The winter holidays are upon us. For the local constellation of community theaters, that means that their holiday shows are about open. Their various stages will become the arena by which the spirit of light, generosity and festival frivolity will radiate over members of many a lucky audience.
Here is a sampling of what the local theatrical community has in store for your holiday enjoyment:
Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”
Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 7116 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
Nov. 23 through Dec. 16; Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Additional Saturday 2 p.m. matinees on Dec. 1, 8 and 15.
Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” opened on Broadway on Nov. 23, 2008 in the Marquis Theatre, New York, NY, although this wasn’t the very beginning of “White Christmas.” The book and movie by Paramount Pictures were released in 1954. That next year, the song “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” by Berlin was nominated for the Oscar “Best Music, Original Song.” The musical then followed a while after in July of 2000 in St. Louis. After hitting Broadway, the production continued to tour in the United States, on and off Broadway, while also making some stops in places like the United Kingdom.
In the story, veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil’s former army commander. The dazzling score features well known standards including “Blue Skies,” “I Love a Piano,” “How Deep Is the Ocean” and the perennial favorite, “White Christmas.”
Also coming to TMP:
“A Charlie Brown Christmas”
Dec. 15, 11 a.m.; Dec. 16, 6 p.m.; Dec. 21, 7 p.m.; Dec. 22, 2 p.m.; Dec. 23, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
CampTMP’s Honor Program presents the award-winning 1965 CBS special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees among everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests he become director of the school Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown accepts, but this proves to be a frustrating endeavor. When an attempt to restore the proper holiday spirit with a forlorn little Christmas fir tree fails, he needs Linus’ help to discover the real meaning of Christmas.
“Scrooge! The Musical”
Tacoma Little Theatre, 210 N. I St., Tacoma
Dec. 7-30; Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. Additional Saturday, 2 p.m. matinee showings on Dec. 15 and 22. Additional 7:30 p.m. shows on Wednesday, Dec. 26 and Thursday Dec. 27. Pay What You Can: Thursday, Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m.
One of TMP’s favorite gifts to the community is this timeless Dickens’ classic. This musical, with book, music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, is adapted from the 1970 musical film “Scrooge,” which starred Albert Finney and Sir Alec Guinness. The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of a Christmas Eve night, after being visited by the ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.
“Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus”
Lakewood Playhouse, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd. S.W., Lakewood
Nov. 23 through Dec. 16; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. Pay What You Can Night Thursday, Nov. 29, 8 p.m.
The story is inspired by a simple, poignant letter written more than 100 years ago by eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon to the editor of the New York Sun, and by the timeless editorial response printed on the front page of the Sun. “Dear Editor, I am 8 years old,” wrote Virginia. “Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says if you see it in the sun, it’s so. Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?”
Info: www.LakewoodPlayhouse.org or call 253-588-0042
Paradise Theatre’s “A Taffeta Christmas”
Rosedale Community Center, 8205 86th Ave. N.W., Gig Harbor
Nov 16, 17 and 30, Dec 1, 7 and 8, 7:30 p.m.; 2 p.m. matiness on Saturdays Nov. 17, Dec. 1 and Dec. 8.
This holiday musical is set in Muncie, Ind., in the 1950s, as the Dumont Television Network features the Taffeta sisters (Kaye, Peggy, Cheryl and Donna) on its weekly television show “Hometown Hoedown” to celebrate the Christmas season. And everyone is there, including the girls’ cousin, Warren. With several other surprises in store for the audience, this show blends together some of the sisters’ traditional hits, along with new songs and holiday favorites. “A Taffeta Christmas” is a classic hometown Christmas – the way it used to be!
“Rapunzel: A British Pantomime”
Centerstage Theatre, 3200 S.W. Dash Point Rd., Federal Way
Nov. 30 through Dec. 23; Fridays, Nov. 30 and Dec. 21, at 7 p.m.; Saturdays, Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sundays, Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23, at 2 p.m.
Centerstage Theatre is excited to present its 11th annual holiday pantomime. They are kicking off the most festive time of the year with a brand-new pantomime, “Rapunzel.” The classic story of The Girl in the Tower comes to life with this very non-traditional take on the tale. Characters interact with the audience and breathe new life into every joke, scene and hilarious routine. The songs are from across the pop spectrum, the dance is a blend of music theatre and hip hop, and the sets and costumes will magically transport you to a wonderful world. Continue your holiday tradition at Centerstage…or start a new one. You won’t be disappointed.