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Holiday offerings are dwindling. This week, in fact, is your last chance for Aurora Theatre’s three shows, both Alliance Theatre shows and “Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker.” A word to the wise: The winter theater season begins in two weeks with a trio of must-sees (see COMING UP). Pictured: The cast of the Alliance’s “A Christmas Carol.” Photo by Greg Mooney.

** We suggest calling ahead for holiday shows to make sure tickets are available.

Last chance

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

The 12 Dates of Christmas. CLOSES FRIDAY. 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. Remaining shows: 8 tonight-Friday. 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.

John Welker, 2016. Photo: Charlie McCullers.
John Welker, 2016. Photo: Charlie McCullers.

Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. CLOSES SATURDAY. 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. Remaining shows: 7:30 tonight-Friday; 2 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303.

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

Christian Magby. Photo: Chris Bartelski
Christian Magby. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christmas Canteen. CLOSES FRIDAY. Back for its 21st year at Aurora Theatre. This original variety show always includes physical comedy, holiday favorites, novelty numbers and a few surprises. $30-$65. All remaining performances sold out except today’s. Check ahead before going. 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.

David de Vries as Scrooge. Photo: Greg Mooney
David de Vries as Scrooge. Photo: Greg Mooney

A Christmas Carol. CLOSES SATURDAY. 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 (during renovations). 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. Remaining performances at 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. today; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Friday; and 2:30 p.m. Saturday. 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

A Christmas Carol. CLOSES FRIDAY. At Aurora TheatreArtistic director Anthony P. Rodriguez returns as Ebenezer Scrooge — and many other characters — in his annual one-man telling of the Christmas classic. Much like Dickens himself did, Rodriguez focuses on the storytelling. $20-$30. Remaining show: 10 a.m. Friday. 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

cabaret-hiCourtenay’s Cabaret: Home for the Holidays. CLOSES SATURDAY. 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 at each show. Collins is backed by a three-piece combo. $20-$42. Remaining performances: 7:30 tonight; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Meet Collins in this ENCORE FEATURE.

Still running

Mr. 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. For ages 3 and up. $20-$22; kids $15-$16. This week’s performances: 11 a.m. today; 11 a.m. + 2 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. + 2 p.m. Tuesday; and 2 p.m. Wednesday. Note: New Year’s Eve is a special PJs & Play — kids (and kids at heart) can wear pajamas and have milk and cookies at the 7 p.m. “Kidnight” performance. Synchronicity Theatre at Peachtree Pointe in Midtown, 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

Mr. Popper (Brandon Partrick) and his amazing performing penguins. Photo: Katie V. Cathell
Mr. Popper (Brandon Partrick) and his amazing performing penguins. Photo: Katie V. Cathell

Holiday shows (all ages)

The Misfit Toys
The Misfit Toys

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. THROUGH DEC. 31. Rudolph, Clarice, Hermey, Yukon Cornelius, the Misfit Toys and Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster 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. This week’s performances: 10 a.m., noon + 2 p.m. today-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 + 3 p.m. Saturday; noon + 2 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday; and 10 a.m. noon + 2 p.m. Dec. 29. 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. 30. 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 fear on a journey to save her brother from the icy lady’s evil magic. Performed in the Natural Playground in a staging that travels (with no seating). Request chairs through the box office at 770.463.1110. $15-$20. Remaining shows: 6 + 8 tonight-Friday, Monday-Wednesday and Dec. 29-30. 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions, parking info HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.

Holiday shows (better for grown-ups)

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 skewers 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 tonight-Friday; 2 p.m. Saturday. Also 8 p.m. Dec. 29-30. 569 Ezzard St. S.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.3141 (tickets cheaper online). Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Coming up

Greetings_homepage (1) 2Greetings Friend Your Kind Assistance Is Required. JAN. 5-22. A world premiere comedy from Atlanta playwright Topher Payne at Georgia Ensemble Theatre. When a retired schoolteacher opens a spam email, she and her best friend begin the journey of a lifetime, one that includes danger, romance and a new sense of purpose — proving it’s never too late to find new adventure. Shannon Eubanks directs a cast that includes Karen Howell, Stacy Melich, Brenda Porter and Parris Sarter. $26-$35 and up. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

AE-CRUC-011917-0800-1 2The Crucible. JAN. 21-FEB. 19. At Actor’s Express. The witching hour is at hand in the tight-knit community of Salem. Personal vendettas collide with lust and superstition, fueling widespread hysteria. Do witches walk among us, or has revenge created a monster? Arthur Miller’s American classic, written in response to McCarthyism in the 1950s, is as timely as ever. Artistic director Freddie Ashley’s large multicultural cast features Jonathan Horne as John Proctor, Courtney Patterson as Elizabeth Proctor and Shelli Delgado as Abigail Williams. $20-$40. Director’s rough cut at 8 p.m. Jan. 18; previews at 8 p.m. Jan. 19-20; opening is 8 p.m. Jan. 21. Regularly 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 40.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

mountaintop_monitors_rev1-990x557The Mountaintop. JAN. 12-FEB. 12. At Aurora Theatre. Return to April 3, 1968, and the Lorraine Motel in Memphis in Katori Hall’s 2008 script. It reimagines the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night on Earth, a magical encounter told with humor, history and two characters. Featuring two of Atlanta’s finer actors: Neal A. Ghant as King and Cynthia D. Barker as a hotel maid named Camae. Eric J. Little directs. The drama, written when Hall was in her 20s, earned an Olivier award in London in 2010. The 2011 Broadway version, with Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, received mixed reviews and ran 3.5 months. $20-$55. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 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.

Troubadour-Poshdealz-400Troubadour. JAN. 18-FEB. 27.  A world premiere musical from Atlanta playwright Janece Shaffer (The Geller Girls, Broke) and Sugarland’s Kristian Bush at the Alliance Theatre. Described as “a feel-good romantic comedy” that begins in 1951 Nashville and features a country music legend about to retire, his son, an aspiring singer-songwriter named Inez and Izzy the rodeo tailor. $20-$72. Previews Jan. 18-24. Opens Jan. 25. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. No 2:30 p.m. show Jan. 21. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

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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.

View all posts by Kathy Janich