"The Nutcracker" at Berkeley Ballet Theater

Berkeley Ballet Theater's presents the holiday classic "The Nutcracker" at 7 p.m. Dec. 20, 21 and 22 at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, 2640 College Ave.

The production features members of the BBT Youth Company. For tickets or details call 510-830-9524 or visit www.berkeleyballet.org.

Santa coming to Albrier Community Center

A "meet-and-greet" with Santa Claus for children up to age 5 will be held from from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Frances Albrier Community Center in San Pablo Park, 2800 Park St. at Oregon Street. The free admission visit will include gifts, snacks, and singing. For details call 510-981-6640.

Family music show with The Hipwaders

Rudy Trubitt of The Sippy Cups hosts a family music show for all ages featuring The Hipwaders (www.hipwaders.net) at 11 a.m. Dec. 21 at Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St.

Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door.

For more information, call 510-644-2020 or visit www.freightandsalvage.org/kids-freight

Free performance by noted cellist

Cellist and award-winning composer Ben Hamilton will perform original music at a free program for all ages at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 21 at the Claremont Branch Library, at 2940 Benvenue Ave.


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"In addition to the traditional sounds that cellos are known for, Ben employs extended cello techniques like pizzicato, harmonics, and non-pitched voicings to create a soundscape that is relaxing and engaging," notes the library announcement.

"Avant-garde Cello Improvisations with Ben Hamilton," sponsored by the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library, will include a question-and-answer session. Details: 510-981-6280 or www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org.

Winter session classes at Berkeley Rep

A winter session of 47 classes available for youths, teens, and adults interested in the stage starts Jan. 6 at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, 2071 Addison St.

Classes are for all ages and abilities, from beginners to professionals. Financial aid is available for youths under 18.

For more details on classes or affordable outreach programs for local schools call 510-647-2972, e-mail school@berkeleyrep.org, or visit berkeleyrep.org/school.

Kensington Symphony seasonal concert

The Holiday Concert by the Kensington Symphony Orchestra is 8 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Road in Kensington. The program will be led by music director and conductor Geoffrey Gallegos and feature music of Corelli, Verdi, Leroy Anderson and Darius Milhaud, featuring Sandra I. Noriega in his "Concerto for Percussion." Tickets are $15 general, $12 students and seniors, (under 12 free) available at the door. Details: www.keningtonsymphonyorchestera.org.

Here comes Santa Claus, right down Solano Avenue

A photo op with Santa Claus awaits at the final weekend of Santa on Solano from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 21 and 22 at Whole Health Apothecary, 1229 Solano Ave. in Albany.

You supply the camera and they supply Santa Claus, popcorn and treats, all free. Details: 510-527-5358, www.solanoavenueassn.org.

Join the chorus at church Messiah event

Orchestra, soloists and the audience will perform at the singalong of Handel's Messiah at 6 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Road in Kensington.

Singers can bring their own score or borrow one for a $10 deposit. "Period costumes are admired but not required."

Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets or at the door. Details: www.uucb.org or call 510-525-0302.

Shotgun presents one-man show of 'Scrooge'

The Shotgun Cabaret presents "Scrooge: The Haunting of Ebenezer" in two performances only, at 8 p.m. Dec. 23 and 24 on the Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave.

"Whittled from the original Dickens, Jeff Garrett embodies everyone from Bob Cratchit and Jacob Marley to Fezziwig and Tiny Tim as his hardhearted title character experiences a chilling brush with immortality. Grab a cup of hot apple cider and experience the solo version of this classic Christmas Eve ghost story."

Tickets are $15 each, available in advance at www.shotgunplayers.org or 510-841-6500.

-- Chris Treadway