ON STAGE: Must-See Holiday Shows Across Rhode Island

Stages from Westerly to Woonsocket offer festive productions all month long


It’s the ho-ho-holidays, and no state celebrates as big as Little Rhody. For live theater lovers, December features an embarrassment of riches on the stage. Use this handy holiday show round up when you’re ready for a fun and festive break from shopping (local, of course!).


A Christmas Carol

For over 45 years, Trinity Rep has brought Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story to the stage. This year’s production, adapted and directed by Trinity Rep company member Stephen Thorne, returns to Victorian England, where the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is met by three ghosts on Christmas Eve, who force him to confront his past and present to reimagine his future. This timeless tale of joy and redemption promises to give even the biggest curmudgeon the holiday feels. Through December 31, Providence, TrinityRep.com


Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical

Need a plate full of razzle dazzle with a side of jazz hands to go from bah-humbug to holly jolly? Head to Providence Performing Arts Center and catch the Broadway National Tour of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical, where the adored children’s book and its whimsical illustrations become a candy cane-infused spectacle on the stage. When holidays in Whoville are threatened by the scheming Grinch, sweet Cindy Lou Who melts the heart of this cynical green grump and saves the holiday for the Christmas-loving town. Through December 3, Providence, PPACRI.org


Divas of Drag: Deck the Halls

Think your holiday’s a drag? Superstar Queens Haley Star and LaDiva Jonz deck the halls with their cheeky comedy at this special holiday-themed, adults-only show at the Stadium Theatre. Being on the naughty list has never been so nice! December 6, 7, & 14, Woonsocket, StadiumTheatre.com


It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

This staged 1940s live radio broadcast of Frank Capra’s holiday movie classic It’s A Wonderful Life at The Gamm Theatre has become a treasured holiday staple. It’s Christmas Eve in Bedford Falls and savings and loan owner George Bailey has hit his breaking point. Intercepted by guardian angel Clarence, George learns the true meaning of love and friendship. By the end of this life-affirming tale, your heart will grow 10 sizes. December 9-24, Warwick, GammTheatre.org


Miracle on South Division Street

The Newport Playhouse features Tom Dudzick’s off-Broadway hit family dramedy for the holidays. Since 1942, the Nowak family has propagated the neighborhood myth of their grandfather’s visit from the Virgin Mary with a 20-foot shrine, complete with a collection box, outside of their home. The family’s faith and identity are threatened when one daughter wants to go public with the true story, shared in a deathbed confession. Through December 31, Newport, NewportPlayhouse.com


Miracle on 34th Street

It’s dueling Kris Kringles! Rhode Islanders have two chances to catch the classic 1947 film adapted for the stage, at the Granite Theatre and the Arctic Playhouse. When Kris Kringle gets a gig as a Macy’s Santa in Herald Square, his generosity imbues even the most jaded New Yorkers with goodwill. But when he reveals that he is the real Santa, he ends up in court, where he must convince a disbelieving public in the magic and spirit of Christmas. Through December 17, Westerly, GraniteTheatre.org; West Warwick, TheArcticPlayhouse.com


Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge

The holiday show for people who hate holiday shows, courtesy of playwright Christopher Durang, master of the comically absurd, and South County’s endlessly adventurous Contemporary Theater Company. Borrowing the beloved characters from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, including Scrooge and Tiny Tim, this holiday send up features a hard-drinking, stressed out Mrs. Cratchit (relatable) and a ghost whose magical malfunctions transport Scrooge into It’s a Wonderful Life and Oliver Twist. This irreverent romp recognizes the holiday season rarely resembles a Hallmark movie. Through December 23, Wakefield, ContemporaryTheaterCompany.com


The Nutcracker

Big Nazo Lab lends its whimsical talents to crafting the star player in Ballet RI’s fresh adaptation of the holiday classic, choreographed by Yury Yanowsky and set to Tchaikovsky’s classic music. After helping the Nutcracker defeat the Mouse King, Clara joins him on a journey to the Land of Snow, where they encounter the Sugar Plum Fairy who treats them to some sweet celebratory dances. This enchanting production is filled with magical stagecraft, including a tree that grows 38 feet. December 15-24, Providence, TheVetsRI.com



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