by Lenise Willis

Triad Stage’s annual Christmas tradition, a ghostly adaptation of A Christmas Carol, “as Dickens intended,” is still running now until Dec. 23, and the satirically hilarious The Santaland Diaries runs in the UpStage Cabaret until Dec. 22. (See interview to left) Wednesday only, the Winston-Salem Symphony performs Handel’s Messiah, at 7:30 p.m. at Centenary United Methodist Church, 646 W. Fifth St. Tickets are $10-$45. The 60-voice Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale, part of the Winston- Salem Symphony Chorale, will perform. Chorus and orchestra size reflect the number of voices and musicians that would have been used during Handel’s time.

The Hanesbrands Theatre presents BARRYMORE Thursday at 7:30 p.m., starring Academy Award-Winner Christopher Plummer. Set in 1942, the final year of John Barrymore’s life, BAR- RYMORE takes place on the stage of a Broadway theater, where the legendary Shakespearean actor is struggling to recreate his performance in the title role of Shakespeare’s Richard III.

Speaking of Shakespeare, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival continues its traditional 35th annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol this week.

The Children’s Theatre of Winston- Salem Youth Playhouse presents A Children’s Christmas Carol at the Arts Council Theatre Friday and Saturday. The refreshing version of Charles Dickens’ classic has been very loosely adapted and directed by Artistic Director Bobby Bodford and will feature Norman Ussery, executive director of Twin City Stage, as the only adult in the cast, in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge.

The theater is also coordinating a Children’s Theatre Scholarship Fundraiser with the performances to help raise money for disadvantaged kids to attend acting classes and summer camp, as well as enable Title One schools to attend its regular season shows.

Sunday, Hanesbrands Theatre presents the live filmed version of the Royal Ballet of London’s The Nutcracker.

Coming up next week, the Carolina Chamber Symphony Players and Old Salem Museums and Gardens will present Peter and the Wolf on Thursday at the James A. Gray, Jr. Auditorium inside the Old Salem Visitor Center.

The Carolina Chamber Symphony Players’ wind quintet and percussion will perform the music. Each character in the show has a particular instrument and musical theme. Admission is $5.