Don’t Miss These 15 Holiday Shows

Mark your calendar for ”A Christmas Carol,” Trans Siberian Orchestra, ”The Nutcracker,” and more must-see performances this season
"A Christmas Carol" returns to the Guthrie as part of one of the Twin Cities' most beloved holiday traditions.
“A Christmas Carol” returns to the Guthrie through Dec. 29 as one of the Twin Cities’ most beloved holiday traditions.

Dan Norman

Start the season off on the right note with theatrical and musical performances that celebrate the Christmas spirit. From traditional to contemporary and everything in between, Twin Cities theaters have you covered. Here are some of our favorite upcoming performances.

A 1940s Christmas Carol (Through Dec. 22)

A 1940s Christmas Carol highlights the hilarious antics of an ill-rehearsed radio cast as they attempt to perform their own rendition of A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve of 1943. This “show within a show” perfectly combines swing-inspired Christmas traditions, nostalgic music, and heartwarming unity in the midsts of adversity. See it now at Lyric Arts.

Black Nativity (Through Dec. 22)

Originally performed as an off-broadway show in 1961, Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity retells the nativity story with an all-black cast and soulful, gospel-style carols. Penumbra Theatre welcomes singers and dancers from Kingdom Life Church Choir and TU Dance for a show that speaks to the importance of community.

Miss Bennet (Through Dec. 29)

Miss Bennet is a continuation of Jane Austen’s timeless and beloved book, Pride and Prejudice. Taking place a few years after Austen left the Bennet Sisters’ story, Mary Bennet is forced to discover her own heroism as she navigates the challenges of falling for someone outside of her social class. See it now at Jungle Theater. 

A Christmas Carol (Through Dec. 29)

Nothing reigns in the holiday spirit quite like A Christmas Carol. Back for its 45th year at the Guthrie Theater, the perennial production welcomes back the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future to show Ebenezer Scrooge (and the audience) how to celebrate the season.

The cast of Theater Latte Da performs "All is Calm" through Dec. 29.
The cast of Theater Latte Da performs “All is Calm” through Dec. 29.

Dan Norman

All Is Calm (Through Dec. 29)

Set in 1914 on the Western Front, All is Calm follows the story of a German soldier who ventures into No Man’s Land with nothing but a song and hope for peace. The play returns to Theater Latte Da after a successful Off-Broadway tour last year, captivating audiences around the country with an endearing story about Christmas miracles.

Rock and Roll Xmas Spectacular (Dec. 4-15)

This festive show at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres combines the artistry of an eight-piece rock ensemble with stories, comical skits, and Christmas song parodies. Be prepared for both side-splitting comedy and heartwarming music in this all-encompassing Christmas show.

Katie McMahon’s Celtic Christmas (Dec. 6)

As the original voice of Riverdance—a theatrical show of Irish music and dance—Katie McMahon has celebrated the season across the nation with her rendition of Christmas carols, stories, and dance. Watch McMahon, her accompanying singers of Minnesota Boychoir, and Corda Mor Irish Dancers take to the O’Shaughnessy stage on St. Nicholas Day.

Lorie Line (Dec. 6)

Back for her 30th year, award-winning pianist and singer Lorie Line is coming to the Fitzgerald Theater for her Christmas show. The interactive concert isn’t only about breathtaking music, it’s about storytelling and the spirit of Christmas. Line will be joined by her Pop Chamber Orchestra and a special featured vocalist.

Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 6 & 7)

Handel’s Messiah has certainly withstood the test of time as it continues to captivate and inspire listeners 250 years after its composer’s death. With awe-striking instrumentals and vocals from the Minnesota Orchestra, the Minnesota Chorale and a lineup of acclaimed singers, this performance is a staple of the season. For something still traditional but not baroque traditional, see Minnesota Orchestra’ homely and heartwarming show, Home for the Holidays, December 14, 15, and 19. 

Ballet Minnesota: The Classic Nutcracker (Dec. 13-15)

Ballet Minnesota returns for its 32nd year to the O’Shaughnessy, where its extensive cast, handcrafted costumes, and brilliant sets will light up the stage in The Classic Nutcracker. Through their captivating movement, the dancers draw the audience into the story of Clara and the Nutcracker as the mysterious Godfather Drosselmeyer works a bit of magic into a seemingly normal Christmas get-together. 

Loyce Holton’s Nutcracker Fantasy (Dec. 13-23)

Acclaimed as one of the top 10 Nutcrackers in the U.S. by The New York Times, Minnesota Dance Theatre’s production of Loyce Holton’s Nutcracker Fantasy is a must-see performance at the State Theatre. 

A Kat Perkins Christmas (Dec. 19-21)

This interactive performance at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres blends traditional Christmas songs with Kat Perkins’ unique style. Whether the audience is joining in on a song or Perkins calls a lucky guest up to the stage to dance, A Kat Perkins Christmas is all about spreading holiday cheer with energetic vocals, dazzling costumes, and classic melodies the audience can sing along to. 

A Christmas Celebration with the Steeles (Dec. 20)

The Steele family—a five-sibling musical ensemble known for its bold sound in R&B, opera and everything in between–is here for the holidays at the Fitzgerald Theater. Performing with Prince, Donald Fagen, Morgan Freeman, George Clinton, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and more, the Steeles have become iconic in the music industry both locally and abroad.

Christmas With Cantus (Dec. 20)

Christmas With Cantus reminisces on three Christmas stories: The Little Matchstick Girl, Christmas or the Good Fairy, and The Nutcracker. Narrators draw the audience into a storytelling experience with passages from each of these timeless tales that express the joy of the season. See it at the Ordway Concert Hall for one night only. 

Trans Siberian Orchestra (Dec. 28)

Trans Siberian Orchestra is known for its rock genre and boundary-pushing style, especially in its Christmas songs. From their ever-popular and dramatic rendition of “Carol of the Bells” to “Christmas Canon” and everything in between, the orchestra’s holiday show is a perfect combination of Christmas tradition with rock and roll flair—plus some pyrotechnics.