120914-christmas-carol_3Want to get your culture on? Our recommendations include the Alliance Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol” with David de Vries (left) as Ebenezer Scrooge and Bart Hansard as one of his pesky visitors (photo by Greg Mooney). Note: Look for next week’s column on Dec. 24.


reg2.jpgA Very Merry Holiday Pops. FRIDAY-SATURDAY. It’s time to let your heart grow three sizes with this annual gift from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, which returns a bit Grinchier than usual. Principal pops conductor Michael Krajewski leads the ASO in an evening of holiday classics. Special guests include the All-City Chorus, Reginald Smith Jr. (pictured) as the Grinch and WABE-FM’s John Lemley as Santa. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday. $25-$99. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

libbylibbyLibby at the Express. THROUGH SUNDAY. For many of us, it’s not Christmas in Atlanta without singer Libby Whittemore (pictured) and her alter ego, Miss Connie Sue Day, the 31st Lady of Country Music. Thank goodness both cleared their schedules for this annual holiday gig at Actor’s Express. If you see Connie Sue’s Blue Bird Wanderlodge parked in the deck, you’ll know she has arrived. Prepare yourself. Expect holiday favorites, the Connie Sue Day-penned “Twelve Days of a White Trash Christmas” and more than several stockings full of laughs. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday. $40 plus tax. 887 W. Marietta St. in the King Plow Arts Center. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.875.2791.

lyleNjoshLyle the Crocodile. THROUGH DEC. 28. Synchronicity Theatre greets the holidays with this family musical about a tap-dancing croc who turns up in a family’s bathtub and changes their lives. Based on the books Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile and The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber. Although the kids will be entertained, there’s plenty of wit for adults to enjoy. 7:30 p.m. Friday; 1 & 4 p.m. Saturday; and 2 & 5 p.m. Sunday. Also at 2 p.m. Monday-Tuesday; 11 a.m. Christmas Eve; and 2 p.m. Dec. 26. $10-$40. Synchronicity Theatre at Peachtree Point, 1545 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636. (Pictured, from left: Joseph Masson and, as Lyle, Matt Baum. Photo by KVC Photography.)



Krampus Xmas. TONIGHT-SATURDAY. 7 Stages presents its fifth annual anti-Christmas rock ‘n’ roll fest with the help of the Little Five Points Rockstar Orchestra, Syrens of the South (burlesque) and a bagful of anti-Santas. You’re invited to leave the kids at home, grab an ice-cold bucket of beer and dig into some perverse glee. Age 18 and up only; IDs will be checked at the door. 8 p.m. $20 in advance; $25 at the door. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE.



The 12 Dates of Christmas. FRIDAY ONLY. Actor-director Jaclyn Hofmann laces up her funny shoes to reprise the sad story of Mary, who, while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, sees her fiancé kiss another woman. Over the next year, she’s set up, hooked up, strung up and fed up as she navigates the dating world. Times vary (runs in repertory with Anthony P. Rodriguez’s one-man A Christmas Carol). Details HERE. This week: 8 p.m. Friday (Saturday finale sold out). $20. Aurora Theatre, 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Ticket discounts at PoshDealz.com.

It’s a Wonderful Laugh. THROUGH SATURDAY. Dad’s Garage Theatre Company parodies the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life as only it can, with a scripted work by artistic director Kevin Gillese. Bedford Falls never saw it coming. Ages 18 and up only. May contain cursing, sexual innuendo, violence and/or nudity. Dad’s Garage at the Alliance Theatre’s Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more on Kevin Gillese and It’s a Wonderful Laugh, see this ENCORE FEATURE.



A Christmas Carol. THROUGH DEC. 24. David de Vries assumes the “bah, humbugs” for this 25th for staging of the holiday classic. You know the story: miserly Scrooge, the ghosts, the Cratchit family and a spiritual reawakening. What sets the Alliance Theatre version apart is its multicultural casting, its sumptuous sets and costumes, and its cast of finely tuned choristers. Show times vary. Schedule HERE. The critics: “Based on the pure spectacle of its production values, the Alliance Theatre’s 25th annual staging is an undeniable feast for the eyes. But, as food for thought or for the soul, the show is less substantial” (Bert Osborne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $17.50-$72. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more on de Vries, see this ENCORE FEATURE.

Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. THROUGH DEC. 28. Join the sugar plum fairies, mischievous mice and inhabitants of lands near and far in this dreamscape brought to life by the ballet’s artful, athletic dancers and Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. The Georgia Youth Choir sings in Act 1’s snow scene. Performance times vary, schedule HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303. $27-$142. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. For more on this season’s Nut, see the ENCORE FEATURE.

Center_for_Puppet_-_Rudolph_2013Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. THROUGH DEC. 28. This Center for Puppetry Arts‘ adaptation is based on the classic 1964 stop-motion animated TV special. You remember Clarice, the Bumble, Hermey the would-be dentist, Yukon Cornelius and forgotten toys, right? They’re all here, as, of course, is the most famous reindeer of all. $16.50-$20.50; age 2 and under free. Best availability is Dec. 26-28. Show times vary; check the schedule HERE. 1404 Spring St. N.W. Tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.



Serenbe_-_Judy_GarlandA Cabaret Celebrating Judy Garland. DEC. 31. Join Serenbe Playhouse for an evening of with the great Judy Garland. She’s played by Natasha Drena, 2014 Suzi Bass Award winner for best actress in a play for her portrayal of Garland in End of the Rainbow at Actor’s Express. Venue: The Farmhouse restaurant in Serenbe. 10:30 p.m. $50. 9110 Selborne Lane, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. (Pictured: Drena as Garland)


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: kathy@encoreatlanta.com.


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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