December is finally here and it’s time to get a cup of hot cocoa and watch old holiday classics and Christmas specials that you have seen a million times. While this scenario sounds very warm and cozy, the holidays are also a time of exploring.
One of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit while still supporting the arts community is by going to the many Christmas plays that are in Tacoma. Why Tacoma? Not only are the ticket prices way cheaper than Seattle, but this year’s theater productions provide variety, surprise, and nostalgia.
TACOMA LITTLE THEATRE PRESENTS “A CHRISTMAS STORY”
Dates: Nov. 27th – Dec. 20th
Location: 210 N I St., Tacoma, WA 98403
Price: $24 (Adults)
If you told someone “You’ll shoot your eye out!”, most likely they will know that you are referring to one of the funniest holiday films, A Christmas Story. This 1940s film will come back to life at the Tacoma Little Theatre (TLT) where they will be retelling the tale of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and his mission to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.
Liam Lockridge, who played Schwartz (a.k.a. the boy who stuck his tongue to a cold pole) in the Seattle Theatre on 5th Avenue, is now playing Ralphie for this production. Lockridge is only 12-years-old but has already been in 13 plays.
For those of you who love the film and would die if the plot was manipulated in any way, don’t worry, the story remains the same. The audience can still expect to see the moment when Flick’s wet tongue is stuck on the ice cold lamppost, when Ralphie’s father wins a “provocative” lamp shaped like a lady’s leg, Randy’s messy eating, or when Ralphie accidentally says “fudge” right in front of his father.
This Thursday, Dec. 10th, TLT will be hosting a “pay what you can event” for the grand opening of A Christmas Story. Managing artistic director Chris Surface explains to City Line Interview that “it is our way of making theatres more impactful for the community. Making sure that people can be a part of the theatre even if they do not have the means to do so.” Whether you only have a dollar or want to increase your donation, you can do so at this event.
Not only will you be watching a play that appeals to all generations but you will also be celebrating the 97th season of the Tacoma Little Theatre.
THE NUTCRACKER & THE TALE OF THE HARD NUT
Dates: Sunday, Dec. 13th, 2015 at 3 pm; Saturday, Dec. 19th, 2015 at 3 pm; Sunday, Dec. 20th, 2015 at 3 pm
Location: Pantages Theatre 901 Broadway #700, Tacoma, WA 98402
Prices: Depending on the section of seating you choose, the price range can vary to $100.
At the Pantages Theatre, not only will you learn the old tale of The Nutcracker but also why we have the Nutcracker in the first place. The Nutcracker & the Tale of the Hard Nut is a prequel to the original story. According to the Northwest Military publication, artistic director of Tacoma City Ballet Erin Ceragioli says, “you are going to see the story go as it should have, with the prequel starting with why we have the nutcracker. It is kind of like getting a new friend, but keeping the old one at the same time.”
The prequel solves the issue as to why Clara ends up on adventures with a toy nutcracker doll in the first place. In order for Clara to break Mouse Queen’s evil spell of the Curse of Ugliness, she must eat the kernel of the Magical Krakatuk Nut. The King orders Christian Elias Drosselmeyer to find the Magical Krakatuk Nut and the young man who is destined to open it.
Once the princess takes interest in the toy nutcracker, the toy magically becomes life-size at midnight. Throughout the rest of the play, Clara goes on adventures with the nutcracker fighting mice, fairies, and a sugar plum princess.
Directors involved in this production are Erin M. Ceragioli and Maestro Bernard Kwiram. Music is performed by the Tacoma City Ballet Orchestra. According to the Tacoma City Ballet website, this production is filled with all the essential aspects that makes The Nutcracker a well praised ballet, with elegant dancing, iconic music, grand scenery, and eye catching costumes.
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
Dates: Dec. 3rd – 13th, 2015
Location: Tacoma Musical Playhouse
When most people think of Christmas, they think of traditions. One of the most well-known traditions is to watch the 1965 Peanuts television special A Charlie Brown Christmas. For those of you who may not know the story, it is about Charlie Brown’s realization that the meaning of Christmas has turned into commercialization and greediness and discovers that the real meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus Christ.
It is the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas and what better way is there to celebrate than to visit your local theatre. For three years, the students of Tacoma Musical Playhouse (TMP) have reenacted this holiday classic. These students range from six to eight years old. According to director of the play and education director of TMP Steve Barnett, there are six brand new students who will be performing this year.
Barnett says, “We will try to stay as true to the movie as possible. The show is literally a carbon copy of the movie live on stage and there are some Christmas carols to it as well. Unfortunately, we can’t replicate everything but we try the best we can.”
YE OLD MERRY HOLIDAY (TV) SPECTACULAR!
Dates: Sunday, Dec. 20th, 2015 at 3 pm
Location: Theatre on the Square- Broadway Center for the Performing Arts -915 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402
Prices: $19 – $49
Tired of seeing the same old Christmas films, but still want the feeling of nostalgia? Then come see Ye Old Merry Holiday (TV) Spectacular! where they take the concept of a 1960s Christmas TV variety special and bring it into the world of theatre. This Holiday Variety Program will bring an older audience back in the days of Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra. Everything you would want from a variety show is in here, whether it is comedy skits, musical performances of holiday classics, dance routines, or special guest appearances.
The play was written by co-producer Brett Car and director Christopher Nardine with the intention of being funny and light-hearted during the holiday season.
The production is treated as if it is being broadcasted for a 60s Christmas television variety show. According to the director of the play, Chris Nardine, there will be an old-fashioned television announcer, early television cameras will be put out for the audience, an applause sign, and old time advertisements will be shown during the commercial break.
Now that you know about the plays in Tacoma, all that’s left is for you to see what performances fit into your schedule!