Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Hilbert Circle Theatre; music director, Jack Everly
It's a sparkling, audience embracing edition of the now iconic holiday family event, reflecting the hopeful anticipation of both the season and the new turn of national events. Song stylist Ann Hampton Callaway radiates warmth as the host, the saxophone playing Capitol Quartet delivers exciting harmony, bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch colors traditional carols with new insight and the supporting cast of vocalists, dancers and puppeteers cheer us with production numbers. The Ur-Santa has a delightful comedic turn; and the corps of dancing Santas tap dance with verve. Above all, the ISO players share new arrangements of the usual lineup. You have to be there to experience the WOW factor when Callaway improvises at the white piano. And you have to be there to fully enjoy the effects of setting, lighting, costuming and choreography adding dimension to superb vocal and instrumental music. Through Dec. 23; 317-639-4300, www.indianapolissymphony.org.