A scene from last year's production of "The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker." (Lee Tonks )
'Tis the season for a little holiday drama and dance, and this year, Los Angeles stages will pull back the curtain on plenty of festive performances for a range of yuletide (and not-so-yuletide) tastes. From Tchaikovsky's dancing sugar plum fairies to David Sedaris' misanthropic Crumpet the Elf, here's a rundown of good tidings from Southern California stages.
A Christmas Carol: Richard Hellesen adapts the Dickens' classic tale into a song-filled musical ghost story. Mark Booher directs. Marian Theatre, 800 S. College Drive, Santa Maria. Nov. 10-Dec. 23. See website for showtimes. (805) 922-8313. http://www.pcpa.org
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues: Jeff Goode's irreverent comedy about a North Pole sex scandal with Santa's eight reindeer telling all. August Viverito directs. Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., Hollywood. Dec. 2-17. Fri. and Sat., 8 p.m. $25. (800) 838-3006. http://www.theprodco.com
Some Lovers: Tony-winner Steven Sater ("Spring Awakening") teams up with Academy- and Grammy-winning music legend Burt Bacharach for a world-premiere musical about two estranged lovers on Christmas Eve whose memories of happier days conspire to bring them together again. Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Dec. 7- 31. Sun., Tues., Wed., 7 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m. $35. (619) 234-5623. http://www.theoldglobe.org
Christmastime Is Queer 4: A series of one-acts with holiday and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes returns after a six-year hiatus. Celebration Theatre, 7051 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood. Dec. 2-17. Fri. and Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. $20. (323) 957-1884. celebrationtheatre.com
Bob's Holiday Office Party: Joe Keyes and Rob Elk's comedy is back for its 16th season. A small-town Iowa insurance agent throws a holiday bash for his wacky friends and clients. Hudson Mainstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Dec. 1-18. Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m. $20-$25. (323) 960-7711. http://www.plays411.com/bobs
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues: Hear the truth about Santa straight from the eight reindeer who know him best. Chance Theater, 5552 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim Hills. Nov. 29-Dec. 20. Mon.-Wed., 8 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 11 p.m. $23-$35. (714) 777-3033. http://www.chancetheater.com
Carlie & Doni's XXX-Mas Special: The irreverent musical-comedy duo perform an R-rated holiday show. Santa Monica Playhouse Main Stage, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Dec. 1, 8 p.m. $20-$25. (310) 394-9779. santamonicaplayhouse.com
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: The whimsical musical based on the classic Dr. Seuss book returns for its 14th year. Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Nov. 25-Dec. 31. Showtimes vary. $24-$112. (619) 234-5623. http://www.theoldglobe.org
A Song for Christmas: A story of how the music of the season has shaped one man's life from childhood to adulthood. Attic Community Theater, 2834 S. Fairview, Santa Ana. Dec. 2 and 3 and Dec. 8-10, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 4, 2:30 p.m. $18. (714) 662-2525. http://www.ocact.com
The Christmas Present: The U.S. premiere of Guy Picot’s heartwarming tale of a hooker, a hotel room and some holiday magic. Sacred Fools Theater, 660 N Heliotrope Dr., L.A. Dec. 6-21. Tues.-Wed., 8 p.m. Dec., 22-24, 8 p.m. $15. (310) 281-8337. http://www.sacredfools.org
The Santaland Diaries: A solo show written by David Sedaris about his experiences as an unemployed writer-turned-Christmas elf at a New York City Macy's. Paolo Andino stars; Michael Matthews directs. Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., L.A. Nov. 26-Dec. 18. Thus.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. (No performance Nov. 27). $30. (323) 661-9827. stellaadler-la.com
It's A Wonderful Life: Based on the classic Christmas film, an angel shows George Bailey the world is better with him in it. Christina Harris directs. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Nov. 25-Dec. 23. Fri. and Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.; Dec. 21 and 22, 8 p.m. $25. (626) 355-4318. http://www.sierramadreplayhouse.org
A Christmas Carol, the Musical: The West Coast premiere of the musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic Christmas tale. Canyon Theatre Guild, 24242 Main St., Newhall. Dec., 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m.; Dec. 4, 11, 17 and 18 at 2 p.m.; Dec. 20 and 21, 7 p.m. $17. (661) 799-2702. http://www.canyontheatre.org
The Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever!: Joe Marshall's wildly popular gay-themed Christmas comedy about a drama-addicted theatre company makes its West Coast debut. Paul Storiale directs. Avery Schreiber Theatre, 11050 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood Dec. 9, 10, 16, 17, 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. $18. (818) 766-9100. http://www.averyschreibertheatre.com.