With an eye toward “arts for all,” Raue Center for the Arts in downtown Crystal Lake meets every season with a diverse lineup of national, regional and local entertainment. This holds true for the upcoming holiday season, as the stage welcomes a range of acts that appeal to everyone in the family.
“You just never know whom you’ll see here,” says Meredith Schaefer, director of institutional advancement and marketing for Raue Center.
Kicking things off for the holidays, Raue presents a new twist on Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol.” The show is based on the “Magic Tree House” classic “A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens,” in which Jack and Annie help the famous author to pen one of his most memorable stories. Running Dec. 2-4, the story is performed by the young talents at Raue Center School for the Arts (RCSA).
“That’s an all-youth cast featuring 55 students singing and acting,” Schaefer says. “It’s a great opportunity for those kids to explore their artistic side in a different way.”
On Dec. 9, Elgin Symphony Orchestra brings its holiday spectacular. As always, this year’s show promises a night of holiday warmth and classic yuletide tunes.
Rounding out the weekend comes the return of “A Swingin’ Little Christmas,” in which actress Jane Lynch spends two nights – Dec. 10 and 11 – sharing the stage with Kate Flannery (Meredith from “The Office”), Tim Davis and Tony Guerrero Quintet. While this isn’t Lynch’s first time in town, her appearance comes with a new twist: students from RSCA’s youth musical theater ensemble join Lynch onstage.
Next, Raue welcomes Engage Dance Theatre for its annual presentation of “The Nutcracker” ballet on Dec. 17 and 18.
The latest New Year’s Eve bash brings back comedian Steve Cochran and friends, who are followed by Beatles tribute band American English. Dressed as the Fab Four, their authenticity comes alive with the 1964 albums “Meet The Beatles” and “The Beatles’ Second Album.”
January brings performances of Bourbon Country – Raue Center’s new resident artist – and several comedy shows. ❚
Raue Center for the Arts is located at 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake, (815) 356-9212. Find tickets at rauecenter.org.