Arts and Entertainment

5 things to do in Anchorage this weekend

December has arrived and with it, the beginning of holiday season events. This weekend features a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” as well as a holiday performance from Portland Cello Project. Weekend highlights also include the opening of the musical “Come From Away” at Atwood Concert Hall, and the Anchorage International Film Festival.

Come From Away

7:30 p.m. Friday; 1 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday; Atwood Concert Hall, 621 W. Sixth Ave.

This musical takes place after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 when 38 planes with thousands of people aboard were rerouted to Newfoundland and ordered to land at Gander International Airport. The people of the community welcomed the stranded and frazzled travelers and took them in. The show runs through Dec. 10. Tickets start at $49.

Portland Cello Project Holiday Show

7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; Discovery Theatre, 617 W. Sixth Ave.

Portland Cello Project has been making regular stops in Alaska for many years, playing to large crowds. This year they return with a special holiday show. Audiences should expect “uniquely jazzy takes on holiday classics, to standards bridged with Hannukah medleys, and hidden gem classical pieces.” Tickets start at $47.50.

The High Hawks

9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, The Sitzmark Bar & Grill, 194 Olympic Mountain Loop in Girdwood

Jam band supergroup The High Hawks includes members of Leftover Salmon, Railroad Earth, Hard Working Americans, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, DeadPhish Orchestra and Great American Taxi. Each of the bands have made appearances in the state, and The High Hawks were featured at Salmonfest this summer. Tickets are $30.


Messiah Singalong

2 p.m. Sunday; Our Lady of Guadalupe, 3900 Wisconsin St.

This year, Handel’s “Messiah,” presented by Anchorage Concert Chorus, is taking on a new twist. The performance will be a singalong with individuals as well as families with young singers welcome to join. Singers can bring their own scores or purchase new ones at The Horn Doctor in Anchorage. Tickets are $20 with a cap of $50 for families.

Anchorage International Film Festival

Various locations and times throughout Anchorage, running Friday through Dec. 9

The Anchorage International Film festival returns for a 23rd edition starting Friday. There are plenty of short films as well as full-length features in both narrative and documentary categories. There are films screening at three different locations for seven out of the next nine days, so check the festival’s site at for full details.

[With ‘Coolest Film Festivals’ nod, Anchorage International Film Fest focuses on quality over quantity]

First Friday

Snow City Cafe: Featuring Alaska painter Darrell Peterson, 1034 W. Fourth Ave. 5-7 p.m.

Double Shovel Cider Co.: Featuring the craftsmanship of Northern Hills Handmade, 502 W. 58th Ave., noon-8 p.m.

Midnight Sun Brewing: Featuring the works of Hailey Morgan, 8111 Dimond Hook Drive, 5-8 p.m.

Cabin Fever: Barbara Lavallee will be signing her latest 2024 calendar and books, 412 G St., 5 p.m.

Anchorage Distillery: Featuring textured mountain pieces from Arlene Kreations, 6320 A St., 5 p.m.

Turnagain Brewing: Featuring Scott Clendaniel’s original oil paintings and prints, 7924 King St., 5-8 p.m.

Stephan Fine Arts: Featuring oil paintings by Lynn Brautigam Boots, glass works by Deborah Deal, paintings by Susan Watkins of Nikiski, and handmade jewelry by Megan Simmons’ Timber, 939 W. Fifth Ave., 6-8:30 p.m.

Akela Space: Featuring Rico Worl’s exhibition “Roots & Renderings: Modern Explorations of Indigenous Identity,” 320 W. Sixth Ave., 6 p.m.

Captain Cook Art Co-op: Featuring Melissa Peterson’s fused glass, Sarah Wright’s 3-D laser cut wooden designs and illustrator and graphic designer Kaelan Paulson, 939 W. Fifth Ave., 4-8 p.m.

Bottoms Up Boutique: Featuring Dancing Crane Designs, 320 W. Fifth Ave., 4-8 p.m.

Anchorage Museum: Understanding Comics with John Weddleton of Bosco’s, “Lines of Sight: Comic Art and Storytelling in Alaska” and “Alaska from Above: The Art of Bradford Washburn,” 625 C St., 6-9 p.m.

The Cove: Featuring the art of Duke Russell and live music from Snarley Brown and Corey Böiko, 510 L St., 5:30-10 p.m.


Sevigny Studio: Featuring Alaska artist Dominic Price and live music from PepperKit, 312 G St., 6-9 p.m.

Georgia Blue Gallery: Featuring Robert Green’s oil paintings show “Alaska...Living the Dream,” and Stan Jones book signing, 3555 Arctic Blvd., 5-7 p.m.

Chris Bieri

Chris Bieri is the sports and entertainment editor at the Anchorage Daily News.