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A little Christmas: ALT to present an online holiday variety show

The Festival Ballet Albuquerque will take part in “A Very Merry Community Christmas.” (Courtesy of Pat Berrett)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The doors are closed, the lights are off and the stage is empty.

But the Albuquerque Little Theatre will present “A Very Merry Community Christmas” on video at albuquerquelittletheatre.org at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20. Tickets start at $12; the group rate is $30.

The variety show combines theater, readings, dance and music in a combination reminiscent of the old “Ed Sullivan” TV show, director Henry Avery said.

Local favorites the New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus, the Sweet Adelines, Festival Ballet Albuquerque and various performers will bring their holiday cheer to the show.

Henry Avery

With the pandemic raging throughout the community, these local arts organizations have banded together and sent videos of past or recent productions, holiday songs, magic tricks and more.

Singer John Gallegos will sing “O Holy Night,” actor Mario Cabrera will read “The Gift of the Magi” and the Garrity Family will perform “Silent Night.”

Many of the performances were filmed pre-COVID, so there may be moments when it appears restrictions are not being followed, but they are, Avery said. The show will gather volunteer actors, comedians, choreographers and singers, together with light engineers, set builders, costumers, sound designers and crew members.

This year would have marked ALT’s 91st holiday production.

“So many organizations can’t do anything for the holidays,” Avery said. “We just thought we’d combine with them.”

“It’s been a community effort. It’s something that’s never been done,” he added. “Now we’re having to put on a whole new language. But everybody is rallying.”

ALT is surviving thanks to city, state and federal money and generous donations, Avery said.

“We do the ‘pass the hat’ at the Christmas show,” he said. “So this year, it’s a virtual ‘pass the hat.’ ”

The theater is also selling a $20 cookbook.

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