While many holiday shows closed this past weekend, entertainment in our area still abounds.

On Dec. 23, the California Symphony presents "A Toast to the Holidays" at 7:30 p.m. at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Guest conductor Michael Butterman will lead soprano Sarah Jane McMahon and the Voices of Musica Sacra choir in a joyous selection of classical and popular works. Songs include "Deck the Halls," "O Holy Night, "Silver Bells," "Santa Baby" and works by Rimsky-Korsakov and Bizet. For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.

  • n n

    Several local performers have been crossing the Bay Bridge on a regular basis to perform in the cult rock musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." CC Shelton (often seen at the Willows Theatre) and John Lewis (recently seen in Center Rep's "The Underpants") both play Hedwig at different stages of his/her life (as do six other performers) with Elinor Bell (Role Players, Butterfield 8) portraying Hedwig's mother in this rock n'roll musical with a ton of heart and a superbly talented cast.

    Written by John Cameron Mitchell with music/lyrics by Stephen Trask, the offbeat story tells of would-be glam rock star, Hedwig, from East Germany who undergoes a gender-change operation in order to escape from the Soviet bloc, only to discover that not all dreams come true in America.


    Advertisement

    Insightfully directed by Nick A. Olivero with music direction by Rachel Robinson, the show plays at Boxcar Playhouse, 505 Natoma, in San Francisco in an open-ended run.

    While the show has plenty of energized rock music (well played by a rockin' four-piece band) and sexy dance moves, it also has a solid emotional core that keeps the audience enthralled. Olivero also designed the set creating a cabaret with plenty of decadent ambience. Luckily, the well-trained set crew warns audience members when a performer is about to dance on their table. While CC Sheldon didn't dance on my table, she did swing around it and down a pole to the lower level.

    For tickets, call 415-967-2227 or go to www.boxcartheatre.org.

  • n n

    Good news for those who haven't had a chance to see Berkeley Repertory Theatre's production of "The White Snake" -- Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman's magical romance has been extended through Dec. 30.

    Due to ticket demand, seven shows have been added, including three matinees.

    It's a short trip through the Caldecott Tunnel into a world of legends. Playing at the company's Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison St. in Berkeley, the show serves up a sumptuous holiday repast full of colorful costumes, puppets and a mesmerizing set. For tickets, call 510-647-2949 or go to www.berkeleyrep.org.

    Contact Sally Hogarty at sallyhogarty@gmail.com.