As Irvine residents and others throughout Orange County enter the 2022 holiday season, there is no shortage of festive, live, local entertainment. Heading into December, the Barclay Theatre in Irvine will be staging The Nutcracker, alongside several other notable performances going into 2023.

Annual Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony
Saturday, Dec. 3, 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Irvine Civic Center
This annual celebration will make “snow” fall over Irvine! Come bring the family to watch the Christmas Tree lighting celebration, get a photo with Santa Claus, enjoy music, games and a winter-theme train ride under the stars.

Hikari – A Festival of Lights
November 25 – December 30, 4:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
While Tanaka Farms will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, there’s still plenty of time to check out all the festivities. Tanaka Farms has installed more than 1 million lightbulbs of colorful Christmas lights for the 2022 season and offers two different options to view the lights, Chinese lanterns and other festive installations set up throughout the 30-acre farm.

Hikari is open every day from 4:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The Holiday Wagon Ride departs at 4:30 p.m., and runs every 10 minutes with the last ride leaving at 8:30 p.m. Entry gates will close at 9:00 p.m.

Pajama Party Movie Night
Saturday, December 10
The Great Park will host a Pajama Party Movie Night on Saturday, Dec. 10, as a part of Holidayz in The Park.  Registration opens Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Holiday Pet Adoption Fair
Sunday, December 11, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Irvine Animal Care Center
Local animal care groups will be coming to the Irvine Animal Care Center to support the 16th Annual Holiday Pet Adoption Fair. There will be hundreds of dogs, cats and other animals like rabbits available for adoption. The event will also feature a bake sale, food trucks and art.

Irvine Barclay Theatre Performances

irvine holiday

(Skye Schmidt)

 The Nutcracker presented by Festival Ballet Theatre
December 10 through December 24, 2022 — showtimes at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
This full-length traditional production is choreographed and directed by Festival Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director, Salwa Rizkalla, and features world-renowned guest artists, FBT’s professional company dancers, and exceptional young talent from across the Southland.

In addition to the classic Nutcracker performance, the Festival Ballet Theatre has also announced the return of the pre-show Nutcracker Tea Party inside the Jade Room at the Barclay Theatre. The Tea Party celebrations will be hosted one hour prior to show time — 12:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m.

Please note there will only be one tea party on the following dates:
December 11 (12:00 p.m.)
December 20 (5:00 p.m.)
December 21 (5:00 p.m)
December 22 (5:00 p.m)
December 23 (5:00 p.m.)
December 24 (10:00 a.m.)

Trio Barclay: Tchaikovsky and Arroyo
Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, 5:00 p.m.
Irvine Barclay Theatre’s Ensemble-in-Residence, Trio Barclay, includes Dennis Kim on violin, Jonah Kim on cello, and Sean Kennard on piano.

Trio Barclay – Dennis Kim, violin; Johah Kim, cello; Sean Kennard, piano

Aaron Diehl Trio
Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, 8:00 p.m.
Aaron Diehl returns this season leading his own trio in a project showcasing his fluency in both classical repertoire and dynamic jazz improvisation. Part of Distinctive Experiences co-presented by Irvine Barclay Theatre and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, the evening will feature Aaron Diehl on piano, John Webber on bass, and Aaron Kimmel on drums.

H.M.S. Pinafore by the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, 7:30 p.m.
“H.M.S. Pinafore” is as popular in the new millennium as at its premiere more than 100 years ago. With infectious tunes, broad comedy, imaginative staging, lively choreography, and beautiful costumes, this classic comedy still makes a modern-day splash. The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players’ production of “H.M.S. Pinafore” is musical satire at its best.

Cyrille Aimée
Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, 8:00 p.m.
Having won the Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition and the Sarah Vaugh International Jazz Vocal Competition, Cyrille Aimée has established his name in the top ranks of contemporary jazz. Now a native of France, living and working in New Orleans, Grammy-nominated vocalist Cyrille Aimée is being hailed as the new generation of jazz royalty.

Curtis on Tour: L’Histoire du Soldat (Soldier’s Tale)
Saturday, March 11, 2023, 8:00 p.m.
Co-presented by Irvine Barclay Theatre and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Igor Stravinsky’s “L’Histoire du Soldat” will come to life by way of a Curtis Institute of Music ensemble. The performance will also feature actor and narrator John de Lancie (Star Trek: The Next Generation), award-winning performer David Shifrin on clarinet, and prominent violinist Soovin Kim.

Alisa Weilerstein: Fragments
Sunday, March 12, 2023, 3:00 p.m.
“Fragments” is performed inside a space defined by fragmented wall pieces, re-framing the stage through mutable design that uniquely frames each selection with aspects paying respects to Bach’s Cello Suites.

Irvine holiday

Lighting cues shift the wall pieces in mood in response to each musical “chapter” that Alisa performs. “Fragments” is part of the Eclectic Orange series co-presented by the Irvine Barclay Theatre and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

Zakir Hussain: Masters of Percussion
Thursday, March 16, 2023, 8:00 p.m.
“Masters of Percussion” is an evening of drumming that crosses cultures and unites audiences in a dance of the heart performed by tabla virtuoso and Indian national treasure Zakir Hussain.

Swan Lake presented by Festival Ballet Theatre
Saturday, March 18 & 19, 2023
This beloved classical ballet is choreographed by Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla, after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, and features world-renowned guest artists in the lead roles. Set to Tchaikovsky’s elegantly moving score, Swan Lake is the story of young Prince Seigfried and Odette, the Swan Queen, a young girl doomed to be a swan by day and a woman by night.

Nathalie Joachim: Fanm d’Ayiti (Women of Haiti)
Saturday, April 1, 2023, 8:00 p.m.
An evening of voice, flute, string quartet and electronics developed by Grammy-nominated composer/performer Nathalie Joachim, “Fanm d’Ayiti” is a celebration of iconic Haitian female artists and Joachim’s Haitian heritage.

Midori Plays Bach
Sunday, April 16, 2023, 3:00 p.m.
Midori has shared the stage with renowned artists for more than 35 years. Having collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, Yo-Yo Ma and many other celebrated names, Midori will bring her precision and unmistakable sound to the Irvine Barclay Theatre. This show is part of the Distinctive Experiences co-presented by Irvine Barclay Theatre and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

Selected Shorts: Unchartered Territories
Saturday, April 22, 2023, 8:00 p.m.
The hit public radio and podcast series returns to Irvine Barclay Theatre with a program of spellbinding original short fiction performed by actors of stage and screen. Selected Shorts is broadcast on over 150 radio stations around the country, attracting over 300,000 listeners each week through the live show and podcast. Past performers have included Catherine O’Hara, Blythe Danner, and Tony Hale, among many others.

Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles & Villalobos Brothers
Friday, April 28, 2023, 8:00 p.m.
Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles is America’s first all-female mariachi ensemble and will take the stage with Villalobos Brothers on April 28.

Christian McBride’s New Jawn
Saturday, April 29, 2023, 8:00 p.m.
Christian McBride is a seven-time Grammy-winning jazz bassist with more than three decades of experience. From jazz to R&B, McBrides breadth of talent has spanned many genres working with some of the most well-known names, including The Roots, D’Angelo, Sting, and Paul McCartney.

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