Most of the shows on this list require little to no explanation. You've likely seen A Christmas Carol before, but the holidays return every year and with it, the same shows, the same music, and the same garland your mother's been hanging on the bannister for 30 years. So Scrooge will probably come to appreciate Cratchit and the ghost of Christmas future will arrive before Tiny Tim is able to say "God Bless Us, Everyone." But how can you be sure unless you see it again? Besides, you don't want your daughter to be the only 4th grader who doesn't get the joy of telling her teacher, "Bah Humbug!" I'm sure other versions will pop up around town, but you'll want to see Dallas Theater Center's A Christmas Carol. The show is onstage at the Wyly Theatre November 25 - December 27. Tickets are available at dallastheatercenter.org.
It's deja vu all over again in WaterTower Theatre's black box. The charming actor Garrett Storms who delighted audiences as the angry elf in David Sedaris' one-man-show based on his short story, The Santaland Diaries, returns to the stage in the same peppermint stockings. The show runs December 5 - 28. Tickets are available at WaterTowerTheatre.org.
I couldn't even get three shows in before bringing up another version of A Christmas Carol. Although, knowing Pocket Sandwich Theatre, this show will be much fun, few morals. For the 33rd year in a row, Joe Dickinson and Laurie Tirmenstein's musical, Ebenezer Scrooge, based on the Dickens tale hits the PST stage (Christmas is not a particularly creative season). See it from November 28 - December 23. Tickets at pocketsandwichtheatre.com.
The Dallas Observer's resident witty Brit assures me that in England, the pantomime is the cool thing to do at the holidays. Apparently everyone attends, boos, hisses, cheers and yells inanities at the actors as they tell bad jokes and stick to a loose script. Turns out, the local panto is at the Plano-based theater company, Theatre Britain. This year, Jackie Mellor-Guin crafted a script based on the fairytale Beauty & the Beast. See it November 29 - December 28. Tickets at theatre-britain.com.
It's not a secret that Dallas Children's Theater has some of the best puppets in town. The Kathy Burks troupe has been performing for decades and this year, the stringed actors tell the story of Frosty & Friends. See the show from November 21 - December 21. Tickets at dct.org.
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If you've never seen The Nutcracker before, make this your year. If you're going to sit through a ballet, this is the one we can all agree on. Sugar plum fairies, the Rat King, and an oversized Nutcracker. And year after year, Texas Ballet Theater does it well. See if November 28 - December 7 at the Winspear Opera House. Tickets at attpac.org.
Let me admit something. I spent many of my formative years homeschooled. Explains a lot doesn't it? Let me admit something further. One of the few televisions shows that ever reached the undersized box in our living room was Little House on the Prairie. Oh, and one of my favorite movies is Gone With the Wind. Why am I telling you these things? Phew, now that you know that about me you might understand why, if only for a passing glimmer, I found myself interested in A Civil War Christmas at Theatre Three. Folk songs, carols, and antiquated references to Honest Abe, and chopping wood for a fire. I suppose those might entice a few other audience members as well. But I'll be front row, crossing my fingers for a rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Yeah, I didn't listen to popular music growing up either. The show runs November 20 - December 14. Tickets at theatre3dallas.com.
You could stay home and watch the adorable child star Natalie Wood refuse to believe in Santa until he wanders into her life. Or, you could grab your little ones and head to Dallas Children's Theater and see Miracle on 34th Street onstage. If anyone is going to play the man in the red suit, DCT lucked out with Frances Fuselier. Show runs from November 21 - December 21. Tickets at dct.org.
Whatever you do, don't take your 4th graders to The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical. It's a bit too raunchy for them, but if you're looking for a more adult holiday show on the list, give this one a whirl. Based on the The Great American Trailer Park Musical, the kooky residents of Armadillo Acres are described as being filled with "warmth and beer." If you don't have enough white trash in your family, take a gander at these turkey eaters. Although they're probably a bit more entertaining than the ones you call your own. Show runs December 4 - January 5. Tickets at WaterTowerTheatre.org.