On Theater: Flurries in the holiday air

December is here and there are flurries in the air — flurries of three stage productions with a Christmas theme paying return visits to local theaters.

The granddaddy of them all, opening tonight, is South Coast Repertory's 31st annual production of "A Christmas Carol," adapted by Jerry Patch from the Charles Dickens classic. This show has entertained generations of audiences since its first incarnation in 1980.

Hal Landon Jr., the quintessential Ebenezer Scrooge, returns to don his nightcap for the 31st time and John-David Keller directs, as he always has. Most of the principal cast members also are revisiting familiar characters, while the younger roles will be filled by new actors, members of SCR's Young Conservatory.

"A Christmas Carol" will be presented through Dec. 26 at varying curtain times. Contact the box office at (714) 708-5555 for ticket information and reservations.

Another holiday tradition is Orange Coast College's annual presentation, "An Old-Fashioned Christmas Melodrama and Ice Cream Social," being mounted this weekend and next in OCC's Drama Lab Theater.

This family-oriented production features Christmas caroling, a children's joke-telling contest, ice cream treats and a visit from Santa Claus. In between, the college will stage a melodrama in which the hero is cheered and the villain booed.

Directed by Rick Golson, the show will be staged at 7 tonight, Saturday and Sunday and Dec. 10 to 12 , with matinees Sunday and Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. Tickets are attractively priced in single digits and will be available at the door.

Meanwhile, Costa Mesa's Vanguard University brings back its popular holiday show, "It's a Wonderful Life," also opening tonight. It's a stage adaptation of the Frank Capra movie starring James Stewart as a frustrated banker, who is given the chance to see what life would be like had he never been born.

Amick Byram directs the modern classic, which also will be on stage for two weekends. Performances are at 8 p.m. tonight, Saturday, Sunday and Dec. 9 to 11 — with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Dec. 11 to 12 — in Vanguard's Lyceum Theater. Call (714) 668-6145 for ticket information.

TOM TITUS reviews local theater for the Daily Pilot.

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World