Manhattan arts community is alive during the holidays

By Maura Wery

The holiday season and the arts go hand in hand.

As Thanksgiving and the winter holidays approach, local venues have lots of music, theater and dance productions for Manhattanites to enjoy.

K-State’s theater department will kick off its season with a production of “The Wedding Singer.”

The show, based on the movie starring Adam Sandler, takes place in 1985 and features a wedding singer from New Jersey who can’t keep it together after his fiancé leaves him at the altar.

K-State will also have its traditional WinterDance in December. The dance is choreographed and performed by K-State students and faculty.

McCain Auditorium will feature several holiday productions. Bach’s Own St. Thomas Boys Choir will perform Nov. 6.

Another show to get attendees into the holiday spirit is “The Sound of Christmas” with Elizabeth von Trapp and the Brian Setzer Orchestra will bring big-band sounds to traditional Christmas music.

Manhattan Arts Center will feature the play “A Few Good Men” as a start to its winter season. The play follows U.S. Marines around Guantanamo Naval Base after a murder occurs.

The MAC will also feature several musical acts ranging in style from blues to Americana to bluegrass. It will also have a New Year’s Eve party to ring in 2014.

Here’s a more complete listing of performances in the holiday season.

K-State Theater and Dance


Nov. 7-10

“The Wedding Singer”

McCain Auditorium

Friday/Saturday: 7:30 p.m.

Sunday: 2:30 p.m.

It’s 1985. The hair is big, the collars are up and a wedding singer might be the coolest guy in the room. In “The Wedding Singer,” Robbie Hart is New Jersey’s favorite wedding singer until his own fiancé leaves him at the altar.

Shot through the heart, Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own until a beautiful waitress, Julia, wins his affection. As luck would have it, Julia is about to be married to a Wall Street shark. Can Robbie pull off the performance of a decade, or is the girl of his dreams gone forever?


Dec. 5-7

WinterDance 2013

Mark A. Chapman Theatre (Nichols Theatre)

7:30 p.m.

K-State students will perform original pieces choreographed by faculty and advanced students.


McCain Perfomance Series


Nov. 6

Bach’s Own St. Thomas Boys Choir of Leipzig

First United Methodist Church.

7:30 p.m.

A tradition-rich choir dedicated to the legacy of J.S. Bach.


Nov. 11

Brian Regan

McCain Auditorium

7:30 p.m.



Nov. 13

“Beyond Glory”

McCain Auditorium

7:30 p.m.

The story of eight men of incredible valor told in a one-man show.


Nov. 15


McCain Auditorium

7 p.m.

Musical loosely based on the Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips—the first DJ to play black music on Top-40 radio in the 1950s.


Dec. 1

“The Sound of Christmas” starring Elisabeth von Trapp with the Carolian Brass

McCain Auditorium

4 p.m. 

Celebrate the joyful sounds of the season with the granddaughter of Maria and Baron von Trapp, whose story inspired “The Sound of Music.”


Dec. 11

Brian Setzer Orchestra

McCain Auditorium

7 p.m.

Swing and jump big band take their own sound and infuses holiday classics.


Manhattan Arts Center


Nov. 6-Dec. 24

Wrap it Up

Manhattan Arts Center

Weekdays, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

This local art gallery features art pieces from more than 80 artists for sale. Buyers can choose from several types of mediums—including scultures, paintings and even shoes—to give as gifts.

Nov. 8-17

“A Few Good Men”

Manhattan Arts Center

Nov. 8-10, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 11, 7:30 (Special Veterans Day performance)

Nov. 15-16, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 17, 2 p.m.

Based on the 1986 events at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Military lawyers at a court-martial uncover a high-level conspiracy when defending their U.S. Marine clients accused of murder.

The play includes strong language that might not be suitable for children.


Nov. 10

BirdHouse special: John McCutcheon

Manhattan Arts Center

7 p.m.

Those who missed him at Winfield in September have a second chance to hear him perform. Few people communicate with the versatility, charm, wit and pure talent of John McCutcheon. He has become one of our most respected and loved folksingers.


Nov. 22

BirdHouse music: Nora Jane Struthers and the Party Line

Manhattan Arts Center

7:30 p.m.

Americana singer and songwriter Nora Jane Struthers hits the stage with her band The Party Line. “Fans of Dixie Chicks, Alison Krauss and Dolly Parton take notice: Nora Jane Struthers embodies everything you could want in an Americana singer-songwriter,” said NPR Music.


Dec. 6-8


“Babes in Toyland”

Manhattan Arts Center

7 to 8 p.m.

Join Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, some dim-witted henchmen, the Toymaker and his toys for this holiday show. The show’s cast will be approximately 35 local children from third to eighth grade.


Dec. 14

Red State Blues Band

Manhattan Arts Center

7:30 p.m.

The best damn blues band West of the Big Blue River.


Dec. 31

New Year’s Eve Party

Manhattan Arts Center

8 p.m.

DJ Dave Lewis, dancing, heavy hors d’oeuvres and a Champagne toast at midnight.

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