12 theater events happening in Atlanta this holiday season

Scrooge, the Golden Girls, Rudolph, and more

Alliance Theatre Christmas Theatre
The Alliance Theatre’s new production of A Christmas Carol

Photograph by Greg Mooney

While last year’s performances were halted or made virtual due to the pandemic, many local theaters are overjoyed to present in-person experiences this holiday season. This year brings several spirited productions, all of which are coming back with a bang. We’ve curated a short list of performances for you and your family to enjoy the holiday season, including four different chances to see Scrooge’s transformation, an alternative version of the Nutcracker set in New York City, and more.

Christmas Canteen
Date: Through December 23
Time: Tuesday-Saturday at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Location: Aurora Theatre
Price: $25+
Lawrenceville’s beloved art center, Aurora Theatre, recently finished renovations. The 500-seat Grand Theater invites families to an explosion of Christmas magic, songs, comic sketches, and more with Christmas Canteen. Music director Ann-Carol Pence (Aurora Theatre associate producer/cofounder) will return to her piano, bringing the same magic to the performance as she has been since Canteen’s premiere in 1996.

An Actor’s Carol
Date: Through December 18
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: 50 Upper Alabama St., Suite 85
Price: $20
An Actor’s Carol, adapted by Tim Blewitt and David Weber from Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, features original direction by Tim Blewitt. The one-man production, acted by Weber, uses Dickens’ timeless story as source material for a 50-minute journey of redemption. The production incorporates theatrical techniques of silent film, radio and vaudeville. Additionally, elements of Eastern European Clown and Mime are used throughout as Weber embodies 22 distinct characters in a non-stop performance.

Four versions of A Christmas Carol

Alliance Theatre, through December 24
Dad’s Garage, Through December 29
Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse, Through December 23
Stage Door Theatre, through December 19

With four different theaters doing their take on A Christmas Carol, it’s safe to say Atlanta can’t get enough of Scrooge, Marley, Bob Cratchett and Tiny Tim. Written by Charles Dickens, the original story recounts the lift of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the spirits of Christmas past, present and yet to come, who finds redemption.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical
Date: Through December 12
Location: Fox Theatre
Price: $40-$99
“It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” Re-discover the magic of Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s tale How the Grinch Stole Christmas on stage. The Grinch, a scowly, grouchy creature, tries to ruin Christmas for Whoville before realizing the holiday is about more than tangible items. Originally conceived by three-time Tony Award-winning director Jack O’Brien, the whimsical world of Whoville is brought to life through this music production.

The Nutcracker
Date: Through December 29
Location: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Price: $30-$149
The Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker was intended to make its debut at Cobb Energy a year ago. But alas, the pandemic struck. Now, the ballet returns for an in-person performance of the Tchaikovsky classic that is bound to dazzle. This high-tech version features larger-than-life sets and bold costumes enhanced by striking video projections.

Hip Hop Nutcracker
Date: December 14
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Fox Theatre
Price: $38-$88
An alternative version to the Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, the Hip Hop Nutcracker follows a similar story. Innovative digital graffiti and visuals transform the landscape from the traditional setting of 19th Century Germany to the vibrant, diverse sights and sounds of contemporary New York City. The modernized story is brought to life by dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and MC Kurtis Blow.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Date: Through January 2
Location: Center for Puppetry Arts
Price: $25-$35
Based on the beloved 1964 stop-motion animated special, the Center for Puppetry Arts follows Rudolph and his friends Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius as they brave the Abominable Snow Monster. All-inclusive tickets include the performance, museum admission and a Create-A-Puppet Workshop—perfect for the whole family.

Black Nativity: A Gospel Music Christmas Experience
Date: Through December 19
Location: Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts
Price: $35-$75
Based on the song play written by poet and playwright Langston Hughes, Black Nativity is an African American telling of the Nativity story. The show opens in a modern day African American church on Christmas day, filled with testifying deacons, sanctified ladies, and down-home preaching to recreate the journey of Mary and Joseph. Black Nativity was first produced off-Broadway in 1961.

The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes—Holiday Edition
Date: Through December 19
Location: Out Front Theatre
Price: $25
The girls are back—well, sort of! Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia take on the holidays in Miami. Out Front Theatre’s production, directed by Michael Bartkiewicz, will include a singalong to the iconic theme song “Thank You For Being a Friend” and a drinking game hosted by a local drag queen before the stage performance begins.