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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - A Christmas Carol @ A.C.T. - The Nutcracker 75th Anniversary

Matthew Murphy

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area performing arts, guest host Noah Griffin talks with actors John Skelley and Benjamin Papac (pictured) about the exclusive West Coast production of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, in which they play the parts of Harry Potter, and his son, Albus Potter. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child runs at San Francisco’s Curran Theater (445 Geary St.) in San Francisco, through June 20, 2020. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. Receiving universal acclaim for its breathtaking magic and stage wizardry, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the most awarded play in theater history, with 25 major U.S. awards, including six Tony Awards with one of those for Best Play. It also won 24 major awards in Britain’s Olivier Awards, winning a record-breaking nine awards including Best New Play.

From A.C.T.’s annual Holiday production of A Christmas Carol, we talk with actors Jomar Tagatac (Bob Cratchit) and Kim Hollkamp-Dinon (Ghost of Christmas Past). Now in its 43rd year, A Christmas Carol is a cornerstone of the A.C.T. repertory and has become a holiday tradition for families around the Bay Area. 

A.C.T.’s version of A Christmas Carol was adapted by Paul Walsh and Carey Perloff and stays true to the heart of Dickens’ timeless story of redemption. Performances run through December 24 at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater (415 Geary St.) in San Francisco. 

Plus, we talk with Rufus Olivier, principal bassoonist of the SF Ballet orchestra, about the Company's holiday production of The Nutcracker, which marks the 75th anniversary of the tradition of presenting Tchaikovsky’s ballet in San Francisco. It was on Christmas Eve, 1944, that the Company presented America’s first full-length Nutcracker at the War Memorial Opera House, before making stops in Oakland, Sacramento, and Stockton. 

This 75th anniversary production of The Nutcracker dates from 2004, is set in San Francisco, and was created by SF Ballet’s  artistic director and principal choreographer Helgi Tomasson. The production runs through December 29 at the War Memorial Opera House (301 Van Ness Ave.) in San Francisco. 

Open Air with guest host Noah Griffin, heard live on Thursday, December 12 at 1pm. Listen now or anytime…