From family classics to a Disney musical, as well as some local holiday traditions, there is something for everyone at San Diego theaters this yuletide season.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The La Jolla Playhouse is staging the Disney-produced, U.S. premiere of the musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame, featuring the Disney film score by the high-powered team of composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz. The San Diego choir SACRA/PROFANA will serve as the show’s onstage chorus. There are massive bells and grand sets to recreate Paris” Cathedral of Notre Dame, where the deformed Quasimodo lives in the bell tower but descends to the streets to become an unlikely hero. Based on Victor Hugo”s 1831 classic, the musical retains many of the novel’s darker themes, but the top-notch performances make it a highly entertaining night at the theater. Catch it before it goes to Broadway!
The Second City”s Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue
If Hunchback puts you in a dark and stormy mood, check out The Second City”s Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue on one of the La Jolla Playhouse’s nearby stages. For what promises to be a hilarious night, the famed Chicago-based improv and comedy troupe performs original songs, sketches and improv.
Where: La Jolla Playhouse – 2910 La Jolla Village Dr, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: November 28 – December 21, 2014
Cost: Starting at $15
> Find out more about The Second City”s Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue
Charles Dickens” A Christmas Carol
Cygnet Theatre in Old Town re-imagines Charles Dickens” A Christmas Carol as a musical. Set on a Victorian stage, there’s an original score, perhaps with melodic “humbugs” from a singing Scrooge? Worth finding out, especially since the production also includes amazing puppetry and live Foley sound effects visible on stage. It”s not hard to imagine how they”ll create the rattling chain sounds of Marley’s Ghost, but don’t you want to see what clever contraption will sound like falling snow or the sounds of London? Find out by heading over to Cygnet this holiday season.
Where: Cygnet Theatre – 4040 Twiggs St, San Diego, CA 92110
When: November 28 – December 28, 2014
> Find out more about Charles Dickens” A Christmas Carol”
An American Christmas
A San Diego theater tradition happens every year at the Hotel Del Coronado, courtesy of Lamb”s Players Theatre. Walking into the gorgeous Grand Ballroom at the historic Hotel Del, you”ll be transported to 1914 where costumed players will dance, sing, and tell stories as you enjoy a 5-course holiday meal. Put on your best holiday attire and enjoy one of the most festive parties in town.
Festival of Christmas: Northern Lights
Lamb”s is also staging Festival of Christmas: Northern Lights, a holiday drama for the entire family. The play tells the story of three generations who adjust their traditional holiday plans after the pipes burst at the family home. Surprise guests, family discoveries, and a magnificent night sky all make for one memorable Christmas.
Where: Lamb”s Players – 1142 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118
When: November 29 – December 28, 2014
> Find out more about Festival of Christmas: Northern Lights
New Village Arts in Carlsbad has the west coast premiere of The Nutcracker, the non-ballet version! Young Clara is still at the center of this drama and she’s still trying to save Christmas but she won’t be doing it on pointe. This modern adaptation is a family drama that includes magic, original songs and a bit of spectacle.
Where: New Village Arts Theatre – 2787 State Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008
When: November 29 – December 31, 2014
> Find out more about The Nutcracker
Dr. Suess” How the Grinch Stole Christmas
And lastly, the meanest and greenest of San Diego theater holiday traditions, there”s Dr. Suess” How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. Based on the classic Dr. Suess book, this annual production of holiday cheer and whimsy is not to be missed. Kids love it, but the banter is so witty adults will enjoy it too. Plus, the sets and costumes of Whoville, not to mention the Grinch himself, are a wonder. Don”t forget to bring your camera for a family portrait in front of the Dr. Seuss Christmas tree in the Old Globe’s plaza.
Where: The Old Globe – 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 15 – December 27, 2014
Cost: Tickets start at $32
> Find out more about Dr. Suess” How the Grinch Stole Christmas