Merry Music: Holiday Theater Happenings in Boston

Posted November 19, 2014 by Cheryl Fenton in Theater & Arts
Nutcracker

Over the next few weeks, our pumpkin obsession will slowly turn to eggnog. Feast and fete invites will start rolling in, and gift ideas will be casually tossed into general conversation. It’s obvious – the holidays are approaching. And so begins our panic. Relax. Take in a show instead. One that doesn’t involve visiting aunts, fighting relatives, holiday shopping crowds and vacationing kids wandering around the house with “nothing to do.” Here are a few of our favorite seasonal performances in Downtown Boston that are sure to bring you true happiness around the holidays.

The Nutcracker, The Boston Opera House, November 28-December 31

Who doesn’t hum along to the Dance of the Sugar Plum fairy? You. Can’t. Help. It. This is just one of Tchaikovsky’s memorable songs from his timeless 1892 score, The Nutcracker. Every holiday season, thousands of families watch young Clara take the stage with dancing fairies, come-to-life candies, imposing soldiers, a giant Mouse King and the Nutcracker Prince for a ballet experience like no other. One of our happiest nights to see the show – December 24th, when the crowds are dressed to the nines in their holiday best.

Michael McDonald, Wilbur Theatre, December 3, 7:30 pm

A classic voice singing holiday classics? Yes, please. That’s exactly what you’ll get when the Wilbur hosts Michael McDonald. Those eyes. That hair. Excuse us as we swoon. During this much-anticipated evening of holiday hits, he’ll be crooning a few of our favorites in that buttery voice we know from his solo work, as well as the Doobie Brothers’ years. Why don’t we listen to him more throughout the rest of the year – we keep forgettin’.

Aimee Man

Aimee Man will perform at the Wilbur Theatre this holiday season.

The Return of Aimee Mann’s Christmas show, Wilbur Theatre, December 9, 8 pm

After a three year absence, our local gal Aimee Mann has returned for another holiday tour. This time it’s together with her new The Both bandmate, Ted Leo. As if those two masterminds of music weren’t enough, the evening of holiday classics, originals, sketches and comedy routines also will have Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles), Jonathan Coulton (NPR’s Ask Me Another) and more surprises. It usually sells out, so don’t wait for Santa. Just buy yourself the tickets.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Citi Shubert Theatre, December 9-14

Get your inner misfit to the first ever production of everyone’s favorite holiday special. Sorry Charlie Brown, but we’re talking about that red nosed reindeer. Turning 50-years old this year, Rudolph and his buddies (oh hi, Hermey) hit the stage with this brand new musical that weaves a talented cast together with puppeteers for a magical performance. The combination creates an experience so close to the original TV show that you’ll wonder where the commercials are.

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical, Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre, December 16-28

This holiday classic just oozes all the merry and bright laughter, dancing and songs that you can possibly handle. The story we all know and love (two showbiz buddies putting on seasonal shows at their picturesque Vermont inn while also falling in love) gets a new production with all the same wonderful classic Irving Berlin songs. With tunes like “Happy Holiday,” “Sisters,” “Blue Skies” and the unforgettable “White Christmas,” we think Bing would approve.

Whether you’re a year-round theater lover or just caught up in the yuletide craze, there’s a theater performance in Boston for you during the holidays. Regardless of what show you see, Scrooges need not apply.