21 Greater Boston Vacation Shows To Brighten Up Your December

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Entertainment

Check out our curated holiday entertainment calendar and tell us about your own family’s traditions of live entertainment.

A few vacation options in the Boston area, clockwise from top left: Hanneke Cassel; “A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live On Stage”; “A Christmas Carol”; Chris Isaac; “Urban Nutcracker”; Holiday pops; “A Christmas Story: The Musical.” Courtesy and Boston Globe Photos

As the great Joni Mitchell once said, “You don’t know what you’ve got until he’s gone” – wise words that could be some kind of unofficial motto for the past 19+ months. . And this has rarely been truer than during the holiday season of last year, when COVID-19 put aside a multitude of seasonal traditions.

But even though we’re not quite out of pandemic wood yet, the vaccine rollout and a series of safety precautions have brought back some of the season basics we missed last year – including productions. concerts and theater that will not fail. get you in the holiday mood.

After a 2020 season glued to the lifetime Christmas movies on the hit (oh, like you don’t watch them), getting back into the spirit of live holiday entertainment this year should feel particularly sweet. Check out our curated list of 21 extra-special local events below – you can click the links for more details in the Things to Do section of Boston.com – and don’t forget to fill out our survey below on that. that the shows and concerts of Greater Boston represent your own annual traditions.

Boston area classics:

“Nutcracker.” What are the end of year celebrations without a little Drosselmeyer? (Not to mention Clara, the Mouse King and everyone else.) It’s been a tradition for over 50 years, and now the Boston Ballet is back with the Christmas classic. (Opera, until December 26)

Holiday Pops. Keith Lockhart returns to give a little lesson to “people who don’t know they love orchestras,” as the conductor likes to say: you can sing along with the holiday favorites and enjoy some of the best decorations in the world. city. (Symphony Hall, December 2 to 24)

“A Christmas Carol.” This original musical version of the Dickensian classic celebrates its 30th year of performances on the North Shore, including 27 with local favorite David Coffee as Scrooge. God bless us all! (North Shore Music Theater, Beverly, December 2-23)

“Christmas in concert.” If you’re a fan of old-fashioned Christmas entertainment and prefer not to head to Radio City Music Hall, check out this local favorite. Featuring holiday songs and vignettes, adorable costumes, top dancers and a live orchestra, it has entertained holiday crowds for nearly four decades. (Reagle Music Theater, Waltham, December 4-12)

“A Celtic Christmas Holiday.” Fans of Brian O’Donovan’s “A Celtic Sojourn” on GBH will surely return for the return of this celebration of Celtic, Pagan and Christian traditions, started in 2003 and featuring some of the best performers in the Celtic world. (Cutler Majestic Theater, December 17-19)

Christmas holidays: to celebrate the winter solstice. “What’s Christmas without a little bit of merriment? This 51st version of The Revels features its usual mix of traditional songs and stories from around the world, as well as a new fusion of street dancing and traditional English, thanks to a collaboration with choreographers from the “Urban Nutcracker”. (Sanders Theater, Cambridge, December 17-29)

“The Urban Nutcracker by Anthony Williams.” What if “The Nutcracker” was set in Boston, mixed Duke Ellington and Tchaikovsky, and featured a diverse cast engaging in a fusion of modern, multicultural and classical dance? No need to be surprised – it’s all here in one of Boston’s most exciting and original vacation traditions, now in its 20th year. (Shubert Theater, December 18-22)

Attend a Christmas (or Hanukkah) concert:

Connie’s Low Cut Solo Hanukkah Concert. How involved Hanukkah will be in this solo show from Adam Weiner aka Low Cut Connie remains to be seen, but it’s bound to be festive even if it only showcases the raucous rock ‘n’ roll piano that earned it. to the fans of the group the world over. (City Winery, December 2)

Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie. – Courtesy photo / Cave de la ville

Chris Isaak’s vacation visit. Nothing says Christmas like a black-rock echoey, except maybe some hot rockabilly tracks or a falsetto ballad. Fortunately, the “Wicked Game” singer has it all in her repertoire, plus a full album (aptly titled “Christmas”) of holiday material to tap into. (Chevalier Theater, Medford, Dec. 3)

Brett Eldridge. Ready for some country coziness with “Mr. Christmas?” That’s aptly the title of Eldridge’s new album, and it promises to bring some holiday magic to the stage when it comes to Boston. (Boch Center-Wang Theater, December 3 and 4)

“Boil the holidaysWith Darlene Love. The ’60s icon, 80, was temporarily sidelined by a kickboxing injury (!), Postponing her annual Christmas show from November 27. But Love promises she’ll be like new when she finally brings Home) ”,“ He’s a Rebel ”and other stage favorites this year. (Le Cabot, Beverly, December 5.)

Jane Lynch, “A swinging little Christmas”. TBH, they got us as soon as we heard that the “Glee” star’s vacation extravaganza also featured Kate Flannery, aka Meredith from “The Office.” But swing jazz and comedic jokes also sound quite enjoyable. (City Winery, December 7-8)

Kat Edmonson. The Texan singer-songwriter brings her own unique brand of “vintage pop” to a seasonal show that draws heavily on her new release “Holiday Swingin ‘”, an album she describes as “sheer joy.” . (City Winery, December 9)

Josh Kantor’s “7th Inning Stretch” hometown vacation. He’s the man who knows – or can fake – a thousand covers, at least when he accepts requests as organist for the Red Sox. And now Josh Kantor will be celebrating the season with “songs, stories, laughs, special guests and holiday cheers”. (City Winery, December 10)

Hanneke Cassel Christmas CD release show. Combine the virtuoso folk violin with traditional Christmas carols and you’ve got both “Oh Come Emmanuel,” the new album from Boston-based fiddler Hanneke Cassel, and the celebratory show she’s playing to launch it. (Club Passim, Cambridge, December 14)

For the whole family:

“All is calm: the Christmas truce of 1914.” It’s a Christmas story that you may have heard, but you have certainly never experienced it like this. This unique musical by Peter Rothstein takes you into the trenches of World War I for a most unexpected ceasefire, with music and lyrics straight from the era.. (Greater Boston Stage Company, Stoneham, until December 23)

Nil Scott Studios
David Jiles, Jr., Gary Thomas Ng, Alexander Holden, Zachary McConnell, Bryan Miner and Phil Tayler in “All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live On Stage. Doesn’t anyone know what Christmas is? To find out, you might want to take a look at this cartoon that comes to life with Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy and the gang, as well as a jazz trio! (Chevalier Theater, Medford, Dec. 5)

“A Christmas Story: The Musical.” You’re gonna have a blast, kid! But it’s worth the risk to see this delightful musical rendition of the classic 1983 film, complete with tongues on poles, floor lamps, and the Bumpus dogs. (Boch Center-Wang Theater, December 10-19)

“Cirque Dreams Holidaze.” Known for his “dizzying level of circus art”, to quote the Boston Globe, this spectacular holiday spectacle literally soars (and climbs, jumps and swings). If you like your Christmas entertainment to defy gravity, this show is for you. (Shubert Theater, Dec. 10-12)

For adults:

“The Casse-salope.” Who Said Christmas Wasn’t Sexy? That’s right, everyone. Well, you might feel different after watching this slapstick-themed classic ballet parody, complete with ‘risky costumes and blushing accessories’. (Somerville Theater, December 3-31)

“A John Waters Christmas.” To paraphrase Festivus inventor Frank Costanza, John Waters has a lot of issues with you, and now you’re going to hear about it. The saucy filmmaker returns to Boston with his “sleigh sled” with its unique amalgamation of stand-up and storytelling. (Berklee Performance Center, December 10)


What local shows are part of your holiday tradition?

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