We miss our usual round of live vacation shows in downtown San Jose, whether it’s the delightful “Carols at the California,” any number of vacation-themed plays, or a “nutcracker” for everyone. While the stages are still dark, a special audio-only presentation helps keep the performance alive in downtown San Jose.
“The Stories of the Holidays” and “Stories of the Arts” – Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa – are displayed in eight 12-foot-high windows in City View Plaza on Market Street across from Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Through January 3, visitors can stop by 4pm to 10pm each evening to hear 5-minute versions of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “A Christmas Carol,” “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” and more.
The stories are booked from holiday songs and presented in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Other windows show costumes used in vacation productions, and there are also audio-only comedy routines and games that have it all thanks to a collaboration between Guggenheim Entertainment, 3Below Theaters, and the San Jose Downtown Association.
Of course, if you want to help ensure that the performing arts groups in San Jose survive until the next holiday season, you can head over to 3belowtheaters.com/the-story-of-holiday-arts and learn about their various COVID-19 recovery plans .
CHOIR BECOMES INNOVATIVE: The Ragazzi Boys Chorus will broadcast their Christmas concert “Beyond the Stars” live on December 13th, with each member singing live from home. Anyone who’s tried singing together with family or friends on platforms like Zoom knows it can be a challenge, but the Peninsula’s performing arts group came up with a technical solution to the built-in delay.
The groundbreaking Ragazzi Virtual Studio, which improves audio quality and shortens the delay time for singers to harmonize, was developed by the JackTrip Foundation, which was started by Ragazzi parents Mike Dickey in cooperation with Chris Chafe and the Center for Computational Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University. At a virtual rehearsal this fall, more than 80 choir singers sang live together and were considered the largest group ever to do so from a distance.
You can hear it for yourself by checking out the program, which includes songs for the Christmas season, as well as works that honor perseverance and optimism. Tickets are available from ragazzi.org and a $ 25 donation is recommended.
HOLIDAY CLASSIC REVISITED: The Tabard Theater Company will start streaming its production of It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play on December 10, although things, similar to George Bailey’s life, did not go quite as expected. Executive Artistic Director Jonathan Rhys Williams When Santa Clara County returned to the Purple Tier, plans were changed to make the show a recorded extravaganza.
To ensure everyone’s safety, each actor played his part solo, and the tech assistants sewed the pieces together to create the finished show. This process caused a delay and forced the December 4th premiere to be postponed. To make up for this, the show has been extended to December 24th when there will be a matinee on Christmas Eve. And while the piece itself is being recorded, Williams will host a live pre-show for each performance with trivia and socializing in the chat area. Tickets are available at www.tabardtheatre.org.
HOME TOUR SHIFTS TRANSMISSION: Count the annual Santa Clara Historic Home Tour as another event that had to change its plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. chair Nancy Biagini Let me know that instead of a live in-person tour, this year the committee created an online tour of more than 50 public and private historic buildings in the core of the Old Quad neighborhood.
You can be a Lookie Loo from the comfort of your home – all you need is a device with a browser – or you can stroll around using the tour as a guide. Each site has details and a guide to architectural styles.
“Our city historian, the inimitable Lorie GarciaBiagini added that this will be an integral part of the Santa Clara Historic Home Tour website, sc-hometour.com, and will be updated with more websites in the future.