The holiday season is here and so are the shows that celebrate the season.
For fans of “The Nutcracker”, several choices are available to you in the coming weeks. Those with children can see Childsplay’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or the Arizona Broadway Theater’s “Elf”. And for those who want to sit down for an evening or afternoon of choral music, the Phoenix Boys Choir and the Phoenix Chorale can do the trick.
Several shows celebrate Christmas with an eclectic touch. If you’re wondering what a Christmas-themed acrobatic show looks like, former Cirque du Soleil creator Francisco Santos is bringing “Santa’s Circus” to Phoenix. Or, if you’re in the mood for a heartwarming rendition of Langston Hughes’ “Black Nativity,” the Black Theater Troupe has brought back the show for this band’s 50th anniversary.
Several theaters and venues have COVID-19 protocols in place. Be sure to check the website for safety precautions regarding masks and vaccines.
‘Miss Bennet: Christmas in Pemberley’
This show is an invitation to dive back into the world of Jane Austin. Those who love the acclaimed novelist should take a closer look at this holiday show. “Miss Bennet” follows the classic “Pride and Prejudice” in a play that invites audiences through the comedic and heartwarming life of Mary Bennet, middle sister Bennet, in the middle of the holiday season. In Tucson until December 4; in Phoenix from Dec 9 to Jan 2.
Tucson Details: Until December 4. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave., Tucson. Tickets: $ 50- $ 83. 520-622-2823, https://arizonathatre.org
‘Rudolph the red nosed reindeer’
This year’s Childsplay performance will take audiences back to an old childhood classic and a musical adaptation of the TV special “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”. The show is aimed at young audiences, but is open to the whole family. And it’s packed with the entire cast of holiday favorites, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, the beloved Rudolph.
Masks are compulsory for the duration of the show.
Details: Until December 24. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. Tickets: $ 13. 480-921-5700, https://www.childsplayaz.org/index.php
Based on the 2003 film starring Will Ferrell, “Elf” tells the story of Buddy, who travels from the mystical North Pole to New York City just in time for the Christmas season. A perfect blend of humor and heartfelt, the holiday show tells the modern classic through an interactive musical performance, and features a renowned local and national cast.
And those who are willing to spend a little more can opt for the dinner show.
Details: Until December 29. Arizona Broadway Theater, 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria. Tickets start at $ 47.99. 623-776-8400, https://azbroadway.org/
“The Nutcracker” and “The Christmas Spirit” at the Chandler Center for the Arts
The Chandler Center for the Arts’ “The Nutcracker” show will feature dancers from Ballet Etude – the centre’s dance company of dancers ages 9 to 18.
For another holiday-themed offering, check out Tempe Dance Academy’s “The Spirit of Christmas,” a variety show featuring over 100 dancers, singers and special guest artists.
Details for “The Nutcracker”: November 27-28, December 3-5. Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Phoenix. Tickets start at $ 27. 480-782-2680, https://www.chandlercenter.org/
Details for “The Christmas Spirit”: December 11-12, 18-19. Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Phoenix. Tickets start at $ 30. 480-782-2680, https://www.chandlercenter.org/
“Santa’s Circus – An acrobatic fairy tale”
It’s the first time for “Cirque du Père Noël” in Arizona – and it’s directed by former Cirque du Soleil artist (and Vampire Circus creator) Francisco Santos. No need to imagine a Christmas-themed circus. From December 2 to 5, the Madison Center for the Arts will be filled with acrobats, trapeze artists, tightrope walkers and jugglers.
After the performance, spectators can meet and greet the actors, including Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.
Details: 2-5 December. Madison Center for the Arts, 5601 N. 16th St., Phoenix. Tickets: $ 35- $ 65. (602) 664-7777, https://www.themadison.org/home.
Black Theater Troupe celebrates its 50th anniversary season. The latest production, “Black Nativity,” the legendary holiday spectacle of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes, will be in Phoenix from December 3 to 19. A conglomerate of singers, actors, dancers and musicians from the Black Theater Troupe, the song show will feature gospel choirs, soloists and dance ensembles. Plus, it’s the company’s 50th anniversary season – an anniversary that marks the start of a whole new show.
Details: From December 3 to 29, Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 E. Washington St, Phoenix. Tickets: $ 42. 602-258-8128, https://www.blacktheatretrope.org/
“13 days of Christmas”
Join the Fountain Hills Theater for a 13-story Christmas musical performance featuring new and old Christmas carols. A performance made for the whole family, “13 Days of Christmas” includes everything from simply chopping down a Christmas tree to spying on Santa’s Christmas plans. The show is the work of Fountain Hills Theater artistic director Peter J. Hill.
Details: From December 3 to 19. Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills. Tickets: $ 18- $ 35. 480-837-9661, https://fhtaz.org/
“Let Everyone Sing” by Phoenix Boys Choir
Find a location near you for the Phoenix Boys Choir’s “Let All the World Sing” concert. The show will feature music from around the world, including a cappella and chamber orchestral pieces. Flagship songs include “Joy to the World”, “O Come, All Ye Faithful”, “Peace, Peace / Silent Night” and “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah”.
Performances take place in several places. Check the Phoenix Boys Choir website for location details.
Details: December 3, 5, 12, 18-19. https://www.boyschoir.org/
“A Drag Queen Christmas”
Drag queen favorites from Logo TV’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” stop in Phoenix for their “Naughty Tour,” and the show will be chock-full of vacation favorites, new and old. Hosted by Trinity the Tuck and Moet X Change, the show will star William, Denali, Jan Sport, Sasha Velor, Shea Coulee and Miz Cracker.
Details: December 8. Arizona Federal Theater, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $ 85. https://www.arizonafederaltheater.com/
The Nutcracker by Ib Andersen with Ballet Arizona
Combine the performance of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” by the Phoenix Symphony with the interpretation of ballet by artistic director Ib Andersen – and over 100,000 Austrian Swarovski crystals – and you reach the famous rendition of Ballet Arizona’s holiday classic. .
Details: December 8-24. Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $ 25. 602-381-1096, https://balletaz.org/
‘The Nutcracker’ at the Orpheum Theater
Join the Ballet Theater of Phoenix for their annual “The Nutcracker” show at the Orpheum Theater. Directed by Slawomir Wozniak, the show will integrate acrobatic choreography, humor and ballet for an innovative performance to discover.
Details: December 10-23, Orpheum Theater, 203 W. Adams St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $ 50. 877-798-3447, www.phoenix-theater.com/
“A Chorale Christmas” by Phoenix Chorale
The Phoenix Chorale will perform arrangements of European Christmas carols from the King’s Singers album, “Christmas Songbook”. Shows will be presented across the valley in five venues. A highlight of the show includes the world premiere of a new commission titled “Trinity Triptych,” a three-part piece composed by Cecilia McDowall and written in honor of the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, which is home to the Phoenix Choir.
Performances take place in several places. Check the Phoenix Choir website for location details.
Details: December 16-20. Tickets: $ 40. 602-253-2224, https://phoenixchorale.org./
Maddie Poppe and Christmas acoustics
American Idol Season 16 winner Maddie Poppe arrives in Arizona. Take in Poppe’s Christmas Acoustic Tour at the Musical Instrument Museum. Poppe, a 23-year-old singer-songwriter from Iowa, will present her Christmas EP “Christmas From Home”.
Check out the Musical Instrument Museum website for more concerts and holiday events.
Details: December 10, 7:30 p.m., Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. Tickets: $ 33.50 to $ 49.50. 480-478-6000, http://mim.org/
Holiday concert at Rosie’s House
Rosie’s House – an after-school shelter and music academy for low-income children – will host its annual holiday concert on December 12 at Memorial Hall. The show will feature soloists on strings, winds, piano and voice as well as performances by large ensembles.
Details: December 12, 3 p.m., Memorial Hall, 300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. RSVP for a free ticket before December 3, 602-252-8475, https://rosieshouse.org/