Holiday theater productions are a great way to entertain out-of-town guests. If you’re looking for something more than the traditional holiday productions, there are great offerings that venture outside the box. Here’s a roundup of holiday theater in the Dallas area that promises unique, family friendly fun.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
Dallas Summer Musicals
Dallas Summer Musicals presents a stage adaptation of the perennial Christmas classic. All the trimmings of the picturesque Vermont inn will be on display Dec. 5-10 at the Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave. It's a great outing for your whole family that includes singing and dancing, with original music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and book by David Ives. Tickets start at $20 are on sale at DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park box office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Dallas Children’s Theater
Dallas Children’s Theater, 5938 Skillman St., returns its ever-popular production of the beloved childhood story featuring Charlie Brown and the whole crew. A live band will accompany performances, playing all the songs you remember from the TV special. Not to be missed: a skating rink in the theater. Shows run through Dec. 23. Tickets are $17 to $30. Call 214-740-0051 or visit dct.org. Weekday student matinees are available Tuesdays through Fridays. Call Dallas Children's Theater at 214-978-0120 or visit dct.org/fieldtrips.
The Great Distance Home
Conceived and Directed by WaterTower artistic associate Kelsey Leigh Ervi, The Great Distance Home is a world-premiere holiday play about what it means to come home for the holidays. Audiences won’t know what to expect. The director and actors are devising the play as they go, with one driving guide: the idea of home. Performances are Dec. 1-17 at 15650 Addison Road. Tickets are $25; visit watertowertheatre.org or call 972-450-6232.
Rockefeller Christmas at the Majestic Theatre
Park Cities Dance
If you can’t get to New York, head downtown to see “Radio City-style fun” in the heart of Dallas at the historic Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. Presented by Park Cities Dance, Rockefeller Christmas stars Olga Pavlova as Sugar Plum Fairy and Yevgeni Anfinogenov as her Cavalier in their farewell performance. It's full of jazz dancing, tap dancing, singing, live gingerbread children and snow falling onstage. The one-day-only production is a great midday outing for families with little ones who can’t party late into the evening. The two matinees are at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 3. Purchase tickets at ParkCitiesStudios.com.
Black Nativity by Langston Hughes
Bishop Arts Theatre Center
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, 215 S. Tyler St., returns an annual fan favorite to Oak Cliff. Black Nativity interprets the nativity story through gospel and contemporary music. Black Nativity debuted in 1961 and was one of the first plays written by an African American playwright to be performed off-Broadway. Featuring student actors from local schools, Bishop Arts Theatre Center is dedicated to employing homegrown directors and musicians.
Show times vary. Visit bishopartstheatre.org to verify dates and times. Tickets range from $12 to $35. Discount tickets are available for groups of 15 or more and may be purchased by calling 214-948-0716.
A Motown Christmas
This “Christmas debut,” created in 2015 by Nate Jacobs-Westcoast’s Black Theatre Troupe, includes music by Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and The Jackson 5. It's another great option for the whole family to enjoy together — and experience the magical Christmas display in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square.
Shows are Thursdays through Sundays through Dec. 24 at 506 Main St. in Fort Worth. Only a few tickets remain available online.
Solstice: Stories and Songs for the Holidays
If you’re looking for nontraditional holiday fare, Theatre Three has a new production for families. Dallas performers Denise Lee, Paul Taylor, Marti Etheridge, Ian Mead Moore and Sara Prejean perform in a new production created by Michael Federico and Theatre Three artistic director Jeffrey Schmidt. The story is about an aunt who tells her niece tales of the holiday season with the help of some magical creatures that drop in. Pieces performed and interpreted throughout the evening include a mostly forgotten Santa Claus origin story by Frank L. Baum (author of The Wizard of Oz); a story about an Italian witch from Philadelphia who encounters the three wise men; poems from Longfellow, Frost and contemporary poet Susan Cooper; and short plays and new music created by local Dallas storytellers and musicians. “It's new and different while still feeling traditional,” says director Jeffrey Schmidt, who collaborated on Federico’s last project at Theatre Three, the musical On the Eve. Theatre Three is introducing $10 tickets for children ages 8-12 with an accompanying adult. Audiences can also get into the giving spirit by participating in Theatre Three’s Solstice Book Drive, benefiting local nonprofit Readers 2 Leaders. The theater will collect gently used children’s and early reader books in the lobby, and all materials will be donated to Readers 2 Leaders’ Lending Library. For a list of books the organization is seeking, please visit its Amazon Wish List. Performances take place Thursdays through Sundays through Dec. 17. Visit theatre3dallas.com for a full schedule and tickets.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.