Skip the long lines at your local movie theater and catch one of these live shows instead.
The holidays mean family. And family, for better or worse, often means lots of togetherness in a childhood home that inevitably starts to feel too small, regardless of its square footage. Stave off a case of cabin fever by checking out one of these lighthearted shows.
Then send the kids to play outside while you pour yourself a large glass of mulled wine or Christmas ale.
Nov. 16-Dec. 30
The musical numbers are as big and as bold as the hairstyles in this beloved, Marc Shaiman-penned musical. And the play’s themes, which touch on the importance of tolerance and the value of self-expression, resonate with audiences of all ages.
Nov. 23-Dec. 26
The Todd Wehr Theater
There are six kids in the Herdman clan, each more terrible than the last. So when Mrs. Bradley casts them in her church’s annual Christmas pageant, many of the other parishioners panic, but Mrs. Bradley isn’t worried. First Stage recommends this heartwarming musical for families with kids between 4 and 14.
Nov. 13-Dec. 16
If you’ve got older kids who are Jane Austen fans, you’ll want to hitch up your Regency-style skirt, or trousers, and hurry over to the Rep, where the the theater company is staging a “sequel” to Austen’s iconic Pride and Prejudice, set in the English countryside.
Nov. 27-Dec. 24
The Rep’s been putting on a version of this touching Christmas tale for more than forty years for a reason. Its story is timeless, its characters are universally beloved and its message resonates with young and old alike.
The Riverside Theater
This nationally touring live show, based on the 1965 television special of the same name, centers on everyone’s favorite cartoon blockhead. To get into the holiday spirit, Charlie Brown decides to direct his town’s Christmas play. Hilarity, and catchy song-and-dance numbers, ensue. There’ll be an afternoon and an evening show, so you and your little ones have two chances to see your favorite Peanuts characters.
Dec. 8-Dec. 17
Langston Hughes, one of America’s greatest poets and a leader of the Harlem Renaissance, penned this retelling of the nativity story. The family-friendly show includes a variety of gospel songs and a largely local cast.
Dec. 8-Dec. 26
This classic ballet, with music by the inimitable Tchaikovsky, is a visual delight. It also features many young dancers in its cast – meaning that it could be a great source of inspiration for little ones who dream of one day playing the Sugar Plum Fairy or the Mouse King.
Dec. 14-16, 21-22
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Watch members of the Wisconsin-based Warped Dance Company re-imagine the 19th-century ballet The Nutcracker for a 21st-century crowd. How? By replacing the classic dance scenes with stunning aerial acrobatics.