The holiday season seems to inspire the masses to do things that they would have never done at any other time of the year — like risking severe injury to ensure that their house is more brightly-lit than the neighbor's house, listening to vocal jazz or, for some, catching a local theater production. Over the years, it has become a holiday tradition for many Cincinnatians to see the Cincinnati Ballet's The Nutcracker and even Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's annual holiday production. This year, there are many chances to catch holiday classics (A Christmas Carol) and to try something new (like a live reading of Die Hard). Ahead, we've detailed 10 holiday theater productions in Greater Cincinnati suited for every sort of reveler.
A Christmas Carol — Charles Dickens’ feel-good Christmas favorite graces the West Side with “the most famous haunters of all.” The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future visit Ebenezer Scrooge for a whimsical musical production of a truly wonderful holiday tale that everyone should see at least once. Dec. 1-23. $31 adults; $28 seniors/students. Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, 4990 Glenway Ave., Covedale, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com.
Cincinnati Ballet’s The Nutcracker — Cincinnati Ballet presents a true holiday classic: The Nutcracker. The enchanted dreamland comes to life once again thanks to Tchaikovsky’s treasured score and the brilliant Cincinnati Ballet company. It’s a traditional way to get into the spirit with the whole family. Dec. 15-24. Tickets start at $59. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cballet.org.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze — Acrobat Santa doesn’t need a sleigh. Holiday spirit will soar through Cincinnati in this Broadway-style production featuring contemporary circus artistry, dazzling holiday costumes and festive feats of acrobatics. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2; 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3; 1 p.m. Dec. 4. Tickets start at $33.75. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org.
Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) — Cincinnati Shakespeare Company presents another season of “high-octane jollity and frivolity.” NSFW or true Santa believers, it’s a light-hearted spoof of classic Christmas tales like It’s a Wonderful Life and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that promises an evening of Santa-style belly laughs. Dec. 8-31. Tickets start at $14. Otto M. Budig Theater, 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincyshakes.com.
Hip Hop Nutcracker — Hip-hop legend Kurtis Blow — the first rapper ever signed by a major label — emcees the 10th season of this reimagined version of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. The 130-year-old ballet has been transformed into a dance spectacle and lively holiday celebration. Characters navigate modern-day New York City and find themselves in the land of sweets. Seasonable rhymes sprinkle holiday cheer as the show makes its way to 30 cities across the country. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1. Tickets start at $30. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org.
Holidazed — The Village Players of Fort Thomas present a series of nine new plays celebrating the season. With titles like Merry Whatever, A Christmas Uncarol and Santa’s Hard Road to Ho, these original stories are merrily unique and sure to be entertaining. A “fun and funny holiday pick-me-up” performed by local talent. Dec. 2-10. $20. The Village Players of Fort Thomas, 8 N. Ft Thomas Ave., Ft. Thomas, villageplayers.org.
Live Script Reading of Die Hard — Yippee ki-yay, motherfuckers. The six-annual script reading of Die Hard comes to Woodward Theater as local comedians transform themselves into John McClane, Hans Gruber, Karl and the gang for a one-night-only, action-packed holiday event. Formal attire recommended. 6:30 p.m. doors Dec. 19. Free admission, but reserve seating in advance. Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, instagram.com/gorillacinemapresents.
Million Dollar Quartet Christmas — Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash come together to perform holiday hits and classic songs with a jingle bell twist in this “heartwarming holiday rock ‘n’ roll musical.” It’ll be a hunk of burning Christmas love in this jam-packed night of holiday medleys with a jolly rock n’ roll flare. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20. Tickets start at $39. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org.
Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig’s Holiday Party — This season, while the Cincinnati Playhouse hits pause on its annual production of A Christmas Carol due to venue construction, the Ghost of Christmas Past visits to usher you back to the Victorian-era holiday party of Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig. Held at the Phoenix, interactive festivities include mingling with carolers and actors, arts and crafts, Victorian-era dance lessons, games, puppet shows and more, all to get you in the holiday spirit. 7 p.m. Dec. 14-17; 2 p.m. Dec. 17-18. Tickets start at $60. The Phoenix, 812 Race St., Downtown, cincyplay.com.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr. — A spirited adaptation of classics Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Holly Jolly Christmas, this play glitters with stars like Santa Claus, Rudolph, Yukon Cornelius and one jolly giant who is possibly the most exciting of them all: the Abominable Snow Monster. A perfect expression of holiday magic for children. Public performances Dec. 10-18. Tickets start at $37.25. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, thechildrenstheatre.com.
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