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Arts Beat: Music everywhere, elves on shelves and reading with 'Little Women'

Christmas is the time for carolers and choral singers, and for proof we only have to look at the week ahead.

The Buffalo Gay Men's Chorus appears in the last of its three "Evolution: You Are Peace" concerts at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 in Orchard Park Presbyterian Church (4369 South Buffalo St., Orchard Park). The chorus will be joined by members of the Chromatic Club of Buffalo for this performance. Tickets are $20 at buffalogaymenschorus.org and at the door.

The Harmonia Chamber Singers, known for their emotional and inspirational performances, will present traditional advent concerts in three venues in December. The first is at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 in Our Lady of Pompeii Church (129 Laverack Ave., Lancaster). Plan to stay for a reception after the performance.

The singers are back the next day for a 4 p.m. concert Dec. 15 in SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church (5480 Main St., Williamsville). The final concert is at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 in St. Joseph University Church (3269 Main St.).

Audiences can look forward to hearing music from Poulenc, Burt, Rutter and more, plus pop hits like "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" for an all-hands-on-deck sing-along. Tickets are $15 at harmonicas.org,  where you can click to hear several recordings by the group. Tickets are also available at the door; that's also where to get student tickets (with ID) for $10.

Ringing in at the Riviera

A lightly smaller vocal group takes the stage at 8 p.m. Dec. 14 in the Riviera Theatre (67 Webster St., North Tonawanda). "Christmas With the New York Tenors" brings to town the voices of Andy Cooney, Daniel Rodriguez and Christopher Macchio. The powerful trio will be raising the roof with Broadway showstoppers and Christmas classics. Tickets are $29 to $39 at rivieratheatre.org.

Four days later, at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 in the Riviera, expect the jingle bells of Christmas to have a few accents from the memorable commercial jingles (Pontiac, Hallmark, Purina) that gave fan favorite Jim Brickman his start. That was a while ago now, and piano man Brickman has since become not only a New Age icon but a holiday tradition. His "Christmas Celebration" concert is now "25 years in the making." Joining the singer-songwriter will be Anne Cochran, Tracy Silverman and Luke McMaster. Tickets are $29 to $49, also through the Riviera's website.

Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy

A March family Christmas will be re-created at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14 when local theater group Bellissima Productions presents a staged reading and dramatization of part of "Little Women," adapted from Louisa May Alcott's classic novel. The holiday event doubles as a fundraiser with raffles and a bake sale in the venue, the former TheaterLoft space upstairs at 545 Elmwood Ave. Actors will hold scripts while acting out the lives of writer Jo, lovely Meg, happy Amy and dying Beth. Tickets are $15 at Eventbrite, linked from the company's Facebook page, or at the doors, which open at 7 p.m.

Just for kids

A reminder that two stage shows for the little ones open this weekend. The Lancaster Opera House (21 Central Ave., Lancaster), is marking "The Night Before Christmas" before Christmas Eve with six shows, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13; 11 a.m., 2:30 and 7 p.m. Dec. 14; and 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 15. The family musical by J. Michael Landis and Jay Wollin is set in Christmastown. Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for children, at lancasteropera.org.

"The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical" will be perching onstage at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts. The story is adapted from the children's book that comes with "scout elves" who spy on children to help Santa with his naughty and nice list. Tickets start at $29, at ticketfly.com or call 877-987-6487.

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