Christmas_Canteen_002reducedLooking for something cultural to do this this weekend and beyond? Our select list of recommendations includes Aurora Theatre’s annual “Christmas Canteen,” with the musical stylings of (from left) Bryant Smith, Lyndsay Ricketson, Airan Chase Baker, Randi Garza, Brandon O’Dell and Terry Henry.



 A Christmas Carol. THROUGH DEC. 29. This annual Alliance Theatre staging marks Chris Kayser’s 16th and final season as Ebenezer Scrooge. Celebrate him and many of Atlanta’s finest actors in a magical, musical staging of the Dickens classic. A multicultural cast, clothed in gorgeous period costumes, tells the tale and sings classic carols in rich harmonies. $20-$70; family four-packs are $149. Show times vary. Details HERE. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more on Chris Kayser’s run as Scrooge, see this Encore FEATURE.

LIBBY_holidays_webHo, Ho, Home for the Holidays and a Connie Sue Day Christmas! FRIDAY- DEC. 22. If you’ve never seen singer Libby Whittemore and her alter ego Connie Sue Day, you’re missing one of the best shows around. If you’ve made their acquaintance, you know what we mean. Expect tunes like “Santa, Baby,” “Christmas in Dixie,” “River,” “Hard Candy Christmas” and more from Whittemore, the self-penned “Twelve Days of a White Trash Christmas” from Miss Connie Sue Day, the 31st Lady of Country Music. With Robert Strickland and his Super-Sized Combo. Two weekends only at Actor’s Express.$40 plus fees (buy online, save money). 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and Dec. 20-22. 887 W. Marietta St. Note: The King Plow Arts Center parking lot is under construction. Alternate parking options HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.SHOW.

Peter Pan & Wendy. THROUGH DEC. 29. In this musical version of the popular tale, Wendy is the one who won’t grow up. To avoid the inevitable, she flies off to Neverland with Peter Pan, where the Lost Boys, Tinkerbell, Tiger Lily, Captain Hook and his misfit pirate pal offer challenges and joys. A swashbuckling adventure from Synchronicity Theatre, in which young audience members can help tell the story and decorate a Neverland-ish holiday tree. A co-production with Aurora Theatre. Recommended for ages 4 and up. $10-$40. Show times vary; details HERE. Synchronicity at the 14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636. Discount tickets at



asyo207x274.ashxASO Kids’ Christmas. SUNDAY ONLY. Join the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and maestro Jere Flint for a pops-style concert featuring a lively collection of holiday tunes. Includes hand-clapping sing-alongs and a finale starring Santa Claus. John Lemley, host of WABE-FM’s “City Café,” narrates. $15-$22. 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.   Woodruff Arts Center’s Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets, details HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Christmas With the ASO. FRIDAY-SATURDAY. More than 400 musicians bring to life the Greatest Story Ever Told. With the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Morehouse College Glee Club and the Gwinnett Young Singers. Norman Mackenzie is on the podium for this annual event, created by the legendary Robert Shaw (1916-1999). $29-$62. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Woodruff Arts Center’s Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets, details HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Elevate Remix. SATURDAY-SUNDAY. Ballethnic Dance Company showcases three contemporary ballets that have become favorites with longtime company patrons. They feature original choreography by co-founder Waverly Lucas as well as the early forging of Ballethnic’s signature style — a fusion of classical ballet with African, jazz and other ethnic dance forms. The program: Alonzo, a vivid depiction of the similarities between martial arts and ballet; Ballet Noir, a work by dancer-choreographer Mel Tomlinson, formerly with the New York City Ballet; and Lover’s Trilogy, a pas de deux created by Harry Bryce. $20; $15 children and senior citizens. 8 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road S.W. Details HERE or by calling the venue at 404.613.3220.



The 12 Dates of Christmas. THROUGH DEC. 21. Follow the misadventures of a woman named Mary, who sees her her fiancé kiss another woman on TV during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and, over the next year, is set up, hooked up, strung up and fed up as she attempts to negotiate the dating scene. This one-woman piece features Jaclyn Hofmann (Weird Sisters’ 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche). In repertory with the one-man show Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. $15. 8 p.m. Wednesday; 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city of Lawrenceville deck at 153 Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. THROUGH DEC. 29. The tradition continues with another trip to the Sugar Candy Kingdom. This year’s staging features new illusions, and the Georgia Youth Choir in Act 1’s “Snow Scene.” Choreography by artistic director John McFall. The score, of course, is Tchaikovsky’s. Music by the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. $20-$80. 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Also at 7 p.m. Dec. 22; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23; 1 p.m. Dec. 24; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 26 and 2 p.m. Dec. 27. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets, details HERE. For more, see this Encore FEATURE.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. THROUGH DEC. 22. Aurora Theatre Producing Artistic Director Anthony P. Rodriguez slips into Victorian garb for a seventh season with his one-man telling of the classic tale. All the regulars show up, including Scrooge,  Cratchit and Marley. In repertory with the one-woman show The 12 Dates of Christmas. $15. 8 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city of Lawrenceville deck at 153 Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discounted tickets at

Christmas Canteen 2013.  THROUGH DEC. 22. Aurora Theatre‘s third holiday offering of this nostalgic musical revue, back for an 18th season. The theater is decorated with almost 30 Christmas trees; vote for your favorite by bringing a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots or nonperishable food item for the Gwinnett Can Challenge. $30-$40. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Already sold out: matinees Dec. 14 and 18, plus shows on Dec. 12-13, 15. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city of Lawrenceville deck at 153 Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.


The Gifts of the Magi. THROUGH DEC. 22. Back for a second year at Theatrical Outfit. Christmas, the season of giving, doesn’t look very merry or bright to Jim and Della, penniless newlyweds who valiantly struggle to find the perfect gift for one another. This musical, based on O. Henry’s 1906 story, returns with half of last season’s cast (Nick Arapoglou, Caroline Freedlund, Jeff McKerley) and the booming voices of newcomers Kayce Grogan-Wallace, Kevin Harry and Rob Lawhorn. Show times vary; schedule HERE. $20-$50. 84 Luckie St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE, at the box office or at 877.725.8849. (Pictured: Nick Arapoglou as Jim and Caroline Freedlund as Della. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. THROUGH DEC. 29. He’s back! Our little red-nosed reindeer friend; his pal Hermie and even the Bumble. The Center for Puppetry Arts‘ holiday adaptation is based on the classic 1964 stop-motion animated TV special. A live-camera, behind-the-scenes demonstration will follow select performances. $16.50-$20.50; age 2 and under free. Show times vary; check the schedule HERE. 1404 Spring St. N.W. Tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.



 BOMHeadshotsCRUSH: A Valentine to the ’90s. FEB. 3 ONLY. Excited about The Book of Mormon coming to town? Now you have even more reason. will present cast members in a one-night-only cabaret event that will benefit Project Open Hand and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. More than 20 singers, dancers and actors will showcase their talents, backed by a live band. Includes a cash bar. $50; $100 VIP (includes pre-show reception with the show’s leading performers). 6:30 p.m. silent auction with Mormon memorabilia; 7:30 p.m. show. A live auction mid-show will let audience members bid for a chance to join the company backstage at the Fox Theatre, where Book of Mormon will play. 14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th St. N.E. in Midtown. Tickets HERE.

Krampus Xmas. DEC. 19-21. Krampus returns to 7 Stages like an angry elf, so you’d best hide the kids. This decidedly adult holiday reverie features Krampus — St. Nick’s demonic counterpart — like you’ve never seen him before. Join the Little Five Points Rockstar Orchestra, the burlesque-y Syrens of the South and the 7 Stages Hand Bell Choir for an irreverent rock ‘n’ roll celebration. It’s not for the faint of heart. Age 18 and up only, and IDs will be checked at the box office. $15.74 plus fees. 8 p.m. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647. Discounted tickets at

A Very Merry Holiday Pops. DEC. 19-21. This annual anything-goes holiday variety show features the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Broadway vocalist Liz Callaway, a youth chorus comprised of Atlanta’s finest high school vocalists and a jitterbugging Santa. ASO Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski is on the podium. $22-$60. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Woodruff Arts Center’s Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets, details HERE or at 404.733.5000.


Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s managing editor, has been seeing, working in or covering the performing arts for most of her life. Full disclosure: She’s affiliated with Synchronicity Theatre listed above. Please email:

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

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