Welcome to Delaware Today’s arts blog, the spot to dish on the many cultural opportunities available to Delaware audiences. We’ll cover as many genres as possible, and note great events offered by organizations large and small, in all three counties.
Attention all you Scrooges: You are required to attend at least one event listed in this week’s blog. Also, do head to The New Candlelight Theatre to see its holiday show, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” I saw it this weekend, and it is superb. Narrator Melissa Joy Hart’s voice is strong, and she moves the action in this well-paced show. Joseph, played by Edward Egan, also delivers a strong performance. If you have kids, bring them. My 8-year-old loved “Joseph.” Happy Thanksgiving.
Winterthur Museum & Country Estate is a fine place to undo your Scrooge-like tendencies. Yuletide at Winterthur premiered last weekend and runs thru January 3. The mansion is decorated for the holidays and features classic and contemporary displays. None of us mere mortals would ever accomplish such feats, but it’s nice to see how the other half lived. While there, visit the “Good Tidings to You, Victorian Christmas Ephemera from The John & Carolyn Grossman Collection” exhibit. It also runs thru January. Contact info: winterthur.org, or 888-4600
Longwood Gardens Christmas starts this weekend, and runs thru January 10. If you’ve never been to Longwood at Christmas, you won’t believe how much electricity can be generated at one place. The Christmas lights are of another world. There are also hundreds of poinsettias, ice-skating shows, sing-alongs, strolling singers, choirs, hand-bells. ‘Nuf said. Contact info: (610) 388-1000, or longwoodgardens.org.
Christmas at Hagley also opens this weekend, and runs thru January 4. Hagley has more decorations and holiday music this year. Very inspiring. I bet Charles Dickens would’ve loved this one. Contact info: 658-2400, or hagley.org.
A Brandywine Christmas premiers this weekend at the Brandywine River Museum, and runs thru January. This is a great one for the kids. You’ll see a model railroad, a Victorian dollhouse, and critter ornaments. Contact info: (610) 388-2700, or brandywinemuseum.org.
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A Victorian Christmas at the Old Library Museum in New Castle starts November 28 and runs through December 27. There are weekend seasonal exhibits of Christmas trees and antique toys from the collection of the New Castle Historical Society. Contact info: 322-2794, or newcastlehistory.org.
The Arden Holiday Shop is open on November 29. Interesting gifts by local artists might make for nice gifts. This gig is at Arden Gild Hall. Contact info: 475-3126, or ardenclub.org.
Behold the Festival of Trees on November 27-28 and Dec. 4-6. There are several locations, including Cokesbury Village in Hockessin, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, and Delaware Technical & Community College in Georgetown. Each location promises decorated trees, wreaths, and lots of family activities. Proceeds benefit Delaware Hospice. Contact info: (800) 838-9800, or dehospice.org.
Catch the Santa Claus Express on the Wilmington & Western Railroad November 28-29. My 8-year-old son loves this. It’s his chance to keep Santa posted on all the wonderful, generous things he’s done all year. The Big Guy really does chat with the kids. And it’s so much nicer than the mall. Contact info: 998-1930, or wwrr.com.
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“That’s Amore—Dean Martin and Friends Holiday Special” slinks into The Grand on November 29. Now before you start calling me an old fogey, hear me out. Martin was an icon, one of the great entertainers of the 1960s and ’70s. Entire families sat in front of the tube to watch him fall off his piano stool. (Martin was never a drunk. He just played one on TV.)
Singer Mark Adams does a good Dean Martin. He’s got the hair, for one, and he can deliver on the self-deprecating humor. According to The Grand’s Facebook page, there also will be “absurd comedy sketches with comic gaffes and ad-libs, glitzy dance numbers with The Golddiggers, and a parade of guest stars singing new and familiar pop tunes.” Lighten up, Ebenezer. Even you’ll laugh. No one is too hip, too young, too old or too anything for this show. Contact info: 652-5577, or grandopera.org.