A VERY BRIDGE + TUNNEL CHRISTMAS
A collective of local musicians will continue its annual holiday revue benefiting Wheeling-area neighbors who are especially vulnerable and in need at this time of year. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 15, the Bridge + Tunnel Collective will present its second annual “A Very Bridge + Tunnel Christmas” concert at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre. All proceeds from this year’s concert will go to benefit Youth Services System Inc.’s Winter Freeze Shelter. This year’s revue lineup features Adrian Niles, Michael Iafrate, Mr. Fancy Pants, Weird Lightning, Ananga Martin, Matt Smith, Chad Burrall, The Pussyfooters, Zoe Buccella, Love & Data and Chelsey Keding. Mario Muscar, member of Towngate’s Left of Centre Improv, will serve as emcee. “We chose YSS and specifically the Winter Freeze Shelter because it is a very worthy cause that provides a vital service at this time of year,” said Sean Decker, a founding member of the Bridge + Tunnel Collective and frontman of Mr. Fancy Pants, who is anchoring the show. Michael Iafrate, another founder of Bridge + Tunnel, added, “We wanted to broaden the scope of our outreach to other charitable organizations throughout the area. Last year we worked with the Catholic Charities 18th Street Neighborhood Center and know both they and the Winter Freeze shelter can use all our help providing vital services throughout the winter months to our neighbors in need.” Donation items also will be collected the night of the show and moved quickly to the Freeze Shelter, which opens for the season that evening. $10. 304-242-7700; www.oionline.com/events
SING! SING! SING!
Oglebay Institute invites area residents to participate in festive community carol singing from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, outside the Mansion Museum at Oglebay. Carolers will gather on the front porch of the Mansion Museum and sing a lively mix of traditional holiday tunes as well as some modern-day favorites. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served, and guests can stay warm around a fire burning inside an ice chimney on the front lawn. The Mansion’s period rooms are now decorated for the annual “Holidays at the Mansion” exhibit. The Mansion Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m Fridays and Saturdays; it is closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Guests should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to closing to allow time to tour. 304-242-7272; www.oionline.com
FOR MATURE ELVES ONLY!
Crumpet is not your average elf — and “The Santaland Diaries” is not your usual cheery Christmas play. This one-man show by beloved humorist and writer David Sedaris chronicles the struggles of Crumpet, a man newly moved to New York City who takes a seasonal job as a mall elf in order to make ends meet. Between over-enthusiastic coworkers, helicopter parents, and the usual riff-raff of New York City, Sedaris’ depiction of holiday cheer through the eyes of a grown man wearing an elf suit for minimum wage will ring true for anyone who has ever worked a retail job, or has simply felt less than enthusiastic about the holiday season. The play will be performed by Butch Maxwell in the style of reader’s theater at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 15, and Sunday, Dec. 16, at the Strand Theatre, 811 Fifth St., Moundsville. $15. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
‘A FAMILY CHRISTMAS’
The Family Service Upper Ohio Valley presents its annual fundraising event, “A Family Christmas,” featuring the Ron Retzer Trio and the 1170 Band, 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at The Capitol Theatre in Wheeling. All proceeds benefit seniors in the area by providing in-home care, home-delivered meals, transportation and an activity center. Tickets are available at the Wesbanco Arena box office, The Capitol Theatre website and at the door. $20. Doors open at 6 p.m.
‘CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE’
Broadway director Neil Goldberg has searched the world to assemble the most unique cast of incomparable cirque artists and theatrical talent to wow audiences nationwide in “Cirque Dreams Holidaze.” This critically-acclaimed extravaganza — a Broadway musical and a cirque adventure — is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at The Capitol Theatre. Over 300 imaginative costumes, 20 world-class astonishing acts, the finest singers, original music and seasonal favorites celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s in a two-hour spectacle. Visit the theater website for tickets.
The John Marshall High School Music Department invites the public to celebrate the holiday season at a combined Christmas concert, “Monarch Tidings,” set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, in the JM Center for Performing Arts. This student-produced event will feature selections from a combination of ensembles including Concert Band, Steel Band, Concert Choir, Monarch Choir, Chamber Orchestra, String Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra. Tickets at the door.
IT’S A BLUES CHRISTMAS
Fan-favorite Albert Castiglia will bring the blues to the BluesFest Holiday Party on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at River City in Wheeling. “Castiglia is a real crowd-pleaser,” said Bruce Wheeler of Heritage Music BluesFest. Along with a night of great blues, there will be merchandise and ticket giveaways. The show starts at 7 p.m. River City is located at 1400 Main St., Wheeling. For tickets, visit www.heritagemusicfest.com. Tickets to BluesFest 2019, Aug. 9-11, will be available at early-bird prices.
DECK THE HALLS
Clientele Art Studio will present “Deck the Halls,” an art show featuring unique works created on skateboard decks painted by a variety of artists, from 8 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, Dec. 15. The artwork will be auctioned off, with the proceeds donated to the Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless. Admission is free; light refreshments will be offered. DJ Stealth will provide entertainment. Clientele Art Studio is located at 43 15th St., Wheeling. Check out the Facebook page for more information.
It’s beginning to look a lot like murder as Mystery Theatre Unlimited presents its Christmas show, “Slay Ride 3: The Case of the Femme Fatale (or the Santa Sham Scam),” featuring its unique blend of comedy and musical parody. Performances are set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Vue Bar and Grill in Grandview Park, Moundsville, and 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at River City Restaurant, Wheeling. Santa Claus is under extraordinary stress — the elves are sick, and he has had to hire replacements, including a strange vixen from the South Pole. With lots of holiday music, mistaken identities and outrageous comedy, the plot leads to murder in the North Pole on Christmas Eve. For reservations, which include dinner and the show, call River City at 304-233-4555 or the Vue at 304-810-2778. www.MysteryTheatreUnlimited.com
- “The Art of Wine,” a wine tasting, holiday shopping and dining experience is set for 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center. $55. 304-242-7700. www.oionline.com
- Rich, velvety Christmas wines will be uncorked at the Good Mansion Wines wine tasting, 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14. Featured will be the big and spicy Chateauneuf du Pape from the Rhone, luscious and smooth Amarone from the Veneto, big California Cabernet, silky and rich Brunello di Montalcino from Tuscany, and a very special powerhouse from Lombardia, the raisinated Nebbiolo wine Sfursat from Nino Negri. Wines will be served with Christmas cheeses and salumi and French baguettes. $15 at the door, no reservations needed. www.goodmansionwines.com
MORE HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES CONTINUE
- “The Nutcracker,” featuring a cast of beautifully costumed dancers performing on a lavish set and reveling in Tchaikovsky’s beloved score will be performed by Oglebay Institute’s Youth Ballet Company at two Oglebay Institute venues — the Mansion Museum in Oglebay (1 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16) and Towngate Theatre (3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, and Sunday, Dec. 23, with a Sugar Plum Social at 1 p.m.). 304-242-7700; www.oionline.com
- 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. 304-242-4200; www.oionline.com
- Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum in Oglebay Park is decorated for the holidays and open to the public for tours through Dec. 31. Professional decorators and talented amateurs have spruced up 13 period rooms, hallways and staircases in this year’s theme, “Holiday Magic.” 304-242-7272; www.oionline.com
- The Oglebay hills are alive with more than a million twinkling lights at the Winter Festival of Lights, now through Jan. 1. New this year are the 3D “Sleigh Bans” eyewear with holographic lenses, which transform every point of light into a magical display. www.oglebay.com/events/festival-of-lights
- Visiting Santa can be a sensory overload for children with autism. This holiday season, Wheeling Park and the Augusta Levy Learning Center have joined forces to provide children with autism the opportunity to visit Santa in a calm environment. The Silent Santa event will enable children and their families to snap a picture with Santa in a stress-free environment, while enjoying holiday treats in Wheeling Park’s Fireplace Room from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, and Friday, Dec. 21. In lieu of admission, guests are encouraged to contribute a donation of $10 to the Augusta Levy Learning Center. To register, call 304-243-4186. Space is limited and pre-registration is strongly encouraged.
‘WHEELING IS HAUNTED’
The opening reception for “Wheeling Is Haunted,” featuring works by artist Gregg Oxley, is set for 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, at the 3rd Floor Loft Gallery at the Wheeling Artisan Center. Oxley, a mixed media and installation artist from Charleston, uses found objects, antiquated papers, forgotten photographs, handwriting samples and other ephemera to create work that inspires a nostalgic tone that sometimes plays on modern themes. The title of the show comes from the idea that the people in the photos aren’t around anymore, but they still exist in the artwork. The show will run through Jan. 10, on the third floor of the Wheeling Artisan Center. Gallery Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Skyflight Productions will present an evening with Todd Albright on Monday, Dec.17, at the Albert S. George Youth Center at Barnesville Memorial Park, Barnesville. Albright is a country blues, 12-string guitar player and vocalist with a repertoire that upholds musical pillars such as Blind Willie McTell, George Carter, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Leadbelly. His life’s work continues the distinguished tradition of the very roots of American music as told by the African-American musicians who created it. His vigorous, gritty and soulful performances are accompanied by stories of the masters and a deep intuitive sense of respect for craft, providing audiences with a meaningful experience while creating a transcendent moment. His latest album, Detroit Twelve String: Blues & Rags, was released last year. Adrian Niles also will be performing. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the show at 8 p.m. $10. 423-276-2653 or Skyflight Productions on Facebook.
The legend of Sam Andy lives on at the Sam Andy Basketball Classic, Friday, Dec. 14, at WesBanco Arena. The most winning prep basketball coach in Ohio Valley history, Andy amassed 611 wins with three Class AAA state titles. The Wheeling Park Patriot girls take on the Big Red ladies at 5:15 p.m. followed by Wheeling Park boys facing off with Martins Ferry at 7 p.m. Linsly and Oak Glen boys play at 8:45 p.m. $5 for students; $7 for adults. OVAC and WVSSAC passes permitted. Doors open at 4:15 p.m. 304-233-4470; http://wesbancoarena.com/
ESCAPE TO CHALLENGER CENTER
The Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling Jesuit University has recently opened a four-room escape room, “Space Escape,” that allows participants to enjoy the spacecraft and mission control simulator while battling an alien invasion in a 60-minute session. The escape room is open to Wheeling Jesuit students, employees, alumni and the public on Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons. It is located on the ground floor of the Erma Ora Byrd Center for Educational Technologies (CET) building on the campus of WJU. The escape room provides participants with the opportunity to immerse themselves in a family-friendly environment featuring the latest technology that is perfect for friends, family, high school or college classes, or even a team-building exercise with co-workers. The maximum number allowed for each group is eight members. All participants who are under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. 304-243-8740; firstname.lastname@example.org; clc.cet.edu
LUNCH WITH BOOKS
The legendary Yodeling Dick Brooks (Richard Morriale) returns to the Lunch With Books stage to perform familiar Christmas tunes and an amazing array of original compositions, at noon Tuesday, Dec. 18, at the Ohio County Public Library. 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; www.ohiocountylibrary.org