A Winter Solstice Lantern Walk and bonfire will be held 5-6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21 at the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s Houghton Graves Park on Orr’s Island. All are invited to welcome the lengthening days with light, song and community. Participants are invited to make lanterns in advance on Dec. 18, for free, at the Orr’s Island Library, 1699 Harpswell Islands Road; Cundy’s Harbor Library, 935 Cundy’s Harbor Road; and Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Road. The solstice event is also free and open to all ages, but pre-registeration is requested through www.hhltmaine.org, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 837-9613.
The Chocolate Church Arts Center turns the holiday spotlight on family entertainment with a staged production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” Dec 15, 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 17-18 on the main stage, located at 804 Washington St., Bath.
“It’s A Wonderful Life” is an adaptation of director Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 film. The epic love story of George and Mary Bailey is a powerful Christmas tale, a descent into the darkest hour of a man trapped by circumstance, and a powerful meditation on what makes a meaningful life.
George Bailey is played by Walter Gregg and the role of Mary is split between two actors, Phoebe Hansen and Letia Fowlie. This reinterpretation of the show’s traditional cast of characters has been extended to the essential role Angel 2nd Class Clarence Odbody, in this show being played by Sararose Willey and Olivia Cunningham.
The rest of the family is played by Nina Ryan (Zuzu Bailey), Kenneth Jensen (Tommy Bailey), and Racey Gregg (Janie Bailey), with Rick Grover as Uncle Billy and Michael Millett in the role of the notorious Henry Potter.
Originally conceived as a short story (“The Greatest Gift”) by Philip Van Doren Stern in 1939, Capra read the story at the request of an RKO studios executive and decided to make it into a film.
The show, directed by Wayne Otto, highlights the Christmas spirit for all ages and is an opportunity for families to enjoy a holiday experience together.
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, and are available online at www.chocolatechurcharts.org or by calling the box office at 442-8455.
Winter Solstice Lantern Walk and bonfire, 5-6 p.m. at the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s Houghton Graves Park on Orr’s Island. Free, but registration required through www.hhltmaine.org, or emailing email@example.com or calling 837-9613.
“A Christmas Carol,” 6:30 p.m. Tuttle Road Methodist Church, 52 Tuttle Rd. Cumberland, movie, fellowship and refreshments.
Let There Be Light 2016 Menorah Invitational, Maine Jewish Museum, 267 Congress St., Portland. First Friday Art Walk 5-8 p.m. Jan. 6, regular museum hours through Jan. 20. Featuring six pieces from the private collection of Roberta Bas and menorahs created by artists with a Maine connection, 773-2339, mainejewishmuseum.org.
The Polar Express Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad, 58 Fore St., Portland. Tickets $29-$45, reserve through PortTix at www.porttix.com, 842-0800, open through Christmas Eve.
Jolly Family Jamboree, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., explore the Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington St., Bath, at a reduced rate, with holiday-themed crafts, activities, a visit from Santa, and Captain Christmas’ Magical Boatshop, 443-1316, MaineMaritimeMuseum.org.
“Magical Evenings with Santa,” 5-7:30 p.m., after-hours event at Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington St., Bath, includes a visit with Santa and a tour of Captain Christmas’ Magical Boatshop. Adults $5; ages 6 to 12 $3; under 6 free, 443-1316, MaineMaritimeMuseum.org.
“It’s a Wonderful Life,” Chocolate Church Arts Center, 804 Washington St., Bath. Dec. 15-17 at 7 p.m.; 2 p.m. Dec. 17-18. Tickets $12/advance, $15/door, www.chocolatechurcharts.org or by calling the box office 442-8455.
“Sing We Noël,” Oratorio Chorale annual holiday concert, 7 p.m. Dec. 16; 2 & 4 p.m. Dec. 17, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brunswick, followed by cocoa and cookies, plus ornament making. Tickets $15/adults, $5/children & students through age 18, brownpapertickets.com/profile/1143574.
“The Snowy Day and Other Holiday Tales,” collection of seasonal scenes and songs by The Theater Project, 14 School St., Brunswick. Dec. 16-18; Friday/Saturday 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m., pay-what-you-want, 729-8584, theaterproject.com.
“Natus est,” St. Mary Schola Christmas concert, 7:30 p.m., Cathedral of Saint Luke in Portland, with pre-concert talk 30 minutes prior. Tickets $20 at the door or stmaryschola.org; free for students.
Winter Concert at Portland High School, 7 p.m., in the John Ford Auditorium, orchestra and jazz band will perform. Open to all, 874-8250.
Choral Christmas Show, 6:30 p.m., sing carols with the choir at Tuttle Road Methodist Church, 52 Tuttle Road, Cumberland. Handicapped accessible, 829- 3766.
“Ghosts of Christmas Past,” by Castlebay, 7 p.m., Side Door Coffee House, Unitarian Universalist Church, 1 Middle St., Brunswick, $10.
“Sweet Sounds of the Season,” 6:30 p.m., Brunswick United Methodist Church, corner of Raymond and Church roads, sweet treats and holiday music in a variety of styles and genres. Suggested donation $10, 725-2185.
“A Christmas Carol,” a show for children, by the children of Shoestring Theater, Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland, 3 p.m., pay-what-you-can dress rehearsal show (first come, first served); 7 p.m., $12 adults/$6 kids, mayostreetarts.org.
“A Wescustago Winter,” Wescustago Youth Chorale’s 19th annual concert, 3 p.m., Freeport Performing Arts Center. Tickets, $10/adult, $5/ students and seniors at the door, wescustago.wordpress.com.
Sing!, community sing-a-long, 7 p.m., Chocolate Church Arts Center, 804 Washington St., Bath. Free, but donations welcome, 442-8455, www.chocolatechurcharts.org.
Solstice Revels!, 7-9 p.m., Bull Feeney’s Irish Pub, 375 Fore St., Portland. Free, donations accepted, 805-1062.
“Kotzschmar Christmas with Cornils,” 7:30 p.m., annual celebration with the King of Instruments and Portland’s Municipal Organist Ray Cornils, joined by ensembles, hand bell choir and Kotzschmar Festival Brass. Tickets $23-$41 at PortTIX, 20 Myrtle St., Portland, 842-0800.
“Wales and Tales,” a celebration of the holiday season with Al Miller, presented by The Theater Project, 7 p.m. 14 School St., Brunswick. Pay-what-you-want, 729-8584, theaterproject.com.
Mornings with Friends Christmas Carols, 10:30 a.m., Tuttle Road Methodist Church, 52 Tuttle Road, Cumberland. Handicapped accessible, 829- 3766.
“Hollydazed,” 7 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday through Dec. 22, Footlights theater, Route 1, Falmouth. Pay what you can; first come, first seated.
“The Grinch,” by Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers, 10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m., Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington St., Bath. For details or to purchase tickets, call 443-1316 or visit MaineMaritimeMuseum.org.
“A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” 1 p.m., Mechanics’ Hall, 519 Congress St., Portland. Reading by Abraham Schechter, librarian and archivist at Portland Public Library, who will also share photos of Wales, followed by refreshments. All welcome.