Guide to Twin Cities 2016 Holiday Shows

The best end-of-year performances encompassing local theater, song, dance, and comedy

a christmas carol, holiday shows, theater, arts, things to do, plays, musicals
A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie

Photo by Dan Norman Photography

There are so many holiday-themed shows each year in the Twin Cities that it can be daunting to keep track of them all—much less decide which to take in to burnish that end-of-year glow. Here are a few of the best to help you fill your entertainment dance card.

Old Faithful

A Christmas Carol

Scrooge’s journey from humbug to redemption goes down with the familiar sweetness of a glass of eggnog—and while it’s never going to surprise, J.C. Cutler as Ebenezer sells his character with heartfelt distinction. • Guthrie Theater, through 12/30,

Timeless Treasure

Black Nativity

Penumbra’s own reliable standard serves up Langston Hughes’s story about holiday heartbreak and community with enough power to evoke bittersweet tears; with choreography by Uri Sands, a full choir, and sharp performances, it’s an emotional journey that’s become a tradition for good reason. • Penumbra Theatre, 12/1–23,

Snow Globe

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

This musical with big dance numbers is based on the classic film, with let’s-put-on-a-show repartee and easy charm amid classic tunes such as “Blue Skies,” “I Love a Piano,” and the title song that made Bing Crosby a Yuletide immortal. • Ordway Center for Performing Arts, 12/8–31,

Let It Ring

A Christmas Celebration with The Steeles

Among the all-time greats of Minnesota stages and concert halls, siblings J.D., Fred, Jearlyn, Jevetta, and Billy are a transcendent powerhouse when they get together—this show returns after a seven-year hiatus to bring sounds both secular and sacred. • Fitzgerald Theater, 12/9–10,

All About Family 

A Christmas Carole Petersen

Actor and storyteller Tod Petersen mines memories of the holidays with his family in Mankato for this funny-because-it’s-true look at how the season brings out our best as well as our… less than best. • Ritz Theater, 11/30–12/23,

Visions of Sugarplums

Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy

Entering its second half-century, this extravaganza teams up more than 150 dancers and other artists in a fairytale journey with all ages represented onstage as well as in the audience. • State Theatre, 12/16–23,

Earning Wings 

It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Concert

It’s easy to forget that the 1946 film starring James Stewart wasn’t much of a success in its day, and didn’t really become a holiday standard until the 1980s—it’s also easy to argue that its sharp sensibility was ahead of its time, and that we’re more in need of happy endings than ever. The Minnesota Orchestra accompanies the movie with Dimitri Tiomkin’s score. • Orchestra Hall, 12/17–18,

Pass the Eggnog

What the Elf?

The Brave New Workshop’s annual holiday revue sums up the year that was with laughs and hopefully the spirit of reconciliation that accompanies the best holiday seasons—they’re saying we should bring the family members with whom we’ve been vehemently disagreeing all year on Facebook. • Brave New Workshop, 11/11–1/28/17,