Although it starts earlier every year (The Hallmark Channel’s Christmas in July, anyone?) the holiday season has a limited run—and so do these holiday shows. We’ve gone beyond straightforward plays and musicals to include other theatrical-adjacent holiday celebrations, including two Beatles-themed shows. Have a happy and merry December!
Love Actually Live returns to commemorate the film’s 20th anniversary. Set within a picturesque London cityscape, iconic scenes from the film are displayed on screens alongside all-star singers and a live orchestra. L.A.’s quintessential holiday tradition brings together friends and loved ones in an awe-inspiring winter wonderland, where film and live action seamlessly intertwine!
Love Actually film director Richard Curtis will donate his royalties to Comic Relief.
La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St. downtown
Latino Theater Company presents its signature holiday pageant, a Los Angeles holiday tradition since 2002. It’s the story of Juan Diego, a simple peasant to whom the Virgin Mary appeared on four occasions in the mountains of Tepeyac near Mexico City in 1531. Starring Elia Saldana as the Virgin Mary and Sal Lopez as Juan Diego, the cast features more than 100 actors, singers and indigenous Aztec dancers as well as children and seniors from the community.
Bob’s Holiday Office Party
Beverly Hills Playhouse, 254 South Robertson Blvd.
Every year, insurance agent Bob Finhead’s whacked out friends and clients stop by his small-town Iowa office for their annual holiday bash. Now, in the show’s 26th year, they’re at it again.
But Bob has dreams of a bigger life. Will he be able to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional inventor and move to the big city, or will he come to realize how much he is the heart and soul of the town? Will any of this matter once the party stars, the bickering and fighting begins, and the drinks hit the floor?
A Christmas Carol
A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena
A Noise Within’s delightfully festive, musically merry stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol returns for its 11th year. This innovative, one of-a-kind stage adaptation by Geoff Elliott is uniquely faithful to the original. Every word in the play is right out of the novel — not a single one has been added.
The Past, a Present Yet to Come
The Artisan Studios, 937 E. Pico Blvd. #3J downtown
Ebell of Los Angeles, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd.
When Fred, a young entrepreneur in Victorian London, sets out to soften his uncle Ebenezer Scrooge’s hardened heart, he seeks the help of a canny theatre impresario and an impoverished, womanizing Charles Dickens to stage an immersive play so powerful that it might just save his family and change the course of English literature. From December 4th to 7th at The Artisan Studios loft space; from December 11th to 14th at the Ebell of Los Angeles.
A Christmas Story: The Musical
The Ahmanson, 135 N. Grand Ave. downtown
From the songwriting team behind Dear Evan Hansen and La La Land, A Christmas Story, The Musical, brings the classic 1983 movie to hilarious life onstage, 40 years later. Young Ralphie Parker schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder® toy BB gun, in 1940s Indiana.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Grinch discovers there’s more to Christmas than he bargained for in this heartwarming holiday classic. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the Whos, an endlessly cheerful bunch bursting with holiday spirit. Featuring the hit songs “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas.”
Hot Chocolate Nutcracker
Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
Debbie Allen has taken the ballet classic and given it fresh, new context with lively characters, new music, diverse choreography, spectacular aerial arts and state-of-the-art projections. Get a preview by watching the Netflix documentary Dance Dreams. There are two separately ticketed pre-performance events: a Fairy Queen Tea and a Girl Scout Patch Workshop.
A Cinderella Christmas
Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. in Laguna Beach
Lythgoe Family Productions produces their eighth Holiday Panto at the Laguna Beach Playhouse. Based on the traditional British panto, where audience participation is part of the show, expect a hilarious, heartwarming evening full of song, dance and holiday merriment! The timeless rags-to-riches story of a young girl meeting her prince gets an exciting holiday makeover, with modern music, comic twists and even magic.
The Nutcracker 2023
Luckman Fine Arts Complex, 5151 State University Dr.
Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, performed by the talented students of the Marat Daukayev School of Ballet, tells a tale adapted from an E. T. A. Hoffmann 1816 short story. A young girl befriends a nutcracker that comes to life on Christmas Eve and wages a battle against the evil Mouse King.
A Christmas Carol with Charles Dickens
Independent Shakespeare Co., 3191 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village
ISC, producers of the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, presents the return of A Christmas Carol with Charles Dickens. This holiday season ISC recreates (with a little artistic license) the experience of a reading of A Christmas Carol, given by Charles Dickens himself (David Melville). Expect a performance full of the acting pyrotechnics Dickens was famous for, holiday music, wry humor, and redemption.
Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Topanga
Join us after the faire at 5pm for caroling with the Theatricum Company and a special screening of holiday classic The Muppet Christmas Carol! At 5:00pm there’s caroling with the Theatricum Company and a special screening of holiday classic The Muppet Christmas Carol!
White (Album) Christmas
Colony Theatre in Burbank
Troubadour Theater Company celebrates its 28th season with a world premiere musical comedy event that asks the question, “Why Don’t We Do It In The Snow?” The show melds the classic 1954 film White Christmas with the Fab Four’s 1968 epic double record The White Album. The result is a hippy, trippy take on the beloved holiday musical extravaganza.
A Very Die Hard Christmas
Theatre 40, 241 S. Moreno Dr. in Beverly Hills
December 10, 17 & 20
This fun musical parodies the hit film Die Hard on its 35th anniversary. New York cop John McClane flies to Los Angeles to visit his estranged wife Holly for Christmas. But soon after he shows up at Nakatomi Plaza for her office work party, terrorists take over the building and it’s up to John to save the day.
Both: A Hard Day’s Silent Night
The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St. in Santa Monica
Open Fist Theatre Company presents its annual holiday charity concert spectacular. A choir and band spread peace and joy, telling the Christmas story through effervescent Gospel arrangements of Beatles songs. Proceeds benefit Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA).
LA County Holiday Celebration
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave. in DTLA
Head over to the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for the 64th annual County Holiday Celebration, a one-of-a-kind, free holiday spectacular that celebrates LA County’s vibrant diversity, creativity and energy. This year’s event will feature 23 music ensembles, choirs and dance companies representing the county’s many neighborhoods and cultures. Watch at home on PBS SoCal or pbssocal.org.