On Stage: Holiday Edition
Dec 06, 2017 02:32PM
● By Cale Finta
Attending a performance of A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a perennial family tradition for Bay Area families, and both Center Repertory Theatre and American Conservatory Theatre offer beautiful adaptations of Charles Dickens’ timeless classic embellished with seasonal music, dance, and spectacular ghostly effects. Humbugs not allowed. Details: Dec.1-24, ACT’s Geary Theatre, San Francisco, ACT-sf.org; Dec.7-17, Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, lesherartscenter.org.
Grammy® winners Steve Martin and Edie Brickell light up the winter sky in BRIGHT STAR, a musical love story set in the American South in the early 20th century. Nominated for five Tony Awards last year, this rich tapestry weaves deep emotions and beautiful melodies into a celebration of the strength of family. Details: Nov. 28-Dec. 17, Curran Theatre, San Francisco, sfcurran.com.
Bid farewell to 2017 with the BIG FAT-YEAR END KISS-OFF COMEDY SHOW XXV, featuring Will Durst and his merry band of pranksters, in a hilarious play about the year’s major news events. For a quarter of a century, these Bay Area comics have delighted audiences with their uproarious collection of standup, sketch comedy, songs, and improvisation. Details: Dec. 30, Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, lesherartscenter.org.
Set in a bitterly cold 1864 Washington DC Christmas Eve, the warm and deeply moving A CIVIL WAR CHRISTIMAS: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL CELEBRATION weaves together stories from fictional and historical characters on both sides of war. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel’s holiday show features period music while it examines the strength and spirit of a country divided. Details: Nov.30 – Dec.16, Town Hall Theatre, Lafayette, townhalltheatre.com.
Ring in BELLES, a southern-fried comedy by the writers from the television sitcom “Golden Girls” and “Dearly Departed.” Hot flash Honey Raye, and her sisters Twink and Frankie, may not be in the most festive moods, but audiences will enjoy a jolly old laugh as they fight to rescue Christmas from utter chaos. Details: Dec. 1-9, Martinez Campbell Theatre, Martinez, onstagetheatre.org.
Marco Ramirez, award-winning writer of Orange is the New Black and Sons of Anarchy, pens THE ROYALE, a story inspired by legendary boxer Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight world champion, and one of America’s first celebrity-athletes. In this stylized drama, set in the Jim Crow era, Ramirez’s protagonist fights in the ring and on the streets. Details: Through Dec. 3, Aurora Theatre, Berkeley, auroratheatre.org.
Tony Award winning theatres Berkeley Rep and Minneapolis’ Guthrie join forces to produce the powerful drama WATCH ON THE RHINE, an all-too-timely examination of moral obligation, sacrifice, and what it means to be American. When the houseguest of a Nazi sympathizer threatens a wealthy matriarch, her family discovers the extent they’ll go to for what they believe in. Details: Nov. 30 – Jan. 14, Roda Theatre, Berkeley, Berkeleyrep.org.
Chicago’s legendary comedy troupe, The Second City, delivers a healthy dose of seasonal satire in Berkeley Rep’s THE SECOND CITY’S DYSFUNCTIONAL HOLIDAY REVUE. Film classics, family dinners, and Christmas carols are all fodder in this fast-paced revue exploring our dysfunctional desire to deck the halls with a perfect dose of holiday cheer. Details: Dec. 5-31, Berkeley Repertory’s Mainstage Peet’s Theatre, Berkeley, berkeleyrep.org.
Enjoy a magic carpet ride with ALADDIN in this thrilling Broadway musical, based on Disney’s animated film classic, about a young man granted three wishes by a Genie. Unforgettable beauty, comedy, and a very special lamp reveal a world with infinite possibilities. Details: Through Jan.7, Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco, shnsf.com.