Popper 5011 at 680p

Last call for Libby Whittemore’s holiday cabaret at Actor’s Express, “Krampus Christmas” (7 Stages) and “Let Nothing You Dismay” (Stage Door Players). “Big Fish,” in its final week at Theatrical Outfit, is sold out. Pictured: The non-holiday-themed “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” at Synchronicity Theatre with Brandon Partrick and Megan Wheeler. Photo by Katie V. Cathell.

This weekend only

urbannut
Photo: Ballethnic Dance Company

Urban Nutcracker. SATURDAY-SUNDAY. Ballethnic Dance Company’s riff on the Tchaikovsky classic moves the action to Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn Avenue in the 1940s, where Reggae Ragdolls, Arabian dancers, a leaping Black Russian, Mother Spice and her tumbling Spice Drops, the bubbly Coca-Cola Pas de Six, and the elegant Brown Sugar and her Chocolatier convene. $15-$20. 3 + 5 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.762.1416.

aso pops xmas Collage
Nikki Renée Daniels, Hugh Panaro

A Very Merry Holiday POPS! FRIDAY-SATURDAY. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is joined by Broadway performers Nikki Renée Daniels and Hugh Panaro, the All-City High School Chorus and, perhaps, Santa and his reindeer. American-born, London-based conductor David Charles Abell is on the podium. $15-$65 plus fees. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details HERE or at 404.733.5000. Tickets (through Ticketmaster) HERE or at 800.745.3000.

Last chance

Libby Whittemore as Connie Sue Day: Dynel in the house!
Libby Whittemore as Connie Sue Day: Dynel in the house!

Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays. FRIDAY-SUNDAY. The inimitable Libby Whittemore returns for her eighth season of Libby’s at the Express with this annual holiday show, subtitled A Connie Sue Day Christmas. Act 1 is all Libby; in Act 2, she returns as alter ego Connie Sue Day, the 31st Lady of Country Music. An Atlanta holiday tradition good for lots of laughs and a few misty moments. Whittemore is backed by Robert Strickland’s Super-Sized Combo. $40. 7:30 nightly. Actor’s Express is at the King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

krampus1 2Krampus Christmas. TONIGHT-SATURDAY.  Last chance, maybe ever, to deck your ho-ho-halls with debauchery. After a run of nearly 10 years, 7 Stages is saying goodbye to its dark, twisty anti-holiday tradition. There’s a plot to turn the world into one giant mall, you see, and only one myth-made-manifest can stop it: Krampus of the Black Forest! If you know what that means, this is the show for you. But not for the kids. With the Little Five Points Rockstar Orchestra. $22.50 and up. 8 nightly. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

Gina Rickicki, Doyle Reynolds. Photo: Stage Door Players
Gina Rickicki, Doyle Reynolds. Photo: Stage Door Players

Let Nothing You Dismay. THROUGH SUNDAY. At Stage Door Players. The Gordons, the Sapersteins and all the other crazy folks in Kevin and Allie’s life are back to meddle in the arrival of the couple’s first child. Last season’s run of this holiday comedy by Atlanta playwright Topher Payne sold out. The original eight-person cast returns, playing 22 characters in a celebration of family … and all that goes with it. $15-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details HERE. Tickets via the box office at 770.396.1726.

New this week

Mighty_Mo_and_More-220x220Mighty Mo and More. MONDAY ONLY. The Fox Theatre celebrates the season with festivities that include a holiday concert and sing-along followed by a screening of  the 1994 feature film The Santa Clause with Tim Allen. It might even snow on Peachtree Street. Free, but reservations are strongly suggested. 7:30 p.m. 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE.

One_Minute_Play_FestivalA Very Merry (All-Inclusive) One-Minute Play Festival Spectacular. TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY. At Actor’s Express, which has been the Atlanta home of the national One-Minute Play Festival for six years. This holiday-themed event offers a smaller sampling of local and national artists and includes 60-second pieces from such playwrights as Phillip DePoy, Daryl Fazio, Edith Freni, Addae Moon, Lee Nowell, Topher Payne and Steve Yockey, among others. $20. 8 nightly. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

Still running

mrpopper-shownav 2Mr. Popper’s Penguins. THROUGH JAN. 1. Synchronicity Theatre celebrates the holidays with this non-holiday, family-friendly musical based on the 1938 children’s book. Mr. Popper is a humble house painter who gets a cool surprise when an Antarctic explorer sends him a gift. Six actors play more than 23 characters, and there are penguins. Lots of them. And puppets. All Friday shows are PJs & Play — kids (and kids at heart) can wear pajamas and have milk and cookies at the show. For ages 3 and up. $20-$22; kids $15-$16. 7 p.m. Friday; 1 + 4 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 5 p.m. Sunday. School matinees at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday (call ahead for details and tickets). Synchronicity Theatre at Peachtree Pointe in Midtown, 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

Holiday shows (all ages)

Lyndsay Ricketson Brown (from left), Jen MacQueen, Diany Rodriguez. Photo: Chris Bartelski
Lyndsay Ricketson Brown (from left), Jen MacQueen, Diany Rodriguez. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christmas Canteen.   THROUGH DEC. 23. Back for its 21st year at Aurora Theatre. This original variety show changes annually but always includes physical comedy, holiday favorites, novelty numbers and a few surprises. If you want to go, act fast: The Canteen always sells well. $30-$65. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday (sold out tonight, Sunday and Wednesday). 28 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered and attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

Chris Kayser as Marley. Photo: Greg Mooney
Chris Kayser as Marley. Photo: Greg Mooney

A Christmas Carol. THROUGH DEC. 24. Last chance to see this staging in this space. The Alliance Theatre’s annual show — David H. Bell’s multicultural, carol-filled celebration — will be done off-site in 2017 while Alliance theater spaces are renovated. Bell will premiere a new version for the new mainstage in 2018, in time for the company’s 50th anniversary season. This season, David de Vries plays Ebenezer Scrooge for a third time, Chris Kayser is Jacob Marley, and Marc Schittone debuts as Tiny Tim. $20 and up. Tuesday-Sunday, but times vary. Details HERE. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[CATCH UP WITH 8 TINY TIMS FROM CHRISTMASES PAST]

Anthony P. Rodriguez. Photo: Chris Bartelski
Anthony P. Rodriguez. Photo: Chris Bartelski

A Christmas Carol. THROUGH DEC. 23. At Aurora TheatreArtistic director Anthony P. Rodriguez returns as Ebenezer Scrooge — and many other characters — for the 10th time, in his annual one-man telling of the Christmas classic. Much like Dickens did, Rodriguez focuses on the art of storytelling. $20-$30. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in repertory with The 12 Dates of Christmas. Harvel Lab, 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

AB-NUT-121516-0730-1Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. THROUGH DEC. 24. Marya and her Nutcracker travel to distant lands in this Russian-themed interpretation of the Tchaikovsky classic by former Atlanta Ballet artistic director John McFall. These performances are the last for dancer John Welker, who’s retiring after 22 years with the company. $25 and up. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 + 7 p.m. Sunday. Also at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20; 2 + 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21-23; and 1 p.m. Dec. 24. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303.

[ENCORE FEATURE: DANCER JOHN WELKER CALLS IT A CAREER]

Yukon Cornelius
Yukon Cornelius

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. THROUGH DEC. 31. Rudolph, Clarice, Hermey, Yukon Cornelius, the Misfit Toys and Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster all return to the Center for Puppetry Arts. The Jon Ludwig script is based on the 1964 stop-motion animated TV special from Rankin/Bass. Told with rod, black light and body puppets. For ages 4 and up. $20.50. 10 + 11:45 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; noon + 2 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. No shows Christmas Day. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3089.

Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus
Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Snow Queen. THROUGH DEC. 23. Serenbe Playhouse takes the Hans Christian Andersen tale into the woods for a third time, emphasizing the wintry nature of the tale, as young Gerda fights her fears on a journey to save her brother, Kai, from the icy lady’s evil magic. Performed in the Natural Playground at Serenbe in a staging that travels (with no seating). Chairs can be requested through the box office at 770.463.1110. $15-$20. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 6 + 8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (check ahead; some shows sold out). 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions, parking info HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Holiday shows (better for grown-ups)

Renita James. Photo: Chris Bartelski
Renita James. Photo: Chris Bartelski

The 12 Dates of Christmas. THROUGH DEC. 23. At Aurora TheatreRenita James plays Mary, the unlucky woman who sees her fiancé kiss someone else on national TV while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, then bumbles her way back into the dating pool. $20-$30. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday in repertory with Anthony P. Rodriguez’s one-man A Christmas Carol. Harvel Lab, 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.

Courtenay Collins (left) with surprise guest Laura Linney. The stage-TV-film performer is a pal from Collins' Juilliard days. Photo: A’riel Tinter
Courtenay Collins (left) with surprise guest Laura Linney. The stage-TV-film performer is a pal from Collins’ Juilliard days. Photo: A’riel Tinter

Courtenay’s Cabaret: Home for the Holidays. THROUGH DEC. 24. At the Alliance Theatre, where the Hertz Stage becomes a living room with twinkly lights and cocktails. Expect music, stories, surprises, cookies, crafts, Atlanta singer/actor Courtenay Collins’ good humor and a special guest artist each night. Collins’ Juilliard pal Laura Linney, we hear, stopped by one recent night. Collins is backed by a three-piece combo. $20-$42. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 23. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Meet Collins in this ENCORE FEATURE.

[HEAR SNIPPETS FROM COLLINS’ A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS CD]

DadsLogoRGB®Invasion: Christmas Carol. THROUGH DEC. 30. Dad’s Garage Theatre Company gives the Christmas classic a swift kick in the Dickens as its merry band of improvisers skewer that most quintessential of holiday shows. Theatergoers will see Scrooge’s past, present and future unfold in unpredictable ways each night. God help us, everyone. $5.50-$35 (it depends). 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Also Dec. 19-21. 569 Ezzard St. S.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.3141 (tickets cheaper online). Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

santaland
Harold M. Leaver (left), Enoch King. Photo: Horizon Theatre

The Santaland Diaries. THROUGH DEC. 31. Harold M. Leaver returns as Crumpet in this Horizon Theatre tradition, recounting the sad-but-true tales of an unemployed writer’s stint as a Macy’s Department Store elf. His helpers: the terrific Lala Cochran and Enoch King. The script is by David Sedaris. Expect snark and satire. (Not recommended for children. Take them to Horizon’s Madeline’s Christmas instead.) $25-$40. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 6 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

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About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s editor, 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.

View all posts by Kathy Janich