Your ultimate guide to ‘Nutcrackers,’ ‘Christmas Carols’ and other holiday shows in SoCal

A slideshow features a miser and a ghost, a burlesque dancer with an elf on her shoulder, ballerinas and female mariachis.
South Coast Rep’s “A Christmas Carol,” Zombie Joe’s “Cabaret Macabre Christmas,” Los Angeles Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” and Mariachi Reyna De Los Angeles make our list of holiday shows to see this season.
(Jenny Graham / SCR; Cailey Christ and Laura Van Yck; Reed Hutchinson; Hoy)

Find a “Nutcracker,” a “Christmas Carol” or another show to see with 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.

Through Jan. 8
‘Bob Baker’s Nutcracker’
It’s the old holiday favorite ... with a few strings attached. Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 4949 York Blvd., L.A. Various showtimes through Jan. 8. $25. (213) 250-9995.

Children watch a puppet show
“Bob Baker’s Nutcracker”
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Through Dec. 18
‘Bob’s Holiday Office Party’
This irreverent romp set in an insurance office in small-town Iowa returns for a 25th year. Beverly Hills Playhouse, 254 S. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills. 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 2-18. $35, $40.

A man stands on a desk and yells during an office Christmas party
“Bob’s Holiday Office Party.”
(Louisa Gauerke)

Dec. 16-18, Dec. 22-24 and 26
Los Angeles Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’
The company’s annual touring production of the Tchaikovsky favorite is back. UCLA’s Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Court, Westwood. 8 p.m. Dec. 16, noon and 5 p.m. Dec. 17-18. $38-$131; discounts available. (310) 998-7782.

And the Dolby Theatre (with live orchestra), 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 2 p.m. Dec. 22, 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 23, noon Dec. 24, 2 p.m. Dec. 26. (310) 998-7782. $45-$138; discounts available. (310) 998-7782.

Ballet dancers dressed as snowflakes
Los Angeles Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.”
(Reed Hutchinson / UCLA)

Through Dec. 18
‘Cabaret Macabre Christmas’
This spooky-saucy edition of this burlesque show from dancer-choreographer Brittany DeWeese returns; for ages 17 and older. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. 8:30 p.m. Fridays-Sundays, Dec. 2 through Dec. 18. $20, $25.

Burlesque dancers strike poses
“Cabaret Macabre Christmas.”
(Suzette Mora)

Through Dec. 24
American Contemporary Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker Suite’
The L.A.-based company reprises its intimate reimagining of the holiday favorite. Two California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., 28th floor, downtown L.A. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays, 2 and 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Dec. 24 (also 1 p.m. only Dec. 24). $65-$140.

A ballerina wearing an oversized bow in her hair kneels while grasping a key in both hands
American Contemporary Ballet’s “The Nutcracker Suite.”
(Victor Demarchelier)

Through Dec. 18
‘Cozy Winter Cabin’
Sketch comedy with a seasonal flare. The Groundlings Theatre, 7307 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, Dec. 2-18. $22-$28. (323) 934-4747.

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July 6, 2023

Through Dec. 23
‘A Christmas Carol’
A Noise Within remounts its popular adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Victorian-era fable. 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Various dates and times, Dec. 3-23. $25 and up.

A bewildered man in robe and slippers gazes up at a festive spirit
Alan Blumenfeld, left, and Geoff Elliott in “A Christmas Carol” at A Noise Within.
(Craig Schwartz)

Through Dec. 18
‘The Fruit Cake Follies’
This affectionate sendup of holiday variety shows is back. Casita Del Campo Restaurant, 1920 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake. 1, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 3-18. $40.

Through Dec. 23
‘Patsy Cline Holiday Concert’
Cori Cable Kidder portrays the country music legend. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 23; also 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21-22. $25-$45. (626) 355-4318.

A woman in a red dress with white fringe sings into a microphone
Cori Cable Kidder as Patsy Cline.
(Beryl Tsang)

Through Dec. 24
‘A Christmas Carol’
South Coast Rep’s hit production of the holiday fable is also back on the boards; for ages 6 and up. 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Various dates and times, Dec. 3-24. $35-$101; children’s discounts available. (714) 708-5555.

A holiday spirit and a miser
Richard Soto, left, and Richard Doyle in “A Christmas Carol.”
(Jenny Graham / SCR)

Dec. 17-18
‘The Nutcracker’
Inland Pacific Ballet stages the Tchaikovsky favorite. Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, 2 p.m. Dec. 18. $24 and up; discounts available.

A ballet dancer dressed as a nutcracker raises a sword
Inland Pacific Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.”
(E.Y. Yanagi)

Through Dec. 18
‘A Very Die Hard Christmas’
Theatre Unleashed reprises its riotous sendup of the 1988 action flick that starred Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman. studio/stage, 520 N. Western Ave., L.A. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 8 through Dec. 18. $30. (818) 849-4039.

Through Dec. 18
‘Die Heart’
Troubadour Theater Co.‘s latest musical-comedy mashup pairs the aforementioned 1988 Bruce Willis action flick with tunes by the legendary rock band Heart. Colony Theatre, 555 N. Third St., Burbank. 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 4 and 7 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 9-18. $50-$75. (818) 558-7000.

Actors mug for the camera in an onstage spoof of the 1988 action film "Die Hard."
Troubadour Theater Co.’s “Die Heart.”
(Douglas Leadwell)

Through Dec. 31
Bring the family for this immersive, 1960s-themed holiday panto featuring music, dance, comedy and cirque-style acrobatics. The Actors’ Gang at the Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. Various dates and times, Dec. 8-31. $35. (310) 838-4264.

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Nov. 25, 2022

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. 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, other dates and times, Dec. 9 through 25. $35.

Through Dec. 18
American Ballet Theatre’s ‘The Nutcracker’
The storied company reprises its dazzling staging of the Tchaikovsky favorite backed by Pacific Symphony. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 7 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturdays, 12:30 and 5:30 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 9-18. $29 and up.

A ballet dancer dips a ballerina
Hee Seo and Cory Stearns in American Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker.”
(Gene Schiavone)

Through Dec. 29
‘The Wonderful Winter of Oz: A Holiday Panto’
Dorothy’s not in Kansas anymore in his family friendly show inspired by L. Frank Baum’s fantasy novels. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Various dates and times, Dec. 9-29. $20-$71.

Through Dec. 18
‘The Magic of Christmas: A Season of Light’
The Young Americans celebrate the holidays in this tune-filled revue. La Mirada Theatre 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 9-18. $15-$71.

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Nov. 12, 2022

Dec. 10-23
‘A Christmas Carol With Charles Dickens’
Independent Shakespeare Co.‘s David Melville re-creates a reading of the holiday fable by the Victorian-era author himself in this solo show; for ages 8 and up. ISC Studio, Atwater Crossing Arts+Innovation Complex, 3191 Casitas Ave., Suite 130, Atwater Village. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10, 16-17 and 20-23; 2 p.m. Dec. 11 and 18. $25-$45. (818) 710-6306.

A bearded man in Victorian-era garb reads from a book on a lectern
David Melville in Independent Shakespeare Co.’s “A Christmas Carol With Charles Dickens.” Photo by Grettel Cortes Photography
(Grettel Cortes Photography)

Dec. 17
‘Festival of Carols’
Los Angeles Master Chorale trolls the ancient Yuletide carol and a few modern ones too. Walt Disney Concert Hall, downtown L.A. 2 p.m. Dec. 17. $45-$153.

Los Angeles Master Chorale
Los Angeles Master Chorale.
(Jamie Pham)

Dec. 21-22
‘Nochebuena: Christmas Eve in Mexico’
With Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar. Musco Center, One University Drive, Orange. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21-22. $21.25-$78.

Ballet Folklórico De Los Ángeles
Ballet Folklórico De Los Ángeles.
(Luis Luque)

Through Dec. 24
Festival Ballet Theatre’s ‘The Nutcracker’
The Orange County-based company performs with guest dancers from Joffrey Ballet, New York Ballet, etc. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. 1 and 6 p.m. Dec. 17-18, 6 p.m. Dec. 20-23, 11 a.m. Dec. 24. $45-$110.

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Nov. 2, 2022

Through Dec. 23
‘Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas”
Family friendly musical based on the children’s books. Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. 7 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays; noon, 2 and 5 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays; Dec. 11 through Dec. 23. $24-$30; discounts available. (888) 455-4212.

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Nov. 30, 2022

Dec. 17
‘Latina Christmas Special’
The nostalgia-fueled holiday show is back for an encore; with Maria Russell, Sandra Valls and Diana Yanez. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17. $19-$49. (626) 356-3100.

Three women share a holiday toast
Maria Russell, left, Diana Yanez and Sandra Valls in “Latina Christmas Special.”
(Xavi Moreno)

Dec. 13
‘A Chanticleer Christmas’
The Grammy-winning all-male a cappella group performs. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 8 p.m. Dec. 13. $41-$111.

Dec. 14 and 18
‘The Nutcracker With Dudamel: Tchaikovsky & Ellington’
Gustavo Dudamel leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Children’s Chorus in the Tchaikovsky classic plus jazz legend Duke Ellington’s reimagining of same. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111. S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 8 p.m. Dec. 3, 2 p.m. Dec. 4, 8 p.m. Dec. 14, 2 p.m. Dec. 18. $77-$254.

Dec. 15-17
‘The Broadway Holiday Songbook’
With vocalists Aaron Lazar and Kerry O’Malley. Segerstrom Center’s Samueli Theater, 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15-17. $79 and up.

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Dec. 1, 2022

Dec. 15
‘A Christmas Carol With Charles Dickens’ and Holiday Fete
A Victorian-style soiree includes a performance of the Dickens classic by Independent Shakespeare Company’s David Melville. The Ebell of Los Angeles, 743 S Lucerne Blvd., L.A. 7 p.m. Dec. 15. $85.

Dec. 15-17
Harry Connick, Jr.’s ‘Holiday Celebration 2022’
The Grammy-winning crooner croons seasonal favorites. Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 8 p.m. Dec. 15-17. $59 and up.

Harry Connick Jr. plays the piano
Harry Connick Jr.
(Stephen Chernin / Associated Press)

Dec. 16-17
‘Holiday Pops With the Manhattan Transfer’
The veteran vocal quartet performs with Pacific Symphony. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 8 p.m. Dec. 16-17. $43-$213.

Dec. 16-17
Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2022
The saxman performs with an all-star band. Cerritos Center, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. 8 p.m. Dec. 16-17. $60-$190.

Dec. 16-18 and 22-23
‘The Long Beach Nutcracker’
Long Beach Ballet and guest dancers perform with a full orchestra in the 40th edition of this stage spectacular. Terrace Theater, 300 E. Ocean Ave., Long Beach. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, 2 p.m. Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22-23. $35-$125.

Ballet dancers take their bows on stage
“The Long Beach Nutcracker.”
(Christopher Launi / Long Beach Ballet)

Dec. 17, Dec. 20
‘Alton Brown Live: Beyond the Eats — The Holiday Variant’
The celebrity chef hosts a variety show. The Soraya, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. 7 p.m. Dec. 17. $46-$156.

Also at Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20. $39 and up.

Dec. 17
‘Christmas Joy Concert’
The Third@First concert series presents seasonal favorites with the Chancel Choir and others. First United Methodist Church of Pasadena, 500. E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. 4 p.m. Dec. 17. Free; donations accepted.

Dec. 17
‘Herb Alpert & Lani Hall — A Christmas Wish’
The veteran jazz trumpeter and his vocalist wife perform. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17. $90-$115.

Trumpet player Herb Alpert and singer Lani Hall snuggle on the coach
Herb Alpert and Lani Hall.
(Dewey Nicks)

Dec. 17
The Long Beach Symphony Holiday Pops
The orchestra performs with the Long Beach Camerata Singers. Long Beach Arena’s Pacific Ballroom, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. 8 p.m. Dec. 17. $30-$180. (562) 436-3203.

Dec. 17
Pasadena Symphony and Pops’ ‘Holiday Candlelight’
The orchestra, under the baton of conductor Larry Blank, is joined by the LA Bronze Handbell Ensemble, the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, the Donald Brinegar Singers, the JPL Chorus and vocalist LC Powell. All Saints Church, 132 N. Euclid Ave., Pasadena. 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 17. $25-$160.

Dec. 17-18
‘A Motown Holiday’
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles performs a mix of pop hits and seasonal favorites. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. 8 p.m. Dec. 17, 2 p.m. Dec. 18. $24-$99.

The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles decked out in various Christmas sweaters
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles.
(Gennia Cui / L.A. County Arts Commission)

Dec. 18
Handel’s ‘Messiah’
Los Angeles Master Chorale performs Handel’s beloved oratorio. The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 7 p.m. Dec. 18. $48-$170.

Dec. 18
‘’Tis the Season!’
Pacific Chorale performs with the Southern California Children’s Chorus and members of Pacific Symphony. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 5 p.m. Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19. $32-$156.

Dec. 18-19, Dec. 21-22
‘An Irish Christmas’
This nationally touring production includes seasonal favorites, Irish dancing and more. Downey Theatre, 8435 Firestone Blvd., Downey. 2:30 p.m. Dec. 18. $32-$60.

Also at Scherr Forum, Bank of America Performing Arts Center, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, 7:30 p.m. Dec 21-22. $50-$75.

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Nov. 18, 2022

Dec. 18
‘London Handel Players: A Baroque Christmas’
Selections by Handel, Bach, Mozart and Vivaldi in an intimate concert with all seating onstage. The Soraya, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. 7 p.m. Dec. 18. $76.

Dec. 19
‘Carols on the Plaza’
Belt out the holiday hits with members of Los Angeles Master Chorale. Jerry Moss Plaza at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 6 p.m. Dec. 19. Free.

Dec. 19
‘Messiah Sing-along’
Raise your voice alongside your fellow audience members in Los Angeles Master Chorale’s annual participatory presentation of Handel’s oratorio. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19. $58-$153.

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Oct. 28, 2022

Dec. 19
Canadian Brass
The ensemble performs holiday favorites in this concert co-presented by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. 8 p.m. Dec. 19. $38 and up.

Dec. 19-20
‘Sister’s Christmas Catechism’
A know-it-all nun schools you on the reason for the season in this solo comedy. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. 7:30 p;.m. Dec. 19-20. $51.

Dec. 20-22
‘Home Alone in Concert’
The slapstick 1990 comedy starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern screens with live orchestral accompaniment. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave, downtown L.A. 8 p.m. Dec. 20-22. $50-$189.

A young boy stands next to a Christmas tree, oblivious to the burglar glaring at him through the window
Macaulay Culkin, left, and Joe Pesci in “Home Alone.”
(20th Century Fox)

Dec. 20
‘Holiday Organ Spectacular’
With organist Todd Wilson and members of Pacific Symphony. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20. $25-$106.

Dec. 20-22
‘Holidaze Harmony: Live’
Veteran vocalists Terron Brooks and Kamilah Marshall perform. Garry Marshall Theatre, 4252 W Riverside Drive, Burbank. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday. $60, $75.

Dec. 21-22
‘Melissa Errico: Evergreen Holiday’
The Broadway veteran sings show tunes, standards and seasonal favorites in an intimate setting backed by a trio led by Grammy-winning jazz pianist Randy Waldman. With special guest “SNL’s” Jon Lovitz. Feinstein’s at Vitello’s, 4349 Tujunga Ave., Studio City. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21-22. $30-$75.

A cabaret singer performs
Melissa Errico
(David Kenas)

Dec. 22
‘The Illusionists — Magic of the Holidays’
Put a little abra in your cadabra with this stage spectacular. Fred Kavli Theater, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks. 7:30 pm. Dec. 22. $52-$72.

Dec. 22
‘A Winter’s Eve Concert with David Arkenstone & Friends’
The neoclassical composer and performer and special guests celebrate the season. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22. $35-$55.

Dec. 23
‘Arturo Sandoval 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. 8 p.m. Dec. 23. $43-$114.

Arturo Sandoval blows into his trumpet.
Arturo Sandoval
(The Wallis)

Dec. 23
‘Johnny Mathis Christmas Concert’
The veteran crooner performs. Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 7:30 p.m. $59 and up.

Dec. 23
‘Fiesta Navidad’
Grammy winners Mariachi Los Camperos celebrate the holiday traditions of Mexico in this family-friendly show. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. $32 and up.

Mariachi los Camperos
(Ernesto Coria)

Dec. 24
63rd Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration
Shivan Arts Dance Company, Sista Jean’s Blues Machine and all-female mariachi ensemble Las Colibrí are among the myriad local groups taking part in this free, family-friendly and multicultural celebration. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 3 p.m. Dec. 24. Free; first come, first served. (213) 972-3099.

Six dancers in flowing red dresses
Shivan Arts Dance Company
(The Music Center)


8:01 a.m. Dec. 6, 2022: This post has been updated to remove expired events and add new ones.