Vail Daily column: A week of great cheer |

Vail Daily column: A week of great cheer

Kris Sabel
Director's Chair
Beaver Creek, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

The Vilar Performing Arts Center winter season moves into full gear next week, just in time for the holidays. The lineup of performances from Tuesday through Dec. 30 is as diverse as ever, with concerts, family performances, comedy and festive holiday shows. There truly is something for everyone at the Vilar Center this holiday season.

The line-up kicks off with Preservation Hall Jazz Band on Tuesday. This is the famed jazz ensemble that travels worldwide spreading its mission to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans Jazz. They will bring many of their classic jazz hits to the Vilar Center along with holiday favorites, “Blue Christmas,” “Swinging in a Winter Wonderland” and “The Dreidel Song.” This will be the third time Preservation Hall Jazz Band has played the Vilar Center, and each time is an interactive party. New Orleans Jazz is such energetic and fun music and at least one time in every one of their shows that I have seen, the Cats onstage work their way down through the aisles and out into the lobby and back up onstage, picking up a line of ecstatic audience members along the way.

Next, we’ll shift from Creole classics to traditional Irish favorites when Eileen Ivers presents “An Nollaig: An Irish Christmas” on Dec. 22. Ivers dubbed the “Jimi Hendrix of the violin” will lead a night of Celtic holiday cheer, along with her band, Immigrant Soul. Ivers plays on her one-of-a-kind fiddle, sharing festive Irish holiday stories and will be joined by local singers from Life Unrehearsed as well as traditional step dancers from Denver’s Wick School of Irish Dance. Along with the many traditional carols, the group will also perform 15 Christmas medleys of songs that date from the 12th century, including a “jiggified” version of Johann Sebastian Bach’s classic “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”

In a completely different vein we add some comedy to the week with Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold. The show is part of the Late Night Catechism franchise, this time with a Christmas twist. Vilar Center audiences will remember spending many laugh filled nights in Sister’s class in years past. We’ll she’s back so you better clean up and bring your best behavior.

As in Late Night Catechism the audience is treated like a grade school class with Sister penalizing audience members for chewing gum and rewarding them with friendly trinkets for correct answers to questions about saints and for their knowledge of the Christmas story. But you don’t have to be Catholic to enjoy this show! And if you’re wondering about bringing a present to the show for Sister, here’s a line taken directly from the show – “Perfume is an acceptable Christmas present for a nun as long as it’s not Obsession, My Sin or any fragrance with Elizabeth Taylor’s name on it.”

This show is appropriate for all ages but not all ages will get all the jokes. Sister will be joined by a group of local singers and all audience members are fair game when it comes time for Sister to create a living Nativity tableau on the Vilar’s stage.

For help getting into the holiday spirit this year, make plans now to join us at the Vilar Center for a week of great cheer.

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