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November 29, 2013

The Lookout: Celebrate the season with two takes on a favorite

The Firehouse Center for the Arts is presenting two versions of a classic holiday tale.

The Methuen Ballet Ensemble will perform its annual production of “The Nutcracker” tomorrow at 3 and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. A gala reception will take place at 6 p.m. tomorrow.

The ensemble has staged “The Nutcracker” for more than 25 years, and each year, the show becomes more elaborate with visual effects and custom-designed costumes.

The story then gets a local twist with “The Nutbuster” on Dec. 6 and 7 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. Joppa Dance Company’s performance adds regional themes and humor, with a lobster replacing the Mouse King and greenheads filling in for the mouse army.

Though the story is the same, the ballet swaps out the traditional music for contemporary pieces by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Kuljit Bhamra and The Black Eyed Peas.

Tickets are $22-$24 for “The Nutcracker” and $12-$14 for “The Nutbuster.” To order, call the box office at 978-462-7336 or visit

The Firehouse is located in Market Square, Newburyport.

Holiday Open House at Whittier Home

The John Greenleaf Whittier Home Museum will open its doors tomorrow from 3 to 5 p.m. for a free Holiday Open House.

A gift shop will offer unique items for all ages and free wrapping. A variety of seasonal sweets, cheeses, fruits, traditional Christmas cake, hot cider and eggnog punch will be served. Providing background music is Cynthia Costello, president of the Whittier Home Association.

Raffle prizes include a handmade wall hanging and oversized poinsettia plants. All proceeds will benefit the upkeep of the home.

The Whittier Home is located at 86 Friend St., Amesbury. For more information, call 978-388-1337.

Local youth in ‘A Christmas Story’

An Amesbury teen is featured in “A Christmas Story,” playing through Dec. 22 at Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth, N.H.

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