If you have a favorite Atlanta holiday show/concert, by all means see it. But add “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” at Theatrical Outfit to your list. The script is smart, witty and as fizzy as a Christmas cocktail; the Outfit’s staging is gorgeous. Pictured: A match made in awkward shyness — Jonathan Horne as Arthur De Bourgh and Amelia Fischer as Mary Bennet. Photo by David Woolf.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta fall/winter season top pick. 

Recommended

Benjamin Strickland, Chani Maisonet. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christmas Canteen. THROUGH DEC. 23. A holiday favorite (of mine). Aurora Theatre’s annual revue, one of its three seasonal shows, turns 22. The jolly variety show is schmaltzy, fun and moving in all the right ways. Think of “The Ed Sullivan Show” or Andy Williams’ Christmas specials, spin the time machine forward a bit, and you’ll know what to expect: songs, dances, novelty numbers and a few not-so-sly references to businesses that support Aurora. New this year: Nick and Caroline Arapoglou as co-hosts.$30-$65. Many performances are already sold out, so please check before you go. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Watch the website for updates. 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. 

Libby Whittemore as Connie Sue Day. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays. THROUGH DEC. 17. Visit Actor’s Express for a slice of Christmas fruitcake unlike any other. Singer Libby Whittemore and alter ego Connie Sue Day (the 31st Lady of Country Music) serenade you with holiday favorites (“Santa Baby,” “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree,” “Christmas in Dixie”) and novelty numbers (“The 12 Days of a White Trash Christmas”) in this two-act celebration of tinsel, jingle bells and just a titch too much eggnog. $40. 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday and Dec. 15-17. At the King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

Julissa Sabino, Lee Osorio as the Darcys. Photo: David Woolf

** Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. THROUGH DEC. 24. An Encore Atlanta top pick. Theatrical Outfit presents the Southeastern premiere of this smart, witty, joyful piece from Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson (Silent Sky, I and You, The Taming) and colleague Margot Melcon. The comic drama, based on characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, takes us to 1815 England and into the life of middle sister Mary Bennet — who just might find romance amid the floor-to-ceiling books of the Pemberley library. The cast: Amelia Fischer as Mary, with Galen CrawleyDevon HalesJonathan HorneLee OsorioMaria Rodriguez-SagerJulissa Sabino and Juan Carlos Unzueta. $20.50-$49. 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 Opening this weekend

Jessenia Ingram as Heidi. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Heidi. OPENS FRIDAY. At Synchronicity Theatre. Johanna Spyri’s 19th-century children’s novel becomes a family-friendly musical in this staging for ages 3 and up. Heidi brings joy to everyone she meets, whether it’s her crusty grandfather in the Swiss Alps or a wheelchair-bound friend in the city. Even the goats sing. The score is by Joan Cushing (Junie B. Jones, Miss Nelson, Petite Rouge). Note: Every Friday is PJs & Play. Kids can wear pajamas and get milk, cookies and — for this show only — chocolates. Julie Skrzypek (Fancy Nancy, The One and Only Ivan) directs. $20-$22; $15-$17 children. Through Dec. 31. 7 p.m. Friday; 1 + 4 p.m. Saturday; and 2 + 5 p.m. Sunday. Also at 2 p.m. Dec. 19-21, 26-28 and 11 a.m. Dec. 24. No show Christmas Day. KidNight Countdown, with a kid-friendly toast and a treat, follows 5 p.m. show Dec. 31. Synchronicity is in the One Peachtree Pointe complex at 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

This weekend only

Christmas With the ASO. SATURDAY. Very few seats are left for this performance. Saturday evening, Sunday concerts sold out. ASO music director Robert Shaw began this Atlanta tradition decades ago. As it has for a number of years, the music-making comes from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Gwinnett Young Singers and the Morehouse College Glee Club, all performing  Christmas carols and hymns. $79-$135. 2 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Wynton Marsalis

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. FRIDAY ONLY. Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and Co. return to Symphony Hall for Big Band Holiday, with vocalists Catherine Russell and Kenny WashingtonJazz at Lincoln Center was created to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education and advocacy. $80 (only rear loge seats remain). 8 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Urban Nutcracker. SATURDAY-SUNDAY. Ballethnic Dance Company’s soulful celebration takes place on Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn Avenue in the 1940s. See the smooth Chocolatier sweep Brown Sugar off to a magical land filled with leaping Reggae Rag Dolls and the spinning Black Russian. This take — also featuring Mother Spice and her tumbling Spice Drops and the bubbly Coca-Cola Pas de Six — mixes the classical ballet with modern, jazz and tap dance. $30-$60 (a Friday dress rehearsal/preview is $15). 8 nightly. Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, Morehouse College, 830 Westview Drive SW. Details, tickets HERE.

Ballethnic’s “Urban Nutcracker.”

Select holiday

Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. THROUGH DEC. 28. Atlanta Ballet dances its John McFall-choreographed Nut for the 23rd and final time. A new version debuts in 2018. McFall, the company’s artistic director from 1994 to 2016, slipped out of retirement to lead the company one more time. You know the story. A nutcracker doll comes to life, turns into a prince and takes young Marya on a fantastical adventure. $21.25-$125.25. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 + 7 p.m. Sunday. Also at 2 p.m. Dec. 21-22, 26 + 28; and 1 p.m. Dec. 24. No show Christmas Day. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499. Tickets also at the Fox and Atlanta Ballet box offices. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

[MORE: McFALL ‘NUT’ KNOWN FOR ITS MAGIC, STORYTELLING]

David de Vries as Scrooge, Neal A. Ghant as Bob Cratchit. Photo: Greg Mooney

A Christmas Carol. THROUGH DEC. 24. Alliance Theatre. Scrooge & Co. take their musical, multicultural story to Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre while magic, in the form of renovations, consumes their Midtown mainstage. David de Vries returns as ol’ Ebenezer for a fourth season, ably assisted by such longtime cohorts as Cynthia D. Barker (Mrs. Cratchit); Andrew Benator (Marley); Lowrey Brown (Young Scrooge); Je Nie Fleming (Mrs. Fezziwig, Mrs. Dilber); Neal A. Ghant (Bob Cratchit); Bart Hansard (Mr. Fezziwig, Ghost of Christmas Present); Joe Knezevich (Fred); and Courtney Patterson (Ghost of Christmas Past). Marco Schittone again plays Tiny Tim. Rosemary Newcott again directs. $20-$60. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. No shows Dec. 9. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 800.745.3000. Also at Bank of North Georgia and Cobb Energy Centre box offices.

[MORE: FOR LONGTIME DIRECTOR, EVERY YEAR IS A NEW YEAR]

Photo: True Colors Theatre Company

The First Noel. THROUGH DEC. 24. True Colors Theatre Company. This musical, set in 1980s Harlem, follows three generations of a family faced with loss. The score reimagines traditional holiday favorites in jazz, gospel and pop styles. Good for all ages. The cast includes Terry Henry, Brittany L. Inge, Margo Moorer and Brad Raymond. Jasmine Guy directs. $16 + $28 including fees (selling well). 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 12; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19; 11 a.m. Dec. 20; and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 23. Ferst Center for the Arts on the Georgia Tech campus, 349 Ferst Drive NW. Free parking. Details, tickets HERE or at 877.725.8849 (Ticket Alternative).

ALSO FOR THE HOLIDAYS:

Coming up

Joe Gransden and his big band. Photo: Ben Vigil

A Very Merry Holiday POPS! DEC. 15-16. This year’s lineup includes the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Joe Gransden Big Band, Broadway’s Allison Blackwell (The Lion King, Porgy and Bess, A Night With Janis Joplin), the Melodica Men, the Atlanta All-City Chorus and choirs from Greenforest Community Baptist Church of Atlanta. Look for Santa and special helpers. David Charles Abell, the new principal guest conductor of the Philly POPS, returns to the podium for a second year. $20-$135. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

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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