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Your weekend arts forecast: So this is Christmas …

Bill DeYoung



Michael Raabe wrote new songs, arranged numerous classics for and co-stars in "The Night Before," freeFall Theatre's holiday show. Photo: Joseph Michael-Kenneth.

The first of two consecutive Big Holiday Weekends is upon us, and while Christmas Day will keep most performers off the stage and artists out of the galleries, there are still a handful of events and/or activities for your entertainment and/or edification before (and after) the day itself.

Christmas Eve, in fact, will deliver the final performance of the warm ‘n’ fuzzy (‘n’ funny) musical The Night Before at freeFall Theatre. Written and directed by St. Pete’s Matthew McGee, with songs and additional material by musical wunderkind Michael Raabe, The Night Before (there are 7 p.m. shows today and Friday) takes the form of a Christmas party, inside a snowed-in Florida apartment (yes, you heard that right). McGee – a familiar presence himself on area stages – describes it as a mashup of Pee-wee’s Playhouse and an Andy Williams Christmas special. Info and tickets here.

Jonathan Antoine, a 26-year-old Englishman with a tenor singing voice to rival Pavarotti’s, is in concert tonight (Thursday, Dec. 23) at the Mahaffey Theater. Antoine, who rose to fame via a 2012 appearance on Britain’s Got Talent, is closing out his first full American tour with this performance of Christmas songs and more. Learn all about him in this Catalyst interview. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Info and tickets here.

“Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” at American Stage. Chaz D Photography.

American Stage’s punkish, 1980s-inspired holiday show, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol (turning a new key in Dickensian interpretation) also continues today (7 p.m.) and Friday (shows at 2 and 7 p.m.). Info and tickets here.

Tropicana Field has been transitioned, temporarily, from a Major League Baseball stadium to a family-friendly holiday attraction. Enchant Christmas, which you can read about here, is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., with the exception of Christmas Day (it’s closed) and New Year’s Eve (hours will be 4 p.m until 1 a.m.).

Ice skating is part of the available package at Enchant Christmas. There’s another ice rink at Winter Beach, the holiday extravaganza now in residence on the St. Pete Pier. Skating requires a fee, but the other Winter Beach stuff is free, including a Christmas Eve choral concert (6-7:30 p.m. Friday). Info and tickets here.

Ice skating at Winter Bach. Photo: Pier Events.

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