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Your ultimate guide to live holiday shows around SoCal

A ballerina dances en pointe in front of a line of other ballerinas.
A scene from Los Angeles Ballet’s staging of “The Nutcracker.”
(Reed Hutchinson / Los Angeles Ballet)

First, an apology: We were unable to scrounge up a partridge in a pear tree. But you will find “Nutcrackers,” “Christmas Carols” and a whole lot more in our supersize list of live holiday entertainment at venues across Southern California. Before you go, remember to call or check online for reservation requirements and other COVID-19 protocols.

Dec. 21
‘Arturo Sandoval Big Band Swinging Holiday’
The Grammy-winning Latin jazz trumpeter and his crew do their thing. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. $40-$108. (323) 850-2000. laphil.com

Dec. 21
‘Holiday Organ Spectacular’
Organist Todd Wilson performs with members of the Pacific Symphony. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. $17-$110. (714) 755-5799. pacificsymphony.org

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Dec. 21
‘Johnny Mathis Christmas Concert’
The legendary crooner performs. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. $69 and up. (714) 556-2787. scfta.org

Here are our suggestions for unique gifts and other ideas for the 2021 holiday season.

Dec. 21
‘Sister’s Christmas Catechism’
A know-it-all nun schools audience members on the Nativity story in this spinoff of the hit solo comedy “Late Night Catechism.” Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. $46. (949) 497-2787. lagunaplayhouse.com

Dec. 22
‘Celtic Angels Christmas’
Female vocalists belt out Gaelic-flavored holiday favorites. Cerritos Center, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. $40-$60. (562) 916-8500. cerritoscenter.com

Dec. 22
The Doo Wop Project
The six-man vocal group shows they’re not too cool for Yule. MenAlive, the Orange County Gay Men’s Chorus, also performs. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. $40-$108. (323) 850-2000. laphil.com

Dec. 22
‘Fiesta Navidad With Mariachi Los Camperos’
The Grammy-winning ensemble holds court for an evening of music and dance. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. $29 and up. (714) 556-2787. scfta.org

A group of men holding instruments stands in V formation.
Mariachi los Camperos will perform as part of “Fiesta Navidad” at Segerstrom Center.
(Ernesto Coria)

Through Dec. 23
‘A Christmas Carol’
A Noise Within co-artistic director Geoff Elliott reprises his role as Scrooge in L.A.’s longest-running production of the holiday favorite; a Los Angeles Times’ Critic’s Choice. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. $25 and up; discounts available. (626) 356-3100. anoisewithin.org

Dec. 23-24 and 26
‘The Nutcracker’
Los Angeles Ballet is back with its annual touring production of the Tchaikovsky classic. Dolby Theatre (with live orchestra), Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. $34-$131; discounts available. (310) 998-7782. losangelesballet.org

Dec. 24
‘L.A. County Holiday Celebration’
While audiences will no longer be allowed to attend this year’s event in person due to concerns about the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, this multicultural celebration featuring scores of local music groups, choirs and dance companies will still be broadcast live at 3 p.m. on KOCE and live-streamed on PBSSoCal.org and KCET.org. (213) 972-3099. musiccenter.org

Through Dec. 25
‘Santasia: A Holiday Comedy’
The long-running, award-winning, nostalgia-fueled variety show returns. For ages 13 and older. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. $30. santasia.com

Holiday movies, film festival picks, movie musicals and listings from “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” to “King Richard” to “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

Through Dec. 26
‘A Christmas Carol’
South Coast Rep’s staging of the Dickens classic is still going strong after four-plus decades. South Coast Repertory, Segerstrom Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. $34-$84; discounts available. (714) 708-5555. scr.org

Through Dec. 26
‘Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show’
A San Diego-centric sendup of Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday fable. The Old Globe, Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, San Diego. $37 and up. (619) 234-5623. theoldglobe.org

Dec. 26; Dec. 28
‘A Magical Cirque Christmas’
Jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, etc. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. $39-$119. (714) 556-2787. scfta.org

Also at Fred Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. $50-$70. (805) 449-2787. bapacthousandoaks.com

Dec. 29
‘Mannheim Steamroller Christmas’
Synth-rock versions of holiday classics from Chip Davis’ chart-topping instrumental group. Cerritos Center, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. $75-$95. (562) 916-8500. cerritoscenter.com

Through Dec. 29
‘Robin Hood & Maid Marion: A Holiday Panto’
The tale of the bandit of Sherwood Forest gets a disco-inspired twist in this family-friendly romp. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. $26-$71. (949) 497-2787. lagunaplayhouse.com

Through Dec. 31
‘Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!’
The green meanie is up to his old tricks in this musical adaptation of the animated 1966 TV special based on the children’s book. The Old Globe, Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, San Diego. $19 and up. (619) 234-5623. theoldglobe.org

Through Dec. 31
‘Love Actually Live’
This immersive celebration of the veddy British 2003 holiday rom-com returns. With Rex Smith. The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. $39-$125. (310) 746-4000. TheWallis.org

Through Jan. 3
‘This Wonderful Life’
Actor Leo Marks plays all the parts as Rogue Machine presents playwright Steve Murray’s one-person show based on Frank Capra’s 1946 holiday fable “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave., L.A. $15-$25; pay what you can: Dec. 22. (855) 585-5185. roguemachinetheatre.net

Updates

3:57 p.m. Dec. 21, 2021: This post has been updated to remove performances that have sold out, been cancelled or already taken place.

1:44 p.m. Dec. 21, 2021: This post has been updated with new information about the L.A. County Holiday Celebration and Center Theatre Group’s production of “A Christmas Carol,” and to remove performances that have sold out or already taken place.

9:01 a.m. Dec. 16, 2021: This post has been updated with new events and to remove performances that have already taken place.

2:35 p.m. Dec. 8, 2021: This post has been updated with new events and to remove performances that have already taken place.

9:01 a.m. Dec. 2, 2021: This post has been updated to remove performances that have already taken place.

9:49 a.m. Nov. 24, 2021: This post has been updated with new pricing information for the “Holiday Family Faire” at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum on Dec. 11.


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