A stage adaptation of a Jane Austen favorite, a reimagining of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and a bewitching musical that tells a classic story from a different perspective are among the theater and dance attractions on the way for the holiday season. Also of interest are a little-performed David Mamet play and a musical spoof focusing on Disney princesses.
By Calvin Wilson, Post-Dispatch theater critic
The Center of Creative Arts presents COCAdance, Ballet Eclectica and the COCA Hip-Hop Crew in “Winter Rep: A Movement in Color,” a tribute to artists of color in the dance world (Dec. 14-15; prices to be announced).
Where Washington University’s Edison Theatre, 6465 Forsyth Boulevard • More info edison.wustl.edu
The touring shows just keep on coming, starting with two ways to enjoy Tchaikovsky’s timeless Christmas classic. Moscow Ballet presents its “Great Russian Nutcracker” (Nov. 20-21; $32.50-$178.50), which features dancers from Russia’s top ballet companies. It gets a contemporary spin with “The Hip Hop Nutcracker” (Nov. 26; $25-$65), which includes dancers, a DJ and an appearance by hip-hop pioneer Kurtis Blow. Also on the horizon are “Cirque Dreams Holidaze” (Nov. 29-30; $25-$99), presented by Circus Flora, and the Tony Award-winning “Wicked” (Dec. 4-29; $49-$229), which spotlights the witches from “The Wizard of Oz.”
Where 527 North Grand Boulevard • More info 314-534-1111; metrotix.com
Metro Theater Company
A holiday classic comes to life onstage when the company presents “It’s a Wonderful Life” (Nov. 17-Dec. 15; $14-$20). The tale of George Bailey’s spiritual reawakening will be staged as a 1940s radio broadcast.
Where The Grandel, 3610 Grandel Square • More info 314-534-1111; metrotix.com
New Jewish Theatre
The company presents “Fully Committed,” a comedy about a struggling actor taking reservations at a trendy restaurant (Dec. 5-22; $49-$54). One actor, Will Bonfiglio, portrays 40 characters.
Where Wool Studio Theatre, Jewish Community Center, 2 Millstone Campus Drive • More info newjewishtheatre.org
Playhouse @ Westport Plaza
Spoofs and light comedies are the specialties at this venue set to present “Robert Dubac’s Stand-Up Jesus” (Dec. 6-7; $20), “Sister’s Christmas Catechism” (Dec. 10-22; $50) and “Robert Dubac’s Idiocracy” (Dec. 27-30; $50).
Where 635 West Port Plaza • More info 314-534-1111; metrotix.com
Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
New artistic director Hana S. Sharif directs “Pride and Prejudice” (Dec. 4-29; $20-$99.50) on the mainstage, based on the classic Jane Austen novel and adapted by Christopher Baker. For young audiences, the Rep’s Imaginary Theatre Company presents “The Ant and the Grasshopper” (Nov. 23; $10) in a pair of sensory-friendly performances and “The Elves and the Shoemaker” (Dec. 21-23, Heagney Theatre at Nerinx Hall High School; $10).
Where Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts, 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves • More info 314-968-4925; repstl.org
“Daphne’s Dive” (Dec. 12-22; $18-$20) by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes (“Water by the Spoonful”) focuses on folks who hang out in a North Philadelphia bar.
Where The Marcelle, 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive • More info 314-534-1111; metrotix.com
St. Louis Actors’ Studio
David Mamet’s “A Life in the Theater” (Dec. 6-22; $30-$35) is a portrait of two actors (William Roth and Ryan Lawson-Maeske) — one just starting out, the other nearing the end of his career — and their love for the stage. John Contini directs.
Where Gaslight Theater, 358 North Boyle Avenue • More info ticketmaster.com
St. Louis Ballet
The company gets into the spirit of the season with its annual production of “The Nutcracker” (Nov. 29-Dec. 23; $25-$72). A shorter matinee performance Dec. 18 is designed for young audience members.
Where Touhill Performing Arts Center, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 8001 Natural Bridge Road More info touhill.org
Shakespeare Festival St. Louis
No longer just a summertime event in Forest Park, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ expanded programming includes the Confluence New Play Festival (8 p.m. Nov. 20-23; $5-$30). Over four days, new works will be staged at the Kranzberg.
Where Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 North Grand Boulevard • More info sfstl.com
With “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical” (Dec. 19; $25-$65), a beloved holiday tradition jumps from the shelf and springs to life in a new stage production.
Where 1400 Market Street • More info ticketmaster.com
Stray Dog Theatre
Snow White and other fairy tale femmes get to air their grievances in the musical “Disenchanted” (Dec. 5-21; $25-$30). Justin Been directs.
Where Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee Avenue • More info straydogtheatre.org
West End Players Guild
Steve Callahan directs the holiday-themed romance “The Cricket on the Hearth” (Dec. 6-15; $20-$25), adapted by Vladimir Zelevinsky from a Charles Dickens story.
Where Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union Boulevard • More info brownpapertickets.com