There are plenty of socially distanced, virtual, drone-enabled and often-free ways for Delawareans to celebrate Christmas this weekend. Here are some.
UD REP’s ‘A Christmas Carol’
The University of Delaware’s Delaware’s Resident Ensemble Players is presenting a free audio presentation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” through Christmas.
“This play is about transformation essentially,” said director Kathleen Pirkl Tague, a REP company member making her directorial debut. “It’s Scrooge’s transformation obviously, but it’s aided by supernatural energy. I think it is a miracle when people change. When people fundamentally transform, it’s miraculous.”
The show also includes choral pieces from the 2014 “Carols by Candlelight” performance from the UD Chorale.
Delaware Theatre’s ‘Merry & Bright’
“Merry & Bright” is the title of the free Delaware Theatre Company holiday light show, synchronized to music, on the front steps of the theater on the Wilmington Riverfront. There will be a live band and a big guy in a red suit.
The 30-minute show runs through Sunday, with performances at 5:30, 6:15 and 7 p.m., with limited ticketing to allow for social distancing.
Chapel Street’s ‘34th Street’
The Chapel Street Players’ “Miracle on 34th Street: A Radio Play” is available for free streaming on YouTube. This live-streamed adaptation includes holiday music, and the visuals show the performers from the Newark community theater in an old-fashioned radio studio.
Longwood Gardens displays its conservatory, in spectacular Christmas fashion, with 7 minutes of drone footage, accompanied by music. “Nothing picks me up more than enjoying Longwood Gardens, Ben du Post wrote on Facebook. “What Paul and the team their have done is extraordinary. I get renewed faith in humanity, and optimism that the virus will abate and the sun will rise again soon.”
Bootless Stageworks’ ‘Bell’
Bootless Stageworks has adapted “It’s a Wonderful Life” and the short story the movie was based upon, “The Greatest Gift,” into “Every Time a Bell Rings.” An 85-minute staged reading was recorded Dec. 13 at the Wilmington theater, and the livestream is yours for a $15 donation.
First State Ballet Theatre’s ‘Nutcracker’
First State Ballet Theatre is presenting a film of its 2019 production of “The Nutcracker” at 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Theatre N in downtown Wilmington. Tickets are $15.
Delaware Dance Company’s ‘Nutcracker 2020’
The Delaware Dance Company debuts its “Nutcracker 2020” at 7 p.m. Christmas Day, and it’ll be available for viewing through Dec. 27 by donation.
Wilmington & Western’s Holiday Lights Express
The Wilmington & Western Railroad has added another coach to its Holiday Lights Express rides, meaning more to decorate. “Many of our trackside neighbors decorate their homes and yards for our passengers to enjoy,” the railroad said. Dress warmly: The coaches are heated, but the windows are open, to meet pandemic guidelines. The hourlong rides run three times every evening through Dec. 23, plus Dec. 26-30. Tickets are free-$16.
Clifford Brown Year-Round’s livestream
Clifford Brown Year-Round marks the season at 7 p.m. Friday with a livestream by the Cartoon Christmas Trio and the Wilmington Children’s Chorus. Tickets are $10 at www.cityfestwilm.org/events. The show will include the trio with works by Vince Guaraldi, known for the “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the chorus and baritone Grant Youngblood with “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”
“After a long and difficult year, we can all gather in our homes and enjoy an evening of festive celebration,” said Tina Betz, director of the mayor’s office of cultural affairs.
Clifford Brown Year Round is presented by Cityfest and the city, with support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, WRTI, the Kenny Family Foundation, Delmarva Power, Gerald Chavis Music, Flux Creative Consulting, the Christina Cultural Arts Center and the Delaware Contemporary.
Dance4Life presents “Receiving … A Holiday Celebration” twice this weekend, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 5:30 p.m. Sunday. The performers will be at the Wilmington Drama League; the audience is online. Tickets are $25.
OperaDelaware’s new season
OperaDelaware’s 2020-21 digital season begins Sunday with the relaunch of its Sunday Spotlight series of recitals.
The husband-wife duo of baritone Steven Condy and soprano Robin Leigh Massie and pianist Aurelien Eulert will perform classical and holiday favorites at 2 p.m. Sunday, with an encore broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23. Tickets are $15 per household.
And holiday lights and tours
Winterthur is offering a self-guided tour of fifth-floor rooms of the house, more decorations outside, tram tours and scattered activities through Jan. 3.
Hagley celebrates Hometown Heroes with its third annual gingerbread contest.
The Winter in Wilmington Light Show runs through Jan. 3 on the Riverfront.