by Lenise Willis

Now that we’ve been hit by an assaulting cold, it’s a good time to start seeking some indoor entertainment. Mark your calendars with these shows that are sure to keep your spirits high and your cheeks toasty.

Friday through Sunday, Dec. 1 Taylor Dance will perform The Nutcracker at Hanesbrands Theatre. Choreography is by award-winning Artistic Director Gary Taylor.

On Thursday, for one night only, the School of Music at UNC School of the Arts presents UNCSA Jazz Ensemble: Swing Era Extravaganza, a boisterous musical experience that features dancers from the School of Dance along with a brassy big band jazz sound and the excitement of the 1930s and ’40s. The special performance will be at the Gerald Freedman Theatre on campus at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15; $13 for students.

On Friday through Dec. 1, NC Black Repertory Company presents Black Nativity, a telling of the birth story through dramatic dance, vibrant costumes and uplifting music, at the Arts Council Theatre. Performances continue Dec. 13-15.

There are quite a few holiday productions coming soon, too, so if you’re looking for some entertainment to regale your guests, plan ahead and purchase your tickets in advance.

Such high-spirited shows coming to the Triad in December include It’s A Wonderful Life at Kernersville Little Theatre, a wonderful familyfriendly production that throws back to the time of radio stories.

On the other hand, Paper Lantern Theatre’s Santaland Diaries at Triad Stage is a riskier adult-only show that’ll have you and your friends laughing about the holiday headaches.

Theatre Alliance’s production of Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!), which opens Dec. 13, is described as a “madcap romp through the holiday season,” featuring the stories of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “A Christmas Carol” and more.

Also celebrating winter are A Christmas Carol and Snow Queen, both of which are performing at Triad Stage, as well. A Christmas Carol is Preston Lane’s twist on Charles Dickens’ classic, while Snow Queen is a Lane original about an Appala- chian adventure. !