Morgantown enjoys a wealth of theater performances this fall.

The holiday season brings us many of the best theater performances of the year, and this year, Morgantown isn’t holding back. From classics to comedy and simple to spectacular, there’s a show for everyone. Here’s our guide.

M.T. Pockets Theatre Company

M.T. Pockets has multiple shows this fall and holiday season. First up is William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. Directed by Morgantown’s own Tracy Lynch, the play follows two sets of twins that were separated at birth, yet end up in the same city on the same day. Mistaken identities and false accusations are just two of the slapstick situations the characters find themselves in. The show runs October 13–14 and 19–21 at 8 p.m., with a matinee performance October 25 at 2 p.m.

In Neil Simon’s classic The Sunshine Boys, a pair of feuding Vaudeville performers can’t stand each other, despite working together for over 40 years. After an 11-year hiatus, the two reunite for a TV special. Directed by Seret Cole, who also directed spring’s Steel Magnolias, the play features beloved Morgantown actors Patrick Connor and Robert Wolfe. This comedy plays November 10–11 and 16–18 at 8 p.m. The matinee performance is November 12 at 2 p.m.

M.T. Pockets is also preparing two December performances. High Spirits: A Variety Show takes the audience back to when traveling Vaudeville acts were the only entertainment around. This show includes a variety of entertaining comedy, song, and dance numbers. Co-directed by Vickie Trickett and Nicole Davis and presented in collaboration with Dancing Elephant Productions, High Spirits plays December 1–2 and 7–9 at 8 p.m. with a matinee December 3 at 2 p.m. Later in the month, Ebenezer, a contemporary dance production based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, features original choreography by Alchemy Dance Project Director Angela Dennis. The family-friendly show includes members of the Alchemy Dance Project and Red Stone Dance Initiative. Ebenezer plays December 14–16 at 8 p.m. and December 16 and 17 at 2 p.m.

WVU School of Theatre and Dance & West Virginia Public Theatre

School of Theatre and Dance students will perform the Tony Award–winning Stephen Sondheim musical Assassins, based on John Weidman’s book. In the story, four successful and five would-be presidential assassins represent the violent ways some seek celebrity status in our culture. Assassins will play in the Metropolitan Theatre October 19–21 at 7:30 p.m. and October 22 at 2 p.m. The show Three Sisters tells the Anton Chekhov story of sisters in a small Russian town who long to return to Moscow. They are prevented by debt and oppression, but nothing can destroy their hope of one day returning. The production will play in the intimate Gladys G. Davis Theatre in the Creative Arts Center November 16–17 and 28–30 and December 1–2 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee December 3 at 2 p.m.

The West Virginia Public Theatre, which is affiliated with the WVU’s Creative Arts Center, will perform Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The holiday classic will play at the Creative Arts Center December 14–16 at 7:30 p.m. and December 17 at 2 p.m.,

University Arts Series

WVU’s University Arts Series brings Broadway and other major national touring performances to stage at the Creative Arts Center—three of them this fall. Dirty Dancing—The Classic Story on Stage tells the passionate tale of Baby and Johnny. This production plays November 9 at 7:30 p.m., and parental discretion is advised. Elf the Musical, the comedic story of a young boy who mistakenly ends up at the North Pole and eventually has to face the fact that he is not an elf, was sold out as this magazine went to print.

Finally, Moscow Ballet’s classic Great Russian Nutcracker returns to Morgantown on its 25th anniversary tour. With 40 classically trained dancers and lavish, hand-painted sets, the performance has been called magical. “It is the traditional Nutcracker story,” says Kristie Stewart-Gale, marketing and advertising manager for WVU Arts and Entertainment. “But with the Moscow Ballet, it does have some unique things—including a giant Christmas tree that actually grows on the stage. And the Dove of Peace is performed by two of the dancers who actually create the dove, so it’s quite a spectacular part of the show.” The Great Russian Nutcracker sells out quickly—buy your tickets before it’s too late.

written by Kristen Uppercue

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