Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!

This holiday season, BroadwayWorld brings you a look at some of our favorite shows playing across the country. Take a break from the hustle and bustle and treat your family to some of our theatrical favorites, now playing nationwide.

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!Washington, DC

A Christmas Carol at Ford's Theatre: A Washington, DC tradition, the celebrated Ford's Theatre production of the Charles Dickens' classic is back. Plays through January 1.

Signature Theatre Holiday Cabarets and Gypsy: The Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre is well-known in the DC area for its commitment to regular cabaret performances. "Holiday Follies" runs December 17-23. Be sure to check out the much anticipated production of "Gypsy" featuring Sherri L. Edelen as Mama Rose. Sondheim musicals are a Signature specialty so this one - running December 17 through January 26 - is not to be missed.

Tours of Elf and Flashdance at Kennedy Center: Those looking to catch the latest and greatest of the national tours can find the holiday favorite "Elf" and "Flashdance" at the Kennedy Center over the holiday season. These offer a great chance to see your favorite movies come alive onstage featuring some of the country's best musical theatre talent. "Elf" runs December 17 to January 5 and "Flashdance" runs December 25 to January 19.

Holiday Theatre in Rep at NextStop Theatre: One of the DC area's newest professional theatre companies has an ambitious holiday theatre schedule planned. Those looking for a contemporary holiday comedy should check out "The 12 Dates of Christmas" and those that might want to see something a little different from the traditional "A Christmas Carol" might consider "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol." Both shows are now playing in repertory through December 29.

The Twelve Days of Christmas at Adventure Theatre MTC: As Christmas vacation approaches and the kids are home from school, why not treat them to some Live Theatre? "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is a unique and contemporary family-oriented play that shed's new light on the classic holiday song. It runs through December 30 at Adventure Theatre MTC.


Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!Maine

PORTLAND STAGE: On the main stage is a delightful and inventive production of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, a tale about a young girl's journey to rescue her friend who has been imprisoned by the mysterious Snow Queen in the land of winter. Peopled by a cast of fantastic characters including magical crows, rosebushes, and reindeer, this heartwarming tale will captivate audiences of all ages. (November 29-December 22)

Studio Theatre at PORTLAND STAGE: Catch David Sedaris' Santaland Diaries in what may be Dustin Tucker's last year in the role of the naughty Elf Crumpet. Tucker turns in a tour de force performance as a young man working as an elf in Macy's for the holiday season. Tucker's vocal and physical virtuosity, his brilliant timing, and cheeky delivery make this one of the funniest and most acclaimed shows in town! (December 3-December 22)

PUBLIC THEATRE, LEWISTON: The equity company reprises its critically acclaimed production of A Christmas Carol, using six actors and a fiddler; performances run December 13-15 as a special fundraiser for the theatre.

LYRIC MUSIC THEATRE, SOUTH PORTLAND: Lyric revives the family friendly musical, Annie, for the holidays the classic tale of Little Orphan Annie with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. (December 6-21),


Connecticut

TheaterWorks: Christmas on the Rocks, An offbeat collection of twisted holiday tales by John Cariani, Jeffrey Hatcher, Jacques Lamarre, Matthew Lombardo, Theresa Rebeck, Edwin Sanchez and Jonathan Tolins.

Hartford Stage: The annual production of A Christmas Carol by former Artistic Director Michael Wilson gets its 16th showing with some new special effects, costumes and a refurbished set. Annual favorite Bill Raymond returns this season as Ebenezer Scrooge for all evening performances. The show is directed by Maxwell Williams

Ivoryton Playhouse: The Bells of Dublin, a new holiday show conceived and directed by Playhouse Artistic Director Jacqueline Hubbard premieres Dec. 12. Cast includes many Playhouse favorites - R. Bruce Connelly, Michael McDermott, Ted Philips and Norm Rutty from the local band Save the Train, Jenna Berloni, Nancy and David Cardone, Grace Carver, Olivia Harry, Larry Lewis, Carson and Mason Waldron and Angela Lamb.

Long Wharf Theatre: Fences. August Wilson's rich dialogue is always a delight to hear. The performances by Esau Pritchett, Portia, G. Alverez Reid, Jared McNeill, Chris Meyers, Phil McGlaston and Taylor Dior were pitch-perfect. Hopefully, Santa will extend the run, but catch it before it closes December 22.

Downtown Cabaret Children's Theatre (Bridgeport): Annie, Jr. This shortened version of the Thomas Meehan-Charles Strouse-Martin Charnin musical is a terrific treat for young audiences. It packs the well-known story of the plucky, spunky orphan into 90 minutes, including intermission The production values are good and the cast is terrific. Through December 29.


Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!Rhode Island

A Christmas Carol - Trinity Repertory Company: This Christmas classic returns to the State Theater of Rhode Island for its annual production at the nation's last longstanding Repertory Company. This year, company member FrEd Sullivan, Jr. takes on the role of the miser who finds the Christmas spirit after being visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. A Christmas Carol plays through December 28th.

Miracle on 34th Street, The Musical - Ocean State Theatre Company: In its 2nd full season as Rhode Island's newest professional theatre, Ocean State Theatre Company presents Meredith Willson's 1963 musical adaptation of the 1947 Christmas classic. The company sings and dances their way through this timeless tale about love, family, and the power of Santa Claus. Plays through December 29th.

A Christmas Carol - The Rhode Island Shakespeare Company: The Rhode Island Shakespeare Company has teamed up with the Big Nazo Puppet Lab to produce a wildly offbeat take on the Christmas classic. Human actors share the stage with larger-than-life puppets portraying the ghosts. Plays through December 21st.

Gift of the Magi - Contemporary Theatre Company: The CTC has their own annual tradition, staging a different Christmas play: "The Gift of the Magi." This 3rd annual production has an original adaptation by South Kingstown native Spencer Curry, and is brimming with the joy of the season - each performance has cocoa and cookies included. Play runs through December 22nd.


Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!New Jersey

Pericles, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison: Pericles carries audiences on an epic voyage across ancient seas for a quest filled with villains and heroes, goddesses and fishermen, pirates, knights and kings. A grand adventure filled with harrowing trials and great loss, the journey concludes with a wonderful revelation and reunion of people long-lost and a renewal of life and love.

Oliver! Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn: Adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens, this beloved classic will enthrall you from the start with the miraculous tale of a young orphan's quest to find home and family in Victorian London. Dickens larger-than-life characters sing and dance their way into your heart with iconic songs including Food, Glorious Food, Who Will Buy? and Consider Yourself. Oliver! Is a holiday show with a "TWIST" for audiences of all ages.

White Christmas, Surflight Theater in Beach Haven: The musical tells the story of two showbiz buddies who put on a show in a picturesque Vermont inn, and find their perfect mates in the bargain. Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS promises to be a merry and bright theatrical experience for the entire family. The show features classic Irving Berlin hits such as Blue Skies, Sisters, Happy Holiday, Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep, I Love a Piano and the unforgettable title song, White Christmas.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, The Growing Stage, Netcong: Last season's holiday show is back for another holly, jolly run at the Palace! The presentation tells the timeless story of a true misfit who becomes a beloved hero. With Johnny Marks's classic songs and the enduring Christmas spirit of the 1964 television special, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER is one show that will make your holidays shine! Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!

A Wind in the Willows, Two Rivers Theater, Red Bank: Two River's annual holiday show is for family audiences. A Wind in the Willows Christmas, returns with a new take on the adventures of Mole, Rat, Mr. Toad, and all their furry friends. Last season, they premiered the sweet, tuneful musical, beginning a new tradition. This year, audiences will meet the creatures of the willows in a wintry wonderland with brand-new costumes, sets, and an even bigger focus on Christmas!

A Christmas Carol, McCarter Theater in Princeton: Celebrate the season with McCarter's critically-acclaimed production of Dickens' classic masterpiece. This timeless story follows Ebenezer Scrooge on a magical and transformative journey through past, present, and future as he discovers the true meaning of Christmas and generosity of spirit that embodies the holiday season.


Central NY

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!A Christmas Carol (Syracuse Stage): Charles Dickens' Christmas mainstay returns to Central New York after seven years away in an adaptation by playwright Romulus Linney. Peter Amster directs Steven Hendrickson as Scrooge. The show runs until December 29.

It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play (Blackfriars Theatre): Watch George Bailey learn that no man is a failure who has friends all over again in Blackfriars' production of Frank Capra's masterpiece. The show plays December 13-15, and again on December 21.

Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge (CNY Playhouse): Those in the mood for a stranger Christmas show can see director Greg J. Hipius's version of Christopher Durang's satire, in which Mrs. Cratchit, tired of her lot in life, goes along for the ride with Scrooge and the Christmas ghosts. The show runs until December 21.

The Music Man (The Redhouse): The classic story of con man Harold Hill and the music teacher who warms his heart is a perfect show for the whole family. The show runs until December 21.

The Santaland Diaries (Blackfriars Theatre): David Sedaris's story of a cranky elf working Macy's during the Christmas shopping season shows the funnier side of the holidays (or, for those who have worked retail, the darkest time). The show runs December 14-14, December 19, and December 21-22.

Waiting at the Crossroads Café (Blackfriars Theatre): Two lifelong friends work the Crossroads Café and wait for news that could change their lives forever. This show plays only on New Year's Eve, at 7:00 p.m. and again at 9:30 p.m., so come and wait for the New Year at the Crossroads Café.


Central PA

WHEN SANTA MET SALLY, Allenberry Playhouse, Boiling Springs (Cumberland County): Through December 22. Written, as always, by Jacqueline Heinze, of Allenberry's Heinze family, and directed by Artistic Director Roque Berlanga, this show features everything from "Jingle Bells" to the rock version of "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" performed by an energetic young cast, with a throng of Elfkins played by APTC conservatory students and other children. Berlanga has given up the manic elf part that's always written into the shows, though new Managing Director Ryane Nicole Studivant, who turns out to be a powerful belter, plays a sassy, brassy elf of her own.

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Alan Mencken musical version), Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, Centerville Road, Lancaster: Through December 23. Robert Summers' Scrooge is suitably horrendous prior to the visit of Marley's Ghost to inform him that his crabby, parsimonious ways must go, although he seems to convert to the joys of the season rather earlier than Dickens' Scrooge does.

SEASONAL ALLERGIES, Rainbow Dinner Theatre, off US 30 in Paradise (Lancaster County): Through December 28. Julia (Josey Miller) is a chef who always winds up cooking the family Thanksgiving dinner. Her brother Pete, a dentist (a very funny Chistopher Babcock) is going through an unpleasant divorce, and has been in hiding.


Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh CLO's A MUSICAL CHRISTMAS CAROL (Byham Theater, December 6-22, 2013): Featuring classic characters and a wealth of yuletide melodies, this traditional holiday tale is a must see! Tickets are now on sale and start at just $28.75, with half-priced tickets available for children ages 3 to 14.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theater's THE NUTCRACKER (Benedum Center, December 6-29, 2013): The magic of The Nutcracker illuminates the stage with more than 150 performers, hundreds of costumes and choreography that displays the versatility of PBT dancers like no other season production. With more than 20 unique casting combinations and 100 exuberant characters, an aura of excitement surrounds each performance of this timeless holiday tradition for dancers and audiences alike.

Broadway Across America's THE RACK PACK CHRISTMAS (Heinz Hall, December 24-29, 2013): Drift back to a glamorous era with Frank, Sammy & Dean, a live 12-piece big band and the fabulous Burelli Sisters. Enjoy the songs they made famous, like 'Fly Me To The Moon,' 'The Lady Is A Tramp,' 'Mr. Bojangles,' and 'That's Amore.'


Boston, MA

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!The Big Broadcast of 1962: A Byfar Christmas Carol (The Regent Theatre): Step into 1962 as the PMRP combines live actors, live music and real live sound effects to bring an episode of Boston's lost comedy variety series, "The Frank Cyrano Byfar Hour", to life right before your ears. Join the Chowderhouse Gang and raise a glass of coffee milk to classic old-time radio at its most modern!". The Frank Cyrano Byfar Hour returns for this holiday show, scheduled for only four performances, December 19-21.

Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker (Boston Opera House): Boston Ballet's production of Mikko Nissinen's The Nutcracker received rave reviews during its premiere in 2012. This sparkling production, with sets and costumes by Robert Perdziola, "brings a softness and light to the venerable holiday classic" (The Boston Globe).

Holiday Pops 2013 (Boston Symphony Hall): Keith Lockhart, guest conductors and the Boston Pops invite you to experience a magical holiday season celebration at historic Symphony Hall December 4-24. All concerts include the traditional Pops sing-a-long and a visit from jolly old Santa Claus. Performances will run December 4-24.

Jacob Marley's Chrismas Carol (Gulfshore Playhouse): Cody Nickell stars in the Gulfshore Playhouse production of "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol," an alternate take on the Dickens Classic. The show runs at 8 p.m. through Dec. 22 at the Norris Center in downtown Naples, with 3 p.m. matinées on Dec. 21 & 22. Tickets are at $33-$45. Call 866-811-4111 or gulfshoreplayhouse.org.

My Three Angels (Florida Repertory Theatre): Three convicts in the tropics, spying on a family with too many problems, decide to drop down from the roof and deliver Christmas joy. It was an old Humphrey Bogart film, 1955's "We're No Angels." "My Three Angels" runs through Dec. 22. Tickets are $40 & $45. Call 239-332-4488 or floridarep.org.

The Santaland Diaries (Florida Repertory Theatre): Starring Florida Rep regular, Jason Parrish, "The Santaland Diaries" follows the outrageous exploits of an unemployed writer who desperately takes a job as a Macy's Elf and exposes the underside of the Christmas season. Written by bestselling humorist and NPR and New Yorker contributor, David Sedaris, "The Santaland Diaries" is a hilariously funny and bitingly honest portrait of the Christmas season that Sedaris spent working as an Elf. "The Santaland Diaries" runs Dec. 18-29. All tickets are $25. Call 239-332-4488 or floridarep.org.


Chicago

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!A Christmas Carol (The Goodman Theatre): The Goodman Theatre brings their annual production of Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Henry Wishcamper directs, starring Larry Yando as Ebenezer Scrooge. The production is playing now through December 28.

Elf: The Musical (Cadillac Palace Theatre): The national tour of Elf: The Musical, is playing at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theater through December 15. It features book by Bob Martin and three-time Tony winner Thomas Meehan (Rocky) and a score by Tony nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer).

The Christmas Schooner (The Mercury Theater): The whole family will enjoy this heart-warming story of the first Christmas tree ship and the family who risked their lives to fill Chicago with the Christmas spirit. This critically acclaimed production features a powerful, moving story, an exquisite score of original music and traditional holiday favorites, and a company of 25 actors and musicians. The Mercury Theater presents performances now through December 29.

We Three Lizas (About Face Theatre): About Face Theatre's sparkly, queer holiday hit musical WE THREE LIZAS is back and better than ever - with a new book and expanded score! Featuring book and lyrics by Scott Bradley, music and additional lyrics by Alan Schmuckler, direction by Scott Ferguson, music direction by Aaron Benham and choreography by Patrick Andrews, WE THREE LIZAS will play now through January 5, 2014 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago.


Columbus, OH

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!A Christmas Carol (presented by CATCO): This timeless classic gets a merry retelling by the creator of the Tony Award-winning hit The 39 Steps. Five actors portray all the memorable characters, exploring new facets of this canonical classic and breathing new life into the Dickens story you grew up with. Dates: December 4-22, 2013 ; Location: Studio One Theatre, Riffe Center; Hours: Wednesday 11 a.m. Thursday-Saturday 8 p.m. Sunday 2 p.m. Opening Thursday 7:30 p.m.; Address: 77 S. High St. Columbus, 43215.

Elijah's Angel (presented by Gallery Players): Gallery Players' annual children's theater production is the world premiere of Elijah's Angel, a holiday-themed play adapted by central Ohio writer Michael J. Rosen from his book about two faiths finding common ground. Dates: December 7-15, 2013; Location: Jewish Community Center; Admission: $10-$20; Address: 1125 College Ave. Columbus, 43209.

Junie B. in Jingle Bells Batman Smells (presented by Columbus Children's Theater): It's holiday time in Room One and that means drama! Tattletale May keeps picking on Junie B. Jones, and things get even worse when Junie B. draws May's name for Secret Santa. Dates: November 21 - December 22, 2013 ; Location: Columbus Children's Theatre; Hours: Thursday-Friday 7:30 p.m. Saturday 1-2:30 p.m., 5-6:30 p.m. Sunday 1-2:30 p.m. and 5-6:30 p.m.; Admission: $11-$22; Address: 512 Park St. Columbus, 43215.

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!The Nutcracker (presented by Ballet Met): Gerard Charles' holiday classic is sure to enchant your entire family. Dates: December 12-24, 2013 ; Location: Ohio Theatre; Hours: Dec. 12-15: Thursday-Friday 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 18-22: Wednesday-Friday 7:30 p.m. Saturday 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 23-24: Monday 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday noon.; Admission: $25-$80; Address: 39 E. State St. Columbus, 43215.

Shadowbox Live: Holiday Hoopla XXII (presented by Shadowbox Live): Now in its 22nd iteration, Holiday Hoopla XXII has become a central Ohio Christmas tradition. Full of sketch comedy that pokes fun at our desire to make the holidays perfect, rockin' seasonal tunes from house band BillWho?, and the hilarious musical send-up The Santa Babies, Hoopla never disappoints. Dates: November 21 - December 28, 2013; Location: Shadowbox Live; Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. No shows Nov. 26-28 & Dec. 25; Admission: Adults $30. Seniors, students and military $20.; Address: 503 S. Front St. Columbus, 43215.

Songs of the Season (presented by Short North Stage): Short North Stage will celebrate the holidays with it's annual review featuring Columbus' top musical and dance talent for two acts of seasonal fun and good cheer. Dates: December 12-22, 2013; Location: The Garden Theater; Hours: Thursday-Saturday 8-10 p.m. Sunday 3-5 p.m.; Admission: $15; Address: 1187 N. High St. Columbus, 43201.

The Christmas Caper (presented by Mystery and Mayhem Dinner theater): Join Mayhem and Mystery for a Holiday case like no other. Dates: November 5 - December 26, 2013 ; Location: The Columbus Spaghetti Warehouse; Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 7-9:30 p.m.; Admission: $29.95; Address: 397 W. Broad St. Columbus, 43215.


Minneapolis, MN

A Christmas Carol (Guthrie Theater) November 14- December 29: With this fresh adaptation, Scrooge's story of redemption remains as powerful and uplifting as it ever was. Don't miss your chance to share this perennial holiday favorite - now in its 39th year - with your whole family. It's an experience they will treasure for years to come!

I Saw Daddy Marry Santa Claus (Brave New Workshop) November 15- January 25: Hot on the heels of BNW's 2012's smash holiday hit, "Fifty Shades of White: A Minnesota XXXmas," the BNW's 2013 holiday show sets its satirical sights on some of the year's hottest topics, including Minnesota's entry into the gay marriage conversation, as well as our own holiday traditions and social issues.

A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol (New Century Theatre) November 22- January 5: A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol is the SMASH HIT sequel to the award-winning musical comedy, Don't Hug Me. It features 17 original songs including: "Gramma Cut the Christmas Cheese," "Gunner Fell Into an Ice Hole," "The Wheel is Turnin' but the Hamster is Dead," "I Love You More Than Football" and more.

The Santaland Diaries (Cowles Center for Performing Arts) December 13-23: Celebrating their 25th Anniversary Season, Frank Theatre's production of The Santaland Diaries has been described by the Washington Post as "unforgettable, an autobiographical confession of a penniless, gay, would-be soap opera writer named Crumpet working as an elf at Macy's mega-department store on Herald Square in New York.

Loyce Houlton's Nutcracker Fantasy (State Theatre) December 20-23: This year marks the 49th anniversary of Loyce Houlton's Nutcracker Fantasy performances in the Twin Cities, one step from the remarkable landmark of its golden half-century.

All is Calm - The Christmas Truce of 1914 (Pantages Theatre) Dec. 19-22: Quickly becoming a new holiday tradition, All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, recalls the remarkable, spontaneous World War I truce between Allied Forces and German soldiers in No Man's Land on Christmas 1914. This moving ode to peace was created by Peter Rothstein and features Cantus, one of America's finest vocal ensembles, with musical arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach.

The Magic Dreidels (Minnesota Jewish Theatre) Dec. 5-20: A treat for the entire family, this play explores the cultural traditions of Hanukkah and the universal themes of sharing, compassion, and friendship.


West Virginia

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!Shrek: The Musical (Old Opera House): This modern fairy tale is a musical adaptation of the hit 2001 film. Shrek is a misjudged ogre who lives alone in a swamp.....until tyrannical ruler Lord Farquaad evicts all of the "reject" fairy tale creatures in the kingdom of Duloc (including the Three Bears, the Three Pigs, Pinocchio and many others) onto Shrek's muddy home. This is a debut holiday musical for the Old Opera House and the hilarious and heartwarming story is a must-see for all ages.

The Wizard of Oz (West Virginia Public Theater): An annual stage adaptation of the classic 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz is a holiday treat for all ages. Featuring all of the well-known songs from the timeless musical and dazzling special effects, this stage adaptation is a wonderful holiday show for all.

It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Greenbrier Valley Theater): A live radio adaptation of the Frank Capra classic, It's a Wonderful Life will premiere at the oldest theater in West Virginia, the Greenbrier Valley Theater. Featuring the heartwarming story of George Bailey and his wish he had never been born, this nostalgic holiday classic is adapted to an onstage radio play of a typical 1940's or 1950's radio hour saga.

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!Every Christmas Story Never Told (And Then Some!) (Apollo Civic Theater): If you are feeling more and more like Scrooge faced with all the annual productions of A Christmas Carol, The Nutcracker or many others, head over to the Apollo Civic Theater to see this hilarious three-person show. Three actors in ninety minutes portray (and lovingly spoof) every famous Christmas story ever told. From Frosty to Rudolph to Ebeneezer Scrooge, every famous Christmas character comes alive and is lovingly mocked as these actors attempt to roll every Christmas story ever made into one holiday show.


Ft. Myers/Naples

A Christmas Story (The Marco Players Children's Theater): The Marco Players Children's Theater presents "A Christmas Story" Dec. 20-22. Yep, it's little Ralphie Parker and his quest for a genuine Red Ryder BB under the tree. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 21 with a 3 p.m. matinée on Sunday, Dec. 22. Tickets are $10 for children, $20 for adults. Call (239) 642-7270.

Dashing Thru the Snow (Firehouse Community Theatre): The play takes place in the Snowflake Inn in Tinsel, Texas where it's Christmas 365 days a year. It's four days before Christmas and a parade of eccentric guests arrive at the Snowflake Inn and deck the halls with holiday hilarity. Tickets $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 14, 20 & 21; 2 p.m. matinée on Dec. 15 & 22.

Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas (Off-Broadway Palm at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre): Through Dec. 25. This time the Church Basement Ladies are in the midst of holiday preparations and planning the Sunday School's Christmas Program. Performances are Tuesday - Sunday evenings with selected matinées. Ticket prices range from $28 to $49. Call (239) 278-4422.

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!Swingin' Christmas (Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre): There's something for everyone here with "Swingin' Christmas," an original pastiche cooked up by Victor Legaretta. No plot, no story, but lots of Santas, elves, tinsel, dancing, singing and fun, fun, fun. If you've ever wanted to see Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" as interpreted by Bob Fosse in glam 1920's Jazz Age costumes, choreographer Amy Marie McCleary has got you covered. "Swingin' Christmas" runs Tuesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinées through Dec. 25. Tickets run $22-$55, with show-only seats available for just $18. Call 239-278-4422.

The Spectacular Spectacular Holiday Spectacular (BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theatre): Bobby Logue and John Ramsey craft this original musical production. "Holiday Spectacular" runs Dec. 19-31. For tickets ($35), call the BIG ARTS Marks Box Office at 239-395-0900, the Herb Strauss Theater Box Office at (239) 472-6862 and at BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel or purchase online at BIGARTS.org.

A Christmas Carol (The Laboratory Theater of Florida): The Lab Theater offers "A Christmas Carol," with 8 p.m. shows on Dec. 13, 14, 19, 20 & 21 and 2 p.m. matinées on Dec. 15 & 21. Revisit the Charles Dickens classic, directly from the source. This is Dickens' own special version, created for his own public readings. Tickets are $12 for students and children, $18.50 for seniors


Charlotte, NC

CHRIS ISAAK HOLIDAY SHOW, December 16, 2013, Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts: Take a moment from the holiday rush to enjoy the music of Chris Isaak. A music sensation, his sultry voice dominated charts in the 1980s and 90s with songs interwoven into our culture including "Wicked Game" and "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing." Isaak was nominated for 2 Grammy awards. He will entertain with his greatest hits and include Yule favorites in his own style!

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!COLORS OF CHRISTMAS, December 20-21, 2013, Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts: Bring in your festive holiday enjoyment with a great night of music, featuring four superstar performers in one amazing holiday show! Peabo Bryson ("A Whole New World"), Cece Winans ("Everlasting Love"), Ruben Studdard (American Idol Winner) and Melissa Manchester ("Midnight Blue" & "Lovers After All") share the Knight Theater spotlight!

THE BOOK OF MORMON, December 26 - January 5, Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts.:Winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical, The Book of Mormon is finally in Charlotte. The producers are pleased to offer an additional lottery pre-show ticket policy at the Belk Theater box office, making 20 tickets available at $25 apiece, for each performance. Entries will be accepted at Belk Theater box office beginning two and a half hours prior to each performance. Winners must be present at the time of the drawing and show valid ID to purchase tickets. Limit 1 entry per person and a maximum of 2 tickets per winner. Tickets are subject to availability.

JOHN TOSCO'S 4TH ANNUAL NEW YEAR'S EVE VARIETY SHOW, December 31, 2013, Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts: Start ringing in the New Year with a special entertainment experience. An eclectic assortment of variety performers, music, dance, magicians, mime and more... Show starts at 8:00PM. Toast at midnight to bring in 2014!


Houston, TX

A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL CELEBRATION: This Regional Premiere, produced by Main Street Theater, is possibly the most cerebrally fulfilling holiday themed musical we have ever had the pleasure of sitting through. With a perfectly constructed and sumptuously beautiful plot, not a single wasted word, and stirring performances given by every member of the cast, dramatic musical theatre really doesn't get better than this. Bring your tissues and prepare to be moved! The show runs through December 29, 2013. For tickets and more information, please call (713) 524-6706.

DJEMBE AND THE FOREST OF CHRISTMAS FORGOTTEN: The Ensemble Theatre is producing the World Premiere of this holiday themed musical fairytale, and audiences are loving it. The show runs through December 22, 2013. For tickets and more information, please call (713) 520-0055.

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!ELF: THE MUSICAL: Buddy the Elf comes to Houston in this Regional Premiere, locally produced by Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS). The show runs through December 22, 2013. For tickets and more information, please call (713) 558-8887.

THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK CHRISTMAS MUSICAL: This riotous World Premiere presented by Stages Repertory Theatre is hands down our favorite holiday confection this year. Everything about this production works to bring out hearty guffaws from beginning to end. The show runs through December 29, 2013. For tickets and more information, please call (713) 527-0123.

THE SANTALAND DIARIES: The Alley Theatre offered Houstonians a surprise Christmas bonus when they announced they would be remounting their treasured production of this witty one-man show this season. The show runs through December 31, 2013. For tickets and more information, please call (713) 220-5700.


Albuquerque, NM

FASTER SANTA! KILL... KILL... (Aux Dog Theatre): A new holiday show from The Dolls, Albuquerque's best and most outrageous drag troupe. Playing now through December 22.

LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE. . . (Aux Dog Theatre): Nora and Delia Ephron's delightful and hilarious take on what it means to be female. Due to popular demand, this piece is now a regular part of the company's repertoire, playing once every four weeks. Catch the matinee on December 28th at 2.00pm to put you in the mood for bringing in the New Year with a smile.

HOLIDAY FESTIVAL (Vortex Theatre): A variety of 8-10 minute plays, monologues, poetry, musical pieces and dance. Presenting holiday reflections, themes, opinions and stories from different cultures, races and genders. Playing now throughDecember 22.

THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER (Cell Theatre): A contemporary tale of the unexpected happenings in a school's year-end production. Through December 22. THE NUTCRACKER (Lensic Center for the Performing Arts, Santa Fe) The traditional holiday classic, performed by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. December 20-22


Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!Seattle, WA

Les Miserables at Village Theatre: The world's longest running musical, seen on stage by over 60 million people, and winner of 96 international awards, "LES MISERABLES" will take your breath away on Village Theatre's stage. From the comfort and intimacy of Village Theatre's 500 seat house, you'll be immersed in the streets of Paris as revolution and love play out their battles for those who dare to dream of something more. Running in Issaquah through January 5th and then in Everett, January 10th through February 2nd.

Holiday of Errors from Sound Theatre Company: Sound Theatre Company, in partnership with One Lump or Two Productions, presents something new for holiday entertainment: a world-premiere comedy with no nutcrackers, no misers, and no elves. But what would Christmas be without...Shakespeare? Running through December 21st.

A Christmas Carol" or "Ham For the Holidays at ACT: Two very different holiday offerings in one theater. "A Christmas Carol" - Join us for a Seattle tradition: a ripping good telling of the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge, the curmudgeonly businessman who requires the intervention of a few spectral guides to understand the true meaning of Christmas and life. Running through December 29th. "Ham for the Holidays" - Dos Fallopia (Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt) arrive at ACT with #13 in their semi-legendary holiday sketch comedy series (think Carol Burnett on steroids). Running through December 22nd.

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!Oliver at the 5th Avenue Theatre: The Tony Award-winning classic returns to The 5th Avenue stage! Come and hear the captivating story of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist set to Lionel Bart's unforgettable score. You'll be delighted by such timeless favorites as "Consider Yourself," "Who Will Buy?," "Food, Glorious Food" and many more, sung by the likes of Fagin, The Artful Dodger, and Oliver himself. It's true holiday treat for viewers young and old alike. Running through December 31st.

The Nutcracker at Pacific Northwest Ballet: Making magic, memories and very lovely snowstorms for 30 years, PNB's marvelously imagined "Nutcracker" (created by PNB Founding Artistic Director Kent Stowell and author/illustrator Maurice Sendak) delights and surprises each holiday season. This one-of-a-kind production features 200+ dancers, gigantic moving sets, glorious costumes, stagecraft wizardry, and Tchaikovsky's beloved score performed live by the PNB Orchestra. An unforgettable experience from start to finish! Running through December 29th.


Los Angeles, CA

54th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion: This FREE event is presented by the L.A. County Arts Commission and has taken place annually since 1959. Music groups, choirs and dance companies from the many neighborhoods and cultures of Los Angeles celebrate the season during this three-hour holiday show. Picture taking with your phone and tweeting during the show are allowed. Or, you can watch a broadcast of the show on KCET (LIVE on Dec. 24 at 3pm or repeat performances on Dec. 24 at 8pm, and Dec. 25 at Noon, 3pm and 9pm.

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!A Christmas Carol, Glendale Center Theatre: GCT's all new version of its annual holiday hit uses great set pieces and costumes, music, dance and some pretty amazing special effects to create the atmosphere, texture and mood of dingy, poverty-stricken London of the 19th century for this heartwarming classic Dickens story. It's a delightfully engaging Christmas present for one and all, now through December 24.

A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens!, Kirk Douglas Theatre: The Second City's A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens! features an outstanding team of improvisational all-stars joined by surprise celebrity guests and a parade of anonymous revelations of 'misdeeds past' from audience members. You'll also experience a festive party atmosphere in the lobby, complete with cocktails like Tiny Timtinis and Scroogedrivers to prime the pump for next year's misdeeds. Now through December 29.

A Christmas Carol, Zombie Joe Style, ZJU Theatre Group: At the other end of the holiday spectrum is ZJU's nontraditional version of A Christmas Carol starring Sebastian Muñoz as Scrooge and Zombie Joe as The Ghost of Jacob Marley. The show runs through December 22.

Little Miss Scrooge, Rubicon Theatre Company: Part love story, part ghost story - Little Miss Scrooge is a testament to Charles Dickens' passionate commitment to social reform and his belief in the power of human kindness and generosity. It follows Estella Scrooge, a cool and calculating Wall Street whiz (and a direct descendent of Ebenezer), who goes to Pickwick, Ohio on Christmas Eve to shut down the Harthouse Hotel, a haven for the lost, lonely and dispossessed. It runs through December 23 and features a cast of 15, including Rebecca Ann Johnson and Andrew Samonsky.

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!A Christmas Memory
Laguna Playhouse:
Based on the popular short story by Truman Capote, this tender portrait of a rare friendship across the generations is set in 1933 in rural Alabama, where young Buddy is being raised by three eccentric cousins. He is closest to his elderly cousin Sook, still a child herself in many ways.

Aladdin and His Winter Wish
Pasadena Playhouse:
An updated version of the classic Arabian Nights tale starring Ben Vereen as the Genie, Aladdin and His Winter Wish is a singing, swinging and soaring adventure that features family-friendly magic with a comedic twist, dancing, a live pony and contemporary music from "Jai Ho" (Slumdog Millionaire) to "Treasure" (Bruno Mars).

Miracle on South Division Street, Colony Theatre: In this west coast premiere of Tom Dudzick's play, we meet the Nowaks of Buffalo, NY. A marvelous new comedy about family, faith, and adjusting to life's surprises, by the celebrated author of Over the Tavern.

Walkin' in a Winter One Hit Wonderland, Troubadour Theatre Company at the Falcon Theatre: The infamous Troubies present a holiday cabaret "clip show" featuring one of the company's most beloved characters, Winter Warlock, who takes a walk down memory lane while crooning some chart-topping "one-hit-wonders" with his holiday friends. Directed by Matt Walker and starring Beth Kennedy as Winter Warlock, the hilarious show runs through January 19.


Costa Mesa, CA

But The Very Next Day, You Said You Were Gay! (Theatre Out, Santa Ana), Now - December 21: Orange County's GLBT Theater company is back in full force and is revisiting an old favorite which recounts straight gal Holly's search for true love with the help of Santa's super-gay elves. This popular, hilarious musical includes re-imagined classic holiday tunes you won't soon forget.

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!The Eight: Reindeer Monologues (Chance Theater, Anaheim Hills), Now - December 28: Christmas gets very naughty as accusations, rumors and all-out attacks are flying fast and furious around Santa's toyshop this holiday season. Go behind the tinsel and hear the truth about Santa straight from the eight reindeer who know him best. When a doe says "No", she means "No Way, Sucka!" After ten years, the Chance Theater's favorite team of reindeer still have plenty to say!

A Christmas Carol (South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa), Now - December 26: Now in its 34th annual production, SCR's timeless stage adaptation of Charles Dickens' story of that miserable miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his run-ins with a trio of ghosts is still a familiar yuletide favorite in the OC! Featuring Hal Landon Jr. as Scrooge and a bevy of incredible actors that will have you distracted saying..."hey, that's the guy from that TV show!"

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (Maverick Theater, Fullerton), Now - December 23: O.C.-adjacent La Mirada will be hosting the Southern California Regional Premiere of this Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical that features an emotionally-gripping story and memorable, contemporary score.

It's A Wonderful Life - A Live Radio Play (STAGESTheatre), Now - December 29: Frank Capra's ubiquitous holiday classic comes to life as a live 1940's radio broadcast---where patrons are the in-studio audience. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve.


Las Vegas, NV

Cirque du Soleil's O (Bellagio), KÀ (MGM Grand), The Beatles LOVE (Mirage), Mystére (Treasure Island), Michael Jackson ONE (Mandalay Bay), Zarkana (Aria) and Zumanity (New York New York), Criss Angel Believe (Luxor) Most especially recommended are Love, Michael Jaqckson ONE and KÀ. (Zumanity isn't. It is "the adult side of Cirque.")

Jersey Boys (Paris), David Copperfield (MGM Grand), Absinthe (Caesars Palace), Blue Man Group (Monte Carlo) VEGAS! The Show (Planet Hollywood), Human Nature (back at the Venetian on December 270, Rock of Ages (Venetian), Million Dollar Quartet (Harrahs), Penn & Teller (Rio).


Salt Lake City, UT

Home for the Holidays - BWW Picks the Top 125+ Holiday Shows from Coast to Coast!Pioneer Theatre Company's ELF THE MUSICAL: With outstanding direction by the Tony-nominated Dan Knechtges (Broadway's LYSISTRATA JONES, XANADU, SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM, 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE) and choreography by the highly skilled Liza Gennaro (Broadway's GYPSY, ONCE UPON A MATTRESS, MUSIC MAN), the production deeply impresses.

THE HALES' A CHRISTMAS CAROL: Neighboring Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley City and Hale Center Theater Orem are independently operated and stage separate productions, both strictly hewing to the author's original A CHRISTMAS CAROL prose -- yet they still are eligible to usurp Charles Dickens' name from above the title. The reason? Each theater has produced the classic story of Christmastime redemption of the misanthropic miser Scrooge since they were founded by Utah theater legends, Ruth and Nathan Hale.

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