by Lenise Willis

If you’re still looking for ways to celebrate the coming of the new year, area theaters have you covered.

For starters, there’s a special rockin’ New Year’s Eve encore of Christmas Spectacular: Christmas Is… featuring the Barn Band at the Barn Dinner Theatre. To convince Santa to deliver presents this year, Mrs. Claus must first prove to him that the world hasn’t forgotten the true meaning of Christmas.

The family show is packed with song and dance celebrating Broadway, Motown, country, gospel, pop and more. In addition to the show there will be a buffet dinner, door prizes throughout the night, dancing with the Barn Band after the show, a champagne toast at midnight and finally a hot breakfast bar to start off the New Year.

Also on Friday, comedians Chris Wiles and Shane McConnaghy perform at Greensboro Coliseum’s Odeon Theater. The show also includes a midnight buffet dinner and dance party spun by DJ Eminate of First Affordable DJs. A portion of the proceeds go to the KT Foundation, a volunteer group of advocates for those afflicted with the rare vascular disorder Klippel- Trenaunay Syndrome.

There’s a lot in store for 2011, and many theatres are starting the year off right with their upcoming January performances. Winston-Salem’s Theatre Alliance will present Jane Anderson’s Looking for Normal on Jan. 7. Roy and Irma were an ordinary couple and respected members of the church and community until Roy admits in marriage counseling that he wants a sex change. Now the two must reexamine their 25-year marriage in a play that explores the complexities of love, family and marriage.

If you’re looking for a show you can watch with the kids, take them to Arts Council Theatre where the Children’s Theatre of Winston-Salem presents If You Take a Mouse to School. Performed by Charlotte’s Tarradiddle Players and based on the bestselling book by Laura Numeroff, the play follows an adventure-seeking mouse as he stows away in a backpack. Play begins on Jan. 7 and is recommended for ages pre-K to 3.