Productions on stage this holiday season

When it comes to holiday theater, countless versions of “A Christmas Carol” and “The Nutcracker” hit stages with the intensity of a barrage of snowballs. Sure, the season wouldn’t be the same without them. But there’s way more offered on the theatrical landscape.

We found a host of alternatives. And there are many more out there. Visit websites including and for even more unique seasonal stage fare.


“It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” at Cumming Playhouse

This musical adaptation of the classic film “Miracle on 34th Street” comes from the Bozarts Little Theater group. It originated from the mind of Meredith Willson, whose serious musical cred includes "The Music Man" and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." It’s the story of a department store Saint Nick who turns New York City on its ear by claiming to be the real deal. Jerry Harlow handles the producing and directing, while Bob Russell oversees the music.

8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sundays. Dec. 3-5; Dec. 9-12; Dec. 16-18. $20; $15 ages 60 and older, and students ages 18 and younger. The Cumming Playhouse, 101 School St., Cumming. 770-781-9178,


“Babes in Toyland” at Roswell Cultural Arts Center

Twenty years ago, Jonnie Kelley, the director of Atlanta Dance Theatre, transformed an operetta into this ballet. In a collaboration with the Atlanta Workshop Players, the production is a great introduction to ballet for both kids and adults. Although many ballets are told totally with movement, this one is different. It features Mother Goose as the narrator, and the audience is encouraged to cheer and boo at the appropriate times. The plot follows a girl and her mom who venture into Toyland to stop bad guy Barnaby.

7:30 p.m. Dec. 10; 10 a.m., 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11. $17; $10.50 children and seniors. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forest St., Roswell. 404-438-3028,


“Deck Them Halls Ya’ll” at Buckhead Theatre

Actor Leslie Jordan, the self-proclaimed Southern Baptist sissy, spikes the holiday eggnog with this adult-themed stage show. Jordan, who won an Emmy in 2006 for his guest spot on “Will & Grace,” presents a one-man show featuring a barrage of whacked out characters. From a pre-op transgendered lesbian entering a Christmas drag king contest to a 10-year-old boy who’s in love with an elaborate choir robe, Jordan breaks holiday conventions like a snow globe smashing on linoleum.

8 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11. $36.10-$85.70. Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 800-745-3000,


“Christmas Canteen” at Aurora Theatre

Imagine a classic holiday TV special in the flesh, and you’ve got “Christmas Canteen” in a nutshell. Take a dash of an Andy Williams television show, a cup of USO retro and a sprinkle of contemporary pizzazz. The result is Aurora’s holiday tradition featuring a stage-savvy cast that’s light on its feet and strong with song. Company honcho Anthony Rodriguez directs this six-person ensemble that’s packed with triple threats including the sparkling Stacey Stone. Musical director Ann-Carol Pence is aces as she serves audible holiday spirit. Grab tickets soon, as it tends to sell out.

Through Dec. 23. $16-$35. Aurora Theatre, 128 Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222,


“A Tuna Christmas” at Theatre in the Square

Last year’s popular production returns. William S. Murphey and Bryan Mercer take the stage as a pair of radio announcers who portray the twisted denizens of Tuna, Texas. More than 20 characters help tell this non-politically correct story, requiring Murphey and Mercer to don drag at times. The citizens have a puzzler on their hands. It’s up to them to solve the mystery of the Christmas Phantom. “A Tuna Christmas” is recommended for ages 16 and older, because of the colorful vocabulary lining the script.

Tuesdays-Sundays. Through Jan. 2. No shows on Dec. 25 or Jan. 1. $28-$35. Theatre in the Square, 11 Whitlock Ave., Marietta. 770-422-8369,


“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” at The Balzer Theatre at Herren’s

Synchronicity Theatre helps this time-honored tale come back to the stage. Justin Anderson directs the play about the six uncontrollable Herdman siblings. Armed with a scorching reputation, the kids school a church congregation on the real meaning of Christmas. This family-friendly production is based on the Barbara Robinson book, a popular seasonal tome found in elementary school libraries.

Tuesdays- Sundays. Dec. 11-Jan. 2. No shows Dec. 25 and 26. $15-$18. The Balzer Theatre at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-484-8636,