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Weekend Picks: Taylor Mac, ABT's 'Nutcracker,' Messiah two ways, plus more holiday fun

Weekend Picks: Taylor Mac, ABT's 'Nutcracker,' Messiah two ways, plus more holiday fun
American Ballet Theatre returns to Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa for a run of performances of the holiday favorite "The Nutcracker." (Gene Schiavone)

Feeling festive? You may after taking in some of these holiday offerings, including American Ballet Theatre dancing a seasonal favorite, Taylor Mac’s latest gender-bending music extravaganza, and not one but two performances of a beloved oratorio. There’s a solo take on a Victorian-era tale of redemption, and an all-female vocal group holds court in a downtown L.A. landmark.

Visions of sugar plum fairies

American Ballet Theatre returns to Orange County for the New York company’s annual performances of “The Nutcracker,” with Pacific Symphony performing Tchaikovsky’s score. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 7 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 12:30 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Dec. 23. $29 and up. scfta.org

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Enjoy some ‘Holiday Sauce’

Gender non-conforming performance artist and musicologist Taylor Mac — last seen ’round these parts in his epic four-part “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music” — returns with live band and special guests in the sure-to-be-irreverent “Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce.” Presented by the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA. Royce Hall, UCLA, 10745 Dickson Court, Westwood. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday. $26–$116. cap.ucla.edu

Taylor Mac, left, is back in the musical spectacular "Taylor Mac's Holiday Sauce" at UCLA's Royce Hall.
Taylor Mac, left, is back in the musical spectacular "Taylor Mac's Holiday Sauce" at UCLA's Royce Hall. (Little Fang Photography)

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Los Angeles Master Chorale presents two distinct takes on Handel’s Messiah: a straight-ahead performance of the 18th-century oratorio on Sunday, followed the next night by the 38th edition of the group’s sing-along version. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. 7 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Monday. $29 and up; children under 6 not admitted. lamasterchorale.org

Audience members sing along with Los Angeles Master Chorale in a performance of Handel's Messiah at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Audience members sing along with Los Angeles Master Chorale in a performance of Handel's Messiah at Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Stuart Palley / For The Times)

A miserable miser gets ghosted

It’s your last weekend to catch Jefferson Mays in “Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.” The Tony winner (“I Am My Own Wife”) plays every role in this adaptation of the supernatural fable. An L.A. Times Critics’ Choice. Gil Cates Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. $30-$120. geffenplayhouse.com

Jefferson Mays stars in a one-man version of "Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol" at the Geffen Playhouse.
Jefferson Mays stars in a one-man version of "Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol" at the Geffen Playhouse. (Chris Whitaker)

Do you hear what I hear?

You are invited to spend “Christmas at the Bradbury With Kitka.” The Oakland-based all-female vocal ensemble sings seasonal favorites from Eastern European and Eurasian traditions in the acoustically pleasing confines of the venerable Bradbury Building. A Da Camera Society presentation. 304 S. Broadway, L.A. 3, 5 and 7 p.m. Sunday. $65. DaCamera.org

Vocal ensemble Kitka will perform three shows at the Bradbury Building in downtown L.A. on Sunday.
Vocal ensemble Kitka will perform three shows at the Bradbury Building in downtown L.A. on Sunday. (Tomas Pacha)

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