EVENTS: From Miracles to a Nutcracker, Holiday Favorites Abound


The treasured holiday classic, “Miracle on 34th Street,” will be staged at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre, and features an ensemble of local actors telling the story of how Kris Kringle enchants children and adults, takes on cynics and unleashes waves of goodwill. In this beloved story, a white-bearded gentleman working as a Macy’s holiday Santa claims to be the real Santa Claus. He enchants children and shoppers so completely that he is deemed dangerous by fellow employees. A small girl’s belief in Santa and the magic of the holiday is at stake in a climactic courtroom decision. Cast members include: Briele Dobson, Alex Fabrizio, Pete Fernbaugh, Robert Gaudio, Reagan Hughes, Elizabeth Jeffers, Patricia Jeffers, Karen Kahle, Karissa Martin, Wayne McCord, Maria McKelvey, Colin Roose, Clare Seibert, Kristin Seibert, Jim Showalter, Justin Swoyer and Frank Wilson. As an added bonus, Macy’s employees assisted with decorating the Towngate Theatre lobby for the holidays and provided a mailbox and postcards for children to write to Santa. Also, an exhibit, courtesy of Macy’s and featuring prints of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloons, will be on display in The Gallery at Towngate. Performances times are 7 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 7 and 8; 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. 2118 Market St. Wheeling; 304-242-7700;

The elves and Santa Claus, from left, Alex Fabrizio, Patricia Jeffers, Robert Gaudio, Reagan Hughes and Clare Seibert are ready for a “Miracle on 34th Street.”


A favorite holiday event, Symphony on Ice, will feature Olympic skaters Ashley Wagner and Robbie Przepioski, along with skaters from the Pittsburgh and Wheeling Skate clubs, Pittsburgh Theatre on Ice and Steel City Blades, the Wheeling Nailers, and the voices of around 350 area students, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at WesBanco Arena. Music director finalist Roger Kalia will conduct the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, playing holiday favorites. He also has programmed a holiday sing-along, music from the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and a jazzy rendition of “The Nutcracker.” Symphony on Ice presented by Main Street Bank and Murray Energy Corporation. 304-232-6198;


The Monarch Company will bring to life the holiday television classic, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” on the John Marshall High School Center for Performing Arts stage in Glen Dale in a new production of the theatrical adaptation. The show will be presented at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec.1, and Sunday, Dec. 2. Tickets at the door or in advance at 304-843-4444, extension 160.

Cast members of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” include: seated , left, Schroeder (Creed Kidney) and Snoopy (Madi Blake); standing, from left: Frieda (Leah Reuschel), Patty (Justice Robinson), Sally (Kailey Filben), Linus (Luke Cramer), Charlie Brown (Ben Games), Lucy (Emily Anderson), Shermy (Brayden Snider), Pig Pen (Paige Wallace) and Violet (Lauren Brannen).


“The Nutcracker,” complete with dancing flowers and beautiful fairies, will take audiences on a magical holiday journey. Featuring a cast of beautifully costumed dancers performing on a lavish set and reveling in Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, this enchanting ballet will be performed by Oglebay Institute’s Youth Ballet Company at two Oglebay Institute venues — the Mansion Museum in Oglebay and Towngate Theatre. “The Nutcracker” ballet revolves around a young German girl named Clara, who falls asleep on Christmas Eve and is transported into a Christmas fantasy where a nutcracker turns into a prince, toys become soldiers, and enchanted lands are filled with dancing fairies, snowflakes and flowers. Reservations are recommended. Call 304-242-7700 or visit

The ballet will be presented at the following times and places:

  • 1 and 3 p.m. Sundays Dec. 2, 9 and 16, at the Mansion Museum, located in Oglebay Park. Shows include a tea and an opportunity to get a photograph with the cast. Guests at all performances can also tour the Holidays at the Mansion decorating exhibit on display at the Mansion Museum. $15. Members of OI receive a discount.
  • 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, and Sunday, Dec. 23, at Towngate Theatre, 2118 Market St. in Wheeling. $12.50 for adults; $10 for kids ages 10 and under. Members of OI receive a discount. Children can join the cast for a Sugar Plum Social prior to the matinee shows at Towngate.  Enjoy refreshments and get pictures with Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy 1-2 p.m Dec. 22-23. $15 per child.
Katherine Carson dances the role of Clara in Oglebay Institute’s production of “The Nutcracker.”


Hosted by Classrooms Without Borders, the one-woman play “Etty” will be presented at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at Temple Shalom. The play is adapted from the diaries and letters of Etty Hillesum, a 28-year-old Jewish student living in the German-occupied Netherlands. As the world closes in around her, Etty digs deep into her soul to root out hatred and bitterness, and finds a freedom within herself that is unshakeable. Using only Etty Hillesum’s words, the play presents one woman’s struggle to sustain humanity in the face of brutality. Author Susan Stein picked up the diaries in 1994 for 50 cents at a yard sale thanks to the recommendation of a friend. After reading the diaries, she wanted to give something back to Etty by bringing her to people who might not read the diaries themselves.


Hear your favorite Christmas hits at a Motown Christmas featuring the Motortown All-Stars and special guest The Vandellas, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at The Capitol Theatre. The Motortown All-Stars are an all-star lineup of world-class vocalists drawn from the ranks of the legendary groups that made many of these hits timeless classics. Dance, sing along or just sit back and watch the show as they perform the greatest hits from the likes of The Temptations, The Miracles, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.


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Mountain Moon Coffeehouse will present Moundsville-based Crandall Creek, a high-energy bluegrass band, on Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Stifel Fine Arts Center. Band members include Jerry Andrews, Doug Baker, Jariel Henthorn, Kathy Wigman Lesnock, Dustin Terpenning, Bob Rush, Lilli Gadd and Marina Pendleton. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The music begins at 7 p.m. $15; $12.50 OI members; 304-242-6855;



West Liberty University will present pianist Henry Wong Doe in concert at 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30, at the Elbin Auditorium, College Hall. Wong Doe’s program includes the following repertoire: Haydn’s Sonata in E minor, Ginastera’s Sonata No. 1 and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Wong Doe has garnered top prizes, and performance highlights include venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York City, Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay Singapore, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, Israel. The free concert is open to the public.



West Liberty University’s choirs will present a festive concert featuring holiday music at 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 141 Kruger St., Wheeling. The concert is free and open to the public. The choirs will be joined by Pittsburgh harpist Nuiko Wadden, and will present seasonal works by Benjamin Britten, James MacMillan, John Rutter and others. 304-336-8006;


Skyflight Productions will present an evening with Angela Perley & the Howlin’ Moons on Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Albert S. George Youth Center at Barnesville Memorial Park. Armed with electric guitars, swooning vocals and songs that split the difference between rock and roll and dreamy psychedelia, Angela Perley & the Howlin’ Moons pack the biggest punch of their career with “Homemade Vision.” The album, recorded in the band’s hometown of Columbus, builds an imaginary place where the influences of David Gilmour, Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin and Nebula all intersect. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. with the show to begin at 8 p.m. $12. 423-276-2653 or Skyflight Productions on Facebook.



West Virginia Northern Community College will host a holiday Concert in the Courtyard at noon, Monday, Dec. 3, in front of the B&O Building on the Wheeling campus. WVNCC business major and local country music musician, Matt VanFossen, will preform holiday songs. The free event, which is open to the public, will feature local food truck Ideal Provisions and free hot chocolate. WVNCC is asking for donations for the YSS Winter Freeze Shelter.


Handmade Holiday, a new one-day event by Wheeling Heritage, will feature unique and creative handmade goods just in time for gift-giving season. This marketplace of locally produced, craft goods invites you to buy local, shop small and discover one-of-a-kind gifts for the holiday season. The event is set for 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Wheeling Artisan Center, 1400 Main St., Wheeling. 304-232-3087;


On Nov. 30, Good Mansion Wines will sample from their extensive list of special-order holiday wines that can’t be found anywhere else in the tri-state. Old World wines and New World cult classics will be served with imported cheeses and French baguettes. 6 p.m. $15 at the door, no reservations needed.


Author C.J. Plogger will discuss his book, “Pronounced Dead: The Executions at the West Virginia Penitentiary,” at noon Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library. The book details the 94 executions, the crimes of the inmates and “their time, up until their last breath,” according to the book cover. The book includes death certificates, newspaper photos and final resting places. Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch, and complimentary beverages are provided. 304-232-0244;


Just a few days remain to visit the Festival of Trees at the Oglebay Institute Stifel Center. Check out the trees, wreaths and garlands, all decorated by creative volunteers. Through Dec. 1, the festival is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. Donations accepted. The Children’s Breakfast Among the Trees, is set for 9-10:15 a.m. or 10:45 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Dec. 1. Meet Bigfoot and enjoy a delicious breakfast, special guests and themed crafts. $15 per person. Free to children 3 and under. 304-242-4200;


Visit the Stifel Center and the Schrader Center at Oglebay Park to search for gifts at the Holiday Art Show and Sale, now through Dec. 29. The holiday shopping event features hundreds of handcrafted items from dozens of artisans who set up shop in the Stifel Center for the holiday season. 304-242-4200;


Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum in Oglebay Park is lavishly decorated for the holidays and open to the public for tours through Dec. 31. Professional decorators and talented amateurs have decorated 13 period rooms, hallways and staircases in the this year’s theme, “Holiday Magic.” 304-242-7272;