In an era of deep socioeconomic divisions and brutal deprivations, Charles Dickens penned a warning against the toll those burdens would bring. The result became a holiday hit built around a wealthy curmudgeon and the group of ghosts who thawed his icy heart.

This year, the acclaimed talents of Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre (ESRT) will cross the bay to stage two performances of “A Christmas Carol, The Musical” at The Steeple on St. Francis (251 St. Francis St.). Erin Langley directs a cast of more than 50, with choreography by Matthew Kiel and music direction by Michael Seward.

Performances are Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Run time is roughly two hours. Tickets cost $25 to $150.

An ESRT benefit gala, “An Evening at Fezziwig’s,” takes place at the same locale, 7 p.m. the night before.

For information on both events or to purchase tickets, call 251-301-2371 or go to

‘Babes’ at Saenger

The Playhouse in the Park will take its Christmas presentation of Rebecca Ryland’s “Babes in Toyland” on the road, so to speak, when they take the stage at the Saenger Theatre (6 S. Joachim St.) on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m.

Built in a fantastic realm where Mother Goose characters play out adventure and romance through a singing, dancing musical romp, it makes for a family-oriented beginning to the holiday season that is perfect for children.

Box office will open at 6:30 p.m. the night of the show. All tickets are $20.

Tickets are also available online at or by calling 251-602-0630.

Baldwin Pops present holiday pair

No wrapping needed as the Baldwin Pops gift two free Christmas concerts in the first two weeks of December. They’ve stuffed these musical stockings with a selection of holiday favorites to stir seasonal cheer.

There’s no snow in Gulf Shores but there’s white sand, and on Dec. 4 the Pops will bring the joyful noise to match. The show at the Gulf Shores Cultural Center (19470 Oak Road W.) starts at 7 p.m. The second show takes place Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Foley Civic Center (407 E. Laurel Ave.).

The shows are sponsored by the cities of Gulf Shores and Foley and an Alabama State Council on the Arts grant.

The program includes “Jingle Bells,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “White Christmas,” John Rutter’s “Candlelight Carol,” Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Bizet’s Farandole, Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival” and more.

Santa will visit; pictures with him are available for $5 each.

A U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots representative will collect new, unwrapped toys from concert attendees who want to contribute.

More information is at, the Baldwin Pops Band Facebook page or by calling 251-987-5757.