Holiday Fun

The Best Holiday Shows in Town

Photo by Kevin Parry/Courtesy of The Wallis

Togetherness—that’s what it’s all about during the holidays. And there’s no better time to gather round with your fellow Angelenos for the shared magic of a live performance. Whether you want to laugh your stockings off, revel in some tunes, or catch a few different versions of a certain beloved ballet, there’s something for everyone to love on the stage this season.

Now through December 15

Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play
The beloved story of a department store Santa Claus who declares he’s the real Kris Kringle and takes the case to the Supreme Court receives a traditional radio treatment courtesy of Actor’s Co-op, with live Foley effects and holiday carols. A delightful way to ring in the Christmas season. Actors Co-op Theatre Company, 1760 North Gower Street

Now through December 20

Photo courtesy of The SantaLand Diaries/Facebook

The SantaLand Diaries
Beloved NPR humorist and author David Sedaris’s hilarious story is based on his real experiences as an elf at Macy’s in New York City and considers how the holidays can bring out the best and the worst in us all. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th Street, Santa Monica

Now through December 29

Love Actually Live
The unabashedly sentimental holiday classic about intersecting lives and loves in London gets the theater treatment, a hybrid of the original film projecting onscreen while actors play out the movie and sing cuts from the excellent soundtrack on the stage below. Throw on your best Christmas sweater and get ready for Billy Mack’s “Christmas Is All Around” to be stuck in your head all over again. The Wallis, 9390 North Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills

Now through December 23

Photo courtesy of A Noise Within Theatre‎/Facebook

A Christmas Carol
Once again, A Noise Within brings the age-old Christmas story to the stage in a delightfully festive performance that’s ideal for the whole family, adapted by the company’s own Geoff Elliott. A Noise Within, 3352 East Foothill Boulevard, Pasadena

Now through December 8

Hot Chocolate Nutcracker: Sweet Holiday Fave
For the 10th year, actress-dancer-choreographer Debbie Allen provides a modern multicultural context for the classic ballet, now a two-time Goldstar National Nutcracker Award winner! Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, Redondo Beach

Now through December 22

Photo courtesy of Bob’s Holiday Office Party/Facebook

Bob’s Holiday Office Party
Now in its 24th year, this seasonal play is the story of a small-town man who dreams big, using his modest annual holiday party as the launching point for his potential career as an inventor amid the local gossip of his colorful guests. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Avenue

Sugar Plum Fairy 
Known for her many contributions to NPR, writer Sandra Tsing Loh’s whimsical holiday show follows a 12-year-old girl who dreams of performing the lead in The Nutcracker, brought to life by the East West Players. East West Players, 120 Judge John Aiso Street

Now through December 15

Photo courtesy of La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts/Facebook

The Magic of Christmas
The Young Americans is a charity that uses music, dancing, and performance to promote compassion among young people, and this year its holiday show brings its full 250-person cast, 45-foot LED walls, 6,000 costumes, and countless scene changes together for a grand spectacle. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Boulevard, La Mirada

December 7 and 14

Photo courtesy of Eric Whitacre/Facebook

Festival of Carols With Eric Whitacre
Hear all your favorite holiday songs and pick up some serious inspiration to go out a-caroling yourself with the L.A. Master Chorale’s 100-person performance of classics, ranging from “Carol of the Bells” to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The evening will finish with the world premiere of conductor Eric Whitacre’s musical telling of The Gift of the Magi. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Avenue

December 8

Bunny the Elf Live
After a sold-out run during this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival, the uplifting comedy returns for the holidays to tell the story of a self-proclaimed musical theater nerd who’s finally forced to get a real job and becomes a toy-store Christmas elf. Theatre Asylum-Studio C, 6448 Santa Monica Boulevard

December 13 and 14

Photo courtesy of She & Him/Facebook

She & Him Christmas Tour
Led by her effortlessly understated vocals and his soulful backing on guitar, Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward’s She & Him has the perfectly nostalgic sound to ferry you down a memory lane of holiday classics on their new Christmas tour. As an added bonus, comedian Patton Oswalt will open. Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 South Broadway

December 15

The Merry Little Christmas Show
For one night only, Broadway World critics’ pick and StageSceneLA award winner Scott Dreier presents his modern take on holiday songs to channel the classic Christmas TV specials of yesteryear. Colony Theatre, 555 North 3rd Street, Burbank

December 21 and 22

Photo courtesy of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker/Facebook

Great Russian Nutcracker
The Moscow Ballet arrives in Los Angeles as part of its 2019 Gift of Christmas tour, which showcases world-class dancing alongside giant puppets, shimmering costumes, and state-of the-art snow effects for a dazzling rendition of the classic ballet. The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Boulevard

December 24

Photo courtesy of the Music Center

60th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration
Cramming the essence of L.A.’s rich, diverse performance culture into one stage and three hours is a Herculean task, but if there’s one show that can pull it off, it’s this acclaimed yearly showcase. This year, Cuban expat trumpet prodigy Arturo Sandoval, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, disability-inclusive dance company Infinite Flow, and 20 other groups will grace the holiday miracle that is this vibrant—and totally free—celebration. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 North Grand Avenue