Tis’ the season for some wonderful productions at many of our local theatres. From several versions of The Nutcracker ballet (including some on strings) to Ebenezer Scrooge at Ford’s Theatre to seasonal favorites scaled down for little ones, there’s something on the stage for everyone. And not only do these productions enhance the holiday spirit; they’re entertaining indoors activities on nippy autumn and winter days.
Here’s a rundown of holiday shows (ordered by opening date, with most descriptions pulled straight from the websites) coming to theatres as early as this weekend. All tickets are on sale now.
The Happy Elf
Montgomery College, in collaboration with Adventure Theater
Dates: 11/12 – 11/19
Tickets: $20, $15/Seniors & Students
Based on the song of the same name by Harry Connick, Jr. and book by Lauren Gunderson and Andrew Fishman, with music and lyrics by Harry Connick, Jr. and directed by Tony Award-winner John Rando, The Happy Elf is an exciting new addition to both the College Performing Arts Series and Adventure Theatre’s 59th seasons. This new musical follows Eubie, a North Pole elf who always wears a smile, when he decides to bring Christmas joy to the sad town of Bluesville, which has fallen into a state of permanent blues. A coveted spot on Santa’s sleigh team awaits Eubie if he can fix Bluesville. Don’t miss this heart-warming new holiday musical that captures the joy of the season.
Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer
Dates: 11/19 – 1/2
Experience the timeless tale of Rudolph and friends in a whole new way – LIVE! The beloved stop-motion classic soars from the TV screen to the stage in this live-action world premiere. Featuring everyone’s favorite characters: Hermey the Elf, Sam the Snowman, the Misfit Toys, the Abominable Snow Monster, Yukon Cornelius, Santa, and (of course) Rudolph! You won’t want to miss this wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us. All ages.
A Christmas Carol
Dates: 11/20 – 1/2
Tickets: $30 – $60
Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Michael Baron returns to direct his original staging that captures the magic and joy of Dickens’s classic. Acclaimed Washington stage actor Edward Gero returns to play Scrooge in the production The Washington Post hailed as “musically high-spirited” and “infectiously jolly.” Recommended for ages 5 and up.
The Little Red Gingerbread Man
Dates: 11/23-24 -10:15am & 11am, 11/26 – 11am.
Tickets: 11/23-24 $3 – $6, 11/26 $9/children, $10/adults
In this best of all fairy-tale worlds, the Barefoot Puppets tell the rollicking story of what happens when two great classics get mixed with a twist. You’ll never guess what happens when an inquisitive redhead goes in search of a runaway cookie. Chase scenes! Hilarity! The Big Bad Wolf! It’s a perfect pre-Thanksgiving family activity. Friday is a special family performance — each child will receive a gingerbread cookie to decorate and take home. Recommended for ages 2-8.
The Joffrey Ballet – The Nutcracker
The Kennedy Center
Tickets: $45 – $150
The Joffrey Ballet dancers perform Robert Joffrey’s “dazzling” (The Chicago Sun-Times) version of Tchaikovsky’s family classic, featuring charming Victorian scenery and costumes.
Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!
Dates: 11/24 – 1/11
Tickets: $10 – $22
It’s holiday time in Room One and that means drama! Tattletale May keeps picking on Junie B., and things get even worse when Junie B. draws May’s name for Secret Santa. She hatches a plan to give May a lump of coal, while getting an awesome Squeeze-A-Burp for herself. Will Junie B. have a last-minute change of heart and show her true holiday spirit? Just like its heroine, the show has laughs, verve and energy to spare! Recommended for ages 4 and up.
The Puppet Co. Main Stage
Dates: 11/26 – 12/31
Tchaikovsky’s musical adaptation of the E. T. A.Hoffman story is brought to life by the magic of The Puppet Co. “The Nutcracker” is the festive story of Clara-Marie’s adventures with her favorite toy. The larger-than-life-size costume characters and marionettes delight Clara-Marie, and the audience, on her magical journey through the “Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” Originally performed live with the Arlington Symphony, this production is full of, as the Washington Post put it “clever costuming and delightful surprises.”
Septime Webre’s “The Nutcracker” will delight audiences at THEARC on November 27 & 28. Word has it that these Washington Ballet productions at the Anacostia theatre are intended to be kid-friendly for antsy theatre-goers, with a scaled-down set and shorter performances. Four show times are available.
The Puppet Co. Tiny Tots
Dates: 11/27 – 12/29
This marionette version of the holiday classic is geared toward the smallest of audience members. Tiny Tots shows are designed for theater patrons ages 0-4. They are shorter, the lights stay on, the doors stay open, and the show is set up on the floor.
Seasons of Light
Dates: Mon thru Fri 11/30 – 12/22
Tickets: $3 – $6
This seasonal favorite calls in the warmth of many holidays filled with light in our fun-filled interactive celebration. Explore the history and customs of Devali, Ramadan, Sankta Lucia, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Christmas, and a First Nations tradition of the Winter Solstice. This show sells out fast — book your tickets early! Recommended for ages 4-12.
Septime Weber’s The Nutcracker – Presented by The Washington Ballet
Tickets: $43.20 – $106
The grand, full-scale version of Septime Webre’s production, performed by the Washington Ballet. Tickets range from $43.20 – $106.
A Christmas Carol (Saturday Morning at National)
An interactive adventure presents Charles Dickens’ ever-green holiday tale of Tiny Tim Crachit and the hard-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge. The old miser’s redemption from ill-humor and grumpy greed is brought vividly to life by the delightfully charming, entrancing and whimsical story-teller, Chris Davis. Show times are 9:30am and 11am. Tickets are free and distributed a half hour prior to performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Every person must be standing in line to receive a ticket.
Christmas Dreams from The Nutcracker
Snowflakes and Sugar Plum Sweets are in the air as the Virgina Ballet Company and School present selections from their magical, glittering Nutcracker. Familiar music, lively dances, lovely costumes and charming characters from Tchaikovsky’s classic confection bring us elegant and amusing holiday cheer. Show times are 9:30am and 11am. Tickets are free and distributed a half hour prior to performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Every person must be standing in line to receive a ticket.