event, created by David Grapes and Todd Olson, features four singers bringing the songs of Frank Sinatra to life.


More than 40 songs will be performed, from holiday favorites to Sinatra standards.

The show is offered at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays, from Dec. 2-18, with the exception of Dec. 4, when there is no show. For tickets, go to

“Scrooge! The Musical” – Lyric Music Theater, South Portland

The musical version of Dickens’ novel features Scrooge being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future on Christmas Eve. Directed by Jamie Lupien Swenson. The show runs Friday through Sunday, Dec. 2-18. For tickets, go to

Magic of Christmas – Portland Symphony Orchestra

The annual holiday tradition, now in its 42nd year, combines the musicianship of the Portland Symphony Orchestra with the harmonies of the Magic of Christmas Chorus, and features a number of special guests as well.


The orchestra is led by music director Eckart Preu, and the chorus will be under the direction of Nicolas Dosman. Guests include Laura Darrell, one of the stars of Frozen Live, Portland municipal organist James Kennerley and his predecessor, Ray Cornils.

The program features a variety of holiday classics. Shows runs from Dec. 9-18 at Merrill Auditorium. It also will be offered as a digital concert from Dec. 16 through Jan. 1.

For tickets and times, go to

“Christmas with Kennerley” – Merrill Auditorium, Portland

Speaking of Kennerley, the master organist will lead his own holiday concert on the Kotzschmar Organ at 7 p.m. on Dec. 19 at Merrill Auditorium. Find tickets at

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