Santa’s List of San Diego’s Holiday Plays
From family classics and spiritual festivals to dark comedies and risque romps, there is something for everyone this season on the San Diego stage. The San Diego Entertainer presents a comprehensive list of holiday plays performing now through the end of the year. These are not all the plays being performed in San Diego — just the shows the feature Santa, Scrooge, the Grinch and all the other traditional cast of Christmas characters.
An American Christmas
Lamb’s Players Theatre
For the past fifteen years, the Hotel del Coronado has teamed with San Diego’s Lamb’s Players Theatre to present one of the most unique yuletide events in the nation, An American Christmas, a remarkable three-hour performance that takes place in the hotel’s beautiful Grand Ballroom.
Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave. (In Coronado)
Box Office: (619) 437-0600, lambsplayers.org
A Christmas Carol
North Coast Repertory Theatre
A crisp retelling of Dickens’ age-old story laced with love, compassion, forgiveness, and the knowledge that there is always time to change one’s direction in life if one chooses. This holiday treat is a favorite with young and old and everyone in between and continues to be one of the highlights of NCR’s annual holiday show line-up.
North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive (In Solana Beach)
Box Office: (858) 481-1055, northcoastrep.org
A Christmas Carol, The Musical
Welk Resorts Theatre
How else do we freeze away the “humbug” in Ebenezer Scrooge! The large cast will embrace Victorian splendor while reenacting the timeless story. The emotional sentiments promise to be heightened by the attractive melodies of Alan Menken, composer of such cherished family musicals as Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid.
Now through Jan. 3
Welk Resorts Theatre, 8860 Lawrence Welk Drive (In Escondido)
Tickets: $54-$57 (Extra for performance with buffet)
Box Office: (888) 802-7469, welktheatresandiego.com
A Christmas Story
San Diego Junior Theatre
Humorist Jean Shepherd reminisces about growing up in the Midwest during the 1940s with this tale of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker, who’s fixated with getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Ralphie pleads his case to his mother and teacher, and even to Santa Claus himself, at a department store — but the responses are not what he wants to hear.
La Jolla YMCA Firehouse Theatre, 7877 Herschel Ave. (In La Jolla)
Box Office: (619) 239-8355, juniortheatre.com
Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas!
Old Globe Theatre
America’s favorite holiday fable, back for its twelfth incredible year, is a wonderful, whimsical production that will once again jump right off the pages of the classic Dr. Seuss book and onto the Old Globe stage. Come take part in the fun as The Globe is transformed into snow-covered Who-ville right down to the last can of Who-hash!
Now through Dec. 27
Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way (In Balboa Park)
Box Office: (619) 23-GLOBE, theoldglobe.org
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues
A dark, dark Christmas comedy that is really a hoot. Scandal erupts at the North Pole when one of Santa’s eight reindeer accuses him of sexual harassment. As mass media descend, the other reindeer demand to share their stories, and a hilarious & horrific tale of corruption and perversion emerges, which seems to implicate everyone from the littlest elf to the tainted Saint himself.
Compass Theatre, 515 Pennsylvania Ave. (In Hillcrest)
Box Office: (619) 688-9210, compasstheatre.com
Festival of Christmas
Lamb’s Players Theatre
Lamb’s Players Festival of Christmas creates authentic holiday magic, and a different story every year. Penney Lane is a recording studio on the outskirts of town, nestled beneath the railroad tracks, but soon they might be closed for good. Proprietors Chris and Soho have a scheme to keep the little studio alive – and their makeshift community of charming and eccentric friends and family rallies around them. It’s a “Christmas on the edge,” but no matter what happens, it will be filled with unforgettable music of the season.
Lamb’s Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave. (In Coronado)
Box Office: (619) 437-0600, lambsplayers.org
Scripps Ranch Theatre
Based on two short stories by Truman Capote, “The Thanksgiving Visitor” and “A Christmas Memory,” this is a charming heartwarming remembrance of a young man and his family. A nostalgic holiday tale laced with lyricism, wit and gentle charm that is sure to impart a warm glow to family audiences.
Now through Dec. 12
Legler -Benbough Theatre, 10455 Pomerado Road (on the Alliant International University campus)
Box Office: (858) 578-7728, scrippsranchtheatre.org
It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
Back by popular demand, the famous story of George Bailey and Clarence the Angel is brought to life as a 1940’s live radio play, filled with music, live sound effects and plenty of heart. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the show that has brought joyful, cheering audiences to their feet for three years running!
Dec 5-27 (low-priced previews Nov. 27-Dec. 4)
The Old Town Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St.
Box Office: (619) 337-1525, cygnettheatre.com
Community Actors Theatre
A Christmas play with music, to get everyone in the spirit of the true meaning of Christmas.
Community Actors Theatre, 2957 54th St. (in Oak Park)
Box Office: (619) 264-3391, communityactorstheatre.com
Miracle on 34th Street
Young Actor’s Theatre
As Macy’s holiday Santa, Kris Kringle enchants children and shoppers so completely that he is deemed dangerous by fellow employees who question his competency and plot to ruin him. A small girl’s belief in Santa and the magic of the holiday is at stake in a climactic courtroom decision. This hildarious, tender and charming musical has all the classic elements of the popular movie story.
ENCORE! Theatre, 9620 Campo Road (In Spring Valley)
Box Office: (619) 670-1627, yatsandiego.org
Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet about a young girl, Clara, who is given a Nutcracker for Christmas by her godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer. But this is no ordinary Nutcracker as Clara learns that very night. After a great battle with the Mouse King, the Nutcracker turns into a Prince. He takes Clara on a magic journey through the Land of the Snow to the Kingdom of the Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy honors the couple with entertainment from around the world.
San Diego Academy of Ballet
California Center for the Arts, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. (in Escondido)
Box Office: (800) 988-4253, artcenter.org
San Diego Civic Youth Ballet
Casa del Prado Theatre (in Balboa Park)
Box Office: (619) 233-2030, sdcyb.org
San Diego City Ballet
Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway (In downtown)
Box Office: (858) 272-8663, cityballet.org
Poway Center for the Performing Arts, 15498 Espola Road (In Poway)
San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 3rd Ave. (In Downtown)
Box Office: (858) 560-5676, californiaballet.org
Santa’s Naughty List
The Caburlesque Kittens
Filled with sex appeal, talent, drive and class, these ladies are the real deal! Their show is loaded with retro sex appeal. It’s pure entertainment for the ladies and a good old-fashioned teasing for the men. By combining classic Cabaret with elements of Burlesque, these sexy kittens please and impress every crowd.
Coronado Playhouse, 1835 Strand Way (In Coronado)
Box Office: (619) 435-4856, caburlesquekittens.com
The Santaland Diaries
New Village Arts Theatre
Introducing a new holiday event for NVA: The Santaland Diaries! Written by the great American humorist David Sedaris, The Santaland Diaries follows one out of work actor who decides to become a Macy’s elf to pay the holiday bills.
New Village Arts Theatre, 2787 State St. (In Carlsbad)
Box Office: (760) 433-3245, newvillagearts.org
Scrooge, the Musical
Leslie Bricusse’s Academy Award nominated score to Dicken’s time tested classic includes songs “Thank You Very Much,” “Father Christmas” and “I Like Life!” Delightful Christmas tradition for the whole family.
San Diego Repertory Theatre
This rousing drama recounts the story of four lifelong friends who get together on Christmas Eve and end up making a bet with the devil in disguise. Written by one of Ireland’s most celebrated young playwrights, Conor McPherson, The Seafarer transports audiences to a bungalow just north of Dublin, a magical part of the world where the natural and the supernatural live side by side with the hard-living working man.
Now through Dec. 13
Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza (In Downtown)
Box Office: (619) 544-1000, sdrep.org
- Read the San Diego Entertainer’s interview with actor Armin Shimerman, performing in The Seafarer.
A Taffeta Christmas
A Co-Production of OnStage Playhouse and Such ‘n Such Productions
It’s the 1950’s and the Dumont Television Network is featuring Kaye, Peggy, Cheryl and Donna on its weekly television show “Hometown Hoedown.” It’s Christmas in Muncie, Indiana – and everyone is there!
Traditions Of Christmas
Christian Community Theater
Celebrate the Traditions Of Christmas with high-kicking Rockette-style dancers, Santa and his workshop of elves, and a live Nativity Pageant you will never forget!
East County Performing Arts Center, 210 East Main St. (In El Cajon)
Box Office: (619) 588-0206, cytsandiego.org
A Tuna Christmas
Point Loma Actors Workshop
A Tuna Christmas centers on the small town of Tuna, Texas and its Annual Christmas Yard Display Contest, won 14 times in a row by the venerable Vera Carp. A mysterious “Christmas Phantom,” known for vandalizing the yard displays, threatens to throw the contest into turmoil. Among the subplots are Stanley Bumiller’s attempts to end his probation and leave Tuna, Bertha Bumiller’s trying to hold her family together at Christmas time, and Joe Bob Lipsey’s struggle to mount successfully his production of A Christmas Carol despite numerous vexations and obstacles.
Nov. 27 – Dec. 3
Point Loma Assembly, 3035 Talbot Street (In Point Loma)
Box Office: (619) 225-0044, pointlomaactors.com
A movie screening, presented by Lyric Opera San Diego
One of the greatest Christmas musical classics is coming to the Birch North Park Theatre. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye star as two song-and-dance men who team up after the war to see a charming New England inn through its holiday season. A veritable treasure of Irving Berlin classics including “Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep,” “Sisters,” “Blue Skies,” and, of course, Bing Crosby’s immortal rendition of “White Christmas.”
Dec. 20, 2:30 and 7 p.m.
Birch North Park Theatre, 2891 University Ave. (In North Park)
Box Office: (619) 239-8836, lyricoperasandiego.org