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Venues are closed, so Utah arts groups are streaming their holiday cheer

(Casey Welch | Photo courtesy of The 5 Browns) The Utah-raised piano quintet The 5 Browns — from left, Gregory, Desirae, Deondra, Melody and Ryan — will perform a livestreamed benefit concert from Utah Valley University's Noorda Center on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020.

COVID-19 has been a Grinch to Utah’s arts and cultural groups, stealing Christmas entertainment traditions by forcing venues to close — but many of those groups are finding ways to keep the season merry and bright by streaming their work online.
Here’s a rundown of some of the groups that will serve up their work online — some for free, others for the price of a ticket:
Utah Symphony • With Abravanel Hall closed until the new year, Utah Symphony is offering eight concerts on demand, with discounted tickets through Monday, Nov. 30.
• For $5, a music lover can listen to: the Utah Symphony Brass Quintet, now through Dec. 12; Ingrid Filter playing Beethoven and Chopin, now through Dec. 19; Mozart’s Divertimento for Wind Quartet, streaming Dec. 2-Jan. 2; and the Beethoven Piano Trio No. 3, streaming Dec. 10-Jan. 9.
• For $10, these shows are online: “Messiah” sing-in, Nov. 28-Dec. 27; Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony with Schoenberg’s “Peace on Earth,” Dec. 12-Jan. 10; “A Merry Little Christmas” with Tony DeSare and the Utah Symphony, Dec. 22-Jan. 2; and Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony, Jan. 9-Feb. 7.
Kurt Bestor • The Utah musician and composer had to shelve his annual Christmas concert at Eccles Theater, so instead he’s presenting a livestreamed event on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m. Guest stars include violinist Jenny Oaks Baker and singer (and “The Voice” finalist) Ryan Innes. Tickets for the livestream are $30. Bestor also has a new holiday CD, “Christmas Time is Here,” for sale on his website, kurtbestor.com.
The 5 Browns • The Utah-raised concert pianist siblings will perform selections from their new album, “The Little Tin Box,” and Christmas songs, in a livestreamed concert from Utah Valley University’s Noorda Center, Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are being sold on a pay-what-you-can basis, with proceeds going to the National Children’s Alliance, which operates care centers for children victimized by abuse. Go to The5Browns.com for details.
Kate MacLeod • The veteran Utah folksinger (and fiddler and composer) is continuing her “Sing Your Heart Out” online sing-ins, Sunday nights at 7 p.m., accessible via her Facebook page or YouTube channel. The events are free, though donations are strongly encouraged. The first show of the months is a fundraiser, with 75% of donations going to a charity; for the Dec. 6 show, the charity is the Utah Food Bank.
Ballet West • With the Capitol Theatre also closed, Ballet West won’t be producing “The Nutcracker” this year. Instead, a video presentation of the 2019 production will air on Dec. 24 and 25, and Jan. 1, at 5:30 p.m. on KSL, Ch. 5, and later will stream on the KSL app. The show is free, though Ballet West will play a fundraising pitch during the broadcast.

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Ballet West's production of "The Nutcracker" won't be performed at Salt Lake City's Capitol Theatre for 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, a video presentation of the 2019 production will air, Dec. 24 and 25, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2021, on KSL-TV.

Odyssey Dance Theatre • The dance company will record a performance of “It’s a Wonderful Life!” — a dance production based on the classic Christmas movie — on the stage of the empty Capitol Theatre, and make it available as a downloadable video on Dec. 21. Copies can be reserved now for $40, at odysseydance.com.
Repertory Dance Theatre • A virtual dance concert, “Flying Solo” — featuring single-dancer performances from RDT’s archives — will be streamed Saturday, Nov. 28, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, at rdtutah.org.
Pioneer Theatre Company • The professional theater group will present an online reading of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” presented in five parts, on Dec. 5, 9, 13, 19 and 23. PTC also will stream two holiday concerts, on Dec. 16 and 24, as well as a cooking segment on Dec. 11 and a craft and cooking segment on Dec. 21. All events begin at 7 p.m., and are free to watch on pioneertheatre.org. (If you happen to be near the Simmons Pioneer Theatre, at 300 S. 1400 East, Salt Lake City, in the early evening, check out the Holiday Windows designed by scenic designer Jo Winiarski.)
Salt Lake Acting Company • The theater group has produced a series of digital shorts, all available to stream online for free at saltlakeactingcompany.org.
Midvale Arts Council • The Midvale nonprofit will present three Friday shows, streaming free on the council’s Facebook page: The LeBaron Family Singers, performing Christmas and Broadway tunes, on Dec. 4; Anne Puzey performing “Christmas Through the Ages” on Dec. 11; and Quick Wits Improv Comedy performing an improvised version of “A Christmas Carol” on Dec. 18. All performances begin at 7 p.m.
Salt Lake Film Society • The nonprofit operators of the Broadway Centre Cinemas and Tower Theatre have created an online “virtual cinema,” slfs@home (online at slfsathome.org), with a curated selection of independent, international and documentary films. Ticket prices vary.
Utah Film Center • The nonprofit has movies available for VOD rental, a Black filmmaker short film showcase for free, and a schedule of free livestreamed programming in December. Go to utahfilmcenter.org for details.
Natural History Museum of Utah • The museum’s “Behind the Scenes Reimagined” videos are available for free online, at nhmu.utah.edu. The series features five 90-minute videos exploring anthropology, vertebrate zoology, botany, entomology and paleontology. The host for the series is Ty Burrell, transplanted Utahn and “Modern Family” star.
Editor’s note: Sean P. Means is married to an employee of the Utah Film Center.
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