‘Tis the season…for performing arts! Take a break from the hustle and bustle and enjoy one (or more) of this week’s picks.

The Shows Must Go On! presents
Remembering Antony Sher: Macbeth
Streaming now until Saturday, December 18
Antony Sher, who died earlier this month at the age of 72, brought incredible energy and inspiring art to many people during his life, and he will always be remembered as one of the greatest performers, stage actors, and singers in the world of theatre and beyond. See him at his best in this acclaimed RSC production of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy about tyranny and ambition, starring Sher and Harriet Walter as the Scottish king and his ambitious wife, directed by Gregory Doran.
Watch “Macbeth” on YouTube

PBS presents
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
Streaming now through January 11, 2022
Conceived by John Mauceri, this new work is a re-imagination of Tchaikovsky’s holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker.” Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 book, Alan Cumming recounts the origin story of how a prince got put into a nutcracker. Unlike the ballet, we also learn what happens when the young girl grows up, having saved the prince, and what they are doing today.
Watch “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” on PBS.org

PBS presents
20 Years of Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir
Streaming now through January 11, 2022
In lieu of a new holiday concert this season, the annual Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir will be a 20-year retrospective program highlighting some of the most memorable performances from the past two decades. Former Tabernacle Choir guest artist and Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell is back to remember and relive twenty years of inspiring Christmas concerts. In addition to the new performances and storytelling from Mitchell, the 20th-anniversary special features behind-the-scenes views and highlights from past concerts, including appearances from Broadway stars including Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Angela Lansbury, Kelli O’Hara, Santino Fontana, and Laura Osnes, as well as performers from the opera and pop worlds such as Bryn Terfel, Renée Fleming, Alfie Boe, Gladys Knight, and Natalie Cole. There’s even an appearance from The Muppets.
Watch “20 Years of Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir”

The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents
Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts Virtual Opening
Premieres Thursday, December 16, at 7 pm.
Pink castles, talking sofas, and objects coming to life: what sounds like fantasies from the pioneering animation of Walt Disney Animation Studios were in fact the figments of the colorful salons of Rococo Paris. Join Wolf Burchard, Associate Curator in the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department, for a virtual tour of The Met’s first-ever exhibition exploring the work of Walt Disney and the hand-drawn animation of Walt Disney Animation Studios.
The exhibition will highlight references to European visual culture in Disney animated films, including nods to Gothic Revival architecture in Cinderella (1950), medieval influences on Sleeping Beauty (1959), and Rococo-inspired objects brought to life in Beauty and the Beast (1991). The exhibition also marks the 30th anniversary of the animated theatrical release of Beauty and the Beast.
Watch “Inspiring Walt Disney” on metmuseum.org
Also streaming on Facebook and YouTube.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents
ETHEL and Friends: Balcony Bar from Home with guest artist Supaman, Native American dancer and hip hop artist
Friday, December 17, 5:00–5:30pm
Fix yourself a drink and experience The Met’s Balcony Bar from home with ETHEL, one of the most acclaimed string quartets in the contemporary classical field. With an eye on tradition and an ear to the future, ETHEL is a leading force in concert music’s reengagement with musical vernaculars, fusing diverse traditions into a vibrant sound. Expect familiar classical tunes mixed with a fair share of the group’s signature cutting-edge repertoire. Guest artists and collaborators also make periodic appearances.
ETHEL is Ralph Farris (viola), Kip Jones (violin), Dorothy Lawson (cello), and Corin Lee (violin).
Watch The Met’s Balcony Bar on Facebook, no log in required

The International Festival of Arts & Ideas presents
After Dinner Stories: Holiday Traditions
Friday, December 17, 7pm
December is a month full of holidays across cultural traditions. Join us for an evening of festive tales from four different holidays: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, La Posada, and Christmas.
Watch “After Dinner Stories” on YouTube

Canadian Opera Company presents
In Winter
Saturday, December 18, 7:30 – 9:30 pm
The COC Orchestra under Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC Chorus, and artists of the COC Ensemble Studio come together for a concert that explores and celebrates winter. Welcome the season with Vivaldi’s instantly recognizable and exhilarating “Winter” section of The Four Seasons, classic songbook selections like “Deck the Halls,” and, for the centerpiece of the program, an exciting new commission by composer Ian Cusson, who sets text by Métis writer Katherena Vermette for solo, chorus, and orchestra in a meditative composition entitled “In Winter.”
Watch and listen to “In Winter”

PBS presents
In Performance at the White House: Spirit of the Season
Tuesday, December 21, at 8pm on PBS (check local listings) and on PBS.org.
The popular PBS series In Performance at the White House is returning after a five-year absence with a holiday concert. Among the celebrities slated to perform are Tony and Emmy winner Billy Porter, Andrea Bocelli, the Jonas Brothers, Pentatonix, Camila Cabello, and Norah Jones.
In Performance at the White House: Spirit of the Season is hosted by Jennifer Garner, with Matteo Bocelli, Virginia Bocelli, Eric Church, the United States Marine Band, Northwell Health Nurse Choir, and Voices of Service. In addition to the concert, the holiday spectacular will highlight the seasonal decor at the White House and feature special remarks by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and First Lady Jill Biden. This year’s theme is “Gifts From the Heart.”
In Performance at The White House | PBS

CBS presents
The Kennedy Center Honors
Wednesday, December 22, at 9pm
Honorees include Motown Records creator Berry Gordy, “Saturday Night Live” mastermind Lorne Michaels, actress-singer Bette Midler, opera singer Justino Diaz, and folk music legend Joni Mitchell. The ceremony is the centerpiece of the Kennedy Center’s 50th anniversary of cultural programming.
Learn more on Kennedy-Center.org

Coming Soon!
Stream Ailey’s Opening Night Gala from December 22-28
Tickets and more info on Ailey All Access

Culture Picks is a weekly feature celebrating the performing arts. The arts are back and there is so much to take in, both live and virtual. Cultural connoisseur and PAC staff member Coni Guhl is here to help you sort through it all. Each week we will post her curated selection of events featuring the artists you know and love from The PAC Center Series, plus a sampling of stellar local experiences. Enjoy!

All times are EDT unless otherwise noted.

Photo: Pentatonix © Virginia Sherwood/NBC