Welcome to Theatre In LA's 2013 Holiday Show Round-Up, once again the most comprehensive list of all of this year's seasonal-themed plays and musicals showing in Southern California. Every year, it seems, there is more and more variety from which to choose your holiday entertainment. Whether you plan to go with family, with a date, with the date's family, with both of your families, or to get away from families, you're bound to find something to bring you cheer. I have highlighted a few of the most interesting offerings below.
Of course, classics are classics because they never go out of style, and there's plenty of the traditional favorites playing all over the Southland. None of these really need any introduction, so allow me to list them briefly.
There are five productions of A Christmas Carol, the largest of which is at South Coast Repertory. Other productions are at A Noise Within, Grove Theater Center, Sierra Madre Playhouse, and Atwater Playhouse.
It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Playis running at Westchester Playhouse on the Westside as well as Crown City Theatre Company in North Hollywood, the latter presented by Theatre Unleashed.
The Nutcrackeris showing at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, produced by International City Theatre, and features the South Coast Children's Chorale.
Finally, the Bing Crosby/Rosemary Clooney favorite White Christmas gets the stage treatment once again at the Norris Center for the Performing Arts in Rolling Hills Estates.
There is a place for holiday tradition, and there is a place for plays that smash holiday tradition to bits. It's even more fun if they also send up the entertainment industry and/or themselves. To wit: SkyPilot Theatre Company's world premiere of Christmas 2. Tagline: "Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Bethlehem!" Enough said.
The author of the previous, Jeff Goode, is also the author of the next: The Eight: Reindeer Monologues is getting two productions, from Chance Theater in Anaheim and Ruby Theatre at The Complex in Hollywood. A smash hit in previous years, The Eight: Reindeer Monologues gives you the real, scandalizing drama behind the goings-on at Santa's workshop, straight from the reindeer themselves.
If you only see one Christmas play this year, then I guess it should be Every Christmas Story Ever Told. Described as "part vaudeville, part Complete Works of William Shakespeare...Abridged",Little Fish Theatre is producing this meta blend of, well, see the title.
Coming back to families, there are several productions that make good sport of their varying degrees of dysfunctionality. At the high end of that spectrum is undoubtedly the household of Dysfunctional Family Christmas, playing at the BrickHouse Theatre in North Hollywood. Dean and Joanne conspire to keep Grandpa's sudden death on Christmas Eve a secret from their adult children, who of course also arrive with plenty of their own surprises.
Giving them a run for their gift card money are the characters of Merry F***in' Christmas, Y'all, presented by Eclectic Theatre Company. I can't begin to sum this one up, but suffice to say it involves (among other things) a daughter planning to come out to her conservative family whilst they are all snowed in at a Colorado mountain retreat.
Three comediennes, Sandra Valls, Diana Yanez, and Maria Russell, recall their childhoods in The Latina Christmas Special, presented by Theatre Asylum at Elephant Theatre. These storytellers share fond and crazy Christmas memories of growing up as first-generation Americans, and of finding the balance between Hispanic family traditions and American modernity.
And as always, a parting word of caution: some shows are appropriate for everyone, some are not. Please research beforehand any production you plan to see so as to avoid surprises and awkward rides home with the family, or the date's family, or...you get the idea. For the complete list of holiday shows, please see the link below. Have a great holiday!
For a complete list of the holiday shows in Los Angeles go to our Holiday Plays In LA page.