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Festive fare and new play by Neil LaBute highlight season’s stage offerings

Festive fare and new play by Neil LaBute highlight season’s stage offerings

From the Holiday arts guide: Where to find concerts, theater, lights and other festive events in the St. Louis area series
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Just one of the perks of the holiday season is the opportunity to take in live performances. Among the highlights this year are a production of “A Christmas Carol,” a new play by Neil LaBute, and that festive favorite with theatergoers big and small, “The Nutcracker,” available in two varieties.

‘A Carol for the Holidays’

When 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19-20 • Where The Grandel, 3610 Grandel Square • How much $25-$35; proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test required • More info metrotix.com

The Big Muddy Dance Company once again takes on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” the tale of a miserly curmudgeon who eventually and wholeheartedly embraces the spirit of the season. With choreography by artistic director Brian Enos, it’s a fresh spin on a holiday classic.

‘Cats’

When Dec. 21-Jan. 2; performance times vary • Where Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard • How much $29-$99; proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test required • More info metrotix.com

Critics may not care for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical “Cats,” which leaps onto the Fox Theatre stage once again. But any show that boasts a song as beautiful as “Memory” can’t be all bad.

‘A Christmas Carol’

When Dec. 10-23, preview performances Dec. 4-9; performance times vary • Where Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts, 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves • How much $25-$85; proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test required • More info repstl.org

Charles Dickens’ classic tale of a miser who undergoes a spiritual reawakening is the holiday offering from the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. The company will present a new adaptation by Michael Wilson in what will become an annual Rep tradition.

‘Comfort’

When Dec. 3-19 • Where Gaslight Theater, 360 North Boyle Avenue • How much $30-$35 • More info stlas.org

Acclaimed playwright Neil LaBute continues his relationship with the St. Louis Actors’ Studio with the premiere of “Comfort,” in which a mother-son relationship is tested by the past and two new book deals. Starring Kari Ely and Spencer Sickmann; directed by Annamaria Pileggi.

Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical

“Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical” 

‘The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical’

When 6 p.m. Dec. 16 • Where Stifel Theatre, 1400 Market Street • How much $26.75-$81.75; proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test required • More info ticketmaster.com

If you have young children, these tiny North Pole ambassadors probably get into daily mischief at your home during the holiday season. Now Santa’s little helpers are at the heart of a touring family musical.

Repertory Theatre of St. Louis hosts drive through puppet show

Spectators pass one of 14 outdoor scenes on Jan. 3 during “The Glowy Snowy Day,” an outdoor production by the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

‘The Glowy Snowy Day’

When 5:30-8 p.m. Dec. 31-Jan. 2 • Where Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Boulevard, Forest Park • How much Free • More info repstl.org

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis once again presents its socially distant, drive-thru experience, “The Glowy Snowy Day.” Performers will manipulate giant puppets amid glow-in-the-dark scenery to bring to life the story of a young boy enjoying the season’s first snow. The story is based on Ezra Jack Keats’ 1962 Caldecott Medal-winning children’s book “The Snowy Day.”

Hip Hop Nutcracker

A scene from "The Hip Hop Nutcracker"

Photo by Tim Norris

‘The Hip Hop Nutcracker’

When 7:30 p.m. Nov. 26 • Where Stifel Theatre, 1400 Market Street • How much $22-$62; proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test required • More info ticketmaster.com

Pioneering rapper Kurtis Blow is the emcee in a modern transformation of the ballet featuring hip-hop dancers, a DJ, a classical violinist and Tchaikovsky’s classic score.

‘A Little Song, a Little Dance, a Little Seltzer Down Your Pants’

When 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 2 p.m. Dec. 19 • Where Staenberg Family Complex, 2 Millstone Campus Drive • How much $45-$70; proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test required • More info jccstl.com

New Jewish Theatre presents actor-comedian Eric Williams and cabaret artist Sharon Hunter (producing artistic director of Moonstone Theatre Company) in a program of songs and stories.

A Magical Cirque Christmas

"A Magical Cirque Christmas." Photo courtesy of the show

‘A Magical Cirque Christmas’

When 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 • Where Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard • How much $39.50-$125; proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test required • More info metrotix.com

Acrobatics in the circus tradition are spotlighted in this family-friendly show featuring Lucy Darling, whom David Copperfield calls “an exceptional new talent in magic.” The production includes live performances of favorite holiday songs.

The Nutcracker

A St. Louis Ballet production of "The Nutcracker"

‘The Nutcracker’

When Nov. 27-28, Dec. 17-23; performance times vary • Where Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 8001 Natural Bridge Road • How much $27-$69 • More info stlouisballet.org

St. Louis Ballet presents the holiday favorite with the wonderful Tchaikovsky score. Gen Horiuchi’s “The Nutcracker” is a ballet that engagingly evokes the spirit of the season.

‘A Piece of My Heart’

When Dec. 10-19; performance times vary • Where Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union Boulevard • How much $20-$25 • More info westendplayers.org

West End Players Guild presents “A Piece of My Heart,” Shirley Lauro’s play addressing the Vietnam War and reflecting the experiences of six women. Directed by Dani Mann.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical." Photo courtesy of the show

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical’

When 7 p.m. Dec. 17; 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m. Dec. 18 • Where Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard • How much $20-$75; proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test required • More info metrotix.com

Children should be delighted by this production in which favorite characters from the classic animated TV special come to life onstage.

‘Songs for Nobodies’

When Dec. 2-12; performance times vary • Where The Grandel, 3610 Grandel Square • How much $25-$55; proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test required • More info maxandlouie.com

Debby Lennon takes on 10 roles in “Songs for Nobodies,” an encore presentation of Joanna Murray-Smith’s play with music about five classic singers — Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Maria Callas — and their admirers. It’s a Max & Louis production, directed by Pamela Hunt.

‘Tinsel Town’

When Dec. 2-18; performance times vary • Where .Zack, 3224 Locust Street • How much $15-$20; proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test required • More info metrotix.com

The Midnight Company presents three short plays set in Los Angeles, written by and featuring artistic director Joe Hanrahan. Directed by Rachel Tibbetts.

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