From a Holiday Hit Parade to “The Odd Couple,” Gilroy has great performances 

Published in the December 5 – 18, 2018 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Mandel
The cast of “It’s a Wonderful Life” rehearse prior to performances that conclude Dec. 8 at the Morgan Hill Community Playhouse.

The South Valley region offers plenty of wonderful performing arts and entertainment opportunities for friends and families to enjoy the holidays together.

South Valley Symphony

If you love music, join other families at the popular Holiday Hit Parade concert performed by the South Valley Symphony. The show starts 4 p.m. Sunday Dec. 9 at Gavilan College Theater at the main campus in Gilroy.

Conductor Anthony Quartuccio leads the orchestra in entertaining the audience with winter festival music including the theme from the movie “The Polar Express” and the rousing “Sleigh Ride.”

Tickets are $25 for adults. Kids and students (with valid ID) get in free. Group rates for five adults or more are $22 each. Visit for tickets and season passes.


Morgan Hill Wind Symphony

The music continues with the annual Morgan Hill Wind Symphony winter concert starting 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church. This year’s concert shines a light on the musical legacy of Leroy Anderson including classic songs recalling the sound of Christmas and winter in general. The concert is free. For more details, visit


Gilroy Gardens

No holiday season is complete in the South Valley without a family visit to Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park’s spectacular Gardens@Night Holiday extravaganza.

After sunset, visitors strolling the grounds are mesmerized by the festive lighting and holiday music. Visit Santa and enjoy ice skating under the stars.

Enjoy a traditional holiday feast and be delighted by Peanut’s Charlie Brown and friends in a live stage show. (See page 11 in this issue of Morgan Hill Life to find a coupon for $8 off general admission.) The park is open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 7, 8, 9, 14-23 and 26-31.

Visit for more details.


The Nutcracker

If you go nuts for “The Nutcracker” ballet, you won’t want to miss the annual family-fun show of this classic holiday tradition produced by Lana’s Dance Studio.

Lana Wright’s students have worked hard over the last several months to produce the show of princesses and sugar plum ferries and a very brave nutcracker soldier.

Performances are 7 p.m. Friday Dec. 14, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday Dec. 15 at the Gavilan College Theater. Tickets are available at BookSmart, Lana’s Dance studio or the theater box office. Visit for more details.


South Valley Civic Theatre

Get into the holiday season spirit and support local theater with friends and families. The South Valley has several entertaining shows.

Now playing until Dec. 8, “It’s a Wonderful Life” tells the story about despondent George Bailey who, with the help of a guardian angel, sees how his town and friends and family would be changed if he had never existed.

The South Valley Civic Theatre opened the show Nov. 16 at the Morgan Hill Community Playhouse to rave audience response.

Tickets are between $16 and $25. Visit to get yours today.

“Joseph McCarty carries the role of George Bailey with warmth and sensitivity,” said Gilroy Life theater reviewer Camille Bounds. “Scott Lynch plays Clarence, his guardian angel, with gentle believability. And James Daniel Pearson plays Henry F. Potter, the ultimate villain, with a driving vengeance. All of the 27-member cast, some from the original 2008 production, carry the show with full dedication to the smallest role.”

Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi is the editor of Morgan Hill Life newspaper. If you have a story idea or an Around Town column item you want to tell him about, you can reach him at (408) 427-5865 or at
Robert Airoldi