If the displays in Costco are any indication, the holiday season apparently began in mid-September. How odd then that theater companies seem to wait until mid-November to unveil their holiday-themed productions.
This season, North Bay audiences in search of holiday entertainment will have a variety of shows from which to choose, from the traditional to the modern, from classics to film adaptations and lots and lots of musicals.
What would Christmas be without a production of the Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol? Well, the Santa Rosa Junior College theatre arts department ain’t gonna let that happen. James Newman directs a Broadway musical adaptation of the tale of Scrooge and his encounters with apparitions with songs by Howard Menken (The Little Mermaid) and Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime). The show runs Nov. 17 – Dec. 3 in the JC’s Burbank Auditorium. (theatrearts.santarosa.edu)
Speaking of Broadway musicals, Transcendence Theatre company presents its annual Broadway Holiday spectacular. The revue-style offering of seasonal songs and good tidings runs Dec. 1 – Dec. 10 at the Hanna Center in Sonoma. (For more on this production, see this week’s holiday arts piece on page 20 and bestnightever.org.)
Sonoma Arts Live brings the Little Sisters of Hoboken back to the Rotary Stage with Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical. Looks like the Sisters are having problems taping a Christmas special for their local cable access channel. The show runs at the Sonoma Community Center from Dec. 1 through Dec. 17. (sonomartslive.org)
For folks who like their musicals movie-based, Santa Rosa’s 6th Street Playhouse is presenting Elf, the Musical. The Will Ferrell film about a boy raised by Santa at the North Pole going through some growing pains gets the musical treatment. Buddy the Elf will be running amok in the GK Hardt Theatre from Nov. 24 through Dec. 17. (6thstreetplayhouse.com)
Marin County’s theater tree has but one box beneath it this year. The Ross Valley Players will be presenting It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. Set in a snowbound radio station in the 1940s, the Frank Capra holiday perennial is presented as, you guessed it, a live radio play with added songs. It’s all done in 90 intermission-less minutes at the Marin Art & Garden Center in Ross from Nov. 17 through Dec. 17. (rossvalleyplayers.com)
Napa’s Lucky Penny Productions has a holiday two-fer on tap for you. Older audiences can enjoy The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical while the younger crowd might enjoy Saving Santa. In the former, the residents of Armadillo Acres (North Florida’s premier mobile-living community) have to deal with the neighborhood Scrooge, while in the latter, Santa’s sleigh makes an unscheduled landing atop Mount St. Helena. The shows run from Dec. 1 through Dec. 23. (luckypennynapa.com)
Ho, ho, ho!