Looking to add a trip to the theater to your holiday traditions? – Twi…

Looking to add a trip to the theater to your holiday traditions? – Twi…


Some have holiday traditions that include Christmas-tree shopping. Or baking. Or decorating. For others, the holidays average reliving old memories or creating new ones in the theater. If you are one of those folks — or you’re thinking of becoming one — here’s a sampling of local stage offerings for you. Most are holiday themed; some are decidedly not so. Take a peek, then make a list. And check it twice.

Another Miracle on Christmas Lake

Now playing: Much is new at Osseo’s Yellow Tree Theatre, including a new direction under new artistic director Austene Van. But the wacky “Miracle on Christmas Lake” plays — an improbably comic blend of lutefisk and lizards, true love and tater tots — continues to be a holiday tentpole for the company. by Jan 2; 320 Fifth Ave. S.E., Osseo; $27-$39; 763-493-8733 or yellowtreetheatre.com.

Regina Marie Williams and Matthew Saldivar in the Guthrie Theater’s “A Christmas Carol.” (Photo by Jenny Graham)A Christmas Carol

Now playing: The Guthrie’s perennial holiday favorite is back, with a new adaptation, a new set, new costumes and new music. But don’t worry: The new staging retains much of the warmth and flavor of many “Christmas Carols” past. by Dec. 27; 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; $15 -$134; 612-377-2224 or guthrietheater.org.

The Andrews Sisters are played by Jen Burleigh-Bentz, Julia Ennen, and Elena Glass in “Christmas of Swing.” (Photo by Rick Spaulding)Christmas of Swing: The Andrews Sisters USO Show

Now playing: It’s Christmas Eve 1944. The Andrews Sisters are prepping a USO show. And reading mail from men and women serving overseas. The correspondents tell the story of the war from a variety of perspectives, from Women Airforce Service Pilots to Tuskegee Airman to Ojibwe Code Talkers. Elena Glass, Jen Burleigh-Bentz and Julia Ennen play the Andrews Sisters and sing favorites of the era from “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” to “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” by Dec. 19; 30 E. 10th St, St. Paul; $15-$55; 651-292-4323 or historytheatre.com.


Now playing: Not in the mood for boughs of holly? Dark & Stormy Productions offers a bit of counterprogramming with this dark comedy-slash-thriller that begins when the owners of a far away Colorado ski chalet arrive early for vacation to find a associate relaxing in their hot tub. Matt Anderson directs a cast that includes Clint Allen, Darius Dotch. Paul Lanave and Sara Marsh. by Dec. 19; 450 Main St. N., Stillwater; $25-$39; darkstormy.org.

White Christmas

Now playing: Based on the 1954 movie and featuring songs by Irving Berlin, “White Christmas” tells the tale of World War II veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, who bring their song and dance show to a quaint Vermont lodge, where entertainment — and romance with a pair of singing sisters — blossoms. The production marks Lakeshore Players Theatre’s return to live, in-person performance. by Dec. 12; Hanifl Performing Arts Center, 4941 Long Ave, White Bear Lake; $23-$28; 651-478-742 or lakeshoreplayers.org.

Benjamin Dutcher and Andrew Wilkowske in Theater Latte Da’s “All Is Calm.” (Photo by Dan Norman)All is Calm

Now playing: The little show-with-music about an doubtful Christmas truce during World War I has come a long way since it premiered on a live broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio in 2007. The homegrown show written by Peter Rothstein has played venues across the country and around the world over the last decade. It won a Drama Desk award in 2018 and was recorded by PBS for national broadcast in 2020. The show returns this holiday season to Theatre Latte Da, the place it was born. by Jan 2; 345 13th Ave. N.E., Minneapolis; $39-$45; 612-339-3003 or latteda.org.

Fiddler on the Roof

Opens Nov. 30: The story of Tevye the milkman, his wife Golde, their headstrong daughters and life in the Russian shtetl of Anatevka was pretty much an moment typical from its premiere in 1964. The touring production coming to the Ordway Center for the performing arts brings that history with a fresh look and of course, lots and lots of … tradition! by Dec. 12; 345 Washington St., St. Paul; $48-$122; 651-224-4222 or ordway.org.

Penumbra Theatre’s “Black Nativity” in 2019. (Photo by Allan Weeks)Black Nativity

Opens Dec. 2: Every few years, Penumbra Theatre Company re-thinks its annual holiday telling of Langston Hughes retelling of the Christmas story by an African-American lens. This year’s production promises a blend of old and new, with musical direction by Sanford Moore and choreography by Leslie Parker, all under the direction of Lou Bellamy.  by Dec. 23; 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul; $15-$40; 651-288-6786 or penumbratheatre.org.

Chanukah in the Dark

Opens Dec. 4: Hayley Finn’s script — with songs by Adam Wernick — tells the story of 10-year-old Max, whose holiday plans call for presents, latkes and her grandmother’s amazing donuts. When an ice storm knocks out the strength, Max gains a new understanding of the true meaning of Chanukah. The new script was commissioned by a theater with a new name. Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company now works as Six Points Theater. by Dec. 17; Highland Park Community Center, 1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul, 651-647-4315 or sixpointstheater.org.

Kyla Stone is Anya in the touring production of “Anastasia” coming to the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis. (Photo by Jeremy Daniel)Anastasia

Opens Dec. 7: Based on the 1997 Disney film, “Anastasia” is a tale of the fall of the last Russian czar, memories lost and found and conniving conmen. But, you know…with music. by Dec. 19; Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; $40-$146; hennepintheatretrust.org.

Miss Richfield is back. (Courtesy photo)Miss Richfield 1981: 40 Holidays on the Throne

Opens Dec. 8: Illusion Theatre’s annual hosting of Miss Richfield 1981 was an doubtful candidate to become a Beloved Holiday Tradition. But such is the strength of Russ King’s drag-queen alter ego … that suburban doyenne hailing from the land where butter is a spice and gravy is a beverage. Illusion works out of a new location in Minneapolis’ Kingfield neighborhood, but Miss Richfield goes gayly on. Come for the outlandish humor and snarky put-downs; stay for the Christmas carols played on a cross-cut saw. by Dec. 19; Center for Performing Arts, 3754 Pleasant Ave. S., Minneapolis; $45; 612-382-6406 or illusiontheater.org.

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