End the Year on Stage

By Maggie Nelson

The Majestic Theatre will start their live theater season off with the premiere of Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead. The play will be directed by Rus Roberts and will premiere on Nov. 22. Check in with Peanuts characters as they battle teen issues such as drug use, suicide, sexual violence, and identity crises.

Next in line for the Majestic Theatre is their presentation of Wanderlust: A Circus Carol, a conglomeration of Christmas cheer and the wild circus. Wanderlust teams together with the 3 Leg Torso quintet on Dec. 18, forming a show of aerial, acrobatic, dancing, and juggling festive wonder.


To celebrate the holidays, the Majestic Theatre will be putting on a Children’s Concert on Dec. 21. Come enjoy the music, have some warm apple cider, and catch a glimpse of the one and only Santa Claus.

Hopefully you don’t plan to make any New Year’s resolutions of giving up listening to profound ensembles made up an amalgam of religious musicians, because the renowned Yuval Ron Ensemble will be performing at the Majestic on Jan. 17. They were invited by the King of Morocco to play at the International Sacred Music Festival in 2009, given the Los Angeles Treasures Award, and were selected to play on PBS’s “Holiday Celebration.” Made up of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim artists, the ensemble works to bridge national, racial, religious, and cultural segregations.

The Reader’s Theatre is also going strong all through fall and winter.  The next installment of the popular staged reading series is The Andersonville Trial on November 30th.  The hit Broadway play about the war crimes trial that followed the civil war is often remembered for a dramatic TV version starring William Shatner, and makes a great piece for the Reader’s Theatre troupe, with its courtroom setting. Greetings! will be read on December 28th and The Sea Fearer on January 25th.

The Albany Civic Theater (ACT), one of the oldest theaters in Oregon, will be celebrating their 64th season this year. Next on their agenda is Trials, Tribulations, and Christmas Decorations, a great reminder that your family isn’t the only one that gets a wee bit dysfunctional during the holiday season. When Kim invites the whole clan over for Christmas to cheer up her Grinchy, widowed father, an ice storm traps them all inside and the mistletoe hits the fan. This performance, written by Matthew Carlin and directed by Loren Dunn, reminds us of the genuine devotion and care within a family, despite the tension and stress of the holidays. Catch this performance Dec. 5 through Dec. 20.

ACT will be bringing in the New Year with their performance of the classic The Secret Garden. Diane Allen brings Francis Hodgson Burnett’s work to life, while Burnett’s protagonist orphan Mary Lennox breathes life back into the garden of Misselthwaite Manor, as well as into her own personal existence. This performance will premiere on Jan. 9 and run through Jan. 22.

Tickets and showtimes for the Majestic can be viewed on their website, http://www.majestic.org. ACT info can be had at http://www.albanycivic.org.