It’s hard to really improve upon holiday classics like Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” Unless, of course, you add a laser light show to accompany the music.
Buffalo State’s Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium offers such a collaboration with its spectacular “Laser Holidays,” one of several shows running through January 1.
Imagine red and green lights zooming across the domed planetarium ceiling creating designs in sync with holiday tunes by artists ranging from Nat King Cole to the Smashing Pumpkins. Slip on the provided laser glasses that spread out the light for a unique show perfect for the whole family.
“Laser Holidays” runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 12:30 p.m. starting December 9 and ending December 24.
For the first time, the planetarium is running two holiday-related shows back-to-back. Immediately following the Friday “Laser Holidays” show, audiences can catch “Star of Wonder,” at 8:00 p.m.
If you’re looking for an educational component, check out “KIDS: Story of Orion and the Sky Tonight,” and “KIDS: Story of Perseus and Andromeda,” featuring cartoonlike characters telling the stories behind the constellations. The kids’ shows can be seen at 11:00 a.m. December 10, 11, 17, 18, 31 and January 1, and 7:00 p.m. December 21, 22, and 28.
Kevin Williams, director of the planetarium and assistant professor of Earth Sciences and Science Education, said they scheduled several shows during the K-12 school system’s winter break due to requests from parents last April when school was out.
“Parents are always looking for things to do with their kids,” Williams said. “This offers them something that’s fun and educational.”
While adults should also enjoy “Laser Holidays,” and could learn a few things from the stories about the constellations, there are several laser shows geared just for them, such as “Laser Retro ‘80s” or “Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon.” Other shows in the laser line-up include “Laser Beatles,” “Laser Hypnotica,” Laser U2,” and the newest–“Laser iPop,” which features music by current pop stars such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.
Tickets are $5 for any SUNY student; $8 for children, faculty and staff, other college students with ID, and seniors age 65 and older; and $10 for adults.
Seating is limited and shows fill up quickly, so reservations are highly recommended. Call (716) 878-4911 or reserve them online.
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