From interpretive to zany, the spectrum of Christmas entertainment has never been more varied. Read on for a diverse sampling of holiday shows at theatres around the country—there’s something for every reveler.
The Local Movement
A Tucson Pastorela: a Southwest spin on the nativity story at Tucson, Ariz.’s Borderlands Theater (Dec. 20–23).
A Carol for Cleveland: Cleveland’s Public Square in the 1970s is the backdrop for this Christmas play about generosity between strangers, staged at Cleveland Play House (thru Dec. 23).
In Winter Tales, at Vermont Stage Company, Christmas stories are submitted by the theatre’s own audience members, reflecting their unique holiday experiences (Dec. 5–9).
Spotlight on Kids
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer comes to life at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, including “Rudolph Unwrapped,” a live puppetry demonstration (thru Jan. 6).
A Wind in the Willows Christmas: Two River Theater Company in New Jersey stages the world premiere of this holiday version of the beloved children’s story (Dec. 8–30).
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town: a wild array of characters help Santa find his lost bag of toys. Performed by Harrisburg, Pa.’s Popcorn Hat Players (Dec. 1–22).
Comedy Is Central
A Very Joan Crawford Christmas: Christmas meets a movie icon (in drag) in this sardonic holiday delight at Portland, Ore.’s Triangle Productions! (thru Dec. 23).
Invasion: Christmas Carol: Dad’s Garage in Atlanta creates an improv show. At each performance the audience will select an “invader” to shake up Dickens’s tale (thru Dec. 23).
Who Killed Santa?: Blue Barn Theatre in Omaha presents a choose-your-own-ending holiday murder mystery, where suspects range from Frosty to the Little Drummer Boy (thru Dec. 15).
The Christmas Revue
Christmas of Swing: Minnesota’s History Theatre in St. Paul transports to 1944, when the Andrews Sisters sang songs like “Let It Snow” and “Mele Kalikimmaka” to World War II soldiers (thru Dec. 23).
Christmas in Nickyland: La MaMa E.T.C. in New York presents its holiday revue in the theatre’s own cabaret, the Club (Dec. 15–16).
A Christmas Survival Guide: Harlequin Productions in Olympia, Wash., welcomes the holidays with humor in this musical guide to the holiday (thru Dec. 31).
Christmas in History
A Civil War Christmas: a portrayal of Christmas in 1864 from Paula Vogel. Coming to New York Theatre Workshop (thru Dec. 30).
All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914: Theater Latté Da in Minneapolis stages this compilation of songs and true stories from the battlefield (Dec. 19–22).
Sanders Family Christmas is set in the winter of 1941 as one of the Sanders sons ships off to World War II, staged by A.D. Players in Houston (thru Dec. 31).
A New Take on Old Texts
The Chimes: Illinois’s Remy Bumppo Theatre Company produces Dickens’s lesser-known Christmas work, performed by artistic director Nick Sandys (Dec. 15–31).
Ebenezer: this premiere production by Joseph Zettelmaier at Michigan’s Williamston Theatre reencounters Scrooge 15 years after his transformation by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future (thru Dec. 23).
The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged): the Reduced Shakespeare Company, at San Diego Repertory Theatre, presents short takes on classic Christmas stories (Dec. 5–23).
Support American Theatre: a just and thriving theatre ecology begins with information for all. This Giving Season, please join us in this mission by making a donation to our publisher, Theatre Communications Group. When you support American Theatre magazine and TCG, you support a long legacy of quality nonprofit arts journalism. Click here to make your fully tax-deductible donation today!