I will review at least four of the following 2014 holiday shows for Nuvo but I have made a list of ALL of the Indianapolis-area holiday shows that I know about here on my own blog just for myself. If it helps you, too…yay!
(11/26/14 – I updated this list a day later to include five dance shows. HOW could I have forgotten them?!? Four are versions of the Nutcracker ballet. The other is a holiday alternative from Dance Kaleidoscope.)
Please confirm all dates and locations with the theatres.
Priorities for me, whether I review them or not, include (in fairly random order):
“Breaking Up Christmas” – Appalachian Stories and Music Featuring Sheila Kay Adams – Storytelling Arts of Indiana at the Indiana History Center – Saturday, December 6 only
It has been years – too many years! – since I last heard this teller. I am so looking forward to hearing her again!
“Nutcracker” – NoExit Performance at the Irvington Lodge – December 4-6 only – Buy tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/885383
Even more than most live theatre companies, NoExit specializes in what I’ve decided to call artisanal theatre: there are only a few performances of each show and you really have to be paying attention to the local theatre landscape to know where and when to catch them. You also have to keep an open mind. When I saw NoExit’s “Nutcracker” last December, I was intrigued enough by its psychological romping to see it twice, but another couple walked out in a huff at intermission because the show required them to stand for the first section and the whole thing was so different from the traditional ballet story.
“A Very Xmas Christmas 9: Flashing Through the Snow” – Phoenix Theatre – November 28-December 21
This is always the first holiday show that I put on my calendar every year for three reasons: 1) because it is always a tad (or a lot) irreverent but (usually) not mean-spirited, 2) because it always includes work I haven’t seen before by a variety of playwrights, and 3) because I usually have a talent crush on at least one of the ensemble members. Some years the mix of material works better than others but it is always interesting and fun.
“Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol” – Indiana Repertory Theatre – November 15-December 26
I don’t always make time or set aside money for this reliably beautiful tradition, but the years that I don’t, I miss it. The rich language, the brisk pace, the snow! And this year, former Scrooge Charles Goad, who left the IRT for a few years to complete a degree in culinary art, is returning but as Marley’s Ghost, so I’m in.
“Elf the Musical” – Broadway Across America at Old National Centre – December 16-20
I don’t know much about either the movie or the musical but the little I do know says it will be endearingly goofy so I’m going to give it a try as it tours through Indy.
“Frog and Toad” – Actors Theatre of Indiana at the Studio Theatre in Carmel – December 13-21
When I first saw ATI’s production of this piece at a different venue in 2008, I vowed I would go back every time they offered it. It is about the seasons more than about a particular holiday, and it is about friendship most of all. I feel good again, just thinking about it. I would have sworn I had seen it in their new space at the Studio Theatre in Carmel but according to my blog directories, I have not, so I am making it a 2014 priority.
“A Seussified Christmas Carol” – The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis – November 28, 2014-January 4, 2015
My goddaughter and her mom invited me. We will bring our own turkey wraps with mustard and buy pink cotton candy at the Museum food place. We will choose one part of the Museum to play in for a while before the show – Dinosaurs OR Merry-Go-Round, for example. We will WALK(!) down the ramp to the Lily Theatre a few minutes early to use the restroom, wash our hands, and explore the costume box in the lobby while waiting for the theatre to open. We will shyly say “hi” to the actors in the lobby afterwards.
I’d like to squeeze in the following if I can (hah!) (in alphabetical order by theatre):
“A Beef and Boards Christmas” – Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre – November 28 – December 23
I haven’t seen this musical variety show since 2009 and they tweak it every year but I bet it will again be a warm, sentimental-in-a-good-way mix of Christian and secular material.
“A Christmas Carol” – Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre – December 6-22
I can’t believe I’ve never seen this abbreviated version of the classic story.
“A Dickens Christmas Carol or a Traveling Travesty in Two Tumultuous Acts” – Buck Creek Players – December 5-21
I don’t know anything about this show except what the theatre’s website says but any show about a traveling theatre troupe piques my interest. I haven’t been to a Buck Creek holiday show since 2008 but I hope you can still buy decorative cans of yummy homemade cookies at intermission.
“Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker” – Butler Ballet – December 4-7 only
“A Swingin’ Christmas” – The Cabaret at the Columbia Club – December 10-13 only
Whoops! Their website tells me there are no tickets left for this show. Ah, well.
“A Christmas Carol, Unscripted” – Comedy Sportz Indianapolis – late Friday nights – November 28-December 26
A familiar story made funny by improv artists incorporating suggestions from the audience. Most CSz shows are family-friendly but late Friday night shows are for adults only.
“White Christmas” – Footlite Musicals – November 21-December 14
Be sure to arrive early to hear the live organ pre-show concert.
“Nutcracker” – Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre at the Pike Performing Arts Center – December 4-6 only
It’s been several years since I saw this but I loved seeing ALL of Mr. Hancock’s students participating.
“Nutcracker” – Indiana Ballet Conservatory – December 6 at the Murat in the Old National Centre and December 12-14 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art
This company claims to have the version “closest to that of the original Nutcracker Ballet that debuted over 100 years ago in Russia.”
“Nutcracker” – Indianapolis School of Ballet at the Scottish Rite Cathedral – December 19-22 only
I’ve never seen this Nutcracker but have always wanted to simply because the venue is so intriguing. Maybe this year?
“IPL Yuletide Celebration” – Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra – December 5-23
“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” – Main Street Productions at the Westfield Playhouse – November 29-December 14
The children’s book by Barbara Robinson is one of my all-time favorites. “Hey! Unto you a child is born!”
“It’s a Wonderful Life” – Mud Creek Players – November 21 – December 6
“The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical” – Theatre on the Square – November 14-December 20
I saw the original “Great American Trailer Park Musical” at TOTS in 2010. I don’t know anything about the Christmas sequel but I bet lawn chairs and beer will be involved.
Not exactly holiday shows but also of interest:
“Broadway Meets Motown” – Dance Kaleidoscope on the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s Upperstage – December 4-14
This promises to be a nice mix of music and choreography styles.
“Perry Haughter and the Magical Musical” – a Q Artistry Qmunity show at the Irvington Lodge – only December 4-6.
This was the first Qmunity show and many of the original leads are back.
“Jabberwocky: Experiences That Made My World Shrink” – hosted by Storytelling Arts of Indiana at the Indy Fringe Theatre – only Tuesday, December 9.
The theme and featured locals for this story-sharing show change every month. December’s event will feature speakers from the International Centre, followed by an open mike time where anyone can share a 5-minute story about how another culture has touched your life.
“The Velveteen Rabbit” – Indiana Repertory Theatre – November 22-December 21.
Adapted by the IRT’s playwright-in-residence, James Still.
“Who Am I This Time?” – Carmel Community Players – November 28-December 14 http://www.carmelplayers.org/
Not a holiday show but Kurt Vonnegut stories and therefore of interest.
“The Wizard of Oz” – Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre – December 12, 2014 – January 3, 2015.
Not a holiday show but certainly a fun, holiday-time tradition for this theatre.
Whew! I am wiped out from making this list! Other than school and church productions, have I missed any holiday shows in the Indianapolis area? Let me know…
In the meantime, happy holidays and I’ll see you at the theatres!
Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com
I also tweet about shows as @IndyTheatre on Twitter.
© 2014 Hope Baugh