Celebrating the Season: Winter Plays to Check Out

Posted November 25, 2015 by Liz Law in Theater & Arts
Elf Boston

Winter is upon us and as the frigid air descends, seasonal theater productions allow you to celebrate winter without freezing. This year, Boston theatergoers have the chance to enjoy stage adaptations of Christmas classics, old and new, as well as an award-winning Broadway musical that got it’s start on a local stage.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

This musical is adapted for the stage from the classic 1964 stop motion animation narrated by Burl Ives as Sam the Snowman. The whimsical tale of Hermey, the elf who wanted to be a dentist, Rudolph, the reindeer with the glowing red nose, and all the misfit toys in need of acceptance continues to resonate with audiences of all ages. Although Rudolph is the hero of the story, each of the quirky characters is much beloved. From Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster to Yukon Cornelious, each character discovers a place where they truly belong before the curtain falls.

Rudolph opens December 1 at the Shubert Theater. This cute, upbeat musical is suitable for all ages, with matinee and evening performances. There is also a special ASL/Open Caption performance Sunday, December 6 at 7:00 pm. Purchase tickets here.


Elf was adapted as a musical stage production from the movie starring Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel in 2010. It was a smash hit and is quickly becoming a new holiday tradition. Elf is the tale of Buddy, a human orphaned on Santa’s doorstep and raised as an elf who is in search of his birth family. He finds that his father, Walter, along with the rest of New York City, has an appalling lack of Christmas spirit. Buddy’s enthusiasm and unabashed joy as he endeavors to rekindle the Christmas spirit in the hearts of his family and other New Yorkers is infectious.

Elf opened on November 17 and is playing through December 6 at the Wang Theater. The joyful, enthusiastic musical is suitable for all ages. Tickets can be purchased here.  There is a special ASL/Open Captioned performance on Sunday, December 6 at 7 pm.


An innovative and interactive musical, Once may be familiar to Boston audiences. In addition to being a stage adaptation of the 2006 movie of the same name, Once first premiered in an American Repertory Theater Workshop in Cambridge, MA. Now, Once  is returning to Boston as an international success. The distinctive minimalist staging and cast members who play all the instruments, as well as sing, sets Once apart from other Broadway musicals, which tend toward the elaborate in set and costume design. In the spirit of the Dublin pub in which it is set, the audience is invited, and expected, to join in and sing along, which keeps us engaged as the story unfolds.

Once tells the tale of a tender romance between Guy, a young busker, and a fellow musician known only as Girl. Both are recently broken hearted and their shared love of music draws them to each other. Their love grows with their musical collaborations and the folksy, melancholic compositions perfectly convey the heartache, joy, and bittersweet nature of their romance.

Once runs from December 8 through December 27 at the Shubert Theater. This sweet tale of romance is largely child-friendly, with the exception of some profanity. The theater does not allow children under 4. Tickets can be purchased here. There is an ASL/Open Captioned performance on Wednesday, December 16 at 7:30 pm.

Get out and enjoy the winter, even if you are not a fan of the weather, with one of these fantastic seasonal plays.